Is recovery possible for me?

Submitted by shadow_of_fear on
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Hey, everyone. I am a 23 year old male. Sorry for the extremely long post, but I want to fill in as many details as possible. The main information is at the bottom of the post. The top part is just my story in case you want to know more history.

Here's a somewhat brief version of my story (Yes, it's still pretty long. Sorry.): I started masturbating when I was about 4 years old. I "learned how" when I was at a doctor's appointment for something and the nurse was checking my genitals. As she was checking, I had an orgasm (dry, obviously). Later, I decided to try it myself at home, and I have been doing it ever since. I mean, 3-5 times per day for my entire life.

When I was 11, I discovered porn, and realized that it gave me similar feelings to how I felt when I masturbated. I explored quickly and eventually landed on gay porn. It turned me on a lot more because it was "wrong," "taboo," and "weird." At this time, I didn't exactly know what "gay" meant. I grew up in a pretty sheltering home, so the concept didn't come across to me until a friend in 8th grade asked me, "are you gay?" jokingly. I laughed, but it sat in my head and I started realizing that I watch gay porn, so it might be true.

Here's the difficult part: I remember in elementary school (ages 7-10ish) I "really" wanted to be friends with some particular people (boys) in my classes. Looking back, I'm thinking that these were actually a "crushes" that I had on other boys. I never saw it as that at the time because boys were supposed to like girls in my mind. Interestingly, later, in 8th grade (age 12-13), I had a very strong crush on a girl in one of my classes, and I remember thinking about things like wanting to hold her hand, kiss her, hug her, etc. These are things that I never wanted to do with any of the "boy crushes" I had in elementary school. Throughout this period, I continued watching gay porn and masturbating 3-5 times per day.

In high school, things somewhat went downhill as I lost my crush for this girl (she turned out to be pretty mean) and started realizing that I found other guys sexually attractive. This continued throughout college, but I was always on the down-low about all of this because it never felt right.

During and after college, so far I have hooked up with about 12 guys from various hook-up sites and apps, and I have hooked up with only one girl. For about half of those encounters (including the encounter with a girl, but I was drunk at the time), I could not stay hard enough to actually engage in sex. This caused me to look into the reasons behind it all, and I realized that it was probably due to masturbating and watching porn. In only one of the encounters did I actually feel a sense of satisfaction afterwards; the one with the girl... and I never even climaxed. This might be due to the fact that my friends all knew that this happened and it was "losing my virginity." So there was a sense of accomplishment. In the other encounters, I lost interest in sex for about a week afterwards.


Okay, that's my story up to about a month ago. I want to explain where I stand on everything right now:

I have been single all of my life due to shyness. I also don't have the face of a model. I do NOT want to be in a homosexual relationship with another man. When it comes to men, I want one of two things: platonic friendship or sex. Once I have sex with a man, I rarely want to do it again with him, but I have returned on 2 occasions. Nothing more than that. I do not find any of my male friends sexually attractive. Once I get to know a guy on a personal level, I lose any attraction for him.

I want a loving relationship with a woman. It is a huge aspiration for me to have a wife, kids, and grow old with her. I want to kiss her, I want to hold her hand, I want to be there for her and love her. With other men, I want only to make out if it is sexual and escalating to sex.

The problem is that I am not very attracted to women sexually. I can see a naked woman on the internet and think, "oh look, a naked woman. Everyone has seen that before." But I get very sexually excited by men, and it scares me. It always has.

My thinking is that I have associated the male body with sex. I have not associated the female body with anything other than "female body," but I WANT to associate it with sex. Girls just don't turn me on as much as guys do in real life or on the computer screen. Unfortunately, I have been unable to maintain a PMO-free lifestyle for longer than 14 days due to absolutely atrocious withdrawal (borderline suicidal) and urges to view porn. It is something that has been with me my entire life, and I want it to stop.

I'm not totally sure what my question is after writing all of this, actually. I guess I'm wondering if anyone has been in or has seen a similar situation and come out of it. Has anyone with HOCD actually had sex with other men and had strong sexual attractions for men and not so much for women? Were they able to come out of it? Have I destroyed my sexuality and will never be able to find a girl who I am attracted to? I don't know what the outcome will be for me, but I am looking for encouragement to help me get past 14 days.

Have you tried

avoiding porn totally for several months? I honestly think that's the only way such confusion can be cleared up. No one can tell you who you are or what's a fetish and what's your core sexuality or what you accidentally wired up due to things in your environment during key periods of your development. You have to figure that out...once your brain is back in balance.

Watch this video and I think you'll know as much as we do. Adolescent Brain Meets Highspeed Internet Porn | Your Brain On Porn

One thing's for sure, what you continue to orgasm to definitely increases your brain's association with that material. So you have some choices to make about how you wire your sexuality. You might want to read this too: Are Sexual Tastes Immutable? | Your Brain On Porn

Thank you

for your response! I watched the video and read that article. One thing I noticed in the article was that, because the rat in the experiment was not "gay," it did not try to mount the other rat. I have been with men before and have gone all the way out of what I personally believe to be a confused fetish based on porn. Unfortunately there is no way for me to know because I went through my sexual development without female sexual contact and with the perceived idea that I was gay. I read a lot of things about how guys with HOCD would never dream of being with a guy ever. Does that fact separate me from them? Or could that be HOCD as well? Do you think I have ruined my sexuality by not pursuing women and only lusting after men and hooking up with more men than women?

I don't think

anyone can answer that question for you. Everyone with this kind of issue wants to avoid the pain of withdrawal (which is understandable), so they're looking for rationalizations to keep using and blame their problems on their "true sexuality." I'd make the experiment of unhooking...completely...from porn for a few months before bothering to rationalize anything. Wherever you end up on the sexuality scale you may be surprised at the powerful benefits of unhooking from internet porn. So you can't go wrong.

Meanwhile, quit analyzing. Don't do any more "testing". Stop asking others for advice. Just quit and stay quit for a few months. Then come back and ask any questions you have.

But get prepared. Read about withdrawal: What does withdrawal from porn addiction look like?

Read about the flatline...just in case: "Help! I quit porn, but my potency, genital size, and libido are decreasing"

And get support. This is a good forum for this kind of issue: But don't ask their advice about your HOCD. Many of them are still as confused as you are. Just get their support in quitting.

And if you start struggling with severe OCD behaviors (anxiety, panic attacks, desperate need for ANSWERS), see a doctor. I'm anti-meds, but some OCD guys really benefit from some temporary medication to help with the withdrawal. Just think of it as having a very sensitive brain...for good and ill.

Good luck!