Saturday, October 10, 2009

So What does this all mean for US?

I have done a lot of reading about autogynephilia - and other "variances" on the sex/gender spectrum. Most of it is controversial. Blanchard and Bailey managed to piss off a whole lot of folks who then completely rejected their theories - threw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. Myself - I think there is a lot more truth to their theory than anyone knows. I believe that Blanchard and Bailey got most of the information they used to develop their theory on autogynephilia from persons who fell on the far right side of this spectrum. Persons who had gone far enough that they were either living as women or were considering SRS. I personally believe that there are a lot more males out there who are closer to the middle or lefthand side of that spectrum who have just never gotten their information out there to balance the theory. Some of these men are ashamed of their feelings and try to bury them; some express them privately and/or in secret; while still others try to express them within the confines of a heterosexual relationship (ie. "pegging.").

I've read about the sex/gender issue not being binary, but comprised of multiple dimensions of birth gender/physical characteristics, emotion gender, mental gender and sexual desire. This would imply a 3 or 4 dimensional plane on which we fall as opposed to the 4-boxed graph of heterosexual/homosexual male/female. The problem with this is that it places an individual at a specific point on that plan and implies that it is fixed. But is it?

"Spectrum" is another term that some use to explain sex/gender issues. I live on a spectrum of a different sort every day. My son has some sensory issues which fall on the left side of the Sensory-Asberger Syndrome-Autism spectrum. He actually does not fall on a single "spot"; his is more of a "range." His location within the "range" and even the location of the "range" itself is somewhat dependent on other forces like his diet, the weather, his allergies and his activities. So I completely understand "spectrum"...and in some ways, it fits better...but it's still a pretty straight line.

So then I consider William's story. He has said that this started when he was a child wearing his sister's underwear. He then progressing to wearing lingerie and high heels as a young adult. Wigs, make-up and painted fingernails started after that. He didn't start using toys to penetrate himself until about three years ago. He has gone as far as having an ejaculating dildo that he deep-throats. He said that it was "taking the next step in his exploration of himself as a woman." Step" implies more of a "path" than a spectrum. He also spoke of being "compelled". So where is he being taken? He tries hard not to think of it.

And I don't know either. I have to confess, after a few weeks of trying to read and understand what my husband is, I got a mental picture that looked a bit like this:

I mentally placed my husband somewhere in the middle of the graph, still on "autogynephilia" line, but very close to where it branches. But is this path inevitable? or would he get to choose where he would stop? "Compelled" to take the next step implies no. And as a spouse, that can be rather scary.

But after three weeks of us trying to work this into our relationship, my mental picture of this graph has changed. William says that in some ways, the difference in our sex life is the same as "taking the next step." So my new mental picture of autogynephilia is that it is a multi-branched path that more resembles more a game of Chutes and Ladders than a straight line.
Every "step" that we take could potentially take him off this new path via a chute or ladder and put him on a completely different path...or can he be taken back to the same path? I don't know. Maybe.
I do believe William when he says that he is committed to me and our relationship. At some point in this, he does have a choice. A choice to act on his impulses and his drives...or to not. By including me in this secret, he now has a third choice. He can ask me to try to fulfill the fantasy with him. Yes, it's not alone, so in some ways, it's maybe it won't be as good as the fantasy. But, in some fashion, isn't that what fantasies are...something unattainable?


  1. Fascinating!

    From the reports I get at various web sites and from the literature I have read there seems to be a lot of variation here.

    1. Many autogynephiliacs find a way of expressing their hidden self (through cross-dressing, TG captions, writing TG erotica etc.) and let it be with that.

    Some of them report that they have included this in their married lives. There are even stories of autogynephile men living with androgynephile women, each helping the other living out their inner fantasies!

    2. Some go through a development through several stages where they end up with SRS and start a new life as a woman. Some marriages survive such a transition, but most don't.

    I think your husband is right when he says that the two of you have found another path. Blanchard & Co are right when they say that the transgender fantasies of autogynephiliacs are erotic. The reason the fantasies seem so compelling and that some feel that the urges are so overwhelming is partly that they are driven by strong sexual energies.

    Freud was wrong about a lot of things, but I am convinced he was right when he argued that suppress libido will surface somewhere else if it cannot find a natural outlet (through healty sex with another human being).

    More often than not the desires of the autogynephiliac cannot find a natural outlet and the psyche becomes overwhelmed with sexual energy.

    Some two and a half years ago I went through a period where I was fighting daily with these urges. At times it felt like I was possessed by some kind of female demon.

    No, I was not schizophrenic. If I had been insane, I would have believed that I truly was possessed. I knew enough about psychological processes to recognize what I saw: I was overwhelmed by hidden parts of my self which I had not had the courage to face.

    Carl Jung calls this the shadow, and in dreams and myths the shadow is often given the shape of a demon, devil, witch or trickster.

    Jung also thought me that this shadow contains the energy and the strength you so sorely need. Depression and anxiety are often caused by such repressed dreams and memories. If you want to get that energy back you need to confront the shadow and accept it as part of yourself.

    I started doing the unthinkable: I produced a large amount of TG erotica in a very short time,letting out a lot of steam and using the material to analyse myself. Then I started this blog in order to find a new language to make sense of it all.

    By living out his sexual fantasies with you, your husband will get an outlet for his sexual energy within the framework of a stable and accepting relationship. You can never say anything for certain, of course, but it is a fair chance that he will never ever take that final step you are talking about. He doesn't have to.

  2. Adding my TG/TS 2 cents. I think B&B are idiots. Not specifically their specific judgments on cd/tg/ts/AG, but their audacity to think that everyone with a type of issue fits in one category. They start to talk about the continuum and then drop it. Instead they shoot from the hip and create a foci and try to shove everyone into it.

    I'm not saying you are incorrect either. but your tree is missing some branches. The same one's B&B tried to dismiss.

    By definition I am a TS, as I have started to do something to modify my body. In this case hormones, and electrolysis. Surgery awaits me down the road.

    According to B&B, I either am aroused by the thought of having sex as a woman (no) or am gay (no again. want to try for 3?).

    I am somewhat bi, but on that continuum I lean extremely heavily to the female side...Sorry all, but men are pigs. I enjoy making love with a woman much more than I would or did with a man. Hence the 26 year marriage.

    On the other side though I feel extremely driven to BE a woman. That every fiber of my being screamed out for it for years. Till finally it was end it completely or adapt to who I am. I chose the later. My wife in deciding she was not a lesbian and could not follow me that far down the path has amicably separated from me. She could follow me a ways, but not as far as I feel I will need to go. I still love her and she me, but we were hurting each other by me needing desperately to move forward, and her desperately needing me to slow down or stop.

    I am now full time. Does it arouse me? No....people arouse me. Soft lips and the scent of certain perfumes in the air. A light touch in the right places at the right time. Words whispered in my ear.

    So what have I and am I going to get from this. Peace. Noting comments from co-workers, friends, doctors and therapists.... I am more relaxed and at peace...more comfortable with myself and with others than I ever have been. A couple said I even glow or radiate.

    I am me finally. The me that was inside. The me that loves women. The me that likes to hang out and chat in a nice T and jeans. Who still likes futzing with things, but takes time to put on makeup in a way that makes me as elegant as I can be and not sexy...I don't think there's enough makeup in the world to make a 50+ year old 'sexy' to the average person.

    I just want to be me.... no I have to be me or I will die, one way or another.

    And B&B had no place for the 1/4-1/2 of the MtF's like me.


  3. I'm betting that I'm missing trunks! LOL

    My take is that B&B were describing a small percentage of MtF's - their description definitely fits my William. At least as he is now... Where he is going to go, I don't know... and that scares me a little...actually a lot.

    Our counselor asked me what would happen if his path took him somewhere that I couldn't "go with him", such as him wanting to be exclusively with a man. This is my biggest fear. I am not a man. And I have no desire to become one. I know that if William had told me something like that when I first discovered his secret, it would have been a show-stopper. Now...I don't know. Maybe not. At this point, I'd at least be willing to go to counseling and try to work it out. (And at this point, it's only theoretical anyway.) But the question got me to thinking...

    By trying to "map" out our path, I am trying to prepare myself as best I can for the future. At least, now, if I consider all the options, then I will be prepared (as best I can?) no matter which one he chooses. And my prayer is that "he and I together forever" is where he is happiest...