Genophobia: The Fear Of Sex

What is the one thing that terrifies you the most?

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A lot of us are probably afraid of something. It could be something as small as a spider which others might find silly or it could be of clowns, the ocean and even a kitten. 

Some of the common phobias that many can relate to, which are also known as ‘social phobias’ are: 

  • Entomophobia or Acrophobia – Fear of bugs or insects. 
  • Ophidiophobia – Fear of snakes. 
  • Pteromerhanophobia – Fear of flying. 
  • Claustrophobia – Fear of enclosed spaces.

However, there are also a great deal of people that experience different fears, anxieties and phobias besides the above mentioned and one of it is genophobia or also known as coitophobia. To put it in layman’s term, genophobia simply means the fear of sexual intercourse. 

Read on as we explore further about this phobia which just like any other form of phobias, should not be taken lightly. 


Men or women with this fear are usually afraid of the act of making love. This fear is more than a simple aversion. It’s a condition that can cause the feeling of uneasiness or intense fear which develops when their partner makes an effort for sexual intimacy.

The term genophobia is sometimes correlated with erotophobia. However, these two conditions are not the same. 

  • Genophobia: Defines the fear of the sexual act 
  • Erotophobia: Generally describes any fear that is related to sexuality.


Like any other fear and phobia, there is an underlying cause as to why the phobia has developed. That being said, there is usually a specific action that acts as a trigger to an individual’s emotion which causes them to tremble with fear and left scarred.

Some of the various sources of genophobia may include physical or emotional stress and sometimes both. Here are some possible reasons:




This is a medical condition which causes the muscles of the vagina to tighten up involuntarily during sexual intercourse. This may result in painful intercourse. Women with vaginismus may face difficulties not only during sex but when inserting a tampon too. Severe fear and consistent pain may lead to fear of lovemaking.




Some individuals worry if they’re ‘good in bed’ or fear that they’re not as great as their partner is when it comes to their sexual performance. Such issues can lead to psychological discomfort that would make them avoid sexual intimacy altogether. Prolonged and unaddressed fear and worry could lead to genophobia as well.




Child abuse, sexual abuse or a history of rape is another reason that can cause genophobia. The post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that individuals undergo after being a victim of abuse or rape can definitely affect the way individuals view intimacy.




Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when men experience difficulty in obtaining an erection. Although it’s treatable, it almost always leads to feelings of embarrassment or shame. Thus, it causes a person to become fearful of having sexual intimacy.




Body shame or being overly self-conscious about your body, has a negative impact on a person’s self-confidence including towards his or her sexual intimacy. Although to others you may look beautiful and normal, but to the individuals themselves, they are only able to see the body as flawed. Hence, this is how intimate relations are affected.


More often than not, phobias involve a marked reaction that develops whenever sexual intimacy occurs. This involves symptoms such as:

  • Fear, anxiety or panic whenever you’re exposed to sexual encounters
  • Nausea, sweating, dizziness or trouble breathing when the fear is heightened especially when someone makes an effort to touch or get closer to you even if it’s in a friendly manner.

If anyone you know or even yourself experience such symptoms, it is best to seek some professional advice. Phobias can be managed with therapy, counseling and perhaps with medication if necessary and it isn’t something you or anyone should be going through alone. 

Sources: Medical News Today, Verywellmind

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