I think I have an addiction to gay porn?

If you’ve started to watch gay porn where previously you had no interest in this genre, then it’s perfectly understandable that you might be questioning your sexual orientation.

The first thing to remember is that it could be that you are bisexual, homosexual or even heteroflexible (where you are mostly straight but on occasion could enjoy homosexual experiences). Today’s world of LGBTQ++ can be confusing and also allow for a wide range of self-definitions when it comes to sexuality.

Exploring different orientations or sexual desires can form part of a healthy sexuality and acceptance of what your true sexual orientation is. However, for many men, using gay porn is a result of escalation in a similar way to using fetish porn. In these cases, the fetish is not one which holds interest in a way that aligns to their true sexuality.

Only you will be able to figure out in time whether you are homosexual or have a genuine interest in real sex with men. But, if you know you didn’t have those kinds of thoughts or leanings before you started to heavily use porn, and over time a taste for gay porn has developed, it could be another indication of novelty-seeking behavior that doesn’t reflect your innate sexual orientation.

For some people, using porn or porn-fantasies that don’t align to their innate sexual orientation can be a source of stress, anxiety and even deep disgust. As The Good Men Project describe:

...a user may keep testing to see if a particular porn genre is arousing—because he happens to find that prospect horrifying (and exciting). Then he masturbates to relieve the anxiety produced. He is like a person who can’t stop checking to see if the stove is turned off. Interestingly, addiction and OCD produce similar anomalies in the brain’s reward circuitry. Satisfaction becomes more elusive and drives continued unwanted activity.” (Wilson G. &.)

For this reason, if you have begun to develop tastes for gay porn that you are sure don’t align to your innate sexual orientation, it’s likely that you are experiencing similar mechanisms to users who escalate to fetish porn that doesn’t align with their innate tastes. This can be especially true if gay porn holds some kind of ‘taboo’ charge for you.

Rebooting appears to be one of the surest ways for men to discover if their tastes, including developing a taste for gay porn, have been the result of escalation and desensitization. Remember that for many men the “Coolidge Effect” of needing ever more novelty in the types of porn they use might account for a good deal of unusual or unwanted sexual tastes developing.

It’s also important to recognize that developing different tastes to what you consider innate can also affect men who know they are gay but feel drawn to genres like heterosexual porn or lesbian porn. This can be every bit as confusing for these men, and again it can be very helpful to reboot and see if a period of abstaining from using porn of masturbating to porn fantasies changes your desire to use this kind of porn over time.

If you discover after rebooting that you feel that you do have a sexual orientation that’s different to what you previously thought it was, remember to keep practicing self-acceptance. Seek support from people in your life who will be able to help you to work through what you’re feeling. There is nothing wrong with being gay when previously you thought you were straight, vice versa, or even realizing you are bisexual. However to get to your innate and healthy sexuality, first you need to overcome your porn addiction.

Wilson, G. &. (n.d.). Can You Trust Your Johnson? Retrieved 05 07, 2018, from The Good Men Project: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/can-you-trust-your-johnson/