Autogynephilia or AGP shares characteristics with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and in particular, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD. This latter is often made fun of but in severe cases, OCD can be debilitating. One characteristic of it is that the subject knows that whatever he is doing is not rational, but is unable to stop. This is typical of AGP, although as the condition progresses, the attachment to reality may fail altogether.
Since gender is how we advertise our sexuality to others, sex, sexuality and gender are normally linked. If the sex/sexuality link is broken, gender will follow the sexuality, not the sex. This is a condition known as Sexual Inversion or transgender homosexuality. In more complete cases this will result in the individual desiring to live in accordance with his or her sexuality and required gender, rather than social norms for sex.
As far as we know, Sexual Inversion is innate. It appears early in childhood, sometimes as early as three. It is just a part of natural variation. Commonly, those who elect to live in accordance with such inverted sexuality are known as HomoSexual Transsexuals or HSTS.
These are not the only people who may seek to appear to be of the opposite sex, however. Notable in the West is a condition called Autogynephilia (AGP) which is the cause of all non-homosexual gender dysphoria in males (Blanchard.)
This works in a rather different manner from Sexual Inversion/HSTS. All of us have an Erotic Target Location System, which allows us to identify potential partners. Some, however, may develop a breakdown in it, such that it is applied to an inappropriate target. This causes the Erotic Target Location Error (ETLE) at the heart, in males, of AGP.
In this, the Erotic Target, which we might characterise as the ‘ideal desired other’ is no longer a template against which people in the real world are measured, but instead becomes attached to the self. Thus AGP is not just a compulsive condition but inherently a narcissistic one, since it is focussed on the self as object of desire. (This is only one of several known ETLEs.)
AGP is reflexive and narcissistic. The subjects are literally in love with themselves; they invent mental artefacts which are themselves, but which they idolise as women. If this is not dealt with early on, then such men may form real romantic and sexual bonds with the artefacts — who are by definition the most desirable women they can imagine. Transitioned subjects may ‘bury’ their male selves to symbolise the death of the host and many will talk about them in the third person, sometimes, even, expressing how much they miss them. Note: they do not miss being the host, they miss him as another person, as one might miss a friend. Invariably, however, he was a pretty useless excuse for a man, as least as far as the artefact is concerned.
On the other hand, they might feel intense hostility towards the host — whose creation they are, but who ‘held them back’ for so long. This can develop into visceral hatred such that the subject may destroy any memory or reminder of the host and even invent entirely new memories consistent with having ‘always been this way’. Almost all ‘recall’ of feminised behaviour in childhood, by men with AGP, is invented like this, but the subjects might not even realise that it is a fabrication — with the result that if they are ‘caught in the lie’, they explode in fury and a Narcissistic Rage Episode results.
Typical Western-profile AGP
In the case of the typical Western middle-aged AGP, the subject might have had a powerful, but covert, relationship with himself as a woman for one, two, three or more decades. In more intense cases, the man may attempt to bring his appearance into line with that of his Erotic Target, which becomes the beloved other, played by himself. This causes a problem if he cannot ‘pass’ as a woman, as he will begin to hector those around him for ‘misgendering’ him — because he looks like a man in a dress.
This man is not seeking a partner, though he may go through the motions for social reasons, because he already has one — himself, as his ideal woman. She has always been there for him, though all his humiliations and trials. She is his first, his one true love. It is she to whom he turns in crisis and she has never ignored his call. All the promises he might have made to the flesh-and-blood woman (or women) he may have married were either blatant lies or desperate calls for help, as he realised his entire life was slipping away from him under the influence of a disorder whose severity has been much underplayed.
AGP is bad news for women
Unfortunately for women, they are likely to read his real need for support as something they can help with and this may lead them to first believe, then fall in love with him. He is ‘damaged’, ‘a bird with a broken wing’. The woman will intuitively know that there is something fundamentally wrong, but she will not usually be able to discover what it is, in the early stages at least. It will make him seem vulnerable, perhaps even ‘in touch with his feminine side’. This just adds to his appeal, but it might mean that the condition will ruin two lives and possibly more, if the couple have children.
As a result, the only sensible advice to any woman whose husband is revealed to be Autogynephilic, is to empty the accounts and leave, at once. You can still be friends, but only on social media. Avoid personal contact.
While the host adores the artefact, she absolutely detests him. He is what stands in the way of her becoming the complete, free woman that she sees herself as and she will do anything she can to destroy him. She is the butterfly, he is the cocoon, a restrictive container that prevents her from ‘coming out’ as her real self. It is likely that she would have denigrated the host’s successes and blamed his failures on his weakness and incompetence ‘as a man’, often for many years. This is the corrosive drip-drip that saps his confidence and allows her to dominate and eventually destroy him.
Yet the subject still loves his tormentor, no matter how she berates and abuses him; he is a whipped dog to his glamorous (if unreal) mistress and the only way he knows to assuage her is to further demean himself before her altar. This may lead to masochistic behaviour and further compulsions, such as being punished, bound, beaten, urinated on and much, much more. The well-known propensity of males to masturbate for stress relief amplifies both the artefact’s nefarious influence, since she will intrude into and take over any such session, and also his disgust at his own behaviour. This leads to a vicious cycle of self-loathing which is focussed, please note, on the host.
There is a useful comparison here with so-called ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ in which the victim comes to depend on and even love his or her abuser. The relationship between host and artefact in AGP is remarkably similar. It mitigates against attempts to deal with the obsession, because the host will protect the artefact from any attack, even when he knows she is harming him.
Breaking an attachment like that, once established, is impossible without trauma and distress. The host, already weakened to a shade under her relentless assault, must turn the tables, kill the artefact — the woman he loves more than any other. Such a process is bound to be surrounded with doubt, anger and grief. He himself must thrust the stake into the vampire’s chest, but few men, by this stage, have the will to do so; they will fall at the last hurdle and the cycle will begin again.
Bingeing and Purging, the AGP ruin
This is the root of the ‘bingeing and purging’ that Autogynephilic men are infamous for. It is a highly damaging cycle that further saps the host’s will to resist, in addition to potentially ruining him, as he alternately gets rid of all his ‘femme’ apparel and accessories, and then goes and buys them all again.
The point at which the host’s will finally collapses and the artefact takes over is usually described as the onset of ‘Gender Dysphoria’. This is a slippery concept with no real definition, except
Gender dysphoria…refers to an individual’s affective/cognitive discontent with the assigned gender (DSM-V)
This may be associated with specific Body Dysmorphia, for example hatred of the penis, of the male body, of male-pattern baldness and so on. These are expressions of the compulsive elements of the condition and may even lead the subject to self-harm.
HSTS/Sexual Inverts again
For contrast, look again at the other type of individual who might wish to appear as the opposite, the Sexual Invert, who, if he or she ‘transitions’, is known as ‘HomoSexual TransSexual’ (HSTS), or ‘True Transsexual’. This person, if male, has female sexuality and so desires masculine men. So she does exactly what heterosexual natal women do, which is to make herself as feminine as possible, in order to attract them. Her Erotic Target is located correctly, outside her self, and all she’s trying to do is make herself attractive to men who conform to it.
She does not feel ‘Gender Dysphoria’ as a loathing for her male body or self, but simply as an impediment to achieving her life-goals — to be the wife of a handsome, supportive husband. She feels little Body Dysmorphia, if any and probably doesn’t even hate her penis, though she might refuse to use it and is completely receptive in sex. She sees Genital Reconstruction Surgery (GRS) as being similar to breast enhancement: it makes her more attractive to her Erotic Targets. It also allows her to have sex without any inconveniences and for that matter, to go to the beach without risk of exposure. Her penis is a bit like an appendix; if it isn’t there, who cares?
Everything about the way a male Sexual Invert sees herself is to do with the outside, with other people, her potential lovers and the society she moves in; any ‘dysphoria’ she feels is the result of being unable to do this easily. She is only as narcissistic as any other woman.
AGP dysphoria is internal
On the other hand, an AGP’s dysphoria is all internal. It has to do not with how other people see him, but how he sees and feels himself. Even in those forms of AGP that rely on interpersonal relations, the subject only cares about the validation of the artefact. Every discrepancy between it and the physical body of the subject will be seized upon as a source of his ‘intolerable discomfort’. AGP is massively narcissistic (though it is not Narcissistic Personality disorder per se.)
At the end, we must ask which is the appropriate approach: to assist the host in exorcising, or at least containing, the succubus he himself spawned and nurtured, or help it to utterly destroy him instead. There is no middle ground: every time we aid the artefact, we are accessories to killing a man.
Do we suggest that the solution to gambling addiction is to give out more credit cards? What about porn addiction? Is the right solution a lifetime membership to PornHub? In every other case, the ethical and proper response to compulsive disorders is to attempt to reduce their power, not to encourage them.
HSTS/Sexual Inverts should be given every assistance to live as they really are, which is as the sex opposite to their birth, but AGPs are the exact opposite. We don’t think twice when we cut out a carcinoma in order to save a life, so why do we hesitate so, in doing everything we can to excise a mental equivalent?