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12 Signs That You Might Have Sexual Orientation OCD

A checklist of common symptoms and behaviors. If you're suffering, consult a licensed professional.

Written by Dr. Jan Weiner

01 Sexual Orientation OCD (previously called Homosexual OCD or HOCD) is a subset in which sufferers constantly question their sexuality. It’s estimated that 10% of people with OCD have this specific subset.

02 Identifying subtypes of Pure OCD can be very difficult. Symptoms manifest differently for each sufferer. However, there tend to be common thoughts and behaviors that may indicate someone is suffering from Sexual Orientation OCD.

03 Dr. Jan Weiner is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York City.

1) Do you constantly worry or fear an unwanted change in your sexual orientation? For instance: Fearing that you will become gay when you are straight.
2) Do you worry that you are attracted to members of the same sex, such as strangers, friends, or celebrities, when you currently identify as heterosexual? And vice versa for those who identify as homosexual.
3) Do you worry that you are NOT attracted to members of the opposite sex (if you're straight) and that 'that might mean' that you are gay? And vice versa for those who identify as homosexual.
4) Do you worry that others may think you are the opposite sexual orientation from which you identify? For example: A straight man thinking "If my legs are crossed, do my guy friends think I’m gay?"
5) Have you ever checked your genitals for arousal after seeing someone of the same sex? And vice versa for those who identify as homosexual. For example: After viewing an arousing scene on TV, you worry that you were aroused by a character of the same sex even though you identify as straight. Or, you worry that you were not attracted ‘enough’ to a character of the opposite sex, even though you identify as straight.
6) Have you looked at same sex pornography and worried about if you were aroused? Or have you viewed opposite sex pornography and worried that you were not attracted/aroused enough?
7) Do you avoid watching TV or movies that contain homosexual characters? And vice versa for those who identify as homosexual.
8) Do you worry that you have hidden same sex desires that you just haven’t acted upon yet? And vice versa for those who identify as homosexual.
9) Do you search the internet for answers about your sexuality? For Example, Googling “How do I know if I’m gay?” Have you read sexuality blogs online to find evidence of whether you may be gay? Or have you read coming out stories looking for answers and/or reassurance of your sexual orientation.
10) Do you avoid sexual encounters because you worry that you may have a thought about a member of the same sex? And vice versa for those who identify as homosexual.
11) Do you avoid sexual encounters out of a fear that you won’t be able perform? For Example: Worrying that if you can’t get aroused by a woman that it might be evidence that you are gay?
12) Have you asked others for reassurance about your sexuality? For instance, constantly asking your friends if they think you're gay when you're straight.

*This checklist is not intended to serve as a replacement for a diagnosis by a qualified licensed psychologist.

About the author

Dr. Jan Weiner is a Made of Millions advisory board member and licensed clinical psychologist who practices in New York City. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and OCD, including Pure O. Learn more about her work at www.drjanweiner.com.

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