I concur with the therapists who told you that you should embrace who you are. Until you can accept the fact that you like to cross-dress during sex you will never be fully happy. If you pretend that you do not desire to cross-dress, when you do in fact want to, you then are not being who you truly are and this will continue to cause you significant life distress.
There is nothing wrong with your desire to wear women’s lingerie and panties as long as you do not expose your children to it or harm anyone in the process. This would be true for any alternative sex practice. As you mentioned, you are interested in cross-dressing for the purpose of getting aroused during sex. There are many people who engage in alternative sex practices such as bondage, S&M, role playing, and much more during sex. But usually, once the sex act is over they go back to their normal, everyday lives. Bondage, S&M, role playing and most other sexual practices, and yes even-cross dressing, are perfectly normal sexual interests.
If I were to meet you in person, I’d inquire about how you perceive your behavior and what you think of cross-dressers. I would be interested in knowing that information because there is a good chance that you hold certain negative assumptions about yourself and cross-dressers in general.
For instance, you may feel that you are some sort of “sexual deviant” because what “real” man would want to dress up in women’s clothing? Or you may think that you are a “bad person” for not wanting “normal” sex and feel guilty because you are “not like everybody else.” Or maybe you feel guilty for “having your wife endure such a fetish.” Maybe you think that this activity means you are gay and you have negative opinions of homosexuals.
If you do believe in the aforementioned ideas, you would be completely wrong. You need to know the truth and accept the truth. There is nothing deviant about your fetish nor are you a “bad person” or a “sexual deviant.” You are a person who simply has a preference for a particular sexual fetish. Sex is only sex and once it ends life goes on as normal. You are not harming anyone when you wear panties during sex and you have the added bonus of having a wife who understands you and accepts you for you. Many men would not be so lucky.
With regard to your son, you should try to shield your son from this and not because you are engaging in “deviant behavior” but because your son should not be exposed to the sex practices of his parents. Not only does he not need to know (or anyone else because sex with your wife is a private matter) but he’d probably find it “gross,” as all youth do.
Only you can change the way you think about yourself and I challenge you to examine your self-assumptions and only accept the truth about your situation. What I wrote above is true; there is nothing wrong with you no matter what you may think.
Be courageous and stop caring what other people think. Also, don’t let culture lead you to believe that something is wrong with you and simply be yourself. I can assure you that being anything but yourself will only prolong your suffering and distress and frankly, life is too short for that.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on November 24, 2008.