Electra discusses a common Reddit question: Is this all a fetish… or am I really transgender?
Every week, a teenager or twenty-something posts on Reddit about how wearing women’s clothes and imagining they have a female body really turns them on, and that, in fact, their entire sexuality is based on cross gender fantasies. Now, they’re considering transition, but can’t help think that maybe the whole thing is just a fetish because they get off on stuff like sissy hypno. This feeling is amplified by two factors…
1. Post orgasmic guilt/relief from the desire to present as female.
2. Although they would prefer to be a girl, they don’t mind so much being boys.
Their principle questions are:
– is it all a fetish?
– are they transgender?
– should they transition?
And of course, the question is delivered with urgency because the earlier you transition the more feminine is your face and body.
A brief aside on post-orgasmic guilt
Have you ever ever drank a half bottle of bacardi, eaten a kebab, kissed an ugly boy and vomited on your mum’s new sofa covers? If you have, then you’ll know how you feel the next morning? Like shit.
The male post orgasmic minutes are called the refractory period and can be seen as a mini-hangover from the pleasure you just had. It is a period in which it’s physiologically impossible to have another orgasm (sorry, Sting!). A dopamine suppressing drug is produced called prolactin which is a bit like the opposite of cocaine. It puts you on a downer.
However, it’s more complex than that, because of course we all know the feeling of satisfaction we can experience after good sex. My personal belief is that your mood can go two ways depending on how you perceive what just happened… if you’re deep down, ashamed of cross gender fantasy, then the prolactin kicks in as a downer. If you just had great sex that makes you feel like a champion lover, the prolactin kicks in as a downer – but more of a relaxant.
The bottom line is… there are a whole lot of chemicals at play, and the fact you suddenly feel ashamed doesn’t tell you shit about whether you’re transgender or not. However, I have heard anecdotaly that when you stop being ashamed of cross gender fantasies – post orgasm – it’s a milestone on your merry way to full blown transsexualism.
Why this type of Reddit post (is it a fetish or am I transgender?) concerns me so much
Living in the information age is great if the information you get is correct and the advice well considered. Unfortunately, though, any moron with an internet connection and no friends can now set themselves up as an expert because – being a moron and having no friends – they’ve written a trillion posts and gained platinum status.
Let’s face facts – a defining quality of youth is stupidity. This romantic idea which hippies have (like my mum) – of some innate wisdom of youth – is NONSENSE. Adults need good advice, young people even more, and the two sources of advice on offer – fetishists or transfundamentalists – is a choice I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s true there are voices of moderation, but most of the forums are black or white.
These stark options – fetishist or transgender – are an example of the continued lack of understanding about cross-dreaming in all quarters. In fact, we now run the risk of going completely the other direction: where cross-gender arousal was once a source of shame… erotic cross dressing is now treated as a clear sign of being transgender. All of us with experience in this field know that fetish or transgender is a dangerous binary, and the truth is far more nuanced.
I have decided to write, therefore, what I hope is a helpful answer to the question.
1. Is what I feel just a massive fetish or are these the signs of authentic transgender feelings?
There is only one correct answer to this question…
NOBODY KNOWS! And anyone that tells you any different should be ignored.
You’re asking a question about the causes of the transgender condition and its relationship to sexuality: what’s the relationship to being aroused at the idea of being a woman… and wanting to be a woman? There are many interesting answers to the question but none can be scientifically proven.
There are only three pertinent facts we know for sure…
– Some people grow up with cross-gender arousal and firmly believe it’s nothing more than a fetish, and then suddenly they have a gender identity crisis and seek transition. All goes well. – Some people grow up with cross-gender arousal, seek transition, and it doesn’t work for them. – Some people enjoy cross gender arousal their whole life and never question their assigned gender to the day they die.
– Some people grow up with cross-gender arousal, seek transition, and it doesn’t work for them.
– Some people enjoy cross gender arousal their whole life and never question their assigned gender to the day they die.
So, where does that leave you?
It leaves you having to disregard your first question. You need to shift your inquiry from questions about the erotic aspects of transgenderism and the authenticity of your feelings… to the practicalities of what transition is and whether it’s for you or not.
Trust me, this is far better than trying to suss out whether you’re female or not. Get straight to the point: transition – yes or no?
Should I transition?
The fact there’s a strong erotic element to your cross gender sentiment and you question your true feelings indicates that you are late onset transgender (this has nothing to do with age but realization of one’s being transgender.)
The only real significance of this is doubt. One of the principle differences between early and late is that the former seems to somehow know from their earliest days they are transgender. For their late onset peers, however, it is common to go have a lot of doubts.
This gives further impetus to what you need to do: rigorously analyse transition and think whether it would make you happy or not. To do this you must go through all the important aspects of your life, one by one, and think of the consequences of transition. Think about…
1. Your parents.
2. Brothers and sisters.
3. Wider family and community.
5. Boss / colleagues / clients.
6. Your love life ie. current partner or future partners.
7. Your health – do you have any exiting conditions which disqualify you from taking hormones?
8. Do you want to have children? And fertility complications.
9. Your finances.
10. Your future career.
11. Appearance. Is it important for you to be beautiful. If so… how do you know you will be beautiful… have you ever had an objective viewpoint?
One of the most important aids you have in contemplating transition is your imagination. Think of scenes from your daily life – the gym, the bus, family parties – and imagine yourself arriving and interacting with people, presenting as female. (Obviously, do not start to eroticise these thoughts!!!)Think in detail about how you would feel, and how people will react, and how you will react to them.
Another thing is, the possibility of a misdirected life plan. If you are young and you suffer from any of the three afflictions I call DAP – depression, addiction, purpose (lack of) – then you need to sort that shit out in therapy to make sure that gender is not some form of running away from you problems, or some magic promised land where you think everything’ll be pink and fluffy. Yes, it’s true that DAP could be caused by gender issues, but if that was the case you’d probably have less doubt about transition.
Basically, this is something that can’t be done with head or heart… but with a God damn pen and paper and a lot of hard, analytical thinking. Oh yes… and a licensed therapist… but make sure it’s not some over enthusiastic trans-fundamentalist who has you on hormones before you can leave his office. Check first that he or she has actually had some patients who weren’t directed to transition.
So, is this all some massive, subverted sexual thing?… I don’t think so, but no one knows for sure. I have known people who – pretransition – were sex addicts. I mean, the amount of time they spent masturbating to cross-gender fantasies was pathological. They’ve then transitioned, their sex drive decreased massively, and they loved transition. There are others who lose all interest once the sexual thrill is gone. Therefore, your sexual appetite is not an indicator of whether to transition or whether you are transgender.
What separates the sexuality of crossgender from the identity of transgender is your life minus the horny fantasies. There must be a clear argument that your life in general will be much improved ie – happier – living as a transwoman.
So, should you transition? I don’t know… neither do you, neither does anyone on Reddit. The only person who knows is you – after you’ve done your transition analysis, resolved any possible mental health problems like depression etc. and had some sessions with a counsellor.
Good luck! X
If this question is really important to you, we recommend Felix Conrad’s book ‘Transgender: Fact or Fetish?’ You can buy it here or on Amazon. The book is 75 pages long, costs 2 euros 25 and can save you years of endless debating about why you fantasise the way you do.