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Is my anxiety regarding sexuality a result of shame?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by chris123, May 20, 2021.

  1. Sadness

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    Just want to say that i have the exact same thing. A lot of times that i see a handsome guy i get completely nervous and have the anxiety attack, with a chest tight feeling. And tbh with you, you are not anxious because you are attracted to this guy, you are anxious bc you dont know if you are attracted to this guy. Dont know if it makes sense but you have the fear of being attracted to a handsome guy, and you think you are in denial, so thats why youre anxious, and the same thing happens to me, i have those same feelings, anxiety nervous, my heart beat increase, chest tight feeling, all of that, but the major thing that i cant recognize is attraction, for some reason i just feel im not attracted to this guy, i know that at the moment that it happens, you cant really rhink straight since you are anxious, but try to think about this after.

    I have a gay friend, and my obsession started bc of him, one day he tried to flirt with me only joking, and i joked too with him we were having fun, but after that i started this cycle that im into, this was 2 years ago. And im not going to lie to you, everyday it got worse, i thought i was attracted to him, bc i started to think about him like crazy, not in the good way, but i was so anxious, i couldnt listen to romantic songs or movies or animes, bc his face or name would just appear in my head, and i was like, i know this guy for 4 years, am i really attracted to him? Bc when i hang out with him, at the first moment i would see him, i would feel this, heart beat, nervous, anxiety, but after i spent some time with him, all of this disapeared and i looked to him and i thought, wow im not attracted to him, so why i have such anxious feelings. Tbh eith you until today i have problems with this friend that i dont see much more, sometimes i have intrusive thoughts about him or when we would play and my friends invited him i started to get anxious, im so sad bc of this bc it feels like i lost a friend, but its so traumatic that i cant even look him in the eyes bc of how afraid im of the possibility that doesnt exist there, i k ow its only anxiety, i tested myself with him a lot, and it never worked, and i dont find him pretty and all, hes nust my friend, but i cant look at him without getring a panic attack.

    What im trying to say is that yes is your ocd bc i cant feel im attracted to a guy, i feel only anxious. And i know that love and anxiety feelings are somewhat equal. So whenever i see a guy thats handsome i try not to panic but i feel the anxiety too even if its not so much anymore, i test my heart beat, all that, and cant say if i am really attracted to woman, but there are womans that i look and it feels so different, you know? I get aroused, i feel a good shiver over my body, get a little nervous, not anxious.

    So i do think that this is both anxiety actually, trully. You fear being attracted to him and this is why you feel so anxious. Not bc you are attracted to him, if you were, even if you had anxiety, you would feel good. You know that, i dont think that denial is a feeling, like anxiett, and i dont think that denial is intantly like anxiety is, and there are ppl that say that denial is unconscious, and it could be, but if is unconcious it wouldnt be such a pain in the ass i think, it wouldnt be anxiety. And i know you will say, but what if im saying those feelings are anxiety just to cover that im gay, im in denial then. Okay sure, but again i dont think denial would be like this tbh.

    Try this, everytime you see a handsome guy, just say hes handsome for you, yeah, theres a lot of hot guys around the world, look adam levine, my man is almost 50s and hes hot, hes handsome, but that doesnt mean im gay. Just try saying this to yourself, say that hes handsome, whats the matter with that, and try move on, let the anxiety be there. Thats how i try to deal with it.
     
    #21 Sadness, Jun 5, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  2. Chip

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    So to both of you, I'd say the answer (which is not what you want to hear) is that when your brain is biochemically hijacked, it is not possible to make an objective evaluation. And that's where you have to rely on others around you who are looking at what you are describing.

    It's as though we are both looking at an empty field, but one of us sees the mirage of a house on the field. Except that the mirage looks absolutely real, and nothing will convince the person seeing it that it isn't real. Not walking onto the field and there being nothing there. Not 100 people standing behind us each saying the house isn't there. Because (keeping with this example) the individual who is seeing the mirage is, for all intents and purposes, genuinely seeing it because his brain is hijacked. It isn't objectively there, but nothing anyone says or does can convince him of that.

    What Sadness describes is accurate. It isn't internalized homophobia. It's anxiety. And that's caused by the brain hijack. But no matter how effectively Sadness or I or anyone else explain that to you, you aren't going to be able to absorb and accept that, because your brain is neurochemically hijacked.

    Among the many people by now that I've spoken to with OCD that centers on sexual orientation, the story always concludes the same way: The person at one point or another absolutely convinces him or herself (usually himself) that he's gay... but then he gets on medication that works, and, miraculously, 4 or 6 or 8 weeks later... he realizes that everything he thought and felt before was simply ridiculous and there was absolutely no basis for the irrational thinking. To use the same metaphor as above, it's as though he suddenly put on a pair of glasses and the house disappeared.

    In your (chris123) case, if there were any evidence you actually have attraction to guys, it would be different. But you have never presented anything, in all of your posts, that would remotely indicate that. So in this case, I can say with a very high degree of confidence that you are seeing a house on an empty field. I can say the same thing for Sadness, but he's on medication, and from the tone of his posts, it sounds like it might be starting to work.
     
    #22 Chip, Jun 5, 2021
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  3. masterofnone

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    this is a real great way of describing it. if one of these people on here thought for a second you were gay they would help you come to terms with yourself. when i read your stories (chris) and other ocd sufferers stories it’s so clear that you guys are straight. but guess what. i have ocd too. i can’t apply that logic to myself either sometimes. i think it’s so clear i’m straight but i still doubt that
     
  4. Sadness

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    Oh thanks for the info it makes so much sense. I do have a quick question though. You say a lot about the brain being hijacked, so the fact that i feel some arousal while testing myself with gay fantasies and do conpulsions, is this related to the brain being hijacked? Or is it something else.

    About the friend i do feel a lot better now, but ngl that everyime i will spoke to him i get so nervous and anxious, it takes a little to me to get relaxed.
     
  5. masterofnone

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    listen man i have ocd so i know what it’s like. if you constantly test and force yourself in these situations eventually you’re going to react sexually to the sexually relevant topic, video, picture etc. there’s a lot of straight people who do gay porn for the money. personally i don’t think i could ever do that but the point i’m trying to make here is that we react sexually to sexual things. simple
     
  6. Sadness

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    Oh yeah your right, now i only test when i have moments of despair i think. The real problem is bc ive been having this feelings of some arousal when i think about same sex, it wasnt like this before, but i dont know if transwoman porn have a role there or if i tested so much that my body recognize with pleasure. Thinking about sex with men these days give me some erection/arousal sometimes, not completely but some, this is why i would like to know if theres correlation, i know about the gay porn stuff, i dont watch it, i dont like. And i usually didnt like of fantasies with men either, but since somedays or weeks i started to get some arousal, my penis get stiff and i get responses, even without touching myself. Its kind weird how suddenly i started to feel this.

    Could it be only anxiety bc the feeling appears only when im super anxious, like, some days ago i fantasized about sex with men luke 3x and felt nothing, so yeah very weird lol, would like to know if theres correlation between this.
     
    #26 Sadness, Jun 6, 2021
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  7. chris123

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    Thanks Chip, and everyone else, for your comments.

    The way you worded your response, Chip, makes sense to me. And I really appreciate you taking the time to write it all out.

    I know that looking back there probably isn't a lot in my posts which indicate I have true same sex desires, as my general narrative was "I can't get off to guys, but I can to girls". However, I'm going to list a few things here, and trying to be honest with myself, which may argue the other side.

    • I feel like it'd be more natural with a guy than a girl
    • I can fantasise about being with a girl and get off. But when I actually picture myself in that situation and imagine a girl physically there, I get some anxiousness and almost turned off.
    • Since this anxiety/questioning started 7 years ago, and actually before then too, I never really pursued any relationships with girls. I am very sexually inactive, and also don't feel like I necessarily miss it.
    • When I try to masturbate to guys, I can feel this tingling sensation. If I masturbate, I can get hard from the physical stimulation. But I can't orgasm, while with girls I can. But I still feel this tingling / kind of arousal sensation with guys.
    • I feel like the anxiety I get when I see a good looking guy on the street is more as a response to my initial period of attraction/interest in a guy. It's like I catch myself looking and feeling attraction, and the anxiety is a result of this?
    • When in a gay friendly circle, or any kind of LGBT+ affirming conversation, I have an urge to come out/admit same sex feelings. Like I said, none of my friends or family are genuinely homophobic. Gay jokes are used as insults or poking fun, but if I were to come out I don't think people would really care. It may make sense to a lot of them given my lack of interest in chasing girls
    • When I think of a relationship with a guy, I feel like my mind switches it to a girl straight away so I can enjoy that feeling without my initial alarm/anxiety of considering being with a guy.
    • I feel / worry that if I did get in a relationship with a girl, it wouldn't satisfy me, and I'd long being in one with a guy instead
    • As I'm about to climax while masturbating, the image / feeling of a guy would come to the forefront of my mind and stay there if I let it. I have the urge to fight it, and have considered it an "intrusive thought" since I can remember, but realise now it could just be natural.
    • After climaxing, and in a sense of calm / "post nut clarity", I can feel that being with a guy feels more right/relaxed than a girl.
    • I feel if I just came out, accepted myself for who I was, changed my self image/how people saw me and expected of me, I wouldn't feel so much stress in what I pursue romantically/sexually, and it may be that pursuing guys is actually what I want.
    • On dating apps, guys will catch my attention more than girls.
    • I feel when I was 18 and started university, there was a guy who caught my eye at football trials, and who I admired/may have had a crush on. Good looking, good at football. I remember getting happy after he asked me something in a lecture. I never had any fantasies about him though, romantically or sexually.

    Surely these things can't all be pinned on OCD / thought distortion / a mirage as you described above Chip. Given the above, I don't want to simply rule it out and put it down to OCD. The fact my anxiety subsides when people openly talk about gay stuff in a positive/non judgemental manner really lends support to my idea that the anxiety is from a deep rooted internalised homophobia,as the therapist who's reply I pasted earlier suggested.

    Does the thought of admitting my same sex attraction scare me? Yes. But it also feels like I just need to accept it, work though the internalised homophobia, and be happy. Normally, I would be happy to read a response like the ones on this post, which would almost be a reassurance of "no, you're straight". But it feels like such a lie, and an internal battle I'm tired of fighting
     
  8. QuietPeace

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    Reading through that list ignoring anything else that you said my first feelings were - this is OCD.
     
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  9. masterofnone

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    this all seems very much like ocd man
     
  10. Chip

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    The problem here is the anxiety that's coupled in with the OCD. Put those two together, and it can explain just about everything on your list.

    The truth is, as I said above, there is no possible way for you to be able to get an answer to your question that you will accept until you get the OCD under control. That might require medication, at least until you can do the therapy work to address the cognitive change necessary.
     
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  11. chris123

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    This is interesting and has hit it on the head. “That I will accept” is accurate to how I feel, but the line / difference between me learning to accept my sexuality, and landing on an answer that I will accept,is what is, in my mind, muddying the clarity between whether it’s denial/repression/internalised homophobia or an OCD issue.
     
  12. Sadness

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    Hey man

    I will have to say these, i domt know if this is what you are searching, but all this you said above its pretty much related to ocd issues. As i said, i dont want to give you more doubt but thats it.

    1. Thinking about if it would be more natural with a man than woman doesnt say much about it, it couls be more natural for you to be with a man since you are man and your friendly relationships are mostly man.

    2. You can get off thinking about woman, thats pretty telling that you have attraction to them, i do feel anxious sometimes too, mostly bc im afraid i wont like it in real life, if you search my posts youll see i always say that i feel something in my stomach, but in fact i get super hard with woman.

    3. I never had any relationships in my life, and didnt have sex yet, is kind sad being the only virgin in my group of friends but im waiting for a girlfriend, it doesnt say much about who you are attracted.

    4. This is me man, if you read my posts i only talked about this, this fucking sensation i feel down there when i fantasize with men. Actually @Chip, not wanting to bother you but i have a question, do my feelings when i test myself with fantasies with men even without touching myself, like i get some erection and sometimes some arousal it feels, do this have something to do with the brain being hijacked? Now for you @chris123 if you masturbate o anything for a long time you will get responses, i really think that the more you masturbate to it, the more your brain recognizes as pleasure, thats what i think dont know if its true, you said you cant oegasm with men, so do i, so theres your answer.

    5. If you really were attracted to someone you wouldnt fear, actually you wouldnt feel anxiety, actually you can feel it but bc tou know you are attracted to him, but you fear you might be just bc you think hes an attractive person, again, doesnt say anything. These days i had this feeling when looking to fredy who did icarly, i saw his interview about new icarly, which it doesnt seem good as it was lol. And yeah hes handsome, and i felt anxious, doesnt mean im attracted to him, neither you.

    6. The thing of feeling urge to come out is only a way you think you have to make your anxiety stop, trust me i did this already, i spent hours and hours saying to me that im gay, wishing the anxiety would fade, but it doesnt.

    7. You probably switch for girls, just bc you like girls, when i masturbate and try to test myself, a lot of times my mind switch to a girl, its just you thinking about what you really like.

    8. I can relate to this one, o never had any relationships, so i fear i wont love her, and sex wont be good, but i wouldnt get super hard if i didnt like it, and i do enjoy thinking about kissing them, feels very good.

    9. Another part of anxiety, i have this too, when im watching porn and im abojt to finish, suddenly a image of a guy pops up in my head, or his penis, nothing to worry about here, it wouldnt be intrusive if you wanted to think.

    10. This again doesnt say much about who you are attracted to, after i climax, i find sex, pussies and all that kind disgusting. Doesnt mean i dislike them.

    11. Again, you wouldnt feel much stress bc you think your anxiety would decrase, which you know wont right? This matches with the fact that you are insecure and afraid that if you have a girlfriend you wouldnt feel good.

    12. This can be again something about ocd too, do you feel anxious when looking at men? Of so, maybe they are catching your attention bc your feeling anxiety, a lot of times i do notice man too bc im afraid i will be attracted to them.

    13. Admiring someone doesnt mean much, you were happy bc a guy thats cool and play football talked to you, what about? Again doesnt mean much, you even said you didnt think about him sexualy or romanticaly, do you think if you think about him now you would feel something?

    So this is all, sorry if i put so much on yohr head, but thats just how im seeing. :slight_smile:
     
    #32 Sadness, Jun 7, 2021
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  13. Chip

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    Yes, actually. The line between how OCD hijacks our brain, and what is "real" is a very thin one, but it is quite possible for the hijacking that comes with OCD to manifest as physical symptoms.

    Think of it this way: When we're looking at OCD, there are a constellations of symptoms, experiences, behaviors that have to be there to justify an OCD diagnosis. You (and Chris123) pretty clearly have those. If somebody had only one or two of the symptoms, they would not meet the criteria for OCD and thus, would not have it.

    Now compare that to looking at sexual orientation: Again, there are a constellation of things that, looked at together, tell us someone is same-sex attracted. Somebody that has a couple of symptoms or indicators, without the others, is not someone who is same-sex attracted. What happens with OCD is that people are unable to see that they have only a single symptom or two, and that the symptom they have, itself, can be caused by the OCD itself. So it's sort of recursive: You have one symptom, which triggers the OCD, which essentially manufactures other false symptoms, which the OCD picks up on and tries to rationalize... and the cycle repeats.

    Of course, as stated above, it does not matter how much proof there is that a given obsessive thought is untrue. A mountain of proof won't convince the person with OCD that their obsessive thought is ridiculous, because of the way the OCD works. And this applies to this situation.

    That's why, for many people, the only thing that brings comfort and respite from the obsessive thoughts is medication. And the medication can buy time to do the cognitive work to (at least for many people) rewire the brain and, in the long term, eliminate the symptoms.
     
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  14. masterofnone

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    yeh that’s the problem with this type of ocd. it sometimes manifests physically and everything you do suddenly becomes “gay”. as a man who isn’t particularly interested in sports and not a stereotypical “alpha” male (whatever that means) my ocd uses that against me even though i love women.
     
  15. Sadness

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    Oh nice input there, i actually few like i finally am starting to understand all this. Is kind funny how it seems just like you said and we only see a tiny part of a huge amount of things, and now reading again i am understanding what youre saying.

    But the real deal with ocd is that until its under control nothing will be right if i can say, i wont be satisfied with anything, bc i think thats how ocd works. And it kind pushes me back to all this agony that is really painfull sometimes. But now with this meds im starting to feel the difference i think, at least a little, of course there are times that i have intrusive thoughts, or when i see something that triggers me, i kind just close my eyes and say to myself that i should bear the discomfort, and it helps actually. I still have my fears about having a girlfriend and sex, im still scared that i will find oral sex in woman disgusting, mostly bc in porn men doing it turns me off so much lol. But i sit there with this discomfort and try to relax, bc well, i wont be gay if i dont like doing oral in woman, i know ppl that dont like either, is just that is so good to give woman pleasure that i want to do it, without this it seems so selfish. Well ill deal with thaf too.

    Hope yall be well.
     
  16. Chip

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    Yes, that's exactly it. And furthermore, not only will you not be satisfied, you aren't consistently able to discern the reality from the OCD-mediated false narrative.

    Exactly. And it's a horrible way to go through life. A professor of mine once gave the class an exercise: "For the next 2 days, absolutely, positively, do not think about elephants." Now, of course, it's near impossible to *not* think about something, even more so when you've been told not to think about it. OCD is like that, only 10 times worse because that thought process is neurochemically stimulated. You can no more decide you aren't going to have obsessive/intrusive thoughts than you can decide you're going to have your heart stop beating for 30 seconds.

    I'm really happy to see that you are seeing results from the medication.
     
  17. masterofnone

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    how do you know so much about ocd? just curious :slight_smile:
     
  18. Chip

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    I didn't up until a few years ago. A combination of a relatively sudden rise, a few years ago, in the number of here at EC of people with OCD centered around sexual orientation, some additional education I was already getting on abnormal psychology, and an interest in more deeply understanding it. I also know some people IRL who have suffered with OCD, and have several colleagues who specialize in treatin g it.
     
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  19. Sadness

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    Yeah you know a lot about this, you help a lot of ppl here, i think ppl come here bc is a place where anyone will judge you, and will support you. But i noticed that ocd has a pattern for everyone, theres always something that ties our posts together. I notice that by reading apt of posts here, i pretty much see a pattern in actions mostly, or reactions too. Thank you for your hard work, bc it must be hard to deal with us haha.
     
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  20. chris123

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    I’d like to echo the above. Thanks Chip, and everyone else who has the patience to deal with our incessant questioning. This is a great forum which welcomes a range of people. I realise it’s main audience, maybe besides this subtopic, is for LGBT+. Obviously I can’t say for certainty what I am, but the silver lining to my frequent visits here, although maybe not productive personally, is that I’ve learned a lot about the range of journeys that people here have gone through, which has really opened my eyes.

    I realise now that OCD is stopping me from coming to a definitive answer regarding my sexual orientation. The amount of questioning, anxiety, and doubt which surrounds this subject is NOT normal, or healthy. Recently I feel my thoughts have slightly moved away from sexual orientation and to harm theme of OCD. Urges / thoughts of stabbing, or punching, causing distress,or the worry I will act on it, or lose control. Ugh, now I’m just getting anxiety by almost accepting/embracing I actually have OCD - a chronic, anxiety inducing mental illness which will stay with me for life unless treated. The thought is almost as anxiety inducing as the themes it latches on to. Thing is, I kinda want to embrace being gay now, but can’t. I mean, honestly, who cares? My friends are all accepting and some LGBT themselves. And yet I don’t feel sexually attracted to men. I don’t think I ever have. I can feel drawn to good looking, confident men. But feeling genuine arousal? Not really. At least I think not. Even when typing this I get a sense of doubt. Anxiety, doubt, discomfort. Life goes on...

    edit: ending it like that seemed really bleak, ha. Wishing everyone a good Friday and weekend!
     
    #40 chris123, Jun 17, 2021
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