Sexual Phobias and Why we need to address them?
The world that’s revolving around sex is quite complicated to the matters related to sex. But wait what? I just used the term ‘sex’, because ‘yeh to bas chaar diwaro ki beech ki baatein hai’? Sex is an ancient taboo yet a modern passion, and the gravity of it differs by each region. When we talk about western countries, society encourages sexual intimacy whereas a view upon Asian countries makes us realize how much of it is stigmatized. This happens because the idea of sex is highly associated with one’s morality and pride. Our perception defines a person as bad or good only with their ‘ideas’ about sex. This has to do a lot with our cultural preferences for pride and dignity.
However, the taboo related to sex not only makes it morally degrading but also physically challenging. But amid all these debates, sexual intimacy seems immense pleasure for everyone. It’s an important aspect of person’s well-being. Yet, a major part of the population stays ignorant about sexual phobias. Yes, you heard that right. The term sexual phobia does exist where a person is scared of having sex or sexual organs!
Four of the most common phobias are Spiders, snakes, heights, and small spaces, right? In this article let us introduce you to SEXUAL PHOBIA.
A phobia is different than fear. Fear is a balanced threat response to the unknown yet a phobia defies ‘logic’ and ‘sense’. Sexual phobias cause discomfort and disfunction due to avoidance that results in stress and anxiety. Many people stay unaware of experiencing a phobia because debates surrounding sexual phobias are not well auctioned and regulated. A person who despite having a phobia denies therapy often encounters isolation.
Different types of Sexual Phobias
Erotophobia or Genophobia
Erotophobia or Genophobia is a fear of having sex. It covers all phobias more than just dislike or aversion. People suffering from erotophobia get scared merely by talking about it! Yes, that severe! It is also regarded as the fear of ‘intercourse’.
Gymnophobia is the fear of nudity. Gymno means ‘naked’ and phobia is ‘fear’. People suffering from gymnophobia are scared of seeing themselves or others naked; even when they know that their fear is completely irrational.
Chiraptophobia is also known as Haphephobia is an acute fear of being touched. When you are extremely scared of being touched by your family members or even friends, know that you are suffering from Haphephobia.
Paraphobia is a typical sexual phobia that is caused by sexual perversion. Perversion is deeply rooted in one’s culture and upbringing. Many religions prohibit sexual intimacy and consider it immoral, thus causing fear in the followers. A common yet highly ignorant phobia, paraphobia is considered as a distinct phobia.
Weirdly enough, ithyphallophobia is the fear of having or seeing an erect penis. Also referred to as Medorthophobia and Phallophobia, is usually detected in females. Yet, few cases do suggest that men too suffer from ithyphallophobia. In a broader sense an excessive aversion to masculinity.
Eurotophobia resembles ithyphallophobia, it is the fear of female genitalia. A person suffers a huge panic attack when exposed to female genitalia. An unusual fear that makes us realize that fear could be anything! It is sometimes misunderstood as a fear from women which is not the real case. In a true sense, eurotophobia is much complex than it appears.
Hard to believe, but Caligynephobia or venustraphobia is the fear of attractive women. While most men love beautiful women, for many of them it is subjective. This phobia is generally inherited yet one might simply develop it depending on personality- reactive, sensitive, fearful, or anxious. It can also occur by direct negative experiences like rejection from a beautiful woman. Similarly, Androphobia is the fear of men.
We all know that menstruation is a hard process for women but adding menophobia makes it even tougher. Menophobia is generally regarded as fear from menstruation. Yes, that’s correct! While women panic over the menstrual process, men fear the sight of women’s period blood. Some people also refer to menophobia as the fear of menopause.
Parthenophobia is an unusual fear of girls, especially virgin girls. It is a common type of phobia that is driven by the fear of performing in bed. While many suffer it specifically, most of these men find it extremely difficult to be attracted to virgin girls. This can also be related to Pedophobia (fear of children) and Ephebiphobia (fear of teenagers).
Women embrace and nurture motherhood but this might not be the case for women experiencing tocophobia. You guessed it right; tocophobia is the fear of a woman’s maternal instinct. Such women get into a panic while being talked about pregnancy or even at the sight of pregnant women. This pathological fear can also lead to avoidance of pregnancy.
Now apart from these phobias, others can be classified as ego and relational fears. The ego fear can be more personal, as it’s the sexual phobia that is driven by a person’s own beliefs. For an instance, thoughts like, not good enough, or doesn’t know one’s limit or needs, can trigger ego phobias. Whereas, the relational one could be more about the communication between the two people. For an instance, fear of not understanding the other person’s feelings and vice-versa. It’s our intent or ‘argues’ that is related to having sex.
Thus, one can conclude that sexual phobias or sexual fears exist in our society and a large population suffers. It’s time for us to counter the stigma and question the traditional belief system to minimize the detrimental effects on human psychology. Sexual phobias are completely normal and treatable. Thus it is our responsibility to encourage sufferers to seek therapy and motivate others to understand the gravity of this psychological problem.
Till then stay curious!