November 29, 2011

On how to save a relationship

I have another email on love and relationships for you. agppartner ask for advice on how to save her relationship with a male to female crossdreamer.

Please do share your own thoughts on this matter!

This is what she writes:

"Hi Jack,

I write with sincere distress, as I really don't know what to do.

My parter and I started coping with his AGP [autogynephilia or male to female crossdreaming]  almost a year ago now. It has repeatedly almost destroyed our relationship and is a very tense subject to say the least. He has repeatedly lied, not only to me, but to himself, about the subject. And our sex life, even at its peak, is far from ideal. 

About 6 months ago, we came to the realization that he was addicted to AGP. We both agree that AGP is not an addiction, but, that, as is possible with any strong stimulus, he had become addicted to it.

We worked SO hard for months. We really focused on developing his masculine side and on finding ways to celebrate his masculinity. He lost 20 lbs and started to feel so much better about his body and to really own his sexual attractiveness as a man. Our sex life got better. Our relationship got stronger.

But, now, he has started lying again. Granted, its over rather small things, but it is the pattern that scares me. He set the rules and he agreed to talk with me about any gender-themed thoughts, fantasies or experiences that were a part of his life. Meanwhile, I find out that for the last "few months" shemales have been popping into his head in a sexual manner every other week and he as masturbated twice without telling me, which he had promised to do. He has also been looking at gendered porn, on occasion. Worst of all, the only way I found this out was by "policing" him (which I HATE, HATE, HATE to do, but my intuition was too strong to ignore). 

We've come to a new agreement that he doesn't have to tell me anything and that he is free to masturbate (although he claims that he doesn't want to). This makes me feel so vulnerable, like I don't even know what is happening with my own relationship. I feel wildly out of control.

And worst of all, I don't think that we can have a mutually satisfying sexual life if AGP is a major component of his sexuality. 

We tried and it failed miserably. We have repeatedly tried dressing, switching roles, watching porn and "dirty talk" about gender. We talked about pegging, although did not actually do it. 

There is absolutely no way that I get any sexual gratification out of any of these experiences, as I find it sexually repulsive (I have a strong desire to be dominated and he does not make a passable, let alone hot girl). I have never orgasmed or really even become aroused in any of these experiences. 

Not to mention, I know that, even if I could find them gratifying, his sexual pleasure has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. NOTHING. Its all in his head. Its all about him. I am, at best, a prop. But, in reality, even as a lowly prop, he is probably imagining me as something else (a male) anyways.

Possibly the hardest part for me is the utter rejection I feel. Nothing I can do or say or wear or anything could ever compete with himself and his fantasy world.

I am not a sexual being or object or anything. I am not a sexual component of our relationship.

Even though I love him dearly and he loves me in return, for purely sexual reasons, I feel like I should just give up now. For both of our sakes.

I'd love to know what you and your community think. You have full permission to print this on your blog.

Thank you."


My response:

"Thank you for your open and frank email! 

It is heart breaking, and I wish I had a simple solution to you other than the usual "We all have to make compromises" kind of stuff.

Some  couples make it work. They find different ways of role playing that satisfies both, not necessarily at the same time, but the joy of pleasing one another can be pleasurable enough.

You have sincerely and courageously tried to go down that road, and found that you get no pleasure out of this, which simply means that in your case it does not seem to work. This is not in any way your fault! You are not to blame here. 

In some relationships one partner (and it can be either one of them) plays along focusing on the other aspects of the relationship instead (love, friendship, family, common interests). This is partly my way of coping. I love my female partner very much, and am willing to go a long way to make her feel that love. She, on her side, seems to appreciate my softer side, although I readily admit that there are times when our sex life suffer. It would never work, if the sex had only been a way of satisfying her or mine sexual desires, and not a way of bonding through sharing intimacy.

In your relationship that you would have to be the one to make all the sacrifices, it seems, and -- frankly -- giving up your own pleasure completely will most likely not work. You will be frustrated, hurt, angry and depressed, which is never a good foundation for a loving relationship.

But this is also the case for your partner. I he suppresses his desires and longing, trying to become something he is not, he will also suffer. 

I know from my own experience that the "addiction like" behavior displayed by some crossdreamers, is based on a combination of sexual frustration, lack of affirmation and shame. Men are brutally conditioned by parents, friends and society to deny any feminine inclination, as it is considered a weakness and a loss of self. If we  M2F crossdreamers have a female side to our psyche (and I am convinced that we do, even if only a minority are truly transsexual), we are basically taught to believe that our true selves are to be despised instead of loved. This leads to the secrecy, the suppression, the shame and the obsessive behavior.

You write that you have focused on developing his masculine side and on finding ways to celebrate his masculinity. I am not 100 percent sure of anything when it comes to gender and sexuality, but it seems to me that this strategy can only work as a means of helping him play the role of the masculine man. It will not work if it is used as a way of suppressing his "inner woman". She will not be denied, and his only way of coping with "her" demands within such a setting is to lie to you. In other words: Make believe can only work as make believe, and not as a strategy for changing a crossdreamer's personality, in the same way you cannot train yourself to become the dominant one in bed.

I have a gay friend who tells me that a relationship between two "tops" or two "bottoms" will never work. I am not so sure about that. I think most men and women have enough of the opposite inclination to be able to play along. But it will never work if their fundamental "wiring" is not respected and never satisfied. 

Some relationships will not work. The differences in interests, personality traits, and opinions are just too many. I have no way of knowing if this is the case when it comes to the two of you. It might be, but I would not give up just yet, if I were you.

Let us see if we can get some feedback from the readers."


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12 comments:

JAY said...

Just off the top of my head:

She wants him to be more of a man, but insists that he "tells her" every time he masturbates?

She enrolls him in some kind of self-styled and imposed gender aversion therapy, and wonders why it had no more affect than those that try to change gay men into straight ones?

"Not to mention, I know that, even if I could find them gratifying, his sexual pleasure has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. NOTHING. Its all in his head. Its all about him."

And she is an adult woman and doesn't realize yet that could be said about ANY man?

She gets points for trying, but loses them again for doing it in such a self-serving way.

She needs to stop the whole "Thought Police" routine, and just move on to a man who can give her what she wants.

Both of them will be better off for it.

The hint should have been that any man who would have agreed to being bossed around by a woman that way is probably not the kind of man that is going to "dominate" her the way she needs.

Buddha said...

Most real and natural heterosexual males (as opposed to those who are socially conditioned to like women and do away with their liking of other men completely), have a feminine side to themselves and like to go in for powerful women who dominate them on bed and bring out their feminine side.
That appears to be very much the psycho profile of every natural haterosexual male that I have investigated.
Some of these natural heterosexuals are simply kinky crossdressers,others are somewhat bigendered types, and many others outright lesbian transwomen.

The skewed western model of gender and sexuality of males is to be blamed for all these confusions.

Buddha said...

The real masculine men are either the real bisexual men, or entirely homosexual (exclusively into men).
Effeminate males who are homosexual are just 10% minority.
The rest just fit into the typical heterosexual/bisexual psycho profile I mentioned above.

Anonymous said...

Why not allowing him him to masturbate ?

Why do you ant to be in 100% of his fantasies ?

Let him free to do what he wants when you are not with him. As long as he can have sex with you as a man where is the problem ?

If you let him free, he will come back and be a better lover as a man.

See a therapist to find the answers.

Anonymous said...

i do think there are two sides to a relationship: sexual and the actual bond between you two.

I know that the sex with my ex wasnt right but i also know that we were in love, and i still think of her every so often.

Also the sexual side does not only consist of sex itself. Try and be sensual with him, try to enjoy his body as much as you want him to enjoy yours. The dynamics are not in your favour but i dont like to think that this is impossible.

Also really help him to bring out his femininity, it will release alot of tension and he will stop his obsessive behaviours. Let him know that beauty can exist in a male too, and that he is beautiful in your eyes.

This is a hard place to be in, but i also believe theres hope. However dont stay with him because of duty or pity. good luck xx

Cheryl Sussex said...

It sounds as if he is caught up in a world of shame and guilt which can only get worse for him. The Shemale masturbation fantasy could simply be him trying to live out his fantasy of gender expression by imagining the feminised male as him self. This was my own experience anyway when I used to view shemale porn years ago. It may not be about the desire for a shemale, but to be one. It may not include the sexual acts with males that you may see in such pornography.

You seem to being doing all the work at keeping it all together. He needs to work just as hard too. When you are wrapped up in a sexual obsession it is very hard to see the woods from the trees. He probably doesn't realise what he has until it is too late.

Making him value his male side is a good thing I think, but at the same time you do need to accept his female side. If he fears losing that female side he will then wrap it up in a hidden world.

In many cases when the crossdresser is fully accepted he does not need to resort to the fantasy world as much.

Join up at Crossdreamlife.com if you have not already done so.

Robyn P said...

There are several important issues here.

The first major issue is the on-going lying. Lying is never justified in a serious, committed relationship. If he is lying about his sexual issues, he can lie about anything and everything. How will you ever be able to trust him to tell the truth? And you do want to trust him, don't you.

The second issue is your definition of "love". You say he'll es you. And I am sure he says that he loves you but then you say that he treats you like a sexual object or a prop in his sexual games. This doesn't sound like "love" and it doesn't even sound like he likes you very much. You are just a very helpful person enabling his fantasies. In addition, the harder you try, the worse it gets for you.

Finally, it sounds like he has some sexual fantasies or obsessions that are destroying your relationship. If he doesn't see that or if he refuses to get help, professional help, then it is time for you to exit stage left.

If you do stay in the relationship, then you should cut out all sex and and anything sexual until he gets clean and sober. And then he needs to learn what it means to be a man in a loving relationship.

You deserve better, a LOT better! Good luck!

JAY said...

Robyn,

No offense, but....

"Lying?" Are you kidding me? Women lie SO MUCH in relationships, from everything about how much of his money they just blew on those new pair of shoes, to whether they are even having orgasms or not.

So, to hold a guy to some strange standard of honesty in a relationship that only men seem to think exists is silly.

"Love" is wonderful. But love dies on the vine when there is not satisfying sex. Being a guy, and dating guys, I can assure that although you may not be, or are just not being honest about it, when it comes to sex men really are pigs. They need satisfying sex; if they don't get it, no matter how much they "love" her, they are going to find it somewhere else.

What I think this relationship needs is for the woman to realize that men are not women, and are not as depicted in the sappy Hollywood romances she has no doubt based her idea of relationships on.

Like most women, she doesn't even seem to know what she actually wants. She complains that he's not "dominant" enough, then turns around and complains when he masturbates "without her permission."

Like too many women, she thinks she wants a "man" but then gets upset when he turns out not to want to be her lapdog.

She had unreasonable expectations, and shouldn't be surprised that they have crumbled.

Anonymous said...

I'm in agreement with a lot of what's been said. I'll add that even though it may not be an addiction it has aspects of addictive behavior. You are being placed in the role of his "sponsor" which is not the best role for a spouse of an "addictive" partner.

While you definitely need to be a partner and be in on his feelings and have an open line of communication, it would be helpful if he could find an accountability partner to help work through some agreements, possibly a therapist. There are 12 step groups, such as Couple's in Recovery Anonymous or others dealing with sexual compulsions where he could find others to open up with.

If Jack Molay will permits me listing a suggestion here Crossdressers.com has a Loved Ones section and another private one for Female partners of crossdressers, where you might get additional advice. Good Luck.

Robyn P said...

@Jay,

No offense taken...

I am not kidding about lying. Just because SOME women might lie in relationships, it does NOT give men license to lie ESPECIALLY about sex. How can one ever trust someone who lies? And if a person cannot be trusted, why even be in a relationship with them?

Saying that men are pigs when it comes to sex is very demeaning.to pigs. What is satisfying sex for a man? In the relationship described here, the goal of satisfying sex is a moving target because this man does not know what will satisfy him. He is focused only on getting what he wants and he doesn't care how he gets it or who he hurts.

When there is true, profound love in a relationship, there will never be unsatisfying sex. Love doesn't die. One or both partners kill it.

In this relationship, this woman wants her man to be a man, not a loose cannon. She wants to be treated as a human being and as a woman. This isn't a sappy Hollywood romance. It is the bare minimum criteria for a loving relationship.

Anonymous said...

You each have to decide what you want and need in life.

If you love him, you'll let him go and find out what he needs.

If he loves you, he'll try earnestly to sort things out sooner than later while keeping you "in the loop."

Do you love the man or the person? Does he love you or the idea of being married?

You cannot and should not wait forever for him to figure things out... and he shouldn't expect you to stay if decisions are made you cannot live with. At the same time, you cannot create pressures and lead him to your conclusions... he can only find his own.

This is tough and I feel for you both. I'm sorry he has AG and I'm sorry you have to deal with issues resulting from it.

Robyn P said...

Jay stated a couple of things that might be on target, not only for the relationship in question but maybe for AGP in general. Jay said:

"when it comes to sex men really are pigs. They need satisfying sex; if they don't get it, no matter how much they "love" her, they are going to find it somewhere else."

And goes on to say:

Like most women, she doesn't even seem to know what she actually wants.

I think that all of us are searching for "satisfying" sex. I think we are searching for the ultimately perfect satisfying sex. And I think that all of us are searching for a "satisfying" relationship, actually the ultimately perfect satisfying relationship. It is hardwired in our DNA. We might think we have found it but we are looking in all the wrong places. It is like we go out to find a good, healthy meal and we end up eating out of a dumpster. We go from dumpster to dumpster to find better food... We go from relationship to relationship hoping to find a better one. At some point we find out that we are not going to find good, satisfying food in a dumpster no matter how deep we dig through the garbage.

I think one of the issues with AGP (and other things... I am not picking on just AGP.) is that it is not ultimately satisfying. It may seem like it is when we first see it, but it is only one of many things in the buffet line of life that ultimately does not fill us up, that does not completely satisfy us.