Be Prepared for Battle

Psalm 144:1

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.

I love this verse for thinking about spiritual warfare and avoiding sin while on the computer.  Originally the context was speaking about actual war as David relied on the Lord for help in winning battles for Israel.  I think it is an appropriate application today to think about the spiritual war we are engaged in.  As Paul says in Ephesians 6:12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

And 1 Peter 2:11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

I love the idea of God training my fingers for battle.  I try to regularly ask God to build up ability to have self-control.  One of the areas I need it most is on the computer.  It’s so easy to lose my head and go look at something stupid that I will regret later.  It is so easy to click on some article about crossdressing that shows up on the news.  And that can lead down a rabbit trail of sin and lust.

I need my hands and fingers trained.  I need God to guide my finger clicks on my mouse, and keep my hands from typing in stupid Google searches.  When I sit down at the computer, I am sitting down to a battle.  I am sitting down and fighting over my soul.  My sinful nature and the demonic world would love nothing better than to see me go back to crossdressing addiction, squandering away my life.

This would be a wonderful verse to print out and tape to your computer mouse, keyboard, or computer monitor.  Men, let’s prepare for battle when we sit down, and not take the computer lightly!  It is a wonderful invention, which can be used for many wonderful blessings.  But we are also capable of committing great evil on these machines.  When you sit down remember that there is a battle going on, and the battle is over your soul.

But God is our Rock, our foundation, our stability, our strength.  We need not fear.  He gives us the strength we need to overcome temptation.

Disturbing Quote

I came across this quote from another blog.  I found it quite interesting, so I read the whole original article.

Amy Bloom, in her article from 2002, Conservative Men in Conservative Dresses, wrote :

“The greatest difficulty people have with cross-dressers, I think, is that cross-dressers wear their fetish, and the gleam in their eyes, however muted by time or habit, the unmistakable presence of a lust being satisfied or a desire being fulfilled in that moment, in your presence, even by your presence, is unnerving.  The combination of the cross-dressers’ own arousal and anxiety and our responsive anxiety and discomfort is more than most of us can bear. We may not mind foot fetishists, but we may not wish to watch them either. ”

From my experience, and from talking to others, this quote speaks the truth.  People are disturbed by our behavior and we need to understand that and accept it.  And of course I would add, they should be disturbed by our behavior.  Come on men, let’s stop giving in to this messed up behavior.

Also interesting was how the author detected that the men who are crossdressing are men with very firm gender stereotypes about women, stereotypes that I find too traditional, too focused on superficial appearances, and disturbing.  Understand this!  Part of my healing from crossdressing has also been a healing in my marriage, not viewing women and my wife in such a stereotypical way, no longer gently pressuring her to wear high heels and makeup, not being bothered that she is a very strong person, emotionally and physically.

Helpful Bible Verses 13

In my struggle with crossdressing over my whole life, many Bible verses have been helpful to me.  I’ve studied them, memorized some of them, and often read them after failures.  In addition to the ones I’ve already written about, I’ll periodically mention and comment on some of them and how they relate to my crossdressing struggle.  For those of you who are still struggling, it would surely help you to write some of these down and read them daily, or in times of temptation, or after a failure when you need to be built back up by God’s Word.

1 John 2:15-17

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

It’s easy to think that crossdressing obsession is harmless, especially when you compare male crossdressers to real women.  “They can wear a dress, why not I?”  But it is not just that crossdressing is sinful, going against God’s design for men and women.  It also easily becomes infatuation with the desires of the flesh, and the love of the world.  Being overly infatuated with clothes and appearance and makeup is not only a problem for male to female crossdressers, but also for some women and some men.  If any of us are too focused on the things of this world, too infatuated with fashion and appearance, too obsessed with clothing, then this is sinful love of the world.

It is not that these things are bad in essence.  Clothing is okay.  God even gave clothing to Adam and Eve after they sinned.   It is not that the clothing is bad, but I think John here means an inordinate love of the things in the world.  It’s one thing to appreciate things in the world that God has made.  It’s quite another thing to have an inordinate love of them.  A normal healthy person, with a healthy view of things in the world that God has made, I believe they would put on their pants and shirt and acknowledge that they look nice, and then move on to live their life and begin their day.  They might go shopping once in a while and enjoy picking out some new clothes to wear.  But when I look at how I was when crossdressing, this did not describe me at all.  I was obsessed.  I could look at fashion magazines for hours.  I could try on new outfits of female clothing for hours nonstop, every possible combination of clothing you can think of.  And when I was not crossdressing, I felt deprived, and stopped caring about anything else I was doing, just rushing through all else in life waiting for that opportunity to dress again.  And if I had been ready to out myself, I would have spent all of my money and extra time shopping for new clothes that I did not need.  This is excessive love for things in the world.

I know John probably did not have crossdressing in mind when he wrote this.  But it always hits my heart relating to crossdressing when I read it.  Back when I was crossdressing, I was not focused on God’s kingdom and the things of Heaven.  I was not focused on praising God and having him using me for his work.  I was focused on the things of this world.  I had taken something that was meant to be a good gift from God – that is, female clothing that adds beauty to this world and adorns real women.  I took that good gift and focused on it to the exclusion of God, my family, my work, and everything else.  I focused on it so much that I perverted it and diverted it from its true purpose and uglified myself through it.

I think we tend to do this with many of the gifts that God has given us.  We take alcohol, a good gift, and pervert it into harmful addiction.  We take work, meant as a gift from God, and use it only to make money or make ourselves feel powerful.  We take family, meant as a gift from God, and we idolize it and put all of our hopes on our family rather than God until we have suffocated our family members by putting them in the place of God.  We take many of God’s good gifts in the world, and because we love them more than we ought to, we pervert them, hurt our relationship with God, and ourselves.

10 Minute Relapse

At first, I did not think this would be an enjoyable post to write. I would much rather just keep this information to myself. But I felt God calling me to share this on my blog because I know I have many readers who are fighting crossdressing temptations themselves. They are reading about my experience and trying to learn from it and find hope in my story. But if my story is going to help anyone, it first of all needs to be a true story.  After writing this post, I’ve felt some joy in having done it, knowing that it will give others some help in their own recoveries.

So let me be honest. I crossdressed last week. I hate to admit it, but it happened. I put on a couple of dresses for ten minutes or less. It ended with masturbation and disgust. I am not only disappointed in giving in to such an action that I have come to hate, an action that I consider sinful. I am also very disappointed to have broken my streak of victory over crossdressing. I was coming up next month to three years of complete and total abstinence regarding crossdressing. (I can’t say that I’ve been fully abstinent in my mind, and in what I’ve seen on the computer, but as far as actual crossdressing, I was coming up to three years). In the last three years I have not crossdressed so much as even to slip on a woman’s shoe for a few seconds.

The slight crossdressing episode reminded me very much of why I stopped crossdressing in the first place. It was immediately apparent that the activity was not as pleasurable as I was hoping it would be. In fact, it was quite lame. Immediately afterwards, I was reminded of how pointless the activity is, how much it is a waste of time, how ugly it is, how unfulfilling it is, how worthless it is, and just how wretched I feel after doing it. The few seconds of sexual pleasure were not worth it. When confessing to my accountability partners, I felt so much shame and embarrassment. And at first, I felt complete shame and embarrassment imagining sharing this information on my blog. I no longer feel that way. Once I spent with God and experienced his love and forgiveness, the shame and guilt went away.

I did not want to share this information because I figured there would be a lot of crossdressers out there who would take it as proof that you cannot give up crossdressing. I was worried people would give up hope. But such a view is illogical. It makes no sense at all. What happened to me was a slight relapse. It would be as if an alcoholic took a little drink after three years of abstinence, only to regret the decision and go back to abstinence. This little glitch in my three years of victory only goes to prove how victorious I have been. Crossdressing really has been out of my life. Ten minutes of crossdressing doesn’t change the wonderful freedom of the last few years, and it doesn’t change the freedom I will continue to have from this day forward. This was a slight failure after three years of perhaps subconscious building temptations, but it doesn’t change anything about how crossdressing is still out of my life, and I’m still enjoying not being a slave to it anymore. The temptations are usually not there. The desires for crossdressing have diminished to the point of non-existence most days and weeks. I’m not sure why I was tempted this particular day. But once again now, a week later, the temptations are gone. And even if they come again, I know I have the freedom to say “no” to giving in.

So don’t let my story make you lose hope. Let it give you hope. Let it give you hope that even if you have a failure here or there, there is still freedom to be had. It is still possible to give up crossdressing. I failed only because I made the choice to fail. I could have easily not have given in. And that choice was a choice I regret. Whatever temptations were building over the last few years found their release in those minutes, and I’m ready to begin again living in victory. It holds no power over me.

Now I’m ready to live in grace again. I’m not driven to give up crossdressing by fear of God or Hell. I’m driven to give it up because living without it is experiencing a more abundant and joyful life. And I’m driven by God’s love.

Thank you Lord Jesus for your mercy and grace. I do not trust in myself and my own holiness for my salvation. I trust in your righteousness alone Jesus for my salvation. I am not going to wallow in guilt and shame. Shame is not what you want for me. I know the grace and love of my Lord. I know that you don’t keep a record of my sins. I know that I don’t need to feel a burden of guilt for past mistakes. I am going to move forward in freedom, grace, love, and joy, in you Lord Jesus. Lord, give me strength to make it four years of victory this time!”

Healing is Possible

I would assume that many of my readers out there are skeptical that healing from crossdressing addiction is possible.  Some might say, “sure maybe Thorin could stop crossdressing just because he is a pastor and has need to stop because of his job, but for most people they will not have enough motivation to really quit and still be happy.”  I’m not sure exactly what people say, but this short post is to give some hope that I am not alone.

On my email prayer chain we’ve had around 60 men join over the last few years.  But our number is at less than 60 right now.  Why is that?  I’m sure there are some who have joined our chain who went back to crossdressing and stopped responding to emails.  They are still with us and not very communicative, so they do not account for our number being less.  However, there are some people who have officially left our group and told us why.  And their reason is that they got their crossdressing under control.  They found good healing in their heart, mind, and body from our Lord Jesus with this issue of crossdressing.

Is healing possible?  Yes it is!  I am not the only one by far.  There are men who deal with this sin of crossdressing and get it out of their life, who never share their secret with others and never share their story online.   And then I can testify that 5-10 people have left our prayer group specifically because crossdressing was no longer a big struggle for them.  They were able to have self-control.  They were no longer crossdressing, and no longer was it causing strife in their life.  Their desires for crossdressing had lessened and they were ready to leave our group and live their lives and stop thinking about crossdressing altogether!  Most of the rest of our group is no longer crossdressing either, but we stay in the group to help support each other to continue, and we stay around to help others who come to our group who want to stop.

There is hope.  If you are struggling with crossdressing, it is only a false rationalization and excuse to say that healing is not really possible.  If you really want to quit, you can, and still lead a healthy and happy life.  If you want to keep crossdressing, we can’t stop you.  But don’t keep spreading the lie that it is impossible to change, that you can’t live a full life without crossdressing.  Those lies need to be removed.  Healing is possible!  Crossdressing can be dealt with and stopped!

How Sexual Addictions Destroy Our Lives

This is a great video.  A good thing to watch each time you feel tempted.  It’s about pornography, but I think it could easily apply to any kind of sexual addiction, whether masturbation, crossdressing with masturbation, arousal from crossdressing fiction or photos, or something else.

In the time of my crossdressing addiction, this video described my behavior very well, though thankfully I did not go to the extent of the person she describes who destroyed his life in every way.  But I could see myself going in that direction in years to come if I had not gotten help to stop my addiction.  As I’ve described in my post on crossdressing fiction, I kept looking for more and more until I was reading about other sexual perversities besides crossdressing.  And in crossdressing, there is an escalation as well, going from simple crossdressing, to elaborate crossdressing, to crossdressing in public, to being with men while crossdressed, etc.

Men let us wake up and get help if we need it!  These addictions are not a joke!  Put these addictions to death.

Crossdressing and female sexual objectification

I have looked at a lot (thousands and thousands) crossdressing photos on the internet over my life (and I deeply regret it).  One thing I have noticed from pictures of active crossdressers as well as pictures of one-time crossdressers, is the number of sexual poses.  Even the boys that crossdress one time on a dare or for Halloween, the first thing they do is to go to sexual poses.  They twist their hips, or thrust out their fake boobs, and make kissy faces.  They walk like female supermodels.  Clearly, their view of women is that they are sexual objects, so if they are pretending to be one, that’s where their mind immediately goes.

And the vast majority of crossdressers’ photos are sexual poses.  Even if you don’t count the plethora of crossdressers who have all of their photos only of them in female underwear or lingerie (not the type of photos I used to look at), even the crossdressers who are fully clothed have photos of mostly sexual poses.  Why don’t they try to pose and look like the real women that they see all around them every day?  Why the overly sexual poses?  What does this tell us?  I’m not sure.  What do you think?

Perhaps it shows us how readily all men objectify women and their bodies.  This objectification comes out for most men in the form of pornography.  But then for crossdressers, maybe it comes out in our crossdressing.  Instead of lusting after the objectified woman’s body in a photo, we can make a real life 3-D version of a woman’s body, one that we can move and make do whatever we want, and make wear whatever we want.  We then masturbate to the image of ourselves.

I think crossdressers are naive if they think their addiction is somehow more honorable than pornography.  I think crossdressing is just a stronger, more addictive, more pleasurable form of pornography.  It still objectifies women.  At least with pornography there is another living breathing person, a real female involved, even if only there in a photo.  With crossdressing it is entirely focused on self.  Women have been reduced to a sexual object so very far, that a real woman is not even needed in the process at all.

In fact, a woman is objectified so much that the sexual objects of a woman are all that is needed.  A whole counterfeit woman is not needed.  One object alone (nail polish, lipstick, or high heels) can be enough to bring the crossdresser to ejaculation.

This is my hypothesis.  I guess if you don’t crossdress for sexual pleasure, then maybe you do not share this type of sexual objectification in your crossdressing.  But I think even for those crossdressers, it would be good for them to analyze this topic to see how much it affects what they do as well.