A model who has a rare condition that makes her terrified of kissing fears she may never find love again.
Erica Valentine, 36, suffers from philemaphobia, meaning she is petrified of kissing and becoming affectionate with people.
The part-time model and photographer, from Clapham, south London, constantly makes excuses not to kiss or hug because she is so frightened by the thought of passing on germs.
Erica Valentine has a rare condition called philemaphobia, which means she is scared of kissing boyfriends. (Man is posed by model.)
Erica has had three previous boyfriends but has found it increasingly difficult to hold a lasting relationship because of the rare phobia.
She was married for eight years but eventually split after falling pregnant in 2011, when the condition was putting too much strain on the relationship.
Erica said: 'I was looking on the internet about the condition and it seemed to be what I had.
'Something just happened in my mind when I started dating that I just couldn't stop.
All I can think about is bacteria which must sound really weird to other people.
Erica's fear of kissing means she has been unable to go on date for more than two years
'So many things go through my head so it makes kissing impossible for me.
'My most recent boyfriend left me because he found it too difficult.'
The mum-of-one gave birth to daughter Khrystal, who is now two-years-old, after splitting up with her most recent partner and has never kissed or been intimate with a man since.
Erica, who was born in Brazil, moved to the UK in 1999 to work but has found it difficult to date from a young age.
She said: 'I've only ever had three boyfriends and I ask them all sorts of questions such as when they last brushed their teeth or if they smoke.
'Without that I feel too scared to get close to them and it's the main reason my ex-boyfriend left me.
Erica, pictured here with daughter Khrystal, two, hasn't had a boyfriend since she became a mum
'Even though we had sex I still found it very difficult to kiss and that's why we had to break up.
'I was too scared to kiss him so I'd constantly make excuses and now I find it impossible to even think about making love - let alone do it.
'I feel weird and strange because when I see couples kissing I think about all of the viruses and bacterias they are passing on to eachother.
'Everyday things like sitting on the bus or the tube can be hard for me because I don't like being in physical contact with people.'
The part-time model is so obsessed with hygiene that she asks potential dates (posed by model) a list of questions, including when they last brushed their teeth
Erica said the thought of passing on germs is so terrifying that she has to brush her teeth five or six times every day.
She said: 'I can understand why someone would find it all too much because it's a lot to take in, which explains why I have been single for so long.
'I used to wear braces too so I used that as an excuse not to kiss people.
The 36-year-old mum is so obsessed with germs that she struggles to get intimate with me. Her strict hygiene standards means she brushes her own teeth five or six times every day
'I still wear a retainer but if people get close to me I just use that as a way of putting people off kissing me.
'It's really hard for me to be in big groups. which is why I don't go clubbing or anything else like that.
'Brazilian people are naturally very affectionate and like to hug and kiss people all the time but it really frightens me.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2730689/At-wouldn-t-insist-bedtime-cuddle-Model-worries-ll-never-love-suffers-rare-condition-makes-terrified-kissing-hugs.html#ixzz3B1ecyz7K
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