The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychological Disorders, revision IV, classifies any person who derives pleasure from wearing clothing of the opposite sex* as suffering from a “transvestic fetish” (DSM-IV 302.3). I have a problem with this.
Now, I’m not one of those people who denies what I am (“It’s just *right* for me to wear dresses, so that’s not crossdressing… it’s only crossdressing if I wear men’s clothes”). I’m a crossdresser. A transvestite. A tranny. Whatever term you want to use, it still comes back to the fact that I like wearing clothes most commonly associated with women — dresses, slips, nightgowns, leotards, etc.
BUT — here’s the thing — I don’t do it for sexual pleasure. I don’t deny that it’s arousing to have a satin skirt slide along Little Ralphie, but it’s just as arousing to have my wife’s lips/hand/foot/whatever make that contact. Back when I was young and virile, it hardly took more than a strong breeze blowing across my groin to get me to full attention. If anything, I prefer being naked for sex; much as I love the skirts they tend to get in the way at crucial moments (plus my wife doesn’t care for that scene at all).
So what pigeonhole do you use for a guy who doesn’t want to become a woman, doesn’t even want to look like a woman, doesn’t use crossdressing as a sexual release, but wears satin gowns?
I think the DSM needs a LOT of clarification before DSM-5 comes out in 2013.
* just to clarify, that’s SOLELY non-transsexual men who wish to remain male but still crossdress. People on the road to full gender reassignment are DSM-IV classification 302.85 (“gender identity disorder in adolescents or adults”