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April 13, 2024 7:30 am  #1

Cross dressing, Autogynephilia, gender fluid? Is it ever just that?

I’m new to this group and trying to figure things out.

I pushed my husband to go to therapy about 2.5 years ago because he liked women’s clothes and wearing them. This January I pulled out of him that he thinks he could be gender fluid, shifting from masculine to somewhere neutral. It seemed to be somewhat on a cycle. When feeling less masculine he likes to paint his nails, wear tights, wear dresses etc. he has worn clothes out of the house too.

I’ve recently been processing what this means to me as the romantic partner. I have learnt he has worn women’s clothes prior to when we started dating. Most the time he did this without my knowledge. I didn’t know about this when we got married, but did know about his kink of liking latex.

We have had many discussions recently, and now he is thinking there may also be an element of Autogynephilia. He is adamant he is not interested in men, or any other partner but me. He is not interested in a different body (transitioning). He is still not totally sure what all of this is.

So my questions: is it ever just cross dressing, or Autogynephilia without the attraction to men or without progressing into more?
Part of me still wonders what is left to be uncovered or what he might still be hiding from himself

Has anyone had success continuing a relationship with someone who cross dresses or has Autogynephilia? I am not physically attracted to my husband right now. I like masculine energy and these feminine parts are throwing me off

Could Autogynephilia slowly progress to become someone’s gender identity?
I wonder if the cycle of following and playing out this type of sexual fantasy could lead to my husband feeling more gender fluid (something to do with the reward cycle associated with seeking out that pleasure and receiving gratification?)

It’s all so tricky when I love my family (we have young kids), I love my home, I like our friendship/companionship, but and struggling to figure out what all the rest of this means for me. It’s easier to understand dressing a certain way if you are feeling more of that gender, but harder to be compassionate if it’s coming from an arousal/sexual motivation (in my opinion). I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts or similar experiences to help me process or think outside my current biases/perceptions…


April 13, 2024 1:02 pm  #2

Re: Cross dressing, Autogynephilia, gender fluid? Is it ever just that?

Hi Mel,

Sorry to hear your story.  I have to admit my thoughts are that you need to brace yourself and consider if he has been 'trickle truthing' right from the start.

Much as I feel sympathy for a person being stuck with such a difficult sexuality, I don't think you can look to him for the care and consideration you need from him.  

I think it is an unfolding scenario - at the moment he is like a teenager trying on clothes and flirting with his image in the mirror and around the corner he will want to attract a man with his feminine appeal.

Read Out Of His Closet's story, she posted here a lot at one time and did a lot of research into the topic.

At one stage he was declaring he wanted to have a lesbian relationship with her but what that entailed was for her to be the dominant one.  


April 13, 2024 1:57 pm  #3

Re: Cross dressing, Autogynephilia, gender fluid? Is it ever just that?

Mel wrote:

....  I am not physically attracted to my husband right now. …

That's your intuition telling you to make boundaries around yourself, to not get pulled in to his fantasy closet.

I second Lily's advice. Read some of Outofhiscloset's threads about autogynephilia.


KIA KAHA                       

April 13, 2024 2:00 pm  #4

Re: Cross dressing, Autogynephilia, gender fluid? Is it ever just that?

Mel, Question- did your husband attend counseling for his obsession with wearing women’s clothing, after you pushed him?   Does he also watch porn or engage in porn?  Does he have sex toys just for his own sexual gratification.  How is your sex life and intimacy?  These are some behaviors to be aware of.
Kinda odd that he did not seek counseling to figure out what his sexuality must be.

I did not have any success with my ex partner that was a poster person for AGP.  I also found his appearance not attractive at all.  I have numerous posts here of my experience, especially when it came to the bedroom and don’t want to rehash it.  I detested his behavior, the way he dressed, the loss of muscle tone etc.  For claiming to be a MTF femme, he sure had that male sense of entitlement and misogyny towards me.  Mine also changed his status like the wind blows and I think to fit his needs, and I think at the beginning so that I wouldn’t leave him.  Like he assumed the femme role behind closed doors at the beginning and wore male clothes at the time that he worked as a handyman.  Then started gradually in public with multiple hooped earrings and painted his fingernails a dark color.  Then he got out of his closet and morphed into brightly colored fingernails and toenails and dazzling earrings.  He was testing the water for acceptance in public.  He was an oddity in our liberal town but accepted.  From then he did  transition on HRT.  Hell or high water..he was on the journey. And has a women’s persona now. What helped was that he was retired.

i listened to the podcast from Dr Blanchard on AGP that is on Our Path.  It was informative.  I agree when he said that there is a push from the LGBTQ community to normalize this behavior.  Anne Lawrence wrote about AGP and she is trans.  AGP in the Diagnostic Manual is a mental disorder, to an extent when they fantasize being a woman and obtain the sexual thrill that they are a woman with dressing.  Apparently only 3% of cross dressers are AGP.  I’m not sure of any statistics anymore or what I read from the medical community, as we have influence and members that are pushing their beliefs, changing our culture.   I think that there are probably some men out there that do wear women’s clothing for other reasons and don’t push the envelope that far.  
You had to pull out of him that he is gender fluid.  That’s is his self proclaimed label and labels are in vogue right now.  And he hid this obsession with women’s clothes. What else is he hiding?   He says he only wants you and is not sure what it’s all about.  He admits to AGP.  If it’s true AGP, the rewards are so fantastic, It’s hard to say whether he will be content with dressing up or if it’ll ramp up.  It’s apparent that he is not disturbed by his passion.  If only we have a crystal ball.  I know you have anxiety and uncertainty about where this relationship is heading.  Wishing you strength.  


April 13, 2024 2:15 pm  #5

Re: Cross dressing, Autogynephilia, gender fluid? Is it ever just that?

Thanks everyone.
He did go to therapy for 2.5 years but honestly got no where. I think I’ve pushed him and given him more resources in the last month than the therapist has in over 2 years. I’ve told him he needs to find someone else, and I have found a therapist for myself.

I have made a no physical contact boundary for the time being while I figure this out.

I suspect there is some attachment trauma or childhood trauma he is not aware of that might be impacting this as well. I wonder if he has been using this as a way to block or mask uncomfortable emotions and it has worked. The reward cycle is so strong in the brain. Today I’m pissed that this potential cycle of self gratification of his desires is completely shaking up my life and future. I don’t feel like he intentionally has been trying to hold back information (at least more recently), I honestly don’t think he really knows who he is right now.

I will look up some of the other posts later when I get a chance.
This is all so frustrating and complex

     Thread Starter

April 14, 2024 7:30 am  #6

Re: Cross dressing, Autogynephilia, gender fluid? Is it ever just that?

Hi Mel,
It’s a very frustrating position to be in, raising young children with a partner who is experiencing his own adolescence when there is so much adulting to do.  Blanchard has a number of interviews out there describing his research. I also read Anne Lawrence who interviewed hundreds of cross dressing men and described their experiences. Phil Illy is an articulate voice on AGP.  It was a tough read for me but prompted me to ask my husband about his sexual fantasies and was pretty shocked to hear his answers. The heart of the matter for AGP is getting off on being a female, an attraction to oneself as a woman.  The clothes are cosplay. Unfortunately even if wanted by the AGP partner, there doesn’t seem to be a “cure.” It may ebb and flow but is likely here to stay.

Good for you starting to think about your boundaries- like no physical contact. It’s hard but I encourage you to focus on your own needs and reactions now and try not to go down the rabbit hole of obsessing about his obsessing.


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