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Thread: Dressed or stressed?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Central United States

    Dressed or stressed?

    I've been lurking for some time but don't post often. Last night I had a chat with my SO that left me wondering.

    I've had (and am still having) a particularly stressful year. In less than a year I've been the lead for an application at my job, averaging 50+ hrs/week plus oncall, left a relationship of nearly 10 years, developed another, moved out of my home, done a whole-house remodel (almost done), moved back in, lost my job, am moving my new SO in with me, and preparing to sell her house. Through all this my desire to dress has had some pretty dramatic swings.

    When I was working long hours I loved to come home, get out of my stuffy buttoned up collar, and slip into a loose, comfy dress or skirt for around the house. During the remodel, out of necessity, every night I changed into dirty jeans and an old tshirt. I didn't dress at all for over 2 months, though I wanted to many times. When I finally got the opportunity for a couple weeks, I only wanted to dress 2 or 3 times. When I lost my job I suddenly wanted to dress every possible minute, but felt like I shouldn't. When the major remodel finished and it was time to move back in, and move in my SO, I wanted to dress a couple times a week but couldn't because of various appointments. Two weeks ago things slowed down and I wanted to dress every day, but only got to for a few hours. This week I suddenly have no desire to dress.

    Last night I was chatting with my SO when she commented on the recent changes in my desire to dress and asked why the change. Do you find your desire to dress is influenced by the stress in your life, and your opportunity to? If you don't have the time or ability to dress, does the desire get dramatically stronger until you can? What happens when the stress is finally relieved? Do you go right back to your normal desires or are they even stronger?

  2. #2
    Aspiring Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    I would say that if I'm stressed, then yes, the desire to dress does increase. I find that reverting back to me is a great way to reduce such feelings. Also, the desire to dress increases when I'm in a situation where dressing isn't possible, for example staying away from home with friends and the like. Maybe this is just like the situatuon above, with the stressor being the inability to dress. Under normal circumstances, the desire to dress runs at a steady constant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    It's not worth over thinking. Many of know our urges to dress "ebb and flow".

    It is what it is. Sometimes you just can't be bothered, got better things to do, feel comfortable how you are etc. but it's nothing to worry about. It would be actually be worrying if you were trying to force yourself to dress when you didn't feel like it just because you "think" you should.

  4. #4
    Member leannejacobs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    You'll find that many on here use their dressing for stress relief, I certainly do, I too have had a stressful year, not with as much going on as you but very stressful indeed, so much so that I suffered a heart attack as a result.

    I could feel my stress levels rising and my wife even advised me to slow down and relax before I did myself an injury, too late,,,, one of my issues for not being able to de-stress was that my sons girlfriend was living with us at the time and I had little to no time to myself to dress, my wife supports my dressing and took me away for a weekend to a hotel to allow me a fix but unfortunately that wasn't enough.
    Fortunately I got over the heart attack though still signed off work and my son and gf have parted ways, so she's gone, this has given me the much needed time to dress and de-stress.

    As Charlotte7 mentions, when you know you cannot dress the desire to do so is strong, hence the problem I had with the sons gf constantly under my feet at home.

    So to answer your question, yes, stress levels certainly do affect the desire to dress, bit of a vicious circle for me unfortunately.
    Last edited by leannejacobs; 11-21-2017 at 07:58 AM.

  5. #5
    Transgender Person Pat's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Boston Area
    I have a mental model that there's a "cup" in each of us that contains all the stress we can carry. It slowly fills as stressors are added and it empties when stressors are resolved. When you overflow the cup, you've met a stress situation that you can't handle any more and bad things happen. My sense is people who crossdress always have a low-level amount of stress caused by being "in drab." Dressing resolves that stress. So when you're filling the cup with life events like job, relationship, house issues, etc. the easiest way to lower the level of your stress cup is by dressing. And if you *keep* adding stressors, you'll dress more often to control the level of your stress.

    It's my own, half-baked model but it helped me understand myself and also helped me understand how to cope. Preemptive dressing, for example, can help when you know you're going into a stress situation. Or simple things like underdressing can do the same, helping you cope in the middle of a stressful situation. I think of your remodeling your house in guy's work clothes and wonder if it mightn't have been helpful for you to buy some women's work clothes -- jeans, t-shirt and maybe flannel shirt you don't have to care about, just as you probably don't care about your guy work clothes? And chances of anyone noticing? About zero.
    I am not a woman; I don't want to be a woman; I don't want to be mistaken for a woman.
    I am not a man; I don't want to be a man; I don't want to be mistaken for a man.
    I am a transgender person. And I'm still figuring out what that means.

  6. #6
    Aspiring Member Joni T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    The OC
    Stress relief for me is a long bicycle ride or a visit to the target range. When I'm really stressed, dressing is the farthest thing from my mind. I need to get rid of the stress NOW, not 2-3 hours from now. Don't have time to become pretty.
    Last edited by Joni T; 11-21-2017 at 10:26 AM.

  7. #7
    Stop that, it's silly.... DIANEF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Being stressed or not doesn't seem to have much effect on my desire to dress. There have been a few times when its 50-50 if I will or not, but then I do and am happy that I did. Everyone is different, but not being able to dress is what stresses me out.
    Here today, gone tomorrow....

  8. #8
    Member Diane Taylor's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    Fortunately for me, I have very little stress in my life but if I'm dealing with some minor stress that we all deal with on a regular basis I tend to NOT want to be dressed until after the situation is resolved.

  9. #9
    Female Illusionist! docrobbysherry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Orange County, Calif.
    Outside stress doesn't seem to affect my desire to dress. In fact, sometimes my dressing causes stress!

    But, that's because I dress all the way for events and my picto stories, or not at all. I often need to plan way ahead, carefully organize, and I choriograph my picto stories down to smallest detail!
    After I complete a story or attend an event? THEN, all the stress and effort is VERY REWARDING!

    My days of, "throwing on a few things after work", r long gone!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  10. #10
    Gold Member Alice B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    San Diego
    For me there is no doubt that stress makes me want to dress to lessen the stress. If I have planned upon dressing and sometging comes up that prevents it the stress rockets. Just went thru such a period where we ended up with varied unplanned house guests for over 3 weeks. My stress level was so high that I dresssed in the afternoon without asking my wife in advance. She was pissed for a while but calmed down after dinner. Stayed dressed all night and half of the next day. Felt much better.

  11. #11
    Banned Read only
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    That's a lovely analogy.

    I'm sure most of us are aware when that overflowing level has been reached , sadly some never live to tell the tale !

    I have a theory that stress damages some of our brain receptors , as I have electronics training I see it as some receptors become blown fuses , they don't all get replaced so when you experience a high stress level again you have lost some ability to deal with it. I certtainly feel it's my situation.
    The feel good areas connected with CDing needs remain active or even increase in activity to compensate the stressed areas, so we find dressing has a remarkable calming effect .

  12. #12
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    San Francisco Area
    I like your analogy too Pat. I believe that our brain is more powerful and capable than any created to-date and probably for into into the future, especially when it comes to that artificial intelligence. So, your mind knows you and how you handle and react to all kinds of stimuli, decisions and stress. I think that when we encounter multiple and varied stresses at the same time most of us subconsciously automatically start to eliminate some by making us focus on more important and higher priority issues or projects. For you dressing helped reduce that extra (overflowing cup) stress, but also many times limited your desire to dress as much as you could because maybe like docrobbysherry above, the dressing itself amy also introduce some stress too, even though it may be small. So, your mind tempers your desire to dress to also help eliminate any extra stress from that source. Finish your projects, get a new job, get back to a normal (as much as possible) life routine as you can, then revisit this concern of yours. You will probably find that it has gone away, hopefully. In the meantime enjoy life because it is really the only life we have!

  13. #13
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2010
    Western Washington
    I've found there is a direct relationship between stress and cross dressing. Frankly, it was an escape for me. Why choose female attire? Is it to runaway from all things related to my male life? To pretend I am someone else? I have been retired for a full nine years. Plenty of time in the past years to be en femme. I indulged when first retired. Now, not so much. No stress. Yesterday I had the opportunity to be en femme for the entire day. My wife was at work. What did I find that trumped dressing? I got the ladders out and started hanging Christmas lights outside.

    I've always equated wearing women's clothing with stress relief. Would it be more acceptable to seek relief with alcohol or legal/illegal drugs or cheating with another woman? I'll take my cross dressing.

  14. #14
    Silver Member CynthiaD's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    I dress for a long period every day, and all day every day that I'm off work. Dresses are my "regular clothes." My male clothing is a costume. Stress doesn't change my habits, but dressing does relieve the stress.

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member Rayleen's Avatar
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    Oct 2017
    I find its a real destresser in the evening, you have time and its relaxing, let you feminine side take control.

  16. #16
    Aspiring Member Fiona123's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    When i am depressed i find it hard to dress. Yet when i go for a long dry spell i get depressed. It's complicated. My therapist says that when I attend appointments dressed I look and act much happier.

  17. #17
    Aspiring Member AngieStone's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Southern Nevada
    For me it is a great way to relieve stress. A lot of time just putting on a pair of flats or having panties and a bra on gets a big smile out of me. If you add pantyhose in mix I will be happy for hours. The only problem is I eventually have to take them off.

  18. #18
    Silver Member franlee's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    SE USA
    Dressing for me over the years has proven to be the best stress relief and therapy I could find. It all comes down to a simple equation, dressing equals happiness through a fantasy escape of reality and that my friends is good for what ales you.
    It's worth something just being around to Fuss!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jaymees22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    somewhere over the rainbow in NJ
    I too dress to relieve stress, my former coping skill was to get very angry. Dressing works better than anger and is certainly better than drugs or drinking. Of course there are times when I want to dress a lot and then an internal switch turns off and I have no desire to dress for a while.
    I enjoy being a boy, being a GIRL like me!!!

  20. #20
    Member aly01's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Blackfoot, ID
    It is definitely a way to relieve stress. It just feels good and has a calming effect for most.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Nikkilovesdresses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    The lingerie dept.
    Answering your question is about as easy as predicting the weather. In fact with some of the apps available today it's far harder than predicting the weather.

    Don't worry - you'll return to a balance when the turbulence stops.
    I used to have a short attention spa

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