OCD Sexual obsessions

OCD: Sexual Obsessions

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterised by persistent, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts that cause distress and may involve a behaviour such as a compulsion, ritual or avoidance to try and relieve discomfort/distress. There are several categories of obsessions:

1. Contamination from germs
2. Responsibility for harm, injury or violence towards self or others
3. Unacceptable thoughts that involve immorality, blasphemy or sexual inappropriate thoughts
4. The need for symmetry and completeness or feeling “just right”

OCD: sexual obsessions are of a sexual nature and can involve thoughts and questions about whether you’re gay, want to have sex with a family member or are a paedophile. Individual’s are very distressed by these sexual thoughts and spend a lot of time debating these questions and will often avoid situation that are likely to trigger the thoughts. For example, an individual with paedophile obsessions might avoid giving a bath to their niece or let them sit on their knee. Other individuals might have thoughts about being gay and then check to see if they have an erection when looking at attractive guys. Other people have intrusive thoughts about hurting their partner during sex, or fear about being sexually attracted to their family members.

OCD can cause significant impairment in everyday living. It can reduce time for intimacy due to lengthy rituals required before bed, it can add to general stress levels which diminish sexual desire, and can lead to sexual avoidance if sexual obsessions intrude during sexual activity.

Many people with sexual obsessions are ashamed to discuss their obsessions or have magical thinking, and worry if they say them aloud they will become true.

Further detailed information can be found at the International OCD Foundation

There are many good consumer resources for OCD available on Podcast: