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Gender play is a practice where an individual is encouraged or forced to take on the role of the opposite gender. Gender play can be a form of punishment or a way for a person to live out fantasies of being the opposite gender. Gender play is most common within the BDSM community, but may be an element of any couple’s sexual relationship, regardless of sexual orientation.
Gender play that involves men take on a female role is called feminization. Sissification is a form of feminization. While not as commonly used, the term masculinization could be used to describe the process of a female taking a male role.
Cross dressing is a common component of gender play. Men may wear women’s clothing, including lingerie and dresses, while women may wear male shirts, pants, and suits. A variety of sex toys and aids can enhance gender play. A vagina prosthesis can make it easier for a male to role play as a female. Females may wear a cock packer under their clothes to create the appearance of a masculine bulge at the crotch. Dildos may also be worn inside clothing for a similar look. Strap-on dildos can also help women take on the traditional male role during sex.
Many people enjoy gender play because taking on another gender because it lets them be dominated, for men playing women, or dominate, for women playing men. Switching up traditional gender roles can be thrilling and a little taboo. Gender play can also have a sensual component, especially for men who may enjoy the feeling of silky, soft female clothes, and lingerie against their skin.
Enjoying gender play is not a sign of gender identity disorder. Most people who enjoy gender play have no desire to really be the opposite gender. It is also not a sign of being confused about one’s sexual identity.