Aside from the folktale about the penis masticating vagina, "Teeth," the real world has its more- to lesser-known reasons as to why humans might have a fear to fornicate.
On the scale of Marvin Gaye to Morrissey, Americans are singing the high notes of “Let's Get It On,” with 96 percent of 20- to 59-year-olds having already had sex.
However, the sex fears in this article encompass the non-virgins, virgins and even half virgins (Regina George).
No matter the reason, sexual fears are common, but you need to be able to separate the rational from irrational fears. Also, discover what your values are as a human, what you're comfortable with sexually and what makes you feel happy.
This is your body, your life and your choice, always.
With that said, here are the 10 sex fears that may be preventing you from getting it on:
1. Letting one rip (or worse... yikes!)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common medical issue that occurs when there is an imbalanced ratio of healthy to unhealthy bacteria in the gut, causing inflammation and dysfunction of the GI tract.
Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, food sensitivities and abdominal pain are the chief symptoms.
According to NYC Gastroenterologist Dr. Prem Chattoo of Hudson River Gastroenterology, IBS symptoms are common sex fears people have:
"I recommend going to a GI doctor to see if you actually have IBS. IBS symptoms can be treated with fiber supplements and/or probiotics, which will help overcome those fears."
Giving a mental rundown about how it feels to have everlasting runs, NYC hormone replacement therapy doctor Dr. Sue DeCotiis, MD, shared a quote from one of her patients:
"I am so afraid I will pass wind during the sex act. This has happened many times before and it is equally embarrassing whether it is with a steady or a casual date. "If I go on a date where we have a lovely dinner, I will have to run to the bathroom with diarrhea shortly after eating. If we go back to 'his place' afterwards, I need to shower before anything happens. Totally inconvenient and not cool.”
Dr. Sue recommends a few products for those with constipation and infrequent bowel movements.
2. Physical insecurities
Let's just let it all out.
Weight: too fat, too skinny, not skinny enough, thunder thighs, chicken legs, belly rolls, muffin top, cottage cheese…
Penis: small penis, curved penis, discolored penis, pencil penis, stumpy penis... Hmm, haven't heard any complaints about big penises
Vagina: wide-set vagina, extra long labia, abnormal-sized clitoris
Boobs and Nipples: different-sized boobs, small boobs, literally no boobs, saggy boobs, wrinkly boobs, abnormally large boobs, nipple hair, pepperoni nipples, weird-colored nipples, stretch marks on boobs... And, oh yeah, man boobs
Butt: no ass, inverted ass, fat ass, oddly-shaped ass
Skin: acne, backne, warts
Other: outie belly button, extremely hairy, hyperactive sweat glands, smelly parts
Insecurities cause more fears than having sex. It's up to you to find the off switch.
3. Performance anxiety
Oh, the pressure to pleasure. One minute you're in a thrilling thrust-a-thon, and the next, you're in an unidentified geometric shape that's awkward to get out of.
When it comes to not knowing what to do or if you're doing it well, try two things: 1) Research how to please bodies and practice (how you go about researching and practicing is your own prerogative), and 2) don't be afraid to ask, “How does that feel?”
If you're asked to do something a little differently, don't take it personally. Each body feels sensations differently, and there's no way of knowing how each body is going to react to certain moves.
4. Erectile Dysfunction
What goes up must come down. While limpness can occur from anxiety, it can also occur because of depression, loss of romantic attraction, or alcohol and drug use, to name a few.
Don't leave it up to the partner to make "Dragon Ball Z" want to play; it's your responsibility.
Figure out what's causing the hold up, then fix the issue accordingly.
5. Vaginismus (fear of vaginal pain)
Dr. John Zhang of New Hope Fertility Center says:
"Some women diagnosed with vaginismus have developed anxiety even with the thought of something entering into their vagina. "These patients are very concerned that intercourse will be painful, and become very fearful. In turn, the brain consistently sends involuntary muscle spasms in the vagina."
The pain from the spasm is described as a feeling of tearing inside their vaginal wall. To help with spasms, patients are taught Kegel exercises, which relax the muscles around the vagina.
Patients are then encouraged to insert one of their own fingers into their vagina each day with lubrication. After a few days of one finger, the goal becomes three fingers.
These recommendations typically coincide with psychological treatment, according to Dr. Zhang.
6. Muscle pain
Young age isn't always a get-out-of-jail-free card for pulled muscles, muscle spasms and even hernias.
According to NYC Physical Therapist Karena Wu, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy, knowing the positions that cause the least pain is key.
"Sometimes we need to discuss the right position to be in for a specific condition. Using the example of lower back disc herniations, women should maintain their lumbar lordosis (or extension) in their low back which means avoiding positions that flex the spine (being on the bottom). "The best position for her is the rear-entry position, or doggie-style. I know all male partners are now enjoying this piece… "With this same condition, the opposite would hold true for a male. It would be more beneficial for the male to be on the bottom because when the male is on top, the movement during sexual activity increases the flexion moment in the spine."
Beware of the smiley face! Just be safe.
7. Getting emotionally close and hurt
This one's for the brokenhearted.
Sometimes broken hearts keep people from sex, with no desire to connect with another human on any physical level for a long time.
However, it should be understood that sex, or any physical play, is not needed for a romantic connection. Watch the movie, "Her," and see for yourself.
8. Breaking religious beliefs or values
Religion, reputation or values can halt or ban sex. Whether wanting to wait until marriage, to wait for the right person or to stay celibate, we all have different sex codes that need to be respected, it's as simple as that.
9. Sexual preference or need is unclear
If you're trying to decide if you want to go one way, the other way, both ways or no way at all, there's no harm in trying out every road, or in canceling the trip all together. Answers will come.
However, if there is fear to try a sexual experience with a new type of human, there's also no harm in giving yourself more time to figure it out.
10. The groundbreaker: STDs
The last sex fear is sexually transmitted diseases. Didn't want to scare you away too early.