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Thread: My sister said.

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member Georgina's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    N. Ireland

    My sister said.

    While I was telling my sister about my progression in dressing over the years I said that, the first time that I put on a dress that fitted perfectly I got such a rush it was unreal. Even though I was in heaven I did not feel like a woman. To which she replied, the first time I put on trousers I did not feel like a man.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Midlands UK
    It's always good to get a different perspective on things.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    Georgina, you bring up an excellent and rather critical point - motivation for wearing the clothes of the other gender and/or sex.

    Simply putting on the clothes of the other side should not make you have a sensation that somehow you are connected in some way with that gender IF you do not already have some degree of gender reversal present in your neural networks. In other words the "feel like a woman" idea requires some kind of female-like aspect to your identity even without the clothes and even if you are not generally aware of it.

    This is the essence of the boundary between a person who is cisgender or is transgender in some way or some degree. The "feel like" phenomenon comes from already having some kind of active neural nets that operate to create some, but not all, the feelings regarding the personal sense of self people of the opposite gender/sex experience. Cisgender people are usually not aware of their gender sense and that can be true simply because when you are cisgender you have little or nothing to compare your sense of self with so you can experience to some degree the flip side of the coin.

    We must always remember that gender variance very likely comes from a very large variety of causes. For transgender there is some kind of genetic foundation even though that may not be prominent, but that foundation can also be huge or anything in between. But that is never the sole cause of the expressed identity even though it is the main cause of the behaviors and feelings gender variant people have.

    Socialization also plays a huge role in creating an active gender variant personality and identity in that the socialization provides a footing for the genetic foundation to connect with. In fact it appears that everybody is some kind of blend of male-like, female-like, and non-gender (i.e. neutral) traits, characteristics, and modes of expression. But the degree of each of those three types of neural networks varies person to person and also varies with time in any one person. In other words, it is all constantly changing and adapting to new circumstances encountered in the environment the person experiences.

    Thus a person can have little or no gender reversal neurologically and yet cross-dress regularly because of other factors that are creating that behavior that looks like transgenderism but actually is not the genetically based variety. The problem is, that boundary between that non-gender oriented motivation and the strong gender oriented motivation is very difficult to clearly identify because the boundary exists as a result of many factors blending together to produce superficially similar behavior when viewed from the outside looking in.

    For me, I must have the feeling before I can comfortably change and that is some form of transgenderism whereas, in general, if you can comfortably dress without that feeling providing the impetus to change probably, but not necessarily, comes from other factors that are motivating your behavior. If I don't have the feeling, that is, if I am not operating largely in the female-like mode already dressing is pointless and very uncomfortable. For "transexuals" (transitioned transgender people) that female-like neurological mode is very likely strongly dominant all the time in them. But in some of those, the male-like side can also be flipped into dominant under certain circumstances. Bottom line? We are all different.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Washington, DC
    Georgina, interesting insight.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Apr 2022
    For me, the clothes are only part of it. If I am in a dress and heels I feel some feminine feelings, but the one time I also had wig and my makeup done it was a completely different ballgame?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Heather76's Avatar
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    Jan 2022
    Coastal SC
    I have never thought I felt like a woman when dressed. I simply feel like a man who is wearing women's clothing and enjoys doing so at every opportunity.
    It's never too late to enjoy a happy childhood.
    Live each day as though it's your last 'cause one day you'll be right.
    I'm finding the more feminine side of me...and I ❤️ this adventure.

  7. #7
    Aspiring Member April Rose's Avatar
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    Oct 2017
    It is a complex situation, involving more than just the clothes. I know for myself there is more going on. Everyone's situation is different , but for me, the clothes are not a trigger. The clothes actually help me turn off the trigger. I have learned to dress habitually, to avoid being trapped in a cycle of desire/avoidance.
    Last edited by April Rose; 04-13-2022 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Apostastrophy
    I am a vessel of the goddess. Let me express my calling to a feminine life through nurturing love and relatedness.

  8. #8
    Member ziggie's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Rural Pennsylvania
    There are a few things that make me feel more feminine (e.g., breast forms) but mostly I just feel like I have nice clothing on.
    So many new things to learn

  9. #9
    Aspiring Member GracieRose's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
    A while back, I dressed in femme clothes including a bra and forms (not a dress, just dressed like most of the women my age) did my makeup and donned my wig. I looked in the mirror and saw, not necessarily a woman, but ME. I realized that looking at my male self in the mirror was different. Like looking at someone else in the mirror. What I saw reflected who I am inside. Scary.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DianeT's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    I totally relate to the rush thing when the pieces fall in place and you suddenly realize "ok, I can look THAT good". Something you can experience in male mode too when the presentation is good, but the transgression of the crossdressing, that black wizardry that is so unique to its experience, adds such a potent rush of adrenaline to it. It can be really intoxicating.

    Countdown to my wife reading this and her eyes: 10...9...8...

  11. #11
    Member Teresa.Smith.VA's Avatar
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    May 2021
    I found GretchenM's explanations interesting in comment #3 above, on what factors are involved when a CD shares that they "feel like a woman". Her thoughtful, detailed analysis certainly gives us all something to think about.

    I have wondered if a cross dresser "feels like a woman" when dressed in femme clothing, that their feelings might be closely connected to the erotic pleasure they experience. I know that many CD'ers have expressed their opinion that there is no connection between dressing in femme and feeling like a woman. So be it.

    I thought the connection might be that as a strait male, we may like the image and looks of females. When we dress like women, we like what we see in the mirror, which is an image of a woman. That feminine image may be what gives some of us erotic pleasure.

    That connection can also be related to the frilliness of femme attire, the silkiness of satin, or the shortness of a skirt. There is no end to what men find exciting in women, so there may not be any limit to what make a man "feel like a woman" when dressed as one.

    So, do you think that "feeling like a woman" can be generated by the sexual or erotic pleasure when dressing like a woman? Can men mentally "transfer" their sexual or erotic pleasure from seeing, touching, or dressing like women to themselves?
    Fact: Some members can never post pictures in their feminine finery to support their stories and experiences. Please be understanding and kind.

  12. #12
    Member Marissa Q's Avatar
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    Sep 2021
    SF Bay Area, CA (US)
    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa.Smith.VA View Post
    I thought the connection might be that as a strait male, we may like the image and looks of females.
    Most assuredly gay males like -- nay, love -- the image and look of females as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa.Smith.VA View Post
    There is no end to what men find exciting in women, so there may not be any limit to what make a man "feel like a woman" when dressed as one.
    Well there's an immediately concrete limit on such "feelings" if one can't quantify what exactly it means to "feel like a woman." GretchenM makes some extraordinarily valid points, but I think most of us would be hard pressed to define that overall "feeling".

    I can't speak for any others here, but for myself:

    • I dress en femme in what I find attractive (or generally provocative).
    • I act like what my internalized notion is of how some women behave (generally always wrong, utterly influenced by movies and television, and nearly always exaggerated as I've been told).
    • I endeavor to speak how I think some women speak (but end up sounding more like a gay, over-the-top drag queen.... Hey, don't knock it till you try it, girl!).
    • And, yes, I derive quite a bit of adrenaline from the overt eroticism of dressing en femme (unlike any woman I know).

    But I most certainly don't:

    • Feel oppressed by rampant toxic masculinity.
    • Feel marginalized by an institutionally and systemically unequal salary/rate of pay.
    • Feel the worry of an unplanned pregnancy.
    • Feel the powerful worries of childbirth.
    • Feel the societal requirement of tolerating myriad men mansplaining things to me.
    • Feel the very real fear of rape.
    • Feel bound up in historically subservient roles in relationships (cooking, cleaning, et. al.).
    • Feel the brunt of most of the oft-tedious responsibilities associated with child-rearing.
    • Feel the constant worry about the sanity/gender/sexual preferences of my crossdressing husband/SO.
    • Experience the other umpteenth-thousand "feelings" women endure and experience on an hourly basis, day after day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa.Smith.VA View Post
    So, do you think that "feeling like a woman" can be generated by the sexual or erotic pleasure when dressing like a woman?
    A resounding: No.

    In fact I think that sexual or erotic pleasure can only generate sexual or erotic pleasure, nothing more. In this sense, it's pure gratification without any of the burdens associated with being a woman. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, per s?, but I find it very difficult to assign any higher, existential honor to it all if eroticism is the primary driver.

    Ironically, I think many women sense the truth of the aforementioned erotic connection, and that's why there's so much inherent fear on their part. An erotically-stimulated addiction of any sort will sweep away anything its path, including a marriage.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    Teresa, you are quite correct about the sexual transfer and the sexual turn-on element of dressing. Studies have shown for some children that is presumably the start of it all. They try on something of their mother's or sister's and, wham, they are sexually excited. In fact, one theory of the cause of cross dressing and/or transgenderism that has now been largely rejected proposed, in part, that males that do this desire to have sex with themselves; it is the autogynephilia theory proposed in the last century.

    Problem is, many are not consciously or otherwise motivated by such desires and a lot who began young apparently never went through this kind of experience or it was very weak. Others have proposed that the tightness of women's underwear is experienced sexually and thus forms the trigger - a sexual fetish. There may be something to that, but it is not a trigger that explains the general gender variant behavior. Why did they feel an attraction to those clothes in the first place before discovering the effect they had when they put them on? Logically, one must explain that first. Just curiosity? Maybe, but that too does not seem to be a strong or defining factor in the initiation.

    And Marissa, you are also correct in that the "feeling like a woman" is extraordinarily difficult to define with language. Even women can't define how they feel to be a woman and men have the same difficulty. And transgender and cross dressing females have exactly the same problem as the opposite situation - how to describe it?

    It seems the closest anybody has come to explaining those sensations is that we have genetically based neural networks that generate these behaviors by creating a collection of behavior patterns that we identify as being commonly seen in females or males and those behaviors play a large role in how we identify a person's gender. When a person has a large collection of neural networks that generate those opposite gender behaviors then the feedback to affirm the person is engaging in the behavior produces the "feel like ..." experience. The affirmative feedback creates the sense of being a part of that gender. Once again, it all goes back to the collection of gender oriented neural networks we are all equipped with as a result of a combination of genetics and environment. It is not just mannerisms but also deeper emotional behaviors like empathy, sympathy, and compassion which tend to be more highly developed in females than in males. And it evolved that way for good reason - it is females that in the social structures we create who tend to be the caregivers. The same situation for males. So perhaps a collection of genetic "errors" are at the foundation of it all. Problem is not all "genetic errors" are detrimental and some can be beneficial and in the right environment be selected for and thus potentially increase within a population.

    Unfortunately, that is not the whole story when it comes to gender identity. Many men are also very empathic, sympathetic, and compassionate and yet do not profess to "feel like a woman" when strongly engaging in those behaviors. So "feel like" aspect is generated by something else or some very complex combination of factors that have yet to be deciphered.

    That said, if it is true that all behavior is at least somewhat rooted in genetics, as the behavior geneticists contend and seem to have confirmed, then that "feel like" behavior must be connected to something genetic. It has been found that there are over 3,500 genes that are involved in some way with gender behavior generation and there are correlations of gender variant behavior with a specific combination of micromutations in a small number of those genes.

    However, a correlation is only an indication and does not prove anything - it is suspiciously causative, but is not a verified cause. There are research programs occurring today that involve tens of thousands of people that are trying to tie down the genetic foundations of this behavior. Unfortunately, Covid put the brakes on those studies for now. But there are many researchers at major universities still seeking an explanation for this behavior that seems to be fairly unique to humans and is not clearly present in any of our primate relatives. And such behaviors are found in all cultures even though it is usually kept more or less secret because of discrimination and prejudice. Nevertheless, some cultures fully accept it is a valid human behavior and in some cultures the people who are this way are considered specially gifted and often encouraged to be spiritual leaders in communities. They are seen to have a unique understanding of human behavior as a result presumably of playing both sides of the gender coin.
    Last edited by GretchenM; 04-14-2022 at 08:22 AM.

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