Autogynephilia is defined as ‘a man’s propensity to be aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman’. It is a paraphilia or mental disorder which afflicts heterosexual men. It is typified by a range of behaviours through which the subject gains sexualised or directly sexual gratification from behaviours that he considers ‘womanly’. These can range from cross-dressed masturbation to knitting to wearing typically female clothing under masculine work clothes.
Autogynephilia bears no relationship whatsoever to True Transsexualism or HomoSexual TransSexualism (HSTS) which is the natural end-point of Sexual Inversion, in which a subject of one sex has the sexuality normally associated with the other. Since Gender and Sexuality are normally inseparable, such individuals, given an appropriate social climate, may transition and indeed, probably should do so. Autogynephilia, however, is not a sexuality but a paraphilia. Victims remain heterosexual men and their sexuality is male. This means that transition is unlikely to provide long-lasting relief.
It is not known how many men are afflicted with autogynephilia. This is partly because of the complexity of the condition and the variety of ways through which it cn be expressed. Autogynephilia comes in four or five basic forms, depending on which authority is being quoted. These are behavioural, anatomic, transvestic and physiological. The fifth, when it is used is inter-personal, but many observers feel that this is already contained within the behavioural category. These forms can appear alone but more commonly, the subject exhibits several at once.
Autogynephilia is uniquely experienced by heterosexual men and appears at or after puberty, though it can have a very long latency period, often being suppressed for decades. It has three sexual variations: heterosexual, in which the subject is attracted to women; pseudo-bisexual, in which the subject experiments with sex as a woman — including sex with men; and analloerotic or ‘asexual’ in which the subject does not have sex with other people. (Asexual is misleading here because the subject is usually having plenty of sex, it’s just that it’s solo.)
In the West, until recently, overt autogynephilia was principally exhibited by middle-aged men who tended to be married and have had socially normative lives. The appearance of the disorder, in these cases, often causes massive familial upheaval. It frequently results in divorce, loss of family, loss of career, loss of status and, not uncommonly, bankruptcy. Less commonly but even more sadly. suicidality, especially post-transition, increases.
So is there a cure for this debilitating condition? This video discusses the matter.
Also published on Medium.