BuiltWithNOF
CD Types

In his book, The Transsexual Phenomenon, Harry Benjamin described what he called the Sex Orientation Scale (S.O.S.)” as a practical working hypothesis towards describing the transvestism-transsexualism syndrome. Benjamin’s scale was based on his clinical observations and he claimed that there were six types of personalities on the transvestite/transsexual spectrum, though he actually listed seven categories on his scale, the first one describing the average, “normal” person, which he then defined as:-

    ...any person of normal sex and gender orientation for whom ideas of "dressing" or sex change are completely foreign and definitely unpleasant, whether that person is hetero-, bi-, or homosexual.

Presumably Benjamin believed that by labelling cross-dressers as not “normal” that he was simply offering them comfort and care rather than stigmatising them, since the later would have been contrary to the caveat which concludes his own association’s  Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders.

Benjamin also emphasised that the six types of transvestite/transsexual detailed in his scale are not and never can be sharply separated because the clinical pictures are approximations, schematised and idealised, so that the transvestite and transsexual who may look for himself among the types will find his own picture usually in between two recorded categories and may even have this or that symptom of still yet another type.

In other words, don’t worry if you don’t think that you fit any one of the scale diagnoses, just apply the bits of each type that does, except that of “normal” persons, of course, who are classified as “Type 0”, remember, and are defined as:-

    ...any person of normal sex and gender orientation for whom ideas of "dressing" or sex change are completely foreign and definitely unpleasant, whether that person is hetero-, bi-, or homosexual.

Thus, Benjamin appears to be declaring that the gender orientation of cross-dressers is not normal per se, even when those cross-dressers are heterosexual men like me who are exclusively gender orientated to women, irrespective of whether I am dressed en femme or not. In fact, he makes his attitude quite clear, for he subsequently declares that cross-dressers “...are not in...harmony [with their male sex and their masculine gender]”.The evidence for this disharmony we are told is because:-

    ...TVism (that is, cross-dressing) is a completely solitary act, requiring no partner at all for its enjoyment...The sex relations of a transvestite are (in the majority) those of heterosexual partners, the male, however, frequently assuming the female position in coitus.”

What exactly did Benjamin mean by his claim that heterosexual male-to-female cross-dressers “frequently assuming the female position in coitus”, do you think? That we regularly lie beneath our partners in a reversal of “the missionary position”, or that our partners use a dildo to penetrate us, perhaps? Unfortunately, Benjamin provides us with no elucidation and even less evidence to substantiate his downright vacuous claim. Unsurprisingly, really, for he is - or rather was, since he’s dead - one of the dreaded class of persons often referred to as “social scientists”.

Nevertheless, Benjamin concludes his Preface to The Transsexual Phenomenon with this amusing triplet:-

    “The transvestite has a social problem.
    The transsexual has a gender problem.
    The homosexual has a sex problem.”

Subsequently, Benjamin’s scale was modified by Anne Curr and the modified version is presented below for the further delectation and amusement of my readers:-

The Harry Benjamin Sex Orientation Scale (S.O.S.), as modified by Anne Curr 

Type 0 - Normal

    Normal sexual orientation and identification, heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual. The ideas of "dressing" or "sex change" are foreign and unpleasant. Includes the vast majority of all people. 

Type I - Transvestite (Pseudo)

    Gender "feeling" : Masculine 

    Dressing Habits and Social Life : Normal male life. May get a "kick" from "dressing". Not truly TV. 

    Sex Object Choice and Sex Life : Usually heterosexual. Rare bisexual. Masturbation with fetish. Feels guilt. "Purges" and relapses. 

    Conversion Operation (SRS) : Not considered in reality. 

    Hormone Therapy/Oestrogen Therapy : Not considered. / Not indicated. 

    Psychotherapy :Not wanted. Unnecessary. 

    Remarks : Only a sporadic interest in "dressing". Rarely has a female name when "dressed". 

Type II - Transvestite (Fetishistic)

    Gender "feeling" : Masculine 

    Dressing Habits and Social Life :Lives as a man. Dresses periodically or part time. Dresses under male clothes. 

    Sex Object Choice and Sex Life :Usually heterosexual. May be bisexual or homosexual. "Dressing" and "sex change" in masturbation fantasy mainly. 

    Conversion Operation (SRS) :May consider in fantasy. Rejected 

    Hormone Therapy/Oestrogen Therapy : Rarely interested. / May help to reduce libido. 

    Psychotherapy : May be successful in favourable environment. 

    Remarks : May imitate male & female double personality with male and female names.

Type III - Transvestite (True)

    Gender "feeling" : Masculine (but with less conviction) 

    Dressing Habits and Social Life : "Dresses" constantly or as often as possible. May live and be accepted as a woman. May dress under male clothes. 

    Sex Object Choice and Sex Life : Heterosexual except when dressed. Dressing gives sexual satisfaction, relief of gender discomfort. Common to purge and relapse. 

    Conversion Operation (SRS) : Rejected but the idea is attractive. 

    Hormone Therapy/Oestrogen Therapy : Attractive as an experiment. / Can be helpful as a diagnostic. 

    Psychotherapy : If attempted, almost never successful as to cure. 

    Remarks : May assume a double personality. Trend may be toward Transsexualism.

Type IV - Transsexual (Non-Surgical)

    Gender "feeling" : Uncertain Wavering between TV and TS. May reject "gender". 

    Dressing Habits and Social Life : "Dresses" often as possible with insufficient relief of gender discomfort. May live as man or as a woman. 

    Sex Object Choice and Sex Life : Libido low. Generally asexual or autoerotic. May be bisexual. 

    Conversion Operation (SRS) : Attractive but not required. 

    Hormone Therapy/Oestrogen Therapy : Needed for comfort & emotional balance. 

    Psychotherapy : Only as guidance, most often refused and unsuccessful. 

    Remarks : Social life dependant on circumstances. Often identifies as "transgenderist". 

Type V - Transsexual (Moderate Intesity)

    Gender "feeling" : Feminine "Trapped" in a male body. 

    Dressing Habits and Social Life : Lives and works as a woman if possible. Insufficient relief from "dressing". 

    Sex Object Choice and Sex Life : Low libido. Asexual, autoerotic, or passive homosexual activity. May have been married and have children. 

    Conversion Operation (SRS) : Requested. 

    Hormone Therapy/Oestrogen Therapy : Needed for a substitute for or preliminary to SRS operation. 

    Psychotherapy: Rejected. Unless as to cure. Permissive psychological guidance. 

    Remarks : Operation hoped for and worked for, often attained. 

Type VI - Transsexual (High Intensity)

    Gender "feeling" : Feminine. Total "psycho-sexual" inversion. 

    Dressing Habits and Social Life : Usually lives & works as a woman. No relief from "dressing". Gender discomfort intense. 

    Sex Object Choice and Sex Life : Intensely desires relations with normal male as a "female" if young. Later libido low. Heterosexual, bisexual or lesbian identification. May have been married and have children. 

    Conversion Operation (SRS) : Urgently requested and usually attained. 

    Hormone Therapy/Oestrogen Therapy : Required for partial relief. 

    Psychotherapy : Psychological guidance or psychotherapy for symptomatic relief only. 

    Remarks : Despises her male sex organs. Strong danger of genital self-mutilation or even suicide if too long frustrated before SRS is attained.

So, dear reader, which of the aforementioned seven types do you fit into?

Me? Well, I see myself partially within Types 0, I, II, III, IV and V respectively.

Guffaw.