I don’t know about you, but I wonder where I fit within the broad definition of crossdressing. There is more to it than what meets the casual eye, especially the eye of those who judge us. By now, those who have been around this site for any length of time have come to see, first; we aren’t alone, and secondly; we are a broad and diverse group. So shall we…

I’ve stated it before. We are more than the extreme definition of male or female. Those terms fit better near each end of the spectrum. Those in many circles would say there isn’t any room in between them. We all know (and most likely anyone with conscious thought) that there is more middle than end. Just as there is a difference mentally and physically between manly men and starlet females there are vast thought and physical differences in the CD universe. We even fight amongst ourselves about what is and what should be included or excluded.

If you were a kid who had a hankering for your sister’s panties, were you a crossdresser or just had a fetish? Most of us will acknowledge that this is how we may have started before dipping our painted toes into the realm of womanhood, instead fixating on the tapestries of femininity to start. Things like nylons, slips, bras, perfume, high heels, lipstick, etc. Our fixation on certain aspects without a desire to present as female. Most often associating it with sexuality. If I still felt this way in my forties, I’d consider it more of a fetish rather than being a burgeoning crossdresser. You may disagree, fine by me, but I feel that the broader category for a crossdresser is more than wanting to wear objects of the opposite gender as defined.

A crossdresser isn’t someone who just steps into their first pair of heels, they are explorers of femininity and consumed by the thought of it, much enough that they alter their physical appearance (in whatever manner they can or get away with) to make presenting female easier. I pluck my eyebrows and keep my face cleanly shaven having done so since I was in my twenties. No unibrow for me, but back then my fetish was for high heels and nylons. The thought of going all in was but a distant thought. There was one period where I did have a goatee, but I did so in defiance of those feminine thoughts. And yet… they were a sign nevertheless of a journey to come.

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I’m going to exclude drag as I believe it is a special form all on its own. There are similarities and differences. Let’s also skip the growth cycle of becoming that established crossdresser. I was a kid that liked? Later I started adding… but fought those feelings, until I came more or less to the point where I logged on to CDH and realized many others feel the same way.

You’re an adult and are you Girly? Feminine? Or a Woman? In Brina’s eye, those of us who are girly are drawn to certain specifics associated with femininity. We are more than just admirers of the look on (genetic or otherwise) individuals; we are excited by and covet said items for ourselves. I use high heels as my example. I can’t stop watching women walk in them (online or in person) and wonder how they would feel and look on me.

If you add Feminine into the equation, I’m also keeping my toenails painted (legs most likely shaved) and have a collection of heels in my closet or hideaway. One who feels they are more Woman than man is considering how long they could wear them, could they walk comfortably in them, and how expensive are they, and do they really have anything to wear with them or are they just creating a huge buying experience.

Are there boundaries to cross (pun there) that take us from one level to the other? How do we know when or which one we are? Truthfully… it may fluctuate daily or even over long periods. You may be in Feminine and then your wife has a baby, and you revert to Girlie to survive. Balance in one’s life is the thing of importance. In a similar fashion, an avid golfer gives up the majority of a golf season to help his family adapt to the baby. He may still get in some rounds but not in the same frequency. The opposite is also true. The obsession with golf grips him and he is on the course daily, with new clubs, has his own cart, and is playing at the expense of other things that maybe should be taking priority.

EnFemme

I bounce back and forth between Feminine and Woman, even into transgender. There is a differential in my assertion of a Crossdressing “Woman” and being transgender. To me, the biggest point is the absolute feeling of being in the wrong body and the gender dysphoria. I don’t hate my body, I would be happier if I had a full bosom, smaller feet, no facial or body hair, and (undecided on little Johnny…) In the Woman category, we want it all but still have the capacity to be the “Man” that others expect. I think this is where many of us feel that we may be the woman and are instead crossdressing as a man to keep up appearances. I’ve said it before, I’d love to move somewhere new and establish myself as two people who just happen to never be seen together. A true CD’s dream.

Before you start asking where or who is included and whether there are more specifics; what I’m trying to point out is that there is a pattern many of us have taken as we move through our lives. It is where we settle that is the biggest difference. We have all the same similarities; some are wrought with more passion and urge while others find more consistency and satisfaction in having all the necessities available for when they are needed (the frequency to change and not be defined.) I love the look of the “French maid,” I don’t own an outfit but would go out on Halloween in one. Same with some of the other outliers that some of us contend don’t count as being a CD but are more fetish-oriented. I tend to include them because many of those instances will lead a movement to the Feminine or Woman later. And Fetish is where many of us started. My caveat for this is where you are or have always been (generally with sexual gratification) obsessed with certain objects that are female in nature.) An example may be excessively high-heeled, thigh-high boots. It’s more about the object and not the female representation.

We all want to belong, to understand the feelings that plague us, to find some form of peace with who and what we are, and to the eventual point of acceptance and appreciation of what being a crossdresser entails. It isn’t, let me say that again, isn’t about wearing the clothes of the opposite gender. It is the fascination of femininity and finding our individuality in expressing it. It might include a hidden stash of items to full-blown closets full of evening dresses and clothing along with drawers stuffed with more makeup and accessories than the majority of women own, to wanting or establishing a public female persona where our manhood becomes more the secondary consideration, though still vitally important to maintain our existence.

 

I hope this helps, brings you a little comfort, or at worst, brings back some fond memories of your journey. Until next time, be safe, be free of anxiety, and let the moments when you can be dressed be wonderful and meaningful…

EnFemme

More Articles by Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish

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Angela Booth
Member
Trusted Member
27 days ago

Another great thought provoking piece Brina. In this modern world there is such a diversity of terms, analysis and psychology on offer which makes interesting debate but also confusion. I am probably around your age Brina so when young there wasn’t anything to refer to. I just knew that I wanted to be like the other girls and took every opportunity to wear the clothes and emulate them as in my mind I was one. I didn’t know about chromosomes, bodily differences but soon learned that I was classed as a boy and had to conform. By puberty I understood… Read more »

Kim Hanson
Lady
Active Member
27 days ago

@bmactavish  I spend perhaps more time and energy than I should pondering my motivations for dressing as a woman.   Like you, I have come up with different answers at different stages in my life and is often shaped by in my emotional state at the moment.  At various times, I have considered the possibility that I might have an addiction or compulsive disorder, a fetish, or be transgender.  All of these explanations are plausible and none are mutually exclusive. As a thought experiment, if a psychologist or therapist asked me how I would want to live in an ideal… Read more »

Kim Hanson
Lady
Active Member
26 days ago

@bmactavish 
Perhaps another, more positive way of thinking about it is “we make the best of what we are given.”  
I lived much of my life thinking that it was impossible for me to  live any part of my as a woman.   I have so much more than that!

Dani
Lady
Active Member
26 days ago
Reply to  Kim Hanson

@Kim Hanson Yes! “we make the best of what we are given.”  
And in my case – that includes family and friends… personally I can’t put my needs/wants ahead of theirs. And like you suggested. There are ways around that. 😊 
Nobody gets hurt and Dani gets another day. 
 

Lauren Russell
Lady
Active Member
27 days ago

@Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish What you say resonates with me so much.   I see it all as a matter of degree.  I have found myself move across the spectrum from girly, into feminine and woman.   Starting out as crossdresser, I fixated on specific things that I viewed as girly and how they made me feel.  Over time, this grew to include feminine things including self care which began to span my male and female personas.   As an example, I keep much of my body hair shaved all the time now.  As time went on, I evolved into wanting to be more… Read more »

Lauren Russell
Lady
Active Member
26 days ago

@Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish I still love girly, feminine things but I have found them to be impractical as I am out more and more as a woman.   Now, I’m perfectly happy to wear more casual but still feminine outfits such as leggings or jeans.  Occasionally, I’ll work in a casual dress or a denim skirt to feed my more girly side.  It also helps me to blend in with other women which is something that I am striving to do.   Still, I haven’t given up on all out girly.   I still love to get dressed to the nines with a… Read more »

Kyra Marin
Lady
Member
21 days ago
Reply to  Lauren Russell

Great thread…the practical nature, not much of a consideration to me initially and still often…and where I find these exact choices interacting now is being with a new partner who likes me to go out, in 6-7″ heels, as I love to do yet I now find myself planning some realistic oasis. It’s not even the feet outside closing in on 7′! lol But I guess this is “going out" and functional, becomes, “find a seat". Just wished to hop on this one…luv & peace💗

Dani
Lady
Active Member
26 days ago

@Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish As always you’re article resonates very well with me. Most of it is as though you were writing my article. Many of the things you talk about, I’ve either thought about or maybe tried out. As you sort of inferred the fetish with me is less and less. I still don’t think I’m transgender but I certainly am gender fluid/with a touch of gender dysphoria. I can take a look back (hindsight is 20/20 they say) and see in another time or place things might have gone very differently.  At this stage of my life and my… Read more »

Paulette James
Lady
Active Member
25 days ago

What a wonderful article. I love your perspective on things Sabrina.

Deborah Sullivan
Lady
Trusted Member
25 days ago

Great article Sabrina and could relate to so much of it myself. I thought maybe it was a fetish at first since most of us experienced it during puberty but for whatever reason, I found myself enjoying and expressing myself as a girl with time. From grade school on I always admired the clothing and behavior of other girls. I loved the clothing and appearance of all the things the girls could do to express themselves. Over the years I have enjoyed it at various stages and developed a strong female side to my life. I am certainly happier being… Read more »

Dani
Lady
Active Member
25 days ago

@Deborah Sullivan I love your reply. Thanks for sharing. I agree.

Helene van der Tee
Lady
Active Member
24 days ago

I think that I am slipping gradually from part-time to full-time. Since coming out of the closet I have no constraints. I do notice that the dresses and high heels are reserved for evenings out, or a dinner with my girlfriend. The pretty being replaced with practical, jeans, denim skirts tee’s and trainers seem to be my new norm. I think the need to be overly female has waned as I do not have to adhere to a couple of hours here or a day there. My make up goes on in 15min and I’m out the door and in… Read more »

Polly Jocelyn
Lady
Active Member
24 days ago

Great thoughts, cross-dressing is a mixture of idealism, pragmatism, obsession and control for many of us!

Dani
Lady
Active Member
24 days ago
Reply to  Polly Jocelyn

@Polly Jocelyn Love you reply – it’s so true. Thanks, I need to save that somewhere. LOL. 😊

Ally C
Lady
Member
24 days ago

Brina, this was an eloquent post. It is hard to understand where one fits into things when, as you put it, the feelings can fluctuate daily. I have found myself bouncing around quite a bit, but it is comforting to read your words. Thanks for making this girlie feel a little more at ease 👩🏻

Kyra Marin
Lady
Member
21 days ago

Love it! Thanks for a look at so many aspects of growth and exploring the mystery of the feminine and even perhaps sacred inner senses of that mystique. The developing sense generally in early teens (although clearly something was up long before in moi) through years of waste long hair put on music (did I truly spend too much time messing with it?) and the obligatory eventual goatee (so quickly ungrown and regrown, well, sorta on the latter)! Interestingly, how the patterns of review and vista are somehow done overtime: “questions" and outcomes. Met my 1st wife at 18, and… Read more »

Kyra Marin
Lady
Member
20 days ago

Aw, makes me feel good. It partly is the venue! I will! Yes, completely… I lived an era of not excess but openness for quite a while, (& again) then a gradual, partial recoil. I went from “bought by gf’s or openly" clothes, a gifted leather mini, white lace at Xmas, to where do I go now? Minor-purges occurred after not! In deep spiritual (not religious) exploration, a huge part of who I am, and while working at a related NPO during BIPOC training, I researched casually, without direct purpose and found a guy’s article, married, young, most all the… Read more »

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