Hobby? Fetish? Lifestyle? What is crossdressing to you?
Courtesy of Dictionary.com
hob•by noun, plural hob•bies. – an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation..
fet•ish [fet-ish, fee-tish] Show IPA noun 1. an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency. 2. any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades. 3. Psychology . any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.
life•style [lahyf-stahyl] Show IPA noun 1. the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group. adjective 2. pertaining to or catering to a certain lifestyle: unhealthy lifestyle choices; lifestyle advertising; a luxury lifestyle hotel.
Three words that are often used in association with crossdressing. There are certainly many others, but these are the first three that came to mind.
Since early on in my crossdressing experience, I resisted the use of the word HOBBY to describe this activity. I thought it trivialized it, but I also refused to acknowledge that it may be a fetish. That notion scared me when I was younger, but in my teens was probably very applicable. I would not consider my level of crossdressing as a lifestyle though there are many out there for whom this is true. As most of us know, there are an infinite number of degrees of crossdressing. It’s like the light spectrum; you can never tell when one colour ends and a new one begins.
I am starting to rethink the use of the term HOBBY.
As one goes through like, situations change. Understand of one’s life and everything around changes. My understanding and participation in crossdressing has changed.
Since I was young, I have been involved in a number of hobbies. Ok, I’m coming out of the closet with this one, I’m a model railroader, HO scale. Well, was. I also have built many…dozens…of model aircraft, 1/144 scale airlines and 1/72 military aircraft. There was also a short lived foray into RC planes. The trains, track and buildings have been in boxes for over 10 years, ever since my last aborted attempt to set up a layout was overcome by basement renovations. Most of the dozens of model aircraft have been in the same boxes for close to 20 years. I really don’t know why I still have them. These three hobbies seem to have outlived their usefulness. But, if I had continued with any one of them, let alone all three, I could have spent many an hour and many a dollar perfecting the end product. In the past, whenever I have made a purchase for Michelle, I have always felt a bit guilty, spending money on this activity. However, reading the definition above of HOBBY and knowing this is not something I do all the time, I could get use to the idea of calling it a hobby. Monies spent on a hobby are innocent. So now I could justify the occasional purchase in the name of a hobby. I know I am a bit of a perfectionist, that was always evident in my fine detaining of my models and this attention to detail, I hope, I have brought to my crossdressing.
Now being comfortable calling this a hobby, I would also like to redefine the activity I partake in.
In my ever expanding reading repertoire, I have read many differing opinions on crossdressing. I consider myself to be an open minded individual and I don’t necessary agree with others ideas on crossdressing or how to stop it (if you so desired). I recently read one persons thoughts on how those of us who dress completely as a woman (and may even venture out) are trying to deceive both the public and ourselves. That we are somehow betraying our male selves, giving in to some unseen evil. Sorry, not my take on things. One of the best and most accurate descriptions of what I believe I now do when I cross-dress, is best defined by Alexis Alexandra as “Crossacting”. I love this term. When I get dressed (other than a few times I have tried the “underdressing” thing) I have to go the whole distance. I want to look as feminine as possible. I want to achieve that holy grail of passing. I have no intention of becoming a woman, I am not denying to myself that I am a male (I’m very happy being one, thank you), but for that time when the desire so occurs, I want to portray a woman as best I can, act the part, be the part and if going out in public, receive the recognition for a stellar performance as an actor/actress; passing. I had never considered it this way until I came across Alexi’s blog. Thanks Alexis, a tip of the hat, or more appropriately, a curtsy to you.
At this point I will just add that I cannot do the partial dressing, wearing just a dress or skirt around the house while in guy mode. I have seen myself in the mirror like this a couple of times when trying something on and I find it…..disturbing. This is not the crossdresser I am, but for others, they would have it no other way.
And so I think I may have found myself a new hobby within that wide spectrum of crossdressing, known as crossacting. Or at the least, a new definition for what I do.