Fear of Intimacy: Signs, Symptoms and How to Overcome It


Fear of Intimacy

We all think that “Sex is great, it is wonderful, we must strive for the perfection of feelings that it brings” and so on. It seems to us that all mature people have already grasped this truth. But that is not the case. It turns out that many people, in one way or another, have a fear of sex, which neither allows a person to relax nor have sex in the first place.

overcoming fear of intimacy

No, almost everyone feels some trepidation and even fear in anticipation of the first intimate contact with a new partner. This is normal. There is another, more severe form of such fears, which makes people either completely abandon sexual relations or enter into them, but with great tension. And it occurs quite often. What is this weird illness that strikes so many of us? That being said, let’s find out what causes fear of intimacy.

What Causes Fear of Intimacy

Fear of sex life is not an innate trait of character. The emergence of a fear of sex does not depend on the temperament of a person. Almost always the reasons for the formation of phobias are the psychological and social aspects of the life of a person. By the way, this fear is also known as genophobia, a less-widely used term but a medically accurate one.

The main reason for the fear of sexual relations in women has something to do with their previous life, maybe even childhood. From caring grandmothers and mothers, their granddaughters and daughters transmit mythic tales filled with prejudices about intimacy. Often, the desire to protect their children from unhappy love makes mothers tell all sorts of nasty things about men who communicate with ladies with supposedly only one goal in mind - to satisfy their lust. A little young girl will grow up surrounded by stories about how an unhappy woman was used, became an outcast, and left alone with her child. Such an evil atmosphere and ill will towards men is often present in families where a kid is raised without a father. From an early age, a girl is imbued with the idea that having sex is equivalent to crippling her fate. She is afraid of communicating with men, she is afraid of unwanted pregnancy, worries about being abandoned.

The reasons for the fear of sex among men differ, there are quite a lot of them.

Another possible reason for the fear of sex is the lack of truthful knowledge about intimate life. Very often, young girls are sure that sexual intercourse is necessarily associated with pain. They are convinced that sex life is a source of health problems and the way of catching various intractable diseases. Fear of experiencing pain and the fear of infection are the foundation for the formation of genophobia.

A frequent cause of fear of physical intimacy is the sanctimonious, puritanical model of raising children. Many strictly devout parents “zombie” their children, suggesting to them that sex is an unnecessary, shameful and immoral act. Ascetic-minded moms and dads convince their children that first sexual contact is possible only after the marriage ceremony. This is one of the most common reasons for the fear of intimacy in men, at least when it comes to Southern America.fear of intimacy

Often the fear of sexual intercourse is based on negative personal experiences that have taken place in a person’s life. A person may have gone through sexual abuse, and this is one of the most common reasons for the fear of sex. However, fear of sex can also occur in those individuals who faced physical aggression or moral violence from the opposite sex. Mental scars received from communication with partners form a “protective” program, the essence of which is as follows: to be safe, you must avoid all contact with the opposite sex. This is quite a wide-spread reason why some men are unable to approach women even when they are in their 30s and 40s.

A common cause of the disorder is a painful or uncomfortable first sex with an inexperienced, careless, inattentive, overly persistent partner. Unpleasant experiences and painful feelings experienced during sex force a person to fear and reject all further offers to have sex.

A typical cause of genophobia is a person’s inferiority complex. An individual, who considers themselves to be a worthless and useless creature, is confident that there can be no normal relationship with the opposite sex in their future. They are convinced that they will surely endure a fiasco at an intimate meeting. They believe that they will not be able to satisfy their partner. Such a person is very afraid of being ridiculed, criticized, and rejected. Insecurity in their own sexual ability leads to the fact that a person simply does not dare to make contact with the opposite sex. And the pathological fear of sex is a kind of argument that “calms” a person and gives the excuse for inaction. Let’s list some of the fear of intimacy symptoms.

Signs of Fear of Intimacy

Here are some of the most common fear of intimacy signs.

• intimate relationships are replaced with countless surface-level connections;

• avoidance of obligations regarding relationships (this is one of the most common men's fear of intimacy symptoms);

• initiation of disagreements, especially those that aren’t based on anything of particular importance;

• limitation of emotionality in relationships;

• compensation of intimate relationships by using other aspects of one’s life (work, hobbies);

• as a partner of a person who suffers from genophobia, they may not even allow you into their private space, even when a situation seems fitting.

Often, both parties of a relationship may suffer from genophobia. Then their partnership resembles two interconnected balloons: they get closer, but they cannot withstand long-term close relationships and are again forced to move away because of anxiety, confusion or fear.

In essence, genophobia is the result of a loss of trust in the world around us. There is not only the absence of physical intimacy but also fear of emotional intimacy as well.

Dating Someone with Fear of Intimacy

By being physically unable and thus, emotionally cold, a genophobe is not consistent in establishing close, trusting relationships both in a family and with other people. This results in:

• isolation;

• feeling lonely;

• inability to take responsibility for one’s life and the life of other people around them.

Psychology of a person, subject to fear of intimacy:

  • • Preferring loneliness to communication with the closest of people: they cannot create a family or everything ends in divorce.
  • • External well-being in the field of communication: they feel fine when it comes to external communication when it comes to work and hobbies, but intimate relationships cause fear, they are avoided by any means.
  • • These people are very good at adapting to new groups of people.
  • • Sexual emotions and love feel like drugs, deeper relationships scare genophobe away, there is a desire to avoid them in every possible way.
  • • Stinginess as yet another character trait that genophobes possess (regardless of the amount of income): money for a partner is always spent with great reluctance.

That being said, how to get over fear of intimacy?

How to Overcome Fear of Intimacy

How to overcome a fear of physical intimacy?fear of intimacy signs

Overcoming fear of intimacy may be very challenging. Before doing anything serious, it is quite easy to find a fear of intimacy test online, although it should be noted that they don’t guarantee any concrete answers to your questions. The use of drugs in the treatment of this phobia is meaningless and inappropriate. This is explained by the fact that even the most powerful modern tranquilizers affect only the visible symptoms of a phobia, reducing the intensity of vegetative signs and unpleasant experiences. However, drugs do not act in any way on the cause of the disorder and are not able to change a person’s world view.

The main condition for overcoming genophobia is to establish the true provocateurs of the disorder, find out the causes of the abnormal system of thinking, detect the reasons for this illness. Since the human psyche "expels" all unpleasant aspects of personal history from our consciousness, it is impossible to find the real roots of fear of intimacy in the usual state of consciousness. To be able to penetrate the deep layer of the psyche such as the subconscious, it is necessary to temporarily remove the protection built by consciousness itself. This is possible by immersing a person in a hypnotic trance, a state reminiscent of a nap.

Hypnotic trance gives a chance not only to establish the causes of genophobia. During the hypnosis session, work is carried out to eliminate the destructive elements of thinking, to eliminate destructive and harmful attitudes, to transform notions and beliefs into something else. After a hypnosis session, a person acquires a new model of thinking – a functional and useful one, which will help them in their future.

A suggestion made during hypnosis sessions motivates a patient to eradicate their destructive personality traits. A person gets rid of resentment, shame, feelings of guilt and accepts their own uniqueness. Hypnosis is a tool to help individuals regain a natural sense of freedom, independence, and security. After a hypnotic effect, a client ceases to be afraid of meetings with the opposite sex and begins to appreciate all the moments of intimacy with a loved one.

Hypnosis techniques can also be used to free a person of the suffering resulting from experienced sexual abuse. After a hypnosis session, a patient is freed from the destructive influence of the past and gets the opportunity to build their own happy future.

Hypnosis works painlessly and does not imply violence. A person passes the path of recovery in a comfortable environment. Compliance with strict anonymity is another argument in favor of hypnosis because a person will be confident that others will not know about their problem, which helps solve an existing problem more quickly.