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Transvestic Fetishism: Sexual Arousal from Cross Dressing

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Transvestic fetishism is a disorder where one derives sexual arousal from wearing clothes of the opposite sex. The majority of such cases involve males wearing female clothing, but there are some reports that females also derive similar sexual pleasure from wearing men’s clothes. The disorder is only considered a problem if the individual has been deriving sexual pleasure from cross dressing for at least six months. Moreover, the urge to cross dress must cause some type of personal stress and affect both lifestyle and interpersonal relationships.

The exact number of people who are into transvestic fetishism is unknown because it is typically a behavior performed at home and not many people brag about it. What is known is that the behavior usually starts in early adolescence and continues throughout life. Men who practice this behavior are often sexually aroused by wearing female garments which may include bras, panties, corsets, slips, girdles, stockings, shoes and even jewelry. These individuals will often masturbate while wearing clothing or may get aroused from just fondling the items. The majority of people who practice this behavior are heterosexuals, usually married or with partners who are fully aware of the fetish. In many cases, these people also have children and lead an otherwise normal life.

Transvestic fetish is usually performed in private but many males do wear female undergarments to work. Of course, the clothing is worn under regular work clothes.

Transvestic fetishism and trans-sexual disorder are not the same. With the former, the individual still wishes to live his or her life as a member of his or her current sex.

Transvestic fetishism is not considered illegal or criminal and most of these individuals lead normal lives. Just like some people like to watch pornographic movies for sexual arousal, these individuals like to cross dress for the purpose of sexual arousal. Problems usually arise when this type of fetish is combined with other paraphilias like pedophilia or voyeurism.

Most people who practice this type of fetish behavior do not want to be treated because they usually are not harming anyone. For those who feel like their behavior is interfering their work and relationships, treatment comprises of cognitive behavior therapy and use of certain medications (SSRIs) to diminish the urge to cross dress. Unfortunately, despite treatment relapse rates are high.


Add a Comment17 Comments

I wrote the note above, having come on this site for period info, but saw this comment about cross-dressing arousals. My partner is a full time cross-dresser who had gender mix complications at birth. The issue of PGAD may be a much bigger issue than had ever be imagined, even by the experts. I can bring this as a comparison between us, as when I feel good about the way I am, I am aroused just like my partner is. This can be at any time of day or night, in public, anywhere. When I say aroused, that is what I mean, even to the point of climax, fully dressed without a hint of any stimulation. I know this experience is not just confined to me as several of my lebian friends 'enjoy' the same. I need to add to make clear that I am refering to females who enjoy wearing very feminine clothes just as cross-dressers do & derive pleasure from it in much the same way. I know that there are butch females as have been descibed in the original text. I believe that we need to separate the terms masculinity & femininty from the gender terms of male or female. If there was not the society inhibition of secrecy, a more fuller picture of what is really going on would be come much clearer.
Best wishes

February 14, 2011 - 1:55pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hello. I have just read this article regarding cross-dressing fetish & arousal from wearing femonune clothes amongst males. I do not think that the fetish arousal is confined just to males. I know several females in the lesbian community who enjoy the pleasure just the same as I did of some of my schoolgirl friends going back forty years. I do not believe that these 'femme' females are any different to the cross-dressing males except that they do not stand out in a crowd. Hope that helps

February 14, 2011 - 12:35am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for your comment. I try to resist as much as possible, but it's a loosing battle. I don't know why my mind toys with me. I am 47 male now and I started experiencing this before I even knew what I was doing. I want to say 2nd or 3rd grade. I keep it well hidden. This is the first time I googled it to see what is wrong with me.

July 11, 2017 - 6:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Be who you are. My husband struggles everyday with who he is and it breaks my heart. I support him in his silent play time, unfortunately it has broken our once intimate relationship. But we remain life partners for our children. I only wish he had shared with me before we were married and had a family. Then I would have had a choice.

October 30, 2017 - 8:14am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

What would you have chosen? Would it had depended on how you found out? The details of my situation; he is straight, he didnt tell me about his fetishes until after we were discussing marriage. I am glad i know now! I have such a confusing batch of emotions about this. Note that i am sexually experienced and this didnt even shock me that much. I harbor the anger from the lies, and probably will for a while. Im sorry you didnt find out till soo much time and life had gone by. Im sorry.

October 25, 2018 - 10:47pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

There is nothing wrong with any of you. Please don't let ignorance, like that displayed by the author of this article, bring forth any negative feelings towards yourself for doing something you enjoy and find pleasure in. You are not doing anything that should be referred to as a "disorder" or that you should feel guilty or wrong for doing or that you should try to resist the urge to do. This kind of article disgusts me in that it encourages people to believe there's something wrong with them simply because of what turns them on. Be who you are, love who you are, embrace who you are, accept who you are, and never let anyone make you feel anything less than perfectly beautiful!

October 7, 2017 - 4:51am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I thank you for the kind words but I still feel the contrary. I am much younger than the other ages that people have been posting but I have been crossdressing for about a year and have been aroused by it for even longer. (almost as long as I can remember) It started with an arousal to transgendered women and then to crossdressers (To clarify I'm only really attracted to crossdressers that look femme enough to "pass" or are very close to passing as a female.) and it took me a bit to realize I was extremely aroused by crossdressing myself. I think it might have to do with varying amounts of gender dysphoria I have always had, but that doesn't stop me from feeling guilty every time I do it or am attracted to it. I just get very depressed and I feel ashamed for how it felt and how I liked it. I'm still attracted to women but I'd say that my sexuality is a bit more open to accomidate trans women as well as feminine guys (I am not attracted to masculine guys.) I don't really know what to do or how to fix it.

April 19, 2018 - 10:08am
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