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To reduce the anxiety brought on by their obsessions, individuals with HOCD engage in a variety of rituals that focus on “proving their true sexuality” or reducing their perceived “vulnerability” to becoming gay.

This post is not about the anxiety associated with being gay or with “coming out” but instead discusses homosexual OCD (“HOCD”), an anxiety disorder that affects a small number of individuals.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.Individuals with homosexual OCD want to know “for sure” that they are not gay and often go to great lengths to prove to themselves that they are straight.However, due to the way OCD is strengthened and reinforced by rituals, these attempts ultimately backfire.

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