The background: 2016

A couple of years ago, there was a famous forum-fight between the ‘crossdreamers’ led by Jack Molay and the ’emasculation fetishists’ led by Wxhlyup (hereby referred to as Wix.)

This argument was different from the Blanchard thing because Wix wasn’t claiming that crossgender arousal was a manifestation of autogynephilia, but a masochistic emasculation fetish: MEF.

The idea of MEF is that the sexual motivation for crossdreamers and ‘autogynephiliac’ transwomen is not so much feminization – but the masochistic crushing of their masculinity. Therefore, feminization fantasies are not powered by a love of the feminine but a love of the humiliation that comes from a man being feminized.

What Wix was right about: 2018

Now that I have spent a lot more time investigating ‘sissy’ subculture, I recognize that there is indeed a distinct form of sexual behaviour that corresponds to MEF.

However, in my opinion, this fetish is rare, and the vast majority of biological males who have crossgender fantasies are motivated by a real, tangible femininity, rather than a disturbed masculinity.

Where Wix went wrong

However, while WIX was right all along (that there is a distinct fetish) he made a classic mistake which all commentators on cross-gender sexuality make: the belief there’s a single root cause for cross-gender sexual fantasy.

Wix’s faulty reasoning went something like this…

I have fantasies of feminization.
My fantasies are caused by a Masochistic Emasculation Fetish.
All feminization fantasies are caused by the Masochistic Emasculation Fetish.

Similarly, Jack and I were employing the faulty reasoning…

I have fantasies of feminization.
My fantasies are caused by a type of sexuality we call ‘crossdreaming’.
All feminization fantasies are caused by crossdreming.

This type of reasoning – from the individual to the general – is a big cause of conflict in the transgender community. Time and time again, people make the mistake of assuming that their case has universal application. Whether it’s gender identity or cross-gender fantasies, they assume that the same underlying cause affects the whole community.

It seems, therefore, that we all love trans-cloning projection – a tendency to believe that everybody in the gender variant community is, in psycho dynamic terms, our clone.

The reality of the rainbow

While everybody’s on board with sexuality as a spectrum, people need to get on board with the idea that the psychodynamics of crossgender sexuality are also a spectrum.

For crossdreamers like me, the erotic powerhouse is the sense of being female, for a transwoman it is classic heterosexuality or lesbianism but with inverted biology, and for the MEF fetishist it is humiliation through feminization. There are also a myriad of reasons why people crossdress or become drag queens or surf the online world of sissy subculture.


While I wrote this article to publicly concede the existence of an obscure emasculation fetish, I am not trying to rehabilitate Wxhlyup in the crossdreamer community. You see, he went beyond trans-cloning projection and launched a prolonged campaign to ‘enlighten’ transgender women about MEF.

It was one thing to fight with me and Jack, but taking that idea to people who’ve committed their life to transition was fucked up.

However, who knows… maybe with the passage of time he has also come to recognize the spectrum of cross-gender sexuality. And maybe (just maybe) he’d like to apologize to all those aforementioned transwomen.

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  1. Fiona Levinson Reply

    You’re right – there is a wide spectrum of behaviour and motivation. This is why it is folly to use the term ‘transgender’ as an umbrella term to describe all cross-gender phenomena. There are many sub-cultures within the gay community, but the shared experience of same sex attraction means that all gay people face very similar life challenges. But an adult male who finds super-models attractive, and is turned on by the fantasy of being one, is going to face a very different set of life challenges from the boy who loves Anne Of Green Gables because he feels like a girl and identifies with Anne, not her boyfriend. This basic difference is well understood by gender theorists.

    We should stop pretending that all gender variant individual share a single affiliation. They don’t. For cross-dreamers who have a male core gender identity, the primary goal of erotic fantasy is transformative in nature – the motive being to change oneself into something that is otherwise experienced as radically ‘other’ (hence the focus on hyper-sexy models and other symbols of exaggerated femininity). A secondary goal is to obtain temporary relief from societal pressure to conform to hyper-masculine norms. In transgender individuals, the goal is simply to express a core cross-gender identity; there is no transformation of the self. This sharp contrast is evident in nearly all published autobiographies of male cross-dressers and transsexuals. The two groups have very little in common, except a shared experience of confusion and stigma, and in a minority of cases where sexualised cross dreaming evolves into transexuality in adulthood. In such cases, the causal mechanism behind the shift is usually the false belief that a few male cross dreamers have that women must live happier lives because they have the freedom to wear sexually exciting clothes. Again, this is a very different development pathway from the 11 year old boy who thinks he’s a girl and is constantly being mistaken for one because of his feminine appearance.

    It would avoid a lot of confusion if we used the term ‘gender variant’ as the umbrella term and reserved the term ‘transgender’ for individuals who exhibit a high degree of cross-gender identity that can clearly be traced back to childhood or early adolescence.

    • Transcend Everything Reply

      You’ve expressed with far greater brevity and skill…what I wanted to say.


  2. Here’s the problem as I see it: If there is such a condition as Wx…. describes, or some kind of male core crossdreamer as Fiona describes, there is no way for an outsider to determine whether this person is just “gender variant” or some kind of “true transgender”.

    The fact is that the person in question will often not be able to answer that riddle either, and if they do, they too may be mistaken.

    I have met too many MTF crossdreamers who find — after they have dug through the morass of internalized transphobia and sexist sexology — that what they believed was a kink or a fetish, was much, much, more.

    If you ever decide to study the “sissy” blogs on tumblr, you will soon find expressed deep longings after be a woman, longings that goes far beyond sexual arousal and forced feminization. This is not an attempt to find “temporary relief from societal pressure to conform to hyper-masculine norms”. There are many more less stigmatizing ways of doing that.

    In other words: The two groups have very much in common, if there are two groups at all. I agree with Felix in that what we are facing is some kind of spectrum or continuum, and if it is, we are not facing a clear binary that can be used to sort transgender people into two piles, once and for all. The fact that people’s self-awareness causes them to journey in this landscape, adds to this.

    As for terminology: The word “transgender” is an umbrella term and has been an umbrella term for gender variance since the 1990s. There is no need to come up with a new one. The academic term for transgender people who wants to transition or wants to do so is transsexual.

    What I have learned from studying transgender history is that the need to divide trans people into “real” and “the unreal” is normally an attempt to avoid contamination from the unwanted ones. This is exactly what stops so many MTF crossdreamers from coming to terms with their true selves. They are caught in the web of shame and guilt caused by this artificial division.

    That does not mean that a male to female crossdreamers who decides to present as a man or live as a man is to be treated the same as a trans woman who have transitioned. It simply means that all of us — including transgender people — should be careful not to make any hasty conclusions as regards someone’s real identity.

    • You touch on a very important point here Jack which is that odourous hierarchy that some transgender people feel compelled to construct in order to elevate themselves above others. Hence if someone has transitioned that automatically validates their superiority somehow above someone else. No one can know another’s internal turmoil or situation and cannot judge them in any way.

      Having said that, is it possible that some people may be motivated exclusively by a fetish? this may be a distinct possibility which only emphasizes our uniqueness.

      What I cannot abide is people like Wix or anyone else using their situation to paint a broad brush over everyone else. Their reality is their own

  3. Fiona Levinson Reply

    There is indeed a wide spectrum of TG behaviour and experience. You can’t know how it feels to be someone else, even if you do walk a mile in their shoes. All binary models of transgender phenomena fail, especially the ridiculous and overrated theory of autogynephilia, which regrettably seems to be receiving a revival of (closet) support on this site. Cross dreaming and gender dysphoria are definitely connected at a very deep level.

    The point I was making above was a much more limited one, linked to the theme of Felix’s original article. There may well be a spectrum, but at each end of that spectrum there is a recognisably different pattern of behaviour. A biological male who is basically comfortable wearing male clothes most of the time is objectively different from a gender dysphoric male who has felt intense distress at having to wear men’s clothes for as long as he can remember. The evidence also strongly suggests that those with an episodic need to express a feminine side are far more likely to exhibit an erotic motivation, including interest in the relevant sub-genres of porn.

    I just don’t think there is any point in denying that these real distinctions exist. It has nothing to do with asserting the superiority of one group over another. There is no implied value judgement, and you don’t need to believe there are two groups. But to have a rational discussion you do have to pay attention to real, observable differences, because it’s only by doing so that we can progress our common understanding.

    The sanctification of subjective identity, with its accompanying endless proliferation of identity labels, has led the TG community into a cul-de-sac of absurdity and given a boost to reactionary conservatism. If I feel like a woman inside, but have a penis, am I really being “mis-gendered” if the shop assistant addresses me as a man?

    • I agree with you Fiona. A crossdreamer male who presents as a male is of course not intending to pass as a female and is not intending to pass as anything else. Those who transition are in an entirely different realm of existence of course. My way to deal with my gender dysphoria is to lead a double life but this doesn’t work for everyone and I don’t pretend that this is the best solution. I respect everyone’s own unique path and wish that this would be the starting point for every discussion on trans related issues. There are many reasons to transition and many not to and they are all as personal as the individual who needs to weigh them. And yes, cross gender arousal (crossdreaming) is intrinsically linked to the transgender experience and there is no shame in that whatsoever.

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