Are All Cross Dressers Gay? Transgender? Is It A Sexual Fetish?

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on October 18, 2013

Are all cross dressers gay? Transgender? Is cross dressing a sexual fetish? These are just but a few questions the public asks when they see a man who dresses in women’s clothes. With the recent celebrity gossip about Bruce Jenner and his wife Kris’s split – Star Magazine’s Adriane Schwartz called upon my expertise as a Marriage and Family Therapist to discuss. The focus of this particular interview was on cross dressing. As it has been in the news that Bruce is a cross dresser. Cover story for this upcoming week’s publication. Provided below you will find the answers to the most common misconceptions about cross dressing males. This is not an opinion blog nor an article of judgment. Rather, this blog article is here to set the record straight in bullet point format, based on my experience counseling couples, men, and women.

Cross Dressing- Let’s Set The Record Straight:

  • Cross dressing is more common than many realize, due to it is often done in secret since it is not accepted by society (e.g., female panties worn underneath a man’s work pants, in the privacy of one’s home). Business professionals, doctors, lawyers, blue collar or white collar . . . cross dressing does not exclude based on profession or financial status.
  • Although it is socially acceptable for women to wear men’s clothes it is not for men to wear women’s clothes. Therefore, men who are cross dressers are often viewed by others as deviant weirdo’s to stay away from, to be afraid of.
  • It is a myth to believe that all cross dressers are homosexual or bi-sexual. There are many cross dressers who are heterosexual men. It is those men who report they enjoy the feel of women’s clothes, the excitement of pushing the limits of societal acceptance, and/or enjoy the feel of risk taking (e.g., they could be caught).
  • It is a myth to believe all cross dressers includes a sexual component to the cross dressing. Some cross dressers only do it for the enjoyment of drag and there is not a sexual fetish aspect of it. Whereas other cross dressers are heterosexual males who cross dress as a part of a sexual fetish.
  • It is a common myth to believe that all cross dressers are transgender. Transgender is a term used for a person who experiences a lack of internal fit between their own gender identity and the gender roles made by society.
  • Transsexual is a person who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. In essence, they believe their assigned sex is wrong. Cross dressing does not infer nor mean the person necessarily identifies as a transsexual. For some; yes, for others; no.
  • There are cross dressers who enjoy cross-play cross dressing where their female partner joins in on the cross dressing, whereas others do not partake in cross-play.
  • Cross dressing males commonly report they remember as far back as early childhood enjoying dressing in female clothes.
  • Cross dressers often find an increase in their desire to cross dress as they age. Often taking more risks in terms of where they wear female clothing, and how often, in contrast to their caution of not stepping out when they were younger.

 

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

C.J. October 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm

This is an extremely long comment (It contains my life’s story for better understanding of a cross dresser life.)——-I can vouch that this article is extremely accurate, I myself am a cross dresser and this is the first time I’ve seen an article that actually separates us from transgender and transsexual people. It is also true that it is only a sexual fetish for some. It’s actually more common to find heterosexual cross dressers rather than homosexuals or bisexuals cross dressers. In fact, I just entered the dating world, and let me tell you, I didn’t know I could love something as much as I love this girl. Here’s my story for a little more insight for those who may want an example.———- “My cross dressing started at age four when I accidentally wore my sisters underwear to school, I had always wondered what it would be like to wear girls clothing, especially since I was the only boy in the house with two sisters and a single mom, after the underwear incident I borrowed some of my sisters clothes when they were outside, when I put that outfit on I was mesmerized by how much more soft and free it was to my blue jeans, but I was an honest kid though, so I exchanged that outfit for my own, put it back and went to my mom and said ‘Mom, I like to dress up as a girl.’ My mom saw this as harmless ‘And it was’ so she let me dress, I wasn’t in school because we were having a break so I dressed on a daily basis. This changed my life more than I ever thought, after the age of six I stopped until I was about ten which brought me back to it, my mom wasn’t AS okay with it but she still brushed it off as a game, this didn’t go on as long, only until age eleven, which I then stopped until thirteen, I rarely got the chance to dress though because I had a step-dad at this point and he thought it was disgusting,my mom bent to his will and became close-minded so she didn’t like me doing it at all, I had to sneak clothes to try on for just a couple of minutes then return them before anyone noticed ‘I was caught a few times’ I kept doing what I could for the next five years, now at age seventeen, my mom and step-dad don’t have such a large say in what I can do, all they can do is make me stay in my room with it, recently my sister came to terms about this being a life choice, not a game, so whenever I stay at her apartment she doesn’t care that I cross dress.”———- I know there are those of you out there who are Christian who will say that the Bible says that cross dressing is a sin and anyone who does it is an abomination unto the Lord, you are correct, the Bible does say that, in Deuteronomy, in the Old Testament, which is not made for Baptist to follow “I don’t know about the other parts of Christianity”, I know this because I was talking to my youth pasture about it today, he said himself that Baptist does not follow the Old Testament, including Deuteronomy, no exceptions. Plus I have prayed to God about it, He has not said that I should not cross dress, he never gave an answer actually, but I’m sure being blessed with a wonderful girlfriend and some awesome best friends means He is keeping an eye on me. As for those of you who worry about going public with it because of social status, that will be your own personal choice, but remember this, if they can’t accept you for who you are, are they worth it? My best friends accepted me (That’s a reason why they’re so awesome.) And my biological Dad is fine with it (He even offered to give me clothes that his daughter doesn’t wear now.) But all in all it’s a gamble, I ended up pretty lucky, most at my church would understand and accept, my biological dad accepts me, my heavenly father accepts me, my sisters accept me, and my best friends accept me. The only ones who rejected me were my mom and step-dad (Made me sad for a while, but I got over it.) And I still have to get around to telling my girlfriend…… (Wish me luck that she doesn’t kill me.) Erm…. I should stop here before I end up writing a book. I hope this helps some lost souls in the hard path that is the life of a cross dresser.

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Dr. Karen Ruskin October 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Hi C.J., Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. I am so glad to hear that you feel my article is, as you worded it: “extremely accurate”, as per your own life experience. I always try my best to educate, even if it is not what others are sharing. As I tell-it-like-it-is, based upon my understanding in my work with real people.

Thank you for your feedback, and again, for sharing your story.
Warmly,
Dr. Karen Ruskin

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Ibo July 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm

I respect your choice but as a woman ,I would like thé man I date to be upfront early on the relationship .Before I ‘m in love .Cross dressing is something i dont want in a mate .In a friend no problem .But in a partner Its a deal breaker . I hope your lady friend accept you as you are .We all must be our True self.

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dlslove September 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm

I agree. cross dressing and masturbation was a big part of my soon to be ex sexual life. That is not why we are separating, many issues, though the fact that he didn’t tell me until years into our marriage and didn’t take into account it was a turn off for me, as much as it is a turn on for him, didn’t help. That goes with being selfish. I tried very hard to accept it, and went beyond my own comfort level to make him happy. That’s not good for any relationship. As you commented, we all need to be true to ourselves and being in a marriage means compromise.

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Stev November 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

I see no problems with guys who love wearing women’s lingerie and clothing because I enjoy wearing women’s clothing and lingerie around home,i have to admit when i first dressed up it felt strange but also sexy and comfortable and very relaxing and much much more cooler than mens clothing

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Sam West January 28, 2015 at 12:50 am

I have underwear fetish and cross dress sometimes. I came up a theory for the behavior. I am heterosexual and have high sex drive. I think crossdressing for some men originates from the nature of sexual behavior of men. The desire for wearing female clothes, especially sexy underwear, has the same origin as the impetus for sexual penetration. That’s why many men masturbate when wearing female clothes. Not sure if crossdressers all have high sex drive, which causes them to be able to be excited by things others find uninterested. Some may have special experience when little, but I cannot recall any for me.

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chloe November 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Many men masturbate when wearing female clothes you say. CD doesn’t see dressing up as a tool to gain excitement many just do it as they want to. Sex has nothing to do with it at all many will say this and is true. Think of it as a need. I do. I need to dress up as I want to now what happens if I stop myself I have inner tormoil and distress inside as I am not carrying out what I want to do and is right to do.

I have underwear fetish and cross dress sometimes you say. Partly crossing dressing is called transvestite fetish when he/she CD to gain sexual excitement but does not want to go outside in the world and show everyone and some will wear clothing under the out gear to gain more excitement. Sexual drive objects you mention for some are a turn on others not.

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Dtaylor August 4, 2015 at 6:37 am

Hi I’ve got into x_ dressing, due to the love of stockings and suspenders, things, been no sex in my life for years, women don’t fancy me, I’m too tense and stressed.

I do dress alone at night, for sexual pleasure, I usually masturbate, find it a release for me, I have met one other guy, and we wanked and kissed which gave me orgasm, thought it was lovely.

Wish could meet others, I’m a carer for older parent, so trapped at home much of time, sometimes wish I could escape, got sister who never visits mum, its fallen on me month after boring month, I’ve become a carer and cleaner , no social life, no wonder I’ve turned weird, help Dave t.

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chloe November 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm

At first when I read your message I was thinking is this true? Was going to leave it and not reply but I will give a short replay just so I am of help.
Please read what I have said before you have a Transvestite fetish which means you are only CD as a way of gaining sexual gratification from the things you have on. When you do the business its over the sexual excitement has gone away and you will pack up the clothes until next time.
You need to get support for local government so you can have a break and enjoy your life and it sounds like if you don’t you will be depressed and have major problems. Personally you may be gay so maybe that’s why you find it so uncomfortable to be able to get on with girls or become stress out. That’s not an issue either.
What you saying is your life style is and using what pleasure you have in a way of saying it’s a problem well its not clearly you have more to offer your problem is your life style and how to cope with aging parents but the answer is local government and other volunteer sectors will be able to help and clean the house and even give them a change of see someone new.
See what gets me is everyone who part CD think they are a really CD when its clear they us clothing a the sex driver objects I like to think of it. Me I use them as I want to be someone I always wanted to be. See the different.

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chloe November 6, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Now lets me clear what is a true CD.
TV or CD or dressing up is normal for many people in life. Just because you don’t know about it does not mean it never happens.

What is Transvestite fetish? Very easy anyone who enjoys gaining sexual gravitation from item of clothing to gain excitement
What is a really CD (sorry but I was going to say what is a really TV). This is a man or woman who feels totally complete as they want to dress up and not use it as a sexual drive as it has nothing to do with this at all.

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Jph November 9, 2015 at 6:01 am

I started cross dressing when I was about 12. I would try on my sisters clothes. I would do it in privet and always wrestled with if it wrong for me to be doing it. When I got older I would but my own clothes as the urge got stronger. Over the years I would get rid of all my clothes telling myself I am going to quit only to have the urge build up so strong that I would start up again. Now I accept the fact that it is a part of me. I am married but have not told my wife. She knows I wear her panties but she is not aware of how much I desire to wear her dresses. I want to come out to her so badly but I am not sure how I should or what her reaction would be.
That is my story, this is the first I have told it.
Thank you

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David Taylor May 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm

Hi Chloe, Thanks for your observations on my caring for aging parent, do go away once a year when my brother looks after mum.
I get carers allowance, though minimal it helps, mum has carer for her washing\ shower each day.
I do most things, cleaning, shopping, gardening, there nearly 24\7, go out to town for a beer or two twice a week or watch football in pub too.
Now to my x_ dressing fetish, it’s happened because women don’t find me exciting enough, I can’t chat them up or make them laugh either.
Lust after them obviously, I’m not gay at all, just a love of lingerie and lingerie, and sexy heels too, met admirer other week, he wanted to play with a CD, legs in nylons, thong, suspenders, kissing too, wanking and sucking me too, we were both very satisfied as we both orgasmed , thanks for your help Chloe, much appreciated, regards, davina\ dave x

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John May 22, 2016 at 11:37 pm

I have been crossdressing since I was 12. I thought I could get rid of it forever, but it came back. I live by myself and have lots of women clothes. When ever I get the urge, I will dress up and even some times go out to the grocery store. I decided that purging does not help. I just need to keep my goals and dreams in front of me and focus on my priorities and not let cding become an obsession.

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DT September 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm

I know a guy through a mutual friend and we began seeing each other casually, since then I discovered he likes to cross dress and has an alter ego named Heather. He told me he does this because he wasn’t able to wear pretty clothes like his sister, who was adopted but several years after he had also been adopted. He says he isn’t gay but he spends all his time cooped up in his bedroom dressing up. He has terrible taste in clothes and shops a lot of tween fashion from cheap internet sites or department stores. He wears diapers under his pantyhose even when dressing in styles more age appropriate along with full makeup, wigs, latex breasts, and pantyhose. One time when I accidentally bumped up against his fake breasts he asked me if I wished they were real and I asked him why would I since I’m not sexually attracted to women. He has a computer picture display that plays a steady stream of pictures of women in various stages of dress and undress, which I find extremely rude but he says it’s okay because he watches them when he’s Heather so it shouldn’t bother me but he’s Heather 90 per cent of the time. There are also lots of stills on his computer photo display from an old TV show called the Brady Bunch and he binge watches the show along with lots of others from his childhood. He has started calling me his girlfriend and has become very resentful of my friends, but he is also extremely anti-social and never wants to go anywhere or do anything except sit inside watching TV with the shades drawn. Currently I’m living in the house he shares with his mother due to my financial situation and loss of my long term job, and I have no place else to go but I’m quite unhappy. He refuses to discuss anything with me but I feel there is some aberrant behavior that I’m not aware of, just as I wasn’t aware of other things when I took up residence here. I feel like I’ve been roped into a situation without being given a chance to honestly consider other options at the time. When he asks me if we are in a relationship or not, I don’t know what to say. I’m not attracted to him physically, and he’s never even tried to kiss me except for a peck on the cheek even though I’ve been in his house for over a year now. I can’t figure him out, does anyone out there have an idea what this could all mean? I do care about him but can’t imagine living the rest of my life this way in a loveless sexless situation alienated from the rest of the world without the possibility of ever knowing true happiness again but knowing that if I displease him I could end up in the street with no place to go. If I was working I could save money and move but I’ve been looking for a job for a long time, my savings are gone, and my car needs major repairs which I can’t afford.

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Matt June 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm

DT, I’m reading this like 10 months later. This sounds like a really hard situation for you. I feel really sorry for you. Have things changed for you at all for the better?

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Ks October 31, 2016 at 3:49 am

I started crossdressing in my 10th year!I have a strong urge in wearing female clothes! Mostly inners! I used to do when no1 is at home! As I m an Indian, I used to love wearing sari by cing my mom! On the other hand, I used to love women! Precisely! I m a good cinema lover to! I used to admire heroines more than heroes! Upto 15 th year, I used to dress in inners, give pose in mirrors, feel like heroines! But predominantly loving women too on the other side! So, between 10 n 15 th year, I used to crosscheck on various ways about who I m whether I m straight or gay n used to think of sharing this to female frds or female relatives !
In 15 th year, I got joined in hostel ! Everything went on nice, untill a boy who was my frd then (I dnt then accidentally or willing ly on night mastrubated me) I to responded but v never indulged in sex!
In 17 th year, I got joined in graduation college!
I used to admire girls predominantly their physic some times their dresses to but rare!
As I came to know that , during my secondary education, that I was known as Crossdresser n it is pretty common!
N I m straight because I used to get arousal by cing girls except that incident with male frd in the above!
So I shared that I m Crossdresser n heterosexual to my female classmates !
As v live in rural part of India, no1 even understood that n began to treat me as gay and was kept aside deliberately!
In 19 th year, I got in touch with my aunt who was psychiatrist that I m Crossdresser! She said , me beta, it is purely unnatural!
Firstly introspect urself whether it is harmonal deficiency or any sort of significant impact on u during childhood!
I took time for a week n introspected n said that reason to my aunt I.e my name resembles a female name nearly ! I have a elder brother who used to tease me with that during my childhood n even my relatives mostly n that is to between 3 n 8 years! N through net mean while, I came to understand that 90% of subconscious mind develops during 1 to 6 years n it get registered what ever u r impacted during that period!
She said ok n try to come out of crossdressing!

I tried some days but it never went out from mind!
My inner self said that it is not wrong being heterosexual crossdresser! N right people will understand u when u r right!

Some days after I shared with my cousin sis that I m male to female Crossdresser!
Sis gave me the feel that I m comforted being Crossdresser! N after deciding myself I m heterosexual crossdresser! I used to live happily ! But, as my graduation lasts for 4 years, my classmates stopped talking with me as one girl shared that I m Crossdresser to all boys n girls! In the class! I began to feel guilty n started to confuse again I m heterosexual crossdresser or gay again???

One day, in this Jan, my sis asked me whether I m gay?
N said feel free to share her!
I said I m confused actually whether I m heterosexual crossdresser or gay! N said that incident to her what happened between me m my male frd in secondary education!!
N sis said it is natural to be gay n there is no wrong in being gay! So I said my sis I need time !

I took courage n eventually I said my mom that I need to go to a psychiatrist to know whether i m heterosexual crossdresser or gay or bisexual!
On a fine day , I went to psychiatrist with my mom! She came to know my confusion n started firstly whether i had any sexual intercourse with that boy then?
I said no , n she said that I m not gay n acknowledged the reason of crossdressing due to teasing of my brother n relatives in childhood! N said that come after few days!
After few days, I went and said that psychiatrist the happening between that boy in secondary education n name that 2 to 3 nights I.e mutual mastrubating!
N said that I m homosexual then!
But then I m not convinced because at that moment I got arosual by cing psychiatrist bra strap n breast n buttocks part !
So I introspected again for nearly a month and came to a conclusion that the reason for confusion is mainly because of people with whom I shared that I m Crossdresser! N their narrow minded Ness made me to think that I m heterosexual crossdresser or gay!

Except that incident in my secondary education, with that boy in 2 or 3 nights randomly I never been that sexualized about men n that to he only prompted me more!

From then , I admired n got sexual arousal by cing women from last 5 years!
So I decided that I m heterosexual crossdresser!
N I want to crossdress like women some times n also I m heterosexual!

Madam, read my story , n give suggestions accordingly

Thanks
Ks

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Samantha Lynn February 21, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Hello back when I was 9 I was being raised by my grandparents and My father was coming out every other weekend or so to see me. this one time he brought his girl friend out and she brought this soft knit dress as it was about September or October and there was a dance in the local town. Well for some reason I tried 2 times to wear that dress and I don’t really know why maybe because it was soft knit for 1957 and I wanted to know what it felt like against my skin or I wanted to be a women because thats who my father seemed to be paying more attention to in those days. I know that when I was watching TV all the cigarette and alcohol commercials Had women wearing sweaters over their breasts and I thought it looked quite sexy.So all my life I have been crossdressing using knits and furs to accentuate my large looking breasts. I currently wear an F cup bra and I fantasize to women that are wearing the same and drinking and a little tight. I am now 68 so this has been my whole life. I am not looking for anyone in particular. as my fantasies are all I need to keep my sex life Humming along just fine. SLF Thank you

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