October 8, 2012

Finding love as a crossdreamer

Photo from Photos.com
My post on my life as a crossdreamer has generated several very interesting comments, both online and in emails.

Joanna sent me the text included at the end of this post as a response to my discussion of the crossdreamer and/or  crossdresser's dilemma when it comes to establishing steady love relationships.

Sexual orientation

It seems to me a majority male to female (MTF) crossdreamers, whether they are crossdressers or not, fall in love with women. In the same way, female to male crossdreamers seem to be primarily attracted to men. Like most human beings they long for love and someone with whom to share their lives. 

But many MTF crossdreamers feel like they are wired like women sexually, which is one reason for why they often fantasize about being women when having sex. Needless to say, on the long term it may be hard to "play" the role of the man in bed, when what you desire is another role entirely.

It may be slightly easier to be a female to male (FTM) crossdreamer taking the proactive role in bed. In the dark undercurrents of our cultures being an aggressive man is still considered more admirable than being  female. Still, for a female bodied person not to live up to the gender stereotypes of the day is definitely not a walk in the park. There will be feelings of confusion, shame and guilt.

Establishing a relationship

Normally this has not stopped  crossdreamers from going steady or getting married. One of the reasons for this is that many crossdreamers truly believe that a regular heterosexual relationship  will cure them of their crossdreaming.


Moreover, until recently there has not been much information available on crossdreaming. Many  crossdreamers have noted their attraction to the opposite sex and have therefore concluded that they are just regular guys and gals -- although with a somewhat unusual inner life.

Indeed, for some crossdreamers this works out well. For some the crossdreaming is weak and unobtrusive.

Others, however, clearly experience what has been called gender dysphoria: 

"A persistent unease with having the physical characteristics of one's gender, accompanied by strong identification with the opposite gender and a desire to live as or to become a member of the opposite gender."

The further out you are on the dysphoria scale, the harder it is to play role of your birth sex in a relationship. Even you do not have the desire to "become a member of the opposite sex" full time, your temperament and your longings may make it hard to fulfill the expectations of someone who are looking for the archetypal male or female.

Information helps but also makes it harder

And I wonder if the growth of the internet has made this even harder. Online forums and sites for transgender people has made it much easier to find information on what it means to be gender variant and/or transsexual, but at the same time this makes it harder to live in denial and to pretend that nothing is out of the ordinary.

This again may make it harder for crossdreamers to go into  relationships with the hope that everything will turn out "normal".

And when and how are you supposed to tell someone of your crossdreaming fantasies?

There are probably as many female to male crossdreamers out there as there are male to female, and we are talking about millions and millions of people here. Moreover, there are also many flexible  tolerant and open minded people out there who do not worry to much about their partner breaking the unspoken laws of their culture. But how do you find them?

The story of a male to female crossdresser

This is Joanna's story:

"My story begins at age 3 or 4 with my mother catching me playing with my sisters wearing her shoes. It was innocent enough and yet her strong negative reaction as remained engrained in my memory to this day. 

I have no explanation as to why I enjoy wearing women’s clothes and presenting myself as female but after reflecting on this for many decades I have come to the conclusion that there must be a biological component to it. 

I was too young to find it sexually arousing and only when puberty hit and the erotic reactions began to surface did it somehow become dirty and undesirable. My subsequent years of buying and purging women’s clothes had begun in earnest.

I married and had 2 children. Interestingly in order to achieve orgasm and help conceive them I needed to imagine myself as a woman. So even if I am attracted to women I have to imagine myself as being one in order to become sexually potent. That is an interesting aspect whose explanation eludes me to this day.

I divorced after I divulged my secret to my wife who, although initially receptive and understanding, chose to divorce me instead. As it turned out, the marriage had not been a good match so the split was actually necessary but the depression I went through and stress over being separated from my children was almost unbearable. It all worked for the best and my children and I have adapted to the change.

Less than a year after my divorce I met someone else. We lasted for 3 years and although we did not break up over Joanna, it was clearly not a welcome addition to the relationship and my apparent lack of sexual appetite (at least for her desired frequency) became an issue for her. However, she did accept that I was trans and tried her best to be understanding and tolerant even if it wasn’t something that appealed to her. I am still healing from that breakup.

So now I am at a crossroads in my life. I am an advanced crossdresser who has accepted myself for what I am and is tired to feeling like I have a disease. On the other hand, I understand that this will limit my chances to be in a loving relationship with a woman for whom this is an unwelcome aspect to a healthy normal relationship between a man and a woman.

I don’t have any answers for now, but my disphoria is thus far not severe enough for me to feel pressured to transition and I don’t hate my male body. I have a duality that I do not understand and feel tired of hiding, feeling ashamed and purging. 

Being myself is something I have no choice in at this point in my life but I also realize that it will oblige me to be alone for the rest of my life. I am slowly coming to terms with this reality and I suspect that it will sink in eventually. How unfortunate that the gender stereotypes are so prevalent in our society and there is so little fluidity to express who we truly are"

Joanna har her own blog called Musings from my everyday life.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!