Cross Dressing **** TRIGGERS ****

Thank you HL, I appreciate the support. Only one response thus far... from a moderator posting general guidance to the website... no reaction to what I wrote. More will be revealed...


This is a very embarrassing thing to bring up...
That's nothing to be embarrassed of in this setting. Thanks for taking the effort and stress of sharing this.

It is a relief to put all of this into a sensible framework though as we all know, carrying the residue of early trauma is no fun at all. What I now know and understand, means I can't go to any of those places any longer. I know these behaviors are rooted in abuse and I don't want to perpetuate that experience.
Understanding the basis behind your actions/reactions IS a great relief.

I struggled with 'acting out' some things because I knew that they were rooted in my abuse. I wanted to do them and didn't want to do them and thought I knew why. Then I came to the realization it was instead of being forced to do those things, I was doing them on my own choice. Then I realized that I also had the choice of not doing them. The choice was mine! Eventually I did choose to do some of them, it was a much different experiences performing xxx by force and manipulation, and by fear, and by my own free will.

I can do those things, or not do those things, by my own free will despite the framework of my abuse. The abuses I went through took a lot from me, but I will not let it take away the ability to do something I want to do, even if it is something related to my abuses.

One of those things was to have sex while crossdressing, after many years of hiding my crossdressing and suppressing in, about two months ago I finally did.
Wow Bill. I finally encountered someone here who has experience with this world. If you read more deeply into this thread you would find I'm working with this right now pretty much as you describe what served you. I don't imagine dressing in women's undergarments will lead to wearing it while having sex simply because I don't have a partner or friend with whom I'm likely to be sexual. I've reached an age where testosterone is abandoning me and my sexual ardor is much diminished. Regardless of the place crossdressing takes in my life, I seek the freedom you mention... to engage if I wish or stop if that feels true... either choice made without shame. Thanks for sharing some of your experience. I'm very happy you've found some peace of mind after years of working with the residue of trauma you carried. This is work each of us is doing in our own way.
I guess this thread is becoming a bit of a journal for how my exploration of this part of my journey is unfolding. I've been reading and posting on a couple of forums devoted to transgender matters, including crossdressing. I'm amazed how many men are exploring these matters, ranging from men who simply crossdress to men dedicated to transitioning to becoming women. I know from my fascination with transexuals that such things happen and I've seen videos on YouTube of young men transitioning, often into very beautiful young women. I definitely am captivated by it all, no doubt because of my own confusion about gender. But these websites are less populated by young people making a change than by older men who've lived their lives, often as married men who dress occasionally or even regularly. Yesterday I read a thread in which the question was asked, who among the crowd are in law enforcement. There were perhaps ten members who said yes. Everyone has a username that is feminine. So these police officers are crossdressing, perhaps by wearing panties beneath their uniforms, but definitely wearing feminine clothes when off duty. Questions about acceptance by a partner, whether to tell children, whether to go out in public... all demystify this world that has carried so much shame for me my whole life. Now it is clear that while the behavior has roots in early trauma, that fact does nothing to dissolve how my body/mind relates to my own body, my sexuality, my attraction to lingerie. I guess I need to keep exploring this world. I know I've no interest in becoming a woman... or even shaving my beard. Otherwise, it is simply play without shame.
There are 67 men on this website as I write this. There are 361 viewing the thread Male to Female Crossdressers at one of the websites I visit. Imagine that. Of course, those men are less interested in understanding their behavior than they are in releasing the shame they've carried for acting out that way. They do that in a variety of ways, sometimes sharing photos of themselves dressed and complimenting one another on appearance and taste in clothes, makeup... presentation. I also am dressing though I'm not interested in dresses or skirts or blouses or wigs or makeup. I wear a brassiere from time to time and because of my time on that website I'm not shaming myself for the behavior. But then I'm not celebrating my femininity either. I'm exploring the feeling which has been a companion since I was 12 years old and put on a brassiere for the first time. I KNOW this behavior is all about self-soothing and I understand I was led to this particular method because of the shape of trauma I experienced. There is something about feeling the band around my chest, the straps over my shoulders, the cups holding my breasts that is comforting. I can feel myself relax.

This morning I had a memory of my god daughter who is now 31 years old when she was 2 years old. I visited her mother at home and we were having a conversation. I was taking a graduate course in child development at the time. Claire was on her mother's lap as her mother and I talked. Claire unbuttoned the front of her mother's blouse and spread the panels to expose naked breasts that doubtless were available for nursing. Claire leaned back and I saw her head swing right and left as she gazed at those full breasts. My mother was full-breasted and she nursed me. Nursing was not uncomplicated for me because of my mother's anxiety and during those months and years she was doing things to me sexually that were very disturbing. How that affected my relationship to her breasts I have no idea. But is that history at play in my feeling comforted by wearing a brassiere? I don't know, but it is far better to explore this experience with curiosity than using it to shame myself.

I came upon the article below. It says that the best response to crossdressing is to find means to accommodate to the behavior since it can't be changed. It is funny to read that after reading decades ago a quote in one of the leading texts of solution-focused therapy by Milton Erickson who intervened with a man who was crossdressing. Erickson said "Isn't it time to get over this silliness?" It seems the stance being taken therapeutically has changed quite a bit.

Male Cross-Dressers in Therapy: A Solution-Focused Perspective for Marriage and Family Therapists

In reality, each of us has cobbled together a life that allows us to manage the fragmentation caused by trauma. Often the behaviors we turn to create more problems. They are typically rooted in the trauma, so acting them out perpetuates shame and confusion. We invariably find others with whom to relate and our coping mechanisms are either buried or acted out with others who carry the residue of their trauma. If we're lucky, we find a way to heal that which causes us the deepest pain, perhaps through the give and take of a relationship, perhaps with the help of a therapist or spiritual guide. Or we live lives of quiet desperation and remain trapped by what happened to us in the past. I'd like to believe the men who found their way to this website have a chance to heal... that telling the truth to men who won't judge us but who will support our efforts to change... will have a healing result. That is what I'm doing in relationship to this one particular behavior. I believe it is a template for how I can relate to everything I've done to survive... to unpack it with kindness. How I live my life going forward isn't clear, but I know I want to be gentle with myself. I've demeaned myself long enough.
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I've been working at it for a long time Northmale... slowly finding compassion for myself... what I call the antidote to shame. We know a great deal about shame, so learning to be gentle with ourselves isn't easy. Doing that with the behavior that created the greatest confusion and shame for me... crossdressing... feels very important. Honestly, when I arrived at Male Survivor I didn't expect I would ever say anything about that part of my journey. I recently read my introduction post and there is no mention of this... so months later when I finally decided to create this thread it was both a great risk and great relief... to simply tell the truth of how I navigated the residue of sexual trauma I carried all these years. I also had no idea when I started this thread almost fifteen months ago where it would lead me... into the many worlds where crossdressing, gender transitioning, men dealing with gynecomastia by putting on brassieres, are explored. Everyone is looking for acceptance, to move beyond the shame inherent in the ways we find to survive this human journey. I guess we're all survivors in one way or another... one form of trauma or another. I'm happy if anything I say can uplift another person. Glad you stopped by and did a bit of reading...