Is cross-dressing wrong?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Is wanting to crossdress on halloween,Comic-Con or just occasionally outside of that wrong? I personally don’t see the harm in it. Also what is the best to handle family or friends on this? Last but not least is I would like to try out bondage any advice if I choose to do so? Thanks

A: Halloween and Comic-Cons are cultually sanctioned times for going against the “norm.” Outside of those occasions is a different story. From a psychological perspective, it’s not a question of right or wrong. It’s whether doing such things as cross-dressing will interfere with social, occupational, or daily functioning. If it doesn’t get in the way of living your life, it’s not a problem. If it does get in your way, then you need to look at what is driving the behavior that may not be healthy.

The fact that you are concerned about how family and friends will handle your choices says to me that you have things to be concerned about. Only you can decide if risking those relationships in some way is worth telling them about the pleasure you get from cross-dressing. The alternative is to enjoy it in the privacy of your own home. Similarly, bondage isn’t about right or wrong. It’s about whether you and a partner mutually enjoy it and do it in a way that is safe for both. The submissive partner absolutely must have a safety signal for being released that is totally respected.

Cross-dressing and bondage for sexual pleasure – when done safely, privately, and with a loving partner – are benign paraphilias. They don’t hurt you. They don’t hurt your partner. Many people enjoy them but they are outside the typical. Some religions have moral sanctions against these behaviors, which may be a consideration for you.

If you are struggling with making personal decisions around what is and isn’t okay for you, I encourage you to seek out a counselor to talk to. A counselor can help you understand your interests and desires without judgment so that you can make decisions that are comfortable for you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Is cross-dressing wrong?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/12/is-cross-dressing-wrong/