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Where I Stand In The TG Spectrum – Part 2

Cristy continues...

By Cristy Garcia

This one has been viewed by over 63,000 people!

When I reached puberty, dressing produced an unexpected and shocking side effect. I clearly recall that I was around 11 years old when I locked in my bathroom with some of my mother’s makeup. As I was in the process of making my face up, I felt my first erection and not long after I was done and saw my image in the mirror, I had my first orgasm and an involuntary ejaculation. I will not go into the details of how I felt but you can be sure that I was in shock and felt tremendously guilty. From this moment on, sexual arousal, sometimes followed by spontaneous ejaculation, will inevitably take place every time I cross-dressed. Again, it was not caused by any particular piece of clothing or fabric but the idea of me, a “normal” young male, transforming myself and taking an appearance associated with the opposite gender. Each dressing episode would come to an abrupt end soon after reaching orgasm and having involuntary ejaculation. A huge sense of guilt and shame would follow forcing me to immediately get rid of any feminine attire and makeup I had on. Why was I doing this? Why I was not able to control myself? I was a boy who liked boy things and was beginning to be attracted to girls! Needless to say that about half an hour later the sense of guilt would be gone and I was ready to do it all over again even though I rarely did it due to the time and effort required. 

The shame and guilt made it impossible to share this with anyone and I kept it a secret for some time. I also attributed my shyness and introversion to this secret I had kept since I had conscience. I failed to mention earlier that I have recollections wearing some of my mother’s things as early as 3 years old. 

Today, after years of dealing with this, therapies with charlatans and with specialists in gender identity and Internet interactions and research, I have come to the conclusion that getting aroused by wearing feminine clothes occurs only on heterosexual cross-dressers and fetishists. The difference, I will argue, is that a fetishist will derive this pleasure from a particular piece of garment or from the humiliation felt when forced to wear girl’s clothes at one point in their lives, which makes them seek the recreation of such episodes. Heterosexual cross-dressers, much like transsexuals, are born this way and it is not a learned conduct, caused by a traumatic experience or to derive sexual arousal. Both transsexuals and cross-dressers seek a complete and convincing transformation but only cross-dressers get aroused by it (even though this is not why we do it). I am not transsexual but from talking to female to male transsexual friends, I have learned that for them dressing is just a form to express their true gender and do not derive any pleasure different from what a genetic woman would feel from wearing a garment that she likes and makes her feel good. 

In my case, and I would like to ask those who believe they fit in the heterosexual CD standard, I am fascinated by the ability of a regular Joe to take the appearance and assume the mannerisms of a regular Jane. I am absolutely certain that I was not ever forced to wear girls clothes and that my urge to wear them is imprinted in my genes and brain and is as much a part of my being as having brown eyes or being predisposed to loose my hair (not in the places I would love to). I never felt ashamed while cross-dressing except for that short period after spontaneous ejaculation that, once I reached my mid twenties, disappeared. I do not know if it was age related or if it was the fact that it was by then that I came to understand why I did it and who I was and embraced this part of me as any other part of my being. It has been ages since I felt guilty or ashamed of being TG in general and a heterosexual CD in particular. 

Since the topic is “where I stand in the TG spectrum” and not the story of my life, I will pause for now and open to discussion if you agree that sexual arousal caused by seeing yourself transformed into a woman is one of the characteristics that can be used to distinguish a heterosexual CD from a transsexual as well as the argued differentiation with a fetishists who derive sexual arousal for different motives. 

Before posting and opening the discussion, I would like to present an idea that I have discussed in other forums and will cover in depth later because I consider it pertinent to today’s topic. It is regarding my theory about why many fellow CDs think they might be bisexual or even gay because they feel an arguable attraction for other transgendered girls. It is my argument that they confuse the feelings produced by seeing another man convincingly transformed into a woman for attraction to the person performing the transformation. In my opinion, the excitement or arousal is produced by the idea of a man looking so much as a woman and it is mistaken for attraction to the person behind the illusion. 

To be continued…


31 Responses

  1. Cristy, ‘I’m glad I’m not the only one’ was the thought running through my head as I read your first paragraph. In my case, it was my mother’s tights/pantyhose that caused it but the end result was exactly the same, as was the short lived guilt before the cycle started all over again. What I’d also add is that memories of the reactions I’d had as a teenager plagued me for years afterwards with a fear that, if I went anywhere near female clothing, I’d embarrass myself.

    You raise two interesting points. The first is whether arousal is the preserve of the heterosexual CDer. I’ve never thought about it in that context but I have often wondered which side of the mirror my own interests lie. Does the reflection I see serve only to give validation to how I’m feeling or is it the sole focus of my attention? I could glibly suggest ‘of course it’s all about how I feel’ and back it up by waxing lyrical about the feelings of bliss and the evaporation of life’s troubles but the truth is that when I look in the mirror, I want to feel some form of attraction to the woman looking back. It’s not a feeling of arousal or anything like that but more a warm sensation of having found ‘the one’. There is, of course, a small subset of transsexuals who transition not because they feel that they’ve reached the point of ‘do or die’ but because they just realise that, for them, being female is a far more attractive proposition than being male. It’s pure speculation on my part but it wouldn’t surprise me if those in that particular subgroup had experienced arousal as youngsters.

    And that brings us onto your second point which is, arguably, even more interesting. At a fundamental level, CDers dress well. At a time when most women dress casually, often in trousers/pants, any woman who dresses in a more feminine way is bound to attract the attention of a heterosexual guy. I would go as far as to say that attraction to a CDer who has clearly taken care over her appearance only serves to confirm her admirer’s heterosexuality, not to cast doubt on it. But what about those guys for whom the fact that there’s a guy underneath is particularly attractive? About 40 years ago, I saw April Ashley interviewed on TV and her interviewer observed ‘it’s a very sensual operation isn’t it’ and April immediately agreed. And I’m sure that if we’re honest with ourselves, we’d agree that crossing the gender divide into the territory of those who we’re biologically programmed to be attracted to is an assault on the senses. And yet those individuals who admit to being attracted to CDers would probably also say that they have absolutely no interest in the guy underneath and on that basis, we couldn’t possibly accuse them of being gay. I also recall seeing another programme on TV where guys outside a club were asked why they were attracted to trans girls. The answers were generally focussed on an appreciation of the effort that trans girls make with their appearance.

    There’s another interesting strand to this when it’s looked at from the CDers’ point of view. I know that you, like me, frequent Flickr and from time to time, a CDer will post a photo of herself with a guy. The comments are almost always rapturous expressing admiration and, sometimes, envy for the ‘lucky’ girl. But what are they admiring or envying? The fact that she’s gone on a date with that particular guy or the fact that she’s playing out the ultimate female role – what better validation is there than to be found attractive by a guy? I can almost guarantee that the majority of those commenting in that way have either said ‘absolutely no guys’ in their bios or would run a mile if any guy tried to hit on them! In the end, it’s one of those things that symbolises womanhood and there’s a similar reaction when a girl with defined breasts (resulting from either gynaecomastia or hormone supplements) posts a photo – she’s envied for her breasts and yet those envying her would not, in a practical sense, want them themselves.

    The psychology of all of this is absolutely fascinating and I’m sure there are as many theories and explanations as there are people offering them.

    1. Very interesting arguments, Amanda. I agree with most of them except for the point about what causes the appreciation (or attraction) that a crossdresser feels towards a fellow CDer. I still feel strongly in favor of the idea that it is the transformation and not the person, what draws our attention. The fact that a man can do such a good job in looking like a woman, rather than the “woman” as a person. This is a different type of attraction than the one we feel when we see an attractive genetic woman, that is directed at the person; granted that often we also think that we would like to wear her clothes or look the way she looks in the clothes she is wearing.

      1. Cristy, sorry, I missed that nuance (that it was CDers ‘attraction to other CDers that you were talking about) and I agree with you on that point. i don’t doubt that there are some CDers who are sexually attracted to other CDers but, as you say, if we tell another CDer that she looks gorgeous, it’s an appreciation of the quality of the transformation, the choice of outfit and so on rather than a chat up line!

        It is an interesting debate, though, because we’re often benchmarking the quality of the transformation against what we consider to be attractive traits in women. And it’s a paradox, too, because the basis of attraction changes solely because the CDer status of the other party is known. Equally, though, I know from experience that I have a very different reaction if, for example, another CDer leaves a complimentary comment on one of my Flickr photos than I do if it’s from a non-CDing guy even though, underneath the surface, they’re chromosomally identical! The ‘girl to girl’ compliment is an expression of appreciation and approval; the ‘guy to girl’ compliment feels more like it has an underlying agenda which, for most of us, goes way beyond where we want to take this side of our life.

        1. No worries, Amanda. The way I see it, us CDers compliment each other in the same manner genetic women compliment each other; be it in looks or in what we are wearing. This is something that men rarely do.

    2. Maybe I am different, but I like more casual clothing. I think too many have an old fashion view of femineity, with red polish, dresses, and hose. I embrace a more modern look wear leggings, skinny jeans, short shorts, bodysuits, heels (including knee high stilettoes), mascara, non-red/pink polish, etc. in male mode on a daily basis.
      And I am a senior.

      1. Like with genetic women, each individual has a preference in style. However, I agree with you in that hose has not been worn for most genetic women since the 90’s and most crossdressers wear them all the time. Like you, I rarely wear hose and have leaned towards comfort.

  2. This has been exactly my own experience with cross dressing! Starting at age 11, and all those reactions. There must be many of us who experience this. Many therapists DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS. They don’t GET IT fully. The shame and guilt in response created a lasting and long term poor self esteem that affected much of my self and life. Yet this cross dressing is a beautiful experience, which I have finally learned to accept, and have a special, accepting wife who understands the deep psychological (And spiritual) aspects of this.

  3. I saw a lot of my similarities to myself in your story.

    I went through an early puberty cross dressing phase and thought it was behind me, but it was just relegated to the background. About two years ago, I was hit with the realization that I still have gender envy. I’m in my fifties and married with college-aged children, so I am deeply closeted about this. I wish I can explore this, but can’t without “letting the cat out of the bag”.

    On the surface, I am not particularly feminine acting and my interests are more typical male.

  4. Well where to begin, I guess at some point we all need to understand there are many different sides to gender identity and why we desire or want to present as women
    For me yes I too was aroused the first time I slipped into moms panties and also several other times when I would dress as an older teen.
    I did however come to understand that for me it was very much more than wearing the clothes, I felt sexier presenting female and it finally came to me I really would have preferred being a girl.
    This was before I even knew much about sex changes and such.
    While I never achieved going all in on transition to female I’ve found my happy place being gender fluid and accept myself as transgender.
    The excitement I got putting on panties or other such thing is gone but I still like the look I can achieve when I wear something pretty but it’s a different excitement
    My attraction is still towards women for certain as well

    1. Agreed, Rachel. As we progress in acceptnce and finding a comfortable place regarding our dressing, the excitement focuses on playing the role and fitting in, more than what you are wearing at the moment.

  5. Well, I certainly am glad I am not alone with these feelings and phenomenon. I too was quite sexually charged upon my first donning of women’s clothing, my first taking on of that persona. For me though, I was not 11, I was in my 40s. I can’t say I felt guilt or shame, but I did feel what was occurring was way over the top, and I stopped – denying myself and not giving in to temptation for many years. I was 69 before I began to dress actively.
    Since I was such a late bloomer, I escaped the guilt and shame part completely. I also did not fret about the gay/straight question. I was heterosexual, attracted to women, secure in that notion, and indeed attracted the the female form and image. I can find a male crossdresser attractive, but for the same reason. Upon dressing fully the person I saw in the mirror was a fantasy, a creation of my imagination that was experiencing in some small, superficial way a degree of femininity – the feel of the clothing, the movement of the body and so on. For me, the very notion was euphoric and sensual, and I desired and continue to desire to improve that presentation for both myself and others. As Billy Joel sang so many years ago “Sometimes a fantasy is all you need.”
    When I finally began to dress actively, the same feelings remained – but I did not run, this time I embraced it , and here I am. I am the better person for it – less tense, certainly less naive, feeling more knowledgeable and worldly. I’m not trying to over analyze it, just enjoy the ability to take on this persona as well as the sensuality that comes with it. I hope it doesn’t fade.
    Kris Burton

  6. Cristy,
    Thanks for writing this post as it is not the easiest thing to actually write and broadcast. From what I have read about us CDs, this “cycle” is extremely common. The arousal and guilt/shame. And at the puberty age things are so confusing. And if you grew up before the internet, it was a very lonely place for us because we felt like misfits. We felt like we were the ONLY ONE doing this. Must keep this secret AT ALL COSTS! I know in my youth I overcompensated to hide my inner femininity. I didn’t even smile much at all. Can’t let anyone see the girl.

    Is this type of arousal only providence to only CDers? I don’t know. I don’t think so. One concept I want to throw out there is “gender euphoria.” As we reveal our feminine side, we get happy, content and then there is a side effect of that happiness. I know mentally I siloed off my CDing. I justified my actions in that I was shy, introverted and wanted female companionship and doing this was my way of getting it, for now. I would of course stop doing this when I got a girlfriend or married. LOL, and we ALL know how that goes! The urge never goes away. We just all have different thresholds of repressing it.

    I thought I was a CDer for a long while, but I really was in denial out of fear. Fear of labels. Fear of “what’s next?” I now consider myself Trans, but a Trans person that will not be transitioning. Once I recognized my feelings ran deeper than “clothes” things made more sense to me. Like, I feel dysphoric if I don’t shave my legs, annoyed when I have to take off nail polish. I could go on.

    One of more eye opening things I have done is read about Trans people on Reddit. What were their signs? What were their dysphoria? One might see some similarities.

    Though, in the end these are all just “labels.” And we shouldn’t let labels scare us. The most important thing is to do what makes you happy, labels be damned. You go girl!

    1. Forgot to mention. While I consider myself Trans and won’t transition, I really live in 2 worlds. I am attracted to women. I have an accepting wife that I am hetero with in that realm. But in another realm I guess lesbian? lol. Again, just labels.

      1. It ws easier before so many labels appeared, In the end, we could expand gender identity to the extreme of each person in the planet having his or her or it’s own label that more accurately describes their feelings in this regard. I do believe that the arousal part when we se ourselves transformed is typical of CDs and does not apply to the text book definition of trans male to female. However, in this time and age people worry more about pronouns than seeking happiness.

        Fetishists also get aroused but they do not need to fully transform themselves and are happy with a particular piece of feminine attire; more likely lingerie or hosiery. In the end, what matters the most is that we accept ourselves without caring how others label us and focus on being happy.

        1. gynophile – “One who loves women; a person who loves or is sexually attracted to women or to femininity.”

          Regardless of labels we are gynophiles.

  7. Christy,

    An excellent post with a lot of painful but pertinent diclosures. Having been to a wonderful gender psychiatrist in the UK and spent a quarter of a century really examining my gender before that, however, I must disagree with some of your conclusions, at least from my perspective. Confusion about sexual arousal is a very common experience of persons who transition (or think about transitioning) post-puberty. In fact, it is so common that one discredited psychologist (Ray Blanchard) said that all transexuals who transition post-puberty have “autogynephilia” (sexual arousal by seeing themselves as a woman). My experience, and that of many other women who consider themselves transgender (and not only a crossdresser) is that sexual arousal very often did exist for us (although not always), yet it did not persist (for me, ending sometime during my early 50’s). Certainly, as you point out, some men (including likely some men visiting this website) use women’s clothing as a fetish. Such a person is likely to have a lifelong interest in the fetish, and is very unlikely to want to be a woman for any length of time. Young crossdressers may be mixed up (as I was) because sexual arousal (and release) follows a period when they get completely dressed. The reasons are complex, but it isn’t at all hard to see how one’s innate sense of self, blended with the hormones newly coursing through one’s body, are very likely to cause one to get mixed up about where, why and how one gets turned on. Once a person no longer gets sexually aroused by dressing in women’s clothing, the hard questions begin – if the dressing is not primarily a sexual outlet, then why would one continue to do it? Shouldn’t it be easy to break the habit at that point? I once thought so – but purging was a complete failure. Your answer (that crossdressers and transgender folk are hardwired from birth) is the only answer that makes sense to me. That statement, if correct, leads to the really hard question: which am I? I know many people at Kandi’s are trying to answer that question. You can see from my writings (and my time with the psychiatrist), that I have my answer. It is not inevitable that a crossdresser will eventually realize they are transgender (as I did), but I have seen so many women make that journey that having time to reflect on who one really is may be all that is needed for many of us. As the conclusion is gut-wrenching (what do I do NOW?), many of us who have gone all that way only reached it by taking babysteps — we weren’t sure we really wanted to know the answer.


    1. It is very likely that trans women also find some arousal in the transformation but most with whom I have discussed the topic, even in person, have mentioned that for them the clothes and appearance are important just to make their brain match their identity and do not derive sexual pleasure or excitement from the clothes. Then again, as each individual is different from even his or her siblings, then it is also the chance that there are trans women who are excited by the clothes they wear.

      What I see today is that young people have all the means to transition as early as they want and see so many examples in social media that even a potential crossdresser might be lured into transitioning only to regret it sooner or later.

    2. Lisa, I pretty much agree with your take. I know for me, my process was from the first time I started CDing around puberty I would CD and repress it for like 30 years. Then I “came out to myself” and admitted I was a crossdresser. Then told my wife which thankfully went well. Now that I was accepting of myself, I began “real research” into my feelings. Over time I thought of myself as gender fluid. And then I found myself being “less fluid” LOL. Am I Trans? Am I “Trans enough?” I thought if I thought of myself as Trans then I would HAVE to transition. But transition scared me due to the steps involved. But then I saw that the end point didn’t have to be transition. I just started to focus on what made me happy and not a bunch of labels or processes.

      The arousal aspect gets a lot of Trans people confused it seems. As I mentioned in my previous post above, I feel there is a level of “gender euphoria”, the Pink Fog, that overcomes individuals and that can sometimes lead to arousal. Certainly in the early years and if one has been hard core repressing. Over time though, usually the body recalibrates and those instances become fewer.

      Regardless of one’s introspection into all of this, in the end, just find your own equilibrium and your own happiness!

  8. I tend to agree with Cristy’s take on her life as a crossdressers. My journey has been very similar. In my late teens it seemed to be sexually exciting to watch the boy disappear and watch Trish slowly emerge in all her femininity.
    As a young crossdresser I had the same feelings of guilt and shame post climax but in my later teens and early twenties the guilt and shame was replaced with a beautiful feeling of peace and contentment. When I was younger becoming Trish was a purposefully slow process. I wanted to savour every second of my transition. I always left my wig and lipstick to the very end. These were the crowning glory of Trish’s arrival. Now at 72 years old I still practice the same lengthy ttransition procedure.
    As a mature crossdresser the sexual excitement has been replaced with the overwhelming desire to be my feminine self far more often than in my younger days. The sexual part is totally replaced with the most intense feelings of acceptance, content ment and peace.

  9. Cristy,
    Like many cross dressers, I started experimenting with my mother’s bras & girdles in my very early teens. Why? I have no idea. After a few involuntary ejaculations, I became fixated on women’s lingerie and for the next 40 years used lingerie as a sexual fetish & was a closeted lingerie cross dresser. At some point, the sexual aspect diminished and I occasionally put on a skirt or dress and noticed how nice it felt. After a significant change in my life circumstances late last year, I experienced the joy of completely dressing as a woman, the joy of presenting Fiona to the world and the joy of frequently going out in public en femme. Again why? I really don’t know. All I know is that it is so comforting to be able to express the feminine side of myself this way and I love it.

    I have always loved women & have been a girl-watcher all my life. I have never looked at a male in a sexual fashion, ever. However, I am attracted to other cross dressers. Every so often I see a CD and am strongly attracted to her because of her looks, her way of dressing & her feminine mannerisms. I definitely can see myself becoming involved in a relationship with one of these ladies despite the fact that there’s a male underneath the dress, the lingerie & the make-up. My assumption is that somehow all of their feminine characteristics somehow counteract or soften the fact that there’s a male underneath it all. If he is thinking, acting & dressing like a woman, then he is not a typical male so therefore it is more acceptable for me to be attracted to them.

    So what does all this make me? I am comfortable describing myself as a cross dresser, period. Am I somewhere on the trans spectrum? Maybe, but with all the labels in use today it can get confusing so I’m happy to stick with with cross dresser.

    Thanks for posing such an interesting question.

    1. thank you for sharing your thoughts, Fiona. I would suggest that you do some introspection regarding the attraction you admit to feel for another crossdresser and think if it is the person you are attracted to or is it the fact that that person, a male, can look so convincing as a woman. I still argue that it is the transformation that interests us and not the person.

  10. I have a similar origin story as many CDs: as a teenager, panties and pantyhose were a sexual turn-on but always lead to shame after orgasm. But as an adult, my feminine wardrobe is a source of contentment, of allowing the exterior to (at times) match the interior, and solo sexual acts are about allowing my feminine self to be fully alive without any shame.

    I’ve always considered myself a “heterosexual CD” and I think my definition differs from what is described here. In male mode, I’m physically and sexually attracted to women. I know if a man is attractive, but I’m not attracted to him. When I femulate (and it’s usually as immediate as tucking into panties or sliding into stockings), it’s like a switch in my brain flips and I’m at once attracted to men. I still appreciate a women and their appearance, but not sexually. However, just the thought of a man sets my heart aflutter and I want to be romanced by him, desired by him, I want to pleasure him in all the ways my imagination allows. I think it’s about wanting to experience the peak of admiration and sensuality and passion as a female being.

    Thank you for providing a space where we are each free to share our own gender journeys!

    1. I won’t speak for Cristy, but I will say with regard to your last comment, outside of my family, this place is my greatest accomplishment for that very reason. We share. We help. We support. We love each other. A very big THANK YOU!! Because without you and all the other ladies that we hear from and that remain silent for their own good reasons, we wouldn’t have such a community.

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