I just finished reading this article – What Our Sexual Fantasies Say About Our Past by Stanley Siegel. Here is an excerpt that may apply to the origin of some crossdressing desires and fetishes.
When we suffer trauma as children and don’t have the opportunity to process it through the guidance of a loving parent or mentor – whether it’s the result of a parent’s sudden death, daily drama of slammed doors and raised voices, physical abuse, mistreatment, or even extreme over-involvement in our background – we may become emotionally detached or even numb to our feelings and to the feelings of those around us as a means of surviving the pain of the experience.
We feel empty, blank, dead, bored, or numb, as if there is nothing inside us. We learn so thoroughly to cut-off our emotions that we believe we don’t have them at all.
In contrast to internalizing the soothing memory of a loving parent, we experience feelings of emptiness, which is actually a form of repressed grief. When we feel hollow inside, we avoid intimacy with everyone.
Later, when we become sexual, we eroticize that detachment, treating our partners as objects absent of human emotions. We act cold, harsh, or emotionally distant. In our fantasies, we objectify our partners, sometimes dehumanizing the sexual experience entirely, callously using them for our satisfaction without any regard to their needs. We might even fetishize parts of their bodies like breasts, penises, and feet, or even possessions associated with them such as shoes, eyeglasses, or clothing. Effectively, we convert our experience of emotional detachment or emptiness into one of excitement and thrill, while still maintaining no real emotional investment in our partners. We create a sense of pleasure, excitement, and intensity where emptiness existed.
What are your thoughts about this theory as applied to crossdressing? For me, it does not fit at all. I was a very shy child who did not talk much. In that way I guess I had little social contact. But my relationships with family were strong, loving, and healthy. I don’t think this theory fits my own story. But what about for some of the rest of you?