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Transvestic fetishism is typically defined as a fetish in which there is a sexual or erotic interest in cross-dressing or dressing in clothing items distinctly associated with the opposite sex. This fetish is most often seen in heterosexual men.
Transvestic fetishism has historically been described as a "paraphilia" or sexual disorder. Currently, there is serious debate about the degree to which fetishes like transvestism should be considered "disorders" as opposed to merely variations in the vast landscape of sexual tastes and proclivities.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), transvestic fetishism generally involves cross dressing and gaining erotic pleasure from that act. It has only been documented in heterosexual males. Many have argued, however, that this clinical definition merely amounts to labeling any gender expression not typically associated with assigned birth sex as pathological and sexually deviant and therefore essentially punishing sexual gender nonconformity.