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Thread: Catalyst for Crossdressing

  1. #1
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    Catalyst for Crossdressing

    There were some thoughtful responses to the post about an early crossdressing experience regarding being dressed by aunts at an early age. That person felt that maybe that resulted in becoming a crossdresser. I can say that I never had that experience. I never "dressed up" as a female for Halloween, I never played a female role in a performance and none of my relatives dressed me up. My thought is maybe there is some predisposition together with some catalyst results in crossdressing. The other reason for this thought is I felt that crossdressing was a learned response. As such, I quit dressing for 5 years, purged all feminine things and was determined never to cross dress again. Of course, I may have eliminated the physical aspect, but I was still mentally a crossdresser. Something resides internally that does not go away.
    Love, Sabrina

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    Another fine dress AngelaYVR's Avatar
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    Impossible to say with any authority really but in my case, I have mosaic XXY/XY karyotype meaning some of my cells have an extra X chromosome and it seems reasonable that it might explain my convoluted life.

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    Miss Conception Karren Hutton's Avatar
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    On that mental theme, maybe suggestions were made to you way back when you were very young that triggered this. Back before you could remember. Subliminal. You are getting sleepy! Lol. Buy my mother used to tell me that I was supposed to have been born a girl often when I was young.

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    Travelling to my aunts with my mum as a young boy by bus acted as a trigger for me. There was graffiti on the back of the seat in front. The graffiti said I love wearing panties, bras and womens nylons they are great Dave.I could not stop thinking about it. Saw it again on subsequent journeys. It seemed naughty but nice. It prompted me to take a pair of pantyhose out of the laundry basket and try them on. The feeling was electric and so it began for me. Felt terrible guilt and shame. But the feeling was so intoxicating. I was terrified of being caught . So used laddered nylons that had been disposed of to reduce the risk.I moved on to slips and when I started working began to buy my own fem items.

  5. #5
    Silver Member Pumped's Avatar
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    It is pretty much impossible to say why any of us crossdress. Mental? Genetic? Plus many dress for various reasons and degrees. There are the transgender side that believe they have mixed up genetics. There are the fetish dressers that like the "kink". Then everything in between and other off shoots. Who knows why! If we knew we probably would not be here!

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    Junior Member AnelineM's Avatar
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    I think its just innate in some men. No one ever dressed me up as a girl or encouraged me to wear women's clothing. Quite the opposite. I remember when I was very young that I liked when my Mom, Aunts, or female cousins wore lipstick. Then one day I tried on one of my Mom's lipsticks and my crossdressing just took off from there.

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    Senior Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    I think we are going to be very disappointed if we expect to find a single unifying reason why any of us crossdress. Behavioral? Genetic? Sexual? Perhaps brought on by some trauma? All of these or some combination? - or perhaps none of these. To be sure however, none offer the entire explanation, as much as we might like it to.

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    Member Joanne108's Avatar
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    I think I just started by trying on a bra. I do not remember why I did. I just remember that once the bra cups were filled with doll pillows I was hooked, I love dressing up as a woman and I suspect that I always will.

  9. #9
    AKA Lexi sometimes_miss's Avatar
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    Best guess at this point, is that we want to crossdress / behave, talk, walk, think as we believe females do, may be due to a subconscious attempt to reconcile the incongruent thoughts caused by having a male body, yet something also in that subconscious telling us that we aren't male, but are female. In order to quell the mental disconnect and the resulting psychological discomfort that causes, we attempt to 'feed' our mind with feminine sensory feedback, which for some of us, works as a temporary treatment so that we can feel normal, as almost all senses send back information also telling us that we're female.
    That doesn't explain those who get sexual excitement from crossdressing.
    However, my own experience was that even though I knew that I wasn't actually female, the feelings that I was supposed to be, never went away, even though all other information contradicts any suggestion that I was actually supposed to be a girl.
    I later learned that for many mental health issues, we don't actually get 'cured'; all they can do, is help us deal with our situations a little better.
    YMMV.
    Edit. One thing that seems pretty common, is the onset of crossdressing which coincides with puberty. Perhaps this is simply a simple case of subconscious gender dysphoria, which the individual has been able to repress up until then, which rises out of the subconscious when other stressful events occur, which overwhelms the mind, and, something has to 'give', so the crossdressing / gender dysphoria feelings become active. This might explain why so many of us go through phases where we don't experience the desire to crossdress for periods of time, as our minds are again able to repress those thoughts.
    The other thing that should be mentioned, is that many experience sexual excitement while crossdressing, but this may simply be the onset of sexual desire happening at the same ages as the stresses of life also overwhelm our ability to repress the crossdressing / GID thoughts.
    Last edited by sometimes_miss; 05-10-2022 at 04:30 AM.
    Some causes of crossdressing you've probably never even considered: My TG biography at:http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...=1#post1490560
    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.

  10. #10
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    I spent decades trying to rationalize why I do this. I gave that up a few years ago. It's just a part of who I am. I got my start around age 7 or 8 because it was something I needed to do. No logic or reason necessary. Got caught a bunch of time, was punished, kept on going. Have kept this aspect of my life hidden from relatives and friends forever, but understanding that it is only a matter of time before I end up being outed. Onward.

  11. #11
    Aspiring Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    Just a quick comment on this snippet:

    Quote Originally Posted by sometimes_miss View Post
    One thing that seems pretty common, is the onset of crossdressing which coincides with puberty.
    Not me! I was "borrowing" my sister's stuff L-O-N-G before puberty was even on the horizon and even before anyone thought to "dress me up" in anything.
    Luckily for me, even though my sister was a year younger than me, she was bigger - so I could fit into her things.

    I guess you can put me down on the "born this way" list, since I feel that if anyone triggered me, I did it to myself.

  12. #12
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    I was about to write that there is no satisfactory explanation for why we do what we do. That would be wrong. There really there are lots of plausible answers. We just lack any means of testing or pr?ving which might apply to any individual.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Sabrina, nobody knows what causes this behavior, but it is known that it is not just one thing. It is a complex assemblage of genetic, environmental, and learned influences within a neurological matrix in the brain. It is known that genetically gender identity is perhaps one of the most complex characteristics of humans - it appears that about 1/7 of our entire genome is involved in some way with these behaviors that are so critical to our super developed social lives. So, for starters, it probably begins in the womb as a result of variations in hormone influences on the fetus, errors in development timing, and a pile of other mind boggling processes that follow individual pathways in each person.

    After we are born, environment kicks in as well as the vast array of influences from other people. But through it all our brain manages it to produce the behaviors that exhibit what best fit its configuration and if the current configuration is not suitable the brain changes its configuration through brain plasticity to make sense of it all. But sexual influences on gender development are not particularly significant. There is an overlap, but exactly how it works has not been figured out yet.

    So, your thinking it is a "predisposition" has some substance to it. But exactly what has not been identified. That predisposition, if it is there, is perhaps a consequence of genetics. But in some of us, predisposition appears to be very faint; in others it appears very strong.

    Learned responses definitely play into the exact gender behaviors that men and women adopt and exhibit, but the gender reversal that many of us exhibit to some extent seems to precede the learning influence. That is we react in terms of gender behaviors that we observe and copy BECAUSE there is a fundamental receptiveness to that kind of behavior which puts back into the neighborhood of predisposition.

    Personally, I don't dress nearly as much as many here and I do not feel a strong need for that. I used to, but at some point that aspect faded for some reason. Internally, though, I have strong female-like emotions and thinking patterns that are definitely not typical of a male.

    So, I get what you say about "mentally a crossdresser." I don't call it that though. I call it an "internalized transgenderism" that creates an internal drive to behave in accordance with many of the behavioral traits and characteristics associated with fairly "standard" female behavior. Things like a very strong sense of sensitivity, empathy, compassion plus a pile of other female-like behaviors. But I also have male-like behaviors that are part of the entire equation.

    Thus, I identify myself with some form of non-binary gender as I reject, personally, the concept of pure female and pure male genders. Most people tend to be a blend of behaviors that are associated with males and females and I believe everybody has their own unique mix that, due to brain plasticity and its ability to adapt to new influences, is constantly changing in tiny ways as we go through life. In terms of gender, everybody is unique. That said, the tiny changes eventually add up to create some very noticeable changes that produce a need to cross-dress in many, but others follow another pathway to produce the positive feedback to the brain and thus our personal sense of identity we each have.

  14. #14
    Platinum Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    I remember my early forays into dressing. However after 55+ years of dressing, my crossdressing is part of me, doesn't hurt anyone and I believe makes me a better person. So, I really don't care what the catalyst was.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  15. #15
    Soccer Mom in Training MsEva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karren Hutton View Post
    On that mental theme, maybe suggestions were made to you way back when you were very young that triggered this. Back before you could remember. Subliminal. You are getting sleepy! Lol. Buy my mother used to tell me that I was supposed to have been born a girl often when I was young.
    Something along those lines with me as well. My dear sainted Mom was holding out for a girl. I was supposed to be that as her third child of four. Alas poor Mom had four genetic males or should I say 3.5. I am the outlier. That along with some traumatic experiences that I don't care to mention here may have been my impetus. From my earliest memories always felt different I guess.

  16. #16
    Aspiring Member ShelbyDawn's Avatar
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    My earliest memories are from age five or six and it has never been a sexual thing for me.
    Still have no idea why, I just love to wear girly things. Always have. They just feel right.
    I've given up trying to figure it out. I just enjoy it.
    I am Me and Me is OK!



    Shelby

  17. #17
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    That's a whole lot of words. Nope. Still no answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by GretchenM View Post
    Sabrina, nobody knows what causes this behavior, but it is known that it is not just one thing. It is a complex assemblage of genetic, environmental, and learned influences within a neurological matrix in the brain. It is known that genetically gender identity is perhaps one of the most complex characteristics of humans - it appears that about 1/7 of our entire genome is involved in some way with these behaviors that are so critical to our super developed social lives. So, for starters, it probably begins in the womb as a result of variations in hormone influences on the fetus, errors in development timing, and a pile of other mind boggling processes that follow individual pathways in each person.

    After we are born, environment kicks in as well as the vast array of influences from other people. But through it all our brain manages it to produce the behaviors that exhibit what best fit its configuration and if the current configuration is not suitable the brain changes its configuration through brain plasticity to make sense of it all. But sexual influences on gender development are not particularly significant. There is an overlap, but exactly how it works has not been figured out yet.

    So, your thinking it is a "predisposition" has some substance to it. But exactly what has not been identified. That predisposition, if it is there, is perhaps a consequence of genetics. But in some of us, predisposition appears to be very faint; in others it appears very strong.

    Learned responses definitely play into the exact gender behaviors that men and women adopt and exhibit, but the gender reversal that many of us exhibit to some extent seems to precede the learning influence. That is we react in terms of gender behaviors that we observe and copy BECAUSE there is a fundamental receptiveness to that kind of behavior which puts back into the neighborhood of predisposition.

    Personally, I don't dress nearly as much as many here and I do not feel a strong need for that. I used to, but at some point that aspect faded for some reason. Internally, though, I have strong female-like emotions and thinking patterns that are definitely not typical of a male.

    So, I get what you say about "mentally a crossdresser." I don't call it that though. I call it an "internalized transgenderism" that creates an internal drive to behave in accordance with many of the behavioral traits and characteristics associated with fairly "standard" female behavior. Things like a very strong sense of sensitivity, empathy, compassion plus a pile of other female-like behaviors. But I also have male-like behaviors that are part of the entire equation.

    Thus, I identify myself with some form of non-binary gender as I reject, personally, the concept of pure female and pure male genders. Most people tend to be a blend of behaviors that are associated with males and females and I believe everybody has their own unique mix that, due to brain plasticity and its ability to adapt to new influences, is constantly changing in tiny ways as we go through life. In terms of gender, everybody is unique. That said, the tiny changes eventually add up to create some very noticeable changes that produce a need to cross-dress in many, but others follow another pathway to produce the positive feedback to the brain and thus our personal sense of identity we each have.

  18. #18
    Aspiring Member Heather76's Avatar
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    Other than trying on my mother's bras, girdles, and stockings on occasion as well as my wife's pantyhose on a few occasions, I never seriously considered crossdressing at any time in my life. When my wife told me (at age 74) to "put your big girl panties on and deal with it" the pink fog hit me and hit me hard. I no longer recall what I was complaining about; but, I'm really glad she made the suggestion.
    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.

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    if wearing stockings or pantyhose (which 99% of cds do) was genetic, than 99% of females have a genetic defect bc they dont wear them.

  20. #20
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    So funny and true. Many of us have been imprinted with the image of legs in sheer panty hose as an ultra femenine thing. Indeed, 99% of women (who aren't senior citizens) don't wear them today. Maybe they will make a comeback soon and we will all be in the vanguard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie Birmingham View Post
    if wearing stockings or pantyhose (which 99% of cds do) was genetic, than 99% of females have a genetic defect bc they dont wear them.

  21. #21
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    When I was a little kid I do remember finally crying that my mother did not like me because I was not born a girl. My mother had the idea the perfect family was husband, wife, son (preferably first born) and daughter; dogs and cats optional. My brother was born first. She promised to never tell me that again; and she didn't. When she had the chance she beat the shit of me. Later, when I was eleven my mother had a daughter. Some of the pressure was taken off me, but, I swear she still hated my guts. I don't know if any of this made me predisposed to becoming a wearer of women's attire. I could have easily gone in a different direction and become a serial killer of women.

    The lure into wearing women's attire was my mother's nylon full slips. She use to hang them on a clothes line to dry in our apartment. I loved the feel of the silky fabric. I had no thoughts of wanting to be a female. If anything I suspect some visions I had as a young child; maybe age four had an effect. I had thoughts/awake dreams that I had been a young woman who had been murdered. I had visions of the woman, who was me, laying dead in the mud, attired in a white slip. At the time our family did not have a television. I have no recollection how that image became engraved in my mind. Many times I draw upon that image, and, I know my other experiences it is possible to keep pulling up an image. Anyway, the lure of the silky nylon finally compelled me to take it down and try it on. I also discovered her long nylon nightgown. None of this exploration caused me to wish I had been born a girl. When puberty finally hit, the cross dressing bug kicked in. I dabbled in my mother's lingerie draw. This caused a lot of mental turmoil for a young teen lusting after Annette Funicello and other starlets and female classmates and neighborhood girls.

    My PTSD counselor is of the opinion each man and woman has some dna in his or her genetic profile of the opposite sex. In some it is greater than others. If anything, serving in the infantry in Nam and getting wounded twice, showed me I was as virile as an knuckle drawing buffoon down at the neighborhood bar. Wearing women's clothing actually did become therapeutic; an escape from dreams/daymares that I know are based on fact. The dead young woman in the parking lot falls in the potential of "past life" experiences. I figure I paid full price for my ticket in life, so I want to enjoy the ride.

  22. #22
    Silver Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaYVR View Post
    Impossible to say with any authority really but in my case, I have mosaic XXY/XY karyotype meaning some of my cells have an extra X chromosome and it seems reasonable that it might explain my convoluted life.
    Me too, actually. 4% XXY, 96% XY. I was tempted to take the test again, but even if I was 100% XY the second time, I would still have 2% average XXY.

    I did read a story about a guy who had transgender tendencies. He was having some pain below the waist, so he ended up going to a doctor where he had an ultrasound. The ultrasound clearly showed girly parts where they weren't supposed to be. The article didn't say precisely what the ultrasound showed, but it was clear that he was getting a large dose of estrogen in addition to his regular dose of testosterone. His girly parts were invisible without the ultrasound.

    There was also a woman track runner. It turned out that she had XY genes and complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS). She had more than her fair share of T, but her body couldn't use it. She looked entirely like a girl, but I don't think she menstruated. She didn't have the internal body parts.
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me. Or, maybe I'm gender fluid.

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    Thank you so much for your insightful response regarding my post. I never really thought about non-binary and it is a newer term in the lexicon.
    Love, Sabrina

  24. #24
    Silver Member NancySue's Avatar
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    I, too have spent many years trying to determine the source of my dressing. I was 6 when I was invited to play dress up with neighbor sisters. Nothing happened until I put on pantyhose. It was like a lightning strike. For years, hose were the only female thing I wore. It was several years later that I became curious about wearing other things, which I did. I?ve quit trying to figure anything out and just enjoy.

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    Unlike many of the members in this forum, I know exactly why I started dressing. The reason itself might not be entirely logical but it makes sense to me...

    When I was young and impressionable, I had a completely innocuous chance encounter with a stunningly beautiful woman who happened to be wearing a short skirt along with a pair of sheer nude pantyhose. She crossed her legs and I caught a glimpse of her upper thighs, along with a peek of her white cotton gusset. I was mesmerized.

    Although I was quite young, I thought about her frequently and couldn't shake the image of her perfect legs out of my mind. The gusset of her pantyhose protected her modesty, but stoked my imagination of the mysteries of women. Over time, I began equating beautiful women with pantyhose. At that age, women were unobtainable to me; however, I realized that pantyhose weren't! They became a symbol of what I so fervently desired - a woman. Wearing pantyhose myself allowed me an opportunity to re-experience my earlier memory and imagine that the mysterious lady was in my presence.

    As I mentioned, my rationale isn't entirely logical but in my own understanding, I developed a proclivity for imitating what I admired and yearned for.

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