Originally posted 2018-09-19 06:45:38.
Autogynephilia is a narcissistic, sexualised self-reward syndrome. It is a non-homosexual man’s compulsive desire to be, or appear to be, a woman. It is satisfied by achieving this, more or less. Although there are other rewards, the most powerful one is by having sex as a woman.
That is to say, by being penetrated, usually anally.
Because it is self-reinforcing, the more often the satisfaction is achieved, the stronger it gets. It is narcissistic because it is focussed on the male self in role as a woman. Because sexualised reward is so strong, autogynephilia is extremely powerful and quickly becomes an obsession. Sex as a woman can turbo-charge it.
Autogynephilia is not always dependent on orgasm or coitus. It acts through other reward systems too. So a person with it may receive sexualised reward from dressing as a woman, from going to the hairdresser, flirting with men, even knitting. Having sex with a man as a woman is the most powerful.
When a natal woman puts on lacy lingerie or conforms to other gender-typical norms, she might feel sexy. She is receiving, through the culturally-contextualised idea of gender, (which is itself innate) affirmation that she is a sexy and feminine woman. When an autogynephile does the same thing, that person is receiving affirmation that she actually is a woman.
This explains why Moser and others have observed what they suggested was autogynephilia in women. But it’s not the same. A woman knows she is a woman. She seeks to be affirmed as a sexy and desirable one and to attract masculine men, so she makes herself feminine. This is exactly what an HSTS does, too.
For an autogynephile it is much more complex. His first need, and as the condition progresses, this need becomes increasingly intense, is to ‘be a woman’. The reward of being sexy is dependent on that. First you must ‘be a woman’ in order to be affirmed as a desirable one.
Sex as a woman: what binds all MtF transsexuals together
Transsexuals are divided into ‘homosexual’ and ‘non-homosexual’ variants. In Blanchard Theory, these are ‘HSTS’ and ‘AGP‘ (for autogynephilic transvestite.)
HSTS tend to be, on average, light in build, small, have more feminine features and speech patterns. All of these they have in common with feminine homosexual men and the link is easy to make. What makes them transsexual is their acceptance that their desire to submit to male sexual partners makes them women.
Remember, this is not about sex; it’s about gender. That’s a social interface that communicates our sexuality to others. So HSTS naturally allow their femininity to become dominant over any vestige of masculinity they may have, in order to be more affirmed as women, by appearing sexy and desirable to men.
So, like natal women, HSTS have a solid, realised understanding of their gender. Male-to-feminine HSTS are women because their sexuality demands it: they desire to submit sexually to men.
This holes ‘queer theory’ and particularly its ridiculous assertion that ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ are separate, beneath the waterline. Intrinsic to an HSTS’ sense of self is that she is a woman who wants to be penetrated by men. She would consider the whole idea of sex with a natal woman — or even another transsexual — repulsive. She would see it as ‘lesbian sex’ and she is a heterosexual girl. Sexual orientation — whom you want to have sex with— and ‘gender identity’ — whom you want to have sex as — are two sides of the same coin. Simple as that. There is no separation between the two.
This makes HSTS really easy to identify and that is what Ray Blanchard did, along with virtually every other serious researcher before and since.
But what about non-homosexual transsexuals?
AGPs tend not to look anything like as feminine as HSTS. They are, on average, taller, bigger, more heavily built, have more masculine voices, do not move in a feminine manner and so on.
Further, we know from their narratives that they are not initially attracted to men. Instead they are attracted, often from adolescence, to the idea of being women. They only become attracted to men as their gendered identities as women develop, if they do at all.
HSTS become women because they are attracted to men and (some) AGPs become attracted to men because they want to be women.
It’s easy for an AGP to play a male role in public. And this is what most do in the West: they live as men and satisfy themselves in private.
It’s almost impossible for an HSTS to do this. She’s just too feminine and her sexual desire is not to become a woman, but to have sex with straight men. She doesn’t need to become anything: she’s a woman already. Her sexual need to be penetrated makes her that. She just needs some sex like anyone else.
For many years I and others believed that if autogynephilia did exist in Asia, it was very rare indeed. And it is true that the Western profile, with associated cross-dressed masturbation, wearing women’s underwear under male clothes, middle-aged transition and so on, is rare. But in fact, there are plenty of AGPs in Asia.
No big deal.
In the Philippines and Thailand homosexuality is a big ‘so what?’ It’s OK to grow your hair long and wear hot pants to show off your legs — which, if you’re 5’11” are probably pretty amazing. Across south-east Asia, finding yourself standing next to a tall ladyboy making eyes is not even remarkable. It happens every day. The insertion of penis into rectum is not considered a criminal offence and never has been. It would not be true to say ‘everybody does it’ but most men, over 70% in some studies, have. They were introduced to sex by buggering batang baklas up darkened alleys. Not unnaturally, they are reluctant to condemn something they themselves so enjoyed.
Asian men are less masculine in appearance than Western ones. They tend to be smaller, have finer features and so on. You take one of these guys, do a feminising make-over and he could walk down the street in Paris or New York, as a woman, and nobody would have a clue. That means that for a person so inclined, dressing as a woman and behaving socially as one, is much easier.
Further, in all Asian cultures, it is bad form, to put it mildly, to offend another person. So people are inclined to go along. It is unusual to hear anyone misgender a transperson, even in the Catholic Philippines.
This extends to social courtesies; men will give up their seats for a ladyboy, just as they would for a woman, even if they know that she’s TS. (Of course, often they don’t.) This is because, even if the person does not really approve of your behaviour, in Asia, it is deeply impolite — and may result in violence — to compromise anyone’s assertions about themselves. To do so would cause loss of face, and there is no greater insult.
Sex is a powerful reward: you can learn to like sex with just about anything, if you’re a man. That is the foundation of ‘situational homosexuality’ as found in prisons, navies and all-male boarding schools.
Asian AGPs are conditioned by the culture they grow up in to see sex with men as affirmative. It is a simple fact that any male can perform anal sex. If such sex makes you what your dream says you are, then of course it’s attractive. Asian AGPs like sex with men because of its affirmative power.
Why then, in the West, are so many AGPs attracted to women? Well to begin with, that is how they start off in life: they are attracted to the whole idea ‘woman’, especially as a role they can invest themselves in.
AGPs do enjoy sex with women although such sex may not be affirmative. In addition, all AGPs, everywhere, prefer the company of women to that of men.
This explains the almost Platonic relationships evident between Western AGPs and their wives: they have actually become sisters. In many cases the relationship will lose its sexual component, or it will have been of low importance ever since the beginning. The AGP would be penetrating her best friend and in a culture where to be penetrated incurs a reduction of status, this causes problems.
9 Replies to “Autogynephilia: Sex as a woman”
Rod, I know that you are trying to understand and explain this phenomena… but in this case, you are just plain wrong. While there have always been AGPs that transition young, the natural progression for them is to do so at a far later age. Further, not all folks who are in relationships with an FtM are AGP (though it is more likely, especially here in the US, because they often find an Autoandrophilic partner)… some HSTS fall in love with the very masculinity that transkid FtMs exhibit before dealing with the fact that they have no penis… that is to say, that the penis is NOT the key issue of attraction for them.
I have met a few Asian AGPs… and they are EXACTLY the same as Western AGPs… and while there are fewer of them as a percentage, as has been shown in study after study, it is NOT correlated with tolerance, as the data clearly shows that the cultural property that is key is that of individuality vs. collectivism (at the family level), as shown by two separate studies (and thus we have replication, the hallmark of good science).
This essay is disturbing and wrong… in that it fails to note that at least 50% of HSTS make strong statements of experiencing extreme gender dysporia at BEFORE puberty. And Yes, like gay men, they were extremely feminine BEFORE puberty, but remained so after age 10 or so, the age when gay men start to defemininize. Thus, their gender issues are not directly mediated by a desire to have sex with men… which is a secondary issue related to their core issue that gender and sexual orientation are indeed corralated.
Finally, back to AGPs… you talk about the masturbatory aspects of AGP… and you have in a previous essay made the erroneous statement that AGP sexuality and masturbation is because of Western (actually you focused on the US) making such to be shameful. And this that is, along with intolerance of cross-dressing, is what causes the delay in AGP transitions making the inference (largely based on your own anecdotal observation, not data) that AGPs in Asia transition at the same age as HSTS. This is not supported by any data.
No. I’m sorry but I have met significantly more than ‘a few’ Asian AGPs and their profile is as I stated. While late-transitioning AGPs do exist, they are rare. A good recent example would be Ian King This individual, I agree, fits the Western profile of AGP exactly.
However, most AGP transwomen in Asia do not share this profile. Most of them transition very much younger. I give you a quote: ‘I transferred to a public school for my high school days. When I was in my sophomore year, however, something strange happened regarding my personality which I could not comprehend. It’s not just that my voice changed, new hair started to grow, and inevitable pimples began to appear. I loved to mingle with my girl classmates, rather than the boys. I loved to be with them most of the time.’
And another: ‘I’m an Asian transsexual living in USA and I have mad respect for (ladyboys)…in fact, I’m also attracted to them.’
Can you explain to these statements, both from Asian transwomen, in terms other than those I have outlined? In fact, the rewards discussed in Blanchard, leaving aside crossdessed masturbation, are very much alike for both types of MtF TS/TG, as I detailed. The fact is that the Asian model is current throughout most of the world, with only certain parts of the West, notably the Anglo-Saxon and particularly USican ones, being different. Do I detect a sense of white cultural entitlement? That would be disappointing.
Regarding the masturbation and AGP sexuality, you may have misread. AGP sexuality is just that; its expression through clandestine masturbatory cross-dressing, however, is a function, at least in part, of social intolerance. I think it is quite obvious that, as social intolerance reduces somewhat and the support network afford by the Internet and social media becomes more effective, we are seeing and will increasingly see, AGPs transitioning at a much younger age.
AS to ‘defeminisation’ of gay men, I am interested to see how you explain this in a social milieu where young TS/TG of both types are taking hormones from the age of 13 or 14. This is replicated in Latin America, where, as in Asia, contraceptive pills are available, over he counter, very cheaply, without prescription. The fact is that if an MtF trans person wishes to feminise, or not to masculinise, in any of these territories, they can, and do, achieve this very cheaply using birth control pills.
On the other hand, while many Asian transwomen are indeed incredibly feminine, many are not. They can be as big as I am — and bigger — and not even remotely feminine. Yet they transition at a similar age, in their teens. How do you explain that except in the terms that I outlined? Yes they do appear later, but it is a matter of three to five years later, not two decades or more.
This supports the suggestion that AGPs in the West are remaining hidden for far longer. What do you think could cause that, other than social intolerance? And further, how do you account for the fact that, as social intolerance reduces, we are seeing a rapid increase in young TS/TG? Are you saying they are ALL HSTS? If you are, you just torpedoed your argument about gay men ‘defeminising’.
Regarding the studies you mention, you should post links. Otherwise, we cannot assess them. If they check out I will add them to my links page.
Regarding the ‘individuality’, well the only people in the USA whose individuality is respected are the rich white ones.
I would also point out that direct observation is data collection, and has been used consistently in research in this area. I would point you to Professor Don Kulick’s book ‘Travesti’ for a fine example, alongside Richard Totman’s ‘Kathoey’ and Aldous and Sereemongkonpol ‘Ladyboys’. Indeed, if one discounts direct observation as a source of data, then one completely destroys the basis of the natural sciences. After all, what was Charles Darwin, the most important figure in the natural sciences, bar none, doing in the Galapagos? Or later in the breeding of pigeons?
That being the case,and it also being the case that I am sure you know that, then your comment about my ‘anecdotal observation’ resolves to a thinly-veiled ad-hominem attack on me, both as a journalist and an academic. I think that reflects rather poorly on you, and the quality of your argument.
When I first responded to this comment by Kay Brown, I assumed that Brown was HSTS. This is an impression that Brown has spared no effort to cultivate. But it is not supported by observation. This is Brown’s self-penned bio page. It is quite clear from the pictures contained in it that Brown is most unlikely to be HSTS. It is common for AGPs to try to colonise HSTS identity, but this example shocks me, I must admit. This likely explains Brown’s clear rage response.
(Deleted comments about Kay Brown)
I’m sorry, I have had to remove that. Please don’t make personal comments or observations about other uses here, thanks.
what does it mean if I am 6 ft tall but fit every other criteria for hsts? my build is small and without hormones i have never had muscles at all. i’ve only ever been attracted to men, i started transition at 20, people always told me i look baby faced. but i am tall. a lot of guys like it too, my legs are super long even for my height.
Michelle, there are different profiles for different ethnicities. There’s a post on here by Noomi Herran that discusses this. https://www.rodfleming.com/hsts-agp-clustering/
It is generally true that Caucasian HSTS tend to be petite but in other groups, this does not necessarily follow. Noomi is HSTS and she is also 6′. Most of my research has been done in SE Asia and here again there is a pretty clear divide between short (HSTS) and tall (AGP). Noomi’s contribution has changed my perspective a bit re other ethnic types. These are also, statistical tendencies, not absolute. So it’s like a clustering, but there are always outliers. The gold standard test for HSTS is this — have you always been attracted to men? And that you have already answered. Also what you’ve said about your behaviour is classic HSTS, you’re neotenous (baby-faced), the role you like to play in sex etc etc. Not knowing your ethnicity I can’t say more but I would suspect you come from a group where HSTS are tall and leggy! I can very well imagine guys liking it haha
All the evidence points towards HSTS being innate and associated with other innate factors — but these factors are not universally the same across all ethnic groups and subtypes. Nevertheless, the fact that there is such very clear clustering makes it pretty much certain that HSTS is innate — and you are one.
By the way I am always looking for guest posts from HSTS on any topic relevant to being HSTS, so if you would like, please consider writing one. Good luck!
All I got from this article is that you view the world…
Lol I do indeed. Tell me, what’s the difference between a slug and a feminist?
A slug doesn’t have legs.
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