This question is annoyingly persistent in the crossdreaming community, and it is a morbid, obsessive question which lingers in the transgendered mentality, causing doubt and shame. It is so important we resolve this question that I am going to deal with it in detail and write down the different ways in which it is formulated. It goes like this…
1) Is the cross gender identity I’m developing now, motivated – deep down – by my sex drive?
2) While my female identity may be extremely nuanced, and based around a whole set of aesthetic and personal tastes that aren’t sexual – is it really just a sophisticated form of being horny – an outgrowth of my sexual urge to be a woman?
3) To put it bluntly, in a way which all of us would consider crude, offensive and wrong, but one that occurs to me in moments of doubt: am I just a pervert?
4) Is the deeper cross gender identity experienced by some femephiliacs just the result of their femephiliac sexuality?
5) Is the new me just some bizarre creation of my sexuality?
6) Is my sexual taste just a manifestation of my deeper female self, or is my deeper female self a derivative of my sexual taste.
This question is of existential importance to some crossdreamers because it seems to be the key to whether their cross gender identity is valid or not. They believe that if, deep down, it all has a sexual root, that would somehow invalidate their cross gender aspirations. It would be ‘just sex’ and therefore not real. If their cross gender identity and aspirations are not sexual, however, then that would make them valid and real.
Personally, I would dispute the validity of the question. It is prudish – old school – like sex is dirty and something to be ashamed of; and it is also simplistic in its understanding of sexuality and its relationship to the wider self. However, as the question is important to many in the community I will answer it.
First, let’s place the two – apparently irreconcilable – dimensions of crossdreaming, side by side. We have
1. The sexual: when the individual is engaging in sexual behaviour based on cross gender fantasies.
2. The deeper female self: all female behaviours, ideas, tastes, which are not sexual.
And now I want you to choose the correct answer to the million dollar question. Whether his deeper female self is…
a) The prime cause of his female identity with the sexual part just being one manifestation of that deeper self.
b) A derivative of the dominant psychological force at work here: his sexual desire to be a female.
Did you answer A or B? Well, it doesn’t matter because you’re wrong either way. I tricked you. The answer is…
C) Neither of the above.
Really, how the fuck would you prove A or B? The question is absurd because we know so little about the interplay of genetics, neuroscience and social conditioning at work. The real options would have to have be a,b,c,d,e and go on for several alphabets because there are many unknown variables involved. So, unless you work in some secret laboratory in Serne where a team of crack geneticists, neuroscientists and developmental psychologists are working on the problem, don’t start telling me, or more importantly – yourself, that you know the answer.
Therefore, because we don’t know, you cannot…
…Separate the sexual from the deeper female self, or vice versa.
…Create a convenient causal relationship between the two.
…Grant one a priori status. Sex drive says, “I got there first so I must be the boss.”
So, let’s try to escape the narrow polarisation of A versus B, and let me ask you a question: Who built the pyramids… the replaceable and expendable grunts who carried all the blocks of stone? Or the team of genius’s who, in a world without calculators or engineering degrees, designed them?
A smart Alec might reply… “the grunts built it… you didn’t ask who designed it?” and that would be valid, but we all know that if the geniuses hadn’t designed it then it would have been impossible to build. Similarly, the psyche of the crossdreamer in which he has both a sexual urge to be a woman, an emotional urge, and an aesthetic urge – are all part of the female identity which he develops, and you can’t separate them with amateur psychology or dogmatic ideas about gender that you want to force on the world. It’s like… a Macdonalds happy meal comes with nuggets, fries and a toy. It’s a package. In fact, the question about the sexual drive creating the psychological drive is like looking at your happy meal, picking up the nuggets and asking if they caused the fries… or did the toy make the nuggets and the fries? None of them made each other, they all came together and we cannot say with scientific certainty how it happened.
Now, I would like you to consider your reaction to what I’ve said. I think my answer will be unsatisfactory because we have a natural tendency to monocausal explanations. Tell the truth, we humans are… pretty fucking dumb. The idea that the sex came first so that must be the cause of all else is exactly the sort of idea we love. It’s sequential, tidy, logical. But unfortunately… crossdreaming is a mental and genetic and social phenomena, and not some simple, mechanical apparatus that can be explained with ease. Similarly, the argument from quantity is powerfully enticing … whatever there is the most of must be the dominant force: “Because the majority of my crossdreaming thoughts are sexual then it must all be sexual.” I would reply, “Well, of course, their mostly sexual… humans think about sex constantly… what do you expect most of the crossdreaming to be about… quantum mechanics?”
The first argument – the sequential – in no way addresses the nuances of sexuality and its wider effect on behaviour, nor powerful psychological forces such as repression. It is quite plausible to me that the infant mind immediately represses his contrary gender identity, but this force is only powerful enough to partially repress it… it cannot override a powerful human instinct like the sex drive and thus the sexual aspect of crossdreaming remains in the conscious mind while the gender identity gets buried.
To be honest, I’m not totally convinced by that theory, but try to prove or disprove it. My previous point is worth repeating: we are not even in the infancy of understanding the complex interplay of genetics, experience, neuroscience and social conditioning that gives rise to so much of human psychology. To say that the female identity of a late onset transsexual is just sex is only one notch of sophistication up from saying that the world doesn’t fall because it’s being held up by atlas, or that the sun moves across the sky dragged in a chariot by the sky god.
To show the complexity of the situation, think of some of the scientific data we do have, rather than unprovable psychological mechanisms. We know from numerous case studies that once a transsexual takes hormones their sex drive falls off the cliff (due to the absence of testosterone). This should mean, therefore, if their crossdreaming is sexually motivated that they should lose interest in transitioning. But they rarely do. Although they are no longer aroused by crossing gender it still feels right and natural and an arrival at their true self. Conversely, for those in the ‘it’s all a deeper psychological drive’ camp, consider the type of sexual fantasy this individual has from a very early age… surely, if he was in some deeper sense – female – the sexual behaviour would be that of a female and he would fantasise about men, as women do. However, the substance of his fantasy – even if it includes men – is always about being a woman, and that is the source of the erotic impulse.
So unfortunately for those who want a simple explanation, the deeper female self and the sexual self are not locked into a convenient causal relationship where we can say one causes the other. I believe they come in the same package. And I say ‘believe’ because – I repeat – at this moment no one can be completely – or even slightly – certain.
To conclude, if you are currently involved in the debate… is my female self, deep down, just a creation of my sex drive… the answer is… I don’t know, and no one will know until both you and your female identity are long dead, so stop being drawn to the wrong question and start asking the right questions.