Many people mistakenly think of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) solely as a condition in which people wash their hands excessively or check door locks repeatedly.  There are actually many sub-types of OCD.  In this five-part series, the OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses Gay OCD, also known as HOCD or Sexual Orientation OCD.

So, Am I Gay or What?

Gay OCD / HOCD / Sexual Orientation OCD

Having gay thoughts is not the same as being gay

I sat down to write this blog on Gay OCD while my wife and I had started to watch a movie (It’s been suggested I work too much).  It’s either irony or personalization, but the opening scene of the movie involves a man kissing his lover… another man.  This is the second film in two weeks that I’ve rented which involve men and their male lovers, something I was not aware of when I selected the films.

Or was I?

Gay OCD is sometimes referred to as HOCD, an abbreviation for Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  This is an unfortunate abbreviation because it misses the true nature of this manifestation of OCD.

First, it is not exclusive to heterosexuals.  Over the years, therapists here at OCD Center of Los Angeles have treated many homosexuals (male and female) who are plagued by obsessive fears of being “straight”, and who suffer equally when OCD attacks their sexual identity.  Furthermore, the fears that clients with this condition report have little to do with actually becoming gay (or straight).  At its core, Sexual Orientation OCD is the fear of not knowing for sure, paired with the fear of never being able to have a healthy, loving relationship with a partner to whom one feels genuinely attracted. Read More »