Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trying to Organize my Thoughts

I wanted to write a post about relationships and how William's and my relationship is faring. But there are too many random thoughts flitting around in my brain. So I thought I'd just write all the thoughts down and see what happens...

Sex is something that all (well, okay...most) animals do in order to procreate. Procreation is a biological need for most species...but not humans. Humans choose to have sex for pleasure and several do not feel any need to procreate at all. While masturbation is acceptable, most prefer sexual intercourse with another human being.

Relationships are vital to human beings. Studies have been done on infants, depriving them of human touch and affections...nearly all of them died. Love is vital. Human touch is vital. So why do AGP's try so very hard to satisfy all of those needs within themselves?

I read somewhere that when a part of your life becomes dysfunctional, it's importance in your life becomes disproportionately large. Much larger than it should be. I have found that to be true in my life. I'm sure it's true for many who are trying to "find themselves."

Why do some AGP's only imagine that they are female when they want to have sex while others feel more feminine in other areas of their life. Is this then the difference between those who eventually choose to transition and those who do not? Can AGP be a gender identity issue for some and a sexual fetish for others? Is it the same AGP then? or is it actually different?

The issue of inadequacy and low self-esteem seems to be related to AGP, but are they caused BY the AGP or are they a result of the AGP. It seems to be a case of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

William has pretty low self-esteem when it comes to his looks. He is a very nice looking man. I thought so the first time I met him - and I still think so today. He, however, does not find himself attractive as a male at all. He sees himself as a "geek" and focuses on his "bad points" - which, oddly enough, do not matter to me in the slightest. He does, however, find himself attractive when dressed in drag. Obviously, his perspective is extremely skewed!__________________________________________

Not sure what really to make of all of these thoughts, but it was worth writing them down to get them out of my head. I'll finish with a quote I read yesterday by Emerson "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feelings of Power? or Powerlessness?

Something happened this weekend that has me asking some questions and I'm hoping that some of my readers can offer some insight.

William had a bad day on Saturday. He was out doing "manly-man things" with a few male friends - and things didn't go like he wanted them to. He came home frustrated and irritated with himself. And he'd only been home for about 15 minutes when he came to me and asked me to follow him into the bedroom. He hesitated for only a moment and then confess that he was having an almost uncontrollable urge to dress in [something specific]. He said he was "about ready to come out of his skin. He just needed to do it right now" I asked what he wanted to do after he put the outfit on and he just shrugged. He asked me if he could. It was not the most convenient time (our kids were upstairs playing with a friend), but after considering it, I locked the bedroom door while he went and dressed. It was just the outfit and high heels. He admired himself in the mirror for a minute and then we had sex. It was over pretty quickly. Afterwards, he held me for a few minutes and kissed me. After we dressed in regular clothing, he kissed me again and thanked me - he said that he felt much better.

So...I have tons of thoughts about what happened... To start with, one of the things that I've been reading under the addiction component is that one should never use one's partner as an "object" to satisfy their sexual urges. I agree that this is part of a reasonable definition of a healthy sexual relationship. In this particular case, William did come get me when he felt an extreme urge; he asked me if it was okay - and I said yes; so in that sense, I'm not sure that I was completely "objectified", but I definitely felt that I was not an important piece of the act. It was completely all about him, the way his bum looked in his outfit, his heels - I was superfluous. I also felt that, in the moment, I really didn't have a choice to say "no." Now, obviously I had a choice, but I was definitely worried that if I said no, he would justify going off and doing something for himself - and that was definitely the worse option. (Just for the record - I have NEVER said "no" to him. He's said "no" to me plenty of times, but I have never said "no.")

I brought these questions up to William the next evening. Even though I was not angry (although just talking about this subject continues to bring up some hurt feelings and those can come through as anger) and William tried hard NOT to be defensive, we struggled a bit together to discuss what happened calmly and rationally. And after some discussion, we really didn't come to any big epiphanies. Neither of us are sure if my agreeing to what happened was the "right" thing to do. William admitted that if I had said no, he may have possibly justified going off and satisfying his urges on his own (he continues to maintain that he has not done that since my discovery), so his intent (and hope) in asking me was so that he wouldn't do anything to jeopardize our progress. Our hope is now that we have identified some of the "what-ifs" and possibilities inherent in this particular urge of his, in the future, William will be better able to cope with it. He does not want to resort to justifying an action that he knows would hurt us. He stated his hope that by discussing this now, next time he comes to me with an urge, I can help him try to control them- at least until a more convenient time. Eventually, we hope that he can control his urges as opposed to being controlled by them. Wow -this just occurred to me - if we are able to follow through with this, we are truly becoming "partners"...aren't we? sorry, I digress...

My blog doesn't end there, however...
As I have continued to consider what happened, more questions have come to my mind: why then? Why the "almost uncontrollable urge" right then? In an email he wrote a few days later to his brother about the events of that day, he described "putting himself down to his friends first before they had a chance to point out how useless he was." That statement made me pause to consider two posts that I read recently. The first, on http://www.autogynephiliac.blogspot.com/, one of the latest posts briefly described one theory of sexual/social selection as having to do with social "power groups" and the males "plumage" gaining him admittance to such social groups. The second was a comment left on one of my blog postings, Ag_in_Doubt, a self-described AGP, described his theory of AGP as "Through fantasies, [AGP's] escape their actual selves and the intimidating real life sexual reality that is likely to cause them shame and embarrassment. In exchange, they invert the situation and become vessels of sexual power, bestowing untold pleasures and delight upon the kinds of men they think they ought to be...You see, as the regular "us" in our everyday lives, we walk into a room and feel ugly and unnoticed by women - and scorned by the men. Our standing in the sexual pecking order brings nothing but insecurity and shame. But when we BECOME HER, all that is changed. " This felt "right" at the time I read it - it seems even more pertinent now, considering Saturday's events. Was William's need to dress a direct result of his feelings of failure and worthlessness in doing a typically "male" thing? Did he need to regain his power by dressing like a woman, thus becoming "powerful"?

More questions follow in my mind: Does William really consider women the more "powerful" group? And why? I've noticed that William's ideas of what women are and want are not "real." His fantasies are just that...fantasies. I think when he dresses, he becomes what he wants in a woman - again, completely satisfying his own needs himself...

Anyway, to sum up and get to my questions for all of YOU...
I'm still not convinced that AGP fully falls into any defined category out there - gender, sexual orientation, addiction, transvestism, fetish....any and all fit some aspects of this. To better understand how this affects my partner's particular case, I have a few questions for anyone out there who identifies themselves as AGP - do you always want to become female during sex? or is it only sometimes? Have you ever linked your desires with outside feelings or events? Would you agree that it has to do with "power?" What makes it powerful for you? Do you act on your fantasies as soon as they hit? What do you do if you can't act on those urges either immediately or at all?

12/16 - I edited some of the above post to clarify my questions just a bit...

And I wanted to add that William completely denies that his bad day had anything to do with his actions on Saturday. He denies that it has anything to do with power or feelings of inadequacy. Maybe he's right. I don't know.

Of course, William also denies any TG/TS feelings whatsoever, yet he has a LOT of shemale/TG/TS porn in his collection. He has downloaded several photos of shemales and used them to masturbate to. All of his written fantasy is about males becoming females. He has no explanation for any of those things - or anything he does - except to say that "it's just normal exploration and that [he's] sure that it's not trans-sexual in any way..." Maybe it's not TS/TG, but from my perspective, I'm not sure what else to call it. If it looks like a horse, moves like a horse, etc.

My point being that I'm not sure I can trust his "instincts" about this. I think he continues to fight to remain in the dark about himself. He doesn't want to know why he does the things he does. So how can I believe his answers when I believe that he is lying even to himself. Again, my question is "how can you control something that you don't understand?"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Emotional Sharing

We had an interesting discussion last week at our therapy appointment. It revolved around the emotional sharing that occurs in a relationship. For most of our relationship, William has been resistant to this sharing. I knew he had emotions. I knew he loved me and the kids. I always thought of him as "still waters running deep." But I didn't realize until recently how much of himself he didn't share, how much he kept to himself. Even more than the sexual fantasies, he didn't share his desires, fears, and feelings - he didn't share himself. Prior to September 17th, William had been physically affectionate with hugs and kisses outside of the bedroom, he has participated in raising our children, he had done the surface things required of him as a husband and father., but it was a false front.

In the beginning of our discussion, William revealed that his fears. He felt that fully sharing himself emotionally with me would somehow dilute him; make him less than himself. He felt that I was asking him to sacrifice him as an individual on the alter of our marriage. Funny. I don't see it that way at all. In fact, I believe that it's the exact opposite. I believe that emotional sharing would make him MORE, not less. Certainly not less of an individual. I see that sharing as a way to "flesh out" the ghost partner that I've had for seven years, making him more real, more solid. Definitely not diluted. I actually believe that the emotional sharing is a key component of a committed relationship - otherwise we'd just be friends with privileges. Or maybe even less, maybe just roommates. And after much discussion and thought, I asked William to take that leap...regardless of his fears. I asked him to begin to share himself. And he agreed. And what's more, he followed up his words with an action. This week, he asked for my help with a recurring problem that he has never asked for my help with before. A problem that I have asked to be allowed to help with for years, a request that he had always denied previously. It was a big deal for both of us - and I can't tell you how good it made me feel.

William's reluctance to share his emotional self, to allow me "in" makes me think about some of the comments left on this blog and others. It's made me think about William's instinct to satisfy all of his needs himself - and what that "all" encompasses. About the fear of one's own inadequacies. About the dark and lonely side of AGP. And I believe that, in the same way that change, even a positive one, is scary, William is afraid to let this go. After all, this secret and secluded way of living is all he has ever known. In some ways, I am honored that he is fighting himself so hard...for me...for us.

In case you can't tell, I'm actually at a high point this week. I feel good. I am very happy that William is open to trying, to making efforts, to put himself into our marriage.

And so we continue our work...