Q: What are your thoughts on cross-dressing? I occasionally have this desire and act on it, always in private. I call a phone sex line and tell the woman that I am wearing a skirt or panties (which I am). I know these thoughts won’t go away, but what do they mean? How do I deal with them in a relationship?
Dr. Klein: Cross-dressers (men who wear women’s clothes, often for sexual pleasure) are usually heterosexual men who want to have sex with women. Cross-dressing can have several sources, almost always in childhood. Sometimes trauma is involved, sometimes an over-involved mother, sometimes a worshipped sister or other female figure, and sometimes none of these. Some young men outgrow this desire; in most men, it rarely disappears. Therefore, coming to terms with your cross-dressing is absolutely essential. It is not a moral weakness, does not meet you’re gay, does not mean you can’t be a good parent or lover. Do not try to hide this from a prospective partner; rather, let her know you have this preference, and let her get to know you for the complete person you are. If the rest of you is personable and loving, you–like other cross-dressers–will find a special someone.