Another HOCD + Escalated porn and sex addiction

Submitted by gettinmad on
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first of all i'm sorry for my english, but I'll do the best I can to make you understand me.
Well I don't know where to start... i'll try to be as short as i can...
My "sex" life beginned when I was only a 5 years old child.. the neighbour's daughter was 7 yo and liked to touch my genitals every time I went to my neighbour's house. I remember it was an intense experience and also painful because i had phimosis (the skin of my penis was adherent to my glans..), my mother still remember when i came from there i had my face red as a pepper.
This is in my opinion when my dopaminergic system got dysregulated... so early :(
after this i remember that in my childhood whenever was possible i was engaging sexual games with friends and cousins (both male and female) and at some point i met pornography... maybe i was 10-11 y.o. meanwhile a friend of mine proposed me to have sex and i accepted.
Porn was mainly magazines and i remember i was very aroused by female body. That quickly escalated when one day I found an advertising of erotic-line phone numbers in the bottom of my father's newspaper and i started calling and masturbating. I remember I can't stop doing that, even when my mother was at home... this stopped when my parents got the first telephone paynote...
Now in my memories i was 13-14 years old but i can't put everything chronologically in the right place... but i can say I masturbated daily on straight porn, had homosexual sex with another friend, frequented gay chats and so on.
The Gay part wasn't scary for me because of my attraction for girls and never felt any attraction to the male's body or ever felt any romantic feeling for men. Infact when I was 15 years old i had my first kiss with a girl and i was totally aroused and felt like "in love" for the first time, even if this ended very soon because she wasn't interested in me.
At this point my libido started to be addressed exclusively towards girls... straight fantasies started to popup, no more contacts with my friend and gay fantasies faded away... (well i don't know if they were true fantasies because it was only masturbating while remembering having sex with my friend).
I become more interested in girls and started wishing a relationship with one, wishing to love and to be loved. Unfortunately this didn't happened because of my low self esteem and my social anxiety... i thought that no girl could be interested in me and i continued to masturbate with porn and straight fantasies almost daily.
When I got 20 i finally met my girlfriend... it was the most intense period of my life, falled in love and discovered the real sex, i remember i felt like i won 1 billion dollars.. i can't explain how i felt, really.
To be short after 7 months of this paradise i remember i was in porn again... but this time i accidentally downloaded a shemale video and it aroused me... i thought "who cares? i'm in love with a beautiful girl and i'm constantly aroused by her" (infact i could get turned on only by kissing or embracing her or thinking about her). So this video becomed the only porn i masturbated on.
Soon I remember a sudden drop in my love feelings and my attraction and arousal towards her... I freaked out and I was depressed, and seeking in internet the "loss of libido causes" i found a page that mentioned "LATENT HOMOSEXUALITY" this freaked me out as hell because i remembered my gay things in teenage and when i tried to remember a sex scene with my teenage friend i was totally blown by anxiety and fear but.. BANG! got aroused. From then i lost my attraction to women, my attraction to my girlfriend (who is still with me... we live together now) and developed a sort of attraction to men (maybe fear driven) and to shemale porn ,gay fantasies and gay chats again... Initially i was totally afraid but soon i couldn't resist to masturbate and orgasm to those things and this maybe reinforced it. I also developed anhedonia (joynesless)
Now i'm 28 and finally realized i have a problem with overstimulation and escalation (i hope it is), i am diagnosed with hocd and today is my day 15 without PMO.
It's like my libido isn't here... i know what could be a fix to releave my anxiety for few minutes but i'm not going to do it.
Now what i ask you, my friends is:
If I allow myself to abstain for the necessary time to recalibrate my dopamine levels, receptors and so on, could i feel normal again? could i be attracted and aroused by women again? could i feel love feelings toward my girlfriend again?
I'm very scared by the thought that when i get in balance i find myself gay... i don't want it! Sad
But the only way to discover it is wait and see..

What do you think?

Thanks, Gettinmad

yes, why not

As a beginner to abstinence, I can tell you one thing for sure. Not getting engaged in pmo fills you with a certain libido, energy and urge. For me, I am trying to channelize it into some other routes so as to stop the disruption of my normal life and confidence. Basically I want to keep my libido down.

But in your case it seems, you want the exact opposite. I am quite sure that you will find enough ways to tackle your problem on this site. Besides, feeling love for your gf is probably the one thing that you can use to your strength rather than letting it get bogged down by your sexuality.

I suddenly felt I should write to you as I have had a very similar experience during my childhood, in my case unfortunately it was my aunt. And then, there were cousins who shared the same ideas about sex and women and all that which now actually seems a large chunk of destruction and nothingness.

Anyways, best of luck.

i'm sorry

i'm sorry you went through this too..
yes, in my case i hope that abstinence will wake up my true libido, the desire towards women and mainly towards my girlfriend. i think i am desensitized for that and for many other things because, as i said i can't enjoy anything in my life, i'm always bored and unhappy and this anhedonia is experienced in drug addicts too. i don't use drugs, so i think is my addiction and behavior that ruined my balance.
i think also the HOCD is my withdrawal symptom...
can't wait to see results!
i have also another addiction... cigarettes... i think it would be harder to quit both together so i am still smoking, but my question is: could mantain nicotine addiction get my recovery slower?
another question is: as i said i have a girlfriend.. is it safe to have sex with her without orgasm? could it boost or slower my recovery in any way?


The general consensus when it comes to tackling addictions, is to tackle them one at a time. But that doesn't really answer your question. It seems that people who tend toward addictions (I am one), can easily move into black and white thinking, or actions. Such as, "I am going to quit all my addictions -sugar, smoking, coffee, and porn - and never do any again."

What often happens is they start smoking again, and the all or nothing thinking kicks in, leading to: " I'm failing, so I'll just do porn again, screw it"
One wants to avoid all or nothing thinking.

That said, many find avoiding junk food, exercise, and even eliminating other addictions helpful in the long run. Get solid on the porn issue first, is may suggestion.

I'm sure you've searched the

I'm sure you've searched the web for ideas for recovery from anhedonia.

I think you should be careful about making this exclusively about your girlfriend or wanting desire for her. You have issues that go back before her and though she may have masked them for a time, they were powerful enough to come back to the surface. Abstinence is good, but put effort into resolving your internal world at the same time.

Hey Gettinmad

Welcome and thanks for taking the time to express yourself in English. We are grateful.

I think the chances are excellent that if you give your brain time to bounce back to normal sensitivity (by avoiding porn, masturbation, orgasm and fantasy), your true sexual orientation will become evident. Just know that it may be like erectile dysfunction recovery and take the best part of two months before you really see the results you want.

Can you be patient? Did you read this article? I understand that ED isn't your issue, but the underlying cause of both flat libido and flat emotions can be numbed brain sensitivity...which takes time to reverse. In the meantime, it will seem like things get worse at first, because your body will be going through withdrawal. Here are the symptoms others report:

Like the others here, I'm sorry you went through your childhood experiences. It's becoming clear that forced sexual arousal that occurs to early can indeed set people on a quest for those dopamine highs. Sex that starts at a normal age does that too, of course. Smile But for some reason when people start later, they're better able to engage the part of the brain that can think (the prefrontal cortex). This "executive function" part of the brain isn't fully developed in kids, which may be why starting too early can cause unwanted brain wiring that lingers.

However, brains are plastic. This means they can change *back* too, if we stop strengthening unwanted pathways because of their power to produce orgasms. Can you find this book in your mother tongue? The Brain That Changes Itself:

Please check out the tools on this page, too. A lot of them have been shown to help people regulate mood (ease anhedonia):

Also feel free to start a blog if you like. We'd love to hear how you get on with your recovery. This HOCD problem is more common than you think. It's truly bizarre what the brain will wire itself to in pursuit of an orgasm. Smile The saddest part is that no matter how often anyone else tells you, "If you know you're straight, you're matter what you get off to," the anxiety produced by withdrawal or other stress will drive you to "test" yourself by looking at the anxiety-producing images. Sure enough...they've been artificially wired to your orgasm reflex, so they will "work, " and you will believe you are stuck forever.

The chances are good that you are not stuck. But do yourself a favor: don't test. And stay away from ALL porn. In a couple of months, I predict you'll feel much better. There are some bits of information about HOCD here, by the way: But there's still more to learn, so your insights will be very welcome as you recover.

thank you

thank you for replies, expetially thanks to marnia, i really admire the passion you put helping all the people that join this forum and write about their problems. i read all the articles you linked and i found it very helpful to understand what's going on in my brain.
it's 8 years since i struggle with hocd, so i am like an expert of it and i am glad to help anyone who is fighting with it. but it's about only a month since i realized that i have a problem with porn and it's chemical consequences, so i am finally able to understand why i am still stuck in this situation for years.
i definitely think that i can be patient for the necessary time to rebalance myself and finally get my life and happyness back.
i'm also ready to cope with withdrawal stuff but, i repeat, in my case i think that
withdrawal is the HOCD itself. when i am abstinent from superstimulation or my actual stimulation becomes less arousing i get anxiety, and anxiety leads my HOCD to spike.
so my HOCD tells me "you are gay" and this adds more anxiety and i search the "cure" in checking and masturbation, in order to ease anxiety simptoms for a while. this was my lethal trap before i realized all this.
now i'm on DAY 16 of no PMO and i am full of anxiety and my HOCD Is in his best shape... but today happened something... i kissed my sweetheart like i did when we was in the first months of our story, just with the intent to kiss her in a sweet way and i realized i was getting an erection!
this amazed me... i thought "wow! how could i did this?!?!"
i'm far from the recovery, i know it. but this little thing gave me some hope that i'm doing good.

That is exactly

what others struggling with HOCD report...that their prime withdrawal symptom is anxiety about their sexual orientation, which leads to an overwhelming need to "test," which starts the whole cycle again. No wonder it's so hard to move beyond it, eh?

Gary and I were just talking this morning about some research he has been putting up on his site about how adrenaline is part of the rewarding feeling we get in response to something arousing. It encourages the release of more dopamine, and both consolidate memories (wire the brain to repeat the process). Anxiety-producing images release more adrenaline. They are fearful. This, in turn, makes them more arousing (dopamine). So it's really treacherous when you get fear and arousal linked in the brain...and then try to face withdrawal, where your brain is desperately craving dopamine. You're just primed to seek anxiety-producing images as a way to jack up your dopamine again. Vicious circle.

Thanks, too, for sharing your story about kissing and feeling a normal response. I think you're right that it's a very healthy sign. Having a mate is a big blessing with this challenge. Your story also reminded me of what my husband said after a few nights of Exchanges (playful, affectionate activities, which are now in my book). "My kisses began to feel like my first teenage kisses." So it's obvious that his brain, too, was bouncing back to normal sensitivity.

Just know that recovery isn't linear. You get these little "tastes" of progress, and then you slide back sometimes, and then the good feelings come again. So stay optimistic. Journal your experience. Over time you will see a trend of improvement. Again, it could be a while before you get beyond the anxiety.

Our unexplored brains

[quote=Marnia]So it's really treacherous when you get fear and arousal linked in the brain...and then try to face withdrawal, where your brain is desperately craving dopamine. You're just primed to seek anxiety-producing images as a way to jack up your dopamine again. Vicious circle.

That book on loneliness sort of suggested that loneliness activates the same parts of the brain involved with addiction. If we presume for now that loneliness if a fear response, then by extension arousal addiction (which I guess encompasses all the sexual addictions) is also a fear response or at least linked to fear by brain linkages. That leaves us afraid to seek the calming, safe arousal we need and afraid to let go of the addicting arousal we've got. Luckily, the mind has an escape hatch for these loops that is activated just by shining a light on what is going on. It's like a computer virus scanner. The virus is there, but once the scanner knows about it, the virus can be deleted or at least quarantined for later user action. I've posted previously about Sarno's theory of brain induced cellular oxygen deprivation in his patients which he attributes to repressed rage. Researchers who are timid about exploring your ideas about brain and addiction might start with exploring whether the mind is inducing other physical responses beyond the brain or in the brain itself. Is all sexuality governed by the brain or is more going on? Is this only a brain reward system imbalance or are there other physical explanations or at least symptoms? This is different than Sarno's realm because his, as far as I understand him to see it, is limited to systems controlled by and external to the brain. However, he has expanded his thinking to include autoimmune and other systems that are much closer to the brain. From Sarno, we can least conclude, for arguments sake, that oxygen deprivation is a brain controlled response. I wonder if there could be some oxygen supply adjustment going on in the brain itself and how that would impact things beyond just a dopamine/receptor issue. Are addict brains slightly oxygen deprived? Could the brain starve itself of oxygen? Does dopamine increase oxygen supply? The online community interested in nootropics or smart drugs seems to be looking at these things. For example, I found this . Is the brain in conflict where it is reducing oxygen and then the addictive dopamine is bumping oxygen back up?

As always, interesting post

There's definitely a link between isolation/loneliness and addiction. I hadn't thought of it in terms of a stress response heightening response to addictive substances/activities.

Don't know about oxygen deprivation and addiction, but there could be research on that.

off the top of my head

I don't think an addict brain is oxygen deprived. Perhaps alcohol or other damaging drugs affect blood flow- don't know. I've not seen anything about constriction of capillaries (sarno's theory) in certain parts of the brain.
Dopamine as a drug, can be used as a vasodilator, or constrictor. But that's a drug. I don't see how dopamine in a synapse would affect blood flow.

A note - dopamine and the reward circuitry are behind the placebo effect. The power of the reward system is all encompassing. No need to search elsewhere.

Moving muscles, reward & aversion = the original simple nervous system. As in a very small worm. We haven't evolved much further than the worm. We move our muscles to go toward what we want, and move away from what we don't like. Life in a nutshell.
Dopamine is necessary for muscle movement, and is the center of all reward and aversion
Love and hate are separated by a few millimeters, and both are in the reward CENTER, and both controlled by dopamine.
Our large, thinking minds are slaves to that pea-sized dopamine filled hub.
If it ain't right, neither are you.

smoking etc

just want to let you know - it seems we have a lot in common.

I was badly addicted to smoking not only cigarettes but hashish, marijuana. I have had a tryst with alcohol too. 1 month before now, luckily (rather unluckily), I was bleeding in my cough due to excessive smoking. The doctor asked me to simply STOP it immediately else i would be on may way to lung cancer. Thanks to god! I have been able to stop it and besides, I have actively resumed fighting my addictions.

This is just not to scare you but to let you know that multiple addictions existing together are a common condition. I hope the smoking problem isnt so bad with you. Try nicotine gums, exercising, drinking lots of juices etc. From a personal experience I know that these really help a lot in stopping smoking. however, as 'freedom' says, its best to tackle one problem at a time.

best of luck mate

Pleasure is only a freedom song, its not freedom in itself.