Cross-Dressing Pleasure and Pain
Musing on the enchantments of the cross-dressing “Miss Rose Beauty Pageant,” artist and transvestite, Grayson Perry opines,
That’s when the fantasies take flight… (but also) I thought: ooh, there’s a lot of pain in this room…They were doing their best to meet their own very emotional needs…
I slightly cringe when people say “Oh, it’s just a bit of fun,” because these guys are risking often their marriages, their careers, their relationship with their children and their neighbors — not to mention their bank balance sometimes, with the size of their wardrobes.
Grayson Perry longs to fully express his whole self, including his sensitive, sexy, playful, submissive, expressive, and vulnerable sides, which men aren’t really allowed to show.
The yearning is understandable. When Norah Vincent cross-dressed as a man to enter the world of masculine privilege for 18 months, she felt like she was wearing an emotional straight jacket. As she recalled in her book Self-Made Man,
Living as a man taught me a lot about the things I most enjoyed about being a woman in the world, things I consider to be the privileges of womanhood – the emotional freedom, the range of expression…
I don’t miss anything about being “Ned.” The few social advantages I’ve discovered in manhood – the swagger, the self-confidence, entitlement – I’ve learned to incorporate into my life as a woman. Everything else I was happy to discard.
Male characteristics are not demeaned and so women can easily take them on without shame. Men are denied that flexibility. So some men transform into women thru costume and makeup in hopes of touching that other side.
But the brief transformation does not fully satisfy. Perry continues:
When I’m out dressed, it’s good enough, but often I come home thinking… at my core level I’m a little bit unsatisfied with the experience… I think it’s painful that we do invest such a lot of emotion in often rather brief glimpses of…happiness.
Cross-dresser, Vivienne can relate. While discussing Grayson Perry on her blog she reflects,
The rational part of my brain asks, as I am dressing: what possible benefit from this activity could there be? It doesn’t solve any problems. It doesn’t change anything. Meanwhile the emotional part of my brain says: because it feels absolutely wonderful, it relaxes me, it alleviates my stresses. And afterwards, instead of just looking back and enjoying it, I usually feel a little bit guilty. I am forced to agree with Perry that, deep down, cross-dressing is a slightly unsatisfying activity…
I think that there is certainly an element of shame and stigma about cross-dressing (hence the guilt). It also upsets my wife and causes stress in our marriage. My feelings about cross-dressing wax and wane…
All I want to do is to be able to be myself every day.
Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Men Who Wear Frocks
Women Get All The Good Emotions, Says Cross-Dresser
How I’m Seen Differently in a Female Body
Posted on June 6, 2014, in feminism, gender, LGBT+, men, psychology, sexism and tagged Cross-dressing, feminism, gender, Grayson Perry, LGBT+, men, psychology, sexism, transvestites. Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.