A few years ago, I decided at that time to conduct a comprehensive behavioural survey among the members of the MSN community I founded called Paula’s Transvestite World. Several issues had surfaced on the community message-board, and it seemed like a good idea to obtain a better degree of feedback from the membership. In compiling the survey questionnaire, great care was taken in selecting questions; I deliberately chose questions the answers to which I felt would be of the most help to transvestites in understanding both their lifestyles and themselves.
INDEX OF TOPICS
SAMPLE * MARITAL STATUS * AGE-GROUPS * IDENTITY RECOGNITION* MEN'S PREFERENCES * SEXUAL ORIENTATION * SEXUAL PRACTICES * SEXUAL FREQUENCY * SEXUAL ACTIVITIES * TRANSVESTISM, GUILT & RELIGION
100 transvestites and 30 men participated in the Survey.
TRANSVESTITES MEN TOTAL
Total sample 100 30 130
The marital status of both transvestites and men who participated in the survey, expressed in tabular format, is as follows:-
TRANSVESTITES MEN TOTAL TRANSVESTITES MEN TOTAL
MARRIED 52% 53% 52% SINGLE 48% 47% 48%
Note:- Included in the single people are those who have been married, but are now divorced or separated and are currently leading a single lifestyle. The resultant percentages are quite interesting, because to a great degree they coincide with a survey I conducted some years ago, when I worked as a transvestite prostitute. It would appear that both transvestites and the men who use them, are almost equally split between married and unmarried people.
These results are quite interesting. The resultsare broken-down into 10-year segments. Expressed in tabular format, they are:-
AGE TRANSVESTITES MEN TOTAL
16 - 20 2% 3% 2%
21 - 30 18% 10% 16%
31 - 40 32% 40% 34%
41 - 50 30% 30% 30%
51 - 60 16% 17 % 16%
61 - 70 2% 0% 2%
What does this tell us? As I said earlier, I find the results interesting, because - again - they approximately coincide with my own earlier survey. If we are to take the results as representative of transvestites and men who use them in total, and as being fairly indicative of transvestites and their users in general, some interesting conclusions can be drawn. As far as transvestites are concerned, although interest may begin in teenage years, and even in childhood, wearing drag on a regular basis seems to increase in one's 20's and peak in one's 30's. A slight falling-off occurs in one's 40's, but the peak is still maintained. A falling-off in one's 50's could be held to be caused by a variety of factors - remarriage, illness or demise. Indeed, transvestite activity is well known to be at it's height between the ages of 30 - 50. Among single transvestites, it is a way of life; among married ones, a lifeline - or an oasis at which to rest from the stresses of their lives.
As far as men are concerned, the figures are broadly similar. Remember - we are dealing here with men who like to use transvestites. The only notable differences occur in the 20's and 30's. Compared with transvestites' activity in their 20's, men have only just over half as much interest. This could be explained by the fact that men in their 20's are predominantly interested in women. In their 30's however, substantially more men are interested in transvestites than there are transvestites available. Again, these are only broad assumptions based on the data available, but nevertheless they are interesting.
There is always confusion about how transvestites should describe themselves. Everyone knows what a Transsexual (TS) is - although there are distinctions between pre-operative and post-operative ones - the difference between which is self-explanatory. But it is in the question of Transvestites (TVs) and Crossdressers (CDs) that the biggest confusion exists. In the UK we define a TV as a person who wears full-drag and wig (and make-up when appropriate), and a CD as a person who just wears women's underwear for sexual gratification. It is confusing in other countries - the US included - wherin the terms are reversed. What would in the UK be called a TV is in the USA called a CD, and vice versa. There are many who are of the opinion that a single term - Transgendered - should be used. And there are many who think that no definitions should be used at all. I am not one of those - I believe that we are what we are, and that we should be proud of what we are - if we are ashamed of what we are, then we should stop being it. The point of the question in the survey was to see what people thought they themselves were. The results in tabular format are:-
Transvestites Crossdressers Transgendered
Perceived identity 71% 18% 11%
As may be seen from the above, not many transvestites like to be known as Crossdressers - perhaps even less, because of the 18% admitting to being CDs, it is felt that a fair proportion of them are people from non-UK countries who were confused by the term.
We have analysed men's preferences in transgendered persons. The results in tabular format are:-
Transvestites Crossdressers Transsexuals Any
Men's preference 10% 3% 27% 60%
Well - not many surprises here! Okay, 27% of men polled prefer transsexuals. No problem there. However, 3% prefer just crossdressers - obvious homosexual undertones there, unless the men who answered were confused about the definition. The biggest non-surprise is that 60% of the men polled don't care which they go with, which just bears-out the old adage that most men will do it with anything that moves!
There is some doubt as to whattransvestites are, in sexual terms. Are they straight, gay or bi-sexual? It was thought to be an interesting thought to ask transvestites - did they regard themselves as straight, gay or bi. The results in tabular format are:-
Straight Gay Bi-sexual Don't know
Sexual orientation 17% 4% 78% 1%
Interesting results. Apart from the 1% dont know, 4% think they are gay - actually closer to the true national percentage of gays than the oft-quoted 10%, and 17% consider themselves straight. A very large 78% think of themselves as bi-sexual. This may be true of a great many of these people, but there is perhaps something in some people that forces them to deny that they are homosexual - they are reluctant to admit their homosexuality, and feel that if they are bisexual it is "not as bad" as being gay.
The results of the question as to whether transvestites had sex were quite revealing. We asked whether members had sex with men, other transvestites, both, or none. The results in tabular format are:-
Sex with men Sex with other TVs Sex with both Sex with none
Sexual preference 10% 19% 45% 26%
From the results, it appears that 10% of those asked state a preference for having sex with men, whereas nearly twice as many - 19% - state a preference for having sex with other transvestites. Some 45% state that they like having sex with either, although perhaps these could be further broken-down on a pro-rata basis into those who prefer sex with men and those who prefer sex with other transvestites. The interesting question is why so many transvestites prefer having sex with other transvestites, rather than with men. The answer is simple - many transvestites don't feel confident enough to have sex with men, for fear of rejection or derision - for this reason they prefer to have sex with other transvestites, with whom they feel they have no fear of rejection. Transvestites who go with men are ones who have developed sufficient self-confidence not to fear rejection by ordinary men. But let's not forget the 26% of those polled who don't have sex with men or with other transvestites. Many of these are married, but not all of them. Some of them have religious or moral reasons, or they don't want to betray their wives or girlfriends. Although many transvestites think that having sex while dressed as a woman is a form of role-fulfillment, many others don't make the same connection. They are content just with being transvestites, and see no reason why their lifestyle should extend to having sex with men or other transvestites.
We asked transvestites how many of them had had sex with men or other transvestites in the past 12 months, and we asked men how many of them had had sex with transvestites in the past 12 months. The results in tabular format are:-
TRANSVESTITES MEN TOTAL TRANSVESTITES MEN TOTAL
Yes 53% 63% 55% No 47% 37% 45%
Sexual partners for both transvestites and men were mostly in single figures, although a handful of transvestites owned to having 20 - 35 sex-partners in the previous year. Of the transvestites polled, those who had sex in the past year had an average of 5 encounters, and men had an average of 3.
We asked transvestites about their sexual activities with men and/or other transvestites. In doing this, we stuck to the basic sexual activites of oral and full sex, not bothering to involve the various other fringe sexual activities that with which people are prone to occupy themselves on occasion. The results in tabular format are:-
WITH MEN WITH OTHER TVs WITH BOTH TOTAL
Give oral sex - Yes 100% 95% 96% 96%
Give oral sex - No n/a 5% 4% 4%
Take full sex - Yes 90% 63% 89% 82%
Take full sex - No 10% 37% 11% 18%
What do these results show us? Well, to start with, it seems that most transvestites give oral sex - 100% to men and 95% to other transvestites. From those polled who stated they had sex with men or other transvestites, only 4% said they didn't give oral sex to their partners. The picture is slightly different when it comes to taking full sex. Of those who stated they had sex with men or other transvestites, 82% stated they accepted full sex, and 18% said they didn't. The most interesting thing is that 90% stated they take full sex from men, but only 63% stated they took full sex from other transvestites. Possibly because neither transvestite wants to give full sex; both of them preferring to receive it.
TRANSGENDERISM, GUILT AND RELIGION
Like politics, religion is always treated as a taboo subject, because too-many people fall-out over it. However, many transvestites fight long and bitter battles within themselves as to the question of whether or not being a transvestite is in conflict with their religious beliefs. We are not concerned in this survey with what various religions have to say about transvestism - we are more concerned with how transvestites themselves feel about themselves in the context of faith/transvestism conflict. For many, it is a very real issue. We asked how many transvestites followed a faith. The results are:-
Follow a faith 40% Don't follow a faith 80%
The fact that 60% of people profess not to follow a faith reflects the secular society in which we live today. In some ways, it reflects also the inclination among young heterosexuals who live in an unmarried state with a partner, to turn away from their faith because that faith states that they should be married. They find excuses to find fault with their faith in a form of self-justification for no longer following it. Quite conceivably, it is the same with transgendered people. If they could feel not in conflict with it, then they would return to the practice of their faith, and live without guilt.
Of those who declared that they followed a faith, we asked how many felt in conflict with their faith because of their transgendered lifestyle. The results in tabular format are:-
Not in conflict 80% In conflict 20%
It is interesting that 80% of those who follow a faith do not feel in conflict with it over their transvestism. But a more interesting factor is that - of the transvestites who do not feel in conflict with their faith over their transvestism - some 69% of them state that they have sex with men or other transvestites. While it is good that they don't feel in conflict with their faith because of their tranvestism - unless they are more than a bit mixed-up it is obvious that they must feel in conflict with their faith because of their sexual activities. But that is the case with anyone who pursues an active sex life - it is impossible to hold a faith and not be in conflict with it, when one breaks the rules, as it were.
Well, that's the Survey. I hope that the information it contains will be of use to some people.