Persevere! It’s going to be a long struggle

Most people who come to this blog wrongly jump to conclusions about me.  Some people think that one day I decided to give up crossdressing and everything has been easy sailing since.  And so they despair when they themselves are not able to give it up so easily and when they have a failure and fall into crossdressing, they decide to permanently give up trying to quit.  Others who come to this blog think that I am in denial and suppressing myself and my happiness, and that I must be miserable.  Others think I’m a liar and have not really given up crossdressing.  Others think that I have given up crossdressing only out of terror of the Almighty God and that it’s not what I really would want to do.  None of those assumptions are true.  None are nuanced enough to explain the reality, not only of my story, but of the dozens of other men I know who have given up crossdressing.  I am indeed experiencing great freedom and happiness because of having given up crossdressing, yet it has not been easy sailing, and I still have had periodic failures with crossdressing.  If you are going to give up this addiction, you need to look at it realistically.  And realistically, it is a long term struggle.

I’ve written about this before in several posts such as – “Healing doesn’t mean no more temptations” and “Progress Report 1-30-13 – How I successfully fought temptation but then failed” and “10 minute relapse.”  But it’s time to write about it again, very clearly.

The Christian life is one in which we are already saved through Christ.  We are justified by faith in Christ as our Savior.  We are saved by grace.  We don’t have to fear punishment as Jesus has already taken our punishment, and we are given the perfect righteousness of Christ so that God can look at us as righteous people deserving of eternal life rather than Hell.  But although we are saved from the consequences of our sin, the reality is that we are still living sinful lives.  We have been declared righteous in God’s sight through Christ, but our actual righteousness is still often quite pitiful in this life.  All of us Christians are in the process of sanctification, the process by which the Holy Spirit works in us and helps us to become more obedient, more loving, more Christ-like, and more holy.  It’s a long process that won’t be complete until Jesus returns and makes us perfect.  In the meantime, we struggle, but we keep fighting against sin, and keep slowly slowly growing in holiness.

Sanctification does not mean that we will be perfect right now.  No.  We still sin, we still struggle.  But it does mean that we don’t “walk” in sin or walk in darkness.  We fight sin.  We repent, we confess.  We keep trying to please God.  We obey Jesus because we love him.  The evidence of being born again is not perfection, but it is that we no longer walk in sin or in darkness.  We want to obey God.  We want to fight sin.  We don’t do so perfectly, but we keep trying.  If you want to be assured that you are truly saved and born again, your life should exhibit these traits.  You will not be living in sin.  Instead you will be fighting sin and trying to live for God, even if you don’t do so perfectly.

In the life of sanctification, some sins are really easy to root out.  It’s very easy, for example, at least for me, to never ever steal again for the rest of my life.  I’m certain I won’t.  It’s very easy for me to say I will never murder.  It’s very easy to say I will never give in to corruption.  Etc.  But other sins are more virulent.  They cling to us.  We each have our own sins that we each especially struggle with.  For me, one of them has been sexual addiction, primarily everything related to crossdressing, but lately I have been starting to struggle more with the temptations that normal men struggle with as well, of wanting to lust after pictures of women online and masturbate.  It seems that sexual addiction and temptations are going to be a plague in my life until Jesus makes me perfect.

Why should I see myself as any different from others who have addictions?  An alcoholic can successfully give up alcohol, but alcohol will remain a temptation and a negative influence on their life until they die, and they will have to continually be on their guard and watch out for it.  They will have times of calm, smooth sailing with no temptations, perhaps for years, and then all of a sudden be at a wedding or party and have severe temptation.  That is the life of an alcoholic.  That is also my life, the life of a former crossdressing/sex addict.  I will have times of smooth sailing, and times of severe temptation out of the blue.  Those temptations will never fully go away.

But do I despair?  No.  Do I give up?  No.  Having temptations all the time is frustrating to be sure, but it doesn’t make me give up.  I just have to keep resisting them.  That is the Christian life, it’s a constant fight and struggle against sin until the war is over and Jesus returns and makes me new.  I’m not going to give up and give in just because it’s hard.  And as a matter of fact, though the temptations are annoying, I’m living a very happy life, and the more temptations I resist, the more I live the life that God wants me to live, the more healthy and happy that I am.  I know that non-Christians probably won’t understand this.  But a periodic failure is not evidence to me that I should give up on my resistance to crossdressing.  If anything, it’s been the opposite.  Each time I have failed, it has only reminded me of how worthless crossdressing is, and how much happier I am without it, and how much better it is to obey God.  My temptations for crossdressing have overall lessened, but even if they remained strong every day, I would not give up.  I’m in this for the long haul, until my Lord comes for me.

To me, I think we can divide sins into two categories.  Stay with me for a second.

  1. There are those sins that you fight and resist, and as you resist, they seem to lose their power more and more.  Finally, God changes your heart enough that you don’t even desire them all anymore and you don’t even have to deal with the temptations.  For example, those who are habitual liars find out that the more they tell the truth, the easier it becomes and the happier they are to be living without lying.
  2. There are other sins, that it seems the more you fight, the stronger the temptations become!  It seems the pressure just builds and builds until you feel like it’s almost impossible not to give in.  This seems to be especially true of sins of a sexual nature.  Perhaps it’s partly due to the biological release of pleasure inducing hormones, and the natural ebb and flow of sexual desire.  And with sexual pleasure, you can experience something like a bodily build up of desire, where you just want the release.  With these sins, the more you resist, the harder it feels to keep resisting.  It’s like climbing a steep mountain.  It’s hard enough climbing the mountain the entire day, but when you reach the tip top, that is the hardest steepest point and you feel like you can hardly make it.

Crossdressing clearly falls into the 2nd category.  Resistance sometimes only builds the power of the temptations.  Of course, I can also say that in my life it fits partly into category 1, because indeed God has changed me.  I and others who have given up crossdressing can describe months and even years of not having much temptation because our desires have changed.  We see crossdressing for what it is, it has become foolish in our eyes, and no longer as pleasurable.  But even for those who have given up crossdressing and go for years without giving in, we see that crossdressing is really in category 2, because one day out of the blue we can get severe overpowering strong temptations to CD.  The pressure can build, even without our conscious knowledge.  Then the temptations come without warning, and when our guard is down, and we forget the nature of this addiction, we can feel like there is no way to resist.  And sometimes when those temptations come, people like us can fail, even after years of abstinence.  I’ve been there.

There is no reason to think failure is assured.  We have self-control and don’t have to give in.  But you should very much expect the temptations to come.  Don’t let your guard down.  Don’t think that this is going to be an easy quick struggle.  It’s a long time war against our enemy, crossdressing.  We can win, but you have to be in it for the long haul.  And when you fail, don’t let yourself binge out of control and restart your addiction, don’t allow yourself to despair, don’t allow yourself to wallow in guilt, and don’t allow yourself to hear the lies that it’s better to just give in and stop resisting.  Just recognize it for what it is, accept God’s grace and forgiveness, and begin the life of holiness once again.

When you resist temptations to crossdress, rejoice!  Celebrate!  Be happy about your victory.  But realize that when the next hard temptation comes, whether next week, or next year, it might be an even stronger temptation than the previous one.  Be ready.  This is a long struggle, but you can do it.  Don’t despair when things get tough.  That may mean you are nearing the top of the mountain and ready to deal a serious blow to the addiction so that you can walk easy for a few years before you get to the next mountain of temptation.  But don’t give up just as you nearing the top of the mountain!

And remember this.  God told us in his Word over and over and over to rejoice at the trials we go through.  Why?  Because it strengthens us.  As we experience temptation and resist it, we are learning self-control (one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit), we develop compassion for others who struggle, we are learning to choose the good over the bad, we are learning patience, we are experiencing dependence on God and closeness to him as we go to him for help to resist, we become more grateful for the salvation we have in Jesus and how he resisted temptation perfectly so that we could be saved, and we are developing a thirst for Heaven and Jesus’ return when he will end our temptations forever.

I hope you think carefully through this post.  My message to all of you who are trying to quit crossdressing, and even to those trying to resist the lies of transgenderism, is this – Don’t give up!  Persevere.  This is a long struggle but a very worthwhile one.  There is hope for your desires to change and for temptations to dramatically lessen.  I have experienced that.  But temptations come out of the blue because this is a life-long struggle.  I have experienced that.  You may fail unexpectedly.  I have experienced that.  Don’t give up.  Keep living a righteous and good life without crossdressing.  It is worth it.  Rejoice at the times of peace and calm where you go for years without desiring this sin.  And when the desires come, don’t despair, resist and conquer and keep on going.  May we all persevere until our Lord returns and makes us new and brings an end to our long struggle.

Painful story about dealing with a transgender partner

This is the story of a woman and the pain she went through dealing with her partner (husband maybe?) who was a crossdresser addict, who crossdressed for sexual pleasure until finally convincing himself that he was transgender.

The writer claims to be a radical feminist and much of her blog is about such topics.  I am not advocating for the content of the blog itself, nor the attitude of the author towards issues of gender and transgender.  While some of what she says in other posts about transgender I believe to be true, much of it comes in vulgar language, and is certainly not from a Christian perspective and worldview.  I would recommend not reading any of the other posts.

However, I can affirm that much of what she has written in her story, from my experience, is true not only of her partner but also of many crossdressers.  I have heard so many stories similar to hers since starting this blog ministry.

Read it here – Gas Mark Six

In her story she shows very clearly the issue of escalation in the lives of crossdressers.  When giving in to crossdressing, we can never be content.  The addiction escalates and escalates until crossdressing has consumed our lives completely.  We aren’t content until we can be fully and completely a real woman (which cannot happen).  And in cases like the man in the story, we can’t really get what we want, because we want to be real women while at the same time masturbating and having sexual pleasure as a man.  It’s hard to imagine that this man cannot see the foolishness of his actions, and yet this story is just one of thousands.

On the issue of emotional abuse I think she is right. I don’t agree with a lot of what feminists say, but I do believe they are right when they talk about masculine bullying and manipulating coming from transgendered husbands.  I have seen this time and again from other stories.  Trying to force your wife to live as a lesbian is abuse enough, let alone all the lying, manipulation, and guilt trips.

I’m sad to say that what she says about her counselor is also not unique.  For a counselor to lay all the blame on her instead of her husband is unconscionable.  That counselor should lose their license.   I have lost a lot of faith in secular counselors.  I’m hesitant to send those struggling with crossdressers to counselors because so many counselors are absolutely clueless about crossdressing and transgenderism and instead of truly trying to help someone quit crossdressing and accept their male selves, they will encourage them in their delusions.  They are going along with the culture which says that whatever people want to do is fine, we should not judge.  It’s foolishness.  I’d much prefer to send people to Christian counselors or pastors.

Helpful Bible Verses 16

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.

 

Proverbs 6:20-35

My son, keep your father’s command
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart;
    fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
    are the way to life,
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
    from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.

25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
    or let her captivate you with her eyes.

26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
    but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
    without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
    whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
    and his shame will never be wiped away.

34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation;
    he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

This passage from Proverbs is a wonderful warning against adultery, prostitution, and lust in general.  I know it is not directly about crossdressing. But I think it is helpful for us to still meditate on it and think through how it might relate to crossdressing as another kind of sexual sin.  Verse 27 I find particularly helpful.  Many crossdressers try to give up crossdressing without getting rid of their female clothing.  To give it up means that they don’t plan on ever failing again.  But most crossdressers cannot get themselves to the full commitment of quitting for good.  They can imagine not giving in for a few weeks, but it’s hard to imagine never giving in again.  Verse 27 makes it very clear that if we have fire or hot coals in our laps, we will get burned.  I think keeping female clothing around is like keeping a raging fire in our house.  I know the arguments about wasting money.  I know how difficult it is.  But if you keep the female clothing around, you are just asking to fail.  It’s like a heroin addict keeping hidden heroin in their house while they are trying to quit.  It doesn’t make sense.  It doesn’t work.  You shouldn’t try to “test your strength and resolve” by keeping the clothing around.  That is just foolish.  Most of us will fail.  That is how addiction works.  Put out the fire so you don’t fail again.

 

John 13:6-10

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”

Sometimes we are like Peter.  We have failed in many sexual sins and sinned in so many other ways.  We really want to try hard to be obedient to Christ so that we can feel good about his love for us.  We don’t want to accept his forgiveness as pure grace.  But the only way we can have Jesus in our life is to be washed by him, fully and completely.  We can’t earn his favor or goodness by trying hard to be holy and obedient.  Peter was ashamed to have Jesus washing his feet, let alone all of him.  We sometimes are ashamed to go before Jesus as well.  We have failed with crossdressing and are ashamed of what we have done.  Many of us want to clean ourselves up, and get back to holy living, before we come back to Christ.  But that is foolishness.  It is when we have messed up so badly, that we need to run to Christ, so that he can wash us and help us.  We run to him to be reminded of his grace, that our punishment is taken away and he still loves us.  Don’t wait to clean up your life before going to him.  If you ever fail in sin, run to him immediately in prayer.  Don’t let your shame, guilt, or your pride, or your desire to achieve your own salvation by works, keep you from running to Christ.

 

1 Peter 5:8

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

We need to keep our guard up.  As Christians, we have assurance that we have the victory, that in the end the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire.  The end of the story is that God wins.  But right now, God has allowed Satan and his demons to still cause mischief.  Even though Satan’s judgment is coming, he is still trying to cause harm to Christians.  He delights in tempting us to sin.  We don’t have to fear Satan, because his power is far weaker than Christ’s power within us.  But we have to be aware of him and his schemes.  Stay alert.  Be ready for temptation.  Don’t let your guard down.  Be vigilant.  When temptations come, recognize the temptation, and realize you have the power of Christ to resist such temptation.  Satan cannot force you to sin.  We can have the victory each time.

Quotations from the book – Divine Sex

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.

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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 upSome 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.

The Man Who Would Be Queen – Free online

I’ve already written – here – about this book.  But I just found that it is free online.  It’s a very controversial book, though I think it is quite interesting and helpful.  Read the book for free here: The Man Who Would be Queen.  After reading, go back and read my original blog post about it and comment with your thoughts.

An Alternative Method – Integration and Contentment

This post is different from my other posts. I have written from a more neutral vantage point rather than specifically out of a Christian worldview, in the hope that this post can help others who may not share my faith. In this post, I synthesize a lot of the things I have written about in other posts, and hopefully this concise article will help not only non-Christians, but Christians as well who have been reading my blog for some time.

In this brief article, I would like to address men1 who feel the need to crossdress, but who find it problematic to do so in their current life situation. This could include:

  • Married men whose wives do not approve of crossdressing.
  • Men who would not be comfortable having it known that they crossdress, and so therefore they crossdress in secret with constant fear of being caught.
  • Men who are prohibited from crossdressing legally because they live in oppressive countries, and would face prison or death if caught.
  • Men who might not view crossdressing as inherently bad, but recognize that crossdressing has become an unhealthy addiction negatively affecting their lives.2

I have tremendous compassion for crossdressers and for gender nonconforming people in general. We have to deal with society caricaturing us, often hating us, and misunderstanding us. We often carry our own feelings of confusion, guilt, and fear. Given this reality, it’s not surprising that the types of men described feel intense pressure to give up crossdressing. Our problem is that most of us do not want to give up what we view as an important part of ourselves. Some call this their “feminine side” or “inner femininity.” Crossdressing for many men makes them feel more like their true selves, and gives them important feelings that they do not get any other way.

In this article, I propose an alternative method to crossdressing that still achieves the same result as crossdressing: being able to embrace one’s inner femininity. I call this method the Integration (or Unified-Self) Method. I hope to show not only that it is possible to stop crossdressing, but also to show how this does not entail losing or suppressing anything essential in one’s identity and personality.

I will begin by telling my own story. Second, I will outline my rationale for the Integration Method. Third, I will explain how to actually pursue this method in real life. Fourth, I will explain why it is possible to stop crossdressing and give a few suggestions about how to stop. Last, I will give some thoughts about pursuing contentment in the difficult situations some of us are in.

My own story drives me to show compassion to others who might share a similar situation. Biologically I was born a male, and for many years I used to be a very active crossdresser. While it primarily seemed to be a sexual issue for me, it was certainly more than that. I had sharp pangs of longing to be female. Even before I started grade school I secretly longed to be a girl, but could not understand why. Almost every night I would imagine being transformed into a girl. Later in life, I felt like I did not fit in with other men. I felt like my personality was much more truly a woman’s personality and so I dreamed about living as a woman full-time. But I was terrified to tell anyone about my feelings. I felt very much alone.

In some ways crossdressing was very satisfying. It not only gave me sexual pleasure but it also seemed to bring out aspects of my personality that I had previously felt uncomfortable expressing as a boy/man. For example, I could dance freely while crossdressed, but could never do so, even when alone, as my male self. However, I felt strong internal pressure to give up crossdressing because it was an addiction that was interfering with my life (and there were also moral and religious reasons I need not discuss here). This led me to half-hearted attempts to quit both crossdressing and my fantasizing about being a woman. I tried hard for years, with occasional success, but I could never quite seem to fully shake my strong desire/need for crossdressing.

My cycle of frustration ended five years ago when I first learned about the Integration Method. Through a great deal of effort and introspection I was able to stop crossdressing. But I also was able to find inner peace and to no longer desire to be a woman. Today I have learned to accept my male body and now I am proud to be the man I am. All of this was only possible because it was not done at the expense of suppressing my “inner femininity.” To be honest, my desire to put on female clothing has not completely left me as on rare days a crossdressing thought might still find purchase in my mind for a time. And I did put on articles of female clothing a few times in the last 5 years, purely for sexual pleasure, episodes which lasted only minutes and were surprisingly unsatisfying. Besides these anomalies, I now feel free from controlling crossdressing desires, free from confusion about my identity, and free from guilt. I am content and happy now.

So what is the method that allowed me to embrace my inner femininity while also giving up crossdressing? I call it the Integration or Unified-self method. To put it simply, this method focuses on integrating both the masculine and feminine aspects of myself into my one true persona, my male self. Let me unpack this a bit to make it clearer.

I think that most of us would agree that both sexes, male and female, can experience a wide spectrum of feelings and personality traits, and no sex owns particular personality traits. For example, it is very possible for men to have the trait of being sensitive, just as there are sensitive women. However, in many societies certain feelings and traits have been labeled as “masculine” or “feminine.” To be fair, this is helpful in some ways. It is true on average that women tend to exhibit certain traits, and that on average men tend to exhibit certain traits. So perhaps we could say that many men are strong, rational, organized, protective, and like to lead. And perhaps we could say that many women are sensitive, nurturing, emotional, gentler, and supportive. We could add many more traits to this list. This is a helpful way to label the general differences between men and women. Many people delight to poke fun at the differences, to analyze them, to see how the differences cause friction in relationships, and also many see beauty and complementarity in the differences between men and women.

The problem is that societies and people tend to absolutize the traits. Instead of thinking, “many men are like this,” people start to think that “men must be like this to be a real man.” Many of us have internalized and believed these absolutist messages growing up, whether consciously or subconsciously. As a result, those of us who do not exhibit a high number of the masculine traits feel like we do not belong. So we either force ourselves to do things we are not comfortable doing in order to fit in with other boys/men, or we abandon the “male project” altogether. Every man experiences the tension of cultural expectations to some degree but for a few of us this becomes painfully frustrating and overwhelming. Men like myself who gravitate towards crossdressing have greater difficulties fitting into such cultural norms because we often have much less of the traditional masculine traits than the average man to begin with. Similarly, we tend to have a lot more of the traditional feminine traits compared to the average man. The unhappy result is that men like us often go through life with our personalities more stifled and more stretched than the average man. We are much more likely to cause injury to our sense of self.

I believe that it is precisely this type of suppression of self which leads many young men (including myself) to begin to crossdress in the first place, as a secret outlet for many of our suppressed feelings. Crossdressers use the act of crossdressing to feel more like their true selves. The act seems to give us permission to feel “feminine” feelings. For example, when crossdressing we feel like we are allowed to be gentle, nurturing, sensitive, drawn to beauty, attractive, etc. The act seems to bring these personality traits and feelings to the surface.

To pursue this integration method, I argue that we must first begin to think about all of these personality traits and feelings as “human traits.” Often a society will recognize that men can be generally like a,b,c,d,e, and women generally like f,g,h,i,j. But pick out a specific man at random and he might be c,d,e,f,i. Pick out a specific woman and she might be a,d,h,i,j. And in reality, men and women have many more personality traits in common than are different. I affirm the common understanding that if we measured society as a whole according to masculine and feminine traits we might get a bell curve like this:3

curveMy opinion is that a chart like this illustrates well the amount of sameness and difference between the two sexes, men and women. We can see that there are real personality differences between males and females.4 But we can also see that most people fall in the middle. Men and women are more the same than they are different. Some elements of society might want to steer men and women towards the extreme ends of the spectrum, but this is not where most people naturally fall. The first principle of the Integration Method is the understanding that our cherished personality traits are not exclusively “female” or “feminine” in their essence but may simply be more towards the feminine side of the spectrum. They are, in fact, human traits.

The Integration Method itself is the difficult process of discovering and understanding all of our human traits, including the ones some might call “feminine.” Then we determine which human trait crossdressing brings to the surface or helps to enhance. Finally, in lieu of crossdressing, we try to free ourselves to exhibit all of those human personality traits and feelings in the course of our regular male lives. We learn to undo the suppression and embrace the so-called “feminine” traits we cherish in ourselves, while still looking like a man and dressing like a man. To put it another way, the goal of this path is to take our two divided personas – the overly-stretched masculine self of our everyday life, and the secret, stifled feminine (crossdressed) self – and integrate them together so that we possess only one self, a unified self. If we successfully pursue this path, this would mean dressing and identifying as a man, but exhibiting the full range of human personality traits and feelings that are important to us and that we view as part of our identity.5 I actually affirm the statement, “be yourself and accept yourself.” But when I say this, I mean that you should accept yourself fully and completely, including your body and all your personal traits and feelings.

But this sounds easy when it is all theoretical. The reality, I admit, is much harder to achieve. What do we actually do in order to achieve this integrated self? I and my fellow bloggers have written much about this, and space does not permit to repeat everything here. But in what follows I will present a few ways to go about doing this. I want to be honest that these steps will not be as immediately fulfilling as crossdressing. Allow me to use an analogy concerning stress and illegal drugs to illustrate what I mean by this (and please remember that it is certainly not meant to be taken as an exact analogy, nor am I at all suggesting crossdressing should be made illegal). Some people use illegal drugs in order to deal with stress and anxiety in their lives. Such a treatment often works, for a time. There are probably some better ways to deal with one’s stress and anxiety, such as vigorous exercise, journaling, and perhaps even therapy. But these are more difficult. Why not take the easiest path to arrive at the same goal – the lessening of stress and anxiety through drugs? Here’s what I mean. I’m not naïve, and I know that for many the Integration Method will be a more difficult path compared to crossdressing in order to reach the end goal – experiencing certain “feminine” cherished feelings about one’s self. But as I mentioned from the outset, many men have the option taken away from them, or seek to distance themselves from crossdressing because it has become something closer to an addiction. I myself found this method (and giving up crossdressing) to be extremely difficult at the beginning. But now that I look back, I do not regret anything and I have found this process far more rewarding than crossdressing in achieving wholeness.

In fact, looking back, I believe that this alternative path brought about wholeness in a way that crossdressing cannot. In a strange paradox, while crossdressing could have been bringing true “feminine” feelings and personality traits to the surface during that moment, I think it was also causing further suppression of those traits in my normal male persona. From the stories I have read of other crossdressers, it certainly seems that regular crossdressing can in some cases cause people to further divide their sense of self into two personas, with two different names and identities, each with some of their personality traits, but with no one persona exhibiting all of that person’s personality traits and feelings as a unified whole. This is the opposite of a unified self. This is the opposite of a self which has embraced both so-called feminine and masculine personality traits in a healthy way. This is yet another reason why I believe the path of integration is the best path to wholeness and internal peace.

Some of the following steps take courage. In certain ways, it’s easier to crossdress in private than it is to be our true atypical male self in public. My personal feeling is that to continue to crossdress is to give in to the unfair gender stereotypes culture tries to impose upon us. I’d rather resist the stereotypes and champion a way forward for all of us men to be able to be ourselves, without thinking we need to put on a dress in order to fit in.

Some ways to pursue integration:

  • Regularly affirm to yourself that masculine and feminine traits are only labeled as such because of cultural generalities. Remember that they are actually “human” traits.
  • Think about all of your personality traits and feelings. Explore how you feel and what you are like when crossdressing. Explore how you feel and what you are like when you are not crossdressing. Write down and journal about the similarities and differences. Try to write down which traits most accurately describe your real natural self, when you feel comfortable and are not stretching yourself to live up to other people’s expectations. Now imagine what it would be like to exhibit all of these traits as your one unified male self.
  • Make a firm decision to be who you are, and accept yourself as you really are, both your body and all of your personality traits and feelings.
  • Every day tell yourself things like, “It is okay that I am a man but want to be beautiful.” “It is okay that I am emotional (or sensual, sensitive, spontaneous, etc.) as a man.”
  • Think about what activities you have tried or been trying to do only in order to fit in and make yourself seem more masculine, rather than out of enjoyment. Consider stopping those activities if they are stressing you out because they do not really fit your temperaments or interests.
  • Think critically about what activities, hobbies, or jobs you might have enjoyed doing but did not because you felt insecure about doing them as your male self. Maybe you pursued these activities only while crossdressed. Be intentional about pursuing some of them now. These could be things like knitting, ballet, cooking, painting, babysitting, or even something as simple as playing a supportive role in a cooperative video game or board game. Some things that I made a choice to do: I put a picture of flowers on my desktop and I let myself enjoy decorations people might think of as feminine. I enjoy shopping together with my wife for clothing for her.
  • Most importantly, every time you get an urge or thought to crossdress, stop and ask yourself what the underlying motivation is. Are you longing to feel beautiful? Are you wanting to let your emotions out? After analyzing the underlying motivation, figure out what you can do instead of crossdressing to meet that need. It doesn’t matter if the stereotypical man would not have that same need. For example:
    • If the need is intimacy, you could look for it in time spent with God, your wife, or a friend.
    • If the need is to feel beautiful, you can think about how God views you as his beautiful creation, or how you are attractive to your wife. Or you can dress up nicely as a man wearing a fancy suit to make yourself feel attractive.
    • If you want to enjoy the curves of the feminine body, remind yourself that this is not the body you have. Practice body appreciation of yourself! An alternative could be showing affection to your wife, or enjoy dressing her up in a beautiful feminine way so that you can enjoy her real bodily femininity.
    • If your desire is sexually motivated, see if you can be intimate with your wife instead, or if that need must wait, try to look forward to the next time of being your wife with patience and excitement. Or, depending on your values, you could consider masturbation as an alternative.
    • If you need to relieve stress, perhaps you can watch a favorite movie or play video games, or take up jogging.
    • If you feel like decorating yourself, you could decorate your house instead or paint a painting. Or you could dress up as a man, but with more stylish clothing. I now wear pink and purple men’s shirts!
    • If you want to feel soft and gentle, you could make a cup of tea and wrap up in a blanket on the couch.

I am not pretending that it is easy to know how to meet our needs in other ways. We have to think critically about these things. This list is not exhaustive, but hopefully it gets you started. Find what works for you. Each one of us felt different things while crossdressing, and so what we will each need may be different.

Whether these are truly feminine needs or traits that we cherish does not matter. Some of us grew up with terrible stereotypes of women that we now reject as educated adults. But we may have still suppressed a part of ourselves based on those stereotypes we grew up accepting. In fact, it may be we crossdressers who originally had the most internally absolutized views of masculinity and femininity, male and female, which led us to suppress parts of ourselves in the first place. So even if you now know that a certain trait or activity (like knitting) is not technically feminine in essence, it might be still something you suppressed previously and should now accept in yourself.

In the course of unifying our inner self through the Integration Method we might, on occasion, find that there are some “feminine” needs or feelings that we cannot achieve apart from crossdressing. If this occurs we might try reevaluating whether it really should be a need in our life in the first place. Is it really necessary for our happiness? Or is there a way we can redefine it or look at it in a new way? For example, perhaps I have the feeling of being carefree when crossdressed. I do not see how to get that feeling in any other way. But after careful thought, I can now see that real women actually do not necessarily have innate feelings of being carefree. This may be true in advertisements, but not in real life. In real life women have to take responsibility for their actions, and their lives can be hard and stressful and unfair. Recognizing this allows me to reexamine this desired feeling and come to the conclusion that that is not a feeling I should be trying to achieve anyway. I should instead be trying to be a responsible adult who is not always carefree.

Although this method requires real effort and perseverance, it has the potential to achieve for you much of what crossdressing was doing for you. This will allow you men in these terribly difficult or dangerous situations to give up crossdressing, so that you can keep your lives, your marriages, or your jobs and still keep your “inner femininity.”

But pursuing the long term integration method is only half of the solution. Men in these situations are hard pressed to quit crossdressing right away. How can that be done? Actually, after hearing my story, many crossdressers have wondered with some incredulity: “Is it really possible to stop crossdressing?” But I insist that it is possible to stop crossdressing if you really want to. This is simply logical and I’ve seen many other active crossdressers admit this as well.

We all have free will and we can make choices about what we will do and how we will live. Of course, we do not have the power to choose to instantly remove our longings to be the opposite sex, or to remove the internal impulses to crossdress. But we can indeed choose whether to crossdress or not, and whether to use time in fantasizing about our longings. All of us have thousands of desires and thoughts going on inside of us every day, and they regularly change due to our experiences, cultural expectations, and relationships. And of course, many of our desires are in conflict with each other. For example, we might desire a piece of cake but also desire to lose weight. We not only have competing desires on little issues, but on huge issues as well, such as relationships, which new job to take, and whether to transition or not.

It is impossible to fulfill all of our deepest desires, and that is okay, especially since some of them are harmful to ourselves or others. Every day we choose what we most want to do and act on it, while at the same time we choose not to act in other ways. But none of our desires need control us. If you really desire the path of integration and contentment that I am proposing rather than the path of crossdressing, then you can truly stop.

But it is difficult stop. I know from experience. Here are some basic suggestions that may help you to successfully stop:

  • First, make sure you really believe you can stop. Do enough thinking and study about this so that you come to the point where you really believe it is possible. Otherwise you are unlikely to succeed.
  • Second, make a firm decision to stop. Do not be wishy washy about it. The urge to crossdress will surely come, and you need to be ready to tell yourself you have already made a concrete decision to stop.
  • When an urge comes, do not suppress it. Face it and deal with it. Remind yourself of the decision you made to quit. Consider the RAIN approach. “R – Recognize what craving feels like. A – Allow it to be present without pushing it away, allow it to come up, do its dance and fade away. I – Investigate what craving feels like in my body right now with curiosity. N – Note craving as it comes and goes along with tension, yearning, and tightness in the body.”6
  • Find purposeful things to do in your life that will be fulfilling to keep your mind focused on other things (new job, church ministry, volunteering, travel, etc.). When the urges to come, consider distracting yourself until the urges die down. Hobbies, walks, weight lifting, video games, and even naps have worked for me. My favorite is to find beautiful clothing for my wife to wear for me.
  • Try to decrease the number of triggers in your life that make you think about or want to crossdress. This could mean spending less time alone, less business trips, avoiding certain stores in the mall, avoiding certain websites, etc.
  • Ask your wife to keep her clothes put away nicely so that you are not constantly seeing them over the floor or chairs.
  • Consider finding an accountability partner or support group who will encourage you and help you to quit.
  • When you fail and crossdress, tell someone else. Don’t let the failure paralyze you from continuing to try. Dust yourself off and keep on trying. Change is hard, but possible.
  • Keep reading about crossdressing in books or at websites like mine. The more we understand ourselves and our desires, the easier it is to control those desires. Just be cautioned that thinking about crossdressing often can be a trigger.

But maybe you are thinking: “Quitting crossdressing does not seem any easier than the difficult work of integration! It hardly seems worth it.” I’ll be honest, I did find it hard at first. But I found it to be very worthwhile and I would make the same decision again 100 times over. Is it worth it for you? Well that of course depends a lot on what pressures you are facing to stop crossdressing. In some ways, only you can answer this question. Are you willing to keep living in fear? Are you willing to risk your marriage for the pleasure of crossdressing?

Unfortunately from my perspective, most crossdressing websites and books will tell you that the only way to deal with crossdressing urges is to continue to crossdress, or even to pursue hormonal or medical treatments to go further. And they usually advocate that doing this is so important, that it should be pursued regardless of opposition or consequences such as losing a job, a relationship, or a spouse.

Although these messages are well-intentioned and given out of love to spare others pain, I do not think that suggested path will necessarily heal people from their pain and gender discomfort. Firstly, while pursuing crossdressing might provide some pleasure or fulfillment, the potential loss of spouse or job could be devastating and add a great amount of pain. Secondly, I would say from personal experience that are crossdreaming longings cannot ever be fully satisfied. The more I crossdressed, the more I wanted to crossdress. The more womanly I looked, the more I “needed” to do to try to look even more womanly. I just could not sate those desires. Even in an ideal world where there was no danger and all of our spouses celebrated our crossdressing, if we went the far step of undergoing medical treatments to change our bodies, we still would know we are XY males who were not truly born females. It is a thirst that I believe we can never fully quench. And it is, I think, universal wisdom that when we focus on and spend our time longing for something that we cannot truly obtain, we will be discontent, frustrated, and less happy.

Giving up crossdressing and pursuing the path of integration can actually be more rewarding in some ways. The more we can accept ourselves for who we are, without changing ourselves or our bodies, the happier we can be. The more we can have an integrated and unified identity, with ALL of our personality traits being allowed, the happier we will be. However, I’m not going to make any false promises or guarantees. If you give up crossdressing, but do not do the hard work of integration, then perhaps you might not be as happy as if you were crossdressing. Crossdressing surely gives a temporary rush of endorphins and nice emotional feelings. But for me, after putting in the hard work, I am completely happy without crossdressing and do not miss it at all. It was one of the most important decisions of my life and that decision has given me regular feelings of freedom and joy. And I gave it u while not giving up any of my so called “feminine” traits.

As I conclude, I want to offer a few tips about learning contentment. Contentment is a form of happiness or satisfaction. It is a happiness obtained from accepting our situation, even if it not an ideal situation. If we can learn to accept that there are certain things in our lives that we cannot change, and stop focusing on those things that we cannot change, we can become more satisfied and happy, or in other words, more content.

The men I am writing to are in very difficult situations. There are certain things that they cannot easily change. They cannot make their wives enjoy their crossdressing. They cannot easily change an oppressive country. They cannot crossdress in public for various reasons. They cannot truly become the women they long to be. I propose that if we stop focusing on these things we cannot change, and rather focus on making our lives the best they can be in our current situations, that we will be happier.

Here are some ways we can pursue contentment:

  • Accept the truth that your body is part of who you are and that you truly cannot change it. Let that reality sink in.
  • Think about what is positive about your body and focus on that. Focus on the positive traits about your character and personality. Find joy in being yourself even if you are atypical.
  • Celebrate your maleness by trying to look good and dress in a way that flatters your body.
  • Every day focus on making positive changes in your life, the things that you are in control of changing.
  • Cultivate gratitude, rather than envy. Do not let yourself give in to fantasies and thoughts of envy towards others. Resist thoughts of bitterness, resentment, or anger about your life.
  • Focus on building others up every day instead of focusing on yourself. This is more fulfilling and the way to find a joy filled and happy life.

The serenity prayer is a good summary of these steps:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

The path I am advocating is not easy. It not only takes the work of learning self-control, but the hard emotional and intellectual work of understanding yourself and your inner motivations. It takes work to learn to be content with your body, and to integrate all of your personality traits. It can be a long journey until you come to full self-acceptance. But for many of us this may be the best path to freedom and happiness.


FOOTNOTES

1. While this writing may resonate with some women crossdressers, I will refer to men throughout for simplicity and clarity. I have more understanding about men who crossdress, being one myself.

2. This article will not address addictions of a sexual nature, such as the combination of crossdressing and masturbation (which can often be similar to a pornography addiction). Such men also might have reasons to want to give up crossdressing, and they can find many posts, resources, links, and tools on the rest of this site that can help them.

3. Graph taken from the article, “The Masculine-Feminine Continuum,” by Caroline Turner.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-turner/the-masculinefeminine-con_1_b_5560556.html

4. Some argue that these differences are purely due to cultural expectations. Others argue that they are due to the differing biology of the sexes. Most now recognize it’s not nature or nurture, but nature AND nurture. I think there are real biological differences between men and women that play a big role in their personality traits and gender expression, but I also believe culture and environment play a big role as well. It is outside the scope of this article to pursue the current research on these questions. More importantly for this article, however, is that disagreements about the nature/nurture debate does not affect my basic point about accepting all parts of our personality and integrating them together, rather than trying to conform to cultural stereotypes.

5. A couple of friends who also gave up crossdressing give excellent further explanation of this integration process in these blog posts. It would be fair to say that I learned it from them.
https://mycdrecovery.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/underlying-feelings-wants-needs/
https://mycdrecovery.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/in-search-of-unification/
https://cdreflections.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/counter-productive/

6. Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Adjunct) of Psychiatry; Medical Director, Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic. http://yourbrainonporn.com/simple-and-powerful-tool-yale-professor-judson-brewer-recommends-skilfully-handling-our-urges

Practical Steps to kill a Porn or Internet Crossdressing Addiction

Here are 4 articles at porn-no-more.com that give really good concrete practical steps to kill a pornography addiction.  They are good steps at resisting temptations and triggers and steps for how to overcome the addiction.  If you are like me, you were not addicted to pornography but rather to crossdressing videos, pictures, and stories online.  Even though the issues are quite different in some ways, the nature of the sexual addiction is largely the same.  See my post on crossdressing is like pornography.  Therefore I’m sharing these articles to help all of us whether we struggle with pornography, crossdressing media online, or both

1. Create a Porn-Free Environment – This article is about limiting the easy accessibility of pornography in your home.

This tip – “Just get the stuff out. Box up tapes, DVD’s videos, CD;s, computer files and cable porn channels,” I would compare to the need to purge the female clothing in your house as well.  Purging gets a bad name as people say, “you’ll just go back to it later, and waste money.” While that might be true in some unfortunate cases, the same thing happens to alcoholics, drug addicts, and porn addicts.  And surely if those people were trying to quit their addictions we wouldn’t say, “oh but you’ll just go back to it later so don’t bother getting rid of the temptations.” That would be a ridiculous and an evil statement.  Not purging the crossdressing paraphernalia is like keeping a fire in your house and hoping it doesn’t burn you or the home.

This tip – “Change your e-mail address,” is important for crossdressers too, perhaps more important than for porn addicts.  So many people have signed up to my email prayer chain without changing their email addresses, thus still going by their female names.  They regret it later and they just end up changing their email address a little bit later.  But this is such an important transition to make in the recovery process.  How can you let go of the false identity you created if you continue to go by the name of that false identity?

This tip – “Display motivational photos on your computer.  Pictures of your family or a photo of your church or minister will do.  Pick any images that remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing,” is a good one too.  In the case of crossdressers, I suggest finding a really good photo of you and your family.  But especially important is that you look good in the photo, as a man.  This will remind you of your real identity as a man and help you to be proud of that identity.

2. Get an Internet Filter Now! –  I have one friend who smartly has many features locked out on his smart phone.  To use certain websites and features, his wife has to be the one to deactivate the security program.  Only she has the code.

3. Dealing with those damn cravings – Of course as a Christian I advocate other tools and strategies for resisting temptations, besides those listed in the article, such a prayer, Scripture memorization, etc.  But the tips here are really helpful as well.

4. What to do when you want to quit porn – The first tip is about getting an accountability partner.  I have had several, but I have had one man keep me accountable consistently for about 10 years.  I don’t know what I would have done without accountability partners.  Without them, I’m sure I’d still be in the throes of addiction.