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Old 02-22-2011
 

Hi all,

I have been looking online at some forums and help pages and think this may be my problem, but need some clarification really...

Well, I will get to my story now…I have been having these thoughts since I was about 18 years old (I am 24 now!) that I might be gay. When I was younger and at school, I always had crushes on girls and I have been in a few relationships with girls too. I am even in a relationship with a girl now and I have been for the past 4 years.

These thoughts originated back when I was with my previous girlfriend. I was with her about a year at the time and then the thoughts started I cant remember what caused them, they were very overwhelming and to the stage where I couldn’t handle it anymore! I managed to tell my girlfriend at the time and she was very understandable and slowly over time I managed to control things a bit better.

Its like a constant battle in my head, one side saying “am I gay” or “yes I am gay” and the other saying “no, I wouldn’t let myself be gay” and I don’t like the thought of it!

Me and this girlfriend split up and I had a few one night stands up until my next relationship, these were with girls also.

I then met my new girlfriend and things were still calm but every now and again these thoughts creep back into my head. Sometimes they grip hold of me tight enough that I feel extremely down. I sometimes sit or lay down in a certain way and then think to myself, “that position seems a bit gay” so I move or change how I am led/sat.

I avoid watching some programs/films on TV just incase there is something that triggers my thoughts off again and I spiral into sadness.

I know that it is also something to do with anxiety and sometimes if I see someone on TV my heart starts to beat and I start to think again and that causes another spike.

I have loads of male friends and I don’t find any of them attractive whatsoever. I do notice that some guys are obviously more attractive than others, but I don’t feel attracted to them myself. I even know a few gay guys and I don’t feel attracted to these either.

But, as soon as I see something or hear something relating to it, I always tend to start thinking “am I gay?!” again and then I either spiral out of control or I manage to ignore it the best I can.

If I masturbate, its always over heterosexual porn or lesbian porn. I have tried looking at gay porn to test myself but it made me feel anxious and uncomfortable.

Even when I am writing this, my mind is telling itself that I am being untruthful and that I am gay, but something inside of me just doesn’t believe it, very deep down!

Can anyone help? Am I suffering from HOCD or am I in denial?! I just want to be happy again, with no worry.

Sorry for the essay!

Thanks.
BarryC is offline  
Old 02-22-2011
AsTimeBurns's Avatar
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Sounds more like the HOCD thing to me.

Of course there's only 1 way to find out for sure. Try it. If you enjoy it, maybe you are. If not, you're not.

I used to wonder if I was gay, but after trying it I'm pretty sure I'm not, because I just didn't enjoy it at all. You'll probably always have a few doubts popping into your head every now and again, but not as much as before you try.
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Old 02-24-2011
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Hi,
I suffer from HOCD, well at least i think i do!! See thats what it does...it makes you question who you are. If i were to be gay i wouldnt care...the difficult part is having doubts. I have never thought to myself 'oh id love to be in bed with her' or 'i fancy her'. Those feelinga have always came from men.
But HOCD can be so powerful that it takes over our thinking. I know (i think i know) i am straight and have been and always will be. I have never been in a serious relationship and find it difficult to be close and intimite with people due to social anxiety. That doesnt help my situation!!!

But i think with us it is HOCD. I think when your gay, your gay, no ifs or buts about it... Im trying to just forget about the obsession i have but its difficult. Even sometimes i believe people think im gay - dunno why as my friends have always known me to be with men...
It can be fustrating. Throughtout all the different theripies i have recieved i have never brought this topic up. I think next time i start though i will have to or ill never get over it.

Your not alone with the HOCD !!
How bad is it for you?? Does it cause you much anxiety? I know with me its not even that bad its just annoying at this stage. Also when im watching a programme i will get anxious is a storyline of gay people comes on because i feel people think i gay or if mates are talking about realationships or gay people i too get anxious. This is related to anxiety (social & specific) and HOCD, and i feel people think i have something to hide - even when i dont!!

I have never talked to someone with the same problems, so please keep posting..
Take Care...Hottie....
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Old 02-24-2011
 

Hi Hottie,

Well, the thing is for me, when I was young at school I always like girls and had a few crushes on them.

I got into my mid-teenage years and never had any relationships or anything and I was really shy, I would talk to girls and things, but if it went further than that, I got shy and didnt do anything.

I then met up with a girl a few times and I really liked her and I asked her out, but she told me that she was actually starting to see someone else, this bothered me a little at the time, but obviously I got over it within a week.

Then, I went to a party and a girl I liked was there and we started talking and getting closer and we eventually kissed and then developed a relationship. I was in a relationship with her for about a year (for which I never had any problems and used to find myself getting an erection just cuddling her) when I started to have these thoughts and they were awful. I used to cry myself to sleep, I would feel like killing myself or doing some kind of self harm just to numb the pain for a little while, I wanted to sleep and never wake up.

I managed to build up the strength to finally tell my girlfriend at the time as I felt I could trust her enough. I remember saying to her "I keep getting this feeling that I am gay, everything I do, I think is that gay and its like an arguement in my head". She, at first took it badly and thought I didnt want to be with her, but I managed to calm her down and we worked through it. I was with her another 8 months or so nutil she finally left me for someone else.

When she did leave me, I got petrified and some of the thoughts started coming back to me, I managed to control them to a degree but would get spikes every now and again.

I had one or two one night stands with girls in the mean time and these pushed back my gay thoughts for a little while.

I then met my girlfriend (who I am currently with now) and after one or two times meeting up, we were in bed and I was erect for ages at the thought of having sex (I am not sure if thats because I hadnt had it in a while, probs the OCD talking there!). Even though I was with her, for the majority of the time I was fine, but still occassionally get spikes, which most of the time I managed to shrug off until I saw something on TV or seen a good looking guy etc...

To bring you up to date now, I have been with her for 4 years and I have a baby boy due in April. I was at work on Monday when one of the girls at work said her mate was on a date with her boyfriend, when he turned around and said to her "Im gay and I have been seeing your brother". This obviously kicked my thoughts back in and I went spiralling out of control since then really!

PS, my girlfriend has a gay brother and I have never been fussed about it really, at first, it made my thoughts come back but I managed to control them.

I think it all kicked off when I was watching a gameshow one night and there was a model on there, they did different tests to see what made her heartbeat raise etc. They showed her a picture of something like David Beckham with his top off and her heart beat raised, then all of a sudden I felt mine do the same and then the questions came, this was minor and I shrugged it off, but then as I got older, I kept going back to that thought and it got harder each time. Now, everytime I see a good looking guy it does it.

I dont want to be gay, I cant actually explain why, its not really about the social issues or anything, but something in my head just keeps fighting it, I have tried accepting it but I just cant for some reason!

I hope you can relate and sorry for such a long story, its actually nice having someone to talk too! (I have been talking to 'Stuckinpanic' on the chat too, who has been really helpful!).
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Old 02-24-2011
 

Hi Barry! I think it's probably HOCD too..

Explanation for raised heartbeat could also be your own nervousness about the topic, or 'transfer' of feelings from one person to another - in this case maybe from this girl on TV to you (?) Kinda like when you read a book or see a movie scene that is really sad/funny, and other people cry/laugh and you start crying/laughing too...

At most you are right now bi-curious (because you haven't experienced it yet).
You like women so you can't be 'just gay'. People who are 'just gay' have usually been attracted only to men/women from the beginning, not to both...

Also, sexuality can sometimes be 'fluid' - some people can be attracted to both male and female, or to different people at different times in their life...

Do you think being 'gay' is bad? Were you raised religious? Would your parents/friends/family disapprove? Maybe you could try to find out their opinion when talking about other people or articles or TV shows etc?

I think while some people may be born gay, some can influence who they choose to be attracted to, and who they choose to have relationship with...

Congratulations for the baby boy! At times like this it can be a bit stressful and a new role, new insecurity may be in front of you... Maybe dealing with any fears or stresses could reduce the OCD too? And also check your nutrition, stay away from coffee or sodas, sweets and alcohol and such... make sure to not be hungry.. maybe track your food/mood/action journals... (to see any patterns...)

Some people on other forums found it easier to accept themselves by saying to themselves 'Yeah, I'm gay' and telling themselves how 'yeah I'd like to xyz (David Beckham)' - and then they shudder and say to themselves 'No way'. Not sure if that works on everyone, might wanna try it. It's actually a form of therapy sort of.

There are articles & experts on HOCD online, might wanna read some things on that..
Feathers is offline  
Old 02-24-2011
 

Thank you for your help, I will post how I get on and continue speak to you

If it doesnt get any better I will be giving the GP a call!
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Old 02-25-2011
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Hi,
Congratulations on the baby. A lot of hard work and stress but it will all be worth it!

The vibe im getting from reading your post is that, events make you think these things. Something would have triggered a thought and because you didnt like the thought, your bodily responce reacted. You have conditioned yourself to react now in this way.
It is the same as myself. I expect now when a conversation is brought up to get anxious or when a good looking girl comes on the television to also get anxious. My anxiety is both social and specific. The specific phobia is the fear of blushing. What happens me in HOCD moments (as i call them!) is that when these conversations or images come up i get anxious because of HOCD and because i fear, that if i blush and go red then people will think im gay.

Mine kicked off in college (i believe). I was already sitting in the class extremely anxious but with various topics i would have full blown anxiety attacks. One of the topics this happened to happen with, was gender and sexuality. Once it happened a couple of times. i would then anticipate it happening again with the same topic. Eventully now, because a always anticipated it, i get anxious everytime its mentioned.

It is so difficult i fully understand why? I think to myself 'am i in denial?', but i then reassure myself im not. Like i said before, if i was gay, so what im gay... But where im at now feels like im in limbo. I dont like limbo. I want to know!
I also dont know how i will ever fully know. Is this the way im going to be forever? Will i ever know what i truely feel? How can i not know which sex im into (even though im into men and i know that)? All these questions and i dont want anything to do with them.

Why wouldnt you want be gay? I wouldnt have a problem with it if i was ('if i was', being the main words). I think, if you come to realise that people who are gay arnt known to be 'just gay', they have a personailty too. Maybe if you learn to accept that being gay isnt a bad thing things may ease slightly. I think because you dont want to be gay, you fear now you might be. Fears are irrational but they are highly stressful...

The thought of being intimate with the same sex kinda discusts me though. But im soo confused with all this bulls**t, i need a definitve answer. And no one else will know, only me, so how do i find out?
I really dont know why its so difficult to fully understand. I dont know of any treatment available for it. I will look into it and get back to you.

Dunno if any of that made much sence but i just started rambeling on!!!
If you want you can PM me and we can try work through it together, if not just keep posting...
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Old 03-14-2011
 

Hey Hottie,

Sorry it has been a while, but I would like to bring you up to date on my story so far...

Since we last spoke, I have been to the doctors and I have seen a therapist who has referred me on to a CBT course.

But my issue at the minute is I saw a girl mate of mine not so long ago and I was just relaxing with her at her house and we were watching tv and for some reason I had an an urge of wanting to have sex with her and then when I left her house, I gave her a cuddle and I started to get an erection.

My mind is playing all kinds of games on me now really trying hard to convince me that I am gay, but if I was gay, how could I get these thoughts about having sex with my girl mate?

Even with my girlfriends that I have had in the past and my present girlfriend, when I first met my last girlfriend, I was able to get an erection by just cuddling and kissing and I found sex with her really enjoyable. With my present girlfriend, our sex life has kind of gone off the rails at the minute due to the baby but when I first met her, I was once again gettnig erections easily.

Surely, if I was gay, I would get erections like that would I?

I am so confused, I find myself now constantly checking pictures of women and men on the internet to try and see who I am attracted to the most. For a strange reason my feeling towards women seems completely numb at the minute, its scary!

I do not want to be gay and I just want to live a happy life as I was before all of this came along, argh!

I have a major headache and a massive loss of appetite, I struggle to break out in a smile on a bad day and I just want to go to sleep and not wake up. Sometmies I have good days and I feel amazing, I am able to brush the thoughts off when they enter my head and not read into it.

Just for the record aswell, I play football on a regular basis and I am always getting changed with about 12-14 men in a changing rooms and I have never got an erection or thought to myself "I wouldnt mind bending you over!". This all again just adds to my confusion and more questions keep coming!

Sorry for my rant though, hope you are well!
BarryC is offline  
Old 03-14-2011
 

Hey Hottie, you might wanna do some research into 'bisexual' people... If you're feeling 'inbetween' or 'undecided' it might help... I mean, why would you have to know or decide only between 'gay' or 'straight'? Look at the singer Mika or Freddie Mercury etc (?) (Okay, maybe not the best examples, but there are quite some people out there, and it's not such a big deal these days, imo... Some are faithful and in 'straight' relationships too..)

It may be difficult to be 'bi', especially in certain environments... (like small town etc, which are usually unfriendly to anything 'out of the norm'...) Or even in bigger cities, among gay people (some gay people may have prejudice or fear against bi people, probably because they can't easily 'label' them either) On the other hand, some people find 'bi' girls 'hot' (and some guys may even fantasize about it, and might pressure you even in things you don't want because it's their fantasy! Some things may also be better in fantasy than RL). So guess you just need to find a guy who's okay with both options, but doesn't push it... (?) (On some dating sites people even say what kind of woman they are looking for and some say 'straight' or 'bi'...) If you're uncomfortable with the idea, it's probably just HOCD though...
Some people also call themselves 'pansexual' and don't limit themselves at all..

Hey Barry, good to hear about the update.. Good to hear you're going to a therapist and getting CBT, can you tell a bit more about that? Is it an H/OCD spe******t or just someone 'general'? Are you just dealing with HOCD or with other things too?

I think right now it's probably still a stressful time with the baby and all.. Has the baby arrived yet? Many couples report loss of a love/sex life after that...
Some guys 'go astray' too... and get a lover/mistress... or even split up and find a new gf.. But I hope you're better than that!!

With your girl mate, I think it's maybe your body telling you that you'd like more gentleness/sex in your life, and as you're not getting it with your gf, it's looking for it elsewhere...
You might wanna talk about your sex life (or lack of it) with your girlfriend, maybe even if you can't have 'sex' right now, you can do other things? But you need to be diplomatic and bring it up so that she feels flattered and sexy and not 'bothered' with it...
After the birth of the baby some guys also feel 'excluded'... While women can miss the guy a lot.. and wish him to be a part of their life too...
If you know a good couple who have had a baby already, maybe they can give you some tips.. Or you might find help from reading blogs of pregnant women or newbie dads..

I don't recommend you look at attractive women online!! IT's GOOD you're not attracted to them! There is something called faithfullness and fidelity... being loyal to your girlfriend/wife, even if she's going through some weird changes (and so is her body).
Do you still find any parts of her body/charisma/personality sexy? Then tell her so!
Pregnant women can be irrational (it's hormonal) and can sometimes feel terrible and unattractive etc so you being supportive can help!
I do think some pregnant women are very beautiful, even despite (or because of) all the changes..
If she has kinda 'abandoned herself' when it comes to looks etc maybe you can ask her out for a date and that might help her find incentive to 'dress up' a bit?

What you write about shows that you get attracted to women you know (and not some random strangers!!) and that is GOOD!!
Now if you wanna maintain the relationship with your gf, I think it's better to not spend so much time with your girl mate, and rather be in company of many or at least a few people instead of just with her.. Have you been more comfortable with your mate emotionally or is it a 'visual' thing? (Or a combination of both?)

Even married people do get attracted to other people, but usually it's good if they act rationally and stay faithful to their partner (some don't, hence the high divorce rate - but do you want to start your baby's life like that?)

The baby is gonna need both dad and mum, and maybe you can spend the time reading baby manuals or thinking of fun things to do with baby once a bit older? (= distract yourself with other things..)

Even if you turn up gay or bi after the baby's born, or when they're older, love and affection and care is more important! There are quite some movies/articles online about guys whose dads turned gay or into a woman later on in life etc. Some people only found out and/or told their wife/partner and kids when they were much older...
Do you think there's a specific reason why you'd need to know these things now? (Or could it be maybe just a form of avoiding other things too...?)

Of course from a 'male' perspective it would be 'easier' to hang out and be with a non-pregnant woman (the biological perspective might say, you wanna 'spread your genes') Personally I think it's good to be faithful (unless you both agreed to an 'open relationship', but those can be tricky and rarely work...) The pregnant woman/new mom is gonna need your help, and it's better for the baby to have both parents too.. Logistically and financially, things are easier... (What if the new girl got pregnant too, or if the gf would find out, you'd risk losing the gf.. Could you afford paying child support for both these women etc? & have enough time to split with 'both families'?) So, some common sense can help...

Take care & keep us updated!
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Old 03-14-2011
 

Hi Feathers,

With my (what I think/hope is) HOCD, I went to the GP first as I was severely distressed and then he booked me in to see a general counsellor, who advised me to sign up to a CBT course which lasts for about 6 weeks or so.

Me and my girlfriend rarely have sex and we are in a normal relationship so we havent been sleeping around etc, I just found myself to be getting aroused easily by my girl mate, which obviously triggers my HOCD questions of "how can I be gay if I get aroused like this by a girl?"

Things are just so confusing for me at the minute and I do have a lot of stress with my work, taking exams, a baby and trying to find a place for my family to live. However, I have had these feelings since I was around 18 on and off (I never had anything before that).

When I masturbate, it is always over straight/lesbian/single girl porn and I would always get aroused unless I was thinking too much and my anxiety kicked in.

I have had several sexual partners (all of which are girls) and I have never had any problems with any of them unless I have been drinking. I have had sex with my girlfriend during the pregnancy but over the last month when my thoughts have been really bad, I have struggled to get intimate and this only triggers my spikes more.

You mentioned how I get attracted to people I know, well, when I look at girls at the minute I just feel numb because (or what I think) of the anxiety, I always look at both girls and men and ask myself "am I attracted to them" and I just dont know, its like I have forgotten what attraction is!

The thing that I dont get is, why would I get aroused by my girl mate if I was actually gay?

I just cant get the thought out of my head, I have tried accepting the fact I am gay but for some reason, god only knows why, I just cannot...

I finally managed to build up the courage to speak to my parents about it the other day and my dad told me that he had a fear of dying from cancer, it troubled him and still continues to do so now, and his mum (my nan) also suffered from thoughts that she was going to die.

I remember as a kid I used to have a fear that I couldnt breathe, I would make myself yawn as this would always give me a satisfactory breath. I had another thing where I would always put my hand on my heart to see if the beat changed, weird I know!

This Gay thing really is getting the best of me though, I know gay guys, I went to school with some and I really respect them for who they are and I have no problem with them, the only problem I have is the arguements within my head, its constant!
BarryC is offline  
Old 03-14-2011
eso
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i've never heard of this but what you're describing sounds an awful lot like the intrusive thoughts of OCD, which i suffered from for years. Mine has subsided quite a bit though. OC thoughts force you to think of things you really are adverse to, so I'm thinking you're 100% straight. If you're not turned on by guys then you're not gay. I don't even think you're bi. That's just my amateur thoughts of it.
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Old 03-14-2011
 

Hi Eso,

Thanks for your reply, its nice to have people who understand how I feel. When I do one of my silly checks, either in my thoughts or on the internet, sometimes looking at guys I get a groinal sensation, but I have been told this can be caused by your mind, once again trying to trick you.

No matter what guy I look at, whether it be David Beckham or Vin Diesel, I have never once thought I would like to bend him over or have sex with them etc... but my silly thoughts keep telling me that because I recognise they are good looking blokes, I am gay.

Ah its so confusing, my head actually feels like exploding, I just want to be how I was when I was 17...happy and leading a "normal" life.
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Old 03-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryC View Post
the only problem I have is the arguements within my head, its constant!
This sums up how i feel in one sentance... The conflicts going on in my mind. I know that from my SA i am enclined to obsess about things. Suicide is one thing i obsess about a lot but i can live with that now. But HOCD is completely different and brings its own completely different questions and worries.

Im glad to hear your begining therapy. hopefully it will help you through things.

I am trying not to feed the anxiety. Im am trying to reassure myself that these are just thoughts and not who i am. Because your thoughts are just thoughts...

I havnt been in a serious relationship. I want to be in one - with a man but the social anxiety is stopping me from being able to have this as i not only find it difficult to relax and have a normal conversation, i also find it difficult to be intimate and close to someone.

I do fancy men and want to be with a man but these thoughts are bothering me. Not being in a serious relationship doesnt bother me but having these thought do...

@ Feathers, i wouldnt be bothered if i were to be bi or gay. I have nothing against people who are. But i feel deep down im not, im straight.

There is nothing within my enviroment that would shun being gay or bi, so that would not be an issue for me. I would never say im bi or gay (about your idea fof the online dating) because im not.... well i dont think i am.

I have always been into men, even since i was little and why would i now get these feelings? I dont know but what i do know is im into men....HOCD just makes me question myself. I would be uncomfortable being with a woman, not in the SA way but just in general sexual way. Im not into that. I have no urge to be with a woman and i never had, nor do i want to.
Hottie is offline  
Old 03-15-2011
 

Hey Hottie,

I know how you feel when you say you cant be intimate with someone. I feel the same towards my girlfriend. I constantly reassure myself that I am straight and I only want to be with women, but as soon as I do, my mind questions it.

I have always like women and I have never had any problems (unless drunk!) with women in a sexual sense. I mean, when I met my current girlfriend now, we used to meet in the evening and if we got close, I never had a problem getting erections and we even broke up for a period of about 6 months, during this time I met another girl and I had no problem at all getting an erection there either, this is what makes me think, how can I be gay if I can get an erection so easily around girls?

I can recognise that a guy is good looking but the thought of having sex with them doesnt cross my mind at all until the HOCD kicks in and I start to test my responses (usually in the groinal region). I tried to imagine passionately kissing a guy last night and I nearly threw up in the shower, but obviously my mind just tells me that I got this response because I was looking for it.

I hope this CBT can help me, I just feel so down and out at the minute and I want to cry all the time, but for some reason I cant. I am struggling at work and in my social life and I also struggle to maintain my relationship with my girlfriend.
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Old 03-15-2011
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When you say you cant be intimate with your girlriend...is that coz of the social anxiety or HOCD?

I constantly reassure myself im straight too...as deep down thats what i know im. I dont try to imagine myself with other women as i really dont want to. Plus i feel that it feeds the anxiety.

I try to brush the thoughts of too by this reassuring myself

I dont know about when you get erections, coz im not a man!! But if you were to be gay i doubt you would have erections with women if you wernt attrated to them....unless your horney..that may cause it..!!

When im watching tv with friends and even family, i will get anxious a good looking women comes on. It happens because the HOCD and because of erethrophobia. I asked someone bfore elsewhere ablout it and they told me it was basically a fear of being gay. So in my opinion, because we do not fear gay or bi people/homophobia all we can fear is out thoughts, which then becomes HOCD and we obsess with out thoughts.

Im sorry you feel down about it...it is quite distressing i know. Try to think of the positive aspects in your life...likr the new baby...
Think now that you have been to the doctor about it and your starting CBT. You have started taking action about it so hopefully soon this will all be over and you can return to your "normal happy life".

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Old 03-15-2011
 

Hey Hottie,

Unfortunately, not having a good day today, I was watching a film with my girlfriend when all of a sudden one of the scenes in it involved two guys getting it on and my heart began to race, I felt a groinal sensation too and I got really scared and it made me feel awful :(

What do you think this means? I am just too confused now, I dont understand why it happened, obviously its now making me think I am gay because I had the feeling in my penis and my heart started to race!

I do not want to be gay...I cant explain to you why, its not the social problem or anything, its just me, I just do not feel that way inclined deep down...argh helppp! :(
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Old 03-15-2011
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Hey,

I found this elsewhere and thought it held a great deal of info... This is the site i got it from: OCD Forums - Powered by vBulletin. It is quite long but i think who ever wrote it has explained things well. There is some good info in it......



Let me tell you how I got through my H-OCD, and I will give you a few essential strategies that helped me. First, I was not actually diagnosed with OCD when I went through H-OCD for 6 months at age 11 (right after I moved) or for 6 months again at age 22 (right before/after I moved again). I luckily have a father who is a pastor and counselor, and he has always been a wonderful voice of advice in my life. His guidance helped shape/form me in crucial ways.

Now for the specifics with my H-OCD:

1) First, I will point out that recent studies have shown that brainscans of people with OCD show that the part of our brains that is responsible for processing behavioral variations or inconsistencies (or something to that effect) does not quite function right. I think that speaks volumes about the fact that human sexuality is a messy business. Our minds can and do produce numerous renegade thoughts, and with OCD we see any deviations from what we see as the norm as being intolerable. But the fact is, YOU WILL HAVE DEVIANT THOUGHTS. Even the Kinsey reports conducted all those years ago demonstrated that heterosexual people can respond sexually to all sorts of strange things, and it is because sexuality is just really like that.

2) RECOGNIZE THAT THE THOUGHTS ARE EGO-DYSTONIC. The reason you do not feel "like yourself" is because the thoughts/feelings that result from this whole debacle you are going through are not OF YOU. They are described as intrusive, persistent thoughts precisely because that is exactly what they are. They do not originate from your sexual identity, nor are they characteristic of it. Ego-syntonic thoughts are ones (at least as I understand it) that seem to be more in line with who you are, how you experience everyday life, etc. I have found that with my R-OCD that it is difficult to identify and distinguish R-OCD thinking from that which is normal precisely because they are so similar, but they fallacious all the same! So recognize that the thoughts are not OF you, nor are they characteristic of your sexual identity. I had one thought that tormented me regularly, and only when I realized that its presence did not cancel out my heterosexual identity did I realize that it was insignificant in the long run.

3) ABOUT THE FEELINGS/GROINAL RESPONSE. There is a very real body/mind connection, and it is documented throughout the annals of modern psychology. The very notion, for instance, that a person can actually make themselves sick (psychosomatic illness) is based on this. David Burns' self-help psychology book "Feeling Good" puts it simply: "You feel the way you think." 'Tis true! And furthermore, in OCD research there is the very real phenomenon of thought/action fusion in which ones thoughts assume the same significance as actions, and in the case of sexuality, thoughts can produce the same feelings as actions can because of this phenomenon. So yes, you will feel strange things in your groinal reason, and to some extent you will feel them precisely because you fear that you will. But a feeling is distinctly different from volition (which I will talk about next).

4) Volitionally, people who are gay/lesbian are driven toward partners of the same-sex. When I say driven, I mean they could easily write what you did about your boyfriend when you were 18, and characterize it with all sorts of pathos and erotic sentiment. "I could do that too," you might say. But think about this: Have your homosexual inklings ever prompted you to action? And I do not mean experimentally, as many people on this board have reported attempting things to see whether they are gay or not. I do not think you need to look at gay porn, pursue a homosexual relationship, etc. to determine whether you are gay or not. What I mean is, IF YOU WERE TO UTTERLY ABANDON ALL WORRIES ABOUT YOUR SEXUALITY, SETTING THEM ASIDE INDEFINITELY, WOULD YOU EVER (NATURALLY) ACTUALLY PURSUE A HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP? Based on what you have said, and what most people on here say, I would wager that you would not.

Let me phrase this another way for you. Let's say someone were to utterly erase your mind of the past two years. Let us suppose you never worried about your sexuality before. I would wager that the notion that you could be gay would be foreign to you, and it is because you are not gay.

5) You may think that confusion about your sexuality is what onset two years ago, but the reality is that being gay is the surface content and OCD is the root. The reason OCD shape-shifts from concerns about sexuality to relationships to who-knows-what is because THOSE SURFACE CONCERNS ARE NOT THE ACTUAL PROBLEM. I always say it is like having an allergic reaction and getting hives. If you think hives are the problem and you use a topical cream to treat them, the allergic reaction will remain untreated. But if you treat the allergic reaction with some awful, drowsy medication like Benedryl, the hives will go away. That is how it is with OCD to an extent.

6) And I would like to point out that prolonged anxiety of likes that accompanies OCD is able to utterly obliterate the libido or mask authentic, true feelings (again, which gets at the phenomenon of you not feeling like yourself). Your true self still exists behind the anxiety! THE TRICK IS TO STEP OUT OF THE ANXIETY, NOT TO SOLVE THE SEEMING SEXUAL DILEMMA. Here is how I do it: I recognize the onset of anxiety, of thoughts that cause me to "spike," and instead of refuting them or bracing myself for a battle, I let the discomfort be there without addressing it, and I do so with the rationale in mind that it is OCD, and not an actual concern about sexuality (or whatever else you happen to be worrying about). That is, it is OCD and therefore not characteristic of normal thinking - it is literally "disordered thinking" because it does not correspond with reality as your true self knows it (and again, this is why it feels alien). And again, this goes back to the ego-dystonic thoughts. So I allow the discomfort to remain, and I go about my life. I live. I choose to do other things, to play, to run amuck, to read, to write, to go to work, and gradually the urge to ruminate and resist the thoughts will lessen, but it is STRONG at first. You have to make a practice of it. Also, I have found that meds (I am on Paxil) are helpful for lessening the lifespan of an obsession and also make it easier to resist rumination.

7) Your overall mood affects you more than you can know, so really heed this one. I have found that a healthy and supple diet, mixed with rigorous exercise, and 7-8 hours of sleep a night produce the sorts of moods that help resist OCD. Depression is co-morbid with OCD often times, and I have found that diet, exercise, and sleep all help keep me out of that depressive danger-zone wherein I am likely to ruminate. During sleep, your mind replenishes its neurotransmitters (although in the morning your serotonin levels are actually low from what I understand, and this is also true when you are in love!), and during exercise your body produces feel-good endorphins. So this is a very basic, ESSENTIAL way to combat OCD. You treat the body and the mind.

8) Lastly, I learned to think about my H-OCD this way: I could really be 3% gay, or even 37% gay and still be heterosexual, really. I did not NEED to explore homosexual relationships simply because I was afraid of being gay, and neither do you. You can always CHOOSE to be in a heterosexual relationship, and it will always be true to you because you are largely heterosexual (and your past is evidence of this that you should absolutely bank-on). If you were 3% or 37% Republic and the remaining percentage you were a Democrat, you would probably ACT as a Democrat. Therefore, why worry about any negligible portions of yourself that would not even bother to act in a manner befitting a Republican? Recognize that with OCD, you have a tendency to thinking in all-or-nothing terms. Truth be told, we are messy creatures, and we both love our significant others and want to throw rocks at them when they annoy us, and it is really pretty normal!

Finally, with all of this in mind, if you actually WERE only negligibly gay, why worry about it? Why give it any real time? You are only tempted to do so because your OCD-mind wants certainty, and you will NEVER be able to reach inside and retrieve irrefutable evidence that you are gay or straight because those are human constructs anyway, and divisions that our world has emphasized repeatedly and imbedded deeply in your mind. You will NEVER be able to have certainty. So settle instead for uncertainty and living life despite the questions. You will find that the more you practice these things, the better you will be able to live and to apply them to other areas when your OCD hits them as well.

I write all of these things because I care about all of you. As a Christian I try to love other because God first loved me, and has called me to love others with my life. This is why I choose to be here.
Hottie is offline  
Old 03-16-2011
 

Hey Hottie,

Thankyou for the help again, I am really struggling at the moment and when I watched this film yesterday it got all the thoughts rushing again.

I havent got my therapy until 12th April, so god knows how I will stick it out until then!
BarryC is offline  
Old 03-16-2011
 

Hey Hottie,

Thankyou for the help again, I am really struggling at the moment and when I watched this film yesterday it got all the thoughts rushing again.

I havent got my therapy until 12th April, so god knows how I will stick it out until then!
BarryC is offline  
Old 03-16-2011
 

I don't know what HOCD is but I figured I'd try to help you lol. Sometimes I used to think that maybe I'm gay. The thing that made me realize that I'm not is that I imagined myself having intercourse with another guy in the butt...The thought really grossed me out. Then I imagined myself being on the receiving end and it grossed me out even more. So I know I'm definitely not gay - just really picky when it comes to girls.

Maybe you should put yourself through the same test?
freestylemonster is offline  
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