Someone who has Transvestic Fetishism has a sexual interest or desire to dress in clothes of the opposite sex. This disorder is categorized psychologically as a paraphilia, which is a group of disorders defined by abnormal sexual activity.
The main feature of Transvestic Fetishism is the urge or desire to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex, or cross-dress, in order to achieve sexual excitement or arousal. In order to actually have Transvestic Fetishism, cross-dressing must be the preferred or exclusive means of achieving sexual gratification. Also, to be diagnosed as having this disorder you must act on these sexual urges or fantasies of cross-dressing and these urges or fantasies must cause some form of distress in your life.
It is more common for men to have this disorder than women. Someone who has had Transvestic Fetishism for a long period of time, has more than likely assumed the role of the person of the opposite sex. They can adopt mannerisms, clothing, materials and other items associated with the opposite sex.
Common Signs of Transvestic Fetishism:
- Having the urge to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex
- Needing to cross-dress in order to get sexually aroused
- Using cross-dressing as a stress relief
- Can not achieve sexual arousal unless you’re wearing clothes, accessories or items of the opposite sex
- Assuming the role of the opposite sex when you cross-dress
Causes of Transvestic Fetishism
Transvestic Fetishism is a difficult to diagnose because every person is different and the disorder itself is based off abnormal sexual activity. So, in addition to it being a difficult disorder to diagnose, it is even harder to determine the cause of it.
There are many different reasons a person may have Transvestic Fetishism, but usually the cause for such disorders begin in early childhood. For example, a young boy may dress up in women’s clothing, and may continue doing it because it’s enjoyable, but the reasons for this enjoyment remain unconscious. If the habit continues into adulthood, it most often leads to Transvestic Fetishism. Since every individual is different there are many different reasons why a person may or may not choose to cross-dress. And since cross-dressing causes no harm to the individual or anyone else it is becoming more and more socially acceptable in today’s society.
Treatment of Transvestic Fetishism
Unless it’s causing distress in the person’s life, then someone who has Transvestic Fetishism may not seek help on their own account. Most often, a boyfriend or girlfriend asks them to seek help. Treatment is usually done by a psychologist or psychiatrist and can usually include cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medication. Many people who have Transvestic Fetishism never get treated, but if you have Transvestic Fetishism and feel that it is negatively affecting your life, it might be time to seek professional help. Talking to a professional can help you better deal with your disorder and find ways to cope with it. Seeking help from a professional psychologist or psychiatrist will help you better understand yourself and will help you cope with the disorder and better your way of life.
- Wikipedia – The basic definition of transvestic fetishism
- Encyclopedia of mental disorders – Information on transvestic fetishism
- Forensic psychiatry – Kind of treatments work best for this disorder