Erotic target location error and Autogynephilia

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Originally posted 2022-06-18 17:54:55.

Autogynephilia is the most common cause of male-to-feminine transition in the West. Dr Ray Blanchard, who first proposed the theory of Autogynephilia, estimates that in the USA, it accounts for about 70% of such transitions, although this is a difficult call to make.

This means that it’s important to realise that Autogynephilia is a real thing and that it affects many men. In some cases it can be so debilitating as to be life-threatening and certainly is the cause of many ruined marriages. It is caused by an error in Erotic Target location.

Unfortunately, there is a group of activists, some Autogynephilic themselves, others their supporters, who refuse to accept the reality of their condition. These range from serious researchers, through quacks, to poorly educated internet pundits such as a person hiding behind the fake name ‘tailcalled’.


Certain things require to be present before a diagnosis of Autogynephilia can be arrived at. In the classic Blanchard model, the subject must be male; he must be gynephilic, that is non-homosexual and attracted to women; he will normally be post-pubertal and he will, of course, in some way wish to experience life as a woman. Most importantly, an Erotic Target Location Error must be present,

In psychological terms, for reasons that remain obscure but may have to do with early masturbation practice, the subject begins to imagine himself as the object of his sexual fantasies, that is, hos own erotic target. Now some explanation is required here. We all have an erotic target, that is, our desired other, with whom we would like to be. That is simple enough.

However we actually inhabit a world reconstructed by our minds using information supplied by our senses. If you like, this is our operating system, but compared to computer operating systems, a vastly more sophisticated one.

This takes sensory input and uses it to update our perception of the world around us, in real time. Consider a footballer, weaving and pursuing the ball; he is aware of the position, speed and vector of the ball, his own position,the  speed and vector, positions etc of the other twenty-one players, the geography of the playing field and so on and is also directing his own body movements to best navigate all of this. This requires tremendous processing power and remember, none of it is real; it is all a reconstruction inside the player’s head.

When we develop an ideal erotic target, this too exists in the mind. Freud posited that for a boy, the target would first be based on his own mother. He suggested that this might give rise to the Oedipal complex. (For girls, he said it would be based on their fathers, giving the Electra complex.) This is modified through life, however, particularly in response to cultural input.

Culture and the erotic target

Film and entertainment stars and later the images derived from them  build upon this base to give us ‘our type’. Then, when we navigate the real world and encounter a person who matches it, we are immediately attracted. If our example is a heterosexual male, then this is going to be a woman. So our internal Erotic Target is matched with a real person in the real world and hopefully, she will find that we somewhat match her ET and begin to bond.

So note the process: an internal model, the Erotic Target, is projected outwards into the real world and when it is congruent with an actual person in that space, we find ourselves attracted. Since the only purpose of human life is to make more human life and we do this through sexual reproduction, we are on our way, perhaps, to creating the next generation. This system is working normally.

Let’s imagine, however, that this neat arrangement gets short-circuited. Remember that the Erotic Target is first located within our minds and then is projected outwards. What might happen if that projection failed? Well one possibility is that the Erotic Target remains internalised and is never projected outwards. This is the classic Erotic Target Location Error. A normal Erotic Target has developed, but it is not being used properly, to identify potential mates in the real world. Instead it is locked inside the mind.

The relationship with the Erotic Target

But how can the subject then interface with this Target? In the normal model, it is easy, we develop a relationship with another person and together proceed to the next stage. But for the Autogynephile, this is impossible because his Erotic Target remains inside his mind. As a result, she – it is always a woman, in a heterosexual man – begins to develop a relatable personality of her own. Now this is not a real personality, it’s constructed from parts of the subject’s own mind, but it is nevertheless rewarding.

What is our next step, having identified and bonded with our Erotic Target? Usually, it will be to establish an intimate and eventually sexual relationship with her (if we are male.) This might proceed through sharing social time, holding hands, touching, caressing, kissing and so on. The male with Autogynephilia would like to do the same thing but he can’t because there is no other person involved. So he is obliged to play the roles of both lover and beloved; he must be man to his self-created woman and he must also be woman to the man who created her. There is no one else there, so the subject, now to be called the host, must perform both roles.

The best known example of this is of course, where the host dresses up as a woman and self-pleasures himself, usually using a mirror. The very fact that it is so well known and widely observed, is what led Blanchard to use this example. But in fact the behaviours which tend to be common in Autogynephiless are also common to men (and women) who do not have an Erotic Target Location Error. Most men masturbate, but they imagine someone outside themselves when they do so, for example. However, the subject is responding erotically to himself, playing the role of a woman. So the act of masturbation itself is only diagnostic of a normal sex drive, not of Autogynephilia.

Behaviours, then, are not directly indicative of AGP. This has caused a great deal of confusion and continues to do so.

Moser the fraud

Let’s now look again at the bogus study by Moser. He concocted a questionnaire and sent it round to his female friends, asking if they had certain feelings, like feeling aroused when imagining themselves in sexy underwear. Unsurprisingly, some did. Moser then used a bait-and-switch to suggest that because women did these things, they must be normal female behaviour and so,

Therefore, Autogynephilia must somehow not exist because the men displaying it were actually women. Leaving aside the obvious logical shortcomings of this conclusion, we must also ask – since it is impossible to be Autogynephilic without an Erotic Target Location Error – whether these women did in fact have one; but they did not. They were normal healthy women with a conventional sex drive, they were not heterosexual men who had created a feminine alter-ego in order to get some form of sexual gratification. In other words, their personal behaviours were not indicative of Autogynephilia.

Complete Sexual Inverts

Let’s now consider a more crucial question: that of the Complete male Sexual Invert, which, if they complete as women,  Blanchard and others call Homosexual Transsexuals. This is a male who is feminised from childhood and strongly attracted to masculine men all her life.

In three studies, Blanchard, Nuttbrock and Leavitt and Berger, these were shown to have some level of ‘autogynephilic behaviours’. However, the specific behaviours and prevalences are not the same in the three studies. Leaving that aside, if ‘autogynephilic behaviours’ do not indicate Autogynephilia in natal females, why would they in Sexual Inverts, who are effectively male women? The answer is they don’t, but if your agenda is to erase the very obvious differences between Autogynephilic transvestites and Transsexuals, then such obfuscation may be useful.


The ‘German Study’.

In a 2020 study by Laube et al, another attempt was made to debunk Blanchard using similar behavioural indices. None of the authors were psychologists and most were Medical (ie honorary) doctors. They proceeded, as is usual in this sort of study, by setting up straw-man parameters and noting where their results diverged from these. Unfortunately, like Moser’s and other ‘works’ by Veale and Serano, this confection has been seized on by those who continue to pretend that AGP does not exist.

However and fortunately, other measures are available to us. In the first place, the Laube study does not differentiate between those who are genuinely bisexual and those who are pseudo-bisexual ie, are AGP. This throws into question one of their premises. Secondly they conflate pseudo-bisexual AGPs with genuinely homosexual HSTS under the blanket and false term ‘androphilic’ — which does not mean the same as ‘homosexual’, in this context. Again this renders their methodology at best questionable.

It gets worse. The DSM-V, presumably wise to the shenanigans of dodgy researchers trying to make a name, now classes Gender Dysphoria by age of onset. Homosexual Gender Dysphoria is classed as Childhood/Early Onset and non-homosexual as Adolescent/Adult Onset. Is this mentioned at all in the Laube study? Of course not, that would be far too much of a hostage to fortune. As a result, and for all their pseudo-academic posturing, they fail to provide a credible explanation of why a heterosexual masculine man would want to appear to be a woman – which is the crux of the matter, after all.


It is very hard, reading this paper, to avoid the view that the authors’ methodology was specifically contrived to produce the result they desired. That is somewhat confirmed by noting that the paper was not published in a Psychology, Psychiatry or even reputable Sexology journal, but in the ‘Journal of Sexual Medicine’ which somebody somewhere might even have heard of.

A Simple Question

Finally, we are left with a simple question: if Autogynephilia, which is essentially a man’s desire to be appear to be a woman, is not applicant, then what on earth could be the reason for a heterosexual, conventionally masculine man’s desire to appear to be a woman? Pink fairy dust? The ‘feminine essence theory’? Please.

To date, Autogynephilia remains the only credible explanation and it is supported by a huge body of literature. One highly dubious paper changes nothing and it will surely go the way of Moser, Serano and Veale, falling through the cracks in the pavement and being forgotten.

Until – unless – somebody comes up with a credible alternative explanation, Autogynephilia is the only one in town. Given the broad definition of Autogynephilia, it will be hard to come up with another.

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