Updated: JANUARY 28, 2019

Cypriphobia is a fear of sex workers or prostitutes and of contracting sexually transmitted infections or diseases.

The origins of the term are unclear. While it is obvious that phobia is simply the Greek word for fear, there are a couple of theories about the prefix. Some say it comes from the Greek word for the goddess of love, Venus. The Greeks called Venus Cypris because she was allegedly born on the island of Cyprus. Others believe it is simply a combination of the Greek words cypri, the word for an immoral or promiscuous woman.

Cypriphobia is sometimes called cypridophobia, cyprinophobia, and cyprianophobia.

More About Cypriphobia

Cypriphobia is classed as a social phobia because the fear stems from interactions with other people, in this case sex workers or anyone who may pass on a sexually transmitted disease.

People with cypriphobia, called cypriphobes, typically manage their fear by avoiding situations that trigger them. They are unlikely to see a sex worker or have sexual intercourse with anyone they don’t know well. They may insist on using a condom or compel their partner to get regular tests for sexually transmitted diseases, even when they’re in long-term monogamous relationships. They may even avoid relationships or sexual contact completely to stay disease-free.

While these behaviors and demands might help manage the phobia’s symptoms, they don’t address the real problem. If cypriphobia starts impacting relationships and other aspects of their lives, cypriphobes may seek therapy to modify their way of thinking and overcome their fears. This treatment option typically works better than drug therapy.


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