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Understanding Crossdressing – Crossdreser Society | An Online Resource for Crossdressers | Transgender

Understanding Crossdressing

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Understanding Crossdressing

Observations of crossdressing by Erica

Erica explores the intense phases of crossdressing in this very personal reveal

I am a crossdresser, and have been so since my pre-teen years. I’m married now, with kids and I have even been through years of therapy, first for the pornography, and then for the crossdressing. I love my wife and want to stay married. The reality is that I enjoy dressing as a woman, including make-up and a wig. I find this “fantasy” personality dangerously exciting. I like to call myself “Erica”. I think my wife suspects that I have an interest in women’s lingerie, but we have never talked about it directly and she does not know of my dressing as far as I know. I didn’t intend for this to happen; it just did.


I am trying to figure out my cycle of wanting to be “Erica” versus just being a “normal” man. I’ve been trying to pay attention to my changing moods in order to better understand my need for crossdressing.
From reading comments from other transvestites, I don’t believe there is a simple, or all inclusive answer. We all have our stories and oscar wilde crossdressing quotebackground.

crossdresser man dual phasesRight now, I’m in the “normal” phase. I realized that I was in a rational state of mind, and that I should record what I am feeling and how that is different from when I am into being “Erica”.



Maybe I could figure this out and deal with it. Anyway, my observations follow.

“Normal” Man Phase

When I’m in a “rational” state-of-mind & body, my life looks like this:

I am busy, either with “work” or with things at home. I have plenty to do to keep me engaged and focused.

♂ I don’t have much idle time.

♂ I feel closer to my wife.

♂ I have had sex with my wife during the prior week or two.

♂ I feel important to my children.

♂ I have not had the opportunity to act out, or get on the Internet to look at porn, or to read my email account.

♂ I don’t think about sex as much. My mind is just elsewhere.

♂ I have been involved in social activities with our friends and couples, along with my wife.

2) If I act out by dressing alone, whether I masturbate or just dress, I feel:

♀ Remorse, particularly as soon as I climax.

♀ Is that all there is? What was I thinking? What have I done?

♀ I can’t continue like this. I must make a change.

♀ I’m a man/husband/father – what if someone found out about my secret life?

♀ My life is good. I worship a loving God, I have a great wife & wonderful children, a good job and good financial and physical health. Why do I need to dress?

“Erica” Phase

When I find myself fantasizing and drifting into “Erica”, I find:

a) I am feeling rejected, unloved by a woman (wife/mother/sister), and excluded from a close emotional relationship.

b) I think to protect myself, I start viewing women as non-people. Sex objects. I’m drawn to looking at porn, which just reinforces this view of women.

c) I realize that I associate feminizing with sexuality: when I want to feel loved, I think of smiling, lingerie clad women. They seem happy and appreciated. Someone is paying close attention to them. I remember this method of escape fromearly in my sexual exploration years as a pre-teen.

d) Wearing the thin veneer of a woman’s intimate lingerie seems to help me feel closer to “women”, and the love/attention/touching that I missed as a child from my mother. I just want to be touched, appreciated, and not judged. Does crossdressing help me deal with this emotion? So many men enjoy crossdressing that it must be a response to some basic need.

e) If I’m honest with myself, I feel somewhat depressed, and unworthy of love.

f) But oddly, I do also feel good about myself: my looks, my weight, my ego.

g) I am somewhat isolated at home. Either my wife is too busy with the children or other activities, or we are just in a position that fosters my being alone.

h) I am isolated at work, and/or not feeling recognized or appreciated.

i) I am traveling, giving me opportunity to be alone and to act out.

j) A period of “preoccupation” emerges where I find that I start thinking about sexual fantasies, first at random, and then the thoughts increase in frequency.

k) I have idle time, or make the idle time, to think about sex, go online, go shopping for feminine things, and/or fantasize.

l) I consume alcohol, alone or with others. I drink to get drunk.

m) When I’m in my fantasy world, feeling feminine is a heady blend of feeling pretty, desirable, submissive, delicate, and touchable. I want to feel that way.

n) I can feel the pull of my addiction to dressing, and I am unable to stop the process.

o) Opportunityè drinking è pornography è acting out (dressing, shopping, dangerous destructive behavior that I know is wrong but I can’t stop myself).

p) I discount potential safety and health risks when I hook-up with men to act out as being the real “Erica”. I am not logical about what I am doing sexually or personally.

q) Dressing for me seems to always include wearing bikini panties (I prefer feminine pink, and white string bikini panties, but also am attracted to solid red, and black ones) and stockings (nude or colors – thigh high stay-ups or gartered). I frequently add a bra (prefer traditional white lace push-up) and a garter belt. Light make-up is a thrill. I like shopping for skirts and tops. When I act out with men, I like to wear a wig, heels, and more makeup.

r) My acting out fantasy persona is that of a willing, intelligent, girl-next-door, sexy and attractive woman. I fixate on looking at porn on line. My favorite women are always smiling, wearing a garter belt with stockings, and heels, and frequently wearing a bra and panties. I like amateur photos and not “professional” porn-star images.

s) Then, like an addict, I must get my “hit” by dressing as Erica.

And I feel so good again!

crossdressing nylonsThis “normal” cycle seems to come and go.

I can go for weeks, or sometimes, months without feeling the “need” to escape into a fantasy world.

When I feel the “Erica” cycle beginning to return, it is too late to stop it. I don’t want to talk about it or think rationally about what I am doing. I just need to dress.

By Erica Lace


About the Author:

Hi, I’m Marcy Simpson, founder and creator of Crossdresser Society. I have been a crossdresser for over 2 decades and I am also an author, photographer, entrepreneur, and admirer of the feminine realm. I currently work and live in Los Angeles, California.


  1. Cathy Laura Peterson  March 22, 2015

    Erica, you are not alone in your feelings, your cycles, your emotions. I too have been dressing as a girl, a woman, almost my entire life – raised with 2 older sisters, 1 younger sister, very quirky mother, and no father on the scene. The older gals innocently brought me and my younger sister into their very normal fantasy world of dress-up/make believe, or princesses, weddings, fancy balls, and I was always included, wearing the saved/stored away clothes that no longer fit them. Pre-school, lots of poofy slips, party dresses, and tights. Elementary school years, wore all their old school dresses, tights, slips, panties, and fancy clothes like Christmas and first holy communion dresses.

    Jr. high and high school I progressed with them, and on my own, thru their skirts, tops, garters + stockings, slips, dresses, training bras and then real bras. My 1970s past shoulder-length hair easily styled into bangs, Farah Fawcett feathered-waves, French-braids. College years much harder to get away and dress, but still found my times.

    Now married 30+ years with 2 grown sons, and continued dressage in private first 20 years marriage till boys were both in college. Last 10+ years I became more bold and started spending 3-4 consecutive days, even an entire 6-7 day week on all business trips out in public as Cathy. And here I am, right in the exact same place as you.

    Idle time, not too busy, away on business, wife gone to her sisters’/family trips, and I want so deeply to be a beautiful woman in every way – so I go 100+ % over-the-edge and indulge in long stretches of full-time out in other cities as Cathy, and I feel so feminine, so complete, wonderful, like I could stay forever.

    But, I love my wife, my boys, my daughters-in-law, my little grandkids, and could never imagine losing them in exchange for life as Cathy. So when I’m busy, active, with my wife/family, no down time, no alone time, I’m faithful/loving husband + dad and enjoy that very much.

    Yet always, daily, just below the surface of my “normal” days, I have deep thoughts about how much I enjoy smooth shaved skin all over, silky stockings, push-up bras, panties, slips, camis, skirts, tops, blouses, dresses, doing beautiful make-up, wearing full ensemble of jewelry, flat-ironing my still very long hair in everyday female styles, having perfume and my nails done, being out and being treated/viewed as a woman in restaurants, clothing stores/malls, antique shops, libraries, movie theaters, taxis.

    I have no remedy for the tension between my love for my wife + family, and my love of being feminine.

    • Marcio  March 22, 2015

      This reminds me of that movie ” Just Like a woman “. Erica I guess that sooner or later we have to face or fears and show the real we to or loved ones. I don’t mind ur kid’s at list not yet, but you should tell in your face. Don’t go like ” Hi babe, I like to dress like a woman ” you should instead go like ” Babe do you know that there is man who like to dress like a woman? this way you will find out what her reaction or out-come is, and than go like ” And some of this man are actually married, some even have kids.” At this point if she doesn’t realize that this is an indirect confession than you should wait until she does or go for it bit by bit, never at once, just don’t let it get out of hand.
      Erica please understand that I am not an expert on this, so don’t follow my advice if you don’t feel like to. Good luck.

    • Erica  March 28, 2015

      Wow! We are like twins in our behaviors. Thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciate Marcy, the site owner, allowing us to post and communicate. Marcy posted a longer story I submitted back in January. “Confessions of a Cross Dresser” can be found under the Crossdressing Dairies section. That post goes into more details.

      Like you, I have enjoyed dressing for years. Being married with responsibilities and children changes things on the outside, but not on the inside. I do love it so. Glad that you shared your background, too. It helps to know that there are other men out there that share the same feelings and thoughts.


    • Frank  August 12, 2017

      I’ve just read your confession, I’m pretty lucky cause when I first started wearing women’s lingerie and clothing we were at at river late one night and using meth which made me horny,and out of the blue I began putting on female clothing, I went an showed my wife who was naked on ground with vibrator,she just said if that’s what you want to wear then do it properly with all the lingerie on,she made me drive home in a dress,once home she dug out stockings, slip,suspenders a nice long pink skirt and white blouse, she help put bra on,after I was dressed up she said It a fetishi wore female clothing for next 5days,I was in love with wearing it,On the 7th day I said I can’t stop and I don’t think I want to,next day she went shopping an came home with 2bags of clothes and said sit down, she started pulling out women’s lingerie and clothing and said she bought me a few things, after trying On some of the stuff I knew I couldn’t stop,, a few nights later were using meth I was dressed up and she said seeing as how I was dressed we might as well go for a drive,, I agreed an was going to put men’s clothes over what I was wearing she said you go the way you are, so I was wearing women’s lingerie and clothing and we got into car and went driving, that was 15 years a go, I only wear female clothing at home

  2. Tasha  March 22, 2015

    I have issue with the labeling of your crossdresser desires as wrong. Maybe that is social or religious conditioning like the guilt you feel after masturbating.
    I agree that making irrational decisions while dressing such as hooking up with random strangers is dangerous and carries emotional weight that will effect your marriage in the long run and maybe thats where you should consider therapy or counseling. I do not think crossdressing in general is abnormal or wrong.

  3. clayton H. Vereen  March 22, 2015

    I am a man that wears womens panties , Nightgowns & stayup lacy Stockings. I am on female Breast pills for over 14 months . I want to start taken female Hormones to be a female . I love wearing Silk . Clayton H. Vereen

  4. IanBrianna  March 22, 2015

    At one crossdressing session I remember discovering that the sexual excitement phase was suddenly succeeded by a peaceful phase. Profoundly peaceful! I still enjoy both phases, but the second phase proved to me that my desires are central to me and, as they hurt no one, good for me. I am not obviously trans-woman, so I can live as a man outwardly and as an androgyne inwardly, and occasionally let the female out. It also helped to do a makeover with an acceptably attractive genetic female. It seemed to heal my relationship to women.

    By the way, though I am strictly hetero, I found your legs very attractive. Congratulations!

  5. Sophia Lynn  March 22, 2015

    As I read the article, I can now see more clearly the difference between transgendered women and crossdressers. We, transgendered women, feel feminine all the time and we actually identify as females. But many times, in the process of accepting that one might be transgender, there is a duality within oneself in identifying as which gender they are. Many times, MtF transgendered people tend to over-compensate masculinity to try to “force” manliness on themselves, but to no avail and often times, with tragic results. So my question would be: has anyone that identifies as being a cross dresser actually be battling the fact that may be trangender?
    One of the things that would help to identify is this: transgender women don’t see dressing up as a fetish or in any way sexually stimulating. It is merely a way to feel “normal”. Over the course of time, the dressing up phase leaves because you always appear as a female full time. I can be in boy clothes and still look female. I have my own breasts and hips and I don’t need padding.
    Another way to help is to see a gender therapist. Some are good and some are quacks but that is still a good source to know and it is the mandatory route to take in starting the transitioning process.
    Just a little something to think about.

  6. Dana  March 22, 2015

    Your are not alone in this. I too have had cycles like that throughout my life. Many cross-dressers have confided in their wives or girlfriends. Sometimes not so good to do that, however, many wives and girlfriends support it.
    My girlfriend actually lets me dress from Thursday afternoon through Sunday. When I first told her she was beside herself. Yet through a lot of communication we were able to come to an understanding. We operate a lot closer now and are closer as the result of communication. And oh boy I understand the comment you said that you want to be loved. Or that Erica wants to be loved. I’m in a heterosexual relationship and balance my male and female times with her. She loves me in either mode. We have sex in both modes. Its kinda fun to have stockings, nighty and heels on romping with her
    Take Care,

  7. Tasi  March 23, 2015

    It would seem that Erica uses crossdressing as an escape mechanism. Nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t represent how many of us feel about our feminine side. No fantasy, no need to be ultimately sexy, no bad feelings or feelings of unworthiness; just the need to dress as a women and be seen as a women by others. The normal cycle consists of moving from our male to female side and back on a regular basis without high emotion…just the pleasurable feelings of being a woman for an hour, a day or however long

  8. Gina  March 23, 2015

    Wow, the comments/stories are more than I could have imagined and yet everything I have lived.

    As I have gotten older, I am beginning to understand all of the things that didn’t work for me as a youth and later a young to middle-aged male. I was never comfortable in the “macho” role, yet as the first born in a Latin family….certain things were expected.
    Today, I am always much more comfortable to sit and chat with “the girls” than to be with “the boys” putting on a show. A typical exception might be spending time with a good friend of mine, who is not an overly aggressive macho guy and likes cigars and scotch! Girls like cigars too! Change friends you might say….yes, that works too, but is only a part of the equation.

    I enjoy chatting with girls, the topics, the clothes, the gossip; from talk about movies, to hair, clothes, cooking and celebrities….I enjoy it all and I can sit and listen more than having to be the center of attention! I know I say things like I don’t care about movie stars and singers, but (and here’s another one!) I am a closet “Entertainment Tonight” type of show watcher!

    I love shaving my legs, trimming my pubic area, shaving my underarms all those things that a woman “gets” to do! I am happy that I can put on some mascara and go out and love putting on a little more and curling my lashes at home!

    The clothes, the makeup, the hair the nails, lingerie, skirts, blouses, slips and the heels!! OMG sometimes when I have the house to myself I can slip on some sexy panties a pair of heels and I am golden!!

    In some ways I have festered a sense of jealousy for women. Jealous of the clothes they get to wear, the lingerie, the hair, the makeup and all that goes with it. The ability to show weakness, or caring, or feelings and it’s “ok”. I also recognize the balance to that, the monthly periods, having a baby (which I would not have done as a woman), the various inequities in and out of the workplace. All that not withstanding, I would rather have lived in that world than my own. It’s not just the external stuff; I’ve said before “I’m a better person when Gina is around” and I believe it’s true. Gina is not as aggressive; Gina is more giving and caring and likes to take care of you. Paul does too, but not like Gina can; the mode is just different in my mind.

    Love this forum and the ability to share and see what others are/have experienced.



    • Erica  March 28, 2015

      Thanks for sharing your secret thoughts. I really appreciate Marcy, the site owner, allowing us to post and communicate. Marcy posted a longer story I submitted back in January. “Confessions of a Cross Dresser” can be found under the Crossdressing Dairies section. That post goes into more details. I’m jealous of you being able to shave and be more feminine. Plus, your friendships with other girls must be satisfying. Being married with kids prevents me from doing the same.

      All the best,

  9. Sis (George)  March 23, 2015

    Great commentary. I can’t yet say that I’ve crossed over, but I’m making progress. I’ve purchased items that allow me to explore my feminine side, and I love to feel so sexy whenever I dress up. I have had a long love affair with lip gloss and that continues. Recently, my marriage ended (not because of CD, but more because (as she put it), “gay or bisexual or whatever you call it”), and I recently discovered some of her fragrances in the house. They make a man shine all over again! So nice to smell nice and ladylike. I’ve gone out and purchased a number of panties and I love them dearly! I’ve bought some of those Jeaneez leggings and I feel oh, so sexy with them on. I now also have a very cute yellow cami and a bright red bra. The leggings have provided me with some looks in the last couple of weeks – mostly from women though. Where this will all lead I don’t know. My boyfriend likes me as a 100% man, so that road won’t be open. I’ll keep you posted.

  10. Marcio  March 25, 2015

    I am also the oldest of my brothers and waiting to go trough transition. Some time a go I was on a so called a date with another transgender. But we talked about every thing either than sex. We talked abut make up, music, celebrities, movies and we even talked abut man. But I always liked-et man. I guess I was to scared to face my family as gay, so I was massing around with another transgender. We use to talk 6 hours in a roll up to 3 o’clock in the morning. I heard abut man that like transgenders, they don’t do that, they just want to have sex not conversations. She went to Dubai and I never heard from her again. So I have never seen another transgenders in real live.
    This forum is a great Idea Marcy.

  11. Tonya  March 26, 2015

    Erica , I hate to sound like a broken record player , but you are not alone . Many of us girls have gone through the same exact scenario many times over . I believe when we don’t have someone we can talk to and help us develope as women in a healthy manner , we are left to our own devices , so to speak . I have been dressing up as a female since I was about eleven and the only “instruction manual” I had was porn . As I got older , I began to want to further my femininity by acting out sexually with men even though I was attracted to women . I remember on several occasions as a teen coming so close to being with a man but I backed out . After I was married at age twenty , I met a man who was openly bisexual , and my curiousity was heightened . Then one day , he asked me if I wanted to perform fellatio on him , which I didn’t hesitate to do . He returned the favor and we began to get together on a regular basis . I told him about me having a feminine side and dressing , and he was so cool and supportive of me . He kept our relationship and my disclosures discreet and I actually began to have feelings for him . When I finally got up the courage to dress up for him , it was simply amazing . To be treated like a desired , beautiful woman and to be made love to was overwhelming . I confessed to him I was worried about the fact that I was married , loved my wife and son , but was attracted to him , being his special girlfriend and having sex with a man . He assured me that there are so many guys who go through this , more than will admit and that it was okay to be gay or bi . Needless to say , my wife left me because of my alternative lifestyle and once again , I had no other outlet for Tonya other than lots of porn and going out as Tonya and having lots and lots of one night stands , sometimes meeting with up to four in one night . As Tonya , my sexual appetite is never ending and I don’t know why . I can’t see being with a woman as Tonya , only other t-girls or men . The other thing is that when I am with Tonya by myself or with men , I get much more aroused making my penis size bigger , longer and thicker than when I am with women , and my orgasms are considerably larger and much messier . So ,in short , we long to be women , even if it with another t-girl or men , but we need to learn to grow healthily and not follow the transexual porn star look and persona . but learn to be a normal woman .

    • Erica  March 28, 2015

      Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate Marcy, the site owner, allowing us to post and communicate. Marcy posted a longer story I submitted back in January. “Confessions of a Cross Dresser” can be found under the Crossdressing Dairies section. That post goes into more details about my private life when I can be Erica. Sorry that your wife left you, but its cool to have your male friend in your life. I’ve always wanted someone who I could confide in about being Erica. (I did tell my therapist that I was a CD and that was a thrill. She was a sexy, real woman herself). Your one night stands sound sexy, too.

      Its is healthy for me to hear from others, like yourself, who have similar thoughts and deep desires that must remain hidden. Thanks.


  12. DANIELLE RENEA  April 12, 2015

    Erica,never feel guilt or shame for your secret beauty and sexyness.it’s who you are that get you the happiness that you truely seek.we are a unique community of discreet sensual sexual personalities that are desired more often by straigt men rather than a female.i have been a life long crossdresser beginning as dress up with my sisters at age 5 pictures of me in bikini swimsuit and moms heels,i felt normal as i would dress and pose in dresses,heels and lipstick.i grew up with my sisters being my bestfriends enjoyed every minute of it then and still do today being married with kids i am open to my wife shareing extracurricular sex acts,she is supportive,other partners wasn’t in the past would make me lose intrest in the commited relationship.if a spouse cant accept and support you she isn’t for you.you have to be true to yourself and honest with your spouse.Lies and secrecey ruin a marriage if its Love she feels for you she will accept you and embrace Erica as a new friend in her life.be real dont hide your beauty from the world that adore us.it’s unfair for men to be scrutinized and judged for what women can be,we can be sexual idols as crossdressing beauties.shooting a hot load during straight man/woman sex is satisfying.to be the sexual object to men engaging hot sensual acts that are mindblowing with far greater satisfaction body numbing fulfillment knowing i got there,his climax being best ever experienced.Girls have it great dont deny yourself that Erica stay in touch with your inner girl..xoxoxoxoxoDanielle

  13. Tina  April 25, 2015


    Big thanks to you for your site – I only discovered it recently – and to Erica for this thread. I have found both to be so helpful at the quite early stage I’m at in my cross-dressing life.

    I’m a secret cross-dresser, with no aspirations towards any kind of permanent crossover. I’ve enjoyed the feel of feminine fabrics etc very occasionally over quite a long time, sometimes in a masturbatory context, more often not. It was always a thought in the back of my mind that this was something I wanted to do more often, but my lifestyle and other activities prevented that.

    I’m now at a stage in life where I have greater free time, and I thought “now or never”. I’m at the stage of wearing my new breast-forms, bra and pants under other clothes, not just home alone, but occasionally when outside too. I am held back in how far I am willing to go by the knowledge that being “outed” by friends or family – even by my wife – would truly be the end of the world to me. It is, and must remain, a secret part of me. Loose tops to hide the curve of my bust are still the thing, and I accept that this might always be so.

    But I recognise many of the “phases” Erica mentions. That sadness after ejaculation for certain. This is a well known thing. It has a name, and there is even a page about it on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-coital_tristesse

    For me, being “femme” in how I dress occasionally crosses over into masturbation, but I’m aware that it increasingly seems to be spoiling some of the real pleasure from the feminine experience I am getting. The more I realise how much I enjoy this new and secret me, and recognise how the journey I now seem to be on is feeding my mental health in a very positive way, the less I think jerking off has any part to play in it for me.

    Sure, a lot of the emphasis in cross-dressing that you find online is on achieving the sexually-arousing look and feel, but it isn’t my thing personally. I just want to feel feminine, comfortable and reasonably authentic some of the time, just as I might, for example, want to take part in a very masculine sport at other times. I am writing about my experiences day by day, with no audience in mind. The therapy of just working out in words how I feel, and explaining back to myself what I am doing is very helpful. More serious cross-dressers/trans people might scoff, but your web site and others has shown me what a broad church we inhabit. There is room for people at both ends of the spectrum.

    Where this leads, who knows? Thank you for the photos on your web site – ideas and examples galore of what might be done by even the unambitious cross-dresser. I will remain a reader.

    All good wishes


  14. Janey  June 19, 2015

    I have just joined this site, like twenty minutes ago, and right away I find this discussion!
    Amazing, and so much of it relevant to me right now.
    I am sixty six, been cross dressing for the past 50 years, yes, 50 years.
    I was fortunate once to be married to a Thai girl, and being Thai, of course acceptance of cross dressing is part of their culture…so it was an integral part of our lives…what a wonderful way to make love…and that was not all…the girlie dressing up nights together, and to have my make up done by her was exhilarating.
    Sadly we drifted apart, so I am now back to living as Janey on my own.
    I am very lucky to be living on my own, I guess, as it allows me to be in my female mode 90% of my life.
    Going out on my own dressed up is not easy though…it would be so much easier to have another “girl” by my side…but I am slowly progressing…today I am planning to go to the local shopping centre as Janey, but without makeup or wig…so I guess to everybody that sees me there will be a lot of confusion – man dressed up in woman’s clothes? How odd!
    But I feel quite happy going out like that, both Janey and Scott all in the same body.
    I don’t know if that is just a part of the normal transformation…or I am I just being an exhibitionist (and to be honest, when I am Janey, I just love being admired, even desired!) …or am I taking the easy way out by not fully transforming to makeup and wig?
    I would love to get some feedback on this, if any of you can help, please?
    At last, I feel I am moving into a very safe environment, thank you all.


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