You have read Betty’s articles and Brina’s as well. Together we tackle the thoughts that run through each of our minds regarding crossdressing. We hope you find these entertaining and informative. Please be kind in your responses as these are our opinions and intended to be helpful and thoughtful.

 

Hey Brina, what are your thoughts on dressing being arousing for the men who do it?

Now that’s an explosive question to start out with…sorry…couldn’t resist. The old adage is that men are visual and women mental in their view towards eroticism. I can’t speak to all crossdressers but feel that in many cases we might have followed similar paths. There is a difference between seeing and being affected by a visual stimulus… seeing a beautiful woman walking in heels and wearing those same heels. I won’t lie; they both can end with the same conclusion. It’s all in the perception. I’m sure there are deep psychological theories we could discuss, but Freud, I’m not.

I can only imagine the questions that might befall any woman who finds out their SO is a crossdresser and, you know… If I am entranced by femininity, why isn’t it enough to have a partner that is all that and why do I still have the (need) to dress as such? Complicated? God, yes. Have a good answer… nope. For many, it started as a fetish and was all about the end result… and then somewhere along the way it became less so as the understanding that we are different and complex in our makeup sets in. Still arousing? It is, but now much differently, for me. I dress to balance that part of me, being single… you know… if I had a SO it might be different.

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It’s the attraction to the feminine that is the catalyst, whether it’s me dressing for myself or being with someone else who is. As a SO, if you go to the effort to look your best I’m sure you hope there is a satisfying conclusion, either personally or with another. There is something absolute in becoming that female temptress, whatever that means to each of us. It can be as simple as wearing silk panties or as complete as donning all the necessary garments and makeup to create our best illusion. Do I find a woman in a baggy sweatshirt and sweatpants as alluring as she is when she’s dressed to impress? At times, the one can be, but that is more because of the emotional connection. Give me the seduction and glamour.

I also will add that expectation can be one of the driving forces behind arousal—in the emotional sense. If I know on a date there might be that chance afterward, it causes those endorphins to start firing. I think the same thing happens when we crossdress early on. Now, as I stated, it’s more to me about finding a balance with who I am.

Brina,

The arousal aspect makes crossdressing all the more difficult to understand.  As a cis-gendered woman, I have never pleasured myself because I think I look sexy or because I’m wearing heels, panties, pantyhose, etc.  Likewise, I have never put on a tie or a pair of work boots to pleasure myself because I love men and want to feel like one while I masturbate.  I’ve heard the food analogy several times to help explain the urges of crossdressing. Even though I am the first to admit to being a hardcore pizza slut, I have never pleasured myself while thinking about pizza, eating pizza, or with pizza.  I will speculate that the difference between these examples and crossdressing is the absence of fantasy.

En Femme Style

It appears to me (with my lack of understanding) that some forms of crossdressing stem from an obsession with women and the desire to feel what they feel (the fantasy) while being attracted to women which leads to the arousal factor.  This makes sense to me for an adolescent or adult male but doesn’t add up when you factor in the prepubescent boy who dresses in his mother’s or older sister’s clothing.  If crossdressing didn’t start as something sexual how does it so often become arousing and sexual?

Betty,

Good points. I wore my first dress at age 9 because I was drawn to it and didn’t know why. The same with being enthralled by women posing in lingerie in the catalogs (loved the holiday Sears catalog.) Like all of us who go through puberty, the sexual aspect becomes more prevalent. I think it carries over in that “Visual” point of view. I’ve never equated being a CD to a food analogy–doesn’t make sense to me, but it might for some. I think the whole arousal thing is one of the deepest guilt and shame feeling parts that we (CDs) have to overcome. Like in your food analogy, there are no simple or consistent answers, and yet, it is prevalent. If we don’t understand the why how would a SO? I think for some it starts as excitement and then becomes part of the ritual. That isn’t part of my dressing these days. Not like it was when the opportunities were limited, and it felt more like a stress release (another topic). Today, it really is more about feeling whole rather than separate. Does that make me more transgendered instead… maybe?

So… Betty…  Does being a CD make the man less manly or does it make it more…interesting?

Visit Transgender Heaven

My knee-jerk reaction is to say, yes, crossdressing makes a man less manly.  Society has taught me that a man should act, dress, and speak in a particular way and when a man does not fit neatly into that set of rules, there is a problem.  If a man partakes in the actions or preferences traditionally associated with being feminine then he must be gay, queer, or some sort of girly man, sissy boy, etc.  In my moments of frustration or stress in having a crossdressing husband, it is easy to fall into this line of thinking.  When I’m overwhelmed or not having my needs met, my mind goes to places where it is easy to think negatively.  If my husband was more of a man he wouldn’t crossdress, if my husband were more of a man he wouldn’t obsess over a fake woman inside of him. If my husband was more of a man I would be all the woman that he needs…You get the idea.

Getting past my societally ingrained knee-jerk reaction, I must admit that having a crossdressing husband is a bit more interesting.  Crossdressing is an incredibly complex phenomenon and has so many nuances that it is quite interesting and fascinating to think about.  Likewise, my husband is an incredibly intelligent and interesting person.  My husband has many layers with crossdressing being just one of those many layers.  Like most women in my position, I find myself in a balancing act because this is not what I signed up for in my marriage.  Please don´t confuse interest with enjoyment because there are a lot of feelings that go along with learning your husband has been a closeted crossdresser and most of those feelings are not enjoyable.  That doesn’t mean that there is nothing enjoyable about having a crossdressing husband because there are things to be enjoyed, but that is a topic for another day.

So, to answer your question, I do think that crossdressing makes a man less manly in some regard, however that can be positive in many ways.  Crossdressers seem better at understanding women and have a more tender or thoughtful side to them.  If I have the choice between a beer-guzzling loud-mouth manly man and a crossdressing man who is more reserved and articulated, I´m for sure choosing the latter.  I do think crossdressing can make a man more interesting because it adds another layer to him as a person.

Betty,

Visit Transgender Heaven

very nicely put. I agree that the biggest stigma is in the societal perception of what is “Manly” and what “You signed up for!” I believe that most of us who lived through this (as in hiding our secret or somehow believing we could overcome or eradicate it) wish we could be both the same man our SO fell in love with and become even more desirable in being “interesting.” It rarely works out, and the best chance is to start the relationship upfront.

I can honestly say today that in my past trying to be that Manly Man hurt me more than I realized until too late. I hated myself for being this way, and when you can’t love yourself, how can another. The secret consumes you. It takes a relationship built on trust to work. It was always much easier to connect with women than with other men (because I hated the stereotypical macho guy and how they demeaned women in general and others… kind of similar to the prima donna woman who believes she’s “All that”) and tried unsuccessfully to be that person. Not that there aren’t good people who have that makeup but are we talking physical attraction or emotional? There are lots of very manly men who crossdress that are the envy of everyone. Some can turn heads no matter what they are wearing.

My daughter made an interesting comment, she said, “My best friend is everything I would want in a relationship. I’d marry her in a heartbeat if I was attracted to women.” Her husband is the epitome of a Manly Man. How to gain the best of both? I can look sharp whether I wear a suit or evening gown and enjoy both in the moment. I believe that my femininity makes me more interesting on many levels, especially the emotional connection. The problem is finding that SO who can love and appreciate both, and if I’m being honest, finds attraction in them as well. I’m not holding my breath…

I do know that having finally accepted that this is who I am and letting myself become more complete as a blended individual then I might actually be ready if another relationship opportunity were to come my way. I just hope that “interesting” is more important…

Brina,

Does crossdressing make a man less manly?  Yes, in many ways, because that is the nature of what MTF crossdresser is doing in the first place, transforming into a woman.  Does it make a man more interesting?  Yes, although being interesting may not equate to what a woman finds attractive.  What any person finds sexually attractive is ingrained deep in our DNA and cannot be changed just because we want it to.  Yes, there is always a factor of societal influence, but I am talking about the simplest attributes of what we find appealing about the opposite sex.  Regardless of manliness or how interesting crossdressing may be, any relationship needs honesty, compromise, and good communication to succeed.

Many thanks to Betty as we share our first post together. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

En Femme Style

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Betty Rockwell

Married mother of 4. I'm trying to understand the need behind my husband's proclivities and fantasies.

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Christina Cross
Active Member
1 month ago

I tried on my first skirt at around 13. My mothers skirt. I think back on why I did that. I was just flat our curious how it felt to wear a skirt. When I put it on, I felt this wave of euphoria come over me and I didn’t understand why. It felt right. (side note, how many times have you read a CD’s comments where they said it “felt right”? That means something. Like, if you wore your left shoe on your right foot all of your life and then put your right shoe on your right foot….all… Read more »

Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish
Managing Editor
Trusted Member

Good comments and analogy. I, too know that feeling you have described. Every morning as I sit dressed doing my computer work, I feel “right.” It is different for everyone as this may pertain more to those of us who feel some transgenderism within. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole Wright
Member
1 month ago

I tried on my first dress at 21 years old (August 15, 2022). The reason why is that I did that was I felt this urge to crossdress, but I attempt to bury it. Due to me being raised by a traditionalist mom. I didn’t want to do, but this urge to crossdress is real. I wanted to try on a dress. So, I made my own through the use of a trash bag. I used the scissors to cut holes in the trash bag for both the arms and the head. I tape up holes that would be used… Read more »

Paula Rae Jones
Member
1 month ago

Thank you, Betty and Brina, for this article. When I signed up on CDH I hoped to see more articles like yours, that is, more reflection, not on what we do (dressing), but rather on why we do it. I’d like to share (impose?) some thoughts that I’ve had that are only marginally connected to your article. The first is this hypothetical scenario: Mrs. Brown has 12 year-old twins, Tommy and Tammy. After doing the laundry one evening, Mrs. Brown goes up to Tommy’s room with clean sheets to make Tommy’s bed. When she pushes the door open she finds daughter Tammy standing beside Tommy’s… Read more »

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