April 13, 2010

On Gilmartin's love-shy men and the male lesbians (Part 1)

In 1987 Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin published a book called Shyness & Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment (available for free online), which presented the term "male lesbian".

It is probably the "male lesbians" that makes the book especially interesting for the readers of this blog, as many of you are woman-loving men who'd love to take the role of the woman in the sexual act.

However, when reading many of the crossdreamer life stories I find in this blog, in emails and in research I also see that there are a lot of socially inhibited persons among the crossdreamers/autogynephiliacs.

Not all biologically male crossdreamers find it hard to approach women. Nor are all love-shy men into feminization fantasies, but there seem to be an interesting overlap that deserves further study.

Well researched

Shyness & Love is a well researched book. It gives a good overview of the research on shyness up till that time, and also includes an original and extensive survey of what he calls "love-shy men".

The fact that it also contains chapters on astrology, karma and reincarnation, however, means that it has not been given the attention it probably deserves by other experts in the field. Any association with "New Age" is a kiss of death in traditional scientific circles. However, the book makes sense even if you disregard the few "unorthodox" parts of the publication, so I believe it deserves to be taken seriously.

Moreover, many "love-shy" men have embraced the book, as it is one of the few that seems to make sense of their lives. That means a lot to me.

Who are the love-shy?

Gilmartin explains that love-shy people are men and women who find it extremely hard to approach the other sex, in spite of the fact that they long for such a relationship more than anything else.

In his study Gilmartin only includes heterosexual men.

There are six criteria for being a love-shy man, according to Gilmartin:
  • You are a virgin.
  • You rarely go out socially with women more than just friends.
  • You have no history of any emotionally close, meaningful relationships of a romantic and/or sexual nature with any member of the opposite sex.
  • You have suffered and is continuing to suffer emotionally because of a lack of meaningful female companionship.
  • You have become extremely anxiety-ridden over so much as the mere thought of asserting himself vis-a-vis a woman in a casual, friendly way.
  • You are strictly heterosexual in your romantic and erotic orientations.
In a modern Western cultural context most of the love-shy are men, as women are not -- to the same extent -- expected to be assertive in love.

Gilmartin makes the following argument:

"In American society some degree of shyness is considered tolerable and even quite socially acceptable in females. In males of all ages from kindergarten through all the years of adulthood, in contrast, shyness is widely viewed as very deviant and highly undesirable. Moreover, shyness in males inspires bullying, hazing, disparaging labeling, discrimination, etc. In females shyness is often looked upon as being 'pleasantly feminine' and 'nice'."
Shy women are just as likely as non-shy women to date, to get married, and to have children, according to Gilmartin. Love-shy men find it much, much harder to lose their virginity, find love and get married.

I am not sure love-shy women find life as easy as Gilmartin may imply, but there is a difference, and that difference tells us a lot about the main problem of the love shy man: Society expects him to be assertive, proactive and adventurous vis-a-vis women. By nature, however, this man finds it extremely hard to live up to this stereotypical image of what it means to be a man. He is shy and introvert and would prefer to play the traditional role of the woman in the game of courtship.

He is a prince waiting in his castle. In a fair world the beautiful girl would come riding like a female warrior in shining armor. She would open the door and wake him with a kiss. Given the gender roles of modern day America or Europe, this scenario seldom adds up. He is sitting alone in his emotional fortress, while the love of his life sits brooding in another castle, unless -- of course -- Dr. McDreamy has not already broken down her walls and swept her off her feet. McDreamy often does.

Gilmartin believes that as many as 1.5 percent of American males are love-shy.

Love-shy factors

Gilmartin has a long list of factors that make love-shy men different from other men. It may seem like a haphazard kind of list, including far too many variables, but I think he is on to something. It makes sense to me that there is a group of men who have many of these factors in common, maybe because I have been one of them myself.


On the relationship to women and men:
  • they often feel women are more privileged than men
  • they place great, often disproportionate importance on physical beauty (especially facial beauty)
  • they like girls, but are afraid to talk to them because they're very afraid of rejection
  • they develop interest in females at an earlier age than usual, particularly in the third to fifth grade range
  • they most often only want to have female children
  • they are not as likely to be interested in male friendships as non-shy men
  • most of the love-shy men, but none of the non-shy men in Gimartin's survey, report that they have never had any friends
  • they have been bullied by children their own age due to their inhibitions and interests
  • they have normally completed higher education, but...
  • they have often unstable careers and have salaries below the average
The interests of the love-shy:
  • they are in below-average physical shape as a group
  • they tend to be less interested in sports
  • they tend to be more interested in movies and music, and prefer watching different types of movies from non-love-shy men (e.g. more romances)
The psychology of the love-shy:
  • they often have a hard time expressing their emotions
  • they are sometimes passive aggressive
  • they are melancholic
  • they were usually quiet as infants, while non-love-shy men are rarely so
  • they are often very serious
  • they are easily upset
  • they are often poorly adjusted, unhappy with their lives and have a high in rates of anxiety disorders
  • they have often more violent fantasies, and are very pessimistic and cynical about the world
The birth family of the love-shy:
  • they have often had a physically difficult birth
  • they have often had tense, nervous, angry and/or two-faced mothers who disallowed dates with girls
  • they often have no sisters, and rarely have more than one
  • they often had no adults to turn to for emotional support as children, and continue to be that way as adults
  • they often felt they had little influence on family decisions as children
  • they have demanding parents who invade their privacy
  • they have often been physically abused by their parents
  • they often go through an excessive amount of psychological trauma
  • their parents were overprotective
  • they grew up in isolation
  • their parents and pressured them into being "real boys"
Non-masculine gender role identification

Love-shy men do not identify with the typical male gender role of modern Western society. In fact, they hate it. Gilmartin argues that love-shys usually renounce aspects of the masculine sex-role stereotype.

"Love-shy men hate football, baseball, basketball, weight-lifting, beer-drinking, swearing and carousing with same-sexed assoctates, etc. They are far more likely to be interested in 'settling down', and in the sorts of things women are likely to be interested in."

Love-shy men do not normally hide their hatred of the stereotypical male role. Gilmartin is probably right when he says that such honest and open self-revelation frightens women away when it occurs early on in a relationship.

Moreover, expressed disinterest in and hostility towards prototypically "masculine" sex-role activities and interests is also quite likely to be regarded as weird and strange by a woman. Indeed, one of his points is that the love-shy men may appear strange and socially awkward.

The male lesbian

Gilmartin does not write about crossdreaming or autogynephilia in the way I have presented this in this blog. He does not focus on the erotic fantasies of the love-shy, so I have no way of proving that there is an overlap between his category and the crossdreamers.

Still, there are some very interesting similarities. This is what he says about a sub-category of the love-shy men (p.125):

"...a 'male lesbian' is a heterosexual man who wishes that he had been born a woman, but who (even if he had been a woman) could only make love to another woman and never to a man. Unlike the transsexual, the 'male lesbian' does not feel himself to be 'a woman trapped inside the body of a man'. Moreover, none of the love-shy men studied for this research entertained any wishes or fantasies of any kind pertinent to the idea of obtaining a sex change operation. All wanted to keep their male genitalia; all wanted to remain as males. However, all deeply envied the perogatives of the female gender and truly believed that these perogatives fitted their own inborn temperaments far more harmoniously than the pattern of behavioral expectations to which males are required to adhere."

Since they could not be a woman, most of them visualized themselves as a man romancing a beautiful woman.

" He is a person who had always felt rather strange, detached, and disinterested around age-mates of his own gender, and who had always entertained the fantasy that if he could only win acceptance from an all-girl peer group he could feel 'at home' there. The 'male lesbian' state of consciousness may be related to inborn temperament, and may at least partly explain why the love-shy men tended to have become very romantically attracted to girls from an early point in life."

Note that in his survey Gilmartin focused on heterosexual male virgins. He deliberately excluded homosexual men from his study:

"Interestingly, 94 percent of the love-shy men who were interviewed for this study turned out to be strong believers in homosexual rights. Yet at the same time every single man interviewed for this study indicated disgust at the mere thought of kissing or making love to another man... Loving and romancing a beautiful woman was the only thing many of these deprived men ever seemed to think about in their almost incessant fantasies and daydreams."

So, the male lesbian does not want to play with males, does not want to experience sex with males, and does not have male recreational interests. He is actually so alienated from the very idea of being a man that he does not even want to procreate male children:

"The vast majority of the love-shy men interviewed for this book confessed that if they ever did become fathers they would want to have girl children only—NO BOYS. In stark contrast, only one percent of the self-confident, non-shy men felt that way. In fact, the non-shy men preferred the idea of fathering male children to the idea of fathering female children by a ratio of almost three to two."

My guess is that he finds the very idea of tackling a rough and tumble boy impossible. After all; He fears them or even detests them. Or maybe he does not believe that he can serve as a good role model for such a boy, and that the kid would end up in the same situation as himself.

Love-shyness and crossdreaming/autogynephilia

Gilmartin argues that the love-shy men studied for his book all reluctantly accepted the fact that they are males. He says that none of them had ever revealed any transvestite tendencies:

"...none of them had ever experienced any urge to dress up as a woman or to put on lipstick or nail polish, etc." (p. 126)

He has not asked them about erotic feminization fantasies in general, however. The concept of autogynephilia had not been invented when he wrote the book, so it would be hard for him to ask. In fact, his understanding of transsexuals is also somewhat simplistic, as he seems to believe that all transsexuals are androphilic. This is not correct.

I suspect there may be crossdreamers among his respondents. The fact that I have had several emails from love-shy men urging me to write a post like this one, strengthens this belief, as does the fact that I recognize myself in many of Gilmartin's descriptions.

I need to stress, however, that from what I see in the research and from the comments made at this and other blogs and in other forums, there is no reason to believe that all crossdreamers or autogynephiliacs are love-shy male lesbians. Many crossdreamers report an active sex life from a very early age. Some of them are promiscuous, even, and a large number of them get married and have children.

All of this points to an underlying variation where love-shyness may be one of many factors that can be associated with crossdreaming.

Gilmartin gives an explanation for love-shyness that may give us an indication for why this is so. That's the topic for my next post.

Postscript on male lesbians:

Note that the term male lesbian has been used for men who are clearly not love shy, or who at least are not love-shy anymore.

The British comedian Eddie Izzard (pictured right) calls himself a lesbian trapped in a man's body. He may perfectly well be a crossdreamer, but it would be very hard for a love-shy to go on stage like that.

The "male lesbian" Lisa from the American TV series The L Word is definitely not love-shy!


Download Dr. Gilmartin's Shyness and Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment


  1. I think I am not a shy person in true sense. I hate this very concept of "shy".
    I want to be the catcher, play the feminine role to a woman,that is what acts as a turn-on to me.
    And being in that role means I am going to be calm and discreet,somewhat like a nubile girl.
    I for one have never felt I need to be virile to love someone. In fact, what I desire more is to be the center of attention, rather than I making the gaze and choosing. It looks so demeaning to me because its not me.

    I don't feel detached from my own body and have not been into crossdreaming.But yes, time and again, I have been feeling like staying as a girl among other girls and somehow run away from this culture I am destined to live in just because of the body.This male culture and outlook looks sick and dull to me....
    In my sexual fantasies I have fantasized myself more like a feminine drag queen type persona being romanced by a woman. I dont know if this sounds funny to others, but thats simply me.

  2. Except for the abusive and overbearing parents and mother, I identify with these things. I am terrified to the point of physical sickness when I have ever tried to ask a girl out. I froze up. I have had numerous close friendships with girls. I am a virgin. I do want to be a girl. I think I am more of a bisexual girl. I would be OK with sex either way as a girl. Now online I am sexual active in YIM, but I have never done anything with another person. This has been a post that gives me some answers but still I am unresolved in my feelings of loneliness. I wonder what the Depression results were of this study?

  3. @Lady Alexia

    Gilmartin found that 51 percent of the younger love shys interviewed were checked "frequent feelings of depression". For the older cohort the response rate was 72 percent.

    Gilmartin is focusing on the biochemical cause of depression, discussing the role of neurotransmitters in length (the book can be downloaded for free, so you can see for yourself). Truth to be told, I am not finding that part of his book very helpful, as he does not discuss the interaction between love-shyness and depression to a sufficient extent.

    Having been a love-shy man myself, I know how depression follows love-shyness hand in hand.

    We are born to be loved and to love -- including the physical part. Physical closeness and acceptance builds our up our self-confidence and our sense of worth.

    It also starts the production of hormones like oxytocin that calms us down and helps us connect with others.

    Being without love for a period of time is more than manageable, and does not in itself lead to depression. But the fear of never being able to connect in this way is bound to lead to loneliness and depression.

    I struggled with depression for years as a young man. Like you I was terrified to the point of physical sickness when approaching girls.

    I managed at least to get girl [space] friends, but no girlfriend, if you know what I mean. Coupled with a general introvert shyness, this means that you are lonely even when being in the same room as others.

    Ultimately it was a combination of group therapy (getting to know both men and women struggling with psychological problems) and building up my social skills in areas where I had an advantage, that gave me the courage to approach a girl in the romantic way. We are still together.

    Did the depressions disappear? No. But they are much less intense - at least for most of the time. I think that what I have been through has marked me forever, but when have someone at your side, you have a whole new arsenal available for fighting the darkness.

    I have followed your blog for a long time and know that you are one very resourceful person. If you can use those abilities to your advantage, I am convinced that you do not have to stay single!

  4. I have a point about Lady Alexia. He says that he wants to be girl and also is bisexual.
    Is it possible for a male lesbian to be bisexual as well?

  5. @Godhuli

    Can you be a male lesbian and bisexual at the same time?

    This is one of the areas where our regular use of words break down. Alexia identifies as a woman. Can she be a male lesbian?

    I believe there is an overlap between the love-shy male lesbians of Gilmartin and the crossdreamers I have described here in this blog. Many crossdreamers are or have been love-shy (me included). But there is also a difference. According to Gilmartin the male lesbians do not want a female body, but they want to make love to a woman in the traditional female way (passive, reactive - pick the word that fits best). Love-shy crossdreamers like Alexia and me takes this dream one step further: We also dream about having the body of a woman.

    Alexia gets turned on by the idea of having sex with both men and women. Does that make her a lesbian? Strictly speaking, no. That makes her a bisexual in my book. But she still has a lot in common with the love-shy men of Gilmartin's, so I hope that a discussion of the love-shy can also be of help to her and other fighting with similar problems.

  6. I can just say one thing about Lady Alexia. (I am using the female pronoun here for convenience)
    She fits into the category of bisexual woman in man's body. But I think she also has some difference with a bisexual transwoman. Her femininity is not that extreme as that of a transwoman. There is a sort of mix of male and female inside her. So,she just does not end up feeling woman inside, rather more of a feminine person who dreams of taking feminine roles. Much like what male lesbian does, except that here it is of both sexes.
    Why not then give a different name to this- male (bisexual girl) in place of male(lesbian)?
    Both are not transwomen in real sense. They are just feminine men with strong effeminacy or innate femininity.

  7. "Both are not transwomen in real sense. They are just feminine men with strong effeminacy or innate femininity."

    But culdn't this be a matter of degree as much as the difference between two completely different categories. There are quite a few crossdressers and crossdreamers that transition. They are also transwomen, And there is no reason to believe that most of them feel a strong identity as a woman.

    As for the male lesbians, Gilmartin is pretty clear saying that the one he surveyed were not interested in transtioning. But there could be crossdreamers that share many of the same traits as the male lesbians and who could become women.

    The more study this field, the more convinced I am that these phenomena are the results of different mixes of different traits, and if that is the case, there will be no clear cut categories.

  8. I dream of myself as a bisexual woman with a strong preference for other women, so Lady Alexia is not an exception.

    Except for that, and the family background (I have caring parents and three sisters), I fit Gilmartin's characterization of the loveshy male lesbian perfectly.

  9. Interesting and well thought out blog. I actually was searching for the female equivalent of this concept of love-shy men, but till now I have been just left hankering for one.
    The thing is, I am just the opposite of this typical love-shy man, and born as female. I wish to take the manly role during sex and be the pitcher. I really don't like the feminine world and my inner desire from childhood was to be a boy. I have been having crossdreams regularly of late,where I imagine myself as a sort of butch man romancing submissive guys.
    Oddly,you see, I am always attracted to boys. I really don't know what to call this but I just know that if I were born as a boy I would surely be a masculine gay man dating beautiful feminine men. I really like feminine men (even crossdressers) even now but just that I don't like the female role during sex and wish to rather mount and take the manly role.
    I just know it might sound odd to many here, but, then this is how I am and always have been.
    I am still browsing hard to find a good blog of autoandrophilies.
    i surely don't know if at all I am qualified for a transition and if I can even find potential partners in the male gay community who would date a person who was born in female body.

  10. @juhi

    Thanks for a very interesting comment! I guess we can lay the theory of there only being biological male crossdreamers to rest.

    If you want to write about F2M crossdreamers/autoandrophiliacs you are welcome to do so here. There is no reason to limit this blog to M2F crossdreamers.

    Send me an email (jack.molay@gmail.com)

  11. Jack,

    Thank you as always for providing such thoughtful content. And timely for me too as the "male lesbian" concept has been at the forefront of my thoughts lately.

    Through reading the posts like " Natalie's innate femininity theory", I've come to realize that I (like most of us) eroticized my gender issues as an adolescent. I've posted some of my thoughts about that here, where I discussed some of the darker aspects of my sexuality, including my fantasies of being a damsel in distress dominated by a *tough girl* like Joan Jett.

    Sexual fantasies aside, the fact remains that Since the onset of puberty, I've found myself "competing" with lesbian women for the affections of my fantasy love interests -- Leather Tuscadero, Joan Jett, Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein and more -- all lesbians or females of ambiguous sexuality.

    How can it be that a so-called "straight boy" ended up being attracted to sooooo many lesbians over his lifetime?

    Could it be I am a lesbian-identified male? Or more appropriately; if I would have been born a female, would I have been what Gilmartin calls "a beautiful woman who lives with, and makes love to, another beautiful woman."?

    I have viewed this theory of mine with a healthy amount of skepticism. We all know how easy it is to rewrite our pasts when it comes to gender stuff. However I this past Friday I got my confirmation that I'm on the right path.

    I was with some of my girl friends on Friday night who also happen to be lesbians. The ladies organize a dance party for queer ladies and their friends at local club and invited me to DJ.

    I did not present as female at the party although I did wear my black racer-back tank-top (womens) with jeans and my pyramid spike belt. This is a typical ensemble worn out by lesbian girls in my area.

    The party was great great great and I had a wonderful time. I could on about the experiences over the night, but the most important to me came at the end...

    We were standing in a group talking afterward and one of the girls mentioned a past DJ -- a straight guy like me -- who didn't work out very well. She then said something about learning a lesson about having straight guys DJ the party.

    I looked at her smiling and said "you don't see me as straight do you?" She smiled and said "nope, not at all"..."in fact, the first time I met you I thought you were an FTM"

    She also told me she doesn't warm up to guys *at all* but felt a connection with me and that she totally gets that I'm a lesbian.

    That was the most wonderful experience for me. I felt accepted in their lesbian peer-group *as a lesbian*.

    In working through all of this I have at times dismissed my feminine essence. But it is REAL and I will never dismiss my inner lady again...

  12. Love-shyness fits me to a T, aside from three or possibly four things: I have one sister, my parents weren't overbearing or abusive, I love sports, and I'm a stereotypical nerd/geek. (Geekiness may or may not be part of love-shyness, but considering the spectrum we're working with, no reason I can't be both.)

    The beginning of your blog post was right on: When I first read "Shyness and Love," it was the first thing I'd read that explained me or at least came anywhere close.

    I had a Very Bad Experience with a girl in high school, and doubtless it still affects me today. I don't know whether it made me deathly afraid of women, or simply aggravated what was already there. But since I've never been on a date in my entire life, I would have to think the latter.

    The biggest problem is, how can I do anything with a woman when I fantasize about BEING the woman? I fantasize about the female role so often, being made love to by either a man or a woman, and have many submissive tendencies. But in the end, the fantasies all come down to the same thing: I desperately want to be loved.


  13. This got me to the core of my own problem. I happen to be a feminine homosexual male. I came out at 14 but I did not know my nature is more complicated than that.
    Recently, I found I love not being just dominated by males but also by dominating females!! Yes, one of the reasons why I was crazy for sex with men was to feel feminine and desirable, not because I was attracted to them sexually. And now I find I want to have the same thing with dominating women too, preferably lesbians.
    Only that I did not know there are women who can be dominating and can be manly, at a young age.Media and films always showed the traditional feminine women and I identified with them. And to enjoy someone dominating me, I wanted to have a boy always. But now I find, I enjoy being submissive with both genders.

  14. Jack,
    Some people have told me that since I want to be dominated and desire to take the feminine part in romantic fantasies, i desire to be abused and humiliated. They called me a masochist with deep psychological pains.
    Its not that i believe them outright. But one thing made me wonder. I don't want to be humiliated during sex at all. Part of the reason why I am loving the fantasy is because I want to feel desirable to someone, i want to be loved. I only take the feminine role for that matter and love to be the catcher.
    Now the thing is, don't men (who take the manly role) want to be loved as well? Is it that men just want to love and don't want to be loved, just because they are always the pitcher in a sexual foreplay?
    In that respect, does having a submissive fantasy and/or wanting to be desirable by being catcher directly mean I am feminine? Or does it mean having some real psychological trauma that needs to be cured.

  15. I can identify with this, though through some combination of luck or divine intervention or conspiracy of friends, I did find love and didn't blow it.

    Sections of it don't apply, but the correlation between shyness and gender identity is thought-provoking.

  16. @ Just Chris

    Being mistaken for a F2M lesbian. I love it! Seriously, I know there are many who argue that crossdreamers cannot appear feminine in any way. I doubt that very much. Note to self: Write blog post about the holy grail of femininity.

    @anonymous April 18

    "The biggest problem is, how can I do anything with a woman when I fantasize about BEING the woman?"

    This is a huge problem and I must admit I have no easy answer for it. A lot of male crossdreamers (like me) find love before we admit to ourselves that this is what we are. We enter a relationship because we believe it will heal us in some way. And if you are lucky and hard working on the art of loving compromises, you can actually make it work. Many women will love a man with submissive and feminine tendencies as long as he is the man when she needs him to.

    But how do you start a relationship knowing that you are what you are. If you read the comments to some of the posts in this blog, you will find crossdreamers that have been very open about their situation when approaching women. They have won their hearts regardless. There are also women out there that prefer to be the dominant "top" and would love to please you in that way. But how to find them? That is the question.

    See Jogols comments to this post.


    I think many of the problems we are facing is that we oversimplify things. As you note, natural variation will give us women who want to be the top and men who want to be the bottom. But Western culture somehow finds this threatening.

    To want to take the woman's role in sexual fantasies does not equal a wish for abuse and humiliation. That would mean that all romantic girls are masochists. That's absurd! Most of them want to be wooed, and they want to submit sexually. Maybe the surrender of being a catcher is different from being a pitcher. I suspect as much, and it is very likely that male crossdreamers have inherited the same sexual instinct for this kind of surrender as the average woman.

    But somehow some people -- out of prejudice I guess -- mix this sexual urge for surrender with a weak and submissive personality in general. There are many strong and assertive women who long to give in in bed. But there are also seemingly weak and shy women who are like tigers in bed.

    Moreover, the penetrator or the mounter may also feel vulnerable and in need of love. After all, you surrender a very delicate and vulnerable organ to another person. There are men who fear intercourse because of this (cp. the idea of the vagina as a devouring mouth, vagina dentata, and the fear of castration, http://bit.ly/fJ8rB).

    For a man having sex with the woman he loves is a sign of trust and surrender. That message gets lost in all the sexist and Quasi-Darwinistic popular science of the day.

  17. To Jogols,
    I guess I know your answer You can read it here itself:

    A typical trait of femininity lies in its very strength. Most feminine (stereotypical) girls I have met share this fantasy of wanting to feel desirable to big guys.
    I have found that feminine women really find it hard to imagine themselves doing the choosing. Because,their brain itself is programmed to enjoy being the beauty to someone, rather than appreciating the beauty in someone else.
    In stereotypical men, its just the reverse. They would not want to be desirable, but would want to badly possess a beautiful woman,much like a sweet trophy.
    I don't know how the perv macho men go along with this mentality, but I personally have found it hard to be such an emotionless stud who would spend the whole life admiring only the beauty of some other person, even if it is a woman.
    Not something like an ego problem, but just that I never enjoy the male role of being a predator of beautiful trophies. I would rather be the trophy myself for a stud woman. And sure enough, my personality also desires the type of woman befitting it. Hot nubile chicks with nude bodies wanting to appeal to male persona rarely arouse me!!!!
    But dominating lesbian and bisexual women who can caress and give love, surely do as hell.
    From the very basics of neuroscience hence, I can say that this pitcher-catcher concept really is deeply ingrained into our psyche and is extremely innate.
    I remember having fantasies of girls in my class seducing me and trying to do things with me at age 9. I was the "damsel" in distress for these girls.
    Much like women having rape fantasies, I enjoy being the cute sex-toy of a dominating girl with strap-ons.
    It is something extremely innate to me. I am not wanting to be humiliated. I am enjoying my feminine persona and my feminine gender expression through such erotic fantasies. I am not wanting to be weak, but wanting to be something like a helpless "damsel" whom girls would come, love and rescue.

    but does this mean pitchers don't need to be loved and catchers don't love? It is rarely so.
    A pitcher would also feel vulnerable and want to be loved at some point in a relationship and I as a catcher would also like to finally give to my woman after she has given me for a long time and quenched my desires.
    But the pitcher-catcher concept is grounded more on the initial flight response on seeing a person. The catcher would mainly get aroused by the thought of arousing and being desirable to someone(even if that person is not too beautiful by conventional standards). (One reason why traditional females went for rough macho hairy men).
    Whereas, the pitcher would always get aroused on seeing a beauty and would love to possess that. And we should remember that sexual fantasies are based on these initial turn-on mechanisms and not on the long-term feelings a person would develop on his/her partner.

  18. This is a very interesting post since I can easily relate to most of the male lesbian characteristics, I never heard of this concept before but it fits me almost perfectly.

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  20. Being without love for a period of time is more than manageable, and does not in itself lead to depression. But the fear of never being able to connect in this way is bound to lead to loneliness and depression.
    Smead file folders

  21. Love shy men can be changed by exposing them to more social activities where many women can be found. It just takes a little confidence and open mindedness, it is never too late to learn.

  22. @plentyoffish

    I think you are right. Even if shyness is based on inborn intraversion, it is possible to expand one's "roaming area" through training and a dash of courage.

  23. A male lesbian is a physiologically heteosexual male who wishes he'd been born a girl.

  24. 90% of that criteria fits me to a tee. Though I've always had an inclination for strong femininity and a longing to be appreciated as a female by men, despite being a straight male. I also crossdress and have done since 14.

    It's the overlaps that make all this so confusing. The spectrum is massive.

    But what annoys, angers and frightens me the most is that - there is no cure, and the medical world aren't interested. The general feeling is that "this is it."

    Well b*llocks to that. I refuse to be like this when I hit 30. If I'm auto then I'll kill my male sex drive with hormones and transition. And if somehow I decide to stay male. I will kill the femininity. Life will not defeat me. And the medical fraternity will not make me feel guilty for aspects of me that I didn't choose and do not hurt people.

    Simples :-)

  25. @Fran

    "I refuse to be like this when I hit 30. If I'm auto then I'll kill my male sex drive with hormones and transition. And if somehow I decide to stay male. I will kill the femininity. Life will not defeat me. And the medical fraternity will not make me feel guilty for aspects of me that I didn't choose and do not hurt people."

    God knows I understand your frustration. You are the only one who can really tell, but it might be that transitioning is the right thing for you.

    But I am certaing about one thing: If you "kill" your female side you will kill what makes you you. And I am afraid that what is left of "you" after that murder will be a soul without color and life. We have to find ways of expressing our female selves, with or without transitioning.

  26. I first came across Gilmartin's book and the definition of a male lesbian a few years ago. A female friend of mine recently brought it back up, and I sought out this information once again. I had forgotten just how shocking it was to read this. It's like my soul has been laid bare; all of my deepest thoughts and secrets are written for anyone to see.

  27. Pierre Louys, the early 20th century French writer and poet, and author of Aphrodite and The Songs of Bilitis (some of them set to music by his friend the composer Debussy) was considered a male lesbian. He had great insight into lesbian love and sexuality, and late in life published lesbian erotica.

  28. Pierre Louys, the early 20th century French writer, poet and erotologist, was a male lesbian who had deep insight into lesbian eroticism. He was the author of the novel Aphrodite, the poem-cycle The Songs of Bilitis, as well as some lste lesbian erotica. His Femme et Poupe was the basis for Maugham's Of Human Bondage.

  29. @Iain

    I know of at least one MTF crossdreamer who writes lesbian romances today, books well received in the lesbian community.

    And they say that a male bodied person can never understand women!

  30. I get so relaxed when i put a bra on, and dream of a woman on top of me..

  31. Excellent article. This, again, discribes much of how I feel. The gilmartin page 125 is especially true of me.
    Eddie izzard, is a lesbian trapped inside a man's body too. I am very shy, and have learned to 'act'assertive and bold in social situations. I am a show-off on stage or when I have been given a platform as I can be well prepared. Like Eddie.

  32. Oh, 'I thought woman on top'was just another great position.I love being brought to climax like that! (I also like to imagine I'm a woman while I'm underneath too).


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