Recently, I was asked about the causes of sarmassophobia and how it affects women and their ability to get into relationships. Not having heard of sarmassophobia, I had to do some digging. I learned that sarmassophobia or malaxophobia is the fear of love play, for example, caressing, fondling, or other acts of physical intimacy.
Who Is Affected By Sarmassophobia?
In my opinion, I think sarmassophobia would be common to victims of rape, sexual abuse, or sexual assault, although women who have not experienced sexual trauma could also have this phobia. For women who have been sexually victimized, developing a fear of love play is completely understandable.
For the other women, the fear of getting too close to a man and getting hurt, heartbroken, or let down in the long run could be the cause of their sarmassophobia. Or perhaps it could simply be the result of not wanting to move fast with men, not wanting to be used for sex or seen as a sex object, or not feeling comfortable enough with someone to engage in love play.
I was also asked whether I think sarmassophobia is a generational problem created by the fact that we are so consumed by social media and unrealistic views of love. With dating apps like Tinder and casual hook ups being more acceptable, to me, it seems more plausible that sarmassophobia would be declining among women who have not been sexually violated.
How To Overcome Sarmassophobia
I do feel that it’s really important for women suffering from sarmassophobia to determine the root cause of this fear. In identifying the reason for your fear, you’ll be able to start making progress towards overcoming the fear altogether. If the cause of your phobia is from sexual trauma then psychological counseling with a licensed mental health professional will be necessary and extremely helpful.
Now, this isn’t to say that women should openly and freely engage in love play with men they don’t know, don’t like, or aren’t comfortable with. You definitely want to take the time to get to know the person you’re dating before you engage in love play.
The point is, if you meet a great guy who could be your perfect match, you want to be able to give him a genuine chance and not push him away because of your fears or past experiences. You can’t blame every man for one man’s actions.
If a man makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or makes unwelcome physical or sexual advances despite your rejection, immediately remove yourself from the situation.
For more great dating advice, get my new book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve.
Till Next Time,