No one really knows why some men have this desire. Many men who cross-dress describe it as an outlet for stress, and they tend to want to dress up more during times of tension at work or at home.
Some men get relief from tension simply by wearing women's lingerie (often silk) under their exterior male clothing. These guys often go no further than that with their cross-dressing.
Most transvestites, however, want to appear as female as possible in their outer garments and want to wear elegant make-up and pleasant perfumes.
Men who cross-dress are not mentally ill. Indeed, psychologists in the USA have decided that cross-dressing comes within the normal range of male sexuality unless it becomes a compulsive obsession.
Not every transvestite is a secret transvestite. The well-known medical journalist and writer Dr Vernon Coleman has often written about the enjoyment of wearing women's underwear.
Some individuals make their livings as transvestite artists (drag queens) on stage and in clubs. Other performers cross-dress for reasons such as seeking to break down gender barriers – reportedly including the famous stand-up comedy artist Eddie Izzard.
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