The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi Jeffrey, sir,

All of a sudden I am struggling with my HOCD again, but it's weirder now. All of a sudden I get erections thinking of the word "gay," and it makes me panic. I'm a homophobe. I don't want to be a gay person, I choose against it. I don't want to be bi either. I want to be straight. What can I do? Are there any prayers so this can go away? Why did this happen to me? I don't want this. Why can't I be normal and not worry about this kind of stuff? I don't think of guys sexually. Like I'll think homosexuality is a disgusting choice. Sometimes I won't get an erection and then I get one. I'm not sure if it's because I'm so worried I get one due to the OCD or what. Am I being punished? Why can't I be normal?


Answer

I suspect that you are perfectly normal, but you don't fully understand what is in the normal range.

Let's start with erections. When you first started getting erections, anything, everything, and nothing in particular would trigger your penis to get big. That is because your body gained a few function, but your brain didn't know exactly what to do with the ability. Like a little kid who discovers the light switch, your brain kept throwing the switch to see what happens. Over time you train it to behave ... well, most of the time. It continues to have the annoying habit of going off at weird and sometimes inconvenient times.

The actual mechanism for erections is a combination of increased blood pressure plus a small muscle at the base of the penis that clamps down on the vein that returns blood from the penis. The muscle keeps blood in the penis and the increased blood pressure pumps it up like a balloon. This then explains one cause of spontaneous erections. When you get nervous or excited, your blood pressure goes up and you get tense. But you haven't developed a refined control over what gets tense, so the muscle that clamps on the vein at the base of your penis is one of the muscles that tightens up. So talking to a new girl, getting up to give a report, or getting upset can all cause you to have an erection.

Your penis getting erect says nothing about your current mood. Sure, it goes up when you are sexually aroused, but it goes up for other reasons as well -- and sometimes for no particular reason. Guys will tease other guys about sporting erections because they will tease about anything available -- even when they know they can't always control their erections either. Yet, hear something often enough and you begin to doubt yourself.

An erection doesn't mean you have to do anything about it. Having an erection doesn't mean you need to drop your pants and start having sex, even though just having a erection causes those feelings to be there. You're going to have erections around girls -- it doesn't mean you should be having sex with them. You're going to have erections around guys. You're going to have erections when you are by yourself. The only thing it really means is that your penis got big and it will go back down in a little while.

What has happened is that your penis went erect when you thought of something loosely connected to sex, in this case homosexual sex. You panicked over it, which just made it stronger and last longer. Now you are caught in a cycle of fear that any time you think of homosexuality your body will respond. So your heart rate goes up, you get tense, and it happens again -- "See! I was right!" It doesn't cross your mind that you are inadvertently causing what you are worried about.

Homosexuality is a choice. It is a guy choosing to have sex with another guy. The reasons behind that choice are wide ranging, but they still come down to the person deciding he wants sex with another guy. You don't. That means you are not a homosexual. It really is as simple as that.