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Transvestophilia is sexual arousal or desire stepping from transvestism. Most commonly, people with transvestophilia, known as transvestophiles, derive erotic pleasure from dressing in clothing associated with their opposite gender. However, some transvestophiles have no interest in cross-dressing themselves but feel a strong attraction towards transvestites.
The term comes from the Latin words trans, meaning across, vestire, meaning to clothe, and philia, meaning love.
Transvestophilia is sometimes called transvestic fetishism.
Transvestophiles typically get erotic pleasure from wearing particular items of clothing or garments made from specific fabrics. Female undergarments like bras and underpants are a common fetish items for transvestophiles, but any garment associated with the opposite sex can be fetishized.
Some transvestophiles may find they need to cross-dress for sexual arousal, while for others simply fantasizing about cross-dressing or remembering times they have cross-dressed may be enough. Similarly, transvestophiles who fantasize about being with a transvestite may need to only date transvestites to satisfy their sexual urges, or simply imagine a current partner wearing clothes of the opposite gender.
While transvestites might also be transvestophiles, some transvestites do not gain erotic pleasure from cross-dressing. While there can be some overlap, the two terms should not be confused.
Most transvestophiles are men. Some literature even go so far as to suggest there are no recorded cases of transvestophilia in women. However, this may be because it’s more socially acceptable for women to wear men’s clothing. Therapy may be useful if the philia begins to interfere with a transvestophile’s relationships.