Last week we talked about sex anxiety and this week we’ll continue the discussion with one of its root causes - internalised phobias. We all have a unique relationship with sex, it’s deeply personal for every one of us, and yet a lot of what we first learned about sex came from our families. If your family is fairly open about this normal biological process, you probably feel pretty comfortable with it and might be far more educated than the majority of the population.
Where we tend to see most internalized phobias though are in people who grew up in environments less hospitable to healthy conversation and curiosity about sex. There can be many other reasons this occurs that have nothing to do with a family environment, serious issues such as a sexual assault or simply insecurity regarding lack of experience. But generally someone who has either had a traumatic sexual experience or who was raised without access to information about sex are going to have more internalized phobia and anxiety and are far less likely to engage in any discussion - remember that this varies greatly from person to person! You may be here because you’re shopping for adult toys and don’t believe you have any issues, but as you read on, you might discover you do, or recognize one of the phobias in a loved one.
As we talk about this, remember that many of us can benefit from an evaluation of our views on sex and potential phobias. It doesn’t have to come from some readily identifiable or traumatic space for this conversation to resonate. There’s a lot of sex shaming in society in general, and sexually adventurous and curious people have experienced plenty of reproach and may have some anxiety and phobias too, as a result, regarding our bodies, our physical limitations, our kinds, and other areas. During this discussion, we want to list some sex toys that will help you either ease your fear, or experience sexual pleasure in spite of your fear.
Some more serious phobias include androphobia, a fear of men, and agraphobia, a fear of being sexually assaulted. Both of these tend to stem from a traumatic event, a previous sexual assault or a traumatic experience involving a man. Men can have a fear of women too, called venustraphobia, but it is usually - not always - not based on a fear of assault but on a fear of societal norms of being “out of her league”. These phobias are most appropriately handled by speaking with a therapist. Please seek one out if one of these phobias resonates with you.
A common fear is the inability to maintain an erection. This causes performance anxiety and is caused by feeling pressured to improve their quality in the bedroom - this may be fabricated in their minds or be completely real. Many of these men avoid sex altogether. The Silicone Stud Lasso is an erection enhancer that helps last longer, but also provides a stronger orgasm.
People of every gender and sexuality can have a real fear of the penis. Some may fear touching or seeing one, while people with penises may fear having an erection. In this case, sexual contact with someone who has a penis can be virtually impossible. The Colours 5 Inch Realistic Dong is designed with the detail of a real penis but doesn’t come with the person attached - but it has some fun colors that make it less realistic too.
Slightly different, many people with vaginas may fear penetration. This can be so severe that the vagina contracts and penetration is impossible unless forced and extremely painful, and definitely not consensual. The MIA 2 is a small pocket vibrator with a power punch while being easy to control, allowing the user to set the speed they are comfortable with. No entry necessary.
Another common phobia is the fear of even talking about sex. The person suffering from this may actually have a very active sex life but you might not ever know - they can’t bring themselves to talk about it, and they’re probably very uncomfortable when you are. Talking with a partner over a toy may be a good way to help ease this fear, allowing communication with a fun benefit afterward. The WeVibe Sync Couples Vibrator is worn by one partner but enjoyed by both.
Did you know there is a fear of sex in general? This is called genophobia, and it’s quite common, especially in less experienced people! They may be less experienced because the fear has prevented them, or they may have developed the fear over time as pressure mounted to become sexually active, but for whatever reason, they just weren’t. The person feeling this way may find sex to be actually physically repulsive. That doesn’t mean sexual pleasure can’t be had though, the Tiny Teasers Bunny is perfect to introduce the beginner.
A very common phobia - one most of us have experienced on one level or another, unfortunately - is the fear to be seen naked. Gynophobia is probably usually based in self-consciousness of not having an idealised body. This one can be particularly hard to overcome, although it may seem like the most minor. Why? Because it’s the one that keeps seeping back into our subconscious based on societal cues - the other phobias we know, on a rational level, are wrong. This one is harder. The Intima Silk Blindfold is perfect for dealing with this fear while heightening the other senses of your partner.
Reading this, you may have realised you have a phobia or two of your own that you never put a lot of thought into. They are surprisingly common, considering sex is a completely normal and healthy biological act, and sex toys can help. But if you have a problem that you realise has been inhibiting your sex life and creeping into other parts of your day as well, please seek professional therapy. If you find your phobia is just a minor complication, we hope our tips and information here have been beneficial!Article by Sara at JOUJOU