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However, due to the way OCD is strengthened and reinforced by rituals, these attempts ultimately backfire.The result is that some people with HOCD become extremely disabled.Other people with homosexual obsessions have a contamination-related variant of HOCD and worry that contact with gay men, lesbians, bisexual individuals, or effeminate/androgynous people is “contagious” or may somehow “activate” their latent homosexuality.Still others worry about acting on unwanted sexual impulses.Homosexual OCD (“HOCD”) is a specific subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that involves recurrent sexual obsessions and intrusive doubts about one’s sexual orientation.Straight individuals with homosexual OCD experience obsessive fears about the possibility of being gay.Emerging sexuality can be confusing for any teen or young adult, and gay teens face a variety of unique challenges over the course of adolescence.In addition to learning to understand their own sexuality, gay teens must navigate complex situations and pressures that may not be relevant for straight teens.
Some people with HOCD worry that other people will think they’re gay, and they spend excessive time and energy trying to “act straight.” Many people with HOCD experience all of the symptoms above. Like any form of OCD, symptoms of HOCD are maintained by faulty beliefs, rituals, and avoidance behaviors.
People with HOCD worry that they might secretly be gay or might become gay, despite not questioning their sexuality in the past.
Prior to the onset of HOCD, they might have had few doubts about their sexual orientation.
Sexual obsessions can also affect gay men, lesbians, or bisexual individuals with OCD, who may become fearful about the possibility of becoming straight (“Straight OCD”).
The common element that unites these seemingly opposite sexual obsessions is the fear of being attracted to something unwanted, taboo, or “unacceptable” based on one’s particular worldview.
For the sake of simplicity, I’ll be using HOCD-centric language in this post.