Crossdressing guys enjoy the look, feel and smell of women’s clothing. For some it’s gender euphoria and for others it’s sexual arousal.

While kept secret, male cross-dressing is not a mental illness or perversion. But it can cause a lot of confusion and stress for family members. This article can help.

Gender Identity

Many people assume that men who cross-dress are gay or are a sexual deviant. These assumptions can cause stress for the man and his partner or spouse, especially if they are kept in the dark about this aspect of their relationship. This is because partners may feel that their man wants to transition to life as a woman. In reality, men who enjoy wearing women’s clothes often do so for non-sexual reasons.

Some are born with gender dysphoria and cross-dress to feel more comfortable in their bodies. Other men are attracted to aspects of femininity and enjoy dressing up and acting like a woman to explore these feelings. This can be an effective way to de-stress and to find out more about oneself. It can also be a very enjoyable experience for some people, whether or not it is for sexual gratification or fetishism. It’s all about finding a way to live authentically and comfortably in this world.

Feelings of Inadequacy

Feelings of inadequacy can cause people to feel like they’re not good enough or that there is something wrong with them. Often, people will experience these feelings in multiple areas of their life, such as work, their relationships, and how they interact with others.

Many people will experience these feelings in the form of imposter syndrome, which is the feeling that you are constantly being exposed as a fraud and you’ll be eventually found out as being incompetent, unintelligent, or lacking creativity. Those with chronic feelings of inadequacy may even start to doubt their own self-worth, and they might be convinced that no one will ever love or accept them.

Some men who cross dress report that they’ve always enjoyed dressing in women’s clothes, and that this is a part of their identity. Whether they’re exploring femininity in a way that societal expectations don’t allow, coping with loss, or engaging in a sexual fetish, the motivations for cross dressing are complex.

Feelings of Attractiveness

For many crossdressers, a big part of their feminine side is how attractive they feel in women’s clothing. They love getting compliments on their looks and enjoy looking at themselves in a mirror, especially if they have a good body. Slender guys usually have the best bodies for cross dressing but even a brawny guy in a skirt can look quite alluring to a woman if they get the style right.

They want to be pretty, girly and feminine and enjoy being told they are so by their significant other or other female friends. Many find it sexually appealing to wear women’s clothes, as well, and get a thrill from the sensation of a hard orgasm when they have an erection in their genitals while dressed as a woman.

It’s important that partners don’t jump to conclusions when they see their male partner expressing their feminine side. He might be merely having fun or exploring an aspect of his personality that he likes without any other motivations behind it.

Sexual Expression

For some men, dressing up as women allows them to experience a side of themselves that they feel they have been denied. They want to know what it’s like to put on a pair of heels and cross their legs in a tight cocktail dress, feel the breeze tickle their bare waxed arms as they walk through a park or to feel the soft silky texture of a grey cotton bra strap across their back.

It may come as a surprise to partners when they find out their man is cross-dressing. But it’s important that they keep an open mind and don’t jump to conclusions, says Ruskin.

She says many of her clients who are in heterosexual relationships with men have expressed concerns when they discover their partner’s love for dressing up as a woman. Whether they are exploring femininity in ways that society doesn’t allow them to, coping with loss or simply expressing creativity, she says every situation is different.