September 1, 2010

On crossdreamers and the role of shemale fantasies part 2

The discussion of the connection between crossdreaming and the fascination for transwomen and crossdressers continues.


Shemale pornography

In popular culture the readers of shemale porn are often depicted as love shy nerds and socially clumsy men. In the American TV series Dexter, for instance, the forensic lab tech Vince Masuka is a sex obsessed nerd with a strong interest in shemales.



This stereotype may have some ground in reality, as there are love shy men and crossdreamers who find it hard to cope socially (see my posts on the love-shy men of Gilmartin). I suspect their shyness is as much caused by their crossdreaming as it is the other way round.

Many crossdreamers do not fit this cliché, however, Generally I think the stereotype is based on the belief that shemale lovers are closeted gay men. This is an argument that is often used to establish a divide between "tainted" crossdreamers and "pure" transwomen.

The industry is growing rapidly

Examiner.com had an interesting article on the subject last summer. Using data from Alexa, Google and Internet World Stats they found that nearly 190 million heterosexual men are attracted to transsexual women and actively seek romantic contact with or sexually explicit images of them annually. I believe these are world wide numbers, but if they used English language search terms, a significant number of transfans will have been excluded.

The article by Maddy Claire points out that:

"According to the latest Internet statistics, interest in 'transsexual' topics has risen more than 5,000 percent in the past five years, and interest in 'transsexual dating' has surged more than 400 percent. In the past 90 days alone, combined traffic from the top 10 adult sites and top 10 dating sites catering exclusively to trans-loving males has risen 350 percent."

No, I have not seen the methodology used to arrive at these figures, so we have to take them with a laaaaarge pinch of salt. But they can be taken as an indication of the interest in the topic. The increase is probably partly caused by a general increase in Internet traffic, and the fact that the shemale porn industry is growing so rapidly. For some adult entertainment companies transsexual titles are now apparently outselling all others. Shemale porn has become commonplace.

The customers are straight men

One representative of that industry argues that the majority of customers are straight men: " I don’t even bother to promote it to the gay market, because it would be a waste of money."

This confirms the theory that men interested in pre-op transwomen are gynephiliacs and not homosexual men - at least not in any meaningful sense of the word. They move from traditional heterosexual pornography over to shemale pornography in hope of a resolution to their dilemma. They never move over to gay porn, as they have little or no interest in the male body per se.

This does not mean that all readers of shemale porn are necessarily crossdreamers. Given the variety of the human condition, there must be other explanations as well.

The active male

A strong argument against my theory so far, would be that the male is playing the active part in much of this erotica. If the viewer of such films identifies with the male, he is playing out the typical male copulation instinct, not the female's. Moreover, the shemale does not always plays the role of the dominatrix. She is more often casted in the role of the submissive woman.

This could mean that the viewer, who identifies with the active male, for some reason is fascinated by women with a penis. There could be many psychological explanations for such a fascination (see video below for one of them).

Again, I doubt very much that such a viewer would be a closeted gay man. Gay men are attracted to male bodies with all that entails: broad shoulders, square jaws, strong muscles, hairy chests etc. They are not looking for soft curves and breasts, and there are limits to what upbringing and suppression can do to your sex fantasies.

I am pretty sure there are "normal" heterosexual men who do get turned on by such a scenario, them playing the active manly role in the fantasy. However, it could also be that there are those that identify with the shemale in the movies, pictures and stories. In that scenario, they play the role of the feminized and emasculated man. Sure, she has a penis attached, but it is not used for any manly activity.

Given the masculine stereotypes of modern western culture, this fantasy represents degradation and a humiliation, as the man has been partly castrated (the limp penis) and given the role of a submissive woman (another stereotype based on a negative view of women). But for the crossdreamer it may stand for another resolution to the need for being the catcher instead of the pitcher.

Remember that we are talking about sexual fantasies here, not real life. Some research shows that some 50 percent of both men and women have fantasies of being raped by someone of the opposite sex. I doubt you will find any of them wanting to be raped in real life. The fact that such fantasies are common puts the rape fantasies of crossdreamers in a different light, though. It is the feminization aspect that makes them different, not the fantasies of being taken by force.

Men as props

The observant reader should now stop me, demanding an answer for a very embarrassing inconsistency in my discussion. I say that these shemale porn customers are not gay , because they are not attracted to the male physique. In spite of this I argue that some M2F crossdreamers may fantasize of taking the role of a shemale being taken by a male! Come on! This make no sense at all!

I readily admit that this is a dilemma. The autogynephilia reseacher Ray Blanchard's answer to the puzzle of gynephilic men fantasizing of being taken by men, is that these fantasy men are not real men at all, but masturbatory props, like dildos i guess -- only bigger.

These fantasies are not limited to shemale fantasies. The M2F transgender erotica I wrote about above is full of descriptions of crossdreamers having sex with men after been changed into a woman. Actually, this is the theme in most of the stories.

Blanchard, of course, uses this phenomenon to underpin that crossdreamers are autoerotic only. They are sexually attracted to the idea of themselves as a woman, not to any real person out there. The fact that the men in these fantasies are faceless and without personality proves that this is a paraphilia, according to him. When women fantasize about men these men are either people they know or some concrete acquaintance, movie star or sport's celebrity. The autogynephiliac does not care about such things.

You know, this is one of Blanchard's best arguments. It truly is, because the men in crossdreamer fantasies are often faceless, and I do think he is right when he says that these fantasy men are often -- but not always -- props. And I also think he is right when he argues that the men are faceless because these crossdreamers are gynephilic (woman-loving) and not androphilic (man-loving).

But you can easily explain this without arguing that the man has internalized his external love object, i.e. the real women out there.

First, remember that M2F crossdreamers are perfectly capable of loving others and also feel sexual desire for them. Nearly all of them fall in love, but with women.

But if their copulation instinct is female, a traditional western heterosexual relationship may not give them the sexual release they are looking for. The M2F crossdreamer can play the role of the penetrator, but is wired to be the penetree (- yeah, I just made that word up). The being-taken-by-a-faceless-man fantasies are a way of resolving this urge, as is the dominatrix with a strap-on fantasies and the dominant shemale fantasies.

The M2F crossdreamer longs to be at the receiving end when having sex, and in his/hers sexual fantasies he conjure up a faceless man to play the part of the man that makes him/her a complete woman.

And before you go: "OMG! That only proves that the crossdreamer is a sexual pervert and not a real woman at all!" please do stop and consider this: The desire for sex is an ubiquitous human trait. The reason modern women keep a dildo in their drawer is not because they need to massage their aching necks. An inner femininity may just as well express itself as a sexual urge as a need for knitting or child care. For most crossdressers, for instance, this sexual urge is part of a larger complex of deep felt dreams about being a woman.

Category breakdown

Now we are close to the reason for all the confusion. GB's call girl considered all passive men to be gay, even if they went to her, a woman. Blanchard is unable to make any sensible explanation for the origin of autogynephiliacs, because he -- like the prostitute -- needs to put them in one of two categories: heterosexual or homosexual. In his universe bisexuals and asexuals are put in the same box as the gynephilic, because there are only two ways of sexual attraction: same sex and opposite sex.

As I see it, the crossdreamers have actually much more in common with feminine gay men and androphilic transwoman than both Blanchard and most crossdressers would like to think.

I don't have enough information on gay men to make any sensible judgment on Blanchard and Bailey's claim that all gay men are feminine by origin, and by implication that they are all bottoms. But some of them are. And so are most of the crossdreamers.

In that sense the call-girl was right. She had sensed that there was something different about a male customer who wanted to bend over and... well. She had only one category for this: gay.

In a later post I will present a model that may help us get a grip on it all.

POSTSCRIPT: RAY BLANCHARD ON MEN WITH SEXUAL INTEREST IN TRANSVESTITES

I have not referred much to research on transfans in these posts, simply because I cannot find anything interesting. Blanchard has been co-author of a couple of articles. As always, he demonstrates how good a typologist he is. He knows how to sort complex observations into sensible categories. However, as soon as he has classified what he sees, he loses interest. He may throw out a hypothesis or two, but never bothers to see if the hypothesis is right. This applies to the autogynephilia theory and it applies to his work on tranfans (the "gynantromorphilics").

In a study of men placing personal ads searching for crossdressers, transvestites, shemales and transsexuals, Blanchard found that a majority of the men placing ads were not crossdressers themselves. How he was able to make this observation, I do not know, as the ads does not include such information, but he uses it as a basis for saying that these gynantromorphilics represents a separate erotic interest from the one of crossdressers. I doubt it.

Blanchard refers to research done by Money and Lamacz, who indicate that there may be a difference between an interest in crossdressers and an interest in what they call gynemimetics (androphilic transgenderists, i.e. transwomen who keep their penis). A gynemimetiphiliac is a man who falls in love with a gynemimetic (Help! Someone has to tell them to make more catchy labels!) . Blanchard concludes that although different transfans may be attracted to different types of transpeople, it makes sense to have one term to use for them all. That makes sense to me as well.

Here's the alternative approach to the transfan phenomenon, presented by YouTube vlogger Trannygirl15:



See also discussion over at Tevolve: Men who date trans women

Ray Blanchard: The she-male phenomenon and the concept of partial autogynephilia Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Volume 19, Issue 1 Spring 1993 , pages 69 - 76

Blanchard R, Collins PI: Men with sexual interest in transvestites, transsexuals, and she-males. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1993 Sep;181(9):570-5.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps an obvious question we should be asking: whether or not there are women out there who are attracted to "pre-op" FtM transsexuals.

Is this a phenomenon limited to one group?

Jamiegottagun said...

Well, I guess you can imagine that most men whom are interested in shemales are not interested in a "gay" activity, but as a shemale, who dates men, I can't tell you how hard it is for a girl like me to find a man that doesn't want ME to do you know what TO HIM.

That is NOT heterosexual behavior.

I love your blog. It really hits things hard, and you do a great job of uncovering and bringing to light research that most of us don't even know about.

But....

There's only so much book-learing, laboratory studies, and the opinions, studies, and methodologies of researchers (most of whom are not gay, trans, or autogynephiliac) can accomplish.

You have to take into account the real world, and the actual shemale experience.

As part of your research, try browsing the "M for T" ads in the Casual Encounters romance section on any major metropolitan Craigslist.

You will see that men wanting shemales to "flip the script" on them represent 95% of the interest in shemales shown by males.

That is not heterosexual behavior, nor is it trans, or gynephiliac behavior.

As far as shemale porn: I don't like it, and neither have I found another shemale or transsexual that likes it. And, most of us are autogynephiliacs. We don't like it because it always ends up casting the shemale in the role of the dominant partner, doing to the male, what we want him to do to us. When it comes to porn, most shemales and transsexuals taste runs more towards what your average woman likes: there's got to be some affection and tenderness shown, and the man has got to act like a MAN.

Porking a guy is the biggest turnoff for any shemale. I have friends that will do it for money, but every one of them has to practically OD on Viagra to get the job done.

See what I'm saying here? An autogynephiliac is not going to go out looking for a shemale to do that to him. I have never met another shemale, or transsexual that was ever interested in other shemales that way, before they became a shemale. I was never interested in shemales that way before I became one.

It may look good on paper, but it doesn't match that actual real-life experience of your average shemale or transsexual.

And if we're autogynephiliacs, which I think most of us are, then shouldn't we be having the same sexual interests that you attribute to these men?

There's something else going on there, too. I don't know if they're gay, or what. Maybe they're something that hasn't been uncovered in the research, yet.

Jamiegottagun said...

As a shemale, who dates men, I can't tell you how hard it is for a girl like me to find a man that doesn't want ME to do you know what TO HIM.

That is NOT heterosexual behavior.

I love your blog. It really hits things hard, and you do a great job of uncovering and bringing to light research that most of us don't even know about.

But....

There's only so much book-learning, opinions, studies, and methodologies of researchers (most of whom are not gay, trans, or autogynephiliac) can accomplish.

You have to take into account the real world, and the actual shemale experience.

As part of your research, try browsing the "M for T" ads in the Casual Encounters romance section on any major metropolitan Craigslist.

You will see that men wanting shemales to "flip the script" on them represent 95% of the interest in shemales shown by males.

That is not heterosexual behavior, nor is it trans, or gynephiliac behavior.

As far as shemale porn: I don't like it, and neither have I found another shemale or transsexual that likes it. And, most of us are autogynephiliacs. We don't like it because it always ends up casting the shemale in the role of the dominant partner, doing to the male, what we want him to do to us. When it comes to porn, most shemales and transsexuals taste runs more towards what your average woman likes: there's got to be some affection and tenderness shown, and the man has got to act like a MAN.

Porking a guy is the biggest turnoff for any shemale. I have friends that will do it for money, but every one of them has to practically OD on Viagra to get the job done.

See what I'm saying here? An autogynephiliac is not going to go out looking for a shemale to do that to him. I have never met another shemale, or transsexual that was ever interested in other shemales that way, before they became a shemale. I was never interested in shemales that way before I became one.

It may look good on paper, but it doesn't match that actual real-life experience of your average shemale or transsexual.

And if we're autogynephiliacs, which I think most of us are, then shouldn't we be having the same sexual interests that you attribute to these men?

There's something else going on there, too. I don't know if they're gay, or what. Maybe they're something that hasn't been uncovered in the research, yet.

Jamiegottagun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack Molay said...

Anonymous asked whether or not there are women out there who are attracted to "pre-op" FtM [female to male] transsexuals.

There a quite a few of them. Many lesbian relationships (and lesbian erotic fantasies) are based on the traditional dichotomy masculine/aggressive vs. feminine/receptive.

The "butch" may dress as a man, move like a man, talk like a man, and even treat her/his strap-on as the real thing. The "femme" plays the role of the receptive woman.

This is not a perfect parallel, though. The real counterpart to M2F crossdreamer vs. "shemale" would be F2M man-loving (as opposed to lesbian gynephilic) biological woman vs. a F2M man-loving pre-op transman.

They would both be dominant, but the first would want the transman to play the submissive role.

(Are you with me this far? Well, I am confused :-)

Anyway, this would be no more of a perfect match than the M2F crossdreamer vs. shemale constellation. The transman would not like to play the submissive.

The main difference between the two constellations is a matter of anatomy and the dominant/non-dominant dichotomy. We are talking about a mirrored relationship here.

The M2F crossdreamer is looking for someone who can penetrate him. The F2M crossdreamer is looking for someone she can penetrate.

The "shemale" has the equipment the M2F crossdreamer is looking for, but the "shemale" would like to take the receptive role. Not a good match.

In the case of the F2M crossdreamer vs. transman, the transman also has the required vagina, but he would rather be the one with the cock.

It would make much more sense for the F2M crossdreamer to approach a femme, which -- as far as I understand -- many of them do. But that makes her a lesbian (gynephilic) or a bisexual.

If the F2M crossdreamer is exclusively androphilic she would probably try to find a submissive man.

The perfect match for the F2M crossdreamer would therefore be a gay submissive man. This is why so many of the F2M crossdreamers call themselves "girlfags". They consider themselves homosexual (or bisexual) men trapped in a woman's body.

Unfortunately gay men are not interested in biological women, so the most realistic match for an F2M crossdreamer would be a submissive M2F gynephilic crossdreamer. That happens as well, and I am working on a post where I refer to concrete examples of such relationships.

(I have now reread this comment several times to see if it makes any sense at all, that's how confusing it is to move outside the binary. I think I have got it right, though...)

Jack Molay said...

@ Jamiegottagun

You have an excellent point, and it may sink my whole theory; I admit as much.

I started out by saying (in part 1) that most M2F crossdreamers do not fantasize about being with a "shemale". This applies to crossdreamers identifying as men, transgenderists like yourself and post-op transwomen.

So if some M2F crossdreamers do have this fantasy, it must be a matter of a psychological variation. After all crossdreamer fantasies do vary a lot, as do the fantasies of cisgendered people.

My point is simply that for some it would make sense for them to have this fantasy, simply because it resolves the conflict between being attracted to women and the desire to be receptive when having sex.

There are other solutions to this "problem" as well, including using props found in a lesbian life style.

If we by "heterosexual" mean "being attracted to the female body" they would still be "heterosexual" (if they are identifying as men), although I readily admit that our traditional vocabulary is stretched to the limit when used this way.

Transgenderists ("shemales") that are attracted to men, would not be considered "autogynephiliacs" by Ray Blanchard. If they have ever been turned on by dreaming of having a female body, I guess you could call them M2F crossdreamers. I am not so strict about these things. But in my posts I was focusing on gynephilic (woman-loving) M2F crossdreamers.

I do get pretty academic and analytic in these posts, don't I? These ones were not based on research, however, but on the experience of crossdreamers I have been in contact with and my own life.

Christy Martins said...

There a quite a few of them. Many lesbian relationships (and lesbian erotic fantasies) are based on the traditional dichotomy masculine/aggressive vs. feminine/receptive.

If any of you are interested in seeing this dynamic with your own eyes, you should watch some real "queer" porn that depicts butches and femmes being sexual with each other.

"The Speakeasy" is a good title and is available from nofauxx.com

http://nofauxxx.com/

Watching this was quite a revelation for me as I'm sure it will be for others. Pay particular attention to who you identify while watching; the results may surprise you.

Anonymous said...

I've had relationships as a man with several trans-women, in varying states of op-ness. I say that to verify that I have some real world experience rather than just academic study.

One angle that is not being adequately addressed in the discussion of top/bottom and the cluster of M and F combos is the need to establish an identity that others will validate. A lot of what you 'want' in life is influenced by what is acceptable to those around you.

The folks I've date were very different in their relation to their role in the bedroom early in transition to how they were once they felt established in their identity. Like a number of lesbian folks I know, switch is more the norm than fixed roles. One may like one aspect more, but it is hardly immutable.

I don't think using paid relationships as a basis for what people like is a good idea either. What you want to do with someone you love vs someone who's paying you varies.

Jack Molay said...

@Anonymous

"A lot of what you 'want' in life is influenced by what is acceptable to those around you."

If you look at kids when they grow up, you will see how much they try to emulate the behavior of role models in order to try out their own identity. It is to be expected that adults also can do this, especially when they change their social role or status in the way trans people do.

vk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vk said...

So I think this guy is smoking hot, see link below.
Im a guy, my fantasy with him is almost always in the male role (I guess I could bottom for him, why not, but not a lot) I like that hes a guy who dresses like a girl for fun, I like that he doesnt plan to transition. I crossdressed as a kid but have found the need dropped off in my 20s. I also love girls. Now Im 30, I dont mind being labelled gay, bi, autogynephiliac, gynantromorphilics or whatever, but I sure would like to know which I am. And why. And what best to do about it. Help! :)

If you dont trust clicking a link, google "boyshanon" on youtube and youll find him.

http://youtu.be/bTvMza0TFQI

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