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Transvestic Fetishism: Sexual Arousal from Cross Dressing

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Transvestic fetishism is a disorder where one derives sexual arousal from wearing clothes of the opposite sex. The majority of such cases involve males wearing female clothing, but there are some reports that females also derive similar sexual pleasure from wearing men’s clothes. The disorder is only considered a problem if the individual has been deriving sexual pleasure from cross dressing for at least six months. Moreover, the urge to cross dress must cause some type of personal stress and affect both lifestyle and interpersonal relationships.

The exact number of people who are into transvestic fetishism is unknown because it is typically a behavior performed at home and not many people brag about it. What is known is that the behavior usually starts in early adolescence and continues throughout life. Men who practice this behavior are often sexually aroused by wearing female garments which may include bras, panties, corsets, slips, girdles, stockings, shoes and even jewelry. These individuals will often masturbate while wearing clothing or may get aroused from just fondling the items. The majority of people who practice this behavior are heterosexuals, usually married or with partners who are fully aware of the fetish. In many cases, these people also have children and lead an otherwise normal life.

Transvestic fetish is usually performed in private but many males do wear female undergarments to work. Of course, the clothing is worn under regular work clothes.

Transvestic fetishism and trans-sexual disorder are not the same. With the former, the individual still wishes to live his or her life as a member of his or her current sex.

Transvestic fetishism is not considered illegal or criminal and most of these individuals lead normal lives. Just like some people like to watch pornographic movies for sexual arousal, these individuals like to cross dress for the purpose of sexual arousal. Problems usually arise when this type of fetish is combined with other paraphilias like pedophilia or voyeurism.

Most people who practice this type of fetish behavior do not want to be treated because they usually are not harming anyone. For those who feel like their behavior is interfering their work and relationships, treatment comprises of cognitive behavior therapy and use of certain medications (SSRIs) to diminish the urge to cross dress. Unfortunately, despite treatment relapse rates are high.


Add a Comment17 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I’ve been cross dressing since grade school. I was lucky to have my first girlfriend in high school not only ok with it but really liked it when i dressed up for her! We would play dress up an make out every time we got intimate for years. Eventually, we broke up and tried to find a girl that was into me cross dressing for her during sex and it didn’t happen soon enough and when I did try and get with a lady and was not able to dress up or at least have a pair of cotton panties on, I would not be able to maintain an erection. I started to hang out at adult bookstores and spending a lot of time in the video arcades in back, all dressed up, and at first, I told myself I was just there to masturbate, cause I did not have a girlfriend.... but the sounds of the other men masturbating in the booths around me and the smells got me sooo aroused!
And, as it turned out, a lot of the guys, esp the older ones, were very into my cute little outfits. I started going to different bookstores all around the city and at first I went almost everyday, sometimes hanging out all day getting to know myself and the pleasures of older men. As much as I like to dress up like a girl and play with guys, I am mostly happy to be a guy when not being sexual. It was confusing for a while though and this article helped me realize it’s ok to be a guy in normal life and then play dress up for fun. I’ve felt a sort of social pressure to “become a woman” from the trans movement, which I’m fully supportive if someone wants to do that, but I’m glad there’s a term for men like me who absolutely love dressing up as a woman but would prefer to keep the gender I was born with! Thanks for the article! It’s been so helpful! Are there any other articles you have written on the subject or any other articles you can recommend?
Thanks, L

September 3, 2020 - 7:25pm
EmpowHER Guest

i wish i know this earlier, i have the same behaviour wear i wear female clothing i feel arouse and always masturbate and thought i am a transsexual and after i went for sex change surgery and right after that i know i made a mistake, i should be a male that like cross dressing and now i lost my penis and testicles which i miss them so much and stuck in a female body

May 29, 2018 - 12:33am
EmpowHER Guest

I love dressing up in girlie clothes it make me feel so good and yes I get sexual pleasure from it. I would like to buy my own clothes but get embarrassed while shopping, going into shops to look and then walk away in case people are watching. I am really jealous of you gals that are more brave, bless you. I love make up and am lucky enough to have a wife who lets me have her make up to use. I do feel guilty but as I get older I am coming to terms with how I feel, still love it and I now know this will never change. Jo xx

October 5, 2017 - 1:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

why are you calling it a disorder? is what it is nothing out of order.

June 30, 2016 - 9:54am
(reply to Anonymous)

The internet has given people like me a lot of relief , from dealing with people who don't understand ! Women have so much more to choose In fashion than a monkey suit ! I love my "disorder" and wouldn't change for the world !!

September 20, 2018 - 6:46am
EmpowHER Guest

I started cross-dressing at a very young age - it's long, long story and I have come a long, long way. However, after many years, a long loving marriage, children and many, many guilty purges, now in my fifties I accept and embrace my famine side. I still, at times, struggle with unnecessary guilt when I come across prejudice (quite often). Society, unfortunately, listen and believe people like the good Dr Shamir Benji, who 'sell' cross-dressing as a mental health problem. Due to this Cross-dressers are, or feel, compelled to hide their famine side - least society should find out - else one is ostracized for being 'different'. Therefore can so called 'experts', please, please stop referring to cross-dressing as a mental health problem. Thank you, Emily

March 25, 2016 - 8:59pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have been cross dressing since I can remember (literally). I am now 59 and enjoy it still.

March 30, 2015 - 8:04pm
EmpowHER Guest

To clarify my foster dad thought I was doing this when I was about eleven maybe younger and his remedy was to sit me down at the kitchen table for what seemed like hours (you know when your bum goes square and even your legs go numb) after giving me a good couple of smacks that is and the proceeded to tell me I was a dirty little weirdo that I was sick, filthy (I, ll leave out the swear words and most of the threats in between ) the most memorable threat was he was going to send me back to social services bearing in mind I had been placed with them at 4 months old so the thought terrified me I remember crying and begging him not to to the point where I was almost sick when I was told don't you dare you (and the above insults came again) the result was I believed it I didn't have any physical contact with a woman until I was twenty (not even kissing) because in my mind it was as though I thought they would somehow think the same my first and second relationships where a train wreck and my third which I'm in now is amazing my partner accepts who I am and she loves the sub side when I'm in that mood and her dom side which she never had before and when I'm not dressing up I'm the normal dom and she's the sub we both think it's fantastic so to see it being called a disorder makes me kinda angry ( I have a lot of that)

March 7, 2015 - 6:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I like how this article starts by saying it's a disorder as if it's a mental health problem when it isn't you are are not perverts or weird in any way you are using something to enhance or even to get sexual arousal the same way everyone else does but might use different methods. Don't let anyone tell you you have an issue especially pseudo psychiatrists who think they have the answer as to why you do these things and what that makes you

March 7, 2015 - 6:20pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Why are all the articles I read, concentratin on how marvellous and wonderful this is. I met the man of my dreams, I was so happy I could burst. Then one day he destroyed all my faith in humanity and I lost my trust of people forever. He told me he cross dressed. I was shocked and cried and felt lied to but accepted it and helped him. Then as time went on I realised it wasn't just dressing up like a women, it was a sexual fetish. He wasn't turned on by me as he couldn't preform without his accessories. He confided he wanted me to analyse penetrate him with a strap on. You have no idea what this has done to my confidence and now I trust no one. It was shover down my throat the minute I became supportive. My feelings were never considered. My sexual needs never discussed. It's all about you, what you want, your needs. Now in terms mental health profession that is called personality disorder! No care for your fellow humans just a selfish, self centered way of life! Doesn't hurt anyone does it???

December 21, 2017 - 11:50pm
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