Transvestic Fetishism

Transvestic Fetishism

Length: 1336 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Transvestic Fetishism


Someone you know-any male close to you-could be having a secret "affair" behind closed doors and you may not even be aware of it. Not to worry, it may not involve another woman. This man may be having an affair with female clothing. If so, it is safe to say that this man is suffering from a transvestic fetish.

What is a transvestic fetish?

Transvestic Fetishism is a psychosexual disorder found mostly in men. To better understand this disorder, we must first look at the definition. Transvestism is defined as dressing in the clothing of the opposite sex to achieve sexual arousal, excitement, and gratification. Fetishism is the reliance on nonhuman objects as the preferred or exclusive method of achieving sexual excitement. The major symptom of fetishism is the use of nonliving objects to obtain sexual arousal. The most common fetish objects are articles of women's clothing such as bras, underpants, stockings, shoes and boots. The individual will often masturbate while fondling, kissing, or smelling the fetish object. In other cases, the individual's sexual partner will wear the object during sexual encounters, thereby providing an arousing stimulus that enables the fetishist to participate in otherwise normal sexual behavior. Thus, men suffering from transvestic fetishism gain sexual pleasure from dressing in women's clothing, a behavior defined as cross-dressing.

Cross-dressing can range from wearing only one article of women's clothing while alone to dressing completely in women's clothing and appearing that way in public. In some cases, the cross-dressing is so effective that it is difficult to distinguish a cross-dressed transvestite from a woman. However, the person's goal is not to "pass" but to achieve arousal.

Cross-dressing seems to be exclusively male behavior, and there is really no explanation for it. There is no evidence of any hormonal or genetic abnormality. One explanation is that childhood experience with cross-dressing may have been associated with sexual play and arousal. One sample of transvestites found that 78 percent were either married or formerly married, and marital friction is one of the main reasons that transvestites seek therapy.

A man with a transvestic fetish will often masturbate while dressed in women's clothes and will fantasize about other men being attracted to him while he is dressed in those clothes. In a very limited number of cases, homosexuals may cross-dress to attract other men, but the homosexuals do not gain sexual pleasure from the cross-dressing and are therefore not diagnosed as having a transvestic fetishism.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Transvestic Fetishism." 26 Aug 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Fetishism of Coffee in America

- There are many essentials that are fetishized by Americans; one of those things is coffee. It is no secret that there is a big demand for coffee with many specialty coffee shops springing up, such as Starbucks, Peet’s and Coffee Bean. Oftentimes, the consumer loses sight of where things come from and how they are produced. A key component of production is the producer. The consumer does not pay enough attention to the ethical treatment and wages of the producer. This paper discusses Karl Marx’s premise on Fetishism of Commodities and its direct relation to the production of coffee, focusing on the value of the coffee bean as well as how that directly impacts the farmer and his family....   [tags: Fetishism of Commodities]

Research Papers
1123 words (3.2 pages)

The Idea Behind Commodity Fetishism Essay

- The idea behind commodity fetishism is that the relationships that were once between people have been transferred over to the products of said people’s creation. The abstractness of the item’s economic value has somehow taken a tangible form that gives the item value through exchange rather than the labor required to produce it. The line between an item’s falsified intrinsic value and the labor that was required to make it has been obscured to the point that we exaggerate the value of the item. Eventually the item is more or less a sum of money in wait to be exchanged....   [tags: Value, Labor theory of value, Commodity fetishism]

Research Papers
815 words (2.3 pages)

Fetishism, perversion and the Gay Identity Essay

- Fetishism, perversion and the Gay Identity The contemporary Euro-American idea of identity as coherent, seamless, bounded and whole is indeed an illusion. On the contrary, the self carries many internal contradictions and nuances as a reflection of the many roles that a person plays in various social circles. Identity is partially post-social and socially constructed though rituals and disciplinary acts. In turn Delany challenges the concept of a Gay Identity, an entity of being that could be defined as referential....   [tags: Socialization Sociology Essays]

Free Essays
1300 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Fetishism

- Fetishism Fetishism is a perversion that is found, primarily in men, in which genital discharge is impossible without the presence of their fetish. A fetish, however can be a variety of things, yet there are three basic types of fetishes: an inanimate object (e.g. women's clothing, shoes, gloves, underwear), a part of the human body (e.g. foot, hand, hair, legs, breasts), or something odd such as, leather, rubber, the touch of velvet. Some fetishes, as observed by Freud, may not even be visible to the other person at all....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Research Papers
951 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on An Unwarranted Expansion of Commodity Fetishism: Snodgrass on Marx

- In the paper, A Tale of Goddesses, Money, and Other Terribly Wonderful Things: Spirit Possession, Commodity Fetishism, and the Narrative of Capitalism in Rajasthan, India, author and anthropologist Jeffrey G. Snodgrass finds that the application of Marxist theory to real life events is not always simple. The problem for Snodgrass lies in the narrowness of the Karl Marx’s definition of commodity fetishism. In an attempt to still use the definition, Snodgrass makes an argument for the expansion of the definition that enables the term to be used to explain actual accounts of fetishiation as seen in a real community in India....   [tags: monetray, ethnographic evidence, capitalism]

Research Papers
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Fetishes and Fetishistic Disorders Past and Present by Alfred Binet

- When you hear the word “fetish” most people automatically think of something they would consider to be “weird” or “disgusting.” However, most people never stop to think of the origin of fetishes, why people engage in them, and how the people suffering from what is now called fetishistic disorder deal with their urges and feelings in their day to day lives. When put into perspective, fetishes are not what they seem and the people that have them are not so “strange” after all. The term “fetishism” first came to light in 1887....   [tags: fetishism, sexual fetisism]

Research Papers
974 words (2.8 pages)

Commodity Fetishism in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence Essay example

- Commodity Fetishism in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence Commodity fetishism is a term first coined by Karl Marx in his 1867 economic treatise, Das Kapital. It takes two words, one with a historically economic bent and another with a historically religious bent, and combines them to form a critical term describing post-industrial revolution, capitalist economies. Specifically, this term was used to describe the application of special powers or ideas to products that carried no such inherent value....   [tags: Edith Wharton Age Innocence Essays]

Free Essays
1610 words (4.6 pages)

Jake & Dinos Chapman Essay examples

- Within the Chapman’s portfolio violence, abjection and fetishism combine to form an aesthetic immersed in taboo. Shock is deviously employed as a constructive means to overwhelm the viewer’s emotions while provoking a sense of shared existence. These communal undertones allow the psyche to unfold thus showing an intuitive take on transgression. A deviant act, however small it may be, entices an individual to step outside the strict parameters of man-made law, causing a euphoric feeling to resonate from within....   [tags: violence, abjection, fetishism ]

Research Papers
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Women Workers From Foreign Nations Essay

- Upon further progression of my time in sociology, I learned that more often than not, it is actually women workers from foreign nations that are “stealing” the jobs of American workers, especially for companies like Nike. This is caused by techniques used by Asian governments, making women’s labor to be accepted as “cheap”. They claimed that women were born with “feminine” skills, like knitting and sewing (Enloe, Global Sneaker). It is for these reasons that we have lost the work formerly made available American workers....   [tags: Sociology, Karl Marx, Commodity fetishism]

Research Papers
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Sexual Behavior

- Who would of ever thought that I would be writhing a paper on the negative consequences of having to much sex. Never the less its true sex can actually ruin ones life. Sex can become compulsive, Like most behaviors, sex can be taken to its obsessive & compulsive extremes. Sexual obsessions & compulsions are recurrent, distressing & interfere with daily functioning. Many people suffer with these problems but finding consensus about them among sexual scientists or treatment professionals is not easy....   [tags: Sex Sexuality ]

Research Papers
1787 words (5.1 pages)

Related Searches

Similarly, female impersonators may cross-dress as part of an act, but unless they gain sexual pleasure from the cross-dressing itself, they are not diagnosed as having a transvestic fetishism. Finally, it is important to recognize that the presence of transvestic fetishism does not necessarily preclude participation in normal sexual relationships.
Such a possibility is illustrated in the following report:


Allan and I were married during the summer before our senior year in college. Married life was great. We had a cozy apartment close to campus, our classes and grades went well, and we really loved being married. It was wonderful-until one terrible afternoon in December. I had classes in the afternoon, but that day I didn't feel very well, so I cut my 2 o'clock chem lab and went home to the apartment. When I walked in, I got the shock of my life: Allan was sitting on the bed dressed in my clothes: hose, skirt, blouse, and jewelry-the works! He even had one of my bras under the blouse, but he couldn't snap it because it was too small. I couldn't believe it, and at first I just stood stock-still and stared.

As soon as Allan saw me, he jumped up and started to "explain." I became so upset, I don't remember everything he said, but I know he tried to tell me that he had a multiple personality. He said that I married the "straight" half and this was his "other half." He said that the half that married me didn't know about this and that everything was all right with that half. I didn't believe a word he was saying. I thought that he was making it up as an excuse. I didn't know what to think-I was in shock. There sat my husband dressed in my clothes-and he'd been doing it for months. I finally just broke down and cried; my neat little world was coming apart. Allan changed clothes and tried to comfort me, but I didn't want him to touch me. Finally, he went out for a walk so that I could be alone for a while.

By the time he came back, I had settled down emotionally, but I still didn't know what to do. He sat down and explained that he was ashamed of what he had done and that the story about having a multiple personality was just an excuse. He admitted that he had been secretly dressing in women's clothing since he was 12 or 14 but that he didn't know how it all started. It just did, and it had been going on for a long time. He told me that sometimes he just sat in the clothes and other times he masturbated. He seemed really ashamed of that. He said he never went out of the house dressed that way and that he never did it with anyone else. He told me he wasn't a homosexual. After a while, he told me that he loved me, that our sex had always been really good for him, that dressing in women's clothes was something that was just "separate from everything else," and that he was sorry. My feelings were confused; I loved Allan, but I felt weird with him. That night, he slept on the couch.

The next day, we went to a counselor at the university clinic. I didn't know what would happen. I thought that maybe there was some form of drug therapy or that we should consider divorce. The counselor was pretty calm about the whole thing, but he really didn't have much to say either. We saw him once a week for a couple of months. One thing that came from the sessions is that I learned that Allan's cross-dressing problem is a "stand-alone" problem, and it does not mean that there is anything else wrong with Allan. I was relieved about that. The other thing that happened in our sessions was that we came to view Allan's cross-dressing as a "mistake" or as an "alternative sexual behavior." The analogy was to an affair-it was an inappropriate indiscretion that could be stopped. You couldn't erase the past, but you could try to forget (forgive?) it and go on. That may be stretching the point a bit, but it is a way of thinking about it that helps us. It's been 2 years since that December afternoon. The topic of cross-dressing is still a bit touchy, but usually I don't think about it, and Allan and I are very happy. Sometimes you just have to "go with the flow" and take things one step at a time. Allan had kind of an unusual affair, but it's over and behind us now. (Holmes, p. 488)

As read above, not every cross-dresser can be diagnosed with a transvestic fetish. There are symptoms with this disorder, as with every other disorder. Over a period of at least 6 months, in a heterosexual male, there will be recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving cross-dressing. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Is Jill really Jack? Is Jane really Dick? You be the judge....


Holmes David S., Abnormal Psychology; Second Addition, Harper Collins College Publishers, 1994

Morris Charles G., Psychology, An Introduction; Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, 1988

Mental Health Net, Transvestic Fetishism Symptoms,

Wilson Katherine K., Gender as Illness: Issues of Psychiatric Classification,
Return to