Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (HOCD) & Sexual Abuse

After Nine

Registrant
Hi guys,
I’m trying to follow along here as it is a topic I’m struggling with. Please forgive my naivety as I’m just starting this whole process and am still struggling with every aspect of my abuse. I think I can see both sides that brother2none and C.E. present, but can someone put those perspectives into more layman's terms for me?
Though I am fascinated by this discussion I'll admit some of it is more than I'm capable of grasping intellectually. Some laymans terms sprinkled in would be helpful. Or would that be " dumbing down" the conversation?
 

Photoman

Registrant
Though I am fascinated by this discussion I'll admit some of it is more than I'm capable of grasping intellectually. Some laymans terms sprinkled in would be helpful. Or would that be " dumbing down" the conversation?
I agree. It sounds more like a doctor round-table discussion. It's tough for us newbies to absorb. I do respect the work a lot of you guys have put into this and the years of therapy to get to this point, but for those of us just starting out in our process it's goes over my head. Especially when I've never even had a T session or any help of any kind. Hopefully some day it will click.
 

C. E.

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not sure precisely what requires clarification but am happy to rephrase. Please let me know more precisely what does not make sense. Neither of us are therapists or psychiatrists, by the way, so there really is no "doctor" talk per se.
 
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une.vie.d.espoir

Registrant
Sorry guys but I don't know M.Joe Kort because i am french Canadian. What I want to share is that I did have to rebuilt my trust to others, I had bit by bit let go even if day by day I still think of my abusers. I had to built and see who I was. Wen I was a kid I had a friend Patrick and after 62 years my familly and is are best friends.

Wen I was around 8 and 9 I use to have sex whit him it was call exploration and still is as today. My dad told me lots of times it was normal to explore other boys and later other man.

I dint have the nolege of being gay, just the emotions that did I feel good inside me, is my thinking all right and sure who cant deny this, my body like it. From my point of view since my felling my thinking and my body were ok whit all I was ok whit it.

I discover girls I was around 10 and also I did like it to explore. At around 7 years old I had a very bad experience whit a girl and her brother we were around the same age. There mom discover us and I had a betting from my dad whit a strap. He told me to go in my room and get naked. Wen he was hitting me I had to protect my penis and my balls. I hope it is not gross what I am sharing.

Jp
 

C. E.

Administrator
Staff member
@After Nine and @Photoman -

I guess the best way to condense what I am saying in layman's language is this way. The original poster asked about HOCD, which basically is a condition of anxiety - almost obsession - over being gay. The posts that followed all went right to psychologist Joe Kort's argument that the confusion one has over sexual identity following abuse - and the HOCD that results - do not reflect our true innate sexual orientation. He calls that same-sex orientation a "disorientation." I personally do not subscribe to this notion and stated so. While I said it was just my truth - not necessarily anyone else's, I understood full well that it is not a popular position to take.

I question the whole mantra that our sexual identities are somehow immutable and immune to impressionable sway as youngsters. A lot of it is very triggering for me; what Joe Kort says is almost precisely what my abuser was telling me - that what he was doing to me would not make me gay. That all guys did this and it did not mean they were gay. That he was training me what to do with girls. To me - to ME - Kort has simply repackaged the same bunch of lies. I bought it as a boy. I am not buying it now. It is about owning myself. And that means owning fully my desires - that they are not somehow separate from me but well up from the deepest spring waters of me. Until I accepted and stopped denying who I was, I was in a civil war with myself. That was my HOCD, and that was how I handled it.

I am like a Bonsai tree. I was clipped and pruned, twisted and fashioned at the whim of someone older, bigger, stronger. I did not have the power to stop him. And so that is how I grew - stunted and shaped in ways I never would have chosen for myself. But like the waxy green leaves of that tree, I am colored with life. My branches still reach for the sky. I am who I am because that was who I had to be. That I bloom despite the crimes I endured does not speak to some disfigured soul. It speaks to my strength. I used to relate to the ruminating anxiety of HOCD. I don't any more. My way out of that was to accept who I was fully. Trying to recategorize my deepest desires as somehow not my own was a living hell.
 
C.E., I appreciate you trying to explain this further. I don’t disagree with your truth. I’m just trying to understand how this related to myself. I was first abused around 6 years old. My abusers (2 teenagers) didn’t tell me that it would not make me gay or this is what you do with girls. They just persuaded me to perform. Since then and after two more episodes of abuse later in my childhood I always felt different, felt attracted to boys and when I hit middle school and really learned what gay was I thought I must be. I never wanted to be gay either. So what you are saying is that the abuse did sway how you felt about yourself and Kort is saying that it didn’t sway it and by his definition I am gay, regardless of the abuse. Am I right or am I not interpreting this correctly? Because I don’t know how anyone can tell me that the abuse didn’t have some effect on how I perceived myself. If I can’t say whether I was born that way or not, how can he say that? For the record, I know I was attracted to boys and later to girls. I will never know if I was born gay or not, but around 20 I had a consensual relationship with a guy and thought I was in love with him and even came out to him as gay, but since then I have not had those feelings towards another man. So for that reason, I am considering myself Bi.
 
TRIGGER WARNING

I appreciate all of the lively conversation and thought I would share my truth:

1) I was molested by at least 3 men before the age of 8.

2) at 15 I realized I wanted to suck my friend’s dick.

3) I bought/watched gay magazines & videos from 18-50. At 48 I received my first hand-job.

4) From 50-56, I had sex with over 70 men on over 150 occasions-spending over $25,000. I only stopped when I got HIV.

5) I’ve been married 30+ years to a remarkable woman. I have learned through, 3.5 years of therapy & numerous sexual purity classes + CR + SAA, that my sexuality was hijacked all of those years ago by men who used my body. Yes, for 6 years I did enjoy the gay sex—as it was how my sexual template was formed after my abuse—so it felt natural . I was always the passive one as I wanted to “zone-out; recreating what happened when I was a child.

I’ve since learned that it is NOT who I want to be. I love, admire my wife & enjoy being intimate with her. I’m grateful that she has forgiven me for my greatest & darkest sin.

6) Do I still have occasional desires of SSA—yes—but, by God’s grace, not nearly as often & not nearly as strong.

This is all true for me. I know many other men who have traveled different paths. Know that I pray for each man in this community on a regular basis. My prayer is that each one of you can heal, move forward and determine how to live YOUR life to your greatest potential.

Joe
 

ODAT

Registrant
TRIGGER WARNING

I appreciate all of the lively conversation and thought I would share my truth:

1) I was molested by at least 3 men before the age of 8.

2) at 15 I realized I wanted to suck my friend’s dick.

3) I bought/watched gay magazines & videos from 18-50. At 48 I received my first hand-job.

4) From 50-56, I had sex with over 70 men on over 150 occasions-spending over $25,000. I only stopped when I got HIV.

5) I’ve been married 30+ years to a remarkable woman. I have learned through, 3.5 years of therapy & numerous sexual purity classes + CR + SAA, that my sexuality was hijacked all of those years ago by men who used my body. Yes, for 6 years I did enjoy the gay sex—as it was how my sexual template was formed after my abuse—so it felt natural . I was always the passive one as I wanted to “zone-out; recreating what happened when I was a child.

I’ve since learned that it is NOT who I want to be. I love, admire my wife & enjoy being intimate with her. I’m grateful that she has forgiven me for my greatest & darkest sin.

6) Do I still have occasional desires of SSA—yes—but, by God’s grace, not nearly as often & not nearly as strong.

This is all true for me. I know many other men who have traveled different paths. Know that I pray for each man in this community on a regular basis. My prayer is that each one of you can heal, move forward and determine how to live YOUR life to your greatest potential.

Joe

Hello Joe,
I think your story (and mine) is exactly what Dr. Joe Kort talks about in his book, “Is My Husband Gay, Bi or Straight?”
It sounds like in both our cases our erotic templates were shaped early (I was 8) and from my late 20-40’s I was re-creating my erotic CSA by giving oral sex (and sometimes other things) to older married men. I am now married 18 years and just before Covid started, I was getting thoughts of acting out again. I then went into therapy and that is when I joined MS. My wife does not understand and our marriage has been badly strained these last two years.
Again I don’t think of myself as gay but it is the imprint of the sexual acts I did with a 14 year old boy when I was 8 that have become part of my sexual repertoire. It’s been 20 years since I acted out but the thoughts come and go (some days stronger than others.) I really struggle seeing older men naked in the gyms-that’s a trigger for me. Let’s keep each other in our prayers!
 

C. E.

Administrator
Staff member
C.E., I appreciate you trying to explain this further. I don’t disagree with your truth. I’m just trying to understand how this related to myself. I was first abused around 6 years old. My abusers (2 teenagers) didn’t tell me that it would not make me gay or this is what you do with girls. They just persuaded me to perform. Since then and after two more episodes of abuse later in my childhood I always felt different, felt attracted to boys and when I hit middle school and really learned what gay was I thought I must be. I never wanted to be gay either. So what you are saying is that the abuse did sway how you felt about yourself and Kort is saying that it didn’t sway it and by his definition I am gay, regardless of the abuse. Am I right or am I not interpreting this correctly? Because I don’t know how anyone can tell me that the abuse didn’t have some effect on how I perceived myself. If I can’t say whether I was born that way or not, how can he say that? For the record, I know I was attracted to boys and later to girls. I will never know if I was born gay or not, but around 20 I had a consensual relationship with a guy and thought I was in love with him and even came out to him as gay, but since then I have not had those feelings towards another man. So for that reason, I am considering myself Bi.

That is a great question! Because I really do not know for sure if I would have been gay anyways. One survivor - Charles Blow (who is an NY Times columnist and had a fascinating interview with Terri Gross on NPR about his abuse) - was asked if the abuse made him gay or bi (he identifies as bisexual). His answer was compelling - that a child questioning his orientation may in fact be easier to prey upon, and that predators are "diabolically gifted" in targeting them.

I suppose my answer to you would be this: I don't know what my orientation would have been or really for sure how much it was affected. But whether my abuser had a role in it or not - it doesn't really matter. He may well have had influence upon the way I grew up. BUT I OWN ME NOW. He doesn't. If I fret over what he may have done to me - which to me is HOCD - then he still owns me.
 
C.E. , thanks for helping to clarify all that. I’ve really enjoyed this thread. After reviewing my life memory by memory trying to make sense of what happened to me, I’m realizing that I may have been wanting someone to validate my sexuality based on some checklist or something when actually it was all right there in front of me. And I get to decide and accept what I already know about myself.

Thanks
JB
 

After Nine

Registrant
It's starting to click in place somewhat for me. The ocd part doesn't apply to my situation but the theory that I was altered or shaped by the abuse likely does. My gut feeling is that other factors played a part. Those desires grew from more than one influence. When I manage things I do pretty well. When I repress things it messes with my mind. I strive for self acceptance no matter how I got here.
 
Homosexuality Anxiety: A Misunderstood Form of OCD by Monnica Williams. 11-page pdf format, research document
Alert! I just realized that the link to this research document was broken in my original thread post. It is fixed now there and above. Sorry for that. I was going back to re-read the researcher's descriptions of HOCD. The author also referenced that HOCD is within the spectrum of OCD-related sexual obsessions. I have seen in literature the term "sexual orientation OCD". Personally, from my experience, I would include bisexual OCD, and straight OCD as part of the morphing focus of the OCD. Understanding OCD is new to me, I am trying to process what I'm learning with my past and present experience.

From the author, Monnica Williams, PhD: "Homosexual anxiety is described here as the obsessive fear of being or becoming homosexual, the experience of intrusive, unwanted mental images of homosexual behavior, and/or the obsessive fear that others may believe one is homosexual. A person may have only one of these facets of the disorder or any combination. Since OCD is characterized by doubt, the person with OCD will contemplate the uncomfortable thoughts or images, agonize over the meaning of the questions that arise, determine possible answers, and then doubt the answers. The person will continually seek evidence to help arrive at a decision, perform compulsive rituals to ward off anxiety, ask others for reassurance, and/or avoid things or situations that worsen the anxiety." I've added the bold emphasis in the above section, as it for me is the centerpiece of my struggle.

On page 7 of the pdf, there is a table presented to better understand differences between the experience of someone with HOCD and the experience of someone with a homosexual sexual identity or ambivalent about their orientation.
 
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Here is a compilation of the characteristics of the OCD described in Monnica Williams' research article, link provided above, taken from the table in page 202. These are suggestive of HOCD:

  1. You feel more sexually aroused by people of the opposite sex.
  2. Your thoughts about engaging in same-sex relationships are unappealing to you.
  3. You feel anxious about romantic relationships with people of the same sex
  4. You have most enjoyed sexual experiences with a person of the opposite sex.
  5. You worry about your same-sex thoughts mainly because you don't want to give up being with people of the opposite sex.
  6. You are not able to stop thinking about samesex relationships, and the thoughts are a severe distraction.
  7. You feel emotional intimacy with a partner of the opposite sex.
  8. You are worried that people of the same sex might find you attractive.
  9. You fantasize about being in physical relationships with people of the opposite sex (including dreams).
  10. You try to learn more about sexual identity issues to reassure yourself that you are not gay.
It seems to me that #6 and #10 are the tell tale signs of the OCD part of this.
 
@brother2none, thanks man! I had not come across this article. I appreciate you posting it. I have struggled with these issues my entire adult life and have researched, seek therapy and you name it. Every man that suffers will find they have at least one of the above thoughts. LRD
 
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