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Philophobia/Touching/Kissing Fear.

Community Member
When I think about actually being intimate with someone. The feeling is intense. It feels like I'm going to die. Like if I really open-up they might turn around and kill me at any moment. My Phobia seems to revolve more so around Kissing & the intimate/emotional state it ensues, I cannot force myself to “French Kiss” a boy even if I truly like him and want nothing more than to be close to him. At the time of my brain thinking about kissing him; Anxiety/Panic happens as it does with similar touching type things (Holding hands, touching bodies). Just a look/touch; something particularly intimate such as Kissing can make panic happen. The more attracted I am to someone and the more they reciprocate my feelings the worse it is. I resonate with "Philophobia", I used to be a very affectionate human- but in recent years have developed a fear of touching people in general & especially in an intimate manner (my logic being -if they don’t touch me they lack the power to hurt me). This was how I lived for roughly the past 4/6 years only managing to touch people (without emotional intimacy). Ive been spending time with a man who seems perfect in most ways; Ive been able to hold his hand, run my hands over his body, cuddle etc but can't physically manage to Kiss him in the way he'd like "French kiss". I really like him & think about trying to "make out" with him or touch him often but can’t override the flight/fight response that occurs in my brain at the time of the thoughts, no matter how hard I try. I don't want to hurt this man or to have the relationship fall apart as a result of my inability to be Intimate/emotionally close to him as he wishes to be with me. It is not because I don’t wish to be that close to him or that I don't want to kiss him - It’s that I feel unable to force myself to do so even if it’s what I want/wish to do. I have been trying to Overcome this issue; I don't know what else I can do except try my best to live out what I picture in my mind & what I want to be capable of doing with/to him- but am having little-no luck with improving my situation. The fear is that the pain will repeat and the risk is not worth that chance. The fear reaction is to avoid relations, thus avoiding the pain. The more one avoids the source of their fear, the more the fear increases.”
6 Replies 6

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear BexStar1993~

I read your post above and those in:

Philophobia? The fear of falling in love

Can I say first off it is a brave thing to come here to a bunch of strangers and describe that is happening to you, hopefully the perspective of others can help.

I've had fear of particular things, and they revolved around experiences I had in the past and I have had a strong desire not to get close in any manner, touching or otherwise, with any other. This was a result of PTSD, depression and anxiety. It respond over time to medical treatment and an understating partner.

I am not saying you are the same as me, one difference is that you do want to have a relationship, but are blocked on one part of it -and realise that it is a problem.

While there may always be different desires in intimacy, and not everyone likes every idea, the fact that you seem to have reluctance with any form of contact would make me think that you too would benefit from competent medical help.

So may I suggest you see your GP in a long consultation and say frankly what has been happening to you? If you find it embarrassing to talk about it face to face then you might like to put it on paper and hand that over.

Then the whole matter can be investigated and hopefully an answer and appropriate treatment found.

In the meantime anyone who genuinely cares for you I'm sure will show patience and understanding - as my partner did - and that will help take some of the pressure off 'solving' the matter really quickly.

Please let me know what you think


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi BexStar1993,

Sorry to hear of what's troubling you.

Have you spoken to a GP or a mental health professional about it? Since it's impacting you in such a way you've described I would consider it, not because there's anything wrong with you as a person, but because you deserve happiness. We all have things which trouble us. As Croix said, if you feel embarrassed verbalising it, write your thoughts on some paper and hand it over for the doctor or therapist to read.

Feel free to keep us updated on your story if you feel comfortable.

Best wishes.

Hey Croix;

I believe my issue/hesitation comes as a result of every man thats ever laid hands on me or whom i have kissed/touched in that manner has either cheated on me or left me for seemingly no reason..

I dont know what it would take to make it a possible feat for me.
My current partner is patient however feels that I dont connect with him in the way he wants as I am only able (in his words) "Grandma Kiss" him. To me being capable of kissing any part of him (arms, neck ect) is a huge feat and takes all my courage/willpower to achieve- too me a simple kiss is equally as intimate as holding hands or being sexually intimate. but it does not feel the same to him.

any advice you can offer on this?

cheers x

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear BexStar199~

OK, you have explained all that has happened very well, and a reluctance to engage with another after bad experiences in the past is understandable, even if you have taken it further than most by avoiding physical contact.

From my own point of view what would make it possible for you is a partner who really helps, and maybe some therapy.

Leaving aside therapy, which I did need - you many too, I'm no doctor so can't say. Please see one and get a professional opinion.

I can say that I choose a partner for life, and have been lucky. Going though life together will have problems, that's just natural, everything from illness to finances and employment - all sorts of things.

Hanging in together, being understanding, having patience and wanting to cherish the other person is what it is about. Yes physical contact is most important, however if it is with someone you love it is worth waiting for - and not being demanding.

Your boyfriend sounds as if he is being demanding, I guess you have the hard task of deciding if he will put you first if you stay together permanently. Have you already explained to him what is wrong?

Sorry if I sound a bit blunt, it's simply what I see from the outside makes me wonder.



I have tried to explain it to him but usually the explanation is needed right after the attempt of the action that causes so much panic so i usually dont get the right words out 😞 i sat down and wrote a letter about why its so hard for me/exactly how it makes me feel ( in my head/body reaction) which has helped me understand a little better why i am so afraid of it. until now i basically just tried my best to make it understandable but didnt really take the time to lay it out for even myself.

I want to read the letter to him so he knows its not something i feel i can control or else we'd be making out already. i also want him to understand exactly how daunting/panicked my brain/body is by it, so he knows that i have tried and continue to try to touch him in the way we both want- its an irrational fear because it forces me to respond in a way i dont want/like rather than me just not wanting to try it.

I dont know if ill be able to read it too him since its quite an insight to the inner workings of my brain which would make me feel extremely emotionally vulnerable.

hopefully laying it out for myself in a concise way will allow me to have more control in a given situation as i am more aware of the causes linked to the thoughts/feelings preventing my actions.

thanks for your response - its alleviating to have someone to talk to abouts it & to hear others opinions - makes me feel less like im drowning on my own. 🙂

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear BexStar1993~

I would quite agree that at the time of the problem is probably a poor time to give a concise and comprehensive explanation, or to show how much you are affected -after all you are still suffering from the effects of the incident with guilt, frustration, even panic perhaps.

Too he may not be in the most receptive of moods either.

As a result your idea of getting it all down on paper has a lot of advantages. You can take your time and say exactly what needs to be said without extra pressure. It can be delivered during an appropriate time when both of you are not feeling emotional.

As for worrying about showing the inside of you, it is something one does anyway, like it or not, this merely explains so your partner has chance of understanding.

Try not to make unrealistic promises and emphasize there is a role he can play in supporting you.

If you think you might break down, or it is simply to hard to read out, why not hand it over and simply wait while he reads it?

I think it is a good thing to try, communication is always an excellent first step.

Please let us know how you go