HOCD, performance anxiety, rebooting and confusion..

Submitted by cmaynard on
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I know i'm a straight male, I always see myself with women, have had a lot of girlfriends, have dated a bunch of girls (had sex), but unlike a lot of people in the thread this porn addiction has been more of an ongoing process. I got into porn around 13 and discovered gay porn around 14/15, I am now 19. At around 15 I would masturbate to a lot of porn and I guess I desensitized myself and started watching/wanking to gay porn. This caused me to become very shameful and feel extremely bad, I would usually 'test' myself to straight porn to see if I could finish and then I would feel better. I'm so glad I came across this site because almost everything explained I experienced myself, I feel like I was reading about my own experience.

So since the age of 15 I would always use straight porn but then if the right pop-up ad came up, I'd tell myself i'm only gonna look at the gay porn (no wanking).. then I would only touch myself a bit then stop it, eventually I'd end up finishing, then that would lead to me feeling bad and the I would test myself (the whole cycle). But I started to notice what i was doing when I fell into the 'gay porn trap' but justified it because I always thought "this has happened before, all I need to do is watch straight porn and I'll be back to normal." It worked for a while, but in the last few months I started getting less and less aroused by straight porn and would fall into the 'gay porn trap', cum to those videos, then not be able to finish to straight porn. this is what really alarmed me!!

Thank god for this site, I've learned about rebooting and I am now on the 7th day (would've been 9th but i relapsed after the second day and it was the WORST feeling ever.. i was so ashamed.) However, I live in a very big city and I go to a gym that is in the core and it just happens to have a lot of openly gay people there who make intense "sexual" eye-contact around the gym if you look at them, and who show signs of being interested in the change room if you look at them for more than 2 seconds. Also a lot of them walk around naked (like most gyms) and I think you get my point. I've been going to this gym on-off since I was 16 and in the past I have been taken over by my intense urge for shocking situations (via dopamine) and have gone to an upstairs washroom where a gay guy who was giving me signs would follow me and then give me a blowjob/handjob.. there is usually no communication verbally when this happens or no kissing at all, everything is purely physical and right after it happens I leave and go on about my day, almost as if nothing happened. Afterwards, I obviously felt extremely bad about myself and terrible because like I put this addiction into action. I usually feel extremely disgusted and nervous afterwards to the point where I can't even have a proper conversation with someone because my mind is racing....

Long story short.. I haven't done this in a while as I have moved away for Uni, but I'm back home for the summer and go to the same gym and cant help but notice these older 'gay guys' who give me the look, and this gives me an erection in the locker room and a lot of fantasies. I try really hard not to act on them. ALSO, I am also experimenting with girls, it is very common when I have a girl in my room ready to have sex (has happened 3 times with 3 different girls) I can't get a boner!! I think this is performance anxiety and not sure if it has to do with the addiction but I have so many fears like "what if my past experiences with guys prevents me from getting hard with girls" or and then i think that creates the no-boner, also this fear is reinforced because it's happened so much (3 times so far), I worry I will never get hard with girls in that situation. But weirdly enough when I go home and fantasize about the same situation and masturbate in my room, I usually always get hard and can even finish to it. maybe this relates to flatlining??

I know this is long but basically I'm just wondering if I should stop going to this gym/being around a lot of gay people during my reboot? Or if it's better that I stay so I expose myself to this during my reboot (because I will see a lot of gay people in the future in my life). ALSO, I'm wondering if my situation with girls/perf. anxiety is related to the whole porn addiction/hocd thing. Thanks so much for your help! I am in need of it!

Ultimately, the only issue is *your* brain,

your fantasies and the porn you choose. The more you use the anxiety-producing stimuli to get aroused/orgasm, the more you wire them into your dopamine-hungry brain.

If you can just go to the gym, enjoy the workout and keep your mind on it, exercise can actually help your reboot by reducing stress. But if you can't stop feeling triggered then may you should take up running for a while. Smile

You read this section, right? I'm straight, but attracted to transexual or gay porn. What's up? It's amazing what the brain will wire to, eh? Get your brain back in balance, and you'll be able to sort things out more easily.


Thanks marnia! I read the

Thanks marnia! I read the article.. it is very insightful! I'm having trouble understand why masturbation (without orgasm/fantasy) is forbidden on reboot? if you are just pleasuring yourself to the feeling of it without creating fantasies doesnt it not change anything?

Nothing's "forbidden"

And guys try all kinds of variations on the theme. If the issue driving the search for "hotter" material...then the way out of the trap is to help your brain return to normal sensitivity so it no longer "needs" hotter stimuli. If you can find a middle ground and stick to it, then you may be able to masturbate as you go forward. Most guys find that doesn't work too well because the amount of masturbation that "feels right" escalates to the point where the brain is actually overtaxed...and starts craving "tests" with the hotter stimuli (whatever they may be).

If you figure it all comes down to "dopamine," then you can see that sexual arousal, whether via images, fantasy, porn or masturbation, can all contribute to overstimulating the brain. Some guys even do better by giving up sex too for a bit. Especially those with ED issues.

Find what works best for you. And if you want to understand more of the dopamine story, watch Gary's videos: http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series

this is really common

even though you feel you are unique and different, the experience you're going through has happened to maybe literally millions of guys.

There is a recipe for getting out of this, and the recipe has been arrived at from guys who have gotten better, recovered from HOCD. And the recipe is to reboot. Avoid porn, masturbation and orgasm. Avoid fantasy. After awhile, the brain starts to seek rewards sexually where it is designed to seek rewards, and homosexual thoughts and feelings fade away.

If you continue masturbating even to just sensation, it seems for most guys this slows down or stops the rewiring process. And it also can lead down the path back to fantasy and porn.

Maybe you can get over this HOCD and still masturbate while you are recovering. Who knows. But it seems better and effective not to.

Personally, I have a long term sexual partner and I don't masturbate at all anymore. Instead I have a lot of (non-orgasmic) intercourse and some playing around almost every day, and most important, we have a lot of bonding we do. Snuggling, cuddling, holding hands, lots of skin to skin contact. The bonding is really, really important.

What I'm saying is, if you have a girl you can connect with on a non-sexual level during this time, it will make it much easier to forgo masturbation. And forgoing orgasm seems to really help recovery especially in the earlier stages.

and one more thing

those fantasies that get you off have no connection with your core sexuality. I used to fantasize about bondage and spanking all the time when I masturbated and I used porn (stories mostly) to get off. And I don't do that anymore, and although I can still find domination and spanking themes exciting, I avoid anything that triggers them, don't fantasize that way, and have no desire to enact those themes or act them out in any way. They are fading away but will always be with me at some level.

Same with homosexuality. I think we all have a bit of sexual interest in both sexes to some degree, some of us more than others. Just as being excited about spanking and domination is incredibly common at some level with many people, maybe even most. I don't know.

The key is, your masturbation experiences, or your experiences with guys, have nothing to do with your core sexual being. They are exciting precisely because that's how the brain works -- forbidden or dirty things tend to excite us.

If you avoid orgasm altogether, and avoid fantasy, and you bond with a girl (which makes it much easier), you will probably at some point become very excited again by a real living girl and that will gradually replace fantasy, porn and experiences at the gym you have had.

thanks for the advice, i'm

thanks for the advice, i'm going to try a proper reboot continuing the one i'm doing now. However, I think the fact that I 'edge' to no fantasy (w/o orgasm) and kind of don't let the hocd thoughts/fantasies pass leads to my process being slower. DAY 8 today, and day 9 tomorrow without the above. I hope it works, i'll update this

Hi Marnia, I'v definitely

Hi Marnia, I'v definitely noticed an improvement, since I decided I was rebooting wrong, 2 days ago I decided I wanted to break the reboot to start fresh (not to relapse) but also do a deliberate test. I pretty much achieved an erection with only focusing on the physical feelings (no fantasy) and acheived orgasm with touching balls and not even the penis. For me this was a clear sign. Now I'm on day 2 of my proper reboot and I wanted to share a very relevant study I found. I've been practicing ACT for the last year and it's changed my life with anxiety, depression, you name it. I found a study called: ACT & sexual dysfunction, bisexuality. http://contextualpsychology.org/act_orientacion_del_deseo_sexual_y_trast...

I read the study and noticed that he got better when he started to have less worries about wether or not he could achieve and erection. He focused on just being with the girl. And also, the guy in the study sounds like h could have benefited more from coming to you/this website than being in the study (in terms of his sexual orientation), it sounds like he had the same problem a lot of people here have but obviously since it's not widespread yet, the researchers never thought of it. Anyways, I hope you find it interesting.

Here's a the full study. If you go here and click on the second google search link when you scroll down titled, "[DOC]
ACT, SEXUAL DESIRE ORIENTATION AND ERECTILE ...", it will automatically download:


Thanks for this.I hope the experts will start asking the right questions soon. Highspeed Internet is a new animal, and it's blindsiding the experts with their set theories.