Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

20 Downright Strange But True Phobias About Love

Has your partner ever told you he’s afraid of love, commitment or sex? Though these sound like cheap excuses, these phobias have scientific backing!

phobias about love

FYI: In psychology, a phobia is an anxiety disorder, where the sufferer has a persistent fear of an object or situation. The sufferer would go to great lengths just to avoid the object of their phobia, even though the effort to avoid it is disproportional to the actual danger the object of the phobia may pose.

Has a guy ever told you he’s afraid of commitment? I know what you’re thinking, “That’s just called a player.” While in most cases your assessment is probably right, the fact is, there are some pretty strange yet true phobias that circle around relationships, love, sex, breasts, commitment, having babies, and even fears of staying single.

Love and sex can be pretty scary, but it’s also pretty amazing, so why do people get phobias concerning the romantic world? It’s hard to believe some of these disorders really exist, and yet with all the complications that relationships and the magic of sex bring into our lives, it’s a wonder more people aren’t plagued by these phobias.

Strange relationship phobias that actually exist

So what’s all the fuss about? The fact is that some sexual phobias stem from mental disorders, past sexual abuse or harassment, or a traumatic event. On the other hand, some of these conditions stem from seemingly nowhere at all, it’s just how a person’s mind works. Wondering if you’ve got a strange phobia about relationships? Here’s our list of phobias that live in the land of love.

1. Philophobia, the fear of love

Strange, isn’t it? Most people torture themselves over not having a partner in their lives, but those suffering from philophobia feel just the opposite. Sufferers are said to fear falling in love and attachment, and experience nausea, uneasiness, sweating, and shortness of breath when presented with the idea.

2. Parthenophobia, the fear of virgins

We know it may be a little intimidating to give a girl her first pleasure session, but does it really have to result in a legitimate phobia?

3. Tocophobia, the fear of childbirth

They may not be wrong about this one. Those who have gone through the harrowing experience can tell some awful horror stories, having newly pregnant women wondering what they were thinking when they said: “Skip the condom, sweetie!”

4. Menophobia, the fear of menstruation

It’s true. Men have come to fear both menstruation, and the tidal wave of hormones it beckons. As women? We have come to fear the messy week of pads and cramps. Ouch.

5. Eurotophobia, the fear of female genitals

Hey, vaginas are pretty! Girls, don’t take this one personally. Those who have had the awkward experience of going down on a girl for the first time may back this fear up.

6. Medorthophobia, the fear of an erect penis or penises in general

For those who have not yet seen and conquered, we assure you: there’s nothing to be scared of.

7. Haphephobia, the fear of being touched

While it can be attributed to romantic relationships, haphephobia also effects platonic relationships, such as those with family or close friends. It usually stems from the fear of contamination from other people, yikes!

8. Medomalacuphobia, the fear of erectile dysfunction

It’s actually holding its own on this list. Unlike #6, those who’ve had this unfortunate experience of failing to keep a penis hard may agree that this phobia can be a serious cause for anxiety. [Read: 13 ways to overcome sexual anxiety and perform]

9. Philemaphobia, the fear of kissing

Ever had a bad kiss? I mean really bad. If so, don’t let it scar you into developing a kissing anxiety. Oftentimes, philemaphobia relates back to not only bad kissing, but oral self-consciousness. Our suggestion? Use a mint before smooching it up.

10. Gymnophobia, the fear of being naked

Alright, so most of us didn’t have a great experience stripping down in our high school locker rooms. But some of us may be cripplingly afraid of stripping down to our birthday suits. Those who watch Arrested Development may recall one of the most popular fictional depictions of a gymnophobe.

11. Anuptaphobia, the fear of being single

Many dread the idea of a dateless Friday night, or on the more extreme end of the spectrum: dying alone. But this phobia can seriously lead to desperately prowling the singles circles in search for anyone to be in a relationship with. [Read: Are you settling because you’re afraid of being single?]

12. Erotophobia, the fear of speaking about sex

This may sometimes be present in people who were brought up in a strict household, where sex is a taboo topic that should never even be mentioned. [Read: 14 tips to get your partner to open up about sex]

13. Oneirogmophobia, the fear of sexy, yummy wet-dreams

Okay, so it’s not so yummy for the sufferer. After all, who wouldn’t be freaked out if they woke up after a pleasantly sexy dream to wet sheets?

14. Coitophobia, the fear of “coitus” or intercourse

It’s more likely that most of us have suffered from the fear of *not* having coitus, but to each his own with this strange but true love-phobia.

15. Heterophobia, the fear of the opposite sex

You’d think that after high school, this anxiety would be long gone. But sadly, there are still people out there who become extremely anxious when confronted by the opposite sex. And we’re not just talking about the socially awkward folks, either. [Read: The socially awkward person’s guide to dating]

16. Sexual claustrophobia, fear of having sex inside

That’s right, those suffering from sexual claustrophobia believe there’s a great big world out there, so why limit your sex life to the bedroom?

17. Ereuthrophobia, the fear of blushing

While some of us may find blushing a little embarrassing, those suffering from ereuthrophobia actually fear the thoughts and feelings that are associated with blushing. If you know someone with this phobia, never, ever try to put them on the spot!

18. Gynophobia

This phobia may sound like it stems from the fear of going to see your gynecologist, but in reality this disorder stems from the abnormal fear of the female gender.

19. Paraphobia, is the fear of perversion of the sexual nature

Those with this phobia may worry that they are perverted, or may simply worry about the height of perversion in others. We may have to agree with this one. Don’t be a perv.

20. Malaxophobia, the fear of foreplay

Again, while most of us suffer from not getting enough foreplay, these sufferers would rather have nothing to do with it!

[Read: Why it’s important to break down the stigma of mental illness]

While some of these love phobias may sound ridiculous or funny, those who suffer from these conditions don’t think so. Thankfully, therapy is available for the phobias listed to help sufferers overcome their irrational fears, and get back to having a healthy and fun-tastic love and sex life.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer, and the creator and author of her short stories on TheLonelySerb. She completed her first degr...
Follow Natasha on