How Can I Get Rid of These Feelings?

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Reader’s Question

I am a guy, and have three odd feelings: 1) I like wearing women’s clothes and shoes; 2) I feel like women should lift and carry me; 3) I feel excited when I see women riding motorcycles and are stronger than me. I get aroused by these three things. I really want to give up these feelings, but am not able to.

Psychologist’s Reply

Society can be a harsh mistress, especially when it comes to gender roles. Gender is the way a society believes people of a certain sex should behave — the guidelines and expectations members of a society internalize and use to govern our (and others’) behavior. At least in the United States, the male gender role includes things like being strong, tough and dominant. These run contrary to some of the thoughts and behaviors you described. This does not mean that you are wrong to think and feel the way that you do. All it means is that it is understandable why they cause you such distress.

A lot of men enjoy dressing up in women’s clothing and shoes. Men who like to do this are called transvestites. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a transvestite is “a person, and especially a male, who adopts the dress, and often the behavior, typical of the opposite sex, especially for purposes of emotional or sexual gratification.” I find it interesting that modern women can dress like men and not be thought of as weird but the opposite is not true. Women couldn’t always dress like men, so society’s standards of acceptable behavior do change. My point here is that just because society says you should not do this doesn’t mean you should stop. As long as the behavior feels good to you and you aren’t hurting anyone else, why not?

Similarly, I am curious as to why the fantasies you have about women carrying you and being stronger than you are problematic. People frequently try to ignore or dismiss aspects of themselves because they believe they are not ‘supposed to’ feel this way and are somehow flawed. This tends to especially be the case with sexuality. However, as long as you are not hurting anyone, I don’t see the harm. Society’s beliefs about what kinds of behaviors are acceptable for women and men are constantly changing and one day it may be that your fantasies of women being stronger than you will not be different or embarrassing. In the meantime, it seems like you should look for women who would like being with a male partner who is not threatened by their strength. That would be a win-win.

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