There seems to be no shortage of people who think crossdressing is nothing more than a sexual fetish. The origins of this myth however, are rooted in reality, at least to some extent. Sadly it’s been blown way out of proportion by people who don’t understand what they’re talking about, and little has been done to fill in the blanks of reality. Please allow me to clarify things for you.
Myth: Crossdressing is just a sexual fetish because crossdressing men are aroused by dressing up and do so for sexual pleasure. Fact: Although crossdressing is a sexual fetish for some, the vast majority of crossdressers do not experience any arousal as a result of crossdressing, nor is it a factor in their desire to do so.
Because this crossdressing myth is of a sexual nature, it is necessary to discuss some aspects of sex and masturbation. Although I will do so tactfully and on an informative level only, if this kind of subject matter is offensive to you, it may be advisable to discontinue reading… and you should probably never consider a career in the medical field. ;) If it is the truth you seek however, read on. Sex and masturbation are simple facts of life, just like eating, sleeping, and exercising. It is society that chooses (and teaches us) to make some topics taboo and others acceptable discussion material.
To properly address this myth, I think it is important to address some realities that many crossdressers prefer not to discuss openly. To be completely honest, very few people discuss it openly, whether they crossdress or not.
Masturbation is a very normal part of life, yet still very much a social taboo. The taboo element of masturbation is routed mainly in the generally universal religious belief that lust is a bad thing. Because masturbation can be considered the gratification of that lust, masturbation is therefore seen as wrong, sinful, evil, and just plain bad.
Crossdressing before puberty
According to a 1997 study of 1,023 crossdressers between the age of 20 and 80, two thirds began crossdressing before the age of 10 (source). For me, it was around age 3 or 4. In other words, it usually begins before puberty and any real understanding of sexual gratification. This one bit of information alone heavily supports the fact that crossdressing is not a sexual fetish for the majority of crossdressers.
The crossdressing masturbation phase
Around the onset of puberty, practically all boys, whether they crossdress or not, will masturbate. For most crossdressers, it is at this time in their life that the act of dressing in women’s clothes becomes very arousing. Masturbating while crossdressed is very common from the time puberty begins and will usually continue for a number of years. The span in which this persists varies from one person to the next.
After a time, the act of crossdressing becomes less arousing to most crossdressers. The desire to masturbate while crossdressed subsides and is replaced by a feeling of wholeness and calmness. The act of crossdressing becomes very relaxing rather than sexually stimulating.
In some crossdressers, the masturbation phase never really ends. Crossdressing remains linked to sexual arousal and the act of crossdressing is typically accompanied by masturbation or sex with a partner. These are, in fact, fetish crossdressers. There are many complexities and variations to this so please forgive my simplification for purposes of discussing the fetish myth.
It is important to remember that even though crossdressing is a fetish for some, it does not (in and of itself) make them perverts or otherwise bad people. Having a sexual fetish of some kind (and there are many) is very common. Most people who indulge in a sexual fetish are very normal, productive members of society.
Although uncertain of the statistical numbers on this, my experience in online crossdressing communities indicates that the majority of crossdressers and t-girls no longer experience sexual arousal as a result of crossdressing.
That beautiful t-girl in the mirror
Long after the masturbation phase has ended, it is still possible for a crossdresser to be attracted to their own feminine image. Heterosexual men, which make up the majority of crossdressers, are attracted to feminine beauty. Seeing a beautiful woman can be very sexually arousing. That does not change when the “beautiful woman” is one’s own reflection in the mirror.
It might seem crazy, but it’s perfectly logical
To many non-crossdressers, the idea of one being sexually attracted to oneself may seem crazy, if not laughable. This belief is mainly a byproduct of society’s level of sexual repression, social taboos, and general lack of knowledge. It’s not some weird mental illness or perversion, just a misunderstood fact of life.
Many genetic women are also attracted to feminine beauty
If the idea of a crossdressing man being attracted to his own feminine image in the mirror seems crazy, how about a straight, non-crossdressing woman being attracted to her own feminine image in the mirror? Crazy or not, it exists. I am uncertain as to what extent, but believe that the majority of ultra feminine/girly women are, at least sometimes, attracted to their own feminine beauty.
I documented my own wife’s attraction to herself in the mirror in this article. If you take some time to read it, you will learn that this is not unique to just her.
It doesn’t make it a fetish
Because many crossdressers can and will sometimes be attracted to their own feminine image in the mirror, masturbation and sex are usually never completely removed from the equation. Unlike the masturbation phase in which the act of crossdressing itself is sexually arousing, this kind of sexual arousal is triggered by the sight/presence of feminine beauty – a natural response in heterosexual men, and sometimes women as well.
An interesting double standard
If you took the time to read the linked article above, you know that my wife will sometimes masturbate while fully dressed in women’s clothing. Does this mean my wife has a fetish about dressing up as a woman? If that were true, she’d be in an almost constant state of arousal, and yet that is not the case.
Most crossdressers have a very strong feminine side. It is why we crossdress in the first place – to express and explore our feminine side. If it is not a fetish for a woman to wear woman’s clothing, why then would it be for a crossdressing man when all other elements (aside from the obvious) are equal? The answer is, it is not a fetish. Unless a man is aroused by the act of wearing women’s clothing or only crossdresses for sexual purposes, it’s not a fetish for him.
People who equate crossdressing with a sexual fetish so long as there are any elements (at all) of sexual gratification (ever) involved in crossdressing, are usually just doing so in an effort to perpetuate the idea of crossdressing as a disgraceful activity.
Because sex and masturbation are still fairly taboo (more so the latter) in mainstream society, anything related to them is often frowned upon by the masses. In addition, when mainstream society (or elements there of) are uncomfortable with something, usually only the “negative” or taboo elements are brought up in order to persuade others into believing the same.
Sexual gratification is usually not the motivation…
When most crossdressers masturbate or have sex while wearing women’s clothes, it is usually not the reason they crossdress. Many things in life are simply more enjoyable while crossdressed. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, sexual activities.
…but sometimes it is
On occasion, a genetic woman will get dressed up in her most attractive attire and do her makeup just right in order to incite sexual attraction from a man. Most people consider this pretty normal. It’s usually a big part of the dating ritual for women, although I’m happy to say my wife still makes a good effort in her appearance (from dress to makeup) to attract sexual attention from me at times. I can also attract sexual attention from my wife by doing the same. What kind of fool would not take advantage of something that can almost guarantee an amazing sexual experience?
I crossdress because it is simply a part of who I am. It is enjoyable on many fronts, including sexual activities. Being alive is enjoyable on many fronts, including sexual activities. Even so, I’ve never heard someone equate life itself with a sexual fetish.
Why would one fetish seem so crazy when compared to the others?
Even though crossdressing is not a sexual fetish for most crossdressers, it is a fetish some. Is that really a problem? There is a fetish for just about everything from toe-sucking to scat. If you’re unfamiliar of the latter term, look it up and then tell me if you think fetish crossdressers are really so bad. If you said “yes”, I’ll think you’re full of crap… literally. But who am I to judge anyone for their fetish? Does it matter terribly what people do, so long as they do not harm others while doing so?
Fetish crossdressers crossdress with sexual activity in mind and as their motivation. For the majority of crossdressers, sexual activity is not the motivation for crossdressing. It is simply the exploration of feminine self expression.
Crossdressing, sex, and masturbation are somewhat intertwined, but only because LIFE, sex and masturbation are equally intertwined.
Related content: Crossdressing Myths