sexual dysfunction in women
sexual dysfunction in women

Sex Phobia (Erotophobia): Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Sex is one of the greatest pleasures that human beings can experience, and it is beneficial not only physically, but also to promote well-being. However, some people suffer a great fear of sex and sexuality, which is known as erotophobia or phobia of sex.

Erotophobia is an irrational fear of everything that has to do with sex and sexuality and is a complex disorder whose symptoms may vary from one individual to another. Some feel great fear when they come into contact with sexual objects, others feel sexual intimacy and others have penetration. People with this phobia may experience high doses of fear of any type of sexual activity or the possibility of intimate with another person.

Types of sex phobia

As for the irrational fear, anxiety, and avoidance experienced by people with erotophobia, the object or situation that causes the phobia can vary from case to case, as well as its severity. 

Erotophobia is a complex disorder that encompasses other specific sexual phobias. They are the following.

1. Genophobia

Also known as coitophobia, it refers to irrational fear and stress peaks in sexual intercourse. Individuals who present this pathology can start romantic relationships, enjoy activities such as kisses or hugs, but feel a great fear of sexual intercourse and penetration.

2. Gymnophobia

Also called nudophobia, is the fear of nudity. It is a complex disorder in which people are afraid of being naked and that people around them are. 

This fear may indicate body image problems or feelings of inadequacy, although it can also occur as a result of a traumatic experience.

3. Fear of privacy

This fear has nothing to do with the sexual act, but with the fact of feeling close to the other person both emotionally and physically.

4. Paraphobia

The fear of sexual perversion is also a complicated phobia. Some people are afraid of perverting themselves, while others fear the perversions of others. 

Some people with paraphobia are able to enjoy traditional sexual relationships that fit well within their personal moral code, while others are afraid that any form of intimacy can be perverted.

5. Haphephobia

This phobia is characterized by the fear of physical contact, that is, to be touched, and often affects all relationships, not just those of a romantic nature. Some people experience it to the minimum contact, while others face a longer contact.

6. Phobia of vulnerability

Like the extreme fear of intimacy, the fear of vulnerability is often linked to the fear of abandonment. Many people fear to show themselves as they are because they believe that they will not like others. Fear of vulnerability can affect numerous relationships, both sexual and non-sexual.

7. Philematophobia

Also known as philematophobia, it is the fear of kisses. It can have many causes and is often linked to physical concerns, such as a concern about bad breath or even germ phobia.

Causes of sex phobia

Sex and sexuality are very important aspects of the human condition, and erotophobia can have a devastating impact on those who experience it. Some people who suffer from this phobia choose to live their lives asexually, that is, without having sex, and others have serious difficulties in maintaining intimate relationships with other people in a satisfactory manner.

Generally, the cause of this phobia is the associative learning or classical conditioning that occurs when a person experiences a traumatic event related to sex and sexuality, for example, having suffered a bad sexual experience in the past or have been subject to teasing about the size of his genitals (in the case of men).

Now, irrational beliefs and bad sexual education can also cause the person to develop this phobia. Few sexologist in Delhi claims that some people are more likely than others to develop these types of pathologies due to genetics.

Symptoms of erotophobia

Due to the variety of phobic disorders related to sex and sexuality, the object or situation that causes the phobia may vary. However, the symptoms are usually the same:

  • Intense fear of objects, situations, and thoughts related to sex and sexuality.
  • Extreme anxiety in the presence of the object or situation that causes the phobia or towards the thoughts or images of it.
  • Avoidance Behaviors
  • Feeling short of breath and hyperventilation.
  • Hypersudoration
  • Dry mouth.
  • Disorientation and lack of concentration.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Anguish.
  • Accelerated heartbeat and increased heart rate.
  • Stomach upset and headache.

Treatment

Phobias are frequent disorders and there are many types of phobic disorders. But despite the fact that the objects or situations that cause these phobias are different, the procedure is usually similar in most cases

On the other hand, since sex is a very important part of a person’s life and usually also affects relationships, the treatment usually includes a reinforcement to improve self-esteem and correct those beliefs that interfere with the patient’s well-being.

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