Written by Ewan

So, you want to act out, do you?


Here’s an assertion that is worth examining: in any given moment, we only do what we want to do.

At first sight it does not appear so, because so often there are things we have to do whether we want to or not. Just think briefly of something you did this week that you didn’t want to do, but did anyway. Taxes, dishes, laundry, meeting with a difficult client, having that difficult conversation, waking in the middle of the night for your child.

But you did it anyway. Why?

Because underneath the part of you that said “I don’t want to” there was a deeper desire to do it. You filed the taxes because you don’t want to have your house repossessed. You did the dishes and laundry because you value a clean and tidy house (or know that your wife will when she gets home from a night shift). You met that client because you value their custom. You got through the conversation because you wanted it over with. You woke up in the middle of the night and tended to your child because you want them to be OK.

It’s a thought worth examining further. I highly recommend David Bowden’s Book, “Rewire Your Heart” and Justin Taylor’s article “Can you Change What you Want?” on the Gospel Coalition website.

For now, it’s enough to acknowledge that we have desires, and sometimes they are in tension. For those that hope in Jesus, we know that the Holy Spirit lives in us. But we still have the old man living in us. We have a part that really wants to do the right thing, and a part that wants to do the wrong thing. We have good and bad desires. And we get pulled this way and that. Sometimes we do things that on one level we want to do and on the other don’t want to do.

If you’re frustrated about this, you’re not alone.

Listen to Paul’s words in Romans 7.

Verse 15: “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate…

And then in verse 18-19: “For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.”

As Jesus warned us: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

So, with this in mind, let me present a small weapon you can deploy the next time you want to act out in some crossdressing related way. It’s a hand-to-hand combat dagger, for use in times of temptation.

One of Satan’s primary attacks is to make us doubt God’s goodness, His promise of life and salvation. He does this by asking questions. To Eve he said “did God really say…?” So this method is about throwing the question back at him. When he tempted Jesus he promised so much; authority, food, salvation. He does this to us in crossdressing. The promises are fairly easy to grasp. We just need to look at why we enjoy it or want it. Sometimes there are deeper reasons behind the simple enjoyment. It is those promises that entice us.

But Satan masks all the problems that come from it. We need to make them explicit. This blog is full of the problems that it comes with. You can probably think of your own.

So in that moment of desire or temptation you kinda go with your temptation to see what your desire is. You acknowledge “yeah, in this moment I do want to feel security.” Denying that it’s there causes more problems, because it doesn’t honour the very concept that we do have the old man in us. But you throw the lies back at Satan. You remind him that In God you have security and that your life is hid with Christ above, and that salvation is total, that on the cross he cried “it is finished.” You remind him that on the third day He rose again, demonstrating that what he cried on the cross is true; and that he is therefore able to save us to the uttermost.

And you remind Satan that as the great deceiver, he is lying and hiding stuff from you.

I have found an effective method for this. Write a checklist of all the pain and sorrows acting out brings. To make this effective you must do your own legwork to make your own list. At one point I found a list of 100 reasons to not use porn. It was a good list, but it was not very meaningful to me. I therefore couldn’t remember much of it. It held no power. This is, after all, all the things you hate about crossdressing.

But as an example, here’s my shortlist:

– a reduced ability to name feelings

– increased likelihood of self harm (and probably worse self harm than last time)

– physical illness like colds

– the threat of a bigger relapse

– inability to listen to my wife

– therefore more anger toward my wife

– a reduced ability to be patient with family

– have time wasted while watching stuff

– a more stressed household because less stuff is done

– unanswered prayers

– reduced or no joy in God

– reduced honesty in general with family and friends

– less money to spend on nice things or to bless others with.


Now, remember that Satan hides these things from us by making the sin very appealing. And he mocks us when he gets us to question God. So you turn the tables. You mock Satan with your list. Feel Elijah’s sarcasm in 1 Kings 18 “At noon Elijah mocked them [the Baal worshippers]. He said, “Shout loudly, for he’s a god! Maybe he’s thinking it over; maybe he has wandered away; or maybe he’s on the road. Perhaps he’s sleeping and will wake up!”

Satan says “did God really say he would give you peace? Crossdressing will give you peace.”

And you say “did you really say you can give me peace? OK, I concede that I want peace. But you’re lying to me. Here’s the other things crossdressing gives me. Tell you what. I will do them if and only if I want these things too. Will those other things give me peace too? I’ll do it if you can promise me that they will.”

Obviously, your heart’s desire is to not have that misery and pain. So the answer is no, you don’t want them.

But don’t just skimp on it. Sincerely and slowly ask the questions. “do I really want this? Do I really want that? Do I really want to…” Pray, reminding yourself just how much pain it has given your family; remember the unnecessary arguments that were caused because you acted out (even though it was secret).

By doing this, you have rebuked Satan and reminded yourself of the truth of the matter. You have had an opportunity for your heart to be melted and molded with new desires – to bless others with your time, to spend money better, to have continued joy with God.

You may not find it helpful. If you find the dialogue with Satan too much, make it a simple agreement between you and God. “I get to cross dress if and only if I want the following.”

By giving yourself permission to dress, you’ve made it less powerful. This is controversial, because we don’t want to. But you’re not really saying you’ll do it. You’re reducing the power it has on you. Try this. Say to yourself “do not think about pink elephants.” What happens? It’s all you can think of! And if you’re like me, you’ll get a bit annoyed with yourself for doing so. Now say to yourself “OK, think about pink elephants all you want,” and see what happens. Not only will they occasionally come by, but you really won’t care they do. That’s what the permission does. I’m not saying it’s a good thing to act out. Far from it – this checklist comes from the knowledge that it won’t satisfy, so you won’t be getting to act out.

And by asking yourself the questions in the checklist, you’ve made those more powerful and clear in your mind.

So you see the evil for what it is, and are so less likely to want to do it, and more likely to do the good you really do want to do.


Written by Ewan

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