I didn’t know it was a fetish.
And in retrospect this sounds incredibly naïve but realizing that for some of us wearing lingerie is kinky was pretty earth-shattering.
I suppose that sounds very dramatic.
To clarify, yes, wearing lingerie is often associated with sexy time and sexy time is, well, sexy but just simply wearing lingerie and being sexually stimulated by it wasn’t something that crossed my mind all those years ago.
It’s more than just lingerie, though. Some of us are aroused by stilettos or gloves or a wide array of (or very, very specific) clothing. For others it’s just erotic for them to wear something they are “not supposed to”.
Of course, there are also others who aren’t into wearing certain clothes themselves but rather are stimulated by people with a penis wearing “girl clothes”.
Until that fateful first day of college when I searched the word “crossdresser” on the school’s computer in the library, I didn’t know there was any sort of connection between wearing girl clothes and eroticism.
I mean, as I mentioned earlier I know that lingerie and eroticism goes together like a garter belt and stockings, but I didn’t know that some people think “men wearing girl clothes” was in itself sexually stimulating.
When I was around twelve years old I was, in a way, comforted and validated when I learned that there was a word for someone like myself. I was a crossdresser! Yay! There are so many of us that there is a word for who we are, for who I am.
As far as I was aware, I was the only crossdresser I knew but at least I wasn’t the only crossdresser on the planet. I was curious to know others like myself which led me to hopping online that first day of college.
Annnnnnd I quickly realized that much of the content the search results yielded were absolutely not appropriate for a public setting. Almost every image and website that was returned were very fetishy. People wearing ill-fitted lingerie in bed and the like.
I was shocked.
Again, I was probably naïve but please understand that this was alllll the way back in 1994 and we weren’t as, well enlightened or as familiar with how varied and complex and simple gender identity and gender presentation really is. Simply put, you wore what you wore based on whether or not you had a penis or a vagina and anything other than that was either kinky or perverted or portrayed as humiliating or hilarious.
I quickly realized that the prevailing perspective of someone like myself was that THIS was a fetish and that THIS was completely sexual.
And to be fair it is for some. And I am not kink shaming them. Promise.
But for others like myself there was nothing erotic about having the anatomy that I have and wearing panties.
Learning that there were indeed others like myself opened up the thought that perhaps I don’t need to hide who I am. Sure, it’s probably not common for a BOY to wear GIRL clothes but there’s nothing WRONG or WEIRD about it. Perhaps when I am older I can stop keeping this side of me from others, I thought.
But that thinking all was put on hold when it appeared that a BOY that wore GIRL clothes was predominately perceived as SICK or PERVERTED or KINKY.
I wasn’t those things. I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being kinky (as long as it’s consensual) but crossdressing wasn’t, and isn’t, kinky to me.
Upon realizing that CROSSDRESSING = FETISH I decided that nooooo, I wasn’t going to come out anytime soon. If at all.
It’s not that I thought there was anything wrong with having a kink or fetish. For me I didn’t want this side of me, a part of myself that was very personal, very important to be misunderstood.
And no, I didn’t expect anyone to understand why I am who I am, but at the very least I didn’t want others to think I was someone I wasn’t, especially if there was a good chance that most people would likely think I was perverted. This part of me wasn’t sexual. If someone doesn’t understand who I am, well, that’s okay, but at the very least I wanted to make sure they knew this wasn’t erotic to me.
So, any consideration of coming out was completely off the table.
If people didn’t understand who I was, then at least I could prevent them from completely missing the point. I, along with my beautiful panties, went back to the (both physical and mental) closet.
Please understand. There’s nothing wrong with a crossdressing fetish. But this wasn’t sexual for me. Honestly it would have been easier (and quicker) to explain this side of me if it was, but this is so entwined with who I am that I didn’t want to… ah, simplify this part of me to a kink.
The realization that crossdressing was generally perceived as kinky/shameful (because let’s face it, almost all kinks are considered shameful) came later in my life than it probably should have. Again, I was probably a little naïve. In retrospect I should have put two and two together that “boys wearing girl clothes” was generally not acceptable. I’ve written before how breaking gender norms was often portrayed as comedic in cartoons and entertainment that I watched as a child. The reinforcement, even if unintentional, that a boy wearing panties or a dress was supposed to be humorous was a clue that I needed to keep this side of a secret.
But as I grew older and the movies and television shows I watched, ah, “evolved”, any portrayal of “boys wearing girl clothes” was not only meant to be hilarious it was also now portrayed as perverted.
So, another clue that this side of me was not to be revealed.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with humor and there’s nothing wrong with having a (consensual) kink, but I would have rather have stayed in the proverbial closet than have a part of me that was so special, so… sacred perceived as comedy or as a perversion.
Wearing panties wasn’t funny to me and it wasn’t kinky.
Keeping this side of me a secret has always been exhausting but then again, most survival methods are. Simply shopping and keeping an eye out for someone you might know requires vigilance. Like, shopping for lingerie shouldn’t be a reconnaissance mission, you know?
Keeping secrets has an emotional toll on us as well. We know we should be transparent with our partners but we know how this side of us will likely be misinterpreted. We know the potential ramifications of coming out AND we know the potential ramifications of being “caught”.
It’s a tightrope, girls.
AND! We know it’s not a matter of simply STOPPING. This is who we are. I can’t change who I am or what I wear. I mean, I can always change what I wear but you know what I mean.
I hated that crossdressing = perversion and that crossdressing = hilarity. I hated being viewed like that. I hated that these perceptions were so deeply rooted in society and media. I hated knowing that if I came out to someone I would not only have to try to help them understand who I was (as much as who we are CAN be understood) but I would also have to spend time and energy debunking these stereotypes before I can get into who I really am, not what some television writer says I am.
I would love to change this perception. I would love to change the narrative. But I don’t think that’s realistic, at least not in my lifetime.
These perspectives had a huge impact on my self-esteem. I mean, I didn’t think this was a kink and I didn’t think it was comedy, but knowing that most of the world thought I was a pervert… well, it kind of chips away at you. Why was it kinky to wear beautiful clothes? Who decided that?
7 thoughts on “The Prevailing Eroticism of Who we Are”
This is and interesting topic but I think kind of complicated for me.
I don’t particularly get turned on by womens clothes but it is easier to want to have sex when dressed. I believe it is more about wanted to be desired as a women than the clothes themselves.
When I was younger and in better shape I desired to have a partner that would be turned on when I wore sexy lingerie. This is probably more about how the media or in particular glamor magazines portray what it means to be sexy for your partner.
The biggest turnoff for me has always been having to wear a man’s suit. I absolutely hate it and it puts a pit in my stomach.
I think for some of us this is very complicated. Are we turned on by the lingerie or by the fact that we want to be desired by wearing it?
This is a difficult topic for me. For me in terms of sexual association with clothing, first it didn’t, then it did, and now it (mostly) doesn’t. I first recognized early in life that I was different. I know the attraction to wearing girls clothing before I had any a conception of sexuality. As a teen and young adult, there was definitely an sexual component. As I have grown (much) older there seems to be an ever-widening gap between the sexual and identity aspects. Perhaps the two concepts simply cohabitated in my mind for a time, the two associations were never one thing.
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I would like to respond to this, but it’s kind of hard for me to put it into words as it’s not something I have really chosen to think in depth about as I just consider certain things who I am and have never chosen to hide it.
For me, my entire life, I have loathed wearing “girlie” clothing. I was always more comfortable in men’s clothes: jeans, suits, shirts, etc. I was forced to wear dresses and skirts for school or formal affairs, but at the same time, once I was able to verbalize things like “WOMEN WEAR POWER SUITS TOO!!!” my mother was like “whatever.” My grandmother still tried to pressure me, but whatever.
Because I didn’t like wearing girlie clothes, and I felt extremely UNsexy wearing them, people called names, labeled, etc. I was wrong, weird, twisted, broken, etc. It never made sense to me. Why was I supposed to feel bad because I hated wearing girlie clothes when I had a friend who was a boy who liked girlie clothes was always hearing about how it was wrong for him to like them? You can’t have it both ways! Just because our anatomy is different doesn’t mean that one of us liking those clothes is evil and the other one not liking the same clothes is equally as evil.
I just rolled with this my entire life and never thought much of it. My ex used to complain that I don’t like sexy girlie stuff and wouldn’t wear it because I found it miserable, but I honestly didn’t pay much mind (probably one of the reasons we’re ex’s now). He didn’t want to do things that I find sexy that weren’t fun for him, why on earth would I break my ankle prancing around for him?
However, I have recently started realizing something, and it came more into focus reading your post. I think I am the complete opposite from you. The clothing items are not sexualized for either of us, I don’t get turned on by wearing men’s clothes. We just like how we feel in them, and don’t like the way we feel in the other clothes. It’s as sexualized as that: you feel like you wearing the sexy clothes and when you’re hiding it, you feel drained and anything but sexy. It’s not sexualizing the clothing as much as YOU feeling sexy. Same with me. I feel like a fish out of water in most of the clothes I’m supposed to immediately feel sexy in, and the clothes themselves are not sexualized or not, but the way I feel in them make me feel sexy or not.
It is not something to be shamed, labeled as a kink (which is not a bad thing, it’s just an incorrect label), berated for, hidden or guilty over. If I’m supposed to accept that some people feel more comfortable in knee-socks and sandals, or banana hammocks, then for the love of Everything on Earth, accept that I like clothes from the men’s section, and you can pull an entire modeling session off of a single rack at Victoria’s Secret (a skill I most certainly do not have at all).
Live and let live.
And stop labeling everyone else as kinky or perverted because they don’t fit the mold you let someone else set for you! Jeez.
The truth is, if I ever got the urge to dress up girlie and look absolutely drop-dead fabulous, I wouldn’t call all the women I know who play dress-up with their hubbies on a saturday night – I’d drop you a message and know that I’m in the best hands in the world.
I also know that if one of the guys I know needs to look spiffy, they don’t ask each other, they come to me, and in a few short hours, they’re ready to go tux-to-tux with any A lister.
And none of it is sexuality – just preference, comfort, and identity. There are a string of words that other people have created that sum up who I am and how I am. Cisgender female, straight, blah blah blah. None of that is my identity. My identity is “me” and anyone who doesn’t get that isn’t someone I need to darken my door.
The internet searches of bygone days are educational, inasmuch as they show us that knowledge is broadening. But the only search that really is needed for most people is defining their identity if “me” and stop worrying that someone else will judge it, because for everyone who says it’s wrong, there’s a handful who says, “holy crap! HOW do you pull that off??”
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Hi! Perhaps I could have been a little clearer but I never called anyone kinky or perverted. The point of my post was to say that much of the world thinks of anyone that crossdresses is kinky or perverted.
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Hannah, you never said any such thing! I’m saying I heard it too, but from the opposite perspective. I was agreeing with you that all of that is just nonsense from people who are wasting time judging rather than accepting.
I’m sorry, I wasn’t as clear as I intended to be! Like I said though, I had not really thought about it completely until I had read your post and I was responding in time.
The long and short of it is that I completely agree with you! And that it is neither kinky or perverted to just be how you’re comfortable. I am truly glad that you were able to find your way, despite being steered wrong so many times before.
Despite my clumsiness at my reply, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for making me think about something that I normally wouldn’t have.
Every time I read your blog posts its like I’m writing them too. It makes me feel so happy to read your experiences and know that some of mine mirror the exact same circumstances. Thank you again for putting these things into words.