Everything You Need to Know About Philemaphobia: The Fear of Kissing

Philemaphobia or fear of kissing

You may not be familiar with the word PHILEMAPHOBIA but you may be familiar with the “fear of kissing”. It is very common and sometimes or the other, you must have encountered this.

Philemaphobia is an extreme fear of kissing, especially romantic or passionate kissing.

How to pronounce philemaphobia: [ fil-uh-muh-foh-bee-uh ]

Is the fear of kissing real? Find down next.

Is the fear of kissing real? And the answer is Yes. The fear is real, while many of us enjoy the act and the many benefits of kissing.

Philemaphobia or fear of kissing is usually common among younger people or anyone who is usually inexperienced. Someone with philemaphobia might be plagued with crippling anxiety at the mere thought of kissing somebody. 


This fear can cause symptoms common in all types of phobia like : 

  1. Sweating 
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Pain in the chest 
  4. Worst case scenario, even a full blown panic attack where you feel you might actually die.
  5. If it affects or targets your relationship, it might also lead to Depression.
  6. Isolating oneself from intimate romantic relationships.


The fear is usually mild to moderate and dissipates quickly because the individual gains confidence to surpass the fear. Sometimes, however, Philemaphobia is more severe and may occur at any age. 


There is no known evident cause of philemaphobia. However, genetics and one’s environment do play a significant role in the occurrence as well as the development of this condition called philemaphobia.


One main reason as to why someone may develop philemaphobia is that they also suffer from an underlying condition or fear commonly known as mysophobia (fear of germs).


Another reason as to why one would fear such an affectionate warm act might be that the affected individual may already be suffering from an anxiety disorder such as GAD or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If this was the case, then chances are fairly high that they might have redirected their obsessive-compulsive behavior and their accelerated anxiety toward a more specific area, kissing.

Someone who suffers from OCD. Besides having uncontrolled, repetitive thoughts, they are seen as highly obsessive about germs, cleanliness, and general hygiene. So, their obsession with germs and their accelerated anxiety might get redirected to also include a fear of getting germs from someone else by kissing them even if it’s for the cost of someone who they deeply love and care about.


Chances are the trauma has been deeply embedded into the being of someone maybe because of the fact that the individual might have endured some sort of traumatic experience for them to develop full-blown philemaphobia. The trauma can be a result of anything from a tiny bad past experience to a Big “T” trauma as a result of some traumatic experience where maybe they were kissed without their consent or in a much more extreme case, they may have been raped by someone they thought wouldn’t cross their safe boundaries or “walls” and sometimes the trauma sticks around longer than we expect leading to unhealed trauma which we discussed above. Trauma affects us way more than we realize a lot of the time. It’s important to address it, as painful as it is, or it will continue to cause suffering. 


Nowadays we are too tough on people who have certain types of fear. People who are afraid of getting close. People who need to sit down alone for quite a long time every day. People who need their space. We say these people have got a fear of intimacy. For example, if someone is scared of something it’s never a great idea to say they’re silly and that there’s nothing to be worried about. 

If someone who is close to you suffers from fear of intimacy it’s important to realize and take on board just how much of life is about not being intimate. 

Try to be sympathetic and understanding to get to the point where they can be vulnerable with you and gently shed off their peels of shame, fear. 


Bromidrophobia is commonly known as the fear of body odors or smells, and the fear can be caused either by the unpleasant smell of one’s own body or the other individual. 

This fear in itself is grave in a sense that it can cause a lot of complexes among oneself, and the other person, the other individual at times might be extremely self-conscious or self-sabotaging of the way they are smelling which might affect their self-image both consciously or subconsciously.


Rejection is painful and the constant fear encircling around the idea that “what if I’m not enough” “what if I’ll be an absolute disaster while kissing” could be a potential cause that has later on transformed itself into an irrational fear, Philemaphobia. So many of the fears that we have been acquired. So these external fears, rejection, judgment, hurt, pain, the only way of overcoming a fear is to not focus on the worst possible outcome, just focus on the best possible outcome. You just have to restructure your belief system. The thing with fear is you only have two choices, rationalize why you feel so terrible or talk yourself out of it, by affirming yourself the positive aspects. 

Read More, What is Love?


  • Improved immune system.
  • Reduced stress & anxiety.
  • Improved mood.


If your fear is more on the milder spectrum chances are you can easily overcome it by rewiring your thoughts, experiences, expectations attached with kissing and also by being exposed more to the activity, you can educate yourself, rationalize your fear by talking about it out with your partner or even to your own self, the genuine self-talk always helps. 

More severe fears, however, may require professional assistance. If you suffer from this or any phobia there is lots of help for you out there, you just have to make that first step and seek it out. 

If nothing helps and you feel the situation is spilling and getting out of hand, I would like you to read this to reaffirm yourself with positive and rational affirmations.

“You have to allow the fear to be a messenger; 
to give you information that it’s attempting to tell you: that you have a negative belief.
You can’t be afraid of fear.
You have to recognize it. 
Allow it to do its job.
And therefore once it delivers the information, 
what it’s bringing your attention to [is]:
“Hey! hey! knock knock knock! You have this negative belief that is out of alignment that you don’t prefer!”

Once it brings your attention to that, you can say: “Thank you fear. Thank you for bringing my attention to something I didn’t know about within myself, so that now I can deal with it, now that I can let it go. Thank you fear.”

And as soon as you use fear that way and allow it to be what it is; allow it to do the job it was designed to do, it will not be felt as fear anymore.

You will welcome it as a messenger that will alert you to anything within you that’s out of alignment.
And you will be excited about feeling it.
And then it will turn into excitement.”
That’s how you “Allow” with fear.

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Psychology, spirituality, emotional wellbeing. Mental health advocate blogger.

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