The more I try to figure it all out, the less sure I am about anything

I’m always on the prowl for blogs and forums where I might find like-minded men to talk over common interests with, and I almost always come away disappointed. Crossdressing groups generally focus on techniques for passing (changing voice, removing hair, changing posture and walk, dressing convincingly) or sexual compulsions (I really don’t want to hear about your panty collection or what you do in it when your wife isn’t around) or exploration of gay issues. Transgender groups, which in theory include anyone who deviates from the societal norms of sex identity, almost invariably focus on woman-trapped-in-a-man’s-body issues — wanting to have surgery, or preparing for surgery, or celebrating life after surgery. And that doesn’t even get into the really weird stuff.

So anyway, my ramblings yesterday landed me on a discussion group about androgyny. Once again it didn’t really describe my life and personality very accurately, but it did give me pause to think about how well I understand myself, or rather how poorly I do. Here’s what I ended up writing by way of introducing myself to the group…


After some 50 years of self-analysis and doubt, I’m not a whole lot closer to understanding who I am, although I’ve made great progress in discovering who I’m not.

Like most crossdressers, I developed an unexplainable attraction for girls’ clothes before puberty. It wasn’t a sexual thing; it was just a need that called to me. I feel more comfortable, more natural in a dress than in pants. For the first 10 or 15 years, before there was an internet to help me find out more, I was lost and confused — was I gay? Did I need to become a woman? Was there anybody else like me in the world or was I a freak?

Thanks to the internet and a very satisfying relationship with my wife I know at least some of those answers now. Definitely not gay — the few times a situation has come up to test that, I was turned off and had no interest at all in pursuing it; by contrast my sexual encounters with girlfriends were always incredibly fulfilling.

OK, that’s one item checked off. I also started hanging out online with transgender groups since I could at least find other men in dresses to talk to. But they talk about passing and hormones and surgery, and the more I discussed this with them and thought about my current life, the more I realized… that’s not me either. I really *like* being a man.

So here I am, still trying to find myself. Not so much to put a label on me — who needs labels? — but so I can find others like me that share common interests. Not really sure if androgyny is the right description either. It’s not so much that I am sexually ambiguous, with strong feminine features. It’s more like I have a wild mix of traits all over the board.

As I said, I’m a man. Lantern-jawed, beer gut, coarse hair all over my face and arms and legs that I couldn’t hide for all the electrolysis in the world; testosterone-driven competetive streak that makes me unyielding and vicious at scrabble and monopoly; a slob who leaves the floor littered with dirty clothes, drinks from the same unwashed glass for days on end, and on the rare occasion I stand up to use the toilet I never remember to put the seat down and rarely remember to flush. I love blowing people up in first person shooter games and I laugh along with my son at stupidly violent movies with car chases and explosions. My fingers are stubby and my nails chipped and filthy, I pick my nose, and I scratch myself unashamedly in all the usual guy places to scratch.

And yet… here’s this caveman sitting at his computer in a velvet gown (only because it’s too chilly for the satin I prefer) rambling on about my feelings; I openly admit to crying during “Beaches”; I’m totally incompetent at and uninterested in sports, hunting, fishing, cars, carpentry, and plumbing. I run from fights and find myself trying to placate others in an argument, largely because I have such strong empathy that I can understand both viewpoints and don’t wish to offend either side. I’m creative, nurturing, gentle… as well as competitive, sarcastic, and careless. That pile of dirty clothes on the floor is just as likely to include a satin prom gown as frayed jeans, all wadded up in a heap until I get around to doing laundry.

So tell me… is there anyone else like me out there? This is a lonely world I’ve constructed for myself.

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About Ralph

Male. Straight. Married.
This entry was posted in crossdressing. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The more I try to figure it all out, the less sure I am about anything

  1. thorin25 says:

    Hi Ralph, you sound like what I always thought I wanted. I wanted to get beyond sexual crossdressing and just enjoy wearing the dresses and skirts to enjoy their feel and beauty without being turned on by it. But I never made it that far, and not sure I would feel better about myself even if I did. But just wondering if perhaps we are more similar than different with crossdressing at least.

    It was interesting to read your post to learn more about you. You know we disagree and I am not crossdressing anymore, but I still am your online friend, and so just want to say, “you aren’t alone.” Whether we struggle with exactly the same issues or not, I’m still here and can talk whenever you want.

  2. Ralph says:

    That means a lot to me, Thorin. Despite my tendency to disagree with you over scripture at times, you are a lighthouse to me; you keep me from straying farther away from being the man God wants me to be for my family.

  3. John says:

    Ralph,
    I think that I also have a lot in common with you. Although my crossdressing history has mostly been paired with sexual arousal as has Thorin’s by his account, I know that I enjoy the tactile sensation of women’s clothing as well. I also have the desire to experiment with this more in the privacy of my home but I’m too concerned about the compulsive nature of my crossdressing so I have abstained for the last 2+ years.. If you saw my post on your July 21 or July 13 entry (I’ve forgotten the exact date) you noted my sensitive side. I also can cry while watching the movie Beaches as well as many other movies.

    I also enjoy high action and war movies, sports (including American football). I used to ride a motorcycle when I was younger. I leave clothes and other clutter lying around the house, am hairy all over, don’t shave as often as I should, etc. You get the idea. Hope you’re feeling less alone and keep your thoughts coming.

  4. Murray Dick says:

    Yes, I too enjoy dresses and also wear skirts. Gave up “bifucation” years ago. Dresses are to my mind the most natural covering for the human bod. I would not wear a woman’s prom dress, as that is desighned with a woman’s shape in mind. I do wear my cotton knit t-dresses a lot, shaped to fit my own body. For out in the city I think they are not really good enough, so I have better ones of local “Silkbody material, or good practical skirts with side pockets. Also I do have denim and corduroy skirts with pockets as on jeans, but wear them less these days, prefering the side pocket ones. Macabi do really good unisex skirts with really good pockets, and often I will pull one of those on over a cotton t-dress at this (late winter/spring here) time of year, with a biggish t-shirt to make it to the shops in not great weather.
    I don’t at any time think I’m dressing like a woman, in fact in these parts it is rare to see a woman in anything other than pants!

  5. Ralph says:

    Thanks for the insight, Murray. It sounds like the main issue to you is not having that itchy piece of cloth between your legs, and I totally agree about that; I just add to that a dislike for rough weaves like denim or even most cottons so I prefer the clothes on my body to be softer — nylon, satin, velvet, etc. With that in mind, I’d no sooner wear a denim skirt than I would jeans (which actually are what I wear “to keep up appearances” when outside the house).

    WRT the prom dress, I did indeed have to alter it considerably to fit my size-zero chest but the fabric is so comfortable and I do like big, full skirts so I couldn’t resist.

    Checking out Macabi *now*!

  6. dawn vanore says:

    I think you are a lot like me. All your thoughts and feelings seem identical to mine.

  7. Grok says:

    Those who check out the Fashion Freestyler link can see my posts to that site. There is a section regarding sexual orientation-now, I’m not any sort of expert, but some of the sites I looked at have interesting theories.

  8. Grok says:

    I think that what we have here is a sort of in between group with no name. Perhaps because it may be relatively easy to stay in the closet, so that is where people likely are.

  9. Grok says:

    A term that might be useful-Janegirl. Defined by Urban Dictionary, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=janegirl.

  10. Grok says:

    Check out http://www.mycdlife.com. The Myths of Crossdress are discussed.

  11. Grok says:

    Came across a Flickr group that seems to feature Freestylers/Casual Cross Dressers. http://www.flickr.com/groups/fashion-taboo/pool/

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