In part one, I discussed the evolution of my damsel in distress fantasies through childhood and adolescence. Since, I've gotten several emails and comments from other ladies who have had similar experiences. What is interesting to me is that is is not only crossdressers who have had these fantasies but also early-transitioning transsexuals as well. What I've heard flies in the face of the claims made by many about the nature of CD vs TS folk.
One of the Trans Women I spoke with was Andrea James. In our correspondence she told me that she believes for many of us, the desire for cross gender expression is impossible in childhood and adolescence and that it becomes sublimated and is expressed through sexual fantasy. Why sex? Andrea believes (and so do I) that the desires are so exotic that they become erotic.
The "Exotic Becomes Erotic theory" was develeoped by Daryl Bem and states that biological factors (e.g. chimerism) create proclivities towards behavior (e.g. gender variant behavior)in children which makes them feel "different" in relation to a social group (i.e. female children) and the child experiences physiological arousal (e.g. gut reaction) when near that group. The physiological arousal later becomes sexual arousal as the child becomes an adolescent and adult.
In my case, I was smaller and weaker than boys of my age which made me a "sissy" and bad at sports. I also was a little "He/She" and often mistaken for a girl by adults at the grocery store and other places. Nevertheless, I still believed I was a boy and that my place with the boys.
It was the girls who made me feel different. Or rather the feelings I had about their clothes and hair and (later on) make-up. I have vivid memories from when I was 8-10 years old of being in spaces with cis-girls in pigtails and baubles or my cis-woman teachers in skirts and boots or seeing cis-women put on lipstick in their car mirror.
The reason I remember these times so vividly is because of the intense physiological responses they produced. Who knows what behaviors I might have displayed if I had identified with the female peer group instead of the male one and sought their companionship? But I didn't and so my desires for cross gender expression were expressed (or repressed) in a different way.
I see my strong reactions (or "thrill" as I called in my last post) to depictions of women tied and gagged as the beginnings of repression. Metaphorically it seems like my male self attempting to control and silence my own desires to express femaleness; trying to ensure in a very primitive way that it would never gain expression. Then in adolescence those depictions were removed from their original purpose and became sexually arousing to me.
This is how gender and sexuality became "tied up" for me in early life. Eventually my desires to dress and appear as female came to the surface, but the exotic had become erotic many years prior and so the expression of my femaleness was highly sexualized. In my twenties, I dressed in fetish outfits and even had a website with photos of me as a damsel in distress. I had turned my female presentation of self into a sex object, which really was just another level of control being exerted by my male side; hoping that by turning her into a sex object, she would never be taken seriously by the world as is the case with cis-women who turn themselves into sex objects. And by being tied and gagged, she would never be able to tell anyone otherwise.
Not all of us develop along these lines of course, but I'm fairly certain most so-called AGP transitioners and crossdressers come from the a very similar soup. I think the process by which AGP transitioners and crossdressers make a sex object out of their own femaleness is very similar to what I have described above as the exotic becoming erotic. More on this in part 3 of this ongoing series....