I don’t believe in “latent transgender” explanations of lesbian chic


Akinokure wrote a review of the new Star Wars and it referred to a much more interesting article at:




The relevant claim is as follows:

The next area of deviance to be dissected will be what I term “latent” transgenderism, for lack of a better term. J Michael Bailey has already written extensively on the homo and non-homo forms of transgenderism that typically accompany transvestism (cross-dressing), where the person feels as though they have a distinct “gender identity” (which they may feel compelled to “come out” about to others). I’d probably have to dig down further in all of his writings to see if there’s anything for me to add.

However, there seems to be a rising level of latent transgenderism, where someone has erotic fantasies about being a member of the opposite sex, with a partner of the opposite sex. That is, a guy’s fantasy involving two or more girls — and not a single man — or a girl’s fantasy involving two or more guys — and not a single woman.

These are the types of guys who masturbate to girl-on-girl pornography, and the types of girls who get off on reading slash fiction — two related genres that were virtually absent even within pornography and erotica just a few decades ago, when it was all male-female (or male-male for a gay audience, though not for a female audience).

Unlike overt transgender cases, the latent cases don’t feel as though they have a distinct gender identity or sexual orientation, and therefore have nothing to hide from others, feel shame about, or have to confess / reveal / come out about. …

Whether it is the male or female case, the latent transgender seems to be primarily driven by a paralyzing fear of approaching, interacting with, and consummating a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, as a member of their own sex. That is to say, the prospect of a male-female courtship, mating dance, etc., scares them to death. However, they are still attracted to the opposite sex and have urges to be physically intimate with the opposite sex. The only solution, to their temperament, is to approach a girl as a girl, or a guy as a guy.

It is as though these guys think that girls will let their guard down around other girls, and (at least some of them) will be open to making out with their fellow girls, particularly if both are attractive, hormone-crazed, and novelty-seeking youngsters.

The emotional release comes not from the thought of penetrating and climaxing inside of the other girl — impossible when you imagine yourself as or identify with the first girl. Rather, it comes from the relief of not having to go through all the normal pas-de-deux moves, not having to overcome even the slightest set of obstacles. Granted, you only get to imagine yourself fondling, making out with, going down on, or circle-jercking the other girl, but this lower reward is more than made up for by the thought of not having to put any effort into the seduction.

It is thus a symptom of profound risk-aversion, crippling social awkwardness, and self-centeredness (not having to adapt, improve, or contribute anything of one’s own in order to couple with another).

While normal male fantasies involve being a more attractive, charismatic, and aggressive version of yourself, latent transgenderism is a change of kind and not only an exaggeration of degree. If they were only driven by a desire for minimal obstacles in the way of getting laid, then they would fantasize about being the pretty boy lead singer of a famous rock band, who throngs of eager groupies would be throwing themselves to every night.

Instead, they are so sensitive to rejection that they fixate on not even being perceived as male in the first place — that way, the girl’s behavioral shield will not go up, and her warning system will not alert her to yet another random guy trying to get into her pants.

For the latent transgender male, it is not enough for the girl to register that there’s a guy wanting to get into her pants, yet wanting him to do so, as in the fantasy about groupies, or something more normal like one where that cute girl from math class reveals that she’s always had a crush on you and wants you to make your move as the guy. His paranoia toward girls means that he must fly completely under the radar, requiring him to assume female form in his fantasy.


The same analysis can be applied to the female reader of slash fiction. She is too awkward, paranoid, and unattractive to fantasize about a normal boy-girl affair, perhaps one in which she’s more pretty and confident than in real life. She fixates on the hot guy not even perceiving her as a girl, which might set off his warning system about some random girl trying to make a pass at him. If she were a hot guy herself, then she could slip right past his detection grid.

Naturally, not all guys will be open to experimenting, but that goes for the male fantasy about girl-girl hook-ups as well. They just need to fantasize about that one unusual girl who would make out with a girl, or that one guy who would make out with a guy.

This latent form of transgenderism is important not only because it is far more common than the overt form, but because latent fantasies may influence overt identity. Jerking off to girl-on-girl porno scenes is fundamentally a dream about achieving perfect sexual mimicry in order to deceive the target girl and reach climax without her suspecting that you had any sexual intentions on her all along.

Yet the more you fantasize about becoming a perfect sexual mimic, the more you are likely to incorporate distinctly opposite-sex traits into your own gender identity. Maybe that will lead only to a vaguely androgynous personality and set of behaviors, or maybe it will lead to a deeper dysphoria and anxiety that will disrupt their own life and the stability of those around them.

I don’t believe this for a minute.

I think the vastly simpler explanation is that men want to see sexually aroused women, and they’re not picky about the source of arousal. Men are willing to watch females masturbate with electric vibrators; that doesn’t mean that the men are imagining themselves to be electric vibrators.

Some of the commentators on the original blog post also question other elements of Akinokure’s story. E.g. some claim that lesbian porn was standard in pre-20th-century porn.

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