Here's what will surely be a hot button issue - men wearing lingerie in order to feel feminine. Many of the articles written on the subject of men in lingerie have focused on the reasons for men wearing lingerie being things like the sensation of smooth fabrics against the skin, or simple enjoyment of the look. For some men, this is undoubtedly the reason why they wear lingerie, but for others, it's not. Many men who wear lingerie do so because they like to feel feminine, and some men who wear women's lingerie in order to feel feminine also choose a female name to go along with it.
Many of the men who do this, are, believe it or not, straight, heterosexual men. This raises several interesting questions, most of which I will not pretend to have the answer to. Being a woman, I would not presume to climb into the head space of men who have not shared such information with me, and men wearing lingerie to feel feminine (and admitting it) is not something I have that much direct hands on experience with (though I have suspected it from time to time).
However, in spite of my admitted ignorance, I am addressing this issue now because it is blatantly obvious that there are many men who are into wearing lingerie to feel feminine, and to ignore them would be both rude, and to miss an opportunity to learn. So, what ho chaps, let's get some (clean) discussion going on this topic, shall we?
I find it especially interesting that straight men desire to feel feminine, whereas women seem to not often have this issue or desire. It is very rare that a straight woman will go out of her way to find men's attire and get a frisson of excitement at seeing herself dressed as a man, to the point where she buys men's clothes and hides them away, and even creates a male alter ego for herself. I am sure that there are some straight women who do this sort of thing, and I know it is fairly prevalent in the lesbian community, but I haven't met any straight women indulging in this sort of thing, nor have I seen any strong evidence of any about the place, so I must therefore assume that the numbers are relatively small. We could conclude from this then, that straight women tend to embrace and enjoy their femininity, and do not wish to identify with the masculine, whereas on the other side of the coin, many more men are quite keen to embrace the feminine.
What is this then, the allure of femininity? Is it simply the power of the female as addressed in this hub HERE? Is it a desire to merge yin and yang together, to be a whole person instead of a half energy? Is it freeing to play the female, to be allowed to be delicate and helpless, to seek refuge from the rigors of masculinity which demands so much strength all the time?
You tell me.
Sissy man on April 07, 2020:
What i love about lace is how femine it make me feel, and the join it give my man.
Dee on July 06, 2019:
Due to prescribed meds I have to take my testosterone levels decreased significantly and my Estrogen levels increased. My doctor wanted to prescribe Testosterone replacement for me but after eading all the side effects and dangers I opted not to. Jump ahead 2 years and I have grown breasts large enough that I no longer wear t-shirts because they are that prominent! I feel totally different as a person also, oft times I feel very feminine. I have discussed this with my GF several times and she seems to actually like it. She likes to "play" with my breasts when we are making love and has talked me into wearing a bra on a number of occasions. The odd thing is that I felt totally at ease in a bra and even started liking it. Now I get these urges to wear one all the time. My GF has asked me if I want to become transgender, sometimes I do and sometimes not so I am completely confused except I still gravitate towards bras, they make me feel secure.
anon on January 26, 2019:
I suspect a lot of men wearing lingerie 'just for the feeling' and not at all for femininity are repressing the element of femininity it entails. Because softness in our world associates with feminity.
Which might be part of the answer. C.G. Jung (and others before, you mention yin-yang) talk of both female and male aspects in all of us (animus and anima).
For women, the outside world (patriarchy? Doesnt matter in this context) put them in firm boundaries - only wearing skirts etc. This has losened a lot (although see madonnas speech) in terms of outer expression (as long as they don't 'act': seek to decide, gain power, speak up, etc.) - while in everyday life, men have just about achieved long hair to be ok - unless you're gay, in which case you're almost expected to be effeminate, since you lose 'real man' status anyways in much of societies eyes. In short, there is such a pressure to be a 'manly man' and what that means, that it's no wonder some men - maybe especially those trying to highly fullfill their 'male' duties: acting, deciding, being tough, providing, being emotionally more stable/repressed, etc. long for a pressure valve, an expression where they can just 'be' (instead of 'do'). The minimum is then doing this alone in secret, but the loving acceptance, support and initiation from a partner is then so much more powerful. Also some may be content with panties or stockings, if the physical aspect is stronger, while others are more mental about it and want to transform including a female name etc. Breaking the taboo might be more exciting for very rule-oriented (raised) people in this context.
So in conclusion: of course it doesnt make you less of a man - it makes you someone who maybe doesnt have the possibility or desire right now to transform childhood experience and current pressures into a completely interior, psychological balance of yin-yang - or in more positive terms, someone who is further along accepting both parts in themselves than most if society and living the freedom of expressing both, at least in private.
Just as long as it's not an expression of being unable to adjust flexibly in the rest of your life, actually have conflicts, stand up for yourself, express needs instead of swallowing them always - if it becomes your only outlet in a toxic environment psychological counselling will help, not dressing up more.
In any case, you can be monogamous and love your female partner 100% - both her sides. Maybe it would make her more whole to explore her strong, self-confident, acting, initiating, protecting and providing (a safe space for her partner to be vulnerable and wanted just being) side as well.
True love is not two half people clinging to each other to become one, each repressing their own shadow side for the rest of their lives, but two people helping each other to become whole, and using their strenghts to temporarily carry the other through times where their weak points may need it.
Pamela on November 13, 2018:
there are many reasons why men dress. One common one is to help with their stress levels. I know my stress level goes way down when I dress. I love the feel of nylon and satin against my skin and most people have no idea how much that helps me to feel feminine. I think there is a certain segment of men who adore women and want to be like them. Dressing gives them them the chance to be like and feel like a woman to a certain degree. For me it goes much deeper then just dressing. I long to explore my feminine side so much deeper and to feel as many feminine things as i can. The intensity is so very strong and overpowering each time I dress. It is difficult to put into words, the intensity and my feelings are so overwhelming and powerful. I cant speak for all crossdressers , these are just my feelings and desires.
Richard Roper on May 03, 2018:
As a man I feel the feminine side does get strong at times and then you want to let that side out as they would say, to be free. One way to do this is wearing the clothes that fit the sex at that time, if feeling strongly like a woman then the feminine clothes would be the choice of clothing to wear and feel good in.This happens to me at times and then gets hard to do if I want to go out someplace. The undergarments are easy to use because no one see them and they feel good more comfortable than the men's style. I think the freedom to chose what type of clothes is up to the person and how they feel wearing them. I all I'm in favor of letting men use what they want dresses, skirts, and what ever style of underwear they want. Thanks Hope for bringing this out and the artical you wrote.
stuartmclean on April 24, 2018:
Need help with make up
Bob on November 11, 2017:
I am a straight married father of two. I like to offroad, shoot guns, buy tools, work on cars, etc. I have never had the desire to become a women or hook up with a guy. But, as a child I enjoyed dressing in stockings and slip. This went on and off with ceasing the practice for maybe a decade. This was not a consensus choice, it was purely a timing thing. Marriage, house, kids, etc. I progressed from home alone to short work days and onto full work days. Now I have moved onto wearing thigh highs every chance I get. Even at home with wifey. She hasn't got a clue. I find it very stimulating to go to the next level. Kinda like riding your bike out of the neighborhood when you were 9, or sneaking a cigarette from your aunt at Thanksgiving and smoking behind the woodshed. You know, heart racing stuff. I think I will try makeup and nail polish the next time wifey goes out of town. I found some old makeup in the attic but it's mostly dried up. Hopefully she will leave some behind when shes gone for me to try. I am very careful and hope I don't slip (pun) up and get caught.
AnotherGuy7 on February 14, 2010:
You've essentially asked what I have found to be the million dollar question as it were, Hope. So in my reading through all the articles you've posted on here related to this topic, it seems as if you feel you see more men who will put on womens panties and leave it at that for whatever their possible reasons may be?
Well in that regard, I have been down right shocked at the number of men in the world who, like myself, are heterosexual yet feel the need to dress as feminine as possible from time to time and to the extent that there is an alter ego. I started dressing when I was 12 and for the past decade (I am 25 now), I have noticed the desire to dress head to toe in female attire as well as put on a wig, heels, make-up and fake nails comes in phases. I think a very challenging part for me, and I would imagine every other guy in my situation, is that in college I went through a period where it was impossibly difficult to understand how I could have these two completely competing sides to who I am.
So there was certainly a time where I felt that I might be gay simply because I couldn't justify why I sometimes needed to become a female persona yet the rest of the time I was the definition of masculine. I, thankfully after interacting with others who were going through similar thoughts as me via places such as myspace.com, was able to at least conclude comfortably that I am a heterosexual male, attracted very much to women with no desire in men, who likes to spend time in a feminine persona because I enjoy that level of being "girly" and "feminine"".
Not to run this on forever, but I saw here that you wrote this article a year and a half ago and while it is certainly one of the most difficult aspects of this conversation to have, I honestly believe its a conversation we should try to have again because a theory that ties the two sides together needs to be developed. While I have been able to comfortably say that I like to become my female persona every so often I know I am attracted solely to women, its impossibly difficult to convince those around us of that since we can't make the explanation ourselves. And this hit home for me only two weeks ago as my girlfriend found out that I crossdressed from a website on my computer. And while she doesn't yet know close to the whole story, I can all ready see her struggling with this concept that I am in love with her and only her but I also like to spend time as a girl sometimes. And I can understand why she is struggling with this because I haven't been able to give her a reason that should make those two aspects of me synergistic with one another. Instead, shes probably going through what I went through 4 years ago which was hw can I like to feel like a girl from time to time and then tell her that I am 100% straight. So I'm hoping we put a renewed effort into trying to gain some understanding, at the very least so I can make the discussion between my girlfriend and I more coherant to have. Sorry for typing so much out. I appreciate all that you do here Hope.
joanjo from Herts. U.K. on February 10, 2010:
Hi Hope, I shall keep this simple as a lot of in depth discussion has already taken place and which I find rather deep. I'm married,straight,have a lovely daughter etc BUT I JUST LOVE TO DRESS IN ALL MY FEM CLOTHES, this includes underwear,stockings,dress,shoes and wig.Also when I get the time and space I like to try make up.I also have an fem name.Joan. I mostly wear knickers each day under work clothes, however although I have a strong feminine side I also enjoy my male self.I suppose both aspects make me feel a whole person.
Orlando on January 09, 2010:
I am impressed and encouraged by the answers on this thread. I am a male in my mid 30s, I went through periods when I was younger of cross-dressing, which at first was trying on dresses and make-up at home on my own from when I was about 11, then in my 20s I went to cross-dressing meetings at people's homes sometimes, where one was encouraged to develop a female persona, with a female name etc - this was at the UK's Beaumont Society [I recall the president of the body once on a radio interview, saying society is not ready to accept a man in a dress, but if he makes a reasonable effort and presents as a female, I find that they are -- I think he was perhaps slightly optimistic in the latter part of that comment, but I think it is an interesting one that helps illustrate the issue]. I enjoyed that sometimes, but also sometimes went on to experiment with deliberately androgynous looks at certain nightclubs etc and was confused as to whether I really wanted to me male or female, or something else. I liked to try to look pretty and to wear sensual clothing and to express a softer and more emotional side to me. Later on I stopped the role-playing aspect and tried to be more boldly androgynous in some of my presentation choices as a man sometimes (ear rings and nail polish etc, I liked blue and silver ones). For a few years I have not done that either, partly for reasons of a tragedy in my personal life that made me less confident. Anyway, to resume, I think there is nothing wrong with the adopting a female persona thing, which can be a fun way of exploring a different side to your personality, and giving yourself "permission" to go to an extreme in exploring those emotions and behaviours not seen as traditionally masculine [and in my reading around the subject I have found there are a small number of straight women who do the same, including drag kings, who are not all necessarily lesbian]; however I agree with some previous posters that actually it should not perhaps be necessary if society had no hang ups about men acting in "feminine" ways sometimes. I also agree with one other poster who suggested that on the whole men should be commended for having adapted well to the idea of women doing a whole range of activities etc that were once seen as masculine - I am thinking certain work and social roles, sports, going to bars etc, being the main breadwinner of families sometimes, etc and also wearing a wide range of clothing from traditionally masculine to feminine, and I think women should sometimes try a little harder to let men do the same and not make them feel they must be stereotypically masculine to be lovable or attractive. I also agree with a poster above who said instead of saying "why do some men like wearing lingerie" etc, we should say "OK, why do women like it?" Women by and large wear masculine styled clothing for practical reasons (though I remember a women once admitting that for example, a masculine-styled suit, for example, might make her feel stronger and more assertive) -- why then, now they are "liberated" do they wear dresses and lingerie and so on sometimes too? Just to please men? No, because one of the traditional female prerogatives (at least these days, not so much in the 18th Century, for example) is sensuality and beauty, and many women still enjoy expressing and enjoying that side of things. I think things are moving on a bit, but I do still feel exasperated, for example, by the way men in formal occasions - take politicians etc - are still often expected to conform to a dull, standard form of dress lacking in colour or imagination. I think if men started thinking they could be taken seriously in positions of responsibility AND be more glamorous and expressive, then humans might be able to lighten up a bit and enjoy life more, and maybe we would have less of this "Mars and Venus" nonsense between the sexes too. I find the sight of a sea of grey suits and ties (plus women in coloured outfits) at political and business events (and indeed at "black tie" formal ones) tediously conventional in the 2nd decade of the 21st Century.
PS. I realise I have not addressed lingerie as such that much. It was not a major thing for me, but I would say it has an appeal for the same reasons of sensuality, beautiful fabrics, delicacy, feeling glamorous etc that I mentioned. I have seen that a few firms now do quite feminine styles designed for men, but on the whole male underwear is utilitarian.
black thongs on December 08, 2009:
I wear microfiber black thongs devoid of any feminine aspect because womens thongs don't have a seam in the middle and I like wearing soft underwear. I have no illusions of being attractive to men or women because of this, thongs are comfortable and womens thongs are the best...
thatsnice on October 04, 2009:
I desperately want to live as a woman, as far the dress and behavior goes... I am married, I have a 3 year old son, and I can see no way out at the moment... The feelings are so intesnse! It feels good to think about how pretty I look all dressed up, what a beautiful woman I am (or could be)... I stopped wearing makeup a long time ago, it's a little more difficult to hide whenever you have a wife to contend with... I sneak caressing my skin and thinking about how beautiful I feel when I can... It is a shame that it only happens when I am away hiding from my wife. She would never understand or approve for that matter... It really is a shame to be forced to hide... If there is any advice I could give to the person out there that has this desire but is not yet married, make sure you find a woman who you know will be receptive to it, and tell her right away. Don't work yourself into a corner like I have... It is definitely restrictive to say the least. At some point I know that this will not be something I have to hide but rather just a fact of who I am both public and private. There is no reason why I should not be able to wear attractive clothing that accents my figure and the lingerie that adds a note of sensuality to it all... I don't want to run around in high heels and panties in public, I just want to fit in! I never knew there were so many other people out there struggling with the same thing I struggle with.. I appreaciate all of your posts, they are very empowering!
Jakkie on June 27, 2009:
Many interesting thoughs here. For me, I just love wearing lace, nylon and other feminine articles of clothing to feel sexy..
shortbread from Michigan on May 23, 2009:
Hope....I like to and do wear panties all the time.The rest of the lingerie as time allows.If someones miffed 'cause I wear it bad,besides i don't ever remember the undie police check in my pants...LOL
lovely maik on April 22, 2009:
i think my feminin side is more strong...maybe in some other life i was women!.
supersteve from london on March 12, 2009:
i have a dream that one day i will wake up dressed in womens silk underwear and my wife does my makeup paints my nails lets me wear my favorite dress wow what a dream its better than winning the lottery
Lawrence on January 12, 2009:
Why oh why do so many people subscribe to the false notion that men and women are different to the point that we are almost a different species?
The book women are from venus and men are from mars, and more recently other books such as "you just don't understand" promote the idea that there are such fundamental differences between men and women, that we have to behave differently, dress differently and think diferently etc etc.
I reject it all.
There are FAR more similarities than differnces.
However, just limiting this comment to clothing, both outerwear and underwear, why is it so surprising that we ALL, both male and female, straight bi or gay, are capable of appreciating the sight and touch of all varietiy of clothing?
We all have the same senses of touch and sight don't we? How else can a male be capable of designing beautiful dresses? Is it because secretly he has a female brain? Well maybe that's exactly it. Just as a female can design the structural foundations of tall buildings because her brain is also male in many respects.
So I see no surprises in the males desire and willingness to wear beautiful soft, visually pleasing lingerie.
Is this the feminine side of him? Well how many sides does a human have? 1, 2, 3, 6, 20?
I have concluded, just as an earlier commentator has written, that its a fluidity of existence that we all share. Some are more one way than the other, and hence have differing preferences in all manner of things. And we are all capable of moving throughout our lives along the line, or even existing in many different places along the line at the same time.
To me, the male wearing lingerie or a dress or heels, is done for much the same reasons as for the female. The male of course would also sometimes like to be appreciated as looking sexy, just as the female does. but that is not his exclusive reason. As has already been said by others countless times, but rarely understood or listened too. It feels nice, and it looks nice---- personally. Why should it have to be justified? Just as a female wears a beautiful dress or lingerie and admires her reflection, so does the male. He derives the exact same pleasure. Please leave aside the strerotypical view of the male in panties and a bra masterbating to his reflection. Males , just like females have greater depth than that. However, what's so wrong with that?. Don't females masturbate alone to fantasies too?
Why don't we ask the same question of females? Why do females wear lingerie? I did (http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=why... and found much the same reasoning that males give. With the exception of course that it is geven from a female point of view.
Medical science is slowly unravelling the complexities of life. I for one wont be surprised when finally it is announced that the differences between so called male and female brains are revealed to be trivial. This comment has already been made by at least one very prominent neuro specialist.
I have tried to avoid using the terms man or woman because that is a matter of so called gender difference. I have used the limiting terms male and female to describe the two categories of humans that we are all eroneously placed at birth. I accept the tems only in the very basic description of external and internal genitalia. Otherwise to me they are pretty meangless as a description of a person.
So turning to gender. Why should gender be a decisive factor in choice of clothing?
So to sum up my answer to the original question as asked by Hope Alexander
"What is this then, the allure of femininity? Is it simply the power of the female as addressed in this hub HERE? Is it a desire to merge yin and yang together, to be a whole person instead of a half energy? Is it freeing to play the female, to be allowed to be delicate and helpless, to seek refuge from the rigors of masculinity which demands so much strength all the time?"
I think it is because we are ALL both masculine AND feminine. And that would be far more apparent, if the society we live in were to drop the outdated and constrictive roles into which we are all supposed to fit.
Shelley on January 06, 2009:
I agree with Jon when he says "gender itself is a spectrum". No one is either completely male or completely female during ones lifetime. It is rather a combination of both. It is like having scales of 0% male and 100% female or 100% male and 0% female with all the combinations inbetween with %maleness+%femaleness equalling 100. The percentage of 'maleness' or 'femaleness' however is not fixed for any individual and keeps changing with time. To tell you the truth, I have never found any man who is 100% male or any woman who is 100% female. Unfortunately, whereas the society defines a male or a female based on the genitals, the truth is that gender is more in the mind of a person.
In general the gender that prevails in a person at any given time arises as a result of the external circumstances affecting him/her during that time or in the past. So a 'man' feeling more like a woman at any time would take to dressing in womens lingerie to get the real feel whereas at other times he may feel more like a man and wear mens underwear. I am sure this is also the case with a 'woman'.
Jon on January 05, 2009:
I can probably help with this discussion, as that I am one of those males who has developed a female persona.
For me, one of the problems lies in the fact that I don't actually feel myself to be "male." In this I mean my gender identity is not that of a man. I am physically a man and I my sexual orientation is straight (yes, I only date women). However, I don't believe that gender is a simple binary system. I have come to agree with the idea that gender itself is a spectrum. There are many different "genders" that one could fall under: male, female, transmale, transfemale, and genderqueer are all examples of this idea. (For those more interested, a simple google search on the gender spectrum will get you some basic information on the topic)
I feel that gender-fluid best describes my gender. Gender-fluid simply means that sometimes I feel strongly male, other times I feel strongly female, and still other times I feel somewhere in the middle between those two ends of the spectrum. So for me, my female persona isn't necessarily a different person, just a different facet of my own personality.
Some people here have posted the idea that adopting a female persona is done as a pressure release for males trapped in the cage of masculinity. I tend to agree with this, though I'm not only female when I need to relieve pressure, but also when I just want to relax, slip into something more comfortable, and be a little more submissive. That's not to say that I'm always submissive as a female either, but generally, that's the way it is for me.
I've only just recently started wearing panties full-time and I find that it is a welcome way to blend the facets that make up my personality. It is some tangible way of letting myself be softer and kinder than is generally accepted of a "manly" man.
All in all, I have to say that I hope I've helped shed some light on this topic and I hope you keep posting these articles Hope, as I have enjoyed reading them immensly.
Bane on December 30, 2008:
My step-mother "wore the pants in the house". I don't think I ever scene her in a skirt or anything traditionally feminine. She is completely straight too...
GoneNylon on December 21, 2008:
Sorry, but I've just discovered Hope's work today and am amazed at all the mature, sober, non-pornographic discussion she engenders (pun entirely intended). This is some healthy stuff!
Having just read all the comments to this post, it occurs to me that what I've been reading are reflections on the question of male privilege. With women's clothing becoming more masculinized, we've seen a cultural accession to that privilege.
Men who crossdress or otherwise take on feminine trappings, however, are rejecting that privilege to one degree or another. Such rejection is dangerous to the overall social structure; far more dangerous, in fact, than women taking on the outward appearances of it. When a man seeks the feminine in himself, he tacitly rejects the privilege society conferred upon him by the accident of his birth. A growth in the trend toward that rejection threatens the privilege structure at a very basic level. Society can't comprehend why a man would stoop to embrace the feminine when thousands of years of social conditioning have created the very structure he's rejecting. From christianity's stomping out of the feminine wisdom cults to the invention of the bustle, the whole point has been to make sure women understood their "place." A man wanting to share that space is past intolerable. it's abominable.
Much of our society is still set up to essentially deny the worth of the feminine outside of very well-defined areas. Those denials create the balance in an otherwise unharmoniously discriminatory system.
Take an entertainment example: there's nothing funnier than a man in a dress. Witness "Tootsie" or "To Wong Fu." While each film made some valid points, they were made at the same time that the protagonists were still clearly displayed to be outside the "norms." On the other hand, a lot of people felt really threatened by "Thelma and Louise," in which a pair of women demanded they be treated not as society dictated, but as they themselves did. Remember how the movie ends?
Moreover, much of the male-oriented clothing women wear still has some kitschy element that serves as a cue that the clothing isn't "really" male, but for pretense only. Sailor dresses? Tux-style trousers? Much of the male-styled clothing for adult women is actually infantilized to serve as a subtle clue that the female wearing it isn't "serious."
Taken together, I think we can see why society gasps with shock and horror at the thought of a man in panties or, far worse, in a dress and heels, let alone wearing makeup to enhance his features. It's another of those subtle cues that the culture is wobbling a bit; that the power structure so many have worked so long in such varied areas of existense to perpetuate is showing cracks in the hull plating.
My hope, Hope? That men will, eventually, don whatever clothing they wish and wear it proudly, and without a so much as a whiff of fear or misgiving; that they won't have to mince and swish (unless that's their nature), but can walk into a boardroom head held high and perched on a stunning pair of heels, and cloaked in the beauty of any of the fabrics that are reserved as the exclusive domain of those whom society presently deems to be of less "worth."
When that happens, we'll ALL be better off.
Dave on October 30, 2008:
I'd like to comment on Leah's post. I certainly can understand moving on. I'm in my late 30's and have spent the last 10 years pursuing x-dressing as an obsession almost. I had my diva moments, but for the most part dressed fashionable, instead of fetish queen. I did my phase of meeting others cds and going to clubs, etc. I reached a point of been there done that, what was left, but becoming a full time women. That wasn't me either. I was lonely, with a closet full of clothes and shoes. I battled with gender confusion and sexuality until I couldn't stand it anymore. I stopped dressing up and shortly fell into a relationship with a woman I loved dearly. One of my biggest fears was going back to Saturday night, indulging in dressing up, sitting by myself alone. I'm not a big night club person, what are the options? I look back over the years, so much time wasted, I could have had kids, had meaningful adventurous and experiences. I don't blame x-dressing just my own choices. No insult intended but I had met so many mid-aged cds divorced and sitting around with other divorced cds. I feared that would be me. I don't blame anyone for there situation. It's a hell of a lot to heap on a woman a year or two into a relationship or marriage that you have a big secret and I don't think it's fair to keep that secret from them if you intend on a commitment. I always tried to think about what would I say if I was dating a woman that fully crossdressed or wanted too. Could I really deal with it. I'm not attracted to total butch women, either. I still remember my femine self and enjoy looking at the thousands of pics I took over the years from time to time. But I wouldn't care to go back to, nor do I need to go back to crossdressing.
mave on October 30, 2008:
What difference should it make what clothes or role people choose to adopt as long as it's comfortable to them. There's truth in the fact that some men years later in a relationship, after feeling trusting with there partner reveal they have a femine side and start to indulge in femininity. No doubt a shocker to many women. I've had girlfriends that had no problem grabing a sweat shirt of mine, ect. to kick around the house. Very few modern women are the ultra sex kittens in xxx films. I see nothing wrong with guys or girls just being happy with who and how they wanna be. It's a shame people have to hide who they are and how they feel from the start. What an incredible world it would be if we didn't judge others and accepted everyone as they just are for what's inside. How free society's mind would be to ponder other great things instead of wasting energy on someones choice of appearance. Your not going to change someone because you dislike there choices. Women share in every aspect of general human activity around the house such as, yard work, painting, hanging drywall, whatever couples help each other with. Why couldn't a couple have an evening of chat and doing nails, while sharing a great bottle of wine. I was fortunate enough to have met one such woman. I started to reveal my femine self over time. She loved that I'm a great cook , helped out with the cleaning and planning meals, I did the shopping. We enjoyed spending time together on certain nights going through fashion catologs together or shopping. By the time I was fully dressing emfem she was opening up to me more then ever before. Things that would not otherwise have been shared with me. I really admired that she didn't judge me harshly and told me it was ok, if this is how I feel. I didn't ever push the subject to were it would affect us out side of our little world, we enjoyed together and that was enough. In fact she appreciated my taste in women's clothes and often claimed them, which I never minded. She looked wonderful in everything anyway. We enjoyed each others company just being together on a level of seeing the positives and beauty in each other. I was very lucky.
Meagain on September 28, 2008:
I understand totally what your saying- Ive been there and all that, and feel somewhat similarly today. I was just thinking recently, how possibly I am just outgrowing it. Like whatever I needed it for - I don't need anymore- or that I already have that need met. Ill say this though... Ive pulled away before- came back- pulled away- came back,,, after my divorce- for which this femininity was a part, I about buried Meagain-- summarizing that that aspect of my personality was evil.
So many years later- here she comes again. In a way that certainly seemed insane. And I decided that whatever it is - Im going to get with God and Im stayin with it until I own it and that it doesn't own me. it became apparent to me that pushing it away was not the answer. While I agree that it was a pressure valve for stress-- that was not all it was.
Today-- I realize I need all that I am. Male-female-both-niether and all. While I don't do, or need to do - anything in acting out ... I ensure that I don't call that feminine side evil and accept it. To me, it allows me feeling and experience that I should have as either sex, but do not have when I push it away. For example-In strict male-mode- I hear and love music. In female mode-- I still hear and love music, but also " FEEL " it. It connects me in a way that male-mode does not. In my upbringing and all- men didn't dance. Men were stoic and awkward in that way-- that was a females domain. Something that I was supposed to forgo. So that- along with so many other things that I percieved as feminine... I sacrificed as the domain of females. I walled them off. Worse than that - I became accustomed and comfy NOT feeling things I should. At that same time, way down deep- I resented and hated women for not being able to express and have access to all that I am- and pleasures that fit with me, like dancing and music and feelings. Even more seriously than that--- some of the ways that I innately think-- got walled off-- that I need to cope with my lifes problems, like vulnerability, sensitivity and PASSION. Haha. It may be nuts, it may be common, whatever happened with me in my gender development,, somehow my feelings and passions got classed as femme- and walled off. Today, like you, things are changing. I no longer feel the need to be seen and treated as female. I do however- fully accept my femme side... I have too. That's where my feelings and passsions are, its where my God is, and where my innocence and purity live and I wont sacrifice these anymore in my life.
( Even this statement above, about purity and innocence seems feminine from a guy... but it doesn't make me feel like dressing or becoming female as it used too. It makes me feel like me, and these aspects of me are important to me. This is what is changing ).
I was once talking in a group ( yes I had extensive counseling... which failed by the way, where God came thru ) and was saying how I had all these feelings that I thought were evil, and another person said,,, " If I'm having a feeling and Im not feeling it - that's evil". And I think the point is--- where God loves giving to us and wants us to feel full and complete and enjoy all that he has made to enjoy, the evil one wants the opposite. He wants us separated, disparate within, hopeless and miserable. He wants us to buy into the " we are evil, wacked out and unacceptable to God " program. With this in mind, it is why I no longer deny and defy my feminine self. If I'm out running, and the music feels good and I think I'm not looking, acting or feeling gender appropriate- so what. And if God shows me that I am 80% feminine- so what. He doesn't care - he made me so I can enjoy me. With that truth -- Peace.
Thank you Leah. I have to say, in a world that says that - if I feel female- I need to dress and surgically change ,,, it helps me to know that I'm not alone. That we can outgrow it- yes, through learning and maturing and bringing the good and leaving the rest.
* I have a daughter named Leah-- very pretty name. I always liked it.
LatexLeah on September 28, 2008:
For reasons unknown even to us crossdressers, when I hit puberty, I found a strange and disturbing attraction to female clothing, particularly nylon stockings.
Fast forward to the late 90's and the Internet. Hey! I can converse with others who are blessed(?) with this affliction. Hey!! Look at the wigs, the heels, the makeup, the padding, the breastforms... THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I AM NOT ALONE.
This proclivity accelerated rapidly into full blown "Leah" mode. I couldn't believe the transformation. I just loved the "girl" in the mirror. Public outings, once the stuff of nightmares, became routine and so enjoyable. Such freedom! Yeah, let 'em look! In your face!
Another factor that I believe helped in the creation of "Leah" was that job related stress was at an all time high during this time. "Leah" provided a pressure relief valve of sorts. What better escape from reality than an attempt to change one's gender?It was a very self centered and time consuming activity though and I realized after some years that there were more important things in my life than even the redhead in the mirror. "Leah" retired. The pretty and sensuous wardrobe I had so lovingly acquired was unceremoniously dumped at the local GoodWill.
What astounded me though, was that it was much easier to retire "Leah" than I had ever imagined it would be, if ever I did. Had I found what I needed? Was it some kind of change in my hormone levels due to the aging process? Or had I simply grown weary of effort in time and money needed to achieve even a mild level of pass-ability? I'm glad though that I found Leah and had the "courage" if you will, to let her come out and play as there's no doubt that helped it helped me understand myself better. Now, in my 50's, I sometimes look back and shake my head at my public appearances during those years. I'm not so sure at times if it wasn't a mild form of insanity. The attraction to female attire is still there (but to a much lesser degree). The desire to put together a female persona though no longer exists.Perhaps I've just learned to deal with stress in a different (and much less expensive) manner? Like walking, only not now in skyscraper stileto heels.
Meagain on September 27, 2008:
Finally, I think this trans persona may exist in women as frequently as with men, but possibly women are less likely to express the truth of it. Like- while they may be pretty open with lesbian, bi or even being a litlle butchy,,, they may remain closeted about a secret male persona- or deep dressing, etc.
True Transgender is a matter essence. All these things about power, and expression, etc are social matters. Things created by people. Being transgendered is not a social event. It is, as you alluded to Hope- a matter of completeness and fullness. I don't feel like a woman because I like fashion ( clothes don't make the girl :) ) or because Im soooo compassionate, love kids, etc. I can be as strong as any man and indeed, need that quality. I still feel female though just because I do. It feels like my essemce and sprit. All these straight shrinks and all try and come up with the deep psychology behind it and I doubt they will ever find it. ( There is even a theory now purporting that we are straights that desire to be the female we desire- like, " I want to do the girl within, oyyyy ) It would be like psychologically looking for God in our brains- when he lives in our souls.
Meagain on September 27, 2008:
I don't know how long a post Im allowed here, so Im sending this in pieces.
When you mentioned power as possible reason- I agree - it is one reason of many. It is not just the power of feminine beauty and grace though. It is as much about the power of submission. I think many men will agree that submissive always gets what it wants. I think women like to portray submissive as something divine and surrendering. In reality though - just as aggession is a tactic at getting and controlling- so is submissive and it is more effective in my mind. Its probably easy to imagine a man and woman fighting, She was out all night- no call, etc. with her friends-- and he is jumping up and down- all aggressive and all, and she is passive, maybe crying, or pleading for understanding, apologizing etc. After his initial victory at total disapproval, he feels bad. Wants to feel or be seen as understanding, compassionate, trusting, etc, and concedes. By the time its done- she will have an all-nighter with no accountability, and he will be apologizing as though he betrayed her respect.
What happened? The next time she wants to go out all night- she will. Nothing happened- there was no consequence of substance. He conceded. And he - he so forcefully condemmed her that he took away his own freedom to go out late. How can he? He just decimated her for it. To do the same thing makes him an inconsistent hypocrit. Now - if he goes out all night - she'll call him a liar and manipulator. End result - she will do whatever she wants and she knows he'll " get used to it ", and he just decimated his own freedom.
Is it about feminine power? Yep. So much so- that that Ive known of men that cant have sex unless they imagine themselves with female genitals. Submissive always gets what it wants.
Meagain on September 27, 2008:
Hope- I hope I can help with this. Haha. This has been a relevant subject all of my life amd have studied it extensively..
When you stated that women embrace their femininity and have no desire to display masculinity-- I disagree. When I was a child, my sister was not allowed to wear slacks or pants to school. It was a dress everyday. When women started to wear clothes then considered masculine- I remember the men talking about them as wanting to be men. Since then, femnists happened, bra burning and all that and women can now present a masculine - sense - in about any way they want. Not just clothing or male names, but in action and behavior. A female can be as aggressive as any man one minute and crying like a lamb the next. The result is -they don't need to take, develop and hide a male persona- they already have it, They have more freedom of expression. The need is fulfilled.
For a man to cry like a lmb, or express deep outward compassion, giddiness, anything like it will bring open social scorn. This social denial of these human expressions makes the need all that much more pronounced. Hence- incognito, secondary persona's, etc. The need for freedom of expression and the right to be ourselves is NOT met, but must be! The tone that I percieved from you, possibly in error, is that women are in some way superior to men, embracing their gender identity and blablabla. I would be hesitatant to feel that way. From some view- men have been giving and accepting of female expression of masculine tendencies to where they are somewhat considered normal. Men have not received that yet, and in any case- females are doing the same thing except they are allowed to.
Ive been most interested in this over the decades and am now very interested,,, as men have accepted a more masculine expression from females- will the females reciprocate and accept men as more sensitive and feminine?
SatinSatan on September 19, 2008:
When I worked in the States my normal male European underwear elicited comments from American men who universally wore extremely ugly cotton underwear (commonly called "tighty whities"). Even bog standard Marks and Spencers underpants were considered very louche by those guys. maybe some of the attitudes to feminine underwear originate from the States because both men and women are very proscriptive over there. (I once called a female dog a bitch and my lady host almost passed out.) So I think a lot of the adverse comments re. wearing panties may well come from American readers and their conservative attitudes..
Dave on September 18, 2008:
Some good intelligent comments! May I suggest that there are 4 reasons to wear lingerie/crossdress;
Comfort, I wear skirts around the house all of the time as they are more comfortable.
Sexyness, lingerie is sexy to look at and wear.
Femininity, Men do like to 'explore their feminine side' for many reasons including the pressures of having the 'strong' role in life.
The 'up yours' attitude. Women can wear anything, men spend their entire life in variations of pants and shirts. Womens lingerie and clothing can be a protest against the stupid attitudes of society and the pressures they bring. I have felt more comfortable with myself since I started crossdressing a few years ago and feel liberated. I like offending all of the right people!!!
Jessica (dave) on September 17, 2008:
For me its all about the desire to be a women and please a man. I am submissive and attracted to men when dressed as a women but not so attracted to guys when i am in male dress. I suppose i have to accept i am bi sexual although i like top believe my experiences with a guy dressed as a sexy tart are just normal feelings as a women is made to be with a guy and when im dressed as a women i should be naturally with a man!!
SatinSatan on September 15, 2008:
I wear panties some of the time, I think they are sexy and not boring like men's underwear. However, I have no desire to adopt a girl's name, I have a beard, ride motorcycles, shoot, fish and wield a mean spanner. As I am now in my fifth decade and never had a gay encounter or desire, I must conclude that on the evidence I am straight. My wife approves of my interest in panties; she will on occasion buy some for me or we shop together. She in fact sometimes wears my male Sloggi underwear - she says it makes her feel closer to me. So we both cross dress in the underwear department.
I did have a mistress once who told me that all her boyfriends had wanted to try her panties on and in her opinion all men had at least tried girls underwear. So what about you Hope? Have any of the men in your life ever tried on your panties in front of you?
mostly confused on August 30, 2008:
well - i wear panties 4-5 times a week. mostly thongs, but some bikinis. I like microfiber, and I wear maidenform and barely there mostly. I like pink, purple, and pastel colors the best, but some floral paterns as well. I love the feeling. I have been sneaking panties since I was 11, I am now 38. I also enjoy manicures, pedicures, and getting waxed - always in panties - and I get my toenails polished, too.
So I guess I take on ther persona, although I never thought about it before.
Hope Alexander (author) on August 30, 2008:
Well sam, my point was that straight women appear not do it. As a straight woman myself, I can't say I have ever felt the desire to develop a male persona in the way some men who wear lingerie develop female ones, and I don't know any other straight women who do so either. If any straight women who do feel this way would like to weigh in, they would be more than welcome to do so, I concur it would be very interesting to hear from that perspective but the likelihood of them stumbling across this page to do so is fairly low ;)
sam_t on August 29, 2008:
I've never encountered a straight woman adopting male forms of dress and a male persona. I have however encountered gay woman who adopted masculine roles. I do not think that appeal is the same. It seems to me that women can dress in male attire and still remain feminine without too much trouble. Straight women might choose to wear male clothing but adopting a male persona to go with it is an entirely different matter. Why would they feel the need to?
I ask the question because I am curious to see what straight women think. We have had a fair amount of discussion about men engaging in this form of personal exploration and the reasons for why they do it. What about straight women?
Hope Alexander (author) on August 29, 2008:
Quote: "Yes, really, straight women not wearing dresses or skirts. I have lived all over the US and have encountered straight women dressing in pants and mens dress shirts time and time again. You are cynical, and must have been living under a rock."
If you're going to comment, at least read the article first, it will make you look less of a dolt. My comment wasn't that women don't wear men's clothing, rather that straight women generally don't identify as wanting to feel more masculine by wearing men's clothing. As in, I haven't met any straight women who deliberately wear only male attire and create a male persona that goes along with it. If they do exist, which I also said they probably did, they are a smaller subculture than straight men who wear women's attire.
beaujolais on August 29, 2008:
"Is it freeing to play the female, to be allowed to be delicate and helpless, to seek refuge from the rigors of masculinity which demands so much strength all the time?"
That's exactly it. Although I don't ever "play female" - I never dress all out and adopt a female persona - I find having on a little bit of feminine attire, like panties or a nightie, to be a very relaxing sort of thing. Sometimes being a man can feel like being in a pressure cooker. According to the male stereotype, we're supposed to be the strong ones, the providers, always in control, etc etc. Well, I hate to break the news but it's an impossible thing to live up to 100% of the time. Human beings, whether male or female, are fragile and vulnerable to some extent or other, and wearing something delicate, even if only I know about it, is a way of telling myself, "It's OK to be weak and vulnerable sometimes." It's a way of letting some pressure out of the pot.
But the silky fabrics sure do feel good too!
Chrishoney on August 29, 2008:
Yes, really, straight women not wearing dresses or skirts. I have lived all over the US and have encountered straight women dressing in pants and mens dress shirts time and time again. You are cynical, and must have been living under a rock.
Hope Alexander (author) on August 28, 2008:
Quote: "But when you say that women mostly don't indulge in this kind of things you are wrong. I know quite a lot of women that NEVER wear a skirt or dress, or anything real feminine. They wear a bra for comfort, mostly some cotton thing, and cotton panties because those are more comfortable then mens underwear, but further on they only wear masculine clothing and footwear. Biker boots, Dr. Martens, etc, and jeans or trousers in suit-style. Some even wear neckties. And the only thing that most people will say about it, is that they look "strong" or "powerfull", a true leader."
Really? Straight women? Have I been living under a rock? Because I haven't met any straight women like this in my travels - and I do specify straight in this article because we are talking about heterosexual people in this particular instance.
As much as I would like to believe that people only call women dressed this way 'strong' or 'powerful', I am betting that they actually call them other things behind their backs, things which call their heterosexuality into question (call me cynical).
sam_t on August 28, 2008:
It occurs to me that some men may have strong desire to explore the femine side to the fullest and that adopting a a femine persona may help them satiate this need. I am sure that there are variety of reasons ranging from the psychological or emotional and perhaps even an exploration of sexual fantasy.
I don't think this topic can be discussed without considering the individual. The reasons would undoubtledly vary from individual to individual. While I enjoy the tactile sensation and kinkiness of wearing panties & hose I cannot see myself adopting a female persona. But that's me.
I am sure that the are guys out there who do adopt this approach specifically because they want to feel more feminine. So long as they are not hurting others or themselves & it helps them satisfy a need; who is to say that there is anything wrong with that?
Call me Simone on August 28, 2008:
I am one of the guys you talk about in this hub. I like to wear ingerie, and occasionally also a skirt, dress or high heels, and part of it is because it makes me feel feminine. Part also because it gives me the feeling of really being ME, and because it relaxes me like nothing else can do. And yes, I am straight, married and a father.
But when you say that women mostly don't indulge in this kind of things you are wrong. I know quite a lot of women that NEVER wear a skirt or dress, or anything real feminine. They wear a bra for comfort, mostly some cotton thing, and cotton panties because those are more comfortable then mens underwear, but further on they only wear masculine clothing and footwear. Biker boots, Dr. Martens, etc, and jeans or trousers in suit-style. Some even wear neckties. And the only thing that most people will say about it, is that they look "strong" or "powerfull", a true leader.
It is a fact that society has long ago accepted that women wear masculine clothes, and most likely never will accept men in feminine clothes. For a woman wearing male attire is seen as an upgrade, while wearing female attire for men is seen as being weak, soft, and is considered a downgrade, or even a sickness. So you see women don't need to hide their mens clothes, they can wear them proudly, and be seen as strong, and even get better job-offers while men better hide their soft lingerie to just keep their jobs.
sam_t on August 28, 2008:
For me, it is not about feeling feminine. I like wearing panties and maybe some stockings for the variety, sensation and in the case of stockings - sensation and warmth. I have no interest in brassieres and corsets etc. since I have no practical use for it.
The idea of adopting a female persona does not appeal to me at all. I am a man... alright a slightly naughty man - as my girlfriend puts it... but a man nonetheless. While some men choose do adopt a feminine persona and will do a complete transition for whatever reason, it is not something I totally understand. I don't suggest that there is anything wrong with it either.
Ultimately, if it makes them happy and they are not hurting themselves or others then what's the harm.
Hope Alexander (author) on August 28, 2008:
Ack, guys! For the love of all that is good, keep it CLEAN. I can't approve comments that aren't G rated here. If you want to leave more in depth comments go to the hewearspanties . com blog and leave them there.
jeimy lacy on August 28, 2008:
Hard to say. Although what you said is true, there are some other aspects buried deep inside our souls. For instance, take into account the frequently mentioned masochistic feelings, the need of being humilliated, among other factors