‘Sexiety’ is a term you might not have heard before, but that’s not to say you haven’t experienced it.

Feeling a little nervous before you have sex with a new person, or before trying something different with your partner, is totally normal. Sexiety, officially known as sexual performance anxiety, is when these nerves get so out of control that it inhibits your ability to enjoy sex.

In order to find out what the symptoms are, as well as how to ease them, we spoke to award-winning sexologist and sexual health and wellness expert, Chantelle Otten.

What is sexual performance anxiety?

“It’s something that affects both men and women and can cause individual difficulty in experiencing a wholesome sex life”, Chantelle says.

A little bit of nervous excitement before sex can make it all the more arousing, but if your nerves veer away from butterflies into a more negative direction, it could be cause for concern. “It usually manifests when one begins to wonder if they will be able to perform sexually and perceive that there will be negative consequences if not, causing a loss of self respect and fear over how others, such as their sexual partner, will view them.”

“Other problems that can contribute include poor body image, relationship concerns, worried about penis size and structure, worried about the way the vulva looks, ejaculation concerns, or taking too long (or not being able to) achieve orgasm”.