What’s on my Nightstand

I just started reading Helen Boyd’s book, “My Husband Betty,” and have really been enjoying it. She takes a really clear-eyed look at her experiences being married to a crossdresser. She’s very honest about her mixed and complex feelings on the subject, both good and bad. (Betty’s really cute too, by the way.)

I appreciated her comments about how some crossdressing groups, in particular Tri-Ess, seem to deny that there’s any sexual element to crossdressing, which has always seemed to me to be ignoring reality. She makes the point that if that’s so, then “Why do crossdressers spend so much time looking at lingerie catalogs?” Pretty funny and so true.

Now I don’t want to slam Tri-Ess. I think it’s a helpful organization for many people and some of my good friends are members. I’ve even been to a couple meetings, but being bisexual and definitely having a sexual thing for the dressing left me feeling like I didn’t really belong there. Sure, as I’ve grown older, dressing isn’t only about getting off sexually anymore, but I can’t deny the roots of it, which for me is certainly a sexual fetish. I remember being eight years old and getting an erection thinking about girls’ clothes and being tied up in them.

Now that I’m in my forties I have pierced ears and wear a purple watch that’s obviously pretty girly, even when I’m in boy mode. And there’s no sexual thrill there. But I do have a hard time figuring out where the fetish ends and the transgenderism begins. It all seems so mixed together. And it seems to become more of an obsession as I get older – not in a red-hot “Oh my god” I-have-to-jack-off sort of way – but rather as a quieter but fairly constant thing that’s so often on my mind as I go about my day. It can really be a pain in the ass sometimes to constantly be checking out what women are wearing and so often daydreaming about ways to bring more and more of the femme presentation into my life, and just generally being self-absorbed with the subject. Would I be a happier person if I wasn’t a crossdresser? I don’t know.

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