1. Erotic arousal/fetishism.
Often this is the transvestite’s first and primary association with feminine clothing. Many times, the person is initially aroused by lingerie, perhaps by its connection with the boudoir, or by the tactile sensations these clothes present. Eventually these items are used as an aid for masturbation. For transvestites, the ultimate result is that they begin dressing in the clothes even though that may not have been their original intent. Many transvestites report that through masturbation they developed a fetish for women’s clothes while in puberty. Some say that the attachment arose much later in life.
Sexual fantasies for many transvestites involve sexual contact with another person while they are dressed. Most often that person is a female.... Some transvestites are fortunate in that their partner allows them to dress while having sex. When a transvestite cannot dress, he frequently fantasizes that he wearing women’s clothes while having sex with another person or while masturbating. Some can be aroused no other way.
3. Expressing hidden personality characteristics.
Crossdressing allows some men the opportunity to express portions of their personalities that this society does not accept in “masculine” men. While these characteristics, such as gentleness, passivity, and emotional sensitivity, are neither specifically feminine nor masculine, they are most commonly associated with women. Some men also report that they have the need to be flirtatious, to feel beautiful and glamourous, or to act passive and helpless. The transvestite feels most free to express these traits only when he is dressed as a woman.
Some crossdressers say that their skillful appearance as a woman is an art form that involves making something appear to be something that it is not. This skill requires the full range of theatre arts (costuming, make up and acting) plus an artist’s eye for color, texture and scale. Some transvestites also call their crossdressing a hobby that pleasantly occupies their leisure time, whether they are dressed in women’s clothes or dressed in men’s clothes and shopping for or planning their feminine wardrobe or their next excursion in drag. Some men crossdress purely as a creative outlet, i.e. the professional female impersonator. While many impersonators call what they do “simply a job” and let it go at that, others react in a strongly negative manner to the merest suggestion that they are transvestites. This reaction reflects society’s belief that crossdressing in response to personal or psychological needs is “sick.”
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