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sexual OCD?


helpmeplz
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I have continued to look through many internet sources about my “symptoms”, and I came across “H-OCD” which is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder in which the affected person will obsessively worry that he/she is gay.

I believe I have developed this recently, due to the fact that these worries can on certain days consume huge amounts of my time (for example I have only eaten one meal today due to dealing with these thoughts). Most of my thoughts are fuelled by my fear that I find men attractive physically. My thoughts are often initiated if I see a physically fit man, having participated in bodybuilding for a relatively long time, categorizing a man as fit is quite easily done by me. Recognizing a man as being well built sends me into a panic mode where I being to wonder if I am attracted to them, although I have never had a physical sexual response to any man. This has instilled a phobia of doing anything where I might encounter well built men, I cannot watch sports anymore (which is a big deal for me because I used to be a huge fan of football and basketball), and I have gotten panic attacks in the gym where I often have to stop working out mid set and leave, because my heart rate would sky rocket and id be physically unable to continue all due to my fear I might be attracted to someone. Large chunks of my time are often spent visualizing men over and over just to make sure I don’t get any sexual response from it.

I have never gotten an erection from looking at a man, and I have never had a ``crush” on any males, in fact the idea of homosexual sex repulses me (please do not be offended, I respect the right of homosexuals to desire what they want). This combined with the fact that I have had erections from the way girls look and when I have sexual contact with them (I have not had sex, but I’ve done...Other stuff) makes it seem like my fears are totally irrational even to me. However, the root cause for all this has been my struggle with unwanted fantasies that stem from my sexual abuse as a child.

These fantasies used to mirror my sexual abuse, and because my abuse was perpetrated by a male, I would often be abused in my fantasies by a male. The fantasies would not be fixated whatsoever on the male`s physical attributes, unlike when I would fantasize about women where I will, for example, fantasize about their breasts or something. Instead most of these fantasies would focus on the abuse that was happening to me. The person doing the abuse would sometimes be completely faceless and would barely be thought of at all during the fantasy, and sometimes he would assume the identity of something that would be especially humiliating to me like a really old guy or a family member. I try to dismiss these fantasies as being driven by the humiliation and not by anything about the male, however the fact still remains that these fantasies involve other men and that they elicit a sexual response from me no matter how unwanted it is, and this acts to legitimize all my worries that I am a closeted homosexual and causes me to continue my obsessions.

I guess my question is it normal, or possible for someone to have such fantasies and still be heterosexual? Or does the presence of men in such fantasies mean that I am a homosexual?

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i belive i did a lousy job explaining my fantasies so heres a better explanation that i copied and pasted from my first thread in the new mebers section.

I am turning 18 in a few months and lately I have had bouts of serious depression and anxiety based around my sexuality, namely unwanted recurrent fantasies. They have become gradually worse and turned into near suicidal tendencies. I was sexually abused as a child from when I was around 4 till I was 15 by my father. My mother during this time would also insist that I was girlish (whether it was because she always wanted a daughter or because she truly thought I looked like a girl), going as far as cross dressing me and taking pictures of me. I hated and rejected these actions and would always insist on them treating me like a boy. This was combined with the fact that I was newly immigrated foreigner in North American schools where my accent along with my shyness caused me to be the subject of much ridicule and be the target of many “fag” jokes. I continued to reject and loathe these labels getting into fights and often hurting my opponents to “prove” my masculinity.

When I was a kid (quite young, maybe 5 or 6) I began sexualizing mental images of me in extremely masochistic situations. Many, but not all, of these situations would involve me as a woman in very terrible circumstance, such as being raped, often times by my father, in ways similar to how he used to sexually abuse me (although whenever he did actually abuse me I would not respond sexually at all instead I would recoil.). I began to masturbate to these situations when I was still a toddler by rubbing up against surfaces. As the fantasies got progressively more extreme (such as fantasizing about my death) I also attempted to act out, injuring myself a few times. I would feel humiliation after giving in to such fantasies in the exact same manner I would after being sexually abused, I believe this stopped me from harming myself further.

Outside this I continued my life as a “normal” boy, not through compulsion due to my shame but because I truly did not feel different, I had no desire to participate in girlish activities or express myself as a female, as such I made friends with boys in my school and did typical boyish things and was contented in doing them.

My problem got more convoluted when I began getting older and began developing attraction to girls in school. My sexuality began to almost “split” at this point and I would fantasize about having sex with girls more and more often. The other “side” of my sexuality, where I fantasized of being a girl getting raped did not go away, but it would come up less often (whether through active repression or naturally I still don’t know/remember). When it did appear, however, the fantasies would become uncontrollable and intrusive often becoming fixated on situations that were as humiliating as possible in my mind. These “lapses”, often triggered by dreams of being a woman, would effectively destroy self esteem due to the amount of humiliation and shame I would experience.

The insecurities began to materialize in other parts of my thinking, I developed an obsession with my body and began to work out furiously (I was a skinny kid) in order to remove any part of my body that appeared feminine. This self doubt still persists to some degree today, even though I am extremely well built, I continue to worry obsessively that some part of me might loo feminine.

A further complication arose when I was sexually molested by a stranger during a vacation in India. After this my masochistic fantasies began to change in their nature, instead of being forced into these situations I would instead accept and even enjoy things like mutilation, bondage, and abduction in my fantasy. Subsequently, I began at certain points to doubt my sexual orientation and became paranoid that I was “gay” or that I deserved or “wanted” the sexual abuse I had experienced. Although none of these fantasies were fuelled by or fixated by any physical characteristics of a male (I have never been attracted to male in my life), the fact remained that I was being abused by a male and he was enjoying it. This caused me intense periods of homophobia and anxiety as well as destroying my trust with most males.

I have long since stopped my father from doing anything to me, but , the fantasies still persist. I have acknowledged that they are part of my sexuality although I continue to repress them, because I wish they weren’t part of my sexuality, simply due to the humiliation I feel after indulging in it. My heterosexuality and the attraction I feel towards other girls is the only part of my sexuality I am comfortable with and that I desire. However even as I try to focus on that part of my sexuality and rejoice in how “right” it feels, these fantasies will recur, often times when I am sleeping and can’t control my dreams. The shame and confusion I feel when this happens has caused me to feel incredibly depressed, I have begun looking to the internet for information and came across “autogynephilia” which I believe fits my symptoms more than anything else, however I’m not sure if I have this syndrome or if I am just an extreme masochist. I must know, is there a “cure” that would allow me to cancel out everything except for the physical and emotional attraction I feel to other females? Or at least something that would reduce the instances these fantasies come up, or reduce the effect they have on my self esteem? I have come across many instances of autogynephilies getting gender reassigned, the thought of this makes me extremely depressed and causes me much paranoia about seeing a therapist, because I truly believe I cannot live as a woman, nor do I have any desire to.

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Guest GingerSnap

I had a couple thoughts I wanted to share. 1. Pressuring your girlfriend to have sex is not the way to go, a lot of guys do this but you will find it all works out better, I think, if it is a mutually free decision. I am afraid that you might be anxious in order to prove something to yourself, I'm old-fashioned but I believe that sex should be between people that love one another in order to appreciate it fully. 2. I haven't experienced what you have as a child but when you talk about being at the gym and seeing the other guys, is it more sort of envy in a way. I have always looked at women and thought, to have that body, hair, just to be that hot and sometimes I admire the bodies, etc. of the males but without sexual desire too, sort of just appreciating the beauty of the human physique? Maybe I am wrong but I have been with friends doing this admiring too without sexual thoughts. These are just my simple thoughts as I read your post. Hoping you'll find someone who is deeper than I am.

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I think for me the most interesting part about OCD is that the thoughts/ compulsions that manifest are often a result of anxiety the person who is suffering is trying to deny. I find it telling that you constantly fantasize about men in attempt to tell yourself that you aren't attracted to men. Seems like you are spending so much time trying to convince yourself that you aren't gay that you are now worried that you may just be. While I am no therapist, I think that one of the steps in behavioral therapy is for the person to actually confront their fears. Instead of hiding from all of the things that only recently have begun to make you uncomfortable you need to face them perhaps and remind yourself that you are more than these obsessive thoughts in your head. Talk to men, watch sports, hey maybe even go to a gay club. Precisely because you are sure that you aren't gay, doing these things will help reaffirm for you that indeed the compulsive thoughts are just that..compulsive thoughts. Also, there are definitely worse things that you could be than gay. Exploring your sexuality and not letting society tell you what you are supposed to act like, want or desire in order to be a man can be liberating. As long as you aren't harming anyone else you should feel free to really figure out what your sexual mind is telling you about your sexual self. The more you retreat into a shell the more this disease will eat at you until are you are is the disease. You have been so strong to overcome the terrible things that your father put you through, don't let fear turn you into something or someone you don't want to be now.

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I think for me the most interesting part about OCD is that the thoughts/ compulsions that manifest are often a result of anxiety the person who is suffering is trying to deny. I find it telling that you constantly fantasize about men in attempt to tell yourself that you aren't attracted to men. Seems like you are spending so much time trying to convince yourself that you aren't gay that you are now worried that you may just be. While I am no therapist, I think that one of the steps in behavioral therapy is for the person to actually confront their fears. Instead of hiding from all of the things that only recently have begun to make you uncomfortable you need to face them perhaps and remind yourself that you are more than these obsessive thoughts in your head. Talk to men, watch sports, hey maybe even go to a gay club. Precisely because you are sure that you aren't gay, doing these things will help reaffirm for you that indeed the compulsive thoughts are just that..compulsive thoughts. Also, there are definitely worse things that you could be than gay. Exploring your sexuality and not letting society tell you what you are supposed to act like, want or desire in order to be a man can be liberating. As long as you aren't harming anyone else you should feel free to really figure out what your sexual mind is telling you about your sexual self. The more you retreat into a shell the more this disease will eat at you until are you are is the disease. You have been so strong to overcome the terrible things that your father put you through, don't let fear turn you into something or someone you don't want to be now.

I appreciate the comment, although from the tone of your response I think you are indicating that I might be so apprehensive of being gay due to what it would mean for me socially. While I would be lieing if I said the thought never crossed my mind, the driving force behind my fear is not society or what it dictates I should be. Instead it is based mostly on the disgust I feel when I think of a man sexually, whether this is because of my past sexual abuse by men or the fact that im simply not gay im not sure, but im willing to wager its a combination of both. This is probably why, while i can see why it might help, I will never go through with something like going to a gay club, because i really dont want to.

The main Issue I face now is that after a long time of having the notion of me being gay and the notion of me being straight battle it out in my head (I belive the proper term is cognitive dissonance). I often hinge my rationale too eclusivley on a singular aspect, for example currently im convinced I am straight because of the fact that i have never had a physical sexual reaction (an erection) to a man ever. The problem I face with this kind of thinking, is that i begin to wonder how catastrophic it would be to my entire thought process if i did get an erection to a man now, and therefore i become phobic of almost any event where i percieve this might happen.

As for exploring my sexual fantasies just so long they dont harm anyone else, do I count as someone who shouldnt be harmed? I assume you are talking about my masochistic fantasies when you said this, at this point there is no doubt that they do in fact cause me to react sexually but why I dont want to explore them is precisely because of how the affect me mentally. Reliving what my father did to me in constantly more horrible ways, while getting that exact same feeling of humiliation and embarassment I tried so hard to avoid for a huge part of my life is bad enough. Being helpless to stop a sexual response to those things, that causes me pain I find hard to describe. The mere thought that they exist as fantasies not hated memories as they should be, is enough to cause self loathing and depression, this is probably why I have hated them for pretty much as long as I have had them.

Im not trying to be melodramatic and im sure that many here have experienced or been through worse, this is just the biggest hurdle i have yet to attempt to get over, I belive I am getting closer, and this kind of discussion truly helps me to be introspective while being rational. Thank you very much, I hope I didnt come off as being too hostile to your comment.

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But just the hostility you feel towards the idea that you might be homosexual, strongly suggests to me that you aren't. My suggestion would be to put your definition of your sexuality on hold for a while, and address the abuse that you suffered, and the aftermath of that on your life.

That has to be dealt with anyway, and I would bet that you would obtain some clarity on the sexuality issue after the abuse has been addressed. Would you consider seeking therapy to help you deal with the abuse you suffered?

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Yes I will definately seek therapy the only problem is that i will be moving in about two weeks to university which is in another city. I think it would be ideal for me to seek therpy there because i dont think two weeks is enough time.

Until then its just going to be my thoughts and you guys i guess :rolleyes:.

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Mmm, but what part of these very large questions were you planning to decide in the next couple of weeks? You're implying that there's a significant interference in your everyday life. Is that just the worry, that keeps intruding? Or is there some active change you're thinking of making soon?

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Mmm, but what part of these very large questions were you planning to decide in the next couple of weeks? You're implying that there's a significant interference in your everyday life. Is that just the worry, that keeps intruding? Or is there some active change you're thinking of making soon?

Its changing that worries me, im quite successful acedemically and have decent success socially even with my impediments. However there is a darker side of me that is very compulsive, unfortunatley this side of me is also that has the propensity to self harm. I have learned to keep it under control for the most part but im scared that i might one day become THAT person who is controlled by his compulsion and wastes away his life, to me i see that as me losing and my father winning and thats the last thing i want happening.

As for intrusive thoughts and worries, the gay fear is probably the worst one right now. I used to be able to do the things I love like sports and working out without the slightest thought of sexuality, having these thoughts invade where I used to be able to go to escape is tiresome to say the least.

As for the two weeks, i guess you are right its too short of a timespan for me to do anything significant, i highly doubt i will be able to absolutley stop thinking about it though, but i guess i should try. Thank you for the comment.

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