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!!!
Nuno, I hope what happens soon for you will be truly wonderful! Xdress has such wonderful lingerie – go ahead and shop! What fun it is. Best to you and your hubby.
Thank you very much for your words. It was a good surprise to have discovered Xdress. My experience will not be very different from all those who have their most developed femme and who for various circumstances have to live in secrecy for social reasons. As I already mentioned, I discovered my femme side very early on and I immediately started wearing underwear. I had 2 boyfriends and now after these years, I have an older person my husband and it has been wonderful in all aspects. He sees me as his wife and loves having me in lingerie. I can’t wait to use your specific lingerie for us. What will happen soon!
Stevie, you are so right – the XD/BA bras were made for us and our body type. Like you, I find them quite comfortable and safe if worn with the proper outerwear. I’ve gotten to the place that I routinely wear a bra (with the compliments and encouragement of my wonderful wife!)
Nuno, thanks for sharing with us your life experience and your journey into the inner femme. You have been so open, and I appreciate you sharing with us all the journey you are on. I wish you the best in the future.
I agree if you want to try bras this is a great site. It makes a huge difference that the bras are cut for us
The pullover styles are almost undetectable.
Wear a dark t shirt over it if you need to hide and not to tight a shirt.
It feels great all day like a hug
Wear something pretty today i am
Thank you very much for your post. Yes, I am interested in bras and I have been researching your site. My measure and the L, I will take advantage of your Combo campaign to acquire the bra and panties. At this moment I have many underwear and I have no bras and after seeing them I felt like my husband.
I thank your blog and the possibility of sharing many of our doubts and fears. I live in Portugal and my parents are still very closed when it comes to different people. My husband is from a traditional family like me. He always had the desire to bond with another man. For family reasons, work and friends did not have the courage and only now at the age of 62 did so. To my surprise, he went with me. Although we cannot assume, for family reasons (children and grandchildren) whenever we can we are together. It was always important to me from the beginning not to harm you in any way. He is an intelligent, polite, kind man who gives me great happiness. He loves my femme side and encourages me to develop it. Thank you very much for your kindness.
What a wonderful conversation this is! Nuno, you made the comment about interest in wearing bras. You will find a great selection here at XD. The cool thing is that they are designed for men, so there is no worry about cup size. I don’t know about you, but I’m about a cup size zero (as in nothing to show) and the XD bras are perfect for me. I have a shameful number of bras, thanks to XD, and wear almost daily. Have fun, dear sister, and discover the wonderful world of bras!
Randy, you made the comment that your mother helped you in discovering your feminine self. I am so jealous of you! Like you, I underdress daily, although in these colder months, I wear tights instead of hose for the sake of leg warmth. I keep one pair of men’s underwear for my annual visit to my male doctor for a physical exam. Him being pretty conservative, I don’t think he would understand me wearing a pair of XD satin panties complete with lace and a bow!
Thank you very much for your post. From a very early age I realized my femme side and I love feeling like a woman. Inside me, only my feminine side is exalted. Unfortunately I am from a traditional family and the world in which I move at work would not accept this femme side of me. I don’t think I hid myself, but unfortunately I am forced to do so. I had 2 boyfriends and for a few years I didn’t have anyone. As I already posted I have a relationship with an older person at this moment, which at first seemed strange to me for family reasons, too. Contrary to what I thought at the time, it has been wonderful not being married to him but I consider him a fantastic husband. He encourages me to be more and more a woman on a daily basis even though we can only do it in our privacy. Like Rand, I normally use underwear in everyday life and I will start in the world of bras and socks soon. Thanks!
Welcome to Nuno. I really agree with your comments. I have been “dressing” for years. I started out dressing when I was a teen with the help of my mother. Gradually worked up to wearing light make-up and did take a lot of time before I really had the confidence to go out dressed in public. I just usually wear panties, a bra, and hosiery under my male clothes. I am openly gay and my boyfriend, soon to be husband, approves and has started dressing himself.
Thank you very much for your post and for welcoming me. I’m glad I found your blog to be able to share my experiences. And above all to have realized that we are many with the same doubts and problems. If I may, I have made a post of my current experience with an older person who often speaks against me and we do not give such an opportunity. I gave and I am very happy, although we cannot assume before our families we are super happy. He already told me to order something for me on your website, which I will do I am curious about bras. Thank you!
Once again I congratulate Xdress for this blog. As I mentioned in some previous posts, I discovered Xdress by chance. I thought it was important to share my current experience with you and I hope to somehow demystify possibly a question that may arise “age difference”. As I already posted here I discovered my femme as a teenager. In all these years I have had two boyfriends and a one-night stand. After a few years, in a book signing session, I met a man older than me 19 years old. I’m 43 he 62! A distinguished person, aviation pilot, cultured, intelligent, an excellent conversation and very friendly. Widowed with 2 children and 3 grandchildren. There was empathy between us, we talked a lot, we had dinner a few times, he alone and me too, until one day he confided his interest in men to me. But that in the world in which it lived it was impossible to assume. It baffled me and I confided that I liked men and wore lingerie. We both didn’t know what to do, I thought it was strange at the time a person much older than me! I confess it was not easy, quite the contrary. At the same time he was a wonderful man. He told me I don’t have much time and I would like to try it. One day I said why not! Despite the differences in age, we are happy, although not assumed for family reasons. He has been a wonderful “husband” and loves to see me in lingerie and he himself offers it to me. In short, let’s not have problems with age and break this stigma. thanks!
Nuno, you are absolutely welcome for the blog. I am glad that it was helpful to you. You are right – we live in a society where stereotypes prevail – including attitudes towards us who like to shop on the “other side of the store.” Don’t let that discourage you from being who you are. If there weren’t a lot us us, wonderful boutiques like Xdress and Body Aware wouldn’t exist!
First of all thanks for the post. I loved reading and realizing that some of the fears that torment me are common to many others. From a very early age my feminine side was latent in me. I loved playing house with my cousins and taking on the role of a girl. And I loved to see their pants and I never felt any desire other than to be like them. Later in adolescence, playing with a friend at home, he kissed me on the mouth and what seemed strange to me at first got even deeper. It was with him that I started my sex life and started crossdressing with underwear that he asked me to use. At the beginning of the mother later I started to buy. I am from a traditional family and I have an executive job and it is difficult to fully assume my femininity except when I am with my boyfriend or alone. Unfortunately, we are in a very stereotyped society in terms of behavior, but I feel happy.
Thanks for your blog.
Thank you all for your kind words. Gosh, if I’m feeling down, I’ll just come here and read your comments! It is interesting to me that we have so much in common, regarding our experience in this fascinating voyage into a fuller sense of self. I admire everyone’s intelligence in insightfulness in sharing your stories. A personal note to Rose: for some suggestions on how to approach your wife, see my blog “Getting the Wife Onboard”. There is a link to it in this blog. Good luck sis!
Finally, to all of you wonderful readers, may 2020 be the best year yet!
Getting myself onboard was certainly difficult, as it took the first 21 years of my life to do so. However, my acceptance of myself was rapidily accelerated through various supportive outlets, namely my beautiful girlfriend and forums such as these. The first few months of dressing androgynously was the most difficult, as I had not found my groove with both makeup and clothing, and surely stood out as an oddball.
Once I gained confidence in my newfound appearance, it showed. My makeup is subtle: I wear foundation / eyeliner daily, and lipstick / eyeshadow occasionally. My girlfriend helped me apply all these initially, but I have started doing some things on my own with her guidance. My style suits my body type, and my outfits are much better put together.
My confidence in who I am has also extended into the people I have chosen to reveal this side of me to. I now have presented myself in my raw form to my mom, sister and her boyfriend, and my other sister. I do not plan on hiding who I am from any other family members in the future as well.
It’s insane to fathom that I once was a scared and insecure person who never wanted anybody to know about this side of me. Now I wear it like armor, and do so proudly. This journey could not have been possible without all the support from my GF, as well as all of you here.
Thank you all for your indirect support, as well as Angie for writing this great blog!
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.