Saturday, October 2, 2010

Response to Comments...

I recently received several interesting comments from "Anonymous".  I responded to one on the comment thread, but thought his second deserves a blog posting of it's own.  Here's the comment:

"I don't catch why you don't allow your man to dress, use a dildo and masturbate alone ?!!!  He could do that alone and afterwards have sex normaly with you.

In my case, I have a need to dress. The pulsion gets stronger and stronger. If I don't dress for a while, I dream about it when I sleep ! If I try to not dress, I feel bad and I am not interested with the girl I date. I am away. In my own world. Reality doesn't count.   After I dressed and had sex alone, I feel relieved, more or less normal and I am very atrtacted to girls again. So I can have sex like a man, without thinking that I am a woman.

I don't want to have sex in DRAG with a girl because I know that I will feel ridiculious next to her female body, I will not feel like a woman but like a DRAG.

Why not leting your man having sex with men ? What do you risk ? He will always come back and this is just sex. Other normal straight men have sex with women while married. All men have more or less affairs. At least, in your case, you are sure that he couldn't fall in love and leave. Your husband will NEVER leave you if you allow him to be free. In exchange, he would probably not need anymore to be dressed to have sex with you.

You must catch that for men, sex and love are 2 different things, unlike for women who link sex to feelings. A man can have sex with a stranger, it is like eating with a stranger = simple and natural.  So having sex alone or with other people doesn't mean that he doesn't love you.

Let him be free in his sex life. Your relationship and sex can only be better as he will felt understood and himself.  Of course, set some limits to protect himself and your security = no strangers at home, he has sex in parties or hotels. No sex without condoms. The best would be to have a few regular lovers, you could even know them !!!

At the end, this is just dressing clothes and playing a role. It doesn't change your man. He is the same.

We only have one life. So why bothering with details like having a man who would like to be a woman ?!!!

I think that your pain problem is that you don't like yourself so much and so feel rejected as a woman. But it doesn't come from you. You could be the best looking girl in the world, he would still prefer more or less sex alone than with you because his fantacy is beeing a woman!!!!

You could try to be more sexy because his need to dress can come of a lack of contact with sexy woman though. A woman dressed like he would like to dress. He will not stop dressing but if he sees sexy clothes daily on you, clothes will become more like somple clothes and not something special."
hmmmmm...I have many, many thoughts swirling around in my head, so I'll try to make sense of them for you. 
First, why don't I let William "do this thing alone?"  Well, for one thing, he DID do that for years.  And even though he loved me, our marriage suffered.  Because William was able to fully satisfy his own needs all by himself, he didn't need me.  oh, sure, he loved me, but honestly, day-to-day, he didn't need me for anything more than housekeeping and child-rearing.  And in the long-term relationship of marriage, this was a very bad thing!  It might be crude, but part of the reason a man keeps a woman happy is so that he can "get a little."  And if he doesn't ever want "it" then eventually, even if he loves her, he stops paying attention to her, stops wanting to please her, stops wanting to share his life with her.  And he starts focusing on where he IS getting it - even if it's just within himself. 
And eventually, it spills over into other areas of the marriage.  After seven years of marriage and self-pleasure, William no longer heard me when I talked to him - I had to send him an EMAIL at work if I needed him to remember something!  He would get frustrated with me if I asked him for anything.  And he couldn't wait for me to leave the house so he could spend time with "her."  How sad is that?  When one can't wait for his wife to leave so he can have sex with another - even if the "other" is just himself.  So...having lived William being able to satisfy his own needs for several years...and then having lived William needing ME to satisfy his sexual needs for the last year...NO, I will never, ever give William permission to pleasure himself again.  And while he may choose to do so at some point...well, this time, I will eventually know what's going on... 
Why don't I allow William to have sex outside the marriage with other men?  Well, as far as I'm concerned, William did have sex with someone other than me for the first seven years of our marriage -and it was not beneficial to our relationship.  William and I both come from fairly traditional, conservative families.  William's family is also staunchly Catholic, so his attitudes and feelings are even more conservative than mine!  When this all first came out, one of the first questions I asked him was "did he want a marriage in which he did his thing and I did mine?"  (At the time, it was something that I was willing to consider.)  But his response - "No.  Because that's not what marriage is."  Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  I don't care who you are or what turns you on - I believe that marriage is a commitment between two people in which they promise to forsake all others.  And that means "no sex with anyone else."  Period.  Otherwise, why get married?
"Sex and love are different for a man.  Let him be free in his sex life."   Nope.  Perhaps this works for some women, but not for me.  If he wants to have sex with anyone else, male or female, then we can end our marriage as it stands now and he can go do it.  Because that's just the way I am - and I will not apologize for it.  (Besides, that's a crock.  Remember how much he focused on the one he was getting sex from - and NOT me, the woman he loved?)
And the last part...I must "not like myself very much and feel rejected as a woman."  oh, boy...this is a toughie.  You know...rejection IS one of the things that I felt for a long time.  But not any longer. To some degree, my William is choosing to reject his inner wife for ME.  It's ME that he is choosing, so no, I don't feel rejected any longer, I feel CHOSEN.  It's a wonderful feeling - and what's helped make this work between us. 
As far as "wearing sexy clothes," I used to try to wear lingerie and sexy clothes for him before I found out and he didn't react to them...AT ALL.  In fact, he said that he really didn't care for them, so I stopped.  Now I know it was the exact opposite - it was just so close to the truth that he backed away from it.  He felt like he couldn't risk having me know that he liked the clothes in case he couldn't stop himself from revealing more.  So now that I know, there's no more harm.  I dress, he dresses...and sometimes we dress together.  Which is absolutely fine with me.  As long as it's with me!   
So bottom line...every person's relationship is different.  What works for one might not work for another's.   I'm curious, Anonymous...are you in a long-term committed relationship?  Does your partner know about you?  And what does she think?

sorry...I had to come back and add one more thing...and that is: sex is a crucial part of a relationship.  oh, I know there is the odd one in which sex is not a factor (more power to 'em), but that is not the "norm."  As a general rule, heterosexual men seek out heterosexual women for relationships and marriage, so do gay men with gay men and lesbian women with lesbian women.  We don't marry our friends and only meet with the opposite sex for mating.  No, most of us enjoy spending time, cultivating a relationship with the person that we are also sexually attracted to.  I say again, mutual sexual attraction is important!  I've read AGP's who say things that they are most attracted to themselves and that the other person is irrevelant.  HUH????  That's not a relationship that most non-AGP people would be interested in participating in.  If you don't care about the other person's feelings and are only focused on satisfying your own sexual needs, then you are just using them for your own purposes.  And that's not a relationship at all.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Credit Where Credit is Due

This week, I helped my friend who lost her husband go through his computer photos, looking for ones to print out for the wake.  I can't tell you what feelings came up when we came across one particular folder titled "Unusual Ones".  It was obvious what type of photos the folder contained.  My friend was aware that her husband looked at pictures, so she wasn't upset, but it really brought up negative feelings in me.  Memories from finding certain photos from one year ago. ....  I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am that I found out about William BEFORE his passing.  So grateful I've had the opportunity to work through the anger and the hurt.  If something had happened to William, I WOULD have found his stash of clothes, toys, photos - and I would have hated him.  And I would have never been able to get past it.  So, I'm writing about this to say that if any of you out there have NOT told your spouse - and you don't intend to, then the very least, do whatever you need to do to ensure that she will NEVER find out.  Not even after you are gone.  I can't imagine what that would do to a wife who has just lost her husband.  Please, don't do that to someone who loves you. 

Now, that bit of sadness aside... I wanted to make one more statement.  It seems to me that sometimes this piece of our success gets overlooked...

William and I are doing great, but it's not because I've accepted him and everything that comes along with AGP.  It's because I have done that to the maximum degree that I could - AND because William has worked every bit as hard as I have to make our marriage work.  He has really made the effort to understand MY perspective in all of this.  He has learned to open up and communicate his feelings with me.  He and I have actively negotiated exactly what components of his desires we will incorporate into our relationship - and what we will not.  And he has been willing to compromise.  He understands that there are times when I still struggle with our situation.  He has been understanding when we come up against those few things that, for one reason or another, I am not willing or able to do.  And he honors my request that he NOT do anything solo. credit where credit is due.  This marriage has worked because of BOTH of us, not because of just one of us.  Negotiation and compromise are part of every successful marriages - and ours is no different.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blog Post SOOOO Worth Reading!

The Crossdresser's Wife is a fabulous blog from a woman who accepts her husband's crossdressing.  So, not quite the same thing as AGP, buuuut...the attitude of acceptance, for me at least, is the same.  I absolutely LOVE this particular post titled "No One is Normal"   So true!!!  :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Year Later...

Almost one year later...and, boy, have we come a long ways, baby!

I almost feel like celebrating.  One year of an almost more real marriage.  One year of honesty.  One year of sharing.  One year. 

My best friend lost her husband this past weekend.  Sudden heart attack at age 48.  Two kids - 10 and 12 years of age.  It's made me think a lot, this week, about my marriage, about William and our relationship.  I wouldn't change William for anything - well, okay, maybe, honestly, sometimes I wish that the AGP could go, but it's also part of who my husband is.  Part of why he is the way he is.  And I love him, so..., no...I wouldn't change him for anything.  (I'd just have had him tell me sooner!)

Reality is...there's nothing earth-shattering to blog about anymore.  We are doing well.  Real Life has taken over again, AGP no longer dominates everything we do...or think about.  I still read the blogs (I'm thrilled that there is so much discussion about it!)  I'm still interested in learning more about AGP, but I'm not obsessed with it.  We are, obviously, still aware of it.  It doesn't go away.  We are still aware that William needs to be in control of it, else it gain control of him again.  So when we need to, when life gets stressful and "triggers" come up, we still talk about ways to deal with AGP, but those discussions are becoming rarer.   More and more often, we just share our needs with each other - and satisfy them together. 

I'm proud of us.  We've worked hard to make "us" work - and we are both happy.  So Congratulations to Us! 


Monday, August 2, 2010

Something to Think About...

Quotes from a book that I just finished reading...

"Love that lived beyond passion was ephemeral...It existed outside of time, on a continuum that couldn't be seen or described.."

"Never to give up the primacy of sex was to die alone, in a kind of poverty.  It was never to know the comfort of sex without need."

"...marriage brought a kind of simple pleasure, a pleasure in the continued company of another human being, the act of caring, of carrying with you the thought of someone else."

-Robert Goolrick
"The Reliable Wife"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Life is Good!

Hi all!  Just a quick update.  Summer has gotten quite busy with the kids and, and, and.  So I haven't had a chance to blog.  But William and I are good. Good enough that we are putting ourselves to the test.  Prior to my discovery, we had started a process to do something.  Something big. Something that will cause some changes in our life, but will also likely bring a certain level of stress with it.  After all, even good things can be stressful.  Anyway, this spring, we had sort of a "now or never" decision to make - so after much (MUCH!) discussion, we elected "now."  So it's started...  It's a good thing.   

This week was a big week in that process, probably the biggest one that we'll have, truthfully.  I've been a bit worried how this would affect William, me, us, our marriage, everything.  Well, maybe not really worried, per se, after all, we talked about this a LOT before we proceeded.  But perhaps...aware?  We are really trying to focus on "us", on our stress level, and on reducing that stress level while we go through this.  William wanted to do a "big" dress this week - out of cycle.  Which means he is under more stress.  At first, I was a little upset (at myself for continuing on with this project), but then I thought about it more.  Actually, his request was a good thing.  It means that we are identifying our stressors and working hard to relieve them.  Working together.  Talking together.  Talking things out.

And we're good.  :) 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Link to New Blog

I received a very nice email from the male half of another couple trying to incorporate something "different" into their marriage. He is also blogging about it and offered up a link to his blog. Here's part of his email to me:

I also wanted to say that both my wife and I have some understanding of the dilemma you have found yourself in, as we are now going through similar experiences with regards to how my crossdressing has progressed from wearing - to dreaming - to become a male-lesbian during intimacy. Though our situation is a bit different from yours as far as my dressing goes, it is this last aspect of my transvestism, something that even I do not understand completely, that we are now trying to deal with. In attempting to articulate and understand the many questions my behaviour poses to both me and my wife, I too have begun to write a blog of my own which I hope will shed some light and be of some help to others who find themselves in a similar situation.

I will read with interest - the other perspective is so very helpful to me in my own journey...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Son Wants to Wear a Nightgown

A long time ago, I told my son that if he wanted to wear a dress like his sister's, it was okay with me. He absolutely loves pink and purple and pretty things. He's declined to wear dresses until now, mostly because he knows that other kids would tease him, I think. Then, three nights ago, he asked if he could wear a nightgown to bed. He's seven. I'm wasn't sure if he was serious or joking around, so I just said "sure" and tried to be very nonchalant about it. He put on one of his sister's nightgowns (about 2 sizes too small!) and paraded around for a little bit. His sister was giggling about it, but in a "Let's swap -I'm going to wear boys pajamas to bed!" way. It certainly wasn't meant to be cruel. My son wore the nightgown for about 15 minutes before complaining it was too tight around the arms and took it off.

So was it just a joke...or something more?

Anyway, yesterday, I was out shopping. And saw little girl's nightgowns on clearance. I got my daughter a couple of "Princess" and "Tinkerbell" nightgowns - couldn't pass up a good deal...and then, on impulse, got one more in my son's size.

It's still in the bag.

I'm torn between (A) giving it to him, (B) putting it in my daughter's drawer and letting them discover that it's a little bit too big for her which will lead to "oh, maybe it could fit Will, Jr?" or (c) doing absolutely nothing at all with it. Maybe just putting it away until my daughter is big enough to fit into it.

I haven't had a chance to talk to William about it yet - it's been a busy week. And we're moving into the latter half of his cycle where he wants to dress for sex. Will that affect his thoughts about it? Would it be better to wait until he's "post-femm?"

And what am I setting my son up for if I allow it? Neither he nor his sister can keep a secret for anything, so who will they tell? They are spending a night with grandparents this weekend - and I guarantee Grandpa will NOT be understanding. Is it fair to ask them to keep it quiet? I certainly don't want to set my child for any teasing or cruelty.

I know that I need to talk to William about it - and I will, but it will likely be this weekend before we get a chance to really sit down and discuss it. And if we decide to give it to him, it will NOT be before the weekend at Grandpa's. But how seriously should I take this? What do I do?

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Pattern Emerges

Hi all,

It's been awhile since I've posted anything, so I thought I'd get out a quick update. It's odd to think about life pre-Sept '09...and yet, sometimes...this new life almost seems surreal...

A pattern has emerged. William doesn't like it much when I point out, I think he'd prefer to think that "it" was not predictable, but it's undeniable. He's on a 28 day cycle, just like me. His cycle starts with "normal, sex as a male is good" only a couple of times a week. As the cycle progresses, William's desires gradually escalate both in frequency and in his interest in feminizing during sex. It culminates with a big session of role reversal in full drag followed by a cessation of his desires for several days. I have had issues with the "down time" after the "big event", so following the last couple of cycles, William has made efforts to reduce the number of "down days" after to only 3 or 4 - and that has worked for me.

The obvious pattern further emphasizes to me that AGP is fundamentally biological. And in some ways, it's another piece that makes it a little bit easier for me, less personal. My sense of control likes knowing what to expect and when. On the other hand, it can be frustrating when William resists recognizing it. (Not sure why - maybe the "control" again?)

I have to say, eight months post-discovery, that overall, life is excellent. It does sadden me, sometimes, to think about having to deal with this in our lives. I don't dwell on it - it's not worth it, it just crosses my mind occasionally. Then again, no one's life is perfect...and I wouldn't change one other thing about William, so ultimately, it's just life... and it's good.

Hope all is well with all of you out there. God Bless.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another Spouse

I've gotten a few updates from "R" - the other spouse I wrote about before. She sounds good, hopeful. Knowing that we have made a difference for another couple - it's a satisfying feeling. Truly, it's made my month :) "R" asked a few more questions and I thought I'd share my answers with all of you - perhaps it might answer some of yours as well...

R - But I really wrestle with how far are we going to take this?? I mean, there is not ONE thing that is remotely feminine about my husband in his appearance – he is huge! 6’ 2” and as broad as a door frame and can do just about anything – and it is those very attributes that attracts me to him! What will I do when he wants to appear more feminine in the bedroom and that does NOT turn me on!?!

The one miraculous thing (for me)is that somehow I am not pining away over the lost time (14 years for gods sake) I think we just drew the line in the sand and both stepped over it and are moving forward.

Me - I'm happy for you. I hope you and your husband have the same results that we have had. I won't say "luck" because it's actually a lot of hard work. It's not easy, but it's so worth it! The line in the sand you describe - it's like that for us also. So many other things in our relationship have changed for the positive. We have a much more solid foundation now than before. Williams hears me now when I talk. I don't have to email him if I want him to remember something I said. He really looks at me now and smiles at me. He wants to hug me, hold my hand, share our lives. This is what I imagined my marriage would be like. Not that my life was bad before - it wasn't, but it's so much better now. I feel like we can weather almost anything.

As far as dressing...My husband is dark, swarthy and hairy with a mustache - imagine Freddy Mercury. Truthfully, he looks a bit silly to me in drag. But in some ways, the fact that he looks so masculine to me almost helps. I think if he looked really feminine, it would bother me more. I can't imagine making love to a girl. But even in full drag (wig and make-up and everything), my William is still my William. It's still his eyes looking at me and his mouth smiling at me. He's very vulnerable when he is dressed, but it makes me feel for him even more. Sometimes, I get pangs of "I'm not enough" , usually when other things are getting me down - or if I'm PMS'g really bad! LOL But most of the time, it feels like a sex game and it doesn't bother me at all. It doesn't remotely turn me on at all, but it doesn't turn me off either. Take it a little bit at a time - try some panties and bras first and then build up. And talk about it together! Let him know what you are thinking.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Answering a Few Questions

A few days ago, I received an email from another wife of an AGP. With a few exceptions, her story reads very similarly to mine. She sent me an email, telling her story and asking three specific questions. (This are edited a bit...) Did I ever consider divorce? How could I have sex again with him so soon after my discover? And how did I find a therapist in a rural area?

This is my response to her...

In response to your questions...divorce...yes, it more than crossed my mind. In fact, the first day or two, I would have sworn that was were we were going -- and it was so scary. How was I going to support two kids? Not only had I lost my husband, I had lost my best friend - and I couldn't talk to anybody else about it! I think it was when I offered William the option of "living together with him doing his thing and me doing my own thing" and he said "no" that made me think that we had a chance of making it. That was a couple of days after my discovery. I have told William that lying to me will take us down that path again, although I did amend it to tell him that if he faltered, he'd be checking himself into a sex addiction clinic to deal with his issues if he wanted us to stay together. some strange way, it was my way of controlling the situation. And at the same time, re-affirming myself as a woman. He hadn't wanted me in so long, it was a little powerful to be wanted again. We are still having sex 3-4 times a week - as opposed to our one "quarterly" of before. Some piece of me worries that if he's not wanting to have sex with me, it's because he's finding satisfaction somewhere else. I'm slowly relaxing about it, but I'm also aware that it's when I relax my guard that he's the most likely to stray. As I wrote in my blog...I trust his love for me, but I don't trust his ability to resist his urges.

Therapist...actually our therapist doesn't know a whole lot of detail about William. He was unaware of autogynephilia until we had mentioned it. He knows that William cross-dresses for sex and he knows that there was sexual anorexia. And he knows that we had lots of issues to deal with! We didn't go in asking to "fix" William, though. We started off by saying that we wanted him to help us deal with this inside our marriage - to incorporate it into our lives - so he focused completely on our communication and relationship. His goal was to get us to the point where we could talk about what was happening in our marriage in a productive manner. I found him by googling "gay and lesbian" and "marriage counselor" hoping that he would at least be open-minded. The one we found has interests in both, although his primary focus is marriage counseling.

Outside of counseling, I found my most help in looking at AGP as a sex addiction rather than a fetish. The book "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse - How Partners Cope and Heal" by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means was extremely helpful as it gave me permission to be angry. To feel betrayed. To feel EXACTLY how I was feeling. Getting that support was helpful in allowing me to move on. Sex addiction was also something that "clicked" with William. It changed his perspective on what he was feeling - and how I was reacting. - and made it easier to communicate. I HIGHLY recommend picking it up. The authors also have a webpage/forum that I found helpful.

I think that thinking of this as a sex addiction somehow makes it less personal to me. And I understand that an addict can really, really want to control themselves, but there are times when the urges become over-powering. It takes away that "if you loved me, you'd stop" piece and makes it "if you love me, you will work to try to control this - and ask for help if you can't" - takes the pressure off just a bit.

Check out the website " - it is also a wonderful online resource.

Knowing that I am not alone helps me as well.

I thought about what I had written...and NOT written overnight and sent this the following morning...

I wanted to add something...most addicts try abstaining as the primary way to control their addictions. Because I do believe that AGP is biologically based (somewhere on the gender spectrum), I'm not sure that abstaining is realistic. I also knew that William didn't really want to stop - he only wanted to make me happy - and that's not going to give him the "umph" necessary to truly stop forever. So we have decided to "control" it. I personally am okay with the cross-dressing piece of this. And role-reversal during sex is all right also - but not every time. We incorporate his "fantasy" into our sex life once a week or so. But I get him as a man also. Masturbation is forbidden, period. Sex outside of US is cheating, period. Even if it with himself. Fantasies are the gray area. I don't think that he can help them popping into his mind, but he certainly can choose to NOT lay there and fantasize for some time.

We talk about this - a lot. Like you, I am a talker - but one thing I learned in therapy is that William does not hear me as clearly as I speak - which was a real shock. AGP's don't communicate "normally", so learning to communicate with him has been key. Everything I said, he took as "against him" - an affirmation of his unworthiness. It didn't "fit" - my William has always been so confident, so masculine, but the incredibly poor self-esteem is part of everything that he was hiding. And he is as good at hiding the insecurity as he is the behaviors...

She wrote me back expressing several concerns that she had about her own relationship. Again, this was my response to her...

William has always been about masturbation as well. He says that it is still really, really hard to abstain . Saturday afternoons are the most difficult for him. My fear is that this will always be an issue for him - can he hold out against his urges for the rest of his life? He tells me that he has not strayed...but he also admits that he's not 100% sure that he will tell me if he does. How do I know if he is telling me the truth? I don't. I still worry. I still get freaked out whenever he is home alone. I still worry about where this is going (escalation). I still feel a little hurt feeling in my chest when he dresses - that I'm not enough for him. That he can't just stop now that we are so much better together. But the reality is - he can't. The hurt is much smaller now than it was, but sometimes it swells up again.

I call him when things being to "swirl inside" - talking to him about it helps. Just last week, we talked about I don't understand how could he NOT be gay when he wants to (sorry for the bluntness!) "suck dick" and "be penetrated." His response "I don't know either - that's what makes it so confusing for me as well. It would be so much easier if I was just gay! But I don't find men attractive, I find women attractive" (Jack Molay posted his blog with the comment about AGP's liking "shemale porn" right after our conversation - "light bulb moment!")

The thing is: William doesn't know where this is going either. The escalation piece of this scares him as well (although now he feels like he DOES have a certain amount of control over it.) I feel certain now that he's not going to go all the way to transition - more because it would freak his family out and he couldn't handle disappointing his parents. He also hates, hates, hates confrontation, so I doubt public cross-dressing would be somewhere he would go. But these conclusions came after a few months of therapy. I DO believe that if I hadn't found out last September, he would have eventually met another man (as a woman) and had sex. Somehow, in his mind, I think he would have justified that as "not cheating" because it wasn't with another woman. He does not deny this.

I guess that the difference between now and right after my discovery is that we have both recommitted to our relationship. We have made our relationship a separate entity from us and we are both making efforts to do what is in the best interest of the relationship. It took me awhile to accept the idea that he had to learn to trust me as well as me learning to trust him. We both still feel exposed a bit and there are still "egg-shell" subjects. The third party marriage counseling helped enormously. Our therapist was able to rephrase things in such a way that William was able to grasp what I was saying. I thought I was being clear as a bell, but somehow, he still wasn't getting it. There are still times when I have preface what I am saying to him with "I know that I'm sounding angry, but it's really hurt talking, not anger." (learned from therapy) We have learned that verbally acknowledging that the subject is "egg-shell" in the beginning of the conversation makes it a bit easier to talk about.

Based on William's and my experience, I don't think that bridges are ever burned. But either of you can make the choice to NOT go forward together. It's a lot of work to incorporate this into a relationship. And I personally believe that you will have to incorporate this because he can't give up the transgender part of this, it's biologically part of his brain make-up. He most certainly CAN, however, make the choice to give up the addictive behaviors that can be part of AGP. Masturbation is NOT part of a healthy relationship, period. It's addictive behavior that doesn not belong in a marriage. Escalation is also part of sex addiction - in fact, it's a key component to the diagnosis.

I guess my advice to you would be to find out if both of you are willing to put forth the effort to make your relationship work. Seriously. For real, this time. If he's not willing to put in the work, then your efforts are not going to make the difference. If he is interested, point him to my blog and to Jack Molay's. Talk to him about the sexual addictive side of AGP. I printed out a bunch of stuff from the website and gave them to William to read. I took the spouse quiz on there and gave it to him also. And asked him to take the other one. Once he saw that his behaviors were really "addictive", he realized that he had more than a fetish. I strongly recommend that you find a counselor to help you communicate. One who is local and that you can see weekly as you try to work through this. Or even who will do Internet or telephone therapy - I almost did that ourselves. The third party really helped keep our communication grounded and on track - it stopped the "unproductive escalation" that we had at home. And as I threatened William, there are several in-patient sex addiction clinics that will be in our list of options if he ever strays again.

It's a hard road - and not easy. But as William has said - it's so much better now than before - for both of us. If you are thinking that there is a chance - then there is one. It's not over until it's OVER.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Sex Life of Crossdreamers (Re-posting)

This is not my creation, rather it's something that Jack Molay wrote on his blog. It's an awesome piece and I thought it worth re-posting on my blog. The original can be found here.

The Sex Life of Crossdreamers (Autogynephiles)

It will probably take some time before Cosmopolitan writes a "how to" guide on how to cope with a crossdreamer (men who fantasize about having a woman's body, also known as autogynephiliacs). But if the woman's magazine ever does, maybe they would write something like this.

Cosmopolitan June 2025.
My husband is a crossdreamer! How to keep your relationship thriving.

Your boyfriend tells you he is a crossdreamer. He gets turned on by imagining himself being a woman. In bed he wants to take your role. He may even want to borrow your lingerie. So now what do you do?

Know that there are good news as well as bad news.

From Venus and Mars
The good news is that you have found a man that worships you more than most men can do. He admires your looks, your wits and your ways to such an extent that he would like to be like you. Given all the misogynists out there, that is not a bad bargain.
The "inner woman" of a crossdreamer may also make him more sensitive. What some of them lack in testosterone driven masculinity they make up for in their love for you, your family and kids.

Fear and self loathing
The bad news is that he may be slightly traumatized. There are male pop stars and Hollywood actors coming out as metrosexuals and male lesbians, but in small towns a man having feminisation fantasies will still be considered a freak.
This means that he may also think that you consider him a pervert, whatever you tell him. His self-esteem may be low. The fact that crossdreaming was considered a "paraphilia" by the American medical establishment up until 2023 has not helped.
In order to keep your love he might try to hide his dreams. If he is a crossdresser he may hide his feminine clothing out of your sight. This may make him distant and withdrawn. His inner woman becomes your rival instead of your partner. If you want to make this relationship to work, it is therefore important that you help him bring his secret life out in the open.
Do the woman thing: talk about it! The man in him probably hates the idea, but his "inner woman" may become your best ally.

Is he a transsexual?
Many women who love crossdreamers harbor another fear: Is he a transsexual? What if he wants to have an operation? Then what do you do?

Note that the crossdreamers can be put into at least three overlapping groups.

The crossmopolitan identifies as a man, and has a good relationship with his own male body. He thrives in the traditional assertive male role as well as the more feminine caring role. For him his feminization fantasies are sexual spice and a way of getting in touch with his feminine side. He will feel no desire to transition for real.

The transsexual feels a strong gender incongruence. He -- or she, rather -- may have spent a lot of energy to suppress her dreams of becoming a woman, but the fact is that if she does not transition she will probably never find peace with herself. She has reached the tipping point where the sum of various genetic and hormonal causes of crossdreaming equals woman. She is a woman!
There are some relationships that survive a male to female transition, but the process will cost you a lot of suffering. It is a sad fact, but most relationships and marriages of this kind fail. You being bisexual might help, though.

The twilighter gets his name from the twilight zone in between the male identifying crossdreamer and the transsexual. He is in the problematic position of being both male and female in close to equal proportions. In our cultural context there is no role for the twin-spirited, and he may find it extremely hard to make peace with himself and the people around him.
Some of the twilighters become love-shy and introvert geeks, preferring their secret fantasies to the love of a real woman. It is not that they do not want your love. The fact is that they desperately long for it, but they find no way of conceptualizing what kind of life you and his inner woman can share. And if they do, they may imagine themselves as male lesbians. And you are probably not looking for a lesbian, are you?

He may still be a very good catch, though. When he understands that you understand him, his gratitude and love will lead him to make a tremendous effort to make the relationship work. He is very likely to be a faithful and committed husband. The trick is to find room for his inner woman. There are ways of doing that.

Is he gay?
The first suspicion that comes to mind when a girl realizes that her boyfriend and husband has a strong inner woman, is that he is gay. There are a lot of gay men with strong feminine sides. Some of them may even harbor feminisation fantasies and get turned on by crossdressing. Drag queens explore their inner woman in this way. Some of them do get married, although not as many as before, now that male homosexuality has become accepted.
Still, most male to female crossdreamers are actually gynephilic. They want to have sex with girls. Really! Check his web browser history. If you find a lot of pictures of sexy hunks, he is most likely gay. But if he is more into Penthouse and Playboy he is straight or bi.
Note however, that some gynephilic crossdreamers may have erotic fantasies about being banged by men. That could mean he is bisexual. But if the men of his fantasies are faceless, they may also be an expression of his desire to be the bottom in the sexual act, not a real sexual desire for the male body per se. He would rather have a woman penetrate him than a man, which is why some crossdreamers also get into "shemale" porn.

8 ways of making a crossdreaming sex life work

1. Make sure he understands your needs and desires. Some crossexuals have never spoken to anyone about their desires and have become pretty self-obsessed. This is an interesting paradox: In spite of the fact that he has a strong inner woman, he may lack the skills needed to interpret the dreams of a woman. Make sure that he understand that your "inner woman" is as important as his. Most crossdreamers can take the active role when having sex -- he owes you much more than that!

2. All right, so he is willing to please you. What can you do to please him? Take the active role! He will love you to be on top! He may fantasizing about you being the one inside him and not the other way round, but who cares as long as you get turned on together?

3. Talk dirty to his inner girl! That will shock him and delight her.

4. If he is a crossdresser, allow him to wear some lingerie. Borrow him some of yours if it fits. But if it makes you very uncomfortable, don't. Your needs are as important as his!

5. His inner woman may desire penetration. A finger up his anus may drive her wild. You will find that his ecstasy will turn you on as well. But demand proper hygiene!

6. If you are of the daring type, try out a strap-on. Pegging gives you full control and allows for his submission.

7. Most men, including many crossdreamers, do not fully get the bonding part of sex, i.e. that sex is just the natural culmination of friendship and love. Some crossdressers do, however. They would very much like to have a pajamas party for two with you doing girly things together -- like painting your toe nails and talk feelings. If you can live with him dressing up, that can work well. Again, tell him when you need him to be your man and not your girl friend!

8. Some crossdreamers would also like to make some body modifications. Shaving body hairs and electrolysis fit well into the crossdressing category. If you can live with his crossdressing, this should not be much of a burden. If he wants to take hormones, however, you need to have a looooong talk, and seek some counselling. Some wives can live with their man growing breasts. But he may also become non-functional as a man. Know also that if he wants to try out hormones there is a very good chance that he is a transwoman.

The ups and downs of a normal relationship
The relationships between a male crossdreamer and a woman are not that different from "regular" relationships. Or maybe there are no "regular" relationships. Given human diversity, they are all unique exercises in making love grow, and love requires patience, understanding, perseverance as well as a the kind of self-confidence and strong will that protects you from being exploited.

Crossdreamers may be traumatized from their struggle with their dreams and desires, especially if they have never felt acceptance for their secrets. That trauma may be healed by love, but it may also require professional help.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Looking through a microscope

After the dialogue following my last posting, I got curious. So I went back to some of the "wives of cross-dressers" support forums that I had joined at the beginning of my journey. I was actually saddened to read many of the postings there. The progressive nature of cross-dressing...the involvement of sex, attraction, etc...the despair of the wives, the confusion - it was quite disheartening. "Just Chris" had mentioned that he and his wife had not found much help in similar forums either for similar reasons. Many of the wives had been dealing with this situation in their marriages for a long time - longer than I have been - and yet I feel that we have come so much farther in our journey. Thank God. It has caused me to do a considerable amount of soul-searching lately, though, about us. William and I and our lives together - and our solution to this problem.

I looked hard at William the last time he dressed and do I really feel about it? I know it absolutely does NOT turn me on, but it doesn't turn me off either. In the beginning, I was so relieved to be a partner in what we were doing that I actually enjoyed it. Yet as time goes on, I have to admit, it does feel a bit strange to be making love to my man as a "woman." And after much thought, I think it's because with him dressed as a female, I'm still a bit confused as to exactly what my role is in what we are doing. We have discussed this ad nauseum - and yet when we are in the act, I still feel awkward. Not bad. Just "discombobulated?" And while it does not affect my physical enjoyment of the act, it does feel a bit strange...

And maybe I'm just PMS'ing, but I also have to say that it's rather "annoying" for me that William is turned on just by dressing. There is nothing that I have found that turns me on that quickly. For me, foreplay is vital...and while there is a large mental/emotional component involved with foreplay, the physical exchanges that occur during that stage are just as important. William is fully capable of being fully involved, but there are times when he can also be "lazy" during that stage of lovemaking - which just annoys the "*&^%$" out of me. It probably stems back to the days when he complained about not liking sex because it was too much work, so I feel like if I need him to "work" at anything, then I'm potentially creating a problem. It's all part of the past that still affects the future a bit, I guess. Thankfully, we have been able to discuss it and are continuing to work through this, so it's not a cause for alarm...just more conversation, discussion and and learning about each other and how we are working through all of this.

The journey isn't over, but despite my ponderings, I know that we are in sooooo much a better place than we were six months ago, it's amazing... There are several reasons why we are doing so well. Improved communication, total honesty...but I also think that a large part of the reason that we have been so successful is that William has granted me a bit of control over the situation. Unlike the women in those forums, I feel like my feelings about this matter to him, that I have a say in how we are going to incorporate this into our relationship. And I also have to say that part of the reason that William has give me this modicum of control is that I am making the effort to respect his desires and wishes as well (not just saying "no".) We are making the decisions and choices together. which is key, I think, in making this work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Same Ol' Same Ol'

I feel like most of my postings recently - and likely in the near future anyway - will be saying a lot of the same thing. "Things are pretty good. We're feeling pretty stable. Still a few issues to work through, but overall, we're OK. " So...there you have it. Nothing much new today as far as the AGP goes.

The dialogue in the comment sections of my last few postings has been wonderful. William is still trying to get through it all, but he can relate to quite a bit. It's generated a bit of discussion between us as to the many different ways that one can deal with AGP. It's a case of "to each his own" - we feel that each person's case of AGP is unique, so each person's "solution" will also be a bit different. Over Christmas, we talked about having him wear nighties a little more often, but after more discussion, William has decided that it is not something that he is really interested in doing. As all of his cross-dressing is sexually-based, he feels that wearing a nightie with no sex would more likely lead to frustration than satisfaction. And that could lead to more urges which he does NOT want to deal with. So...we've taken that off the table for now. And that's fine with me as so far, he's been able to manage his urges.

I didn't put a name on it until I saw this in one of Chris/Colin's dialogue comments, but I had an "ah-ha" moment when I read it. William is exploring his masculine side in the bedroom now. We haven't talked about it, but he's made a comment or two to that effect. And there is a difference in the way he touches me when he is "discovering" vs his "regular" touch. Not good or bad...just different. I like that he feels safe enough with me to try to push his comfort levels.

I debated about mentioning this, but I guess I will: it has been a stressful few weeks for me as I deal with the loss of my grandmother. We were very close and although I knew her time was coming, I'm still struggling with it. William has been beyond supportive through this. I've been distracted and off-kilter - and he's had my back the entire time. He's always been a good spouse, but this...this is what I always wanted. My dream come true. He's my "someone who watches over me." I can't tell you how much it has meant to me....and how glad I am that we have worked so hard to get through all of this. And I hope he knows that if/when our situations are reversed, I'll be his "someone who watches over him" also. For that's what true partners do, they love and support one another, especially through the tough times.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back to Addiction Again

I want to thank all of you for your comments. I appreciate the warnings, I really do. You all might be surprised to find out that William feels that his AGP is more of an addiction than anything else. This is a recent "discovery" for him; prior to my finding out about his AGP, he thought that was just sometime that he indulged occasionally, he felt that he wasn't hurting anybody. Now he knows differently. I was hurt, and so was our relationship. In the four plus months since we started our journey, we've discussed the idea that AGP might fall somewhere on the TG spectrum. William doesn't believe that he is TG, although he does agree that there must be some biological basis to this and that there is a gender spectrum that he falls into. He definitely agrees that his lack of self-confidence and poor self-esteem are factors in his AGP, but primarily, he believes that he has conditioned himself into an addiction. So, from a practical standpoint, this is how we are choosing to deal with it. (Note: as far as I'm concerned, if William had told me from the beginning, we would likely be dealing with this in a much different way. It's the pattern of addictive behaviors that have been set that are a problem, not the AGP in and of itself.)

We continue to discuss, at length, how exactly we should deal with this. We both have personal experience with food addiction (me) and alcohol addiction (William, his father and his grandfather) , so we think that we understand the difficulty in "controlling" this. Moderate amounts of food and alcohol are fine for most people. So is cross-dressing and masturbation. It's only the unlucky few that are unable to control their "vices." So...since William has never tried to control his AGP, we have chosen to allow him the opportunity to try. And with that, we are choosing to indulge his fantasies...or at least most of them anyway. William says that it's not always easy. He has been self-conditioned to recognize opportunities to indulge his fantasies, solo and in secret, so those are the times when the urges hit him the hardest. So far, he has been able to distract himself with busy work (when you have a house and two young kids, there's always a long "to-do" list.) We actually discussed this morning the need to continue to address this on a very regular basis. With AA and OA or even Weight Watchers, they hold weekly support meetings for their sufferers. The idea is to provide support for their efforts, remind the sufferers of the reasons why they are working so hard to control their urges. We need to do something similar - and since William has chosen to NOT disclose this to anyone, we are going to discuss them together, regularly. We also discussed additional coping strategies. With the other addict groups, they work to identify triggers for their behaviors and coping/distraction methods to implement when those urges hit. We are trying to do the same thing. Our communication has improved greatly since September, we continue to focus on being completely open and honest with one another. We don't think that we are being dishonest with ourselves. We just aren't willing to throw up our hands and claim defeat against this...not just yet anyway.

I mentioned on my last post that everything isn't 100% perfect. I would say that it's 90%, but there are still a few things that we continue to work on. I trust William's love for me. I trust that he wants to do the right thing, but I don't trust his ability to withstand his urges. So far, he says that he hasn't "fallen off the wagon" and I believe him. But I am also watching him. And he knows it. I still get nervous about "opportunities" and we try to discuss how both of us are going to hande those times.

I also have some problems with the aftermath of our "big-fantasy-indulging" sessions. William is so satiated after those events that his sex drive drops...and stays down for about a week or so. We are still trying to figure out how to deal with this in a way that satisfies both of us. My first instinct is to schedule these "big fantasy indulging" sessions for right before my "monthlies", then I wouldn't care if he wasn't interested in sex for a week, but we've noticed that scheduling the sessions ahead of time isn't good for our relationship either. William tends to get focused on the upcoming event and I feel...second best. So for now, we are not scheduling anything. We talked today about him wearing a nightie to bed a little more often. Originally, he didn't want to do this as he thought that it would reduce the intensity of what he feels, but now we're thinking that reducing it might not be such a bad thing?

There are a few things that William has mentioned that he would be interested in doing with me (he has not pushed) that I am uncomfortable with. One is looking at photos of himself, en femme. (At the beginning of this, he gave me his thumb drive with the photos on it and I have it hidden away.) I think that someday I might, but unfortunately for him, it won't be for "fantasy" indulging. I'm curious what he sees when he looks at them. When I ask, he says that he's not sure. He's never thought when looking at them; he's only felt. He says that he is willing to narrate his thoughts and feelings for me when eventually he does look at them - and agrees that we won't include this as part of a love-making session. I'm not sure when this will happen or how I will feel about it, but I'll let you all know when it does.

And just FYI: for the next few weeks, my posts might be spaced out just as these last few have been. I started a temp job a few weeks ago, so my time is a little busier these days! I'm still reading Jack's blog every chance I get and I read every comment that comes across here. So keep checking in and I'll blog again when I get a chance.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

All I Need to Know

I have been reading with great interest all the discussion on Jack's blog (and others) about AGP. It seems to me that many of you out there have said "Enough! If the health professionals aren't going to be of any help to us, we'll try to find our own answers." Good for you. I'm pleased to see healthy discourse on the subject. And yet, for all the discussion and efforts to determine the what and why? behind AGP, the most difficult part of AGP is living with it. I will continue reading the blogs and I will still participate in the discussion around trying to define AGP, but really, in some ways, as a spouse of an AGP, I feel that I already know all that I need to know about the subject.

So what do I know? First and foremost, I know that William loves me and that I love him. There was fear that he might not when I first found out about his AGP, but not now. Second, I know that he did not choose to be AGP. oh, he had choices about the behaviors that he chose to indulge, but the basic biology behind this...he didn't choose that, I'm positive about that. Third, I know that William is trying..and even more than that, he is doing. He's not 100% successful 100% of the time, but if I'm honest, who is? I know that he is working hard to make changes within himself - and he's doing it for me...and for us...and for himself. And last, I know that my future with him is as secure as it could possibly be - even if he were not AGP. I don't care where he goes with this, we are going together. So really, what more do I need to know?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's All In The Family

"AGP runs in families." I've read this more than once and I have developed a theory as to why this happens. It goes something like this: it's commonly accepted that things like alcoholism and obesity also run in families. It's also commonly accepted that these people use alcohol and food as "stress-relief"; it's a coping method for them So people are genetically predisposed to choose one "vice" or another as their "coping method of choice." Is AGP similar? Is AGP more a way of coping with the pressure of life rather than a truly TS/TG condition? As the mother of a son in kindergarten, I worry that this runs in families. I worry that my son will also suffer from AGP - and the mental anguish that goes along with this. I do NOT want that for him. I do not care if he is gay/AGP/TS/TG, but I do very much care that he is happy with whoever he is.

My son love pink and purple. When he was a toddler/preschooler, he wanted "princess" underwear and to wear his sister's dress-up clothes. I have always allowed the dress-up clothes (I wonder now what William thought of that) and I never made a big deal about it. I didn't think it was a big deal. Girl clothes are much prettier than boy clothes and little kids don't understand yet the pressure that our society puts on boys/girls to conform to gender standards. I figured he'd learn about it eventually and only wanted to protect him. I didn't allow the princess underwear or dresses out because I didn't want him to get teased - and I explained that to him in exactly those terms. He seemed to understand. No child wants to do anything that would cause him to get "laughed" at for. At the same time, my son is also drawn to very "boy" things. He loves dirt and bugs. He loves to sports, and to shoot his Nerf guns and build things. He is more "rough and tumble" than calm and quiet. He does not get the girls desire to play house or dolls and he really struggles with "pretend" play.

Since discovering William's AGP and as I learn more about it, I have pondered what I can to do for my son - to help him if he has feelings of gender confusion. Yet I don't want to "make a big deal" of it either. I have gone back to him and told him that if he wants princess underwear or to wear dresses at home, it is absolutely fine with me. He told me that he "might want to someday, but not right now." We left it that if he ever changes his mind and wants to wear girl clothes, he will let me know. I am a "huggy" person, so he has always gotten a lot of hugs and kisses. I am fairly demanding of him, but at the same time, I try hard to make sure he knows that I am proud of him. He seems happy - to me and to others. question is, what more can I do? I want him to feel loved and appreciated for who he is, regardless. Is there something more that I should be doing to convey that to him? We are NOT telling the children about William's AGP. Since the cross-dressing and role-reversal is purely sex-based for William, it's not appropriate to share with them. We are very open with our children about the "facts of life", they know how babies are made, but right now, it's just the facts, not any details. AGP be just waaaaay too much information for children and they would have no way of understanding it. I honestly don't know if this is something that we will ever share with them. So how do you foster an open and loving environment regarding sex with your children when you are not open and honest about your own "condition" with them?

I also wonder if there is really anything that I can do. If the AGP's self-image is as distorted as the anorexics, is there anything that I can do now to change what may come? Is there something that you, as AGP's, wish your parents would have done for you?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Happy New Year

Just a quick update since I haven't blogged in awhile: We ended up deciding to take the Christmas break "off" from our problems and just focused on having a relaxing, enjoyable time with each other and with the kids. I feel rejuvenated and am starting the new year with a calmer, more relaxed attitude. Hope abounds. William and I are doing well. We feel strong together. I have to admit, it's still not easy, especially for William. He is trying to overcome years of conditioning, of hiding himself from everyone, even himself. Although we continue to incorporate William's tastes into our marriage, there is a line that I don't want to cross. The line where William's "interests" cease to be part of a loving, sharing relationship between the two of us and transform into something very selfish. Where he crosses over to the "addictive" side of AGP. William continues to struggle to identify that line - and to stay on the right side of it. I still worry that he will "slip", but so far, he has not. We continue to have open and honest communication about it - the most important change that we have made. We seldom become angry or defensive in our conversations anymore, although we still struggle at times to find the right words that our partner will understand. We continue to see our therapist and he is quite helpful, especially with our communication. Somehow he is able to reword what we say in ways that our partner is able to understand. William and I have progressed to the point where we feel comfortable extending our sessions to every two or three weeks. We continue to work on understanding William's needs, both the cause and triggers as well as the expression, but our goal is more "to be able to discuss and resolve our problems between ourselves" rather than to "fix everything." As our therapist says, "it will never be over. Not until we are gone from this earth."