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Thread: Finding our crossdressing limits, part observation and part question

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    Finding our crossdressing limits, part observation and part question

    After reading through posts and becoming a more serious participant I have noted some observations that I'd like to pose to the group to see if I'm understanding them right. I will number each item as that may help keep comments organized.

    1) I understand that there is no definitive cause or cure for Crossdressing (and by extension gender dysphoria). I'm certain that is the case but I'll still put it out as a question, is that correct?

    2) We each have to come to terms with it and find our own place or limits. To put it another way we do whatever it takes to make ourselves happy or satisfy our dysphoria and if it doesn't subside we keep taking the next step wherever that leads us. Consequently, if a spouse for example asks us how far we're going to go we really don't know, especially if we have negotiated more freedom to dress?

    3) Dysphoria can start as a child or we might have clues but push it aside until it hits us later in life? I'm going to say true because for me the signs were there as a child but it didn't hit me hard until I was in my late 40's. Please elaborate if you like.

    4) Someone can go a lifetime thinking it's perhaps a sexual kink and dismiss it before facing reality when they're older and it may lead anywhere from dressing at home once in a while to full transition? Again I know this to be true but I'd like to get some feedback and insight on this from the more experienced.

    5) Most women might be accepting of crossdressing or transgender m to f in the larger population but NIMB in their personal relationships. Some walk out the door the day of the talk, others experience a slow meltdown and some, I'm not sure of a percentage, are supportive and stay in the relationship. This is true but one can never read enough personal observations on this subject.

    6) Does age and whether one is still having intimate relations make a difference in #5? In other words, while a spouse might cross their arms and stomp their feet refusing to budge at 35 perhaps the "I married a man" protest isn't as big of a deal at 70. As long as the crossdressing spouse adheres to whatever is agreed upon and checks off all the other male role boxes, yard work, car maintenance, fending off burglars, and they don't feel threatened they might be more tolerant?

    I realize that one size doesn't fit all. I'm trying to formulate some subjects that I want to cover in my therapy sessions and want to be sure that I understand these things. Crossdressing isn't new to me but coming to terms with it instead of denying it and pushing it into the background is new territory. Thank you.

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    1) I have to agree I have not a clue as to why I do what I do. When I had "The Talk" with my wife that is what I told her. I sort of look at it from a pragmatic viewpoint. Why in the world would a man consciously decide to buck societal norms and expectations and endure all the crap that is thrown at him. It is not logical. I hold the same with men and women who are attracted to the same sex as they are. It is not logical a man or a woman would consciously want to be gay or lesbian. I think there is something without a person's genetic profile.

    2) I do not do anything and everything to make myself happy. That is probably a fault. I do see a therapist for war related PTSD issues. I have been for ten years now. She tells me I seem to always leave myself last in making decisions that affect me and my love ones. That's probably true. My mother told me when I was a toddler I would always share or give away my possessions with one exception; Keep your darn paws off my grapes. I would not share my grapes. Maybe my needs are less than others. I don't know. That's the way I am. See (5)

    3) Yes. My wife's second cousin is transitioning from female to male. Her/his sisters indicates from day one it was her nature to be a boy. My brother's non-biological granddaughter is the same way. Cars and trucks and trains and planes. All things boyish. I don't know if it "hits" at a particular age. Probably, it is suppressed; subconsciously or consciously. The only other thing I can think of is hormonal changes, not matter how slightly.

    4) When I was a teenager it was probably a sexual kink as there was always some sexual gratification involved. Based upon polls and research there is a lot of evidence self gratification goes on even if there is a willing and able partner available.

    5) A woman marries a guy who presents in a certain way. She has developed tastes in men. Of course, there is daily interaction with other men; take them or leave them; jerks or nice guys. But, most women do not want to find out they have been duped.

    6) If a marriage can get over "The Reveal" it can survive. Somethings are deal breakers. Cross dressing may be one of them for the vast majority of women. I have found over the years some women will always be subservient (not my taste) and some guys will be overly domineering not matter what. Many women may assess their marriage if everything else is alright as long as they are not pushed to extremes. Some women do look at the economic cost of breaking up. Some may enjoy the social status and economic status that comes along with any less than satisfying marriage. If my wife and I did not have the history we have now, she probably would have walked if this came out in the very beginning. I think she and I both have come to realize there is much more to a person than one positive trait or one fault. You just don't know what the deal breaker may be until it comes along. I have not yet found the "deal breaker" in my wife.

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    Here we go trying to analyze minutia once again.
    There is no way to come to a concrete answer to any of this because everyone is so different.
    Trying to figure it all out is just not with the time and effort because you will never get the right answers.
    The deeper you delve into all of this the more questions you end up with.

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    Member Star01's Avatar
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    Thanks for your candid and always helpful observations Tracii G. That is pretty much what I am getting out of all my research, the more I dig the deeper the hole gets and the more questions I have. And there is no one size fits all.

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    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    I would contradict you on: 4) for some people it’s only ever a fetish. For some it’s just a fetish but they don’t recognize or acknowledge that fact and 5) I strongly disagree with the “NIMBY” label. A straight man can be pro gay rights without being in a gay relationship. Likewise women can be pro-trans and CD rights without wanting to be in a lesbian relationship. You’re comparing apples and oranges there. And along those lines, there isn’t one answer to #6. Everyone has their own views that are influenced by a number of factors, possibly including those you mention, but there are way too many variables to make any broad statements.

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    Re number 4 for many people here, myself included, it is just a fetish and I believe it will always be one. I don't think I'm a woman and don't want to be one. I'm not trying to Express my feminine side.

    And I am a very curious person and the why is very important to me. I don't accept I was just born this way for how my body and mind work without a little research and thought.

    And age matters a lot. How many 50 or 60 year old women want to start over in life or grow old alone. They just put up with cding or affairs bc the alternative is worse in their mind

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    Platinum Blonde member Ressie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracii G View Post
    Here we go trying to analyze minutia once again.
    There is no way to come to a concrete answer to any of this because everyone is so different.
    Yes, we're all unique and those of us in a relationship have spouses that are also unique. So generalizing seems to become categorizing. Observation is OK with me because it's interesting to see where others are at with this. Just come back to you're own situation to see where you're at!
    "You're the only one to see the changes you take yourself through", Stevie Wonder

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    Aspiring Shopaholic BTWimRobin's Avatar
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    Hi Star,

    I've had similar observations. Regarding number 5.... my wife has admitted she has to be accepting of my crossdressing because she doesn't want to be considered a hypocrite.
    - Robin


    Because life is too short not to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micki_Finn View Post
    I strongly disagree with the ?NIMBY? label. A straight man can be pro gay rights without being in a gay relationship. Likewise women can be pro-trans and CD rights without wanting to be in a lesbian relationship. You?re comparing apples and oranges there.
    Thanks, I have heard that enough that I should know it by now. I can't predict a reaction to revisiting the talk, it might be no big deal at this stage of her life or all heck might break loose. That is why I have been on here agonizing about doing it for several months now. The courage has to come from me and nobody else can do it for me but I have never been one to jump right into the deep in when things are stressful.

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    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    3. When I first arrived here at cd.com 12 years ago and explained that I began dressing out of the blue in my 50's, I was attacked! Folks claimed I must have had clues earlier and ignored or stuffed them! However, I have since chatted with a few other dressers that had the same experience. I believe some meds I began taking back then changed my hormone levels, (which they were supposed to), and my gender feelings as well!

    4. I believe you're painting this with too broad a brush. There r fetishists that may throw on nylons, forms, and a wig to get off in private. But, I consider myself a fetish dresser and I dress to the nines or I don't dress at all. I've progressed a long way in the 24 odd years since I used to throw a few things, finish and take everything off.
    Now, most of my dressing involves going out to meet other T's and sex never enters my mind on those occasions. And, there many others here that sometimes r turned on but more often not when they dress.
    I think it would be quite rare for someone to do the same thing "their entire life" and to be as turned on today as they were 30 years ago. Life doesn't work that way. We r all constantly changing. And, our wants and needs for sex and as dressers does too!
    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!

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    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Star,
    I'm not going to answer your individual points but overall you are very much on the money . I agree with the replies saying we are all different but trying to see it from both sides I feel you are in the picture .

    The question is knowing this how do you move forward , I feel you truthfully know where you want to be and you also know your wife's limits , can you live with those limits and can she ? The problem I had in that situation was the goal posts moved from one day to the next ,also in my case the damage was actually done when I came out to her in my forties , we soldiered on but eventually the gap grew too wide to ignore .

    While you sum it up very well and no matter what label you choose to give yourself the big decision will have to be made one day , I'm going to totally honest and say I have no regrets over my decision , I didn't want to get any older being so unhappy , I finally had to put myself first , I feel that will be the bottom line for you .
    The real me ,no going back.

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    Star, you said, "I'm trying to formulate some subjects that I want to cover in my therapy sessions and want to be sure that I understand these things". Sure, it's good to gain understandings of a subject, but to me it seems like you are trying to formulate chapters and verses with index labels to FIT into your circumstance. Not the right approach, IMHO. If what info you gain is relevant to your needs, keep it in your head and let the therapist lead you; don't lead him/her.

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    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    I understand your apprehension Star, and it’s a terrifying thing. You mention “revisiting” the talk. I assume the first time didn’t go well? What exactly was the outcome and what would you like to be different this time around?

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    The talk wasn't really me initiating a talk but my wife cornering me and demanding to know where me shaving my legs, growing long hair and wearing earrings was going to lead. I had experimented with dressing at 12 and told her that back in the 70's but at the time I dismissed it as some kind of youthful kink. There were signs but I was married young, raising four kids and spent 25 years in a controlling faith that considered it a sin and prevented me from confronting my feelings. I left that in 1999 around the time that the nest started to empty and my crossdressing started coming back. I didn't even think about why at first, it just felt good and I just went with the feeling. After a couple years of that my wife demanded an explanation and I was taken by surprise. I answered her questions and listened to her reasoning and the way she put it was like "stop this, I don't want to see or know about it" and that was when I went into full stealth mode. I had a lot of alone time between adult kids moving in and out for about fifteen years but also periods of no privacy when grandchildren were living with us so that the 18 years was nowehere near that many years of freedom to dress. Anyways, things have changed considerably since I retired two years ago and nobody will be moving back in. The faith I was involved in prevented me from even thinking about it for twenty five years so that is why I'm just starting to find myself at 68. I can't go into anymore detail due to forum rules on that subject but my life story as it pertains to my crossdressing doesn't come into proper perspective without mentioning that.

    I need to make my thoughts and feelings known and I need the freedom to pursue this and figure things out. As it stands now I feel like a teenager with a girly magazine hidden under his mattress with all the sneaking and secrecy and that's no way to live.
    Last edited by Star01; 05-19-2020 at 03:29 PM.

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    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star01 View Post
    1) I understand that there is no definitive cause or cure for Crossdressing (and by extension gender dysphoria). I'm certain that is the case but I'll still put it out as a question, is that correct?
    I doubt my response will be well-like, so here goes.

    I haven't taken the time to scan the web for clinical data, but common sense observation tells me that the need to crossdress does diminish over time. I can't say exactly to what degree because I haven't kept track of any numbers here and among the crossdressers I know personally.

    I've seen posts over the years in this forum from some of our older members, who say they mostly just come here to participate because of the friendships they've formed, but whose need to crossdress isn't nearly as strong as it was in their younger days. I've seen this in my own SO and the husband of a friend of mine. I've spoken to members of a support group my SO and I belong to, and have noted same.

    But the most telling observation is the sheer amount of participation in what was once one of the largest online CD communities. Tens of thousands of people have joined here, only to disappear after some years. Some people might argue these members no longer participate because they've happily transitioned or happily come to terms with the crossdressing and no longer need support but,

    1) most members here are not transsexual and will not transition or live full time and,

    2) given the reactions against the crossdressing still very much present in our society, it is difficult for me to imagine tens of thousands of ex-members having gone into the sunset, happily having established the ideal compromise with their wives where they can crossdress and go out as much as they want to.

    Other people might argue that ex-members have migrated to other, more modern forums or social media sites. Participation in reddit is popular I suspect among younger people whose needs haven't yet diminished, but the most popular subforums are places to post pics and be admired by a wider audience. The reddit r/crossdressing general discussion community has 104k members, but there are only 4 or 5 new threads per month with about 40-60 posts each which indicates that only a fraction of the 104k members participate, not the tens of thousands of crossdressers who used to participate here.

    Unfortunately, people who no longer crossdress much aren't here or on reddit to attest that the need does diminish over time. All we have are numbers of all the people who have joined over the years but who no longer participate.

    So to answer your query above, I'd say the "cure" is simply time and getting older, especially after having pushed it as far as you want to go. Because until you do this, it will be like an itch that you cannot scratch. It cannot diminish because it is fated to live on in your fantasy.
    Reine

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    Member Star01's Avatar
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    Thanks for your insight ReineD. I ran a sporting website from 1999-2016 that included a forum and am well aware of the effect that the emergence of social media and aging of those who were online during the early days of the internet has done to early websites, and forums. That change was the beginning of the end of my website. When I started it was a big deal to post a photo gallery of a recent event. Today everyone has a camera and video capable phone and can upload instantly to social media. Some of those early forums are still and are mostly frequented by us older ones who have used them since the internet was in its infancy. I'm sure that has has affected every forum on every subject.

    I take no offense at any comments or advice because I'm in uncharted territory and I am certain I have some faulty reasoning and understanding of crossdresser and transgender issues as well. That's why I'm here asking what are sometimes perceived as dumb repetitive questions. They're all new to me and I respect the experience here.

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    PS, my observation has been that young people are more open and willing to discuss these things with friends. I think that comes into play as well. Where many of us older ones are secretive the young generation is open about it and they don't create online personas but are open about discussing it.

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    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Reine,
    I'm a little surprised to read some of your comments , I'm finding accecptance of the TG community is improving but that's from a UK perspective .

    As for staying or moving on from the forum , I admit it has been supportive for me to achieve living full time , OK I do have some good friends here now but really feel I have a debt to pay back and stick around to support others .

    Some say the easy cure is just to stop doing it , if only dysphoria didn't get in the way of that but we are what we are ! Some wives/ partners are under the illusion that therapy is a cure or is it more wishful thinking ? It's debatable if it does diminish with age , I sense Star is playing catch up now , now I'm full time there's no reason for it to diminish , why should it what do I have to return to ?
    The real me ,no going back.

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    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star01 View Post
    When I started it was a big deal to post a photo gallery of a recent event. Today everyone has a camera and video capable phone and can upload instantly to social media.
    This is true, but I doubt that the tens of thousands of ex-members now post pics of themselves to the same facebook or instagram accounts that all their friends and family also belong to. If we can glean anything from the discussions here about telling/not telling a wife, I'm guessing that the vast majority of crossdressers are still in the closet or if they are out, it is only to a small cohort of people.

    One thing I didn't mention earlier - yes of course there are some people who will crossdress throughout their lives. But if you ask each and every member here and if you had an opportunity to ask all those who have left, most would say that the urgent and dire need to crossdress, experienced in youth or even middle age, has abated considerably.
    Reine

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    Crossdresser Taylor186's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    But if you ask each and every member here and if you had an opportunity to ask all those who have left, most would say that the urgent and dire need to crossdress, experienced in youth or even middle age, has abated considerably.
    At 60+ this is certainly true for me.

  20. #20
    Aspiring Member jacques's Avatar
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    hello Star,
    I cannot disagree with your six points. My research (which I had published, but the web host has closed) indicated that for the first four points apply to the majority of cross-dressers. Most start before puberty out of curiosity; it does not go away; the motivation may change over time.
    Stay healthy,
    luv J

  21. #21
    Platinum Blonde member Ressie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    ...I doubt that the tens of thousands of ex-members now post pics of themselves to the same facebook or instagram accounts that all their friends and family also belong to...
    I and many others have two facebook accounts. And there appears to be tons of CDs on FB. Some CDs have thousands of friends there and not many hang out here from what I've seen.
    "You're the only one to see the changes you take yourself through", Stevie Wonder

  22. #22
    Member Star01's Avatar
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    I realize that us older crossdressers generally aren't out on social media but my comment was about how the online experience has been changed by social media and not specific to crossdressers. I was commenting on my own experience as a webmaster and the same issues would apply to any subject. I think it's easier for young people to be open about it as they're coming up in a whole different world than us older ones did.

    Another reply noted that my dysphoria is still on the upswing and that hit the nail right on the head. Anyone who has spent a large portion of their life in a controlling situation and leaves it can relate, we try to cram as much of what we missed into the time we have left. Leaving cults is traumatic and realizing one has gender dysphoria is traumatic as well, combine the two and it can be a real mess when it all bubbles back up twenty years later. My therapy is stressing both of those intertwined life changing issues so the replies to this thread have opened my eyes to that. The control situation delayed my awakening about my crossdressing and is still causing serious problems 20 years after I left it because I hadn't worked through it properly but tried to run from it so I wouldn't have to deal with it. I apologize if I have said too much on this topic but it is a huge part of why I'm sitting here at 68 working through things that I should have resolved at 25. Others who haven't been through something like that can sympathize but will never fully understand how complicated my life is right now.
    Last edited by Star01; 05-20-2020 at 11:24 AM.

  23. #23
    Member April Rose's Avatar
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    You always want what you can't have. I think that, since I can dress most every day it doesn't seem like a big deal to me any more. On the other hand my values have evolved a lot over my life. The traditional "men in suits" leadership has proven to be such a self interested clown act that I no longer have any respect for twentieth century ideals of masculinity. I quit the religion I was raised in, while in church, during the service, when I was twenty one.

    Yet, I have been married to the same woman for over 40 years. Unconventionality does not necessarily mean instability.

    So my advice to Star is: You are within your rights to ask for your own happiness. You don't have to offer ultimatums but if you don't ask, you will always see it as an obsession. You've served your country, you've raised your children and you have been loyal to your wife. You deserve a little peace and satisfaction.
    I am a vessel of the goddess. Let me express my calling to a feminine life through nurturing love and relatedness.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by April Rose View Post
    You've served your country, you've raised your children and you have been loyal to your wife. You deserve a little peace and satisfaction.
    Thank you for the kind words. That is exactly where I'm at, just trying to pickup the pieces as best I can and sort things out while I still have time. Perhaps if I get more freedom and am able to work through this until I find my happy place I will grow weary of dressing and the desire will fade. On the other hand they might put me in a box wearing a dress at 90, nothing ventured nothing gained or learned. I am driven to know more about myself and I can see now why it's more complicated than it should be. I need to work through some old underlying issues before I move forward and work through the rest of it. My wife reacted completely different and worked through everything and found peace twenty years ago. I ran away from it all and am just now facing some things that I should have resolved long ago. It's amazing how much I have learned by posting this and how I can take those things and use them as a tool to move forward.

  25. #25
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star01 View Post
    Others who haven't been through something like that can sympathize but will never fully understand how complicated my life is right now.
    I'm sorry your life is complicated and I wish you all the best in sorting it out.
    Reine

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