In another thread a member wondered if he had a new kind of phobia because he has an aversion to feminine hygiene products. This made me laugh a little, as I'd never heard of such a thing, but then I thought about what a phobia really was, so I googled it. I found out that the textbook definition of phobia is: a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. So, such a phobia as mentioned above could surely exist. I got to thinking about if I had any true phobias and one sprang to mind immediately...steel wool. I can't stand to touch the stuff, it makes me cringe just to think of how it feels in my hands. Not sure why it bothers me so, as I don't recall any traumatic experience with it in my early childhood. I do recall a time when I was in my teens when my phobia really hit hard. When I was in high school metal shop class and I found out on the first day that we'd be using steel wool to finish our pieces, I felt my stomach tighten and I thought I'd vomit right there. I ended up holding the wool by pulling my shirt sleeve so long I could use it as a mitten but it was still a wretched experience for me. I've gotten over some of my phobia by forcing myself to use SOS pads when I'm scrubbing pots. I have to use a sponge to hold them because even if I wear gloves I can feel the texture of the wool through the gloves and it makes me nervous but, at least I'm at the point where I pluck a fresh one out of the box with my bare hands. Of course, I then fling the pad into the sink like it is made of acid, but baby steps, right? So, SF'ers, what are your phobias?