Erotophobia is the fear of sex. It can manifest itself in different ways and, among its causes, the lack of a good sexual education stands out. Once the problem has been identified, going to a professional is the first step to solve this fear. 

 Intimate encounters in a couple are an important source of reinforcement that allows the relationship to stay together. However, there are people who find in those moments one of the biggest fears that they must face, whether it is the panic of ridicule, not being up to the circumstances, the possible pain that can occur during intercourse or other variants. This fear of sexual intercourse, known as erotophobia, affects both men and women in different ways and is much more common than it seems .

Currently, there are multiple types of fears, phobias and disgust in society, caused by the exaggerated idea of ​​control that one has, perfectionism, excessive hygiene, among other factors. All this contributes to the constant appearance of more and new cases of panic about sex. The person who suffers from it tries to avoid this practice and may suffer an anxiety attack in the face of the situation.

But how do you know if you are afraid of sex?

Erotophobia can have many meanings. Carlos de la Cruz, honorary director of the Master’s Degree in Sexology at the Camilo Jose Cela University (UCJC), stresses that it is manifested through “negative attitudes towards many expressions of sexuality, be it masturbation, or more or less conventional erotic relationships “. Likewise, the expert adds that discomfort can be generated by being present in conversations where sexuality has a leading role, without necessarily talking about explicit sex; or before the nude itself in the different artistic expressions or on the beaches. 

Pedro Villegas, a family doctor and sexologist at Hospital Vithas Sevilla, also refers to  real phobia of sexuality or any of the elements that encompasses it, such as pregnancy, coital behavior or one’s own or another’s genitalia. The specialist highlights, like other phobias, this can  become a disorder if it becomes an irrational fear . “It is rational to feel disgusted if I touch or taste something disgusting, but it is not rational if I stop having a relationship because I have some hair on my genitals or I force myself or my partner to always shower before and after the relationship,” he exemplifies. the expert.

Once this fear has been diagnosed, the causes of its appearance must be known. The origin can be due to several reasons, such as the trauma caused by a rape or abuse, the anguish of a woman to become pregnant due to her mother’s own fear of her or personalizing the sexual problems of others in oneself.

However, de la Cruz affirms that, without a doubt, education and the environment play a crucial role. “It is enough to talk with previous generations to discover that ‘not so long ago’ a good part of society had erotophobic attitudes because, precisely, they had grown up in that environment. Of course, this is not an absolute norm either and although it is easier to learn Spanish growing up In an environment where Spanish is spoken, it is also possible to learn other languages. Or in other words, fortunately you can be an erotophile despite everything,” he explains. 

The sexologist indicates that it is important to accept the nude regardless of whether it can be judged as appropriate or not. In the same way, it alludes to the need to “respect the different expressions of eroticism without feeling the obligation of having to do something you don’t want, or being able to attend conversations where sexuality is present and being able to express your own opinion”. In this sense, de la Cruz determines that “the good thing about the fact that erotophobia has to do with education is that it is cured with education. With a true sexual education it would be an easy solution.”

For his part, Villegas comments that  currently one of the main causes derives from the search for perfection in sexual life . The media, the early consumption of pornography, the overload of information, are generating true pictures of panic in the face of sexual relations. “Currently, there are men who, because of watching pornography at a very young age and the irrational idea that this is what to do and with that power and staging, are overwhelmed and feel incapable of putting it into practice . When they have their first experience and see how far they are from that irrational model, they enter into an avoidance loop”, exemplifies Villegas.

In addition, the excessive advertising of hygienic products and their results is generating disgust and new phobias . “Today the concept of the perfect vulva has appeared, sold by plastic surgeons. I understand that when there is a malformation someone wants to make it disappear, but turning a normal vulva, large or small, with more or less labia minora, into an object of personal rejection is iatrogenic outrageous”, the sexologist emphasizes.

Possible solutions

Despite the fact that the reasons why the fear of sex can be present in the sexual life of any person are different, the existing measures to solve it are also varied. The first step is to identify the problem and then go immediately to a specialist in the matter. 

The expert points out that “you should not wait too long to ask for professional help”, to which he adds that “many try to seek external help, face their fear with courage, for this they go to brothels, marry to oblige themselves, or introduce objects into themselves. their sexual organs.” On the contrary, you have to be aware and realistic when identifying the problem and go to a specialist in sexology or a psychiatrist . Villegas incurs in the fact that “one should never resort to the search for detailed information, nor to self-treatment.”

In addition, for this fear to disappear successfully , the help and support of the partner is necessary . This plays a very important role. “The behavior that the couple must adopt is to understand that the other has a problem and that he or she does not have to be the culprit or the cause. The ideal help you can offer is first convincing and then collaborating with him or her in therapy”, explains the family doctor and sexologist.

Once this fear is overcome, it is important to work on security in the sexual sphere. To do this, it is necessary to “eliminate the concepts of perfect sex, the concept of tantric sex or Disney’s romanticism, which have done as much damage as the pornographic one”, Villegas emphasizes. All have created fear and insecurity or frustration by moving expectations away from reality. “ In sex, like everything in life, security is achieved through practice ”, affirms the expert.  

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