Starting the Year with Hopeful Testimonies

Happy new year!  May this be a year of freedom for you as you give up crossdressing and find wholeness and peace in accepting you really are, as God made you to be.  I figured the best way to start this new year would be to give you some testimonies to inspire you and give you hope, that change really can happen!

 

How I Found Freedom From Gender Confusion Part 1

How I Found Freedom From Gender Confusion Part 2

This quote really shows the dead-end of crossdressing, and of all harmful addictions.  It can never satisfy:

“Except… I just needed to do something about my leg hair—it was spoiling the effect of the stockings. And the armpit hair had to go. (Pro tip: don’t ever try to wax your own armpits.) And the chest hair too. So much hair to remove! And now I needed some makeup to cover my stubble. And a few more bras. And some fake boobs, to put in them. And some padded pants, to give a bit of shape to my backside. And how was I going to give myself a waist? And I never had enough dresses, and they never looked good enough on me, and somehow I was struggling more than ever. The holy grail of acceptance had simply led me deeper into a trap. I’d embraced my desire, but it remained as unfulfillable as ever, and its demands were getting bigger every day.”

Another good quote – “I learned that sin promises freedom and brings only slavery—which seemed oddly familiar… And on it went. I thought my identity was rooted in how I looked or felt or dressed, but I learned that my identity was in Christ. I thought that exile was having to dress as a woman behind closed curtains, but I learned that all Christians are exiles and strangers in this life. I had thought that God didn’t want me to struggle, but I learned about spiritual warfare, I learned about the point of suffering, I learned about the freedom that comes from denying ourselves and taking up our cross. I learned that being a Christian requires repentance and change.”

 

Decisions about Gender Dysphoria – The Power of Choice – This was a really interesting testimony with some very worthwhile ideas in it.  Unfortunately, this testimony is from the Mormon Church, which I happen to believe is a false church.  It’s still good to read, especially since so few crossdressers believe it is possible to give up crossdressing.  But I do have some serious issues with Mormon doctrine, and we have very different views about who Jesus is.  But I don’t want to take time to argue about that right now (and I do think there are those within the Mormon church that might truly know Jesus, despite the false teachings of that institution as a whole).  I think the easiest way to give up crossdressing is through having a true relationship with Jesus Christ.  But even religious people that I disagree with can still give it up such as Nick who wrote this testimony, and even those with no faith at all, are still able to give it up.

Part of this testimony makes me sad.  So much of it is about doing what God commands in order to be sure of eternal life.  Eternal life is a gift of grace through Jesus Christ, not something we earn through good works.  We do good works as a result of our free gift of salvation, we don’t do them out of fear trying to make sure we’ve been good enough.

Here are a couple helpful quotes though which can give all of us some good advice:

I also learned I do not have to think in gender binary. Treating all actions, desires, and hobbies as masculine or feminine is a great source of stress. I do not have to think of gender at all for these things. I choose to define myself as Nick. I have many interests and desire to learn a variety of new skills. I do not care if they are considered masculine or feminine. They are what I like and I would do them if I were male or female. The qualities that make up who I am, I own. I do not let narrow social gender constructs determine my pursuits.

I have also found that gratitude is a great balancer of dysphoric distress. Instead of focusing on the body and life I do not have I think on the things I have been given. I have a good, healthy body with which I can serve God and my fellow man. This may not be the body I want, but I treat it with respect and maintain it because I want to be attractive and show gratitude. I am grateful for the family, friends, and opportunities I have been given. I do not need to focus on the things I do not have.”

Guest Post – Paul’s Testimony

Thorin has recently written a blog about what a long journey it is to find healing from crossdressing. It is! Like all addictions, CD has a stronghold on us and it takes time to break free. As believers in Christ we don’t do this on our own. In fact we can’t. We need Christ to break the power of sin in us and to sanctify us. That doesn’t mean we do nothing. We make use of the means of grace, Bible reading, prayer, fellowship with other believers, the Lord’s Supper. As we make use of these means of grace so we know Christ’s grace in our lives.

For me it has been a long journey. My crossdressing started as a very young boy when I had to share a bedroom with my sister. I was probably eight or nine years old and would try on her dresses. During my teens CD became a big part of my life and I would look for every opportunity to try on my mum’s clothes. Getting married opened up more freedom to explore. It was during this time that more and more cords of CD tightened their grip on me.

About four years ago (2012) the desires to dress were so strong that I knew I needed to get help. Just dressing up had lost it’s fascination and in order to get a ‘buzz’ I was taking more and more risks. Those risks put me in a position where I had to tell my wife.

I didn’t tell her the extent of my CD and she still doesn’t know how far I went. She just knows that this has been a problem for me. That day I hurt her. That day I caused her to question her own femininity and whether she had been a good wife. If I could wind the clock back to when I was a young boy I wouldn’t ever have started so that I wouldn’t have needed to cause the woman I love the hurt I did.

As a result of that day I began searching for help online. I knew that was risky because whenever I had searched for help on this subject, I only ever found everything that is so unhelpful. But I asked the Lord to direct me and one of the first sites I came across was healingcd.wordpress.com. As I read the articles I began to see that there was hope to be free of, what I am convinced of, is a sin before a holy God.

The last four years have been a struggle but by God’s grace I have come to a much better place. The desires haven’t gone away and there have been times when I have still fallen into sin. Those times have left me feeling ashamed and perversely and sadly have often fueled the desire to do it again. But gradually things have started to change for me.

That was highlighted in a recent fall. I tried on one item of clothing. Four years ago that wouldn’t have had any effect on me. The only way I got turned on was by completely dressing up. I only ever felt shame when I had gone ‘all the way.’ However, in this recent failure, one item of clothing for a few minutes, I felt so ashamed, so empty, so wretched. As always the Lord came with the assurance of his redeeming grace and the knowledge that his righteousness is the only covering I need to stand before a holy God.

It was reflecting on this that I have realised that God is doing a work in me. Although I feel that there are still cords around me they are fewer and have less of a hold on me.

I’m sharing this with you to encourage you to keep on fighting this. Don’t give up. If we sow thoughts and deeds in the field of the flesh (CD in my case) then it is from that field we will reap corruption. Our lives will be rotten and we will stink. We won’t be the fragrance of Christ. But, if we sow thoughts and deeds in the field of the spirit (using the means of grace) we will from the field of the spirit reap eternal life. We will enjoy fellowship with Christ both now and forever.

Videos on the Serious Danger of Porn

As you watch these videos, remember that just as your brain chemistry changes as you become addicted to novelty and porn and masturbation, the same is true for sexual addiction to transgender porn, transgender fiction, lusting after images of crossdressers online, etc. For me, this was undoubtedly true in my sexual addiction to websites of a transgender or crossdressing nature, and I’m still in the long process of healing and recovering from that powerful addiction, though I’m very thankful for how I’ve changed and the freedom I experience today.

In addition, the same kind of sexual addiction with the novelty and binging element that the videos discuss, I also experienced with physical crossdressing. Why else do you think a crossdresser would constantly look in the mirror and constantly change outfits, and do so for hours at a time? Binging, novelty, addiction. Just as these videos describe.

This first video I’ve shared before, but in a slight different format. This one is a TED talk. The other videos I have only just seen for the first time.

In this video, I can definitely relate to what he is saying that addiction stems partly from wanting approval. Most of the times I have failed sexually were times of feeling depressed, rejected, or disliked. We need to get our approval from God, not from people. God’s love is unconditional.

This last video talks about some graphic content. As someone who was not addicted to porn, I did not realize how degrading and perverse most of internet porn really was until seeing this video.

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.

sadf

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.