February 13, 2010

Autoandrophilia, on women who fantasise about having a man's body

From time to time this questions pops up: Are there women who get turned on by the idea of having a man's body?

The term sometimes used for male assigned persons who dream about having a female bodies is autogynephilia ("self-woman-love"). The term comes from a transphobic and misleading  theory developed by one Ray Blanchard, but since we know that many search for terms like these, we will refer to them in this article. 

A search for autoandrophilia (Greek aner, man) on the Net brings up very little, however, and in many cases the term is used for gay men who tries to impersonate the men they are attracted to.

Given that Blanchard and his followers only studied MTF (male to female) transsexuals when discussion eroticism of this sort, there hasn't been much discussion online regarding this phenomenon either. It apparently isn't controversial enough to merit much activism.

Then there is the problem of identifying female to male crossdressers. Nowadays it is very easy for women to crossdress without being "outed". Jeans and a T-shirt? Works fine. She can even wear a suit like attire and look very business-like, yet feminine. (The tie would be a dead giveaway, though).

All of this has led some to doubt the very existence of what I refer to as erotic crossdreaming in people assigned female at birt ("autoandrophilia"). Apparently, we still are culturally inclined to believe that what transphobic researchers refer to as "fetishes" and "perversions" are limited to the XY part of the human race. Women are pure, men are pigs. A parallel phenomenon is found in the male idea that gay male sex is disturbing, while lesbian sex is OK.

O'Keefes tales of autoandrophilic women

Anyway, I have found a few reports on erotic crossdreming ("autoandrophilia") among heterosexual women, and I take the liberty of giving a few quotes below.

The first ones are fetched from Dr Tracie O'Keefe's Autogynephilia and Autoandrophilia in Non-Sex and Gender Dysphoric Persons.

Note the "Non" prefix in the title of this paper. Dr. O'Keefe belongs to the minority that believes that erotic fantasies of this kind are pretty normal and can be integrated into a healthy sex life.


Clair was married to a man with autogynephile fantasies. Sometimes he wanted to play out the role of being a man in bed.

"She enjoyed having sex as a woman with men but also particularly enjoyed living out her sexual fantasy of being male with a penis. She was a self-declared bisexual who, apart from having sex with Robert [her husband] and other couples, would also go off to visit female sex workers herself. She particularly enjoyed the fantasy of raping someone else. This was generally played out with female sex workers who would be accommodating and compliant with the fantasy to her satisfaction. The only male she carried out this sex fantasy with was her husband Robert and at the time of penetrating him she said she clearly envisioned herself as a man with a penis, dominant, powerful and aggressive. Clair was quite clear that although she might run these fantasies in her mind they were just sexual fantasies. "

She had no wish to become a man in real life.


O'Keefe presents Suzie as "a wholly feminine petite woman" and "a typical heterosexual twenty-five-year old professional accountant."

She had found her fantasies during sex, particularly visualisations and kinesthetic imagination, about her having a penis very distressing.

O'Keefe says:

"During psychotherapy Suzie decided to split up with her boyfriend and leave her parents' home to try and explore who she was and what might be available to her from life in a wider world. The penis fantasies that only happened during sex did not diminish but she was quite sure that it had nothing whatsoever to do with her experiencing sex or gender dysphoria or wanting to be a man."


Shelia described herself as "a twenty-three-year-old confused bisexual with a big question mark".

She had a boyfriend with whom she had a traditional "passive" love life, but where also having secret affairs with women without her boyfriend's knowledge.

O'Keefe says:

"She found her elicit affairs with women, however, very raunchy and she always played the dominant role, often role-playing herself as having a penis and behaving almost like a man. She commented, however, that, although she imagined having a penis, wearing a strap-on and having sex with women with it, there was still part of her that wanted the sex to be lesbian sex because that was part of what got her excited.

"She said, 'I am unsure I'm cut out to be a lesbian because I don't really know what it entails. At least this way I'm not really committed because I'm not a woman having sex with a woman but a woman half pretending to be a man having sex with a woman.' "

By the way, having sex with a woman did not count as cheating in her book!


There are also lesbian "autoandrophiliacs".

O'Keefe again:

"This highly educated and enormously well read forty-eight-year-old woman 'queer identified dyke' (participant's words) lived alone but was in a very rewarding successful two-year relationship with a woman of her own age. She also reported that she had slept with men and very much enjoyed the experience."

O'Keefe reports that when Julia was younger she had felt disappointed that she had not been a boy, often passing as a boy and being pleased by that. She had imagined having a penis and said if she had access to male hormones she might have considered taking them.

She had sex games with her female partner where they both fantasised about being males, wearing strap-on dildos.

"It is not that we want to be men," she said. "We are enjoying as part of our rich and varied sex lives fantasy games that involved exploring male energy through homoeroticism and I can do that because I am now powerful as a female."

Other research

I have found only two other studies of FTMs that look at the difference between classic transsexuals (in these studies called homosexual -- i.e woman-loving -- transsexuals) and autoandrophilic transsexuals (called nonhomosexual, meaning man-loving and bisexual, transsexuals).

The problem with this research -- as with so many of such studies -- is that they focus on people who have applied for sex reassignment surgery only. They do not cover the lives of all those transgendered people who do not ask for such treatment. This means that you do not capture those that actually manage to include their crossexuality in their love life.

J. Michael Bailey has collaborated with Meredith L. Chivers on a paper on "Sexual Orientation of Female-to-Male Transsexuals: A Comparison of Homosexual and Nonhomosexual Types". Yes, this is the same Bailey that wrote controversial "Queen" book on autogynephila.

The gynephilic, woman-loving, FTMs were found to be more masculine-oriented than the androphilic and bisexual FTMs. According to this research gynephilic FTM transmen had been more cross-gendered in childhood and preferred more feminine partners. They experienced greater sexual rather than emotional jealousy, were more sexually assertive, had more sexual partners, and had more interest in visual sexual stimuli than the androphilic, man-loving, FTMs. With respect to treatment, they had a stronger desire for phalloplasty [getting a penis].

In short: the gynephilic FTMs seem to adhere more closely to the stereotypical behavior of men.

Transsexual subtypes

In the article "Transsexual subtypes: Clinical and theoretical significance", Yolanda L.S. Smith, Stephanie H.M. van Goozen, A.J. Kuiperc and Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis look at both FTM and MTF transsexuals.

This is what they say of transsexuals in general (i.e both MTF and FTM).

"In this study the two subtypes were indeed found to differ on many characteristics. Replicating some of the previously observed differences, we found that compared with nonhomosexual transsexuals, homosexual transsexuals reported more cross-gendered behavior, appearance and preference in childhood, and they reported less sexual arousal while cross-dressing in adolescence, applied for SR at a younger age, and fewer were (or had been) married.

Unlike Blanchard et al. (1995), we found no differences in height, weight or BMI [body mass index]. Contrary to our expectations, we found the homosexual group not to be different from the nonhomosexual group in the extent of gender dysphoria and body dissatisfaction at application. Despite a less extreme cross-gendered childhood, the nonhomosexuals seemed to suffer no less from their situation than the homosexuals, while having an equally strong aversion to their sex characteristics when they applied for SR [sex reassignment surgery].

As expected, the homosexual transsexuals' appearance already better matched the new, desired gender, and they functioned better psychologically than the nonhomosexual group.Thus, our data largely support the idea that homosexual and nonhomosexual transsexuals are different subtypes with distinct characteristics. "

Note that this applies to both FTMs and MTFs.

This is what they have to say about the FTMs in particular:

"Unlike their male counterparts, nonhomosexual FMs [man-loving female to male transsexuals, i.e. those that could be considered "autoandrophiliacs"] appear to suffer so strongly from their gender dysphoria that they apply for SR in young adulthood, despite their less extreme childhood cross-genderedness compared with homosexual FMs. As sexual arousal while wearing men's clothes is almost absent in adolescence, other factors must contribute to the development of their SR [sex reassignment] wish.

Our data show higher levels of gender dysphoria in both FM groups than in the two MF [male to female] groups, but they do not provide indications of what those other factors might be.

It is of interest, though, that a few FMs reported to have been sexually aroused in adolescence when dressing in male cloths, as this has never been reported before. Furthermore, the more favorably appraised appearance in both FM groups probably facilitates living in the opposite sex role, increasing the chances of and possibly explaining a similar age at application for SR."

What does it mean?

There seems to exist a mirror image of the "autogynephiliacs", in the sense of FTM "autoandrophiliacs". The Blanchard et al and Goozen et al studies do not tell us much about their erotic fantasies, though.

Smith & Co argue that there is little cross dressing going on, but in the few cases they found crossdressing is followed by erotic arousal. They do not say anything about crossdreamers and crossenacters, i.e. women that get aroused by the idea of having a man's body or by acting like man. The reason for this is that they only asked about sexual arousal in connection with cross-dressing (bummer!). O'Keefe has documented that such fantasies exist.

I would guess that crossdressing does not have the same symbolic value for FTMs as it has for MTFs, simply because women can dress up like men anytime and get away with it. Therefore it makes sense that the erotic feelings arise as crossdreaming or crossenacting instead.

Erotic crossdreaming is a human trait, not a "male" one

Could the very existence of "autoandrophiliacs" be of help for "autogynephiliacs"? I think so. There is so much guilt and shame involved with having erotic crossdreaming fantasies, especially when it comes to initiating relationships with women.

For those assigned male it helps to know that there are also women  and transmasculine people out there with secrets of this kind. That makes it all less dangerous.

O'Keefe's message is useful also in another way. Her's is the message that a lot of women and men have these fantasies. It is normal. Still, since nearly all of us keep quite about them, we tend to believe that only men can feel this way.

According to O'Keefe erotic crossdreamers are not freaks, but natural expressions of the variety of life. I kind of like that.

May 2019 UPDATE: New post on women who have sexual fantasies about being men.

See also:


Since this blog post was written I have stopped using the terms "autogynephilia" and "autoandrophilia" to describe people. The reason for this is that the terms implicitly communicates an explanation for why some people get aroused by imagining themselves as the opposite sex . This explanation, that this is some kind of autoerotic paraphilia,  is both wrong and stigmatizing. Instead I use the neutral term "crossdreamers".

Click here for a discussion of the dark side of the autogynephilia theory.

Minor edits January 4 2023


  1. this might explain how strap-ons came about. Never really thought much of it (figured they were like any women, just wanted to spice things up), but perhaps there are more women like this than we realize.

    I think most conditions that women have are dismissed because women are so accepted. Perfect example, women can dance with each other at a wedding without a glance (they're just being women). Two guys dance together at a wedding, people will start making assumptions they might be gay.

    I'm starting to wonder if there isn't just a general gene that makes people like things that aren't the norm (which is me in a nutshell). If everyone is listening to britney spears, I'm listening to imogen heap. Everyone else is buying normal christmas trees, I'm buying an upside down tree.

    1. I always thought that people use strapons because they don't have their own d*cks. That's all. That was pretty natural for me to think so.

  2. I have always believed and also largely convinced that autoandrohpilia exists among many women.
    However, that wouldn't be despised by many as having a masculine persona is something admirable even if it means having gender fluidity for women.
    That's again because masculinity is the idol of moden society. You are weak if you are not masculine and you are strong if you are.
    So, unless a woman goes to the extent of wanting SRS for becoming man, any such trait would be admired rather than being despised. I have seldom seen a girl criticizing another girl for being too masculine.
    But when some guys get feminine,camp or try to get towards that so called "weaker zone", people,esp other guys will come up and rebuke-"Are guys supposed to do this?"
    However, go deep down and do some social research, you will see scores of some of these very men having some feminine fantasies in private.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I am an autoandrophiliac, but I always felt like I was completely alone and weird. I didn't want to transition and become a man full time. I didn't want to give up all of the feminine traits of my body. I just am, when it comes to sex, a man. I want to penetrate. I'm not butch outside the bedroom, but if I'm thinking about sex, it's in the context of having a penis.

    There are probably a lot more women out there who feel the same way, but unless you're in a bedroom with them, how would you ever know? It's not like I'm walking down the street wearing my strap-on! If I sometimes go out in men's clothing, it might not even be noticed or if it is, nobody's going to think, "Ah. She gets off on wearing boxer briefs."

  4. Jessica,

    IS the thought of having a penis, or other male anatomy in and of itself sufficiantly arousing? Do you masturbate using that image?

  5. sillyolme, I use that image but I need an outside sexual element to it, too. I can picture myself as a man and be titillated by that, but then I want to also picture myself having sex with someone as a man.

    Because of that I'd explored the idea of being transsexual, but found it really is just a sexual quirk of mine, not my identity. I know a number of trans men and immersed myself in the community for a while, but could see that whereas their identity as men is something that encompasses their entire lives, for me it's only sex. Well, I guess that isn't totally accurate. I like the fact that my boyfriend doesn't treat me like a girl, and I like it when he calls me sir, even if we're not having sex. So, it could be intimacy in general.

    In the end, I realized I really wasn't in the right place. I have too much respect for the struggles my friends have gone through to try to belittle their experiences by saying it's like what I've experienced. It isn't. I don't have that pain and that need to transition. So long as I can make my love life fit my desires, I'm okay.

  6. Jessica,
    By any chance, are you a frequent visitor in Laura's Playground? I have occasionally discussed about my m\doubts and problems with someone named Jessica over there. I also happen to have sexual quirks while imagining myself in feminine role,but just like you, I only have the bit of dysphoria upto the extent of the sex and part (in the reverse)...

  7. Rahuls, no, I've never been to that site.

    If there is such a thing as a "typical" case, I'm probably not it. My therapist at least thinks this is more a matter of dissociating from my body than anything else. While I'd always had an interest in gender play, it didn't become an exclusive outlet for me (or even the main outlet) until after I was raped. My therapist's theory is that I associate being a woman with being victimized and so only let myself enjoy sex by avoiding the thing that I associate with negative experiences: being a woman. I suppose the fact that the morning after the attack I declared "everything female in me has died" would support that.

  8. Wow, Jessica. Your therapist's theory is very correct I think and it even answers my dysphoria too. Just reverse your problem and you have mine!!
    I am trying to enjoy sex in every way by dissociating myself with what I consider negative: a male. Yes, being male, it's like I have to be the pitcher,I have to look at someone sexually, admire the beauty of others. Whereas, right since the time,my friends hit and bullied me, i felt showing love to someone is a demeaning and stupid issue.
    I have wanted to be more like a center of attention to others from that time. I started to become some sort of narcissist to be the focus of other people. And it is then that feminine glam as well as female sexuality started to become appealing to me as therein, I am the "catcher", something more of a positive feeling for me and for my own sense of existence. And so,although now I don't hate my penis, I always dream to be a submissive slutty feminine guy-power bottom.

  9. @ jessica- you are not alone, and i am not transgendered either

  10. Interesting. I'm a girl, and known as a girly girl, and I'm straight (attracted to men). But in fantasies I like to imagine I'm whatever man I have a crush on. Now this is (admittedly) bizarre, but ever since I was a little girl I loved to dress up as Indiana Jones or Dick Tracey. I realized there was something off, but I NEVER identified as lesbian (I wanted a boyfriend since I was about five), so I thought "huh, weird." More recently I watched a movie about a man who cross dresses and a little light bulb went on in my head: I'm a female to male cross dresser. But I'm not sure it helps me make any better sense of it.

  11. @Jenny

    It is definitely a start!

    Is this something that bothers you or are you relaxed about the whole thing? Is it, for instance, something you can integrate into your love life?


  12. Ahh, wow I just found this article since I didn't see much information out there about autoandrophilia as opposed to autogynephilia, helpful to read and makes me feel less batty about myself. ;P Seems to be common amongst what I identify as: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girlfag
    And a lot of the fantasizing of those who have posted their stories here: http://community.livejournal.com/girlfags/

  13. I know this is an old post but I've been autoandrophiliac for as long as I can remember and I just happened to stumble across this post and I wanted to throw in my 2 cents (although I'm not American...)

    As far as anyone knows, I'm a straight identified cis-gender woman. I'm in a long-term relationship with a man.

    I, however, consider myself to be queer (I'm attracted to men, women and everyone in between that binary). I am female identified though.

    I don't find my fantasies at all distressing but I wouldn't share them with anyone in real life because I'm sure they would find them strange.

    Anyway, that's all I wanted to say :)

  14. @WL

    I am not an American either, so don't be shy!

    I am working on a new post on what I call F2M crossdreamers. It turns out you have quite a few fellow autoandrophiliacs out there, and some of them are bisexual.


  15. So glad to see some intelligent material on the matter! I'm an autoandrophiliac, though I only recently started exploring it. I'm bisexual, identify female, and am married to the sweetest man in the world, but love to masturbate imagining I have a penis. I enjoy cross-dressing sometimes too but have done that less as the years go by. I'd love to read more about this somewhere and figure out what all's going on inside my head further!

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. Dear Allison,

    I will have a new post on F2M crossdreamers ready in a few weeks. I have been looking into the "girlfags" Marilyn was pointing to and some new research from Germany.


  18. Hi Jack

    Thanks for replying to my comment.

    How wonderful to know that you're working on that post! As you pointed out, there seems to be very little online about the subject. I look forward to reading it and hopefully feeling a little less alone.

    If you want any input from my personal experiences, I'd be happy to help out.

    As I mentioned, I identify as queer (rather than bisexual) because my sexuality is very nuanced and rather specific to me (I won't go in to details here, but there's more to it than being attracted to both men and women). There doesn't seem to be a better word to describe myself!

    Anyhow, I look forward to reading more of your writing :)

  19. WL,
    Could you mail to me your fantasies or sexual desires?

    I am a psychologist and perhaps I could help you?

  20. Natalie: if you are being genuine here, I appreciate the offer, but no thanks. I don't believe I need "help:" I'm very psychologically healthy. My fantasies don't cause me any problems (quite the contrary!) and I have a solid sense of self.

    So thanks, but no thanks.

    If that was some odd excuse to get an inbox full of fantasies.... yeah... not going to happen.

  21. This is quite interesting, I have just recently found the definition of the word autoandrophilia, and I man who is a member of another branch of the paraphilia family, namely Masochism. I was wondering if non-homosexual autoandrophilics had the distinct desire to penetrate males. An affirmative answer to this question could indicate the co-evolution of male masochism and autoandrophilia because being penetrated by females seems to be very pleasurable for a significant portion of the male masochistic population.

  22. Wolf said: "I was wondering if non-homosexual autoandrophilics had the distinct desire to penetrate males."

    Definitely! At least many of them report this desire. They do, in fact, have much in common with lesbian butches and F2M transmen in this respect.

    "An affirmative answer to this question could indicate the co-evolution of male masochism and autoandrophilia because being penetrated by females seems to be very pleasurable for a significant portion of the male masochistic population."

    That could be, but there are also a large number of non-masochistic men who dream about being taken by a woman. It seems to me that there are two basic instincts at play here: the one of the catcher and the one of the pitcher. Traditionally they have been linked to the male and female sex respectively, but all these examples indicate that they are independent variables -- even if they on a statistically aggregate level have a tendency to cluster around one particular sex.

  23. @Jack Molay:
    Are there indications that homosexual and non-homosexual Autoandrophilia are genetically based. Or are these just unique phenotypes that result from a set of conditions that each person in these groups experiences.
    My experience makes me lean towards there being a definite genetic component, but I do not know the data. However, assuming that these are traits that are passed down, do you think that homosexual Autoandrophilia is the homologous form of this disorder with non-homosexual Autoandrophilia being the heterozygous form? And finally, what are the benefits these traits offer to the species, in order for these traits to survive?

  24. @Wolf:
    "Are there indications that homosexual and non-homosexual Autoandrophilia are genetically based?"

    No, there are no proof for this being the effect of one genetic variation or a complex of genetic variations. Indeed, there are no proof for homosexuality being genetic either, or of transsexuality. There have been one Australian study of 112 male-to-female transsexual volunteers that indicated that they were more likely to have a longer version of the androgen receptor gene. It is reasonable to expect that many of these subjects were or had beeen crossdreamers (autgynephiliacs) But seriously, "more likely" does not cut it.

    There have been some studies linking both M2F and F2M transsexualism to the size of certain brain clusters, but the methodology is fuzzy, the data weak and the causality unproven (see this post and this post).

    The reason I believe both M2F/F2M crossdreaming as well as transsexualism are inherited is the social stigma attached to these conditions. You don't choose loneliness or the risk being ostracized as a pervert just for the fun of it.

    In the case of the F2M crossdreamers, they often do not even have a word for their sexuality, and in spite of this they still report the relevant symptoms. This is not something we choose. It is something we are born with.

    "Or are these just unique phenotypes that result from a set of conditions that each person in these groups experiences."

    I suspect it is caused by a common core orientation that can be genetic or caused by variations in the pre-natal hormone environment.

    I tend to go for the genetic component, as the research done on hormones has reached a dead end as gender identity is concerned. (See Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences by
    Rebecca M. Jordan-Young).

  25. @Wolf continued...

    You write: "However, assuming that these are traits that are passed down, do you think that homosexual Autoandrophilia is the homologous form of this disorder with non-homosexual Autoandrophilia being the heterozygous form?"

    I am not sure this can be reduced to the zygosity of one pair of genes. We definitely do not have the necessary research to say this.

    My gut feeling is that it is at least partly connected to what I have called the copulation instinct as well as some form of opposite internal body image. I guess this genetic component would lead to the necessary interaction between genes, proteins, hormones and brain development. This core complex is then expressed externally using symbols from the cultural stereotypes of the day.

    "And finally, what are the benefits these traits offer to the species, in order for these traits to survive?"

    I touched upon this in my comment of Joan Roughgarden's discussion of autogynephilia.

    I argued that since gynephilic M2F crossdreamers are attracted to women, the chances for them getting offspring is much, much higher than for homosexuals. If you can find an explanation for homosexuality being passed down, it should not be hard to find one for crossdreaming.

    Most of the M2F crossdreamers try to live "normal" lives and get kids, often in the hope that their crossdreaming will disappear. It is reasonable to expect that the reproduction rate for M2F crossdreamers is at least close to the one of cismen.

    I guess the same will apply to androphilic F2M crossdreamers. They love men, and should be able to find one who is a bit further out in the alphabet than "alpha". Besides, the social pressure, from friends and family is strong. They are expected to get a family.

    As for the benefits of these traits, I would like to point to Roughgarden's theory of heterogeneity and alternative morphs. Nature loves variation, as variation makes the species more adaptable to a changing environment.

    The M2F crossdreamer often (but not always) has traits many women like: they are often family oriented, emphatic, and non-aggressive. These are traits that are becoming more sought after now, after women's lib.

    As for pro-active, aggressive, penetrating women... well.. if these are the traits that make men succeed, I guess you could say the same for women. At the moment you let go of the traditional Darwinian stereotype of the coy female and the dominant male, alternative morphs make sense.

    Are you doing research in this field?

  26. Yes and No. No this is not my field, I am an undergrad studying chemistry, and I am hoping to make Biochem my main focus during graduate school. However, as I said before I have masochistic tendencies and I must admit that my interest is not as pure as... well, pure research. I guess that I am just attracted most to the existence of the group you classify as F2M Non-homosexual crossdreamers, and my interest is more rooted in the propagation of DNA. And in fact the most valuable piece of information that you could give me, would be physical factors that members of these groups tend to have. An example of this in another population would be male homosexuals having larger index fingers than ring fingers. That being said, I thank you for the information you have provided, and I would be happy to share my personal experience in any way to contribute to your data pool.

  27. I seriously thought I was the only one. I am happy to say that I no longer consider myself the 'freak' I thought I was.. I identify exactly with Clair's scenario except I have yet to act on any of my fantasies.

    So thanks, for making me a little more comfortable in my own skin.

  28. I seriously suspect there are as many F2M crossdreamers as there are M2F ones. You are not alone. We are not alone. There's hope yet!

  29. Just another "thank you for posting this!" from a woman who finally found a keyterm to describe her desires. I am in pristine psychological health, have no desire to become a man, and feel only a little more than the ordinary conflicts about my gender identity. But I strongly disidentify with femininity and most of my sexual fantasies for the last few years have involved me playing the role of a man, often with a man but sometimes with a woman (in my real sex life, I only have a touch of the bi). So for me, it's more about eroticizing me being a man, or me playing a male role (in cases where I imagine I am some man in particular, often someone to whom I am attracted to who is then seducing a woman, for example).

    However, I also get an erotic charge out of dressing in overtly masculine ways and out of the idea of other people playing with gender roles, so there's that, too.

    Good to get that off my chest!

  30. Autoandrophilia! I am not alone... I have been feeling slightly marginalised and confused. Very confused actually. Thanks for posting

  31. Glad to be of help! Do not hesitate to share your experiences with us-


  32. I guess I have autogynephilia, but slightly different I suppose? I really like the idea of a female being dominant, and the idea of having a dildo/strap-on up ... my female parts IF i had them... that turns be on, but I don't want surgery to be a women, and I dislike sodomy?

    I guess the underground term for this is a straight femboy? I could be wrong.

  33. It looks like the desire to be dominant is separate from the desire to be a woman, which again is separate from the sexual orientation. That would explain why there is so much variation in the transgender crowd.

  34. I really have to say that I learned about autoandrophilia a few months ago and I was shocked that there was a name for what I felt for ages. I researched a little and only got as far as reading the Wikipedia page on this topic and had to take some time to see if I really am a autoandrophilic individual. I've figured that I am. Reading all of the comments on this post, I can say I'm comparatively younger than most everyone here, but I do know that I indeed have crossdreaming and crossdressing fantasies. In particular, my crossdreaming fantasies are about having a penis. Also, a majority of my clothing are masculine. When I do have these fantasies, they are always with males that I'm attracted to. I'm in the presence of a 98% all-female community for a majority of my time, so I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it. Thank you for this post and all the helpful comments. Makes me feel like I'm not alone. Now only if I knew someone like me in person. :]

  35. Dear Mesti,

    Yesterday we established a new discussion forum for crossdreamers called Crossdream Life http://www.crossdreamlife.com .

    We have also added a special section for female to male crossdreamers. At the moment there is not many entries under that headline, but if you add one, maybe more will come!

  36. How sad that someone needed to feel better about themselves by creating a term for differing personalities.Then confusing it by using existing terms that mean one thing, to mean the opposite. ie homosexual/heterosexual. In my world a man born with transsexualism is a male that needed to correct their body so that others also understood their truth. And if they dated other men then they would be homosexual but if they dated women they would be heterosexual.

    As for women who wear what is considered male clothing or men who wear what is considered women's clothing, in other words those who are considered cross dressing, who decides they are cross dressing or if it's just that they are more comfortable wearing pants or a skirt? Or for that matter a kilt?
    And why then do we , some, feel the need to patholigise them, then do it even further by adding onto this through looking at who they like to sleep with? What do we call the woman who likes to wear "men's" clothing and likes domination and submission or doesn't like sex at all or even still doesn't believe in a gendered society?

    I just think society relies too much on labels and fitting people within one rather then looking at someone and saying "you're normal even though we dress differently or like sex differently.

    I think we all have things about us that make us feel different or unique from others and would be surprised how many others out there in the world have same thoughts/ideas. It doesn't mean we need to be patholisged because of it.

  37. Its a bit disappointing that there isn't more on this subject. I have always had these types (and do not want to become a man) of fantasies and am just now learning that there is a name for them. I will be looking more into it and hope to find more studies and information on them.

  38. @Anonymous

    I am keeping a track of the research in the field, and there isn't much -- so far. According to the philosophy governing some of these researchers, you should not exist ;)

    Anyway, I will post more about F2M crossdreamers soon. Check the "autoandrophilia" tag in the right hand column. There has also been some discussions over at Crossdream Life.

  39. Wow, okay, now I know the term. I didn't know this was, well, not just me.. ^^a
    Say, by 'fantasise' or 'dreaming' do you also mean literally dream of being a guy?? Because I have been male for numerous times in my dreams. Is that the same??

  40. I was so happy when someone mentioned autoandrophilia to me (in reference to themselves, actually), which prompted me to look the word up, and learn that it applied to me too!

    The first 5 years of my dating/sex life was completely heterosexual, and I had no inkling whatsoever that I was anything but straight. As my interest in women grew, and my intrest in men shrank to nothing, I obsessed over the label for my sexuality. I knew that I no longer had any interest in sleeping with men, but I felt like a fraud calling myself a lesbian, because I had (barring a physical condition I have that makes penetrative sex fairly painful), enjoyed sleeping with men in the past and loved straight porn.

    When I learned about autoandrophilia (2 years after I started identifying as gay), I suddenly remembered: The vast majority of times that I had slept with men, I had been imagining how it felt for them. I was putting myself in their shoes. When I had watched straight porn, I had always imagined myself as the man.

    Other than in my fantasies, I present as fairly feminine. I am definitely not a girly-girl, but I'm not butch either (my favorite term is 'hard femme'). I'm the type of girl that nobody guesses is gay, even when I'm in boots, cargo shorts & a flannel, sporting a rainbow bracelet. I occasionally wear mens clothes (boxers, shorts- especially cargo shorts, shoes, sweatshirts), but it has zero sexual effect, it is all about physical comfort. I am just as happy to have an excuse to wear a dress & heels. In terms of personality and interests, I'm pretty evenly split. I enjoy power tools, video games and getting muddy just as much as I enjoy shoes, romantic novels and ballet. I love being a woman and would never want to transition...but 90% of my fantasies feature me as a man (or a woman with a strap-on).

    My struggles with my sexuality have been over for a while, but I still feel somewhat conflicted about being autoandrophilic, what that means for my gender identity and how it will impact future relationships (I've discovered all of this amazing information since I became single).

    I made the mistake of mentioning my fantasies to my friends (all straight guys)...who now lovingly tease me about it at every opportunity.

  41. @beautyofsimplicity

    When I coined the tern crossdreamer it was to find a way of discussing the fact that some men and women get arouised by the fantasy of being the opposite sex. However, I do not think this is a separate category of human being per se. Instead I think crossdreaming is one of many ways the psyche has to express gender variance. Others may fantasize about being the other sex withiout the arousal part.


    I am starting to suspect that the simplistic dichotony straight/gay is misleading. It is not that many are not predominantly attracted to one sex. Many are. It is just that so many may switch from one to the other. This especially applies to women -- probably because thet are akllowed a little bit more breathing space as regards sex.

    This is whty your story does not surprise me as much as it would a few years back.

    By the way, most people are very tolerant about non-typical interests, as long as you do not make a point out of it. A man may find a girl with power tools sexy as long as she does not threaten his sense of self. Again it is somewhat harder for men. A man knitting is immediately classfied as gay. I hope your friend´s teasing is of the friendly type!

  42. May be some one can tell me what is that with me? I am a very feminine and an attractive woman but getting exsited from the fantasy of having sex as a man with multiple women or men even child. I have this thoughts regularly when i am playing with myself, but in real life i am not attracted to such thing. It is going on for a very long time, what is wrong with me please???

  43. @Googler

    Maybe there is nothing wrong with you. Maybe you are just and "outlier" like many of us.

    Dreams and fantasies are dreams and fantasies. They do tell us something about the deepest parts of our psyche, and in this respect they are interesting, useful and deserves our attention.

    But we are also free agents who can decide to what extent we are to play these fantasies out in real life. You have clearly no wish to do this in real life.

    I am currently preparing a series of posts on the sexual fantasies of women based on research and fiction. Women (like men) have the most unexpected fantasies, and yours are in no way that unique.

    Did you know that more than 50 percent of women have rape fantasies? That does not mean that they want to be raped in real life, but they find the idea of a man taking full control of them extremely arousing.

    Maybe it is because sexual desire has become taboo for them, and forced sex relieves them of guilt.

    This is certainly the case for any male to female crossdreamers who also dreams about being forced into sex as a woman by a man.

    You have to find out for yourself, of course, but here are some suggestions:

    If you are a female to male crossdreamer and your crossdreaming is caused by some kind of male sexual wiring, dreaming of a foursome is very natural.

    Men often dream about having sex with many women, as the fantasy confirms their attractiveness. In the same way many women dream of group sex.

    Dreaming of having sex with a child, is a strong taboo in our culture, but it does not mean that you are a pedophile. Pedophiles are attracted to children only. You clearly are not.

    I have no idea what kind of role children play in your fantasies or what sex they are, so it is hard to suggest a possible explanation.

    Children often symbolize some kind of asexual innocence in dreams and fantasies, but also the potential of psychological growth and becoming something different.

    Or it could be that the child is you, and the man is someone else. That is: In your fantasy you identify with the active party to gain some kind of power in the face of the helplessness of a child.

    If that is the case, you may not be gender variant at all. This is just your psyche's way of handling some kind of trauma.

    You seem genuinely troubled by these fantasies. So it would probably be wise for you to seek out an open minded therapist or a good friend with an ability to listen without judgment.

  44. I love this post and all of the comments here from autoandrophiliacs (I'm one too! >o<). It's particularly fascinating since I just read an interview with the psychologist/sexologist Ray Blanchard (who worked on the paraphilia and gender dysphoria categories for the DSM-5) where he states that he does not believe autoandrophiliacs actually exist. You could critique the factors underlying such an assumption for volumes, really, but I'd rather just revel in this post and comment thread as a rebuke to him. IN YOUR FACE, BLANCHARD!

  45. Ah, it looks like you have a number of later posts devoted to that DSM-5 issue. Cool.

  46. @Orpeheus

    The fascinating about Blanchard is that the writing of him and his supporters include enough evidence to bury his theory once and for all. He has, for instance, described FTM crossdreamers himself, as has his good friend Bailey. In spite of this he denies your existence.

    By the way, take also a look at my posts on FTM crossdreamers in history.

  47. This is a very interesting post. As there seems to be so little information on the internet about autoandrophilia, I feel like I should contribute, even though it's super scary to do...

    I'm a girl in my late teens who's never had sex (not by choice!). I'm a bit of a tomboy, but I love being a woman and would never want to change that. I'm attracted to both sexes, although the way I feel about women is different to the way I feel about men, possibly because I've never been emotionally attached to a woman.

    I love to fantasise about having sex with men, usually in a submissive role (although I occasionally fantasise about being dominant as well). But I also get turned on by imagining myself as a man getting aroused by women and masturbating with a penis. Like I said before, I love being a woman and I have absolutely no desire to BECOME a man. It's just a fantasy.

    It only recently occurred to me to try and find out if anyone else was like this. Although my autoandrophilia has never really troubled me, I realise now that it's always seemed a little disgusting to me and I actually feel better knowing that I'm not alone. I can almost take pride in it now - I always take pride in being different and this is just another thing about me that's different, right?

  48. " I always take pride in being different and this is just another thing about me that's different, right?"

    Absolutely! Much of the shame felt by crossdreamers is caused by a lack of self-acceptance.

    This is the way God/Nature made us. We may be statistical outliers, but we are still part of that wonderful diversity called nature.

    Men and women fantasize about the most amazing dream scenarios. Yours is in no way unusual.

  49. thank you, i've been feeling really weird about my autoandrophiliac fantasies, very outcast. I was crying when I found your article and it made me feel better. I just wish there were talking circles for autoandrophiliac women. I have it to the point where it interferes with my capacity of enjoying sex with my boyfriend, and I don't really know what to do about it... if anybody can help feel free to contact me...

  50. Too few of the girlfag/FTM crossdreamer forums are working sufficiently well. You may try the girlfag/guydyke forum on Facebook.

  51. Thank you so much for posting this article, and thanks to all those who left comments as well!

    I am a heterosexual female (well I actually would consider myself bisexual heteroromantic because although I am sexually attracted to both sexes, I am romantically attracted only to males, so my romantic relationships are exclusively with males).

    I have a great sex life with my current boyfriend and I am extremely attracted to him, and I prefer a submissive role when we have sex. But when I masturbate, or when he performs oral sex on me, I usually fantasize about giving oral sex to a female as a male, or penetrating a female as a male with a penis. It's no so much having a man's entire body, but more about having the penis for penetration. Another interesting facet of these fantasies is that the females are always fairly young (teens) and in my romantic relationships I always date younger men. My current boyfriend is 8 years younger than I am. SO perhaps this has something to do with it?

    Anyway these fantasies stressed me out for the longest time because I don't associate as a transgender and didn't really know "what else" it could be. (Sounds bad I know. Good time to remind myself we don't all fit under labels and into boxes.) I am completely comfortable as a woman, I prefer to dress and look feminine, and I have no desire to actually identify as a male. So I eliminated the possibility that I'm transgender. Until I happened upon this article I wasn't sure if I just had some sort of strange fetish or if anyone else felt like I did. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one.

    And Jack I loved your response to Sudonym's post about the beauty in being different and accepting it. I agree. I'm going to try to view this as just another way that I'm unique, but not alone! :)

  52. You are not alone. I now realise that there are literally millions of crossdreamers out there, and of both sexes.

  53. Here's another variation on the theme. I am in my seventies and have always fantasized about having a penis when I masturbate. I am a heterosexual woman who has lived alone for many years. When I DID have partners, I did not fantasize about having male genitalia, only when I was alone. The arousal comes, not from partner fantasies, but from simply having a male organ that becomes erect. I have no shame or guilt about my autoerotic fantasies; I enjoy being a woman and have no transsexual ideation even though, ironically, I worked, for years, with transpersons of all sorts.

  54. @Anomymous,

    Thank you for sharing this!

    I think your story confirms that we are not talking about completely distinct phenomena here, where what makes someone transsexual is completely different from what leads to other transgender conditions (or for that matter, sporadic crossdreaming fantasies among people who otherwise feel at home in the traditional gender roles).

    I become more and more convinced that we are seeing some kind of multidimensional continuum where being transsexual or cissexual are two of many variations of the fascinating complexity of sex and gender.

    Women having sexual fantasies about having a penis have been invisible until now, but it is only a matter for time before the "experts" as well will have to connect the dots: Butches packing strap-ons, lesbians watching gay male porn, yaoi and M/M erotica for straight women, women like you, getting aroused by some aspects of masculinity, but not all.

    The fact that also "ordinary" men have similar fantasies to yours is found in jokes about breasts. "If I had tits, I would get nothing done, as I would spend all the time playing with them." I believe Steve Martin said something to this effect in Roxanne, but it is a joke that has been made repeatedly.

    Maybe (and I underline maybe) we are all wired for interpreting erect penises and breasts as erotic signals and that the divide between men and women (or heterosexuals and homosexuals) is not as definitive as many would like.

    Men are playing with erect penises all the time: Their own.

  55. The amount of people that live wishing they were the opposite sex is far greater than we imagine. Just go and look at the transsexual webcam sites, there are 1000's of girls and guys there that are all part of the transgender community. It is growing in large numbers and the more media shares stories about trans people the more will come out. Time are changing for the better. Thank god.

  56. I'm glad to know I'm not alone! I'm an autoandrophile and wondered how common it was so did a search. While I'm not transgender and don't cross dress, I spent most of my youth dressing and acting male. When puberty hit it was impossible to keep up the charade, as my body chose extreme feminine features and I couldn't hide them for long. While it took years, I am very satisfied with having a female bod, and I've gotten I know it well, though sexually I do still envision myself as a male in fantasies.

  57. @anonymous

    Having seen the popularity of genres like slash, yaoi and M/M romance, I suspect that female to male crossdreaming is as popular as its MTF counterpart. You are not alone!

  58. Im genetically male. I have been diagnosed as being Transsexual. Or as my community calls it today, Transgender. I recently discovered that I would like to be female and have a female wear a strap on and penetrate my vagina. I am on the bottom. After I master-bate (ejaculate) during this fantasy there is no guilt. During the time I have fantasized about there being a man on top of me and me being the woman I feel guilt. As if there is some thing saying unacceptable. As if maybe I am not comfortable with male penetration but a woman is okay. I like the feeling of ejacualting but seem to keep gravitating to wanting a vagina and having sex with another woman.

    When I realized I felt this way, that I had this fantasy as a woman, I was surprised. I had been so confused. I always felt like I wanted to be female. But never could understand why I struggled so much around sex. The last time I had sex was 23 years ago. She was special to me. I loved her. But she left me. I think I saw her as me and penetrated her as if I was penetrating me. Did I value her as a woman a human being or did I see her as a fantasy? I did love her. Did I love her as a man? Not sure.

    I think / feel that if I was to have a vagina now I would be happy. I may want to live identified as male but be female physically. I will never fully pass as female. The bombardment by ignorance and hate is to great. Our society has this stupid belief that men need to be something restricted. Men are men right? No. We are humon beings! Just like women.

    We deserve the right to be who we are. Women men both what ever we are. Just because we look male because our bodies seem male doesn't mean we identify fully that way. We are more than just men!

  59. I am sure your loved your girl friend at the time. Most MTF crossdreamers do.

    You say you haven't had sex in 23 years. I must say I find that heartbreaking. Is this because you felt ashamed of your feelings or because you have been afraid of disappointing your lover?

  60. I'm a fairly feminine woman and also an autoandrophile. I wear makeup and dresses when I want to look my best. Most days I'm too lazy and wear whatever I pull out of the closet first. Gender roles are bullshit, so I have a mix of masculine and feminine hobbies. No one really cares because I'm a woman and it's okay for women to be girly, tomboy, or a mix.

    Anyway, I often fantasize about being an attractive man who has sex with other men. In my fantasies, I'm the submissive pretty boy twink, and my partner is the dominant masculine man. With that being said, sometimes I fantasize that my partner and I are both stereotypically masculine men. I enjoy watching gay porn in real life and anime form. My husband knows I like to watch gay men. He thinks it's weird and seems to find it a bit humorous. He was genuinely unaware that many women enjoy gay men much like straight men enjoy lesbians. I think he would be disturbed if he knew that I fantasized about being a gay man. I've never told anyone about this fantasy.

    TLDR:I seem like a perfectly normal straight woman, and I fantasize about being a gay man having sex with other men. I'm not transgender, as I have no desire to be a man in real life.

  61. Your story is very similar to the ones told in the so-called girlfag community (The term is controversial, but I love the people ;).

    Many of my girlfag friends disagree with me, but as I see it you fit well in under the broader transgender umbrella (transgender in the meaning of gender variant), but I get your point: Most crossdreamers crossdream without wanting or planning to transition.

  62. I read this whole article and feel very confused. Im 17 and probably bisexual but i mostly masterbate to women (lesbian porn) as of 2 years ago i would imagine being the dominant one, i still enjoy imagining wearing a strap on and it feels like something that i would want to do. After that i would sometimes fantasize about being a muscular man having sex with a woman. Bare in mind, i consider myself to be female but due to my anxiety i was questioning if i was really a man inside (as of two months ago) since i want to act out my strap on fantasies, whos to say that i wont want to become a man. I should also mention i have ocd tendancies and im having a hard time figuring things out i keep researching this and lots of sites just mention you being trans if you have this (not thats theres anything wrong with being trans) i just dont want to find out all of a sudden that i have repressed gender dysphoria. Sorry for the long talk

  63. I have put up a new post on FTM fantasies today.

    Note that the term "transgender" is normally used to describe all kinds of gender variance. You do not have to have gender dysphoria to be transgender, nor do you have to identify with your target gender (as opposed to your assigned gender). But all of this is up to you. If you identify as cis, that is how others should interact with you.

    As for the question of repressed gender dysphoria: Dreaming of being "the man in top" does not have to be a sign of gender dysphoria. This could simply be your mind exploring the "masculine" side of your sexuality, and a lot of lesbian and straight women do so while being solidly anchored in a female identity.

    Gender dysphoria is normally experienced as a jarring misalignment between mind and body. Repressed gender dysphoria is also experienced as some kind of dissonance and/or depression, even if the person do not know what is causing it.

    Now that you know about the possibility of gender dysphoria, I think you should know by now – deep inside – whether you are suffering from gender dysphoria or not. If that does not ring true, it is most likely that you are not gender dysphoric. But do keep an open mind about it!

  64. Thanks so much for your comment! I do suffer from lots of ocd tendancies so my mind does spiral sometimes. I enjoy being a girl but a small percentage of the time i get turned (whilst nasterbating) im a man. Im scared in the future that it will change and that im really not the person i am.

  65. "I'm really not the person i am." That is a very good way of expressing what many gender dysphoric people experience.

    Still, you say that you "enjoy being a girl", and not something a gender dysphoric person normally would say.

  66. I said that im scared im not the person i am, not that i am currently. I just said in the future im worried it will change. Maybe seeking reassurance isnt the best thing for me to do.

  67. I also masterbate to ftm porn and imagine im the trans person which makes me think maybe i am trans. I used to masterbate to girls and after i started to like girls so i dont know how this will play out

    1. Take your time. Sexuality and gender are very complex things, and they definitely do not fit the traditional binary narratives we grow up with. Many transgender people, both FTM and MTF, report a change in their sexual orientation after they accept themselves and/or transition. I guess most of them end up as some shade of bisexual/pansexual, but some also switch their attraction completely over to the other gender.

  68. "The gynephilic, woman-loving, F2Ms were found to be more masculine-oriented than the androphilic and bisexual F2Ms. According to this research gynephilic F2M transmen had been more cross-gendered in childhood and preferred more feminine partners."

    That's not true and biased.

    I, as an ftm gay transsex man was very masculine in childhood and always prefered more submissive soft men as partners.


Click here for this blog's Code of Conduct!

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!