The word cross-dresser refers to dressing as the opposite gender. Cross-dressing is NOT sexual addiction, but a strong desire to identify as both, the female and male gender. Cross-dressing has historically occurred in societies, and is not always linked to sexuality. Cross-dressers may also be stage artists, fun loving party-goers, fashionistas with uni-sex outfits, or individuals disguising their gender to avoid discrimination. Some individuals may purposefully use cross-dressing behaviours to avoid socially stereotyped pressures, and find stress relief in the opposite gender role.
Cross-dressing is a non-normative and poorly understood behaviour. In most societies, where gender roles are stereotyped, cross-dressers push the boundaries. It is unclear when cross-dressing behaviours manifest. In some cases of individual history, the behaviour can be traced back to childhood events, but more likely cross-dressing is linked to congenital gender dysmorphia.
The need to cross-dress can be intense. Cross-dressers are typically clear on their biological gender, but feel strong emotional urges to temporarily express themselves as the opposite gender. Such need for gender-switching may, or may not, be accompanied by sexual arousal. Cross-dressing does not indicate a desire to permanently change one's gender or sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation and cross-dressing are not linked. Cross-dressers may be heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, fluid, or asexual, with the same distribution of sexual identity as common in all other communities.
Cross-dressing may begin in childhood with dressing in the cloths of a family member of the opposite sex. The initial arousal, occurring with dressing, may be caused by accelerated feelings of infatuation.
Non consensual cross-dressing behaviour may cause upheaval and gender conflict in relationship. Partners can benefit from sexual relationship counselling, and learn to establish boundaries, while respecting each-others needs.
If cross-dressing causes conflict please call Sex Addiction Australia for information, or booking of consultations during EST office hours (+61) 02 9380 4486 or email email@example.com