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How to Stop Being Anxious With Being Turned On?

Hi, I'm 17 years old. This is more of a mental issue, so I'm not exactly sure if this fits here. I'm new.
Several months ago I tried something stupid with myself down there and later got very concerned if I harmed anything. (To the point I thought I saw physical issues.) I became very anxious and later had problems getting turned on, but I'm definitely better now realizing I didn't physically harm anything. I even checked with a doctor and they said nothing seemed to be physically wrong.
However, I still feel somewhat anxious about myself and occasionally don't get all the way hard if I'm not calm enough, which just worries me a lot when I see it. It's more often when I'm standing up, and somehow in my mind I've gotten scared more particularly about that. I can get fully turned on in any position without a problem as long as I'm feeling calm or distracted. (I guess it's just not as easy to be calm while standing.)
I find it obvious for myself this is all a mental block, but how do I get past it? I know I could probably talk to someone professionally, but it doesn't really seem available for me right now. I've never had a partner either or let alone anyone I could extensively talk about this with. More of what I'm asking is how to get past this on a personal level. I try to stop worrying and thinking about it, but when I see it happen I think it just adds to me being nervous.
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20620809 tn?1504362969
Sex is often mental for people.  If you have anxiety about this, you likely have anxiety about other things, yes?  Would you benefit from some general therapy for anxiety?  Likely you would.  You don't have to say why you want therapy to your parents but talk to them about anxiety in general and get some real help for it.  
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Yes, I have a problem with general anxiety for sure. I think I'm finding out a lot more on how it's all connected. I have one parent that I can talk to pretty closely, but I know both my parents find therapy not very personal. Even then I think I'd still be up to trying it at some point. Thank you for your answer. It's definitely reassuring to read.
Not sure what you mean by therapy not being personal.  Of course a therapist isn't a friend, it's a professional who will try to help you figure things out.  At your age, often just hearing that what you're going through is pretty common and normal fixes things.  There are many reasons for a temporary problem with erections, and yours seems to be connected to thinking about it obsessively.  That never works out well.  But if you've never had a partner, you really don't know how things will actually go.  Doing things to yourself is really different than doing things with someone you are attracted to and is attracted to you.  Quite a different thing.  If you stop worrying about it, this will recede into memory, but if you have an anxiety problem that causes you to obsess over lots of things and gets in your way often, therapy is a really good idea before it becomes your normal way of living.  What I can tell you is that very few men get through life without experiencing problems getting erections at some point or several points in their lives.  Sometimes it's mental, sometimes it's fatigue, sometimes it's medication, sometimes it's illness, etc.  Women also have their periodic problems.  That's just life.  I had a problem when I was a couple a year or two older than you, although I was much more sexually active with other people than you have chosen to be so far.  It started with exhaustion and then continued due to the relationship I was in going way way bad for me.  And then a few months later it went away and stayed away until I was old and had a surgery that makes it problematic again.  As you see, life throws stuff at us, and the important thing is how you deal with it.  So get on top of this quickly and it will be history more quickly, along with your anxiety problems.  Peace.
Hi, and thank you for answering. I think what my parents mean is that therapists may ask questions you'd end up feeling more comfortable talking about with someone closer. Even with that said, I know I have options and understand therapy work is different from that. Some weeks/days have been better than others, but I think seeing it not get up all the way sometimes brings me back to being worried and insecure about it. This situation in general has made me realize how much life affects us, especially when we never have perfect lives. I'm sorry about any issues you've had or have. You're right, life does throw stuff at us, and it makes sense to solve the problems hiding behind other ones before it gets consuming.
Everyone is different, right? I feel better telling things to a therapist who I know is bound by law not to tell my secrets, so to speak, to anyone I know. A therapist is objective. They don't know your parents, and won't feel like they have to say, "Well, she was probably trying to..." or whatever.

Yes, a therapist is a stranger, but they are trained professionals who can help you in ways that maybe your uncle or family friend can't.

I don't know what you did that made you think you hurt yourself, but masturbation injuries aren't common. Just listen to your body and stop when it hurts, and use your common sense. You seem like a really intelligent guy, so use that to your advantage. :)
Hello, and thank you for the advice. I can't say I know much about how therapy works so it's good to hear your experience with it. What I remember doing is trying to suppress my erection by pulling back and tightening my underwear and then sitting so it stayed tucked down for some time. For some reason I thought I'd see what it felt like. Nothing hurt and I masturbated like normal that evening and the next day. I only started panicking when I thought I saw darker/lighter parts of skin or just anything that "didn't look right." (Like how some people get scared over birthmarks they've had forever.) I'm way better than I was months ago, but it's frustrating I can't get over it and I see the result of that. To be real I think therapy isn't available for me right away so I'm just wondering what's the best way to act for myself in the mean time that won't make me more anxious. I talked about this with my closer parent before which has helped me a lot, but it's not easy for me to share stuff right away with anyone (especially something like this.) I have a lot of love and respect for this parent for doing so much for me and I always feel like I need to be careful about what I say.
I don't know why therapy isn't available for you right away, but I hope that can be made available for you soon.

Most of us don't talk about this stuff with others, except maybe our close sexual partners. My own mom, who I love dearly, and is there for me in so many ways, told me once it was gross to kiss with tongue, which pretty much shut down any sex talks, ya know? We should be more open about it, but just aren't.

If I'm understanding what you're describing, it doesn't sound dangerous, medically, and your doctor has already said things are fine. You had no pain after, and you masturbated after with no sign of any problems. Is it possible that the lighter/darker skin was always there? Some men have skin variations where they were circumcised, and everyone has skin variations. Totally normal. My guess is a hyper-awareness made you look more closely than before.

Hang in there. 17 isn't an easy age. It's pretty cliche, but I swear to you it gets better.
This one parent is probably the only person I can talk to the closest, but I hope that I could try therapy just for general anxiety at some point. At the height of panicking about this I remember feeling nerves down there sometimes and it was a scary sensation to have. It wasn't pain, but I can tell that it was just discomfort coming from stress. I was definitely paying too much attention to it. I can tell now that whatever dark/light spots I got scared of were always there. At the time this happened there were also some personal issues that came up and it was just a lot to process.
134578 tn?1614729226
Along with all the rest of the good advice you have received here, just to broaden your mental image of what counts sexually, I'll add that some women don't prefer the entry of the penis in sex to be when it is a massive, hard-as-a rock boner a la porno film, but like it better for him to insert when he is not quite so hard, and then to have him get harder or bigger once inside. That's because the first entry of a totally maxed-up penis can sometimes be painful to the opening of the vagina, it is naturally closed most of the time and can need a chance to stretch and adapt. A guy who starts with enthusiasm and takes the lady's guidance on what she would like and when, will be able to insert at the most comfortable stage for her, and then things will progress from there.

It doesn't really sound like the problem you're worrying about now will follow you into your years of having sexual activity with partners (your hormones will likely see to it that things stand up like normal). But in the small chance that this self-consciousness persists and you have this issue into your active-sex years, don't worry. It probably won't displease the ladies, as long as you're enthusiastic about them, happy to be there, and clearly having fun.
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Hi, and thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention before that I'm gay but what you're saying still makes a lot of sense. I get how having it worked up would feel better for some. The part you said about guidance makes a lot of sense too. Everything you said I can still see applied to me. Again, I haven't had a sexual experience with anyone so I like hearing how open it can be.
Just to say, and I hope this helps, we've all been there and done that though we never talk about the things we've tried.  Sex is a powerful urge, and the urge to make it better is also powerful.  Holding back an orgasm, for example, makes it stronger when it comes for a guy, whereas a woman who is able to reach orgasm can have them over and over and over again and the power of them depends on how easily she can accept sex (remember, we live in times when for centuries now repressive religions have made sex an almost traumatic activity rather than just a natural part of life).  So what you did was pretty normal.  People do this kind of stuff.  The problem is you obsessing over it for so long.  I'd ask, do you do that regularly or is it just this one thing?  If it's a regular thing you do then that's when you ought to rethink the availability of therapy.  If it's just this, I think time will take care of it.  
"I'd ask, do you do that regularly or is it just this one thing?  If it's a regular thing you do then that's when you ought to rethink the availability of therapy."

I think this is really important. Sex is something we all think about a lot, and when you're younger and don't have a great awareness of how it all works, it's easy to freak out about things, but if this type of worry is normal for you with other things, I'd be more concerned than if it's just along the lines of "did I break my penis".

Sort of replying to both of you here. It wasn't a regular thing for me to do even though I did stuff like it before. Obviously I wouldn't be trying it again. Looking back I think I did stuff like that just to feel something different. There were other personal problems during the time coming close and before that, and I remember that I was masturbating way less often and was basically never in the mood. I think having a lot of bad issues already in your head can make you try to find even more, which probably made me start to worry after this one time.
Oh I meant worrying like that, not trying new stuff sexually.

Trying new stuff sexually is fine, just make sure to listen to your body. Using masturbation as a release is fine, too, but since sex is so often tied to mood and other stuff going on, make sure you have other coping skills in place.

2020 has been a lot, just on it's own. When you add in your own personal issues, which everyone has, it can be really overwhelming. Paxiled is much better with advice about anxiety than I am, but sexually, you're going to be fine. :)
asking234, in response to your remark just above, good sex is really ALL about enthusiasm, communication and openness, not technique or size or even appearance. If you're happy to be there and excited, your partner will be too, and the two of you will have a mutually good time. Ask him what he likes, be adventurous but never cause (or accept) something painful, have fun, and you'll do great.
@auntiejessi If you mean obsessing over problems, I can worry about things pretty badly, but this feels different and like an annoying concern that I'd have about this one thing.

@AnnieBrooke That's good to hear. I should keep reminding myself that it's so close to how I'm feeling. If I don't feel very turned on then there's probably a good reason behind it.
Avatar universal
Annie, just asking, I've been a guy for 67 years and I have no idea how I'd be able to control how hard I was when I entered a woman.  It does what it does.  If it isn't rock hard, you often can't enter at all, especially with older women because they have a harder time self-lubricating.  I'm just wondering, because since I had a pretty botched prostate surgery sometimes it works and sometimes it's just not that hard, and it doesn't and never has gotten hard once I'm inside someone.  Never heard of that, I guess.  Just curious.  Maybe something to learn there.  I guess my point is, from a guy's perspective, it has to be hard to get past the defenses, so to speak, if you get my drift.
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Pax, I wasn't saying a guy controls how hard he is, or that if his penis is entirely not erect he can somehow stuff it in. (That would be like trying to stuff bread dough into an oboe, in a lot of cases.) This was addressed to a 17-year-old who hasn't had partners yet and is well on his way to giving himself a complex that his penis isn't erect enough. I wanted to remind him that there are a lot of ways to have sex, and that even if things are not (what a teenager might think the required amount) quite that hard, all would not be lost, and that there are lots of ways to sexual satisfaction besides the caveman pound pound depicted in porn (which is unfortunately the main source of info for lots of kids about what sex looks like). It might help him head off a negative spiral where his worry causes the issue when it wouldn't happen if he wasn't worried.

Certainly it depends on the individuals, and of course as we get older things like the woman's lubrication amount and the man's prostate can change the possibility that anything would happen if they went ahead when the penis was only on the way to full erection. But probably if a teenage guy were to find himself in the position of being in bed with a willing partner and his penis didn't seem quite as erect as usual (unlikely as that is to happen once a teenager finds himself in bed with a willing partner), it still wouldn't be the end of the line. Sexual self-consciousness by itself can cause a self-perpetuating issue, and I thought it worth mentioning that even something less than a massive erection can be just fine.
Avatar universal
I think something specific I keep feeling anxious over is getting one while standing. I didn't cum for about a week now, so I feel a lot of sexual tension. I can get really hard in other positions. (Sometimes it's unexpected since it's been a while for me.) Lately it can get up all the way if I'm standing, but it's usually if I have clothes and maybe it's just not as easy to focus on how hard it's getting. I tried watching/listening to porn before while standing naked to "test" and if I was calm or distracted it worked fine. (I quit watching it a while back before this problem and I realize it's just not that calming or healthy, so I think it wasn't a good idea.) I talked to myself before and closed my eyes and that worked a few times. I'm still noticing it get up in the shower (without me wanting it) and it stays weak if it does. I can tell I started pressuring myself with "trying", so I stopped and hope it makes me feel better.
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I’d just like to say that the advice given so far is very good, but what I’d like to add is that there’s a very common issue for guys called ‘performance anxiety’ - this is where a guy starts thinking too much about whether he’s going to get an erection, or if it’s hard enough, and when with a partner, if he’s gong to be able to ‘perform’, which is absolutely a terrible word! We’re not trained circus animals that do a trick to get a treat! But when any of us start focusing too much on this ‘performance’ aspect, we become tense & anxious, which is a big hindrance to good sexual functioning. It’s usually more of a prblm for guys when with a partner - most of us don’t worry about ‘performance’ when by ourselves.

So what I’m saying is, you shoujd definitely try to stop obsessing about this stuff, because you might put even more pressure on yourself when you do finally engage w/ a partner. Take heart tho - it sounds like you don’t have any sort of physical prblm, this is all in your head, and if you can learn to stop obsessing thru therapy or whatever, you’re gonna be fine!
Hey, thanks for the reply. I heard about performance anxiety before and it sounds a lot like my issue. At first I had to figure out this was just a mental problem and now I should think about stopping anything obsessive that I might be doing. I remember thinking that "testing" myself would make me feel better seeing it get up (I'd usually do it after seeing it weak), and now I know not to do that. With other things, should I just masturbate like normal? I took some breaks (and one right now) because I thought it would take my mind off of it, but I don't know if it really helps. When I feel an erection coming and it's weak, do I just ignore it? Before this problem I'd usually start masturbating if I was already hard, so maybe that's why it gets me so nervous to see it happen. With the therapy thing, it would help a lot with just general anxiety I have that probably adds to this. I'm all for trying it whenever I can.
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