When you hear the word “sex,” chances are good that “phobia”–a word that is used to describe an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something–is not the first thing that comes to mind. Sex is something that, when consensual, is almost always talked about as being unequivocally fun, with very little room for any analysis of something that might not be so fun in the discussion. On the other hadn, you could be in the Liz Lemon camp of sexual relations (putting a bag of popcorn in the microwave so that when you’re done, you have a treat), in which case the idea of sex-based phobias might not seem so far-fetched to you. And, as it turns out, you’d be more on the money–sex shouldn’t always be scary, but for some people it is, thanks to a few very specific, rare sex phobias.
At the risk of doing a reverse-kink shame here, I would like to make the disclaimer that just because these sex phobias are uncommon, they are still legitimate fears that a lot of people have, so having one doesn’t make someone a leper. It just means that you’re someone who may or may not have a crippling fear of, like, being naked, or being touched at all. So, check out these weird–but also legitimate and valid–sex phobias that you probably had no idea existed:
Fear Of SexIt's possible for someone to feel fear of the idea of sex in general. If so, this is called genophobia or erotophobia, and it usually involves intense feelings of anxiety and panic in the face of anything sex-related. This phobia is often linked back to sexual abuse and rape, and can be dealt with through therapy and counseling, but not always--in some cases, people just aren't into sex for no reason in particular. Image source: Luther
Fear Of Being NakedGymnophobia is not, as you might assume, a fear of the gym--instead, it's an intense fear of being naked. If you're an Arrested Development fan, you should be familiar with the concept--you know, the running "never-nude" gag in which one of the characters on the show would never be seen without a pair of cutoff shorts. Well, joke's on...us? Them? because this actually is a legit phobia. Of course, it's not exactly the same things--you'd be hard-pressed to find a gymnophobic who actually wears cutoffs under everything they wear--but it's interesting to know that this is a legitimate phobia, too. Image source: Arrested Development
Fear Of Losing An ErectionA lot of guys worry about losing their erection during sex. But for some guys, it goes beyond a mere worry, turning into a bonafide (boner-fide? Hahahahaha) phobia called medomalacuphobia. This phobia is one rooted in shame and is usually brought about by external factors (like being riduculed during sex for losing an erection) rather than existing in people spontaneously. So, if you're in the throes of passion with a guy (or however you like to say it), and he happens to lose his erection, don't be mean about it! You don't want to be the source of someone's Medomalacuphobia. (And, if you do, uh, go right ahead and do it, I guess. Image source: Saturday Night Live
Fear Of ErectionsOn the other hand (or, on the other...never mind), some people have "ithyphallophobia," which is the fear of erect penises. Like most phobias, this one arises out of a combination of external, potentially traumatic factors and internal dispositions, and results in anxiety, dread, or extreme fear when faced with anything having to do with anything phallic. Like most phobias, this one can be treated through therapy. Image source: Degrassi
Fear Of KissingFeeling queasy at the idea of puckering up? It could be more than just nerves--some people have a phobia to kissing, called philemaphobia. In most cases, it's experienced by people who are young and inexperienced at kissing, and lessens as time goes on. But for some people, the phobia grows (or even seems to appear out of nowhere) over time. Usually, this phobia is linked to a larger overall fear of germs, touch, and body odor. Image source: Bob's Burgers
Fear Of Virgins"Parthenophobia" is a fun word to say, but it doesn't have a super fun meaning--apparently, it's a fear of virgins. As in, like, people (usually girls) who have never had sex. This fear is one I would place firmly in the "irrational" category of fears (having an argument for an external cause to this one is tough, as I can't think of a time someone was attacked by a rogue squad of female virgins, other than at any boy band concert literally ever), and I also can't say how a psychologist might treat or feel about this phobia. Still, it's a term that's garnered enough traction for an Urban Dictionary definition,so that's definitely something to take note of. Image source: The OC
Fear Of Wet DreamsYou may or may not be familiar with the concept of wet dreams, which is a spontaneous, involuntary orgasm (usually accompanied by an erotic dream), that happens when you're asleep. Both guys and girls can technically experience the basic definition of a wet dream--a sexy dream followed by an orgasm--but since guys' orgasms involve ejaculation, it's more commonly associated with them. And, because of this, some people have a phobia of wet dreams, called "oneirogmophobia," which is usually connected with the same of feeling like you've just wet the bed. Image source: No Film School
Were you surprised by any of these phobias? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!