The Gender Spectrum

For a long time there wasn't much available for men looking for feminine style lingerie, but then the Xdress brand was created, understanding that feeling comfortable in your own skin and wearing pretty underwear makes many men feel happier, less stressed and more confident in themselves. However, this is a very challenging market to be in as it's so engraved in our minds that lingerie is just for women and plain boxer briefs are for men, and never the twain shall meet.

Some may think this is a niche product, and indeed when Xdress was first introduced in the 1990's (originally in the UK) it was generally seen as a novelty, and was featured on many day time TV shows with male models wearing Xdress lingerie. The press also leapt on the story but generally ridiculed the concept.  But times have changed and now with 25% of young people surveyed saying they do not identify as cisgendered, Xdress is a little more accepted and hopefully filling a real need. Interestingly, Google, FB etc still have not moved with the times and generally reject any advertising that shows men modeling our lingerie, but maybe one day they will catch up!

The percentage of people identifying as non-binary reduces as age increases, but this is not surprising as older generations were brought up to conform in their home and professional life to their birth gender role. In the past, societal pressure enforced these roles and expectations from an early age through family, school life, TV and movies. The idea of a young boy wanting to dress like his sister as a Disney princess is perhaps a cliche, but really why not?  If the boy feels the strong desire to wear what he sees as pretty, it is only the societal norms and fear of the boy (and parents) being judged negatively that will more often than not cause parents difficulty and their desire to set him on the straight and narrow masculine role. Perhaps one of the positives of social media is that it has allowed a more open discussion of gender with the result that while those who prefer to dress or present outside of the norm may still face challenges, they realize it is a shared experience and they are not alone. I suspect that if it was not for the sexist societal shame of a biological male exhibiting any feminine tendencies, many of the older generations would have explored activities, lifestyles and clothing that have been considered purely the domain of women.

Research has shown that there really is a gender spectrum for both men (and women), and the understanding of gender continually evolves. We now know that it’s not just the X and Y chromosomes but at least 12 others in the human genome that determine sex differentiation. Many indigenous cultures around the world have long understood the rich diversity of gender, and it is encouraging that at last the social taboo of deviating from gender expectations is waning.

One comment we at Xdress hear repeatedly when people unfamiliar with gender non-conformity first see our web site, is to assume it is targeted exclusively at gay men. As we have been in the Xdress business so long, we have come to expect this reaction, and to be rejected by web companies who have a very rigid stand on what they believe is acceptable, and fear that they or their staff will be embarrassed or uncomfortable working with images of men in lingerie. As mentioned above, we have great difficulty reaching out to our potential audience due to restrictions that social media puts on what is allowable in advertising.

The issue of sexual orientation and gender is often confused. They are distinct facets of a person, and it does not follow that a man who likes to dress in feminine clothing is automatically gay, any more than a man who like to wear ultra-masculine clothing is gay.  The gender aspect is how we see ourselves; the sexual orientation is more to do with who we are emotionally or physically attracted to.  So just as there is a spectrum on gender, there is a largely unrelated spectrum on sexual orientation.

We are encouraged that the younger generations are embracing the gender spectrum and are comfortable expressing their true inner selves, through clothing, hairstyle, make up and mannerisms, and are not afraid of being seen by others as they see themselves. Readers of the comments on our blogs will know that there are many mainly older men who strongly wish to express their feminine nature, but years of repression holds them back, which is so sad.

It is exciting in the fashion arena to see imaginative styles that are not strictly masculine, nor feminine, and we look forward to new creative designers emerging beyond the lingerie that Xdress offers. We look forward to this brave and open new world!

Please write your comments and thoughts below!

Best wishes,
David of Xdress

18 comments

In Europe Men ,Women and children wore sackcloth dresses as they could be made cheaply and easily ,underwear was not available or wanted . Frilly Knickerbockers and blouses made of fine material were invented for Men’s outerwear to show the man was well to do . As these items were nice to wear Women claimed them as underwear even though the medical advise of the time was that Females should not cover their lower parts with close fitting garments . When ordinary Men got underwear it was plain and boring but at least not horrible `Y` fronts that came over from the USA later , by the 70`s Men’s briefs were very like Women’s plain items and even some Unisex were on sale . It became known that Rod Stewart , Mick Jagger ,John Wayne , Cary Grant and Herman Goring etc. wore frilly Women’s panties yet somehow it all went wrong with the stuff popular at the moment , I changed to Women’s briefs when I started work and had to buy my own and I would never go back to boring undies .

Alan July 27, 2022

It’s pretty incredible to see so many different points of view here, and it only goes to show that none of us truly fit the stereotypes that society depicts. Crossdressing should be no more peculiar than being a different ethnicity. In the end it is only an appearance, and humans are the only only species capable of such severe admonishment based on how another person looks or presents themselves. I am grateful to be one of the men turning the wheels of change, and expressing my purest self around any and every person in my life regardless of their beliefs. Happy Pride Month.
-Nathan

Nathan June 22, 2022

Hi, I am a married bi-curious guy in my early 60s. Have been wearing lingerie daily since few decades now.. Happy to see how mentalities are positively revolving slowly but surely

Pierre June 21, 2022

Chris isnt it interesting that people think men who wear lingerie or panties are gay ! Most are straight
Thanks for chining in
Happy Pride month

Stevie June 17, 2022

A very nice and encouraging article.. Thanks. I am a mid 50s gay man and when i found Xdress i was quite happy to finally find a store to buy feminine underwear with delicate material AND fitted for a male body. I wear panties every now and then as an expression of my female side, for the same reason i slip into some heels for half an hour or so when i am at home to step away from the male stereotypes we are facing all the time. But beneath gay men this makes me kinda special. Most men i know who like to dress this way are straight or bisexual. Since gay men are attracted to men they are not interested in wearing this type of lingerie.

Chris June 14, 2022

Clive
There is no doubt the sexual energy provided by lingerie wearing. We d be lying to say it didn’t! But there are other reasons as many have mentioned! All of them affect me!

Stevie June 14, 2022

I am a straight married guy I began wearing lingerie when dared to by my wife. I was surprised to find we enjoyed it so much I now wear it on a regular basis on our evenings in. Not going into too much detail but its bought a new dimension to our lives so go on guys don’t be shy or embarrassed give it a try and you may be in for a BIG surprise.

Clive June 14, 2022

And another thing…
On us older guys (over 50)
We are indeed more fearful of wearing various garments. And with good reason! We are further along in our lives and careers and identities with spouse family and career. Its a lot harder to put all that at risk at our age vs. if we were younger and were already “known” to wear lingerie (spouse) dresses or heels in public to community
So be patient with us and try to understand our reluctance

Get ur lingerie on

Stevie

Stevie June 14, 2022

Honestly for me there is absolutely nothing sexual about it nor wanting to look “pretty”, it is nearly the fact that the fabric feels a lot better than what “mens” clothes are made with. If there wasn’t a social stigma against it I would 100% definitely wear dresses and tights when possible, not to look pretty, not to look feminate, but simply because that air flow between a dress and tights feels really good on the skin. It is weird there is a stigma around that clothing style seeing as Scott’s have kilts which are effectively skirts and Japanese have Kimonos which are effectively dresses, so why make them female only in this society when it is perfectly normal in others.

James June 06, 2022

Autogynephilia i can identify with that

Stevie May 16, 2022

Position a sister site offering products “For every body” with a few offerings that are truly universal fit. Then you can advertise just as some others do, from there people can find your related brands.

Anon May 16, 2022

I think this site certainly provides a place for like minded people to share their interests, excitements and desires in relation to the way they like to dress. I think that’s mainly a good thing. We’re not doing any harm. I also think it’s useful to be reflective about the origin of our interests. You’ve mentioned a couple of spectra in your article David – gender and sexual orientation. We might add another – a degree of autogynephilia: “…a male’s propensity to be sexually aroused by the thought of himself as a female.” This condition is generally recognized as a reason for some men cross-dressing – it’s something I recognize in myself and can even think of some catalysts for its origins in me when I was a child. That said, what harm is it unless it seriously impedes me in my daily life or hurts someone else? There are those who will be comfortable with it and those who won’t. I’m not comfortable dressing unless I’m in accepting company. I’ve no objection to seeing or being in the company of anyone else who is dressed en femme though. More power to them. Stay pretty Ally x

Ally May 16, 2022

David-
Great post! I think dressing in lingerie is a confidence thing for me as a straight male (ok, some bi tendencies). We should dress how we want and the social norms of yesterday are certainly changing! Stay sexy, and bring back more satin!

Scott May 15, 2022

David thank u
I ll look into the actual study that talks about the chromosomes
As a scientist I m interested not to dispute it but to learn
Dress on !

Stevie May 14, 2022

Thank you for this thoughtful post. As one of those aging people you mentioned, I never felt fully comfortable outside of any cis-het “normativity,” but the past four years have forced me to come to terms with some things I was taking for granted. Not too long into the pandemic, the world felt like it was collapsing around me. During a last minute panicked shopping trip before lockdown, I walked into the lingerie section of my local big box store and snatched up a pair of panties. My heart rate increased as I approached the till. My thoughts were “what if someone sees me?” Ultimately everyone was too wrapped up in their own anxiety to notice me and I walked out with my first pair. As we got deeper into lockdown, I, like many others, looked around the web for ways to purchase more. Now, my panties outnumber my underwear. Unfortunately, I still feel the need to be careful dependent on context. But it gives me a thrill to know I’m wearing something lacy or frilly underneath. And you know what? I like feeling pretty, despite my big bushy beard.

Patrick May 14, 2022

Stevie: https://www.newsweek.com/transgender-kids-living-identity-develop-cis-children-1471729

David May 13, 2022

I really enjoy talking about being nonbinary. Saying or writing it over and over brings a calm, a stop to the noise that makes me smile without knowing it. I like nothing better than coming home from work and trading my shirt and slacks for a nice camisole and skirt. Going about my evening that way doesn’t arouse me; it grounds me. That’s my nonbinary. I hear it’s different for all of us.

I share my gender with those I trust not to judge. Folks can disagree with the existence of the spectrum, but I avoid those who make it a moral discussion. I don’t feel good or bad, guilty or innocent. I just am.

I love wearing my pink panties under my man clothes as men’s underwear will never get close to me again. Underwear — what an ugly word. Panties — what a delight. That’s my nonbinary. My proud nonbinary.

Enby May 13, 2022

Dear David
Excellent post
I m interested in the data on the chromosomes can you post?
You hit so many points! Gender and sexual orientation are indeed very different and people and preferences are very different. It is a huge mistake to think that the only way you can wear lingerie is if you are a girl or gay! I m perfectly happy being a msn being traditionally masculine with all that entails and wear panties bras stocking and toe nail polish
I m from that old generation u speak of, i do not wear high heels out in public Or dresses but i wish I could
I support live and let live
Get ur lingerie on
Stevie

Stevie May 13, 2022

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