Fear of sex

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 23.04.2024

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Fear of sex (genophobia or koitophobia) is a completely unrelated state, and, consequently, it is painful for a person, although it is understandable from the point of view of psychology and medicine. Recently, the phobia is becoming more prevalent, and among patients who, by overcoming the sense of bashfulness, nevertheless turn to specialists for help, there is no clear sexual distribution.

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Causes of fear of sex

Fear of sex or genophobia is characteristic of both women and men. And, despite the fact that its main causes are psychological factors, the fear of women and men before intimacy (and sometimes the phobia of even talking about sex) differs radically.

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Fear of sex in women

The main cause of fear of sex in the beautiful half of humanity has become a traditional ritual, handed down from generation to generation and overgrown with a huge number of unreasonable myths. Each girl who has reached the age of puberty, expects severe pain during the first sexual act. As a consequence, having failed to relax, the first sex really delivers to her an exceptionally painful sensation. After that, the woman focuses on discomfort and, after experiencing it the next time, decides to stop any intimate relationships and even talk about sex.

There are several other reasons why genophobia develops in women:

  • Rough first sexual intercourse or sex with an insufficiently experienced partner.
  • Experienced in childhood sexual or physical abuse, harassment.
  • Hansexual methods of education, when sex is described by parents, as something dirty and shameful; suggestion that the sexual partner should be the first and only man.
  • Fear of the consequences of sex: sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancy.
  • Non-acceptance and hostility towards one's own body.
  • Often, the fear of sex is associated with childhood trauma, for example, the withdrawal of the father from the family. In this case, already being in adulthood, a woman can not build the right model of relations with men or is simply afraid of betrayal.
  • Problems with female genital organs, which cause pain in every sexual intercourse.

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Fear of sex in men

Unlike women who are afraid of having sex due to problems with physical health, genophobia in men always arises solely for psychological reasons:

  • The unofficial education of the mother, the consequence of which is the fear of being completely absorbed.
  • Fear of failure in sex, which will lead to mockery and humiliation of dignity.
  • Low self-esteem ("This girl is too good / beautiful / smart for me", "I can not satisfy her").
  • Failures in sex, which arose in the past.
  • The rejection of a certain woman or the fear of being open and sincere to the representatives of the opposite sex as a whole.
  • Fear of blood - a man is afraid to have sex during the menstrual cycle.

But there is also a common cause for the opposite sex of fear of sex - sexual intercourse with a virgin. For a girl it is always a fear of strong pain that resembles violence, and for a young man - a fear of the partner's unpredictable reaction to his actions.

Often, the causes of fear of sex are associated phobias: fear of touching people (haptophobia), fear of sexual harassment (agraobia), phobia of the opposite sex (heterophobia), etc.

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The manifestation of fear of sex

An interesting fact is that the fear of sex manifests itself in different ways and is not always noticeable to the naked eye:

  • Full refusal of intimate relations and mentions of them in conversation (this behavior is called erotophobia).
  • Random sex is also a manifestation of the fear of sex and is called intimophobia. In this case, a person injured in childhood or adolescence, is afraid to reveal himself to a sexual partner and build long-term trust with him. Nevertheless, he has an uncontrollable craving for sex.

How to overcome the fear of sex?

In order to permanently overcome the fear of sex, it is necessary to clearly identify the root causes of genophobia.

Fear of first sex

No matter how trivial the instructions of psychologists and relatives seemed, in order to avoid the development of genophobia, it is necessary to follow the experience of generations:

  • Enter into an intimate relationship only after both partners are mentally prepared for the first sex.
  • Do not neglect the quiet exciting atmosphere and preliminary caresses, but do not abuse alcoholic beverages immediately before sexual intercourse.
  • To avoid distracting thoughts about unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, use contraceptives. 
  1. If the fear of sex has arisen in one of the partners suddenly, you can try to solve the problem yourself. Confidential conversations and clarification of the cause of genophobia are mandatory; In addition, fear should be perceived as a common problem, not a problem of one of the partners.
  2. In order to get rid of fear of sex, experts recommend drinking a small amount of alcohol or a mild sedative before the sexual intercourse (valerian pills, motherwort, mint or melissa - only for women).
  3. In the case when the fear of sex is associated with severe psychological trauma (violence, complexes, accompanying phobias), it is necessary to seek help from specialists - psychiatrist, psychotherapist, psychologist. It must be remembered that it is practically impossible to overcome an ailment without qualified help.
  4. Particular attention should be paid to their health, women, whose fear of sex is associated with pain during sexual intercourse. It is necessary to urgently undergo examination at the gynecologist and find out the true cause of discomfort. 

Fear of sex is a phenomenon so unnatural that it is not necessary to postpone a long trip to a specialist, because a strange at first glance the phobia can not only badly spoil the inseparable intimate part of your life, but also pour out irreversible consequences for mental health.


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