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How To Overcome Fear Of Physical Intimacy


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Things always seemed to go well with my partners until they expressed a desire to take it to the “next level”. If you are like how I used to be, these words are enough to make your heart start thumping – and not in a good way. 

Be it a hug, a kiss, or going all the way – the thought of becoming more physically intimate with a partner can be overwhelming. After all, nothing says vulnerability like baring your clothes along with your heart. For some, like me, the feeling may be so strong that avoiding the other person altogether seems like a better idea than discussing the subject further.

That said, your fear of physical intimacy may ruin your relationship (and any other future relationship) if not nipped in the bud. At the same time, rushing is not a solution. Practice kindness and patience with yourself first. After all, nobody understands your scars better than you.

Indeed, the fear of physical intimacy in adults is perhaps several years in the making. Sometimes, a traumatic childhood event or a history of sexual assault may lead to distrust and discomfort. 

Or maybe, you had a religious upbringing and grew up in a society where sex is taboo. That said, I feel the first step to overcome your fear of physical intimacy is to:

#1 Find the reason: dismantling years of trauma, brainwashing, and insecurity is never an easy task. But you have to begin somewhere. Be it a negative body image, a past traumatic experience, or the lack of sex education around you – try to figure out why you fear physical intimacy. 

#2 Becoming comfortable with the idea: the first thing to remember is that physical or sexual intimacy between two consenting adults is not a sin or a shameful act. Learn to be comfortable in your skin and appreciate your body for all that it is. 

#3 Talk to someone who will understand: ideally, it would help if you talked to a licensed therapist to deal with the insecurities that have brought on these fears. At the same time, communication is vital in a healthy relationship, and you should be able to share your fears with an understanding partner. Support groups consisting of like-minded individuals also help you remember that you are not alone.  

#4 Take it slow: some people view physical intimacy as just sex, whereas it could be a back massage, a warm hug, or even just a gentle touch on the arm. That said, take it one day at a time, and learn to love yourself before you share the love with others. 

Is this something you have experienced? What are some steps you took to overcome it?

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I struggle with this myself. I mean I am very self-conscious about my body, I have been since my teens. I was teased a lot growing up because I was a chubby girl. When puberty hit, I lost the weight but the damage and embarrassment was still there. I am going to give your tips a try! 

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