I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist, so what gives me the qualifications to write about transvestism? I write purely from experience, having been a heterosexual transvestite for many years…
I first discovered the pleasure that cross dressing gave me during my early twenties, when I secretly donned some of my wife’s underwear. The effect was immediate and resulted in an uncontrolled ejaculation, which in turn left me with a feeling of guilt and disgust.
However, the desire to wear women’s clothes became so great that those secret flights of fancy continued whenever the opportunity arose.
Also I had become more adventurous and had purchased some clothing of my own: these of course had to be hidden, and so deceitfulness was added to my list of sins.
Over the next ten years I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the enforced limited duration, and lack of opportunities, for my trips into my alter ego. Also I was becoming increasingly guilty about keeping the whole secret from my wife. So I decided to tell all, naively hoping she would understand and allow me to ‘dress’ at any time in the house.
It obviously comes as a great shock for a wife to discover that her husband likes to prance about in ladies’ undies. She did, however, agree to give it a try and I dressed myself in a skirt and jumper, and a pair of mule slippers. At this time I used neither a wig nor make-up and I realise now what a bizarre sight I must have presented.
It was clearly not going to work, and if continued it would obviously cause a break up of the marriage. The only thing to do was to stop, put temptation behind me and live a ‘normal’, ‘healthy’ life – if only I had known then what I know now.
During the next twelve months or so I became more and more irritable and unreasonable until I eventually I suffered a near nervous breakdown, confessed all to my doctor and finished up in the psychiatric ward of the local hospital. All this eventually cost me my job and my marriage.
I will skip briefly over the next forty-odd years of my life, only to say that I did marry again, but this time I told my wife of my transvestite tendencies before my marriage.
On the whole it was a very happy partnership in all respects, my cross dressing continued but not in my wife’s presence, and by arranging for her to have the odd week or two away on holiday now and then the frustration was contained. Although there were many times when I felt I must get away, the love for my wife was the thing that stopped me.
My wife has recently died and I now live alone which gives me the opportunity to dress all day, three or four times a week, within the confines of my home. I have braved the outside world on a couple of occasions in the past, but only for a few hours and much as I would like to live completely as a woman, at seventy years of age I feel the disruption to my life would be too great.
So, having spent about fifty years seeing doctors and psychiatrists, taking tablets, considering suicide and doing other daft things, I offer the following as a possible aid to understanding transvestism, facing up to it and removing some of the shame and guilt you may feel in succumbing to your sexual fantasies: I hope it is of some help…
Why do we want to cross dress?
What determines our personality?
Our genes, our upbringing, our experiences, our environment: all play a part in determining the kind of person we are. A traumatic experience can change our outlook on life but it is our basic personality or character, call it what you will, that determines our reaction to these things.
Some people are aggressive, not necessarily in the physical sense, but in terms of their approach to life in general. Others are more submissive, and given the same environment and upbringing will react differently to the same set of circumstances.
The point is: there are a number of inborn basic characteristics that do not change irrespective of any other outside influences, they merely change our reaction to them.
Our sex is determined by our genes, so why should our sexuality not also be determined by some other factor in our genes, making us either heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual? I do not believe that one becomes homosexual or bisexual as a result of some outside experience.
Carry this theory a little further and consider the cartoon character who believes he is Napolean, or the Elvis fan who dresses as, and mimics, his idol. These are fanatics who so worship their idol that they want to be that person. It is an inborn need to become the object of their desire, let’s say the ‘wannabe factor’.
So now, let us first take the genes that have determined our sex, add the factor that has determined our sexuality and increase it’s influence in our lives, and finally add the ‘wannabe factor’.
Bingo! You have the perfect recipe for a transvestite.
Learning to live with it
Are we abnormal?
In terms of what is socailly acceptable, yes, we are abnormal, although the size of the mail order and personal shopping market indicates that we are a fairly large percentage of the population.
We were born different (yes, I do believe the problem is genetic), as others are born with physical or mental disabilities.
Whilst they are partially accepted into society, depending on the degree of their disability, we don’t fit into a convenient slot, and society, on the whole, doesn’t know how to deal with us.
We are an embarrassment and therefore become the subject of snide jokes, ignored in the hope we go away, or in extreme cases hounded out of town.
Unless you are fortunate enough to have the right stature and features, and can pass fairly easily when dressed and made-up as a female, it means the only outlet for us is the confines of our homes – we must not be found out, we would become outcasts.
Should we feel guilt or shame?
Providing what we do harms no other person, either physically or mentally, there should be no rational reason for feeling guilty. Neither should we feel ashamed of what we are, but unfortunately we feel ashamed of other peoples’ perception of us.
If we have the courage to ‘come out’, as many do and eventually become if not totally accepted then tolerated, then our shame and guilt would disappear.
But this is the real world and unless you are fortunate enough to be able, physically, to pass as a woman then the stress and strain of continually being looked upon as a ‘freak’ may mean we have traded in one set of problems only to be confounded by another.
I am sure we all often feel the frustration of having to limit our activities to the confines of the home and would dearly love to ‘come out’ and damn the consequences. If only we could be found out and the decision made for us, life would be so much easier.
But beware, speaking from experience I can tell you that unless you intend to go all the way, being accidentally found out only compounds the problem and you can be left with the task of having to rebuild your life.
My advice to any of you having the courage to ‘come out’ is: do it sooner rather than later, it will never get easier.
Will it go away?
As stated earlier, I believe that transvestism is inborn and not the result of a childhood environment. or the fact that when you were a lad some nasty man put his hand down your trousers one night in the cinema.
I can look back to when I was about five or six years old and remember the fascination I had with young ladies and girls, which of course could be said to be quite normal (our sensuality is alive and well from a very early age). But I can see now that what I felt was different. I seemed to envy their femininity.
What must be appreciated is that although cross dressing is something from which we can derive great pleasure and release, once satisfied the urge returns in a relatively short space of time.
The major part of your life is dominated by this desire for femininity and I can assure you it does not go away.
I am afraid that we must all find our own salvation. Some may be fortunate and find a satisfactory solution, but whatever you do, try and obey the following rules:
The Golden rule. Don’t harm any other person, either mentally or physically. Know yourself and be honest with yourself. Don’t feel guilt / shame. Accept youself for what you are. Don’t marry unless you find a partner who is prepared (or even pleased!) to accept your cross dressing. If you do decide to come out and/or have the op, do it sooner rather than later.
The compulsion to ‘dress’ transcends all other considerations and this is where we must be careful that our actions do not have a damaging and irreversible effect on our lives, or on the lives of those dearest to us.
In these circumstances, the quick temporary solution is – to put it bluntly – masturnation. But this is not what we want. We want to savour the feeling of being dressed as a woman, and we want that feeling to last, not supress it.
It is in these moments of almost fanatical desire that we must be thankful that we are neither rapists nor paedophiles. These people are obviously driven by an uncontrollable urge to act in the way they do, but as their actions have a serious effect on other people’s lives they must be forcibly restrained from acting out their urges.
Thinking along these lines, and no doubt we all do at times, can make us feel what a thin line we tread between the obscene and the deviate. Much as we rightly revile the actions of these people, we have a much better understanding of the emotions that drive them to commit their offences.
Do not despair or castigate yourself for having this affliction – and affliction it is. At least we can live a normal life in all other respects, and the worst that can happen is that we become an object of ridicule.