It's very difficult to know what to write here without violating the privacy of people I care a lot about. I know I tend to overshare. I'm going to try not to here.
This is provoked by a frequent claim made by certain people, probably often those who give me funny looks, that M2F trans is a fetish. For instance, Germaine Greer describes us in that way and so of course does Janice Raymond. There is in fact a whole taxonomy based on the idea. What gets me about this is that in spite of their apparent position on the relationships between men and women, they consider that to be a criticism. I will explain this, but before I do that I'm afraid I'm going to have to bore you with my life story and make oblique references to my sex life. In a way, I could be said to be sinking to their level in doing this.
So let's start with me. I can still remember the moment when I realised I was a "pervert", i.e. that what turned me on had no apparent connection with what I'd heard about what people do in bed. In fact it was so different from what happens in the bedroom that until you-know-what happened, I didn't even realise it was sexual myself. No, I am not going to say what it is, not entirely. This is because I don't want to rub your faces in my sad twinges. Suffice it to say that there were two things and neither of them had anything to do with wearing "women's" clothing in any way, shape or form. Nor are they anything to do with having anything chopped off, removed or added. A few of you might know what they are, and you can confirm that it's nothing to do with wanting to change sex, to put it bluntly.
Once this had happened and the full horror of the situation hit me, I became aware of the ominous silence in my loins concerning other human beings. I experimented with thinking about them in supposedly sexual situations but nothing happened. It just bored me and it couldn't grab my attention. This led to a lot of anxiety. I wanted to want sex but I didn't. The reason I wanted to want sex was that I wanted to be normal, I wanted to be wanted and I wanted to show affection in that way so I could build some kind of love affair on it, one appropriate for an early teen anyway. I so wanted to hold hands, to kiss, to cuddle, all that, but what I did not, could not, want, as such, was to make the beast with two backs, not even a little bit, not ever, not in itself. Except that I did. I did because I wanted to want sex. And that's what all that was about, all you people who will never read this passage but whose names I am tempted to check but will resist.
Eventually I solved the problem, although I'm not going to tell you how. However, at the same time I became aware that there was a positive aspect to all this. It meant that whereas it was possible to accuse certain people of behaving disrespectfully towards women or objectifying them, I had the option, even the compulsion, not to do so in a sexual way. The complete absence of lust for people has an up side there. Also, it makes sex itself very special indeed as a positive expression of how I feel about someone. It means there is never any temptation to be unfaithful. As well as all that, I do also realise that you can get closer to people emotionally through sex, so that is another good reason to do so. Mine is a life devoid of lust, temptation by others, stupid decisions driven by thinking with your genitals and staying with people merely because I fancy them. None of that is in my life, to my great relief. Incidentally, none of this means I lack passion for people, or that I want to be single as such. Anyone who knows me will be aware that this is not so.
The reason all this is possible is that I had a strong sexual deviation for something very unusual. If I wanted sexual gratification, I could use that.
So to return to Miscs Greer, Raymond and the like, who criticise us because of the possibility that we might be autogynephilic or really into wearing dresses in a kinky way. Two things about that:
Speaking for myself, I can place my paraphilias next to the desire to be physically female, and of course I am sitting here in tights, a bra, knickers, a dress, a scarf, nail varnish, with jewellery and make up etc, none of which is turning me on even slightly but which you could be forgiven for thinking is, that's fair enough, and be startlingly aware of the gulf of difference which exists between the two types of desires. I want my body to match my gender in the same way as an amputee might want their limb back, in the same way as a prisoner might want to be out of jail and in the same way as a diabetic might want their body to be able to control its sugar metabolism. I do not want my body to match my gender in the same way as someone might want to be tied up and whipped, and when I say that I say it with the utmost respect for people who are in fact into BDSM. Which leads me to the second point
Something I can agree strongly on with the people who tend to equate what I'm doing here with a fetish is that I don't want women to be objectified sexually. Incidentally, if they want to be objectified, someone else can do that job. It's not like it makes sense for me to do it just because someone wants me to and in any case it's very far-fetched and irrelevant to imagine such a situation arising. I'm not into being trivially and superficially interested in people's bodies in that way thank you. It interests me about as much as football or watching paint which has already dried. Anyway, in order to achieve that end, a "man" might want to indulge "his" fetish of dressing like this and "he" might find it a turn on to do so. Surely, if that happens, the response of a woman who does not wish men to be objectified ought to be approval, should it not?
So they don't want men to lust after women but they also don't want these people they insult by calling "men" to indulge a supposed fetish which would mean they weren't. Why exactly is that? Would they prefer them to be objectifying the people they think of as women instead? According to them, that's the alternative.
Finally, not wishing to embarrass anyone and therefore mentioning no names, here is a list of what the last few transwomen I saw were wearing at the time I saw them:
A loose-fitting plain black cotton tunic made with a black knitted cardigan on top.
Shorts and a T-shirt.
A blouse and jeans.
A checked shirt and jogging bottoms.
Right, so they clearly have fetishes for all that then? Yeah, right.