CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

121935Post. No. 59
Our exploration into CD Internet dating clubs has revealed the need to expand our estimate of the CD bi and gay segment to an additional 3 to 5%.The following post will attempt to clarify the composition of dating club members. Early on it’s fair to say that most CDs are as ignorant to their complete persona as are the GG partners to new boyfriends or spouses that only now reveal their transvestite desires. We know that the universal first reaction is “Are you gay?” and the reply is “Of course not”. Well, in most cases that is the correct answer but, though the answer was honest, they really don’t know at the time. Not only will some become transsexual but a larger number are in reality bi and gay. We will explain that and how it relates to Internet dating.
The subject today is the Internet dating clubs created by CDs to service almost every area of our country. Exploration of this subject takes us down unexpected roads. Since the author’s experience in this complex area is limited I have asked Rogina from one of the Trans forums to provide knowledge and insight personally gained as a professional sex worker. Not a day goes by that I don’t receive a recruiting message from a local CD group offering special rates (No idea how money is spent.) — average monthly dues around $30 — last message received today: “The days are long and the singles are hot.” As that’s typical I don’t believe there is any argument as to the prime purpose of their existence. Not knocking them as they provide an important service.
Very active and visible there must be at least 500 members in Florida alone. Extrapolating nationwide to 25,000 plus the majority that haven’t left their homes as yet and there is at least 100,000 kindred spirits in the U.S.
Assuming there is a modicum of companionship and emotional relationships among members the focus has to be sex. Yes, some genetic females join up too — many do it out of curiosity and others are exploring their own sexuality the same as the males. These GGs are the exception as most hetero females are likely to shun them as they may not be deemed worthy by their peers if they are seen to have a relationship with TSs.
Therefore it appears evident that these club members are most likely to be transsexual, bi-sexual or gay. Not that simple so let’s first cover the smaller numbers comprising of transsexuals.
The WPATH’s glossary for version 7 defines it as: “Adjective to describe individuals who seek to change their primary and/or secondary sex characteristics through feminizing or masculinizing medical intervention (Hormones and/or surgery), Note –  typically accompanied by a permanent change in gender role.”
My note that even this definition indicates stages. The process called “transition” permits someone to be called a TS and yet they may have not even started the road of transition, may never start or finish with surgery or have any intention to do so. May be a professional definition but certainly leaves itself wide open for interpretation. Rogina sums up the TS term as “A state of mind.” — and probably right. As our subject is the dating game — only for that reason we will put those TSs that haven’t started transition for whatever reason into the bi and gay groups for their sexual abilities haven’t been , normally, diminished. Those starting or in transition are usually taking hormones which, for most, make them incapable of an erection or for some an ejaculation. So what are they to do? Turning to other TSs they find a similar problem: TSs are only capable of being bottoms once the hormone therapy kicks in. Sexually two “bottoms” don’t work out well so the dating clubs become the search engine (Rogina’s words.) designed to help a T bottom find a top.This is extremely difficult to find under normal circumstances as men are wont to find women “with something extra” in fear of peer pressure. Gays too usually avoid TSs at any stage as they are expected to be wired towards the masculine forms as the attraction. Once active in these dating clubs the Ts are likely to have a hard time keeping or blossoming a relationship — “the sexuality when twisted with gender issues can really break off a good relationship.”As a result the more experienced learn to value a good relationship with accepting partners.
Now let’s turn to the larger number of club participants — the BIs, otherwise known as bicurious, pan or polysexuals. Before joining these clubs there are many (Before you scream, yes many others are not interested in this path and are happy with their beard, some feminine clothes or whatever..) who do become curious because as CDs they believe, true at least in their own eyes, that they have fulfilled all the other exterior requirements — looking, talking and moving to a greater or lesser degree as a woman should. What’s left to attain nirvana? Being in the arms of a man and performing the sex act. For most, but not all, this is a fantasy that may occur while alone or even in bed with their SO. It remains a fantasy and the CD remains hetero unless they begin to pursue this dream by acting. Rogina and others in this field believe that more CDs are in denial – to themselves and partners – than we would expect   In effect, there are more latent homosexuals – yep, back to Freud’s premise – (includes bisexuals) that never will know whom they really are.

The curious who have been fantasying attaining the ultimate goal may go to a therapist or sex worker for answers or pursue it by trying to get picked up in a straight bar or by a CD dating web site. Most of these CDs will, nevertheless, enter the sex worker’s domain still loudly voicing their .most sincere belief — “I’m straight.”. They have no actual conception of the physical realities that they will face. According to the sex worker pulling up the so-called “curtain”: the progression is encountering another person’s penis first dry and then with ejaculation and lastly, penetration by anal sex..Witnessed by therapists those curious now usually voice the opinion that what they did or were about to do was something that will “label them for life” — they walk out believing (not always true) that they have their answer As described by therapists: “It’s like pulling a switch for many after it’s over — first denial and then shame and self-loathing. Satisfied that they now know who they are — self-analysis is often wrong however — they will go home, possibly to a SO, to share the news. Others, former bicurious, will now know that they have arrived at a place long suspected and the stress is lifted. Meanwhile, the now satisfied  former bicurious will look towards finding either top or bottom partners.Enter the dating clubs!

To sum up, who are the members of these dating clubs? Now we know that they include CDs at a stage where they are looking to validate their desirability; CDs who already know they are bi and just discovered that the dating market is really doubled from what they knew previously and TSs in every stage of actual and pseudo transition. Add to that stew hetero males and females visiting either out of curiosity or have already found out that those people interested in cross dressing also tend to be better human beings in every way — and better partners to the accepting. And that there is no mistake: they have entered a world of heartache, of sexual and emotional rejection and also that of discovery and the lifting of self-doubt and of denial.

Further for those happy to learn that they really are bi or gay, and have no misgiving that their quest for fulfillment was worth it, the wreckage of marriages, families and careers are testimonies that there is a price to pay — CD dating clubs represent the good and bad aspects of this “hobby”.

 

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

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Post No. 58
Call this post “The Theater and the CD – An Enigma”
The public celebration of a private club’s 125th year of entertaining college students along with a nation-wide audience prompted mental gears to spin: Is there any connection at all between acting, singing, dancing — stage craft in general — and the cross dressing community? Is there a cause and effect? An action and reaction? We know from unearthed cave drawings that some form of dancing has been in existence since the dawn of civilization, but, fortunately for this particular post, clothes was not an issue back then; so,for the purposes of practicality we will confine this post to, say, these past 900 years.
About this private club:
Back in the 1880s private universities, even in the U.S., were limited to young gentlemen from wealthy families. Perhaps that is the reason that Clayton Fotterall McMichael decided that my alma, the University of Pennsylvania, needed a theatrical troupe that would “get up in frocks and spoof everyone and everything naturally”. And that they did — traveling in their own railroad car, annually presenting top notch musicals and high caliber tunes picked up over the years by Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Ella Fitzgerald among other notables, competing with Broadway shows for decades. The Mask and Wig Club was featured on the Ed Sullivan show no less than four times and played such prestigious venues as the Metropolitan Opera House and Lincoln Center. In 1894 the high society mothers of Philadelphia chipped in to buy their sons a clubhouse now of historical importance. This, the oldest all-male collegiate musical troupe in the U.S. was later followed by Princeton’s Triangle Club, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding and others. Their theatrical professionalism is maintained to this day.
And yet, when looking at their first cast photo from 1889 I see some forty males dressed in various costumes befitting that play, and another thirty wearing medium to long length gowns, white or dark hose, low heels of the day, wigs and a few ladies’ hats. No makeup is evident — that would appear in later years. Nor is there mention in the historic write-ups of members cross dressing before joining or after leaving school, of being considered strange, weird or anything but “the funniest students on campus”. One was quoted as saying, “So happy to get back in drag” but that’s the only mention I could find to the attraction of the costumes worn on stage! Was it possible that they were ALL entertainers as, certainly, many had the talent as the media would attest. In the 18th and 19th centuries we read of professional female impersonators who made a living entertaining on the show circuit — a far different group than the comedians on TV who found that impersonations never failed to draw a laugh. The former certainly were talented song and dance performers as well. Is there some analogy between them and the talent displayed by these all-male clubs? And where did the early-on desire to wear female clothes mesh, if it did, with the desire to perform on stage? I think one cross dresser was on the mark from his own experience when he commented after reading of the enigma between CDs and performing on the stage: “I find mixing boy/girl elements a lot easier than going all out {Out in public.} en femme. To build up confidence and overcome nervousness, performing arts are a really good practice stage (literally ^^)! If only my theater teacher had known why I was always so eager to grab female roles.” Similar feelings expressed on the Internet are not uncommon.
In the late 1500s Shakespeare had no choice for the magistrates of that era required him to produce all-male plays. Surely, when writing his plays that would live on through the ages he knew very well that the female roles would have to be played by younger males but, obviously, it never hindered his creativity. But one has to wonder — did Shakespeare scour London looking for CDs with acting ability?
One member of the crossdreser.com forum has another slant by offering the premise that during the middle ages there was another motivation to stage plays — to provide entertainment during sea voyages. She writes: “Sailors in the British navy were about as far from wealthy {Alluding to the fact that Royalty, landed gentry and the wealthy were not punished if they happened to be inclined to crossdressing during these centuries.} as you can get, and boredom on long sailing voyages was a very real and very dangerous problem, so every ship had a chest of costumes, props, and plays, yes, with appropriate female costumes, and sailors would put on plays for their own entertainment, for the Captain and officers entertainment, and quite probably as a bit of inter-ship rivalry when in port.” And she offers another example: In 1914-1917 Ernest Shackleton commanded an Antarctic exploration ship, the Endurance, which became trapped over the winter in the Antarctic ice. The ship was eventually crushed and Shackleton and the men made temporary camps on the ice. To keep the men from going crazy in these, some of the most brutal conditions imaginable, one of the things they did was to use the contents of a similar chest to perform plays! After months and months and an 800-mile trip across open Antarctic water in an open boat, Shackleton was able to rescue all of the men with no loss of life!” In a funny but true vein a few CDs, picking up on a sentence above, remarked “To keep the men from madness by women’s clothes is, in part, my reason for dressing too.”
Accepting the historical fact that chests of stage costumes were carried on many of the sailing vessels from probably the 15th to the 19th century I would like to further fill in on the not too distant past in the field of entertainment and the relationship of the pragmatic need to fill a female stage role with a male actor-performer in contrast to those cross dressers in these centuries who found a needed outlet for their inclinations through the theater. In regard to entertaining the sailors: Granted that it’s very likely that putting on plays passed the time and diverted one’s fear of impending doom. Though if you have ever been at Mystic Seaport or elsewhere where one can board an old sailing vessel and explore the very close quarters, and also considering that rum was provided as a daily ration, one has to question whether show-time is all the entertainment that the crew had in mind — or the officers for that matter?
Several hundred years after the first Noh play in Japan it was women who performed the first male and female parts of the Kabuki. These plays ran all day long providing the actresses with the opportunity to earn money “on the side”. They were called “prostitute singers” by the displeased shoguns. The shoguns then replaced them with young men with the similar results — and so all-male plays (by older men) and musicals became the norm in Japan by the early 1700s. On the other side of the world the Italians looked to Greek plays for the birth of the opera. Young men were recruited and trained before their voices changed — countertenors or tenor altinos (falsetto) filled the bill. The beautiful voices of a boys’ choir eventually divided into castrato (yep) and houte-contre so opera began sans femme. I digress.
No need to remind the present CD community that from the 13th Century to present gays and transvestites were lumped together with all the other “crazies” — be they drunk, had dementia or any other obvious mental malady. Dickens pertinently described the horror endured within the walls of their confinement. Treatment was non-existent other than some having part of their brains cut out. By the way, if one neglected to pay their debts exceeding the equivalent of fifty dollars you were also thrown into the pit. And yes, the Royalty of Europe and England along with their relatives and wealthy friends were left alone regardless of any sexual or gender proclivities they might display. Interestingly, actors, writers, poets and the like were also excused from close scrutiny. Is not CDing also role playing in a fashion? Would not CDs have a greater attraction to the theater than the “average”. If true, then would it not also apply down through the ages? Perhaps there is a stronger connection between many of those who chose the theater as their avocation and those with cross dressing proclivities than we care to admit.

I wish that this post could be more definitive to the degree that cross dressers have been related, involved, with the theater. A CD suggests that the difficulty lies in the same reticence that we still find: “You wonder whether some of these people would have left memoirs that revealed their passion for ‘drag’ or more – but again, perhaps an indication of the extent of shame or taboo has meant that men of standing would never be prepared to admit as such.” I wonder too.

REMINDER: If you have a comment  on any post please be sure to submit via juliegaum@msn.com and indicate a post number in order to avoid spams.

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

Blog Post # 57

Let’s hear from you!

Before proceeding it has come to this writer’s attention that since introducing this series of blogs we have received over 7000 spams! I think you will have to agree that attempting to filter all these in order to be able to respond to those readers looking for information and/or answers is a daunting task — certainly wasted time for a sincere letter writer. So, starting now please ignore the box “Leave a Reply” and, when you have a question or merely want to add your observations write to : juliegaum@msn.com and begin your letter with Blog Post No XX  — specifically to the post number whose contents you wish to address. I should be able to reply within 48 hours. Exploring the many and varied opinions, theories and hypotheses on this subject is what we are about.

Although we had planned to devote this post to briefly cover an important part of our community without getting lost in a complicated dissertation embracing all the disciplines of medicine, psychiatry, physiology and the rest — we first need to identify that particular layer of the spectrum — or at least offer our best efforts. For a long time now this writer has been firmly entrenched  with the 85, 15 and 5 percents (Hetero, bi and gay) generally considered the “best guess estimates”. Since there never has been a census taken of the gender inclinations of all the males in the U. S. and the few taken elsewhere are dubious at best due to the small samplings taken — I’m beginning to doubt the validity of these numbers. Even if this writer were able to poll one million adult males the results would be questionable! Why? It seems that an unknown but large number, at any one time, are in stages of confusion. Not sure whether they are only fantasizing or are actually in reality inclined and desire to be bi or gay. The knee-jerk reaction is, normally, being secretive. Initially this same group are in denial to themselves so hiding their uncertainties would be expected. The insight of these last comments were provided by a husband, father and a bi-CD since age 14 — I think Rog helped explain our dilemma.

Tri-Ess, a nationally recognized group, has been the forefront representative  of heterosexual CDs for decades. Without taking a poll I dare to say that the numerous CD conventions, meets, and cruises held each year from coast to coast and overseas universally enforce very strict rules — from extreme fashion to proper manners, from display of overt to covert sex will not be tolerated. Even attempts to sell sex toys are a no-no. Keep in mind that a good number of wives and girlfriends who attend these affairs make great chaperons as well. I would have to believe that some bi-CDs go to these events but would have to refer the reader back to the last paragraph to explain why we don’t know in what numbers they might be represented among the guests.

Now let’s look at what else is going on that might provide a better idea of the orientation mix. We  know that pornography is not “open” accessibility-wise but as a multi-billion dollar industry is easily available on the Internet, theatres, in the video section of adult stores and elsewhere. Perhaps not a parallel comparison to houses of prostitution but males, and some females, looking for one night stands are able to find their interests satisfied — generally without offering cash — but instead needing to join an on-line or on-phone club with dues of $25  and up. Certainly these participants are as active sexually as any other  “normal” 18 to 55 year-old.The question then is how many are there and how big a percent of the overall CD community do they represent? Backup a moment: While most may be looking for a fast fix there are many who do want to get to know, and like, to find commonality other than sex as a common denominator before going further. The concern for STD and AIDS also slows down the eager ones. The impression an outsider garners from such sites might be that there seems to be a multitude of members; however, in order to get their money’s worth from the monthly fee along with the pull of libido would indicate that they visit these sites more frequently than those at hetero sites. A very few gays might visit these sites because they are curious or do have an attraction for “a male in a dress”; however the majority are cross dressers in various stages of exploration. We have discussed that many CDs fantasize that if they expect to feel like a “complete” woman they must have a male partner, if only briefly,, but chicken out when their hetero side resists. As a matter of fact I dare say that most hetero CDs find themselves sexually aroused, to some degree, by those lucky dressers who by youth and genetics are able to present as very lovely females. Perhaps it’s autogynephilia in that we wish those  beautiful CDs were  really how we would like to look and make love to or that they would solely test our resistance not to bed.

There are those influenced by childhood experiences, through either mother or sister, that  encouraged feelings instilled before birth. By puberty they were already bi-sexual and cross-dressing expressed what they soon found to be their true identities — identities not readily acceptable in the outside world. Then there are the curious and the experimenters who feel more comfortable labeling themselves as gender-curious, gender-fluid, bi-curious or similar appellations. They may be far more attracted to the female body for their entire lives but still enjoy the occasional male with male experience. Some number may gradually find that their interest for a female has waned or never was strong — they, of course, are no longer considered “bi”. The majority of BIs are somewhere in the middle attraction-to-female wise.

The next post will briefly present, with some overlap, the theories, hypothesis and professional opinions of those who venture to explain the “whys” of our behavior, albeit varied.131940 Continue reading

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

Post No. 56

So far we have covered many of the variations found in the heterosexual portion of the spectrum — and we will continue to add to that section of the rainbow as long as that amazing mind of ours seeks to blend, to meld from that variation of color that we might be in to an adjoining one — think 100% fetishist becoming only, say, 20% while other interests, such as fashion, takes over as the primary motivator. Among cross dressers approximately, 15%  is made up of perhaps 10% bisexual and 5 percent homosexual. Delving deeper we find that, even though the numbers are considerably smaller, there are at least as many variations in this group as there are in the larger hetero community.

I asked myself, “How come? Why would someone attracted partially or solely to the same sex wish to dress as a member of the opposite one? One of the great Myths is repeated time and time again when a wife, SO or family member catches you en femme —- first words out of their mouths are, “Are You Gay”. So now lets look at that, probably, 15% that really are either Bi or gay.154600

In an attempt to be orderly we’ll use part of Dr, Harry Benjamin’s Sexual Orientation Scale as the outline. Normally, in my opinion, though his work offers a valuable guide I get a feeling that he must have studied lab rats in formulating conclusions without ever having personally met a human CD.

Starting at one end or, as Benjamin indicates: “Kinsey Scale 6, and often quoted by a media looking for headlines, are those “born a girl in a boy’s body”.  As mentioned before the lucky ones are financially assisted by supportive parents to transition at an early age but that, sadly, isn’t the norm. With probably antagonistic parents, unsympathetic family and church and peers that consider you a freak of some kind — naturally the reaction is to hide, hide your confusion, your shame, your desire to be with the girls, to dress like them, act like them and BE one of them. Not your fault, it was the hand you were dealt at birth. — immaterial whether due to chromosomes, .hormones, genetics or whatever. Sometimes bi-sexual but usually homosexual in interest. Before that urgent conversion operation can be financially attained they seek for partial relief estrogen medication, psychological guidance or psychotherapy for symptomatic relief only. While pre-op they may live, work and dress as a woman.  This scale 6 group in actuality are only to be considered as cross dressers for the short term, that is until surgical transition takes place for thereafter they are to be considered as women and not CDs. Unfortunately for reasons of family, work or other circumstances some will never be able to undergo surgical transition though they have undertaken hormone and other regimens. So, though disputed by some, this small group might be considered cross dressers even though they are mentally and mostly physically the woman they portray.  We know that CDing is a minor motivator for them and the seriousness of their plight should not be easily dismissed for unless they are able to physically transition suicide or self-mutilation are on the table.

Going down that Kinsey Scale as described by Dr. Benjamin the next groups (4 and 5) find CDing provides joy to their feminine side. Conversion surgery is not a must for these groups and  estrogen medication often becomes their main option.. There are some in this group who have to settle for hormone therapy usually for the reasons of health issues or lack of finances. A snapshot would show a person who rejects psychotherapy and psychological guidance, and may have lived and worked as a woman. A few have been married by using fantasies in intercourse — fantasies of being female and having relations with a male. Noted a total psycho-sexual inversion —- intense  gender discomfort. Many in this group do finally have surgery; however it becomes more complicated in that group 4:occupants usually have dual personalities, waver towards transition, require assist from hormones and bi-sexuality —  passive homosexuality — is common among them. Further, at this level surgery is quite frequently rejected because of supportive loved ones, work-place conditions or even religious beliefs .Nevertheless , scale levels 4 to 6 personalities usually believe, with varying intensity, that they are indeed living in the wrong body.

As a result of these findings the wording on my book cover, as well as specific writings within its covers have been modified to welcome the homosexuals residing within our CD community. — now that I better understand why a gay person might also be a CD.

The scales 1 through 3 include the majority heterosexual CDs. Who and what they are definitely differs, in my opinion from Dr. Benjamin’s . Not my intention to declare war on the Benjamin precepts as our purpose was to provide a clue as to why some non-hetero cross dressers are what they are — CDs!

However, though not the subject of this particular post , I will briefly describe the first three Benjamin scales for the curious:     In scale one are the newbees, those in the discovery phase at age 4 or 40, and that trigger flips on through contact with a mother’s or sister’s clothing. Gender feelings are masculine and they get the occasional kick out of dressing. Then the next two scales pretty much follow what we have previously covered —- the fetish phase (That may never leave, for some.); Purging and relapse; underdressing  and the “occasional” becomes more frequent; a female name assigned by spouse, GF or themselves (Actually healthy in a marriage as it is easier for a partner who has just discovered this CD thing to compartmentalize their hubby’s inclinations.) and a supportive family to that person in the household who will continue to be the bread-winner and father to his children though he just might be wearing a dress at home and on vacation. The preponderance of cross dressers are in these first three scales and they are heterosexuals.

Before closing Post #56 I would not want the Bi-sexuals among us to feel that we deliberately skimmed over your situation in scales 4 through 6. Though Benjamin and others believe that “BI” is merely “passive homosexuality” and others with that inclination use other labels like “gender-fluid” and similar as it makes them feel more comfortable — more study is required before we can definitively understand at what point does one assume that label. Time and time again we read of the supposed hetero CD fantasizing of making love to another male even if  it is another CD (Still has a penis.) who sexually arouses them — they believe, understandably, that it will make them the complete woman. A hetero may fantasize but will never act on it so at what point did one become bi? Logically the answer should be that you were born that way. Would like to get to the crux of this contentious subject.

 

 

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”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

Post. No. 55

Our last post presented a fresh approach to the intriguing question,  Why do only some respond to the triggers encountered and those few become cross dressers? The developer of that hypotheses, WPDP,  now adds further comments for your perusal. Note: the author, Julie, eliminated extraneous material for the sake of brevity..

“The majority of cross-dressers have their first memories of cross-dressing while they are in their early childhood. This would correspond with the period of synaptic pruning during our early learning processes. The brain would be associating cross-dressing with contact with a female, however it would NOT be sexual. At this juncture you lack the hormones to make cross-dressing a sexual experience. However you still crave contact with a female, and that contact is your mother. My mother always wanted a daughter so when my sister was born, she was pampered — the center of my mother’s attention. My mother tells me that she had to carry a baby in each arm as I insisted on her attention. When I was 3-yrs old I developed a type of play. I called it “mommy” but all I was doing was raiding mom’s closet. Playing with my mom’s clothes made me feel special. It was not sexual, but it was a sensory experience (No, my mother did not approve of my behavior.).

Synesthesia  does not mean random neural connections. The process of neural pruning removes nonsense connections and the learning process reinforces other connections. So, in your very early childhood you may have made associations between women’s clothing and the contact with a woman, and that may have been the only thing you needed.

I believe my theory is a radical paradigm shift on how cross-dressing is addressed in the scientific community. It means that we are not experiencing imaginary sensations. It means we are not victims of a sort of mental distress. And, this theory should be empirically verifiable. The role of psychology would be focused on helping us cope with our sensory experience in a society that does not have the same sensory experience.”

121935Many will relate to the above while others may say, “Yes, but my feelings go beyond merely the wearing of clothes — how does one explain my desire to emulate, to look like or, with some, to be a woman?

Turning to the February 2014 issue of the National Geographic that reveals, yet again but to a much greater extent, the brain’s immense storehouse of some 100,000 miles of fibers called white matter – enough to circle the Earth four times, of nerves by the billions forming grid-like structures into circuitry beyond our comprehension and we realize that we must leave some answers to the neurotechnologists to connect the dots for us — some day.

 

 

 

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

Post No. 54 (Had to cut back hair for funeral trip.)162103

We were going to begin viewing the non-heterosexual cross dressers and how they relate to the majority segment of the spectrum; however a recent offering was too intriguing to put on hold. This writer (Julie) holds to the “trigger” theory in that all males, sometime in their formative years,are exposed to feminine-related inanimate objects that usually belonged to a mother or sister. For the vast majority there is no reaction other than, perhaps, curiosity; however for reasons unknown a small percentage do react, though it may be years later before the consequences surface as CDing. Why does the trigger work for so few? What do they possess that permits, and even requires a reaction? Recently an answer, all or in part, surfaced in cross dressers.com (The largest site of its kind.) by a long-time CDer who wishes to be identified as “WPDP” for purposes of linking this work with its creator. He has no professional training in most of the many disciplines associated with this subject except for biology where he does have formal training, and with some work in Alzheimer research. As a young man he did search libraries for anything hinting on CDing — scarce information prior to the Internet. With that said we can’t very well present this as a “theory” but rather a hypothesis, a premise, a thesis, a supposition or postulate until such time it is proved or disproved over coming generations. A behaviorist researcher did find substance relating to his field, while a few others have trouble differentiating early on gender attraction to a female as not having to be sexual — at a time the baby knew there was a gender difference, period. Another adds a “culture” ingredient to the mix though not germane here. Research already provides convincing evidence to the hard-wiring progress that’s mostly complete by age six so, logically, the premise that synesthesia plays a role is hardly far fetched. Admit that we did censor out a few percentages as apposing guesstimates would distract from the crux of this work and really aren’t relevant. Finally, the author (Julie) finds much of the following does plugs holes comfortably where there were empty spaces previously.

“Here is a new theory on the true cause of why some men cross-dress. Basically, the field of psychology has not provided an accurate or helpful explanation for the cross-dressing community. That is because the model should not be based on psychology but neurology.

For the most part cross-dressers are seen as normal, healthy, heterosexual men who gainfully function in society as doctors, pastors and engineers, just as well as the general public. Their cross dressing is not a result of childhood trauma as they do not exhibit any signs of being mentally disturbed, nor are they schizophrenic. The sensations they claim they feel from cross dressing are not a result of a delusion or vivid imagination, rather they are the result of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which are activated in their cross dressing experience.

This biological model says that cross dressers have their brain hard-wired (See author’s previous notes on imprinting and wiring.) to interpret cross dressing as actual contact with a female. When they feminize themselves their brain goes into action and releases a host of neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin,oxytocin, etc., which produce the sensations of well-being, comfort, pleasure, sexual gratification and bonding. It affects the reward centers of the brain, instant gratification, and thus it mimics the addiction response. It cannot be “cured” because you cannot stop your brain from releasing neurotransmitters.

So exactly how does this small percentage of the male population (Approximately X percent.) get their brains wired this way??? The answer goes back to synaptogenesis and neural pruning. There are certain critical periods in brain development when your brain creates a myriad of neural connections. In fact, you have the most synaptic connections when you are 12 months old. Then through the learning process, these connections are either reinforced or pruned. (Author’s note: At this point in development recent findings indicate that influences to the wiring process may include not only the child’s environment but possibly also genetic in nature.):There is another critical period of synaptogenisis and pruning during adolescence. (This correlated well with cross dressers who say that their cross-dressing began in early childhood,  or during puberty. {Author’s note: a smaller percent claim that they were never aware of these inclinations until well into adulthood — so further study is required though does not diminish the thesis offered}. Occasionally this process maintains some unusual neural connection between sensory pathways. For instance, a person may see colors associated with numbers. Or, a person may experience taste sensations associated with hearing certain words. When a person has a neurological condition where stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory pathway it is called synthesthesis.

So, compulsive cross-dressing may be seen as having a form of synthesthesis. When approximately 97% of the male population can wear a skirt they feel nothing but humiliation. However, the balance will experience actual contact with a female {See first paragraph above regarding misconstruing possible sexual connotations.} Their brain will release neurotransmitters and they will experience all the sensations. These are real, not imagined. It is automatic, involuntary and profoundly affects the person.

Psychology only comes in play when the person tries to cope with his form of synesthesia. He tries to make sense of his experience and may wonder if he feels contact with a female because he is female. Or, it may be entirely sexual. He may adopt a female alter ego. Or, he may satisfy himself with one or two articles of clothing and not  accept himself as female at all. The entire spectrum of cross-dressing is explained by our personal interpretation of the synesthesia sensations. Because the neurotransmitters are real, and part of our biology, it means that  all the spectrum of cross-dressing is valid. The only persons living outside of reality are those who have this form of synesthesia and then deny this part of their person.”

Additional observations by WPDP will be found in the forthcoming Post # 55.

 

 

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

(In drag, again) Post # 53

121935

Time out to revisit the Bible. Passages from the Scriptures,from Psalms along with ancient Talmudic teachings. They were often quoted in order to attempt to support the prevailing belief that cross dressing was a sin. In recent generations scholars came along to say, “Whoa, hold the boat” there isn’t anything specific in the Scriptures that weren’t merely societal  or concerns of a sanitary nature warning the people of hazards to be avoided. Such admonitions may have been wise two thousand years ago based on the living conditions of the time but are no longer valid.Further,interpretations by scholars over a very long span, thousand of years, are just that — conceptions of the thoughts of others. With this in mind, this writer was rather surprised to find another Old Testament offering — surprised that I hadn’t seen it sooner: From 1.Samuel 16:7: “For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”. Certainly apropos not only regarding cross dressing but on the whole subject of not judging a book by its cover and the like. Now back to the subject at hand.

The external genitalia creates the greatest challenge to those CDs who wish to appear as women (Note: I did not say “to be” women as the distinction treads a fine line for the CDs who have no desire to transition, and have no interest in going in that direction.) It is not a problem when one is wearing a billowing skirt or similar loose-fitting clothes but does result in an unsightly bulge when one is sporting a tight jean, pencil skirt, form-fitting dress or some bathing suits styles.

Probably more than half of CDs practice  “tucking” by pressing the genitalia onto the belly or pushing “the Boys” between the legs and keeping them in place by one or more tight panties or girdles. This satisfactory option is taken because there is less time and difficulty involved or simply not knowing what else to do. Another alternative found is to avoid tight fitting clothes altogether — totally unacceptable to the many that get a rush from the feel and the smooth look down there..

I had known of “gaffes” — a Bikini type garment designed to hiding the “boys” with a reduced bulge, but had never heard of “tucking” until the advent of the Internet. Much to my surprise most CDs in recent generations have practiced some method of tucking while still in their teens and do find it very comfortable — I suppose after getting used to it and perfecting their art. Quick to say that this writer has no idea whether the newer tucking methods are now more popular than the gaffe approach.

The idea is to slip the two gonads or testes beneath the pelvic bone into the abdominal cavity while pushing the penis down between the legs. The remaining flesh from the testicles are then folded on top of the tucked penis thereby hiding the genitalia. Numerous CDs follow this procedure to this point but then keep their handy work in place by the use of tight fitting undergarments or Spandex. This method can work provided physical activity is kept at a minimum and undergarments are not removed (obviously).

The use of tape — various types are utilized from duct to surgical — each one with advantages and some negative results — is found to be far more lasting and allow for urination without need for removal. CDs who are into jogging, swimming and other sports find this method to be the safest, though I can’t vouch that it’s the most comfortable. “Safe” would mean not coming out of the ocean in a Bikini bathing suit with something dangling for all to see. There are a number of taping techniques used but basically the general idea is to create a T, running tape along the top of the penis and then securing it with several cross tapes on the buttocks short of the anal cavity. The caveat, needless to say, is that, first, both the genitalia and buttock area must be free of hair — another choir especially if there isn’t a supportive partner to help shave.

Next — what is the composition of the not-heterosexual portion of the spectrum?

 

 

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS,FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

(The writer in drab.) Post No.52

When considering presenting in public a CD often faces physical hurdles. The most obvious one is stature. The average CD is not any more diminutive than in the rest of the population despite perceptions to the contrary. Certainly there are some where genetics and chromosomes have dictated their lot in life to the point where these people are teased and bullied as children but few of these will remain on a heterosexual path — not of their choosing. But most will have the same height and weight characteristics as the general public. And with that said, there will be a group almost six feet and some taller with a weight of 175 to 250 — not uncommon. Must say, from the writer’s observation, that CDs take better care of their bodies than the general public by far — same can be said of their gay brothers. Faced with a height of, say, six foot two, a CD will make every effort to trim weight to, perhaps, an acceptable 175 with a waist from 32 to 36 — much better than most in the GG population according to the stats. It’s also true that there are many genetic females in this taller range who carry themselves very well and present as very feminine in dress and makeup. They have enough confidence in themselves to even add heels to bring their height to a point that they stand out. The tall CD, once accepting that there are also tall girls will usually wear flats and wear clothing that doesn’t accentuate broad shoulders and a large frame. The use of colors, type of clothing, layering, belts and so on can divert attention from a large frame. As an aside, big men, in general, tend to slouch while the bearing of their female counterparts is usually excellent and allays any doubt of gender by any viewer..Nevertheless it does present another challenge. Excessive hair is a problem that also must be overcome by laser, wax, chemicals or old fashion razor. Strong masculine facial characteristics is another hurdle. Forehead and distance from upper lip to nose can be giveaways. While makeup, especially layering, can help along with proper hair styles to cover the obvious — it is still a problem.. However most CDs will settle for just passing or not being read too often — easier to do in a mobile situation such as walking in mall or store, Then there are those who, with no desire to transition, will still strive to become as feminine looking as possible while en femme. And yet, even in this group, they are usually as happy in their male persona both in their community, with their family and in the bedroom. Again, there are always the exceptions who are entitled to their path as much as anyone else, that is, these CDs, other than transsexuals, wish to live their female identity everywhere — more than, say, fifty percent — except at the work place. Nevertheless, whether dressing on occasion, half of the time or more often, a sexual snapshot would likely indicate that the majority are hetero with a slice of BI.

In the last post we mentioned a major obstacle faced — the millions dead set against inroads by anyone considered to be deviant or “different”. Other than the obvious bigots, regardless of the reasons that dictate their actions, there is the matter of population distribution. Growing up in a small town where most of their neighbors knew them from childhood, from the PTA or Little League, the challenge of either outing or being outed is daunting. Discovery would likely cost them friends, position on a city council, or their jobs — in many cases ostracized from the community. Physical harm and even death have been reported in the media from coast to coast and north to south. Not to say that there hasn’t been supportive towns — one Oregon city elected a CD mayor. A frequent solution has been to pull up stakes — easier to do without a family — and move to a larger city and a new life. Here they will find resources never possible to find in rural areas. In addition to like-minded people becoming neighbors and friends, there is nobody who knew them as a youth, they’re free to be themselves— that is, to enjoy what level of dressing is practical without having to worry about the acceptance factor.

Whether the CD tries to pass completely or even most of the time — assuming that something very odd didn’t catch one’s attention enough to take a second look — most CDs make every effort to blend.. For example: Most will wear jeans/pants and tank top or skirt and blouse depending upon the part of the country, the time of day and the average economic level of the shopper. True that CDs take more time to mix and match style and color than their GG sisters — resulting in them usually being better dressed but still blending in. Same thing applies to shopping at mall or going to a restaurant or movies. Actually there are two schools of thought in making a blending decision. One group says to wear some makeup, appropriate but not too much jewelry, mid-height heels rather than flats and similar fashion decisions so that, if a GG notices, they see a woman nicely dressed whether for shopping or the office. The other school believes to dress down to GGs who make the least effort, don’t have the time, to being presentable — and there are lots of GGs fitting this description.   Dressing one’s age requires the same consideration as ought be shown by women in general — but some do not. A sixty-year-old CD shopping for produce in a grocery store should not be wearing five-inch heels, a halter showing skin below and a mini skirt, while a nineteen year-old CD could pull it off. Further — since a CD can make this decision and a GG can’t — a 40-D bra (with padding if necessary) provides a proper look for a six-foot body weighing 180 pounds but would be inappropriate for a CD with a slender build.

Though the majority of CDs strive to blend in with the GGs around them it’s not that simple.. Judge how a woman should appear: do they walk from waist down, with legs close, with a wiggle? How do their arms and head move? Their facial expressions such as making eye contact with passer-byes? But here’s the rub — look around at a dozen women and you’ll see twelve different body movements. The advice is to take your pick and hang on for the ride.

 

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

 

141716(New hairdo-my own hair too) Post No. 51
For those CDs who never leave the sanctuary of their homes one of the deterrents might very well be the question of “passing”. Is there a specific high bar of what “passing” needs to be or does one need to pass at all? Many take the view that “society” will never accept CDs unless they dress, act and talk as close to emulating the opposite sex as possible. That being a CD should in every way be synonymous with blending whether shopping or at an opera. The image of Uncle Milty Berle’s caricatures or those personalities on past Jerry Springer TV shows have lingered too long as the personifications of cross dressing and this must be changed! That when one goes out they represent the entire CD community and the impressions given are vital towards progress in understanding.

  At the other far end of the spectrum are those who strongly believe that men’s and women’s  fashions will someday be identical, as even today London and Paris designers are offering lace tank tops and skirts for male consumption.  Accurately those willing to wear androgynous clothing are not necessarily “cross dressers” in the sense that the typical ingrained inclinations from childhood are not found here. Fashion aside,  there are males who are content in public scrutiny wearing a dress or skirt while sporting a beard and sans wig. Their position is that there should not be restrictions on how we dress — it’s just clothes. They also take the position that most CDs will never be able to pass so, since we are not trying to fool anyone, why can’t we dress as we wish? Going past this view point we find many more shades. Some don’t care for wigs or makeup and find contentment in the softness of fabric and in the comfort. To confuse this issue there are GGs who grew up as tomboys — don’t like frilly clothes or makeup but are very feminine in every other way.They often lived in rural settings and strongly influenced by their fathers. Why can’t we emulate this group reasons these CDs? True, however, that these middle groups of CDs don’t expect acceptance when they go out, do expect to be noticed and willing to take whatever heat encountered. Recently a school teacher of math and physics was featured on the Internet and in newspapers for having worn a skirt while teaching for decades. Now in his sixties he is well respected in his community and by his family. So, although there are CDs who go into the public arena only partially dressed for reasons just explained, the CD who will never venture out believes that if they were to go out they must adhere to the goals set by one end of this group — to dress as close to the female persona as they possibly can — a bar set too high to be even attempted, at least not in public. These CDs are usually sincere in their beliefs that they are content to remain at home.  They may live alone or have a wife/girlfriend who is privy to their way of dressing. A survey isn’t required to believe that the majority of these wives and GFs, though they may be very supportive in every other way, are very satisfied that their SOs remain at home.

   Now let’s examine the restraints, perceived or otherwise, by those who might leave their homes provided all conditions were close to acceptable. Worries about being seen by family, friends or business associates is a big concern by those who live alone and may still be the deciding factor even with a supportive wife or GF. In fact often the hubby’s fears of what public disclosure might mean in their community or church becomes the most important ingredient in a go or no go decision. That fear to their own image is often  more important to them than what it means to their spouse or BF.To those contemplating going “out” a major consideration is usually the demographics. In the U.S. and abroad there are many very conservative areas and workplaces that have difficult environments to overcome. There are over five million members of just two organizations, Focus on the Family and the American Family Association whose opposition to any liberties for homosexuals and the transgendered are well known. Add to such groups the religious and political persuasions that are equally against any so-called gender deviance and it can make the risk much greater when venturing into areas where  these citizens live, work, and worship. Then there are avocations historically considered “mano”.. Only recently in sports has there been  female race car drivers or racehorse jockeys. The construction and mining industries now have female engineers, but again, the workers are mostly men. This writer knows for a fact that there are miners, carpenters and truckdrivers, for example, that underdress at work but when it comes to be completely en femme there that’s another matter.. Was going to add airline pilots but in the 21st century, thanks to the military allowing female fighter plane pilots, there are now airlines also hiring GG pilots.

   In the next post we will consider physical attributes that make  the thought of going “out” even more problematic..

CROSS DRESSING MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

31adj  Post No. 50

Note: This particular post does not pertain to those who use cross dressing as one vehicle in their path to partial or full transition to womanhood.

The reader has already noted that the majority of cross dressers will either wear one article of feminine lingerie, usually panties, or the same amount of undergarments normally worn by a woman when going to their workplace. The exception might be to wear drab when visiting medical offices or to the gym; however a few are not shy allowing their doctors and nurses to view their attire. These underdressers include  the entire spectrum of the CD community from airline captains, police sergeants, attorneys, truck drivers, carpenters to every other conceivable type of occupation — estimates range from four to eight million males in the U. S. alone that indulge in this harmless practice.

In the privacy of their homes it is usual for these same underdressers to shed their male garb for female garments. When time permits many, but not all, will add makeup, wigs and whatever is required to change their persona to female. Others are content with limited clothing and nothing else.  For those with wives, family members or girlfriends there are often a wide range of limitations or “compromises” imposed depending upon the degree of acceptance and support — a subject already covered. From this large number of underdressers probably more than half seriously contemplated that some day they will have perfected their skills to the point of venturing out into the public arena and subjecting themselves to scrutiny of others — however, thus far, the preponderance of information indicates that more than 50% will never go out fully dressed.  We will now examine the “Why not?”.

There are over five million members of just two organizations, Focus on the Family and the American Family Association whose views on pro-life and the LGBT communities that includes the transgendered are well known. Add to those numbers the religious and political persuasions that are equally against any so-called gender deviance and wherever the preponderance of people with this mindset live, work and pray becomes dangerous places — dangerous to life and limb, holding a job or even in the pursuit of sports and hobbies that they and their families enjoy. Sadly, Southern and Midwestern states still retain more than an average share of these misnamed “conservatives”. This writer has read a number of stories related by CDs, who can hardly be called “passable”, of positive experiences in the very heart of such areas but it’s risky at best. Then there are occupations and types of work historically considered “mano”. Examples include the sports of race cars and horse racing that only recently have seen female participants but still remain 99% of the male gender. With female college graduates now outnumbering males inroads have been made in architecture, engineering, aeronautics and the like but, nevertheless, more than 90% of construction crews, builders, and airline pilots are male. Sure, these same men might underdress but coming out en femme in these work places is another matter. Actually, the writer knows an underdressing  miner and the owner of a successful engineering company who is not transsexual but runs her business fully dressed without a problem as does a “large animal” veterinarian. In 2014 a transsexual police sergeant in an Arizona town completed her transition publicly with little incident but it would be a real challenge for a hetero CD to report to their station house en femme. Okay, we understand why CDs are reluctant to “out” where they work except perhaps for Halloween if then, and socially there are obstacles to face in narrow-minded communities.

In this same chapter in the Second Edition I misspoke, was misleading when I wrote “the majority will forever remain in the closet for they don’t have the boldness to be seen in public places”. While boldness may be a factor for some, many others consider other factors  like motivation and weighing the possible down-side versus the rewards. There are those who really are content expressing their inclinations solely within their homes or with a loved one — will never feel that they have “missed something” by never leaving their threshold. Then there is a group whose desire to dress has been with them since childhood and practice it from time to time without an overwhelming need to do dress more fully. Weighing their negligible “urges” against marital vows, happiness of family, their more than adequate income and an active social life — they are happy without a tinge of regret. Try as one might to persuade them that they really aren’t happy is misguided. Sure, there are a much larger number of CDs living within boundaries, compromises or whatever where the restrictions are not of their doing; the SO definitely is happy but they are decidedly not. We have previously talked about their unhealthy bondage. Now back to other reasons hindering or completely stopping other CDs from going out en femme.

jh .