These are the biggest sex fears we have, plus how to move past them

These are the biggest sex fears we have, plus how to move past them

Sex can set off with a mix of fears and anxieties – and we’re not talking about catching covid-19.

Know that experiencing nervousness around sex is normal and common. A study exclusively shared with Metro.co.uk by Superdrug Online Doctor found that the most common sex fear is not being found attractive by a partner when naked.

Other concerns that rank highly for people include not being able to bring a partner to orgasm, worrying about body hair and feeling out of practice.

The last point might particularly resonate with singletons who’ve lived celibate for a while due to lockdowns and rules that made sex with strangers illegal.

Nearly one in five say their sexual fears have come from a bad experience with a partner, while one in 10 say hearing something outside of their personal experience triggered their worries.

In Britain, these were found to the be the biggest sex fears:

Catching covid-19 just fell short of being in the top 10, though it was a noted concern.

The precedence of these worries changes depending on whether someone is single or in a relationship.

For single people the biggest concern was catching an STI, while married people were the most concerned about catching coronavirus.

It seems we aren’t so open about our fears, as 46% of people choose to keep anxieties to themselves rather than discuss them openly with partners.

Johanna Rief, Head of Sexual Empowerment at sex toy brand Womanizer says if you find it hard to speak to you partner about concerns, you should delve into where that comes from.

She suggests you ask yourself: ‘Is it because of a past toxic relationship? Is your current partner making comments that are making you feel insecure about the relationship? Are internalised beauty standards or childhood trauma to blame?

‘It can never be the sole responsibility of a partner to fix the source of anxiety or shame but talking about sex with your partner, although uncomfortable, is the first step in finding a resolution.

‘Most individuals will have insecurities in the bedroom. It’s important not to fixate on these flaws but to focus on the pleasure you’ll be having instead. Also, remember what you might see as a flaw, they might see as a turn on,’ she says.

One concern found in the study that was consistent whether single, in a relationship or married was the inability to sexually please someone.

Johanna says to remember that orgasm isn’t always the goal of sex and that ‘we need to stop associating orgasms with the success of a sexual experience.’

There are other ways to be satisfied sexually that don’t hinge on reaching orgasm. Stressing about this is likely to make it harder to get there too. Johanna says thoughtful communication here is also helpful.

Another high ranking concern was that ’embarrassing’ bodily fluids would occur. Johanna believes it’s important to challenge our ideas of how sex is supposed to look or sound like. There is no “right way”.

She adds: ‘Sex can be messy and there is always a chance that any number of things can happen such as noises or the exchange and release of fluids. But this is all completely normal and natural and happens to everyone.’

While someone is working on their sex related fears, sex and relationship expert Jen Kaarlo, suggests trying things like ‘keeping the lights off, putting on music, or lighting candles until you begin to feel more comfortable with your partner’.

Creating a romantic ambience can help you to relax as well, and you might feel more comfortable to turn the lights brighter the next time.

Jen also suggests a way to make opening up about sexual worries more playful.

She says: ‘If it’s not an easy conversation to have think about how to turn it into a game. For example, the more you reveal the more items of clothing your partner has to take off. Make getting naked, sexual, and intimate a playful experience.’

She believes that failing to address sexual fears, in whichever way, can lead to pressure that is ‘debilitating’.

And when sex doesn’t go as you hoped Jen says its important not to give up.

‘Exploration is key. Instead of thinking of it in a negative way, flip the script and turn it into a positive. Discovering what makes your partner tick should be fun.

‘It can take a while to build up emotional intimacy with a new partner, and that’s why I always advise that one should have patience with not only themselves but with their partner,’ she says.

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