(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.
The problem with this analysis is that if focuses exclusively on the CD aspect of the husband and only vaguely (if at all) on the humanity of the wife. She is portrayed only as an obscurely sexually needy “other,” and not as a real (complex) human being.
In my experience most women are not all that forthcoming with their sexual needs and desires, and asking them often makes them even more reticent. So it’s not all that unusual for the man’s desires to set the stage for sexual relations, even in a vanilla hetero marriage. And for no small number of women, their “hidden” sexual lives are no more exciting than their overt ones. They may be borderline asexual, which is more in line with society’s traditional expectations of women than that they have wild secrets. So if they’re going to have sex at all, it’s no wonder that it’s often (usually?) the males fantasies and desires that take the lead.
However, there is so much more to trans and sissy males than just their CD fantasies. Most of us are also (even if we suppress it) sexually submissive. I’ve found that D/s play can be VERY rewarding for women as Dommes. Most of them never in their wildest dreams imagined having that kind of power over a man, especially in bed! And once they’ve tasted it, they often find it very much to their liking. They may find that while this was not previously one of their sexual fantasies or needs, once experienced it transcends them all, and gives her great satisfaction.
And D/s play can be a “gateway lifestyle” to introducing more overtly sissy and CD elements into the bedroom, with feminization of the husband being a sub’s predicament.
This worked wonderfully for my wife and me, and we are closer than we’ve ever been, more sexually active and satisfied than we’ve ever been (either as singles or together), and I see no negatives at all, other than we feel obliged to keep the secret together. But even that is a bonding experience, making us feel like youthful co-conspirators in some devious game. It’s a very innervating and awakening aspect of our lives, and I’d give it a positivity rating of 9.0 – 10.
And frankly, let’s rate the bedroom habits and positivity of vanilla heteros while we’re at it! In how many of those longterm relationships are the woman’s needs and desires treated equally or greater than the males? Not many. And in how many of those are satisfaction levels for either party higher than about 6/10? Not very many.
I think the article suffers from isolating couples that include trans or sissy males from the general population, as if we’re not just a normal, fully human variant on the continuum of coupling possibilities, which of course we are, and as such we have a wide range of success rates in marriage.
If you lump is into a category of “autogynephiliac” (even if you cleverly put that utterly disgraced and discredited label in quotes as if it’s not your word for us, even though it’s your article and you chose the word), it becomes quite easy to treat us as a separate species. Very much the same thing has been done to all sexual kinks, so feel free to use the label “paraphiliac” as well, if you like.
I know that’s much easier for ‘academics’ to do than to treat us as completely whole and completely human and completely normal (albeit small in number). See what I did there? We can talk about ‘academics’ as if they’re somehow not entirely human or normal, due to their relatively low numbers compared to the general population. I could have great fun with that, but two wrongs don’t make a right.
I’m so glad you commented…and you raise some great points. Just gonna have a siesta and then I’ll get back to you.
I’m glad you’re focusing on women and their feelings… I should do that more.
Your point of view is definitely interesting, but the article was written with a specific context in mind: couples who are struggling with crossgender fantasies (mostly because, the woman is just not turned on by them.) There are of course many relationships where crossgender fantasies are enjoyed and are positive, but I was thinking more specifically in relation to the podcast where Nikki states categorically that she doesn’t find such things sexy.
The ‘autogynephilia’ thing was because they use it in the podcast, but also because we need to rank in google for the search term ‘autogynephilia’. If we didn’t use it then Blanchard etc. would be the ranking articles and there would be no criticism available for folks like us. You made me realise the score thing was stupid… so I removed it. Thanks.
Anyway, thanks for your comment…I wish people would respond all the time with such articulate thought.