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Transvestic fetishism is a sexual fetish for the clothing of the opposite gender. It is one of a number of cross-dressing behaviours and is primarily a psychiatric term. (Attraction to the clothing of the same gender is called homeovestism).
Transvestic fetishism, fetishistic transvestism and sometimes transvestism are also often used to describe any sexual behaviour or arousal that is in any way connected to clothes of the other gender. Especially the latter is problematic, because transvestism and cross-dressing are neither a sexual fetish, nor do they necessarily have anything to do with sexual behaviour or arousal.
Also, not every sexual behaviour where clothes of the other gender are involved are transvestic fetishism, they are also often used in sexual roleplay without being a fetish. Also, many transgendered people, mostly transwomen, also cross-dress before coming out in sexual contexts to relieve their cross-gender feelings. This behavior is likewise not considered transvestic fetishism, as it is not cross-dressing for sexual pleasure, rather it is simply their self-gender expression.
Some male transvestic fetishists collect women's clothing, e.g. nightgowns, slips and other types of nightwear and lingerie. They may dress in these feminine garments and take photographs of themselves to live out their secret fantasies. Many men love the feeling of wearing silk or nylon and adore the silky fabric of women's nightwear and lingerie.
Most transvestic fetishists are said to be heterosexual men, although there are no studies that accurately represent either their sexual orientation or gender, and most information on this is based on anecdotal evidence or informal surveys.
For a small number of individuals, this gender dysphoria becomes a fixed part of their lives and is accompanied by the desire to dress and live permanently as a female and to seek hormonal or surgical reassignment.
As a psychiatric condition
There are two key criteria before a psychiatric diagnosis of "transvestic fetishism" is made:
- Recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviour, involving cross-dressing.
- This causes clinically significant distress or impairment, whether socially, at work, or elsewhere.
Thus, transvestic fetishism is not considered a mental illness unless it causes significant problems for the person concerned.
- Stratton, Jon (1996). The Desirable Body: Cultural Fetishism and the Erotics of Consumption. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-4701-3
- Tyler, Carole-Anne (2003). Female Impersonation. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-91687-9
- de:Transvestitischer Fetischismus
- es:Fetichismo travestista
- is:Transvestic fetishism
- he:פטישיזם טרנסווסטי
- ru:Фетишистский трансвестизм
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