DSM-IV 302.3

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”


About Ralph

Male. Straight. Married.
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One Response to DSM-IV 302.3

  1. thorin25 says:

    We seem to have talked about this a lot in various places, but on the one hand it seems like there are 40 varieties of crossdressers, each not quite fitting the definition in the DSM manual. On the other hand, there are so many similarities, common compulsions and behaviors among us all, that perhaps we all fit into a similar category, crossdressers and transsexuals alike.

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