Hypothesis, Interview, recent, Science, Sex

What Is Autogynephilia? An Interview with Dr Ray Blanchard

Ray Blanchard is an adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto who specialises in the study of human sexuality, with a particular focus on sexual orientation, paraphilias, and gender identity disorders. In the 1980s and 1990s he developed a theory around the causes of gender dysphoria in natal males that became known as ‘Blanchard’s transsexualism typology’. This typology—which continues to attract a great deal of controversy—categorizes trans women (that is, natal males who identify as women) into two discrete groups.

The first group is composed of ‘androphilic’ (sometimes termed ‘homosexual’) trans women, who are exclusively sexually attracted to men and are markedly feminine in behaviour and appearance from a young age. They typically begin the process of medical transition before the age of 30.

The second group are motivated to transition as a result of what Blanchard termed ‘autogynephilia’: a sexual orientation defined by sexual arousal at the thought or image of oneself as a woman. Autogynephiles are typically sexually attracted to women, although they may also identify as asexual or bisexual. They are more likely to transition later in life and to have been conventionally masculine in presentation up until that point.

Although Blanchard’s typology is supported by a wide range of sexologists and other researchers, it is strongly rejected by most trans activists who dispute the existence of autogynephilia. The medical historian Alice Dreger, whose 2015 book Galileo’s Middle Finger included an account of the autogynephilia controversy, summarises the conflict:

There’s a critical difference between autogynephilia and most other sexual orientations: Most other orientations aren’t erotically disrupted simply by being labeled. When you call a typical gay man homosexual, you’re not disturbing his sexual hopes and desires. By contrast, autogynephilia is perhaps best understood as a love that would really rather we didn’t speak its name. The ultimate eroticism of autogynephilia lies in the idea of really becoming or being a woman, not in being a natal male who desires to be a woman.

I interviewed Blanchard over email and Skype. The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

* * *

Louise Perry: What has been the response to your work on autogynephilia, both within the trans community and without?

Ray Blanchard: I introduced the word and the concept of autogynephilia—the tendency of certain males to become sexually aroused by the thought or image of themselves as females—in 1989 as an extension of the concept of transvestic fetishism. The DSM diagnosis, Transvestic Fetishism, was defined in psychiatry at that time as sexual urges and fantasies involving cross-dressing in heterosexual males.

I published my early writings on autogynephilia in specialty journals with very small circulations. I intended them for a tiny readership of clinicians who specialized in the assessment and management of gender-dysphoric patients. However, this work attracted the attention of two individuals who decided to promote it more broadly, one online (Anne A. Lawrence) and one in a book (J. Michael Bailey). These efforts, especially the book, enraged three influential trans women—two of them senior academics—who attempted to get Bailey fired from his teaching position at Northwestern University for writing it. This campaign has been documented in detail by Alice D. Dreger, a medical historian. Paradoxically, the efforts of trans activists, then and today, to completely suppress any mention of autogynephilia in public discourse has resulted in an increased public awareness of it. I think the self-defeating behavior of trans activists has persisted because the idea of autogynephilia cuts too close to the bone. If the idea had no resonance with them, they would simply have ignored it, and the idea of autogynephilia would just be one of many forgotten hypotheses of gender identity disorder.

Subsequently other strange and unexpected (to me) events befell my notion of autogynephilia. Modern trans activists reframed transsexualism/transgenderism as a political problem rather than a clinical problem. The flat denial that autogynephilia exists became a canon of modern trans activism, trans activism become a sub-department of the Social Justice Movement, and the Social Justice Movement became a primary combatant in the ongoing, pervasive Culture Wars.

The upshot is that most trans activists—and, in solidarity, their “allies”—deny that autogynephilia exists. Since most university psychologists, sociologists, and humanities professors are “allies,” the topic of autogynephilia may be omitted from Human Sexuality or Gender Studies courses for a generation. The other side in the Culture Wars (whatever one wishes to call that side) are prepared to recognize the existence of autogynephilia as soon as they learn of it, but they tend to hurl it as an insult at male-to-female trans who offend them. That, of course, is not what I intended when I coined the term 30 years ago.

At present, many heterosexual MTFs—in their own view, lesbian trans women—police online forums ceaselessly for any mention of autogynephilia. If a newcomer posts that he thinks that autogynephilia describes his own experience, they will quickly let him know that this is wrongthink and that autogynephilia does not exist. It is therefore hard to get any sense of how many autogynephilic gender dysphorics privately think that autogynephilia describes their own experience, because stating that online will produce scorn and other negative reactions.

Has the prevalence of autogynephilia increased in recent decades, or are autogynephiles simply more likely to transition than they once were?

I very much doubt that the prevalence of autogynephilia per se, or the prevalence of autogynephilic gender dysphoria, has increased. I think that what has changed is the proportion of autogynephilic trans who have “come out” to their families, friends, and employers, not the total number of autogynephilic trans. Forty years ago, an autogynephile’s decision to transition to the female role often had negative consequences in the personal and employment spheres. Now that decision is as likely to get them praised for courage as it is to get them criticized for selfishness and irresponsibility.

The change in consequences for the androphilic trans has been much less. They tend to be conspicuously feminine (or effeminate) in manner, even when they are trying to “butch it up,” and this was as true 40 years ago as it is now. The androphilic trans had less social status to lose by transitioning then, and that is also true now.

When I looked at the relative numbers of autogynephilic and androphilic gender-dysphoric males back in 1987, the autogynephilic cases were already a majority, approaching 60 percent. The proportion had reached 75 percent by 2010, and it might be even higher now.

I don’t know of any evidence of significant populations of autogynephilic MTF trans in any non-Western countries. That doesn’t mean such individuals don’t exist. It could simply mean that, for non-homosexual males, the social cost of “coming out” as trans is much higher in non-Western cultures.

Would you recommend medical transition as a means of treating gender dysphoria in patients with autogynephilia? 

This depends on the intensity of the autogynephilia and, perhaps more importantly, on the severity of any gender dysphoria that arises in consequence of it. For mild or intermittent gender dysphoria, counselling or cognitive behavior therapy may be sufficient to help the patient through “flare-ups” of dysphoric feelings. This would be a logical choice of treatment if the patient has a marriage that he wants to maintain or a valued career that would inevitably suffer if he attempted to transition to the female role.

For sustained and severe gender dysphoria, hormonal treatment and sex reassignment surgery may offer the best chance of bringing the patient peace of mind and an improved quality of life. In my opinion, responsible clinicians should require patients to live for a significant period of time in the cross-gender role before approving them for surgery. One year is a bare minimum, but I think that two years is preferable.

I do not believe that autogynephilia per se—or any other paraphilia or sexual orientation—can be extirpated through treatment. In my opinion, people can be taught not to do what they want—when what they want is harmful to themselves or others—but they cannot be taught not to want what they want.

How do you respond to the claim that autogynephilia is also found frequently in natal females? 

I do not believe that autogynephilia occurs in natal females. The only evidence that it does was a tendentious study that asked a small number of unrepresentative women the wrong questions. This study, by Charles Moser, M.D., was immediately acclaimed by members of the trans community because it asserted what many MTF trans were desperate to believe: That personal histories of autogynephilia do not contradict their convictions of being psychologically identical to biological women, because biological women experience autogynephilia too.

Moser’s study was criticized on methodological grounds by another physician, Anne A. Lawrence, M.D. Lawrence, who wrote the most comprehensive scholarly monograph on autogynephilia, Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies, is a postoperative autogynephilic transsexual herself. She argued that the questionnaire items that Moser used to measure autogynephilia in women (29 hospital employees) do not adequately assess the essential element of autogynephilia—sexual arousal simply at the thought of being a female—because they do not emphasize that element.

My own arguments against the claim that autogynephilia frequently occurs in natal females were more general and not directed at Moser’s survey. I wrote, for example, that the notion that typical natal females are erotically aroused by—and sometimes even masturbate to—the thought or image of themselves as women might seem feasible if one considers only conventional, generic fantasies of being a beautiful, alluring woman in the act of attracting a handsome, desirable man (or woman). It seems a lot less feasible when one considers the various other ways in which some autogynephilic men symbolize themselves as women in their masturbation fantasies. Examples I have collected include: sexual fantasies of menstruation and masturbatory rituals that simulate menstruation; giving oneself an enema, while imagining the anus is a vagina and the enema is a vaginal douche; helping the maid clean the house; sitting in a girls’ class at school; knitting in the company of other women; and riding a girls’ bicycle. These examples argue that autogynephilic sexual fantasies have a fetishistic flavor that makes them qualitatively different from any superficially similar ideation in natal females.

There is also the telling phenomenon of autogynephiles who are involuntarily aroused by cross-dressing or cross-gender ideation, and who complain about difficulties changing into women’s attire without triggering erection or ejaculation. It seems likely that few natal women would give the analogous reports that they wish that they could put on their clothes without triggering vaginal lubrication or orgasm.

Do you think that natal females ever experience autoandrophilia [sexual arousal at the thought or image of oneself as male]?

Clinical mentions of heterosexual women with strong masculine traits who say that they feel as if they were homosexual men and who feel strongly attracted to effeminate men go back over 100 years. I do not think they are the female equivalents of autogynephiles, and to underscore that point I have started referring to them as autohomoerotics. Some of these individuals do develop clinically significant gender dysphoria, and it is well documented that at least a few autohomoerotic gender dysphorics have undergone surgical sex reassignment and were satisfied with their decision to do so.

Until recent times, autohomoerotic female-to-male transsexuals were quite rare. The differences between autogynephilia in males and autohomoeroticism in females may seem subtle. Autogynephilic (male) gender dysphorics are attracted to the idea of having a woman’s body; autohomoerotic (female) gender dysphorics are attracted to the idea of participating in gay male sex. For autogynephiles, becoming a lesbian woman is a secondary goal—the logical consequence of being attracted to women and wanting to become a woman. For autohomoerotics, becoming a gay man appears to be the primary goal or very close to it.

There are also striking differences in developmental history. Many autogynephilic trans people report a period in their lives, usually during puberty, when they put on women’s undergarments (often “borrowed” from their mothers or sisters) and masturbated to orgasm. In contrast, self-reports of masturbating to orgasm in men’s underwear are missing in the histories of autohomoerotic females.

Why are paraphilias found overwhelmingly in men? 

In order for us to know why many or most types of paraphilia are more common in men than in women, we would also have to know what causes each type of paraphilia. For example, we understand why osteoporosis is more common in elderly women than in elderly men because we understand that osteoporosis is related to low hormone levels.

I think we are very far from comparable knowledge on the causes of paraphilias. To put this ignorance in perspective, consider research on sexual orientation. Homosexuality is not a paraphilia, but it serves as a useful point of comparison. Much more laboratory research has been done on homosexuality than on any paraphilia, but we still have only little bits and pieces of knowledge on what factors influence sexual orientation.

Do you think there is a way of discussing autogynephilia without igniting controversy? 

I know that it is possible for people to discuss autogynephilia in candid and dispassionate—or even compassionate—ways, because I have seen this happen on my Twitter feed.

On a few occasions, (anonymous) autogynephiles have posted articulate and well-organized threads explaining what it feels like to be sexually aroused at the thought or image of themselves as women, how these sexual feelings relate to emerging aversion toward their male bodies and their desire to possess a female body, and the deleterious effects of autogynephilia and gender dysphoria on their personal relationships and their general mood and functioning. These threads have always stimulated a few other followers to post messages of congratulation for honesty and courage along with declarations of sympathy. Nobody has ever said, “Now that I understand your type better, you disgust me even more”—even though people on Twitter are not known for their self-restraint or charity.

However, I don’t know whether such discourse without controversy has ever been, or ever will be, possible in more public arenas. It is probably not possible right now, because of the current politicization of the term autogynephilia.

 

Louise Perry is a freelance writer based in London, U.K. Roy Blanchard tweets at @BlanchardPhD

Comments

  1. I think Dr. Blanchard’s work is very important and enlightening and it’s unfortunate the way it has been stigmatized and dismissed. I can confirm that autogynephilia is definitely 100% percent real and based on transgender people that I’ve known personally I think it is likely a major motivating factor for a significant number of male to female transitions. I would not be surprised if the 75% percent figure mentioned by Dr. Blanchard were accurate. I’d like to see the source of this data on the percentage of MtF transgender people that are sexually attracted to women vs. men, especially if there are more current data available than 2010. This would probably provide a pretty good estimate of the proportion of at least partially autogynephilia-motivated gender transitions. Just because there may be a sexual motivation in some cases doesn’t make this motivation invalid, but it seems important to understand the actual basis for this phenomenon if people facing these issues are to be helped effectively.

  2. Well I have certainly “suffered” from autogynephilia myself. I didn’t take it to extremes, but definitely was attracted to the idea of myself as a female. I wanted to have sex with men, as a woman-substitute, taking the woman’s role. I wanted to be completely dominated and serve a real man’s every desire. I never really acted on these feelings, but had them nonetheless. It does feed on itself, and the more you pursue it, deeper down the rabbit hole you go.

    Here is an XXX-rated, most definitely NSFW video that explains autogynephilia from the perspective of a man who likes autogynephiles very much and enjoys turning them from weak, shy men masturbating in front of their computers into fully functioning outwardly-female sex slaves. He also discusses hormones and surgery towards the end. Very educational to see it from this unique perspective. https://www.pornhub.com/view_video.php?viewkey=ph5c7cb75538ee2

    There is also the “Bambi Sleep” project that is a series of audio recordings designed to turn autogynephilic men into what they most deeply desire to be. https://bambisleep.blogspot.com/p/faq.html

    Transcripts of the Bambi Sleep recordings with discussion and analysis from a psych perspective: https://pastebin.com/LY6ZXyZ8

  3. Anyone who doubts the existence of autogynephilia is invited to browse web sites with stories involving transgender behavior such as “fictionmania”. This has 34000 odd stories - most by authors with female names but presumably actually male. Many of these stories feature sexual arousal in correction with transgender activity.

  4. He definitely seems to be on to something. His theory explains the otherwise unexplainable and seems in line with the facts.

    That we are not to be allowed to even mention this is scary.

    On the other hand, knowing the deep cause of something does not necessarily mean we can “fix” it, or should.

    It could be that the origins are so deep within the psyche that it cannot be changed, and we just have to make the best of it.

    But it does make a difference in whether we just take the claim that someone actually IS a woman at face value, or whether we say, ok, I accept that you have a very deep psychological need to identify as a woman, so go ahead…

  5. Here’s an observation that I never see shared: during the endless discussion of transgenderism in the media, you never seem to see a mention of crossdressing. Which is, for the most part, men dressing as women, and feeling as feminine as possible (often to an exaggerated degree). If that’s not trans-gendering, I don’t know what is. And it’s big. I think it was Yahoo Groups that had to shut down because so much of the platform consisted of men sharing pics of themselves dressed as women. And often doing so in an explicitly sexual manner, including hardcore pics. But somehow, all those ‘transgender’ men are taboo in the media. Funny how that works - they are seen to be gay-but-closeted, yet some show up for Pride parades, and many if not most are at least gay-friendly.

    It’s been said that if every Congressperson showed up on the floor of the House, there would be at least a couple pair of panties under those trousers.

  6. Playing Devil’s Advocate, are there any studies that have cast doubt over Blanchard’s theory? I’m inclined to believe that this distinction is real (and that critics, rather than attacking the theory, attack its supporters), but if there’s a possibility of a legitimate counterargument I’m interested in what that entails.

  7. Great interview, going straight to the academic source isn’t common enough, so this effort is most appreciated.

    I tend to think that heterosexual trans women (MTFs attracted to women) are fake trans, because they are far more abundant in the MTF population than lesbians are in the female population. That 75% of these supposed women are still attracted to women, while only maybe 5% of women are lesbian, tells me these are distinct populations. Given this important population-level distinction, it seems inappropriate to classify autogynephiliacs as transgender, let alone as women. Elevating a fetish to the status of a socially- and legally-recognized identity makes a mockery of the people who suffer from real gender dysphoria. The 25% of trans women who live fully as women, including bottom surgery and sexual attraction to men, would find it much easier to be accepted if they weren’t saddled with the autogynephiliacs.

    Maybe in the coming years, the circular firing squad of the left will see homosexual MTFs firing on autogynephiliacs.

  8. So they’re basically super-incels. Great.

  9. Couple it with the fact that a large majority of transgenders are MtF, the fact that transgenderism is heavily peer-influenced, and the fact that transgenders “change back” at a high rate, and we pretty clearly have the makings of a cultural disorder, not a “new class of people.”

    As I’ve written in other threads, modern “feminist” culture massively abuses most young males, raising them more as women than as men, then thrusts them into adulthood and expects them to have the best characteristics of paragon men, punishing them severely for failure. This results in a lot of confused, broken men. Men of all stripes observe pretty clearly the blatant social privilege of young women over young men, and coupling this with their own feminine conditioning, it makes all kinds of sense that some of them would decide that they feel like “women in men’s bodies”.

    Even if they retain their desire to have sex with women.

    Transitioning is an effort to claim the social privileges of women, with the added privilege of woke victimhood being the cherry on top. It goes poorly because it was never the right solution to their problems.

  10. Autogynephilia is absolutely real - I have it. I haven’t “transitioned” and won’t. I spent years trying to understand myself and wrestling with very palpable demons. Thank god for Blanchard, Bailey and particularly Lawrence for helping me to understand myself. It took far too long. A rampant sex drive that was driving me crazy eventually got resolved through SSRIs. Before that I could hardly think straight (haha). If anyone wants to understand more about this and the seriously narcisstic, delusional and bullying tactics of TIMs (trans identified males), I strongly recommend browsing r/itsafetish, r/gendercritical and observing the undeniably male entitlement on display when a TIM is triggered. Autogynephiles do NOT want you talking about them, because they’ve managed to hijack the - legitimate (androphilic) - trans movement. Trans Rights Activists will repeatedly tell you again and again and again with increasing volume that autogynephilia is “psuedo science” and has been “debunked”, but they have not once managed to provide one compelling piece of evidence to prove this, and I am glad Blanchard trashed Moser’s study for the junk it is.

  11. There’s a term - ‘trancel’ - that refers to an incel that’s so completely given up on conventional sexual pursuits with women that they legitimately choose to transition in order to have more active sex lives and literally hope it turns them gay.

  12. Stephanie for reasons unknown, androphilic (or HSTS) trans women are not only much smaller in number than autogynephiles in the West, but also a lot less vocal about this. I suspect its because, on the whole their behaviour tends to be much more effiminate and stereotypically “female” which, excuse the sexist truth, means they protest less, whereas autogynephiles behave with all the trappings of anticipated male-privelege of expecting to have their voices heard and kicking up holy hell if they don’t get their way. As such, HSTS tend to be bullied into submission. Given that they’re already small in number, it’s hardly surprising. If you look at YouTube, you may come across Blaire White and ContraPoints - two MTF transsexuals with very opposing political views, but also perfectly exemplifying the HSTS / autogynephilic dichotomy. Blaire White is very clearly HSTS, while ContraPoints is a textbook autogynephile, even down to the ardent denial of AGP even being a thing - she made a video on it in a failed attempt to debunk it (wonder if Blanchard is aware, I would love to know his response).

    The only real way for HSTS / androphilic MTFs to fight back against the colonisation of trans spaces by autogynephiles is to call them out for what they are, and they simply won’t do this. Even Blaire White didn’t call Jessica Yaniv an autogynephile, even though she made multiple videos calling them out. The best chance androphilic trans people have is actually in Asia where there are many HSTS trans women - but for the most part, they really don’t care about the political side of things, and just want to live their lives being accepted for who they are. When asked if they want to be treated as women, most of them will answer “no, I’m not a woman, I’m a ladyboy”. As problematic as some of us might find that term to be, it is literally how they themselves self-identity. Am I making this up? I’m sure that’s what the accusation will be (it usually is) , but the many trans women I’ve dated in Asia almost universally say the same thing. The problem is not wishing to be perceived as a woman, the problem is that looking like and acting like a woman is not allowed for men (which is what transwomen are) to do. The problem is not with womanhood, its with what we tell ourselves men are and are not allowed to be.

  13. Fascinating perspective, welcome to Quillette! How are androphilic MTFs bullied into submission?

  14. The reasons are honestly numerous. If you want to know more, I strongly recommend searching YouTube for a guy called Rod Fleming. He isn’t right on every single thing, but he’s very close in a lot of ways. Also look at the subreddits I mentioned above. Feel free to AMA.

  15. With the current social contagion about trans people, part of which is trans people being added to many SJW’s portfolio of victim classes, and with trans activists making all sorts of annoying and socially disruptive claims and demands, I can understand some people wishing the whole thing would just go away. So they imagine all trans people as mentally ill, gravely unwise or whatever.

    Yet they would agree, I think, that it is sane to want your leg cut off it is is gangreneous, or to jump out of an aircraft with a parachute if it was about to crash. I think they would agree that it is sane for a man to have sex with another man if he was same-sex attracted. So why do they think it is insane for some people to want to change their bodies and lives in order to better match their innate sense of self, which unfortunately is the opposite of their actual sex? These two abnormalities of sexual attraction and sense of self are not chosen, and can’t be changed.

    One way of dismissing MtF trans people is to claim that males with a partial or overwhelmingly feminine sense of self, who retain their ordinary heterosexual attraction to women, and who want to modify their bodies and/or their way of life, are mentally ill, driven entirely be misdirected sexual urges.

    So it is possible to use AGP as a blunt instrument to criticise a whole class of people - portraying their desires and actions as being based on something shallow or pathological, and not even a genuine desire to be more feminine.

    I will try not to repeat what I wrote on two other Quillette Circle threads: “It’s Time for ‘LGB’ and ‘T’ to Go Their Separate Ways” and “Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against So-called ‘TERFs’” Click the link to my profile and then Activity if you like.

    Ignoring intersex people, assuming that everyone has a significant degree of M and/or F as part of their sense of self (AKA the gender identity component of sense of self) and assuming that everyone has a significant degree of attraction to M and/or F, I have an 18 way typology. Body: M or F; Sense of self M, M&F or F; Sexually attracted to M, M&F or F. This is of course a simplification. Ideally there would be scalar variables for both the M and F attributes in both the sense of self and sexual attraction questions.

    I argued in the just mentioned threads that, at a first approximation, the sense of self and sexual attraction faculties are not the result of neural plasticity and learning, but of the distinctive, normal, M or F patterns of two sets of brain structures - and that these are primarily or wholly determined by the hormonal conditions in utero. These conditions can be disrupted, and I believe that, ignoring people with intense and abusive upbringings, we can think of same-sex attracted people: M M M and F F F as being normal except that their sexual attraction brain structures developed to follow the pattern of the opposite sex normal individuals: heterosexual men M M F and women F F M.

    In this terse, incomplete typology - which I think is a useful tool for discussion - MtF trans people are M body type, feel M&F or F in their sense of self, and could be any of the three options for the sexual attraction question.

    Ignoring, for the sake of simplicity, people with M&F senses of self, and the bisexuals (M&F sexual attraction) we have two types relevant to the current discussion of MtF trans people:

    M M M androphilic or “homosexual” HSTS
    M M F autogynephilic AGP

    In my framework, the AGP people differ from the normal male in one respect: their sense of self is primarily or wholly following the F pattern of ordinary women, with not enough M to detract from their desire to be wholly feminine.

    The HSTS people have this, but furthermore their sexual attraction brain structure, network or whatever (and these probably have no anatomically identifiable existence - just a bunch of a few thousand neurons mixed in with billions of others) has developed along the M pattern which is normal for females.

    The HSTS people have one conflict to deal with - and it is a doozy - they have a male body, while they want to be ordinary women, or at least live some kind of life where it is OK and expected to be womanly and be romantically and sexually attracted to men, even if this is not thought of as being actual women. Of course trans people cannot become the sex they desire to be. See my previous comments for how I believe I am supportive of genuine trans people while being critical of many of the claims of the most prominent trans activists.

    AGP people have their sense of self conflicting with both their body and their sexual attraction faculties.

    There is a 2009 discussion I found most informative - starting with the 3rd comment by “Anonymous” (Cloudy), though not all the comments labelled “Anonymous” are by this person. Cloudy and the pseudonymous Jack Molay (proprietor of crossdreamers.com) have a long discussion, which I commend to anyone interested in this field: https://www.crossdreamers.com/2009/08/beyond-perversion.html

    Around the time I read this, I also read some material by Rod Fleming (mentioned above by @mushroomyakuza), on his blog site, I think, where I felt that I gained a lot more understanding of HSTS people, particularly in Thailand and the Philippines of which he is more than fond. I only looked at one of his videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqEjpXh1Hn7-ZiRsNxmeKdg/videos “HSTS and the backlash against LGBT+”.

    This contains interesting material on HSTS people in the Philippines - politically and socially conservative, supporting traditional gender roles, not wanting to be transgressive or prominent. Gay pride parades being family friendly. Western normal people getting sick of being told they are not normal by the LGBTQ+ society changing activists. HSTS already hated by the LGBTQ+ movement and their sexual inversion is completely misunderstood by the broader society. Woodworking - post-op HSTSs disappearing into the woodwork and living in many ways like women. His site is http://allabouthsts.com. HSTSs are unrecognisable - everyone who thinks they are a woman. He has little or nothing good to say about AGP “transvestites”. Western (US) New Gay Man is artificial and unlike anything else. He is a conservative libertarian and is totally opposed to LGBTQ political movement. The New Gay Man inducts boys in to their pederastic system.

    If HTSTs are seeking romance and sex with straight males, without revealing their true nature ASAP, then I regard this as a grave breach of trust. I don’t know how common this is, but I did once see an instance of it, to which I strongly objected to the young, attractive, HSTS.

    Cloudy is HSTS, and in 2009 was 35 years transitioned, 29 years post-op. She has “a wonderful husband, who loves me, neither in spite of, nor because, I’m a trannie, but because I’m the woman he fell in love with.” She has what I regard as sympathy for, and insight into AGP trans people, much more than Rod Fleming.

    Here is my attempt to understand the term “autogynophilia”. Firstly, it is a widely used term to describe the M F F type. Secondly, it refers to such persons being sexually attracted to their own actual or potential femininity. This second sense of AGP is what I will now discuss.

    AGP is a natural, secondary, condition which results from a single primary abnormality: a woman-attracted man having his sense of self brain faculties behaving much like those of a woman. Male sex drive is powerful and applicable to all sorts of situations beyond the reproductive actual man-woman sex act.

    AGP can be driven to extremes by the male sex drive for females, combined with the satisfying idea of actually being female (or at least feminine - these people can’t be a woman). As such it can contribute enormously to dysphoria and drive the person towards transition by supercharging what is already, probably, a strong natural (in the abnormal circumstances) desire to be or at least live as a woman.

    It is my impression that AGP drives many M F F types towards transition, but that this is not necessarily a good idea. As far as I know, the first level of effective HRT lowers testosterone and DHT levels, or blocks their actions and raises estradiol levels and perhaps the other two estrogens. So the male sexual urge is immediately attenuated. Over time - years I guess - according to Cloudy and others, the M F F person may (50% chance?) find their attraction change, so they become M F M. However, Cloudy insists - and I consider her an authority in these matters - that no such HRT induced M F M person has the same intensity of feelings for men as a natural born M F M (HSTS).

    So I think of the AGP condition adding enormously to the stress and problems suffered by AGP M F F people. Apparently, it is greatly reduced - I think within days or weeks - with effective HRT. At this point, I recall reading somewhere, some such people lose some or all of their enthusiasm for transition.

    However, many don’t. As far as I know - and Dr Blanchard supports this - for the most genuinely (not by AGP sexual drives) motivated M F F (and M F M) people find it best to transition, with the operation and all, and live as best they can in a feminised body and social role.

    I understand that many M F F people reject the notion of AGP, because it is frequently is used to discredit their entire trans identity - as if it is solely the result of sexual attraction misdirected to the self.

    So I see AGP as an unfortunate and confounding part of the experience of M F F types - and as an absolutely secondary outcome, arising naturally from their one abnormality: a highly feminised sense of self.

    No-one seems to mind that many men masturbate on their own, with their fantasies, or with glossy magazines or porno videos. AGP-driven masturbation can be seen as a DIY, more immersive, approach - with the additional benefit of also partly satisfying an urge to be female.

    It is easy to imagine men choosing these over inactivity when they are lonely. However, for them to choose any of these in preference to sex with their real life wife or girlfriend is really a misdirection of everything, assuming the woman is genuinely loving and accepting of the real condition her man finds himself in. For all sorts of reasons - and it is natural to be repulsed by such things - this is probably not the case for many couples. So the man finds himself lonely, secretive, fearful and with femmy-dress autoerotica a safe haven from frustration and the complications of other people’s fears and expectations.

    From what I read from Cloudy and Rod Fleming, the HSTS types are outnumbered in the West by AGP types, while the reverse is true in Thailand and the like. My best guess is that this is due to the the widespread use of highly estrogenic pueraria mirifica skin preparations and supplements, for soft skin and bigger breasts, by fertile women in Thailand and the Philippines etc. leads to a greater number of male fetuses developing their brains with strong estrogen receptor activation, and I guess some suppression of androgen receptor activation (estrogen suppresses testosterone production) so at the two (potentially different) time windows in which the sense of self and sexual attraction brain circuits build themselves, both circuits build themselves strongly in the pattern typical for normal female fetuses: F for self identity and M for sexual attraction (once puberty activates this circuit).

    Pueraria mirifica products are increasingly used in the West for breast development, despite them ideally being labelled as not safe for pregnant or lactating women. Since they are very powerful, since they may contain long half-life estrogen activating compounds, and since women frequently don’t know they are pregnant for a few months, I guess we will see many more MtF people in the West in the decades to come, probably with a greater proportion of fully feminised M F M HSTS types compared to the only partly feminised M F F “AGP” types.

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