January 29, 2014

A Creative Crossdreamer Vocabulary, from "Top/Bottom" to "Twilighter"

Here is the fifth part of my Crossdreamer Dictionary. You can read the first entries here!
I found this photo by nensuria over
at Photos.com. It was tagged "Concept
of Domination and Authority." The fact that the
tie is immediately associated with
 dominance, says a lot about how
many read the roles of
men and women.

You may consider each of these entries a mini blog-post in its own right, all covering topics that should be of interest to crossdreamers and other transgender people.

Are there any crossdreamer phenomena, feelings or ideas you think is missing? Please add them as a comment!

Top and Bottom

More than 70 million copies have been sold of the "mommy porn" novel Fifty Shades of Grey,  not only proving that a significant proportion of women  find the idea of bondage and BDSM tantalizing, but also that most people find this phenomenon completely undramatic.

Fifty Shades of Grey echoes the preconceptions that there are two kind of people in the world: "tops" and "bottoms, "dominants" and "submissives".

Men are supposed to be on top, while women are supposed to give themselves passively to the man. You will find such  hierarchies among gay men and lesbian, as well, and even there being the penetrator may sometimes seem to be "better" than being the "penetree". The reason for this is most likely that sexual dominance is mixed up with social dominance.

To make this clear: There is no correlation between your social power and bedside preferences. Really! Nor is the "bottom" always passive and reactive in bed. And yes, there are female tops and male bottoms, and many seem to thrive in both roles.

Although there is a lot of variation, there is reason to believe that many male to female crossdreamers are -- in fact -- "bottoms". They want to be at the receiving end in bed, and the closer they are to the gender dysphoric end of the spectrum, the less pleasure they take in being "the man" in bed.

Historical picture of Japanese
femme and butch. From flickr.
This causes obviously a lot of frustration for the MTF (male to female) crossdreamers who are attracted to women, as most women expect them to be the proactive one.  There are practical solutions to this, pegging being one of them, but not all heterosexual women are comfortable with this kind of role play.

As for the female to male crossdreamers, it seems a majority of those at the gender dysphoric end of the spectrum dream about being the dominant seme in the gay male relationship, and not the more submissive uke. However, I do not have sufficient data to confirm this.

January 21, 2014

On Crossdreaming and Addiction to Pornography

In this guest blog post  Sam argues that since many crossdreamers find it hard to live out their sexuality in real life, they end up exploring it in fantasies and pornography instead. Ironically, Sam argues, this may lead to an addiction that stops them from establishing the real life relationships they are longing for.

Guest blog post by  Sam
Illustration by Tijana87/photos.com 


I think I have stumbled across something in my experience that could help a lot of people. I can't provide any novel insight into crossdreaming, but I have made some connections in evolving neuroscience and porn addiction that I think are making it harder for many of us.

First of let me say that that I don't believe porn causes crossdreaming, or that crossdreaming can be 'cured'. Nor is this is an apologetic for the 'separatist' viewpoint.

Test questions

That said, have you:
  1. Experienced an unexplainable gradual intensification or even evolution of crossdreaming in your life?
  2. Or are you experiencing other sexual or relationship issues that you may attribute to crossdreaming that did not always exist?
  3. Have you heavily used internet porn/erotic material through your adolescence and have significant relationship sexual issues today?
If any of these ring true and you are a regular user of porn or erotic TG material you need to read this.

January 15, 2014

The Rayka & Jack Dialogue on Crossdreaming 1

Illustration  of Iranian woman, based on photo
by Harris Shiffman. This is not Rayka, but
she could have been.
Last year I had a very interesting email conversation with Rayka, a young Iranian girlfag and female to male crossdreamer.

She is inquisitive, she is intelligent, she asks hard questions and makes very helpful observations.

Because of my discussions with her I have expanded my own understanding of crossdreaming, crossdressing and  transgender issues. Most of all she has helped me map the similarities and differences between female bodied and male bodied crossdreamers.

The following is an edit of that conversation. I publish it here with Rayka's permission.

(About words: A crossdreamer is someone who gets aroused by the idea of being or becoming the other sex. Personally I believe crossdreaming is a symptom of  some sort of broader gender variance. A girlfag is female bodied person with a strong affinity to gay male culture. Girlfags may imagine themselves being a gay man with a gay man, and many -- but not all -- of them are crossdreamers).

Am I transgender?

RAYKA
I can say I'm a FTM  [female to male] crossdreamer but don't know what it all means; does it mean that I'm a transgender? I just mark both options when they ask about gender in a formal paper, I just feel like it but It's so confusing.

It's like you try to keep a hidden identity for yourself but you attempt to give up in the routine of everyday life.

JACK
I consider us transgender, as in "gender variant". We are outliers on the gender spectrum.
Some crossdreamers are truly transsexual, (i.e. with the inborn sex identity of the opposite sex), while others are not, and I am afraid you are the only one who decide for yourself. That might take time.

I guess that one way of finding out who you really are is to see if you suffer from gender dysphoria (i.e. deep unhappiness with one's biological sex and gender role).

If you do not feel distress because of your fantasies and you feel at home in your female body, I would say you are not transsexual. If you feel a deep longing for the life of a man, and this longing causes distress and unhappiness, you might be.

It seems to me you are troubled by it all.

As for myself, I do experience gender dysphoria, but for various reasons transitioning is not on the table.

On gender dysphoria

RAYKA
I'm reading the references you provided. about the dysphoria. Well, I would do anything if I could just cut off these irrelevant mounds of flesh on my chest. I really cant connect to them, they're stupid! I bind them all the time but they are still there! 

You know the image I have of myself  is of a a man with a flat chest, guy's wear and  short hair (just like me!). That person looks like a sweet boy but I'm not sure what's his gender!


January 13, 2014

New web site on girlfags and guydykes (+ the story about the blind men and the elephant)

Activists trying to describe the transgender continuum.

Ili has put up a new web site for and about girlfags and guydykes.

The site is bilingual: In German and English. It is currently under construction, so watch out for scaffolding and fresh paint!

The goal is to gather new and previously published material that may throw light upon the lives and feelings of girlfags and guydykes (gfgd).

gfgd and crossdreamers

The girlfag/guydyke concept overlaps with the crossdreamer term, in the sense that some (but not all ) girlfags and guydykes are crossdreamers. That is: They fantasize about being the other sex (relative to their birth sex) in a sexual or romantic relationship.

Female bodied girlfags may write and read stories about gay male relationship, identifying with one of the male partners while doing so. Male bodied guydykes will often dream about being a woman in a lesbian relationship.

Note, however, that at the core of the gfgd concept you find a strong affinity with gay or lesbian culture. This is not always the case for crossdreamers.

January 9, 2014

Facebook Crossdreamer Page Gains 1000 Followers

In October last year we put up a page for crossdreamers over at Facebook. Yesterday the page had aggregated 1000 "likes" or followers.

Given that Facebook frown upon anonymous accounts, and many would hesitate to sign up for such a page publicly, that is actually quite an achievement. In any case, this proves that there is an interest for this topic out there.

In comparison this blog has some 8000 unique visitors every month.  I am also glad to say that the Crossdream Life forum is alive and thriving.

You can visit the Crossdreamer Facebook page here! It contains short entries on online content that may be of interest to the readers of this blog.

For more links to sites relevant to crossdreamers, see the Crossdreaming Portal. 

(Thanks to Cheryl for promoting the Facebook page in such an efficient way!)

January 1, 2014

A Creative Crossdreamer Vocabulary, from "Separatist" to "Surge"

Here is the fourth part of my Crossdreamer Dictionary. You can read the first entries here!

Are there any crossdreamer phenomena, feelings or ideas you think is missing? Please add them as a comment!

And again: I am not suggesting that we are going to make use of all these words in our everyday conversations. Many of them are only meant to function as triggers for self-discovery.
Jupiterimages

Separatist

Separatists are transgender people who for some reason do not like to be associated with other transgender people, often -- but not always -- out of fear of contamination and negation.

I have identified at least four such tribes on the male to female side:

1. There are some organized male to female crossdressers, who insist that they are straight men with a feminine side only, and who would rather not see homosexual men or transsexual women at their meetings.
The operative phrase here is "We are heterosexual men".

2. Some crossdreamers believe their cross-gender erotic fantasies are purely fetishistic, and that they therefore have nothing in common with transsexual people. Alternatively: They believe all trans people are fetishists, and fetishists only.
The operative phrase here is "We are normal men/women with a sexual kink".

3. Then there are the "Classical Transsexuals" (CT) who argue that they have nothing in common with "fetishistic crossdressers" and "gay effeminate men".
The operative phrase here is "We are women, and they are not".

3. The Harry Benjamin Syndrome crowd (HBS) preaches an extremist version of the CT gospel, where even feminine looks and mannerisms are inborn.
The operative term here is "We are ladies, and they are perverted men".

4. The transkids have adopted Blanchard's and Bailey's theory using it to establish a difference between androphilic (man-loving) transwomen on the one side and gynephilic masculine "autogynephiliacs" on the other.
The operative phrase here is "We are naturally feminine, and they are not."

On the female to male side we find a tribe of trans men over at tumblr called truscum. Some of them make arguments similar to the ones of the classic transsexuals. Moreover, some lesbians may view female to male androphilic trans men with suspicion. Others, though, cannot seem to get enough of them. Recent developments on tumblr also indicate that some transgender people and feminists have not really grasped what a girlfag is. 

If you instead focus on the diversity of both humanity in general and gender variant people in particular, these distinctions  become less relevant. The fact that you will find crossdreaming in all these groups tell me that they have something in common. But the fact that they have something in common does not mean that a transsexual woman is the same as crossdresser who identifies as a man  or a lesbian who makes use of masculine expressions. This is basic set theory, really. A Norwegian is not the same as a German, even if they are both European.

Soaring*

A soarer  is a crossdreamer who is overwhelmed by beauty. Male to female crossdreamers may feel something akin to a mystical religious experience when watching a beautiful woman. Many male to female crossdreamers may be caught up in stereotypical feminine clothing, hair and make-up, but this is not always the case. This ecstatic experience may be followed by crossgrief.
Both MTF and FTM crossdreamers
are attracted to feminine aesthetics.

Some would probably expect that the female to male crossdreamers would feel soaring from watching stereotypical male attributes, i.e. an Arnold Schwarzenegger type brute of a Neanderthal. The fact is, however, that FTM crossdreamers, like the MTF ones, often (but not always!)  find feminine features much more pleasing to the eye. They are attracted to feminine looking men. All of this makes much more sense if you think about the teenage girls' love for Justin Bieber.

Soaring has been used as a tool for enlightenment in some philosophical and religious traditions, including Platonism. In The Symposium Plato lets Socrates argue that contemplation of the feminine beauty of young men and boys is the first step towards grasping the very Idea of Beauty in its ideal form. In Medieval Europe this was turned into a mystical meditation on the beauty of the feminine, and its ability to lead men towards the goal of unity with God (cp. the troubadours and the role of Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy).

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