Few clinical definitions, established by obscure researchers in obscure institutions, referring to an obscure subject, can have caused more brouhaha than Ray Blanchard’s definition of autogynephilia as ‘a man’s paraphilic propensity to be sexually aroused at the thought or image of himself as a woman.’
They have different characteristics, most notable being their primary sexual orientation: HSTS are uniquely attracted to men, whereas AGPs have a complex array of sexualities. These are all based on their autogynephilia, which Blanchard defined as ‘a man’s propensity to be aroused at the thought of himself as a woman’.
We should be aware that ‘arousal’ doesn’t just mean in the sense of becoming sexually excited, though that is a prominent characteristic of AGPs in the West. In fact there appear to be romantic and existential components to autogynephilia, which is a subtle and complex orientation. This has led some writers, for example Dr Alice Dreger, to suggest a definition of ‘amour de soi en femme’ — being in love with oneself as a woman. I would put that slightly differently: being in love with the idea of oneself as a woman.
This is an unusual post for me. It is likely that my web presence will have to be significantly modified in the future. I’m afraid Covid-19 has caught up with us and we have lost all our sponsorships and support. This website generates no income and is really a vanity. So things will have to change and it is likely that I shall use other media more in the future.
However, before beginning these changes, I want to make a few things quite clear, regarding the ‘trans debate’, if something so vicious can be called a debate.
Autogynephilia was defined by Dr Ray Blanchard. His studies focussed on patients born male who desired Genital Reconstruction Surgery (GRS) to change their male genitalia into cosmetic facsimiles of female ones.
Blanchard’s work is the definitive basis of the science on the subject of male-to-female transsexualism.
He defined, in the first place, a group he called ‘Homosexual Transsexual’ (HSTS). The most important factors that link the individuals together is that they are uniquely sexually attracted to men, in exactly the same way as women are, and that they are remarkably feminine in manners, comportment and appearance. Their parents and siblings would have noticed from an early age that they were ‘like girls’.
‘Identity politics’ claims, on the face of it, that everyone has the right to identify as anything they want, and we all have to accept that. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Brilliant. So egalitarian. And yes, if I decide that I ‘identify’ as a Prosthetic Vogon leading a constructor fleet across the galaxy which intends to obliterate the Earth to make way for an interstellar superhighway, or that I am Superman, Napoleon or for that matter Jesus Christ, then it matters little; I’m just barking mad and decent people will humour me until I become so delusional that I need to be locked up for my own safety. I would be, in common-sense terms, a harmless lunatic.
It’s clear that there is a deal of brouhaha about the extent to which transsexualism is impacting on the lesbian and gay, and to a lesser extent bisexual, lifestyle and political hegemony in the West. This is contributing to an increasingly bitter spat about young transitioners — people transitioning gender before they reach their majority.
There is no doubt that political activists are operating on this body of young people, some with laudable motives, others not so; but why is the lesbian and gay community so exercised?
I first published this article on 5 May 2018 and while my thinking has evolved since then, the article remains sound and particularly in an era of increased transphobia, especially in the UK, on point. Today I would perhaps use some different terms but the sense is correct.
Autogynephilia is one of range of conditions caused by an error in the location of the erotic target, also known as an ETLE.
As a result of this ETLE, a conflict of self-ideation occurs, in which the subject progressively begins to identify as the ETLE and not as the original host. While this process is going on, self-ideation, either as host or ETLE is weak and variable. Freud’s concepts of Id, Ego and Superego are useful here.
Instead, therefore of looking at the well-known paraphilic qualities of Autogynephilia, we should look at the nature of self-ideation and how it becomes, in some individuals, vulnerable to this sort of attack.
We have discussed self-ideation several times here but I think a more in-depth analysis of it is needed. So today I’m looking at self-ideation in the context of three conditions that we have also discussed, in order to highlight both how they affect self-ideation and to give us a better understanding of what it is.
The three contexts I’ve chosen to discuss self-ideation in are Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad and Autogynephilia. These are quite different and self-ideation within them is also different, but they complement each other to give us a holistic overview.
I’m at the local motorcycle repair shop where Sherwyn, a most competent mechanic and pleasant cove, is replacing a brake master cylinder on the Blaze. He first thought to replace only the seals, but he can’t find the right size. A new cylinder is 400 pesos, just under six quid, an unwell encephalopod. I just tell him to get on with it. Sherwyn works in the open space outside a motorcycle parts shop, where he seems to buy most of his stuff, although, as today, sometimes he has to go further afield. While I wait I sit on a wooden bench in the shade and observe the street life. Baklas soon begin to appear; it’s like they’re in the woodwork.
Sexual Inversion is implicated in True or HomoSexual Transsexualism (HSTS) and Transgender Homosexuality, that is, feminine male homosexuality and masculine female. It is innate, has distinctive features and should be considered a form of Intersex.
Males with Sexual Inversion may develop either into Transgender Homosexuals (feminine male/masculine female) or they may develop fully into women. In males this phenomenon is usually associated with a range of physical effects including, but not limited to: lightness of build; tendency to be smaller than related males; fineness of bony structures; anomalies in digit ratios such that they tend to resemble the female typical, marked neoteny (baby face) and usually, delayed masculinisation even after puberty.