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Most of the serious discussions I have read on the internet regarding wether the crossdreaming phenomenon is simply a fetish or a symptom of a hidden full transgender identity are from those who are not in a position, due to personal circumstances, to actuall live and enact fully upon their crossdreaming desires. A little bit like comparing a loving sexual relationship with pornography, or eating a sweet with the wrapper still on. My own experiences have been exactly the same as those I have just described but I managed to take the wrapper off the sweet while I was eating it, at least for a few years.
I have called this posting 'The Feminization Project - Fetish or Being True', as for me it was a lifetime project, the grand experiment, something that I simply had to try. I had no choice, the need to do what I did was becoming overwhelming.
This posting has not been created to change the private opinion of each reader. I'm only sharing my experience and my own conclusion. Sadly many experiences as mine are not shared within the community for fear of a backlash. If I say the sky is blue, there will be a dedicated team of trolls out there to insist I changed my view to think that the sky is actually orange. So any such replies questioning the validity of my own understand of myself will be ignored. I have concluded with life we are who we say we are when it comes to gender, a person does not need proof. Another person does not know another's thoughts or feelings and can't tell that person who they really are or what they are experiencing. This is regardless of a persons gender presentation as they present day to day.
When I am discussing this subject I am only talking from the male to female expression, as I know very little about the female to male phycological expression.
Twenty five years ago within the gender scene the views of transgender persons was very different. There was a pecking order. The beautiful post op transsexual celebrity was clearly ALL woman. This was defined as she was i) beautiful and ii) fully acknowleded there had never been any transvestic history to her own identity, and iii) explained that men who dressed as women who were not convincing were sexual perverts. These three criteria were followed to the letter, why? The acceptance of others in society of her being female demanded it. This lead to a community which also jumped on the bandwaggon, preaching the above acceptance criteria. A good looking trans person undergoing hormones etc was accepted as trans by their looks alone in some cases.
Todays the trans world is a mixed bag with all variations on the theme. More is understood and people are willing to discuss the sexual associations with gender expression. We still have a society which values looks, partically womens appearance. Many feminists will tell you your place in society will be judged by your looks. Very sad, but this is even more truer if you are a male to female transsexual. I persoanlly don't think you can tell if a post op transsexual was driven by crossdreaming desires just from her appearance. There will be beautiful post ops who were driven initially by sexual response who i) love their new life or ii) totally regret it and are making the best of it. Likewise there will be less fortunate or convincing post op trans women whose drive to transition was not related to anything sexual at all, perhaps a more genuine regarded motivation.
So what do you do when you are a person experiencing intensely obsessional crossdreaming behaviour which has been going on since early childhood years in one form or another? For me I experienced all of the classic desires the average crossdreamer experiences. Crossdressing, sexual fantasies and a finely tuned radar which could pick out any trans related thing around me. My subconsious would easily pick out the 'T' word if I could hear others talking in a public place. I would easily see and spot trans ladies even the most convincing ones whilst out shopping. Crossdreaming for me was obsessional and I felt it was getting worse. The element for me which made things worse for me was that despite the sexual element I knew it run deep within me and it could not be classified as a fetish. Forums and discuson groups over the years always pointed me in the direction of you're just a fetishest. I knew what a fetish was as I had fetishes within my other fantasies which did not cause me any worries. This was different. The whole situation was making me very unhappy, everything else in life was fine but the crossdreaming was an intensely frustrating puzzle that needed a solution. I had seen a variety of professionals in the medical service but nothing seemed to help. I tried using hormones for very short times but always came off them promising I would sort myself out in other ways. During these years I also had my ears pierced and a feminizing nose job done as this feminization need was, as I said overwhelming.
At the back of my mind the ultimate thing I could do would be to take hormones full time. I dreamed of feminizing myself. To what degree this was unknown but ultimately the idea that I could change myself was my highest and most secret thought. To become a female and just be accepted. It would be important for me to pass totally. Any male trace would have to be eliminated. The idea of being spotted or 'read' as a Tgirl was totally un acceptable and would I knew destroy me. So if I was to do this I knew I was setting my sights very high. Anything below the image I had within my head of my female self would have been a disaster.
I had crossdressed since early childhood and a mirror had become a close friend as when dressed the mirror was there to show me who I was. Away from the mirror dressed was good but I always needed to come back to seeing myself in the mirror. Vain I know.
So I decided to try hormones for a length of time. I would keep using them so I could finally say I have tried them for a period where I would have many ups and downs so I could come away with a sensible conclusion.
Initially I used Estroderm MX25 patches for a period of six months, via the black market. Within a few days my obsessional thoughts and feelings became manageable. The volume control of the crossdreaming had been turned down. It was still there but I was able to function without the distress of intense crossdreaming thoughts all day long. Worried that I should be doing things with medical help I visited a private doctor, who wrote to my NHS GP for a normal prescription, but of a slightly higher dose Estroderm MX50. The private doctor told me that the MX25's would do very little for me, plus excited by the acceptance and drive for further effects I agreed. Just before I changed to the higher dose I noticed that the MX25 patches effects were not so phychologially effective as they were. Perhaps I was building up a tolerance? Looking back I often think that you can build up a tolerance to the hormone feel good effects, thus pushing you to take higher doses.
During the time I was on hormones I really did become very consumed by appearing as Cheryl. I was a kid in a chocolate factory. I was determined to experience the gender crossover in as much honest detail as I possibly could. This caused a shift in what was at the centre of my arrousal mechanism. I no longer felt that cross gender presentaton or the thought of it carried an associated sexual component any more. I was more sexually interested in the more mundane or normal. On trying to express the sexual side of crossdreaming I could not get to the top of the mountain any more and no longer understood the original attraction to those thoughts. Yet I still pursued the cross over of gender presentation, and was on the conveyor belt of transition in 5th gear. I was happy mentally and perhaps realised that this was as good as it gets. I encouraged myself to come off hormones which was rather difficult as they make you feel good. I realised fully that this was no fetish driving me but a forced deep within myself wanting to continue.
In my younger years I felt there was a desperate need to transition as I knew I did not want to be ageing as a male. However the solving of the gender puzzle has been very difficult and has taken me to the point I feared when younger which is I'm now aged as a male, 47 years old this year. I'm OK about it the fears ageing carried as a male were unfounded now I'm here.
How do I see myself today? Well I seem to now feel that it is OK simply being me. I no longer have a need to fit into a particular category. The femme side of me is not gong to go away and the only option is to accept and embrace it. I no longer think of the divisions of the gender continuum, and where I sit along it. I feel that If I made a concerted effort in my younger years to change gender I would have been OK, but I'm also glad I didn't. At the end of the day it's what works for you and what you're comfortable with.
There really is so much to life and to experience. The problem with crossdreaming is you can completely obsessed with your situation and you can waste so many years trying to figure things out.
I have been off hormones for a while now and I am in the same state as I have just described above but am quite pleased with the way my mind is these days. My mind has probably rewired somewhat due to estrogens.
In some ways I as far as my crossdreaming goes I still do enjoy presenting as Cheryl and I still experience the various triggers that encourage me to so so. Today the Cheryl presentation is simply something enjoyable to do and does not have the sexual association with it, well it still does but its very limited and more guided to the normal sexual interests. Perhaps I have achieved a semi post operative state, or the state that I wanted to achieve mentally at least. I have small breasts but I'm ok with having them and I like them. There have also been other changes that have not reverted back but I'm very happy keeping them.
Incidently I found taking 5HTP also helped me with my crossdreaming when off hormones. I seem to experience a limited calming effect similar to the estrogen which helps when needed. I know this does not work for other crossdreamers.
Another factor which i think influenced me was seeing my both my ageing parents sink into the deteriorated state they are in today. Both are now housebound, one has alzheimers the other can hardly walk. I'm their sole carer which is difficult, but this has made me realise just what is important in life.
So for the time being The Feminisation Project is on hold, or perhaps even suspended. My mission is to ensure that I maintain this happy equilibrium which has been so difficult to achieve. This is the longest period I have experienced so far maintaining this state, I accept that things may change again in the future but I hope they remain the same for my own well being and general acceptance within the mainstream community.
Crossdreaming may be many things but it's not simply a fetish.
Last Edited By: Cheryl Sussex Jan 4 16 9:01 AM. Edited 1 time