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Triggers and Allures

We have another Contributor who is enjoying the community feedback here!

By Crystal Joens

My Crystal life has been on hold. Now I am struggling to get back on track. That makes me curious about what the rest of you go through. What gets you out of your feminine side and what triggers and allures bring you back?

Early in February, my left hip flared up and made walking, along with many other things very hard to do! Like getting dressed. (I will soon turn 75.) Then on April Fool’s Day I had that hip replaced. Yes, that was an appropriate day for me to do that! If you have had surgery in the last few years, you will know that between checking in and putting you under anesthesia, they ask you about a dozen times for your full name, birthdate and what you are in the hospital for. Just to entertain myself and see if they are truly listening, about every 4th time I will throw in a different answer from hip replacement. “Hysterectomy” is one of my favorites and draws a variety of comments. “Sex Change” makes my wife roll her eyes and punch me lightly someone on my body, away from the ailing hip.

This was my second hip replacement in 3 years, so I knew what to expect and it went well. At least at first. Checked in at 5:30 am and home by 11:30 am. Amazing! Then over the next few weeks I developed side medical issues that really slowed me down. It has been nine weeks since the surgery and I have only dressed once, and that was just putting on a dress, nothing more.

Maybe it was the various medical issues, but I wasn’t missing or craving the dressing. Then when I might think about it, the thought of the pain of trying to get on leggings or stockings or heels just took my breath and my interest away. It was tough enough to get comfortable at all, let alone in the feminine attire I have always preferred. And it is worth noting that while my wonderful wife is very supportive of my dressing, I mostly do it when she is out of the house. And during my medical journey, I wasn’t alone much at all.

Another key factor: I seldom was able to leave the house at all myself. Now that I am getting out more, I am seeing people again, including well dressed women. And now my interest is shifting, and I want to dress again, as soon and as much as I can. What I deduce from that it, one of my triggers to wanting to dress and be feminine is the sight and interaction with other women who are well made up and dressed.

What am I missing here? What are your triggers, both to reduce dressing and then to want to dress? This is the longest non-dressing spell I can remember and I would love to understand it better. I look forward to your thoughts ladies!




17 Responses

  1. Crystal,
    Major surgery will put anyone off their normal lifestyle. Any come back will be slow and should be a your own pace. Don’t let this frustrate you.

    My feminine dressing occurs whenever an opportunity arises from an unaccepting/unknowing spouse.

    I keep my feminine sanity by daily visiting Kandi’s Land and occasionally emailing my CD/TG girlfriends.

    I know I am TG no matter how I am dressed.


    1. Great observation and advice, Jocelyn!

      Interestingly, I have started dressing a bit and it may be my imagination but my healing has seemed to improve as a result.


  2. Crstal,
    Being full time I’m not needing a trigger , the one big incentive is I don’t want to be seen as a man anymore . The other point is that I don’t have male clothing easily available , I boxed some of it up for emergencies and the rest has gone .

    Health is one big issue , what happens IF ?? and it’s one that does concern me especially as I’m designated female on my formal documents but still have male parts . I live alone but realise my family will want to be involved . The one thing I have discovered is my situation has been discussed in fact I’m probably being naive to think it wouldn’t .

    Maybe consider ” Crossdressing ” in a different way , don’t label yourself as a Crossdress but as a person who has a need to crossdress , it becomes clearer then to explain the ” trigger ” . It’s not a term I use now because I know I’m transgender , to crossdress now means dressing like a man .

    I hope you soon fully recover and start to enjoy how you truly feel inside , it’s not a crime to feel this way .

    1. Thank you Teresa! My recovery has gotten much better.

      Good thought: I am who I am. That doesn’t change.

      Wishing you good health and a healthy outcome on your issue.


  3. Hi Crystal,
    Sorry to hear you’ve had issues with your hip replacement. Usually they go really well with very minimal pain. The doc told me that hip replacements have the least issues of any replacement surgery.
    For me I enjoy being both a man and a women but I never stop thinking about everything female. So there’s no trigger for me. Trish is a part of me just like male me is a part of me. Fortunately my wife is accepting of my cross dressing so I can go out as Trish fairly often. But from mid June to mid September I am in guy mode. We spend a lot of time at our lake place that we bought with my wife’s sister and brother in law and also have family visiting us throughout the summer. I love this time of year but miss being Trish too. I’ll be lying on the beach and see girls in their bikinis and right away wish I was wearing mine. By summer’s end I’m so excited to be out as Trish once more.
    So honestly Crystal I don’t think you’re missing anything. It’s just one of the things we go through as cross dressers. It kind of goes with the territory so to speak. I hope this helps Crystal, have a great weekend.

    Trish ❤️

    1. All of this, including your comments, help immensely! That’s why I truly appreciate this community.

      For the record, the hip surgery and PT has gone very well. Its the side issues and they are abating

      I need to also remember that at age 75, healing takes a little longer.


      1. You’re right about the healing part Crystal. It does take us longer for the healing process. I’m not far behind you girl, I turn 74 on July 4th. Have a good weekend.

        Trish ❤️

  4. Hi Crystal

    I hope you have a speedy recovery. I know I had a paralyzed right led, with unbearable pain for two years. This was before I discovered this wonderful side of who I was, I wonder how this would have affected my desire to express my feminine side. It is such a important part of who I am now, I think I would still have those strong feminine feeling. There is not trigger, just always have these feminine feeling inside. I wish I could express them more, but health issues can affect your ability to dress, as there is a lot of work involved to sheading our male features aside. You will be in my thoughts Crystal.

    Hugs Julie

    1. You are so on target, Julie!

      Thank you. Talk to you again soon, my Dear!


  5. Hi Crystal,
    My friend has had both hips replaced. The first one for him was easy. For some unknow reason the second wasn’t as easy. Stay with your physical therapy plan and I hope you continue to recover.
    I present as male, albeit with high heeels and colored nails; my clothing is mostly female all the time. My femine side is satified by having my nails and heels, and I’m pretty hairless from the waist down (waxings).
    I’ve been extremely busy over the past year while also recovering from fracture ribs, so my desire to get complete decked out is minimal. But I have triggers:
    (1) Stress. I tend to wear a bra as much as possible. I calms me down and I can get more things done. Many times I will also have a cami on too.
    (2) Rib pain. I’ve played hard and have multiple rib injuries. When I treak a rib I like to put on one of my corsets. I especially like my padded corsets. I will wear them as much as possible until the rib calms down.
    (3) Mascara. Girl, this girl loves her mascara! My “trigger” here is just seeing the tube (and having time to apply it). But I will apply it and go out.

  6. Wishing you good health and continued femininity, Cali.



  7. I’m unusually late to this party having, sadly, had to work for a living today!

    Interesting question you pose. Over the near half-century since I first discovered the delights of female clothing, my urges have waxed and waned. For the first 18 years of marriage during which time I was employed in a UK bank, I had no serious desires at all which I think was due to the distraction of the other pressures of life. During that time I recall really wanting to know what female me would look like but never having a real urge, or indeed opportunity, to do anything about it.

    Things changed when I took redundancy and started a business with Mrs A. She was based at our work premises and I would sometimes work at home and I quickly found the urges ramping up until I could resist them no more. However, even with the opportunities I have had over the last 15+ years, I have sometimes gone several months (and even a few years when trying to comply with Mrs A’s ultimatum) without dressing.

    But you asked about the triggers. Primarily I am my own trigger – sometimes the need to see ‘her’ in the mirror is overwhelming and that’s become particularly so as I’ve been able to develop a replicable female persona for myself. At other times it’s remembering a particular sensation – perhaps the constriction of bra straps or the feeling of wearing tights and a skirt – that does it. Occasionally, seeing a woman dressed in a certain way makes me want to emulate her and recently seeing an outfit on display in a local supermarket (with a clothing department) set off a train of thought far more extensive than clothes on a mannequin normally would!

    The final point I’d make is that because whilst I enjoy being female insomuch as it’s possible for me to do so, I don’t feel female so I am very reliant on triggers, wherever they may come from.

    1. Being late to this party hasn’t dulled your sharp insights, Amana!

      Your thoughts remind us that the spectrum of genders is wide and very diverse. While some feel it constantly, others, like you and me, feel it off and on.

      Your triggers are very similar to mine, especially the one about seeing a woman well dressed and wanting to emulate her look. I often see that and go directly to a store looking for similar items so that I can feel as good as she looks.

      The “sensation” part also resonates with me, as I have found that when I am (rarely) stressed, dressing is a calming antidote.

      Thanks for sharing!

  8. Crystal, I know we’ve communicated before on Flickr, though I’m not there anymore. Hadn’t seen or heard of you for a while so I’m really glad to see you again on this site and read what you have to share as a contributor. I hope you’re fully recovered soon and out again as Crystal.

    Talking about your triggers that make you want to get dressed up again. Seeing other beautifully dressed ladies, especially in dresses and high heels is a definite trigger for me as well. It sometimes throws my mind for a loop and I can’t think straight, I wish so bad I could dress and be like that. I feel like Jocelyn said, I’m TG no matter how I’m dressed and visiting Kandi’s land helps keeps my sanity even though sometimes it will be a week or so between visits for my sanity check.

    I’m in male mode probably about 355 days per year at least. The past few years I don’t think there’s been even one day that I didn’t wish I could be wearing dresses and high heels, out and about as a lady. I get the chance to dress up about every 3 or 4 months as my feminine side is completely hidden from the family. No one has a clue I’m sure. The desire is intense at times but it really helps to read the experiences and bask in the wisdom of people like those who contribute here.

    To me it seems the age and experience of those in this little community seem to have given them an extra degree of understanding and compassion for those of us who are still discovering themselves and conflicted with their identity. It does not go unnoticed. I cannot appreciate enough the kindness of Kandi and the others here towards me and it’s helped me tremendously in trying to find some kind of balance where the mind is not in constant conflict.

    And you were a wonderful and kind friend to me as well when we were communicating on Flickr. I don’t know if you remember me wishing to go slip shopping with you and your friend Susan in Las Vegas. That’s another trigger, shopping and seeing lovely slips and lingerie sets my mind off in this pink fog again.

    Thanks for this post and for all you do. Glad to see you back in this wonderful place.

    1. Yes, I definitely remember you my dear and beautiful Elizabeth! And I sure wish you had been able to join Susan and me for that wonderful weekend. Your kindness touches me. Feel free to reach out at anytime.

      As to your first point, I am happy to report that I am feeling much, much, much better. The hip was never the problem. It was the pulmonary embolism, anemia, restless leg syndrome, fatigue and a bleed near my optic nerve. Time, along with iron, vitamin b-12, my physical therapist, my personal trainer, my doc and my dressing have been good medicine for my recovery.

      We are heading out on a trip in a week for 3 weeks, to Minnesota, then France. My wife told me she had packed 3 dresses. She never wore dresses until I revealed my Crystal side. So I asked her how many dresses I should take and she said four! I love that I can talk about it with her. Of course, sleeping in my grandkids bedroom and staying with family in France, I won’t be dressing….until I get home, full of images of women on the trip,

      Thanks for the kudos for Kandi’s World. She, and it, are wonderful and I need to check in more regularly.

      Be well Elizabeth,

  9. Hi Crystal,
    It is interesting your mention of triggers. I have very much a partvtime crossdresser and don’t feel a regularvurge to dress, particular over the summer months when often it doesn’t interest me at all. However in winter I am definitely more predisposed to dressing and many things can trigger my need to do it and I will look for opportunities to dress very often. I can’t explain this I am not sure whether it is related to lack of light or long nights but my need to dress is very seasonal.
    I other trigger I have is spare time. I often work away for up to 4 weeks and can work very intensively with a group of colleagues based out of hotels and living in each others pockets. When I return from these I am both tired and have a lot of free time and in these periods I often think more about dressing and purchase items although when working I don’t really consider it.

    1. Tanja,
      Glad it helped you think about triggers and you added to the diversity of who we all are!

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