Saturday, 19 January 2013

Autogynephilia and Crossdreaming

What do these theories do?

Autogynephilia (translated as "love of oneself as a woman") is a theory which initially seemed to aim to account for what was recognised to be a small fraction of transvestic/feminzation fetishists who claim to have gender-dysphoria and desire to have SRS. Among proponents of autogynephilia are those who recognise that that fraction predominantly differ from the rest in that their sexual arousal is more focused on the idea of the female body itself (which I refer to as "bodily-centric" or "bodily-niched"), and that it "predicts gender dysphoria".

The theory comes short in it's recognition of the condition as a faulty inversion of "innate" human sexuality. Positing a distinction of "normal" sexuality in terms of a desired female, whereas the autogynephiliac's faulty sexuality projects oneself in the role of the desired female. This hopeless representation of the experience of "body-centric" transvestic fetishists and the conflation of a transsexual typology, misleadingly obscured the majority and wide variation of non-bodily-centric fetishists from their place in the discourse.

Crossdreaming, created by a dysphoric, is a dysphoric-positive reaction to autogynephilia. It sets off from the point of discourse propagated by autogynephilia, dealing with the appearance of a sexually arousing "body-centric" phenomenology and the dysphoric equivalent. The existence of non-body-centric transvestic fetishists are barely recognised, otherwise compartmentalized, or crudely subsumed. It's definition is obscure as it proposes itself as pretty indistinguishable from transgenderism, as a dysphoria(or desire) which may be expressed through sexuality, of which we must conclude that if "crossdreaming" isn't essentially sexual then it is superfluous.

Throughout the crossdreaming discourse, the presence of dysphoria has fierce, if not unquestionable privilege, as there is a political motivation to ground and legitimize itself as a transgender condition among society and the medical community, thus to distance itself from what it unnecessarily sees as illegitimating sexual components(s). Falsely presupposing that dysphoria only has legitimacy if constituted or rooted innately, or beyond psychological influence. As expected the proponents are open to notions of dysphoria as a form of psychological mediation, but seemingly compartmentalize notions of sexuality of being as such. Autogynephiliac sexual fantasies are identified as natural, whereas the notion of those very fantasies as a form of psychological mediation are curiously identified as perverse. The fallacy that sexuality is isolated from one's general psyche and can not have any real or legitimate influence in these matters.          

At it's core, crossdreaming is adjunct to an essentially psychosexual or fetishistic account of autogyenphilia. Where it is generally understood that the sexual experience simply infers a pre-existing event of imprinted childhood emasculation trauma, crossdreaming extends this by postulating that the antagonizing object manifests sexually because it has been desired all along.

Putting aside these theories for the moment, if we can assume that there is a distinct form of sexual experience for which these theories try to account for, it is paramount that any sort of basis of understanding will begin with an analysis of the very experience itself. In this format I will present works from a few sources, including popular works of fiction, popular captioners, and works from self-identified gender-dysphoric persons.

What is the experience for which "love of oneself as a woman" represents? A phenomenology of autogynephilia.


  1. Very interesting and densely intelligent, as it were.

    There is plenty of scope for further explication of important concepts mentioned here (I think this will be your biggest challenge if you are seeking to win readers over to your position), for instance 'body-centric' and 'non-bodily-centric'.

    The one part that thoroughly defeats my comprehension is 'crossdreaming extends this by...' xx

  2. Nice blog!

    I've heard of cases where sexual suppresion in childhood and teens might result in autogynephilic behaviour. Do you believe this might
    be a valid point?

  3. I agree Debs', there may be quite a lot of ground to cover in what appears to be a multifaceted issue..

    @S-Z, I think the psyche is pretty chaotic. Seemingly all that necessitates autogynephiliac sexualization is anxietie(s) or trauma(s) related to how one happens to feel about oneself, especially in terms of self esteem and how they feel they are viewed by their peers. Suppression/repression may play a role, especially in terms of exacerbation.

  4. @Wxhluyp

    You meantioned how, at least in your case, trauma of being seen as feminine results in AG arousal if ones psyche has sexualized it..

    I understand this partially. All my life i have been afraid to seem too feminine or weak (not associating those with one another).. I always wanted to be masculine because that was a huge personality trait i never "learned" and it seemed appealing to me.. which eventually too would have helped me in pursuing women.

    Since my AG started, everytime when i think if i'm acting too feminine or being afraid not being manly enough in comparison to other boys, my AG kicks in. And when i try to embrace this arousal voluntarily, it doesn't excite me as much and i favor basic straight fantasies. This doesn't mean i don't enjoy the fantaseis per se, but also how the right context has to be there in order for the fantasies to work more intensively.

    1. Yeah, as I see it, trauma is itself sexualized. So it is the anxiety of relating oneself through femininity which resounds in each instance of sexual arousal. Ironically, sexual arousal renders positively an experience which would otherwise be recognised as of anxiety. In addition, in other fantasies where the anxiety is simply implied, there is nothing that makes it manifestly recognisable. This is why many autogynephiliacs get confused about, what appears to be the presence of masochism in only a fraction of fantasies.

  5. Come on honey, I'm impatient for more sex-positive liberation. xx

  6. IF there is a sexualized trauma one feels good about afterwards, it is most likely a positive experience one doesn't have to or manage to get rid of. All i said was that majority of times when i get anxious about appearing feminine, although I'm not, that sparks the sexual fantasy i otherwise wouldn't have that often... and it's very interesting to me why it's so.. but after all i still enjoy it at times!

  7. Hi wxhluyp,

    Good to see you're getting your ideas out again. Even if I don't totally agree with them it's always good to hear all sides to an issue. Hope you don't ban me :) .