HOCD- Homosexual Obsessive Compulsion Disorder
I came to this site and YBOP about a year ago searching for answers. PMO had been a daily ritual for many years, 13 years I would say. I, like may of you in this forum, had become de-sensitized to the normal genres of porn. Looking for novel or shocking material became the norm really without me knowing it on a conscious level. I never had a great sex life with women in real life, I suffered from mild ED, went to Urologists for answers, got the little blue pills, etc. Confidence in the bedroom was a problem. I would always try to conjure an image in my head of a porn scene to get off while having real sex. Then came the HOCD problem.
The difference in my story is that I never really ventured into the gay/transexual world of porn but I will say that my sexual tastes had changed, I was needing stranger and more shocking thoughts to have an orgasm. The HOCD kicked in on while I was on vacation. While I was masturbating, the usual thoughts were not working and then a weird, semi gay thought popped in my head and ended up having this weak orgasm. I am not sure if the shock of it all was the culprit but I can tell you that it scared the hell out me. It was never anything that I had thought of for any sexual satisfaction, and I was 33 at the time.
I spent the whole rest of the vacation analyzing all of my reactions to people, men and women. I obsessed what my groinal sensations felt like and checked and checked, and checked. I obsessed over whether I had turned gay and the fact that my experiences with women had been mixed at best fueled the HOCD more. This obsession lasted for a for a good two months until I would seek professional help.
To back track a little bit, I found YBOP a months after through all my google searches related to HOCD, and sites dealing with "how to you know if you are straight or gay." The material on YBOP made sense to me and was very relatable. Many of the people in the forums claimed that their HOCD had been cured through no PMO. I tried it of course. BTW- I was and still am in a relationship so during this time, I would have sex but no PMO. What I learned is that my ED did go away. Sex was no longer a formation of mental images in my mind but a shared act with the person in front of me. The HOCD did not go away for me however. The questioning was as bad as ever.
This is where I want to talk about my treatment because it has to do with traditional HOCD vs porn related HOCD. I will leave you to make your own judgements based on my individual accounts. I found a therapist, who is an expert on OCD, as a matter of fact a few of his articles are mentioned on YBOP. He ventured into response prevention and exposure therapy with me. For those of you who do not know, this therapy involves exposing a patient to things they are afraid of in a gradual order, starting with things that make you a little afraid to ending with things that really scare you. The idea being, if you want to think about something less, think about it more. Resisting negative thoughts causes them to loop back into you consciousness. By agreeing with the thoughts, and exposing yourself to them, you become de-sensitized to them. It is equivalent to seeing a scary movie for the first time. At first you are shocked, but if you see it 10 more times, it will not be that scary any more. We started by making a list of things that would bother me and ranked them on a scale of one to ten, ten being the scariest. We started with reading coming out stories, reading material that might be considered gay, listening to recording that suggested that I might be gay. As the therapy went on, I had to agree with the thought that I could be gay. It was an extremely scary proposition. In the end, the material escalated to my number 10, but by the time I reached that level, I was better prepared. BTW- my number 10 was watching gay porn, for the fear I might feel something. I was never to allowed however to"check" my reactions. I had to just "be" with the shocking material, allow my self to be anxious until I realized that nothing was becoming of it. The more I did my homework, the less the material affected me. In the end, I could say "yeah, I might be gay, but who cares." You see in the end, it is the questioning and the need to find a definite answer that drove me mad. Am I really gay? I don' t think so but I do not obsess over it any more. I do not check anymore. I still get intrusive thoughts from time to time, but I agree with them and it quickly shifts my focus. It no longer affects me the way it did, even though questions may randomly pop in my head. The questions do subside alot as time goes on.
All in all, I do agree that quitting the porn is key before starting any therapy of this kind. Porn got me into this mess but the therapy got me out of it. I do not know if this therapy will work if you are a user who has traveled into the world of gay porn or transexual porn. I would say to quit first and see where you stand with HOCD after a few months. What I also learned from my therapist is that there are many gay people who watch straight porn and think they might be straight, so this problem can go both ways. I will say that my journey is individual but this therapy was life changing for me. If you do find help, go to an OCD specialist who has dealt with this, not a general counselor. Be forthcoming, if they know what they are doing, they will not judge your orientation, yet help you to stop obsessing over the questions. I hope some can relate to my story and help you get back on track with life. Thanks.