What is cross-dressing?

This is cross-dressing information and support for men who cross-dress.

If you are the partner, husband, wife, friend or a family member of a man who cross-dresses, you can get more information below.read more

Cross-dressing is a term which is used to describe a behaviour where men feel some comfort from dressing in, what is generally accepted to be women’s or more feminine clothing, either because they feel some comfort, a sense of escape, enjoy it, or feel a strong compulsion to do so.

Many men who cross-dress start dressing when they’re teenagers or even younger, often around the time of puberty, there are psychological reasons for doing so. These reasons are individual to each individual, however there are some distinctive circumstances which are common. Some men begin dressing much later in life.

For most people, it feels like something that they can’t control, a compulsion. It may result in a huge sense of guilt and shame, primarily because cross-dressing is very misunderstood by almost everyone.

A man contemplating women clothes in his closet.

First of all, let me clarify: There’s nothing strange or wrong about cross-dressing. It’s something that can be understood in a fairly simple way with some basic understanding.

Most people in society completely misunderstand cross-dressing and the underlying reasons for it. Talking to me about cross-dressing will help you see where these misunderstandings come from and why they’re so powerful and emotion provoking. If you want to understand cross-dressing better, I can share my understanding, experience and share you coping strategies to deal with stress or anxiety, a major trigger for cross-dressers.

For many people, cross-dressing is connected to feeling stressed, anxious or difficult life challenges. There are other strategies and tools that might be useful to you which can sometimes reduce the ‘need’ to dress.

Cross-dressing can be explained in more detail with individual clients as everyone’s story is different, however, there are some common themes:

‘Attachment’ or the relationship with parents or main caregivers, predominantly mothers, but also father’s. Most men who start cross-dressing at an early age have some kind of need for a closer connection, the initial wearing of feminine clothing is often linked to their connection or lack connection in their early years.

There are some other things about family and life experiences which may contribute to a young man turning to dressing for comfort.

One of these is what we call “environmental” factors. This means the kind of world a man grows up in and how they fit into it. Sometimes, this can create emotional problems.

In the past, people had very clear ideas about how men and women should behave. Many men find it tough to be themselves and show their softer, more feminine creative side. While things are slowly changing, society’s unwritten rules can be slow to catch up.

Another factor is the sensation and stimulation of it. Women’s clothes are made from a wider variety of materials than men’s clothes. They’re usually softer, more colorful, and feel gentler against the skin. Just like how we all enjoy soft, comfy bedsheets, the same goes for clothing. Men’s fabrics feel hard and rough on the skin, it’s no wonder that softer materials can feel sensual and pleasant. Women’s clothing comes in a wider range of styles and looks.

These reasons I mentioned aren’t exhaustive, but they give you an idea of what could be going on for some men.

If you feel a strong urge to cross-dress, or you do it when you’re stressed or anxious, I can help you understand why and what you could do to better manage it.

If you’ve recently started cross-dressing or want to talk to your partner or wife about it, then talk to me. I’ve helped many couples deal with cross-dressing, and in most cases, it’s actually improved their relationship and made it more open and loving.

Almost every couple I’ve worked with has found a way to deal with cross-dressing and stay together with my help.

If you’re a cross-dresser or the partner of a cross-dresser and you need support from a caring therapist, please get in touch with me.

For people who have already had one-to-one sessions and are ready, I offer anonymous, facilitated, topic based, group discussion read more

Common questions Men who cross-dress are struggling with:

Cross-dressing is actually quite common, even though most people don’t realise it. However, because society often doesn’t understand it, many people keep it a secret.

99% of cross-dressers are heterosexual (straight), most are married or in long-term heterosexual relationships.

Simply put, yes, relationships are strongest when there’s honesty and trust.

If you’re a cross-dresser and your secret has come out, or you’re struggling with whether to tell your partner, I can assist you. I’ll guide you on how to address the questions your partner will likely have. I’ll also help you understand cross-dressing better and talk about it in a way that’s safe and positive for your relationship.

When you start cross-dressing as a child, it becomes a strong habit to make you feel better when you’re stressed, anxious, or facing tough situations.

Because of this, quitting cross-dressing can be really tough. But I have some therapy and life coaching strategies and tools that can give you other ways to handle stress, anxiety, or pressure.

Breaking the habit of cross-dressing that you’ve had for a long time isn’t easy, but I can help you understand it more and discover new ways to comfort yourself when you’re feeling down.

Each of us has many different aspects to our true selves. But when it comes to cross-dressing, the uncertainty about it can make it hard for us to accept who we are, and it can be tough to feel accepted by others. Whether it’s cross-dressing or a broader issue related to your gender identity, the journey to understanding and embracing your authentic self can be stressful and difficult. You might be going through this struggle right now.

Laws, society’s expectations, religion, stereotypes, and discrimination against people who are gay or transgender are some of the things that can make cross-dressers feel alone and isolated. But here, in crossdressing counseling, you won’t be alone or isolated. I’ll provide a safe space for you to share your story, where you will be accepted and respected.

Online support for men who cross-dress is really helpful because you can talk to a compassionate and understanding counselor while dressed if that’s what you prefer. You can feel completely safe and relaxed, without worrying about going to an office or taking extreme measures to feel secure. You can chat with me from wherever you feel most comfortable and safe.

Family – Figuring out how to have conversations with your partner and get along in your relationships and family.

Relationships – Learning how to express your emotions and what you need in your relationships.

Identity – Understanding what it really means to be a cross-dresser.

Career – Knowing your rights and how to be true to yourself in your job or career.

Education – Finding the right resources to learn what you need to know.

Living Authentically – The everyday aspects of cross-dressing and where to find the support you need, both emotionally and practically.

Counseling for cross-dressers is all about assisting people in understanding and dealing with their strong desire to wear clothes typically associated with the opposite gender. It’s about helping them feel good about who they are.

For most cross-dressers, this is an important part of their lives, and it’s crucial to boost their self-esteem and confidence while providing emotional support and practical advice. Whether it’s finding the right clothes and makeup or talking to loved ones, I’m here to help with whatever you need.

Talking to an empathetic therapist can make a big difference when you’re dealing with this challenging aspect of your life. Knowing that your counselor has experience in working with cross-dressing and gender-related issues for many years can enhance the therapeutic process and your connection with your counselor.

I’m Paul Parkin – A therapist and life coach, and this is why men who cross-dress should work with me:

Paul Parkin- Online Therapist and Life Coach for Cross-DressingI was the first therapist to do research with cross-dressers and help them, along with their partners and families, all with my own eclectic, compassionate way of working.

I’m fully qualified in the UK and have 15 years of experience working with cross-dressers and their loved ones.

I use various counseling and life coaching techniques to find practical solutions to problems.

What some of my recent clients have said about our work together.

‘I was encouraged to seek counselling after being ‘found out’ at home.

I initially looked at some other counselling websites suggested to me, but was sceptical that they would have anyone with knowledge of the topic of cross-dressing or who I could speak to in a non-judgemental way.

It was therefore a relief to come across Paul’s website, with its background information and articles on the topic, which made me feel less isolated.

Despite being wary of counselling and of discussing personal issues, I found it easy to speak to Paul in my first session. He is completely non-judgemental and really understands the subject.

It was reassuring to understand where the urge to cross-dress originates from, and to hear Paul’s insights on the topic, based on many years’ experience, and learn of some of the options for managing it.’

R. UK.
June 2024.

‘Paul is a very caring and thoughtful therapist.

It was the first time I was able to openly speak about some troubling things in my life.

I had been very ashamed about cross-dressing since early childhood. Paul gave me a different perspective and explained in very clear terms what origins of this behaviour could be.

I felt heard and being listened to and his explanation and advice took away a lot of pressure and unhelpful emotions.

I am very grateful to have found him online.’

F. Germany.
May 2024.

‘I am 76 in August this year and have been a crossdresser since around the age of 8.

I started to look for a counsellor but found it very difficult to find anyone who had experience in crossdressing, that is until I came across Paul Parkin’s website. Both my wife and I read the information on his website and decided to book an initial consultation for me. On the basis that I have, apart from my wife, not spoken to anybody about my crossdressing before, it was a big step for me. Paul is non- judgemental and was very clear in his approach to the possible causes of my crossdressing and at the same time looked at the position from my wife’s point of view, something I found very interesting but also daunting.

Of course, it is very easy to say that everything became clear after the initial consultation but what it actually did was to open a lot of the boxes that I had put my thoughts into over the past 67 years. I have booked another meeting with Paul to continue with my journey and would urge anybody who is struggling with their relationship because of their crossdressing to speak to Paul.’

P. UK.
May 2024.

‘I do not know you. I do not know your circumstances, fears or what you believe to be your purpose.

Maybe you’ve come to a crossroad in your journey, like myself. This was not my first stop or attempt to find answers or seek help.

I believe I have found safe harbor and a very real place to mend my nets and return to a worthy course.

As a cross-dresser for most all my life (over 55 years), it has been the thrill of my life that has turned against me.

I cannot deny the pull remains as strong and warm as the aroma of wet nail lacquer, the feel of fresh lipstick, those finishing touches to become femme.

But I seek another way to feel whole and to understand. My closet is no longer large enough to hide within.

Outside is an unacceptable reality. My wife is more important and of a value that I cannot quantify. You and I have choice. I am here for that reason.

You read this (I believe) because you have a need to know and looking within while the shadows of your closet offer no answers.

I was dubious reaching out to Paul, after all, it was a different society from my small town America, but what he shares as his testimony told me this was worth the risk.

I say without equivocation, I have found where I need to be in my search.

Paul Parkin is a Godsend to this flawed man. Take the chance. You may well also find the help and answers you seek.

Best of luck and prayers for you. It is not easy.’

Vernon, an American. TIMSHEL!
April 2024.

‘I struggled for most of my life about how to deal with fears and anxiety.

I then reached out to Paul and after two short conversations, I was able to understand why I was struggling and what to do going forward.

Reaching out to Paul has really helped me and I’m very grateful.’

K. UK.
April 2024.

Paul is experienced with guys like us and has practical advice to manage obtrusive thoughts. His guidance has been helpful to maintain a healthy romantic relationship and grow closer with my partner.

March 2024.

‘Paul has been a great help to me. I got the session because I didn’t know what exactly it meant or what it was what I was doing.

He could really clarify why people start crossdressing and what it means. He hit the nail right home with me. He is very knowledgeable about this subject, and a lot of other therapists don’t have this knowledge (because it is kind of a misunderstood subject).

Also he gave me clear handles to work on in my life so I can be more resilient and self-worth.’

Anonymous, Netherlands.
October 2023.

‘After more than 20 years of marriage my wife discovered that I am a crossdresser and overnight, my whole life and not just my marriage was in crisis. In short, my wife and I needed professional help and after a false start with an inexperienced and reckless counsellor, we thankfully found Paul.

He has been a pillar of support for my wife in helping her to reason and understand my crossdressing, and has provided a catalyst for open and honest conversations with each other.

He has been instrumental in helping me to develop a roadmap to an authentic life, to begin to shake off a lifetime of shame, anger and patterns of self-centered behaviour.

Paul has also taught me strategies and techniques to break life-long habitual anxieties that had become part of my persona and affected those around me.

Paul has literally offered me a new start from within myself and I will be forever grateful for his professional help. It is all a work in progress, but the progression feeds a certain contentment.’

Anonymous, USA.
August 2023.

‘I am so glad that I contacted Paul and began online counseling sessions. After almost 30 years of mostly secretive cross-dressing, I had reached a point where I was unsure about myself and my marriage was teetering.

The apprehension of having an online meeting with a total stranger was quickly alleviated when I met Paul. He is caring and compassionate. His insights and guidance have allowed me to better understand and accept myself as well as helping to mend my relationship with my wife and family.

He has been flexible with appointments, and has also offered extra sessions when needed.

If you are reading these testimonials and are unsure, as I was. Please do yourself a favor and set up an appointment.’

Henry, USA.
April 2023.

‘I highly recommend Paul to anyone seeking guidance and support. As someone who initially approached him with concerns about cross-dressing, I can say that he has helped me gain a better understanding of myself and my identity. Their approach has been non-judgemental, allowing me to explore my concerns in a safe and supportive way.

Paul has also been able to help combat negative self-talk and feel more positive about myself. He is easy to talk to and I have always felt understood during our sessions.

Overall, I am grateful for the help and support that Paul has given me and highly recommend his services to anyone seeking a compassionate and knowledgeable therapist.’

Phil, UK.
April 2023.

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