I will come back to the great autogynephilia controversy later on, but it is clear that the reason that some of these studies have been so controversial, is that the sample has been to small or skewed.
If you go to a trannie bar and ask for the entertainment about sexual fantasies you are likely to get a different curve of answers than a random sample of interviewees.
There is however one untapped source of material that could give birth to several Ph.Ds on transgender sexuality, namely online transgender erotica.
If you really want to wonder about what turns transgender people on, you should visit some of the sites presenting TG short stories, captions (i.e. combinations of photos and ultrashort stories) and comics.
If you, for instance, read the erotic stories by Ed Miller, you will realize beyond doubt that the phenomenon of autogynephilia is real.
Obviously, there is no way to develop representative statistics of the whole transgender population this way. After all, not all of them publish stories over at Fictionmania. There could be that some types of transgendered are more likely to find an outlet through captioning and writing than others.
You could, however, use the material to develop a typology of transgender erotic interests, which again could be used to understand the transgender phenomenon.
Based on my own reading, I have come to some tentative conclusions.
There is for instance not only one "ideal" model for what it will say to be transgendered. Some do feel like women trapped in a man's body (or visa versa); others are caught in the middle between strong masculine and feminine forces.
Moreover, as you will find it among "normal" heterosexuals or homsexuals, there is a wide variety of transgender desires or even fetishes:
- Autogynephila: stories focused on men getting a female body and having sex in that body
- Cross-dressing: stories about men wearing women's clothing
- Sissyfication: stories about men being humiliated and changed into women by force
- Bimbofication: Men being changed into one of the most obvious stereotypes of what it means to be a woman
- Transsexuals: Men being used by transexuals (transensualism) or being changed into one themselves. (One variant is found in the Japanese intersex futanari)
- Age regression: Normally a sex change combined with the protagonist getting younger
- BDSM: all of the above combined with force and violence
- and so on...