The fear of being unfaithful to your partner, of sexually abusing someone, having inappropriate relations with a minor, being homosexual, these are all forms of sexual obsessions. Having sexual obsessions is like having an interrogator in your head that won’t stop questioning you until you say yes. These obsessions make you second guess yourself and wonder if you’re actually a monster in sheep’s clothing.
Sex has great importance in many cultures, hence why it ends up being a target of obsession with someone who has OCD. I’ve struggled with sexual obsessions, and it has caused me stress to the point where I had physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach problems.
Obsessions I’ve had were fears that I wanted to have sex with inanimate objects or with religious figures such as Satan. Looking closer, I feared that if these thoughts were true, then I’d be a social outcast and I’d have no friends. It’s difficult to explain to friends why these thoughts are upsetting because their responses are often “Think of something positive,” “Stop thinking about it,” “Think of something else.” I know my friends are trying to be helpful, but sometimes if I try to think of something else, then the fear comes back like a pack of buffalo. I’ve also had others tell me that I’m weird for telling them my thoughts, which is hurtful but its because they don’t understand.
It needs to be overemphasized that sexual obsessions are not the same as sexual fantasies. Sexual obsessions are distressing and disturbing. OCD sufferers shudder at the thought of the obsessions coming true. Sexual fantasies are enjoyable and often harmless.1
Mental health professionals unfamiliar with OCD may attribute symptoms to the unconscious, sexual crisis identity, or hidden paraphilia. This misdiagnosis may cause more confusion, stress, and harm to the patient. Fortunately, sexual obsessions respond to the same type of effective treatment as other forms of OCD-therapy and medication.1
My sexual obsessions don’t fill me with dread like they did before. When one of them pops up, I’ve told Mr. Squiggleskins and convinced myself that my fears aren’t true.
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