Friday, April 20, 2012

How My Journey in Autogynephilia Started

My mother always wanted a daughter. When she first got pregnant she prayed for a daughter. She got my older brother. She figured that her odds for getting a daughter would improve with another pregnancy. She got me.  She was disappointed but she didn't give up. A year later, on Christmas Day, she gave birth to a daughter. It was the most glorious day of her life. This is the story I heard repeated in my home.  Girls, I grew up believing, were treasured by parents, above boys.

My sister was treated like a princess. In fact, she was a princess in my mother's eyes. She lived a privileged life. I on the other hand, felt as if I was a disappointment. I knew that if I had been born a girl, then my mother would love me more.

When a girl walks into a room everyone would compliment her. Girls were provided with pretty, shiny things to adorn themselves. Little girls were even supposed to be smarter than their male counterparts. Sometimes I would play with something pretty, something shiny. I was interested in nail polish, jewels, satin clothing. "You can't do that," I would be told. "That's for girls." I understood that I was just a boy.

I grew up thinking that society preferred girls over boys, because girls were pretty, smart, and more virtuous. When I was five years old my mother made a dress for a cousin my age. My mother would have me try it on as she checked the hem, and fit. I thought that was great. I felt as sense of fulfillment. Unfortunately my father put a quick end to my early modeling career. My mother was told to stop this. My world was divided into two genders, and I had to stay in my place. I was just a boy. In my world that was a handicap, and I had to learn how to cope with it. For the next few years I would make the best of being a boy.

I believe this over-valued image of females was the glue that hard-wired my brain for its next stage. Unlike some boys who thought that girls had cooties, or who enjoyed deriding them, I was always attracted to girls. I always thought girls were just wonderful. I can't remember a time in my childhood when I didn't think the world of females in general. From the time I was five or six years old I looked forward to being able to have a girlfriend and get married.

Then when I started puberty things changed. My body started producing hormones. I was just beginning to understand about sexual stimulation. My mother had some really fancy old dresses that she kept for sentimental reasons; an old prom dress, a bridesmaid dress, and others. There was one red velvet dress with a built in petticoat that was amazing. Just touching it gave me a thrill. I tried it on and I experienced a powerful rush and my whole body was quivering. I couldn't understand what that was all about, but from that moment on I was addicted.

Most guys can try on feminine clothing and feel nothing but embarrassment. So what was going on with me? It seems as if my brain is hard-wired to release dopamine and a host of the neurotransmitters when I entertain cross-dressing. These neurotransmitters are responsible for the sensations of well-being, pleasure, sexual gratification and self-identity. It affects the reward centers of my brain, and that explains the addiction response. I know that when I masturbate that also releases a sudden rush of neurotransmitters followed by a brief depletion of them. That explains why my fetish is gone immediately after I climax. But why am I different than the majority of other males?

I believe that the most important contribution to my autogynephilia was my early childhood. At a very early age my over-valuation of females caused my brain to because hard-wired in a particulat way. When I reached puberty and cross-dressed, my brain interpreted it as actual contact with a female. Of course there was no one there but me, so was I my own female?  Was my brain hard-wired as a defense mechanism for not being a female, and with cross-dressing my identity was searching for a new me.

Do other autogynephiles believe they over-valuing females in their early childhood? Your thoughts are welcome.


  1. This is a very interesting post, which deserves a good discussion.

    Personally I know that I had a tendency of "over-valuating" women from very early on. I developed a narrative where men were treacherous weaklings and women were compassionate pillars of society.

    This was a narrative that I inherited from the women of the family. So in this sense my life fits your theory.

    The question is: What came first: the chicken or the egg?

    Did you become a crossdreamer (or "autogynephiliac") because you were imprinted with the idea that women are better, or did you embrace this narrative because it resonates with some inner psychological drive or identity?

    There are a lot of crossdreamers who share our experience, but there are also many that do not. Moreover, a lot of boys are brought up in such a toxic atmosphere, but who do not become crossdreamers.

    Moreover, should we not see more female to male crossdreamers if this was true? After all: In most families the male role is seen as the ideal, and women are considered weak and lacking. Should not this logically lead to a large number of female to male crossdreamers longing to be men?

    (Or maybe there are a lot of female to male crossdreamers out there. They have just gone into hiding.)

    Personally I believe our crossdreaming is caused by a mix of biological traits, personal experience and cultural symbols.

    1. Thanks for your comments Jack. You ask a lot of good questions and I don't think I can address them all at once.

      I believe all autogynephilia (or compulsive cross-dressing), is associated with some form of over-valuation of females during early childhood. It may be a toxic environment, or it could be very benign. What matters is our perception. Perception becomes reality.

      In my case, I have vivid memories of being told that my mother prayed for a girl when I was born. I saw how my younger sister was privileged. As an adult I questioned my mother about this. My mother's response: She claims it never happened!

      I know that I grew up thinking that girls had it better in life than boys. I grew up believing that all females were naturally better persons than males.

      At the same time I noticed that most other boys didn't realize this fact of life. Most boys seems unaware of their handicap. I learned that I was better off if I just went with the flow. At least until I reached puberty.

      With puberty my attraction with feminine things was sexually stimulating. That never happened in early childhood.

      Autogynephilia is a complicated thing. It requires several factors coordinated together. I believe that all autogynephiles begin in early childhood, and probably with over-valuing females.

      So why don't we see more female to male cross-dressers. Well females do wear men's clothing pretty freely, but they receive no sexual gratification from it. Why? If female brains were hard-wired the same way as male brains we would expect them to have the same response as males. However, we know that male and female brains operate differently. Male brains appear to be sexual stimulated more easily than females. The sexual pursuit area of the brain in males is 2.5 times bigger in males. Males are more likely to develop fetishes than females.

      The brain will reprogram itself to compensation for a loss area. The brain will develop a defense mechanism. With autogynephilia it appears associated with our sex drive. However this may not be the case with both sexes. A female child may over-value males, and not exhibit itself in development of a male alter-ego. She may just appreciate more masculine values than most females.

      Finally, I agree that cross-dreaming is caused by a mix of things; early psychological development, genes, low self-esteem, introverts, etc.

    2. super fascinating discussion and I agree with you Jingles that the male brain has more tendency to sexualize and thereby more likely to develop a fetish. I am trying to grapple with many feelings at once and having trouble figuring out if I'm TS these days but I have experienced all the same things as you in my childhood...

  2. I'm constantly amazed at how different all of our crossdreaming/autogynephilic stories are (when I come across them, here and there), and yet are bonded by such a similar set of defining characteristics - the feelings of being divided from the roles we feel drawn to, or [unfairly] kept apart from them... the desire to pursue inclusion among our cultures' society of females despite the odds weighing heavily against our success... the absence of fulfillment b/c we cannot seem to determine our place in a world where we're welcome neither here nor there, quite...

    The toughest part, for me, is trying to include the ones I love in my thought processes, as they generally have no wish to be involved but know I need the support. The contradiction is so depressing it's almost laughable. =)

    I also find the sexual aspects, as you mentioned, difficult to manage. Luckily I have a spouse who makes this easier, but the fantasies stay locked up in my head, useless to all but myself as a means of analysis. And because this all started at an early age, the only ones who can relate seem as "lost" as I am. =)

    To answer your question: No, I don't think we over-value females any more than any other attractions we tend to form at an early age. We don't scorn men who tend to prefer blondes if their mother's were blonde throughout their childhood, nor do we readily mock the ones who keep their baby blankets as mementos. But we DO tend to put women on a pedestal. I know I do. And shallow as I am - I admit it - I tend to value the attractive ones more (although I do not limit my friendships with women to looks - only personality).

  3. I think our sexual fantasies can often reveal the structure of experience of which has been sexually imprinted. The common autogynephile structure of arousal centres on the thought of being thought of as feminine, as socially stigmatising. That prior to sexualization, usually the thought of be socially perceived as feminine is rather the handicap. It would be expected that your pre-sexualized view of masculine identity as negative, would emerge as autoandrophilia. Then again we can't expect the psychological context of experience to be objective. Why does a balloon popping produce a balloon fetishist in one person and not another? It indicates if anything, perhaps from person to person, degree of sensitivity to sexual imprinting, as well as the subjects context of meaning, or how the individual relates the event.

    This page and the following are some of the most helpful on the internet

    Jasper also has given us an indispensable insight to the experience

    I'm willing to talk further if you like :)

  4. "So why don't we see more female to male cross-dressers. "

    They are hiding in plain sight.

    There are a lot of FTM crossdreamers who get sexually aroused by imagining themselves as men. It is just that our societies refuse to see them. They violate the sexual purity people imagine women to have.

    I have put up a lot of blog posts on female to male crossdreamers over at my blog. You may start here.