Ask Jane, Column 15

Can Hypnosis Help?

Hi Jane,

First, I want to say that I am one of your most dearest fans, and love how you support the crossdressing community.

I just read a letter to you from a crossdresser who inquired about self-hypnosis to embody their femininity. I have been crossdressing on and off for at least ten years. I have tried to stop by just discarding the clothes; but have come to realize that you can throw away the clothes, but you cannot throw away the feeling or desire.

My question to you is; can some form of hypnosis be used to take away the need or desire to crossdress?

If I can stop, I want to stop; if I cannot stop, then I want to start to accept it and possibly come out of the closet and enjoy the feeling and indulge myself to another level.

Another Crossdresser

Hi, Sweetheart,

In my experience, I’ve not seen it possible to rid ourselves of fundamental urges through hypnosis. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t or can’t happen, just that I haven’t seen it in my 15 years of communicating with members of the TG and fetish communities.

But not every sexologist feels as I do. I have a physician friend in Zurich who is studying a method a French therapist has developed that is supposed to divert urges for those with sexual “issues.”

I listen to my friend excitedly tell of the Frenchman’s methodologies and I try to keep an open mind … but I honestly do not think we can rewire the brain on a deep enough level to refocus the primal desire that is crossdressing. She doesn’t cite cases that, to me, prove the method’s effectiveness long-term.

Our wiring goes deep. I am wired to respond to emotional upset by overeating; for me, this goes as deeply as your urge to crossdress. I once weighed 200 pounds and I tried hypnosis and acupuncture, among many other things. Many years ago, I finally accepted that I have this urge … and I manage it. But I’ve accepted that the urge itself is unlikely to ever go away.

They’re terribly complex, our needs and desires. Anyone who professes to “know” where they come from is likely mistaken … the mystery will remain a mystery. And that’s why, as a sexologist, I advocate acceptance of our desires in lieu of taking up battle with them.

As you eloquently said, you can throw away the clothes but not the desire. I wish you’d give yourself permission to enjoy yourself … the feelings this activity calls up in your body and mind both are gifts to you, if you choose to see it that way … you receive comfort and joy and sexual release and a chance to slip out of one stressful life into one that’s gentle and undemanding. I ask you, What could be better than that?

If crossdressing were celebrated – say, the way the gay lifestyle is these days (at least here in San Francisco), would you be so keen to stop? Probably not. It’s the lack of social acceptance that drives our shame, guilt, and hatred of the activity. That’s why self-acceptance is the most promising path to freedom.

I wish I could give you the gift of a “free pass” … Instead of feeling anxious and bad about yourself, my free pass would allow you to dress up one time and enjoy the freedom and sexiness of your private pleasures.



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