December 4, 2013

A Creative Crossdreamer Vocabulary, from "Dark Crossdreamers" to "Misaffirmation"

Here is the second part of my new Crossdreamer Dictionary. You can read the first entry here!

Crossdreamers are men and women who get excited by the idea of being the other sex. In this series I try to present imaginary (and not so imaginary) terms that can help us understand what crossdreaming is about.

Dark crossdreamers*
Some crossdreamers have suppressed
their other side completely.
Photo: michele piacquadio

Dark crossdreamers are people who have managed to suppress their transgender side completely. They are not even aware of splitting (i.e. a mental compartmentalization of their other side).

The dark crossdreamers are as mysterious and invisible as dark matter, although some dark crossdreamers may have a breakthrough, as the suppressed side forces its way to the surface. This is why we know they exist.

The existence of dark crossdreamers makes it impossible to determine how large a proportion of the human population is actually crossdreamers.


Dysphoric crossdreamers feel a strong sense of misalignment between their bodies and their minds. Quite often they will feel completely alienated from their own bodies and the gender role they are forced to play. They only manage to live the "normal" lives of someone assigned to their birth sex through great sacrifice. Many of them will end up transitioning.

In spite of what some  would like you to believe, most transsexual men and women have been crossdreamers.

Erotic dissonance

Crossdreaming or being turned on by something (song, movie scene, etc.) that is not meant to be sexual but simply funny, exciting, etc.

(Hat tip to Hagia Sofia)


Euophoria is the intense sense of joy a crossdreamer may feel when he or she is able to express his or her hidden side. This may be male to female crossdresser's joy of wearing feminine attire, the female to male crossdressers mischievous sense of power from "packing", or it may be the emotional release that comes from writing a story, a caption or a comic that make perfect sense.

Euphoria is related to soaring.

Flash flood*

Overwhelmed (photo: Jochen Schönfeld)
An extremely strong and fast oncoming surge, where the desire to become the other sex overwhelms you. For some this experience may lead to madfear (i.e. an intense fear of going insane).

Forced feminization

A recurrent theme in male to female crossdreaming is forced feminization, where a man is changed into a woman against his will. The transformation may be complete or partial (crossdressing). Such fantasies may also include elements of forced sex. In this respect they are similar to the rape fantasies you often find among women.

In Almodovar's movie The Skin I Live In, the doctor
played by Antonio Banderas uses surgery and drugs
to turn Vincente into Vera. 
A common explanation for such fantasies among women as well as male bodies crossdreamers, is that the forced aspect relieves them of responsibility and guilt: "I am not to blame. I could not stop it!"

An archetypal forced feminization fantasy can be found in Pedro Almodóvar's movie The Skin I Live In, where the disturbed Dr. Robert Regard kidnaps Vicente and changes him into Vera.

Female to male crossdreamers rarely fantasise about forced masculinisation, most likely because masculinity is not associated with helplessness in our cultures. They may make up stories about feminizing men, however.

Gender Queer

Some crossdreamers do not seek to be the opposite sex in their fantasies and role playing. Or if they do, this is part of a process where they try to integrate their masculine and feminine side.

The gender queer refuse to be reduced to male or female only. Some of them use the word "androgynous" instead, which may be a bit misleading, as many of them do not necessarily appear androgynous. A similar term is "non-binary".


Genderstretch, also known as "gender impatience", is the feeling of frustration that comes from feeling stuck in between being male and female.

As Hagia Sofia over at Crossdream Life puts it: "Wishing your mind could, well, make up its damn mind and choose one or the other, dammit!"


Crossing borders. Photo: Hemera
Wide term encompassing both female to male crossdreamers and non-transgender women who feel an affinity for gay and feminine men. Crossdreaming girlfags often fantasize about being a man in a gay relationship.

A related Japanese term is Fujoshi, used about female fans of manga comics and novels that feature romantic relationships between men. Currently the most popular form for creative girlfag crossdreaming is found in yaoi comics, made by girlfags for girlfags.


Wide term encompassing both male to female crossdreamers and non-transgender men who feel an affinity for lesbian women.

Crossdreaming guydykes dream about being a lesbian woman.

Gynephilic and Androphilic

Crossdreamers dream about being the opposite sex. Some of them identify with their birth sex, while others (and especially transsexual crossdreamers)  identify with their target sex. Because of this the traditional terms for sexual orientation, homosexual or heterosexual,  are confusing. What do you mean when you say "heterosexual"? Are you referring to the birth sex or the target sex?

To avoid this confusion it helps to describe people who are predominantly attracted to men "androphilic" (meaning "loving men"), and those attracted to women "gynephilic" (meaning "loving women"). Bisexuals are bisexuals regardless of point of view.


Male to female crossdreamers may engage in hypercorrection, i.e. attempts at killing off their crossdreamer feelings by engaging in stereotypical manly activities.
Ernest Hemingway succeeded
in presenting himself as the
tough macho man, while
secretly writing about

Kristin Beck, born Chris, fought as a SEAL in Afghanistan, believing such hypermasculine activities would help her cope as a man. I would guess that Ernest Hemingway cultivated his macho man image, partly to handle his crossdreamer side.

Hypercorrection never works.

Hypercorrection seems to be less common among female to male crossdreamers, possible because women are given more leeway to use masculine clothing and gender expressions.


A crossdreamer gets ideoflustered when the words used to describe him or her cease to make sense. This can cause much confusion and uncertainty, and may lead to an identity crisis.

A typical example of ideofluster is found when some crossdreamers try to define themselves as men or women. Does the word refer to their bodies, their sense of self, their intellectual understanding of themselves, their gender typical interests, their temperament, how others see them or what?

Comments made by crossdreamers may also cause ideofluster in others. Dr. Ray Blanchard, the man who developed the infamous  "autogynephilia" theory, is know to have been extremely frustrated when some male to female crossdreamers told him they were attracted to women as men, but to men as women. Blanchard solved the problem by referring to their genitalia. Unfortunately, that did not resolve the issue for the crossdreamers.

Inner Woman/Inner Man

Inner Woman or Inner Man are shorthand for whatever it is that causes the need to crossdream or crossdress. A male to female crossdreamer does not have to identify with the opposite sex to have "an inner woman".

For the gender dysphoric crossdreamers this inner persona (often expressed as a ponyo) may be a better representation of their psyche as a whole than the face they normally show the world.


Photo: Stockbyte
Madfear is the feeling the crossdreamer experience when they face a flash flood -- i.e.  when a crossdreamer surge becomes too intense. This normally happens after the crossdreamer is starting to explore this side of his or her psyche consciously. Basically the crossdreamer is overwhelmed with suppressed psychic content and believes that he or she is going insane.

This panic normally subsides as the crossdreamer finds a way of conceptualizing these feelings. Crossbonding with other crossdreamers also helps.

Male lesbian

Some crossdreamers identify as male lesbians. There is no clear definition of the term. Dr. Gilmartin's love shy male lesbian's are apparently not crossdreaming. Guydykes may be understood as male lesbians. Some of them are crossdreamers, while others are non-trans men attracted to lesbians.
British comedian Eddie Izzard identifies
as a male lesbian

To make this even more complicated: Many male to female crossdreamers are clearly attracted to women, but may also imagine themselves as a woman having sex with a man. They may be latent bisexuals, it could be that they want what in our cultures is considered the ultimate affirmation as a woman. It could also be that they are wired to be mostly submissive in bed. 

I suspect the whole hetero/gay dichotomy is far  too simplistic.


Normalian crossdreamers  (i.e. crossdreamers who have managed to live up to the requirements of their birth sex publicly), often find themselves objects of misaffirmation.

Basically, they have succeed so well in their attempts to blend in, that they are praised and rewarded for being -- in the case of male to female crossdreamers -- male pillars of society, and in the case of the female bodied ones: feminine and demure or whatever it is women are supposed to be in their local community.

As any psychologist can tell you, a sound and stable soul is built on affirmation from other people, and in the case of crossdreamers who are anchored firmly in the identity of their birth sex, this type of affirmation may work as intended. For those whose inner identity is not aligned with their birth sex, however, this affirmation only make their misalignment more visible to themselves and therefore harder to bear.


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  3. theautogynephiliac AKA whyxlup has been banned from this blog for repeated comments in violation of paragraphs 4 and 5 of the code of conduct.

    Those who are interested may read his views regarding me and this blog here!

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  5. No, theautogynephiliac, I am not deleting your messages because these particular comments are in violation of the code of conduct.

    I am deleting all comments made by you, because you -- as a person -- is banned from posting here.

    That ban was implemented after a long series of violations of the code of conduct, both here and over at Crossdream Life.

    You are not welcome here! It is as simple as that. Stay away!

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  7. @Mitchell

    "Another good addition. I don't really see anything descriptive of me in this one. These seem to focus around the dysphoric in various forms. "

    Yes, these entries were more on the dysphoric side, although many of the are neutral (euphoria, forced feminization, girlfag, guydyke, male lesbian). Don't worry, though, there will be more on the non-dysphoric side in later entries.

    That being said, I am more likely to come up with concepts relevant to my own dysphoric background. Could you come up with a couple of terms that describes your life in a better way?

  8. @Mitchell,

    I have never heard anyone write about the possible transgender nature of Nietzsche, but until the 1980s people didn't write much about Hemingway's gender variance either. We have a tendency of taking the macho facade at face value.

    There have been, as you point out arguments about him being gay.

    If Nietzsche's writing on the macho Übermensch was a crossdreamer's hypercorrection, history becomes ironic beyond belief. Not only did he develop a philosophy that has been used and misused to persecute transgender; he also developed a way of thinking that can be used to liberate them.

  9. @Mitchell

    "Lol... feel bad for you Jack... at least you have readers! :D"

    Yes and some are extremely frustrated.

  10. Mitchell, I see that the forced in forced feminization allows you to interpret self-protection from the blame, yet regardless you surely must also know that forced feminization in merely a popular theme amongst general masochistic femininity, with nothing more, nothing less.

    What would Hegel have to say about dysphoria or a dialectic of crossdream stimulation?

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  12. That's also true, but I like the idea of freedom through bondage, which it is an example of, I think. In this sense freedom both from responsibility and guilt, but also from the masculine bounds. Maybe sometimes forced feminization is just forced feminization. No more, no less, though.

    As being enamored with the Greeks, I think that Hegel would appreciate the gender dialectic of the crossdreamer. The Greeks held androgyny up as an ideal.

    It all comes back to Aristotle though (for me, at least), his dialectic being the process by which we arrive at the golden mean, or the middle between polls.

    Though he was also influenced by Buddhist philosophy, and the doctrine of non-duality -- Nietzsche also makes use of this insight, that opposites are actually the same thing, and define one and other.

    Of course, for Hegel, it would be our society itself that produces crossdreamers. The individual only being capable of being viewed in relation to their society.

    As I said with dysphoria and euphoria being two sides of the same coin, the feeling of a struggle is generated by a perceived conflict (however real) between the individual and their society.

    I think though, ultimately Hegel would suggest that we cannot have one without the other, and without being able to bring the two together (the individual, and the collective), without destroying either, that things will be unhealthy at both ends.

    To ramble nonsensically on Hegel for a bit.

  13. theautogynephiiac AKA wxhluyp has now been banned from the reddit crossdreamer subedit as well. And no, I had absolutely nothing to do with that decision.

    chronic_raptor, the editor, writes:

    "I've been putting up with your arguments for a long time now. I gave you the benefit of the doubt for 9 months and discussed things with you, on your level (which is unnecessarily pedagogical and incoherently verbose). But you don't seem interested in being a part of the crossdreaming community, but rather finding an audience for your own musings on what turns you on. You've got your blog. You're free to start your own subreddit. And until you can acknowledge a viewpoint other than your own, you can keep it out of my sub."

    I wanted you all to know, just in case some of you think I have become too restrictive as a moderator.

  14. I think I have experienced most of these elements (some to much lesser extent than others) but what I retain the most in all this is the idea that gender is largely in the mind. Our behavior becomes erratic and schizophrenic when we attempt to suppress instincts which are natural and likely inherited at birth (the mechanism by which this happens is not known).

    Suppression and guilt causes suffering but when we allow ourselves to experience our feelings fully only then can we be healed. Again the litmus test should be: does my behavior cause harm to me or to others? If you can answer no to both of those questions then you are on your way to mental wellness around this issue.

    transition (meaning either male or female) need not be the solution for people like us who seem to exist in a dichotomy. If you choose to pick a definite side you have made the wrong choice because that's not where your psyche wants to go. It simply wants to have the freedom to explore.

  15. The litmus test for banning should be: is the person interested in discussing intelligently or instead either repeating their own mantra/taunting others or behaving irrationally.

    You have given these people plenty of opportunity and yet they persist in playing games. Ultimately you had little choice.

    The taunter can always find solace in their belief that they were being drowned out due to bias against their message instead of their comportment.

  16. again, much of the gender behavior that is approved or not is dictated by the societal norms of the day. If you happen to live in a society that is particularly restrictive and you are a crossdreamer then you will suffer all the more by ingesting culpability for how you feel and behave.

    Since when is society as a whole a healthy and useful barometer for your individual compass? I have learnt at my age to trust my own instinct far more and ignore the passing social conventions which are, more often than not, founded on pure stupidity and ignorance.

    What you wear or don't wear out in public and even more so in your home is entirely your own business; even more so what you think and feel as a person. If YOU feel it then it has validity. No one has a right to pronounce themselves on the subject unless they have experienced the same thing and are qualified to do so.

    Suffering fools and idiots is something I no longer have tolerance for.

  17. Hope that I didn't come off as "unnecessarily pedagogical and incoherently verbose", as I was just being playful -- and recursively acknowledged my lack of clarity.

    I do strive clarity most times, as what is the point of expressing yourself in a way your interlocutor won't understand?

    In any case, if you ever get tired of me, you only need tell me to bugger off once, and you won't hear from me again.

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  20. Reality Check /AQV

    What is it with the words "Get the fuck out of my house!" you do not understand? I know that English is my second language, but I am pretty sure I have managed to communicate the idea that you are not welcome here.

    Any other "normal" person (and I am using the word "normal" in the widest sense here) will understand that if someone asks you to leave their home and never come back again, you do stay away. This also applies to those who have problems interpreting the naunces of body language and pitch of voice.

    Or maybe you were raised this way?

    Your mother put you on her knee and said: "Reality, what people really want is for you to go into their living room and take a solid dump on their finest carpet."

    And your father would chime in: "Yes, Reality, but also know that some of them may get a little bit annoyed and ask you to leave. If they do so you will help them immensely if you accused them of being perverted idiots preventing the freedom of speech."

    Something tells me that this was not the message they tried to get across, but what do I know? Something definitely went seriosuly wrong.

    As far as I know only sociopaths behave in the manipulative and cruel ways you do. Prove me wrong. Prove to me that you are not a sociopath. Prove to me that you have an ounce of decency, social intelligence and empathy, and stay away.

    Again, just to make sure that there is no misunderstanding. I will write this with capital letters and add some bold:


  21. Gee Jack. Such ignorance and lack of couth. You run a public forum here and you think in your arrogance that you can insult and disparage those that find your lies and defamation offensive. Well think again.

    This is NOT your house. This is nothing more than your fantasy rants, where you invent your own fake/fraudulent 'reality' and even attempt to invent your own language.

    You allow your sycophants to piss all over anybody that disagree with them or your crackpot "science". You are waste of skin and deserve exactly what the world is willing to waste its time dumping upon you.

    You claim to be open to free and constructive dialogue, (a blatant LIE), yet you insult, disparage and do everything you can to silence ANY dissent.

    Until you are willing to engage in fair and open discussion, I stand by my demonstrated/proven assertion that you are a coward, liar and a fraud.

    In other words PISS OFF!

    or in your case, JACK OFF!

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  23. @Jack

    I have already figured out as you have (and sometime ago I might add) that AQV is not a balanced person. It took me a while because while I was going through my own turmoil I was temporarily fooled by her feigning assistance. What I subsequently learned is that she was trying to make sure her own particular message got through to me. Of course that message turned out to me a disconnected and unintelligent mess but it was hard for me at the time to see that.

    My opinion is that she is highly troubled and the topics of discussion here hit home because much of them are true and she knows it. If they were not she would not be arguing so vehemently and with such vigour. What makes us angry an hits a nerve is what we believe inside but don't want to admit. I faced those same demons myself until I healed myself on the inside.

    She no longer affects me in the least and in fact her juvenile behaviour would be considered humorous if it were not masking such incredible discomfort and anger.

  24. "Until you are willing to engage in fair and open discussion, I stand by my demonstrated/proven assertion that you are a coward, liar and a fraud."

    Note that this is a clear ruse as nothing that is intelligently published out there will be addressed by her. She has no allies among the published authors (including Benjamin I might add) and she resorts to copying and pasting from other people's websites for her own twisted ends. This is not a person interested in open and clear dialogue.

    You will just have to continue to push the delete buttons because you are dealing with such severe and deeply rooted pathology here that nothing else will help.

  25. ...oh and for the record, the reason your site is a target for troubled crackpots is because it is one of the best (if not te best) and most introspective websites on the net dealing with this very complex subject. It also provides support for those of us who understand first hand what it is to be this way.

    The rest of the sites out there deal with personal experiences but don't delve into the science and the research and for that, Jack Molay, you should be congratulated.

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