December 23, 2009

Crossdreaming ("autogynephilia") and loneliness

How do you explain to the woman you love that you dream about taking her role?

Living with autogynephilia can be hell, there is no doubt about it. Here we are, living in a society that seems to judge us by our ability to live up to masculine ideals, while we dream about being women full time or at least about allowing our "inner woman" to be an important part of our otherwise "manly" lives.

We love women, and we fall in love with women, and we want to be with them, just like other men. But how do you approach women, when they have no reason to expect anything else than a "normal" man. How do you tell a woman that you dream about being the catcher, when she is looking for a pitcher?

I am going to republish parts of an email I have gotten from another autogynephiliac. Let's call him Anonymous 20+ The text expresses the pain and the anguish that can follow from this condition. He is in his twenties.

If you have any advice or experiences that can be of help, please add a comment!


Teenage love and acceptance

"I am a ... male with autogynephilia along with crossdressing. Almost all my fantasies involve identifying with the 'female' role, though this has not precluded me from a couple of fulfilling relationships in the past. I have had girlfriends, two of which were serious(...). I've had sex with two partners -- both were these two serious girlfriends. The last time was about four years ago....

My first girlfriend (let's call her FirstLove) knew about my crossdressing and fantasies (we dated [as teenagers]). I told her , though it was immensely painful to do so. Luckily, she accepted me for it. I kind of knew she would because she had a big heart. We were both each other's firsts etc. I suppose I am a fool for leaving her, but I was young and didn't know any better. Now she is married. She used to go shopping with me for clothes, and we had good sex and similar sex drives, and were very close to each other, she was aware of my fantasies and even sometimes played along, so I know it's possible to have a fulfilling relationship as an autogynephile.

Something's wrong with you

I did not tell my next girlfriend , in college. Let's call her SmartGirl. Our relationship slowly progressed to staying at each other's apartments, and we eventually had sex a few months in....Sometimes the sex with SmartGirl was good though, I think partly because we were together long enough to establish trust and build some physical chemistry, even though I didn't tell her my fantasies...

But SmartGirl had a feeling something was up with me. I think because later I avoided sex , partly I felt like I was hiding something (which I was) , partly because I didn't care , and partly because I felt "why be intimate if she could never accept the full picture?" So I remained kind of distant. I also had to fantasize about taking the female role to enjoy sex. And I still crossdressed by myself at my apartment....some months later, she eventually left me because I did not make her feel 'desirable'. So she cheated on me and left. Partly I think this was because I was not paying her enough attention and initiating sex enough.

So I pick up and move on...- then this whole thing happens again the next year with a third girl, let's call her ArtistGirl. That is, ArtistGirl leaves me after telling me I didn't make her feel desirable. SAME THING. You can imagine how I felt after that. ...

After that, I completely avoided relationships with women, just because I became so scared about this whole thing. I was literally in despair on and off for the past four years.

Two things kept running through my mind:

(1) I was a fool to have left FirstLove who I lost my virginity to and the only girl who KNEW and accepted my fantasies

(2) Having the same failure happen TWICE in a row with the next two girlfriends (SmartGirl and ArtistGirl) -- neither of whom I had the guts to tell about my fantasies or crossdressing -- and then have them both leave me , because I did not make them 'desirable' or 'wanted'. This made me realize this was something on my end.

What a horrible feeling.

I literally remember the second time when ArtistGirl told me the same thing as SmartGirl (basically, "what's wrong with you?", "don't you enjoy sex?", "don't you want me?") I just felt my stomach sink and my heart sink and I felt like I was going to cry. I felt ill and the room was spinning. I thought to myself, "am I going to be alone the rest of my life now?" I felt incredibly stupid, like I was misleading them as to who I was , since I wasn't a 'normal' guy, I was some damaged fuckup. Anyone who says it's easier to be gay or trans has no idea how painful this is.

In hiding

For the past several years, I simply lived alone and crossdressed on and off, despite my desire to have a girlfriend and to be in a long term relationship..

Part of me just wants to say fuck it and be alone. But that gets incredibly lonely. It's only fun for a little while. Part of me wants to seek out a partner, but I feel like we'd have differing expectations -- what could I offer her, and what could she possibly expect to offer me?

I mean, if a girl is attracted to the 'male' me and wants me to be the 'top' in her fantasies, how can I possibly explain to her I am fantasizing about being in her role? Can this even work? And further, how can I possibly expect her to accept that *her* role is what I find sexually arousing? I suppose FirstLove did... I mean I realize it's possible but how to go about this? The logistics seem impossible. When to bring it up? I don't mind switching off roles, but I just don't know how to get to that point in intimacy anymore... I seriously wish this never happened to me.

I avoided all opportunities with women the past few years due to an immense fear of failure and internal pain. (ie. I am damaged goods, why should I bother, etc). Recently I decided that , well , I'm 26, I better try to find a girlfriend if I ever want someone to accept me and to have children with etc. If I fail, I fail, whatever I'll just live by myself and crossdress and get on with things.

So I go out and make an effort to find a girlfriend. I've been working out, staying fit, healthy, etc. I don't really crossdress that much these days, maybe once every month or two. It's more the fantasies that are the problem.

Incompatible?

Anyway, this is somewhat successful, and within a few months I have a girl , lets call her Girl4, who is interested in me. I could now hypothetically go over to her house whenever I wanted to sleep with her. But I don't really want to... I do and I don't... For example, we have given each other backrubs and explored each other's bodies somewhat. But I am scared out of my mind. I feel like we don't know each other that well, and we have mismatched expectations. For example, we are lying together, and she's asking me all the things I want to do to her. She is talking dirty to me in a 'hetero' way. I just feel so lost.

... Part of the problem here is that we have the SAME fantasies. She wants to be the female role and to be sexually submissive. ... She is fantasizing about me in the dominant role! I don't mind indulging this as long as she understands where I'm coming from.. that I identify with HER role and I am playing along for our mutual enjoyment. But obviously she doesn't understand this . because I haven't explained it yet.

I might feel differently if I knew that we were in a relationship and that she was committed to making things work etc at least for a little while. Then I might feel more comfortable trying to make things work, experimenting with my 'male/dominant' role etc. I don't mind 'switching' sexual roles (dominant / submissive) or trying it at least, if we switch off. I might even be able to enjoy taking the dominant role , based on identifying with her reactions . But there is zero comittment here , and I feel she thinks I'm something I'm not.

I explained to her when she asked that I was 50% dominant and 50% submissive (which I suppose was misleading because I left out the 50/50 gender component), I also explained that I was nervous about being with a new girl, it had been a few years, etc. I think she understands that I'm unusually sensitive and understanding as a lover -- and I can also tell she really likes it -- but I don't think she understands the full implications and all the associated problems. I feel like I'm navigating a sea of postmodern schizophrenic sexuality with no markers or reference points.

I am curious if I can perhaps enjoy sex with her by taking the 'male' role , then by identifying with her in the submissive role, but then I get back to , "well, why not just dress up by myself?" This is way less effort and I know it's at least partially gratifying. Then I think , well maybe I can make it work with this new girl if I explain to her my fantasies at some point, and she is okay with it, and we switch off or something. But then we go through the circle of maybe I should just have sex with her first, then explain. Very confusing...

So that's where I'm at today. A potential girlfriend and I'm scared and I just don't know what to do. ...

As for me -- I don't want a sex change, though sometimes I fantasize about it, but I think that's just a fantasy. I am somewhat comfortable in my male role. I don't mind leading when I have to. But I also like to be in a female role sometimes. I feel like I'm 50% male and 50% female. I am open to fulfilling my girlfriends fantasies if she accepts me for mine, but reaching this level of intimacy is a catch-22. I simply don't know how to go forward. It's much easier at this age to be alone, and it doesn't help that I've cut myself off from female contact for four years.

Not knowing makes it easier

It was much easier when I was younger because I didn't think about all these things. My girlfriend and I just fell in love. It didn't really occur to me how messed up I actually was. Part of it was that we were both virgins and I didn't think about the details. She loved me so much she didn't care I was damaged goods. But now ... there is a completely different set of expectations. Girls are looking for guys with alpha qualities, not damaged goods they can fix up. On top of this, Casual sex is the norm in my peer group -- but I find casual sex absolutely repulsive. Vanilla Sex in general I don't even find arousing.

I did enjoy sex with my first girlfriend, but this was because I trusted her immensely and we loved and took care of each other. Part of it was also I could get away with autogynephilic fantasizing and my first love didn't seem to care. She even played along because she loved me. But now I seem to need to establish a high level of intimacy before I can perform and even enjoy sex because I'm so scared about the extent of my fantasies. Hell I don't even care that much about sex. It's more about giving my partner what she likes , and in return she loves and accepts me.

Two failed relationships though have really made me worried that I'm too damaged for this anymore.

So I have no idea what to do. Whether I should keep trying to find a partner, whether I should just give up and spare myself the pain, how I should proceed , whether I should explain myself up front, whether I should try to have sex first and then explain myself, how other autogynephiles approach their sex life, etc.

Anonymous 20+

Jack's comment

I have added my own reply to this email as the first comment. I am afraid I might have written something wrong, because I haven't heard from Anonymous 20+ since. I have permission to republish the text, though.

Let me add here that this email and others like it tells me that it is far too easy to dismiss autoghynephilia as a mere "fetish" that can be controlled by free will. It runs deeper, much deeper, which is why it is so hard to handle.

This email is also relevant to the debate on whether autogynephiliacs are self-obsessed "autoerotics" in love with their inner woman. The theory of Blanchard & Co classifies autogynephilia as a paraphilia, saying -- in essence -- that autogynephiliacs are unable to establish regular relationships with women, because they have internalized their external object of desire.

This email tells me that there is a much simpler explanation. Autogynephiliacs are caught in a Catch 22 of shame and confusion, and find it hard to believe that a regular love life is even possible. No wonder they escape into a secret life of hidden cross-dressing or erotic fantasies. The question is: What can we do about it?



UPDATE ON TERMINOLOGY

Since this blog post was written I have stopped using the terms "autogynephilia" and "autoandrophilia" to describe people. The reason for this is that the terms implicitly communicates an explanation for why some people get aroused by imagining themselves as the opposite sex . This explanation, that this is some kind of autoerotic paraphilia,  is both wrong and stigmatizing. Instead I use the neutral term "crossdreamers".

Click here for a discussion of the dark side of the autogynephilia theory.

65 comments:

  1. Thank you for a heartfelt and helpful email. I have come to the conclusion that bringing all these issues out in the open -- like in emails and in a blog -- is of help in itself, even if there are no direct answers to our dilemma.

    And in your mail you go straight to the core of the problem. It is not really about fetishes or "internalizing the external object of desire". It is all about the basic, sexual desire to take the woman's traditional role when having sex, being the catcher instead of the pitcher, or "the bottom" instead of "the top".

    It took me a long time to understand this. Although I, like most of us AGPs I guess, is fully capable of taking the active "thrusting" role when having sex, it doesn't give me much pleasure. It is more of chore, really, and like you I cannot stop wishing that I was at the receiving end. And the more I think about this, the more I am convinced that this is something that is hardwired, not a result of childhood trauma.

    At the face of it, there doesn't seem to be any sensible solution to the problem. Becoming a woman would make the longing for being the receiver socially acceptable, but since we love women, we still face the same problem of AC DC compatibility.

    There are women out there that are the mirror image of us; who want to be the top, but they are hard to find and many of them are lesbians totally uninterested in men, even men who dream about being women.

    So it sucks! It sucks a lot!

    Still, it is not hopeless. Not at all! There are many autogynephiliacs out there that find love and manage to keep their woman, in spite of everything. The reason for that is that is that sex isn't everything. I have to remind myself of that again and again. Sex isn't everything! And by that I do not mean that we are to live without satisfying sex -- not at all! -- but that relationships based on love and a wide array of common interests leave room for compromises and pleasurable variation.

    The good thing for us is that women (in general) seems to be so much better at building meaningful relationships than men (and in this respect autogynephiliacs are men). They are not as obsessed with sex as we are. For them a serious relationship is much more about commitment, sharing feelings and experiences, being liked for what you are, and -- often -- raising a family. Sex is part of that, but far from the most important part. This means that many of them are willing to do a lot to please their man, if he does the same for her.

    That's why many women, even "bottoms", gladly take on the active role if they see that that will please the one they love. It turns them on to see him being turned on. In return he can "play" the role of the active male in order to please her, even if it doesn't "do it" for him. That is a trade that is definitely worth the price.

    Now, you might argue that this presentation of the differences between men and women is a stereotype. It is. The fact is that both you and I and most men long for the same meaningful relationships as they do, but through various forms of male bonding and male culture we have come to believe that the ability to be 100 percent "manly" is much more important than it really is.

    This reminds me of the endless male obsession with penis size. Pure statistics tells you that 50 percent of all men will have to have a penis that is of an average or smaller than average size. In spite of this all men believe that average is not good enough. Do women care about penis size? I am sure some of them do, but most of them are sensible enough to understand that all things considered, there are other factors that are more essential for ensuring a successful relationship than a couple of inches of flesh. Besides, there are so many other delightful ways of pleasing a woman.

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  2. The problem for me (and for you, it seems), is that we are so afraid of telling our girlfriends what we like, because we are afraid to lose the love we already have. By telling her there is a realistic risk of losing her, so we keep quiet.

    Then having sex becomes more of a chore, where the only role you can play is the least satisfying one: the one of the proactive man. This is so unsatisfying that we end up avoiding sex altogether. That makes our girlfriends very insecure. Often it is not the lack of sex that pisses them off, but the fact that we make them feel undesirable. They start doubting our love for them, which makes perfect sense. After all, they have no way of knowing how we feel. We are not telling them.

    You may have read Susanne's blog "My husband is an autogynephiliac". It is a great blog on so many levels, but in this case I would recommend it because it gives us a better idea of what a woman married to an autogynephiliac may feel about these matters. I think the fact that she has a link to a site on pegging ("Take it like a man") http://www.take-it-like-a-man.com/ says a lot about her willingness to understand and accept her man's desires. But she is pretty clear about what she wants in return, openness, sharing and the process of growing closer, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually -- you name it!

    She has recently written about autogynephilia as an addiction. Crossdressers may become obsessed with indulging in their erotic fantasies in private. http://susannejourney.blogspot.com/2009/11/three-months-later.html Crossdreamers (autogynephiliacs who do not cross-dress, but who fantasize about having a woman's body) can become addicted to transgender internet porn, making erotic TG captions etc.

    I do not think autogynephilia is an addiction like alcoholism at the outset, but it can become one if the sexual drive cannot find a natural outlet. Given that the self-esteem of an autogynephiliac is already weakened by shame and secrecy, this addiction can make it even more difficult to engage in a meaningful relationship with a woman. It reinforces the tendency for him to shut the woman out, destroying the relationship in the process.

    So it is hard. Extremely hard. But then again all relationships require hard work, and in many cases shared problems is what makes them thrive.

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  3. You tell me about your first love: "She used to go shopping with me for clothes, and we had good sex and similar sex drives, and were very close to each other, she was aware of my fantasies and even sometimes played along, so I know it's possible to have a fulfilling relationship as an autogynephile."

    You left her. So you fucked up big time, no doubt about it! But we all do -- many times -- and in your case you know that it is possible to have a good relationship with a woman. Needless to say, I think you should try again. If you fail, try again... and again. This requires courage, persistence and a willingness to be humiliated, but it is definitely worth the risk.

    I have no clear answer to your other question, which is basically when to tell her about your condition. I guess that from an ethical point of view, you should tell her right away, so that you are not misleading her into a relationship based on false premises.

    There are girls that could handle such a message up front, but then again there are also those that would back off immediately, finding it all too strange for comfort. If she learned to know you better she might decide to stay -- for other reasons.

    The best thing would therefore be to establish a personal relationship first, to learn to know each other, and then tell her when trust has been established. But modern dating and mating habits make that hard, because sex is supposed to be part of a relationships at such an early stage.

    I believe the reason some autogynephiliacs succeed in establishing meaningful relationships is that they have no clear understanding of their condition at the outset.

    When I met my girlfriend, I did realize that my sexuality was slightly different from the norm, but I had other issues and believed that I could sort it all out and find my way back to normality.

    Boy, was I wrong! Still, now we know that we love each other for many reasons. If I knew what I know now, I am not sure if I would dare to approach her. I would be stupid if I didn't, but I understand your fear. I was scared enough at the time!

    Still, I think you exaggerate the demands of modern woman: "Girls are looking for guys with alpha qualities, not damaged goods they can fix up."

    Sure, there are many of them that would do anything to avoid "damaged goods", but then again that is not the kind of girl you are looking for, is it? You are looking for one who realize that life is hard for all of us, and such women often have their own "baggage". The fact that my girlfriend has issues of her own, has probably helped her understand me a little better. And I believe my problems have made me a much more patient and understanding man.

    Whether your new girl is the right for you, I don't know. In the end it all comes down to the individual cases, and they are all different. I hope you try, though!

    Jack

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  4. first off, this person is NOT stupid for leaving his first love (I married my first love, but sometimes I wished I had explored more before settling down). And secondly.. Shit shit shit, this so hits close to home. I don't know how many times my wife complains that we dont have sex enough (not to mention she's approaching her peak), and she does sometimes ask "Am I still attractive?", to which i say yes. In fact, during sex I sometimes lose my libido, and she thinks she's done something wrong, to which I say "no, it's not you, it's me", even though I don't elaborate. I also assume I'm like other guys, where sex becomes stale, and I'm just not having sex because it's boring and I need variety (al bundy comes to mind, hating to have sex with his wife), but now I realize that's not it at all, it's because I'm having these feelings.

    I will admit, I did have sex with my wife once while i was still dressed up. It felt pretty good, but I still felt like a man, just a dressed up one. Also, I feel weird almost forcing my wife to have a semi-lesbian experience. We've both decided to explore sex outside the marriage (tried swinging, didn't work out), so I basically give her permission to find partners. I hope to have my first sexual experience with another crossdresser soon, I think once I know what it feels to play with another guy, and I can evaluate those feelings, I can try to figure out exactly what I really want.

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  5. Jack, Excellent post and excellent responses! I hope that the person who sent you the email is still reading your blog...

    As for me, tg_captioner says it all, "This really hits close to home..." My only difference is that I didn't know about any of this stuff when I got married, divorced, and then went into another long relationship. I was just a guy with an extra large closet... Sometimes I wish I still didn't know...

    I now enjoy the solitude which I used to call loneliness. I hated being alone. When I am alone, I can hear my own heart beat and my thoughts coursing through my brain... These sounds can drive us crazy if we don't learn how to accept them and don't try to understand them...

    You are correct, Jack, that this sucks big time and it does make relationships and starting relationships much more difficult than it should be but it is not impossible...

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  6. I have so many thoughts! I'm actually going to split this into two responses, so I'll start with how I think most women feel when they don't know that they are in a relationship with an AGP. Women are told that men want sex constantly and that while they prefer attractive women, they can "make do" with just about anyone. So when your man avoids having sex with you or loses his libido (more than once-in-awhile) during sex, the female feels a huge rejection. The only thing that they can come up with in their minds is that he must think that you are less than the "make-do" woman. (Either that or he's gay - and you almost hope for gay since that wouldn't be as personal.) Wow. You can't imagine the level of hurt that causes. And AGP wouldn't occur to us as a cause since most of us have NEVER heard of AGP. We've heard of transvestites, homosexuals, and transgendered people, but not AGP.

    A woman in a relationship opens up to her partner, tries to share emotionally and physically. The AGP in the closet remains closed - emotionally, sexually - in every way that is important to a woman. I read all about the AGP's fear of rejection, but an AGP's actions in a relationship make their PARTNER feel rejected. YOU ARE DOING TO THEM EXACTLY WHAT YOU FEAR THEY WILL DO TO YOU! No wonder the partner leaves. The actions taken to make a relationship a success are really the same whether one is straight, homosexual, TG, or an AGP. You have to open up and share yourself. I know it's hard, but you HAVE to.

    I have thought many times about how I wish William would have told me. I think the best way would have been to have "eased" me into the knowledge. And the level of trust shown when he would have finally revealed his BIG secret, well, that would have been awesome. (shocking, yes, but awesome nonetheless.)

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  7. So what to do now? Well, dating is the time when two people learn about each other - gradually. I do believe that the truth needs to come out before marriage, but I don't think you need to come out with the whole truth and nothing but the truth right away in the beginning of a dating relationship. You can work up to it. Build trust. And commitment. That's exactly what we women want anyway. To build a true connection. Just make sure you tell her BEFORE marriage!

    How exactly do you "build up to it?" Well, I think an AGP needs to identify exactly what actions make them feel good - do you want to have anal sex? do you want to be on the bottom? do you want to be touched and caressed? do you want to be held? You can do all of those things without revealing any big secret. All of those things are "acceptable" in hetero sex. Women take their cues from men during sex. So if you like to be touched, then you need to touch her. If you want to be on the bottom, pull her on top of you - that's fine. If you are interested in being penetrated, slip your finger into her anally when she is orgasming - that will tell her that you like that also - and believe it or not, we women know that pressure on the prostrate is something that men like. If you want to wear her panties, it might make her feel a bit naughty - that's fine, too. Then you can "step it up" if you want. None of these things are shocking in and of themselves, so you won't be revealing anything faster than you want to. And her reactions to these things will help you build your trust in her.

    One last thing: William had it in his head that sex was either for "me" or "him", but that's completely false. Our therapist finally got through to him that pleasure is not exclusive - it should be MUTUAL. We should BOTH find pleasure in EACH OTHER. Our therapist told William that he needed to learn to find pleasure with me - pleasure in his fingers as he caresses me, pleasure in my scent, pleasure in the feel of his skin when I touch him. That's true whether you are male OR female. And whether you are "top" or "bottom." William said that's hard. The therapist replied that it's not just a switch that you can flip in your head, you need to focus on making the effort first. The feelings and attitude will follow. So I'm echoing his recommendations. Focus on finding pleasure with your partner, not yourself, and hopefully the trust and love will follow - and you will be able to fully share yourself in a truly committed relationship.

    Now I'm only one woman, so I don't guarantee all women will feel the same way that I do, but I honestly believe that there are more of us out there than you would think. Feel free to email/comment on my blog if you have more questions. It seems to me that most AGP's want to have relationships, they just don't know how to go about it. I do believe that you can have a successful relationship - you just have to take the right steps.

    Susanne

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  8. I have one more comment, more for those who are already in a relationship - and for whom sex with their partner is "not so great." William and I had gotten to the point where we were only having sex once every few months or so. Now that I know his secret, we have sex 3-4 times a week, sometimes more often. Usually one of those times has some sort of role-reversal or cross-dressing involved, depending on what else is happening. Our quality of sex is also quite a bit better now as well. Before I found out his secret, William wouldn't lose his libido, but he did fail to orgasm about half the time. It made me feel "less" when that happened. I tried chalking it up to alcohol, being tired, stressed - anything I could so as to avoid feeling horrible about it. Since Sept 17, William has orgasmed every single time. EVERY TIME.

    Our relationship has changed outside of the bedroom as well - I'm going to write a blog about it very soon - and William has agreed to write down his perspective so you can all see that it's not just me who thinks that things are ever-so-much better.

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  9. I have never before heard about autogynephilia so I learned something today. My heart goes out to this young man who has experienced two painful breakups and is at a loss as to what he should do. The confusion for him must be so difficult. Thank you for publishing this. I'm sure there are others who are in the same situation.

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  10. Having been in several relationships including being married for the past 16 years, I know that partners can be conditioned into the dominant role. Just make sure that the sex is really good when she is top and in control. Pull her on top every now and then. It may come in baby steps but over time she'll be on top and between your legs most of the time. Having your hands free opens up many opportunities to stimulate her. I love being able to run my nails down here back.

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  13. You ask alot of interesting questions. I reccomend Vlogging your feeling ontpo youtube.com like I do on my page "mrautogynephilia. There are alot of intelligent trans people who are willing to give there opinions on alot of different topics. I believe that all of us autogynephiliacs are transgendered And how you accept that is up to you. Mabye you want to be a bisexual man, or do you want to crossdress or even transition we all have very different lifes but its still very important that you blog. We are writing the books on this "condition" of ours. At one point It was called "Tranvestic fetishism" then people started to transition because of it, so Ray Blanchard called it Autogynephilia, others reffer to our case as Secondary transsexualism. I am just trying to say that simplly as emailing jack a question is just as important as answereing one. We should all be using our technology to make our condition heard about.

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  14. I'm a bisexual female, and I find the idea of men who want to express their inner women (during sex and elsewhere) erotic. In fact, I'd probably find Anonymous 20+ extremely hot if he were less of an idiot. But he is an idiot, and that's a huge turn-off to me.

    Anonymous 20+ is one of the few guys who actually knows that women can be happy in a relationship with men like him, because he was in a relationship with one. Suddenly, I assume because he's no longer a virgin, or because he's too ashamed and scared of being humiliated, other loving relationships are now impossible for him.

    Anonymous 20+ needs to realize that he can't base a fulfilling relationship on a lie. So what if Girl4 can't accept him for who he is? First of all, other than the fact that Girl4 is interested in him, it doesn't sound like he's very invested in the possibility of this relationship anyway. But getting to the heart of the matter, if he tells her the truth, and gives her the opportunity to accept him, the fault lies with her if she can't handle it, and not with him. But if he never tells her how he thinks and feels, how can they ever actually be in a relationship? If they actually talk about it, he might learn that she has sexual needs he wouldn't expect, either, and they could work to accommodate each other. Anonymous 20+ needs to tell her what's going on with him, so they can either be together or he can move on. The fact that he's even considering the idea of trapping her with sex in some way ("how I should proceed , whether I should explain myself up front, whether I should try to have sex first and then explain myself,") enrages me. That is not the way an adult should handle what they hope to be a long-term sexual relationship. To put it bluntly, Anonymous 20+ needs to stop whining and grow the fuck up.

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    1. Preach! I crossdress and tell every woman I talk to that I like to crossdress. If they don't like me, fuck it I gotta live my truth. If you doing something you're ashamed of, you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. Most women don't care if they like the guy. A lot of autogynephiles lack confidence! Own your shit and live your life! Don't be creepy and respect people! Speak your mind and stay in your lane! It's hella simple!

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  15. A good solution is to find a partner who also has got some gender issue like autoandrophilia? It is quite difficult but is it impossible?

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  16. Being seen as an erotic novelty or sexual stimulant may seem cool, but it's really not....

    When the novelty wears off, that person will discard you because they have not treated you like a human being, they've treated you like a fantasy -- they are using a
    real person in real time as a meaningless sexual stimulant.

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  17. It also is helpful I think to at least attempt to take the sex and eroticism out of your crossdressing to see how much of that "inner woman" is left after you have taken sex out of the equation.

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  18. And the more I think about this, the more I am convinced that this is something that is hardwired, not a result of childhood trauma.

    I agree with this now more than ever. I came out to my Mom about my cross-dressing this week. She told me it didn't surprise her at all because of all the colorful characters we had on her side of the family including my grandfather who was also a cross-dresser!!!

    I have spent years thinking this aspect of me was something I could simply overcome if I had the will power, if I loved my wife enough, and so on. That is BS and don't let anyone ever tell you different.

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  19. I came out to my Mom about my cross-dressing this week

    I wish I would have come out to her 15 years ago

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  20. Focus on finding pleasure with your partner, not yourself, and hopefully the trust and love will follow - and you will be able to fully share yourself in a truly committed relationship.

    Susanne,

    Thank you first for all of your thoughtful commentary here and on your blog. I have found both of these very valuable for me.

    My wife and I have had to have a tough talk about cross-dressing this week. I am 41 and have had this come up for again. I'm also the guy who just came out to his Mom and found out his grandfather who he never met was a cross-dresser. I told my wife about this and she accepts this is not something that is not going to go away and we need to incorporate it into our relationship.

    But for us, the sexual route is not going to work because she is not a lesbian or bi-sexual. This is the road we went down 15 years ago and resulted in years of hurt feelings and everything other effing thing.

    So I told her this time, since this is something we are going to have to deal with...I don't want to be your lover...I want to try and be a girlfriend. Meaning, no sex just hanging out.

    I suggested I could get dressed and we could craft together....or clean the house. We also operate a website together through which we promote all-female and female-fronted bands. To be honest I've always felt connected to my female side through this project, but never thought about how dressing could be incorporated into it.

    That is because I have channeled nothing but sex and eroticism through my "inner lady" for as long as I've known about her. I feel like that has blinded to some basic truths about what I want from this.

    Specifically, my most fulfilling moments as a cross-dresser is when I have been welcomed into a group of women as a woman doing non-sexual things. For example, many years ago in college when this first started I remember I got dressed up one night and me, my wife and her room-mate played cards. Her roommate looked at me at one point and told me she felt like she was playing cards with her girlfriends.

    Another thing...I have always enjoyed hanging around groups of lesbians interacting with each other in non-sexual ways. It is always fulfilling but I never could explain why. I believe the reason is that I am longing to be a participant in their interactions with each other as a female. In short, I want to be "one of the girls".

    I am hoping to be "one of the girls" to my wife and I hope she can develop a friendship with this aspect of me through shared non-sexual activities. I also get to discover how much of my inner woman is left when the sex and eroticism is taken out of it.

    Does this ring true with anyone else?

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  21. To Anonymous,

    Your grandfather too, eh? There are many signs that point in the direction of AGP being inherited.

    It looks that you are on the road to further self discovery, which is a good thing.

    I also hear report of other autogynephiliacs who like "being one of the girls", which indicates that our condition is much more than a sexual thing only.

    I have two questions, though:

    How are you planning on keeping your own sexual drive out of it?

    And what are you going to do about your wife's need for sex? You can risk losing her to another man, if the two of you become "girl-friends" only.

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  22. Hi Jack

    Thanks for your responses to my post. I want to say up front my wife and I have been dealing with my want to express a feminine side for 15 plus years. The wish to express a feminine side is difficult enough but worse is all the bizarre behavior surrounding it that raises even more questions about betrayal, fidelity, trust, sexual orientation and so on.

    All of this *noise* obscures any understanding of the gender issue which continues to resurface (along with the bizarre behavior) until it is dealt with in a meaningful way.

    It has been helpful for me to look at my behavior as a ball of knotted strings, where I can untangle each string and look at it on it own. I have identified four such strings in my life and in analyzing them separately I believe I've come to some conclusions that can help me and my wife move forward.

    My strings are these:
    =Amorous Narcissism: the drive to seek power and influence over others through sexual games involving flirting and seduction.
    =Autogynephilia (AGP): mine seems behavioral in that I desire to be part of a circle of women like friends or sisters.
    =Bondage: Seeing someone tied up and gagged or being in that position myself.
    =Gynemimetophilia (GMP): being sexually attracted to other males who feminize their appearance (e.g. drag queens)

    Before last week, these all appeared to be part of the *same thing*. It was impossible for me to separate my cross-dressing from my sex life or from my need to seek power over others through seduction. But I can see now how my need to express my feminine side got *tangled up* with these other things and produced a lot of bizarre hurtful behavior on my part. My post in its entirety is too long so I will post this in sections beginning with Amorous Narcissism.

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  23. AMOROUS NARCISSISM
    What I call amorous narcissism is the oldest string of the four and the most damaging. I experienced a series of childhood traumas; beginning with separation from my mom at age 1.5 and being raised by my grandparents (dad’s side) as an only child more or less in rural setting. Neither of my parents seemed interested in taking me back even after they had started new families.

    I developed serious intimacy issues as a result of all the loss and chaos and it became extremely difficult for me to form intimate relationships with others. I was disconnected. I also now believe the hurt and anger I experienced being separated from my mother at that age created inside me an *amorous narcissist* that would rule aspects of my life for nearly 40 years.

    The amorous narcissist seeks power and influence over others through sexual games involving flirting and seduction. In me, it manifested during puberty when I became sexually active. I had over 63 sex partners from age 16-23. Only 2 of those resulted in a relationship that lasted longer than a week. I was preoccupied always with influencing women to *want* me and I idolized people who gained such power and influence. Two examples of people I sought to emulate were Prince and Jim Morrison – classic womanizers and also androgynous men.

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  24. BONDAGE
    Bondage is second oldest and has been arousing to me since I was a little kid. I lost my virginity with a girl who let me gag her while were having sex. When I met my wife, we discovered our mutual interest and began to blossom and explore together.

    Even though I had found the girl of my dreams I did not realize how uncomfortable I was with the male submissive role. I never became aroused by porn featuring males in bondage. Most male bondage porn is *gay* and I am not aroused by the male physique, but even straight male bondage porn with a dominant female is uncomfortable for me to look at. My wife noticed I didn't like looking at myself in the mirror especially while in bondage during our BDSM games. It makes me uncomfortable to see myself as a man in that position.

    I get aroused looking at porn depicting females in bondage, but with a twist -- I fantasize I am the female instead of the dominant. When I discovered cross-dressing, it almost immediately became a means of bringing this fantasy to life as well as escape from my uncomfortable feelings with being a male submissive. I began to emphasize dressing in our sex life. The majority of the time I wanted to get dressed be dominated and treated like a lesbian. My wife got less and less of her needs fulfilled (as both dominant & submissive) as a result. My wife enjoyed my female side, but it seemed to be taking over while my male side was *submerging* so she started to pull away.

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  25. AGP & GMP
    AGP & GMP both surfaced during college just a few years before I met my wife. I discovered first that I found the drag queen at the local gay bar extremely attractive and decided to sleep with one. Not soon after that I had my first time out as girl at a "gender bender" party hosted by one of my friends. My friend Kristina helped me with my makeup and I borrowed some of her clothes. My hair was long at the time and she curled it for me. There were no conscious sexual feelings involved in this experience but I did feel like some deep-seated need was being fulfilled by it.

    The second time out was with my wife on Halloween 1993. She helped me pick out a wig, makeup, and all implements and ornaments including shaving off my body hair. She taught me everything about feminine mannerisms (walking, sitting, all the body language). My costume was a fetish outfit inspired by our sex life; we were "S&M Lesbians”.

    When I started crossdressing with my wife, I experienced such euphoria going out in public and wanted to do it more and more. It was intoxicating because I discovered I could be exhibitionistically seductive in a way I never could as a man. I could never be a Jim Morrison or a Prince, but I could be this very sexy seductive woman. Cross-dressing fed my amorous narcissism like nothing had ever.

    My wife and began playing BDSM games with me dressed and we started going out to the local gay bar as "girlfriends". I liked being with her as a woman and her lover, but I was also asking her to be a lesbian in treating me as such which made her uncomfortable.

    By the time we left college and moved to Atlanta, we had already began fighting about the frequency of my dressing and my want to go out in public to be *seen* (amorous narcissism). In Atlanta, my wife left town one weekend after we had been fighting about going out and I decided to go out without her (acting on impulse). My going out was the tipping point where my wife decoupled from my *inner lady*. My amorous narcissism blinded me to any point of view but my own. So when she criticized my behavior, I thought she was just jealous of me.

    I continued using my *inner lady* to gain power and influence over others through sexual games involving flirting and seduction in the cyber-world of the internet. My targets were not other women, but other men I found in chat rooms who had feminized their appearance like me (i.e. GMP). I also created a website for my *inner lady* and put up pictures of me in bondage. The site became quite popular which further fed my narcissistic stature. During this period were several episodes of getting caught in the act of being seductive and opening myself up to the possibility of real life encounters, which has devastated my wife over and over again.

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  26. CONCLUSION
    After looking at all these as separate things instead of one big morass, it is clear that I need to separate the sex & eroticsism (i.e. narcissism and so on) from my crossdressing. When I do that, the need to be out in public and subtley titillate or seduce people with photos or whatever simply vanishes in a puff of logic. Or at least now that I've named it, it no longer has power over me. I do not need to be public with this, it can be a shared activity with my wife. She is receptive to my idea of non-sexual interactions and treating this aspect of me like my "sister" who comes over to help her clean, do crafts, and other girlfriend activiities.

    As far as my having a circle of women to be part of...I realized I already do. My wife knows, my mother knows, my sisters know. And four of our closest female friends know. No one has been judmental of my being a crossdresser, but all have been unhappy with the way I've handled myself. I can have their acceptance and support if I handle myself responsibly and I hope someday they can be girlfriends with my sister side too. This doesn't mean I want to go shopping with them or anything like that, but a game night might be cool.

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  27. EPILOGUE
    As far as our sex life, we are still a kinky couple and we both can enjoy my male presence in the bedroom as either a dominant and submissive. I like being dominant with her and am becoming more comfortable in the submissive space as a male too, it is really something I need to embrace and not push away any more than I need to push away my want to be a girl sometimes.

    Everything can have its place and all can be permitted with time and balance

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  28. Thank you for your elaboration and explanation. I can see how hard this must be for you.

    Your way of "deconstructing" your own complex of drivers and motives makes sense to me.

    It is one way to come to the bottom of who your really are and what has been causing all these different symptoms. You seem to be handling that well, and I wish you and your girl the best of luck.

    I found your comment on "amorous narcissism" particularly interesting. There is a subgroup of AGPs that have BDSM fantasies of becoming the submissive girl. Sissyfication fantasies are of this kind.

    Your story tells me that these may not necessarily be dreams of humiliation and submission only. They may just as well be dreams of becoming the desired woman who manipulates men by her mere sensusal presence.

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  29. Jack Molay,
    "Amorous narcissism"- this is one thing I also have been suffering from lately. I have always found women to be beautiful and glam from childhood. But I never felt the desire to internalize it, either for my own enjoyment or for arousing any woman.
    However,I have a "pervert male" fetish, through which I have desired to attract males to seduce me- usually males who look too virile, regardless of whetehr they are handsome or not. I enact thsoe fantasies where I sissify myself and allow a male to do the foreplay. Usually, it is restricted only to mere forplays and romance, nothing sexual, but I do enjoy the fantasy.
    I get aroused by the "perverted" male's actions like his caressing, fondling etc. I don't like to see a pervert male do romance on a manly figure, that's the sole reason why I sissify myself.
    I don't get pleasure on seeing myself as feminine, rather, I get pleasure on thinking that the perverted male is drawn to do some kissing stuff to me this way.
    So, I would say it is amorous narcissism, for which I like to feminize myself, but, since my object of arousal is not my feminine self but the pervert male's behavior, I can't claim it's a case of AGP, isn't it?
    It is a case of amorous narcissism (with males) but not AGP. What do you think,Jack Molay?

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  30. I would like to illustrate the difference between AGP and amorous narcissism in a bit more detailed way.
    I do enjoy my feminine outlook as it is more glam or beautiful. But, the enjoyment is not something I enjoy for myself, rather, I do it for projecting it to a male. Usually, after bitter relations with guys, this is the way I like to build my image in front of them.
    However, one thing I have noticed is that, I don't get the urge to feminize myself with women and also guys who are soft,cute and gentle and don't look virile or aggressive, or suitable to be my object of those fantasies. I dream to be a power bottom femme object of a pervert male and seek his respect that way as that is the only way.
    So, this is how I decide that it's amorous narcissism at play, but, not AGP. I would like your opinion on this, Jack.

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  31. Indeed Jack, I seem to have both varieties of feminine wishes -- I wish to the damsel in distress and I also with to be powerful seductress.

    However, my sexual orientation is heterosexual or *lesbian-identified male* more appropriately. So I imagine a woman tying me up (as a damsel in distress) and I imagine myself being the desired woman who manipulates other women by her mere sensual presence. Apparently it does not matter to me if those women are trans women or real women based on my past behavior.

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  32. Mandy:

    "I would say it is amorous narcissism, for which I like to feminize myself, but, since my object of arousal is not my feminine self but the pervert male's behavior, I can't claim it's a case of AGP, isn't it?"

    This is a good point.

    I find the target location error theory of Blanchard and Bailey questionable. They say that AGPs get turned on by the idea of themselves as a woman. Autoerotic means "self-erotic".

    The problem with this theory is that all the AGP fantasies I have found on the web involves other persons: women or men. The AGP fantasizes about being a woman together with another person.

    In this way these fantasies are no different from the masturbatory fantasies of "normal" persons. Their fantasies are often as "kinky" as ours.

    It seems that the main problem for Blanchard and Bailey is that they find it impossible to accept that a man can dream of taking the submissive role. They seem to have no difficulty in accepting that a woman can take the dominant role. This leads me to believe that they are, indeed, trapped in stereotypes of what it means to be a man.

    In short: I think there are many AGPs that share your fantasies.

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  33. I made a connection while talking to my wife this morning about the observations I've shared with you here. I realized why as a young man I was never able to get release *inside* women without gagging them first. It was *transference* -- my fantasies of being the damsel in distress -- I was gagging them and fantasizing about myself in that role.

    No wonder I came across as *disconnected* or *cold*; This *transference* along with my masturbation and intimacy issues assured I was completely self contained.

    I don't know what this means yet as I am still processing, but my first thought is am I capable of romantic love and intimacy at all? Have these functions withered up and died in me from years of neglect? Can I spin them up again?

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. My apologies I just realized my comment might seem out of context to you. I have been posting a lot over at Susannes' blog and forgot what I posted where.

    So let me give you some background on my sex life as youth...

    I have a masturbation addiction, which developed in puberty. I was picked on a lot in school and would come home and seek comfort and solace in masturbation. Through those experiences, I conditioned myself into making masturbation my primary mode of sexual release.

    Even though I had a lot of sex partners in my youth, I was virtually unable to cum inside any of the girls I was with unless I gagged them, and sometimes even then I would have to pull out and masturbate to get release.

    My lack of intimacy caused by that early separation from my mother I spoke about in previous posts provided a fertile ground for this brand of *self contained* sexuality.

    It also goes all too well with viewing pornography and makes it possible to isolate oneself from partners and lovers. Pornography + Masturbation in isolation is the essence of sexual addiction for most people including myself.

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  36. Jack,
    AGPs do share my fantasies but still I find a difference. It may be that the fantasy is same,looks same, but, where really do you find the origin of the kink to be same?
    Firstly,in none of my fantasies, I have some unknown faceless male unlike that of AGPs, as, that really makes no sense to me at all.
    The thing is- way from feminine gay men to HSTS all the way to AGP and heterosexual crossdresser, all people with some cross-sexual attributes do have some overlap or common area to which such fantasies belong. The way to distinguish is to find out what is the root of the erotic pleasure. I find that my root cause is the pervert male and to see his actions I do that and my feminine self is a prop for that. For the AGP however,it is the submissive feminine self which is arousing and his other person is the prop.

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  37. Yes, there occurs a mutual overlapping of fantasies of all types of people across different regions of the feminine male to trans spectrum, and this proves what I had said earlier in some other thread-> all these men, have the same innate femininity which expresses itself through these fantasies. So, the basic point which comes forth is that it is this "innate" femininity which is the source of erotic pleasure for all these men.

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  38. To Mandy:

    I do not doubt your analysis of yourself, and it is definitely different from the way Blanchard is describing autogynephilia.

    You write:

    "For the AGP however,it is the submissive feminine self which is arousing and his other person is the prop."

    My point is that we do not know that such fantasies are essentialy different from yours or any other person's. They all involve two or more persons, and in many of them one is a prop. This also applies to "normal" heterosexual sex fantasies. The knight on shining armor or the bimbo blonde is no more real than the prop in a AGP fantasy or the submissive girl in yours.

    Here's an idea:

    In the AGP scenario the autogynephiliac dream of being a girl having sex with a man. Since the autogynephiliac is gynephilic (a woman-lover) he masks the man. It is his inner feminine side that wants to be the submissive mountee, instead if the active mounter. His masculine side, however, is attracted to women, so in order to make sense of the feminine wish for submission, he has to mask the man.

    This does not mean that he is in love with himself. It only means that there is a conflict between sexual attraction and what we can call "copulatory instincts".

    In your case you mask the woman, not the man. Couldn't this mean that unlike the AGPs you are really attracted to men? That you are an androphiliac, or at least bisexual?

    You want men to desire you, and you believe that "perverted" men as you call them (I guess they are masculine men) want submissive feminine girls. In your dreams you take the role of these girls in order to get to the men.

    Could it be that you are a feminine androphiliac man or a bisexual? As I read your comments, your basic dream is that this man should treat you in a romantic manner:

    "Usually, it is restricted only to mere forplays and romance, nothing sexual, but I do enjoy the fantasy."

    If this is the case, you are not a narcissist. You are a person who longs for romance and love.

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  39. To Just Chris,

    You say:

    "This *transference* along with my masturbation and intimacy issues assured I was completely self contained."

    This is, of course, why Blanchard and Bailey believe AGPs are AUTOgynephiacs, i.e. in love the woman in themSELVES.

    But in spite of this, you dream of something more, and I think that dream shows that you are not self contained. The fact is that many of the AGPs commenting on this blog, want to have a loving relationship with another human being. You seem to love your wife, but you are struggling to make peace with a side of yourself you find hard to integrate.

    The reason so many AGPs seem self-obsessed is exactly this: it is hard to find room for their inner desires in a traditional relationship, as some of their instincts run counter to the normal male role.

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  40. To Natalie:

    Could you by any chance contact me at jack.molay@gmail.com ?

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  41. Yes, Jack, I long for love and romance from such guys and everytime I do that,I like to feminize myself to look presentable.
    But, one thing strange but certain: I am not "androphile". I simply don't get why demanding love/romance from someone should only imply attraction to body.
    Many people, including me, like to associate sex/romance with some spiritual bonding. When I fantasize such things, I feel a man is loving me that way, I feel more speical and that is what arouses me.
    And, to make a man love me, feminizing seems only option. So, I am homoromantic but I am not androphile. It's prudent to separate sex from physical attraction.

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  42. Mandy,

    You really sound like you are denial. I would suspect that you do have some feelings about men. Please, just don't beat yourself up about it. We really don't choose our natures and honestly, having slight bisexual tendencies is not necessarily a bad thing.

    People often have trouble realizing things.. Men, women.. we are all beautiful in our own special ways and most so when we are true to ourselves. Even if sex is often the canvass everything is laid out against, I think that sometimes it is important to take a moment to realize the beauty in everyone.

    -GQ

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  43. Mandy,

    I totally agree with the idea that there is much more to love than sex. It is about friendship, it is about partnership and loyalty, it is about flirting and romance, and it is a spiritual journey towards something that is bigger than all of us.

    You may be right about this being a "homoromantic" attraction rather than an androphilic.

    But still, sexuality is also part of what we are and what you are. So where does this leave your sexuality?

    I noted the following sexually charged wording in one of your comments:

    "However,I have a 'pervert male' fetish, through which I have desired to attract males to seduce me- usually males who look too virile, regardless of whether they are handsome or not. I enact those fantasies where I sissify myself and allow a male to do the foreplay."

    There is nothing wrong about having such fantasies in my book, but I notice a strong sexual component. That's OK! Really!

    But you are the only one who can answer the question of who you really are.

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  44. GQ,
    I am not in denial at all. I did say that I have feelings for men, I like to attract attention of pervert men, like their flirtatious looks and get aroused to the level of fantasizing their sexual actions (though more about just forplays usually).
    However,just upto that only!! In short, it never gets beyond a fantasy at all. I have tried being close to guys physically,but, find nothing sexual of bodies at all.
    I have explored all possibilities- gay,bi,trans, everything. I have even asked hetero women and gay men as to what turns them on to a guy. Surely, perverted advance of a guy is a thing that turns them on, but, they also say, male beauty and physique is something they admire and want to cling to it as well. While in case of me,I find only the perverted advance arousing. Infact,part of my rich secret fantasy life is about making men horny on seeing me- a beautiful feminine sissy and seduce me, something similar to what AGPs here experience. But,since it is the guy's action appealing, I am not AGP either.
    All that started ever since I watched porn at age 10 and got to know that men behave "this" way. Since then, my brain has got wired to like men in that way.
    However, that has really got nothing to do with "physical attraction" at all!!
    It's that I only get horny by their action, nothing beyond. I wish that it were something beyond so that I wouldn't be confused, but, indeed it is not.

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  45. Jack,
    I am not at all trying to deny my sexual orientaion. What I just intended to point out is that one can be gay/bi without being androphile. Which means, there is a hell lot of diversity in terms of sexual and gender feelings and one must not take into account only standard scientific definitons.
    What I mean is that,the word "gay" is often associated with homoerotic attarction to men's bodies, their penis,skin,beauty. Go to any standard Internet article on gay men, and you will find these "physical" issues being talked of in detail. However, my case shows that there could be other factors behind a desire to be sexually intimate too. It is just that the brain responds to a mix of many things about a person,and one of those might not be "body" or "beauty" at all.

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  46. I do understand mostly what Mandy says. People are indeed capable of expressing a diverse sexual specrum in their lives, under suitable conditions. For example,a boy who starts hating other men for his own male insecurity, might grow up being a narcissist desiring to sexually entice other men to have sex with him for his sadistic pleasure of dominating them as power bottom, though, he is not gay/bi. This article gives a good insight into this possibility.
    http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/straight_men_who.html

    I believe every man and every woman has a homo potential outside of hetero one. If for some reason, that gets charged,the person may start having gay fantasies despite not being gay. Which again confuses the very concept of sexual orientation, but that is how humans are.
    From this concept of SMSM, I do suspect if autogynephilia is also an outcome of healed wounds with men/women. Again not for all AGP people. But, look at the case of Just Chris. it shows that some may have it for that reason as well.

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  47. But, look at the case of Just Chris. it shows that some may have it for that reason as well.

    Betty,

    Indeed. There is no better illustration of this than a dream I had several years back while I was in the midst of therapy and had begun to uncover all my childhood issues.

    My subconscious was so close to the surface, you could see its periscope.

    So one night I had a dream that I was in a hotel room getting dressed up. I went to the mirror to look at myself and it wasn't me in the mirror. I saw instead the image of my young mother, as she looked when I was small and was separated from her.

    You don't have to be a Fellini to figure that one out...

    ~Chris

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  48. Just Chris,
    Indeed true. Sometimes due to life's miseries and painful experiences,we even tend to forget ourselves and wish to become someone else. It is not wrong and is a normal reaction, only that it gives more pains and more feeling of self-detachment and loneliness.

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  49. Thanks Betty :) You put that so well.

    As I was reading this, I had a new observation about the meaning that dream.

    As a tiny child, did I think my mother would not have left me if I was girl?

    My grandfather (mom's dad) was a cross-dresser too, but he also was separated from his mom and raised by his grandparents.

    Interesting...

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  50. Just Chris,
    I think it is quite possible to want to be a different person than what you are. I always fantasize the role of dominating women when I face guys because that's the way I love to control them (dominatrix). However,when I face girls, I don't get that. In a way, that sort of fantasy is common and also very nourishing.

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  51. Yes, i actually have thought long and hard that it's my sensitiveness and feminity, causing me to have a low self-esteem and image as a man, which created my AGP. I did grow up wanting to be a man only and did not crossdress, but i used to have pre-AGP fantasies during my late teens exept that i was male-submissive at first. When i found a girlfriend and had a great sex-life with her, i didn't have any of this at all.
    I dated a lot of women but i felt very shy but never that uncomfortable as a male and i never got to grow up being as masculine as i wanted. During the periods with AGP, i feel less of a man and it makes me depressed but of course aroused during masturbation. When i have straight fantasies, i feel great to be a man!

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  52. Autogynephilia is hell for me. That was the way I found this page. By searching 'autogynephilia addiction hell'.I've been addicted to autogynephilic porn since 2011. I started taking hormones in 2013 or something, for a few weeks until I confessed to my girlfriend who was horrified. So I threw them away. And today I have been contemplating buying hormones again. I tried to give up the 'sissy hynosis' but I still haven't. I have over 500GB of it saved. I hate this. When I was 7 I thought it was cool that I could look like a girl if I wanted. But I thought it wouldn't be possible when I got to puberty. But I didn't know steroids existed to become physically like a girl. What I really want to be, is hunky. But I'm so fucked up. This is pure addiction. I want to be a hard man, get into mma, but I'm totally messed up. I know what I want, and I know what I need. And what I don't what is what I feel like I need. I know I have to abstain from downloading more porn. Which upholds and strengthens my associations with our autogynephilic culture. It's a pure dopamine rush, when I think about being some black man with a big cock's bitch. So fucked up, even got into the adult baby thing. In 2010 I wasn't like this, I had some gay fantasies occasionally, but I was much more into straight porn, I had a thing about shemales since 2001 and it turned into an obsession, but, this has become a very unmanageable addiction. I was up all night looking at porn, because I was getting high on porn. Dopamine. I tried to not masturbate, so that meant I didn't get tired. I thought I could ride the wave with no harm done. But today I was seriously believing I was going to buy loads of hormones, until I finally ejaculated, then my sense came back, as it usually does, and I thought, fuck no, I can't take porn, it sends me reveling in my addiction.

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  53. Porn addiction?
    First off that needs therapy. You shouldn't struggle with addiction alone. That's a terrible idea. You need to go see a psychiatrist that's crossdreamer-friendly.
    Try asking a trans psychologist on where to find help: http://www.genderpsychology.org/identity/mail.html

    -J

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  54. @Anonymous "Autogynephilia is Hell"

    I understand your desperation. Crossdreaming can become obsessive and it can, in the end, dominate your whole life.

    You have probably seen that there is much disagreement about what this all means. Is it is a fetish, can it be cured? Based on my own experience and what I have heard from others I have come to the conclusion that all these intense feelings and all these unusual fantasies are your mind's way of telling you what it is and what it needs.

    In my own life I have tried to reverse engineer the whole complex of dreams and desires, and asked myself: What on earth can this fantasy tell me about myself:

    1. Being submissive. Well, a lot of people are sexually submissive. There should be nothing wrong in that. It does not mean that they are walk-overs in other parts of life. Dreams of submission may also be the mind's way of looking for some kind of relief.

    I found that I spent so much time on keeping up a stereotypical male facade that it exhausted me. No wonder we may dream about letting go and having someone else take control for a while.

    Finally, if we reframe submissive as receptive: Maybe I am truly wired for a more typical female sexuality, and in one way am a woman "trapped in an incompatible body".

    2. "Shemales". The combination of the submissive and the dominant, the receptive and the penetration, the curves and the phallic.

    If you love women, a non-op trans woman may seem as the obvious solution; feminine, but at the same time someone who allows you to be some shade of female. The fascination for "shemales" may also reflect a mind's way of handling internalized homophobia.

    cont....

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  55. ...cont


    3. Sissy hypnosis and hormones: These are both the first steps in transitioning. We should at least contemplate the possibility that we are truly transsexual. I know that in my own life related fantasies were signs of a deep and intense gender dysphoria. This does not have to be the case in your life, but you have to consider it.

    4. Adult baby. Jung argued that this kind of fantasies are regression fantasies. The mind retreats from an intolerable reality to a time without responsibilities and the need to tackle the impossible. There is nothing wrong in such fantasies per se, but they do reflect the fact that you have far too much to handle right now.

    You need help from someone who understands trauma of the kind you are experiencing and preferably also from someone who understand sex, sexuality and gender. Have you tried to find a therapist?

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  56. Sissy? Shemales? I just got uncomfortable reading that.

    -J

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  57. @-J

    If there is one thing I have learned about people struggling with sex and gender issues, it is that not talking about it makes things much, much worse. Our subconscious isn't "civilized", in the sense of following the cultural mores of any society, and especially contemporary "Western" society, which is so hang up about sexuality and gender roles.

    It is pretty obvious to me that the "sissy" fantasies of some crossdreamers can only be explained within a misogynistic framework, where women are seen as weak and pitiful, and feminine men even more so. But our fantasy life makes use of what is at hand, and if this is the only model available to some crossdreamers, this is the kind of fantasies their subconscious generate.

    Sexual fantasies are neither good nor bad, they just are. I am reminded of research that shows that close to 50% of women in North America and Europe has experienced rape fantasies. This does not mean that rape is OK. This does not mean that they think rape is OK. This does not mean that they want to be raped in real life. It is simply that where their sexual desire meets cultural and psychological restraints, such fantasies are produced.

    "Shemale" is a slur. I have had non-op trans women tell me that they feel comfortable with the term, but they are clearly a minority. I never use the term to describe real women, trans or cis, but some MTF crossdreamers have dreams of women with a penis. Similar fantasies are found among some cis lesbians, as well.

    Trying to surpress such fantasies does not help, so I argue that crossdreamers should look the fantasies in the face, try to make sense of them and become whole by integrating that which has been repressed into their conscious psyche.

    I have written about sissies here, and "shemales" here.

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  58. I know that. However most people use those terms in transphobic ways unlike you. Which is why I feel uncomfortable. If people use those terms in a clinical non-transphobic way like you than that would be much better. I still feel uncomfortable due to the persistence use of those terms in society in a transphobic way.

    -J

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  59. The best would probably be to find some more neutral terms to describe the symbolic side of such phenomena, but I am afraid that would make writing about this even more complicated -- at least in a non-academic setting.

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  60. I see.

    "at least in a non-academic setting."
    So Blanchard really could have helped crossdreamers by coming up with neutral terms, if he had used such terms then those terms may have spread but instead of helping, he came up with a stigmatizing term, and attempted to normalize transphobic slurs.

    -J

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  61. Yepp, that's about it. He insisted on creating a term that refers to his own "erotic target location error" hypothesis (which even he admits is nothing but a hypothesis) instead of a more neutral term that can be used by all.

    That was probably a tactical mistake on his behalf.

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  62. He cant even test his hypothesis properly. *sigh*

    -J

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  63. This is how I see it. Crossdressing will forever be a part of your life. I crossdress as well. I'm also autogynephilic. It's a struggle but it's very possible for it not to control your life. Most women don't care if you're honest from the jump. I feel like getting confidence, accepting who you are, controlling your urges can help. I still crossdress but you have to face reality, some people won't accept it, but almost everybody will respect you for being upfront and real. Life isn't perfect, we ended up liking to dress up as women and jacking off while dressed up. Big deal. Live your life and do your thing. Respect, honesty, and knowledge can go a long way! Do your thing!

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  64. "Live your life and do your thing."

    Wise words, indeed!

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