What is autogynephilia?

Autogynephilia is a term used by conservative sexologists to refer to the family of sexual behaviors where a man gets aroused by imagining himself as a woman.

To understand these behaviors, I would like you to imagine your average guy, jerking off to a picture of Julia. He is usually imagining himself doing all sorts of sordid things to Julia.

In the case of the Autogynephiliac, however, he is not imagining doing things to Julia, he is imagining that he is, Julia.

(And just in case you’re female and are starting to imagine a Silence of the Lambs scenario, I should clarify that the Autogynephiliac simply wants to look like Julia. He doesn’t want to literally be her, and steal her life, and make a suit made of human skin.)

Are there different types of autogynephilia?

Sexologists usually divide Autogynephiliac behaviour into three kinds. Anatomical, behavioral and transvestic. As each name suggests, the first is concerned with having the anatomy of a female, the second with acting like a female, and the third as dressing like a female.

However, these neat categories lack the nuance you really need to understand Autogynephilia. They make it sound fetishistic for the details and objects and gestures of femininity.

Admittedly, that is helpful in some ways, because Autogynephiliacs are fetishistic about the objects of femininity such as lingerie. But you must always remember that it is not because of the things in themselves. But what they represent. The state of being female.

Why I don’t think it’s a ‘fetish’ or ‘paraphilia’.

It’s necessary to capture the above mentioned sense of ‘being female’ because the love of being a woman often goes beyond the sexual, and into the personality. Many Autogynephiliacs decide to live as women and it is not because it gives them a permanent hard on, but because their relationship with their sexuality has progressed beyond sex. They are transsexual. That is why many sexologists believe that this form of sexuality is closer to an orientation than a paraphilia or fetish.

In other words, its relationship to transsexualism tells us that autogynephilia is something deeper than a fetish, and we know this because the individual has the non sexual desire to be female forever and ever. Amen.

Nobody knows exactly which direction the causality flows. And if they insist that they know, they’re full of poo poo.  However, the two arguments are well-established.

  • Conservatives say that the Autogynephilia leads to the transsexualism.
  • Transgender theorists, say that the innate transsexualism leads to the sexuality. Indeed, they see this sexuality is a symptom of being born in the wrong body.

Controversy!

And that’s a good way of telling you to avoid, at all costs, the use of this term when talking with transgender people. Autogynephilia is a little bit like the N word, of the transgender community. And if you don’t believe me, try asking a trans woman about her autogynephilia… (Kids, don’t try this at home.)

The reason is because the existence of a discreet fetish would have damning implications. It implies that many trans women have an advanced fetish. Or, a psychological condition which grew out of their sexuality. And this really messes with the transgender narrative. Thus, while a transgender woman is telling you of how she dressed as a teenager to express her true self, the sexologist says that he was just a transvestite with a boner.

In fact, the person who first coined the term Autogynephilia, wasn’t just happy to hang up his pen at the definition. Raymond Blanchard went on to develop a theory about how all trans women have the fetish. Something which, by the way, is certainly not true.

So I repeat…Autogynephilia. It’s not flavour of the month with transwomen.

Conclusion: why I opt for orientation?

In my unpopular opinion, there probably is, a discreet type of sexual behaviour where men get turned on as women. And the evidence was noted by Blanchard: the existence of autosexuality has been observed in other paraphilias. Therefore, there are paedophiles who get turned on by being children, and zoophiles who want to be animals rather than have sex with them, and amputee fetishists who want the amputation performed on themselves. This prevalence of sexualities directed towards the self, leads me to believe that Autogynephilia is the heterosexual version. 

However, just as we don’t describe a couple of queers getting married because of their fetish, we should not think of autogynephiliac transsexuals like that. When they choose to live as women, they are doing something that is natural to them. This brings me back to the point of Autogynephilia as an orientation, rather than a fetish. If we just accept that autosexuality is as acceptable as heterosexual and homosexual, then sexology and society would definitely have advanced.

Thank you.

 

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  1. I found this article very interesting and I must admit I was not familiar with the term autogynephilia. I have experience some of what has been described in the article the imaging of roll reversal during sex and simply the imaging myself as a woman. I wouldn’t refer to it a a fetish as I believe it goes much deeper than being aroused by lingerie for example. In fact my imaging myself as a girl started at an early age when I had no knowledge of intimacy or sex. However as I got into my teens I certainly did imagine having sex as a girl. however I put more thought into contemplating what my life would be like as a female as opposed to being male. There are of course many theories in the study of gender and transgenderism many of which of course we have all read. I believe it is each persons own personal journey and experience and there is no one formula to apply to all. I think of it as a state of being, it simply is who you are. I was never very athletic nor enrolled in them, I didn’t play with dolls not even G.I joe we didn’t have them, many girls are very athletic and lots of woman are pro athletes. Males who undergo sex reassignment often endure ridicule, family strife and too often violence. Many having to resort to the sex trade to earn a living. In Thailand there is an acceptance of trans identity or at least more so than some parts of the world. Perhaps a larger problem in our part of the world is the realization that there is nothing wrong with being a woman and there is nothing wrong with a man wanting to be a woman. Myself I think it is a wonderful thing to be a woman and it is a wonderful thing for a man to become a woman. If I had had more information and knowledge when I was younger I am sure I would have embarked on that wonderful journey. As for the fetish theory well everyone can have there say. Perhaps it is just a fetish that I fantasied of living as a woman, working as a woman having female friends,, dating men, having boyfriends, getting married and yes being a gorgeous woman perhaps even a bimbo with big tits and big lips getting laid and sucking cock and that I believe is my choice to make thank you, so I do believe it runs much deeper than fetish for a lot of individuals, but I do see the point.

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