Why do I crossdress?
Crossdressing counselling and support
What is crossdressing?
Crossdressing most often refers to men who have a desire to dress in more feminine clothing. In truth though, it is less about wanting to dress and more of having a need, a deep compulsion to do dress in a more feminine way.
Crossdressing is a lot more common than many people realise, perhaps because it is sometimes described as ‘the last taboo’ and isn’t openly discussed. However, thousands of visitors come to my website after having searched for terms like ‘why do i crossdress?’, ‘why do men crossdress?’ or ‘crossdressing help’. So if you’ve come to this page looking for information and answers, you’re not alone and you have come to the right place. A lot of the people I speak to about crossdressing desperately want to understand themselves better.
Issues that crossdressing can present
Telling your family
How can you talk to your partner about crossdressing? If you have kept it a secret, how can you begin to share this side of yourself with your family and friends?
How can you develop a relationship where you both feel happy, safe and fulfilled? How can you learn to communicate your feelings and needs to each other?
Identity and gender
What does being a crossdresser mean for your identity in private and in public? How does it affect your sense of self-identity and your gender identity?
Career and educational fulfilment
How can you feel authentic, or the real you in work and in education? How can you begin to talk to colleagues and peers about this aspect of who you are, or should you?
How can you live authentically? How will you get the emotional and practical support networks you need in order to be authentic?
The challenges crossdressers face
Of course there is a lot of misunderstanding, misconception and even phobia in society which can make people who are struggling with issues of crossdressing and gender identity feel isolated and lost. Many have experienced a stressful and even traumatic journey that has led them to look for help.
A lot of people assume that a crossdressing man is gay or even has some sort of sexual deviancy, which can make talking about it difficult. Partners of crossdressers can often fear that their boyfriend or husband wants to have a relationship with a man, as a woman. But often crossdressing is not primarily a sexual thing, it’s more to do with a deep desire to connect with a more sensitive side.
A lot of people drawn to crossdressing can have strong feelings of guilt, shame and self-hatred. Learning to accept ourselves can be especially difficult when it comes to crossdressing because a support network and accepting group of friends may feel like something which is a milion miles away. Having someone to talk to about crossdressing, to avoid the isolation and loneliness that some people experience is very important.
In my time as a counsellor I have worked with many men who are struggling with their feelings and sense of identity. Cross dressing counselling can help men to better understand the compulsion they feel and to become more happy, comfortable and confident in themselves. I also help families and friends of men who crossdress, to both understand the issue better and to help them express their feelings and become more comfortable with it.
Why do men crossdress?
There has been a lot of research that looks at why men crossdress. To date there isn’t any conclusive evidence, but a lot of the debate looks at the impact of nature and nurture, which is reminiscent of the debate around sexuality, but it’s important to understand that crossdressing is often not primarily about sex.
It may be genetic, after all, we all begin life as female embryos which is why men have nipples even though they serve no practical purpose. Some research cites fluctuating levels of estrogen and testosterone in a woman during her pregnancy as a possible cause.
Men and women have both of these hormones, and different levels of them often affect our traits and characteristics. These fluctuations probably explain why some men have ways of thinking and acting which is more stereotypically more feminine.
Other research suggests that a person’s environment especially when growing up may be significant. For instance the lack of male role model or the way that a boy is raised in childhood could affect their perceptions and feelings about gender.
Some suggest that men who crossdress may have lost a close family relative and may crossdress as a way of connecting to their memories.
However, understanding some of the possible reasons for crossdressing can only take us so far. Eventually we need to accept ourselves as simply being who we are. Once we do that we can really begin to work through the issues that trouble us.
Crossdressing counselling and therapy – how can it help?
Counselling can help people understand themselves and their compulsion and to work towards feeling more comfortable and ultimately happy about who they are as an authentic person.
Crossdressing is usually a small but very important part of a person’s life. Working on your self-worth and your confidence goes hand in hand with dealing with the practicalities. I often help my clients to find the right clothes as well as providing emotional support and guidance for them to talk to their partners and families.
With a less well understood subject such as crossdressing, it is important that the counsellor you work with properly understands the issues you are likely to be facing. I have several years experience working with men who crossdress. In fact, a large percentage of visitors to my website are here to find information about crossdressing.
As a caring humanistic counsellor I work with a person centred approach that helps people feel relaxed and able to express themselves and I use life coaching strategies to help equip my client with the tools to live a happier life.
Kind words from recent clients
“When I first approached Paul to enquire about counselling I was struggling with cross dressing and gender identity issues. These were long standing concerns which I had already researched extensively but I was having real problems with self acceptance and trying to work out who I was and where I fit into the scheme of things.
From the outset Paul was totally non-judgemental and made it clear that he accepted me as I am without preconditions. Over time he introduced me to a number of tools to help me challenge my ways of thinking and how they could be reframed.
I worked through these procedures conscientiously and they turned out to be really life changing. There were a number of light bulb moments when I suddenly felt as if I was seeing things clearly for the first time and gradually everything just seemed to fall neatly into place.
I can’t say how grateful I am to Paul for sharing his knowledge, insightful help and advice. I think it’s fair to say that my long-standing ghosts have now been laid and thanks to his counselling skills I am able to live an authentic, fulfilling life being me and not someone else’s idea of who I should be.
I know this saying is a cliche but it’s true – ‘Be yourself – everyone else is taken’.
Thanks Paul. A wholehearted recommendation and I’m sure you’ll continue to help others in the kind and skilful way you’ve helped me.”
J, March 2020, UK
“I have had a couple of sessions with Paul to do with my cross-dressing behaviour and for the first time ever feel valued for who I truly am.
I was scared to share my behavior and habits with anyone, so I chose online therapy.
This was the best choice I ever made, I feel accepted and I genuinely feel that I am starting to understand my feelings and behavior for the first time in my life.
I just felt compelled to share this now, even though there is a way to go in my therapy.
Anonymous MI USA
“I contacted Paul Parkin because Google ranked him #1 in the world for cross dressing therapy. What I learned over the first couple of sessions was not only is he the expert in this field, but he is insightful in lots with other life challenges too.
Paul’s in-depth knowledge and caring approach quickly made me feel at ease, valued and accepted.
I hadn’t realised but my early childhood relationships cause me problems in my adult relationships. Paul is helping me explore this important issue too. My relationship with my mother is linked to why I feel a compulsion to crossdress.”
Matthew. NYC USA. April 2018
“Paul helped me to understand why I cross dress, and to feel comfortable with my self.
He also helped me realise ‘there is no shame’ only my fears and unhelpful thoughts, now they’re gone.
Paul also supported my wife and helped her to understand.
Our relationship is much better after chatting with him, I would highly recommend his ‘relationship check-ins’ as a way to improve relationships, it really does work.
Thank you isn’t enough, really Paul you saved us.”
R.B. Indiana, USA. March, 2018
“Paul has helped my wife and I to navigate the very challenging problems we had in our relationship, he has helped me accept and value who I am, and helped me to understand why I cross dress.
He has also provided my wife and I with practical communication tools which have already changed our relationship for the better.”
Fl USA 03/19/2018
I just wanted to give you an update on things. It’s all very good.
I have settled into a gender fluid identity which allows me to express myself fully.
My relationship with my wife is fantastic and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
So thanks for all your help.”
J. UK Jan 2018
“I first approached Paul after opening up to my wife about my cross dressing / gender identity. It is something I have been battling with for a long time. Paul’s excellent counselling made me feel great about who I was and finally lifted a weight from my shoulders. The most important thing to me is my marriage and my wife’s wellbeing. Paul gave me the strategies to effectively communicate with my wife and give her reassurance. After a few rocky weeks, things have settled down and all is well now. Thanks Paul!”
Thanks J. – UK October 2017
‘I was sad, frustrated and didn’t know where to go when I contacted Paul.
My marriage was wonderful but my wife did not know the real me and it was creating barriers that were not fair to either of us.
Paul is so understanding and easy to talk to and, through his guidance, I wrote a letter to my wife, from my heart, which explained why I needed to dress and how I felt deep inside. Her reaction was amazing and a massive burden has been lifted from my shoulders.
We are now on a new journey with Paul constantly there for support if needed. My happiness now, after so many years of suppression, is incalculable.
Thank you so much Paul, you have been, and still are, wonderful’
Rachael – UK September 2017
“I was searching online for some kind of counseling to help me understand my crossdressing tendencies better. I wanted to let my wife know how I felt about it. This was very important to me for her to understand. I was scared of telling her and that’s when I came across Paul Parkin, an online counselor from the U.K. (Which I thought was kind of cool.)
I was a little leery at first not knowing what to expect. However Paul was extremely helpful and understanding and pointed me in the right direction. Paul made me feel comfortable and guided me to give me the courage I needed to tell my wife (which already knew about my crossdressing before we got married) of what I am, and that I wanted to wear panties everyday. My wonderful wife accepted that and we’re getting along even better than before I told her how I felt.
My anxiety and stress levels are almost gone. I’m much happier now able to enjoy living my life without worrying about my wife finding my panties in my dresser drawer, knowing that they belong to me and not some other woman. I’m now able to talk about my crossdressing to my wife without feeling so embarrassed by it anymore.
Thank you Paul, you made my life so much better then it was. I couldn’t of done it without your help. I would recommend you to anyone who needs guidance, especially crossdressing like myself to you. You’re services are very helpful and wonderful to know that it’s available if someone needs guidance to understand themselves better, like I did.
Thank you again Paul.”
Sincerely Jim B.
U.S.A. – June 2017
About Paul – online counsellor, online therapist and life coach
I’ve been working as a counsellor and using life coaching techniques for over 14 years. I believe in online counselling and therapy because it lets me help people wherever they are in the world in a confidential, accessible way and with reduced fees.
I first came across counselling for crossdressing a long time ago when a guy I was dating introduced me to his uncle. He was a married lorry driver with children. He answered the door to us crossdressed and yet very masculine.
I spent a very happy evening with him and his wife about their experience. At first his crossdressing had rocked their marriage to its foundations but over time they had found a way for them both to cope with and accommodate his need. They told me how crossdressing counselling had helped the whole family through a really difficult time and that they now felt happy and fulfilled.
I was so inspired by them and their journey, and I’m delighted that I now regularly help individuals and families who are struggling with gender and crossdressing issues towards a happier future.