-“Doctor…After years of marriage I’m still anxious when I undress in the bedroom.”
Graciela X. is an attractive middle-aged housewife with a wonderful family that confessed her lingering sexual fear in the intimacy of her bedroom. In our age of supposedly sexual liberation with non-stop exposition of all kinds of audacious poses in the social media, this confession seems so, so quaint. However the sexual fears (and the related pathological presentation in the form of phobias) are a cause of emotional frustration.
Our sexuality is progressively construed since childhood with the influx of the household, the school, the media, the circle of friends, the associates, etc. These social influences interact with our powerful trove of animal instincts to achieve a socially acceptable expression of our sexuality along our lives.
Usually we enter our loving relationships with some fear and anxiety, which is a perfectly normal human response to an unknown, exciting experience. In spite of having some previous experience, each couple must walk through the steps of mutual psychological and physical familiarity to reach a state of mutual ecstasy in the bedroom.
Once the relationship ceases to be purely casual and becomes steady, there is a “switch” in attitudes—emotional and social—that conditions the partners’ physical and psychological awareness of each other. Words are superfluous.
Dr. Walter Ghedin says “there are still women reticent to show what they feel, to ask for what they like or to move in sync with the erotic moment…Men are also conditioned by their desire to perform appropriately, to have a sustained erection and to make women moan during penetration.” As we discussed in a previous blog, there is a lot of feminine make-believe.
Dr. Debra Kaplan described 12 specific triggers of sexual fears that provoke a reaction:
- To touch or caress the body (especially breasts, nipples or thighs)
- To look at the genitalia (your own of those of your partner)
- To touch your partner’s genitalia.
- To kiss the breasts, the mouth or the genitalia.
- To be penetrated (by the penis or another object)
- To smell the sexual secretions (semen, vaginal fluids, breath)
- To feel excited (your own or the one of your partner)
- To have an orgasm (loss of control)
- To oral sex (give or receive)
- To become pregnant
- To catch a contagious disease
- To the nakedness of one’s body or the one of your partner
There are multiple reasons for the emergence of sexual phobias: restricted education, religious beliefs, rigid cultural patterns, sexual abuse, physical violence, personality disorders, inferiority complex, social anxiety, fear of social critique, physical handicaps (real or perceived), and the unreasonable expectations of sexual performance drilled into our minds by a toxic media.
If you consider that you might be suffering from any of these phobias, you should consult a trained professional for the proper evaluation and treatment.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.