Genophobia is an irrational fear of sex or sexual intercourse. When such matters are discussed or attempted the condition can induce a panic state in the genophobic person. Panic symptoms could include panic attack, rapid breathing, rapid pulse, sweating, dry mouth and inability to complete any act of intercourse. There are a number of reasons why people can develop genophobia, and sometimes people will have the condition without a specific reason.
Clearly, some of the main causes can be things like prior sexual assault or history of sexual abuse. When introduction to sexual behavior is violent or manipulative instead of pleasant it can taint all future attempts to have sexual intercourse, no matter how gentle or mutually desired. Sometimes the cause is medical instead of having to do with previous abuse.
Men who have suffered from frequent bouts of erectile dysfunction might develop fear of any sexual contact in the form of fear of failure. Women who have medical conditions that cause sex to be painful might begin to fear intercourse too. Occasionally, no known cause exists, or development of the phobia might have been triggered during childhood when children were exposed to graphic sexual visual material on TV, in books or in movies.
It should be understood that this disorder prompts a severe reaction to the idea of sex, and to any attempted sexual behavior. People aren’t mildly concerned about intercourse. Instead, they develop extreme anxiety regarding it. This can make life very difficult, especially if a person is involved in a relationship with another person where sexual intercourse would be normally expected. Those with genophobia may also avoid relationships because they are terrified of sexual intimacy, making them very lonely.
As with any phobia, there are methods for helping to treat genophobia. These can include a combination of therapy and medication, and people would generally search for therapists who are psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed counselors or licensed clinical social workers. It’s also a good idea to rule out potential physical causes creating the condition. For instance, if a woman is experiencing pain during intercourse, resulting in fear of sex, she should get a full gynecological examination to determine if any physical symptoms are making intercourse challenging.
Many of the medications that might be used to treat anxiety associated with genophobia do need to be prescribed with care, and a psychiatrist may be the best resource for this matter. A number of antidepressant and anti-anxiety meds have reduced libido as a side effect. Therefore doctors should look for those meds, which can help treat panic without reducing desire for sex, or reducing potential for sexual fulfillment.
What people should be aware of with this condition, is that there is no shame in it. This fear is like any other phobia, and though it may be difficult to ask for help, treatment with therapy and possibly medication can help resolve the condition. Work with therapists and psychiatrists is strictly governed by privacy laws, and people need not be concerned that any aspect of their condition will be shared with others.
Another use of the term genophobia can relate to criticism of societies thought to be sexually repressed. Some cultures are more sexually open than others, and in some cases cultures like the US are looked upon as having Puritanical views and might be labeled genophobic. This additional definition has very little to do with an actual phobia that can render life difficult for many people.