These Lifestyle Factors Could Impact Your Sexual Performance

The lifestyle factors that could be impacting your performance in the bedroom

Success in the bedroom hinges on what happens outside of it. A number of external factors can cause sexual performance anxiety and even erectile dysfunction. These are the ones you should look out for

BY THIS POINT, it should be common knowledge that the factors that impact sexual performance aren’t isolated to what happens in the bedroom. Thanks to the advent of the internet, we no longer need to rely on awkward sex-ed classes at school – or worse, our parents – for information on sex. Because of that, knowledge of how certain lifestyle factors like stress, dietary intake and disrupted sleep can impact sexual performance are only ever a quick Google search away. Yet, there’s less information on the role of recreational activities in impacting sexual performance – and they certainly aren’t talked about between mates.

With rapid technological advancements being made every day, we’re constantly being subjected to new stimuli that can affect our mental health, and as Professor Eric Chung, the Scientific and Clinical Advisor for LTR Pharma explains, that can have a marked impact on sexual performance. “For younger men, erectile dysfunction and sexual performance anxiety can be highly psychological,” Chung says. “Meaning a lot of what goes on downstairs is correlated to what is going on in our minds and bodies.”

Problems with sexual performance aren’t rare. In fact, they’re fairly common nowadays. Recent research published in Sexual Medicine Reviews found that one in four men experience sexual performance anxiety and distress at some stage in their life. But according to Chung, “stigma and embarrassment often pose barriers to starting meaningful conversations and getting the appropriate care and support.” For that reason, understanding how your recreational activities can impact your performance in the bedroom, and knowing how to combat them, is paramount.

Here, we break down how and why some common recreational activities can impact sexual performance.

Excessive porn consumption

The harmful impacts of excessive consumption of pornography have only been exacerbated by recent technological advancements and the increasing ubiquity of smartphones. Professor Chung puts it bluntly, saying that we live in an “environment of hyper-sexualisation”. Today, porn is more accessible than ever before, and as you’d expect, it’s also more popular than ever before. A 2024 study from the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health that drew data from a nationally representative survey found that 80 per cent of Australian men are exposed to pornography by the age of 20.

Porn is not inherently harmful to sexual performance. Chung stresses that “Proper use of pornography can have positive effects if consumed appropriately and can even help with erections and sexual relationships”. But while it can have some benefits specific to individuals, more often than not, excessive porn consumption has a net negative impact.

“Pornography can influence a person’s understanding of sexual behaviours, including what constitutes norms, appropriate and ideal sexual satisfaction,” Chung says. “Men who watch porn can sometimes build an unrealistic expectation around sex and their performance in the bedroom. This can be anything from body image, comparing penile anatomy size, sexual positions, and duration, as well as fetishes.”

These misinformed notions of sex and what constitutes sexual satisfaction can lead to confidence issues and negatively impact a person’s sense of masculinity. As Professor Chung explains, “This can hinder their ability to engage in sexual intimacy and perform in the bedroom.” But that’s not all. “Another perspective is that excessive use of pornography can desensitise and dissociate a person, changing the chemical patterns in an individual’s brain linked to emotion so that they no longer respond to cues that spark arousal from sexual activities,” Chung says.


Another development that has been brought about by advancements in the realm of technology, recent studies have shown that a large amount of time spent gaming can increase the likelihood of erectile dysfunction. Sedentary lifestyles in general have been associated with erectile dysfunction, but a recent study in Andrology, which assessed the correlation between leisure activities and erectile dysfunction, found that increased computer usage was associated with a greater risk of developing impotence.

The study also assessed other leisure activities like watching TV and driving but only found a causal association between erectile dysfunction and gaming. It might be time to hang up the headset.



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The popularity of vapes has skyrocketed in recent years, especially amongst young people. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that more than 38 per cent of Australians aged 18-24 have used an e-cigarette or vape at least once, and you’ll have difficulty navigating a city crowd, a busy concert, or even a lively pub without detecting a fruity aroma and waft of vapour these days. That rising popularity is coming at a cost to users though.

New research from New York University indicates that frequent vaping more than doubles the likelihood of developing erectile dysfunction. The study surveyed 13,700 men about their smoking habits and health and found that men who vaped daily are more than twice as likely as those who never vape to develop the condition. If you needed another reason to quit, let this be it.

What should you do if you’re having problems in the bedroom?

If you frequently partake in any of the above activities and are having issues with sexual performance, it might be time for a re-evaluation of your lifestyle. While watching porn, gaming and vaping don’t guarantee issues with sexual performance, they do heighten your risk with varying degrees of severity. If you want to reduce your risk, the solution is fairly simple for vaping: quit cold turkey or at least limit your usage. For gaming, balancing sedentary leisure time with an active lifestyle is an obvious fix. But for pornography, the solution can be less clear.

Professor Chung assures us that there are strategies to assist with erectile dysfunction and sexual performance anxiety associated with pornography. “The first is to assess your level of engagement with pornography. Ask what type of pornography is being consumed, how frequently, and what boundaries, if any, are involved,” Chung says. “Secondly, it is important to communicate and set clear, realistic expectations with yourself and your partner to build a healthy sexual relationship. Try to create a space for spontaneous sexual intimacy and build on a sense of trust, safety and support to help ease anxiety and stress in the mind and body.”

Further support can be found in seeking professional help, Chung says. “Be open-minded and seek therapy if necessary. Perhaps there may be underlying issues or psychosexual trauma that need to be acknowledged and addressed. Fortunately, there are many such services available either face-to-face, online or via telehealth.”

If your problems are more serious, there is reason for optimism. LTR Pharma, for whom Professor Chung works as a Scientific and Clinical Advisor, currently has a product called SPONTAN in clinical development to treat erectile dysfunction. SPONTAN is a fast-acting nasal spray designed to treat erectile dysfunction in ten minutes or less. Clinical trials are currently underway, with results expected in coming months.



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