(This article is more aimed at couples where crossgender fantasies are causing a problem – not those couples who enjoy them.)
This is the first of 3 articles on behaviour which couples often denote as ‘transvestite’ or ‘autogynephiliac’. The following podcast provides excellent context as a young couple discuss the consequences of John’s ‘sissy’ kink.
COUPLES THERAPY: Listening to John and Nikki try different methods of dealing with John’s kink has inspired me. Here’s a summary of the five most common models I have experienced.
1. The Martyr
Principle characteristic: devotion to family at the expense of sexuality.
The martyr is a 100% closeted crossdreamer who has never (and will never) tell his wife/girlfriend about his sexual fantasies. However, unlike many ‘autogynephiliacs’ who lead a double life or lose interest in sex, the martyr provides everything expected of a husband: regular sex, a dose of masculinity, and a guarentee that his wife’s never going to return home and find him wearing a dress.
The advantage of this model is that family life and sexual behaviour are not disrupted. Of course, the person who suffers at the end is the man who is completely suppressing his sexuality. However, he also benefits from the stability of his marriage. And if he occasionally masturbates to his true fantasies, nobody will begrudge him.
2. The sinner
Principle characteristic: secrecy and laziness.
The sinner – like the martyr – is in the closet with no intention of ever telling his wife that he has transvestite tendencies and has fem-fantasies. Unlike the martyr, however, he chooses to live out many of his fantasies online, leaving him incapable of fulfilling his wife’s sexual needs. While she thinks he has a low libido he is masturbating 2 or 3 times a day.
It’s easy to condemn him, but bear in mind that many of these men aren’t aware of just how consuming a gender-variant sexuality can be and its capacity for compulsive behaviour. Once they learn, however, the moral pendulum swings in a firm direction: either come clean and come to some kind of arrangement… or give up the secret life and commit to your duties as a husband.
3. The Harlot
Principle characteristic: total honesty and extremely kinky sex.
The harlot is a husband who has confessed his sexual fantasies, and his wife – willingly or grudgingly – agrees to play along with them. This means the husband can do what an ‘autogynephiliac’ husband generally wants to do: dress up like a complete harlot and be the submissive partner in any ensuing sex.
The good thing about the harlot is that he’s a man who is being completely honest with himself and with his spouse.
The disadvantage of this strategy, however, is that, just as the crossdreamer has an entire catalogue of fantasies and desires, so does his wife…and it’s extremely unlikely that they involve a man in stockings parading around the bedroom like a transsexual streetwalker.
4. The Yogi
Principle characteristic: Balance
The yogi is a crossdreamer who is out of the closet and has the full cooperation of his wife, but they don’t allow cross-gender sex to dominate their erotic life. In other words, there is balance.
This balance extends to the wife’s needs, as she has also revealed her deepest fantasies and these are included in their lovemaking.
The advantages of this model are clear: honesty, fulfillment, accommodation. However, in a relationship where one is constantly scheduling different days to deal with respective kinks, it can start to feel more like an exercise in planning than a spontaneous expression of love and passion.
5. The Friar
Principle characteristic: What you don’t see…
Friars were holy men who travelled away from their homes to preach and live a life of contemplation. A crossdreamer husband who adopts the friar model is completely honest with his wife and she accepts his inclinations, but with a strict caveat: outside of the house…or at least…’outside of my vision.’
This model is based on honesty and it also means the wife doesn’t have to see her husband in full crossdresser mode as the aforementioned transsexual streetwalker. However, it does reinforce and create a sense of separation within the relationship. The husband has an entire sexual life that is outside the shared experience of the relationship – a separation that will inevitably cause tension.