Erotophobia: Fear of enjoying sex

As strange as it may seem, there are people who experience panic or anxiety attacks in situations related to sex (this fear is called Erotophobia).

Such sexual phobias incapacitate the individual to enjoy a pleasure that is also beneficial not only on a physical level, but for the promotion of emotional well-being.

Erotophobia  is the irrational fear related to everything that has to do with sex or the sexual spectrum  and it is a complex disorder whose symptoms are likely to vary from one individual to another.

Its manifestations are very diverse because while some feel fear of making contact with sexual objects, others feel a real fear of sexual intimacy or, specifically, of penetration.

Types of sexual phobias

Erotophobia is a disorder that in turn includes other specific sexual phobias, such as:

  • Genophobia or coitophobia.  It’s the fear of intercourse with intercourse
  • It is the fear of nudity (own and others)
  • Fear of privacy.  It is a fear in the emotional and physical sense that has more to do with proximity to another person than with the sexual act
  • It’s the fear of sexual perversion
  • Phobia of vulnerability.  It has to do with the fear of showing yourself as you are, due to the belief that others will not like you
  • It’s the fear of kisses

What are the causes of sex phobia

Sexuality is a determining aspect of the human condition, which is why erotophobia has a devastating impact on those who suffer from it.

Some of these people choose to follow an asexual life, that is, oblivious to sexual relations.

Those who decide to have an intimate life usually conclude that they cannot have satisfactory sexual relations.

Generally speaking, the cause is  the  associative learning , which occurs when an individual experiences a traumatic event that is related to sex and sexuality, either for example because he has had a bad sexual experience past or because the size of their genitals has been mocked (in the case of men).

Finally,  illogical beliefs and the lack of  sexual education  can also be the cause of the development of this phobia. Thus, certain experts have the belief that there are people more prone than others to the development of this type of pathology, given its genetic component.

Symptoms of erotophobia

The wide range of phobic disorders in relation to sex and sexuality, makes the object or situation that gives rise to the phobia can change. However, its symptoms are usually common:

  • Intense fear of objects, thoughts and situations in relation to sex and sexuality
  • Extreme anxiety in the presence of an object or situation causing the phobia or in relation to their thoughts or images
  • Dry mouth
  • Behaviors intended to avoid
  • Anguish
  • Muscle tension
  • Fast heartbeat and increased heart rate
  • Headache and upset stomach
  • Hyper sweating
  • Hyperventilation and feeling short of breath

How to overcome this phobia

Despite the variety of existing phobias, the truth is that the procedure to treat them is usually very similar in almost all cases.

On the other hand, since sex is a determining part of a person’s life but it also affects couple relationships, its treatment usually involves  a reinforcement for the improvement of self-esteem  and the correction of any beliefs that may interfere in the welfare of the subject.

Phobic patients tend to respond well to psychotherapy, with scientific studies indicating the usefulness of  cognitive behavioral therapy  in treating the disorder.

As for the most used techniques, they are relaxation and exposure techniques.

Now, if there is a technique that has shown real effectiveness in the treatment of phobias, that is  systematic desensitization , which involves the gradual exposure of the patient to the feared sexual situations, while providing them with the precise tools adaptive to face the phobic stimulus. Other effective techniques are cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis or Mindfulness.

In those extreme cases in which the patient suffers from too high an anxiety, drugs can be used, which will always be accompanied by psychological therapy, not constituting in any case the only therapeutic option.

Finally, the new technologies that are part of all aspects of our lives today have not remained unrelated to the treatment of phobias.

It is not surprising that in these circumstances the mobile phone has also served as a tool or therapeutic aid in the case of phobias, as there are different  “apps”  that help these patients thanks to augmented reality or virtual reality.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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