Who am I, anyway?

When I first started this blog, it was for the purpose of finding, relating to, and encouraging other crossdressers. As part of that goal, I spent a lot of time seeking out crossdressing blogs and forums to see what other crossdressers like to talk about.

What I found was… not me. Page after page about panties and bras, passing as a female in public, how to hide what you do from your wife (!), and musings factual and fictional on the authors’ erotic attraction to women’s clothes.

I have said before that you can’t redefine “crossdresser” to the point that you claim you aren’t one, if you are a man who wears women’s clothes for any reason, in any quantity. But if all of the above defines the crossdressing community, I’m getting off this ride at the next stop. I pass no judgment on those who do prefer to go fully female or like using clothing as a sex aid (there are far weirder and much more unhealthy ways to pursue arousal) or those who collect panties like some people collect baseball cards… although I still have harsh words for folks who claim to love their wives and yet make lying and deception a part of a relationship built on trust. But that’s a sermon I have preached repeatedly and won’t go into here.

Instead, the bloggers I have the most in common with are the ones who, for personal or marital or spiritual reasons have decided to quit crossdressing entirely. They understand that “if it feels good, do it” is a self-destructive philosophy; they understand the importance of limits and self-control and taking responsibility for your actions, your family, your job.

Does that mean I’m also quitting? I don’t know. Right now, it just means I’m changing my focus. I feel like an idiot participating in these “stop crossdressing” blog discussions with an avatar that shows me in a big satin gown, so I’m changing my avatar photo by way of supporting my friends who take the desire to stop more seriously than I do.

I am still physically (and psychologically) a male who wears clothes designed for women, so I can’t deny the crossdresser label. And yet… I really don’t see myself that way. For whatever reasons that have blurred over 40 years, I like soft fabrics against my skin and I like the open, loose feel of long skirts brushing against my legs. But I don’t like wearing clothes just because they were designed for women. I know that many crossdressers will gladly wear denim jeans and t-shirts and button-down shirts and cotton underpants… as long as those items, even if they are visually indistinguishable from men’s clothes, are sold in the women’s department and are marketed with women in mind. And let me state again before going any further, I pass no judgment on folks who do that. You have your own path, and where that takes you is your business (the theological implications of crossdressing are a whole different can of worms that I have addressed here in the past and my friends address on their blogs).

I guess what I really long for is the day when a man can go into the men’s department, walk past the camoflage cargo pants and flannel shirts and select from satin and velvet gowns with full skirts. Can you imagine the ads? A lady reaches for a dress in her bedroom and the hairy arm of her husband stops her and takes the dress away, reminding her that it’s his. “Rustler evening gowns: Soft enough for a woman, but made for a man.” When that happens, I can truly wear “men’s” clothes and not need to call myself a crossdresser at all.

I know, that’s never likely to happen. But a guy can dream, can’t he?

About Ralph

Male. Straight. Married.
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10 Responses to Who am I, anyway?

  1. Ralph says:

    Wow, that was fast! Of course it was you and ikthys who most made me take a long look at what really matters to me and where I am on my journey with myself and with God. I still have a few things to work out, but you got me started and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

    Let me also stress that just because crossdressing didn’t have the sexual hook for me that it did for you (and many others), I have been free from that particular trap. My own discoveries in the world of sexual stimulation have taken me down some dark paths indeed. To this day if I don’t keep a constant dialogue going with God, my idle thoughts and idle time can pull me into temptation involving bondage fantasy — stories, pictures, just imagining it, or physically acting out with whatever materials are at hand. Thankfully my wife has absolutely zero interest in the topic or we would end up enabling one another. Every single time I let myself go that direction, the reality is a huge disappointment compared to the fantasy and I am plagued with guilt and remorse, and once again I have to get on my knees and pray for forgiveness and release from such a destructive, consuming compulsion.

    I guess that’s part of why I’m not ready to fully buy into the “crossdressing in any form is a sin and an abomination” argument. There are times when something I do invites a conversation with the Holy Spirit that leaves me wretched until I confess and repent… and the dressing doesn’t bring about that kind of turmoil in my soul.

    That’s assuming, of course, I’m not spiritually plugging my ears and saying “Sorry, I can’t hear you!” — which is why I also refuse to declare myself free of guilt.

  2. Ralph says:

    I didn’t read that as your personal list of weaknesses, Thorin, I was reading that as a general “slippery slope” list of examples of traps that any random person might fall into.

    I know what you mean about running into unexpectedly disgusting material, though. It’s the reason I absolutely can’t read racy stories about topics that do interest me. “Oh good, a charming little tale of a man who crossdresses. OK, so his wife makes him wear that… then the neighbor barges in and he’s embarrassed… then he — wait, his MOTHER??? and his SISTER??? At the same time??? With the chihuahua??????? Oh come on, that’s physically impossible with a watermelon!”

    When you like activity A and don’t have a problem with it, but 90% of the people who like A also like horrific disgusting act B… you might need to take a second look at A.

  3. Ralph says:

    Howdy, Thorin! I’m surprised anyone noticed 🙂 but yes, I’ve kind of drifted away from cyber-socializing at least as far as crossdressing is concerned. I check messages in email and on the blogs maybe once or twice a week and I’ve all but given up on Second Life; I have too much going on in Real Life.

    I’m also… I don’t know, just losing interest in the topic. When I started this blog, it was important for me to find others like me, men who are comfortable wearing, ah, nontraditional clothing but not hung up about being a woman trapped in a man’s body or obsessed with panties and tranny porn and… well, my post from November (above) sums that up so I won’t regurgitate it here.

    What I found instead was encouragement from brothers who are trying (or have successfully managed) to kick the habit (that would be a pun if our hobby included dressing like a nun, but I digress). It led me to rethink my priorities; I find that the less time I spend hanging out — even with anti-crossdressers — the less I consume myself with desires to do more, dress more, buy more, etc.

    Oh, I still wear what I have — by now it’s what I’m used to and it just feels *wrong* to wear pants. But that is all that remains, just the remnants of a lifelong habit, and the more time I spend socializing with others (which forces me to spend more time in socially conventional clothes), the less it bothers me to leave the dresses in the closet.

    Ironically, I am spending more time in Second Life wearing men’s suits. The account I used specifically for the purpose of strutting around in my finest frock lies dormant, but the account I use to interact with friends and family has been going out dancing with my wife frequently. She is physically handicapped so we have not been able to dance in over 20 years; now we can take our cartoon avatars out for a spin as often as we want. I don’t stumble over her feet and she doesn’t end up groaning in pain from the arthritis; best of all for her benefit I always sport a male (almost always human) avatar in a nice suit to match her outfits (which is another irony of sorts — she hasn’t worn a dress or skirt in real life for at least 10 years, but that’s all she wears in SL).

    Anyway, that’s the news and the big change in my life, and I have you, Jared, and Ikthys to thank for it! My life is changing painfully slowly and I’m the first to admit I’m fighting it every step of the way, but you all have had a profound effect on the way I look at myself and my relationships with my wife, my children, my friends, and my God.

  4. James says:

    I am an atheist, so I do not have the religious struggles you do. The Bible is too filled with hatred in my opinion to reflect a morality of love.

    That said, I enjoy your blog immensely. As for lying to my wife, I do not. As it turns out, she is immensely tittilated over my cross-dressing – she has even gone so far as to befriend numerous folk on-line who have not “come out” to their wives, to ease them out of a hidden secret into the open. And surprisingly, she is actually quite successful at being Ann Trannie Landers.

    As it turns out, in the modern day, it seems that wives are much more forgiving of an occasional nab of their lingerie (or in my case, my wife makes me clothing, though I wish to learn to sew for myself) than they are about lying. Who’d’ve thought?

    That is not to say that honesty will work for everyone, but she seems to find (in her conversations with other crossdressing men) that it is harder on the men to say anything over fear of rejection than on the women.

  5. Wesley says:

    I really get a laugh out of the idea that you can “just stop” crossdressing. . Sure you can. .

    Maybe if your some twit that started wearing women’s jeans at 23 because you thought they looked good. . or because some rock star does it. . this is a case of “Borrowing” from the fashion of the opposite sex. . . Not crossdressing. . .

    In my humble opinion, crossdressing starts around puberty. It becomes deeply ingrained in a persons psyche after years of conditioning behavior. (the first time, putting on a bra panties or whatever is very sexually exciting. . You mastrurbate, reinforce the behavior and repeat for years. .) that behavior is deeply ingrained. It starts that way when you are young and as you progress in years, it becomes a mechanism for stress relief.

    I realize that is not the only pathway to crossdressing. But in my case, that is what happened. I purged once at about age 17, and was lucky enough to accept that part of me and embrace it early on. Life has been so much easier because of it. .

    But most importantly, I realize I cannot just “stop” crossdressing. . .

  6. Rachel Rose says:

    Over the years I was trying to find someone like me. I cannot and have stopped. I am a lone. there is no one like me. There are other men that wear women’s clothing but the reasons are endless. I have not found anyone that dresses for the reason I do.

  7. Ralph says:

    What reason is that, Rachel, and why do you think it’s different from others?

  8. Rachel Rose says:

    Hello Ralph, glad you are still posting!

    I have created a site here at WP so I hope to have long, thoughtful post like yours. The short answer as to why I am frustrated not finding anyone like me is I dress as a lady because I love the performance. I have not met anyone that perceives dressing as I do. I do have much in common with other men dressing as women but not one I have ever met will put on kimono and go out for sushi purely because it is fun. I do this quite often. The local night clubs / restaurants enjoy seeing me and are excited when I show up.

    You said; “What I found was… not me. Page after page about panties and bras, passing as a female in public, how to hide what you do from your wife (!), and musings factual and fictional on the authors’ erotic attraction to women’s clothes.” Which is true for me also. I go to websites and listen to endless talk about bras and panties, ect, ect, ect. I hate to say it but I was beyond that after my first week of openly dressing.

    Something I learned over the years is that cross dressing (I hate that word) is like being in church. You meet people that have sat on a peer for years but cannot tell you why they go to church. They never grew up. It is the same with crossdressing. I have met men that did it for years and never went out of the house dressed. Is that wrong? Of course not! Everyone is at different levels. For me, to dress as a lady is a one man party! I dress to entertain and I must put my best foot forward. If I cannot make people smile or spread the Gospel of Fashion then I am failing.

    Yes I know, I sound like a nut. This is why I stopped looking for others to run with: I could not find them. It maybe because I am in Dallas TX.

  9. Ralph says:

    Thank you for your insight, Rachel. That sounds fascinating! I suppose you could argue that drag queens love crossdressing for the theatrics, but even that isn’t quite the same as your obvious love for being fashionably entertaining.

    Don’t get too hung up on labels like “crossdressing”. Literally, it’s true – we wear clothes that “cross” the gender boundaries. But if you ask a group of men who wear women’s clothes whether they are crossdressers and why or why not, you’ll get all sorts of different answers. Some will say that if you so much as put on a pair of nylon stockings under your otherwise masculine clothes you’re crossressing. Others will say it only counts if you wear exclusively feminine clothes underneath and on top. Others say it only counts as crossdressing if you add the bra, false breasts, eyelashes, etc. in order to pass as a woman. Others say “When I wear a dress I really am a woman on the inside, so it’s not crossdressing because I’m wearing clothes appropriate for the gender I feel.” If you feel like it’s not an accurate term for yourself, don’t worry about it. On the other hand there’s not really any better term for “a man dressing like a woman for non-sexual entertainment”, so… I don’t really have a better suggestion.

  10. Rachel Rose says:

    Hello Ralph, good advice. I love your comment about “when I wear a dress I really am a woman on the inside.” This just my opinion. When I dress I am that person at that moment. My petticoat my have slipped down. My make-up may be too dark. My wig is not combed right. The list is endless. However, in that moment, I am that women. I am her. I made her.

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