Are You Afraid To Be Naked? You Might Have This Condition!


Afraid to be naked? You may have gymnophobia! | Source: ShutterStock

Most people are a little nervous the first time they get naked with someone else, but are you actually afraid to be naked? There’s actually a legitimate phobia for that. (A phobia is different from a regular fear in that an all-out phobia is usually irrational and interferes with your daily life and functioning.) If you’re afraid of being naked–not just uncomfortable being naked in front of someone else–you may have gymnophobia.

Experts say phobias, including gymnophobia, often develop after a bad experience–for example, you might get arachnophobia after being bitten by a spider. Similarly, if you have a bad experience with nudity, like getting made fun of in the locker room at school, it can make you afraid to be naked in general.

What’s more, people who are afraid to be naked usually suffer from other anxiety and/or body image issues–which makes a lot of sense, right? Specifically, people who suffer from anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) may have issues stripping down because of the obsessive thoughts that come along with it.

One doc explained it thusly: “[It’s] more a general anxiety of their own body image as a comparative basis. We are an increasingly obese nation so the comparison could be stressful, anxiety producing, negative for one’s self-concept and could affect one’s own willingness to expose one’s self in privacy in a relationship.”

Translation? People with gymnophobia who are afraid to be naked are constantly worried about measuring up to everyone else, whether those people are real or media images of perfection.

If you think you’re legit afraid to be naked to the point of having gymnophobia? Don’t panic! There are ways to correct it. Experts recommend that you take small steps–starting with walking around and getting comfortable in just your skivvies, then moving forward from there.

Have you ever been afraid to be naked? If you’re afraid to be naked, do you think it’s all out gymnophobia or just being uncomfortable with your body image? Tell us in the comments!


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  • Angela Hartnell

    What would it be if you are afraid to be naked while anyone else knows, no matter the distance between you and the other person?

  • Kate

    I have always liked to be naked. I really like to be naked with other girl and woman. At the gym my family goes to i hang out as long as I can in the locker room naked, especially in the hot, sauna and steam room. I like seeing all the other naked female bodies around me. Kinda wish I had bigger breasts but that will come.

  • Hailey

    I’ve never had a traumatic experience that might cause this… but I do have a lot of anxiety and OCD. I hate even being naked by myself. I’ve always struggled with my body issues- people think I’m pretty, but I don’t see that. And I don’t think I’m pretty without my clothes either. I never knew this was an actual condition.

  • Gicelle

    I think I have the opposite of this.