Walking the Hell - HOCD

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Hello everybody.
I'm new here, I have 19 years and my life was goin pretty alright... But then I started to have some problems.
And I'm using this post so perhaps I can find help with you.

This story is pretty long, but I guess it's needed to explain what really happened. I was totally honest, and I would be *Really* thankful if someone could help me in the end.

So... Ok, let's start.

-- The Issue --

I developed HOCD. I guess that it isn't a new thread here, and also isn't the main focus of this forum, but the fact is that you might help me since there's topics of other members here who dealed with HOCD and are getting better. Someday I hope to be one of those and HELP people dealing with it, too.

But let's tell how this started:

-- My Past --

My first sexual experiences were at childhood, with 8 and 9 years. I gave my first kiss on a girl and "tried intercourse," discovering my body and such. But I got reprehended, never knewing much how to deal with the attraction with girls.

Also with 8 years I kissed a friend (male), and he dressed as a girl and we did like soap opera novels. But I can't remember if was pleasuring at all, but either way, I didn't grow with the feeling of "kissing men" and such.

With 10 years I had a habit of kissing two other male friends in cheek, like a dad kiss his son. I felt no arousal at all, and that habit suddently stopped. No botherings with that.

As i grew up into adolescence, I discovered porn at 14 y old, with those very same friends I used to kiss in cheek. From that day on, I never worried about being gay or such, considering all the arousal I had with puberty and the porn videos with girls at all.

I had my 1st kiss in a girl at my 13s, but i was kinda scared and didn't know what to do. Later on, my 1st relationship was when I got 16, and I wasn't that scared. Although i still thought that kissing was "strange," I always wanted to have a girlfriend at my side, feeling that connection and having sex with her.

By my 16-17 years I started to study Graphic Design. Since it's an art-related job (that in my Place, has a fame for being a job for gay people), my friends started to call me gay because of that. First I had some concerns, but it was more with people calling me gay (it was bothering) than with the possibility of becoming one, since I didn't even believed that I had chances to becoming one.

As I grew up, I kept the search with girls, but also maintained the habit of masturbating. But I wasn't that good with women, until I learned about Pick Up Arts and started studying it. Soon I started to be more physical with people, touching them, hugging them and such. Also I grew with phimosis. It was pretty hard for me, because the few girls I had success, I had no driving force to have sex until I treated it.

So one day I found a girl who was pretty special to me. Let's call her "Marie," for privacity and respect reasons. We created a deep connection and I really felt in touch with her, wanted myself to involve with her and be her boyfriend. After a long time, as we get more involved, we started a relationship. That happened this year.

-- Where the Problem Started --

In the middle of January, before my relationship with Marie started, my friends, who already had sex, wanted to pay a prostitute for me, to having my 1st time. Since the phimosis was a problem, and I was treating it until got cured (I thought so), I wanted to have sex, too. Also I was thinking that if I had the 1st time with a prostitute, I would be better experienced to have sex with Marie, or any other girl that I was involved in future.

In that time I already felt totally in love with Marie, and since we were both virgins, it would be a start for me to being calm with her when the time comes. BUT when I saw the prostitute, I felt no attraction at all. I mean, she had 27 years, and even that she had a nice body, I wasn't attracted by her face.

And then she got naked and started to touch me. Instead of feeling attracted, I shaked and trembled, afraid. Somewhat, it was not like I expected. As I told her that I was virgin, she didn't seemed happy to know it, and tried to do with me anyway. Kissed me, touched me, tried to masturbate me, suck me and i tried to touch her body, to feel her, and then she took my hand until her vagina and said "feel inside me" - I panicked, since I expected to be different.

So, to turn things worse, I discovered that my phimosis wasn't fully healed, what bringed a bit of pain to my penis to pull it. My penis was "dead" and I tried to think about lots of sexy girls, to perhaps give him an erection. It happened, but I was so shocked (especially when she said "feel inside me" and touching her) that I couldn't feel desire on that. She told me to stop shaking and to enjoy the moment, but I couldn't. It was a shock to me. She started to "scream in pleasure," but I don't know if that was really what she was feeling, because it sounded fake.

After trying a lot, I gave up. I even said, making fun of myself, "OMG Am I Gay?" She said for me to not worry, that was bullshit, I was just afraid. And my friends told me the same.

I guess the feelings that I had for Marie, instead of driving me to do that for her, were more like a blocking. Either way, I had lost my interest for casual sex since that event, waiting for me to be more prepared.

So, I went to a cinema with Marie, and we've been pretty involved that time. Just by feeling her hugging me was enough reason to feel aroused. The concerns about the "false-start sex" just disappeared because of that event. We kissed while we saw the movie, and it was pretty good. I felt deeply involved with her.

Goodbye, worries.

After that day, I dediced to tell Marie about my frustrated sex experience, and what I felt. When I told her about the "OMG, am I gay?" part, she asked, "are you?" Making funny of me.

But that brought a bit of preoccupation. I said "No". But I really started to generalize it, that I would always feel that, no matter which girl I was involved. Trying to calm myself, I just forget about it.

I went to a 2nd day with Marie after the day in the cinema. We enjoyed a lot of caressing and touching moments, feeling lots of pleasure and passion with her. I said to myself "the worry is a bullshit. I feel so good with her, I just can't believe how I thought that."

On other days, she told me that she started to have strange dreams, of girls kissing her. I asked "are you lesbian?". And I started to think that she was, and didn't discovered it yet. I told her that if she really was, I just wanted her to be happy, at my side or not. Somehow, I guess it started to throw her in HOCD, since we talked it a lot, but I thought that I was helping her to "discover herself." At that time, soon some thoughts started to
pop up: "what if both of us were gay and we didn't know until now?"

At the very same time, in my work, people started calling me gay because of my job as Graphic Designer. The thoughts started to get intense. They said to me things like, "get off the closet," "you are gay, don't need to fake it" and other phrases that bothered me.

Because of my past, I always was pretty physical with my friends. One day I walked with a friend (that people bullied, calling him gay) to a mall, and when he was about to leave, we talked about hugs. He told me that his friends never had a habit of hugging each other, and then I told him, "c'mon, gimme a hug!"

When he hugged me, I felt something pretty awkward. I guess it was the way he hugged, but I was afraid that our groins touched each other, I don't know. I felt something VERY BAD in my stomach. And I left thinking "OMG, what was that? Am I attracted to him?"

Until then, the other day I met Marie... she broke up with me. I started to think that now there was no other girl that could make me feel that way again. And joining that with the past sex experience, I felt REALLY AFRAID. So the HOCD started.

-- Walking the Hell --

The bitter part was that I started to give them reason. But still that made no sense to me.

Until I heard some stories:

• In my job, they told a story of a friend of them who was pretty strange, and one day they went to a brothel and wanted to pay him a prostitute. So, he just went in pain and admitted that he was gay;

• I readied the story of my best female friend in a blog (she's bi), and how she suddently felt in love for a girl, even kissed and falling in love with other men before;

• One of the MOST PAINFUL ones was a book that I readied on my 14 years, called "The Search of the Encounter", of a boy who had the SAME NAME as me, and then he felt screwed when he went for his 1st intercourse, started to think that he was gay, and later he BECOME ONE - that made me feeling so bad that i almost thought that it was like my reality in a book!

• My female bi friend told me that the only man that almost had intercourse with her discovered himself gay, and the arousal he felt was just because of the love that he had (I draw a parallel that the same happened with me and Marie);

Suddently, I started to have strange sensations in my body, fueled by fear. Everytime I touched a man, I felt pain and fear, but also my attention walked directly to my groins and i felt some movement in there. I started to think "OMG, Am I really gay at all?"

I thought that I was aroused but I don't wanted to, so I was "condemned" to be gay even if I don't want to. It wasn't arouse at all, but any touch in me seemed to bring some movement in there because of the attention.

I tried to reason with myself, fight against it, but it was painful to think that I just become homossexual and didn't wanted to accept it. So I secretly tried to fight it, and when I touched my female friends, I tried to feel aroused. But I FAILED.

So I started to fight it, face it with NLP audios and exercises, being silent with people about it, because it would seem that I would be someone who was being coward because I was just gay and didn't wanted to accept it.

Later on, I talked with Marie again and she discovered that she was bissexual, and she felt in love for a girl. That made me even more afraid, started to think that, since I was right about her, I was right about me too, and didn't wanted to face it.

One colleague at my university, one day, was looking at me straightly in the eye, and I felt awkward. I felt afraid that it would happen the same things that happened in my friend's history. So I tried to avoid him, flee from seeing him. Hardly I maintained eye contact with my friends because of that event.

The same thing happened again in the bus, where other boy looked at me straight in the eye and I felt the same pain and awkwardness.

At that time, things that relieved me was watching porn, because I felt no attraction for the guys, but by seeing the girl nude, having sex. Also i started to masturbate everyday, thinking about girls and past moments where I felt pleasure with women. It started to get even harder to feel pleasure.

I was afraid of seeing man with no shirts or naked, afraid of feeling arousal and consequently, become gay because of that. I was even afraid of looking at myself in the mirror, naked, after or before a shower, thinking that I would feel desire for myself. And I relucted to told that to my friends, because I thought that few people could understand me and would help me at all.

By March, I felt desperated, with no will to see my friends (because of the fear of getting arousal), or to meet any new girls (because of the experience with the prostitute in january). I wanted to die, started to telling my problems to my friends, becoming socially awkward and afraid. I screamed to myself, "I want to die", because I just become gay and didn't wanted to accept it.

In that time, I told people that I was trying to find something that could be the core of my fear, like "anxiety," "depression," or whatever it would be. But everybody told me that I was getting paranoid and it was meaningless to try to find the answer by myself.

Little by little, I felt even less strenght to fight against it, because it seemed that society was almost being against me with the advent of gay rights and "gay pride." Also, the gay community would seem to do the same. Everybody seems almost "against" the "right" of being heterossexual, because here where I live, a great wave of anti-homophobic movement started.

I felt overwhelmed, desperated, until one day I screamed, "I want to die." Since I felt little hope for me, I decided to turn around into the pain and face it.

I decided to test my fear. I went straightly for the root of the fear, and opened up an episode of Spartacus where a gay couple start to have sex, and tried to masturbate. I felt no arousal, felt pretty bad, but I argued with me, telling "c'mon, get an erection!" - and I made effort to it. My penis had a bit of movement, but I felt Bad and Screwed. I was SURE that I DID NOT WANT THAT!

Somehow, I started to doubt about the pain I caused to myself.

Then, by April, I involved myself casually with a girl. When we kissed, I felt myself good, feeling pleasure with her, not the same emotional pleasure that I had with Marie, but I felt arousal at all. Somehow I didn't knew how, but I believed that I wasn't gay at all. Perhaps I was just confused. By that time, I felt WAY LESS fear when other males touched me. Also, the "fear of feeling aroused" just disappeared - at least for that time.

My problems started to get big, and then everybody told me to go to the psychologist. I was afraid that if I started to tell what happen, she would already prescribe me as gay and ignore what I really feel, just trying to make me accept the condition and become gay. That was what happened in that book story, and therefore I thought that the same would happen with me.

Thanks God, it didn't happened.

-- Some Light in this Darkness? --

The psychologist helped me to see that I felt lots of FEAR. Also I started to discover about the homossexual profile, with less fear, and saw that there wasn't what could define me as homossexual. Funnily enough, she started to tell what happened, and everytime it seemed less and less worrying to me.

By the end of the consultation, I felt relieved. I could spend one day just calm about it, and think "where I'll go next?" But it didn't take long. Three days later, during my job times, I received a call of one of our clients (who is gay) and he started to talk to me about some alterations in his job

that he wanted it done. When he talked, I felt something PRETTY AWKWARD in my belly. I had the habit of talking a lot with my past crushes in telephone, and when I gave them a call, I felt a bit awkward. So I thought that since I become awkward, it was a sign that I just felt in love with him - and that freaked me out.

Was I just fooling myself? Did I told the things in a way that made things appear different? I returned with consultation, and we decided to start therapy. One day, I was reading about OCD and saw the structure of the problem, I thought: "could it be a freaky way of OCD?" I felt some certainty on it, but, then when I talked about it with my friends, they say the same thing. "You're fooling yourself."

Then one day, a friend of mine appointed me that I may have developed "cognitive distortions." And suggested me to read the book "The New Mood Therapy". I started to believe that I may have developed a lot of cognitive distortions, so I readied and tried to apply the exercises myself, even that some people didn't approve it. I had to fight and find strenght in myself.

Keeping up with the therapy and with the book reading, I started to recognize - and find a way to deal with it, and felt less bad about it. The psychologist encouraged me to do the exercises, and bring it to her - so she could help me.

By the 3rd week of may, one of the forums I participated send me a report of a man who had 60 days with no PMO, and the benefits of that. He related a lot of improvement in the area "interest with girls" - one area in my life that I felt a great lack - both emotional and sexual.

That report leaded me to two important things:

1) The Brain That Changes Itself, the book by Norman Doidge
2) The webpage "yourbrainonporn.com"

Inside that site, I started to read about the effects of pornography, and then, I found a pretty curious post:


And the title itself made me curious, and then I decided to read it...

-- And Finally I Found It --

The following post, http://www.brainphysics.com/yourenotgay.php helped me tons. Reading those words made me understand that I wasn't fooling myself, and I wasn't the only one human being who've been through that.

And the webpage http://yousetmefree.weebly.com/ gave me a bit of hope, to use FEAR itself as a reason to not believe on it.

Discovering about the distortions and the HOCD gave me more hope of breaking from the fear, no matter what happened. I readied worst situations of people with HOCD and they figured out how to break up with that.

By some reason, the OCD forum I found was pretty painful, so I decided not to join it.
But I needed to turn to somewhere. Now that I knew what was happening, I felt closer of what could help me deal with it.

So I posted on the old page, yourbrainonporn.com, giving a short brief of what happened. And then I discovered this place.

-- What I'm Doing Right Now --

Lately, I'm trying to move my attention to things that I like. It's hard sometimes to leave the mental process of OCD and then relax. But, i'm doing the suggestions that the therapist gave me, that everytime that I feel the problem hitting me, I just do something different to break the cycle (i.e.: walking around, drink some water, sing something, etc)

Also, I'm rebooting. I'm 12 without MPO, and I'm returning to have erotic/emotional relationship in dreams, which I don't remember to have since lots of times. It gives me good energy and, also, helps me see the difference of "arousal" and "HOCD attention to the groin;"

I'm not exactly in the mood to involve myself emotionally again, but I want to recover that "mood" somehow. Reboot helps a bit, I guess;

Trying to live a normal life. And that's quite hard sometimes;

I heard about ERP, and I was thinking on doing it by myself. I even started it, but feel a bit misguided (I readied the articles, but the process seems to throw you into the feeling and make you "become" what you fear.)

I feel a bit confused.
Can someone help me?

Thanks for the attention, really.


I'm sorry you are having this struggle. As you have read - "if you think you are straight, then you are straight". Continue with your rebooting process, and continue with stopping the brain loops as soon as they start running.
You can search this site for previous posts on HOCD, or transsexual, or gay porn, to see others stories and replies.


I already searched more about it. Seems that everybody have ways to find and deal with their HOCD, but rebooting plays a big role in this process!

Thanks for sharing your story

I just want to point out something that you probably already realize. Arousal happens in the brain, largely as a consequence of a release of dopamine. Sexual cues arouse you by releasing dopamine. But fear also releases dopamine. Maybe our ancestors actually learned to *like* risks and danger.

The point is that, in a weird way, your anxiety over the question "Am I gay?" is registering as a rewarding experience in your brain. That can cause those mysterious butterflies in your stomach.

Difficult as it is to understand, the stimuli that excite the release of dopamine can be quite far removed from your true sexual orientation.

In short, you need to figure out your orientation and trust your judgment. The other signals are "interference," or random noise. Although, the more you stress over them, the more "exciting" they will be in terms of dopamine released. Confusing, I know.

The true problem is that you have inadvertently wired anxiety to sexual arousal. Worrying about HOCD is a "turn-on" due to the dopamine released. Sad

This is a tough problem to solve if you keep "testing" yourself to "see if I still get 'that feeling' if I hug a guy, or whatever."

Stopping the PMO for a good six-eight weeks is powerful because it helps bring your brain back into balance. Since the part of the brain affected is your "inner compass," a lot of irrational fears just melt away as you reboot...because you feel calmer and more confident.

Lots of people speed the balancing process with daily meditation, daily exercise, improvement in diet, fish oil capsules, lots of socializing, etc. Which of those can you do?

Keep us posted.

And, I know this is hard for you. *big hug*


Thanks a lot, Marnia. Sure the dopamine liberation can be quite a burden, especially in this situation.

I'm planning to maintain the rebooting for 60 days. 47 days left, but in the day that this started, I said "If I keep with the PMO thing, I'll keep with the problem too." After that realization, I found strength to carry on and I'm having no struggle with that. The 1st effects already showed up, but I wanna do it until the end.

Lately, my daily routine is being quite full: Work from 8 AM to 6 PM, then University from 7 PM to 10 PM. There's few spaces for exercises, but there was a time that I used daily meditation (MP3-guided meditation) everyday. In that time, helped me a lot, so I'm planning on returning the meditation.

About exercises, since my routine is so full, I decided to walk to a farther bus stop instead of using the same one near my house. I can do those small walks of 10-15 minutes each twice by day. It's the only way I remind to put simple, yet more healthy habits in my routine. Also, I'm not using elevators anymore, choosing always the stairs.

I wish I had some spare money to hit a gym, but that's not avaliable right now, since my earnings mostly cover my bills.

About socializing, I'm trying my best to talk with people and not be carried by the HOCD fears. It's been working from now on.

I never thought about the fish oil capsules. There was a time that I was planning on take yeast capsules. But I'm kinda concerned about the quantity I should take.

So, what about the Exposure & Response Prevention treatment? That's what I heard in these cases:

[quote]Therapeutically speaking this is an extremely treatable form of OCD. However, most people dread the treatment because the therapeutic goal is the exact opposite of the person’s emotional agenda. Obviously, persons come in for treatment for this form of OCD desperately looking for the psychologist to give them the conclusive answer to their sexual orientation. For those mental health professionals who are not trained or sophisticated in the treatment of OCD, a tremendous amount of time and effort is wasted on endless attempts at reassuring the client that they are indeed not gay. On occasion, mental health professionals have even suggested giving a homosexual experience a try to help get the truth out. For those who are adept at identifying that these people are dealing not with a sexual orientation crisis, but with an anxiety disorder, the focus is not on deriving an answer about the person’s sexual orientation, but on helping a person accept the unanswerable nature of this question. As with treatment for all forms of being purely obsessional (i.e., "Pure-O"), giving one’s brain permission to be creative is a good start. Choices are encouraged which enable the "gay spiker" to allow for the constant reminder that they just do not have an answer to one of life's most important questions. For those clients who are successfully treated with behavioral techniques related to this question, the best therapeutic answer that comes at the end of treatment is the ultimate acceptance of the uncertainty related to the genuineness of their sexual orientation. "I may be gay" is then the best response to the question.

The concept of embracing a spike is paramount within this spike theme, as it is the case with all spike themes. Embracing a spike entails making an active choice to accept the uncertainty of the risk and tolerate the level of discomfort associated with the risk. A method of enhancing one's capacity to embrace challenges involves taking the opportunity to inquire within yourself whether all of your resources have been depleted. "Am I willing to persevere with the level of distress I am currently experiencing or have all of my resources been depleted?" If there is even a modicum of resilience left it is advised that a short interval be set aside to bear with the challenge and reassess one's resilience at a later time. During this interval, it is paramount to be willing to be reminded of the unresolved nature of the spike as often as your brain chooses to go there. The goal of embracing the spike is not to get rid of it but to manage it effectively.

Within the last weeks of treatment I frequently ask clients with this spike theme, "Are you gay?" I become affirmed in the client's clinical gains when they look at me with a smile and a wink and say, "I’m not sure," "I don’t know," or even "Let’s go to The Village and find out." One need not be sure of one’s sexual orientation in order to pursue members of the opposite sex. One need not be sure of one’s sexual orientation to ask a person out on a date. It is critical that, while following through on these potential interests, that one not search within themselves to derive an answer related to concluding that they are now sure what their sexual orientation. In other words, if at the end of treatment you find yourself having a "great time" on the fourth date, do not use this information to be convinced that this means you’re not gay and that this was OCD all along.

As is the case with all forms of treatment, with all forms of OCD, the clinical course initially involves the client establishing a hierarchy. In behavior therapy, a hierarchy is a stepwise list of items in ascending order which spell out challenging ideas. In this case, the items pertain to stimuli which provoke the potential reaction or questions about one’s sexual identity. A very common first step would be to have a person walk down the street and rate on a scale from one to ten the attractiveness of persons of the same sex… "After all, if I weren't gay, why would I be rating anyone of the same sex over a one…?" Mid-range exposures often entail watching movies such as Boys don't cry or But I'm a cheerleader At some point up the ladder the gay spiker might rate how cute the butt of another guy might be… And as a celebration of one's grand success, I recommend that the gay spiker go to web sites such as WWW.Gay.com and WWW.comingoutstories.com. Here, a multitude of stories are offered which match up with the confusion that the OCD sufferer was going through. And there are always the great photo layouts of your favorite gay porn star. Well, I'm sure you get the idea…

As in treatment of all forms of OCD, the disposition one possesses in engaging in these behavioral exercises can be as important as the exercises themselves. One of the primary dispositions that occurs regularly in the course of treating these forms of OCD entails the concept of embracing challenges, ambiguity, and emotional discomfort. I'd like to take this opportunity to define the word "embrace", since it is such a paramount part of treatment success. Embrace signifies making an active choice in deciding to tolerate both one's level of discomfort and accepting the cognitive threat which accompanies the spike. Ways of enhancing one's willingness to embrace challenges entails the honest questioning of oneself as to whether or not all of one's resources have been tapped or depleted. A question such as, "Am I completely at the end of my rope or do I have enough resilience at this moment to put up with the unsettled experience for at least ten more minutes?" In making the choice to manage the challenge for this designated time period, it is important that one be willing to be reminded during that time period regularly that the challenge is still present. Be very aware that one's goal here is not to be rid of the reminders of the questions or the reminders of the discomfort, but to make room for and manage these reminders.[/quote]

[quote]The specific type of therapy we would be doing is known as "Exposure and Response Prevention." In this type of behavioral therapy, the person voluntarily and gradually exposes themselves to greater levels of the things that bother them, and at the same time, agrees to resist doing the compulsive activities that they have been using to make themselves less anxious. The purpose of all this is for them to learn that if they just stay with what makes them anxious long enough, they will come to see the truth of things that these are only meaningless thoughts, and that the anxiety will gradually diminish even if they do nothing. The ultimate goal is for a person to be able to tell him or herself, "Okay, so I can think about these things, but I don't have to do anything about them."[/quote]

Thanks a lot. Really.

"if you think you are

"if you think you are straight, then you are straight"

That quote from Gary is the truth my friend. :)
Gay people aren't confused about their sexual orientation, they KNOW they are gay, they are HAPPY being gay, they just want to be accepted for who they are, they don't go through intense anxiety and fear over losing attraction to women, because gay men don't have an attraction to women in the first place. :) And if they say they do/have had arousal for women, they are bisexual in my book, because it contradicts what people say about genetics or homosexuality being nurtured into someone at a young age. And then of course you have people who say sexual orientation changes over a persons lifetime, the point is, everyone believes a different thing and sexual orientation is far too complex to be analyzed properly, people will probably never have a proper understanding of it in our lifetimes, so there isn't anything you can do to "prove" your hetrosexuality. So stop trying :)

I used to have serious problems with HOCD, not so much anymore, its really just a matter of NOT obsessing over it. It sounds simple in theory but its actually a bloody hard thing to do at first.
Even looking for "help" to fix it is self-destructive, in a sense because you are giving it attention. Think of it as an annoying child that won't leave you alone, if you keep giving it attention then it keeps coming back for more and more. You honestly just have to get on with your life and not let it bother you. I can hug my male friends now, before I used to freak out like you, thinking I would get aroused or something-That's rubbish, honestly. If you don't find your friends sexually attractive now, you aren't going to find them sexually attractive just because you hug them them are you? :)

My advice to you is to stop porn, stop thinking/reading/watching anything to do with HOCD and just live your life. Seriously, I wasted so much time obsessing over this, when I could've been out living my life.

I will say one thing though, which I think gets over-looked by a lot of HOCD suffers (myself included) there is absolutely nothing wrong with a person being gay or bisexual, but on that note I've never actually met a HOCD sufferer who was homophobic before, that probably says a lot more than you think, since statistics show a lot of homophobes actually have same sex feelings and attractions and try to repress it through violence and hatred for other gay/bi people. So there is a strong chance some of those folks who bullied you and called you gay, etc, might actually have REAL feelings for men!

In any case, be sure to keep us posted and good luck :)


Thanks, 20UK, I readied some of your posts before about the HOCD issues... they helped :D
The thing is, the great, big concern about "Am I gay?" started to disappear, as I go on and on with the "treatment". These habits and knowledges are helping me out, a lot.

But that itself doesn't kill my suffering.
Great part of my pain coming from believing that I won't feel pleasure with any other women because of the sexual experience with the prostitute.
So let me give an example:

I used to feel arousal and attraction for boobs. :$ Okay.
After that experience, when I touched that prostitute's boobs, I didn't felt much pleasure at all. So it seems that I just won't feel any pleasure anymore, my mind giving me the concern that I already know how it is to touch it.
The same goes with any sexual action towards women.

That's not true at all, but that's so rooted that it's turning even harder to break free from these thoughts!
Those thougts work like a barrier that kill the sexual interest in women;

And the other part is that lately I'm having not much interest on connecting with women in general. And this USED to fuel the HOCD, now they don't fuel it anymore... but still, work like a barrier that kill the emotional interest in women!

And that itself makes me pretty sad. I mean, I want to return to be social, to motivate myself to meet the oh-so-many incredible girls that are around me... and these concerns destroy my will. Even that I know how to deal with HOCD, I just don't know how to deal with these distortions :/

What can I do about it?

It all sounds like textbook

It all sounds like textbook HOCD. I developed severe HOCD in my early teens and I was nearly unable to function. Going to school was a horrible experience. I could barely talk to my friends out of fear that I was attracted to them. I broke up with my girlfriend at the time since I decided I was living a lie and wasn't really attracted to girls. I ended up being diagnosed with HOCD by a psychiatrist immediately after he heard my story.

I still experience the HOCD from time to time (over 10 years later), but it's manageable. The porn is definitely something to avoid. I'm confident that porn resulted in me initially developing HOCD.


It seems that's being quite a common issue lately, but the society where I live and "the gay freedom community" have the tendency to do some overgeneralized propagandas here in my place - one of the reasons that killed my will. Thanks God, we're getting over it. I believe you've been through hell, too. Going to university, social situations, and taking public transport started to become horrible experiences... I guess I know what you mean with it.

Too bad for you to break up with your girl because of this issue. But cheer up!

And thanks for the attention!

Exposure and Response Prevention

I don't know anymore about this than you do, but what I got from the doctor's comments is that for HOCD, "exposure" wouldn't be a good therapy, because it would involve cues that might lead to masturbation...which would simply reinforce the random wiring because of the neurochemicals released at orgasm.

So the better strategy is probably just what 20UK says, "live your life" and give the anxious feelings as little attention as possible. In time, they'll fade away from disuse.

This is a good lesson in trusting yourself. Keep us posted on your reboot.

*big hug*


I'll follow that, Marnia... It's what I've been doing all along, by the way.

But now I want to bring the same question I threw to 20UK:

[quote]Great part of my pain coming from believing that I won't feel pleasure with any other women because of the sexual experience with the prostitute.
So let me give an example:

I used to feel arousal and attraction for boobs. :$ Okay.
After that experience, when I touched that prostitute's boobs, I didn't felt much pleasure at all. So it seems that I just won't feel any pleasure anymore, my mind giving me the concern that I already know how it is to touch it.
The same goes with any sexual action towards women.

That's not true at all, but that's so rooted that it's turning even harder to break free from these thoughts!
Those thougts work like a barrier that kill the sexual interest in women;

And the other part is that lately I'm having not much interest on connecting with women in general. And this USED to fuel the HOCD, now they don't fuel it anymore... but still, work like a barrier that kill the emotional interest in women!

And that itself makes me pretty sad. I mean, I want to return to be social, to motivate myself to meet the oh-so-many incredible girls that are around me... and these concerns destroy my will. Even that I know how to deal with HOCD, I just don't know how to deal with these distortions :/

What can I do about it?[/quote]

Perhaps the core of these problems lie exactly on those experiences... I mean, I never had the struggle by being single since I knew what I could feel, and these thoughts NEVER come up in my mind until those shaking situations!

Thanks for the attention!


It is normal for your libido to go flat during a reboot. So try to just let the process unfold without trying to imagine how you will feel about women and breasts in the future. Your brain is plastic, and it is healing. Just let it heal. Things will change.

*big hug*


Can't say much thing except thanks... I don't remember that part being present on other HOCD people's reports. But seeing that the same process will help, too, I'm much calmer. I'll keep you all posted with the progress I'm having.

I understand exactly what

I understand exactly what you mean Leir.
I'm not pretending to be an expert or anything, but I've been dealing with this for quite a while and I'm making decent progress with it.
After a bad sexual experience (my first since my porn addiction) I didn't feel a lot of arousal with a woman as well (she was a lot older than me, like your experience) and I started thinking: "Maybe I am gay?" This was foolish, as I'm not sexually excited by men, nor do I have an intense urge to love or have sex with them, but the whole point of HOCD is to make you worry and obsess.

I developed a sort of "vagina arousal fear" if that makes sense? I was worried I didn't like Vaginas anymore because of this encounter, I remember the first time I had sex with my girlfriend, I was terrified and worried, thinking "If I don't like this, thats it, I'm gay.. Oh no!" this was brought on by HOCD and vanished very quickly with exposure to proper, loving sexual intercourse with her and looking back I can't believe I even thought crazy things like that. Porn and weird anxeity can do backflips with your brain and make you believe all sorts of rubbish. Anxiety with a porn addiction will bounce from one thing to another to keep you self medicating, one day I might have HOCD, another social anxiety, another anxiety about whether my money got put into the bank properly, etc. The only real "fix" is to first quit porn for good and second to stop worrying about it.

I think-Personally, what happened to you was similar to me, you were nervous, anxious, technically forced into it and you just weren't ready for it, so your brain registered the situation as "bad" because you were so nervous. But things do and will get better.
In the film "40 year old virgin" the main character tries numerous times to have sex throughout his life, but he's always expecting it to go wrong and it does, it isn't until he meets the films love interest-Who he can relax and be comfortable with when he's actually finally able to have sex successfully, this is no different really, if you expect things to go wrong, they will, but if you keep positive and relax, you'll be fine.

Marnia's post above is dead on, do your best to get better before you even attempt another sexual encounter, but I can guarantee, once you get on the road to recovery, meet a girl and get comfortable with her, everything will just fall into place. Promise :)

That made me think about it...

I didn't knew it was so similar with my story, 20UK.
The same fear you developed, was like mine, because of the experience...
Well, I didn't saw that movie, but I think the metaphor fits perfectly in this case.
So, well, i gotta thank you for these words... they help me tons.

And I'll keep you posted with any progress I find.


Report: 46 days left!

Let me say, I'm on the 2nd week of rebooting process! :D

Also, one of the parts that I'm better dealing is with the male touch. The reboot seems to be putting things into their rightful place, and each day that it goes, I see less and less "concernings" with the male physical contacts. And when I get into those situations-that-lead-to-thoughts, I just turn my attention to anything in my reach where I can focus. - I had pretty much problems with that at first, but as both my psychologist and that book from Norman Doidge said, "The less you think about it, less your mind feels the urge to think about it."

No PMO, and try to keep away from "get aroused-thoughts to face agains HOCD" with sexual pictures/movies. Since my routine is pretty filled up, I having less and less time for that.

So as the progress goes, I'm facing the struggle of "trying to get supernaturally aroused with the women's presence." The concern here is the effort to turn aroused - that itself needs to be stopped, after all, it's unnatural, and it's part of the HOCD habits.

I heard about the emotional healing power that some members related on that pdf article that rebooting guys explain the benefits they got between this process. In this week, I had a funny dream where I participated in an episode of Two and a Half Men, and I was being the special guest of an special episode... I met Charlie, Adam, and two girls...

One of the girls I could develop a strange connection (she had HOCD and told me her story) and in a moment of the episode, I kissed her. I remember myself to being pretty in love with her, somehow.

Little by little, dreaming with bonding with girls is becoming common to me, somehow.

Thanks, everybody!

That sounds like progress

Any kind of healing tends to have ups and downs, so it's important to take a longer term perspective and just trust the process.

Glad guys aren't freaking you out anymore. Hugs are healthy, however you get them.

17days w/ no PMO - What I can say is...

1st: The healing process from HOCD won't be from all of a sudden, but I've felt it worst before - today it doesn't take my all day thoughts like before;
2nd: I'm really tired of doubting about myself;

• Insights, Actions and Reflections:

Today I defied myself and tried to go with the Exposure & Response Prevention and I can see that's unnecessary. I feel kinda dumb for doubting myself. But let me relate it:

I went to search for gay porn pictures, and looked at it for 10 minutes. My heart raced in fear of feeling arousal, kinda tension, but still I felt no pleasure at all looking at those pictures. I took the time to think if that was I wanted to my life, and I realized that I don't. No matter which images my mind throws to my mind because of the HOCD, I just don't want to end up doing like what those guys did in those pictures. It's over - no matter what are they doing, kissing passionately or having sex, I just don't want to. I'm sure of it.

And I resisted the urge of searching for heterossexual porn to compare the physical reactions. I'm just relying on my desires instead of relying on the porn or something that "proves" that I'm a man. There's no reason to doubt at all. So I decided not to give into the fear or the doubt anymore. If by any reason I doubt myself again, I'll remember how the thing "ends" and then I'll keep calm.

• Struggles:

I had one concerning struggle yesterday, and it's related to androgynous people. In my university, some gay people maintain their androgyny, by reasons that I do not want to know - and one problem I had is the painful difficulty to recognize wheter an androgyn is male or female. It seems that my mind enters in a state of blackout and I just can't recognize it, and this triggers me a state of fear of developing attraction for them. I don't feel aroused at all, but this state just breaks me down and I can't react properly.

During the earlier periods of HOCD I had a REAL FEAR of getting near gay people and suddently become attracted to them. Some guys I know that they were gay, I tried to do my best to stay away from them until it took time for me to get used to their presence and stop getting bothered by fears... I wonder myself if that happens with the homo androgynous too...

One thing that really concerned me is that one of these androgynous looked at me with that desire in his eyes. That triggered the same "fear" that I confused with "attraction" because of the gut pressure I felt. Either way, I felt calmer because now I know the difference that is produced in my body: the main feeling I have when this state is triggered is uneasiness and fear. When the attraction was triggered by girls, I felt a good anxiety with a lightweighted sensation and also some sort of happiness;

• Progresses:

One big progress I did in this week was the natural arousal - I didn't felt it since a long long time. I was hugging my female friend and soothing her while we talked about what's going on her life - and as close as I felt her body, I felt the natural arousal coming. It was good, brought me sort of relief by feeling her, even that I don't want to kiss her or act sexually because I respect her relationship.

While I had the arousal, I started to recognize the different patterns that runs into my body - and also recognized the different patterns that runs through me when I have a physical contact with another man. There's no arousal at all, only a focused attention as a response to fear because I turn entirely conscious of what's happening, afraid that my body will accuse me of being gay at all.

And the good thing is that today I managed to break free from this thought-chain - I managed to do it today some times, not all times by the way. In this healing process I'm feeling some ups and downs, and the desire for porn disappeared. Even that I'm not getting overaroused like I would be, I decided not to fall into the masturbating thing again, until the reboot is complete.

A funny thing that happened today is that I was talking with a female colleague and while she was speaking I suddently imagined me kissing her. This kind of thought is pretty hard to be spontaneous like it was, and she's attractive (but have BF - and I respect relationships). Surely I still don't feel that urge and desire to go after a girl who makes me feel in THAT way - sadly because I just don't feel it since a long time, but I guess it'll come as the process goes.

All I know is that one of the most stressing things is working as a tool to get over the HOCD: My university projects for the end of semester. They took so much time from me (sleeping time included) that I can't afford to lose much time to fall into the HOCD doubts and checks - and when I do, soon I forget them.

• Next Steps:

I'm dealing with some posture problems, so I'm planning to visit a physiotherapist for checking the vertebral column. I'm feeling some pain in my back, so it would be a great step for my health;

Also, I can see that definitively I need a new activity in my life. So, since I always been bad at dancing, I decided to search for dance classes. It's a great way for meeting new people, returning with the social activity, getting in touch with a new and healthy habit, and develop awareness and movement to my body - so why not?

I'm feeling an urge to get back to one of the things I passionated most: writing. I love creating stories and such, so perhaps it would help me to resume some projects.

Thanks for the support everybody. It's being quite a ride to take.

That's a good report

I like that you're tuning into your body and recognizing the anxiety versus the lighthearted exhilaration.

Like any brain plasticity change, the process is not linear. There are ups and downs, and the downs are awful. But over time, you will probably notice that they are fewer and last a shorter time. You'll also know better how to let them pass, just as PornAddictTim says.

Keep us posted on your progress. And keep hugging!

Good to hear about the

Good to hear about the progress. Luckily, HOCD spikes often dissipate as quickly as they arise once you learn how to handle them. As soon as I'm able to dismiss the thought that caused the spike, my attraction to females is once again apparent and it's even easier to recognize the absurdity of the fear.

I've obsessed for years and years over this. I forced myself to analyze my thoughts. I told myself that if I dismissed them, I was just repressing my latent homosexuality. Even if it felt abnormally wrong to consider myself a homosexual, I convinced myself that I was just in self-denial.

It sounds like you have plenty of triggers where you live. I also live in a diverse part of town with a sizable gay community and it is a living hell when I'm spiking with HOCD thoughts.


[quote=PornAddictTim]Good to hear about the progress. Luckily, HOCD spikes often dissipate as quickly as they arise once you learn how to handle them. As soon as I'm able to dismiss the thought that caused the spike, my attraction to females is once again apparent and it's even easier to recognize the absurdity of the fear.

I've obsessed for years and years over this. I forced myself to analyze my thoughts. I told myself that if I dismissed them, I was just repressing my latent homosexuality. Even if it felt abnormally wrong to consider myself a homosexual, I convinced myself that I was just in self-denial.

It sounds like you have plenty of triggers where you live. I also live in a diverse part of town with a sizable gay community and it is a living hell when I'm spiking with HOCD thoughts.[/quote]

Yeah Tim, I know what you mean. After today's consultation with the Psychologist, I felt a bit afraid, because of some comparations that she did about the homossexual who reprehends himself, that he finds quite hard to do anything at all and just can't do things.

Later on, I was behind my friend and I was near him so I had a gay spike hitting me (the thought that leads to despair and the obsession of touching and checking). No matter how near I get him or touch him, I don't feel anything at all, but the spike brings pain to the mind and I just feel some problems on getting away from it.

Does anybody know any exercise to help with these spikes? This time I couldn't resist the checking of the spike (not searching for porn or by comparing with a woman's physical touch, but by getting physical with my friend and realizing that I don't feel nothing instead of the "usual reactions of the fear") - and I feel sucky. I guess that's the first drawback that brought me pain.

I'm trying to do the following exercise: http://yourbrainonporn.com/the-power-of-visualization, imagining a grey, metal sink and I turn it on, seeing the water flowing through the sink and empting the bad thoughts/sensations as the water goes on and on. I'm trying to concentrate myself, let's hope it helps.

When I get inside this condition is pretty hard to leave and to regain control. Damn anxiety.

I'm trying to use the visualization process.

Do you think that I need to apply direct Rewiring processes?
If is needed, can someone help-me/guide-me on creating an effective rewire process?

Standing strong. Thanks.

I actually ended up getting

I actually ended up getting on antidepressants which I was able to slowly taper off of. You may also need to search for another psychologist.

You have to find a way to develop an attitude of not caring whether or not you are gay so the fear has nothing to feed off of. Testing yourself provides temporary relief, but the fears will return. Just tell yourself, "I may or may not be gay, but it's not going to concern me"

Have you tried daily meditation?

People have been obsessing over things for a long time. There's a reason for some of these ancient practices. Smile

Meditation works *indirectly* - but it does work if you do it daily. It helps you stay in observer mode...so you can watch your thoughts come and go without identifying with them. That way you avoid a lot of the angst...or let it pass more quickly. It may also make it easier to get results from the rewiring exercises.

There are many techniques here: http://www.reuniting.info/node/6526

Mostly though, I think you just have to be patient. These fears are going to come up for a while. They're simply an unwanted brain loop, but one that your brain has spent a lot of energy on. Smile So it'll take a little time.

Ups and Downs

Well, since the spikes are less and less present, it enters on that situation: "Now that's not present the fear, perhaps you're liking it." It's quite present on some HOCD reports - if I didn't knew it, I would be more desperated - and I'm dealing with them. Trying to keep it cool when things get hard.

Yeah, I've been thinking about the meditation. That link you send relates to a different page... :/
I couldn't find it here about the meditation ideas and this week, couldn't stop to do the meditation daily: I've been sleeping late because of my university project who's screwing me out.

That's because I'm starting with guided meditations - I'll able to start them by saturday.

By the way, one thing that I can relate is that I'm feeling no more arousal by porn or pictures (just stumbled randomly at some of them). So I guess the process is going to the next level: some girls are starting to give me arousal, little by little.

Also, one of the things that I realized is that the fear of the touch is based on the thought that I WILL get aroused just by touch, meanwhile forgetting that sexual tension is created by will and not by mere events. So it's more related on "feeling in the mood" than "acidentally feeling it on the wrong sex." I realized it by noticing how I get aroused on the past events, not relating with porn or the OCD-experiences.

I'll report more about the progresses as it goes.


Sorry about the bad link. Sometimes I get too hasty. Smile


You actually seem to be progressing quite rapidly.

Suggestion: hug everyone you can - males, too. Doesn't matter what your body does. Just observe and then ignore it, and it'll settle down eventually. I think that's a case where exposure therapy can actually help. Plus, feelings of connection are very therapeutic.

*big juicy hug* Wink

My own personal view/theory

My own personal view/theory on all of this is that what WE identify as is what we are. Look at it this way, if you were gay/bisexual, you couldn't possibly have HOCD, you would just be gay/bisexual. Thats why the "If you think you are strait, you're strait" quote makes perfect sense, there wouldn't even be an issue if you were gay/bi, you would KNOW you were gay, there wouldn't be any doubt, or any anxiety whenever you see a person of the same sex.

Don't get me wrong, I know gay and bisexual people go through hell trying to come out and to be accepted socially, that is upsetting, but its a completely different thing entirely, there is a HUGE difference between a gay man who is anxious about what people will think of him because he's gay and a person with HOCD who has doubts over their own sexual orienation.

The bottom line is, who do love? Who do you want to take romantic walks with on the beach? Who do you imagine kissing when a romantic song comes on the radio? And most importantly of all, who do you want to spend the rest of your life with?

Just be with who you want to be with and let this silly little brain loop die out :)


Thanks, Marnia and 20UK. This realization about "If you think you are straight, then you are straight" is one of the more relieving ones when you face HOCD. If I really was gay, I would know it and never enter in this doubting process about myself, but instead this doubt started - I guess the HOCD can be used as "proof" - although lately I try not to even "prove" myself. The more I try to prove, the more I doubt myself - and so the process gets stronger.

Every time I feel the doubt, I do the following:

1) Realize the nature of the thoughts: Lately I don't believe even in the processes fired on my brain, because I got different reactions when this started, and these reactions are different from today - because the thoughts weakened a lot.

2) Focus on other subject: For example, when I'm talking with another man an this thoughts are fired (and the false movments because of the "attention" caused by thoughts), after the realization, I look at the subject of what they're talking and focus on it - then I answer ignoring the effects.

About meditation, I'm trying to do the Silk Reeling at least once a day. Tai Chi always grew to my attention, and it's like being closer to things I love.

Also, I do the "Brain Balancing", and it's being quite effective against it. "De-Switching" thrice a day has helping me to relax.

But for long-time range, I'll use a guided meditation MP3 that I used before, to relieve stress.
Tomorrow, I'll get on the 3rd week of no PMO. Actually I'm already in that state of "not getting morning wood" - and my mood is getting more instable by external events (i.e.: children screaming, discussions and other processes). I believe meditation would help even more to bring back the calmness state.

This month I'm also investing more in things that I like, and focusing on having a healthy better alimentation. The more decisions I'm able to take, and actions I'm able to do, the more I feel better and less I feel underwhelmed by the HOCD. Soon I'll start to try again my social living and relationships - especially with women. I've been feeling quite lonely and tired of these emotional problems and the excuses, like "You can't feel a deep connection with women like you had before," or "you don't feel attraction for women at all." - I don't believe in these things anymore, and I'm starting to feel desire to act regardless of these thoughts.

I'll keep you posted as this week goes on. It's being quite a great progress.


*big hug*

This Week's Reports

This week took lots of my time: it's the last week of my university's semester.
Also I was without internet for some time, which really turned things harder.

But I did a big progress by working with the Reboot. The less you turn into the thoughts, less they affect you, and the neurons that used to fire together lose their strenght - and so your body reactions does the same. I was getting used to the reactions and the process of the HOCD that being without them is quite "uncommon." But I'll get used to be "normal" again.

One of the biggest things I could work out was focusing. I guess most of the HOCD sufferers focus on the disturb, so they put their other dreams and objectives aside, and without proper treatment, like "deswitching the thoughts", ERP or other tools. Somehow, while you're obsessed with the Obsession itself, you won't get better.

That's why I believe that the Reboot worked: it makes your attention go to "how far can I go?" in this process. At least for me.
It's a challenge, and the ones who are driven to self-control and self-test may find the idea pretty exciting. I remember to get pretty happy when I reached the 1st month achievement.

So, if the focus on challenging myself about "how far can I go" with the Reboot changed my mind's direction... Why not trying to focus on other subjects and skills? They may not seem all that pleasuring or utile at the 1st time, but by focusing on learning them / improving their areas, it can help you to stop thinking about the HOCD - and let the Reboot do the effect in mind.

That's where I looked at my life and saw some points I could improve:

• Oratory - in my apresentations, I was pretty insecure and shaky. I believe that getting better in oratory will be helpful in my university works;
• Health - identifying questions about personal care where I can add healthy habits to get a better condition. Like going to the gym, take a walk, do dance classes, meditation, etc;
• Self-Respect - I started to focus on things that made me realize what else happened in my life by writing a "biography" about my life, early days, stories, struggles, sucesses,achievements, deceptions and dreams. A big overlook on what I used to like.

If I can let any advice for people with HOCD, is to FOCUS on other subjects. Try to live a normal living. It may be hard at 1st times, it was for me. But if I knew how would affect my "healing" process, I'd dive into it right when I heard it. It's hard to be patient when you have these struggles, but I know that they just won't matter anymore.

I'll keep you posted as the reboot goes on.

Sounds like

you're becoming an expert on rewiring the brain. I never thought of "rebooting" as a "new focus," but it makes perfect sense. And you're right. If you can focus on other areas you want to improve, you can make all kinds of progress.

Any exciting plans for the summer?

Some light after this cloudy period?

I'm completing one month, three weeks and one day of no PMO. It's been a long painful time since when this started.

And today - thanks to everybody's support, this challenge and the good habits, I can say that the HOCD doesn't matter anymore.
The thoughts and situations that gave me the spikes just doesn't cause me the pain anymore. In fact, their effects seemed to get even more weaker as the time passed. I remember one day being obliged to go into the back seat of my friend's car - with 5 more people. And as a result, I needed to carry a friend in my lap during all the trip.

It could be the most frightening/spiking situation if the HOCD still affected me. But it wasn't. I felt no "fake sensations" as I would feel months ago.

Meanwhile, I passed on this semester's university grade - 5 more to go.
I'm pretty amused that I never got so many 10 notes (the highest note you can get on the score. The same thing as an A+) as in this semester.

I'm just waiting to complete my trainee period to negotiate my job contract, so I can look for dancing classes. I'll need some extra money to cover the costs, so I'm not affording to start now and having to finish it one month later because I can't pay the classes.

What I'm really struggling is dealing with the emotional disorders that I feel after the breakup with my ex.
I don't think that this area is the right place for posting up about it, so... should I move this subject to another area?

Thanks again to 20UK, Marnia, Gary, PornAddictTim and RecreatingOne for all that advice and support you gave me.
A big hug to you all.

What an amazing report!

Congratulations on your academic performance, and most of all on taming your brain so you don't have to listen to bizarre signals. Wink

About the relationship pain...please start your own blog. I'm sorry that I somehow forgot to enable you. Sad It's done now. Instructions: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

What are you doing to meet new women? It seems to be the new sweetheart that triggers the calming of distress relating to the old one in some of us. Experts theorize that it has something to do with oxytocin's ability to "erase" memories.

After the Hell

If the blog would have a name, it would be that. But there isn't.
It seems that I fought a big war, and now I'm dealing with the losses of it. No soldier leaves the battle without a scratch.

I did my introductory post, in my own way.
Here it is.


I'll keep you guys posted about it.