Fear of Kissing(philematophobia): Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Therapies

Fear of kissing or philematophobia is a phobia defined as an irrational fear of a situation related to kissing or kissing. Philematophobia comes from ‘Philemon,’ the Greek word for kissing, and ‘Phobos,’ which is also Greek for ‘fear or dread.’ A kiss is a sweet moment, especially when it is involved between couples seeking sexual intimacy or those who want to show feelings of love.

Some people may be afraid of only the first kiss; They may be fearful of not living up to their partner’s expectations. However, things are different in Philemaphobia: the phobia affects the person deeply enough that they cannot bear the thought of kissing. Seeing people kiss on television or in the movies could trigger a disgust response or an all-out panic attack in the patient.

Causes of Philemaphobia

  • Many psychiatric doctors assure that this fear manifests itself more frequently in people with certain religious beliefs, although other types of patients are not ruled out.
  • In other cases, the fear of kissing stems from a bad sexual experience. There have also been cases where fear comes after having a bad sexual experience, generally when it has been violated.
  • People who suffer from this fear avoid kissing to avoid the sensations triggered when they kiss.
  • A history of failed relationships can also lead to this fear.
  • One may fear being disgusting or rejecting their partner due to hygiene or sanitation problems, such as bad breath (or being called a “bad kisser” in the past).
  • In this case, the fear of kissing can stem from poor body image or self-esteem.
  • People who have an excessive fear of germs, disease, or ailments may also find kissing repulsive enough to feel disgusted or afraid of it.

You might also like to read: Fear Of Flowers: Causes, Symptoms, Overcoming.

Symptoms of fear of kiss phobia

Symptoms of fear of kiss phobia

The symptoms of Philematophobia vary according to the level of fear that the individual experiences. Some people have a complete panic attack at the thought of or seeing a kiss that is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Shallow and rapid breathing: hyperventilation
  • The desire to flee the place or hide
  • Irregular heartbeat or palpitations
  • Excessive sweating, dry mouth
  • Experiencing a bout of nausea or gastrointestinal upset

Naturally, these symptoms often get in the way of phobic relationships.

  • You might have trouble dating or finding a life partner.
  • Often their friends are affected when they are laughed at because of their fear.
  • Philematophobia usually realizes that this fear is unjustified, but you cannot control your anxiety no matter how hard you try.
  • The result is that the person tends to be withdrawn, lonely, or even depressed. There may be other phobias, such as fear of illness or fear of becoming intimate with the dread.
  • This can force you to show signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder characterized by acting (such as cleaning, washing your hands or face, etc.) repeatedly.


  • To overcome the fear of kissing, one must determine its root cause.
  • If it is the fear of germs or getting sick, one could educate oneself about germs or try to improve immunity.
  • Kissing can be a beautiful experience if it is done with the right person.
  • One can start small to see that act does not always lead to disease. Naturally, one has to have an understanding partner for the purpose.
  • To be more confident and kiss better, one could try to prepare for the future by brushing one’s teeth and paying attention to personal hygiene.

Therapies for fear of kissing

If a traumatic event is at the root of Philematophobia,

  • Then counseling in the form of talk therapy, systematic desensitization, or gradual exposure therapy can help.
  • Hypnotherapy and neurolinguistic programming therapy are also known to get to the bottom of any phobia to reduce the anxiety experienced gradually.
  • In extreme cases, medication can be prescribed but should not be used as a long-term solution as its side effects can be debilitating.
  • There are various other techniques such as Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi, etc. They can help you become more confident and decrease the likelihood of anxiety attacks.
  • These are some well-known methods to overcome the fear of kissing phobia forever.

Georgia Tarrant
 | Website

Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.