Greetings dear readers. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and found some pretties under your Christmas tree. I decided to give the keyboard a vacation and spent time with my wonderful wife. But fair warning – I’m baaack!
This will be the final installment in my “Onboard” series. You can read the others, in order, starting with Getting the Wife Onboard here Getting the Wife Onboard: Part II here and Beyond Getting the Wife Onboard – Coming out to Others here.
Today I’d like to talk about getting yourself onboard. I have read a lot of discussions here at XDress and also on other sites, and I find there is a great variance in the level of acceptance we have of ourselves as crossdressers.
First, let’s take a look at who we are, demographically speaking. It is hard to get reliable statistics on who we are, due to how secretive we are, by necessity. Without a doubt, we are the most private and secretive subgroup in the population, due to the general population’s intolerance of men who like to dress like women. I would say “and also women who like to dress like men” but they already dress like men with full societal acceptance! The most reliable statistics I have found indicate that we represent between 3-5% of the general population, with 50% of all men having tried on female apparel at least once in their lives. We are, in the majority, straight and in a heterosexual relationship, with 3% of us being gay, which is representative of the general population as well.
There is an old joke: Q: What is the difference between crossdressers and transsexuals? A: About 5 years. This is a misnomer, as cross-dressing and transsexualism are very different. When I say “crossdresser” I am talking about men who present as male to the general public, but have an inner sense of also being female, and dressing accordingly when time and circumstance allow.
There is a wide range of self-acceptance, from those who feel a tugging to express inner femininity but are afraid of it, to those who fully accept the inner femme and express it in clothing, jewelry, and makeup when possible. How onboard are you with your inner femme? If you are not fully on board with her, what prevents that? The possible answers to this are so numerous. It can come from your family of origin, where men are men and women are women and nothing in between. It can be from society in general which, while getting a bit more gender-fluid these days, still draws a pretty sharp line between men and women. It can come from your significant other. As a side note, I have a couple of on-line friends who have lost their families because of their desire to crossdress and express that feminine part of who they are. It can also come from a fear of yourself – if I truly embrace my inner femme, what will happen to me? What will I become?
Many of us, in our early exploration of our inner femme, went through cycles of purchasing panties, or hose, or bras, only to purge them when our guilt became too great. The purchase/purge cycle will be familiar to many of you. I personally went through two purge cycles, pronouncing myself a diagnosable pervert, until I realized this has nothing to do with sexuality. It has to do with a sense of who you truly are. True, we are all sexual beings, but the identity of self is a much larger issue. If you enjoy wearing pretty panties under your male outerwear because it makes you feel more in balance with who you are, that isn’t sexuality – its mental health!
I am one of the fortunate ones who have a wife who is fully on board with my feminine side, and our marriage has benefitted greatly from that, as well as my sense of well-being. Others are not so fortunate, and that saddens me. So, where are you in this broad range of self-acceptance; ranging from terrified of your desire to wear a pair of panties to complete acceptance of your inner woman? If you struggle with complete acceptance of yourself, what are the barriers to that acceptance? Get those keyboards warmed up. You know I love to hear your thoughts and stories. Oh, and happy New Year!!!
I have just found this site Xdress and I have purchased some products.But I have found you Angie and reading your comments being on board.I have been wearing sexy clothes for years.I have a very beautiful wife that loves to see me wear my sexy clothing and I do feel nice wearing it.As I said I like reading your stories that our guys do have understanding wife’s as well.Cheers Adam
Ally i feel u i like my make up and outerwear and underwear femme but my masculinity has to be forefront so like you i do me in mixed mode but mainly masculine
Dear Angie welcome back, we missed you! Thank you to all the people who filled in for you.
As others have noted it took me a long while to get on board with myself. It took a long time to understand what was going on inside.
I too went through purges guilt self doubt and questioning my sexuality. I know that society’s rules have pushed many men who enjoy crossdressing into thinking they are perverts gay bisexual transsexual etc. It takes good information self introspection and blogs like this one to help us figure out which one we are. I d like to add another take on it though.
For me I’m just a heterosexual man who enjoys crossdressing for sexual reasons for kinky reasons for challenging social norms for style for relaxing for feeling sexy and feeling good. I dont feel I m in the wrong body or want to transition. I wear make up to enhance my male face not look feminine. So, some of you out there you dont have to be a woman or feel like you are a woman to wear lingerie or make up or heels. There is a place for you too. All of us have a place and can be true to ourselves!
My favorite outfit is skinny jeans with stillettos a white shirt and a matching bra and panty set with light foundation and lip balm.
My wife is not fully onboard but she doesn’t prevent me from wearing panties (actually likes some of the styles), women’s jeans or getting my toes done (often with her).
I love her and thank her for that.
I’ve toyed around with the labels of gender fluid non binary and fetish cd, none of them quite fit.
I’m just me!
Thank you xdress for this great opportunity to discuss with fellow like minded people
Wear something pretty today I am
Xdress has totally helped me to accept, embrace and explore my feminine side. That’s thanks to Xdress and thanks to all those guys, girls and otherwise identified people who post on here too. Since I’ve discovered Xdress I’ve not only expanded my range of lovely and comfortable ubderwear but I’ve really felt so happy to be able to express the way I feel with others in this community. I’ve also grown much more confident so as to wear outerwear and make-up outdoors and in public. For me, the trick is to be feminine but not try to be female. But that’s me. If someone else wants to go female that’s fine by me – but not for me. I feel so much closer to you too though. And I feel so much happier to be giving myself permission to wear what I like to wear.
Thank you everyone.
First, this blog is so well written Angie. It was great to read.
I haven’t written in awhile and that has coincided with my on again, off again fear of wearing panties. I’m past the purges, having gone through 2 or 3 over the years, and accepted this as part of me.
I’m stuck in the stage that you talked about. I’m not sure what it means if I wear panties on the regular and I’m scared in large part of the potential condemnation I could receive from coworkers, friends, and God. I don’t for any second condemn any in whatever lifestyle they choose, I just have this internal voice that tells me I’m wrong if I like it. I’ve prayed and talked with my wife at length and reached a sense that it’s okay and yet still that voice remains. I’m not sure if it is that I wonder how far it goes, as you say, or if it is something else. I’m slowly working to defeat it because I really want to be free to wear what I want.
It’s been stressful and I appreciate the support I’ve found from my wife and this blog.
Hoping for all to find their own acceptance,
It took me a long time to even get myself onboard. I know almost all my family will never be on board as well as many of my peers. But over 5 years ago is when everything came to a head with myself. I’d purged for what seemed like the millionth time and told myself I just need to tough it out and it’ll go away. As usual I went for a while and thought maybe I had finally gotten past this. But then it happened. Sometimes it’s a beautiful dress, sometimes its a gorgeous skirt, it could be a pair of cute shoes or pretty panties and this time it had been some pretty panties that got to me. Once again I started the internal struggle and abuse until I just had to look myself in the mirror and just get real with myself. I was tired of beating myself up over wanting to express my femme self and told myself that if I bought those panties, there’s no turning back and that I needed to figure out what this was and just accept it as a part of me, if only just for self acceptance. One of the best decisions I ever made. It took a LOT in me to even tell a few friends I was pretty sure would accept this about me as well cause if any word got back to my family, it will get ugly. But since I live alone and I’m away from all of my family, I dress up at home to my hearts content and still trying to muster up the strength to get out dressed more.
Thanks Angie for this great post!
I came out as gender-fluid a few years ago. It was rough in the beginning, wondering what it was all about and why was it happening to me. Anyway, I did some personal research and along the way I found XDress. It was like a light went on! A beautiful light that changed everything! The first clothes that I bought from XDress helped me to not only realize who I truly am, but also helped me to feel comfortable in my own skin as I began on my journey to self-acceptance. Since that time I’ve embraced my inner femme, experimenting with make-up, nail polish and other things to help me feel…pretty. ;) I’ve told all of my friends about my gender identity and most of them have been very accepting. My partner was the first person I told. While he has been accepting, he still struggles with it sometimes, and has ZERO desire to see me in my sexy XDress lingerie. In the end, I’m ok with that. My wearing lingerie is about me and how I see and feel about myself. I feel a balance in my life that I didn’t have before. Thank you XDress for helping me with that.
For me, cross dressing is highly sexual although I understand it is different for others. My experience is that there is a wide range of reasons for cross dressing, but it is all good as long as we are not harming ourselves nor others. I love that male celebrity that has taken to wearing tasteful dresses to public events. That helps push the boundary toward more acceptance in society.
I haven’t told wife I’m still hiding the fact I like to dress like a woman but its work in progress especially with makeup n breast. Any thoughts in How to break it to her softly?
I am dating a guy with which we decided to be very opened about who we are sexually and not sexually.
One of the things he shared with me is that he likes to cross dress. I am very open minded person but still it took me 5 mins to process what you brilliantly explained in your post. Passed that, the fact that he shared that with me brought us even closer as we shop together for lingerie both his and mine and I adore the connection that we have when I do his make up.
Cross dressing should not be a monster in the relationship but a way to enhance intimacy and trust.