Why Crossdressing Is Relaxing and Relieves Stress

Filed under crossdressing | Posted by Gabrielle

relaxing in heels

Why exactly is crossdressing such a great stress reliever? I often hear this question posed by other crossdressers. Most seem to agree that it is very relaxing and stress relieving, but many seem confused as to why it works for them. Does it really matter why?

Whether or not the same emotions come in to play with every other crossdresser, I can’t say, but I’ll share how it works with me.

I currently have to live my day-to-day life as a man (in guy-mode) and only get to dress up when time allows. In my busy life, personal time is an elusive beast and so I don’t get to dress up often.

Because I’m forced to spend most of my life in a masculine form that does not feel natural to me, it runs me down over time. I’m sure everyone has worn something that seems uncomfortable or unnatural. Wearing a suit to work, or shirt and tie daily may not be the most desirable way to dress oneself for any non-crossdresser. Take that feeling and multiply it for me.

Add to that my “man-act”. Much of my guy-mode personality and mannerisms are rehearsed and executed with conscious effort. Society expects me to look a certain way and also behave a certain way. Men are, of course, expected to act and behave like “men”. The way I have to act often feels as unnatural as the way in which I must appear. I’m not sure that my natural personality and mannerisms are really feminine, but people told me repeatedly growing up that I was not manly enough.

Most of my time is spent being forced into a role that doesn’t feel like me and requires some good effort to pull off. In addition to the regular stresses of life that we all face, I’m also expending additional energies behaving as expected and appearing in a form I would not choose if it were up to me.

Everyone must behave a certain way in their day-job. It’s called being professional. It requires a certain amount of effort on anyone’s part. However I must concentrate on behaving professional and manly on top of it. The same goes for work attire. Most people would choose to not dress in their private lives as they must in their professional lives. Again, not only am I dressed in my day-job attire all day long, but also as a guy in day-job attire. It’s two-fold.

When the time comes that I can finally take off my man-suit and no longer have to visibly act manly, I start to feel some relief. When I can go farther and dress up in female clothing of my choosing, then I really begin to feel at peace. It completes the feminine feeling I long for, and I rather like the reflection in the mirror as well. We all want to look good, right? What looks good differs from person to person, but I think the old saying is true: when you look good, you feel good too.

Life’s troubles slip away. All that stress of work and deadlines and traffic jams and mounting bills and government bailouts and having to look and behave manly subsides. It’s hard to feel stressed out when I’m busy looking and feeling good in a short skirt, heels, and lipstick.

I don’t know if I would choose to dress up and look feminine 100% of the time if I had my way, but it would certainly be nice to do so a lot more often than is currently possible.

Some people jog and exercise to de-stress. Others turn to alcohol or other drugs. I transform (crossdress). If it works, why question it? Just enjoy and be thankful. :)

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17 Responses to “Why Crossdressing Is Relaxing and Relieves Stress”

  1. By phylisanne bernstein on Apr 12, 2009 | Reply

    i also find being a crossdresser relaxing and for sure it relieves stress.plus i also love the fact that i can change my whole self and for a couple of hours i am a woman enjoying being out with all my girlfriends.phylisanne

  2. By Herb on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    I am a seventy year old hetro male father and grandfather and now the primary and sole caregiver for my Alzheimer wife. As a form of needed stress relief I am considering cross dressing. how do i get started with ago appropriate cross dressing’gear’? The internet stores are far too ‘sexy’ for my ‘starting out’ dressing desires. All i want to do is cross dress and maybe go to take a walk in the mall.
    Please advise on the basic clothing required. that is undergarments and plain make-up, where to get and fit an age appropriate wig etc.

  3. By Gabrielle on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    @Herb – I’m so sorry to hear about your wife’s Alzheimer’s. I’m sure these must really be trying times for you.

    If you’re seriously considering crossdressing and would like to know more about how to get started, I’d recommend going to crossdressers.com and creating an account there. Introduce yourself in the introductory thread, and explain your specific crossdressing goals – what seems appropriate for you, etc. You will find several crossdressers of similar age who may be offer you some good advice. You might even make some new friends too. :)

  4. By nancy on Apr 27, 2009 | Reply

    Herb I am also sorry to hear about your wife’s Alzheimer’s. I have a friend who retired and is giving his mother 24 hour care. It is difficult.

    May I suggest crossdressing may be the relief you need. You can purchase clothes on ebay and also at Walmart. When going to a store I purchase male and female underwear and sometimes t-shirts from the women’s section. If you purchase both items no one usually comments. There is a company on the internet that have very nice wigs… at sensible prices. They make you look YOUNGER. Just do a search for wigs.

    My age is 61 and I have a son and a daughter. Have been dressing at home since 1981. It’s just a game to escape from a high stress job. Enjoy and don’t worry… If you search the internet you can find books
    and plenty of information. Young is a name of a wig company they can tell you how to measure and order a wig. Best of luck…

  5. By DONNA on Aug 28, 2009 | Reply


  6. By Gabrielle on Sep 1, 2009 | Reply

    Hi Donna. Sorry for the delay in response, I get busy and forget to get back to things sometimes. I’d suggest the same to you as I did Herb. Nancy also seemed to have some decent advice. I’m sure with a little homework and research, you’ll get things figured out in terms of your particular styles and sizes. Good luck to you, and I hope your wife is doing ok. :)

  7. By Michelle on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    I could write an entire book on this subject alone – and just on the “how does it work for transsexuals?” angle!

    My own experience of crossdressing in the early stages of transition was that it actually increased my stress/distress levels considerably.

    There were several reasons for this, but at the core of it was the discovery that I was ‘meeting myself’ for the first time. I learned very quickly that such experiences could provoke both insane levels of excitement and relief as well as distress.

    The excitement and relief is easy, and I think pretty similar to what Gabrielle has described – the sense of “right” in our worlds is often elusive and difficult to find on good days, much less when we are struggling with the pressures of wearing a role day to day that doesn’t really fit well. (or in my case, at all!)

    The distress comes from some other places – namely the return to ‘male-mode’ amplified the pervasive sense of dysphoria (I mean dysphoria as an antonym for euphoria, not in the sense of confusion) that I was experiencing. That would compound with a sense of hopelessness rooted in the horrifying realization of how far I had to go in my journey – a thought that was often just plain overwhelming in those early days.

    As I progressed (very gradually, no overnight things here!), I started to use crossdressing as a vehicle of exploration – of both myself and the world in which I would live. It was as I became comfortable in my own skin that I started to experience real relief from the stresses that I experienced.

    Around that point in time, I ceased to think of what I was doing as crossdressing – it wasn’t, I was at last beginning to live my identity in a real sense – and the kind of grinding pressures that I has experienced so constantly in the past dissipated, allowing me to start living happily.

    So … I suppose in a sense, I passed through the space that crossdressers occupy in the spectrum of gender expression, but I had to go further to achieve the kind of gentle, pleasing relief that Gabrielle describes of her experiences.

    I don’t regret those days, and that transition one little bit. I needed to walk that path.

    Those who find their needs met with crossdressing have my respect and admiration – I celebrate that you have found peace without needing more drastic steps to change things in your lives.

  8. By Gabrielle on May 29, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Michelle. :) Honestly, I see more similarities than differences in how you describe your feelings over time and through transition. Everyone has different goals in life, yet we all share so many common feelings and struggles – especially those of us who struggle to find peace in a world that often frowns upon our very existence (as people who are “different” than the majority).

    It is interesting how you mention people finding peace without needing “more drastic steps to change things” in their lives. Although I understand exactly the “drastic steps” you refer to specifically, I can’t help but thinking about the terrible other “drastic steps” many people take just to do what they feel is necessary to survive. Regardless of where people fall within the transgender spectrum, there are those who feel it necessary to simply “amputate” this part of their existence in order to fit in and/or survive in the world. They may feel they are crazy, in conflict with their personal relationships or religious beliefs, or simply think it is “wrong” to be, in essence, who they truly are. That is the ultimate act of insanity to me – discarding (or trying to discard) such an integral part of one’s being simply to “fit in”. This “drastic measure” usually causes a sense of inner dissatisfaction with one’s life that will never go away – not so long as they deny who they are to themselves. A self-imposed life sentence of never truly feeling right about oneself – that seems like a rather “drastic step” to me. It would certainly drive me to the brink of insanity… and I think it does to a lot of people who end up taking their own life in the end.

    Funny how many people think I’m “insane” for choosing to be myself (as Gabrielle). *sigh* Welcome to the real word, right? lol I guess it’s better others think of me as “insane” rather than actually being insane by trying to live MY life by THEIR expectations though. ;)

  9. By Michael on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    i am in the same situation. i am the primary caregiover for my Alzheimers grandmother. i use crossdressing as a stress reliever. my wife just recently accepted that that is my reliever. i would start out slow. get some panties and a bra cuz nobody sees them when youwear them. go to walmart or a resale shop. the clothes are cheap and pretty good. email me anytime for info. i can point you in the right direction.

  10. By Billie on Nov 17, 2010 | Reply

    I can relate to this in many ways. Yes, crossdressing can be a huge stress reliever. It allows me to be more comfortable with myself.

    On the other hand, it is still a great sense of shame for me. I am 40 years and still have not truly accepted who I really am. I’m in therapy, and I’m working on this issue, but it is a very difficult topic for me to explore.

    I am conflicted whichever way I go. It feels like a lose lose situation most days. From the intense pleasure, to the
    extreme guilt. The emotional roller coaster is exhausting.

  11. By Gabrielle on Nov 17, 2010 | Reply

    I’m sorry to hear that your crossdressing is a bit of an exhausting emotional roller coaster, Billie. I understand the feeling, though – I was there myself not too many years ago.

    You’re in therapy which is a good thing. It’s a smart move to work through confusing emotions with a trained professional.

    Try to keep in mind one major important thing as you work through your emotional difficulties. Male and female “roles”, including appropriate/socially acceptable self-presentation, is something that *society* imposes on people. The idea of (non-physical) differences/role expectations of a male and female are *human* invented concepts. Humans also invented once the concept of slavery based on race, if that helps put things in perspective. “Masculine” and “feminine” personal traits or tendencies are not drawn down the middle based on once’s sexual organs. It is natural for a good number of women to have/exhibit what many consider to be “masculine” qualities. Society generally does not frown upon this these days, though. It is equally natural for a good number of men to have/exhibit what many consider to be “feminine” qualities. Today’s society may not be very accepting of such personal traits in men, however “popular opinion” does not dictate reality, and the reality is there is absolutely nothing wrong being a male with strong feminine traits/qualities.

    There’s really no reason for your feeling of guilt other than the fact that you’ve been programmed by society to believe the *lie* that “men have to be masculine, period”. It may take some time, but I think you’ll do just fine in the long run. It took me many years to realize the truth and stop being ashamed for essentially just being who I am. You’ll get there, too. :)

  12. By Wendae on Nov 3, 2011 | Reply

    I’m 70 and have been dressing off and on since I was 9. I just went thru a period of caring for a wife with cancer. She is now a survivor. Anyway I love the feeling of nylon and the smell of cosmetics.Presentation is such a rush to see your self looking fine. My advice to those in my age bracket is to look around at what woman your age are wearing. Notice that many our age have masculine features. It won’t work going out in a leather mini and 4inch heels. Dress sensibly when going out. At home we can do what we want.

  13. By Gabrielle on Nov 3, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Wendae. Thanks for sharing. :) I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s bout with cancer, but I’m so happy she conquered it! I’m sure a lot of that had to do with your being there for her.

    You definitely have some sensible advice to offer, in terms of how to dress when going out. Of course, I’m not exactly the “sensible” type, personally. The sensible approach *is* the safer one, and less likely to draw unwanted attention. I already don’t wear what girls my age are wearing, though. I’m not sure how I’ll look if/when I reach 70, but for now, I enjoy exploring my own personal style and look. It’s pretty far from what most girls my age would dare wear. Admittedly, I tone it down quite a bit when I go out into public (much to my dismay), but I’m gonna flaunt it while I still got it… if only in photos shared online.

    You know – even at 70, I bet you still feel mighty young at heart when you’re wearing your favorite, less-sensible looks. I know I feel on top of the world, when I do. :)

  14. By Pilar on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It
    really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

  15. By Susan Miller on Jul 6, 2013 | Reply

    For me my crossdressing is a way to get away from my male life and any problems I might have. For those few hours I am Susan, I have my friends as Susan that I go out with. On top of that Susan does not have any family issues as my family knows nothing about her, she has no work issues as she does not work she has my male side that works hard for her so she can have what she wants. She has no money issues as again my male side takes care of all that. I get to step outside my day to day life and just be Susan it is like taking a total vacation every time I dress.

  16. By Tim on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Cross dressing is very relaxing and I sleep a lot better ,my partner tells me to dress ,and love the fact that I have opened up to her

  17. By Maria on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Cross dressing for me is very very exciting and so relaxing! I love the fact that I can transform into Maria and be the desirable woman! The turn on is also incredible because you are that woman!

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