The invisible female to male crossdressers and crossdreamers

Jack Molay's picture

The myth of the non-existent female to male crossdreamer or crossdresser is crumbling. It turns out that women can be gender confused as well, without being homosexual or even transsexual.

Gender stereotypes have it that only men can be perverts. For some peculiar reason men are the ones who most wholeheartedly promote this standpoint. Many male to female crossdressers, for instance, seem resigned to "the fact" that they are nothing but "fetishist" and that the women they worship never are. They believe it is their male testosterone driven urges that drives them to them dressing up as women. They have no "inner woman".
Many sexologists and most evolutionary psychologists seem to agree. Ray Blanchard, who has looked at men who get turned on by imagining themselves as women, consider these woman-loving "autogynephiliacs" a completely different category from the "homosexual transsexuals" (i.e. M2F man-loving transwomen).
The "autogynephiliacs"  (who I call crossdreamers)  are suffering from a male typcal paraphilia, according to Blanchard, and a can in no way be considered feminine. As for female to male transsexuals, they are all "homosexuals". There are no female to male "paraphiliacs".
I must say that I have found this very strange. Why should the variety of nature bring us male to female  "autogynephiliacs" and crossdressers,  but no female to male "autoandrophiliacs"?
It turns out all you have to do is to look for them, and there they are.
O'Keefe's tales of autoandrophilic women
 Dr Tracie O'Keefe has written a paper on  Autogynephilia and Autoandrophilia in Non-Sex and Gender Dysphoric PersonsNote the "Non" prefix in the title of this paper. Dr. O'Keefe belongs to the minority that believes that erotic fantasies of this kind are pretty normal and can be integrated into a healthy sex life. 

She tells, for instance,  the story about Clair, who  was married to a man with autogynephile fantasies. Sometimes he wanted to play out the role of being a man in bed:
"She enjoyed having sex as a woman with men but also particularly enjoyed living out her sexual fantasy of being male with a penis. She was a self-declared bisexual who, apart from having sex with Robert [her husband] and other couples, would also go off to visit female sex workers herself.
"She particularly enjoyed the fantasy of raping someone else. This was generally played out with female sex workers who would be accommodating and compliant with the fantasy to her satisfaction. The only male she carried out this sex fantasy with was her husband Robert and at the time of penetrating him she said she clearly envisioned herself as a man with a penis, dominant, powerful and aggressive. Clair was quite clear that although she might run these fantasies in her mind they were just sexual fantasies. "
She had no wish to become a man in real life.
In a male dominated world, the fact that neither male to female crossdreamers nor researchers have believed that female to male crossdreamers exist, has meant that there have been no  terms that could make them visible. 
In some alternative circles, however, there have been attempts at making words that fit. One of them is the term "girlfag". The Wikipedia defines "girlfag" as "a biologically female individual who feels a strong romantic or erotic attraction towards gay males or male bisexuals or their milieu." The Urban dictionary has several definitions, one of them being:
"A woman who is very attracted to gay/bi/trans men. She may (or may not) also feel she is (fully or partly) a 'gay man in a woman's body'. Girlfags identify primarily as queer, and are often attracted to more types of people than just gay/bi/trans men."
When you take a look at the online Girlfag community, you will soon see that we are talking about girls that want to be like dominant boys in bed, regardless of the sexual orientation of the male partner.

A few quotes:
"For so long I've struggled with trying to explain my sexuality and thinking I'm a completely and utter weirdo for only ever being sexually attracted to gay men, or super effeminate straight men (if only I could find more of those!)
"... manly guys do absolutely nothing for me, it's so sad because it totally limits me, especially since coming around to the conclusion that I'm more or less straight, after a couple of years of identifying as bisexual, and countless years before that of complete confusion about the whole orientation thing."
Here's another female to male crossdreamer talking:
"I found this community the night before last through the Wikipedia article on girlfags and guydykes after I typed in 'a gay man trapped in a woman's body' on Google and searching around a bit, after having just uttered that combination of words in an earlier conversation and finally wanting to come to terms with what I meant by that.
"This is an expression I've used on many an occasion when getting into a discussion about sexuality with friends to describe myself because it's the only seemingly-accurate descriptor that would pop into my mind, though it has often been met with varying degrees of puzzlement."
In love with a transwoman
It seems girlfags are attracted to feminine, submissive, men -- which makes sense given their wish to be the dominant man. This may lead to interesting twists, though, as the man in question may actually be a transwoman.
"The newest boy took my confidence. I thought I was gonna end up with him.... He's a bit strange though because he loves sailor moon. In fact, I think he'd like to be her. He was her for halloween...! And if he had his way he'd dress like her everyday. Yup, he's a tranny. I am not sure what 'kind'. He was born a man and still has male parts but he has expressed wanting to BE a female...FEELING like a female INSIDE. So I guess he's not a transvestite. They are usually straight and are satisfied with just dressing like the other sex. Right?
"Well he likes guys a lot. So much so that I am not sure if he likes girls, really. But he is the best love maker I have encountered. (Maybe because we did have a special bond and we really worked at it...who knows) SO if I had to call him anything based on what he has told me and what I observe I guess I'd call him a Bi T-girl??? The terms are misused so often I'm sorry I don't really know how to explain it. But I'm trying to! I want the situation to be clear."
Raven Kaldera
Raven Kaldera reports on a large number of F2M crossdreamers in his article on female TVs . I do no like this use of words like "fetish" and "transvestite", but his message is interesting enough.

He quotes "Rob" and "Michelle", F2M crossdreamers, on the use of strap-ons:

"When I put it on, it's my c*ck," says Rob. "I masturbate with it - I'm lucky in that I can come from the friction - and I have sex with it. I've trained myself to transpose the sensation in my head - the rhythmic pressure of the harness against my cl*t becoming the friction of my c*ck against my hand or someone's enclosing flesh - and when it's on me, I can forget about the rest of my body."
"Michelle concurs: "Since my strap-on is double-headed, I can usually make myself c*m by jerking it off, as if I were a man, and as if it were my own. I love for a man to wear lingerie; it makes it feel more fulfilling to my role. He is the woman, I'm the man. Also, 'taking' a man, or simply just caressing him in a more dominant position, makes me feel more masculine. And nothing makes me feel more like a man than to have him suck on my strap-on."
The fact that many F2M crossdreamers have fantasies based on stereotypical gender roles should not come as a surprise. In this respect they are not different from M2F crossdreamers nor from most cisgendered people for that matter. They use the symbols and the language of their culture to express their inner masculinity.
Kaldera says that a large number of female crossdreamers live in denial, and that many lesbians deny their existence, simply because women are not supposed to have such feelings.
Indeed, he finds the same arguments here as I have found in the M2F transgender debate. There are even F2M transmen who argue that F2M crossdreamers should not be allowed to transition if they get turned on by imagining themselves as men!
"The background for this argument is," Kaldera says, "fifty years of assumptions by sexual researchers that women don't have the kind of nasty, humiliating, ridiculous-looking sexual fetishes that men do."
Almost homosexual
I have found one scientific study on girlfags. It is written by the German researcher Uli Meyer: "Almost homosexual". She also uses the term "transfag", which refers to a F2M transman who is attracted to men.
Image: Girlfag logo designed by mooglefan 

My German is very rusty, but from what I see, she makes several interesting points, one being that the girlfag falls between all types of chairs: for the transculture she is not man enough, not woman enough, not gay enough, not trans enough.
Nor does she have the symbols the M2F crossdresser has available to express her identity. Crossdressing does not have the effect it has with M2F crossdreamers, as women may use male clothes without outing themselves. This means that they are read and understood as "normal" ciswomen. They are invisible, which is another explanation for why there is so little research on them.
Meyer does name a few well known transfag artists and thinkers, though, including Lady Caroline Lamb, George Sand, Sarah Grand, Carrington, Carson McCullers and more. She also mentions Lou Sullivan, the founder of FTM International, an international organisation of tranmen, as coming out as a gay man.
Yahoo poll
Furthermore, she refers to a study of the Yahoo girlfag group.
115 of the members of this group identified as girlfags. Of these 29 called themselves heterosexual, 80 bisexual, 3 lesbians, 48 genderqueer, and 33 as not genderqueer.
  • 71 considered themselves gay men in a woman's body, 29 did not.
  • 94 did associate themselves with the gay community, 29 did not.
  • 99 watched gay porn, 8 did not.
  • 105 would like to have a threesome with gay/bisexual men, 10 would not.
  • 105 were romantically attracted to bisexual and gay men, 7 were not.
  • 66 were attracted to other girlfags, 31 were not.
  • 66 felt affinity with other transpeople, 33 did not.
  • 51 lived openly as transfags.
Confused? Well, the poll clearly reflects a lack of clarity both as regards terminology and what it means to be a girlfag. This is to be expected when a group try to find its identity in this way.
But surely, these are exceptions to the rule, right?
Whenever I bring up the existence of F2M crossdreamers, the most common argument is that a few examples like this do not amount to anything. Women are different from men - read: only men can be "perverts".
To me the F2M crossdreamers are the black swans of transgender research. Even if there should turn out to be fewer of them than of M2F crossdreamers, their very existence proves that the general idea that only men can be sexually aroused of the idea of having the body of the opposite sex is wrong. That means that crossdreaming and crossdressing cannot be understood as the result of the peculiarities of the male psyche.
Kaldera again:
"Personally, I think that the image of women as being the keepers of moral purity (which generally always means that they are not allowed to be sexual, or at least not sexual to the degree and in the ways that men are) has got to go. First of all, it's not accurate, given the growing number of female-bodied people who are coming out of the closet about how wet they get over playing with male personas in bed. To deny that this is part of the female sexual demographic, even if it's a minority part, is to devalue and invalidate their experience. It's not worth doing just so that certain other women can feel morally superior to the men that they currently happen to be berating for being disgusting perverts."
My guess is that there are as many female crossdreamers as there are male ones.  Since I started writing about "autoandrophilia" over at my blog I have gotten quite a few comments from biological women who get turned on by imagining themselves as men.
Now that we have found female to male crossdreamers, is the world ready to accept that crossdreaming and crossdressing are natural expressions of human sexuality? I am afraid not. The controversy regarding the DSM manual did lead to the authorities abandon the absurd notion of having a paraphilia that was male only (autogynephilia). A few months ago the experts therefore decided to add "autoandrophilia" to the psychiatric manual.
Congratulations, my dear F2M sisters/brothers, you are now considered perverts as well!
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Hm, yes...I think there is an

Hm, yes...I think there is an interesting variety to this culture.  Depending on who I'm talking to, I identify as lesbian, bisexual, or queer because I feel all apply.  I think of it as liking the female spirit no matter the body; I do not like transmen, butch types or men, but women or transwomen are super ok (androygenous is my fav).

But at the same time, it's not so much a want to be dominant in a relationship as wanting to be...equals?  I get the sense that people with "masculine" traits still tend to like dominating conversations and bedroom play, and I don't want someone dominating me.  I want us to alternate wearing cocks, yes?

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