March 14, 2011

Are all autogynephiliacs transwomen?

Rene has a great post on "What you need to do if you have autogynephilia" over at her "Living with autogynephilia" blog.

Renee goes straight to the point. Why are we crossdreamers?

Her answer:

"The reason you have autogynephilia is because you lack any other ability to express your femininity. It's the outlet that your 'inner girl' uses to relieve pressure. You may then ask yourself, 'Well Renee, then why don't all guys have autogynephilia? Don't all guys have a feminine side?' The answer to this is probably going to be hard to swallow, but: Not quite like you do. The fact is, that deep at your core you may desire to actually live as a woman."

Renee is actually arguing that many -- if not most -- male to female crossdreamers are transwomen.

I have previously pointed to studies of M"F crossdressers who indicate that only a quarter of them consider transitioning. Others have pointed out, however, that these answers may reflect the respondents' more realistic judgment of whether transitioning is possible given their life situation. Their hearts may be of a different opinion.

Renee writes:

"In the past few months, I'm yet to speak to any crossdreamer that is entirely confident in their portreyed gender identity. I've asked many of them the same question: 'If everything you knew and loved was destroyed in an earthquake tomorrow, would you pass up the opportunity to live as female if given the chance.' (I might further explain that it would be as a natural, attractive female so they don't confuse the intent of the message with something like living as a transexual.) In every case the answer is yes."

Renee argues that many crossdreamers only live as men because of how impossible it feels to become women, even the ones that initially claim that the buck stops at AGP ("autogynephilia" or crossdreaming).


Renee is telling me that she will discontinue this blog and start another one where she covers her own transition process. She will also be active in the upcoming new discussion forum for crossdreamers. Stay tuned!

16 comments:

xR9 said...

I afraid don't agree with her. I have AGP and I'm quite convinced that I'm not transwomen.

Sarah Murphy said...

When I peered around the door to discover who I am and what this means, I came to the quick conclusion that I was AGP. But I didn't stop there. As I learned more it was like peeling layers of an onion. Memories and situations long forgotten were dusted off and looked at in a new light. To say this was revealing would be an understatement.

I think Renee came to the same conclusion I did on AGP being a safety valve for a suppressed female identity. The only safe way that personality could be expressed at the time was sexually. Recently that has expanded into a richer and fuller personality, albeit still behind a male mask. Recently I became aware of what I've known all along.

Sarah

Christy Martins said...

Renee really nailed it with this article.

I know in my heart of hearts what I am, but after doing a "cost/benefit" analysis decided transitioning was not in my best interest or at least I convinced myself it wasn't...

Most of the costs are a direct result of my being born straight and wanting to succeed as a woman-loving male.

Christy Martins said...

I really think Blanchard, Bailey, etc had the right *observation* but the wrong *interpretation*.

Specifically, they failed to take into account the life course of a trans woman who was born straight and how the sociological factors are at play can prevent transition until much later in life

xR9 said...

I think someone can like imagining himself as a woman, but don't like social role of women. You know, I want to be father, and this kind of things. For example im my case, this thoughts are probably caused by not very happy familly and childhood - it means that deeply inside I'm perceiving myself as a man.

Don't you think that trying to make someone transsexual woman if he isn't, isn't really good for him?

Sean said...

I am sure that there are some people out there that this does apply to. Like many things I think that AGP is multifaceted and there are a lot of sub categories to it.
However I don't think that this works for everyone. To me by this logic all the women out there that dream of being men and there are those are trans men.
I am also sure that there are transgendered MtF's that have this thou they might not want to admit it.
But I think that saying all people with AGP is like saying all crossdressers are gay which is not true.I personally don't to think of everyone in the group as the same, there are differences in every group.

KING said...

I don't like the word transwoman as they are never women but ftm transexuals.

This term means that there is only to gender identity and so is very normative.

tg_captioner said...

I don't completely agree with this (even though I said I would if given the chance when asked by renee).

First off, I don't think this is realistic (all your family and friends, job) all goes away but you survive. Fine, let's accept that as a possible scenario. Then your saying that you miracously become female (not transexual), which in essence means there's no awkwardness, your capable of speaking, walking, talking like a woman. Ok, not possible, but we're speaking hypothetical. That makes the road much easier, but not easy.. and yes, in such an impossible situation, I would probably take advantage of becoming a woman. Hell, if that many people I loved died around me, I'd probably fall so deep into AGP that a sex change is probably the only thing that would make me sane.

There is of course, the issue with history. Yes, you can probably brush off why you did "tomboyish" things growing up, but how do you discuss your love life up to this point? You were a lesbian, and now your straight?

I believe everyone weighs their options, it's decisions that we make which sculpts the life we live. Having a life-changing thing like a sex change affects everyone and everything (family, friends, job, how people view you). Let's not forget, the majority of states can still legally fire you for transgender. and that's not to say we shouldn't fight, but some of us don't have desires strong enough to want it that badly.

Celine said...

I think I might actually be (or become? but that's not how it works) a transwoman; at least, I wish to live as a woman very much. The example Renee gives is needlessly explicit anyway: If I was offered the possibility to live as a "natural woman" (as opposed to a transwoman) right now - heck, any time - then I would agree to it. I can do without everyone in my environment who wouldn't accept me - even my family. (Or was there some other point to this earthquake question?)

Sarah: "I think Renee came to the same conclusion I did on AGP being a safety valve for a suppressed female identity. The only safe way that personality could be expressed at the time was sexually. Recently that has expanded into a richer and fuller personality, albeit still behind a male mask. Recently I became aware of what I've known all along."

Interestingly, I formed this kind of other personality (think imaginary friend) before I realized that I'm no heterosexual male at all. She helped me to find it, in a way. Along that we found the sexuality of it later.

xR6: "I think someone can like imagining himself as a woman, but don't like social role of women. You know, I want to be father, and this kind of things. For example im my case, this thoughts are probably caused by not very happy familly and childhood - it means that deeply inside I'm perceiving myself as a man."

That's interesting. I don't think I could say that of myself, even if I wanted stereotypical social roles to matter. However, while I want to be a father (both technically and the role) several of my fantasies revolve around pregnancy and being a mother, too.

KING said...

I wouldn't like to be a woman as it wouldn't be exciting anymore to have a pussy, it would be as exciting as beeing me now as it would be my normal body.

The best would be to be a have a real woman's body with my menfetishist mind.

Then to be a man with standard sexuality.

Then may be a normal woman.

The worst beeing to be a man wanting a woman's body !

KING said...

Having a real woman's body is not possible.

Beeing a normal man is not possible or at least not more than a few weeks when I meeti a new girl(the fantacies always come back sooner or later and even stronger every time I think they have gone)

Beeing a transexual seem the best erotic option.

I could do the 2 things that turn in on the most = wearing nylon stockings on my smooth shaved leg's skin and having anal receptive sex.

But do I need to be full time woman, have a pussy and takes dangerous drugs all my life to have these 2 things ?

I guess not.

I could make some minor body modification (remove hair on the body and face, take some hormones for a wile to slighlty grow breast and a have more female feelings, have longer hair...) go on living socialy as a man and dress up to chase men for sex.

That sounds good and realistic.

But the problem is that I like romance with women and not men.

And life without love is boring.

So the best seem to be what I am = a transvestite who likes sex with men and love with women.

But wearing nylon in the street...seeing men watching my legs daily would be SO GOOD !!!!!!!

James said...

What Renee says might not be applicable to all AGPs.Whether a AGP is transsexual enough or not depends on the degree of feminization of the AGP's brain. Some AGPs have a mild case, for others, it is strong enough to desire surgery outright.
But the bottom line is that all of them have a seed of femininity.
There is a related analogy among the gay males. A lot of homosexual men will get so hypermasculine when they hit on a man. However, a lot many who otherwise would be quite normally manly, would turn effeminate the moment they hit on some man. That explains volumes about their gender differences.
As an actively bisexual male, I have noticed this difference a lot.

onion said...

I'm kind of wary of agreeing that it's the same for everyone, though it rings somewhat true for me.

My image of myself as a woman is very much idealized. Current techonology cannot reasonably get me there. I am better off with the sort of layered identity I have now; very much male on the outside.

I also think there is a large enough gap between crossdreamers and those who feel completely wrong in the body they were born with, that saying they're essentially the same may not be fair to either.

lumines said...

I find it tiresome when someone tries to tell me what I actually desire.


In the past few months, I'm yet to speak to any crossdreamer that is entirely confident in their portreyed gender identity.

What does this delightful little anecdote even mean? Men that have to deal with repeating sexual fantasies about being women aren't a 100% confident? Why is this considered remarkable or revelatory in any way?

Nobody thinks its even plausible that any lack of confidence for some crossdreamers, might be caused by the fantasies and nothing more? If a man was a paedophile, would he not deal with self-questioning and confidence issues? If he was a zoophile, would it not be the same? Hell, It doesn't even have to be a sexual thing, any deviance from behavior an individual believes is the perfect norm will make him less confident in his behavior and being a fully 'normal' person by his own definition. Gender identity in this context is not different. So you got me here, I'm not 100% confident I'm a normal male, I am a 100% sure that I don't mind.

"I've asked many of them the same question: 'If everything you knew and loved was destroyed in an earthquake tomorrow, would you pass up the opportunity to live as female if given the chance.'... In every case the answer is yes"

Well, here's your first no then. Becoming a beautiful/ideal woman would do one thing for me: Fulfill, an intrusive, unwanted array of fantasies that strongly reflect my history of abuse. Actually, it wouldn't even do that very well, I would need to get humiliated or raped in some horrible fashion for it to be really complete.

She seems to suggest that crossdreamers don't transition purely because we don't think we could pull off being a woman physically. How would she account for my male brain? My male aggressiveness, or my male sexual drive? My unforced and distinctly male lifestyle? If the answer is to offer me the option of changing my brain wiring into becoming the submissive female my penis occasionally wants me to be, I would tell her that I would much rather use that brain changing power and get rid of these fantasies alltogether.

Trying to draw absolutes on a subject such as this is ridiculous. Solidly backed speculation exists AGP may be caused by certain childhood events, and that it is not a genetic thing. The condition needs to be examined individually, or, at the very least in a more scientific and open-minded manner than done here.

Alongside this general movement toward acceptance of various sexualities, there's this tendency to try and group people. Any nearby outliers of any group are accused of being in denial and dismissed as insincere. Accepted sexuality isn't black and white like it used to be, only because it is black and white in a different way now. If i expressed any undue aggression in this post, it is because I believe Rene's post is part of propagating that type of thinking, which is a source of great deal of personal annoyance.

Anonymous said...

A big yes to the 'If I had the chance to be a woman" question'.
My entire personality has been subsumed by AGP.
Hiding behind a construct is debilitating over the long term. It's worse when the alternative (any alternative) is not possible.

Anonymous said...

You know what, you could ask the same hypothetical question in another way..

"If you could get rid of your AGP and live as a content male, would you do it?"

In that case an absolute yes for me!
Rather than me living life as a woman.. even if it seems tempting, it is pretty much a sexual answer.

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