Emotional and Mental Health Data Verified

Sexual Obsessions and OCD - Characteristics and Complications

Published on May 20, 2022   -  4 min read


Sexual obsessions are anxiety-inducing sexual thoughts that can arise in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Read the article below for more information.


What Is Sexual Obsession as Seen in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Sexual obsessions in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) constitute unwanted and intrusive sexual thoughts and images that cause considerable anxiety to the patient. An estimated 16.8 % of patients with OCD are affected by concurrent sexual obsessions.

Who Is Affected by Sexual Obsessions in OCD?

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

A patient displaying obsessions (frequent, repetitive thoughts and sensations) and compulsions (urge to repeat a habitual tendency over and over again) may be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The obsessions and compulsions experienced are accompanied by signs of anxiety and distress. The patient may also feel a sense of disgust at their obsessions. This is especially prevalent among those suffering from sexual obsessions with OCD since their obsessions occasionally border on obscene, inappropriate, or unacceptable sexual imagery and ideas.

What Characteristics Do People Affected With Sexual Obsessions in OCD Display?

What Themes Do Sexual Obsessions in OCD Commonly Follow?

Sexual obsessions in OCD may involve:

What Are the Complications of Experiencing Sexual Obsessions?

People suffering from intrusive sexual obsessions can experience intense disgust for themselves and lead to avoidance of people and social situations. Affected individuals may be consumed by feelings of:

How Can Sexual Obsessions in OCD Be Treated?

  1. Medications: Serotonergic medications such as Fluoxetine and Citalopram have been recommended for the clinical management of sexual obsessions and have shown better results in treating sexual obsessions than in other sexual behavioral disorders.

  2. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy for sexual obsessions relies on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

The two forms of CBT used for the treatment of sexual obsessions in OCD include:

Is Therapy Effective in People With Sexual Obsessions?

Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure with response prevention therapy have been known to provide some relief. However, there is an element of sexual obsessions with the obsessive-compulsive disorder that may be difficult to treat. People with sexual obsessions often display schizotypic personalities (schizotypic personalities are liable to develop schizophrenia and tend to show certain behaviors and signs indicative of but less severe than schizophrenia). These individuals are challenging to treat, and therapy may be ineffective or less effective than expected.


It can be exhausting to live with excessive anxiety and fear regarding one’s sexual thoughts (despite having no active desire to carry through on any of them). However, on a positive note, those affected should understand that their repulsion is proof that they will not engage in such activities. Furthermore, engaging in sound therapy and constant practice of the same can lead to better results and reduce anxiety while also giving one the confidence to interact socially without fearing any negative consequences.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
20 May 2022  -  4 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Can you suggest some medicine to overcome depression ?

Query: Hi doctor, I am suffering from depression and I have symptoms of OCD for the past ten years. I repeat my activities like reading the same line again and again being scared of missing something. I count each and every number and believe four is to be my lucky number and even while breathing I count...  Read Full »

How to treat anxiety?

Query: Hi doctor, I am suffering from anxiety. Please help.  Read Full »

Does random tenderness with swollen underarm lymphnode signify HIV infection?

Query: Hello doctor, I am 29-year-old, married male. I have a baby who feeds on breast milk. I had a sexual encounter before 8 months with a professional with a condom. I am 95% sure that my protection was intact. Then I started reading about the HIV symptoms and technicalities of testing online. Five day...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Sexual Obsessions & Ocd or ?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.