The meaning of “fetish” is interpreted in two ways: 1. Any object, idea, etc.,that elicits unquestioning reverence or devotion. Well known was Imelda Marcos, wife of the once president of the Philippines, who collected 2700 pairs of shoes — that was a fetish and so would one with a fetish for sports, oriental jade elephants and so on; while 2. sexual arousal brought on by any object, situation or body part not conventionally viewed as being sexual in nature enters into the equation explaining cross dressers and other deviations from the old norm. The American Psychiatric Association’s definition actually only defines a cross dresser whose entire life is dedicated to an object — usually feminine in nature that triggers arousal. Specifically:”Transvestic Disorder applies when sexual arousal is the only interest for dressing and the individual has become dysfunctional in a society environment. There are a very small number in both genders where this condition applies. However cross dressing when it appears on the surface while a teenager’s hormones are raging usually, but not for all, go through a stage of a few years when dressing of perhaps a single female garment will create sexual arousal. Obviously this fetish stage occurs after puberty while a goodly portion of those who are “triggered” to dressing do so well before puberty and, therefore, it follows that a fetish to feminine clothing could not be the initial reason. In its (fetish) place there is the common attraction to a mother or sister’s garment that does elicit unexplained but pleasing feelings to them. Further, sexual arousal is seldom the “only interest” for most, as the wide span of adult CDs involved in industry and every occupation and profession with family, and usually with children, makes the APA’s definition a narrow one indeed.
Before closing on this subject we need to cover a few other aspects of this word. The attraction to woman’s clothing to bring arousal often continues into adult life eventhough it may not be the only contributory means for sex. For example, a CD with a supportive wife or girlfriend often remains dressed for bedroom play equally enjoyed by both partners. In fact the sex life usually improves. Also, earlier or later in life many cross dressers enjoy the feelings of peace, tranquillity, empathy, patience, less stress and a lower degree of aggressive behavior, while the sexual attraction to female objects diminishes.
Those who become transsexuals, in that they fully transition with hormones and surgery, are seldom, if ever,attracted to female clothing as sexual objects no more so than those born as a genetic female. Thus, fetish behavior would never apply to a TS in this context.