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.
Some individuals with HOCD have a predominantly checking-related variant of OCD.
When around same sex individuals, they “check” their own bodies for signs of sexual arousal.
Their HOCD obsessions often consist of unwanted thoughts, impulses, or images that uncontrollably pop into consciousness.
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.
Anxiety, distress, and confusion are often part of this process.
Moreover, they continue to experience doubt and uncertainty about their sexuality.
Homosexual OCD typically has elements that parallel checking, contamination, and Pure-O OCD.
Faulty beliefs about sexuality and sexual orientation perpetuate fear about the possible consequences of resisting OCD-related compulsions.
This is harmful because every time an unwanted thought is avoided or neutralized, it is reinforced and becomes more likely to become activated again in the future.