If I could describe today in one word it would be educational. The guy from Every Man’s Battle replied to my message and agreed to be my accountability partner. I must give him some background and contact details and stuff.
Throughout the day I was focused on my work and on learning more about OCD since I seem to show signs. Back when I began learning to control my anxiety I recognised some OCD symptoms in my pornography addiction and the exhibitionistic thoughts that I had. (Again I won’t go into any details about the latter since it doesn’t add value to anyone and only makes this blog that which I don’t want it to become. But, know that I never exposed myself to anyone because it’s just wrong morally, ethically, and legally. It demeans me and the victim and it dishonours God.) But, reading about some guys struggling with HOCD yesterday and seeing those symptoms in myself, made me want to find out more.
Sexual orientation, erections and desire
So I returned to the OCD specialist’s website for parts two and three of the article. Part two basically explains what Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and what other methods are used to treat OCD. Part three focuses on the tendency to determine one’s sexual orientation by noting genital responses and the futility of it all. This I can identify with because during my early college years I was tempted to prove that I am not gay by looking at and masturbating to pics of women. But, I didn’t do it because I had nothing to prove. What he wrote correlated with what Gary Wilson and Marnia Robinson from yourbrainonporn.com said in their article Can you trust your johnson?. In the article they explain how some porn watchers begin to think that they are gay because they get erections from gay/tranny and all other kinds of non-heterosexual porn and the desire that builds up.
The point is you can’t judge your sexual orientation by the erections you get. You will get an erection whether you find the thing disgusting, entertaining or pleasurable. The constant mental or physical checking just creates the sensations and the situations that you do not want to experience. The anxiety (fight or flight) and sexual response circuits are interconnected in our brains so when our anxiety becomes severe our brains can misinterpret the signals and cause sexual arousal. But, sexual arousal does not equate desire. And that is where many people including researchers are mistaken.
As you can see this topic is something I am very passionate about. I don’t know whether it’s still done but clinicians used to test rapists and other sex offenders to see whether they were cured of their mental illness by subjecting them to pornographic images and normal images of their preferred gender and age group mixed in with the groups of people. They would hook the men up to a penile plethysmograph which measured the change in penile volume. If the subject got an erection from a pic they found stimulating, the offender would flunk the test. The device was also used in shock therapy to tell the clinicians when to shock the guy. A similar device exists for women. (Sorry for not giving you all the links. I deleted the info from my hard drive a while ago and will not looking for the info again. You’ll have to look things up for yourself.)
Now all this misunderstanding adds to my fear of getting erections in awkward public settings. I’m sure you all know that men get erections and sensations in their penis and other genitals for no apparent reason and even non-sexual reasons.
I read in a parenting forum about a woman asking other moms for advice about her husband who gets erections sometimes when he holds their baby. The women on the forum were outraged and denounced the man. There was another account of a man who sometimes got an erection when he showered with 5 year old son and there was another man when he showered with his daughter. It made me worry about whether I would one day be in the same boat. I am not a pedophile. But, I do have Pedophilic OCD thoughts wondering whether I might be one yet knowing that I’m not one. I don’t find children attractive. They are cute and funny. But, not attractive.
There is an article on Psychology Today written by a psychologist who treats rare forms of OCD including HOCD and POCD. He relates how he treated a man with POCD who had almost cut himself of from his family and his daughter and her friends because he had OCD thoughts and wondered whether he was a pedophile. The man had absolutely no pedophilic tendencies at all. The psychologist treated the man and within two months, I think, he was free.
Response to POCD fears
I identified with the man. I do my best not to interact with children I don’t know even though I know their parents. Even with the kids in my extended family, I minimise my interactions out of fear that people might misinterpret my actions. I also avoid being alone in a room with girls. I am very aware of boundaries and stay well clear of them. The justice system is very unfair towards men and sex offenders are the lowest of the low in prison. And I don’t want to enter either one of them. So, I think I fit the bill for having OCD…
So yeah, I have more thinking and introspection to do. I still wonder if all this is real whether I have OCD, I mean.
Well, tomorrow is another day. The links to the articles on OCD I will add tomorrow. Now, I’ve got some work to do.