Sexual expression is one of the most intimate acts you can experience. It demands trust and acceptance. It desires tenderness and compassion. For some it demands silence. While some individuals have no problem verbally expressing their sexuality and personal preferences others not only dislike questions about sex, but fear them. Those with a clinical phobia related to the verbal expression of their sexuality are said to have Erotophobia.
You may think that this extends only to discussions with the person you may be intimate with, but it can also extend to discussions of your sexuality with your primary care physician or nurses.
Unlike the fear of sex this phobia may not preclude the individual from enjoying physical intimacy it may simply mean they absolutely cannot talk about it before, during or after the encounter. This may be difficult for the partner to understand because for most individuals there can be a heightened arousal tied to discussions of what pleases you sexually.
What Causes Erotophobia?
It’s not much of a stretch to believe that this fear can be the result of a very strict upbringing where discussions of sexuality seemed forbidden and may have even been thought of as ‘talking dirty’. While some may be able to get over the feeling that sex itself is dirty they may compromise and hold to the belief that you can enjoy it – you just can’t talk about it.
It is also possible that a previous sexual encounter was later spoken of by your partner to others. This experience may have convinced you that sexual questions and conversations have no place in a relationship.
By observation or personal experience the fear of sexual questions can be frustrating, humiliating and the cause for a significant amount of anxiety.
What are the Symptoms of Erotophobia?
Often in intimate situations there may be moments of deeper breathing, which is often a cue that arousal and pleasure is taking place, but for the erotophobe this may actually be the sign of a panic attack if their partner chooses to ask questions or to talk specifically about the sexual encounter.
Other symptoms may also include…
- Air hunger
- Elevated heart rate
- An urge to flee , which is generally acted upon
It can be especially difficult for the erotophobe because they may feel very conflicted. They may enjoy the experience, but talking about it not only ruins it, but may cause them to break up with the other person simply because they feel as if they could not endure another episode.
How to Overcome Erotophobia
Sometimes a person with this fear simply needs to come to an understanding that it is OK to not only enjoy the experience, but also to verbally discuss the experience and open up about the things they enjoyed by accepting questions from their partner. For their health they may need to come to an understanding that it is common to answer sexual questions from their physician in order to gain the best health care.
This fear may need the care of a therapist who will deal with your anxiety with empathy and understanding. A therapist can also help you come to an understanding of how you can better respond to the fear that may develop from time to time.
The fear of sexual questions is also referred to as:
- Sexual question fear