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?