Crossdressing inherently sexual?

I and the rest of you, as well as the general crossdressing community have talked long about the possible origins of crossdressing desires.  There’s talk of causes being biology, or upbringing, or other life experiences.   There is also a lot of discussion about different types of crossdressing.  Obviously some people crossdress for sexual pleasure and some people don’t.  But I’m wondering if there is something inherently sexual about crossdressing.  Or to put it another way – is it possible for any man to become sexually addicted to crossdressing?   Do you have to be predisposed to it somehow because of your biological predisposition, or your personality, or the way you were raised, or a combo of all 3?  Or is crossdressing something that could become a sexual addiction for any male?

To be honest, this thought comes to me because of a lot of crossdressing fiction stories that I have read over the years.  Many of them start out with a boy or a man who has no interest in crossdressing at all.  It never was interesting or erotic.  But then in the story, perhaps a wife tricks him or cajoles him into wearing panties, or a bra.  And the man, to his great surprise, finds it incredibly exciting, even if part of him also feels awkward or ashamed.  And then in the rest of the story the man discovers how pleasurable crossdressing is, and becomes all out obsessed with it.   Now, these stories are certainly fanciful and unrealistic.  But I do wonder if there is an element of truth to them.  When I have read stories like this, the thoughts always would come to me, “how could you not be aroused under such circumstances?”  I understand that it is certainly a possibility that I just think that way because such circumstances would be very sexually arousing for me personally.  But perhaps it could happen to almost any boy or man?  Actually, now that I think more about it, I have read real stories of crossdressers online who talk about their crossdressing addictions beginning in ways like this, even though previously they had no interest in the behavior at all.

It seems like there is something unique and special about crossdressing no matter what man you are.  No matter who you are, you are putting on clothing that is associated with the opposite sex, and that should just seem odd to you.  If you put on unisex looking clothing I suppose that it might not do much.  But you would have to have some strange thoughts and feelings putting clothing on yourself that you are used to seeing only on women.  And especially if the clothing or objects are things that you are used to looking at on women and finding them attractive.  Basically all of our attraction to the opposite sex is based on differences.  We are attracted to the different shapes of the female body, to their genital area that is different than our own, to their breasts, to their smooth faces devoid of facial hair, and on and on.  We are attracted to the differences.  I think female clothing does the same thing.  The more different it is from our masculine clothing, the more attractive it can be.  Hopefully the clothing or makeup or shoes are just accentuating the female body so that we are more attracted to the person, but to some extent, we become attracted to the clothing and shoes themselves.  I think it is a general cultural phenomena to see high heels as sexy objects, for example.

So what does it do to a man to take objects he is used to seeing on women, that make him attracted to the women, or objects that he views as sexy but is used to associating them with women, and all of sudden to be associating them with himself?  Is it not possible that he could become aroused?  It is arousing to see a woman in just her panties and seeing her legs.  If a man puts on panties and looks down at his legs, it may seem to be almost the same image that he is used to being attracted to.  Add high heels to that picture, and perhaps he could become sexually aroused and a new addict to crossdressing. Because of the amount of focus we place on looks in our culture, and our obsession with beautiful women, it seems totally possible to me, that under the right circumstances, any boy or man could become addicted to crossdressing, as a slightly misplaced (what I would call perverse and wrong) object of attraction as opposed to real women, or more commonly “in addition” to real women.

If this was true (I have no idea if it is), it would seem that the right conditions could include being shy of real women and therefore having lack of regular interaction with them.  They could include not already being addicted to pornography or some other sexual addiction.   It might mean not already having experienced a fulfilling sexual life with real women. They could include having a sexual experience, or at least a strong emotional experience when first crossdressing (such as having sex with one’s wife while crossdressed for the first time, or having mother or sister tell you you are beautiful when you first crossdress as a child).  If you were already enjoying real sex, or enjoying the pleasures of pornography, it seems like it would be much more difficult to begin a new more misplaced sexual addiction.  But if you don’t already have the more normal sexual desires already in place, crossdressing could easily fill that void it seems to me.

So this makes me wonder about my case.  Was I born differently from other guys and therefore predisposed to end up with this addiction?  Or am I just a normal guy who developed crossdressing desires?  In my case, crossdressing started while I was very shy of real women.  I had never masturbated before and never looked at pornography.  I had never had sex.  And I did have a strong emotional experience when first crossdressed, of getting a lot of love, affection, and attention from my sister when she first crossdressed me in addition to her and my mother saying I was really cute and beautiful, probably the first time that word was applied to me.

There is no real way to test my hypothesis.  And I’m not sure how important it is to know the answer.   I guess if it is true, it gives me some calmness and reassurance that I am not so weird and crazy and messed up just because I get sexual pleasure from crossdressing.   I still view crossdressing as an activity to be wrong and messed up, but it would make me feel less different from normal men.   This inherently sexual activity (if it is really such), just happened to catch me at the right time under the right circumstances, and it spawned addiction.  If it’s inherently sexual, then there is nothing unmanly about myself, nothing I need to be ashamed of.  I’m just like other men, only I developed this problem and they didn’t.  I need to work on fighting it and they don’t.

I guess the other thing that this would tell us, if this hypothesis is true, is that we should be careful to not think that other people are immune to developing crossdressing addictions just because they have had no previous interest in it.  They could easily develop the addiction just like we did, if there is something inherently sexual about crossdressing.  Which would mean, there is for the most part no harmless crossdressing, and we should not encourage boys or men to do it for fun or for Halloween or for whatever other occasion that may seem harmless.  In fact, we should encourage people NOT to do it.

Anybody else have any thoughts?  Feel free to correct me.


8 comments on “Crossdressing inherently sexual?

  1. Vivienne says:

    Hi Thorin,

    From all the research that has been done on crossdressing, it boils down to this. Some men wear a frock as part of a stage performance. They don’t do it because it’s a sexual thing. Some males are convinced they are born in the wrong body, and they change sex at an early age (e.g. by the age of 25 at the latest). They report no sexual pleasure from crossdressing. The rest of us (which is to say, most of us) derive sexual pleasure from crossdressing. For some of us, that mellows over time into other types of gratification; for some of us, it’s still all about the orgasms. (Even sex isn’t just about sexual pleasure but has many other rewards too).

    The science suggests this tendency is innate; it cannot be “learned” or acquired, not any more than boys can learn to be gay or “catch” homosexuality somehow. It doesn’t happen to every boy or man; probably only about 1% are noticeably affected, though there is probably a continuum between those who want to dress full-time to those of us who dress occasionally. It seems to be nothing to do with upbringing; dominant mothers or feeble fathers; early dressing experiences; presence of sisters. So yes, you were born like this. (And so was I).

    Sexologist Dr. Anne Lawrence prefers to frame crossdressing as “men who love women and seek to become what they love”, which extends the motivation from a purely sexual one to a more rounded, healthy, loving one. I admit to a certain measure of sympathy with this viewpoint. My own view is that crossdressing isn’t an expression of femininity, but is instead an expression of male sexual desire, extended to an attraction to the self in the form of a woman.

    Crossdressing fiction is all about feeding fantasies. It pleases us to consider that we are normal healthy males; it pleases us to consider that crossdressing is involuntary somehow. Therefore it’s a powerful fantasy to be “forced” into crossdressing: it allows the subject to experience the pleasure of crossdressing while pretending that the motivation doesn’t come from within. The notion that a non-crossdressing male could be captured, shaved, forced into a maid’s uniform or bridal dress, and somehow come to find that a pleasurable experience, is fiction, and risible fiction to boot.

    There is some evidence that a healthy sexual relationship somewhat neutralises crossdressing desire. I don’t consider porn to be healthy in this way.

    But all of this is already discussed at length on my blog.



  2. thorin25 says:

    Hi Vivienne, I actually agree with almost all of what you said. Your thoughts above are sharedby me. This post was a wondering that I had, that if true, would change what I believe, but otherwise my basic view is still what yours is. Even after reading what you wrote, I still wonder about it though. I’ve read stories, real stories, of men who started crossdressing much later in life. It never seemed exciting to them, until they did it sometime for halloween or some other stupid occasion and they found it pleasurable then. It’s also possible that other men who say it did nothing for them, are lying blatantly or to themselves, and too ashamed to admit that the experience stirred strange feelings. I still think there may be some truth my ideas above, even if majorly the case is just that we are born predisposed to wanting to crossdress.

    Totally agree with you about CD fiction. That’s why it’s a plague I need to avoid. It can seem harmless, but it’s not. It’s very addictive and all about feeding fantasies.


  3. Ralph says:

    Well, here’s my theory based entirely on observations and experience with absolutely no education or research to back it up…

    I believe that an object, or an act, becomes a sexual addiction when that item/act becomes connected with sexual pleasure. To put it another way, to some extent we’re all Pavlov’s dog. Combine viewing porn / wearing lingerie / dressing like a woman with sexual pleasure often enough, and at some point our brains connect the two. The results, both bad, are that doing that act replaces human contact as our source for pleasure, and we might even find that we cannot be satisfied sexually without that fetish.

    So yes, under the right circumstances *anything* can become a sexual addiction. I also believe that’s why crossdressing becomes a sexual compulsion for so many folks — in most of us, the urge manifests right around puberty when we’re so wired for sex that pretty much any stimulation will rev the engines. So you experiment with panties and the contact with silky material gets your juices flowing, and after this happens a few times your brain doesn’t think “Having anything at all touch my genitals is fun!”; it specifically thinks “Having silky lingerie touch my genitals is fun!” And like any addiction, the more you do it the less effective it is so you have to push it a little farther to get the same “high” — hence the progression from underwear to wigs and breast forms and makeup and a girly name, with a lot of stops along the way.

    Where my theory breaks down is wondering how on earth some acts — those which are physically painful or otherwise bad for your health such as consuming body waste — got associated with pleasure in the first place.


  4. thorin25 says:

    Yeah that makes a lot of sense to me Ralph. But I think crossdressing is FAR more likely to become sexual than most other things in life that might happen to get linked up with sex. The reason being that crossdressing creates a woman in a sense, that you can then look at and be attracted to. And for most guys, we are born with that sexual attraction to women. So while I know some people have weird sexual turn ons, such as the one you mentioned at the end, I don’t think those are at all inherently sexual, whereas crossdressing easily lends itself to becoming sexual.


  5. ikthys says:

    On the side of cultural influence there is certainly a lot to be said for how sexualized the clothing has become in the consumerism of sexy-femaleness in the west. Some items derive their “sexuality” by their secretive and intimate nature (garders, stockings, etc.) as it relates to the opposite sex. Others also have their more direct genital associations (bras and panties sepcifically). Others may derive it from their profound distinction from male clothes, and thus quintessential “girliness” (high heels, dresses, make-up, etc). But any and all items can and have become supercharged with sexuality in the world of advertizing and entertainment. This is especially true of this clothing that already has “natural” sexual connectedness. In short, the clothes are more than womanly, they are sexy-womanly. Thus I couldn’t agree more on the ease and ubiquity of its sexual lure for any man (issues of forced fantization asside), but would note the special lure for those men who not only desire women, but the sexiness that they posess (I don’t think this some special genetic disposition, by the way). Men who get sold on the same thing they’re selling to the girls- “wear this and you’ll feel so hot and be so much better and have the wonderful life of the movies- the world of your dreams where members of the opposite sex throw themselves at you, blah blah blah. It’s ridiculous, but sells everything from toothpaste to tools. It hasn’t been until very recently that any of that has even remotely been suggested to have connection with male clothes/style… Of course, I do think there are other “perks” that the female persona offers to men than sexuality itself, too, and perhaps that is what really makes the difference between guys like us and any other guy… just thoughts.


  6. Ralph says:

    Your thoughts on creating the woman we lust after are right on the mark, Thorin. Either here on on Fishy’s blog (waves at Ikthys) I think we’ve discussed the theory of autogynephilia, and there’s a strong case to be made for becoming sexually addicted to the fantasy woman crossdressers create by becoming her.

    Personally I’ve never understood that aspect… if you’re going to lust after a woman, why not lust after the real thing? Although it’s worth noting that lusting after a real girl is every bit as much a sin as violating Deuteronomy 22:5 — Jesus said so Himself. Yet even within the church, one is tolerated or even given tacit approval (you’re not a real man if you don’t lust after women) while the other is criminalized. Go figure.


  7. thorin25 says:

    Great comments guys. Ralph I would challenge just one statement, and that is that lust is tolerated or approved in the church. ALL the churches I have been a part of and Christian groups and organizations I’ve been a part of, which are dozens and dozens have condemned lust, and all my Christian guy friends from high school to the time i’m at now, have been guys working actively to fight lust, and working together to do so actually. But I think you are right that crossdressing is more criminalized, certainly, (and unfairly so). Otherwise I fully agree with your comment and appreciate it.

    While we are on the topic of lust, just a random thought, I think that a lot of young Christian guys especially, struggle with thinking they are lusting, when in fact they might not be. Being attracted to women is natural and God given. We shouldn’t be ashamed of that. If we see a beautiful woman, even a married one, I think it is okay to appreciate that beauty we see, thank God for it, and then move on. I think a lot of guys get hung up thinking we aren’t allowed to notice beauty. What I would consider lust is going on the computer to look at pictures of women and masturbate to them. Or being infatuated with a particular woman who is not your wife. Or fantasizing about a certain woman.

    Ikthys, I don’t think there is some special genetic predisposition either, but I don’t discount biological causes. I don’t know enough though to make any kind of informed view on it. I think it’s probably an interplay of biology, upbringing, personality, life experiences you have had and haven’t had, and the let’s say “somewhat” inherent sexual nature of crossdressing, that causes certain guys to develop this addiction.


  8. Christjan says:

    Interesting blog post, but as none-crossdressing male, I honestly don’t see any logical reason why on the earth I should start dressing as female. But cross dressing fits the description of a sexual fetish as they are none-logical, and like with cross dressing what I have read up on it, seems that many cross dresser try to run way from the fetish tag at all cost, similar to what other types of fetish communities do. Thus I find most explaination crossdresser give rather comical at best and then plane delusion at worst. And for me sexual fetish are sexual fetish, even if youre not having orgasim over the whole thing every single time.


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