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?"


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  2. Thanks for the comments, I appreciate anyone else's point of view! I don't know that I totally agree with the "men can't lie during sex" part - I think men can certainly lie to themselves, even during sex. I think men can block out their mental thoughts completely and just focus on the physical feelings that are happening. That's how a man dressed as a woman can have sex with another man, but not consider it homosexual sex. They don't think about it; they don't want to.

    I don't think that William's consciously lying to ME, per se, I think he's lying to himself. I believe that he's actually been extremely honest with me to the degree that he understands his own feelings. I believe that like the man above, William is so scared of what this means, he blocks it out. He does NOT WANT to think about it at all. He feels no urge to "find himself." He would really prefer that we just do it and not discuss it at all.

    It was obvious to me at the time on Saturday that it was stress-relief sex. I actually find sex to be stress-relieving myself, so that's really not my problem. My concern over what happened Saturday is more that I was superfluous to the act. I wasn't really necessary as a partner - although he did make the effort to include me. So he tried and I appreciated the effort...mostly. The fact that his "need just HAD to be satisfied right away" is crap. That's the "addiction" component of this. Most men might not agree, but sex is NOT a NEED. You won't die if you don't have sex for a few hours. You might be uncomfortable, but it won't kill you. So it's the "right now" component of this that leads into me believing that "AGP is controlling William, not the other way around." THAT's what scares me the most. He needs to gain control over this in order for us to develop an emotionally and sexually healthy relationship. This statement, William understands and agrees with, he's just terrified of exploring it.

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  4. For me it helps to distinguish between the underlying cause of autogyenphilia and the way it expresses itself. Given the state of research in this area (Blanchard and Bailey have made some honest attempts, but they are so steeped in sexist stereotypes that it is hard to sort out the good arguments from the bad) we cannot make any final conclusions at this point. This is partly why I like this blog so much. You, Susanne, continue to probe for sensible explanations for what you see, and by doing that you help me a lot.

    I for one, didn't see the connection between Roughgarden's "power cliques" and the feeling of shame of autogynephiliacs, but now that you have made me aware of it seems obvious.

    I think that both you and Mr. A is right. The more I learn about this the more convinced I am that the is a biological basis for autogynephilia, and this biological basis leads us to have a kind of basic female sexuality.

    Mr. A presents one theory of what female sexuality is (bisexual, not aroused by images, subdued etc.) that I am sure can be discussed, but for me it is the desire to be at the receiving end, the catcher instead of the pitcher, passive instead of proactive.

    This desire is coupled with an intense admiration for female beauty and the feminine. I know perfectly well that women are as fallible as men, as weak, as confused and as cruel, but when I walk down the street and see all these beautiful women I have a feeling that can best be described as religious or spiritual! I long for that beauty.

    Still, even if I can fantasize about having a woman's body, BEING this beauty, I am still not convinced that I am "a woman trapped in a man's body". The reason for this is that I (like William, apparently) also have a masculine sexuality. I believe many autogynephiliacs consume porn and transgender erotica. In this respect we are more like other men. The visual images turn us on. Like William, I am also masculine in the sense that I am not as good at opening up and talking about feelings.

    One autogynephiliac explained it this way in an email to me: I am 50 percent woman and 50 percent man. And that makes it very hard, indeed.

    I believe the desire to be sexually "womanly" (for lack of a better word) comes first, the reaction to male culture second.

    Mr. A is on his way to the military. I was actually drafted to the military (that happens in Europe) and spent one and a half year there. Fortunately the military in this day and age requires nerds like me, and I didn't have to jump out of planes or anything, but it did expose me to a (close to) all male culture.

    Something happens in an all male group that is quite interesting. First: The lack of female companionship intensifies the focus on sex, and in conversations (and in the consumption of porn) the stereotypical image of what it means to be a man becomes ubiquitous.

    So while each man in secret might dream of someone to hold hands with, in the conversations it is all about tits and asses, getting laid, hookers and sluts. These conversation builds up the image of man being the conqueror and the macho alpha.

    There are a lot of jokes about penis size, reflecting the deep fear of all of being inadequate as a man. A small dick equals a wuss.

    There is no room for autogynephiliac feelings in such a universe. He is an emasculated male, and therefore no male at all.

    In such an environment an autogynephilac has two strategies: Not to take part in the ranter (and be excluded from the clique) or make the same jokes as the rest, an by that belittling himself again and again.

  5. The male/female dynamics thrive on the dynamics of differences. The differences make the other one exciting, mysterious, alluring. As males we find it hard to understand that women may have other ideas about what these differences should be than what we are told in the male cliques or in the magazines.

    We believe women are looking for the strong and masculine alpha male with a big dick. So why on earth would she like to be with a "womanly" man like me?

    It turns out that many autogynephiliacs are men enough for many women, although maybe not in bed, which is why I think it is possible for so many of these relationships to survive and thrive.

    I read between the lines that you are afraid William might be a transsexual, in spite of denying such feelings.

    I have no way of knowing his "status". It seems to me that for some autogynephiliacs the 50/50 male/female division will be more like 60/40 or 80/20 in either direction. For some the female part is so strong that they have to transition.

    As far as I understand it Mr. A is struggling to find out where he stands on this spectrum. Maybe he will take the plunge. I have too much of the male in me to do that, although I have often felt the urge.

    The fact that William enjoys TS and TG porn, however, doesn't tell us much about which way he is heading. I think that the allure of shemale porn among autogynephiliacs is that these models resolves the AGP dilemma. We love women, and like to be the submissive one. Here is a girl that can fulfill both desires at the same time. She is feminine and active. But this is part of the world of fantasies, not real life.

  6. Very interesting! You all are helping to open my eyes and I'm glad that my observations are of help to you as well. There are several points here to address:

    The first is that I don't believe that men are either heterosexual or homosexual and that women are bisexual. I believe that both can be all of the above, but are not restricted to the box that Bailey created. Since I'm female, I'll focus more on that part: rape/forced sex is a common female fantasy, yes, but go into any bookstore and look at the shelves upon shelves of romance novels. Here is the true female fantasy. Where they (the women) are beautiful and smart and find the macho, tough ruggedly handsome man who falls so completely in love with them that they soften, beoome romantic, and live just to please their woman. Our fantasies have only a little to do with physical sex and much more to do with romance and love. Even in most "forced sex" fantasies, the female only resists a little and they are never hurt. They are still fantasizing that the man finds them irrisistable and is captivated despite their original intent to "rape" them. And while most women appreciate another female's looks, it's done with envy or desire to imitate, not a desire to have sex with them. In fact, I would almost have said the opposite - that women are either heterosexual or homosexual, but not bisexual. (Women can-and do- talk about things like this, so just in case I was unusual, I have polled several female friends about this - they all agree with me.)

    I do have concerns that William is transsexual, but truthfully, I am positive that he would never transition. He would never even consider hormones. He likes being male outside of the bedroom and wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize that. He does not like conflict or change and transition would create way too much of both in his life to even consider. No, my biggest issue has more to do with the fantasy that I described in the above. That "I" am NOT his dream, his be-all, end-all. "He" is his own fantasy- and that bothers me immensely. It might as well be another woman. I understand in my head that it is not personal, but it still feels like a rejection - and those feelings, I can try to control, but I can't stop.

    I think that William would have agreed that Saturday's sex act was an act of stress-relief. He, however, saw it as relieving the almost painful need to become "femm." He reports that the urge is unpredictable and he never knows when it's going to "come on." He denies that the urges have anything to do with feelings of inadequacy or outside stresses. He is resisting my desire to find a predictable pattern, a "cause" for his urges. Truthfully, I think that, not only is he scared of it, but that also by learning about AGP, some of the intensity, the thrill of it for him is reduced - and he doesn't want that. He WANTS to maintain that level of erotic thrill; he WANTS to continue to do this. Remember, he has not reached the level that most people reading this has. He has NEVER tried to stop doing this. He has NEVER tried to find out why he feels these urges. He has NEVER questioned anything about this. And he did not tell me about his AGP to bring me in; he was outed. While he is trying to bring me into his world to save our marriage, his first choice would be to go back to where we were before Sept 17th and continue to do everything by himself.

    Jack, I agree with everything you wrote about the male/female I find the male propensity to attach everything to sex and penis-size interesting. It is not a secret in the female world that men do this, but it is not something that we understand either. To us, "penis talk" is immature and we roll our eyes at our men for doing that - especially since we really don't care about size that much ourselves. No, women attach everything to feelings. Even sex is about "feelings."

  7. I wanted to add that William spent 5 years in the Air Force - he actually extended a year to finish out a tour overseas. William really enjoyed the Air Force and would support our son entering the armed forces. He fits in well with other men, he likes the stereotypical male things like cars, building things, hunting, etc. - that's partially why I had absolutely no idea that he had any TG/TS/AGP fantasies after 9 years of being together. William comes from a large, fairly "normal" family and is still close with his parents and siblings. Many of the dysfunctional events/persons that others have described as possibly having contributed to their AGP are absent from William's life.

    He also remembers doing cross-dressing in secret as a child/pre-teen. That right there points to AGP being biological, somehow. It never occurred to me as a young female to cross-dress or pretend that I was male. I consider myself to be fairly typical, so I guess that I feel that the fact that it even OCCURRED to the child, William, to put on his sister's underwear , pretend he was female and experience some sort of sexual pleasure, puts the basis of AGP in a biological realm - somehow. Now HOW THAT occurs, whether it's chemical, brain-based, occurs before birth, whatever - I'm not sure, but I am fairly certain that there has to be a biological cause to AGP.

  8. Just one more thing! It seems to me that what most AGP's miss is that the fantasy woman that they become when they fantasize does not resemble a real woman. They are far closer to the porn stars created by men for other men than they are to actual live women. The woman that William becomes is filled with a sense of her own sexual power, she feels beautiful, she feels desirable. And she wants nothing more than to pleasure her "man". She loves to perform fellatio and knows exactly what he wants during the sex act. When William becomes the woman that he imagines, he can be passive and submissive, but even that's a fantasy since he's still in control of it. The first time he asked me to reverse role play, my response was: "if I pretend to be you, then it will be all about me and what you could do for me - and not you." William was a bit taken aback by my answer, but after considering it, he nodded and agreed with my statement. So my point is: the fantasy is not REAL. William doesn't REALLY feel like a woman, he just WANTS to have what he perceives a woman to have. Is that power? or something else?

    As far as what a woman really wants, you don't have to take my word for it. There are hundreds of books out there written by women, telling men what women want - and none of it talks about women being confident in their own beauty and sexual power or loving to perform fellatio and her desire to please her man or even much about sex at all.

  9. I have never called myself AGP but until I discovered the Confessions of an AGP, I never knew the word existed. There are many times I envision myself as wishing to be and being a woman. So take it for what it is worth.

    I will say this, the minute I read about what your husband did, I felt as if he had crossed a line. At the far end, it read like date rape and on the other end emotional abuse. At that moment, I felt for you.

    It seems that more recently as I have started dressing in women's clothing as often as possible my desire to be the female during sex has become stronger. Whereas in the past it may have been sometimes, it now borders on always.

    I started wearing panties periodically on the sly while at college. Sometime afterward, I was in a "normal" b/g relationship. A couple yrs. into the relationship we got to talking about fantasies, which is when I let loose my secret to wear panties and wanted to experiment with gender play. Long story short, she freaked, she accepted, she freaked we broke up. We would have broken up anyway but this pushed it over the edge. (That you are communicating your feelings in an honest way through this blog earns you high marks in my book.)

    It would be another 10 yrs before I gave another thought to wearing panties. Today, I only wear panties. I still think about gender play, but I spend considerably more time thinking about being a woman and wanting to act and to be treated like a woman sexually.

    It is that last stmt. which creates a lot of conflict. Does it mean, I want to be that college girl who gave me a bj in the lounge. Do I want to the hypersexual porn star covered in cum? Do I desire to be an everyday woman who shops at Banana Republic and wears sensible yet stylish clothing and wants to be romanced and have someone make love to me like I am a woman. I don't know the answer. It is probably some combination.

    Some have linked these desires to outside events. I don't know if I agree with them. I don't know if I disagree with them either.

    I am not sure what to make of the power situation. I would never want to inflict my desires on someone. I think the 2 people both need to be there. When I told my gf that I wanted to wear panties, I wanted to give up male power and do role reversal. But I was not of the mindset to push it on her. When she rejected the idea, I let it go. When she embraced the idea, I played with it.

    I still have sexual fantasies. I am fortunate to be in a place where I have opportunities to explore them. But I am also fortunate to be able to wear female clothing and other female accessories on a somewhat regular basis. This allows me to live out my fantasy of being a woman without being a woman.


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  11. Just read the comments...some additional thoughts

    There are some stmts by JM that I definitely agree with and see in myself. I too have an intense admiration for female beauty and the feminine. I am attracted to the idea of having the he soft skin and shapely curves, but I am not sure that I am willing to take the hormones to achieve that beauty.

    And to relate to something I wrote above, like JM, I have a desire to be passive instead of proactive. And also for me there is the desire to be at the receiving end, the catcher instead of the pitcher.

    I guess the obvious question is if I am interested in the receiving why not just have sex with a man and call it a day. I guess the biggest problem is gay men like men, masculine appearing and acting men. I wear female clothing for the purposes of presenting as a woman and not for entertainmen as in a drag show. I like the option of being able to explore my female persona. I do not normally think about sex with men when I dress for work (i.e. present as male). I still like the idea of being with women.

    All that being said, a few years ago someone asked me that if instead of a strap-on, did I want to be penetrated by a real man. I was not drawn to the idea because I was afraid of the man seeing me as a man. For whatever reason, my ideal was the transsexual. Since, I was young, I was drawn to that mix of feminine and masculine.

    To give you a little more idea of where I have been I too have gone thru a TG/TS porn phase because of the issues that JM mentioned. But today, I so identify with being a woman that I see myself as being the receptive woman.

    Finally, I agree that Wm is not lying to you so much as he is lying to himself. And he is definitely not engaging in healthy sexual behavior.


  12. [I broke this response up into two different comments. This is the first part.]

    I think there's a good chance that he was reacting to whatever happened on Saturday. I, too, have felt this sense of autogynephilic urgency when something triggers negative emotions in me. Usually the negative emotion is shame over not being good enough for women in some way. I feel ugly or overlooked in favor of a more masculine male or somehow inadequate in the sexual hierarchy of human society. These feelings can also be raised when I'm around other men exclusively because, ultimately, they still illustrate that they (the other men) are somehow better than I am and, in turn, are more valuable to females.

    When this happens, all I want to do is escape. The self-loathing I direct towards myself literally dissolves and, in its place, a huge bubble of sexual value swells up around me, propped up with women's clothes, fantasies and little details about how I want to behave sexually. In effect, I'm escaping the reality of being a sexually mediocre man in favor of being a sexually powerful goddess. I don't want to say this is what William is doing, only that it's what I do. And, for me, it's an addiction pure and simple.

    What you said here: "I've noticed that William's ideas of what women are and want are not real. His fantasies are just that...fantasies" is something I found to be 100% true for myself. You have to understand something: what's really real makes no difference. It's what AGPhiles believe that matters. For example, I have been told time and time again that women don't place as much emphasis on a man's physical appearance. That they want romance and love and companionship. While I understand this conceptually, I don't BELIEVE it. Deep inside, I believe women are judges who subconsciously (or consciously) compare men to one another for genetic superiority. They compare our muscles, our jawlines, our salaries, our social dominance...basically every primal indicator of masculinity is taken into account, compared to other suitors around us and the man with the best score wins. He gets all the women, all the success and recognition and the rest of us simply have to take our places as inferior men who must settle for the Alpha male's table scraps. This judging happens rapidly and brutally. Beautiful women in particular have an advantage in this area. They terrify me because they are like gate keepers, allowing a few men to pass into the elite ranks of having sexual access to them while denying passage to all the other men. It's a particularly brutal and cold way to view humans, but this view has somehow become crystallized and fixed in my consciousness and much of my AGPhillic behavior is a direct response to that. In many respects, evolutionary psychology destroyed my self esteem once I began comparing myself to what it told me women really wanted.

    Now, is this what William thinks and/or feels? I doubt it. But I'm willing to bet he has his own misguided beliefs that ultimately bring him to the same place: shame in who he is. Or perhaps he doesn't or is not yet aware of that. I won't be so arrogant as to say one way or the other, but I think it's worth keeping it in mind when you talk to him. I would be curious to know how he answers this question:

    "If you could magically transform yourself into a beautiful, sexy vixen who could attract any man -or- transform yourself in a ruggedly, handsome alpha male make who could attract any woman, which would you choose?" And I don't mean in fantasies, I mean in everyday reality. If you decide to ask him and he answers, let me know what he says. I'm just curious.

  13. [I broke this response up into two different comments. This is the second part.]

    With regard to your specific questions:

    "do you always want to become female during sex? or is it only sometimes?" No. But I haven't had sex in many years so it's hard for me to answer this. But in the times that I have, I much prefer being a male.

    "Have you ever linked your desires with outside feelings or events?" Absolutely. I wrote about this above. I am convinced that my AGPhilic feelings are how I respond to a deep sense of shame about my sexual value to women. Not just a shame that comes and goes - but a fixed,
    terminal sexual shame because I believe what's wrong with me can't be repaired. I can't change the shape of my jaw, my temperament, my amount of body hair or emotional disposition. It's like I am locked into a prison made of dirty genetic material that only signals to women that I should be overlooked for better men.

    "Would you agree that it has to do with "power?" For me, yes. It has everything to do with power. Again, the power that "real men" have over mediocre ones like I believe myself to be. In the competitive race for females to mate with, I believe I am loser and they are the winners. Therefore, I escape into this female role to give me the feeling of sexual power that I can't have in my daily life.

    "Do you act on your fantasies as soon as they hit?" Not so much anymore. In the past few months I have come to see that this is an addiction and that I have some extremely misguided and unhealthy views about women, sex and who I am. In short, a toxic self image - not in all areas of my life, but certainly in this one. I am starting to repair that and work on it which, unsurprisingly, is diminishing a lot of the urgency of these fantasies. But I don't think they will ever fully go away.

    "What do you do if you can't act on those urges either immediately or at all?" I used to have no control over it. I would compulsively masturbate or look at pornography. Now, I channel that energy into something else after recognizing it for what it is. Instead of running off to lala land, I address the brokenness inside of me and trying to work on healing it.

    Good luck as you continue to journey. I'll be reading your blog as you update...


    -AG In Doubt

  14. Oh - one more comment in addition to the ones I wrote above. Again, I want to reinforce what you said here:

    "Just one more thing! It seems to me that what most AGP's miss is that the fantasy woman that they become when they fantasize does not resemble a real woman. They are far closer to the porn stars created by men for other men than they are to actual live women. The woman that William becomes is filled with a sense of her own sexual power, she feels beautiful, she feels desirable. And she wants nothing more than to pleasure her "man". She loves to perform fellatio and knows exactly what he wants during the sex act. When William becomes the woman that he imagines, he can be passive and submissive, but even that's a fantasy since he's still in control of it. [...] So my point is: the fantasy is not REAL. William doesn't REALLY feel like a woman, he just WANTS to have what he perceives a woman to have. Is that power? or something else?"

    This is very, very true for me. And this is something I've only recently come to realize after years of acting like this. The woman that I "become" isn't even REAL. It's more like some kind of manufactured porno goddess. I also have the same fantasies about giving oral sex to men that William does. In fact, 95% of my fantasies are about exactly that. I'll be somewhat explicit here for the sake of being honest. But the truth is that I'm less interested in being a complete woman with an identity and am more interested in being a svelte, alluring 'cocksucker' with slutty red lipstick who never fails to swallow or say no - mostly because she's so irresistibly compelled to respond to the male's clear superiority and dominance in the male sexual hierarchy. The thrill of the blowjob itself has more to do with the symbolism than the fact itself. It's like I'm saying "all men want this, but only you deserve it. Therefore, I'll submit and give you what's rightfully yours because you are above them and above me and this is your reward for that."

    Again, I'm not saying all this to be crass, but to be honest. I may be wrong, but I'm confident that if William is anything like most AGPhiles, not only does he think similar things but would be turned on by reading that.

    Is it power that we seek by going through those fantasies? I'm not so sure. For myself, I think it's more about doing everything in my power to turn "him" (the faceless man) on that much more. Not because I want to turn on a man as an end onto itself, but because his being turned on reinforces my own sexual value and power. It's a lot easier to do that if you anticipate some of the fantasies buried in men's psyches. For example, transcending there mere "blowjob" fantasy to become the all-subservient, lipstick smeared cocksucker who will never say no because she recognizes his superiority.

    In that regard, it's extremely narcissistic. It's like giving extravagant gifts at Christmas not to make the other person happy for their own sake, but because their happiness reinforces you as the ultimate bestower of coveted gifts that will make them the envy of their friends. Does that make sense?

    Also, if you'd prefer that I not say explicit things like this in your blog comments, I won't. I just want you to know that I'm only doing it because this is the reality of the fantasies and much of what we think about as AGPhiles. I don't think we want to be women as much as we want to be sex objects capable of whipping up other men into sexual frenzies so that we retrieve our own lost sexual power.

  15. Ag_in_doubt: I appreciate your honesty - and the details are actually very helpful, so please, feel free to continue to be just as blunt as you have been.

    I feel a light turning on! I had it in my head that by beoming "female", William was trying to capture some sort of female power that he perceives women to have. But based on what you wrote, I had it backwards, didn't I? You wrote: The thrill of the blowjob itself has more to do with the symbolism than the fact itself. It's like I'm saying "all men want this, but only you deserve it. Therefore, I'll submit and give you what's rightfully yours because you are above them and above me and this is your reward for that." (btw, that fits with what William told me once -that it was himself that he was giving oral sex to)

    So...in rethinking it, William is not just becoming female during sex? By somehow fulfilling both roles simultaneously in his fantasy - he thereby regaining his power as a MALE?? hmmmm...that feels right. And it might just be semantics, but somehow, regaining his male power as opposed to gaining a female power makes a difference in how I look at it. Maybe it is less about gender identity than it is about gender security?

    I will have William read these responses and get his take on it. He struggles, sometimes, to see himself in these postings. It's all part of that self-denial, I think. Right now, he feels as you do, Ag_in_doubt, that this is more of an addiction than a gender issue. And he is choosing to deal with it more from that perspective.

    We actually had an extremely productive session with our therapist on Friday where we talked about what happened last Saturday. For some reason, something really clicked for William and his mind opened up a bit more to what he needs to be doing right now. I'll blog about it when I have a little more time!

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  18. Hi, Susanne.

    I like what you said here: "Maybe it is less about gender identity than it is about gender security?" I would say that's certainly applicable in my case. Perhaps, it's more about gender INsecurity.

    As always, what I experience may not (and probably does not) explain all of Williams experiences. The big picture is probably similar but the minutia and details of it all are probably unique to each individual.

    Remember to be be patient. As of this writing, it's been just over eight years since all of this first came into my awareness. I went through periods of denial, confusion and acting out. I'm in a good spot now and am very confident in how I view my situation, but it took me a long, long time to get here.

    As I said in my first comment a few weeks ago, if there is any one thing I'd hope you take away from my thoughts it's that you keep a close eye on the addictive component of all this. William may not be an addict, but for many of us, crossdressing and transgender fantasy IS terribly addictive and once it gets ahold of you, it can spread like a psychic cancer. I don't say that to be melodramatic or anything, just pointing out the reality of it.

    On blogspot.com, there are many addicts who write about their TG fetishes and document their downward spiral in vivid detail. These men aren't getting better or ridding themselves of their shame. They are merely getting consumed by their brokeness and and just sinking into like it was quicksand. Remember, I'm not talking about legitimately transgendered folks, I'm talking about the sexual fetishists and addicts with compulsive behavior.

    One blogspot blogger used to have a page called "transvestite and fagggotry addict". He wiped out all of his pictures and writings and now offers a warning to those who still stop by his page:


    ...I've been exactly where he is. Waking up to the insanity of it and desperately trying to claw my way back to some sense of normality. I hope William never has to go that route.

  19. Ag-in-doubt: William read your comments and, a litle to my surprise, agreed with nearly everything you wrote. For the first time, we sat and discussed his feelings of inadequacy with women and how his fantasies play into it. He agrees that for him, it is more of a sexual insecurity. We discussed how his frustrations with himself increased his urges last Saturday and he sees the connection.

    In response to your question "would he rather be the sexy vixen or the strong alpha male", he said that he would pick the alpha male. He said that the sexy vixen is only the occasional distraction/escape and not something that he always wants to be. And in the third comment when you described what he was doing to/for himself and said that you thought he would be turned on by reading that - you were right, he was. Actually any conversation regarding this tends to turn him on. Not sure why, maybe you have an insight as to that, but it happens nearly every time.

    I appreciate the warning, also. The addictive component of this is something that I am very aware of - and William is still coming to terms with. We are still not entirely sure how to deal with. In the minute or so that I had to answer his question on Saturday, I understood that it was the addict asking to dress, but I also believed that he would not hear me if I tried to reason with him while his urges were paramount in his mind. So I chose option 1: to help him satisfy his urge as his partner as opposed to option 2: having him go off and do something on his own. I do not regret my choice since we now have solid behaviors to point to when discussing some of the "what-if's". William is not certain if he should continue to act on his desires, but he also does not want to give them up, so herein lies our dilemma. For the moment, we are content with the choice that, since this is William's first attempt to control this side of himself, we will continue to incorporate his "tastes" into our relationship. I don't mind - as long as the focus remains on "us" and not just "him/her" and he remains open to discussion.

  20. For Mr. A - I've had angry sex and I do not believe that it is an accurate description for what happened on Saturday at all. For me, angry sex implies that you or your partner's actions are spurred by anger and consequently, the actions during sex are designed to convey those feelings to your partner. Your actions may not hurt your partner, but they are not likely to be gentle either. William may have been very self-focused during sex on Saturday, but he was still gentle with me. His intention on Sat was for the sex to be a distraction or escape for himself from his frustration and upset as opposed to an effort to convey those emotions to me. I think stress-relief sex or perhaps escape sex better describes what happened.

    As far as our sexual fantasies, read Ag-In-Doubt's third comment - he's pretty much described William's fantasies right there. In my sex fantasies, it's always straight hetero sex between William and myself - only with LOTS and LOTS of foreplay. We're usually both naked and I'm usually on the receiving end of most of the foreplay. (There is a big focus on MY pleasure, but we always orgasm together at the end.) There is sometimes some light bondage and sometimes some unusual locations. I admit to fantasizing about Dr. McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy once in awhile, but in that fantasy, I'm not me, I'm his girlfriend. Before William, I had the occasional fantasy about three-somes (me and 2 men), but always with the focus on me. But since William, that particular fantasy has completely gone away. Stranger sex was another fantasy that went away after William - not rape, just the unknown handsome man. Actually, I don't consciously fantasize much - these things I described usually happen in my dreams more than my conscious thoughts. I THINK most of my fantasies are pretty typical for my gender.

    I think for some that AGP is a pre-cursor to TG/TS, but for others, I don't think so. I wonder how much of this is self-conditioned response vs how much is biology. I wonder how much of it is gender identity vs addiction. I'm sure everyone has a different persepective - tainted a bit by their own place on the spectrum. In some ways, that's why it is good for a non-affected person to do some delving into this - they can at least give an impartial, objective perspective and see how it "fits" those who try it on...

  21. One more comment for Mr. A: you wrote "Women are better at sex when they are overlly emotional. A an autogynephiliac is the same way." I'm not 100% sure what you meant by that, but if you meant that to an AGP, when he is angry, frustrated, etc, sex is better for HIMSELF, then I cannot speak to that. I'm sure you are right to some extent.

    But if you meant that AS HIS PARTNER, sex with an AGP s better when he is feelings those feelings and/or urges, I would have to totally disagree. When William was totally self-focused on his urges to the degree that he was prior to Sept 17th, the quality of our sex life...well, it sucked. As he has become more focused on "us" - and that means BOTH of us - it is infinitely better. Sex should be MUTUAL, not exclusive to one partner or the other. Ideally, both partners should experience pleasure in each other - and THAT creates the pleasure within themselves. And with regards to women having better sex when overly emotional - sex is better for a woman when they feel LOVE - which is very, very different, I think, than being "overly emotional."

    I truly believe that sex as a male who is an AGP and sex as a woman are NOT the same at all.

    My intention is to write an entire post about relationships and definitions. Most AGP's have very distorted views of women and relationships, I believe. William is discovering that his definition of a healthy relationship and the rest of the world's definition are two very different things.

  22. from "A"
    Hi I am 26/m/TV. I am definitely AGP. I have had two full sexual partners. The first knew about my problems and she was okay with them. The second did not know.

    Do you always want to become female during sex?
    Usually, yes. If I am really comfortable with the person, the fantasy is only necessary to have an orgasm, and the rest of the time I can enjoy myself. I was fortunate my first partner loved me enough to play along.

    Or is it only sometimes?
    Usually. Say 80-90% of the time. The other 10-20% , especially if I am very close to my partner, I can vicariously experience pleasure through the male role. But even then it takes some imagination to get off. It's unfortunate I'm not like 'normal' men and it makes me very sad. I wish I wasn't this way.

    Have you ever linked your desires with outside feelings or events?
    Yes, definitely. Stress triggers AGP. For example, losing a job would result in urges to cross-dress. Or major changes (moving to a new place), things like that can trigger it. Having a particularly bad night can trigger it. I agree with AG_In_Doubt that "how I respond to a deep sense of shame about my sexual value to women." Mainly that sense of shame comes from the fact that my own arousal is caused by vicarious identification with the FEMALE role. Now I realize that the only way I can possibly deal with this in a relationship is to get very close to my partner and have her play along and accept my fantasies. In exchange, I can do what she likes. I guess you could say now I realize I need to be open about this in my relationships if they are to have any chance of success.

  23. from "A"

    Would you agree that it has to do with "power?"
    Partially, yes. For me it is wound up with bdsm and gender etc so naturally there are elements of power. I think Ag_In_Doubt's hypothesis is a pretty good one -- but I also think this problem is partially biological. I suspect it has to do with higher estrogen exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy resulting in abnormal brain structure.

    What makes it powerful for you?
    The idea is very arousing. To be perfectly honest, I do not feel the idea of vanilla sex arousing at all -- unless it is with someone I love and trust completely, then it sex becomes arousing because it is THEM, and they understand me and I trust them.

    Do you act on your fantasies as soon as they hit?
    No, sometimes it's not practical.

    What do you do if you can't act on those urges either immediately or at all?
    Masturbate, or wait, etc. Sometimes its fun to wait, especially if you have a partner who knows. Makes for better sex later. Sometimes when I was dating with the girl who knew, we used to have sex and my girlfriend would play along and tell me I was pretty. That always made me feel better. If I had a partner, I think touching each other in a loving manner helps. I know it did with my first girlfriend. Part of the objective is the calming effect and the feeling of intimacy.

    I think it obviously had to do with his bad day. That's just my opinion. Just FYI almost all non-"type 1" transexuals are AGP whether they admit it or not. What's the difference between someone with AGP who just wants to cross-dress and someone with AGP who wants a sex change? I'm not sure. For myself, I don't really want a sex change. It's not practical, and I'm not sure if it would solve anything. I think I could be happy with an understanding girlfriend. If I can't manage that in the next few years, I'm not quite sure what I'll do. Cross that bridge when I get to it I suppose.

    Anyway yeah it's obviously TG/TS. I don't look at porn like that but I have an AGP friend who does. To each his own I suppose. Sometimes I run across it and it turns me on, but I don't actively seek it out. I look at bdsm porn and pretend I am the female role. Or I look at women dressed sexily and pretend I have their role. I wouldn't worry too much about it. This whole area is pretty normal for AGP.

    The part about him not wanted to understand himself surprises me. I spend hours upon hours trying to understand myself. I guess if for no other reason then I can explain it when I have the opportunity for another relationship.