Woman in a Man’s Body

Could you please advise me? I am a 58 year-old man, and feel like a woman in a man’s body. I am feminine, and have said to myself that I should have been a woman. I have breasts, and a bum, and legs which are feminine. Do I have a lot of feminine genes?

I have not consulted a GP as I am happy as I am. I am not gay, but get approached by gay men. I have a super wife, and have been married for 38 years. We have a good sexual relationship, and as I have breasts, she is into playing with them when we have sex.

I think also she thinks I am feminine. I love to wear feminine underwear, and dresses etc and get on well with other women, and find men boring. I am not a transvestite.

There are 3 aspects to our gender. One is our actual gender, established in our chromosomes. In men, one of the two sex chromosomes is an X and one is a Y. In women, it’s XX. You can’t change your chromosomes – if you have XY, you’re male. The second determinant is your gender identity, usually fixed within the first two or three years of your life. This is your inner feeling of maleness or femaleness and once established it usually cannot be changed. Usually, your gender identity is congruent with your physical gender but you can have a male body with female gender identity or a female body with male gender identity. The third is your gender orientation – which sex you find sexually attractive. You can be male and oriented towards women, or male and oriented towards men.

You were born with XY chromosomes, have a male body with penis and testicles and that makes you male. Genes, however, have nothing to do with what you feel about your sexuality. All men have breasts and a bum. Some have soft, large bums and noticeable breasts just as some totally feminine women have hard, firm bums and small breasts. It’s more to do with body weight and fitness than sexuality. Most men find the nipples a source of sexual pleasure, too. Male and female bodies have more in common than they have differences and nipples in both sexes are sensitive and are erogenous zones.

While I do agree there is such a thing as gaydar (that sixth sense that tells a gay man or lesbian he or she is in the presence of another) I should point out that most men and women can say they’ve been approached by a member of the same sex, just as they can say they’ve been approached by members of the opposite sex. It’s not proof or even suggestive of your own sexuality.

And as for getting on with women and finding men boring…well, join the club. So do most men! Still not proof of your sexuality or gender. Liking to wear feminine clothes is about as close a definition I can come up with for being transvestite. It’s certainly not indicative of female gender – many women prefer to wear jeans and t-shirts.

If you’re looking for a genetic explanation for your feelings, perhaps to be able to say it’s not your “fault” or responsibility, you won’t find it. But it’s not your “fault” anyway. If you really do feel like a woman in a man’s body, we could be talking gender identity confusion, where the body does not fit your inner feelings and it is something that comes about very early in life. You can have a male body, be attracted to women yet still feel as if your real body should be female. This isn’t transvestitism but transsexualism. If you’re happy as you are, then why worry?

You’re not unusual or abnormal so just enjoy the sex life the two of you have together. Whatever you do or enjoy is nobody’s business but your own. If you do want to learn more, however, you could contact The Beaumont Society, the longest established transgendered support group in the UK. They have a support network for the Transgendered, Transvestite, Transsexual and Cross Dressing community and their partners. Their address is 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3XX. The 24 Hour Info Line is on 01582 412220 and their website is at www.beaumontsociety.org.uk

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