Cross-dressing

Hi Readers! 

This week’s article is about cross-dressing. This is a topic that society doesn’t tend to discuss about very often. This article is a response to a request from one of my readers. And since the aim of this website is education and discovery, why not discover cross-dressing and what it is. 

So, what is cross-dressing exactly? Does it mean a person is trans* if they cross-dress? Does it change your sexual orientation? Is it a fetish? Is it a disorder? So many questions!

If you haven’t read my articles about sexual orientation and gender identity, I suggest you do so before reading this article. The articles will allow you to get a better understanding of these terms before learning about cross-dressing. 

Cross-dressing is the act of wearing items of clothing that are not associated with the person’s gender. There is a history of cross-dressing; it was used as a disguise, for self-expression, comfort, etc. Back in the day, women authors would dress up as men so they could get their book published. Some women used to dress up as men just so that they could get an education. Cross-dressing exists in Greek, Norse and Hindu mythology. It is found in lots of literature and art. Ways that people choose to express gender may change over time, so some may notice that what they find in cross-dressing now may not apply to them in x months or years. 

Playing devil’s advocate here… I want you to think about something for a second. Society made the rules and created norms for each gender, what a “woman” is supposed to wear, what a “man” is suppose to wear. Yes, now fashion says it is sexy and in style for woman to wear an oversized jacket and heels or “boyfriend jeans”. But if a “man” decides to wear something feminine then it’s “not okay” or he is trans* and so on. 

Cross-dressers may experience social backlash as they are resisting social norms and expectations. 

Cross-dressing is more common in men than in woman. It is not a synonym of transgender. Most cross-dressers are heterosexual and no, cross-dressing does not change your sexual orientation. A person who cross-dresses can 100% identify with the sex and gender they are from birth but they have a want to dress-up with the opposite sex’s clothes because they like how it feels, how the fabric feels, how they look, etc. Cross-dressing often begins in childhood or adolescence. 

There are many different kinds of cross-dressing and different reasons why someone wants to cross-dress. Some cross-dress full time, some occasionally and some only cross-dress in private. 

Cross-dressing itself is NOT a disorder. To be diagnosed with transvestic disorder, according to the DSM-5, a person must experience persistent and intense sexual arousal from fantasising about, or acting on, urges to wear one or more pieces of clothing normally worn by the opposite gender. The fantasies and behaviours must have been present for at least 6 months and cause severe distress to the individual or dysfunction in social, professional or other significant areas of day-to-day life. The feelings of distress over cross-dressing that characterise transvestic disorder are separate and distinct from gender dysphoria. 

Since cross-dressing itself is not a disorder it does not generally require treatment. Cross-dressers may be brought to therapy by a third party (parent, partner, etc.). Some individuals who cross-dress seek therapy for themselves because of other issues that may come to the surface such as substance abuse, depression and distress. It is the distress and urges that impair day-to-day life that can be an issue for the individual not the act of cross-dressing. 

I hope this article has helped you to better understand cross-dressing. 

If you have any questions or would like to book a counselling session please contact me. 

Be kind to one another.

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

We are here to help you grow. To improve, maintain and restore your sexual health. To help keep this blog going, any contribution will be helpful.

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Sexual Orientation

Hi Readers!

Today’s blog post is all about sexual orientation. We will look at the definition as well as different terminology.

What is sexual orientation? It is the term used to describe an individual’s sexual, psychological and emotional feelings of attraction towards another person. In other words, sexual orientation is a person’s affection and sexual attraction towards other people.

Before we look at sexual orientations, I would like to explain Heterosexism. This is the assumption that everyone is heterosexual and that this sexual orientation (heterosexual) is superior. For example, asking someone who identifies as a boy, “Do you have a girlfriend?” “When are you going to bring a nice girl home?” You know what I am talking about…. Be neutral when asking these types of questions, for example: “Do you have a special someone?” “Is there someone at school or at work that interests you?” These questions are open-ended and neutral and will show the person you are asking that you are open minded and don’t have a heteronormative mindset. We need to be sensitive and aware that some individuals, young or old, may be questioning their sexual orientation or might be unsure of their sexual orientation. Being a neutral and inclusive friend or family member, can make the person feel at ease and feel comfortable to be themselves.

Children, teenagers and adults who get to the stage of wanting to tell someone about how they are feeling want to be able to speak to someone who will not judge them and will remain silent until they are ready. In most cases, the individual will choose someone they know who is an Ally. Being an Ally is someone, regardless of their own sexual orientation, who supports the human, civil and sexual rights of sexual minorities.

We also know and hear the term Queer. This is an umbrella term used by some to describe members of the LGBTQ+ community. The term has been reclaimed by members of the community from previous derogatory use but some members of the community may not wish to use it due to its historic connotations. Queer is also linked to 1990s Academic Queer Theory and for this reason, as well as is reclamation, is seen by many as inherently political. When Q is seen at the end of LGBTQ+, it typically refers to queer and, less often, questioning. (Brook, November 2019). The term QPOC/QTIPOC, stands for Queer People Of Colour or Queer, Transgender, and Intersex People of Colour. Queer people of colour experience intersecting oppressions based on race, gender, sexual orientation and other factors.

Let’s look at other terms of sexual orientations:

  • Heterosexual: A person who is physically and emotionally attracted to someone of the opposite sex. 
  • Homosexual: A person who is physically and emotionally attracted to someone of the same sex
    • Gay: this word refers to both male and female who are attracted to the same sex. Although this word is most used for men. 
    • Lesbian: A female who is attracted physically and emotionally to other females. 
  • Bisexual: A person who is attracted physically and emotionally to both male and female.
  • Pansexual: Someone who is emotionally, sexually, and/or physically attracted to others regardless of gender identity.
  • Polysexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to many genders. 
  • Asexual:  Someone who experiences limited or no sexual attraction, interest or desire. (You can read my blog post on Asexuality here) 
  • Allosexual: Someone who experiences sexual attraction, desire or sexual interest directed at other people. The opposite of asexual.

There are two terms that may be confusing to people who think that if a man has sex with another man, they must be gay. The answer is No. The term is MSM, Men who have Sex with Men. Some men do not identify as being gay. They just have different sexual practices. This term is also used for women. So, WSW, Women who have Sex with other Women but do not identify as lesbian. They just have different sexual practices.

I hope this article has helped better understand the some different terminology.

If you have more questions please feel free to contact me on depetrillojulia@gmail.com. I will be more than happy to chat with you.

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

We are here to help you grow. To improve, maintain and restore your sexual health. To help keep this blog going, any contribution will be helpful.

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Asexuality

Hi Readers!

Today’s blog post is about a specific sexual orientation: asexuality. Yes, asexuality is a sexual orientation just like homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality, etc. You may have heard people talk about someone being asexual or someone telling you that they are asexual and not knowing how to react, or not knowing what it means or maybe you had never heard the word before.

First, it’s okay not to know something – we learn something everyday. It’s okay to ask someone to explain it to you (just ask respectfully, please!).

Second, if you were too shy to ask for an explanation – do not fear, I am here! This post will explain what asexuality means. I would also like to refer you to a book I read a few years ago called  The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality by Julie Sondra Decker. You can by it on Amazon or in your favourite bookstores. It is a really great book for those of you who are interested in knowing more. The author explains it through her experiences but also presents the facts about asexuality. I though it was a great book to give you… wait for it… as an introduction to asexuality! 

Approximately 1% of the population is asexual, though many experts think that the number may be higher.

Asexuality is defined as limited or no sexual attraction, interest or desire. An asexual person is someone who is not sexually attracted to anyone. This does not mean that asexual people are not romantic, do not fall in love or do not want to be touched. Asexuals can be romantically attracted to other people, be in relationships, be intimate with someone or be intimate with themselves and/or want to masturbate. Asexuals may be in a relationship and may not ask or want to have a sexual relationship, but they may chose to do so in order to please their partner. Just like sexual people, asexual people are all different; they have their likes and dislikes and have their own levels of comfort.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness concerning asexuality and this has an effect on asexual people as they may feel left out, misunderstood and hurt. Bottom line, be kind to one another, do your research, all the information is at the tip of your fingers.

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist