Looking for advise on combating same sex attraction


I’m new here and not sure if this is the right category or not, this subsection seems to be the most appropriate for this topic, anyway, here it goes:
I’m 20 year old guy in college, and have been feeling strong sexual attractions towards the same sex. When I first started 7th grade (first year of middle school for me), I began to notice girls that I liked, but never had any physical arousal. I first noticed guys around the age of 14 but didn’t recognize it for what it is, again still no physical arousal. It wasn’t until junior year that I was concerned about this attraction. I had begun to experience physical arousal as well, but the idea of homosexual relations still repulsed me. During junior year of high school, there was this girl that I liked, which put these concerns to rest. Freshman year of college, I met another girl that I liked which kept these concerns returning to mind. During the past year, I have once again experiencing attraction towards other guys, this time more intense. It wasn’t until about six months ago realized that same sex relations don’t repulse me any more, and I came to the realization that I could in fact be gay or bisexual. About a month ago, I committed a sin and masturbated to pornography for the first time, something I immediately felt ashamed and guilty of, I later confessed this to a priest. I have never dated or been in a relationship with anyone, but I feel that I can romantically bond with girls, the physical attraction just isn’t there. My sexual desires have started to surface more recently, fortunately I have my faith to keep me in check even though the temptation is growing stronger. I do not want to succumb to lust and commit sinful acts. Unfortunately with the culture we live in today, homosexuality is seen as mainstream with no need to change. Most conversion therapies have been outlawed or have simply fallen out of favor, making it harder for people like me who do not want to be gay. I want to fall in love, get married, and have kids like generations before me have. What can I do to get out of this hole I’m stuck in?


Im so saddened that you have been burdened with this heavy cross. You are still young however, and you sound like a great guy. With everything you shared, things may turn out fine. Some men for whatever reason go through some crazy thoughts in college. Discuss all of this with your priest. It might be a real good time to start a novena.


The priest I spoke to was nice and very understanding, he even said that at my age our hormones are out of wack, it is natural to be curious, and that can lead to these feelings. He didn’t condemn these feelings like I had expected. Also, what is a novena?


Hi a novena is a prayer one says for nine consecutive days. You can pray to a particular saint for their intercession. For purity you might choose Saint Maria Goretti. Or say the 3 Hail Marys daily for purity. Don’t stress about this. You are you and not reducible to a sexual orientation. Live in chastity and don’t act in haste. Keep praying. If you do suffer from same sex attraction it is a cross that can be carried in the single life. It is a heavy cross to be sure but you will be able to carry it with God’s help.

Just keep close to the Lord in the Sacraments and prayer and enjoy life. God bless you.


Have you looked into courage ?

I don’t know much about it other than it is an apostolate of the Catholic Church and I remember hearing Fr. Philip Bochanski on CAL.

Said a prayer for you. Keep close to the Lord, He will give you strength.

God Bless


i’m 19, and I struggled with, and still do sometimes, ssa through my teenage years. Puberty is where I got confused and insecure. I reckon a lot of people have some homosexual confusion around that age. Changes were happening to my body, and My dad never gave me a good talk on sex, so naturally I got insecure and lonely. I also didn’t have a proper anatomical understanding of men and women, and didn’t realize women had complimentary sex organs. just a couple factors that made things worse at first I think.

First of all, don’t pressure yourself to get married for outside reasons, I don’t think that’s what your doing though.

There might be a catholic or christian therapist in your area who would be willing to help you. Look for counseling in catholic charities. You just got to ask them. I got this book, and I highly recomend it:

It’s probably the best one, and its by a catholic author.

in the meantime you can check out the authors website, which has some articles on different topics:
they’re under resources > articles

It’s designed for the therapist, not the person who needs therapy, so as it is,it is a lot of information/theoretical practices, but not as much practical help; It’s tough to work on it alone, theres painful emotional work to go through, and you’d be better off having a therapist who knows what he’s doing. I had counseling, but I got impatient and got the book.

To begin though, it’s really about looking into deeper feelings behind sexual feelings, and bringing them to the surface, resolving shame, and facing grief. they usually have roots in your childhood, from weaknesses in parent or peer relationships, the book is especially blunt about all the faults of your parents that contribute to homosexuality and so read that stuff cautiously, a reckless reader might jump to the conclusion that their parents were terrible. It’s just that the book is focusing on what could have gone wrong, not what went right. it’s not black and white.

I’ve gotten a lot of hope from this book. Not what I expected, but good.

It’s good that you have been able to avoid pornography and masturbation. don’t underestimate the damage it can do. It makes homosexuality worse, it is a source of sexual trauma, which can later be sort of a ptsd sexual thing, which will keep a window open to sexual arousal toward it. the image of homosexual sex gets stuck in your mind, and we get scared of it.

I’m not good at giving advice on absolutely everything, but If you want to talk about something, feel free to send me a message.


Hmm…well, marriages are about romance more than physcial attraction.
I think it is a good thing that you can get to love a person before feeling sexually attracted to them. A great thing that can help with your chastity and to have a more pure love.

It sounds like you have difficulty and think you are getting aroused by men. Well, what helps is to think that your biology is not you, you are not your biological reactions.

Important thing is to not let it get to you. Treat it like how it is: a biological reaction that says nothing of you.

Now, here’s spiritual advice. Try to pray at least 5 decades of the Rosary a day. Whenever tempted, think of Christ crucified, perhaps very realistically. At the first moment of noticing you are tempted, pray for grace from God. Do not wait until it is almost too late.

Now, saints would throw themselves into bushes and roll in the snow for purity. Perhaps pinch yourself or hit yourself lightly on your body if you are thinking about something you don’t want to be thinking about. Nothing dangerous or too painful, just so you know you don’t want to do it.


Jesus said, in Mark 8:34,“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”. One of the things you have to do is to deny yourself. We all have things in our lives that we must deny; for me, it’s suicidal thoughts. I experience them every day and I must fight against them. I don’t find death appealing-- I just want the pain to stop and suicide seems like the only way.

For me, it is suicide that I must battle. For you, it’s homosexuality. It doesn’t mean that God loves us less. Have you tried fasting? it’s where you go without food and drink from sunrise to sunset. Give it a try if you haven’t done so already. It will greatly reduce your sexual desire, so it will be much easier to avoid pornography and masturbation.


You need to make an appointment with your priest and get counseling.

I am concerned that you mentioned conversion therapy. Please do not try this at all unless a qualified professional tells you to do so, which is very unlikely.


Just to be clear, in my book recommendation, I was not reccomending unqualified forms of “conversion therapy”, that involve shaming and trying to force someones orientation to change through abusive or unhealthy means, the book I was recomending is more about the emotional issues. The SSA’s resolve themselves or at least get better when the underlying emotional issues are resolved. I’m not recommending a pretend magic button. paradoxically, when one comes to accept the feelings they have, without shame, the feelings go down. Some people, especially the politically correct media, will call this bogus, but I don’t. I looked at it, and it made sense,and It worked, and I’m usually pretty skeptical.

It is very understandable to have apprehensions towards this sort of thing though. The media has put an undue amount of emphasis on the terrible forms of therapy, trying to make it look like all reparative or conversion therapy is like that, and dangerous. It’s political correctness, If there’s therapy, they are gonna want to shut it down, because they are really pushing gay rights. So they try to make all of it out to be bad.

Anyway the author of the book is Catholic author Joseph Nicolosi, who was a licensed phsycologist, and founder of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic, and specialized in helping men with unwanted same sex attraction. He used what he learned in his experience to help write his books. He passed away this year. the website is josephnicolosi.com

So I used this book. I originally was doing counseling with a catholic therapist, and got this book in my impatience. Neverthless it is much better if you can get a therapist, but if not, or as suplimentary material, I recommend this book.


I actually want to get married and have children. have only ever felt romantically attracted to women, I am just concerned that I won’t have enough physical arousal to consummate the marriage, and ultimately have children.


I was only talking about counseling, not anything that would cause me physical or emotional harm. The first person I’ve ever told about this was my school counselor, the problem is that their methods are all about self acceptance and embracing your sexua orientation. I kept emphasizing that I DO NOT want to be homosexual. I mentioned my romantic feelings are almost exclusively towards women, my friend group consists mostly of guys, the opposite seems to be true for gay guys, and the only thing that falls out of line is my physical arousal. The counselor then suggested that some people have an open relationship (meaning that they are married to one person and are emotionally supportive, but receive sexual pleasure from another person). That is textbook adulry. He then went on to say I could be Pansexual, Omnisexual, and a few others I’ve never even heard of. Clearly I’m not going to get the answers I’m looking for there.


I have found that in such circumstances and situations these counselors end up being more like confusers instead… And at times even religious based counselors add to the problem and confusion rather than negating it…


I had the same concerns. and now I realize there probably will be some issues I need to work on if I get married, but I can see it happening. I’m not ready for it right now though. Physicial arousal is not really as big as an issue as you might expect, have you ever had sex with a woman(hopefully not)? You don’t know what’s it going to be like untill it happens. When you are chaste, and don’t have sex with multiple people, your body can’t afford to be picky, sex is sex. Just saying. It’ll work. are bodies are designed for it. If you marry the woman you love, you will make it work. You will be willing to work through whatever kind of discomfort you have from closeness with women for your wife.

You said your friend group mostly conists of guys. That is interesting. Was this always the case? I think before and around the time of puberty is when you want to pay attention.
In my case, early on in highschool I was hanging out with girls at lunch. about midway through I realized this wasn’t helpful for me, and It suddenly ended, and I switched to hanging out with the guys. I remember distincly in 5th grade my close friends, and they were boys, but I lost that toward the end of middleschool and going into puberty. It’s not the most important thing, but it can he a hint at what’s going on. so I wonder if you missed something here.

and when you say “romantically bond”, what does that mean? Is it an affectionate sort of attraction, or is it just knowing how to get on a girls good side. Knowing how to make women happy, and romantically bonding to them, is not the same thing. As is/was my case, you can know how to be the perfect gentleman, always striving to please women, all while you are actually exhausted by them, but fear of getting emotionally hurt(by their negative reaction to you), keeps you doing it. I try not to do this, but I used to, without realizing it, especially during early highschool.

Then every once in a while, as might be the case with you, a girl will catch my interest. But its occasional. It’s when a girl is emotionally independant, and seems to have a respect for men and masculinity and(me), then I am interested, because I am not afraid of being drained and having to put on a “nice guy” act.

For counseling, your best bet is a catholic counseler. I believe the majority of secular counselers share similar views, I think school counselers are not even allowed legally to give alternate advice.

For marriage have patience. There might be some goals you want to work on before seeking marriage. for example, I know my relationships and self identification with men, while present, is weak, and I know that in order to reach outside of myself(and my gender), to another(and the other gender), It will help to be more firmly established with my own. so deeper and healthy male relationships are what I am reaching for at the moment, marriage can wait a little, I’m only 19 after all.


There is a lot to talk about, but I have too much information, so I’m taking it one step at a time, presenting some information, seeing how it holds up, and then moving on to a more relevant topic. This is complicated stuff. I really recommend the book, as it is the basis of most of what I talk about, I’m just applying my own experiences.



I had much the same experience when I was your age, of romantic attractions to women and sexual attractions (for the most part) to men. I think it’s important that you realize that life is long, and that you cannot perfectly predict the future. Your desire for marriage and a family is a good desire, and it is a possibility for you. I am married with kids today, so I’m living proof of that. At the same time, I would encourage you not think about marriage as the “promised land”. If you really fall in love with a woman, and she with you, great! But even in that case, I think you will want to find that your body is responding to her. If that’s not happening, it’s a real concern.

I like a lot of the suggestions Joe has made, but I do want to flag this as something I disagree with. Again, life is long. Joe’s advice is sound for the wedding night and the first year, for most men, but I think that chemistry between two people is more than that. I don’t mean to make you think that sexual chemistry is the most important thing, at all. But you want your wife to know your desire, because she deserves it.

The thing I love about Joe’s advice is that he’s saying not to worry too much about compatibility with women right now. Just live your life, and see what develops. You never know what chemistry God has out there for you.


I think you turn more towards God in prayer, It is possible to fall in love with God and it seems to me that your desires might be set in more right order the closer you move to God. Have you thought about Eucharistic Adoration? A huge number of college students do adoration at my parish which is a university parish. Go before Jesus and ask him for the grace to overcome it.

I’m strongly attracted to women, yet I am chaste and have been pure, at least in that way, for a long time. It’s quite possible to be chaste whether you are heterosexual or towards the same sex in your attraction.

I think if you foster relationships with women and simply say “no” to nurturing your inclinations towards men, your same sex attraction might subside.

I’m sure there are awesome books on what you’re dealing with. Hope my words might help a little bit. You are included in my Holy Hour intentions before the Living God.


Nah, this sounds a bit like hoping women will “turn you straight”. Never heard of that working. I love your suggestion of falling in love with God, though. Whatever our unchosen inclinations, love for God gives us power to choose what is right.


The point I was trying to make is that when we are involved in things like porn and masturbation with fantasies, we are searching for more and more satisfying sex, it disapoints, and we try to find something unique. When you overcome those habbits, that disatisfaction with less erotic(kinky) forms of sex isn’t gonna be the same problem.

I think it is important for there to be some chemistry in a marriage. Just sometimes we get preoccupied with “why am I so interested in the same sex”, that we forget that we can be interested in the opposite sex, cause its not as apparently exciting. What I read in the book is that alot of guys got caught up worrying about their sexual performance, which didn’t end up being an issue, . when the real issue is if they can maintain stable emotional intimacy, staying assertive.

I guess what I really meant is that the body doesn’t discriminate, but the mind does. So if you become attracted to woman first as a friend, then gradually romantically, it should work out, despite the fact that you have predominant occupations with the same sex in the past.

But good advice all the same. I probably will be more aware of these concerns if I start dating, but I’m not right now, so I’m chill about it.


I will pray for you. I think you are so brave and also very wise despite the times we live in. It’s so good that you found an understanding priest, is there a way you can keep in touch with him? I agree with what others have said, that regular Mass, Confession and an adoration hour would help you. Keep close to Jesus, and entrust this cross to Him! He will help you, and never leave you.

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