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Thread: Tapeworm or butterfly?

  1. #1
    Senior Member phili's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    San Francisco Peninsula

    Tapeworm or butterfly?

    I said to our marriage counselor that I regarded my desire to crossdress as a tapeworm- a significant drive within me, consuming resources and energy and demanding more all the time. He said sympathetically- couldn't we perhaps think of it in a more benign way- like a butterfly trying to wrestle free of its cocoon?

    We went on to generalize that most of us have a variety of butterflies trying to emerge.

    How do you feel about this metaphor for the drive to crossdress?
    We are all beautiful...!

  2. #2
    TrueNorth Strong & Fierce Princess Chantal's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Neither of those metaphors describes my drive to crossdress

  3. #3
    🌑🌘🌗🌖🌕🌔🌓🌒🌑 Patience's Avatar
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    Feb 2018
    Same here.

    A tapeworm is a parasite. My dressing is benign.
    ...throw off those chains of Reason and your prison disappears...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    On solid ground
    Butterfly is a common metaphor for transgender individuals. We've recently had a TV drama here about a trans girl which was called Butterfly.

    It would be sad if you found tapeworm more appropriate but I understand where that comes from. Think of it this way: is this something you want to eradicate or something you want to set free?

  5. #5
    Silver Member Bobbi46's Avatar
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    May 2015
    France, Villessot near St Christophe
    I could link to ones journey with dressing to a caterpiller changing into a butterfly, its an ever evolving life from those very first trying on things back in childhood,neither a tapeworm nor a butterfly drive me to crossdress because dressing is a part of me, part of my normal life so needing something to drive one to crossdress is like forcing one to dress, whereas dressing is not forced upon any of us it is a chosen thing to do.
    I started life a lost man now I am a found woman

  6. #6
    Member Genni's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Southwest Colorado
    The butterfly metaphor is much more pleasant to think about than a tapeworm, but doesn't quite fit me as a crossdresser. I'm not struggling to emerge from a cocoon to become someone / something different. I just like to pretty-up my old cocoon and occasionally try out the pretty wings and flit about for a while.

  7. #7
    Sort of a n00b Pixie_94's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
    Costa Rica
    I guess more like tapeworm to me, it now only brings me stress.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Asew's Avatar
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    Jan 2018
    Rochester, NY
    I can see how these can apply for others but they don't work for me.

  9. #9
    There's that smile! CarlaWestin's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Area Zona
    Me, my male side and my female side are all one. That's called self acceptance.
    And this is the person my wife knows and loves even though she's just not on board with the female side.
    We love each other, dearly. I'm not 24/7 in your face about my crossdressing because I respect her.
    She keeps her animosity to herself out of respect for me.
    Marriage counselor? That's an insect and a parasite all in one.
    I've waited so long for this time. Makeup is so frustrating. Shaking hands and I look so old. This was a mistake.
    My new maid's outfit is cute. Sure fits tight.
    And then I step into the bedroom and in the mirror, I see a beautiful woman looking back at me.
    Smile, Honey! You look fabulous!

  10. #10
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Southern California
    Tapeworms take and give nothing back. Are you saying you don’t get anything from your dressing? Because if you don’t get anything out of it, but keep doing it even though it has nothing but negative consequences, you’ve met one of the common definitions of addiction. Surely there’s a reason why you keep dressing other than pure compulsion?

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2012
    The South
    I much prefer the butterfly analogy.

    Tapeworms have so many other and negative consequences.

  12. #12
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Orange County, Calif.
    My imaginary butterfly, Sherry, became quite real for me some time ago!

    P1160505 (537x640).jpg
    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!

  13. #13
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Lowestoft UK. Beverley was here.
    Just sheer excitement for me when trying something new.

    Even that has waned these days.


    I really don't get it.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

  14. #14
    Banned Spammer
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    Aug 2008
    Between here and there but mostly here close to the donuts.
    I could see the tapeworm metaphor if you have a victim mentality.
    I can see one "coming out" as a butterfly emerging but It really doesn't pertain to what I am.

  15. #15
    🌑🌘🌗🌖🌕🌔🌓🌒🌑 Patience's Avatar
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    Feb 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbi46 View Post
    [...]dressing is not forced upon any of us it is a chosen thing to do.
    ...that would imply that we all could quit anytime we like.

    I think being a crossdresser is a choice to the same extent that being gay is a choice. It is fundamental to our nature and identity. No one in their right mind would choose to expose themselves to the ridicule and danger we endure (let's not deny it), not to mention the strain to our personal relationships and bank accounts, if we didn't have a strong compulsion to crossdress. I know I do. I held it back for thirty years and it never went away. Now I'm finally out, I ask myself why I took so long. The butterfly metaphor ain't perfect, but my fem vanity doesn't object to me being compared to something pretty.

    Phili, I really hope dressing for you isn't akin to having a tapeworm.
    ...throw off those chains of Reason and your prison disappears...

  16. #16
    Banned Read only
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    Apr 2012
    I will respond for me. ONLY myself.


    It's a HOBBY plain and simple for me. And not surprisingly, it fits what "many" would consider a hobby to be.

    It's also a hobby for hundreds of others who have said so over the years. All of those threads and answers ARE still available for your viewing pleasure.

    Anyone claiming that no one can just quit cold turkey or that it means the same thing to EVERYone of us simply needs to do more reading here. Thinking or claiming you can speak for every CDer here is sheer lunacy and helps no one.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2018
    Connecticut, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelish View Post
    It would be sad if you found tapeworm more appropriate but I understand where that comes from. Think of it this way: is this something you want to eradicate or something you want to set free?
    This sums up my feelings on the metaphor.

  18. #18
    Member RylieCD's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelish View Post
    It would be sad if you found tapeworm more appropriate but I understand where that comes from. Think of it this way: is this something you want to eradicate or something you want to set free?
    I feel like the tapeworm, I wish I had the strength and support to be more like the butterfly

  19. #19
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Washington, DC
    No, no, no. Not a tapeworm. that is an awful metaphor. Dressed I may end up looking more like a moth than a butterfly, but I feel like a butterfly.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  20. #20
    Aspiring Member
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    Oct 2017
    The tapeworm idea could be the missing explanation that we've all been looking for, the glass slipper that provides the missing reason as to why we all have this need to cross dress. Perhaps as we go through life with this thing inside us, every now and then an egg case is deposited, unbeknownst to us as we go about our daily lives. Then, should someone unsuspecting come along, then that egg case could attach itself to them and then BANG!! that person is destined to go through life dressing as a woman. phili you should, formulate a hypothesis, seek Federal funding, create an experiment, conduct research, interview subjects, work up a scientific paper, attend symposiums around the world, take a chair at an Ivy League University, and finally, be awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. And all because of a chance remark made at a counseling session.

    But, as it happens I prefer to think of myself as a butterfly

  21. #21
    AKA Lexi sometimes_miss's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    The state of flux, U.S.A.
    Quote Originally Posted by Patience View Post
    ...that would imply that we all could quit anytime we like.
    Well, we can. The issue is whether we are willing to put up with the problems that arise from NOT crossdressing, and in the case of family, whether they are willing to put up with the same problems. No man, or woman, is an island. Our behavior affects everyone around us in some way.
    I think being a crossdresser is a choice to the same extent that being gay is a choice.
    Nope, being gay is different; being a crossdresser isn't a choice, but crossdressing itself IS a choice. Crossdressing is a behavior, an activity which we can do or do not. Being homosexual is not something that one can choose or choose not to be; we don't get to choose what turns us on, or what turns us off.
    It was something in an old Star Trek episode that helped bring this realization to me. We all have the capacity to kill, even women do to protect their children. So we, humans, are killers...but we can choose not to kill, today. And we can make that decision every day, unless the situation arises where we must kill, or be killed or allow our family/others to be killed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte7 View Post
    The tapeworm idea could be the missing explanation that we've all been looking for, the glass slipper that provides the missing reason as to why we all have this need to cross dress.
    ^this is the problem; the assumption that there's one, and only one, cause of crossdressing. What makes you want to do it, and what makes me want to do it, can be two entirely different things. It took me decades to figure it out, mostly because being a male, from puberty on I was constantly horny, so I assumed that it had to be caused by some sexual desire because it always seemed to coincide with my being sexually turned on. I forgot, that I was sexually turned on pretty much all the time whether I was crossdressing or not; all it took, was the sight or thought of a pretty girl.
    And then, of course, I wanted to crossdress pretty much all the time whether I was turned on or not. It wasn't the crossdressing which was getting me sexually excited, it was the thought of a pretty girl in a pretty outfit. It doesn't take much for most young men to get turned on, and for a lot of us, this lasts, well, until we're dead. As I got older, I thought my sexual drive was slowing down, because I was in an environment filled with unattractive women. Then one day, a very hot lady comes walking through my place of work, tight dress, clicking heels, perfume, I didn't even see her but got an erection just at the thought of her the moment she walked past me from behind....turns out I wasn't dead yet at all. I can't say whether it was the sound of her heels, the perfume, but there it was, sexual desire in overdrive, rearing it's ugly head while I was in a place where getting a pitched tent was very inappropriate.
    In contrast, at home, there was simply nothing that turned me on, and that included my daily crossdressing even though I find women in those very types of outfits to be attractive

    In short, each must find what it is, that causes his urge to crossdress. The biggest hurdle, is the homophobia that is rampant through western society. Even though we don't consciously think about it, most of us were raised to believe that being feminine in any way is the worst possible thing that a boy can be, and that concept remains in our subconscious so much, that even here, where it's safe to discuss it, we still see a lot of men who feel the need to distance themselves from any 'girly' behavior so much, that they will create another persona to blame the female desires on, you can see it frequently, the 'my feminine side', or speaking about himself in third person as if it's someone else, because HE would NEVER do something girly, HE'S a REAL MAN, who would never do anything like that.

    The first step, to it all, is admitting to ourselves that we want to be feminine, we want to be pretty, and we want to wear beautiful, feminine things because it just feels good to us just as it feels good to women. And that there's nothing wrong with that.

    The other obstacle, is that women themselves, usually support the idea that femininity is a bad thing, that it's less desirable than masculinity, even for themselves. You hear it when a woman insults a man by using a female pronoun, or implying that admitting to being afraid of something is a female only behavior and then putting him down for that, or the outward expression of certain emotions is restricted to females, and that he should be ashamed of not just displaying those emotional thoughts, but that he should be ashamed of even having them.
    Until we get past this, and I don't see it happening soon, we will continue to have difficulty being considered an attractive and appropriate mate by women.

    But you already know all this, Phili. We've discussed it at length. Though you know that crossdressing is a harmless behavior, even you are prone to subconscious feelings that it's a bad thing. It's something that most of us have to deal with a lot.
    Last edited by sometimes_miss; 11-08-2018 at 08:54 AM.
    Some causes of crossdressing you've probably never even considered: My TG biography at:
    There's an addendum at post # 82 on that thread, too. It's about a ten minute read.
    Why don't we understand our desire to dress, behave and feel like a girl? Because from childhood, boys are told that the worst possible thing we can be, is a sissy. This feeling is so ingrained into our psyche, that we will suppress any thoughts that connect us to being or wanting to be feminine, even to the point of creating separate personalities to assign those female feelings into.

  22. #22
    Aspiring Artist Kelly DeWinter's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Wherever there is a Sale or Macys, but mostly Baltimore MD

    First off Kudos for finding a MC with Gender experience.

    however and I could be wrong,

    It sounds like your marriage counselor really missed the mark. your comment "a significant drive within me, consuming resources and energy and demanding more all the time." is typically the type of a phrase that someone uses to describe a habit, issue or behavior that they want to change because of increased demands they feel.

    If some one used the same analogy with drinking, and the Therapist said instead of calling your drinking a tapeworm, lets call it a Butterfly. Most if not all would drive to the nearest bar and order a "Pink Butterfly"

    The purpose of therapy is to resolve problematic behaviors, beliefs, feelings, or relationship issues.

    When you first met with the therapist;
    . what goals did you come up with that you wanted to achieve through counseling ?
    . do you feel like you are meeting those goals ?
    . Are you looking to change a behavior ? or accept a behavior ?
    Kelly DeWinter
    Find Kelly at:
    Kelly's Blog

  23. #23
    Member Lux's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    At times I do find it all consuming and draining, both financially and emotionally. Emotionally as I can ignore important issues in my my life when the pink fog rolls in and the guilt associated with that.

    However I agree with Micki Finn in that a tape worm is a parasite and by definition, only takes and does not benefit the host. I feel that 98% of the time crossdressing is a positive force in my life.

    In summary I get your point but there is probably a better metaphor than the lowly tapeworm. I can see the butterfly aspect in that I am always trying to become a better person by embracing my femininity. Good luck in therapy, always a good idea.

  24. #24
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Almost the Great White North
    The butterfly is a much more positive image, for sure. I suppose that our behavior reflects whether this aspect of ourselves is parasitic or benign. I’d submit that one can modify the behavior to eliminate the destructive/consuming behaviors and replace them with more positive transformative behaviors. That would be a lovely metamorphosis!

  25. #25
    Mannequiniste ! Stacy Darling's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    New South Wales
    I'm a Cicada (Greengrocer Cicada) Phili!

    I can understand your reference to the tapeworm, yet it refers not to me. The butterfly is not really me either, except for the Chaos Theory of course.
    I get the drift though!
    STOP, Well I just dance the way I feel
    Stop breathing imagine none of this is real

    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    "Ou Est Le Swimming Pool"

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