Sexual anxiety or worry is by no means uncommon. They can range from small insecurities about body image to larger concerns around sexual performance.

The fear of sex, or the fear of sexual intimacy, is less commonly known as erotophobia. It is also a catch-all term that encompasses a wide range of more specific fears which can vary dramatically in both symptoms and severity.

The fear of sexual intercourse itself is known by the clinical name genophobia.

Many of us have some anxiety around our sex lives but, as with all phobias, erotophobia goes way past a simple aversion or dislike of sexual activity.

What shows you have this problem?

Symptoms of a phobia of sex include many symptoms typical to all phobias, and these may be triggered before or during consensual sexual contact. These include:

  • Feelings of panic
  • Palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling faint
  • Nausea

How to get over the fear of sex

There are many things you can do in the home to combat a fear of sex. It may be the case that you don’t have a full-blown phobia. If this is the case, there are many tactics you can employ to overcome lower-level anxiety. A small amount of anxiety around sex is perfectly normal and you certainly shouldn’t let it hamper your sex life.

A great place to start is to discuss your anxieties with your partner. If you are currently single, why not try discussing it with a close friend or family member.

According to our Global Sex Survey, 2 out of 3 people believe it is difficult to admit to having a sexual problem, so rest assured it is completely normal to be anxious when discussing such issues.

When to seek professional help

Fear surrounding the act of sex is by no means an uncommon experience, especially if it is your first time with a new partner or your first time in general. However, it is important to be able to identify when your very normal feelings of nervousness become unmanageable.

If you find you have severe anxiety, panic and fear at the thought of engaging in a consensual sexual act, or fear stops you from engaging in sexual contact completely, then you may have a sex phobia. If you believe this to be the case, you should seek professional medical help.