“But there’s no such thing as autogynephilia!”: Phone Sex, the Male Gaze, and How Blanchard and Trans* Activists Both Get It Wrong

Whenever radical feminists and trans* activists clash about trans* issues, there’s a major divide on the issue of something called “autogynephilia.”

Autogynephilia is often advanced as one of two forms of transsexuality for men–the other involves a very feminine homosexuality that manifests as transsexuality.  I don’t buy into Blanchard’s easy two-part typology. But at the same time, it’s ridiculous for trans* people and their allies to claim that autogynephilia isn’t real.

I know this, because I worked as a phone sex operator for a number of years.

During those years, I only had one woman caller–she wanted to know who her husband had been calling all this time, late at night.

However, I’d also hear another type of call from men who got off on the idea of themselves as women.  Sometimes, they’d call already using a falsetto.  Other times, they’d want me to suss out what they wanted, because that was part of the fun to them–being identified by a woman as someone who wanted to be feminized.

These callers were among my most lucrative, calling with more frequency and duration than almost any other caller.  It’s worth noting that–contrary to Blanchard’s hypothesis–not all of these callers identified as lesbians.  Here are some of the things that the callers who wanted to be feminized got off on:

 

*  Being “hypnotized” into believing they were growing breasts–and they always wanted incredibly large ones–and that their penises were shrinking and becoming a fuckable hole.

*  Being ordered to go to glory holes and rest stops and public men’s rooms dressed in very frilly women’s clothing, and to offer sexual services to men in those places.

*  Telling me about times when they had snuck into women’s spaces, including rest rooms and department store changing rooms, while dressed as women, and had masturbated in those spaces.

*  Telling me about times in their childhood when they had worn women’s clothing.

*  Having me tell them how to do their makeup or hair (yes, they would masturbate during this).

*  Telling me about going to stores selling feminine clothing and/or lingerie, and about shocking the (always female) workers there with their requests.

 

Whether they were sexually interested in men or women (and why men who are sexually interested in men call female phone sex operators is a whole other story), these autogynephiles had some significant similarities.

One of those similarities is that all of the autogynephiles who contacted me as a phone sex operator–and yes, I realize that makes it a very skewed sample–wanted fantasies involving them fitting into incredibly restrictive feminine beauty paradigms.  Many seemed to want to be a Barbie doll type, with incredibly large breasts, long, blonde hair, and tiny pert asses.  It’s worth noting that many of these men were in their forties and fifties.  You might say, well, but this is fantasy.  Lots of people would want to fantasize about looking different in their phone sex fantasies, right?  Nope.  Dudes on phone sex lines who aren’t autogynephiles tend to give fairly realistic descriptions, and I never heard one want to play at being young and handsome.

They also wanted to have overtly feminine presentations of a kind that required incredible amounts of performance.  Makeup, heels, the whole lot–as if these things were a requirement of “true” femaleness.

Another similarity is that they would view women as fuckholes.  Really, truly.  A huge part of what they fetishized, every single one of these autogynephilic men, is the notion of being a submissive, receptive partner during sex.  I never heard someone who wanted to become a woman in their fantasy, then dominate men with their epic new vagina.  I never heard someone who wanted to be a woman in their fantasy and then wanted to call the sexual shots in any way.  For many autogynephiles, specific feminine trappings were almost totemic in their power to divest them of their masculine power.  For one, putting on a pair of suntan pantyhose (has any actual woman with a very light skin tone worn these in twenty years?) was the moment that he adopted his falsetto and, with it, an attitude of receptiveness and “airheadedness” that he apparently viewed as intrinsically female.

In the view of these men, becoming a woman was incredibly sexy.  As someone who enjoyed making money, I tried to figure out some of the psychology behind the autogynephile.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all about the male gaze.

From the perspective of the gazer, the male gaze can feel lonely.  It certainly would be wonderful to be the center of attention, thinks the gazer, who today more than ever does his gazing completely alone, without any social interaction with other people of either sex.  All over the internet, men identify with this lonely gaze, giving rise to everything from “pick-up” “artistry” to terms like “forever alone” and “friendzone.”  Some of these become men’s rights activists, and believe that the people their gaze is attracted to–beautiful women–have everything they could possibly want.  They develop a hatred for the object of their gaze, feeling that the gazed-upon is privileged with a life that, at least, never needs to be lonely.

Other men develop an affinity with the gazed-upon.  Many of the trans women I have known who would bristle at any notion that they are autogynephiles, start out as men who consider themselves to be sensitive and have primarily female friends.  Over time, their empathy with women friends is compounded by alienation from socialization with other males, who often reject this male because of his perceived non-conformity to male norms (expressed as being a “pussy” or “wimp” or “bitch”–all feminizing terms).  They then reject the notion of their own personal masculinity and the gender binary. They can’t, however, let go of the notion that there’s a “gender spectrum” in which some traits are masculine or feminine–that we’re all people and that the notion of gender consists of social roles designed to segregate the sexes.

These beliefs combine and form into the expression of a desire to be a woman, which is essentially retconned into their history from childhood onward.  Parts of the person’s childhood in which they breached gender roles are often brought up.  What’s not often brought up is the fact that all children breach gender roles–that in fact, children will commit breaches of rules of all sorts, and that this is generally the way that humans learn the rules of their society.  It’s not just a few kids who transgress gender roles, not even most.  It’s all of them, every single one, and transgression of gender boundaries is necessary because gender roles are bullshit that must be learned, which means rules breaches and corrections are just part of the fun.

Instead of being eroticized and objectified, in this scenario, the trans person is idealizing women in the same way that a white professor of American Indian languages and literature did when she once told my entire class that there were no profane or curse words in any American Indian language because “they don’t think that way.”  Women, the gazed-upon, become idealized from their gaze.  Left with a piteously deficient model of masculinity and an idealized one of femininity-on-a-pedestal, and with their heterosexual desires still intact, these men become MtFs who identify strongly as lesbians and eroticize lesbian sexuality because they believe it frees them from the power dynamics of heterosexuality while giving them access to spaces free from those “other” kinds of men–spaces where women feel safer and more free about letting themselves talk.  The MtF trans* people I have known who fit this dynamic have an almost fetishistic need to talk to women about personal things and to be let into a woman’s inner emotional space, even women they barely know.  They take a lot of pride in (and will happily tell you about, ad nauseam) their ability to get into a woman’s psyche and help her solve her problems.  They give lots of advice to women.

When someone who idealizes women in this way transitions to living as a woman, they often talk a lot about losing privilege.  What they are actually doing is, very often, nothing of the sort.  The trans activists who started out as Silicon Valley nerdy “forever alone” types (who comprised a huge number of callers over the years!) were economically and racially privileged men, but when it came to the patriarchy, they were being shit upon by traditional masculinity.  Instead, they’re seeking to move up, not down.  They want to move into women’s spaces, where their male socialization will make it easier for them to get ahead, be assertive, and be at the top of their social hierarchy with other women talking to them and ensuring that they don’t feel lonely.  Instead of hating the gazed-upon, this kind of person decides that the only freedom from the gazer’s existential loneliness is to become the gazed-upon.  Once in the territory of the gazed-upon, the person who has been socialized as a gazer can switch at will in their relationships with women, both sexual and otherwise, a privilege not afforded to female born persons.

For these MtF people, the idea that they might have retained some of the trappings of what they were taught as children, that they were treated differently as male children than they would have been as female children, is odious because it represents a challenge to the idea that they have no part in patriarchy.  They seem to believe that patriarchy is something you can simply walk away from, and say that you had no part in it, as long as you say the right words about your identity.  They don’t necessarily fetishize giant breasts and other similar patriarchal beauty dictates, but they do romanticize and fetishize lesbian relationships and sexuality, and they idealize femininity in general in a way that made me uncomfortable when I heard it during phone sex calls and more uncomfortable now that I am no longer involved in that industry.

It also makes me extremely uncomfortable to hear that there is no “universal experience of girlhood” from MtF people who want to intrude on spaces that have been designated for female people who were socialized as female since birth.  There’s also no universal experience of blackness, of disability, of many of the categories in which oppression occurs.  For members of other classes, this “universal experience” isn’t required for the members of that group to be able to meet without people who have not experienced oppression in the same context.  I’m also incredibly uncomfortable with MtF people who swear up and down that there is simply no such thing as autogynephilia.  There is.  Blanchard may not have been able to find out about all the types of autogynephiles there are, but men getting off on becoming women is something that happens–constantly, and in a way that is often so compelling that men will spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars having their fantasies catered to by a willing woman.

Today, many women in liberal feminist spheres will give that to men wanting to get off on their ability to become the gazed-upon at will, completely free of charge.  One of the biggest reasons I am skeptical of the “born this way” school of transgenderism is that I have personally had to listen to hundreds of men who paid me to cater to their extremely sexualized, misogynistic fantasies of what it means to be transformed into a woman.  Don’t tell me autogynephilia doesn’t exist, when I made many thousands of dollars by learning enough about it to be able to cater to it in a way that played on the psychology behind it.  Don’t tell me it doesn’t exist to make your political point, when I have the reviews from many, many “girls” who were satisfied customers.

The sooner trans* people acknowledge that yes, creepy autogynephiles and people who idealize femininity in ultimately patriarchal ways are in their movement, the sooner it will be easier for radical feminists and trans activists to have a reasonable conversation about the complex conflicts involved in letting trans* women into women’s spaces.  Pretending that these people do not exist does a disservice to the women who know that they have been economically, emotionally, socially or physically coerced into helping men live out their fantasy lives as women.

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52 thoughts on ““But there’s no such thing as autogynephilia!”: Phone Sex, the Male Gaze, and How Blanchard and Trans* Activists Both Get It Wrong

  1. Mmmm – thought provoking post but I’m not convinced…

    I’ve known a number of trans* women, and I cant think of any who conform to the very traditional sexualised barbie doll type gendering, but on the other hand there is the cissification phenomenon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminization_(activity) as a form of sexuality.

    I dont think tho such people identify as trans, as part of the desire is to be feminised while being a man (as I understand it) as a form of submissive identity in a world where part of the social gendering of women includes submissive behaviour.

    • In my experience, Autogynephilics are typically heterosexual men who identify as ‘lesbian’ . Many of them go for the demure mrs doubtfire vibe, preferring to be perceived as ‘ordinary women’ – presumably so they appear less threatening.Frequently, autogynephilics can be extremely deceitful, manipulative, secretive and toxic to be around (especially for wives and children), as they have a high incidence of narcissistic personality and related disorders, are prone to narcissistic rage and can utilise intense gaslighting to become controlling and abusive to their spouses or other targets over many years. autogynephilic transsexualism has been characterised as ‘extreme cross dressing’ which might or might not include extreme body modifications but will always involve seeking endless validation from those around them and coercive games of ‘the emperors new clothes.’… the trans rights activism demanding entry to womens spaces is ostensibly an autogynephilic agenda.
      Gay male transsexuals hope to attract straight men so they are the ones who tend to go ultra-mega feminine in full make up, large breasts, flouncy miniskirts and drop dead heels. They typically have no sexual interest in women and an aversion to female company but enthusiastically and exuberantly emulate and embrace the female sex-role stereotype, seeking to attract preferably straight men…. anything to please men. at least one person i know of had the operation to please her ‘husband’. She told me her new ‘vag’ meant she could avoid further anal injury… obviously, saying no wasnt an option…
      both of these groups show high incidences of comorbid psychological disorders and may or may not suffer from dysphoria, neither of them suffer from any existing DSD’s or known genetic anomaly – transgenderists start out with healthy, normal, functional bodies, seek to mutilate themselves for sexual identity purposes and the NHS very generously obliges.

      • The central issue to understand which differentiates a mere fetishist from the gender-dysphoric fetishist, is the development of the emotional attachment to the idea of one’s femaleness, which is is often as profound and psychologically ingrained as love.

  2. How many trans* women do you know who are very into many of the outer trappings of femininity, in terms of prominent makeup, long LONG wigs, painted nails, dresses, and so on? Sure, a lot of trans women won’t go for the kind of top surgery that would make them have an H cup (oof, back pain!), but over-manifestation of typically feminine external indicators of compliance with patriarchy is a major factor in a lot of trans women’s presentation.

    • Genuinely, I can only think of one (who unfortunately happened to be the first trans woman I ever met). I wasnt aware that she was trans when I met her, but (at the risk of sounding sexist here), she was inappropriately sexily dressed for a professional conference where she was a senior speaker, and her behaviour was bordering on predatory, quite frankly, towards some of the younger men in the social event afterwards, who were deeply uncomfortable in her company.

      Every single trans woman I have met since that time (perhaps around 6-7 who’s status I know of) hasn’t been particularly highly gendered. Most wear trousers or quite conservative female dress, little make up and pretty ordinary hair in a femininish style (shoulder length or a woman’s short cut).

      Perhaps the woman I met first is indeed the autogynophiliac you speak of, but I kindof put it down to a lesser acceptance of trans women at the time (this was the early 90s), and an “overplaying” of femininity so that their trans status wouldnt be obvious – it worked in as much as I didnt guess she was trans (someone told me afterwords), but it certainly didnt endear me to her. Or on the other hand perhaps that was just who she was. Some women who are not trans also like to have long nails, long blonde hair and prominent make up.

      • I must confess to having met a few within my own social network who remind me of the predatory, overly-sexualised example you mention. Then again, there are equally as many who want nothing to do with that subculture. One thing that might be muddying the waters is that there is a common perception that unless a psychiatrist sees that one is “hyper-feminine” in dress, mannerisms, speech patterns, etc, they will be sceptical that one is a true GD sufferer. I think this was more true in the past than it is now. I have only seen one psych so far, and was wearing a blouse, jeggings, comfy flat boots, topped off with my typically messy shoulder-length hair. I got the referral anyway.

        Still, when I see a transwoman trying too hard, so to speak, I do try to bear that in mind. The process of referral and reassignment is arduous, and people hardly dare to leave anything to chance. None of which excuses people taking it to the extreme of acting like entitled [insert obscenity here], though.

  3. This is true, i have a book here that i picked up at a MTF cross dressing event, i visited once. I have never got around to reading the book. It it titled “Forced into Femininity” by Sheila Davis. Published in 1990. On back cover a preview.

    “Michael is a 19 year old lad who when hitchhiking to london in search of a job, is picked up by a dominant wealthy woman who offers him employment as her servant. He is soon christened Michelle and forced into frilly feminine clothes to serve his new mistress as a personal maid responsible for all the cleaning and cooking, punished with beatings when he falls below standard. Michaels enforced feminisation is taken to the ultimate degree as he is given female hormones, eventually undergoing sex change surgery and learning to sexually satisfy men. Forced into femininity is the ultimate FD story.”

    I picked this up two years ago, and only just remembered i had it when i saw your article tonight. I assume this book is standard masturbation materiel for these types of men. Otherwise what was it doing at there event, on a fund raising jumble stall for less then a pound. What i myself was doing there is another question, i was with my friend, and learning about gender if im really honest. I kind of saw MTF cross dressers as being the reverse of me, cos i wear mens clothes alot, while in these spaces i found buckets of women hatred, and vile hatred of women who did not fit in with femininity. Which did effect me, but i was able to put it aside as i had and still have trans friends and wished to learn more about gender.

    The second type of trans women you talk about, the ones that cannot identify with masculinity, but instead aspire to be what they think a woman should be “feminine”. By putting femininity on a pedestal and idealizing lesbian relationships. I had a relationship with a trans woman like this, and through it i was abused. The person was very competitive with my, was obsessed with any sex specific features i had. At the start of the relationship she idealized me, and made a lot of comments about womanhood and lesbianism that provoked anger in me. She believed that being a woman was all about giving, being a divine godess type, and quickly became abusive towards me when she found out i did not fit her ideal of woman. She told me that me and her were the same person, and the femininity i destroyed in myself was in her, she was the woman i destroyed in myself. i was told by her that i had the body shape she always wanted, and that as a boy she got turned on by the thought of having a female body shape. this happened when she saw plastic models in shop windows when out shopping with her mother. one day she turned around to me and told me that the reason she liked me was bc she had decided that i was the woman she wanted to be. she thought that was a normal way of seeing your partner, but i knew i had to get away from then on. also she hated men, and hated anyone who she saw as in anyway masculine, she pointed out and attacked the masculine aspects she saw in me, and tryed to turn me into a more passive type of person. but it did not work, instead she opened the door to rows and in one of them she used violence. she saw no arm in doing so, and saw it no different to two women fighting, despite the strength difference. bc i really believed she was a woman, and at the time really believed i had a masculine aspect, as i was id’in genderqueer when we met, at a genderqueer space. i never reacted the way i would have had i seen her as male, i kind of let her get away with a lot more, bc i saw myself as the man in some way.

    • The ‘forced into femininity’ porn trope goes back a long way – some Victorian porn had exactly the plot outline as you describe: young man kidnapped by dominant female(s) and obliged to wear the trappings of femininity, (his brains fall out as the corsets go on and he instantly becomes a fuckable airhead) often with bondage and domination overtones. You can find versions of these Victorian tropes informing Leopold Bloom’s hallucinations/fantasies in the Night Town sequence of Ulysses (1916).

      So I’d say autogynephilia has quite a history.

    • Wow. Your comment that “The person was very competitive with my, was obsessed with any sex specific features i had. At the start of the relationship she idealized me, and made a lot of comments about womanhood and lesbianism that provoked anger in me.” rings true to me, and it actually reminds of a very similar dynamic that can happen in race-fetishizing relationships too.

      There’s a strong sense of “it’s not fair, I make such a better woman than you do anyway” going on, all of it based on those idealized stereotypes of femininity. Attacking the masculine aspects you displayed, yep, been there (thankfully not in a romantic relationship in my case) – the “you’re doing it wrong, you’re not woman enough, you’re wasting these assets that you have…” ugh.

      Christine Benvenuto wrote in her memoir about living though Jay Ladin’s transition to Joy that he often seemed to be trying to usurp her identity, also. It seems a common thing, and heck yes, it’s creepy.

  4. Isn’t Autogynophilia though, as Blanchard has it, pretty much the opposite of what you’ve described: Men who desire to become women as a substitute for possessing them, whereas the people you’re talking about want to be degraded by becoming women and – sorry this isn’t clear, were they exclusively wanting to have sex with men in this state, or were any of them fetishising lesbians in the way Blanchard claimed?

    If you want to have a conversation with transsexuals about the reality of these transvestite fetishists (and I agree they exist) you would be well served to come up with a different name for them. One that isn’t loaded with, not merely politically toxic baggage, but associations that are directly opposed to the meaning you are getting at.

    There are probably loads of transwomen out there who’ve got bad experiences with these types, and would commiserate with you if you actually described them, rather than bringing up a totally different pathology and expecting them to psychically infer what you are talking about.

  5. I have had many of the same experiences as you, though I was volunteering at a crisis hotline instead of doing phone sex work. Honestly, it sounds like we had a lot of the same callers. I just wrote about this a few days ago on my blog, http://femingenuality.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/my-trust-issues-with-men-part-ii-un-gentlemanly-callers/ . The worst, for me, were men who called up pretending to be women who were raped and wanted to talk about it in very explicit detail. It was particularly horrible because, being a crisis line, we also spoke with ACTUAL women who were ACTUALLY raped. The entitlement these men felt to call up a crisis line with their masturbatory bullshit never ceased to astound, enrage and disgust me. Beyond that, though, we also had a number of male callers who just wanted to pretend to be women, or men calling who wanted you to “discover” that they were transgendered, or whatever.

  6. Great post. The overriding and the underlying point is that by and large this all about male sex drive, male fetish and male misogyny that they are trying to dress up and parade around as something with legitimate claims in science, in culture and in history. All done in order to oppress women who they hate and who they are not. In this case the male will to dominate to colonize is part of their erotic fantasy life. These guys are so porn soaked, so driven by masturbatory fantasies and fetish that they are “antisocial.” And the honest ones I have known admit it. As this blog showed they manufacture lies—about their dilemma as victims of violence, as having one shred of science to back their delusion, as having any historical context that preceded porn culture. These men are the pure product of porn and their own sexual obsession and it get applied to children by greed and homophobia and maybe some Munchhausen by proxy. I have never met an intelligent person who buys this crap—only people who see things in terms of stereotypes and clichés go for it.And then imagine themselves as some kind of radical gender outlaw–yawn, need toothpicks to keep my eyes open. Like the Nazi’s any question they scream and howl trans phobia. Which I am so happy to see people are starting to question and say hey no such thing.

  7. This feels to me like your least balanced, least well reasoned post thus far (btw, I’m a big fan of the blog as a whole), although I’m not sure yet why I’m having that reaction. Let’s see…

    In my experience, trans* women are very quick to dissociate themselves from transvestites (sometimes suspiciously so in the doth-protest-too-much sense), who they paint as creepy male predators. I’ve never heard the term autogynephile tossed around in that context, but I think it captures at least part of what “real” trans* women are pointing to as creepy about transvestites.

    In practice this means that if you criticize the behavior of a subset of people who look and act female while having male bodies, then the people who look and act female while having male bodies you’re making the criticisms to will claim that they’re totally unconnected and have nothing to do with those other people, and that you’re a bigot for even bringing those horrible transvestite men up in the same conversation as a conversation about trans* women. Now, I’ve always found that problematic, because it’s just too neat, too easy for trans* women to disown all bad behavior as not their problem, not part of their community, nothing to do with them. I’ve always suspected there was more of a spectrum, from, say, the totally male identified dude who jerks off wearing women’s underwear to weekend transvestite to fully transitioned MtF, with it being possible for an individual to fall anywhere in between, rather than there being totally separate categories with no overlap.

    I guess I feel like this piece goes a bit too far in the opposite direction- you’re mashing together phone sex callers affecting a falsetto, with transvestites, with MtFs living as women, without pausing to acknowledge that the extreme ends of the spectrum really are vastly different from one another, and autogynephilia may be more prevalent at one end rather than the other. It may not be, but that would probably be the contention of a lot of trans* people, and it’s an argument I don’t feel you’ve presented any evidence to counter.

    • I agree that there are MANY kinds of people who are trans, and that these gross folks are just a subset.

      I think trans women, because of their male socialization, end up doing a lot of the things men do when called out about a subset of their group. Watch what happens when women say that they have a problem with some men doing a particular thing–you’ll end up with dozens of comments saying “but not all men are like that!” Yeah, it’s true, and that means that they weren’t talking about those men.

      “Not all transgender people are like that” is an obviously true statement, at least, it is to me. I don’t think all transgender women (or most transgender women) are trying to get access to women’s spaces to masturbate in them–but I absolutely know that there are some gross, gross people who are doing JUST EXACTLY THAT. And if we’re going to talk about trans issues, and the difficult intersections of gender, sex, and personal space, this is something that needs to be said. I had already gotten the “autogynephilia doesn’t exist and is just completely made up by the opponents of trans people” commentariat going, so I figured I would shut that down right now.

    • of course it all belongs on a spectrum, but they all come under the same umbrella – autogynephiia is by no means an obstacle to transition treatments. most transgender males choose not to have genital surgery anyway – are they all cross dressers? The notion that transvestites and trangenderists are two different things is patent nonsense, as you say its all part of the same spectrum. As with most all of the paraphiias, there can be a strong tendency to escalate the behaviour over time.
      its interesting you contradict your own spectrum theory… do you think jenner and maloney, both in their 60’s just suddenly decided overnight to become women? bearing in mind paraphilias like this invariably begin in adolescence as mastabatory practices. those men have spent a whole lifetime building up to this – once upon a time they were ‘ordinary’ husbands in ostensibly happy marriages, furtively making phone calls just like these, going away on ‘business trips’ and masturbating secretly in their wives and daughters underwear when no one’s at home.

  8. I have never met an older (past 30, say) m2t who didn’t seem to think he’d magically become a 19 year old woman when he transitioned. Magical thinking.

    • Well, we haven’t “met” per se, but I can assure you, I know only too well I am over forty and nothing is going to turn me into a teenager; not as though I would care to live through those years again anyway.

  9. All I can say in response to this is, I think you’re wrong. Blanchard’s autogynephilia theory has truck sized holes in it, he just doesn’t get it. What you are describing are transvestites and transsexuals, there are no autogynephiles. I suspect most of your callers were transvestites, but even transsexuals engage in some of that behavior and some of your callers were likely highly repressed transsexuals. Years of psychological torture can make you act strangely. The big difference between transvestites and transsexuals is how they self identify, where transvestites still think of themselves as men and have no desire to leave that space. They are comfortable as “men as women” and find it arousing. Although, sometimes the line between transvestites and transsexual is also blurred, since there is a lot going on in the head of a trans person.

    I find the term “autogynephile” demeaning and purposely dehumanizing. It is used as a weapon against transgender people and shows a basic lack of understanding of what the transgender experience is like. I’m not denying that you had the experiences you had with your callers, but I think your interpretation is wrong and you have fallen into the same logical fallacies that Blanchard did.

    • As I mentioned, autogynephilia was in fact their self-identified term, as well. Some, not all, wanted to transition as part of this, but all acknowledged a longstanding sexual attraction to their idea of themselves as feminine. There are communities of people online who still refer to themselves as autogynephiles. For a community that complains constantly about erasure, I find that trans* activists are shockingly quick to erase the identity of anyone who doesn’t fit in with their paradigm.

    • Then, in all seriousness, why are there four times as many male-bodied people transitioning in the UK as female-bodied people? Is whatever causes gender dysphoria that much more prevalent in males? Personally, I find that hard to believe. Although one thing that is proven to be more prevalent in males is sexual fetishes.

    • i was married to a secret cross dresser who is now a transgender ‘woman’ – i spent a lot of time in the bedroom with this person, i belong to several groups of ‘transwidows’ where we share our stories, and i can assure you, autogynephilia most certainly exists! it is a paraphilia and
      jenner and maloney are clear examples of the phenomenon.

      • @kaypasser: I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’m trans but of the other sort (“I was so gay I grew boobs” sort — homosexual transsexual, or “HSTS”). I came out as trans when I was 16 and I was out as gay before that, I transitioned and now I’m in my early 30s, still living “as a woman”. So I’ve had some time around “the trans community” (largely online) to make observations.

        There’s no doubt in my mind that autogynephilia (AGP) exists. I don’t really participate in “the trans community” *because* it is 90-99% AGPs (nearly all the trans friends I’ve had have been female-to-“male”, we actually have more in common than I do with AGPs). When I was a teenager and young adult, I’d try to go to self-help groups but they used to creep on me (or at least come off as super creepy when they “compliment” me). It’s amazing when trans people continually deny that the HSTS / AGP dichotomy exists because it’s really obvious to me. In stark contrast to the transgender mainstream, trans escorts are probably 100% HSTS (never met one who wasn’t) and porn stars are probably at least 80-90% HSTS (I’ve met some early-20s AGPs who do porn – definitely don’t look like Jenner but they have the same psychological profile). So I get along better with transgender sex workers than the mainstream “community”, plus they’re much more irreverent and un-PC when it comes to being trans too, which makes them more fun to be around.

        Autogynephiles, including AGP transsexuals, definitely exist and they make up at least 90% of male-to-“female” transgender people in first world countries. Compare this to the observation by researchers that Mexican, Central American, South American (usually Brazilian), Near Eastern (Iran even mandates transsexual surgeries for homosexual men to escape the death penalty) and East Asian trans women* are almost exclusively HSTS, often with culturally-specific terms for being “third gender” (“hijra” in India and “kathoey” [ladyboy] in Thailand are well-known examples). Just look at the movie “Beautiful Boxer” and contrast Parinya Charoenphol’s experience of being transgender to “Transparent” or Caitlyn Jenner or Kellie Maloney.

        The Sundance documentary series “TransGeneration” (available on YouTube) doesn’t use the terms “HSTS” and “AGP” but the two college-age trans girls they follow clearly represent each of those groups (Gabbie is super-awkward, geeky transgirl obsessed with having genital surgery, which she convinced her parents to pay for; Raci is a deaf Filipina transgirl just trying to fit in and doing a far better job). We’re not suppose to talk about this divide in the trans community. Many web forums and chatrooms I participated in during the early-mid 2000s banned me for bringing it up and it’s annoying, perhaps even gaslighting, to keep insisting that such differences don’t exist when they’re so stark.

        I never got married (after a string of bad relationships, I took a few years off but I’m hoping to get “back in the game” before “it’s too late”) but it’s my fear that I’ll end up marrying a guy who is a secret crossdresser or AGP TS and that he think “I’ll understand” because I’m a transsexual “too” (as if there wasn’t a world of difference between us). The guy I’m interested in now (we’re not really together and we haven’t slept together) admitted after I finally told him I was trans after a year of being friends (and flirting a lot), that he indulged in some crossdressing as a teenager. He swears up and down that he hasn’t done it since but it still creeps me out (and he’s this conservative, fairly burly, bearded guy so it was surprising to hear). I told him if I ever came home and found him playing dress up in my underwear drawer, he’s out — no second chances. I do really like him but not sure if I should even start a relationship with him because of his admitted fetish.

        I really sympathize with the women who are “widowed” by men’s selfish behaviour (whether it’s coming out as transgender, crossdressing, coming out as gay** or regular heterosexual cheating). Certainly, there are women who cheat on their husbands but I’ve never met a woman who got divorced *because* she wanted to be in a lesbian relationship or to transition (although I’m sure it happens, it seems much rarer — it’s usually get divorced for other reasons & then think, “I’m sick of men and I’ve always wanted to try being with a woman”). Women are indoctrinated with that sense of duty, of taking care of everyone no matter what. It’s great when the kids are sick but when the husband is caught up in his porn addiction or crossdressing fantasies, I think more women need to put their foot down or cut their losses. “Staying together for the kids” has not been shown to be healthier for them than just getting divorced.

        I respect, but don’t understand, women who stay with crossdressing men and men who decide to transition. If I wanted to be with a woman, I’d be with a woman, not a man who wants to be a woman either for a couple hours or forever. I admit to idealizing masculine appearance, interests and dominance (mostly in bed). Perhaps I should be open to the more cosmopolitan, sensitive, metrosexual (does anyone use that anymore?), even bisexual man but that’s part of my own psychopathology, as well as conservative upbringing. I definitely don’t want a manchild who I have to mother (extensive video game playing by adult men seems to be a strong indicator of this).

        I’m so sorry for what you went through and I know those sorts of trans women don’t respect your perspective because when I used to go to self-help groups, they’d sit around complaining about their wives like any other group of men sitting around at a pub, drinking and whining about the “old ball and chain”. I know I’m biologically male too but another trans friend and I used to mock them behind their backs as “man trannies” (or “lumberjack trannies”) because they look like men (they’re often *huge*), act like men, yet wear a dress and talk in a falsetto and claim to be “really women.” I may not have been raised as a girl or have female reproductive organs but they haven’t the *first* idea about what being a woman is about, it’s so sad.

        We talk so much about trans rights to use the women’s toilets, fitting rooms and pool/gym changing rooms, about “gender identity” and “brain sex” but we *need* to talk about the actual psychology behind why we’re trans (and yes, HSTS have our own psychological issues — AGPs are obsessed with possessing womanhood, HSTS are obsessed with male sexual attention — Paris Lees is a good example of that). We *need* to talk about the women and children who are hurt by their husband’s or father’s crossdressing and transgender behaviour (my transition hurt my parents but I didn’t really have a choice in parents, people usually have a choice in spouse).

        In many ways, transgenderism hurts women, both on an individual level, as it destroys families, and women as a class because we base our “gender identity” and desire for transition on stereotypes of girls and women. We have children transitioning because liking “My Little Pony” means a boy is “really a girl” and liking “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” means a girl is “really a boy”. We need to be encouraging a wide range of interests and behaviours for both boys and girls, not reinforcing gender stereotypes with puberty-suppressing drugs and cross-sex hormones. Trans women hypersexualize womanhood — AGPs with their obsession with women’s sexuality and intimate body parts and HSTS by offering a hypersexual depiction (or parody) of womanhood to men (and it works! — we pull men easily because men care less that we have or had a penis and more that we portray their ideal of feminine appearance and behaviour). Even female-to-“male” trans men are hurting women with the idea that if you have “masculine” traits and interests and hate being treated as a woman in society, then you are a man.

        I know this is a long comment but there’s so much that we need to talk about. We *need* “trans widows” to talk about how their husband’s behaviour hurt them, we *need* to talk about men’s regressive ideas about women and how transgenderism plays right into that. That’s far more important than “educating” society on “gender identity” and claiming that non-transgender (“cisgender”) people “identify” with their gender roles, especially when it comes to women. Women are not oppressed because they have the “gender identity” of a woman, women are oppressed because they are born female, with female reproductive organs. Men seek to exploit and control women’s reproduction, creating oppressive ideas about “womanhood” and “femininity”, forced veiling, forced marriages, genital mutilations, etc. Certainly, we don’t need to have legal protections that permit men to use women’s facilities because they claim to have the “gender identity of a woman” that particular day. Women are oppressed by the male sex, including by the concept of transgenderism.

        Thank you for your story. I really hope the word gets out about the truth behind transgenderism’s effects on women.


        * I haven’t met an African trans women but nearly all the African-American trans women that I’ve met have been HSTS and that goes for most other trans women of colour as well. There are certainly non-white AGPs but it is nearly an all-white phenomenon both in the US, where I live, and elsewhere. If you go to a crossdresser convention (never been but as I understand it) or a transgender self-help group, it will be overwhelmingly, blindingly white (and often solidly middle-class).

        ** I had a friend who was a gay man in his 60s who at one point was married, with kids, and a pastor. He came out as gay, they got divorced, and he left his church. I wouldn’t necessarily want to be with a man who wasn’t attracted to me but I think once you’re in that deep, you have an obligation to stay around like any other married couple where the sexual attraction has faded and not dump your wife for a younger woman or a man.

        I couldn’t see me having married a woman but I’m from a conservative community and it does happen that gay men marry women (and lesbians marry men) because of intense family pressure (which I certainly had). No matter how much I’m into men rather than women, I would never have cheated on my wife or transitioned if I had married a woman — it’s about responsibility and faithfulness (HSTS don’t privately crossdress, so she wouldn’t have to worry about that).

  10. Reblogged this on GenderTrender and commented:
    From the post:
    “The sooner trans* people acknowledge that yes, creepy autogynephiles and people who idealize femininity in ultimately patriarchal ways are in their movement, the sooner it will be easier for radical feminists and trans activists to have a reasonable conversation about the complex conflicts involved in letting trans* women into women’s spaces. Pretending that these people do not exist does a disservice to the women who know that they have been economically, emotionally, socially or physically coerced into helping men live out their fantasy lives as women.”

  11. What a lovely blog! Thank you! Your writing is clear and concise and your conjectures are dead on the money… and dare I say it? You are sooooo darn close to the truth! Closer than I have ever seen anyone not cursed with being born transsexual to ever come, But sadly? you’re n-o-t q-u-i-t-e close enough for the cigar!

    Go back to the fantasy of the autogynophiliac and their wanting to “be woman.” Might I ask? Is it really being “a woman” they are wanting? Or is it their being a “transsexual” who, in their estimation is a man “successfully” impersonating a woman that is the real fantasy? Oh! I know what they say! Gender this and gender that blah blah blah, yada yada yada I’ve always felt this way. Though for some strange reason I was able to succeed quite nicely as men for five and six decades? Oh yes! I’ve heard that tale recounted over and over and over again and I’ve lost my lunch each time… but seriously? The fantasy image you are recounting as told. The one that BBL has labeled Autogynophilia is as you so astutely pointed out only about the externals that men see as pertaining to women, and the effect women have on men without even any hint of the internals that are what make a woman a woman!

    For example! Did any of them ever ask you for a fantasy of being impregnated? Or their having a baby? Or to breast feed one? Or their longing for the real love of man vs being “forced” to suck his cock, etc, etc, etc? Oh no! Hell no! No way, no how! That would be just like their “wanting” genital surgery, other than the ones who without much real thought to the consequences want it for the penultimate accessory to their girl suit. The surgery for which there are now a million and one excuses and growing as to why it is “impossible,” but for which the one and only real reason, that they love their dick, is never listed?

    The same thing is true of this unspoken desire! It really is not about being woman, it is their wanting to be “transsexual!” Female? Meh! To them? Female is horribly akin to “the little woman” they married! Weak, messy and because she is without male privilege, so beneath them, but …now! Transsexual! Well, that on the other hand feels approachable and to them imminently “doable!” The irony is that the very narrative they embody to make this so, “the feelings of being wrong in their body,” is entirely a stolen narrative! All that gender kaka they then add on to make it fit? The utter nonsense about ‘identity and expression?” These all lead right back to the misogyny of men who realize that no matter what! They can never become what they desire to possess, and their typical male hatred for women because of it! Added to an even greater hatred for those whom they think of as fellow men whom, unfairly it seems, CAN have it! The real honest to goodness transsexual!

    Why the term transgender itself was coined by an evil little troll of a man, Arnold Loman Phd, aka Charles “VIrginia” Prince, for the express purpose of obfuscation of the huge, and at the time growing gulf between crossdresser and transsexual! At the same time this new word facilitated his “borrowing” the transsexual narrative! How do I know this? He told me so!!!

    That is why they, like he seek to erase that which is really female while redefining transsexual into “trans.” By their erasing female as having any biological basis, they are free to fill in the blanks however lightly so like Colleen Francis at Evergreen State, they are covered by the new definition. Then by obfuscation of that which was once transsexual they are free to use the still present image in the public’s mind to connect that which has no connection!

    I seriously doubt you will ever get any actual transsexual having issue with what you are doing. Asking the hard questions is quite legit and it needs to be done! In fact the only thing that BBL missed in their rather astute observations was not that AGP existed or that it is very very prevalent, rather it was by their reverse engineering HSTS from the AGP . That for the actual and quite rare transsexual this isn’t about “gender!” It isn’t about gender roles or what toys they played with or how they dressed! It isn’t even really about who they are attracted to, though their numbers do break down right in line with the general population vs the wild skewing found in the TG! No, for the transsexual, the issue is and always has been about having “the wrong sex organs!” To the transsexual these wrongs are an abomination! Having a penis “down there” when one should have a vagina or vice-versa is nothing but the cruelest joke of the gods. That they are then treated as members of that “wrong sex” isn’t the issue but it is without a doubt salt in the wound! That the wrong they were born with only worsens as the body matures is in fact what leads to a certain suicide if no treatment can be found!

    Thankfully you can to a degree fix the sex, well as close as is humanly possible, and with that fix, the issue resolves! Oh for certain, because it is mostly palliative, these poor creatures will morn the rest of their lives for their being barren women. But they WILL have a life, and many, if not most will go on to marry, many of those will, with their husbands, adopt and they will be the happy wives, mothers and grandmothers they knew themselves to capable of being. Utterly indistinguishable from any other woman who has the unfortunate sad glint in her eye of being infertile!

    That is why the TG are working so slavishly to attach themselves to the young ones. It is why they are so dogmatic about inserting “the correct language,” into the public channels and why they insist upon the constant “education” vis-a-vie threats and violence, when the lions share of the TG are actually closeted crossdressing men who’s worse fear is their being laughed at and nothing worse! This is a full on war to them and their ability as men to penetrate into women’s spaces hangs in the balance! ([puns quite intended!)

  12. I have worked at a lingerie store and met a few of your callers I think. Creepy as hell and we banned them after they made messes in the change rooms (they did NOT pay me enough to clean those mirrors, put it that way).

  13. I read an article of Blanchard’s once on the topic of autogynephilia, but he leaves out the aetiology for homosexual-transsexualism. He presumes biological causation a priori (so scientific!). Which is peculiar because yeah, sexual orientation towards females is automatically deemed to be causative of their autogynephilic transsexualism, yet the other half of men are left to ‘nature’. So he essentialises gender in two clever ways there. Blanchard also absurdly regards homosexuals as ‘abnormal’. What else can one expect from a genderist/sexologist. Are male homosexual transsexuals just therefore examples by implication of ‘feminine essence’ aetiology? There’s a HUGE homophobic problem with that because by implication homosexual men’s non-performance of heterosexuality (and thus the archetype of masculine gender) would be placed on an ahistorical and unscientific gender spectrum, which presumes they’re… not really men… and therefore… homosexuality = pathology. This form of classification is where the word gender originated, as a synonym of sex but indicating an arbitrary location for a determinism – its meaning fortunately changed by feminists who recognised the artificiality of these roles and noted their existence as antithetical to biological sex.

    One needs to remember the history of the homophobic and misogynist medical establishment.

  14. Wow this explains so much about why the tg sections of erotic fiction seen so odd to me. Dozens and dozens of stories about “forced feminization” or “sissyfication” that just seem out of place. I have read a lot of them and some were interesting but the tropes got tired incredibly quickly, every one of them had several paragraphs dedicated to the “transformation” reminiscent of almost any news story about a trans woman. and I couldn’t understand who these were catering to. I knew about cross dressers of course but I had assumed that their fantasies were merely about clothing and it still seems word to think they’d want to be forced into it. I feel creeped out just thinking about it…
    I think the jump to trans women in general being autogynepheliacs seems hasty though. While there might be assume, it’s unlikely to be the experience of many and having that as a base assumption would cause one to be accusatory and hostile towards those who don’t.

  15. I have to say, this article raises some important points, though maybe not what the author intended. I think there is a very real distinction between Transsexuals and other non gender non conforming individuals one finds under the Trans* umbrella. The most obvious being one of identifying as the opposite gender. Ask a Transsexual if they are male or female, a FtM will tell you male while MtF will say female. There really isn’t an “either or” type of response. Of course we are then accused of reaffirming the “Gender Binary” or somehow being Misogynic. I think it is easy to understand why some Transsexuals and more than a few Intersex people don’t want to be included in the shade of the umbrella.

  16. Rather than make my response a long screed, I decided to respond to invidual quotes instead…

    “I find that trans* activists are shockingly quick to erase the identity of anyone”

    I feel you on this. When I share my narrative in circles of other trans women, I get silence. It’s likely the silence is the result of my uncomfortable truths hitting close to home. The irony of having my conception of self mirrored in the words of a rad fem is not lost on me.

    “Instead of hating the gazed-upon, this kind of person decides that the only freedom from the gazer’s existential loneliness is to become the gazed-upon.”

    Yes. This. While I had many girlfriends and hookups in HS and college, I never could partner with the kind of girl I really desired from a physical perspective. My ideal woman was tall, slender, with dark and hair and features. In others words, a super model or a least a patriarchal archetype of feminity. So in my early ’20s when I first saw my reflection as this tall slender female with lots of makeup and long hair, I fell in love with it. I couldn’t have a girl like that but I could *be* a girl like that…straight up.

    Back then my presentation was highly erotic like what you’ve described. I’ve evolved since and make good fashion choices these days, to the point where I get lots compliments on my outfits and such. -BUT what’s driving those choices is what I find attractive on straight femmes and some femme lesbians. These are also the women to whom I’m sexually attracted.

    “Left with a piteously deficient model of masculinity and an idealized one of femininity-on-a-pedestal, and with their heterosexual desires still intact, these men become MtFs who identify strongly as lesbians and eroticize lesbian sexuality”

    On a pedestal indeed. I’ve given the women in my life — Moms, Grandmothers, Wives – godlike powers over my emotional states and other things and I’ve ascribed those powers to feminity itself. The power to deliver me from a deficient model of masculinity and into a world where all look upon my beauty and despair I suppose.

    A full fair-mindedness requires me to say I really don’t get what the average lesbian finds attractive — which to me is androgynous women, women with male haircuts and clothing, women who take male hormones take on the guise of a male, with some femmes in the mix. Of course I get how someone can be attracted to femmes straight or queer but not the rest. So yes my heterosexual desires remain intact, but at the same time I want a woman; the kind I emulate; to be attracted to me as a kind of female; and want to partner with me.

    “…they’re seeking to move up, not down. They want to move into women’s spaces, where their male socialization will make it easier for them to get ahead, be assertive, and be at the top of their social hierarchy with other women talking to them and ensuring that they don’t feel lonely.”

    Damn straight I am seeking to move up and get ahead; my female presentation will be the catalyst. I work in Information Technology which is a male dominated field. Now I am a white woman in technology, which gives me a tremendous advantage over some run of the mill white dude.

    I also have tons of girlfriends at work who like you say, talk to me and compliment me on my outfits and other things. Much of what being a woman is to me is about looking pretty and getting compliments on your outfits, having an all female friend circle, and shacking up with another woman.

    “Once in the territory of the gazed-upon, the person who has been socialized as a gazer can switch at will in their relationships with women, both sexual and otherwise, a privilege not afforded to female born persons.”

    Um yeah. I’m going to duck responsibility on this one and say I’ve been tricked by the liberal feminist spheres into thinking this was OK. Having liberal feminists tell me it was OK, that they did it to, that all people did it. So I do it, knowing that I’d probably get into trouble for it if I was still in a male presentation.

    “because they believe it frees them from the power dynamics of heterosexuality while giving them access to spaces free from those “other” kinds of men–spaces where women feel safer and more free about letting themselves talk.”

    There was some novelty to being let in “behind the veil” but that quickly wore off. The reason largely being is that when I’m in a group of women. I watch how they interact with one another and I see the rhythm and flow of their communication. I see it, but I can’t *feel it* as they are. I assume it’s because I did not grow up being treated as female by society and so I’m lacking the thousand and one nuances to the communication (and to being a woman) and probably will for the rest of my life.

    “The surgery for which there are now a million and one excuses and growing as to why it is “impossible,” but for which the one and only real reason, that they love their dick, is never listed?”

    All I want is to be loved by a woman as a kind of woman — a woman who among other things loves her dick — and THAT’s really what’s impossible here.

  17. It is a masochistic emasculation fetish (sexual arousal by the anxiety of being associated to symbols of emasculation). The idea that it is “sexual arousal by the idea of being a woman” is an abstraction, this is why autogynephilia has likely never existed.

    A symptom of the culture examined in this upcoming documentary.

    And this link explains the relationship between the fetish and the very small minority of fetishsits who develop additional gender-dysphoric psychologies.

    http://www.oocities.org/transsexual_analysis/transsexual11.html

    In addition, even as it may superficially appear to be on the surface, the fetish isn’t intrinsically misogynistic, but rather indirectly so. It is the masochistic sexualization of emasculation trauma. If we were to reverse the situation, where a girl was made to feel extreme anxiety in regards to being perceived as anything less than the feminine ideal (importantly NOT necessarily demonizing males & masculinity), to the point that she may feel overwhelming psychological trauma, say a situation of extreme social humiliation. This is the event which much of these fetishes are born. Her sexual fantasies would mostly comprise of the social humiliation of being perceived as unfeminine, whereby extreme masculinity will naturally be her most powerful symbolism.

    Another issue the article gets wrong, is that the psychological internalization of the fetishism may become self-sustaining and not necessarily constrained by the fetishism. It is this condition, where it is really more than just a fetish, it may be justifiable and even in the case of severe dysphoria, that transition is a reasonable solution.

    • Now it’s “not actually autogynephilia” but “emasculation fetish”. Your entire premise comes crashing down when one acknowledges that the ultimate symbols of emasculation are anything and everything that can be connected to the female sex.

      Autogynephilia is a reality. Stop obfuscating it to further queer trans rhetoric.

      • I don’t know whether my comment has been deleted, but you can read it here (NSFW).

        http://www.imagefap.com/blogcomments.php?topicid=59213

        Otherwise I can say as a subject of this very fetish, I am in a great position to understand how the fetish works and to explain it.

        “Your entire premise comes crashing down when one acknowledges that the ultimate symbols of emasculation are anything and everything that can be connected to the female sex.”

        The idea itself of being attracted to males, let alone that of being gay. The very idea of not being attracted to females. The idea of being less of a man than men of other races (namely black men). These are predominant themes within the fetish. Female/feminine symbolism is also predominant in the very same way, but is not representative of the fetish itself.

      • “Your comment links to pornography. Do not continue to post here.”

        It is unfortunate, but any understanding anyone attempts to make in regards to the fetish, lives and dies based on whether it phenomenologically represents the actual fetishistic content. Here we have a discourse between radfems and trans activists regarding the autogynephilia discourse, yet no one here shows that they are familiar with the actual fetishism itself, let alone an understanding of it.

        Included in my message was that the provided link(s) were NSFW, so it is left to the reader. Canaan proposed a differing phenomenological understanding of the fetishism to my own, thus I presented the relevant content, for which countering her claim would not have been possible otherwise.

  18. From my experience, there does seem to be a world of difference between effeminate, usually gay young men in their teens who begin to transition as soon as they can – who usually had lives where they were friends with girls since the time they were little, and became part of their social group v.s. a man in his 40’s who had a successful life as a straight/maybe closeted bi man who “discovers” his dysphoria.

    I too did phone sex, and also worked in a fetish related business for 20+ years. The psychology of the submissive crossdresser is generally that their most ecstatic sexual experience is being “forced” to be a woman (not a professional, educated woman, or truckdriver, or a woman in the trades, for example). The fantasy was of a certain type of hyper feminized tramp who might be forced to perform oral sex on a man (their actual secret desire) – while wallowing in the humiliation of being “female”. I never encountered a single crossdresser who was the least bit concerned about issues that actually affect women – ie abortion, equal pay, domestic violence, etc.

    I recently had a client who was at the beginning of their “transition”. What was expressed over and over was the description of how s/he felt that s/he ” sexually responds like a woman” and many narcissistic self observations. This was a person who had no interest in women’s issues, didn’t read any books written by women, didn’t have any female friends that were mentioned – and seemed utterly oblivious to the profound misogyny that affect women (or those perceived as feminine) every goddamn day ! This person also had very little interest in trans history, and was oblivious to many persons who were real social/cultural groundbreakers with regards to gender non-conformity. I didn’t want to be a judgemental creep – but the more that I learned about this person, the more profoundly psychologically and socially male this person appeared – and the less that it made sense that they now defined themself as trans. Gradually this person also revealed themself to be a compulsive but rather inept liar, too. It was a complicated stew of misogyny, narcissism, delusion – and a patchwork of appropriated fiction gathered from several sources. Despite this – their doctor has referred them to the gender clinic and they have started hormones. Much oversharing on Facebook, etc. all about themself ! With other trans oversharers reflecting their own narcissism back at each other. I sort of hate that I now feel this way and view anyone who has not exhibited strong social and emotional trans characteristics since childhood with skepticism.

    • “The psychology of the submissive crossdresser is generally that their most ecstatic sexual experience is being “forced” to be a woman”

      “perform oral sex on a man (their actual secret desire)”

      It is a masochistic emasculation fetish, see for yourself by searching tumblr with the adult search filter off for “sissy”. The fetishist is aroused by the association of himself to the most extreme symbols of emasculation, from being a cuckold, one’s race being less manly than another, the idea itself of not being attracted (turned off) by women and so forth

  19. If this person was truly a sex phone operator and felt as creeped out as she describes, I doubt she could do it for a few hours, let alone a few years without barfing. It sounds like fiction with a hopeful ring of truth.

    • Yeah, women have never done things they were “creeped out” by in order to survive for weeks, months, years. You must live in a very privileged household. People who are tourists in the sex industry and only working there because they like it and want to are a minority. I worked there because I had no other job and no way to get one.

  20. I agree with you, completely. This is perfect. I am in the sex industry and get these kinds of clients ALL the time.

  21. I wish I couldn’t say I’ve met the type, but I have. 😦 To paraphrase my own blog…

    “Curiously, instead of offending me, this post drew me back to a now distant past when I was still Anthony Burns, a decidedly effete but male-presenting figure, prey to self-loathing but not yet feeling up to emerging from my closet, and I remembered one event that may well have helped to keep that closet door shut: I was in an LGBT-friendly pub with my then girlfriend, when a very (I mean overtly) femininely-dressed but obviously male-bodied figure sidled up to me on the bench, all fishnet stockings and golden sequins. At the time I assumed she was a drag queen, and I only discovered later that she was in fact a transwoman – a fact which did not make me especially proud of my own latent inclinations. At any rate, I brushed off her overtures as civilly as possible, bearing in mind I was clearly with someone and not soliciting random singles. This did not thrill her, though, and having scowled at my partner she made some snarky aside about how she was “more of a woman” than my partner could ever be.

    When I discovered that this boastful and rather pathetic person was my fellow GD-sufferer, I was instantly ashamed, and I thought at the time it was much better to pretend to be a “normal” man than to go down that route. Unfortunately, I found no exit to my dysphoria along the other route, and I thus ended up backtracking with my tail more tightly between my legs than ever.”
    (https://burnseleanor21.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/forever-the-acolyte/)

    …which is why, although I failed spectacularly at not being trans, I tend to keep a wide berth of the “subculture” and the activism, except insofar as arguing for reasonable social justice and medical provision.

    Gender dysphoria exists, though, apart from any fetishistic aspects or theories. Hormones are certainly a poor idea if one is a fetishistic crossdresser, as it is well known they will erode and eventually eliminate the libido. Which, in my case, I count a blessed relief. Still morbid, I know…

  22. I chatted on this topic recently with another GD-patient on Facebook. She was indeed most annoyed that so many of what she deemed to be elderly fetishist types with no long case history of dysphoria are now submitting themselves for treatment, thus overloading the NHS and leading to increased waiting times. There is a complexity to add, though: the age at which someone comes out does not necessarily mean squat, as just a few years ago it was still socially damaging to be openly trans in the UK (and still is, in some areas).

    Having said that, both my friend and I am well enough acquainted with the hyper-feminine, sexually-aggressive types of transwoman who frequent the local drag scene, and she specifically referred to those people as autogynephiles… for which she got blasted on the Facebook trans group for presuming to share an article on that subject. Granted, the article was from GallusMag’s site, so possibly not the best source to disseminate on a trans support group, but that was still a pretty knee-jerk reaction, I thought.

    Based on that, and my own experience, I would have to concede the existence of autogynephilia, but I do think in the UK at least this is taken into account. The NHS gatekeepers take considerable pains to weed out anyone they feel would not benefit from reassignment therapy (probably because they would as soon not waste the money).

  23. Yes. In my experience of M2F “Autogynophelia’ is the perfect description. The need to be submissive, identify with being a woman in order to feel sexy and aroused…believe woman are privileged and air-headed…all of that. It is a paraphilia, delusional, narcissistic and in fact misogynistic. So many go into infantile rages when questioned becasue they are in denial becasue it is a mental illness. And a severe one. It can be comorbhid with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Homosexuality and of course anxiety/Depression etc. Causes can be complex but the main symptom is an obsession with becoming physically a ‘female’…or seen to be one. Many also have tendencies of Antisocial behaviour, a personality disorder..and have been hurt and/or rejected by females and some even by males..fuelling thier feelings of either hatred for females and a desire to ‘be thier own’, or a hatred of ‘being a male’…ot’s quite sad really becasue they have so many deep seated issues there really is no ‘miracle cure’..and many who think they have found it realise later on that they made a mistake and many end up committing suicide anyway. The medical community has a lot to answer for with thier so-called cures and treatment of a mental disorder that includes pandering to it instead of looking at the real issues and dealing with them. Nobody is born into the ‘wrong’ body. Accept who you are and love yourself no matter what your proclivities. Drastic surgery or life threatening hormones are NOT the answer. They merely further the divide between stereotypical ideas of what it is to be male or female.

  24. Wow, this was so insightful. Reading about this from a personal account and hearing some of the details — as opposed to the drier and more technical examinations of autogynephilia that I’ve read in the past — really puts a lot of the mannerisms and behaviors that you see in a lot of transwomen in a new context.

    I really couldn’t care less what fetishes people engage in. But I must say to have this type of mindset that you describe associated with actual identity claims that they are truly “women” is so incredibly offensive, more so than probably anything I’ve heard from your average MRAs or social conservatives. I will never understand how modern feminism has so completely lent its unwavering support to this.

  25. One of the many reasons I stopped going to a support group. I remember going to one and someone claiming to be a transsexual ( though he talked like a man, walked like a man, and acted like some macho guy) barging in, took one look at me, grabbed, and started rubbing the top of my hand saying “Ooooh, you’re so pretty” I recoiled in horror.

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