My struggle with HOCD, where I am...and where I'm going

Submitted by Debug on
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Hello all,

First time posting on this site... I feel I may fall into a slightly different category of most people who fear they are turning gay. I have been officially diagnosed with ocd and a sub theme appears to be sexual orientation ocd (also known as ocd). I was only recently diagnosed with ocd after severe anxiety for the last 10 months and am now getting treatment...however I have been plagued with what I believe was ocd my entire life. My strongest other ocd themes are disaster and illness ocd. I convinced myself countless times throughout my life I had contracted some form of cancer and would feel anxiety as a result of this fear. I remember over-attending to how I physically felt to such an extent that I began to experience chest pain. I was sitting in class one day and couldn't breath... I felt panic and told my teacher...I went to the family doctor who reassured me there was nothing wrong with me...that I didn't have lung cancer...that I was okay. Life went on...more fears would come and go... I would begin researching about my fears...trying to find an answer...something to assure me nothing was going to go wrong.

All of my life I was convinced I was a normal straight male. Only had crushes on girls and only ever experienced arousal from women...I discovered porn at the age of 16 and began heavy masturbation shortly after I watched it. Initially I tried to control it by only watching porn a few times a week but by the end of that year I was watching porn every day and sometimes orgasming up to three times in one day. I would estimate I would masturbate on average nine times a week and I believe I was easily aroused at that time by straight and lesbian porn...of course my OCD makes me doubt that now... but I'm still only aroused by straight and lesbian porn today.

Life continued on, I continued to masturbate only to straight and lesbian porn and eventually began to escalate into threesomes, machines, different ethnicities and so on...nothing ever too beyond that. Later on I had a friend come out to me as gay and was put in a trying situation in which I was the only one that knew. He felt strongly about me and I didn't return those feelings for him but was left in a situation where I was the only one he could turn to. I remained his friend and tried to help him as his only support... I experienced a lot of anxiety over this but over time things got better. He told a friend of his that he was gay and she then proceeded to tell him that I was gay too just in denial. At the time I just shrugged it off and was somewhat offended...she didn't even know me and was making value judgments...I feel at that point my ocd about this issue began... why would someone just think I am gay? Do I look gay? Do I act gay? What if I am gay? How do I know I'm not gay? I quickly dismissed the fears at that time...but over the following year the fears began to build.

I was asked time and time again if I was gay...or at least bi... but nope, I didn't think I was gay or bi...I had no attraction to men...and I knew it. But a voice in the back of my head began to push me and prod me...telling me there must be something more. My breaking point came one day when I was watching a tv show with my girlfriend...out of no where a thought entered my mind, "That guy is a good looking guy." Why had I thought that...was I attracted to him? Was I becoming gay? Panic rushed over my body and only after awhile did I manage to shake it. I found comfort after re-assuring myself I was straight... I had gotten a boner countless times with my girlfriend earlier... no way I was gay. The ocd began to escalate over the next few months...more fears, more discomfort...but I knew deep down I was straight... I discovered HOCD and felt massive relief. I gained control of my fears at that time and the anxiety began to go still existed, I would still occasionally spike but I felt control over my life again.

Slowly but surely the ocd began to creep back into my life. I had sex for the first time and it didn't feel amazing. I was turned on and wanted sex...but the actual sex itself didn't feel amazing. I had trouble climaxing... I never did climax the first few times. I felt numbness in my penis and I sometimes would lose my erection. I continued to masturbate to porn during all this time...always to straight and lesbian...always enjoyed it. Over the years I had gotten into having multiple windows open at once...always browsing while watching... finding the perfect amazing clip to climax to... I knew so many porn stars, I knew so many sites, I had watched so many videos. Masturbation had evolved into far longer took longer to climax then before and I began to feel less physical pleasure from masturbation. My penis felt numb... but I couldn't figure out why.

My ocd came back severely and my life was been plagued by doubts since. I check gay porn to see if I am aroused but have yet to be aroused to it...a few groinal responses but when I look down I'm limp and lifeless as ever. I find the old porn I used to watch still arousing but not to the same degree as it used to be... I don't get fully erect as easily and I feel somewhat desensitized to it. These fears all feed my ocd...tell me that its evidence I'm turning gay. I feel hyper-sexualized to everything male...seeing men fills me with terror and anxiety... I feel like everyone is watching me talking to me about how I'm gay...or how every women thinks I'm gay.

I've began to cut back porn use but still use it for reassurance... and that brings me to why I'm here. Does this sound like the beginning of porn induced erectile dysfunction? Is that the path I've been walking for the last six years and have over the last year began to get hit harder and harder by it? I've read about rebooting and how it can help but does it seem like it would help me? I feel like most people who undergo reboots are porn addicts and feel like they have to watch porn... I feel like my libido is completely shot and all sensitivity lost... but I don't seem to have "cravings" or "withdrawals" since I've been cutting back... but I still randomly watch porn and masturbate...but it rarely feels as good anymore. It feels like I have no real libido at all anymore.

I guess my question is...does this sound like a combination of non gay porn induced hocd and porn induced erectile dysfunction? I remember having a genuine libido a year ago... I would always think of girls...and well...the thoughts made me happy. I enjoyed watching porn probably too much and I was definitely turned on being close with women (something I have never been with men...and I've been in close situations with men and just felt empty). It all feels so distant now... I really miss feeling like me. I think I'll start a reboot... my girlfriend starts her period soon and we won't be having sex for like two weeks. My ocd keeps telling me that this is all a cover up... it makes me doubt everything...but I think a reboot is in order from here... I feel plagued with fear that deep down I am gay...but I think a reboot is my next course of action.

Your story

certainly matches the other stories we hear here. Heavy porn use, escalation, decreasing responsiveness, increasing anxiety. Definitely worth trying a reboot. Have you seen these links?

You're really lucky to have a girlfriend. The fact that you don't feel much during sex can certainly be due to a numbing of your brain's responsiveness to pleasure and arousal. Fortunately that's reversible.

Would your girlfriend be interested in trying an different approach to sex for a bit? Something less goal-oriented that puts the emphasis on affection? That would let you benefit from contact with each other, while allowing your brain to recalibrate as rapidly as possible. See

You might find these threads of interest too:

Start your own blog if you like.