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Monday, January 1, 2024

The 5 Most Common Sexual Insecurities That Heterosexual Men Have

As a sex therapist in New York City, I have seen many clients struggle with sexual insecurity. In fact, sexual insecurity is a common experience for many people at some point in their lives.  

The current article focuses on heterosexual men's sexual insecurities (see my article: Overcoming Feelings of Sexual Shame and Guilt).

The Sexual Insecurities of Men

What Are the 5 Most Common Sexual Insecurities of Men?
  • Fear of Rejection: Despite many positive changes in gender roles in the past few decades, unfortunately, the cultural expectation is still that men are the pursuers and women are the pursued, especially among traditional men and women. This places the burden on men to make the first move and risk rejection, which can create stress and anxiety. It also creates anxiety and frustration for women when they're in the passive role of waiting for men. With dating experience, over time, many men learn to deal with rejection, but many others never overcome this fear. They hope they'll be able to pick up on social cues from women who are interested, but these cues might be confusing or nonexistent in certain situations. If a man is especially fearful of rejection, he might feel his whole sense of self is on the line. Due to his fear, he might avoid taking the initiative--only to feel bad about himself later (see my article: Coping With Fear of Rejection).
  • Fear of Not Pleasing Their Partner in Bed: There's an unfair stereotype of men being mostly focused on their own sexual gratification. This stereotype is amplified in most male-oriented pornography which focuses primarily on men's pleasure (the exception to this is ethical porn).  Although this might be true for some men, especially in hookup situations, many men worry about whether they're pleasing women in bed. And, while it's important not to be selfish in bed, the misconception that men are responsible for "giving" women orgasms puts a lot of pressure on both men and women. It also casts women in a passive role as if they're only the recipients of sexual pleasure and not capable of generating their own pleasure.  Unfortunately, many men also base their sense of masculinity and sexual self esteem on whether or not their female partner has an orgasm instead of whether she enjoyed sex.  If their partner doesn't have an orgasm, they feel inadequate.  In some cases, due to a man's existing feelings of inadequacy, he can become so worried about his partner's pleasure that he loses sight of his own pleasure,. This can lead to other problems, including erectile dysfunction (see my articles: What is Sexual Anxiety? and What is Sexual Self Esteem?).
The Sexual Insecurities of Men

  • Fear of Having a Small Penis: Another common male insecurity is fear having a small penis. This is especially true of men who watch a lot of pornography and who compare their penis to the penises they see in porn. What many men don't know is that male porn actors are specifically chosen because they have unusually large penises as compared to the average penis, which is about 5.1-5.25 inches long. Fear of having a small penis also creates a lot of shame, which can affect a man's ability to initiate sex or create anxiety about maintaining an erection.  In reality, size doesn't matter with regard to sexual pleasure, and most women don't care about penis size. Also, even a man with a micropenis, which is about 3.67 inches or less, can be give and receive pleasure.
  • Fear Related to Overall Body ImageBody image issues are usually associated with women. But, even though women are mostly the ones who are negatively impacted by unrealistic body images portrayed in the media, men are also affected by unrealistic images of having "six pack" abs or a muscular build, which often creates anxiety about taking off their clothes during sex.  Other body image insecurities can include hair loss, weight, height and so on.
  • Fear of Erectile Dysfunction (ED): All of the above fears can result in problems with erectile dysfunction, which most men dread. The cause of ED is often psychological due to stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes, drugs and so on. There are also some medical problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure, prostate problems that can cause ED.  If ED, premature ejaculation (PE) or delayed ejaculation (DE) is a problem, a man should see a urologist to rule out any medical problems first and then see a sex therapist to deal with psychological issues. Erectile problems can also be a combination of physical and psychological problems so that a urologist and sex therapist would collaborate in treatment.

Overcoming Sexual Insecurities in Sex Therapy
Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on sexual issues (see my article: What is Sex Therapy?)

Getting Help in Sex Therapy

There is no physical exam, nudity or sex during sex therapy sessions (see my article: What Are Common Misconceptions About Sex Therapy?).

Many individual adults and couples seek help in sex therapy for a variety of reasons (see my article: What Are Common Issues Discussed in Sex Therapy?).

Rather than struggling on your own, seek help from a licensed mental health professional who is a sex therapist so you can lead a more fulfilling life.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I am a sex-positive therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.