What is Coitophobia?
Coitophobia is the persistent and irrational fear of coitus (the medical term for sexual intercourse), generally arising from a fear of failure or inadequacy. It is considered a social phobia, and closely related to Genophobia (fear of sex).
The root word 'coitus' is Greek meaning 'the act of copulation' and the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'
Symptoms of Coitophobia
Extreme Anxiety, Dread
- Shortness of Breath
- Rapid Breathing
- Heart Palpitations
- Excessive Sweating
- Dry Mouth
- Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
- Lack of Focus
- Feelings of Powerlessness
- Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
- Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
- Avoidance Behavior
Causes of Coitophobia
Coitophobia is generally considered a social anxiety disorder, but it may also have physical or medical roots related to sexual function.
Social phobias result in avoidance of social situations due to fear of being embarrassed in public and affect men and women equally. Extreme social anxieties often start in childhood or adolescence due to social traumas, embarrassments, etc., and may be accompanied by other anxiety disorders or depression.
The origins of social anxiety disorders are not as well-understood as specific (or “isolated”) phobias, where a direct fear of injury from some specific animal, thing or situation forms a clear basis for the fear. Even so, hereditary factors may be present, such as a genetic tendency to be “high strung” or nervous, etc.
In all kinds of phobias, external experiences and / or reports can further reinforce or develop the fear, such as seeing a family member or friend who is affected. In extreme cases, indirect exposures can be as remote as overhearing a reference in conversation, seeing something in the news, on TV, or in the movies.
Coitophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.
Treatments for Coitophobia
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Habit Strategies To Relax
- Cognitive Therapy (CT)
- In Vivo Exposure
- Response Prevention
- Group Therapy
- Energy Psychology