transvestite with red dress looking in mirror, concept of femininity in men

What is transvestic fetishism? A guide to cross-dressing

Do you know what transvestic fetishism is? This word might be unfamiliar to you, but you’ll probably know what cross-dressing is. 

Transvestic fetishism typically refers to those who become aroused when dressed as the opposite sex. But, don’t mistake a transvestite for a transgender person – these two words refer to very different concepts.

If you’re unsure what transvestic fetishism is, or want to learn more about cross-dressing, keep reading. We’re exploring transvestites and cross-dressing to help you understand more about this topic. Education surrounding sexuality and gender identity is essential, so scroll down to find out more.

What is cross-dressing?

So, what does cross-dressing actually mean? This term refers to someone who dresses as the opposite sex. This term has evolved over time, and now it includes many individuals, not just those experimenting with different lingerie types. 

For most cross-dressers, the act of dressing as the opposite sex is done out of free will, and sometimes it contains a sexual element. However, in every scenario, you’ll find someone wearing stereotypical clothing to look like the opposite gender.

Is cross-dressing a fetish?

When exploring transvestic fetishism, one of the main factors that connect cross-dressers is sexual gratification. Though some may dress in different clothes for fun, it is a kink or fetish to most cross-dressers.

But, it must be noted that there are different levels of cross-dressing. Some transvestites wear women’s lingerie for arousal, whereas some men may experiment with women’s clothes for aesthetic purposes. The former is a kink, whereas the other is someone exploring their gender identity. 

Common reasons for cross-dressing

Reasons for cross-dressing are personal and will differ from one transvestite to the next. But, there are some common reasons that we see in the community.

One of the most common reasons is sexual gratification, which is where the action is considered a kink. This is enjoyed by both straight and gay men, as it’s separate from sexuality. 

Another common reason for cross-dressing is to feel relaxed. Some participants feel calmer or more at home in clothing made for the other sex. These transvestites might only wear the clothes when at home and chilling out. 

Some cross-dress as a means of self-expression. Like fashion trends, clothes from the opposite gender allow them to express their personality and feelings through style. This isn’t a sex-related reason, and it’s more concerned with aesthetic purposes.

Finally, some cross-dressers explore different clothing as they want to experiment with their gender identity. While cross-dressing isn’t the same as being transgender, many cross-dressers explore different identities without using a particular label. Transvestites are more fluid in their gender. 


Portrait of happy transvestic couple in kitchen at home

How to tell your partner

If you’ve been cross-dressing for most of your life, you likely dream of being able to share your femme-self with your loved ones – including your partner. 

Many life-long cross-dressers start experimenting as children and continue into adulthood. However, keeping an important part of your life secret can be isolating, so sharing the secret might seem like the next step. 

If you’re ready to share your secret with your partner, make sure you plan your actions. There are positive ways to tell them, and some which might not go down too well. For example, if you plan to leave your femme clothes on the floor for them to find, they might misunderstand and think you’ve been seeing another woman.

Instead, there are two popular ways to involve your partner in your cross-dressing life:

  • A popular way to include your partner in your cross-dressing is to sit down and have an honest conversation. It’s good to ensure you are alone so you can listen to each other. When talking, make sure you stress how much you trust and love them and hear what they have to say.
  • Another great way to open up about your cross-dressing is to schedule an appointment with a therapist or counsellor. Not only will the professional be able to guide you through the process, but they’ll also be able to provide the tools needed for positive communication afterwards. 

Remember, transvestic fetishism is a personal journey. There’s no ideal way to talk to your partner, and you must be ready to comfort them. Cross-dressers are misrepresented in the media, and these stereotypes aren’t true.

Cross-dressing vs transgender

Cross-dressing and being transgender are two concepts which continually get confused. While they’re not the same, it’s easy to see why many people mix these concepts. 

The critical difference between these two concepts is that transgender people experience gender dysphoria, and they’re not comfortable with their biological sex. They dress in different clothing because they feel trapped in the wrong body.

On the other hand, cross-dressers will only explore being the opposite gender for a limited period and still feel comfortable with the gender they were born as. For them, transitioning completely isn’t the goal.

Cross-dressing vs sissification

Another concept that often gets confused with cross-dressing is sissification. This isn’t as well-known and is linked with the BDSM community. Both are kink and fetish-based, though.

Unlike cross-dressing, sissification doesn’t include free will. Sissification consists of a Mistress or Master forcing the submissive party to give up their masculinity – making them become a ‘sissy’. This kink includes power play and dominance, sometimes involving clothing, make-up, or name-calling. 

Though sissification includes an element of force and humiliation, it still requires consent before the act occurs. This is common in all BDSM and kink play.

How to crossdress

Are you curious about cross-dressing? Here are some tips to start your journey in the other gender. We’ll be focusing on how to look more feminine as a man.

Firstly, get clear on how feminine you want to look. Some men enjoy the sensation of women’s underwear but don’t want to wear make-up. Others enjoy the full experience, including make-up, waxing, and complete female wardrobes. 

Next, start purchasing feminine items to begin your cross-dressing collection. This could include pretty dresses, clothing in pink or lilac colours, and underwear. If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend opting for more conservative styles and working your way up to racy feminine clothing.

Finally, it’s time to go for it! Make sure you are in a comfortable and private environment when you start cross-dressing. This is a personal journey, so make sure you can be 100% yourself. If you don’t feel confident, it might not be time to start cross-dressing in public yet.

Another way to boost your confidence when you start cross-dressing is to connect with others online. Many websites and forums provide spaces for the transvestite community, allowing them to swap tips and tricks with like-minded people. 


Muscular man with naked torso holding lace female panties in hand


Favourite cross-dressing items

Though getting all dolled up is different for everyone, there are some everyday favourite items among most cross-dressers. Let’s look at the most popular picks from cross-dresser shops.

  • Panties. One of the first garments cross-dressers enjoy is women’s panties or lingerie. These are a favourite item as they can help you feel sexy and femme, but they don’t have to be on show to the public.
  • Heels. Another staple for cross-dressers is heels. Whether you opt for sky-high heels or some cute pumps, these are a staple of women’s fashion and can help you feel like yourself in no time.
  • Make-up. Make-up describes many items, but popular picks include mascara and lipstick, as these tools can transform your face with minimal effort.
  • Hosiery. This might not seem the most exciting pick, but many transvestites favour hosiery and tights for that elegant, feminine feel.
  • Skirts. Finally, skirts are a top pick among the transvestite community for that flirty, feminine look.

Not sure what your favourite cross-dressing item is? You can develop your own style after trial and error. You won’t know what makes you feel your best until you experiment. It’s also not advised to cross-dress in public until you know you’re ready.

Fun facts about cross-dressing 

Want to know more about transvestic fetishism? Here are our top fun facts about cross-dressing and becoming a transvestite.

  • There are specialised crossdresser shops that cater to transvestites. Since men have larger biological bodies, many retailers create typical women’s clothes in larger sizes to cater for all needs. Top picks include Xdress, En Femme, and Glamour Boutique.
  • You can create the illusion of breasts for your ideal figure. Breastplates and padding are available to create a real-looking figure, suitable for filling out bras and dresses.
  • Crossdressers often tuck their genitalia. Transvestites get around the bulge of their penis by using “gaffs” to conceal their natural genitals. 
  • Corsets are one of the most popular cross-dressing accessories. Many cross-dressers enjoy traditional corsetry in everyday life thanks to the silhouette-creating style. 
  • Crossdressing isn’t just for sexual purposes. While many transvestites link cross-dressing with sex, it’s more than a kink. From calming effects to entertainment, transvestites don’t always get dolled up to get off.

It’s completely normal

Though it’s not always discussed, there’s a large community of men who enjoy transvestic fetishism. From full-time cross-dressers to those who dabble now and then, this community is welcoming to anyone starting their journey. Kinks are part of life, so never feel ashamed if you’re interested in something new.

Have you ever tried cross-dressing? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments.

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