As you and your partner continue to uncover why you are avoiding sex, it is important to consider performance issues. The reality or perception of performance issues are a common source of dysfunction in a couple’s sex life.
Some of what you consider your “performance issues” may just be your experiences not living up to your expectations. You think you have a problem because you can’t last a long time, or you don’t orgasm through penetrative sex. Those feelings of inadequacy are based on misguided information. Other “dysfunctions” stem from the presence of something that turns you off in the sex you are having. Sometimes you really do have sexual dysfunction that haunts your encounters. If you are embarrassed or ashamed of this, you’re likely to avoid sex. If your partner reacts badly to your difficulties in sexual functioning, that makes sex even harder.
It’s important to deal with any issues you’re having with sexual function. Seeing a doctor is an important first step, although you may need persistence to find someone who’s ready to help and not just suggest a pill or a glass of wine (though sometimes those are exactly what’s needed). Especially in cases of sexual pain, you’ll need to find an experienced professional. You may also want to work with a certified sex therapist to help as you change what you can change and adapt to what you can’t. If you confront the issues you’re having directly, you’re likely going to find less need to avoid sex. Even if you have a chronic or permanent change to your sexual functioning, you can adapt together if you have the right foundation of information, support, and an open attitude about what sex can be.