I read a book called – Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationship in a Hypersexualized Age by Jonathan Grant – and I had saved some quotations from the book to eventually share with you. I do so today. Even though the book is not about crossdressing or transgenderism directly, some of the sections were very helpful and enlightening as we think about our struggles, and as we think about the sexuality that God intends for us in spite of the various ways that we are broken. The quotations are each about different topics, so I will comment on each of them separately.
“But infatuation has a short natural life cycle. Like the boosters on the space shuttle, it burns bright for a time and then falls away. This explains why we feel so “alive” in this early romantic stage and why people make such significant sacrifices – of careers, reputations, and existing relationships – in obedience to these feelings. The infatuation drug is so strong, Fisher explains, that anything associated with the object of our affection will seem to glow – his car in a crowded parking lot or her sweater over a chair. It explains why the grass seems greener when we “fall in love.” The second stage Fisher describes is the bonding experience of sexual intimacy. Besides the spiritual-emotional attachment that develops during these encounters, a strong physiological attachment also occurs. This, she says, is why there is no such thing as “casual sex.” Sexual climax releases a rush of certain neurotransmitters and hormones. The neurotransmitter dopamine intensifies the sensation of romantic love, while the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin deepen our emotional attachment to the other person. Oxytocin is also released when a mother breastfeeds a baby, which bonds mother to child. As Fisher explains, this is partly why we can experience such a strong sense of cosmic union with somebody after making love with them. The final phase of relational attachment is the deep sense of peace, warmth, and security we can feel with a long-term partner. This is the consolidation phase of a relationship, wherein the bond is deepened through emotionally warm experiences such as sharing a walk along the beach or watching a movie together.”
This was what I found to be the most interesting section in the whole book. It is clear that when you fall in love there is a lot going on with dopamine. But when a couple bonds together and stays together for a long time, the hormone vasopressin deepens the relationship. It cements the connection between the two people. What if something similar is going on in crossdressing? With the sexual rush of crossdressing, you get the dopamine release. And then as you continue in crossdressing, why wouldn’t we imagine that vasopressin is released? I don’t see any reason to think this wouldn’t be the case. A crossdressed male feels like the false woman he created is a real woman, and he is sexually attracted to her. And even if crossdressing has evolved in a person to no longer be sexual, there is still a feeling of comfort, peace, security, and warm feelings. Instead of, or in addition to, feeling a personal connection with a long-term partner or spouse, you feel a personal connection to your crossdressed self. Or you feel these feelings with both your spouse and with your crossdressed self. This would help to explain why so many crossdressers refer to their crossdressed self as if it really is a different person with a different identity.
It would also explain why so many crossdressers choose to keep crossdressing over an existing marriage, because they have cemented the bond to the crossdressed self, perhaps more than they have with the spouse. This would also explain why it seems so very impossible to quit crossdressing. For long term crossdressers, it would be like leaving a spouse you’ve been with for years. To leave voluntarily would seem near impossible, and you would continually be drawn to see that person again. Please give me your comments and thoughts about this. It makes sense to me. But I could not find any studies looking at the connection between crossdressing and vasopressin. Though it does appear that there has been a lot of research and/or talk about the relationship between crossdressing and oxytocin, which would perhaps amount to the same conclusion. From a quick perusal of crossdressing forums – (for 1 example – warning don’t go further than this at that site, could trigger you to act out) – it appears that most crossdressers realize there is this hormone release when they crossdress, and that it is the same kind of hormone release they would get if they were with a real woman. What I don’t understand is why they wouldn’t quit crossdressing and instead look for a wife, or spend time with the wife they already have. Addiction is powerful. Even when you understand that the alter ego is not real, and is just the woman you created that you are sexually attracted to, or are intimately bonding to, it is difficult to give it up.
“Besides these developments, the type of pornography being consumed has changed in two important senses: its neurological power and its tendency toward hard-core content. As regards the increased potency of pornography, neuroscience has established that the rich the media – such as high-definition, hyperrealistic moving pictures – the more powerful the effect, particularly on the male brain. This helps to explain why contemporary pornography seems more addictive than earlier forms. Online pornography also naturally drives viewers toward increasingly hard-core forms. Automatic pop-ups and linked advertisements create a fast-moving dynamic environment, which tantalizes the user in the heat of the moment to journey into unintended and increasingly extreme areas. This progressive dynamic means that all online pornography tends toward the hard-core, often taking people to places they had no intention of going when they set out. Clinicians make a distinction here between the decisions we make in “cold” and “hot” states. Because cyberpornography offers dynamic and open-ended choices during “hot” or heightened states, it quickly drives users to places they would reject without question in a cold state. Most people who have developed a compulsive habit in this area confirm this progressive movement from “soft-core” erotica into increasingly extreme imagery and scenarios. In this way, scenes that would initially offend or horrify them soon become acceptable and even desirable.”
I’ve definitely experienced this kind of escalation. It’s very difficult to find crossdressing stories or photos that sexually satisfy you, without going much further into a bunch of other really awful shit. The only solution is to not give in at all, to even the stuff that seems tame. And if you view this kind of behavior as sinful, then you shouldn’t be giving in even a small amount anyway.
“C.S. Lewis describes the ironic narrowing effect of sexual fantasy on a man’s personal identity and capacity to love. Something that promises limitless frontiers of sexual discovery and satisfaction leads instead into a dead-end canyon. As Lewis describes, ‘For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful [i.e., proper] use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself….After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in.”
I’ve written about masturbation already – see my post here – but I really like this warning from C.S. Lewis. It really shows the deep problems with masturbation.
“Seeing the goodness of God did not change Augustine nor help to curb his passions, which remained disordered and uncontrollable. In truth, this spiritual enlightenment shone a painful light on his brokenness and the depth of his addiction. Torn between the truth about God and the truth about himself, Augustine prayed one of the church’s most honest and enduring prayers: “Lord give me chastity and self-control, but not just yet!”
Probably the same cry of many crossdressers who want to give up the sin and live for Christ, but at the same time they don’t want to give it up. Some people try to give up crossdressing, but still can’t quite muster up the courage to purge for example. Or they want to try crossdressing in moderation.
“C.S. Lewis affirms this conviction that it is not the taming of desire that will set us free but rather the unleashing and enlarging of true desire: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
God’s will for our sexuality is what is best. He wants to offer us more, not less. But people still don’t understand. Crossdressers cannot understand the joy and happiness that I have, even though I gave up crossdressing. I hope one day they will understand and join me in my happiness.
“It is no wonder that the recent growth of online pornography has turned the previously rare term “sexual addiction” into a mainstream phenomenon within counseling, pop culture, and the church. This is the age-old dynamic of idolatry. At the beginning, an idol promises total satisfaction at no personal cost. It presents the illusion that we are in full control. Unable to fulfill us, the idol draws us further in and requires more from us with each encounter. In the end, having promised us everything at no cost, the idol’s false promises ultimately take everything. Having offered us control, the idol becomes our master.”
Crossdressing is definitely an idol. It sucks away at your life until you’ve lost everything, marriage, job, family, and sense of your true self.
“Having established a safe place and clear rules of engagement – honesty and confidentiality – they shared their personal struggles and journeys: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Many people consider this sort of self-exposure to be anathema, and yet the group grew quickly. Something about their mix of courage, commitment, and candor attracted other men. The group became a genuine community of koinonia, or loving fellowship, by stepping into the sort of honest, purposeful, and supportive relationships that Augustine described in his own journey of discipleship centuries earlier. As he says: “My true brothers are those who rejoice for me in their hearts when they find good in me, and grieve for me when they find sin. They are my true brothers became whether they see good in me or evil, they love me still. To such as these I shall reveal what I am.”
This quote explains well why I cherish and love the – prayer group – we have that got started through this blog.