Autogynephilia and Heterosexuality

  • Anne A. Lawrence
Part of the Focus on Sexuality Research book series (FOSR)


Autogynephilia is theorized to be a misdirected form of heterosexuality that usually coexists with ordinary heterosexual attraction to women but also competes with it. Several transsexual informants reported that their autogynephilic feelings seemed to be closely related to their feelings of heterosexual attraction. Erotic desire that informants felt for specific women was often accompanied by the desire to look like or become these women, and the two feelings were sometimes difficult to distinguish. Some informants observed that sexual attraction to a woman could temporarily lessen autogynephilia but that autogynephilia would inevitably return when this attraction lost its novelty. Several informants reported that they always engaged in cross-gender fantasies when having sex with female partners or stated that such fantasies were required for heterosexual performance. Some informants observed, however, that obligatory reliance on autogynephilic fantasies during partnered sex seemed to preclude genuine intimacy. A few informants were able to incorporate cross-dressing or cross-gender behavior into their sexual relations with women, but autogynephilia sometimes led to marital discord. For some informants, autogynephilia seemed to displace heterosexual attraction almost completely. A few informants reported late loss of virginity and theorized that this might be a consequence of their autogynephilic feelings.


Female Partner Sexual Attraction Gender Dysphoria Heterosexual Relationship Dynamic Competition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne A. Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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