October 13, 2016

On Quantum Desire and why we need a new sexology of gender variance

Felix Conrad pondering the sexuality of
gender variance.
(Photo: elwynn1130)

Felix Conrad, spiritual leader of the Transcend Movement and crossdreamer philosopher per excellence, has written a new book on sexuality and gender variance called Quantum Desire


Antonia has asked him a few questions.

ANTONIA: Is it really necessary you write another book on crossdreaming? What’s this...the hundredth?

FELIX: I’ll ignore that! Anyway..it’s the ninety eighth.. Yes...absolutely necessary. Most of my work has been about the seismic tremors of a transgender awakening: trying to understand why I feel that I’m a woman...how valid is that feeling... and how I can live with it? So, basically, they’re about transgender psychology. This book deals with gender variance as a sexological phenomenon.

ANTONIA: And why the change?

FELIX: It’s a question of survival really. The transgender crisis screwed with my mental health and I had to sort it out...and I sort my head out out by writing. Now that I’ve turned a corner with my gender issues I can write something that’s been on my ‘to do’ list for quite some time: a sexological analysis of crossdreaming.

Also, I think that one of the fascinating things I’ve discovered recently is that when I got on top of my gender issues I started to see my desire to change gender as more of a sexual thing. Now, I don’t want to overstate that...because I’ve been irrevocably changed by my transgender awakening - but something’s shifted. It’s this quality of gender variant sexuality that gave me the book’s title: Quantum Desire; as fucking crazy as this may sound...it seems that the way you observe our sexuality can change it.

ANTONIA: But come on Felix, don’t be shy...that’s not the only reason you wrote it...hasn’t there been a certain Spanish beauty who started off this quest?


FELIX: Well, I always try to include a real life situation, and yes, explaining my sexuality to my new girlfriend occasioned this book...but it was a long time coming. 

Despite decades of research, commentary, blogging and scientific papers...nobody can say a damn thing about gender variant sexuality with any certainty or without controversy. That’s a scandal...and the main reason is that self-obsessed transgender people like me have cannibalized all the analysis focusing on the transgender angle and our interminable battle with Mister [Ray] Blanchard.

The fact is that there are millions of crossdreamers who have no transgender identity and who simply want to understand their sexual behaviour.
Ray Blanchard came up with the autogynephilia theory, which
says that all male to female transgender who are attracted
to women suffer from a paraphilia (sexual perversion).
Photo: Maxine Petersen

Furthermore, there’s also many trans-leaning people who just aren’t satisfied with politically correct transgender explanations of their sexuality. It’s high time we got together as a community and made some serious decisions about what is the appropriate scientific name for our sexuality, what is the appropriate sexological label and other such questions.

ANTONIA: Ahhh...you mention Mister Blanchard. Tell me...you often joke about secretly believing Blanchard is right…let me ask you frankly: do you secretly believe Blanchard is right?

FELIX: Listen, Antonia...if I say to you...faggots like to fuck each other up the ass? Am I right?

ANTONIA: Well...err...kind of...but I want to punch you in the face.

FELIX: Exactly. Some of Blanchard’s observations are correct, but they’re intentionally and clearly framed in such a way linguistically to inflict the maximum damage on trans people. 

Obviously, as an academic he can’t say ‘fucking’ and ‘faggot’ but by choosing terms like ‘paraphilia’ and endlessly focusing on the masculine frames and faces of older trans women he’s doing the same thing. 

I have no problem with theories which postulate the sexual origins of transgender identity but there’s ways to formulate those theories that are respectful and ways that are a kick in the nuts. Blanchard went for the nuts.

ANTONIA: Hold on a minute...are you saying that Blanchard was right but he was just rude about it?

FELIX: Certainly not. Autogynephilia rests upon a causal relationship between the sexual desire to transition and any subsequent transition. This is not only impossible to prove but even if it was -- with no clear explanation of why they had that sexual desire in the first place -- there’s no reason why the sexual urge didn’t originate from a female gender core or other attribute of genuine feminine essence. 

However, saying that...and it kills me to say it...the fact is that until we come up with a credible, plausible and compelling sexological narrative to replace autogynephilia, Blanchard will continue to be a large part of the conversation.

ANTONIA: You really think so?

FELIX: Well, look...we’re talking about him..and the cunt hasn’t written a word for thirty years...so we can’t claim to have trumped his narrative. That’s why I really wanted to write Quantum Desire. 

Like all my books, it’s just an extended conversation...not academic research...but I hope I can inspire serious researchers to put aside the trans-centric debate and get down to writing a seminal work of sexology on crossgender arousal.

ANTONIA: Ahh...but as I’m sure people are wondering, Felix...is it possible to write a purely sexological account of crossgender arousal?

FELIX:
Well, that is one of the questions the book answers. The simple answer is...no...but you can certainly write one that focuses more on sexological discourse than gender theory.

ANTONIA: And what do you think readers will find most surprising about this book?.

FELIX: The sheer cheek of the final chapter. Basically, I attempt to reconcile the unreconcilable: sexological explanations of gender variance with feminine essence..and to be honest, I think I did a pretty good job.

ANTONIA:
Well, your readers will be the judge of that. Now I’d like you to tell us about this ‘crossdreamer challenge’ you’ve been talking about.

FELIX: Ok. Well, I really think that the crossdreamer community is a place where we can make genuine progress on understanding our complex sexuality. We stand on a bridge between the fetishists, scurrying around doing whatever it is they do - masturbating 80 times a day on tumblr, desperately asserting they’re not women...and snooty transfolk claiming to be above all that fetish nonsense.

Well, we can also masturbate 80 times a day but still claim to be women...or not...because the defining characteristic of this community is that as long as you don’t have a stupid name with too many consonants like you can say whatever you want. We accept gender variance and sexual variance and if anyone’s gonna make inroads into the theoretical and practical issues that need to be resolved...it’s us.

So, I was kind of thinking that everyone could formulate their own answers to the questions in my book. So...it would be super cool if they left in the ‘comments’ section their thoughts about the following….

Crossdreaming is a great colloquial term, but what should be the scientific name for our sexuality?

What is its correct sexological label: Fetish? Paraphilia? Orientation? A.N.Other?

What is the best narrative we can use to briefly and comprehensively describe our sexuality to someone outside of our community?

ANTONIA:What the fuck is this. Homework? Sorry...only joking.

FELIX: It’s just...I think that maybe we can decide this stuff as a community. Maybe a majority view will begin to emerge and we can all adopt the same terminology.

ANTONIA: Sounds a bit like a referendum to me...and you know how that goes down.

FELIX:
Shit...I never thought of that. Imagine...80% of respondents on Jack’s website vote for ‘autogynephilia’ as the best term for our sexuality. A crossdrexit.
Photo: Martin Poole

ANTONIA: Jack would have kittens! Sorry! What? Why are you looking at me like that?

FELIX:
Sorry...I was just imagining Jack having kittens.

ANTONIA:
What like...in the reproductive sense...not in the English idiom sense?

FELIX: Yeah.

ANTONIA: You are so fucking weird!

Quantum Desire: A Sexological Analysis of Crossdreaming is available on Amazon

More books by Felix Conrad.

Jack will publish a review of the book in the near future!

9 comments:

joanna Santos said...

It is extremely important to acknowledge the sexual feelings of the transgender person and not hide from them. The fact is that the transgender nature and the longing for the body of the opposite gender are intertwined. We know very well that to prove that the sexual component creates the dysphoria is impossible and this is where Blanchard clearly erred in his arrogance and failure to prove a causal relationship.

What I like about what Felix is doing is not shying away from acknowledging that this aspect exists and that we take ownership of it to try and understand it. That it exists does not necessarily invalidate a transgender identity but it may be possible to experience it and not need to do anything else other than to manage it.

Most of us have suffered greatly in trying to figure this out over the years and analysis and transparency are always a good thing.

Rubber Cripple said...

I am in the middle of making an experimental documentary on autogynephilia. Both Jack and Felix have declined a request from me to contribute, I really wish they would reconsider.

Dr Blanchard kindly gave us an audio interview, it is extremely interesting.

Jack Molay said...

@R Cripple,

This must be a misunderstanding. I responded to your request in August giving you a lot of information and extensive comments. You even thanked me for them.

Thanks to Blanchard, however, and his stigmatization of transgender people, there is no way I can give a public interview on these matters. I am sure you understand why.

Jack Molay said...

Due to a technical error I published several copies of this blog post. Here is one comment added to one of the two that have been deleted:

1 – 1 of 1
Anonymous Taj said...
Response #1: "What the fuck did I just read?"

Response #2: I love this person.

I feel like I've been having a lot of the same kind of thoughts lately, as a trans man. It feels like trans guys especially aren't publicly allowed to talk about any damn thing at all, except how much being trans sucks and how great it feels to be mistaken for cis. Anything else is just too perverted, too gay, too "transtrender", too MRA-ish, too predatory. Well fuck that. There's a huge sexual component to my entire life, and being trans is a linchpin part of that. I'm still working on how exactly to talk about it, but it's true--being openly sexual as a trans person, especially a kinky trans person, especially someone with a fetish for genderfuckery, is going to be "problematic" in some way or another to just about everyone. But if I don't want my experience (and thus existence) basically negated, the dialogue has got to happen. I'd love to talk to anyone about it, but I feel like it just makes too many people too uncomfortable. LIke both trans people and cis women and men are only safe if they disown or downplay their sexuality to nothing. That's respectability politics and Puritanism and it's a form of oppression.

October 13, 2016 at 5:29 PM

Sandra Lopes said...

Oh dang... does this mean I have to buy ANOTHER Felix book? I wonder how much he sleeps every day, to be able to come up with book after book — not to mention spending half his time on Reddit and the other half on the rest of the Internet, including his own site and so forth? Maybe there is not ONE 'Felix Conrad', but a plethora of ghostwriters behind a single pen name? :) Anyway, I've been watching too many Trump conspiracies ('Trumpspiracies'?), so please forgive me while I digress...

Anyway, I think that there is something I have to agree very strongly with Felix (and Joanna echoes that thought). There is some sort of 'sexuality' associated to crossdreaming (no matter how it is manifested), at least in the sense that there is erotic pleasure coming from, well, 'crossdreaming'. My problem here — and being pretty much asexual these days, it gets even harder to make a solid point/argument about it — is that I find it difficult to explain how 'dreaming about having sex as a woman' is different from, say, 'dreaming about having sex with a woman' — and if we can establish a few differences, then we would need to explain how both are different from 'dreaming about having sex with a goat'. You see my point? As soon as we start poking the monster, it will rise out of the depths — if you are assigned male and dream about having sex with a woman, you're a perfectly healthy, cisgender male heterosexual with a vanilla sexuality. Fine. If you dream of anything else, you're a fetishist. Wait. There is ONE exception. If you dream of having sex with another man, then you're a perfectly healthy, cisgender male homosexual, also with a vanilla sexuality. If you dream of having sex with men or women, then you're a... you got it by now... bisexual. Unless you dream of having sex with men AND women simultaneously: then you're a fetishist.

The problem is that we just have two words for describing an incredibly vast variety of sexual behaviours: either you're 'normal' or you have a fetish. There is no 'third way'. For the past decades, the LGB community has managed, very successfully, to add their sexuality to the 'normal' label. Great. But we are still stuck with a form of fetishism, just because we don't 'fit' into anything else which is 'normal'.

So how can we distinguish ourselves from 'normal' sexuality and 'fetishism'? There is one slight ray of hope, and unfortunately Blanchard has also formulated a theory about it — that we have this strange 'erotic target location error', which makes us get attracted to the female version of our own body. Now this isn't a fetish any longer — it's a paraphilia (ugh!). It gets one step deeper into the classification of sheer insanity. One notch higher, and we're simply sexual perverts that ought to be locked up in leather-padded cells. And take twelve cold showers per day. Or maybe 80.

Sandra Lopes said...

There is also a further problem. What happens when a MtF crossdreamer effectively transitions and does all the surgery and HRT they can? They literally become, at least from the physical exterior, women. In that case, dreaming of having sex as a woman is perfectly normal for them. It stops being a paraphilia to become an absolutely normal erotic dream for an absolutely normal person of the female gender. Now that is strange indeed, but, remember, Blanchard used that very argument to allow transition for late onset transexuals; he claimed that they had a weird paraphilia, which caused them much suffering (what we call 'gender dysphoria'), but which could be 'cured' with transition, since, after transition, that person, while dreaming exactly the same way as before, would now be 'normal' and not have paraphilic sexual desires... uh, ok, something is seriously wrong with that conclusion, and I'm not even sure if Blanchard would agree with it. But I guess you can see my point: the problem with all these words is that they imply a moral classification of what kinds of sexuality are acceptable (the ones that are 'normal') and those that are not (which are 'fetishes' — harmless — or 'paraphilias' — causing suffering to self and others).

Because many crossdreamers do, indeed, suffer from gender dysphoria, Blanchard feels that he's got a good point here for his theories: the late onset transexual has been a crossdreamer all his (or her) life, and now feels depressed and anxious, and has all symptoms of gender dysphoria like the early onset transexuals... and wants to be 'cured' of these symptoms. Blanchard answers: 'sure, you paraphilic pervert, go ahead, we'll fix your body for you, and then you'll stop suffering'. That's the sad bit. We have to somehow 'accept' that we are paraphilic perverts, and the only way not to be one is to 'fix our bodies'.

The alternative, of course, is to do what the LGB community did: we just define our particular kind of sexuality as 'normal' and simply avoid to be labeled among fetishists and paraphiliacs. The problem is that fetishism (usually) does not lead to dysphoria, nor to depression/anxiety, except on some extreme cases; it's just paraphilias which do that. So how can we avoid being classified as a paraphilia — and still get some treatment for our symptoms, and simply enjoy our own sexuality without troubling anyone?

I just realise that I have added more questions, and not given any answer. Oh well. I need to think about this further. And perhaps buy Felix's book. I love the idea of thinking that our sexuality changes when we examine it. My wife would certainly agree that this is what happens to me — one day, I'm 'merely a crossdresser', the other I'm 'somewhere on the transgender spectrum', the next day I'm 'a late onset transexual who unfortunately cannot transition', and today, well, I just consider myself to be non-male (but that doesn't make me female, of course, since gender is not binary), whatever that is, but it surely explains why I suffer from gender dysphoria — if I'm not male, then it's clear that I'll suffer for not being able to fit into a male role...

Kim Welch said...

You have to get the Gyna out of it as this instinctive drive goes both ways. The Philic is also misleading as it's about Identity rather than attraction. You're looking for something which indicates Individuation by Transformation of Identity of Transformation of Gender Identity. The philia, fetishes, and probably the drive for physical transition are energy bleed through from repressing this process. I prefer the more generic term since I'm not convinced that Gender is the only Identity that experiences a transformation like this. It is however probably the most disruptive to peoples lives in this society.

Jack Molay said...

@Kim

Good points. Do you have any suggestions?

Barbara Haskell said...

"Metamorphic" probably is a term. It is neutral, captures essence of transformation and quantum instability.

James W. Hicks defines Metamorphic as:
<< Metamorphic is a term I invented to capture several different sexual types which have in common some degree of identification with the opposite sex. >>
https://flexuality.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/metamorphic/

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