Nikki & John podcast covers "Autogynephilia". You have to listen to this one!

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Nikki & John podcast covers "Autogynephilia". You have to listen to this one!

jackmolay
Joined: 16 Nov 2015, 19:24

24 Oct 2017, 12:23 #1

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John and Nikki have a very popular blog on open sexual relationships and they have now made a long episode on crossdreaming. 

The fact that they do so, is great. 

They reflect on "the tragic comedy of the world" which leads to the possible conflict between a man who wants to express femininity and a woman who is looking to have her femininity affirmed by a man. The way they talk about this in such an open and intelligent way is refreshing and helpful. 

I find the way they discuss masculine and feminine energies particularly helpful.

John goes into how his shame and guilt caused him to lie about his sexuality to Nikki. Nikki talks about her disappointments, hurt and anger, much of caused by John not being open about this.  But she also talks about how John's crossdreaming fantasies have challenged her open attitude towards "sexual kinks".

They also  look at the pros and cons of crossdressing and sexual role playing games in a relationship where they are both  "bottoms".

John also talks about how his crossdreaming has caused him to question his gender identity, and they both discuss the possibility of John transitioning. John has decided not to transition, but they both agree that he has to take this very seriously and continue to explore what this is. 

Nikki compares crossdreaming to fire. If you are not careful, it can cause a lot of damage. She is right about that.

Unfortunately they use language that can be interpreted as support for the "crossdreaming is autoerotic" narrative, which is, as I see it, far too limiting. And they miss the fact that the "autogynephilia" term has a lot of transphobic, sexist, baggage. 

Nikki argues that being motivated by "AGP" does not invalidate the female identity of a trans woman who has transitioned, and I obviously agree, but they seem to  miss the point that for many trans women crossdreaming fantasies are just one of many ways gender dysphoria may express itself. Crossdreaming is one of many possible symptoms, not a cause.

Listen to it here: 
or here: https://player.fm/series/opening-up-beh ... nsequences
It is available on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ope ... 74248?mt=2

For a summary of my take on the autogynephilia theory and why it is wrong to reduce it autoeroticism, see my blog: http://www.crossdreamers.com/2014/07/th ... again.html

See also Felix' book Fact or Fetish - Reality or Delusion? http://amzn.to/2h4ceXV

Thanks to X for telling me about this podcast!
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birdy
Joined: 30 Aug 2016, 21:10

24 Oct 2017, 17:41 #2

wow... so many places this touched me, touch is too weak.

i was in a civil  union kind of marriage for 18 years with a Woman i felt was my absolute best and only one, a real soul-mate... but i - we - didn't come close to what these two have done in this, i think really historic recording... that relationship is gone now, we still know and love one another but of course, it's only a faint echo now of what we were and never succeeded in preserving and growing.

so for me, listening to this was quite important. i'm moved to reach out to my former partner and share this with her somehow, thought about offering to get her a room in my town so she could come visit and have us spend a day to listen together... but probably not... it would just hurt her too much i'm sure... our chance was in the 90's, and that was a long time ago now.

one thing though is that i am feeling kind of better about my - our - "failure" in the sense that John really, really hasn't gotten anywhere for all the work and progress: he still "can't say" what his "AGP" means to him. i think of Nikki's metaphor about fire and see John here as once again hiding a truth that he can't really face... he can't say what the fire means to him. if that's the case there is great danger...  he is still trying to control something, to limit something, but inside he wants it to be free and he just can't reconcile that with his other requirement to be in a relationship with Nikki...

at one point John talks about how Nikki is the one or he would rather be with no one... i made the latter choice a long time ago...

i feel that unlike John, my path took a different turn with regard to gender identity... i have no doubt whatsoever that i am not a Man. i have questions about what that leaves me, but working through that is far healthier and kind than trying to continue being what i KNOW i'm not.

i, like John, still haven't resolved the question of what does my feeling "like a Woman" mean in terms of sexual orientation to me... and now that i've begun transition, it seems from my point of view today much less likely that i will... opportunities to meet people are scarce... i spent a couple of weekends putting ads on craigslist and renting a motel room where i entertained my best choices from the answering group, but that was obviously an entirely unsustainable and high-risk activity that i'll never repeat... although i did learn a LOT that was incredibly important about myself and sex...

since coming out totally, throwing away my Man clothes (not worn since november 2015, just about a year now, just after the above mentioned episode) and then starting HRT 8 months ago, my libido has dwindled to close to zero. for the first time in my life i'm not a bifurcated person, living a calm outward life with a secret crazy sex-fiend in the closet waiting at home... me being bronwen has just... smoothed that all out and i feel great. occasionally i have gone back to the webcam, where i love to perform... which i think after listening to Nikki reflects that my sexual identity is like hers: to give pleasure and to be desired for that... and recently to my complete surprise a crossdresser wrote to the email address i've had posted on my webcam profile, and beyond belief, they lived close and we did actually have a little "date"... i went to their second home, the one where they have privacy and can cheat on his long time wife... we tried to have fun but i'm so inexperienced and we really both wanted to be "bottoms" which was just... weird really... not to mention the ethical disgust i have with participating in someone else's dishonesty with their partner... it offends me and i'm ashamed of my selfishness to have done it. as i say.... opportunities to find people to work this all out with are scarce.

anyway... obviously this recording, these people's brave and honest sharing, has moved me, and i am once again humbled, grateful,and blessed by the love and help from all of you people that benefits me so much in this way... to learn and keep growing, and come to rest at a place of peace and love...

<3 birdy
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jackmolay
Joined: 16 Nov 2015, 19:24

25 Oct 2017, 08:11 #3

One important message from this tape is the way not talking about crossdreaming can hurt a relationship. Nikki's expression of hurt and anger because of the "lies" echoes a recent comment to my blog post on telling your partner. 

You can read it here: http://www.crossdreamers.com/2017/07/te ... 9224200069

My wife's reaction to coming out was a similar one: Hurt for being left out of this important part of my life.

 What we are facing here is a toxic kind of negative feedback loop:

Social expectations and cultural taboos induces guilt and shame, and that guilt and shame causes MTF crossdreamers to keep their crossdreaming secret. They also  fear that a revelation will cause their loved one to leave them, or at least despise them. And that happens quite often, so it is not an irrational fear.

Yet, at the same time this secrecy makes the pain felt by both parties much, much worse.

Ultimately it is transphobia and homophobia (external and internalized) that powers this circle of despair, but until the power of good prevails, we have to live in a world like this, and that makes it very hard to come up with a recommendation that makes sense to everyone.

That being said: The main lesson here is that it is normally much better to be open about this than not. Moreover, your partner deserves to know.
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Koloa
Joined: 19 Nov 2015, 02:10

27 Oct 2017, 20:06 #4

I stumbled on that John and Nikki podcast Jack posted and it brought me back here.  I found it very moving and triggering and even though I have differences from John and Nikki is nothing like my wife, It hit pretty close to home.

As I predicted, crossdreaming comes and goes for me and as long as it does not fall into and additive spiral its not the main show in my life, identity, or even sexuality.  But the lack of intimacy in my marriage, my wife's choice, tends to guide me to deal with my sexual tensions using solo crossdreaming and that is a source of dissatisfaction for me.

For all that is great about our marriage I can't get my wife to talk on any level of emotional intimacy. She wont discuss couples or individual therapy and is very strong wild.  But that lack of intimacy seems to suggest she is carrying something around she thinks is shameful.  But I can hardly break the ice about this 'thing' that I have when we can't even talk about what sexual positions we like or when we will have sex.   Maybe that is just a cop out.  I don't know what to do short of leaving her.  I would be fine, but I love her too much for that.  Perhaps I shouldn't love her so much but how do choose that?

I sound like a broken record.
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April
Joined: 17 Nov 2015, 16:32

27 Oct 2017, 21:03 #5

Koloa, It's good to see you back, and don't be such a stranger. Love is sort of a tricky thing sometimes. I wish you the best on whatever you eventually decide to do.
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oreb
Joined: 14 May 2017, 21:32

27 Oct 2017, 23:02 #6

jackmolay wrote:... and a woman who is looking to have her femininity affirmed by a man. 
Hihi. 
 
I don't know... these people talking as if their marriage were a capitalist venture of sorts, going through data sheets and analyzing the semester's results... Sexual bucket list? Jezuz. 

Why doesn't she want him to try to have sex with men? If AGP is just a kink and John's interaction with men in his fantasies are totally subordinate to this kink what harm is there in it? Not "AGP sex", just regular sex with another man. It will either contribute to solidify in John's mind the notion of the whole thing as a kink (if it fails) or else just show John is bisexual (with which I'm sure she would be totally ok, challenging as it is) and provide him with some additional source of external sexual stimulus and solidify his sense of self.     
 
I don't like the use of the word "stimulus" and the binary categorization of arousal into autoerotic or not according to whether the stimulus is internal or external. Thinks are much more complicated than that. Neither how they use the words "healthy" and "identity". 
As I see it, identity is, for the most part, something learnt/constructed. And it tends to always be happy with itself. I used to be very 'happy with' my identity as somebody detached, cold and prudent even if, in retrospective, this was a reaction to a sense of shame and vulnerability and didn't fit that much with the way I was inclined to behave. I would leave it in 'am I happy' instead of 'am I happy with'

Nikki: I want to be chased. Yeah, yeah, welcome to the club. 
Anyhow, I think these two people over exaggerate the importance of having perfect sex in a relationship. And trying to obsessively optimize everything in life is not, hmmm... a healthy attitude. :-p  Nothing that a pair of children cannot solve, though. 

Damn couples; they make me sour. We hates them. Yess, my dear.   
I didn't break the words! I am the words!!
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Katya
Joined: 03 Sep 2017, 11:03

28 Oct 2017, 15:29 #7

 And trying to obsessively optimize everything in life is not, hmmm... a healthy attitude. :-p
Wow!  +1000! I love you, Oreb. It is a very intresting idea. Do you think that evaluation of perspective of transition is also a form of obsessive optimization? John in psychotherapy also tried to "optimize" his gender identity. It is exactly what I do now in psychotherapy...
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jackmolay
Joined: 16 Nov 2015, 19:24

29 Oct 2017, 11:06 #8

I will not republish the emails I have gotten from the two of them here, but I am said to say that they stick to defending Blanchard, Bailey and the autogynephilia theory, and fail to understand the harm it has caused transgender people. I am sure John will eventually, and hopefully not before it is too late.

Here is an edited version of my final reply to them. I do not expect any more respomnsed from them in the future:

You are part of this argument. You made yourself part of this argument the moment you started defending the theory of "autogynephilia". Actions like these have consequences.

//Overall, I can understand emotional response to scientific writing. Its blunt and cold and depersonalizing. But scientific writing doesn't and shouldn't cater to emotional response -- it caters to analytical response.//

I find your arrogant dismissal of my arguments as "emotional" both absurd and offending. I have spent ten years of my life discussing crossdreaming and transgender issues with both transgender people and scientists. My dismissal of the autogynephilia theory is based on sound scientific arguments, built on solid data. That is more than you can say about Blanchard's arguments. And yes, I have made the arguments and the underpinning data easy available on the blog and in other fora.

I am also a scientist, as are many of the transgender women who have fought back against Blanchard and Bailey, like Julia Serano, Lynn Conway, Jaimie Veale and Joan Roughgarden. They know all much more about what it means to be transgender than the two B's, and we know the scientific method.

Your belief in objective science is dangerously naive. Science has been used to persecute people of color (eugenics), hospitalize independent women ("hysteria" and "nymphomania"), stop homosexual men and women from getting married and having kids (while using electroshocks and nausea inducing drugs to "cure" them), and reduce the identity of transgender women to one of a sexually perverted men. Science is just as often an instrument of oppression, as a tool for liberation and healing.

The idea that scientists can defend crimes against humanity hide behind "analytical response" argument was dismissed during the Nuremberg trials. Scientists are human beings like everyone else, with prejudices that influence both the selection of data and the interpretation of it.  The strength of the scientific method is that it encourages a discourse between scientists with different backgrounds, not that all scientific findings are objectively true. In fact, scientific theories have in general a very short shelf life. The AGP theory is ignored by most sexologists today.

An ADHD diagnosis does not reduce your identity to a perversion. The AGP diagnosis does, regardless of whether it causes you distress or harm. Bailey does not consider transgender women to be women. I am including a few quotes from his book below.

//We do not believe that they should be stigmatized or that it is inherently problematic to have a mental health diagnosis.//

What you believe here is, frankly, of little relevance to all the transgender people out there. They will have to cope with the fact that the AGP theory is now systematically used by transphobes to force them back into the closet and deny them their basic human rights. This applies to transphobic radical feminists, religious fanatics and the extreme right. That they do so makes sense to me. Why should they accept that trans women are women, when they have a theory that says they are not?

Moreover, I for one do not think of ADHD or autism as "mental illnesses". Where such scientists see the abnormal, I see human diversity and variation. Most of the suffering found among people who are different is not caused by their "condition", but by a society who insists on defining some people as "normal" (whatever that is).

Both the DSM-5 and the upcoming ICD-11 psychiatric manuals now no longer think of gender variance as a mental illness. The manuals do recognize that being transgender can cause mental problems , because of the social and cultural context, and therefore leave room for medical  treatments because of that suffering. This opens the door to state funding (as in my country) or insurance claims (as in yours). There is no need to add the stigma of mental illness.

What you are doing here has consequeses. Serious consequences. Hiding behind the "science" of those who oppress us, and ignoring the science of those who do not is, does not change that fact. 

You have done something really good with your podcast and I admire the courage that made you do this. But I fear that negative consequences of  your AGP-support will annul that positive effect.

Finally:

//We tried to go as far as we could in depathologizing mild and harmless paraphilias, while recognizing that severe paraphilias that distress or impair people or cause them to do harm to others are validly regarded as disorders.// [Quoting Blanchard].

That does not apply to John and me now, does it?  Because our crossdreaming is far from harmless. Nor does it change the "diagnosis" of transgender women, who all feel distress. The quote is Blanchard's "out of jail card". He knows perfectly well that most people will not distinguish between distress and no distress, when the term used is the same for both groups. Blanchard often does this. He actually proposed top include the diagnosis of "autoandrophilia" for female to male transgender people in the DSM-5, in order to placate feminists. He did so in spite of the fact that he does not believe FTM crossdreamers exist. They do exist. I know many of them, and their very existence debunks several of the fundamental principles of Blanchard's theory. No serious scientist would do such a thing. But then again, Blanchard is not a serious scientist. 

More here: http://www.crossdreamers.com/2013/05/ra ... uding.html


Jack


BAILEY ON TRANSGENDER WOMEN

"Supposedly, male-to-female transsexuals are motivated by the deep-seated feeling that they have women's souls. However, - - - men who want to be women are not naturally feminine. There is no sense in which they have women's souls"

"The two types of transsexuals who begin life as males are called homosexual and autogynephilic ... homosexual transsexuals are extremely feminine gay men, and autogynephilic transsexuals are men erotically obsessed with the image of themselves as women." 

" - - - one type of transsexual man is a kind of homosexual man."

"The more resourceful and attractive transsexual prostitutes are call girls."

"Nearly all the homosexual transsexuals I know work as escorts after they have their surgery."

" - - - autogynephilia seems to be a type of paraphilia. Paraphilias comprise a set of unusual sexual preferences that include autogynephilia, masochism, sadism ,... , frotteurism , ... necrophilia, beastiality, and pedophilia."

"Cross-dressing has also been linked to sexual sadism - although most autogynephiles are not sexual sadists, they are more likely to be sadists compared with men who are not autogynephilic"

"Blanchard's ideas have not yet received the widespread attention they deserve, in large part because sex researchers are not as scholarly as they should be and so don’t read the current scientific journals."

"What would make avoiding gay children wrong?" 

"Instead, the real question is whether parental selection in favor of heterosexuality is acceptable. To focus on this question, we have to assume that whatever means parents will use to do this are, in themselves, morally acceptable"

"The desire to have sex with members of the opposite sex helps people have sex that might result in offspring. The number of healthy offspring one leaves if perhaps the best indicator of evolutionary success."


I attach the cover of Bailey's book which is deliberately aimed at ridiculing trans women and depicting them as men. Bailey himself insisted on using this cover.

Bailey is definitely trasphobic.

Imagehttps://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2& ... 3b017ec&zw[/img]
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Katya
Joined: 03 Sep 2017, 11:03

29 Oct 2017, 11:24 #9

"I will not republish the emails I have gotten from the two of them here, but I am said to say that they stick to defending Blanchard, Bailey and the autogynephilia theory, and fail to understand the harm it has caused transgender people. I am sure John will eventually, and hopefully not before it is too late."
I understand his motivation and motivation of mef's enthusiasts. Perspective of transition can be scary, it is much easy to
 accept that you have a kink, a fetish, than accept transgenderism.       
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birdy
Joined: 30 Aug 2016, 21:10

29 Oct 2017, 12:33 #10

i admit that i haven't been able to really absorb what Blanchard's "AGP" shtick is all about... i've read several of your critiques Jack and have been convinced that what you warn against is real... the problem with Blanchard i think might be that if you aren't careful, one could be seduced by a veneer that appears to be really quite easy to relate to at least for me... i think for most of my life, in the closet, i really did express my transgender nature as a purely auto-erotic sexual activity... the insidious thing about Blanchard i think seems to be that if i had found him before i found you, i might have been been persuaded to follow him out of the closet into a straitjacket, at least metaphorically.

i really related to John's distress over his "addictive behavior" (although that language throws up red flags for me too, with so much tripe accepted as being "truth" about "addiction")... but that was in the context of a set of realities all bundled together with my Father's homophobia at the root, with the socialization into a homophobic social environment and the very real consequences of being a "sexual deviant" as object lessons all around... i'm a beneficiary of that social context having opened up over the last couple of decades so that i was able to come out with an idea that what i am is not "sick"... what i am has been tortured and made sick though and i've been emboldened by courageous and intellectually honest persons such as yourself Jack to claim my freedom and health back from the sad small-minded trolls defending the bridges that lead out of the concentration camp of their patriarchal hell.
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