HOCD - Need to blog my reboot

Submitted by Skywalker on
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Hi All,

This is going to be a fairly long post so bear with me.

Background -

I first starting MO'ing at around 13/14 - first it was to pictures of women in bikinis and bra's. Then at 15/16 I built up a collection of lil clips pretty straight forward vanilla stuff. I have never had sex but have had girlfriends - kissing / handjobs etc. But not full sex. Needless to say I have always had low confidence and this held me back from pursuing girls. However the porn was a place to escape so from the age of 21 I have been downloading scenes. I have been through a range of genres to pretty hardcore but always the main focus was women.

Present -

I am now 24. Since March/April this year my porn use has escalated to Tran/ Gay porn. Now the funny thing is my porn use was still 80% straight 20% other. Now theres a girl at work I have a crush on really bad get butterflies in my stomach and she seems pretty interested - but because I havent had sex before and I always had performance anxiety so I kind of shied away from any companionship ( I know recurring cycle). So in order to get better I decided to go without porn for a week. Now this is when the HOCD first arrived. As I was still watching mostly straight porn when I used to PMO to it and and tran/gay I still felt straight its weird I was fine - it was just that the tran/ gay stuff was forbidden - I felt guilty after but the rush was good. Almost like when I first discovered porn. But during this first week of reboot HOCD came on bad.

Now I have been doing my research on here and thank you to you all - so I knew that the dopamine rush was highest from Tran/gay stuff as that was the most recent thing that gave me a kick. This HOCD has me feeling like shit - I have lost close family members and felt sad but this was something else. I wont go as far as saying suicide but I felt my life was over. The HOCD had me thinking alot of things I never thought before. I always fancied girls but HOCD makes me think I have always been gay thats why I never succeeded with them.

I am now 4 weeks into a reboot and there has been progress made but the HOCD has also changed. Let me give you a description;

Week 1 -

Tran/ Gay flashbacks all the time couldn't eat, Nauseating anxiety then Dopamine rush arousal all the time. Going to work in the financial industry(male dominated) it was hell. The constant testing - My attraction to women was null at this point. Very bad times. I deleted all my porn and bookmarks. one Dream about PMO to gay fantasy. Still no PMO

Week 2 -

I felt abit better - I was getting hard-ons to women but these were "porn" hard ons not genuine hard-ons ( I know you guys will know what I mean). I read a article in the newspaper by some gay man - I spiked stopped eating again back to week one. one Dream about PMO to gay fantasy. Still no PMO

Week 3 -

Still seeing men and getting porn flashbacks - Worst time for this is at night before i go to bed. Some Improvements since no PMO I realise how much spare time I have and I have alot of spare time - Im now really bored. Its really made me look at how my life. I used to search for constant novelty - Always on facebook looking at girls / ebay looking at clothes etc. I now really like getting out the house even if its going to see friends. Some social improvements the social anxiety from before is disappearing - I used to speak really low - now theres more base in my voice I like to conversate. I have noticed this at work I feel alot more social. The only thing i want to get back to is the gym but I am still too scared I may get the anxiety then arousal. Still no PMO

Week 4 -

The porn flashbacks are disappearing. The HOCD is changing now thought which is good and bad. Its weird Its almost as if I like the HOCD because I'll bring it on myself ( sounds strange I know) . I have had some good days been they always end bad because I always test its almost as if secretly I want to have the HOCD. I am starting to get some attraction back to woman - just general fantasy like kissing and rubbing I am getting some erections. I am getting morning wood now aswell. But my general libido towards woman is so low still no desire. The HOCD is different now. Its gone from hard sex visuals in my mind now its telling I would rather want a relationship with a man than with a woman. Throughout this week it has attached itself to each one of my colleagues but I laugh it off because it will go and im fine around them. Now its attached itself to someone form my secondary school bizarre its like its clutching at straws.

I have made significant change to my home life. Done some feng shui - cleaned out my room want a new fresh start. I have bought a macbook Air and will be getting rid of the desktop which for years has been my ally in PMO. I will replace the desk with a easel for drawing and painting.

And will get back to drawing. Also want to get back into the gym I believe this will help my confidence

Week 5 (just started this week) -

I am having flashbacks of more vanilla porn and having urges to PMO again. This happens alot more when Im at home and bored. But the flip side is im outside and testing all the time. This is my main issue its the testing and 24 hour thoughts on the subject. I look at the girl from work I fancy and shes attractive but still feel nothing no libido its weird. I do now think of girls get a better erection say 45% and then a mans face will flash in my brain. Overall things are slowly getting better but the things with HOCD is the constant need to know its gone so I constantly think I will be like this for the rest of my life even though Im only 5 weeks in. I think I will need at least 5-6 months off but its that constant need for instant gratification that its now over. I have lost some weight in this past month and because of the HOCD it has prohibited me from asking this lady out - I want to but still am very scared things will go wrong and it will lead to a big spike and knock me back. So for now Im just taking everyday as it comes and trying to deal with the boredom. and Still no PMO - I am adamant on no PMO at all - have been tempted to just watch porn to see if i get attracted to women but I think it will hinder progress.

I had alot to get off my chest -

Tks All


OCD is tough

It's an insatiable need to test...with a brain that finds it impossible to accept any amount of evidence.

And withdrawal from porn addiction can make it all worse for a while.

Very tough combination.

Recently we read an article by a therapist that he helps his clients by teaching them to be okay with "not knowing." That alleviates the need to test and the real problem...which is an intense need for certainty.

Did you check out all the materials over here? I'm straight, but attracted to transexual or gay porn. What's up?

Hi Marnia,

Hi Marnia,

Within the last week there has been significant improvement, way less anxiety arousal I can watch tv go on public transport and feel nothing. I check a lot less - I have even talked to a girl I fancy at work.... (seems promising) the hocd doesn't attach itself to one person and it seems manageable at times. But going through the porn reboot my libido is at a all time low. I see women and test and can get a more natural erection with no porn scene activity unlike before but can't visualise or feel like doing anything with them (dead libido). It's that constant need for certainty that gets me because the hocd is saying yeah you must like men. Had a wet dream the first in like 9 - 10 yrs to oral sex with a female. My feelings for the girl at work are stronger than ever and go in contrast with the hocd. Very confusing

Actually, you're doing really well

The confusing thoughts are going to pop up from time to time for a long time. They're just old brain loops that get triggered for random reasons. They don't "mean" anything. I bet most straight people have had a homosexual dream experience, for example, and just shrug and say, "Hmmm. Weird." It's only when you have OCD that you struggle and struggle to make sense of these anomalies. Somehow the anxiety activates a need for certainty.

You short circuit the whole phenomenon when you can say, "OK, I'm willing to live with uncertainty for now...rather than try to analyze the situation." It's a good habit to get into about a lot of things in life, actually. Wink

Marnia Marnia, what have I

Marnia Marnia, what have I done. I have relapsed twice in the past week binging on both occasions to straight P. I noticed that the first day I relapsed any straight P would do it for me but the second time i had to find more specific videos and almost leading back to going to the other genres though I didnt. The O was wonderful because of the abstinance for two weeks but now the HOCD has come back with a vengeance its terrible. Its almost as bad as it was in the beginning, less erections though but more questions being asked do you fancy him? do you want to go on a date with him?

Funny thing is though in contrast to the beginning days I can get arousal to women again and natural arousal however the dopamine factor with them isnt as high as with men. I have blown 2 months and for what to go back to the lowest feeling again. Its weird..... I see men in passing and get the images some times and the arousal but when up close I feel nothing. theres people on this office HOCD has told me I fancied but it goes now and I can laugh it off. I went to a club on sat despite the low feeling and was attracted to the girls which was a temporary pick-up. BUT its the fear that the attraction(false maybe I dont know so confused) to men and that the only way to overcome this is by saying yeah im gay and being with a man. But i tried saying Im gay and it didnt help things at all, plus I still am attracted to women.

Its very hard to focus on anything to be honest, plus being at work with the girl i fancy things arent going too well there, im half scared to pursue it because shes interested but i doubt myself. This is the worst times of my life. Im almost a week now without PMO but the urges to MO are strong and random arousal comes and goes.

Dude, RELAX!

I know exactly what you're going through with the HOCD. It sucks A LOT!

I did 37 days no PMO, and then O'd with my girlfriend 5 days ago. The day I O'd, I went out with my buddies and felt nothing. It was like a miracle! Even the girl sitting next to me was attractive, even though I have a girlfriend, but I can still admit it. The two days after was HELL HELL HELL. Only now am I coming to grips with things. That I may be straight, and things are really alright Smile . These things are up and down in recovery. Hang tough.

The good news: I don't think you go back to how bad it was before when you relapse. Five weeks is amazing progress. Also, you are probably worse off than me. I don't know if I was so awfully addicted to porn as many of you on here. It was really bad, but I've heard worse. Also, you're younger, so it may be harder because you are more familiar with internet porn than me - I'm 27. I've also had low confidence with women, even before internet porn. And now, I feel like I can get with any hot babe, regardless of looks. But, I have my girlfriend and I'm not going to.

YOU WILL BE FINE! Hang tough, know you have a long road to recovery, but that you are strong enough to do this! I believe in you. Power of man to triumph and conquer all the beautiful princesses that need it! Blum 3


Just PMO'd again, the urge was too strong. Im probably at my lowest right now... Cant speak to anyone and generally feel disappointed with myself. I done 2 months easy but cannot go a week.... HOCD as bad as ever. Just feel like going to bed but so much things to do.

First, forgive yourself

It's okay to learn things the hard way. I've learned some of my best lessons that way. Smile

It's hard to stop a binge. Try blocking porn on your computer. Try the Cold water technique. Try the RED X. And expect things to be really tough for a while. Withdrawal makes any anxiety intense, and OCD is severe anxiety.

Keep posting. Stop the bleeding. You'll be okay. You did great, and you'll do great again.

*big hug*

hey hey

No progress - I have MO'd and then PMO'd once since last spoke. Weird my first 2 months went fine but now I can really see the addiction to porn. HOCD is fully blown ..... dopamine rush to men but no way near as strong before (also only feel this way after PMO) ..... It just attaches itself to certain people.

Weirder than that i think of romantic situations with women and get turned on but sexually nothing. I think its the lack of libido that is really getting to me never had this issue before plus HOCD making you think about every single detail of life. The PMO to vanilla stuff is still doesnt pack a punch.... I guess hence why the dopamine rush has come back and the HOCD.

Just hard knowing you have to bare the stress for some months and PMO seems the way of validating/ easing the comfort.

Determined to attack it head first again.

The Path

I know what you're saying. I'm on day 50, with only one orgasm with my girlfriend, and I felt fine the first day. Felt like a king. For three days after, I felt like a drag queen. It was awful and horrifying. I do feel more attraction now to my girl at times, but I can see myself being with guys. But when I imagine the smell of a guy and the smell of a girl, I know exactly what turns me on. But I can't keep testing myself. Point is, that orgasm kills HOCD recovery. I think the best thing is to stay away, and hope that as you recover you're not really gay. That's what I'm doing. And at times, I feel better, but never secure yet. Hopefully, another 50 days and things will resolve nicely with the HOCD.

Day 3

Doing significantly better than expected - Intrusive thoughts still coming way less dopamine rush.

However need to talk to a psych over the testing i can't stop. Difference nw being I'm passing the tests getting temporary relief then back to endless questions. Hocd has attached itself to someone else but no way near as bad as before. I almost can't believe the changes but I still expect a bad day. The never ending questions are what's causing the most pain. The dead libido but slight dopamine rush is a killer. Constantly scared I'll lose my attraction to women. I can get erections to woman alot easier than before but the doubt the 100% need for confirmation is a terrible

Just as you say...

the 100% need for confirmation is terrible

That IS the challenge here...to live with uncertainty and to stop testing.

Have you tried the Schwartz technique? http://yourbrainonporn.com/schwartz-technique-for-rewiring-compulsions

Ultimately, your problem is an overused brain pathway that is sending you false messages...telling you testing is VERY IMPORTANT. In fact, it's not. Because you will need months before you will know anything with certainty anyway.

Good idea getting counseling. Just be careful if your psychologist suggests exposure therapy...as that isn't such a good idea in the case of sexual stimuli. The brain gets aroused...instead of habituated.

2 weeks in again

This feels tougher than it did before, i have a strong urge to O. Getting feelings for girls but the dopamine isn't as good. Started back at the gym - trying to get in shape but hard as loads of men are there so fear of arousal is strong, so far it's been fine. I never noticed how much I relied on PMO for day to day life. Extremely bored and eating more haha which is good as its helping me put on weight. But I have noticed my social anxiety come back since the relapse I just hope over the next 6 months things get better

Are you managing to

avoid testing? That's the OCD pheonomenon...a craving for certainty, which turns up fear (symptoms of which are like arousal)..and relieves the blah, bored feelings.

Two weeks is excellent. Good luck!


I've noticed I now look at the twitter of girls and it's almost my new porn I need to stop it. That's the hardest thing and some porn fantasy, i see girls get aroused then a mans body will pop up almost as if the brain needs it for the extra rush. The testing is prob the hardest thing to give up and it's only been present for 3-4 months so I thought it would be easier. I have 2 weeks holiday and am so bored these are the times I'd usually be PMOing

Guess you need

a list of things you will do instead when you are bored. Preferably things that don't involve a computer or iPhone. It'll take some getting used to, and at first you'll feel restless. But your brain will adapt. Try reading a book you've always wanted to read, or doing a hobby with your hands, or playing music.  Disconnect from the Internet. Porn/twitter/FB are Internet addictions. They train your brain to constant novelty, and eventually, it never feels satisfied. Hence the search for those extral thrills.


Haha I always thought the same but knew of the restlessness it would cause. This is a new step in life - will see how it goes and will update you

Progress I guess

I have been spending less time on the internet been bored as hell. Been weird though had some urges don't know whether its me missing the PMO or the O. So strange HOCD as bad as before no erections still some groinal response and just extreme anxiety. I think whats mostly getting to me is the feeling of no hope I just feel like things wont get any better especially with the absolutely dead libido and still the highest surge of dopamine from the gay stuff. I just feel like if i quit the porn before I escalated things would of been so much better......

Ive made positive changes eating healthier trying the gym and thats nerve wracking. Just generally feel so depressed like whats the point.. hopefully it passes. I know Im only coming up to one month with no PMO but the fear that things wont get better is fuelling the HOCD and plus being so bored thats the only thing on my mind. Only people I can speak to are on here and its limited. Just a reallly low day and not even due to the HOCD just due to feeling nothing will get better

Sorry things are so grim

for the moment. Definitely give it two months before you give up. That seems to be a big turn-around point for many brains. For ED and HOCD, it's almost like you have to starve your brain of sexual stimulation until it does give up. Finally it starts looking around for other sexual stimuli than the ones it taught itself...and begins the process of rewiring to them.

Meanwhile, I don't know if any of the self-massage techniques would help. If it's too soon, they can cause binging. But there are some good ideas on this page: RebootTaking TOO.LONG

1 month 5 days no PMO MO

Hmmm things haven't got that much better well they kind of have and haven't. I don't think sexual things anymore thats a plus and if they do come up I can quickly shoo them away. Almost had a wetdream last night about me PMOing I woke myself up before the O. But its almost served as a chaser and now Im fighting to stay away from watching P. I even wanted to look up pics but I know what it would lead to so I won't. Beating this P Addiction is very very hard. Harder than I thought it would be.

Good job resisting

Some guys definitely see a bit of a chaser after a wetdream. For more: WET DREAMS

The good news is that the enhanced cravings seem to pass pretty quickly.

Honestly, the worst is behind you. Keep chugging.

*big hug*

Terrible morning

I was reading a self help book that triggered me to look at gay porn. The dopamine rush soon came back but I didn't M or O. Feel really hopeless as that stuff is still has the same excitement factor. I just don't want to leave the house as the HOCD will flare up because of this.

Which in turn has had me look into these gay come out stories I cannot relate to any but none the less this isn't helping. I'll wait till I see my therapist in December to discuss some of these issues.

1 month and 6 days gone down the drain to a straight photo. -_- I can't see things getting any better at all


This HOCD syndrome is becoming so common with highspeed porn (easy escalation) around. But therapists have a lot to learn about it.

I may be wrong, but I think the error in their training comes from the fact that with classic OCD there aren't usually sexually aroused feelings in the mix. So the standard "exposure therapy" where you expose yourself to the anxiety-producing stimulus gradually produces habituation and gradually eases the problem.

The problem with exposure therapy and porn of a particular type is that your brain has also wired the stimulus to sexual excitement. And you won't necessarily habituate to that...because our brains are set to find intense sexual stimuli extremely arousing.

For example,

Lalumière and Quinsey (1998 ) reported significant conditioned genital arousal in heterosexual men to a picture of a moderately attractive, partially nude woman that was paired with a video depicting highly arousing sexual interaction. A control group that received access to the picture alone (without the video) showed habituation [instead].

In other words, Playboy was passing entertainment; hardcore video is brain training. For some users, this brain training leads to addiction-related changes that erode willpower and destine a person to keep repeating a behaviornot because he likes it or because it arises from his fundamental sexual inclinationsbut because his brain has hyper-sensitized pathways for such "valuable" rewards.

So, I'm guessing that exposure therapy is all wrong for guys trying to unravel HOCD. They end up strengthening the related brain loops when they are exposed to it...because they get erections instead of habituating. Smile

Be gentle with yourself...but consistent. No testing, no exposure. Just give your brain time away from those stimuli.

*big hug*

Back on the horse

Every relapse the initial withdrawal period is terrible. Was thinking of going to my gp for some SSRI's but I don't know if it's a gd idea. Have a consultation with a porn addiction therapist who follows your work over here in London (Robert Hudson & associates). Just gonna power through the next 3-4 weeks knowing the relapse has made the hocd worse.

It's a tough challenge

but somehow knowing that the relapse brought on a temporary period of extreme symptoms should actually be comforting. In other words, you do have some control. You just have to exercise it.

Let us know if the SSRI's help. Some reduce libido, which people who are hooked can find soothing.

Hope you feel better soon. If you like that therapist, let me know and I'll add him to the resources page on YBOP.

At work

Going through hell HOCD is almost as bad as the first bout and the only thing my body wants to shove off the angst is the porn. I never really believed in the addiction until now. Feel like I need a new dose all the time - looked at some photos earlier today. Can't concentrate on anything. Dr appointment not available till next week so no SSRI'S which is prob gd as I may of used dem as a crutch.

HOCD is so tough

It gets worse when you first stop porn. As horrible as this is, there's a good reason for it. Withdrawal increases anxiety for all addicts.

This means the HOCD guys get a double hit of anxiety...increasing the urge to self medicate with whatever they can get their hands on (porn being the easiest dopamine drip available today).

Have you checked with Uncle Bob?


What about the suggestions here?

I relapsed or am in danger of relapse. (EMERGENCY MEASURES)

Exercise is often a godsend for guys in withdrawal, as it helps regulate mood. So does meditation. Many suggestions for increasing brain balance here: ♦Solo Tools

Don't just sit and try to resist. Substitute a constructive activity.

You can do it.

*big hug*

Thanks Marnia

Been quite bad but after some excersise I felt better yesterday. I feel like a fiend today - was on my IPhone and searching but stopped myself. It's really weird it's like I know better but as you said need something to stop the anxiety and that is the p. Trying to stay positive even though I don't feel it. Tomorrow home alone will be a test.

Waiting on the therapy with Rob we shall see how this goes .......


Marnia I feel like I am hogging all your time - but I feel like this is the only place I can come when the killer cravings are here. I am officially in "porn-fiend" mode looking for my next fix. Looking at pics but not MO but feeling such a strong urge to. I have stopped and jumped on here - I don't know why the withdrawal is so bad this time. Im going to a party later so thats a plus I wont be stuck in the house doing nothing.

Its as if the porn is food and I need it to survive - Its really scary but I find it funny at the same time I have the shakes and know I should eat but my appetite isn't fully there. My main problem is not looking at the pics. I can almost do without the MO even though the urge is strong but I need some type of visuals.

In the meantime I'll read some more articles on here

I hear you

I think the HOCD guys probably suffer worse than anyone...because the withdrawal cravings hit them extra hard (because anxiety is part of their "rewarding buzz" and withdrawal increases anxiety).

Usually people find it best to get away from the entire subject of HOCD during a reboot. So no checking, no reading articles, etc. However, I'm going to send you a draft of an HOCD article we're working on...because it explains the wisdom of the "stop checking, stop porn, stop angsting" approach.

Meanwhile, what about trying some other techniques for preventing relapse:

I relapsed or am in danger of relapse. (EMERGENCY MEASURES)


Cold water technique

Have you tried any of these?


1st week had the most intense cravings this is week 2. Im on Day 16 - HOCD is now a living hell. Had a gay scene flashback with one of my co-workers appearing in it (Not me involved) the dopamine rush was lower than before but still substantial. Made even more weird by the fact I got a erection looking at a woman today with no porn scene etc like how it was when I was younger.

But the same time the checking isn't going - Its funny though when I see good-looking men I get the same anxiety and thats it. The feeling of no hope and being stuck like this is the worst. Its almost as if Im doomed to this forever. Had a meeting with the therapist was good to actually speak to someone about this and hopefully can find someone reasons to why I used the porn etc because the hardest thing right now is looking at my loneliness anti-socialness and general depressed/sad outlook on life without porn being the 'anti-depressant'. I just think I would be in such a happier place without the HOCD.

Works just a way of passing time - I don't concentrate constant thing on my mind, a real crisis. I know its only 2 weeks since the relapse but I honestly think Im turning gay.

It is hell

I hear it a lot.

However, declaring yourself gay won't do much to relieve the anxiety. You'll quickly be "testing" again...the other way.

Do you think you need some meds temporarily? The worst of it should pass before long, but it takes time to wire the brain, and those spikes slow you down.

*big hug*


Yes it is

I was speaking to the therapist who believes its just a way of the porn addiction acting out as it has no release. He thinks its due to anxiety which I do have since stopping the porn - like you he suggested not worrying about orientation at this stage (but its integral to my whole being). Ive had some fatigue as well. I have been doing a lot more reading recently which is the only positive at the moment.

I have read/ reading;

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free from Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior [Paperback]
No More MR Nice Guy [Hardcover]
Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction [Paperback]

A lot of the stuff about the self-loathing and more personal issues I can relate to which is a good sign. But its more going through this agonising wait to see what will happen. Funny again today I saw girl and got the old tingles back was a good feeling. Trying to start on a simple CBT method of looking at people and saying this is someones husband/wife/son/daughter etc. Going to start CBT soon and some group therapy will see how it goes.

My HOCD disappeared a few days ago

It was just dissipating for a couple of days, and now it's been pretty much absent. Sometimes, it comes back for a glimpse or two, but I've been so much happier about this recently. I believe it's curable now. It may come back in the future, but I'm just very happy for these past few days in this regard.

hey hey

Hi All,

Just had a wetdream whilst napping on my 39th day - I have prolonged it as I believe it could of happened earlier on on day 32 or 35. Feels weird the dream was to watching porn but no vivid images. HOCD still here less than before just hope it doesn't flare up again after this. Other than that nothing much to report. I'll try not to read into the dream too much.