February 12, 2012

The Kama Sutra and the Transgender

Crossdreamer women who enforces their will on their male lovers with a strap-on? The Kama Sutra has it all!

I have been working on this blog for several years now, and I have learned one important lesson:

As human beings we have an amazing ability to reinterpret reality according to our own prejudices or cultural stereotypes.

Our fear of chaos, uncertainty and social exclusion tempts us to go firm and fixed world views, reality be damned.

History as a teacher

One way of getting around this kind of intellectual lock-in is to look at the views of other cultures and other epochs.

What is "self evident" to us is not to them, and by watching an alternative system of beliefs we can learn something about ourselves.

Recently I presented a case study from the early 20th century work of Magnus Hirshfield, showing that the crossdressers, crossdreamers and transsexuals of his time struggled with many of the same challenges as contemporary transgender people.

Still, Hirshfeld has been instrumental in developing the language we now use to understand transgender conditions. Although I think it very unlikely, it could be that Hirschfeld's liberal view of cross-gender behavior has created the crossdreamers.

Would it be possible to go futher back and further away and see if we can recognize crossdreamer behavior elsewhere and "elsewhen"?

The Gupta Dynasty and the Kama Sutra

Recently I watched a documentary about the influential Gupta dynasty of India (320 to 550 AD). This was a thriving and influential culture, and its most famous literary work is the Kama Sutra.

The Kama Sutra is now known as a manual for sexual positions, and that part is republished again and again with both ancient and modern illustrations.

The work  is much more than a sex manual, however. It is a review of the understanding of sex and sexuality of the time -- or times, rather, as it is a kind of compendium based on works written over several hundred years. 

Maybe, I thought, I could find descriptions of crossdreaming in the Kama Sutra? Unfortunately, the editions I found online did not give me much, apart from some small glimpses into the world of proactive women. 

However, I soon realized that the versions found online were shortened and censored, so I bought myself a complete version, The Complete Käma Sütra of translated by Alain Denieéou .


This version contains a translation of the complete Kama Sutra, as it was compiled and written down in Sanskrit by Vätsyäyana somewhere between 200 and 500 AD.

This version also has the advantage that it includes a medieval commentary on the Kama Sutra, written by a scholar called Yashodhara.

In this way we have two windows into Indian views of sexuality, one from around the fourth century, and one from the twelfth century.

I am now going to give you a glimse into the real world of the Kama Sutra.

Remember that the original work was based on different works written over several hundred years (from 4th century BC to 4th century AD). The editor, Vätsyäyana, tried hard to reconcile the contradicitons between the different input, to the point of arguing that customs will vary from place to place and from social strata to social strata.

Elitist and misogynistic

At the first glance the work is elitist, sexist and misogynistic. It is compiled for male members of the upper caste (Bramins mostly), and the view the authors have of women rhyme well with the kind of prejudices found in Europe and Northern America since the 19th century.

Quotation:

"Vigor and audacity are manly qualities. Weakness, sensuality, and dependence are female characteristics." (Chapter 7,para 22)

The medieval commentary reemphasizes this views:

"A man must have a strong body, be decided and audacious. These are both qualities of the ardent man [tejas], of him who likes beating. Lack of strength, the incapacity to hurt, even though the softest hands make her suffer, dependence, lack of character, the fact of desiring to be beaten by men, the wish to receive blows, all are part of women's nature. If, without having been beaten, she begins sighing during intercourse, what she wants to receive are blows in response to her sighs."

The text is extreme, but nevertheless rhymes well with the traditional Western dichotomy of women being weak and submissive and men strong and aggressive.

When the woman inverts the situation

The Kama Sutra, however, is a catalog of human sexual behavior, and the editor and the authors were keen at presenting all possible variations of such behavior. And they had clearly met women of a different kind:

"Sometimes, out of passion, custom, or temperament, the woman inverts the situation. This is only temporary, however, and nature ends by taking back its due." (Ch 7, para 23)

This is one of the most fascinating paragraphs about crossdreaming I have ever read. The author acknowledges that there are women who act like men in bed, both out of passion and temperament -- which must be based in her nature.

Still, this natural behavior is clearly unnatural, the author claims, and the roles are therefore always reverted back to the normal form of "normal".

This reminds me of Western doctors who in the 19th and 20th centuries proclaimed that all women were weak and asexual by nature, with the exception of those who were not.

The sexual women were presumed unnatural nymphomaniacs, prostitutes or their behavior was explained as "hysteria", which -- presumably -- had nothing to do with sex. 

The medieval commentator, Yashodara, adds that the boy, in turn, changes his own behavior, and starts whining and moaning:

"This does not last very long, however, and after a few moments, the situation reverts. He says, 'What is all this?' and rediscovers his true nature to fuck her. Since intercourse against nature is not possible for lack of the instrument, they go back to the old formula, being without any means of changing it."

But women are sexual beings in the Kama Sutra

Ah, the lack of a penis puts everything back in its proper place. Or does it? The schizophrenic nature of the Kama Sutra is revealed in another chapter of the same book:

"Vätsyäyana's opinion is that a woman, like the man, experiences the same sexual enjoyment from start to finish.

"How is it possible for two beings belonging to the same species and practicing the same act not to feel the same pleasure?

"Differences exist only in advances and in secondary actions [caresses, kisses, etc.].

"Vätsyäyana does not believe that there is any difference in the pleasure itself. Difference of sex is a fact of birth. It is generally admitted that the man is active and the woman is passive. The man's action is therefore different to the woman's. The man thinks that he is enjoying the woman while the woman thinks that the man is enjoying her. There is thus a difference in attitude and experience, but not in enjoyment." (ch 1 para 23 -26)

So, women are not asexual, but the active/passive dichotomy remains in nature.

Virile women

Or does it?

It is in chapter 8 of the book we find the examples that puts this theory to its test. This is the chapter on "virile behavior in women".

This is the chapter on female to male crossdreamers, and -- if we read between the lines -- we can also witness the male to female ones.

You see, the reason a man may submit to a woman, Vätsyäyana argues, is that he is tired after having made love to her the natural way:

"When the boy, wearied after is uninterrupted sexual exercises, seeks rest and is no longer dominated by passion, with his agreement, the girl descends to his anus [adhah] and, with the aid of an accessory [sähäyya], imposes her virile behavior on him." 

Turns out the lack of a penis was not so problematic after all.

"Whatever his intentions may be, she is decided on practicing this fictitious intercourse."(Chapter 1, para 1-2)

The presumably passive woman turns out to be assertive and aggressive!

Raped by a woman

The medieval commentator even admits that the man can be overwhelmed by the woman:

"If he does not agree, a struggle ensues, but she is determined on that kind of inverted intercourse known as virile behavior"

I am at loss here, but it seems to me he is describing the rape of a man by a virile woman.

However, he admits that the man may volunteer as well. The original version elaborates:

"She is determined to unite him with the instrument that she is inserting into his anus, so that he gets the taste [rasa] for one pleasure [rata] after another. This is one of the ways of proceeding." (ch 1, para 4)

The medieval commentator goes into more detail:

"There are two ways of proceeding with the inversion of roles. In the first case, she holds firmly the instrument [yantra] to unite the boy with this fake sex [shalya] in a doubled up position. Being excited, the girl grips in in her arms and, mounting him and bestirring herself, possesses him. Seeing that he is developing a taste for a sensation of pleasure that is different from the other, she lets the instrument slide once more into its target [sandhana]. He feels a pleasure unknown before, since up to then he had not had any inclination for that kind of experience."

Note how the medieval commentator tries to blame this on the woman. Indeed, the man will try to stop this behavior:

"However, he suddenly interrupts this pleasing sensation, since it is of a kind that is not acceptable for a young male [kämina]. In such a case, despite her efforts, the girl's desire is not fulfilled."

I find it hard to believe that this behavior would be so common as to favor a separate chapter in the Kama Sutra, hadn't it been for the fact that many of the men involved volunteered.

Moreover, I would argue that most men would -- due to differences in weight and muscular strength -- be able to defend themselves. The fact that they did submit on a regular basis leads me to believe they liked it.

In other words: The text does not only describe female to male crossdreamers (or "girlfags"), but male to female crossdreamers as well.

The fact that the text does not describe crossdressing, is not important here. Not all crossdreamers are crossdressers, and for all I know the taboo against crossdressing among the upper classes in India could have been stronger than the taboo about role reversal during intercourse.

Tearing the flowers from her hair

I have, of course no way of knowing the true nature of their transgender condition.

The text says nothing about sex dysphoria or transsexual tendencies, but it is clear that in ancient India there were quite a few proactive female genderbenders, who didn't give a damn about "natural" gender roles:

"Tearing the flowers form her hair [which I suppose is a symbol of renouncing traditional femininity],laughing until she is breathless, in order to bring their faces together, she presses hard with her breasts against the boy's chest, forcing him to lower his head several times. She copies in every detail his previous behavior with her, dominating him in turn. Laughing, she mocks him, saying insulting words to him. Then again, if he shows modesty [which, i guess, refers to female behavior], wishing to rest from his labors, she mounts him [upasripta] and sodomizes him." (para 9)

The "masculine" aggressiveness is even clearer in the medieval commentary:

"She makes him lower his head with shame and presses her breast hard against the boy's chest, not to embrace him or bite him, but with the ferocious desire to force him into behaving like a woman [strairena] in all ways. Speaking like a man, she tells him violently, 'I will repay you for all the torments you have made me suffer.' "

Note that her "masculine" behavior goes far beyond "sodomizing" him with a strap-on. She also plays out the role of an aggressive dominant male in words and mannerisms.

Seduced by a girlfag

The mash-up nature of the Kama Sutra  is reflected in the next paragraph, which describes the way a virile woman will seduce -- as opposed to force -- a man into submission:

"Having made the boy lie down, the woman distracts his attention with her words, while she unties his undergarment [nïvï]. If he protests, she embraces him to calm his apprehension."

If he protests, the medieval commentator explains, she kisses him on the cheek until he agrees and the undergarment can be easily removed:

"Being excited, he allows the girl's hand to caress his sides, thighs, breast, putting him into an erotic mood. Then the boy is suddenly possessed by an object of copulation [sangatäya], which she slides without difficulty between his thighs."
Note that the Kama Sutra often appears to be formulaic, in the sense that it describes role playing games that can be played out by both parties. This helps them know how to behave in a "proper" way.

And I get the sense that the description of virile women also may be like this. In other words: If they both have read the Kama Sutra they may -- if they are both crossdreamers -- play the roles described in the text, symbolic resistance included.

Gay or not?

It is interesting to note that the Kama Sutra does not really talk much about homosexuality in the modern term of the word. It is the sexual behavior that is the focus in the description of virile women, not the sex of the partner.

Without taking a pause, chapter 8 goes on to describe how virile women, in the same manner, may overpower a girl:

"According to Suvarnanäbha once the girl is possessed [upasripta] by union with the instrument, the moment when her eyes start vacillating is the moment to make her suffer. This is the secret of young girls."  (para 16)

A virile woman is identified by her virility, not her preferences for boys or girls.

The hijra

The book also describes the hijra, nowadays identified as male to female transwomen. In the Kama Sutra, however, they are used to illustrate the art of fellatio.

"People of the third sex |tritïya prakriti] are of two kinds, according to whether their appearance is masculine or feminine." (ch 9, 1)

No, this is not an early version of Blanchard's division between "homosexual" and autogynephilic transwomen.

The medieval commentator explains that those with feminine appearance have breasts, while those with a masculine aspect have mustaches, body hair, etc.

This could be a way of distinguishing between interexed persons and what we now call male to female transwomen, but I doubt it. There are still hijras around and most of them are not intersexed.

Instead it seems to me this could be a way of distinguishing between male bodied persons who identify as women, and those we now call male homosexuals:

"Those with a feminine appearance show it by their dress, speech, laughter, gentleness, lack of courage, silliness [mugdha], patience and modesty." (p 2)

"Buccal coition  [fellation] as practiced by both kinds is part of their nature." (p 1)

"They perform the act that takes place between the thighs in the mouth, which is why it is called superior coition."

Moreover, they live as prostitutes performing fellatio on male customers:

"Those who dress as women are taken for prostitutes" (p. 5)

"Those who like men but dissimulate the fact maintain a manly appearance an earn their living as hairdressers or masseurs."

"Buccal coition can also be practiced with corrupt women [kulatä], lesbians [svairiniï], servants [paricharïkä], women who carry burdens [sanvahiki]." (p 25)

According to the Ächärya, the Kama Sutra tells us, this practice is not recommended. It is contrary to sound morals and is not a civilized practice [asabhya]. "One is defiled by the contact of the sex with the face."

So the trouble with transwomen and homsexual men is not so much that they are what they are, but the fact that they perform the unclean act of fellatio!

This is also, by the way, why contacts must be avoided with people from the eastern area, Prächya, Arichchatra,  Saketa, or  the Saurasenas-- as they practice oral sex. 

But, as the medieval commentator notes:

"Anxiety over matters such as purity or impurity have no meaning in countries like Läta or Sindhy, where buccal coition between men or with women who make a business of it is allowed as freely as kissing on the mouth."

By the way, the Kama Sutra also describes marriages between men and between women. (p 36) Again, it is the oral sex that is found offensive, not the fact that two men live together!  Note also that while the female to male virile women love anal sex, that practice is not mentioned when it comes to the practices of the feminine and non-feminine "third sex".

I suspect this may be caused by the different chapters being based on different text that are not directly comparable. Or maybe anal sex was not common among "third gender" male bodied persons in India at this time.

I doubt very much that the dichotomy dominant/submissive or "top" and "bottom" was irrelevant to these androphilic men and transwomen, though. In other words: The longing to be receptive as opposed to the penetrator would be as strong among them as among the male to female crossdreamers.

Crossdreaming is not a cultural phenomenon

It is abundantly clear that same sex intercourse was common in India at the time. But then again, we find such behavior in all cultures and most mammals. This should come as no surprise.

To me, however, the book also proves that other types of "gender bending" were common enough to require their own chapter in the Kama Sutra.

The existence of "virile women" (or female to male crossdreamers and "girlfags") proves beyond doubt that this kind of crossdreaming is not a product of modern Western society or the common era.

The fact that these women also had male companions who succumbed to being "sodomized" tells us that being submissive was not against their nature. And again: The fact that a pretty sexist society had room for this kind of behavior leads me to believe that some of these men were the male bodied counterpart to the "virile women".

The authors and the editors cannot admit that such submissive men exist, as their view of nature does not allow for it. They therefore try to explain this by saying that the man was tired after having normal sex or something equally implausible.

But this argument only serves to illuminate the prejudices of the day. Their implausible denial only confirms the existence of the male to female crossdreamers.

Censorship

The most popular translation of the Kama Sutra is accredited to Sir Richard Francis Burton, who -- in spite of the censorship of the day -- managed to publish the book in 1883.

The fact that he did so much to battle censorship and publish erotic literature makes it hard to believe that he censored the text on virile women, but the fact remains: His edition contains  none of the quotes I have presented here.

(You can see for yourself in this PDF version of the translation - chapter VIII).

Maybe he and his co-translators found the idea of virile women uninteresting or offensive. I do not know.

This was unfortunate, as the Kama Sutra did have a readership in educated circles and a text describing the very existence of "virile women" might have forced some doctors to take another look at contemporary women.

Or maybe not. Maybe the cultural counter forces of the times were so strong that the existence of crossdreamers in ancient India would have meant nothing to them.

After all, even scientists see what they want to see. Even now there are "experts" in the field of sex and gender who refuses to acknowledge the existence of female to male crossdreamers.

These days it is the dogma of sex selection that underpins their reluctance. Even in the 21st century women are to let the "sperm bringer" come to them. She is definitely not supposed to "sodomize" the man with a strap-on.

Ah well, Mother Nature does not care about what sexist men think. I can hear her laughing!

Reference: Vätsyäyana: The Complete Kama Sutra, translated by Alain Daniélou, Vermont, 1994.

See also my post on the girlfags of ninth century Bagdhad.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great work jack! Xx

Sean said...

This is so great work. This proves that crossdreaming as well as other cross-gender people existed long ago. And that it is not cultural it seems to exist in all of them leading me to think its part of human nature, however what society tell us and accepts is much different around the world.
Also it presents the idea that men much be strong, they start it, and that it is the women that makes things unnatural because no guy would want that.

wxhluyp said...

Great Post, though I do not recognise any of the proposed instances of crossdreaming as being such. As there is nothing implied that the object of arousal is the notion of being related to as feminine/masculine, let alone any masochistic facet.

Note - There is no intrinsic difference between a crossdreamer who crossdresses and one who doesn't. Crossdressing or even for some, transitioning, purely make the fantasy feel more "real". Everyone wants to "actually" live out most of they're fantasies. If the crossdressing is satisfying to the extent that he can use it in his crossdream sessions, then he likely will.

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp: Speak for yourself, the fact you can't recognize it doesn't mean anything... I am a ftm crossdreamer and i can recognize clearly myself and most of the crossdreamers I know in what has been written there and I think most of people here will agree with me..

I have read most of your comments in the forum and here and it seems you have your own concept of what crossdreaming is based only in your personal experience (concept in which nobody else seems to fit but you).

pd: ur avatar really upsets me

wxhluyp said...

@AriadnaAzul: Can you explain to me your concept of crossdreaming and where you disagree with my own? My interest is in taking part in the discussion in order to understand crossdreaming/autogynephilia. It is true that if I do not recognise something, it doesn't necessarily mean it is not there, but in this case I am very doubtful. It seems that in the article, simply instances of deviating gender/sexual norms are taken as instances of crossdreaming. You say that you are also a crossdreamer, I know through encounters in the past with others who proclaim to be F2M that it is likely not a simple mirror-inverted image of the M2F. Then again, to profess to being aroused by something, doesn't necessarily mean it is understood how the arousal works. Of course ones rationalization will primarily be based on they're own experience, other than that, an immersion in the feminization fetishism scene for the whole of my sexual life.-A good reference being feminization fiction, my networking context on this blogging account and my imagefap account. I do have like minded acquaintances on the forum, usually those who understand their experience as being purely sexual.

p.s: I will change the avatar

Jack Molay said...

@wxhluyp

"I do not recognise any of the proposed instances of crossdreaming as being such. As there is nothing implied that the object of arousal is the notion of being related to as feminine/masculine, let alone any masochistic facet."

The focus of the Kama Sutra is proper sexual beahvior, being that sexual positions or how a courtesan should save up money for old age.

It does discuss the nature of female and male sexuality, but this is not its main objective.

This is why there is no explanation for why the virile women behave as they do, or why the hirja want to dress like women.

I still believe the virile women are crossdreamers.

The main reason is that they act out contemporary F2M crossdreamer fantasies to the letter.

This goes beyond taking a man with a strap-on. It is also reflected in what they say and how they seduce/rape the man in question.

I find it hard to conceive that this behavior is not connected to a desire to play the role of a man sexually, which is what F2M crossdreaming is about.

To what extent they are transsexual, is impossible to know. But I would guess that you among the ancient Indian crowd, as among modern F2M crossdreamers, would find a wide spectrum of variants: From those that dream about being a man to those that -- from time time -- get aroused by the idea of acting like a man.

This is not different from what you find among M2F crossdreamers.

Given the different cultural dynamics of male and female gender roles you should expect differences in how F2M and M2F crossdreaming plays out. As I pointed out, the gender roles of ancient and medieval India is not that different from ours.

Being male is associated with power and assertiveness, which means that F2M crossdreamers are unlikely to engage in masochistic submission fantasies.

Indeed, the opposite would be more likely, which is exactly what you find in the descritpion of the virile women. They are dominant to the point of being violent in the role playing game they are taking part in.

wxhluyp said...

But still the problem I see is that the enjoyment of the virile woman doesn't seem to constitute the thought of oneself as masculine as an object of arousal in itself.

And if it did, why it should not be taken as anything other than an instance of arousal like any other, let alone correlation with the vagueness of identification as a gender

Puja Niyogi said...

Jack,
Sex roles however cannot be used as an identifier of gender identity of an individual.
Many gay men who are non-transgender take on 100% bottom roles and many butch women are 100% female but take on the masculine role in sex.
They are not MTF or FTM crossdreamers. Their sole intention behind assuming those roles is to please their spouses.
At the end, it is the motivation that matters.
I dont think crossdreamers have the same set of motivations behind their sex roles in bed,as the gay men and lesbians.
Otherwise,all bottom gays would be crossdreamers and all butch lesbians would be FTM crossdreamers. The reality is that only a minority are and sexual orientation is independent of gender identity.

Anonymous said...

hey puja,

i see what you are saying.

I think there is alot of sense in what you are saying, it is true many feminine gay men feel no gender problems. however im going to take a different interpretation.

they feel no dysphoria as they can express their femininity and get it affirmed by a masculine partner. i think submissive behaviour is strongly attached to femininity. I think its all about the ability of allowing expression of your innate femininity.

Last year, I felt i could not express myself. I felt that my male body would not allow it to be expressed. That i was too tall, or too manly etc.

We have lived lives with partners that could never affirm our femininity. the last 6 months or so, i have found girlfags. They are masculine. With one in particular, I feel my femininity affirmed, and now feel no gender problems. I now feel at balance with my femininity.

One could even say i dont crossdream, I now fantasise about being a beautiful male being taken by a girl with a masculine sexuality.

When one believes they cannot be feminine without changing their body, they will crossdream. Feminine gay men dont have to crossdream, they believe in their own femininity, and therefore can dream as being themselves. And then can therefore be at peace.

Dont hesitate to respond or disagree with me, ill look forward to it x


sahar xx

Puja Niyogi said...

@Sahar
Well, that depends on the individual.
You are assuming that the gay and bisexual men who bottom are feminine.
But no, many masculine men also are mostly bottoms! Only that they do this secretly.
I have also heard of situations where effeminate gay male prostitutes exclusively 'top' the straight males who visit them.
Sex roles cannot be used as some indicator of gender identity because it is a highly personal preference.
And submissiveness is not having any relation with femininity either.

Anonymous said...

hey Puja

yes i have met one or two that say they are feminine yet masculine in bed. Assume there are the other way around.

Submissiveness and femininity in my mind are very related, but i do accept that they can be interchangeable.

I guess i will stick with my opinions for those gay feminine men that are submissive. I think you have a good point on the others, i am still unsure of that.

Thanks for your response x
sahar

Puja Niyogi said...

@Sahar,
You could be right about the fact that submissiveness and femininity are related.
However this only explains people like you who crossdream due to purely sexual reasons.
Many transgendered people dont crossdream solely due to sexual reasons.And many transition for so many other reasons which do not include feminine sexual roles in bed.
Having a feminine personality profile does indicate a possible mix-up but does not necessarily indicate transsexualism.
Probably,I am wrong. But probably I am right as well.
Afterall, gender isn't all black-and-white. It is all in shades of varying personalities.

Anonymous said...

hey puja,

I agree, there are many shades. This is a very difficult subject.
I only try to speak for those like me.

I do not believe, however, that my femininity is purely sexual. It is not just that I am submissive in bed. Its in how i socialise, its how i move, its how i think. And that is the case, i believe, of the vast majority of this community.

The actual bedroom stuff, is in my opinion only the very tip of the iceberg.

Puja Niyogi said...

"t is not just that I am submissive in bed. Its in how i socialise, its how i move, its how i think."

There you go!
Can you elaborate a bit on these traits of your's?

Anonymous said...

so the 'there you go' comment did come across a little condescending...

but anyway,

Over the last year ive really opened myself up. After managing to become balanced again, ive become less insecure about my sexuality. Because of this i no longer pretend to be the standard stereotype of a guy.

I would talk about my interests, but ive come to the conclusion that interests and hobbies are irrelevant to a conversation of masculinity and femininity.

Personally, i find my mood is extremely influenced by how i feel about how i look that day. I cannot be aggressive, it is just not in me. i believe aggression is attached to the masculine sexuality. I constantly compare my looks to others. my sexuality is very much centred on my own body. I want to be desired and i want to be the one that attracts.

I socialise very femininely. And this is noticed at some level by feminine girls and feminine guys who easily become my friends. I am excellent with facial expressions and social cues, like the majority the feminine males here, as i believe that is a feminine trait.

I struggled for a long while with ambition. I lost it all as i woke up to my gender problems. It had been attached to being a strong man. Realising that i was feminine, i felt weak and so lost all ambition. Ive since found articles describing the fierce career woman in magazines quite useful. They have had the same problem, and discussions of being ambitious and capable but at the same time feminine has been very helpful for me.

I could go on for alot longer but im not sure what exactly we are arguing over now. are we arguing? it seems we are similar in our thinking. All i wish is that more male crossdreamers really investigate our female opposites as they can help us like no other group can. The worst thing about these gender problems is that they dont just stay in your mind. You can really suffer, as I did last year. However a good side of it is that you know you are doing something right if all the pain goes away.

hope all is well with you xx

sahar

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp: Hi. I am thankful you took that avatar out. Greatly thankful for that indeed. Then I really apologize for not being able to reply u before.

Well, as far as i am concerned, your hypothesis premise is that we all are fetishist and that we are crossdreamers bc we were traumatized during childhood (and that we have sexualized our "trauma"). I think my sexuality is just as natural as any other female (straight/lesbian cisfemale) There's nothing that could be considered fetishist/traumatized in me, my personality or sexuality. This is why i disagree with you, wxhluyp. Also you say you have met many ftm; well, perhaps you know more about how does it feel to be a ftm... but certainly, I feel really identified with the description of the kamasutra "virile woman".

wxhluyp said...

All sexual desire is fetishistic. Even "heterosexual" arousal is even constructed. No idea is natural but it is natural for ideas to be sexualized. The problem is, how do ideas become attached to arousal? (Why does everyone ignore this important question?) There seems to be two ways, a more passive correlative process, and traumatic imprinting which is often how more "obscure" fetishes are accounted for. If ones fetish is a product of traumatic imprinting, then the later enjoyment is a repetition of the very initial experience. Each person house a collection of fetishistic niches, the term "sexuality" is a generalization of these niches. The best thing each person can do is to try analyse HOW their fetishistic narrative is arousing

Jack Molay said...

wxhluyp said...

"All sexual desire is fetishistic. Even "heterosexual" arousal is even constructed. "

We just have to disagree on this one.

I do not believe that sexual desire is socially constructed, as it is found in most complex organisms, most of them with little or no culture.

How this desire plays out in a cultural context is another matter. A fascination for nylon stockings is indeed a fetish, and M2F crossdreamers may develop such a fetish through association (the stockings are associated with the feminine expression).

But, like our F2M crossdreamer sister/brothers, I doubt very much that the sexual role of being dominant or submissive is the end result of a fetishistic association.

AriadnaAzul said...

"All sexual desire is fetishistic. Even "heterosexual" arousal is even constructed. "

I absolutely disagree with this too. I think Jack said perfectly why.

wxhluyp said...

"I do not believe that sexual desire is socially constructed, as it is found in most complex organisms, most of them with little or no culture."

-No experience can be innate nor genetically transmittable, this is because cognition is differential. The learning ability to which many complex organisms are attributed, this "learning" is symbolic(cultural).

"crossdreamers may develop such a fetish through association"

-there are NO notions prior to association. This MUST be understood. And then we have mediating forces (like hunger) which can only be "present" through correlation (correlative hegemonization can also be classified as a non-sexual fetishistic process). But which falsely assumed to be innate, the anthropological form of the object of arousal, self identity, gender identity, are not directly correlative to a "mirroring" mediating force, and are rather abstractions of forces which are taken for granted, like aggression and visible generalisations between the sexes.

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp

No matter how carefully you explain your points of view, which are absolutely respectable, i totally disagree with you... in fact, i feel way more respect for what Jack says bc he always starts explaining his thoughts with a "I think" "I don't think". In your case you seem to believe your statmentes are a kind of a universal truth. Let me disagree with you, please. But certainly I respect you for all the time you've invested creating your own hypothesis.

Ranika said...

@wxhluyp
If sexual desire is fetishistic, how come the division between heterosexuals and homosexuals?
How are some people straight and some gay and some bi and others asexual?
If you believe sexual orientation is NOT a pre-natally hardwired attribute of some individual, the concept of sexual orientation should not arise!

wxhluyp said...

@AriadnaAzul
Ok, but why do you disagree? Is it because you find something wrong with my theorizing? Are you uncomfortable with it?

I can not respect the perspective that legitimacy of theory being the condition of its tone or whether it is comforting. In some cases I am hesitant to begin talking with "I think", especially in the case when I'm dealing with theory (and its implications) which is not simply "pulled out of my ass".

@Ranika
"If you believe sexual orientation is NOT a pre-natally hardwired attribute of some individual, the concept of sexual orientation should not arise!"

-Attraction can not be bound to a pre-given image of man or woman (there are no pre-given images as cognition is essentially relational). The experience of "masculinity" or "femininity" are not underpinned by some essence, rather where each is defined through its stylistically constructed opposition to the other.

The evolution of the "experience" of sexual differences must trace back to the split between autonomous reproduction and reproduction in creatures that learn in order to survive. "Learning" proliferates co-evolving with basic mediating forces like hunger, pain, anxiety and arousal which is only "present" through contextual generalization. An experience of "different sexes" derives from visible generalizations, and contextual correlation with improvised mediating genetic mutations.

Where there is only "merely" pheromones and aggression, the problem is when people wrongly represent such with abstractions like "man", "masculine", or even self identity.

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp

"Ok, but why do you disagree? Is it because you find something wrong with my theorizing? Are you uncomfortable with it?"

1. I disagree with the whole "fetishistic" stuff. I do not think sexual attraction/orientation is socially-culturally constructed.

2. I don't think we are crossdreamers bc we were traumatized when kids. There are lots of traumatized cispeople out there too.

2. Your theorizing doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. Simply I find it wrong and I don't feel identified with it.

3.What makes me uncomfortable is the way you expose your theorizing: like it was -as i said- a universal truth. In fact this includes you dismissing as wrong other's theorizing. Remember: What we could say here about crossdreaming is just speculation. Do you have a scientific way to demonstrate your statements?

4. I didn't mention that legitimacy of theory being "the condition of its tone". You misunderstood me: Even if agreed with your theories, it would bother me the tone you use to expose them. As an example: I agree with part of what Jack says. but I also disagree with some other things, such as the "inner woman/man" but i absolutely respect and admire Jack for the great job he does here. His loable scientific attitude and seriousness is something I haven't found on your theorizing (besides it really doesn't convince me itself)

wxhluyp said...

@AriadnaAzul

"1. I disagree with the whole "fetishistic" stuff. I do not think sexual attraction/orientation is socially-culturally constructed."

-Ok, then how do you accommodate cognition, the production of ideas and the possibility of an idea becoming attached to arousal?

"2. I don't think we are crossdreamers bc we were traumatized when kids. There are lots of traumatized cispeople out there too."

-Trauma is widely taken seriously in the production of arousing notions. But emphasizing the experience constituting the trauma (and the eventual object of arousal) need not be something sensational or memorable like abuse, but possibly abstract/counter-intuitive. It is thought that some people are more susceptible to traumatic imprinting and sexualization than others. Whether people like it or not, many (if not all) crossdreamers arousal must include the presence of masochism, which correlates positively with much reported themes of emasculation throughout ones life.

http://www.nospank.net/dugan2.htm
www.oocities.org/transsexual_analysis/transsexual5.html

"What we could say here about crossdreaming is just speculation. Do you have a scientific way to demonstrate your statements?"

-If anything, the production of arousing ideas (fetishization) may be able to be demonstrated in the future. But the form of which the arousing idea takes, is akin to literary analysis or psychoanalysis.

I know I am going against the grain. What I bring to the table (seemingly solely) is some understanding of feminism, psychology, queer theory & philosophical developments over the 20th century, in what has turned into an interaction between nature and nurture. Or essentialism(and often scientism) vs construction. In this subject there is a massive overlap between the general sciences and the social sciences. Jack has done a lot of scientific research and his understanding of the social sciences have improved, but still the community doesn't have an representative equivalent who thoroughly understands and gives justice to the ss side.

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp

Honestly I think you are overthinking the whole stuff.

I think the fetish may appear as a kind of outlet of our innate sexuality. Sometimes, not always. And that "production of arousing ideas (fetishization)" is not the sine qua non you think it is. It seems you are confusing causes with effects.

The word "fetish" derives essentially from Latin (through other romanic languages) and it implies something "artificial". Do you think arousal is artificial? I didn't construct my arousal artificially. I know my innate sexuality was always dominant and thrusting, even before I could construct arousing ideas. If afterwards I related it to having a male body-genitalia was an artificial or fetishistic contruction, yes, it was! but my arousal itself is innate. It existed before the fetishization. It was dominant or thrusting since the beginning not after an artificial process of relating it to a male body/genitalia.

Also you say every crossdreamer or most are masochistic. Perhaps you meant only mtf crossdreamers. Definitely there's an overlapping between masochistic ideas and a receptive-submissive sexuality, but not always. Also, what about ftm crossdreamers??

AriadnaAzul said...

p.s: Currently, I don't relate my arousal to have a penis/male body anymore. The fetish ended. But my sexuality remains to be dominant. How do you explain that?

wxhluyp said...

@AriadnaAzul

Stimulatory mediating mechanisms (such as arousal or hunger) are innate, but semiotic form is not. (Nothing is meaningful in itself.)

Do you think there is a phenomenological essence of "thrusting" which can be transmitted genetically? Do you believe the Macarena can be transmitted genetically?

In regards to masochism, yes I meant feminine subjection. I think its possible that masculine subjection could also be masochistic, in that the idea of being thought of as literately anything can be an instance of social anxiety depending on the context. Its just that in our culture, it is a lot more psychologically painful (and common) for a boy to feel emasculated, especially through femininity.

"The fetish ended. But my sexuality remains to be dominant. How do you explain that?"

All though meaning is not fixed, an imprinted trauma "early" in life supposed to be very resilient. Otherwise one investment could be a vehicle to another etc. Or perhaps the new fetish is simply reminiscent

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp

Was your mention of the Macarena an attempt to ridiculize me and insult my intelligence? It is funny it backfired on you -to my opinion. Because it is not me who appears as a "fool" with that statement of yours. And I will show you why.

"Stimulatory mediating mechanisms (such as arousal or hunger) are innate, but semiotic form is not. (Nothing is meaningful in itself.)

Do you think there is a phenomenological essence of "thrusting" which can be transmitted genetically? Do you believe the Macarena can be transmitted genetically?"

Male rabbits don't need to dance the Macarena, but certainly they need the instinct of pelvic thrust during intercourse to assure the existence of the species through reproduction. This is a fact.

While animals have instincts, we, humans, have drives. And these drives are innate too. Not only the arousal stimulus you mention. Its "shape" (mechanism) too. The mechanism of pelvic thrusting is not product of an artifical process. It is inborn. Your mention of "phenomenological essence" for such a natural and innate process is more than ridiculous. Speaking about myself: My arousal naturally (and early) came paired with a need to thrust as it happens with most of males of all the species of vertebrates, including human (even thought among humans, I won't say "most of males" bc human sexuality is more complex). I didn't even relate it to having a male body/penis since the beginning. This fetishitic process occurred a posteriori. In fact, with decades of difference.

Pay attention on this:

"(...) With man it is likely that erection, ejaculation in the male, and perhaps the pelvic thrust in both sexes are properly termed instictive. For it seems that such movements are the expression of behavioural systems that as regards of motor patterns, are little influenced, during development, by variations of environment, and at a certain phase of the life cycle, are ready to be activated by whatever causal factors they are constructed to respond to". (WH Thorne: Animal Nature and Human Nature 1974)

What you call "fetishization" is just the activation, the causal factors constructed to respond to an innate already programmed instintive mechanism (in this case, pelvic thrust). But your so-called "fetishization" is not what gives it its mechanism. Let's note that

"(...) Lewis (1965) has made detailed observations of the incidence of pelvic thrusts in the human infant starting at eight or ten months of age.(...) Moreover, this is not restricted to boys." (WH Thorne: Animal Nature and Human Nature 1974)

The previous paragraph is explainatory itself.

So, what I have been trying to say allo this time is that my so-called "dominant" sexuality is an innate drive or "instinct": the pelvic thrust. I have it since I am an infant. The constructions of mechanisms of activation or the "fetishization" came latter, and it is not a concept that could be considered extremely useful to understand the origins of crossdreaming (What Jack and most of us want to understand). Also, if all this always happens through processes implying sexualization of traumas: I hardly think so. Human sexuality can't be explained entirely by traumas. You are being naive if you think so.

To end, it seems you have based your points of view in social sciences. You are wrong if you think only social sciences can explain themselves something as complex as human sexuality. You should read about natural sciences too. They are way more accurate (and more exciting).

Ariadna










There's something

wxhluyp said...

@AriadnaAzul

"Male rabbits don't need to dance the Macarena, but certainly they need the instinct of pelvic thrust during intercourse to assure the existence of the species through reproduction. This is a fact."

-This understandable evolutionary pragmatic response doesn't address the problem.

-Rather for us, the "thrust" is an action without any essential phenomological property. An action that can only be learnt through a style of correlation with erogenous stimulation.

"To end, it seems you have based your points of view in social sciences. You are wrong if you think only social sciences can explain themselves something as complex as human sexuality. You should read about natural sciences too. They are way more accurate (and more exciting)."

-I am a science enthusiast, I also know my evolutionary theory and evolutionary psychology. What the problem is here is typical of those who are not familiar with the social sciences or the science of semiotics. In other words a naivety in regards to experience itself. An understanding of such usually means (in this context) a revaluation of the relationship between the genetic and the symbolic, or nature and nurture.

There are mechanisms, there are mechanisms which co-evolved with the symbolic and there are further improvised reactionary mechanisms to interact with the symbolic. Our bodies and the symbolic can not grasp each other in itself. Note the radicality of construction, that that which "interacts" with the symbolic is not a pre-given meaningful image in itself, but a imageless force which is related to in a creative way.

"Meaning is not a thing; it involves what is meaningful to us. Nothing is meaningful in itself. Meaningfulness derives from the experience of a being of a certain sort in an environment of a certain sort... George Lakoff (1987)"

The process/production of meaning is innate, but the form of a meaning can not be.

The relevant definition of fetishism being "Excessive attachment or regard" in regards to notions. And all notions are constructed, whether or not it is connected to arousal(sexual). All notions exist in a context of fetishistic relation. A failure to take fetishism seriously results not only in an inhibility to understand narrative, but sexuality. Take note of extreme examples of abused children who go on to repeat similar actions of which they were subjected to. Or even the sister fetishes of crossdreaming, or even "stranger" fetishes.

Arousal can only become connected with notions, that is because notions are only constructed. The connection of arousal to ideas has been called "imprinting", where what distinguishes a traumatic instance of imprinting is the vague impact of psychological distress.

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp

"Rather for us, the "thrust" is an action without any essential phenomological property. An action that can only be learnt through a style of correlation with erogenous stimulation."

Haven't you read the paragraph I copied from a scientific book? It seems your ego is bigger than I expected, which is a lot.


"I am a science enthusiast, I also know my evolutionary theory and evolutionary psychology. What the problem is here is typical of those who are not familiar with the social sciences or the science of semiotics. In other words a naivety in regards to experience itself. An understanding of such usually means (in this context) a revaluation of the relationship between the genetic and the symbolic, or nature and nurture."

Does your enthusiasm for science include natural and exact sciences too? Good for you! But if I am honest, it sometimes seem you think human knowledge is based only in speculations (when you generalize partial concepts and deny other importants to make it fit to your own points of view). And yes, I admit I am not familiar with social sciences, in fact I don't feel as attracted to them as you. But... what made you think I am denying the role of "experience"? It is you who is denying any role nature could play in human sexuality, reducing everything to fetishes and traumas. If you read better what I have written I said that the process you call "fetishization" exist, and in fact play an important role in latter associations, but it is not the non plus ultra you seem to believe it is. Nothing can be explained totally if you reduce it all to a "fetish". For a better explanation of my point, read the last post Anonymous left in "You know you are a girlfag when..." What he said is really wise.

"A failure to take fetishism seriously results not only in an inhibility to understand narrative, but sexuality. Take note of extreme examples of abused children who go on to repeat similar actions of which they were subjected to. Or even the sister fetishes of crossdreaming, or even "stranger" fetishes."

Of course the process you call "fetishization" is important to understand many mechanisms as regards human sexuality, but, again, it doesn't explain the very origins of receptive-thrusting innate human drives. If you deny the existence of those then you are being naive.

And yes, I am aware of sexualization of traumas in the case of abused children. I agree! Except if you generalize it for the entire human kind!

Lindsay said...

In my experience (and I don't think I'm the only one to observe this) there is a lot of pelvic thrusting going on by both partners during intercourse, both male and female. The one on top is usually dominant, but the one on the bottom is responding in kind (it also increases the tops enjoyment). Thrusting may be instinctual, but it is easy to learn and unlearn.

From my layman's point of view, arousal leading up to sex (and those pelvic thrusts) is instinctual. What gets you aroused in the first place is fetishistic.

wxhluyp said...

@AriadnaAzul

"Haven't you read the paragraph I copied from a scientific book? It seems your ego is bigger than I expected, which is a lot"

I know this theorizing inside out and of course the "natural sciences", it is the path from which I have come. Evolutionary pragmatic explanations are a primary tool in understanding biology, but a knowledge of semiotics is totally indispensable in the case of understanding experience and concepts, and especially in this context, distinguishing between what can and can't be a cultural phenomenon, and isolating forms of mediation upon the semiotic. Unless you make an effort to understand the key principles of this side you will continue to be handicapped.

Also isn't it a bit strange, for someone who admits to be uninformed regarding theory, to state that it is less exciting?

Because of what phenomenologically constitutes the action of "thrusting", it cannot be attributed as a genetic creation. If it is to be transmitted genetically, it would require the possibility of a mutation to carry it as a semiotic imprint.

The anonymous response to "You know you are a girlfag when..." infers at least some knowledge of either side of the disagreement, but it would be nice to have more of an in depth input from this poster.

I never attributed trauma as the cause of all fetishism(arousing notions). Rather that notions can only be constructed and that "imprinting" must occur. The central theme of humiliation in many fetishes has more than credible correlation with reports of psychological distress earlier in life. I recommend checking out the links I've posted throughout the "So Who Are We Exactly" thread in the Crossdream Life Forum.

Lindsay said...

As a layman, I don't really understand the technical terms being bandied around. I think that the meanings to all of these terms should be submitted to Jack's "Transgender and Transsexual Glossary". That way us plain folk can make informed decisions about these ideas and be better able to submit our own comments.

Lindsay said...

I just posted this on the Crossdream Life web site:

@wxhluyp

When I first started reading your posts on fetishes, I couldn't have disagreed more. But over the ensuing months I've come to support your argument. At first I couldn't think of any event either traumatic or otherwise that could explain creating a fetish like this. But now I realize the event is so obvious. So obvious that it was hiding in plain sight. It was when I was about 2 and half years old that my mom explained to me that I couldn't be a girl because of my penis.

I'm a non-transitioning transsexual so the event may be easier to identify than someone who is transgendered, and the fact I chose not to transition is probably why it turned into a fetish and it actually helps me cope. It may be harder for the transgendered to identify the event, but it has to be something similar. The fetish is just your subconscious' way of coping.

There seems to be a growing movement in this community to have crossdreaming declared an alternate sexuality or an inborn condition. We shouldn't throw out the fetish explanation just because it is less palatable.

AriadnaAzul said...

@wxhluyp

"Evolutionary pragmatic explanations are a primary tool in understanding biology, but a knowledge of semiotics is totally indispensable in the case of understanding experience and concepts..."

Definitely this makes sense.

"Also isn't it a bit strange, for someone who admits to be uninformed regarding theory, to state that it is less exciting?"

In fact it is logical. Also I am not uninformed, I am just not fond or as familiar as you. I feel way more attracted to exact/natural sciences.

"Because of what phenomenologically constitutes the action of "thrusting", it cannot be attributed as a genetic creation. If it is to be transmitted genetically, it would require the possibility of a mutation to carry it as a semiotic imprint."

Pelvic thrust is an innate human drive. Vastly demonstrated by science. In fact, it is said that it is only one sexual behavior that is innate among humans(according to some serious scientists).

"I never attributed trauma as the cause of all fetishism(arousing notions). Rather that notions can only be constructed and that "imprinting" must occur. The central theme of humiliation in many fetishes has more than credible correlation with reports of psychological distress earlier in life. I recommend checking out the links I've posted throughout the "So Who Are We Exactly" thread in the Crossdream Life Forum."

Yeah, I have checked all those links. All those are about cuckoldry. But yeah, you have some good points as regards that specific fetish. (Gladly, only few mtf crossdreamers are cuckolds)

Although you have failed trying to explain to me how are the dynamics of the mechanism of "fetishization" among ftm crossdreamers. In fact you have avoided giving a clear response about. I don't think that concept of "humilliation" could be applied to us. At least, not directly.

On the other hand, it is funny you didn't even mention terms such as "sadism" and "domination" among some ftm crossdreamers (which could come paired to the "masochism" and "submissiveness" among some mtf cdreamers). It is funny bc it is me who mentions it. I was waiting for u to do it, but as u didn't dare, I do it now. Just to show how far you are to prove your own points of views with real evidence as regards ftm crossdreamers. Definitely you should read yaoi/slash stories that have been written by my fellow ftm crossdreamers. It will add a lot to your background. And it proves some of your points. But again, your ego is so big and you are so full of yourself that you overlooked that too.

Definitely you have some good points about some fetishistic associations. When I started reading your theorizing I still had a narrow concept of what a "fetish" is, meaning sexualization of elements that are not sexual per se. Like "feet fetish" or "looners". I didn't want to think I am related to them. Currently I have a wider view of the process you call "fetishization", but even if the mechanisms exist and are an important part of our sexuality, it doesn't explain the very origins of crossdreaming, at least those essential evolutive-biological basement you are overlooking. I am still looking for a response, and your theorizing doesn't satisfy me totally. Not as long as you take for granted that you, yourself have all the responses for each one of those essential questions.

I am glad Jack has dedicated some posts to us, ftm crossdreamers. The Kamasutra's virile women have been a very interesting insight to the history of human sexuality.

And now I go to read Jack's new post about Asperger's: I am an aspie and I should read that.

Have a good day.
Ariadna

wxhluyp said...

@AriadnaAzul

"Also I am not uninformed, I am just not fond or as familiar as you. I feel way more attracted to exact/natural sciences."

-but you have demonstrated an inability to distinguish between essentialism(biological determinism) and constructivism, an inability that is common even in vast areas of the scientific community. -I would like to see a scientific proponent of innate thrusting, who understands the distinction.

"Yeah, I have checked all those links. All those are about cuckoldry.

-I meant to check the earlier links as well, some really essential sources.

"Although you have failed trying to explain to me how are the dynamics of the mechanism of "fetishization" among ftm crossdreamers. In fact you have avoided giving a clear response about. I don't think that concept of "humilliation" could be applied to us. At least, not directly."

I am acquainted with Yaoi, I still once and a while rediscover favourites which feature crossdressing etc.

I haven't really addressed autoandrophilia (or didn't really attempted), assuming that the same presuppositions would be applied. Being that, if being aroused predominately by the idea of being thought of as masculine, then I expect that this experience(or theme) earlier in life had a strong enough impact to "imprint". Perhaps the experience was masochistic if there was the presence of shame or guilt. Perhaps the thought of yourself displaying masculine sadistic tendencies was enough to leave a lasting impression on your psyche. Perhaps if we are to flip the structure of arousal for the autoandrophiliacs, it would be the arousal by the relation to self through sadistic masculinity.

"But again, your ego is so big..."

-I am simply trying to present errors and a unrepresented (and very suppressed) perspective.

"it doesn't explain the very origins of crossdreaming, at least those essential evolutive-biological basement you are overlooking. I am still looking for a response"

-A biological input is needed for crossdreaming as much as it is for "balloon fetishism". Elucidating the biological mechanism for how contingent experiences become attached to arousal.

AriadnaAzul said...

"but you have demonstrated an inability to distinguish between essentialism(biological determinism) and constructivism"

In fact i have demonstrated an inability to accept your theorizing 100%, i am guilty! sorry! :)

"I haven't really addressed autoandrophilia (or didn't really attempted), assuming that the same presuppositions would be applied. Being that, if being aroused predominately by the idea of being thought of as masculine, then I expect that this experience(or theme) earlier in life had a strong enough impact to "imprint". Perhaps the experience was masochistic if there was the presence of shame or guilt. Perhaps the thought of yourself displaying masculine sadistic tendencies was enough to leave a lasting impression on your psyche. Perhaps if we are to flip the structure of arousal for the autoandrophiliacs, it would be the arousal by the relation to self through sadistic masculinity."

Keep on trying, dear.... someday u'll have a clear notion about us, ftm crossdreamers.

Have a good day.

Sherin said...

@AdrianaAzul,
The moment you shout "ftm crossdreamers" you start equating sexuality with gender identity.
For a while,you backed out saying that you are alright as a female with a typical "thrusting" sexuality.
But see, again you are back to calling yourself an ftm.
Trust me- a ftm transman is not like you. He is a man, not a female with a thrusting sexual fetish.
I always knew you were another of those who try to equate sexual fetishes with gender. Doesn't matter, no hard you try, you are no ftm, crossdreamer or man.

AriadnaAzul said...

@Sherin

You don't even deserve a response from me :) I just don't care about you.

Sherin said...

@AdrianaAzul,
Yes, that is exactly how losers reply.
The fact is that you dont really have anything to argue about.

Anonymous said...

@ Sherin

"Sherin said...
@AdrianaAzul,
The moment you shout "ftm crossdreamers" you start equating sexuality with gender identity.
For a while,you backed out saying that you are alright as a female with a typical "thrusting" sexuality.

@ Wxhluyp

"-A biological input is needed for crossdreaming as much as it is for "balloon fetishism". Elucidating the biological mechanism for how contingent experiences become attached to arousal."


Now that is a really interesting point. Finding the biological setting within which fetishistic associations occur would be a great step towards breaking the divide.

But does it tell all the story when we relate to crossdreaming, which would be equated here with any fetishistic behavior.

I believe, there may be more biology involved here, revolving around the dichotomy between active/receptive. Those behavior can be within human realm just another instance of fetishistic association, but they might be explained through other ways.

I am not an ethology expert, but I have read somewhere (so, this should not be taken as straight facts and need probing)that modifying hormonal balance in several mamals resulted in qualitative changes in their mating behavior. Those behaviors can range on a spectrum, either active, or receptive. So to a large extent, mating behavior can be modified according to the level of hormones in animals that don't live in a world of cultural meanings or fetishistic associations.

The tricky part is of course that ethology doesn't say a lot about human sexuality, which is mainly a sexuality of meaning. Yet, it is possible to concieve people who have a genetic pattern conditionning them to relate to mating a certain way, taking a more "active" or "passive" role.

And I think mating behaviors are related to sexual arousing, and are patterns allowing animals and humans the onset stage preceding copulation.

Sorry for ths overly rhetoric post, but that's the best answer I can attempt, since I am only putting hypothesis I may never have the time or ability to test.

Anonymous said...

@ Sherin
"
@AdrianaAzul,
The moment you shout "ftm crossdreamers" you start equating sexuality with gender identity.
For a while,you backed out saying that you are alright as a female with a typical "thrusting" sexuality.
But see, again you are back to calling yourself an ftm.
Trust me- a ftm transman is not like you. He is a man, not a female with a thrusting sexual fetish.
I always knew you were another of those who try to equate sexual fetishes with gender. Doesn't matter, no hard you try, you are no ftm, crossdreamer or man."

Okay, messed up my first post for some reason, so I will give a quicker answer.

I think you are mistaking ftm crossdreamers and ftm transexuals.

AriadnaAzul said...

What is funny is that some people assume I am eager to be linked to ftm transsexuals or called "transgender". And I used the term "ftm crossdreamer" for practical purposes, but if this person is really pissed off by me using the term, she/he can keep it with her/him. Seriously, I don't give a damn. :)

I am happy with my (beautiful) female body, and I adore being a beautiful woman. Also I really enjoy my peculiar sexuality, and I feel really attracted to my counterparts of the opposite sex. Period. I don't care if others have issues with that and find me pervert, in fact, I'd adore being a pervert if it happens I am one. :) I am a happy, happy person who is really able to give love and get it with thankfulness. :)

AriadnaAzul said...

@Anonymous:

"I think you are mistaking ftm crossdreamers and ftm transexuals."

Amen! Well said, Anonymous! Wise as usual. :)

Anonymous said...

@ Lindsay

"In my experience (and I don't think I'm the only one to observe this) there is a lot of pelvic thrusting going on by both partners during intercourse, both male and female. The one on top is usually dominant, but the one on the bottom is responding in kind (it also increases the tops enjoyment). Thrusting may be instinctual, but it is easy to learn and unlearn.

From my layman's point of view, arousal leading up to sex (and those pelvic thrusts) is instinctual. What gets you aroused in the first place is fetishistic."

Of course thrusting can be learned, as human beings are learners who can master things in which they were by no means predetermined to achieve.

It reminds me a bit what Jack said about shyness somewhere. Shyness, or unassertiveness, may be hard wired and yet can be easily dealt and overcome.

I also find it hard to describe sexuality because I think langage fails us at some point. Does the dominant and submisive schema even make sense? After all, it seems to me that the main power can be derived from the "sub". He is the object of desire, and in most sadomasochistic sex, he is the one who sets up the rules and the stages of the intercourse.

I prefer "active/receptive" although it is still unsatisfactory and misleading.

Regarding the pelvic thrust I think indeed that this is somewhat instinctual although it can be learned. well, deaf people can learn music so!

There is something I didn't mention before : copulating behavior may be genetically conditionned, they are not instances of arousal per se...
Well folks, its late and I wanna write more after a good night and sleep.

wxhluyp said...

@Anonymous

"So to a large extent, mating behavior can be modified according to the level of hormones in animals that don't live in a world of cultural meanings or fetishistic associations"

-This area is always interesting. Although within these "lower" animals, we do not see obvious marks of culture, but these animals must have a semiotic system which renders hormonal changes meaningful (and thus figures in its schemata). For these mammals, the object of desire is not given in the hormones itself, but the style of semiotic structure which correlates with the hormones.

It is difficult to think of "active" and "passive" prior to semiotic meaning, or as a biological pressure which aims to mediate semiotic meaning. The terms are quite vague. Something qualitative like adrenalin is easier to imagine. Perhaps much of the meaning of "active" & "passive" is an abstraction

"Sorry for ths overly rhetoric post"

-Its totally fine!

Sherin said...

"What is funny is that some people assume I am eager to be linked to ftm transsexuals or called "transgender".

What is funny is that some people don't know what words really mean. They think the whole language belongs to them and so they can call anything by any name-if possible, an apple as an orange.

The moment someone says "crossdreamer" it means that individual dreams of having body of the opposite sex and is not happy with his given body. I am sure Jack Molay will not use the term "crossdreamer" for any kind of non-transgender human. Crossdreamer itself means some kind of transgender.
If a female says she is happy being a beautiful woman, she cannot be a crossdreamer. This is a clear case of contradiction and is entirely illogical.
However, some folks love to be illogical because as I said, they think that the whole language belongs to them.

wxhluyp said...

@Sherin

"The moment someone says "crossdreamer" it means that individual dreams of having body of the opposite sex and is not happy with his given body"

-Everything about that definition is vague. However politically unpopular, the crux of the experience (rather than "dreaming") is being aroused by. And rather than the idea of having a "female body", it is the idea of being related to as feminine. I am happy with my self-identity, although I acknowledge that all forms of self-identification are a naive projection without any real underlying basis.

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AriadnaAzul said...

@Sherin

"What is funny is that some people don't know what words really mean. They think the whole language belongs to them and so they can call anything by any name-if possible, an apple as an orange."

That is an accurate description of yourself. :)

I am not the only one person here who noticed how wrong you are. You are confusing transsexual and transgender. Where did u take all those crazy ideas?

And I cut it off here, bc I don't wanna honor your nonsense with a response.

Ariadna

Lindsay said...

@Sherin

"The moment someone says "crossdreamer" it means that individual dreams of having body of the opposite sex and is not happy with his given body."

I think you're mistaken on your definition of crossdreaming. You've sort of combined crossdreaming and transexual. I'll agree with you that some crossdreamers meet your definition, but the more general definition is someone who is sexually excited by the though (or dream) of having sex as the opposite gender. The person may be totally fine with their current gender.

Sherin said...

"I am not the only one person here who noticed how wrong you are. You are confusing transsexual and transgender. Where did u take all those crazy ideas?"

Looks like some people really forget what they term themselves at one time or the other.
So, our lady AdrianaAzul thinks she is transgender but not transsexual, fine! I agree there can be transgenders who are not exactly transsexual.
But then what about this line she wrote earlier?
"What is funny is that some people assume I am eager to be linked to ftm transsexuals or called 'transgender'"

Which means she does not want to be called as transgender as well!
But then, if she is neither transgender nor transsexual, then how can she be a crossdreamer?

Sherin said...

@Lindasy,
"I think you're mistaken on your definition of crossdreaming. You've sort of combined crossdreaming and transexual."

With due respect, I definitely don't.
I know there are genderqueers, androgynes and bigendered people who are not transsexual.
But, sexual fetishists,fag-hags and metrosexuals are not among them.

wxhluyp said...

@Sherin

"But then, if she is neither transgender nor transsexual, then how can she be a crossdreamer?"

-A crossdreamer simply is an arousal(constructed fetish) by the idea of being related to as feminine. Sex (and its degree) is your innate biology. Gender (self identification as "masculine"/"feminine") is a social construct. These three factors do not necessarily have to be connected.

Janikest said...

"-This area is always interesting. Although within these "lower" animals, we do not see obvious marks of culture, but these animals must have a semiotic system which renders hormonal changes meaningful (and thus figures in its schemata). For these mammals, the object of desire is not given in the hormones itself, but the style of semiotic structure which correlates with the hormones.

It is difficult to think of "active" and "passive" prior to semiotic meaning, or as a biological pressure which aims to mediate semiotic meaning. The terms are quite vague. Something qualitative like adrenalin is easier to imagine. Perhaps much of the meaning of "active" & "passive" is an abstraction"

Indeed I don't think that "active/receptive" is a relevant dichotomy, pretty same about the "dominant/submissive" dualism I mentionned in another post.

I wonder though, that if langage fails me, it may fail you as well when you stated that lower mamals must somehow have a semiotic level in order to build objects of desire. I agree with you that any "desire" cannot be anything else than a mental construction. [Note, but that is yet another dabate that I disagree with the freudian idea that desire is located solely in an object.]

But, when relating to anmial sexuality, are the words "object of desire" relevant? Can't we concieve animal sexuality as deprived from any symbolical level, because there is no "sexual desire" but only a web of stimuli and reactions. In that case, we shall consider arousal and mating behavior as natural as eating or peeing is.

***

Now, I think the "crossdreaming as having a core genetic basis" (that is, a genetic imput different from the one allowing us to build fetishistic associations) is a really hard case to support.

Indeed, whether we concieve nature and nurture as two interpenetrating spheres or two separate realms, we have to carry the burden of the proof.

In the first case, the hypothesis is that semiotics sets up its boundaries out of the human realm, thus making difficult any evolutionnary explanation of sexual arousal. But in the second case, it is not much better. If we concieve, and that's my point of view (my background is much into philosophy), that meaning is a distinctly and all encompassing human production, the problem is not going to be simpler. Indeed, as far as we cannot make meaningful correlation between humans and lower species, we will probably never be able to decipher what is the biological component of sexual behavior.

-Janikest

janikest said...

By the way, wxhluyp, I only know semiotics through other subject like psychoanalysis, anthropology and sociology. As you seem to into it, I would be interested if you have anything relevant I could read on this subject in order to fuel my understanding of crossdreaming...

wxhluyp said...

@Janikest

"Can't we concieve animal sexuality as deprived from any symbolical level, because there is no "sexual desire" but only a web of stimuli and reactions. In that case, we shall consider arousal and mating behavior as natural as eating or peeing is."

I think a distinction must be between animals that function totally through autonomous in-born mechanisms, and then species which develop a dependence on sites of symbolic familiarity to survive.

"As you seem to into it, I would be interested if you have anything relevant I could read on this subject in order to fuel my understanding of crossdreaming..."

I think the links I've posted here-(http://www.crossdreamlife.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=174&start=50 ) are helpful. I use "semiotic" interchangeably with symbolic, or phenomenological etc. I would recommend Claire Colebrook, especially her work with elements of queer theory

Sherin said...

@wxhluyp

While I agree with you that gender is a social construct,there is some ambiguity regarding the interpretation of crossdreamer.Crossdreamers in general are associated with each of the factors you mentioned, by different people.
Some people like Jack will necessarily imply that crossdreaming occurs not due to some self-constructed fetish but out of an underlying self-image which crashes with the outer physical reality (transsexualism).
Some people like AdrianaAzul are confused and will claim that it arises due to sexuality issues (for example, a female having masculine thrusting sexuality or a metro guy wanting flower bath and being receptive with a male or female).
Yet some others will say it is a reflection of some underlying gender-role dysphoria (ie,issues like masculinity/femininity).

My guess is that each interprets the term according to his own experience. As such,this term itself, unlike transsexualism, is open to a lot of ambiguity.

wxhluyp said...

@Sherin

The sexually fetishistic factor (arousal by the idea of being related to as feminine) is the only universal feature among crossdreamers. The dubious reports of GID among some crossdreamers should be taken as an example of the fickleness of constructed self-identification. Also the notion of "innate" types of sexuality should be replaced with constructed fetishism.

Lindsay said...

@wshluyp

"The dubious reports of GID among some crossdreamers should be taken as an example of the fickleness of constructed self-identification."

Or those crossdreamers reporting gender dysphoria are also transsexual whether they realize it or not.

Do you think the "target location error" theory floated by Blanchard, et. al., is also explained as a fetish? Or is it a potential 2nd form of crossdreaming.

wxhluyp said...

@Lindsay

"Do you think the "target location error" theory floated by Blanchard, et. al., is also explained as a fetish? Or is it a potential 2nd form of crossdreaming."

-There can not be an fully formed innate image of the male/female body of which one is aroused by, let alone an innate distinction of self/other. I would also emphasize the relation to self through "femininity", rather than a "female body". The narratives of crossdreamers shows that the "female body" is simply a possible feminine association. The crossdreamer can be aroused even by the thought that one's favourite colour is pink.

"Or those crossdreamers reporting gender dysphoria are also transsexual whether they realize it or not."

-Whether or not a person is to some degree biologically intersexed, self-identification is a social construction. It is a myth, that the body "informs" the self that there is a discrepancy between biological sex and gender identity.