Hello everybody! Long time lurker, 32 years old. Reading so many stories surrounding HOCD, I thought maybe the perspective on this of a guy who actually is gay would help. Distinguishing HOCD from repressed homo/bisexuality is not necessarily easy, and I fear some people may inadvertantly get very hurt here, so I thought to leave my story, which may help. When I was a child, I remember having what I now recognise as crushes on boys, which I used to recognise as envy: for their body, their nice faces, their masculinity. I never interpreted them as sexual in nature. I discovered masturbation on my own, at 12. At the time I used to do it very often, without porn or fantasy. It was only physical release for me. As my male friends started to take interest in girls, my feelings of inadequacy soared. My quick growth spurts (I'm now 195 cm, or 6ft 4' I believe) made me lanky, weak and clumsy/uncoordinated, plus I was considerably socially akward and had odd interests. At the time, I was very worried with my lack of drive towards girls, but I knew that hitting on them was what I was supposed to do, so that is what I tried, with no results at all other than some public humiliation. As years passed, and as I got both more mature and more and more frustrated with my loneliness and lack of release, sexual fantasy slowly became integrated into masturbation. It revolved almost always around girls, or more specifically female genitals, as the rest would do little for me. I would also get the occasional sex dream (but never a proper wet dream), which were mostly about boys. They were puzzling to me and made me feel depressed and broken, as did finding out that I got aroused by, for instance, male underware commercials, or that I could masturbate to mental pictures of my male friends. Eventually, I started to speculate that I might be gay or bisexual, but I rejected the idea with all my strength: I "knew" that I was straight, that I wanted to be with a girl and to have a "normal" life. I knew that the female anatomy turned me on, at least somewhat, I knew that the idea of kissing a man disgusted me, and I knew that I did not feel any connection with the über-camp gay guys who would occasionally appear on TV. But I suffered, A LOT. In this period, I would certainly have described my gay feelings as HOCD: I had almost all symptoms that people talk about, and reading sciency pages about it would have strengthend my misguided conviction I was straight. I think on a forum like this I would have dismissed and never talked about the obvious signs. By age 18–19 I had basically accepted I was going to live the rest of my life alone, as I saw myself as just not cut for women. Forunately, I did not have access to high speed internet on a private device, so (straight) porn use was an occasional treat which did not alter my regular pattern very much at all. I suspect that even if I had had it, I would probably have avoided using it constantly for my fear surrounding the whole subject of my sexuality. Anyway, at 21, I finally managed to get with a very awkward girl, with whom I was basically set up. It took me almost two months of dates to kiss her, and I delayed sex a lot. When I finally got there, everything worked just fine (well, just as fine as is to be expected from a first experience!). I never had any problem performing "down there", although I knew deep down that something was not right. Fortunately, her long, long list of issues made sure that my first (and last) experience of a straight relationship was hell on earth, so despite my huge fear of falling back into endless loneliness and frustration, I dumped her after a year and a half. Determined to explore what I really wanted for myself, I stumbled upon an elderly gay guy, on the internet, who finally helped me put the pieces together. I realised I was indeed mostly gay, and that all my HOCD sympoms were nothing but internalised homophobia. The change was quick: I felt reborn, like everything was finally clear, in its place. Two days later, I came out to my friends, who were (and are) almost all straight guys. Two months later, I hooked up with a man for the first time, and sex with him was an ecstatic experience: never had I felt happier in my life, and I doubt I will ever again. For the first time, I experienced life as it was supposed to be for me. Now I am in a very loving long-term relationship, and couldn't be happier about it. Almost paradoxically, while some people had suspected I might have been gay during adolescence, now that I am a grown man the revelation regularly astonishes people. Moreover, I regularly get the attention of women. I think it must be down to my newly found self confidence, which probably makes me appear more masculine. There are a couple more things I would like to say for people who really do have HOCD: I think it is normal for men to be attracted genitals in general. All in all, it's not like actors in straight porn are known for their tiny tiny love-appendages, and I myself can easily masturbate to lady-parts imagery, despite being maybe 98% gay. This very fact was a real obstacle for me. It is also normal to enjoy anal stimulation, which is down to the wiring of the nerves in the region, and hasn't got anything to do with sexual orientation. I personally know about half a dozen straight guys who enjoy it regularly. Also, being attracted to MtF people ("trannies") is a 100% straight kink. Personally, I would much rather enjoy a man with a she-hole than a woman with a willy. My gay friends generally agree. I'm almost sure at least some of those who report HOCD symptoms are actually repressed gay guys, as I was. If someone suspects he might be gay, I would strongly advise him to talk to someone who went through an experience like mine, which is maybe a third of gay guys. For me it was by far the best thing I did in my life, because I was in fact gay, but even if one is not, facing the issue and getting a picture of what being gay really means would probably ease the tension very much. People who aren't gay themselves and don't know well anybody who is often have a very distorted picture of male homosexuality. I should know, I was among them. To straight people who want to help with this, I can only say to be very careful to outright dismiss the idea that someone with HOCD might actually be gay or bisexual. Finally: how I got here. Up untill about the beginning of 2017 I had been using porn recreationally for some years. I then discovered porn clips on Tumblr, and boy was it a dopamine hit! I very quickly escalated and found out I was becoming more and more desensitised, in that I required more and more to get the same level of arousal. In bed I wasn't performing as well as I used to and was less and less interested in real sex. In fact, I used to wait for my boyfriend to leave the house in order to finally have the chance to masturbate to porn. When eventually I was unable to get it up for him, making him loose it as well, I realised I had a problem. I previously could masturbate to orgasm in ANY situation (and I do mean it) and even have sex with a woman, so I had always regarded my sexual function as merely "mechanical". You see why what was happening scared so much. After finding out about porn addiction, I gave up PMO and I am now about 40 days clean. I went through the usual stages of withdrawal, flatline and recovery, all very quickly, in a matter of a couple of weeks. Now I can report everything is fine again and I feel I am improving very rapidly, much more than I originally expected. I have very little cravings for porn and stuff that would have done nothing to me (e.g. the good old underware commercials) are becoming more and more arousing. I do miss masturbation during some longer streaks without sex, when my partner is not home. It will probably be safe to reintroduce it after my 90 days reboot, as I think I was only just starting to develop an addiction and I was able to steer away in time. Lucky me. PS: Sorry for the long post! Also, English is not my first language, so sorry for any mistakes.