November 29, 2016

How to find love: The challenges facing crossdreamers and transgender people

There is someone for everyone, even if you are gender variant.

I have been communicating with a lot of male to female crossdreamers during the last nine years or so, and one of the major challenges facing many of them is extreme loneliness.

Drawing by Slav
Many of them tell me they have few if any friends. The discussion that follows often leads us in direction of the topic of romance and sex. 

There several reasons for why this becomes problematic:

Firstly, the are often confused about their own gender. As one young British crossdreamer recently told me: "I want to be a girl!"  And if that isn't possible, this person wants at least to dress up like one.

It is hard to go out and seek out a woman for love and companionship, if she expects you to play the role of the straight non-transgender man, and you dream about being the female partner. 

The fact is that many of those who are safely anchored in their assigned gender, also fear condemnation and ridicule if they reveal their gender variance to a partner.

So crossdreamers are facing two problems:

1. To find someone to love

2. If they do find someone to love, they might lose them if they tell them about their transgender nature (and I am using the word transgender in its broad umbrella sense here, including all shades of gender variant).

This is especially a problem for male to female (MTF) crossdreamers who love women.

November 23, 2016

Accessing Crossdream Life

UPDATE: Crossdream Life is now back up!

Some of you will have noticed that the Crossdream Life forum has been inaccessible parts of today for some of the members. Lefora tells me that we may face some downtime the next few days.

"We have a profile server under maintenance, and your profile is on that sever. The boards are all up and fine, but if you're signed in with a profile that is on that server, you're going to experience some trouble.
The repairs are still running at the moment. 
By the way, not sure if I have told you this, but we are moving to new servers, so it's probably going to be a bit of a bumpy road for the next days. After that, I've been promised that it will be paradise :) We'll be on brand new, very fast servers."

So please be patient. We will soon be back to normal!

UPDATE: If you get a error message, open an incognito window in your browser to read messages. Do not log in!

November 13, 2016

Post-election Crossdreamer Blues

After a really bad week I am pulling myself together. I am not going to sit still and watch the transphobes ruin the lives of a new generation of gender variant people. Here's what I shared with my friends over at Crossdream Life today:

I normally avoid discussing politics in trans fora, and plan to continue to do so in the future. Being pro-trans or anti-trans is not really a right wing/left wing conflict.

In Europe you will find right wing governments that change laws in order to help trans people (which recently happened in th UK and Norway). In other word: Both liberals, socialists and conservatives are supporting LGBTQA rights.

However, today I feel that I need to speak out.

The backlash against tolerance and diversity is real and it is clearly associated with the recent nationalist upsurge in countries like Russia, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Britain and now, the United States. And it seems to be spreading.

I know that quite a few of my crossdreamer friends have had some really, really, bad days since Tuesday, trying hard to cope with the fact that the next US president has allied himself with some of the most homophobic and transphobic people in the world. He might wave the LGBT flag, but when his vice president believes in conversion therapy, we know we are in for a rough patch.

I have already talked about the way this election triggered childhood memories of hazing and bullying in me. The attitude expressed by many Americans right now also remind me of the kind of culture I grew up in: Where any form of femininity or female identification in male assigned people was considered degrading.

November 9, 2016

Why we need a new narrative for transgender sexuality and crossdreaming

I have been reading Felix Conrad's new ebook on crossdreaming and sexology. Well written, interesting and provocative, as always. This post will not be so much a review of the book as a commentary on what it covers. We agree that we need a new narrative that makes sense of the sexuality of crossdreamers and other trans people.

Felix' main point in Quantum Desire: A Sexological Analysis of Crossdreaming is that we need a new sexology for crossdreaming and transgender thinking.

We need a new model, a new narrative, a new way of thinking about sexual desire and gender variance, because right now we are far too busy reacting to the belief systems of old:

You know, the ones that sort gender variant people into categories like "effeminate gay men" and "autogynephiliacs", "real trans women" and "fetishists", people "trapped in the wrong bodies" and "sexual perverts".

We are lacking a new synthesis

The fact that we are arguing against the old is inevitable. This is how human thought evolves. To use the vocabulary of Hegel: We start out with one way of looking at the world (thesis), which is then challenged by another (antithesis) until the world moves on to a third position (synthesis).

What we are lacking is the synthesis. Felix does not provide us with that new model in the book, or at least not fully, but he gives as a pretty good idea about where we have to go.

If I understand him correctly we have to get to the point where we discuss the sexuality and sexual desires of queer and gender variant people freely and openly. We have to get to a point where we are able to make those fantasies an integrated part of transgender identities of all kinds (and I use the word transgender here as an umbrella term for all types of gender variance here).

Right now sexual fantasies of the crossdreamer kind are considered invalidating not only for transsexual women and men -- who have transitioned or who want to do so -- but also for non-transitioning transgender people (including those genderqueer, crossdressing, drag  and more).

November 6, 2016

A Short History of the Roots of Transphobic Science

Many of the cultural problems facing queer and trans peope have roots in one particular way of looking at sex, sexuality and gender, a view that has been abandoned by most serious researchers and trans activists, but which nevertheless shapes the way we think about queer and gender variant people.

Here is a short and simplified summary of my interpretation of this history. For references and alternative interpretations, see the list of books included below!
A real and decent Victorian lady (or so
we are meant to believe).

We need to understand history

I believe that if we are to liberate ourselves from the prejudices of old science, we need to know how we got into this mess in the first place.

We need to understand that there is nothing given or self-evident about the way psychiatry and psychology has presented crossdreamers and other queer and transgender people.  I believe historical studies can make us wiser in this respect.

Victorian prejudices

It seems to me that the most important historical change causing the stigmatization of trans people is rooted in new ideas about womanhood that arose in the late 19th century.

At the time, the men of power basically decided that real women, decent women, civilized women, were weak and intellectually inferior, with little or no libido.

Strong sexual desire was a masculine thing, something that drove real men to conquering passive women and prove themselves in the field of battle.

The women  therefore had to be kept in their homes with their children, protected by good men from lecherous men.

Curing hysteria

For a humorous look at the Victorian ideas about female sexuality I recommend the British comedy Hysteria from 2011.

October 13, 2016

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

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

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

Antonia has asked him a few questions.

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

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

ANTONIA: And why the change?

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

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

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

October 9, 2016

Female to male crossdreaming - the Max Wolf Valerio story

Crossdreaming is often considered something that male to female crossdressers engage in only.
Dreaming of becoming Thor.
Drawn by Jack Kirby.
It is the sexual arousal that gives them away. Apparently regular straight women or trans men do not get those kind of feelings. It has been described as a kind of misdirected straight male sexuality.

I believe I have documented quite thoroughly on this blog this that crossdreaming -- i.e. getting excited by imagining yourself as "the other sex" or your target sex -- is quite common among a lot of transgender and queer people, including female to male transgender people, lesbians,  gay men and homosexual trans men (i.e. trans men who love men).

I am currently reading the fascinating book The Testosterone Files, by Max Wolf Valerio, a female to male heterosexual transsexual. Max started out presenting as a lesbian woman, and loves women.

The book gives a fascinating glance into his exploration of his male identity and how he has to handle both stereotypical and not so stereotypical male behavior.

October 4, 2016

The Crossdreamer Portal gets its own domain

This blog has several sister sites, one of which is the Crossdreamer Portal.

I have gathered links and feeds to a lot of blogs and sites that cover crossdreamers and transgender issues.

Unfortunately it has, for historical reasons, been presented under the rather unfortunate URL:

It made sense to use that address at the time, as most crossdreamers would find crossdreamer sites by searching for "autogynephilia".

However, I am no longer able to live with the fact that the URL refers to this toxic, transphobic, theory.

From today on you will find The Crossdreamer Portal over at!  

(The old URL will continue to work).

September 26, 2016

When Real Life Gets in the Way of Transphobic Science

Gigi Gorgeous first came out as a gay man, then
as a trans woman, and now as a lesbian, falsifying
the autogynephilia theory in the process.
Two recent articles and a YouTube blog post present lives that prove the stereotypes of transphobic psychologists wrong. 

Meet Ekundayo Afolayan, Gigi Gorgeous and Kat Hamilton!

Sexology has caused a lot of suffering in queer and transgender circles.

Since the late 1980s terms like "transvestic fetishism" have been used actively to invalidate the  identities of male to female transgender people, mostly by reducing their sense of self to some kind of sexual perversion.

The clearest example is the the autogynephilia theory of Ray Blanchard, which is based on traditional gender stereotypes and a strict binary understanding of sex, sexuality and gender.

He is basically reducing sexuality, gender expression as well as gender identity in male to female trans people to a function of sexual attraction. In other words:  Who you are attracted to determines what kind of transgender person you are. And male to female transgender persons are either effeminate gay men or mentally ill straight men, according to this theory.

In real life there is no one to one relationship between sexual orientation on the one hand and masculinity and femininity on the other.

In real life there is no clear boundary between male to female transgender people who love women and those who love men, neither when it comes to appearance, behavior, desires nor when they first become aware of their gender variance.
Modern sexology often reduces the identity and
sexuality of trans and queer people to
"autoeroticism", a strategy used to invalidate
gay, lesbian and transgender people for more
than a century. (Thinkstock)

But that is exactly what the theory requires.

"Homosexual transsexuals" (this is what these researchers offensively call straight trans women who love men) are described as effeminate and sexy young transitioners, while "autogynephilic transsexuals" (i.e homosexual and bisexual trans women) are masculine, unattractive,  and "late-onset".

Actually, this binary encompasses non-transitioning transgender persons as well, including drag queens and crossdressers.

I am not going to repeat the main arguments against the theory here. You will find ample documentation here and here.

In this post I will present three recent publications made by people who all violate the borders set up by Ray Blanchard.

August 21, 2016

Coping with gender dysphoria without transitioning

Felix Conrad has published a new ebook: How to Jedi Mindtrick Your Gender Dysphoria, containing some pretty useful observations and advice for those MTF crossdreamers who do not go down the road of transitioning.
Felix' inner wise man talking to his inner woman.
(Photo of female Luke Skywalker by MJ MIller.)

The recent interest in transgender issues has been of great help to transgender people of all types.

Yes, the bathroom laws represent a back-clash, but you only get a back-clash when society is changing, and in this case in a much more tolerant direction.


There is still one group of transgender people  --- and I am using the term in its broader, umbrella meaning of gender variance here -- who remain invisible, though. Or, at least, less visible.

These are the gender dysphoric transgender people who -- for a wide variety of reasons -- decide not to transition.

This is the group Felix Conrad, our MTF crossdreamer philosopher per excellence, targets in his new book How to Jedi Mindtrick Your Gender Dysphoria.

August 14, 2016

On being transgender -- hope and despair

Many transgender people struggle with shame, guilt and self-denial, some to the point of attempting suicide. Monica P. Mulholland's book brings hope to those troubled.
Monica Mulhand (from Newshub New Zealand)

I recommend that you to take a look at Monica P. Mulholland's book Me! The gift of being transgender

Although the book's main focus is on transgender people who have transitioned or intend to transition, it does cover the needs of the whole transgender spectrum.

There is even a chapter on crossdreaming. Most MTF crossdreamers and crossdressers will therefore find something of interest.

Monica herself courageously discusses the dark side of being transgender, including the pain of gender dysphoria, the fear of social exclusion and the possibility of self-harm and suicide attempts.

Many transgender writers avoid this topic, as they fear that writing about it may trigger destructive behavior. I agree with Monica: We need to bring this part of being trans and gender variant out into the open, and talk about it. That is the only way we can bring trans and queer people out of isolation.

Talk about feelings

Monica underlines the need to look at transgender feelings:
"Many who misunderstand the Transgender experience seem to lose sight of the word 'feel'. They may speak about the anatomy and endocrine processes, while dismissing the Transgender person's 'felt' experience as 'personal choice' -- rather than as something physiological. 
"Feelings are an extremely important part of the human condition -- and especially so when trying to understand, and communicate with, a person who is Transgender. If a Transgender person does not feel known, understood, accepted, loved or included, then barriers to feeling of well-being and self-worth negatively impact their communication with those who are most important to them."

July 29, 2016

The Pseudo-Science of Autogynephilia

Lisa Mullin, trans woman and trans activist, has actively documented how the so-called "autogynephilia" theory of Ray Blanchard, J. Michael Bailey and Anne Lawrence has been used to invalidate the identities of transgender people, even if the theory is bad science based on debunked stereotypes. 
Lili Elbe, "The Danish Girl", would have to be classified
as an "autoygnephiliac" according to the Blancahrdian
system, which means that she will look masculine
 and have male mannerisms. The fact that none of this
is true, means nothing to the AGP supporters.

In this guest post Lisa gives a clear and succinct summary of "AGP" absurdities.

By Guest Writer Lisa Mullin

Be prepared for sarcasm, but the following is actually all based on what Ray Blanchard, Alice Dreger, J. Michael Bailey etc have stated.

'Autogynephilia' (AGP) is an mysterious ailment with strange symptoms and effects: It is only about sexual desires, no human being (cis or trans) has a gender identity.

Everything an AGP trans woman does is motivated by sex; if  she want to go to a bathroom it is not because they want to pee -- it is only for sexual reasons.

July 21, 2016

What is Gender Dysphoria?

Photo by Patrick Miko 

Gender dysphoria refers to the distress that may accompany a mismatch between one's experienced gender and one's assigned gender.

Lisa Mullin, a transgender woman, explores the nature of gender dysphoria or that deep sense of discomfort and suffering that may come from living in a body and a social role that does not match your inner sense of self.

Experiencing Gender Dysphoria

By Special Guest Writer Lisa Mullin

It is incredibly hard to explain to others what gender dysphoria actually feels like. The concepts can be so alien to an ordinary cis (non-transgender) person that it would be easier to explain quantum theory….

It is hard enough for trans adults to understand and explain but even more difficult for parents trying to understand their child and work out whether they are transgender or not.

But here is my attempt.

Is see this as having three dimensions that vary for every trans person:

(1) Physical

(2) Behavioural

(3) Visual

Each can be broken down further.

Physical Aspects of Gender Dysphoria

This is the simplest and the easiest for others to understand. Basically you miss bits you should have and don’t like bits you do have. They just feel ‘wrong’ to you.

It never goes away, though you can distract yourself from it, even suppress the feelings for periods of time. It can become very intense at puberty when, especially for trans boys, things like breasts start growing.

Here's a personal example: I didn’t want my penis as a kid, even tried to cut it off (stopped real fast when it hurt though, I barely broke the skin).

I missed having a vagina (even though I didn’t know what that was) and kept feeling between my legs as a young (6-10) kid to see if it was there and if it had grown in yet (as I expected).

The sadness I felt when I was older and knew it would not happen was intense.

Behavioural Aspects of Gender Dysphoria

This is complicated because it covers a range of things. Body movements, hand movements, voice, games played, types of friends, toy preferences and so many others.

June 23, 2016

Reflections on a Possible Crossdreamer Pride Flag

Transgender flag presented in Pride parade (Getty).
We are in the middle of the global Pride season. There seems to be a flag for any sexual and romantic orientation possible, and others for  gender identity.  But is there one for crossdreamers and crossdressers? And do we need one?

As regards the second question:

Probably not, as most -- if not all -- crossdressers and crossdreamers fit under the transgender umbrella. They are all -- in one way or the other -- gender variant.

The transgender flag

And we already do have a transgender flag, created by American trans woman Monica Helms in 1999.

The transgender flag
Helms described the meaning of the transgender pride flag as follows: 
"The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives."
Some still find it a bit traditional, restrictive and binary (especially because of the baby color reference), but as far as I can see, there is ample room for non-binary transgender identities under this flag. The description may -- for instance -- include crossdreamers and crossdressers who present as their assigned gender, but who still feel the need to express the other side of their personality. 

Besides,  many crossdreamers find that they are  transsexual, and end up presenting and living as their target gender.

A crossdreamer flag proposal

But there is more to flags than actually having to fly them in public, as a recent discussion over at Crossdream Life  clearly demonstrates.

Lost247365  presented this sketch of a possible crossdreamer flag some days ago. It was Lost's presentation and the following discussion that caught my interest, more than the question of whether this flag will actually ever fly in a Pride parade.

June 9, 2016

The Medieval Transgender Woman

Jewish women in Haggadah for Passover (the ‘Golden Haggadah”)
The story about a medieval  poem on  becoming your true gender.

Many of you will have met the following argument in the transgender debate:

Since crossdreaming and transgender identities are social constructs, they are most likely to be the end product of modern Capitalist society, the Patriarchy or something equally sinister -- an line of argument which will most likely lead to a discussion about sexualization and fetishes.

This impression is reinforced by the fact that historians and art scholars have had a tendency to ignore -- or outright censor -- the voices of gender variant people from other cultures and epochs.

As I pointed out in my blog post on  crossdreamers in the Kama Sutra, until recently all English translations of that work skipped the part about straight women dominating straight men, most likely because it was considered threatening to the world order or impossible to understand.

So a lot of work is needed in this field. I am confident that if we look, we will find crossdreamers and transgender people in all cultures and all periods of time. They lives will be expressed in different manners according to  local language and cultural framework (as they are today), but they will have this in common: A desire or a need to express or be recognised as their true gender or as a blend of the two.

A Medieval Poem About the Longing to Become a Woman

A year ago Tuitey made me aware of a beautiful transgender poem over at tumblr.

The poem was written in the 14th century by a Jewish male to female transgender philosopher  and translator from Provence:  Kalonymos ben Kalonymus (also known as Qalonymos ben Qalonymos ben Meir). The poem was originally published in the book Even Bohan (or Eben Bohan) in 1322.

May 1, 2016

Looking for students and scientists who want to study transgender issues

Dr. Jaimie Veale is looking for students and researchers who would be interested in studying transgender  issues.
Jaimie Veale

Dr. Jaimie Veale has done some extremely important research in transgender people, documenting, for instance, a diversity and a complexity that goes far beyond the traditional dichotomies between two types of male to female transgender people.

In this context she has delivered compelling evidence that undermines the so-called "autogynephilia" theory of Dr. Ray Blanchard of Toronto, a theory that effectively reduces transgender identities to paraphilias.

I have presented some of her research here  and here, and you can find more material over at her own web site.

Having spent some time in British Columbia, Jaimie is now back in New Zealand, in a faculty position at the School of Psychology at the University of Waikato.

In time Jaimie hopes to be able to build up a team of researchers interested in everything transgender (crossdreaming included). If you are interested in this kind of research, and would even like to contribute yourself, do not hesitate to contact her. She may even supervise students from a distance.

April 30, 2016

Great movies, documentaries and web series from the Transgender Film Festival in Kiel

Poster for The Danish Girl in Kiel.
(Photo from festival Facebook page)

Andy has sent me an overview of the awards of this year's Transgender Film Festival in Kiel.

There are a lot of interesting films here, and I have included some relevant clips for you below.

This festival is the only one of its kind in Germany, and as you will see, it takes a much needed broad approach to the term transgender.

The selection of movies, documentaries, TV/web shows and songs reflects the current surge in interest for transgender people as well as the artistic abilities of trans people themselves.

Best Film of the Year:

Her Story directed by Sydney Freeland, a web series on the dating lives of trans and queer women.

Best Trans-Performance:

Angelica Ross in Her Story
Khaleb Brooks in the web series Boxx

Khaleb Brooks

April 24, 2016

Prince as a Crossdreamer, and What it Means for the Transgender Debate

We have lost Prince, AKA Prince Rogers Nelson, one of the biggest pop artists and composers in modern history, and I find myself marvelling at the fact that the world is mourning one of the most well known crossdreamers of all time. People do not seem to mind that he was one!
Prince in a female pose on the cover of Lovesexy

Mr. Sexually Explicit

Prince had very limited inhibitions when it came to presenting his sexual fantasies in lyrics. This was, after all, the man who told us about his Darling Nikki that "she was a sex fiend. I met her in a hotel lobby, masturbating with a magazine".

Nikki was partly the cause for Tipper Gore founding  the Parents Music Resource Center in the US.  This led  to the use of "Parental Advisory" stickers on album covers in that country, assumedly protecting children from harmful content.

So yes, you can safely say that Prince caused controversy as a person who made "dirty lyrics" and as such was classified as a "pervert" by those more emotionally restricted.

But he was never slammed, as I can see, for being a crossdreamer or someone making gender-crossing sexy. When going through all the obituaries and articles, I can't find one single negative reference to this topic. Searching the Net I can't find one single page where Prince and the stigmatizing and invalidating concept of "autogynephilia" are mentioned in the same paragraph.

"I'm not a woman, I'm not a man"

People do use terms like "queer," "ambisexual," "androgynous" and "polysexual" when writing about Prince.

 This makes sense given lyrics like the ones found in "I Would Die 4 U", a love song with strong religious or mystical overtones. (Video here. Full lyrics here).

Prince sings:
I'm not a woman
I'm not a man
I am something that you'll never understand
Then there is the famous Prince symbol or logo, which unites the male and the female  in one glyph.

But most commenters discusses this kind of gender-crossing with respect, or at least some positive fascination.

People never use terms like "transvestite", "transvestic fetishist" or "autogynephiliac", in spite of Prince dressing up in clothes that are undeniable feminine.

April 19, 2016

An introduction to the autogynephilia debate

So someone has brought up Ray Blanchard's concept of autogynephilia in a discussion of gender variance and transgender women. They are all sexual perverts, they tell you. The science proves it! 
The autogynephilia theory says that MTF crossdressers
and trans women who love women are men driven by a desire 
for their inner woman. Yepp,it is yet another attempt at 
invalidating a marginalized group by sexualizing them.

Photo: Voyagerix

Actually it doesn't. 

Here is some essential reading that will bring you up to speed on the topic of cross-gender arousal, crossdreaming and transgender identities. 

Welcome to the seedy side of sexology. Welcome to the autogynephilia debate.  

Julia Serano, leading trans philosopher and trans activist, presents cross-gender arousal in her highly influential book Whipping Girl, which has just been published in its second edition. 

She understands crossdreaming (i.e. arousal from imagening yourself as your target sex) as an expression of a subconscious identity. Serano has written about her approach to what she calls female embodiment fantasies here. 

March 30, 2016

The Faceless Man and The Transgender Totem

Felix writes about using active imagination in his new book, 
a tool that can help transgender people connect with
the other self or their truegender as he calls it.
(Photo by Mizina)
Felix Conrad, crossdreamer philosopher and agent provocateur, has published a new ebook: The Science & Art of Transgender Erotica.  

This book contains a mix of philosophical essays and transgender fiction.

Felix Conrad  does not give a damn about the kind of social conditioning that makes people cringe when they see a four letter word or make them squirm when they read some really explicit descriptions of "kinky" sex.

He puts it all out there,  because crossdreamers need to face their sexual fantasies and stop being ashamed of them.

In order to accept yourself, you have to see yourself, and in order to do that, you have to get past sexual and cultural hang-ups regarding gender violations, sexual orientation and cross-gender arousal.

That being said, it could be that including an explicit sissy humiliation short story in a book discussing the origins of crossdreaming and gender dysphoria might confuse both transgender erotica connoisseurs and the ones looking for info on trans. But I do get the point: The story serves as an illustration of one of the topics of the book: (1) Why humiliation can be such a turn-on for some crossdreamers.

The other main topics are: (2) The sexual orientation of male to female crossdreamers and the role of the faceless man in crossdreamer fantasies, and (3) The use of active imagination in transgender psychology.

All these discussions presents some really interesting, but controversial, takes on what it means to be a male to female crossdreaming transgender person. (Like me Felix uses the word transgender as an umbrella term for all types of gender variance, while crossdreamer refers to the fact that some transgender people get aroused by the idea of being their target sex.)

In this post I will look at his discussion of "the faceless man" and the "inner totem" of MTF (male to female) crossdreamers.

The faceless man

In the chapters on the faceless man, Felix discusses the fact that many male to female crossdreamers fantasize about being a woman (or -- in some cases--  a feminized man) having sex with a man.  In particular he discusses some MTF crossdreamer's fascination for the male sex organ.

Why is it, Felix wonders, that MTF crossdreamers who fall in love with women fantasize about having sex with well equipped masculine men?
An important experiment presented in Felix' book
takes place in the bar of the Majestic Hotel in Barcelona.
Felix has to admit that, try as he might, he is not
able to find the men there attractive. The women, on the
other hand.... (Photo: Majestic)

Felix dismisses the idea that they are closeted androphiles (i.e. that they are sexually oriented towards men):
"The superficiality of their attraction to men is revealed the second they go a little further up from the rippling chest and glorious manhood and actually look into the eyes. They get instantly turned off."
As Felix himself points out, this observation may easily lead to the conclusion made by Ray Blanchard in his autogynephilia theory: The men and their penises are fantasy props meant to affirm the crossdreamer's imagined femininity, and nothing more.

March 28, 2016

Gender is so much more than chromosomes and genitalia

Trans man James P. Sheffield tweeted the perfect comment
to the North Carolina governor on the consequences of a
new chromosome-based law targeting transgender people.
North Carolina will force trans people to use bathrooms on
the basis of their assigned gender at birth, not their true
These days trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) are actively invalidating transgender people, arguing that gender equals chromosomes and genitalia.  

In this guest blog post J takes a closer look at the chromosome argument.

By guest writer J.

The insistence of TERFs to categorize trans people's gender on the basis of genitalia runs deep. They insist that "a biological man" cannot be a woman.

Some of them stick to this belief even after proclaiming that they have stopped being TERFs. They may still be transphobic. They may still be very TERF.

Here is one ex-TERF claiming that "penis = male" is a "fact", adding no citations to prove her point.

Click on image text to read.

TERF defined

Now what is a TERF?

Here is a quick definition from the Rational Wiki:
"Trans-exclusionary radical feminism (or TERF; also Trans women exclusionary feminism, or TWEF) is a subgroup of radical feminism characterized by transphobia, especially transmisogyny, and hostility to the third wave of feminism. They believe that the only real women™ are those born with a vagina and XX chromosomes.  They wish to completely enforce the classic gender binary, supporting gender essentialism."
The idea that genitals defines sex is heavily entwined with TERF ideology.

Indeed, society at large seems to have somehow accepted the idea that a woman's cell must all be XX chromosomes and that she went through puberty with sex hormones produced by the ovaries. This idea now forms the basis of social laws.

Intersex people

This definition does not take into account the existence of intersex people (people who display distinct variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies").

Science knows that the insistence that all cells of a women are XX as an illusion and assumption made by society.

March 24, 2016

Planning a crossdreamer anthology

Some of us over at the Crossdream Life forum are planning a crossdreamer anthology.

Think of it as a book that may answer some of the many questions asked by crossdreamers and crossdressers, gender variant people who are trying to understand themselves and their place in the world.

These would be questions and topics like:

  • Transgender vs. crossdreamer
  • Childhood Awareness
  • Am I mentally ill?
  • Is this a fetish?
  • Why can’t I stop?
  • How far will I have to go?
  • Breaking the news
  • Clothing and appearance
  • Why does it seem to become so important in midlife?
  • Why are we included in LGBT?

We are looking for crossdreamers and gender variant people who may discuss these and other topics. If you think that you can contribute, please add a comment here or or over at Crossdream Life, or send me and email (

We are not going to limit ourselves to new material. There are a lot of existing blog posts and forum comments out there that deserves a wider readership.

If you have a favorite blog post or comment, written by you or others, that you believe will be of help to crossdreamers and transgender people, please let us know in the same manner.

For more information, visit Crossdream Life.

February 14, 2016

Transphobia and femme shaming - two sides of the same coin

Much of transphboia is rooted in our culture's disdain for femininity and feminine expressions. This applies to all femmes: straight cis-women, lesbian women, gay men and trans people of all genders.
Femme shaming is yet another way our society keeps women 
and gender variant people in check.
Photo by Maffi Iren.

People who should know better, like radical feminists, play the “feminine is a sexist stereotype” card with great enthusiasm, while at the same time embracing masculine gender stereotypes with gusto.

Muscles and leather are apparently not sexist, high heels and cleavage are.

To me this reflects a deep rooted misogyny that permeates our whole culture.

Femininity is a sign of weakness (or something worse)

This becomes especially difficult for those male to female transgender people who feel feminine and who want to express that femininity.

They are immediately dismissed as sexist, not in the same way as feminine non-transgender women, mind you (as ”sluts”, “airheads” or “bimbos”, depending on to what extent they express their sexuality) but dismissed all the same (as ”effeminate gay men” and “heterosexual perverts”).

It does not matter that “we all know” that a feminine gender expression in a woman does not equal fragility, weakness or promiscuity. Even in the most gender conscious among us the social dismissal of the feminine often takes over, and we make the same mistake over and over again: Femininity equals female equals weak equals powerless and pathetic.

January 24, 2016

What Drives Transphobia?

I got the following question from a blogger over at tumblr who is working on a research paper:

"Who do you see is more susceptible to being transphobic? Like...types of people?" 
Not all transphobes are conservative. The
radical feminist icon Germaine Greer is one
of the most extreme haters today. (Getty  Images)

Here is what I answered:

I would say that insecurity, anxiety and fear are the main drivers for transphobia, in the same way they are for homophobia, racism and sexist attitudes.

Life is not without its risks, and it takes a strong mind to handle all the uncertainty life throws at us.

If you have been raised in a dysfunctional family, or you are taught to fear “the others”, or you live in troubled times, it is easy to fall back on the more primitive sides of our minds.


We look for someone to blame; we look for a place to vent our fear, and we do so by turning our fear into anger. We then channel that anger towards those that are different, the ones we do not understand.

This may give  us a much wanted emotional release, and for a moment it looks like we have a solution to our problem. For instance: "If we can only get rid of those pesky LGBT people, everything will go back to the way it once was, back in the good old days”.

Another group of people are using the same language and playing on fear without feeling it themselves. These are people who understand such social and psychological processes intimately, and who make use of them to gain power and influence. Many of them are borderline sociopaths or full-fledged psychopaths. Adolf Hitler comes to mind.

January 17, 2016

The Life of a Crossdresser

Many crossdreamers use -- or have used -- crossdressing to express their "other side". Here is one such story, shared by a fellow Scandinavian.

Great many crossdreamers express
their transgender side through
Illustration photo by Discovod.
Guest post by "Dr. Gonzo's Better Half,"

Dear Jack,

I am a writer and a traveller, in my 40’s. One marriage that never happened. 10 years of travels, working for companies around Europe. I consider myself to be a philosopher.

And a cross dresser.

A long time one too. And a puzzled one.

I hope I can shed some light on things, as I am in search for some answers myself. Hence, the "confession". Writing a blog post for Crossdreamers is like reminiscencing with a complete stranger you have never seen.

What am I?

It will be easier to start here than to tell my mates, or my parents:  “You know, I have searched my urges on the internet, and what I found is that I am an autogenophiliac. Which means I express my perversion by imitating the most feminine women by imaging myself, or getting dressed in their most feminine attire.”

In other words, I am a narcissist in denial who expresses his perversion through cross dressing. Or should I say I am a cross dresser with no gender variety, or is it something more?

Note that much of this story are fragments that might shed some light on this.


For a long time, I thought that my little “fetish” differed from other cross dressers is that it aroused me. Did when I was a kid; still does today. And I believed that this pathologized me in some ways. Unfortunately, the first place I looked was Wikipedia and was introduced to the “perv” model to describe what I and apparently others in here have in common.

I never dreamt, or got aroused, by the thought of having a woman’s body before. It was their clothing. Their essence.

I have read Felix Conrad’s entire blog, and almost all of yours as well. And all of a sudden, I am not your “ordinary” cross dresser anymore. And the notion that it’s some sort of mental disease, or perversion, repulses me.

When it started, it’s hard to tell. For all I know, I may have had these “tendencies” for as long as I have lived. Your writing has forced my to dig deep inside. In fact, I have been trying to learn about this for the last week.

January 10, 2016

Felix Conrad Unmasks the Autogynephilia Theory in New Book on Transgender

Felix Conrad has written a new book on crossdreaming and being male to female transgender. It is definitely worth the read!
Felix Conrad argues that we will have to leave the
autogynephilia and fetish theories behind.

Photo: Ron Chapple Stock

Three years ago Felix Conrad launched his Transcend Movement site with a discussion of crossdreaming.

Since then there has been a wide variety of interesting blog posts, controversial video podcasts, and a book on how to survive as a male to female transgender/crossdreamer when not transitioning. He has even interviewed me.

And he has done all of this with a sense of style and flair previously unheard of in this corner of the web.

Serious humor

He is the master of what I call -- for lack of a better word-- a Catalan-British sense of humor. His use of irony has caused some bewilderment in crossdreamer and transgender circles, but no more than is needed in this field of gender confusion.

As soon as you move beyond the provocative headlines and  imagery, you find  deep, serious, thought-provoking analysis of the various myths and misconceptions found in the world of crossdreaming, crossdressing and gender variance.

He calls himself a philosopher, and has every right to do so.

(I am using male pronouns here, as he is presenting as male publicly, and is using them himself.)

Transgender: Fact or Fetish

A couple of weeks ago he published a new ebook called Transgender: Fact or Fetish - Reality or Delusion? 

While his previous book was more of a practical guide for living as a male to female non-transitioning "late onset" transgender person, this one is a bit more philosophical.

Felix, being a male to female transgender person himself, is cleaning out his closet, so to speak, realizing that he has to understand the main theories of what makes crossdreamers crossdream, before finding his own answer to the ultimate question: Who am I?

This could have become a very dry and theoretical book. It is the exact opposite. Conrad writes in a way that will make perfect sense to people who do not have a Ph.D. in philosophy.
Felix Conrad's book on transgender.

He is using everyday language in a way that helps us see through the convoluted jargon of -- for instance -- Ray Blanchard, the sexologist who has most strongly tried to define male to female (MTF) crossdreamers, crossdressers and transgender women as "paraphiliacs" or sexual perverts.

Indeed, this book can be considered Felix'  final farewell to the autogynephilia and fetish explanations of what causes transgender feelings and identities. He has tested them and found them seriously lacking.

Debunking the Autogynephilia theory

Ray Blanchard does, as many of my readers will know, divide trans women (and non-transitioning male to female gender variant people) into two distinct categories:

(1) "Homosexual transsexuals" (i.e. MTF trans people who are attracted to men), who -- according to Blanchard -- are hypefeminine gay men.

January 5, 2016

The Feminization Project - Fetish or Being True?

My good friend Cheryl has put up a post over at Crossdream Life that should be of interest to many of the readers of this blog.  Cheryl reflects on her own life as a male to female crossdreamer, and on her struggle to find some balance in her life without transitioning. 

What I like so much about this post is that she speaks plainly about many sides of what it means to be both crossdreamer and transgender, in a world which rarely welcomes such longings and fantasies.

She touches upon crossdressing, crossdreaming, gender identity and the use of hormones.

Here are a few paragraphs on the effects of using estrogen:

"During the time I was on hormones I really did become very consumed by appearing as Cheryl. I was a kid in a chocolate factory. I was determined to experience the gender crossover in as much honest detail as I possibly could. This caused a shift in what was at the centre of my arrousal mechanism. I no longer felt that cross gender presentaton or the thought of it carried an associated sexual component any more. I was more sexually interested in the more mundane or normal. 

"On trying to express the sexual side of crossdreaming I could not get to the top of the mountain any more and no longer understood the original attraction to those thoughts. Yet I still pursued the cross over of gender presentation, and was on the conveyor belt of transition in 5th gear. I was happy mentally and perhaps realised that this was as good as it gets. I encouraged myself to come off hormones which was rather difficult as they make you feel good. I realised fully that this was no fetish driving me but a forced deep within myself wanting to continue."

Cheryl's conclusion is that this is much more than a fetish, but that being transgender does not automatically mean that you can or should transition. If you cannot, then what do you do?

Cheryl presents her approach to this problem.

You can read the whole post over at Crossdream Life.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!