What is genophobia?

Genophobia is best described as a fear of sex or sexual intimacy of any kind. It is very much more than a simple dislike or aversion to sex, as intense fear or panic is often generated when sexual intimacy is attempted. The intense fear of something is known as a phobia, which involves a bigger reaction than not liking or being afraid of something. Phobias can cause physical and psychological reactions which may interfere with normal functioning.

Some symptoms of genophobia

Here are a few typical symptoms:

  • An immediate feeling of fear, anxiety and panic, when exposed to a possible sexual encounter with someone.
  • If the trigger is not removed, the fear and anxiety will worsen.
  • Avoidance of any situation that may put you under pressure of sexual intimacy.
  • When you are under pressure of having to partake in sex, you may experience physical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, trouble breathing, or heart palpitations.

Bear in mind that genophobia is mostly a psychological condition that affects both men and women.

Possible causes of genophobia

In spite of intensive research, there is no conclusive evidence as to what causes phobias, including genophobia. Various causes of genophobia might include physical or emotional issues, or a combination of both.

Here are some to note:

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) If you have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, it can cause embarrassment, and as you may not want others to know, you could develop an irrational fear of having sex.
  • Performance anxiety. You may have doubts about whether you are good enough in bed. You could have psychological issues about this which can cause you to avoid sexual encounters.
  • Body image. If you are overly self-conscious about your body, you may be seeing flaws that others do not even notice. This can negatively impact sexual enjoyment, and lead to anxiety which may develop into full-blown genophobia.
  • This condition causes a spasmodic contraction of the vaginal muscles when penetration is attempted during sex. Intercourse may sometimes be impossible, and very painful. Such severe pain can lead to a pathological fear of sexual intimacy.

These possible causes of genophobia are a mix of psychological and physical issues, all of which are treatable.

Treatment for genophobia

Treatments for genophobia include:

  • If a physical cause such as vaginismus is identified, treatment, after consultation with a medical professional, will involve the specific issues identified.
  • Studies have indicated that therapy, like aspects of hypnosis or hypnotherapy, have recorded many successes with regard to genophobia. Hypnosis techniques can access the subconscious mind where harmful memories may be lingering, and begin a process of elimination, and help you to create a new positive mindset.
  • A sex therapist is also recommended. Individual sessions are geared to focus on the underlying causes of genophobia, as well as helping to analyse the specific situation.

Do not let genophobia go untreated. It can contribute to feelings of isolation and depression, and prevent you from developing romantic relationships by having a negative impact on your life.

Genophobia is treatable, there are therapists who specialise in the treatment of the condition.

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February 21, 2022

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