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Thread: Female CDs - motivations/experiences?

  1. #1
    Action crossdresser Marlena Dahlstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    SF Bay Area

    Female CDs - motivations/experiences?

    Hi Pixietits (and any other female cross-dressers who might be lurking),

    I'm a MTF CD (sorry if I'm intruding here) and been pondering the whole "why we dress" question, which in turn got me interested in looking at the similarities and differences in MTF/FTM CD/TGing to see how they might illuminate things. Transmen have been studied enough (academic Aaron Devor, a transman himself, has written extensively) that I've got a reasonable idea of the motivations, which are generally a mirror image of transwoman. But female CDs are so rare there's virtually no info on them.

    So Pixietits, if it's not too personal, I'd love to hear more about your motivations for dressing, as well as what it feels like when you're dressed. Also how old were you when you first got interested dressing? Raven Kaldera, a transmen who's known other female CDs, said that they generally got the urge much later (early 20s) than male CDs, who usually start in childhood/early adolescence. (Raven has lots of good essays on CD/TG at

    BTW, to me there's an interesting female parallel to male CDing: tomboyism. From the research I've seen, there's two types of tomboyism. The first, which is widely common among girls, might be termed "additive" (i.e. wanting to adopt both girls and boys behaviors.) The second, which is much less common, involves rejecting feminine gender roles and even denying she's a girl. But in either case, girls are quite aware of crossing gender roles.

    The latter form of tomboyism has strong correlations with later life lesbianism, bisexuality and/or androgy. (Lesbians had the strongest likelihood of recalling being tomboys almost all of the time, the bisexuals recalled only being tomboys being about half the time. Also, more than half the bisexuals self-identified as having androgynous personalities. Standard disclaimer: not all lesbians are butches...but many butches do appear to have been tomboys.) This is apparently particularly true for girls who carry tomboyism into adolensence, when social pressures cause most girls to give up tomboy behavior. (If Kaldera's observations are correct, it might be that females need to get past that pressure for their CDing to re-emerge. Unfortunately, he doesn't mention whether his female CDs had been tomboys.)

    If we assume crossdressing is part of a larger spectrum of transgenderism, and is at least partly biological, it seems reasonable that there are females who have the lower-level gender discomfort that is one driver for cross-dressing. (For CDs that driver isn't strong enough to prompt people to live as full-time TGs, with or without HRT, SRS. Like Pixietits, while I enjoy cross-dressing, I'm happy in as my boyself as well.) So where are the female CDs? Especially the hetrosexual(ish) ones -- since there is a bit of crossdressing in lesbian circles, from the butch daddies to the more recent "bois." The obvious answer is the greater flexibility of dress makes it a moot point, but I'm not ready to accept the obvious just yet. Since it's intent, not clothing that makes the CD a CD.

    My personal theory is that aside from the "lack of middle ground" that Pixietits so elegantly described, MTF CDing is an "additive" process -- putting on wigs, make-up, a dress -- which consequently requires more an overt awareness of what one is doing. Whereas as FTM CDing is a "subtractive" process -- shorter hair, not wearing make-up, more "practical" clothes. So it may be that females expressing their masculine side may not be consciously aware of it as CDing. In fact, they'd probably describe it as "not being girly" rather than expressing masculinity. Or it may be experienced as dressing to play up certain characteristics (tough, practical, etc.), just as women (and men) dress to seriously for job interviews or sexy and seductive on a Saturday night. But again, the conscious awareness may be focus on the characteristics (which happen to be "masculine") rather than on a desire to express masculinity.

    In other words, they may have some of the same gender discomfort drivers, but are less self-aware that's what they're doing is CDing because they can dress/behave more masculine in a way that's socially acceptable. (Whereas the reverse isn't true for males, which makes expressing femininity a conscious act.)

    Thoughts anyone?


  2. #2
    oysters = kneecaps Abraxas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    In your saddlebags, messing with your weight distribution.
    Phhhh. Wow.

    Well, I'll attempt to field some of this (and don't worry about intruding-- there's not enough posting in here so I don't mind if anyone ventures over here and livens things up a bit).

    I myself do not consider myself a crossdresser. I consider myself a transgenderist... Somewhere between TV and TS (closer to TS but not quite all the way there-- My hand's on the doorknob but I don't want to walk in). So my motivation is there-- I always felt like I SHOULD be a boy. Now I feel like I really am one. When I think about it, I've always felt like I actually was a boy, and have never identified with any female- type behaviour or social standards.
    I've always been a complete tomboy. And yes, I'm completely heterosexual (I'm a gay boy and feel absolutely no attraction to women whatsoever).
    As for your question "where are the female TVs" I think they just don't put 2 and 2 together. I didn't until very recently (a couple of years ago). Especially crossdressers who have no gender dysphoria-- pure CDs (as in not TGs). Since there is little to no social stigma regarding females dressing as boys or in male- ish clothing, they think nothing of it. Or perhaps they just think it is more comfortable. So therefore since there is no social stigma, the thought never crosses their mind that they might be crossdressers, especially if they have no problem slipping into a skirt or wearing makeup on occasion (your typical Saturday night out thing).
    Does that make sense?
    And there are plenty of straight girls, I'm sure, who wear boys clothes on occasion simply to feel more comfortable or whatever. I have known a few but really I don't know a lot of girls in general so I can't really tell you any "statistics" or patterns I've noticed.
    So I think you're onto something on your second- to- last paragraph.
    So that's what I think.
    But tell me, if there was no social stigma attached to male crossdressing (or think that, for instance, men and women wore the same clothes as in, say, Star Trek, or even back in Biblical times where everyone wore robes... Or even if everyone walked around naked all the time), would you 1) feel the need to crossdress, even if there was no difference between male and female roles as far as clothing and makeup, etc., goes. And 2) would you feel like you needed to keep it a secret/ there was something "wrong" with it (whether in your own mind or as according to social rules?
    That probably didn't make sense at all but forgive me, I'm a bit knackered.
    Yes-- socks! Run out again! Why is it that no matter how many millions of pairs of socks I buy, I never seem to have any? They just... disappear. Honestly, you'd think someone was coming in here, stealing the damn things, and selling them off. . . For me, socks are like sex: tons of it about, and I never seem to get any.

  3. #3
    Girl in disguise Emily Ann Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Greensboro, NC
    Abraxas hit one spot that was real close to home. My wife wears my Tshirts and pants that look like mine, has short hair, never puts on makeup, seldom puts on a bra except to go out (modesty), wears unsexy cotton briefs, always has on socks (okay, sometimes they're pink socks), and loves athletic style shoes. Sounds like crossdressing from the female side to me, except I don't ask her if she gay or think about divorcing her. Her Dad comes and her dressing doesn't change, our kids come and nothing changes, she "dresses" like a traditional woman only when required to by the few societial standards that still remain for social functions. Why would she think she is a crossdresser ???? Nobody is throwing stones at her (except me when I want an erotic encounter).

    Emily Ann

  4. #4
    Action crossdresser Marlena Dahlstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for replying Abraxas. I know you consider yourself a TG, some I'm not surprised your motivations are parallel to MTF TGs.

    Emily, I'm certainly not saying any GW who's got short hair, or dresses comfortably is an unconscious female CD. Rather that it seems likely there _are_ GW who have some of the drivers we have, but who generally are less self-aware about their dress/behavior being a manifestation of "expessing their masculine side" for the reasons I've mentioned.

    Abraxas, your questions point out two key difference with transgenderism: discomfort with one's sex (i.e. what's between your legs) and discomfort with your gender role (i.e. society's dictates about what's "appropriate" masculine/feminine behavior) -- as well as a third factor: sexual orientation (i.e. who you're attracted to.)

    Those who have discomfort about their sex would still want to change their bodies to match their minds in your scenario. I think most of CDs have some level of gender role discomfort, which is one reason it seems like there's a lot of MTF CDs who in "logical" professions (engineers, programmers, etc.), and/or come from conservative social backgrounds, where gender roles are more rigid. In the former case, I think it's their non-rational mind "leaking" out. (To me it's interesting that a lot these same folks are disproportinately represented in other "alternative" activities from the Rennaisance Faire to Burning Man.) For those who grew up with rigid gender roles, they may feel they need to "become" a woman to express their softer side. I suspect things may work the same way, but in reverse for FTMs (i.e. women who highly "logical/rational" may present themselves as less femmy). That said, I think CD/TGing may also involve a bit of low-level discomfort about one's sex, which accounts for the sense of it being an irresistable urge. OTOH, like you, I don't have a desire to change my sex (the thought of SRS makes me cross my legs reflexively), so I dunno....

    If we all walked around naked, it would be a little difficult to cross-dress. Same as if there really were no differences in apperances (probably more "THX1186" than Star Trek). But to get to your point about what if there was social stigma, if society were a little more tolerant and I was a little bit braver, then I'd probably do the Eddie Izzard "tough androgynous" look part of the time. (Yes, I *heart* Eddie...) And yes, I'd probably still dress as a "women" some of the time. (As well as a guy at other times. Call me flexible...) If I grew in that sort of environment, would I cross-dress. I don't know, it's hard to imagine. But as I am today, aside from the "dress up" aspects and the ability to be someone else, there's a bit of fun in going out an passing. Sort of like being an actor in a convincing performance.

    Anyway, I've rambled on, so maybe it'll make sense if you get knackered.

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