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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

I might have HOCD/SOOCD?

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jjusa

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Hi there jjusa. I also suffer from SO-OCD so I know how tough it is. I don't know if you're male or female but I think many people go through a phase of questioning, curiosity and/or experimenting with the same sex but for most people it's just that and they don't stress about it or overthink it.

I think if you're gay you know you're gay and you don't question it obsessively and obsessively ruminate.

Were you always interested in the opposite sex? Did you have crushes on the opposite sex and want to date and have sex with the opposite sex?
Hello! I haven't been on this site in a while so I am just catching up. Thanks for responding to my post. I'm glad I am not alone. I am female. I was never really interested in the opposite sex romantically nor did I ever want to have sex with the opposite sex. There was one guy that I thought I liked in a romantic sense (and that gave me hope that I was interested in the opposite sex), but I am now questioning if how I felt was even genuine. I also haven't felt this way towards the opposite sex since that one guy.

You are right, when you are gay you know you are gay. When you are straight, it's the same thing. Some days I think I have SO-OCD and that it's either I am gay and worried that I am actually straight, or I am actually straight and worry that I am gay instead. It could just be that I am bi, but I still obsessively question myself everyday. It's like I can't pick one without picking the other but I am not sure if the "other" sex is what I am genuinely interested in.

I don't know if this is helpful, but maybe you could look more into compulsory heterosexuality? I don't have this type of OCD but I struggled heavily with my sexuality and reading about compulsory heterosexuality really helped me rethink my relation to men (I'm a lesbian though).
This is a specific lesbian masterdoc that /can/ people with that (even nonlesbians), but I'm sure if you looked up bisexuality and compulsory heterosexuality you could find other more specific resources too!
Hi, I've actually read the compulsory hetero doc, and can relate to some of it. The problem is that my mind can't seem to settle on a sexual orientation at all. If some things "clicked" for me regarding my orientation, my mind somehow makes me forget and tells me that it wasn't real. Gay doesn't feel right to me. Neither does straight.

People who are geuinely gay may struggle with their sexuality but it's not because they don't know whether they're gay or not and don't desire these thoughts but because they fear reactions of family and society.
Yeah, I struggle a lot with and am more interested in knowing if I am gay or not, not so much what society thinks of me. Unless I am totally oblivious to society and deep down I'm repressing my fears.

Also there are gay people who have anxiety about being straight so it's not only straight people who have an obsession with this theme but gay people as well who fear that they're straight. I've come across many gay people on OCD forums who have this obsession but with liking the opposite sex.
I didn't know about this! Now that I think about it, I have a bigger fear of being straight then of being gay... I also have a fear of being gay too, just not to the same degree as my fear of being straight lol. I have a fear of being one or the other, I think... Again, I can never settle on an answer. It's more for me to feel better about myself then to appease or please others.

I think my checking might be more "double-checking" to see if I really am gay, because the alternative (being with the opposite sex) is something I am not sure I really want. Any checking I do to see if I still like the opposite sex is by only watching romantic movies with heterosexual relationships, while avoiding ones with bi/homosexual ones. I just don't know how I am supposed to feel when I am with the opposite sex vs. the same sex. I'm so confused... maybe this is what OCD is supposed to to do a person? IDK.

This is really NOT helpful and the worst advise that you could give to someone! This only makes people with OCD anxious! This is not about exploring sexual identity! This is about straight people who fear that they are attracted to the same sex, not because they have a problem with it but because it's not part of who they are. Gay people also have this theme and have the fear that they are straight! Bi people can have this too and fear that they are more attracted to one sex than the other! This is NOT about having a problem with being LGBT or worrying about family or society and coming out; it's quite the contrary. It's feeling that it isn't part of who we are. OCD attacks things that are the most important to us including aspects of identity. Like I said, many gay people have this OCD too and fear being straight.
I don't want to cause any problems/fights, but I feel that all the posts here are valid. I think for someone like me though who probably has OCD, it is very triggering to be told that it's not a big deal and that further exploration will help clear things up. I'm either straight, gay, bi, whatever, but my mind plays tricks on me that prevents me from understanding my truth - by attacking aspects of my identity, like you mentioned Lonelygirl91. It's like no matter what I do, whatever experiences I have, I continue to feel uncertain and my fear of uncertainty only gets worse as time goes on. My brain is programmed for self-doubt and no matter what I do to try to change my attitude, my self-doubt remains. I enjoy having these conversations because it's really helped me understand OCD better, regardless if I have it or not.

Jjusa, if what I said made you feel worse, I truly apologize so please ignore my opinion. I certainly didn't mean to cause you more anxiety. If anything you've read resonated with you, talk with a professional about it. Obviously don't blindly take the advice of internet strangers. I

Good luck to you.
Hi, I actually didn't come across your post until now. No apologies necessary but thank you.
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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Perhaps you are asexual (not feeling physical or romantic attraction to anybody) as it seems like from what you've written being with either sex romantically or sexually doesn't really appeal to you. There's nothing wrong with being asexual. Any people of any orientation can have OCD
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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Also asexual people can still have a preference for a certain sex (the same sex in your example) and want to be with them romantically (or in some cases not) but they don't feel that strong attraction and sexual desire as others feel.
 
J

jjusa

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USA
Perhaps you are asexual (not feeling physical or romantic attraction to anybody) as it seems like from what you've written being with either sex romantically or sexually doesn't really appeal to you. There's nothing wrong with being asexual. Any people of any orientation can have OCD
You're right, maybe I am asexual. I actually tried to identify that way for a while but then I saw signs that kind of disprove that. Then I started questioning my sexuality again and I've been going back to square one since. But I feel like asexual makes the most sense based on my tendencies and history

Also asexual people can still have a preference for a certain sex (the same sex in your example) and want to be with them romantically (or in some cases not) but they don't feel that strong attraction and sexual desire as others feel.
Hmm, I don't really think I have a preference for a certain sex. If anything, I actually have a stronger physical attraction to the same sex but I don't think I want to be with them romantically. I have sexual fantasies abt women all the time, but I don't think I want to be with them. I think calling myself aromantic asexual would just be easier.
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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Asexuality is a broad spectrum. I read up about it because I had a brief OCD obsession "what if I'm asexual?" even though I've always desired and wanted sex and relationships with men. Luckily the theme went away and I know that I'm not asexual. It's not who I am or want to be (personally; there's absolutely nothing wrong with being asexual but like being gay; it's not part of who I am).

Anyway from what I read about asexuality, it's not a black and white thing. Some asexuals do experience attraction occasionally and some asexuals do have sex and fantasies. Some asexuals aren't interested in romance, some are.

I hope that this helps you feel more secure in who you are. There's nothing wrong with being asexual; more and more people are identifying as such. Don't listen to society. Society stigmatizes single women as it is. You don't need a relationship to make you happy or complete. Although I would like a boyfriend and like to get married one day, I'd rather be single than be with the wrong guy for the sake of being in a relationship and being with someone. I know people like that and they aren't happy. So much time is wasted in a bad or unfulfilling relationship. So many people feel that they have to settle which is sad. I'd rather wait to find the right guy for me than waste energy on the wrong guy.

I hope that you feel better. Asexuality is nothing to be ashamed of be upset about. You seem quite young as well. How old are you?
 
J

jjusa

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Asexuality is a broad spectrum. I read up about it because I had a brief OCD obsession "what if I'm asexual?" even though I've always desired and wanted sex and relationships with men. Luckily the theme went away and I know that I'm not asexual. It's not who I am or want to be (personally; there's absolutely nothing wrong with being asexual but like being gay; it's not part of who I am).
That's great you were able to overcome that obsession. I understand the feeling of that panic and constant obsession. I think for someone like me who struggles with anxiety, particularly with fear of uncertainty and fear of being defined by labels, it scares me to use the word "asexual." I actually fear the most about being asexual vs. gay. It feels so black-and-white to me. Like I have absolutely 0 desire for people and I shouldn't bother looking into it? I'm going to stay at home instead because I'm labeling myself as "asexual!" So I should not be pursuing other people. It's a label that makes me feel trapped in a sense. It's like I don't have enough life experience to really know, but a lot of people of any orientation don't need the life experience to really know their identity. I've tried all the labels, but I always come out of it with anxiety and uncertainty. Which makes it all the more confusing.


Anyway from what I read about asexuality, it's not a black and white thing. Some asexuals do experience attraction occasionally and some asexuals do have sex and fantasies. Some asexuals aren't interested in romance, some are.
Interesting. It's funny that you say that because I can't ever think beyond "black and white". Even if someone tells me over and over again (which they have before lol), my brain is wired for black and white thinking, and I can't figure out how to fix that. When I think of asexuality, I do see other terms that are more in the grey areas but I can't ever seem to accept "grey areas" really in anything, as much as I want to.
:(

There's nothing wrong with being asexual; more and more people are identifying as such. Don't listen to society. Society stigmatizes single women as it is.
Haha that's definitely easier said then done. I wish I could stop depending on validation through others. I don't think there is anything wrong with being asexual; it's more is that me or not? Similar to being gay. Am I gay or not? I need a definitive answer. I do get a strong physical reaction if I am told that I might be asexual - like a strong negative reaction that further depresses me. It sucks.


I hope that you feel better. Asexuality is nothing to be ashamed of be upset about. You seem quite young as well. How old are you?
Thank you. I really appreciate it. I am 27 so pretty old to still not being over all this. Haha
 
L

Lonelygirl91

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You don't have to label yourself; many people don't like to label themselves. With my OCD labelling is very important. If labelling causes you anxiety you don't have to label yourself. For me lack of labels cause me anxiety but for others labels cause anxiety.

There are many celebrities and famous people who refuse to label themselves. Just be who you want to be and focus on things that are more important. Take life as it comes. Maybe you haven't met the right person yet. Sometimes it's difficult to find people who we connect with and want to be with.

Unfortunately OCD thinking tends to be very black and white. That's part of the illness.

Just continue being you and try not to worry. If you're not interested in anyone now that's fine but you might be later or you might not. Like I said; asexuality isn't black and white at all. There's many inaccurate stereotypes about it.

Also don't look for validation from anyone as your happiness matters. Society will always judge. Live life for you and not for others.
 
J

jjusa

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You don't have to label yourself; many people don't like to label themselves. With my OCD labelling is very important. If labelling causes you anxiety you don't have to label yourself. For me lack of labels cause me anxiety but for others labels cause anxiety.
It's very understandable that not having a label causes anxiety for you. I feel slightly better not having a label, mainly because of the expectations of that label. I know it's not true, but deep down in my subconscious I feel I have to behave / think a certain way based on how I label myself. However, if I choose to label myself, I feel A LOT of pressure to act a certain way.

Just be who you want to be and focus on things that are more important. Take life as it comes. Maybe you haven't met the right person yet. Sometimes it's difficult to find people who we connect with and want to be with.
What if you don't know who you want to be? And you are scared to find out? lol. You're right sometimes it's difficult to find people to connect with and I don't want inauthentic connections. I'd rather be alone, but it can get very lonely sometimes.

Just continue being you and try not to worry. If you're not interested in anyone now that's fine but you might be later or you might not.
Tbh I am trying to mentally prepare for the latter - not finding anyone. Because not knowing what comes next is terrifying to me. The more I worry, the more I isolate which obviously doesn't help, but it feels safe for me to avoid connections and just focus on myself. It's difficult for me to be my authentic self around other people and make meaningful connections at the same time. I don't know if that was something you struggled with?
 
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Lonelygirl91

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Why are you scared to find out? I think many people struggle with finding who they are in many areas of life; it's a normal part of growing up. I have a friend who dated men in the past and now she identifies as a lesbian and wants to date women; it makes her happy. At first it spiked me and got me thinking, what if I become like my friend and suddenly start liking women? Then I tried to remind myself that everybody is different and has different experiences. She probably liked women before but didn't find the right time to explore the side of herself.

Although I know my sexuality and that I'm into men, I struggled with other aspects of my identity (not related to OCD or sexuality) and not knowing who I was- my roots and cultural identity. Once I began to explore my heritage, I found out who I really was. Growing up I felt different in that sense and didn't identify with the heritage and traditions that I grew up with. I didn't know who I was but once I started exploring my heritage, I found it and I'm really happy. At first it was scary (mainly because I was alone and scared of rejection), but I'm glad I did it.

Life is about finding ourselves and sometimes it takes a while. Our 20's especially is full of discovery. There's no pressure to be anything that you don't feel comfortable with. Life is scary in general. I'm scared that I won't find the right man or make anything of my life. Everybody has fears. Is there anybody that you can talk to about this? Any family or friends? If so, what do they say? Perhaps it would be a good idea to discuss your fears with a therapist.
 
J

jjusa

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I really appreciate you writing back to me and helping me out. It's pushed me into seeking help. I'm hoping that once I get to the root of the issue, my identity will be clear to me. If it's OCD, great. I will work on that then. If not, I will work on whatever it is that is going on with me.

Soo... in conclusion, I explored my sexuality before and I still came out inconclusive, even when I sometimes felt happier being with another women vs. a man, I still have a chronic indecisiveness about my sexuality. I labeled myself as gay because that was what I truly thought I was and didn't have a problem with it at the time. I actually felt happier. But as time went on, I began questioning again and again and again, until I stopped using that label. Then I went back to being straight, but I wasn't happy. I didn't even care about dating men, but I felt like I had to be with one (I still do today). Then I moved to asexuality, but that made me even less happy and I developed depression as a result.

I was doing what everyone was tell me to do - explore my sexuality, talk to other LGBT people, etc. It could be an asexuality thing but I should also know who I am / or not romantically attracted to, and that is also something I still haven't figured out yet. Which is why I wonder if OCD plays a role in any of this.

I still came out of all of this confused, even if I felt differently before. It's like my OCD or anxiety erased how I felt in the moment, and has filled my head with self-doubt. I fear I won't be able to move forward from this. I'm scared it'll be this way forever. I'm going to try to get help because good lord I really need it.
 
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Lonelygirl91

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I know things seem hopeless at the moment but they will get better trust me! This is coming from someone whose OCD completely took over their life. OCD turned me into a living wreck; I had no quality of life until I got help and went on meds. Unfortunately OCD is a chronic illness with ups and downs but there's ways of managing it. I still have bad days especially triggered by stress but I have really good periods as well.

I think that talking to a therapist will be the best thing for you and will hopefully make things clearer. Please don't worry.

What you describe could very well be OCD. You said that you liked women before and identified as gay and were happy but now you're confused as to who you are. OCD can make you doubt yourself and who you are. OCD can also temporarily reduce your desire for the desired sex when you're in the depth of OCD but don't worry this is normal and you will get it back it back once you feel better. It's like losing your sex drive during stressful times.

Speaking to a therapist is the best thing as I can only make a guess from what you've written to what the problem may be; a therapist will have a much clearer understanding of what you're going through and how to help you. Good luck; I really hope you get the help and answers that you need. Keep me updated.
 
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jjusa

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Thank you for listening to my story and for the great advice. I feel so validated for feeling the way that I feel. A lot of people aren't able to be patient with me so I'm glad that you were / no one seems to understand how I feel. No one I know has OCD. Not family or friends or anybody else that I know. I don't know anyone in the LGBTQ community who has OCD. I had no idea OCD could decrease your desire for your desired sex; I'm glad I could talk to someone who has lived it and is willing to share their experiences with others. Even though I have a long path ahead, I know now that what I am feeling isn't uncommon and that I might have found a community I can relate to regardless of sexual orientation. Thank you, I'll definitely give some updates :)
 
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