I Think I’m Addicted to Transsexual Porn

Reader’s Question

I have an unusual kind of addiction. Not only is it a problem that the addiction is to pornography, but to make things worse, my passion is for transsexual pornography.

I am a happily married 39-year-old male, have a child, and have always been straight. At different periods in the past, when I was still not married, I had stints of abstinence and loneliness that led me to develop an addiction to porn. I started with “normal” erotic pictures but eventually become obsessed with transsexual porn. I’ve always watched porn over the internet only (no DVD movies or magazines), but the only desirable and acceptable way for me to reach sexual climax has always been normal heterosexual intercourse. Still, I have this interest in transsexual porn, particularly with actors who are as feminine as possible and with a very feminine voice.

I don’t understand why I love this kind of porn. It should be repellent and not attractive. I got into a sort of panic when I started thinking I might be in some way gay. I’m not oriented that way at all, have had many successful heterosexual relationships and am strongly attracted to the female body. So, I don’t understand why I love to see “shemales”. I don’t even see the transsexual porn actors as male. I see them as a 100% female with some “extra equipment.” What bothers me is that I am slightly more aroused when I watch these transsexual actresses compared to “normal” females. I would never cheat on my wife, have never engaged in any kind of hazardous sexual behavior, and can’t imagine ever engaging in the kind of porn activity that arouses me.

I would like to stop watching porn on Internet, especially the transsexual porn because I find it disturbing.

I’ve been open with my wife about this, and she doesn’t care at all. She told me about her lesbian fantasies which she doesn’t want to fulfill just like I don’t want to do that with my fantasies. We enjoy our sexual life and watching the transsexual porn has only made my sexual desire for her stronger. I don’t really spend all that much time watching porn.

I don’t understand this at all. Should I install some anti-porn software to prevent myself from viewing these things?

Psychologist’s Reply

There’s considerable debate among mental health professionals about what some refer to as an “addiction” to pornography or other sexual behaviors. I alluded to this in a prior post: Sexual Anorexic Addiction: Is My Husband’s Sexual Interest Normal?. Generally speaking, sexual interests of any kind become an unhealthy obsession or problematic when they are of such specificity, intensity, or of such time-consuming nature that they interfere with a person’s ability to function occupationally or within their intimate relationships.

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Obviously, your sexual fantasies kindle your sexual excitement even if you’re unaware of all the contributing reasons why. But you also indicate that you don’t spend inordinate time with your unusual interest and you also don’t report a negative effect on your love life, personal life, or career. So, you might not want to think of your interest as an “addiction” per se and also not think of it as necessarily indicating something you need to get really concerned about.

You indicate you’d like to find a way to stop your habit. There are therapists who specialize in helping individuals do just that. But it also seems that your desire to stop appears mostly based on the fact that you can’t reconcile the “attraction” you have with your heterosexual orientation. Whether you choose to try and stop the behavior altogether, or to come to a higher degree of self-awareness and acceptance, it would be a good idea to talk things over with a counselor. It’s possible you could gain a lot more insight into what aspects of your interest kindle such good sexual and other feelings for you. Counseling can also help you sort through whether your distress is based upon a genuine revulsion to a habit you’d like to be rid of as opposed to a behavior you enjoy but don’t fully understand.

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