Interesting “House” Episode

Some time ago I watched an episode of the television show “House.”  It’s a doctor show about diagnosing patients, but they really get into the personal issues of the patients in the show.  I found this episode very interesting in the parallels I saw to crossdressing.  The episode was called “We Need the Eggs” in season 8.  There is a big surprise in the episode when we find out that the main patient has a life-size realistic doll that he calls his girlfriend, and he treats her as such and is emotionally attached to her.   We find out he was hurt by unrequited love in the past and thought this fake woman would be easier than trying to find another real relationship.  The big question of the episode is whether he, as well as doctors in the show, can move on from past painful experiences and move on to living real life again.  At one point, he is ready to change and move on past the doll, but at the end of the episode he was still with it.

Like crossdressing, his relationship to this object, this doll, was very confusing to everyone in the show, from the doctors to his friend, the neighbor.  The doctors clearly think something is messed up about this, though House himself in his normal antisocial way does point out that this fake woman is easier to live with than a real woman in a real relationship.   At times they wonder if the patient’s behavior is a sign of neurological damage.  The neighbor, his friend, a real woman, is freaked out to learn this truth about the doll and apparently never sees him again.  The patient knows that it is something weird, and hides it from other people, but also defends himself that it works for him and makes him happy. The saddest thing is that it appears his friend, the neighbor, loved him and wanted something more, but he kept refusing her saying he had a girlfriend already, except the girlfriend was the doll.

I can’t help but think crossdressing is so much like this.  It also is a substitute for a real woman (whether one is married or not).  See this article – The Transvestic Career Path.  It is weird behavior that we keep hidden, just like the man’s doll.  It is clearly and utterly foolish to everyone who finds out about it.  To the others, the doll is clearly a false delusion and not reality.  To others, our crossdressing is obviously a confused man in a dress, not a real woman.  People wonder how we can be so blind just like they wondered in the show how the patient could be so blind to it being only a doll.

The man in the show was substituting the doll for a real woman, because it was easier.  We do the same thing with crossdressing.  It’s so much easier to create a woman who wears only what we want, says only what we want, a woman we can manipulate and watch in the mirror.  It’s a substitution for real womanhood.  But it’s not a real woman.  The reality the man longed for with the doll could never be satisfied.  He thought it made him happy, but he was having sex with a rubber dummy (at least he was having sex with another entity, albeit an object, whereas in crossdressing we really are being turned on to ourself which is pretty messed up).  It could never be a real woman.  For us with crossdressing, whether you are crossdressing for sexual pleasure or wanting to live as a woman, that reality can never be obtained.  We will never be a real woman.  It is only playing around with a false reality.  Like the patient in the show should have done, we need to move on and live real life, and stop going after the fake woman.  Let’s learn to embrace real women, whether that is having healthy friendships with real women in our life, or finding a woman to marry and spend the rest of our life with.


9 comments on “Interesting “House” Episode

  1. Vivienne says:

    Hi Thorin,

    I see things from a different perspective from you. I believe that for me, crossdressing is an outward manifestation of deep inner feelings and needs; for example, the need to express vulnerability and tenderness, or the need to feel pretty. I believe these feelings cannot be safely expressed in our society when one is a man, and expected to behave within rigid and proscribed boundaries (the kind that you are advocating).

    I haven’t watched the episode you describe, although I think House is a very thought-provoking drama (albeit frequently medically preposterous). But I do think I probably have something in common with the (fictional) doll-owning guy. I think that to invest emotional love in an inanimate object points to an erotic target location error. For the purposes of TV, it could be that indeed he was moulded that way by unrequited love; but I think it’s probably more complicated than that. Undoubtedly he feels the relationship with the doll is safer than with a real woman, but he also probably finds it unsatisfying on an emotional level. Crossdressing is for me unsatisfying on some level.

    It’s interesting to talk of the many aspects of the word “love”. Is it OK to love your wife? Is it OK to love your kids? Is it OK to love your dog? Is it OK to love your car? Is it OK to love your house? Is it OK to love your favourite possession? (an heirloom, an artwork, a fine object) I would say yes to all of these. So where do you draw the line? Your car doesn’t love you back!

    I am aware that there are individuals who craft very realistic, life-sized dolls of human females, which they sell for large sums of money to discerning collectors. I do find it a little disturbing! I also find it disturbing that a similar market exists in life-sized dolls of babies, which (typically) women collect and (in some cases) dress and pose and take for walks as if it were a real baby. Is it weird? Yes! Why do they do it? For the same reasons that I crossdress: because it feeds a need that they cannot otherwise meet. Does it make them a bad person? I don’t think so, necessarily. Is it harmful to others? Not really, except it may somewhat disturb them.

    I guess my point is needs are needs, and they must be met. If you simply cut off someone from the manifestation of their needs (such as taking away the doll, or stopping someone from crossdressing) the need doesn’t go away, only the behaviour. Instead the need will build, and perhaps twist, until it finds its way out in some other way, which might be even less acceptable than the first.

    Best wishes,



  2. thorin25 says:

    I totally agree that needs should be met. That is what I try to write about a lot. There are needs we are trying to meet through crossdressing that I think could be met in healthy ways. I think crossdressing prolongs us not getting our needs met actually. We try to get our needs met through the false reality of crossdressing and it just makes us feel worse. It’s like going to alcohol for love, you ain’t gonna find it there. So the question is, what needs are we trying to address through crossdressing? I think that is somewhat different for each different person. For one it might be sexual pleasure, for another comfort, for another trying to be fully themselves emotionally because they’ve been stifled by rigid gender stereotypes, etc. There are healthy ways to meet those needs. Crossdressing I do not believe to be a healthy way or even a way to meet those needs. For the sake of interesting conversation, what needs do you personally think you are meeting in crossdressing that you cannot fulfill in another more healthy way? Or if that seems like a loaded question, what needs do you personally think you are meeting in crossdressing that you don’t believe you can fulfill in any other way?


  3. Vivienne says:

    Hi Thorin,

    We’ve been down this line of discussion before, but for the sake of conversation I will briefly recap. I find myself unable to express vulnerability or sensitivity, as a man. I sometimes cry at movies, or when reading poetry. For a man, this is not seen to be OK! I sometimes want to be the one who is taken care of, or pampered, rather than the one who is doing the pampering. I sometimes want to look pretty rather than look tough or practical. I guess that covers it.

    In an ideal society, we could all express ourselves however we wanted. It would be OK for men to cry, to be pampered, to not take the lead. But that isn’t the way our society works. Crossdressing gives me access to an emotional mindset which is very difficult to achieve otherwise.

    Rather than alcohol, I would consider crossdressing a little bit like junk food. It does the job, and fills you up when you are hungry. It isn’t good for you every day, but once in a while, it’s OK.



  4. thorin25 says:

    Yes Vivienne, you probably have told me that before. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to rehash stuff. And we don’t need to get into the bad or good of crossdressing again. But if I may, I would like to say a few words, which I think are things I have not said before to you, but if I have, I apologize.

    I do find it hard to believe that you don’t think you could cry as a man or be pampered as a man or read poetry as a man or be sensitive as a man in our culture. I have to really disagree with you about that. First of all, I think those things are now accepted for men in our culture. Secondly, I think we can still do them even if they aren’t 100% accepted. I mean, what takes more courage, being brave and being willing to cry as a man even if people might think you are wierd? Or crossdressing in secret in order to do so? I guess it could be perceived that the former takes more courage, but I don’t see how it takes all that much. I’m not trying to be harsh with you. I guess I just don’t understand how you can really think you can’t do those things while not crossdressed.

    I’ve seen most of the men in my life cry, and myself and the other men and women around me who have seen them cry, respected them more for it. I have a friend who is fully content with himself as a man as is super artistic, fancy, semi-feminine mannerisms sometimes, meticulous about his hygiene and beauty routines, very particular about his clothes, very creative, very emotional, and he is fully loved and accepted, and fully viewed as a man.

    If you really can’t do these things without crossdressing, shouldn’t you get some counseling to try to work on doing so? I mean, even if you think crossdressing is not harmful, surely you would want to be able to be yourself, all the time! and not just those few times you get a chance to crossdress by yourself. It seems like your life would be much more fulfilling if you were able to learn how to integrate those emotional and other aspects of yourself into your regular life, so that you can be yourself full-time.

    These are thoughts from a friend. I’m not trying to attack you. If you strongly disagree, please don’t take offense. Just trying to give you some helpful thoughts. Thanks as always for your open and honest and thoughtful comments.


  5. Vivienne says:

    Hi Thorin,

    I don’t disagree with you at all. In fact, I have tried to express those aspects of myself in mixed male company and been roundly scorned, ridiculed, humiliated and rejected for it. In addition, my wife has repeatedly made clear her contempt for my emotional, sensitive side.

    Of course I would love to “just be myself” all the time, but there is a palpable gap between what that person _would_ look like to everyone around me, and what they think that person _should_ look like. The fact that this gap exists doesn’t make those people around me bad people; but it does mean that they would be unwilling to tolerate me “just being myself”. Therefore I seek ways to meet my emotional and psychological needs in a way which is the least harmful to all parties concerned. This is my way of doing it. I accept it’s not completely normal, or completely healthy, but I believe that it is satisfactory for my purposes.



  6. thorin25 says:

    Vivienne, I’m so sorry for what you have gone through. That just saddens me that people are so constricted in their view of men and women. I wish you could have some of my friends who would accept you for who you are. Perhaps my type of friends are rarer than I thought. One thing that has helped me is that my wife is very different from normal women and is sensitive about that, so we both give each other a lot of grace to be ourselves. Since we both struggled so much with gender, it makes it harder in some ways to be married, but also easier in that we understand each other’s pains and struggles.

    I’m also curious if you are living in an area with more gender rigidity than I. I think different countries are different and different areas of a country like the US are different. In some places you might be ridiculed for being your emotional self as a man, and in other places more accepted.

    I feel bad that you have tried this and it didn’t work out. I was wondering if you would be willing to give a specific example of one of these situations that you tried to be yourself and were ridiculed. This is a really personal thing to do, so I’m not pressuring you, but I’d be interested, to see what really is still going on in the present day with these realities. Or that would make a good blog post on your blog 🙂


  7. Ralph says:

    I was on vacation so I missed this post until today. Vivienne’s experiences with emotional displays are interesting, and made me think of how I respond.

    I was *very* emotionally vulnerable as a young boy due to a traumatic incident when I was 5, and the combination of that plus being uprooted and moved to a distant city where I was the odd man out led to me being very fragile. I would cry at the drop of a hat, for no reason I could understand, and it embarrassed me no end. Between the bullying and my father’s strict German standoffishness I learned to control my emotions and became almost robot-like to compensate.

    I’m still learning to relax, but it’s gradually getting easier. Regardless of how I’m dressed I will respond the same to grief — not loudly bawling but copious tears. If I’m watching a sad movie with male friends I’ll joke about the allergies making my eyes all watery, and they (also hiding their tears with varying degrees of success) will quickly agree with me that must be the problem.

    Also had a good laugh at the title. I thought I had seen every House episode (another one that marginally relates to us involves a hermaphrodite) but that doesn’t sound familiar. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with the old joke, it involves a woman complaining that her husband thinks he’s a chicken. When asked why she doesn’t seek treatment, she says: “We need the eggs.”


  8. thorin25 says:

    Ralph, I had a similar experience growing up with crying. I used to cry a lot but something changed. I know I grew up and grew out of my shyness and it was very good and not a forced bad thing. But I think another aspect of my personality changing was me shutting down my crying somehow, and that was not a good thing. To this day I’m trying to help myself be able to cry again. I consider that to be part of my healing, and the cause is probably related to my pain and hurts and cultural expectations related to all this gender stuff in my past.


  9. Vivienne says:

    Thanks for explaining the reference, Ralph! I hadn’t got it before.


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