In another post, a lengthy conversation began which included discussion about how some transsexuals are men that used to be simply crossdressers. They began crossdressing in their youth and it had a sexual component in the beginning. But as time went on, and they crossdress for years and years, the sexual component started to fade for some, and they felt more and more like they were really women (or that part of them was female and part was male). Some crossdressers with this experience leave it at this, and sort of live part time as women at home. But others think they are truly transgendered and then they begin living as a women full-time or even get sexual reassignment surgeries.
In my reading of many articles, blogs, and crossdressing websites, I have seen the full range. I have seen some crossdressers just beginning their addiction and their crossdressing seems to be purely a sexual fetish that is out of control. I have seen many crossdressers who say their crossdressing isn’t about sexual pleasure at all. I have seen many crossdressers who say their crossdressing used to be sexual but it isn’t anymore. They almost talk about it as if they have “matured” from that perverted childish sexual crossdressing, and now have taken it to a higher form. The reasons they claim for doing it vary greatly. Some say they do it for physical comfort. Some do it for emotional security and comfort. Some say they have to let out the female part of their identity from time to time. Some do it for the thrill of pretending to be someone else. Some think that part of them is in some way truly female or that they are truly women, but have the wrong body. And like I talked of in the first paragraph, I have read about many crossdressers who have become transsexuals, who did truly start out just like me, crossdressing for sexual or emotional pleasure. Some may admit the progression that took place over the course of their lives. Others might try to claim that they were truly transgendered all along. I have a few comments to make about this.
First, why do crossdressers assume that crossdressing without a sexual component is somehow better, or more mature than crossdressing with a sexual component? I don’t see the logic. This seems reminiscent of old society that kept sex as a dirty secret, something that was necessary but shameful. I believe sex and sexual pleasure to be a wonderful gift from God. Not a dirty secret. Not something to never talk about. Not something to be ashamed about. To assume crossdressing is better just because it is not for sexual pleasure, is taking a big logical leap. I would like to hear a better rational argument about why crossdressing without sexual pleasure is better. One crossdresser I read said that he feels more feminine when not masturbating because he was trying to not focus on his penis to feel more like a woman. But I don’t think that adds anything to the argument about which form of crossdressing is better. There may be better arguments out there, but I have not heard them. I do not think it is fair to cast crossdressing fetishists as messed up perverts and other crossdressers as those who just have a unique hobby. Both groups are living contrary to how God intended.
Second, and fundamentally related to the above, why do crossdressers tend to assume that if crossdressing does not have a sexual component, than it must be morally okay? Now, of course, many crossdressers do not think ANY kind of crossdressing is wrong as long as it is not directly hurting others. They would say, if someone wants to masturbate at home while crossdressed, that’s fine. But for those that believe, as I do, that crossdressing is wrong for moral, rational, and biblical reasons, again my question. Why assume that only crossdressing with a sexual component is wrong, and not all crossdressing? If crossdressing is a confused deceptive blurring of the boundaries of sex/gender that God has created, isn’t any form of crossdressing then wrong? I’m not trying to get into the whole debate right here about the morality of crossdressing. But I do challenge those who try to say one type of crossdressing is sinful, and another not, to really rethink that through.
Third, I think the attempt to separate crossdressing from sexuality is an attempt by many crossdressers to legitimate to themselves that they are really transgendered. They want to live full-time as a woman and want to convince themselves and family members that they are right to make the choice to do so. And so they convince themselves that they are a worthy candidate of changing their sex because sexual pleasure is no longer a component of their crossdressing. They think they must have been truly transgendered all along, and the fetish was just temporary and coincidental. This is then enough to push them over the edge to pursue changing their body and identity. But this I think is not only morally wrong, but could have disastrous consequences on the individual (not to mention consequences on family and relationships). It may be that their crossdressing really still is a sexual or emotional attachment, even if is no longer accompanied by masturbation. Crossdressing addictions seem to naturally take a progression over time of becoming less and less about sexual pleasure. It is common for them to begin as a sexual addiction but result in a middle age attempt at changing sex and identity. An old but really insightful article on this is called – The Transvestic Career Path. This progression and type of transsexual is different from those who experience profound gender dysphoria while young. For more on theories concerning these various types of transsexuals, see this post – Book Recommendation – The Man who would be Queen. For those who experience great gender dysphoria at a young age and want to transition even as children, I still think it is wrong for them to do so, but much of this post will not apply to them. I talk about their struggle with gender dysphoria and gender stereotypes in other articles.
Fourth, let me explain my last point above. I think it is only natural for crossdressing to take a progression in men’s lives, so that it begins very sexual and ends up not being so sexual. Think about the comparisons between marriage and crossdressing. I’ll put this in a sort of chart form.
- Marriage begins with fiery romance and sexual passion. It is near impossible to sleep up next to your wife without an erection all the time.
- Crossdressing begins with fiery sexual passion and thrills. It constantly is in one’s mind. One only has to think about panties, or painted nails, or high heels to masturbate. Wearing the clothing just takes it to a crazy sexual level that almost can ruin the clothing.
- Marriage later on is still passionate, and there are still times for sex. But you can now sleep next to your wife and kiss her and enjoy cuddling and it doesn’t have to be sexual. In fact, at times it is nice to just cuddle together without worrying about having sex or getting an erection. But when you want to have sex, you get naked and the fiery passion is there.
- After crossdressing for a few years, it starts to become less blood rushing craziness, to slowing down and perfecting techniques for makeup and dressing. You can now control when the ejaculation will come, and so you can wear women’s clothing even for a few hours with no problems and no worry about hurting the clothing. Sometimes you enjoy putting on a skirt or dress just for the comfort and feeling of femininity that it brings. At times, you don’t want to worry about getting the erections that you still get.
- In marriage, later still, the fiery passion is beginning to wane. You still have sex with your wife regularly but it’s harder than it used to be to maintain the passion. In order to get the passion you both have to really prep for the event, wear sexy clothing, nice smelling perfumes, and plan a date night that works around the hectic schedule with your kids. But you still get to sleep together in bed every night and it is so nice just to be together. Being in the bedroom together, or just getting a minute alone with your spouse throughout the day is a refuge. Your wife is your best friend. Being with her brings you the closeness, and stability, and companionship you need.
- In crossdressing, after many years, you begin to enjoy the comfort and closeness of your female persona more than the sexual pleasure. You rarely crossdress for sexual pleasure anymore. When you do, it takes more work to masturbate than it used to. Simple dressing doesn’t cut it anymore to get you enough sexual pleasure. You have to take yourself farther every time. But now, crossdressing is more about being with this female companion of your creation. When you dress up as her, you are with the woman who has become your refuge, stability, and companion. During times of stress especially, you retreat to this refuge of crossdressing. On some weekends you get alone, you spend the whole time dressed, and there is nothing sexual going on. You even sleep in nightgowns at night and again there is nothing sexual to it. You feel sexual while crossdressing, but it more like the emotional closeness in marriage when cuddling with your wife, not the sexual passion of an erection and ejaculation.
- In marriage, in old age, the fiery passion is basically gone (but hopefully most older couples are still having sex occasionally). But that passion has been replaced by unbreakable love and partnership built up over a lifetime together. You are best friends and you can’t imagine living life without each other. You are always together and yet many times you don’t even feel the need to talk. Just knowing that your spouse is there with you, and there for you, is enough. You are so intimate and close that it is like you know what the other person is thinking before they speak. Your sexual energy is gone, but the emotional closeness is not.
- In crossdressing, in “maturity”, the sexual component is completely gone. Your created woman, made by crossdressing yourself, is just like your spouse of old age. You cannot imagine life without this other woman. She is your companion, your refuge. She no longer needs to wear sexy clothes or go through constant outfit changes. You just want her there with you constantly, no matter what. You no longer want to be with her only sometimes, not only half the time. She is no longer a part time person in your life. She is your spouse. You either wrestle with wanting to be with this woman all the time for that closeness and intimacy and softness and feminine touch. Or you actually truly become this woman full-time by getting pursuing hormones and surgeries.
Do you see the connections? In marriage, sexual pleasure wanes, naturally so. The more comfortable you get with your spouse, the more certain things that used to be sexual are no longer so. I still enjoy holding my wife’s hand, but when we were dating, holding hands with her was electric. But that feeling passes over time. Crossdressers get so used to dressing that the sexual pleasure fades. We have to do more and more just to get the same pleasure. Stories about crossdressing that used to give us pleasure as a kid, do nothing for us years later. We need more. Crossdressing by wearing just a pair of shoes used to be enough to make us go crazy with sexual pleasure. But years later we could be fully dressed and still not even have an erection. So crossdressers do more and more to try to get the same sexual and emotional pleasure from crossdressing. Eventually they enjoy the escape from reality and living in the alternate persona so much that they want to remove the sexual component. Masturbation only makes them feel guilty about the crossdressing. If the sexual component can be removed, then the crossdresser can rationalize to himself that there is more going on than a sexual rush, and so he should keep dressing. This gives an excuse to stay dressed for days or weeks as a time, or living as a woman temporarily.
I also think crossdressers need to wake up and realize that sexual pleasure is about more than just ejaculation or orgasm. Sexual pleasure can be in a broad range including just being attracted to someone, or just enjoying the closeness with your spouse. It’s not all about masturbating. It can still be sexual when you just want to be close to the woman of your creation all the time, because you are attracted to “her” and enjoy “her” femininity.
To conclude, I hope this post is helpful in just thinking through your own relationship to crossdressing. I hope this post steers some of you away from thinking you are transgendered and need to live as a woman. And for those of you who crossdress without a sexual component, I hope this post helps you to see that really all of these types of crossdressing amount to the same thing. In my opinion, if crossdressing is a sinful deception, it is a sinful deception when connected to masturbation and when not connected to masturbation. Whatever form it takes, it is still about narcissistically creating a female companion, a spouse, a lover, using our own male body. It is deceptive, isolating, lonely, distorted, and unnatural. I believe that it is sinful. God wants much more for us than this. That is why he created marriage. We can have a wonderful fulfilling flourishing happy relationship with a real woman of flesh and blood and soul! We don’t have to create a false spouse who is only an image in the mirror of a man in a dress. God wants so much more for us! Let us leave our crossdressing addictions, and enjoy the real life God wants for us!