As great as sex can be, it's not without its hang-ups. According to a new survey, the biggest sex-related anxiety among both male- and female-identified people is the fear of a partner having a sexually transmitted infection. The survey, conducted by Superdrug Online Doctor, collected responses from 2,000 people from the U.S. and Europe, asking them to rank their sex-based fears from 1 to 10, with 10 being the biggest concern.
Unsurprisingly, the top two fears were serious consequences of sex, such as STIs and unwanted pregnancy. While fears of those consequences showed up for both genders, one of the concerns chief among women was consent. The fifth-greatest fear for women was that a partner wouldn't take "no" for an answer; the sixth-greatest was that a partner would want to do something the woman wasn't comfortable with.
Women also reported body insecurities, such as being afraid that a partner would find their naked body unattractive, or that an embarrassing bodily function would occur during sex. For men, many were insecure about pleasing their partners. Aside from those aforementioned serious consequences of sex, top fears among men were: premature ejaculation, inability to "perform," a partner not reaching orgasm, and a partner finding them unattractive. As far as body insecurities go, both men and women said they were afraid their body hair would be a turn-off. Insecurities about size were also universal — women feared their breasts were too small, and men feared the same about their penises.
As the survey stresses, sex should be positive and healthy for everyone involved. So while some anxieties are unavoidable, definitely keep lines of communication open with your partner(s) to avoid letting insecurities take away from your experience together.