This article contains descriptions of pornographic content. While I have tried to avoid graphic details, it’s not possible to discuss the influence of pornography on the gender movement without providing descriptions. Furthermore, this is not written with the intention of denying the existence of gender dysphoria, but to call attention to the phenomenon of pornography-induced dysphoria that simultaneously promotes extreme sexual objectification and the degradation of womanhood. This is a brief overview highlighting the prevalence of sissification content available publicly, without age restrictions, across social media platforms.

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In recent years, trans pornography has soared in popularity. According to Pornhub’s metadata, both “trans” and “transgender” porn searches have more than quadrupled in the three years between 2014 to 2017 and, by 2018, “trans” was ranked the fifth highest search term of the year.

During this same period, a subset of transgender pornography emerged, and increased in popularity and prevalence. “Sissy hypno” — a shortening of “sissification hypnosis” — is a term for pornography targeted at men that can be found online in three main forms: pornographic videos, audio files, and captioned images. The pornography typically involves men wearing lingerie and engaged in “forced feminization” — eroticizing the illusion of being made to “become women” through dress, makeup, and sexual submissiveness, and the fetishizing of the humiliation this brings. Though sissy hypno as a term seems to have only gained popularity recently — increasing significantly since 2016 according to Google search data — there are already several websites dedicated to the genre, including sissytube.net, sissy.tube, and hypnotube.com.

In May, Duke University’s Transgender Studies Quarterly published an academic article titled, “Sissy Remix: Trans Porno Remix and Constructing the Trans Subject,” by Aster Gilbert, a Ph.D. student in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. A male who identifies as a woman, Aster’s student profile describes his dissertation as centered on “online pornography fan communities, specifically fans who create their own pornography through remixing and re-editing available material found online,” and states he has presented research on trans and “micropornography” at the National Women’s Studies Association.

In the article, Aster defines sissification and feminization as “forms of gender play in which the subject takes on the dress of the “opposite gender” and explains that “sissy is also claimed by transwomen as an identity.” Aster then goes on to describe how sissy hypno videos, especially those made by men who identify as trans, instruct men to transform into women (though the pornography industry term “girl” is often used instead). Mantras are repeated — often a variation of “you are the girl,” commanding the viewer to imagine themselves as female.

Aster uses specific videos as examples, citing one in particular, referred to as “Video 2,” which opens with a woman repeating, “You’re not really a man. You’ve always been a girl, haven’t you?” Then, “You’ve been a woman longer than you’ve ever known,” and, “You are a woman right now. Just by listening to me right now you have already become a woman.” The speaker then directs the viewer to shave his legs, paint his fingernails, and to “feminize” himself.

Aster concludes that “it is possible to conceive of this video as drawing out a suppressed identification, encouraging transition, as well as acknowledging the already present reality of womanhood” [emphasis added].

In his book Females, trans-identifying male writer, Andrea Long Chu, writes:

“Sissy porn’s central conceit is that the women it depicts are in fact former men who have been feminized (‘sissified’) by being forced to wear makeup, wear lingerie, and perform acts of sexual submission. Captions further instruct viewers to understand that the very act of looking at sissy porn itself constitutes an act of sexual degradation, with the implication that, whether they like it or not, viewers will inevitably be transformed into females themselves. This makes sissy porn a kind of metapornography, that is, porn about what happens to you when you watch porn. At the center of sissy porn lies the asshole, a kind of universal vagina through which femaleness can always be accessed. Getting f*cked makes you female because f*cked is what a female is.”

The fundamental assertion of sissification pornography is that being a woman is inherently degrading — that men who are insecure about the size of their genitalia must be transformed into women through “forced feminization.” In these scenarios, the penis is referred to as a “clitty,” and the anus is referred to as a “pussy.” Prostate orgasms are referred to as “sissygasms.” Often, men who produce this content, as well as those who use it, implement a device called a “chastity cage” which prevents erections, and anal plugs are used to stretch the anus in an attempt to resemble a vulva. Extremely feminine attire may be incorporated, including pink, frilly dresses that resemble a variation on children’s clothing with an added sexualized element, like high heels or a garter belt. BDSM also plays a role in sissy porn, and often a woman in a dominatrix role — referred to as a mistress — humiliates the male “sub” (submissive) by mocking him as a failed man who must be feminized.

Transgender advocates, when confronted with the paraphilias of the sissification community, typically say these men do not fall under the trans umbrella, despite Stonewall UK’s inclusion of crossdressing in a definition posted on their website: “Trans people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, cross dresser, non-binary, gender queer.” The overlap between the sissy community and the transgender male-to-female (MTF) community can easily be seen on social media platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, where “sissy captions” proliferate: images of women in sexualized clothing with text added, instructing men to take female hormones and “feminize” themselves to look like the women in the photos.

On Instagram, for instance, the hashtag #sissification has been used in 110k posts. There are a variety of related hashtags, as well: #sissyhypno, #sissytraining, #sissygirl, #sissycaption, #sissymaid, all of which overlap with other hashtags like #trans, #tgirl, #mtftransgender, #trap, and #genderqueer. An account called, “The Sissy Corner,” run by an anonymous LGBTQ activist in India, posts images captioned with phrases like, “You have reached the point when words like bimbo, beta, bitch, sissy, feels like a sweet compliment,” or “Take hormones until you look like her,” and “You let a guy f*ck you like a girl, then why do you still think that you are a man?” A Facebook page called, “Sissy Kiss,” which has nearly 40k followers, describes itself: “We are transgender girls who love being very girly, sweet, kinky, and cute. Anyone into sissies are [sic] welcome!” Posts read: “My goal is to feminize you till your p*nis is useless and you [sic] crying to remove it,”  “If you’re gonna dress like a slut, I’m gonna watched you get f*cked like one,” and, “We need to up your hormones and waist training drastically.”

Men openly discuss the sissy/transgender overlap on social media and in public forums. There are many subreddits where men gather to discuss the sissy lifestyle on Reddit. These subreddits are dedicated to the proliferation of sissy porn, as well as advice and tips on how to better “feminize.” The subreddit, “Sissy Hypno,” which currently has 146k members, is described as a community dedicated to “hypnosis media that turn participants into sexy, c*cksucking sissies.” There are numerous related subreddits: r/sissy has 80.5k members; r/sissypersonals, nearly 100k; r/sissydating, 36k; r/sissies, 233k; and r/traps, 413k (“trap” is a term that refers to men who “pass” as women so convincingly, they are able to trick straight men into sexual relationships). It should be noted that there is no age verification required to access these groups, which host pornography. They are openly accessible to children, and it is not uncommon to see reddit posts from those claiming to be underage boys in sissification groups.

Not only that, but there are countless threads posted to reddit asking if gender dysphoria is brought on by exposure to pornography and the development of a sissy fetish. The subreddit, r/itsafetish, was dedicated to documenting the connection between pornography and trans identity until it was banned in July for promoting hate, despite the fact that the threads mainly featured screenshots — or quoted material — from other subreddits. One example of this crossover between sissification and trans identity can be seen in an thread posted to r/sissy in October, titled “Falling Down the Sissy Rabbit Hole”:

“I started watching trans porn initially five or so years ago and I remember I had post orgasm regret. Back then, I imagined myself as the guy… About a year and a half ago, I started to imagine the possibility of being the girl in these scenarios. I… wanted to be ‘forced’ to be f*cked by a man because I was turned on by the submissiveness of it. I dreamed about going to gloryholes or being blindfolded as men used me as an object for sex. Recently, I’ve started to really question everything. I love the attention and consequently feeling like the woman. This has lead [sic] me to have some gender dysphoria, as I would love to be the woman and see where that would take me in my life (fully transitioned transwoman). TL;DR my sexual and gender identity has been completely flipped on its head because of sissy porn/hypno.”

Another r/sissy thread asks, “Am I trans, or am I a sissy? Perhaps both or neither?”

“I became interested in sissy porn around age 16-17. I was blown away by it! I loved the idea of someone (whether it be a man or a woman) ‘forcing’ me to become a sissy slut considered with nothing but pleasing ‘real men’. I want to be treated like a man’s c*m-dumpster and c*cksleeve. As of late, however, my fantasies have been less about someone forcing me to be a girl and simply me being a girl. I usually fantasize about having sex with a man as a woman.”

Notably, subreddits which questioned the misogyny of the gender movement and its overlap with the fetish community were banned, without warning, at the end of June and beginning of July for the vague charge of promoting hate. Among these were r/GenderCritical, r/TERFisaslur, and r/itsafetish, the latter of which was dedicated to documenting the connection between pornography and trans identity and mainly featured screenshots — or quoted material — from sissy and trans subreddits.

Twitter is similarly saturated with sissy accounts and posts which include sissy pornography, often bypassing the sensitive content filter through the use of gifs. A Twitter user with the handle, @tsnicole3, who describes themselves as “a closeted transgender” with “a fantasy to become pregnant,” tweeted: “My dream is to live in a society where sissy males are feminized and subjugated to alpha males. I want to dress in pretty lingerie, get pregnant, and be a wife and mother.” A trans activist with over 76k followers and an OnlyFans account, going by “BoringKate” (@boringnerdykate), tweets almost exclusively about sex and pornography and has a particular interest in sissy hypno. In April, he tweeted: “If advertisers are gonna monitor everyone’s internet activity then they should at least start aggressively promoting hormone replacement therapy to any ‘boy’ that’s searched for hypno porn.”

There are also books that serve as both erotica and instruction manuals, and this type of media is where the influence of the incel movement is most apparent. Terminology used in the “manosphere” (men’s rights activist and incel forums) like “alpha male” and “beta male” can be found in instruction guides. In incel slang, “beta” refers disparagingly to a man who is considered to be unsuccessful with women, owing to having a less aggressive disposition, an effeminate physique, or lacking stereotypically masculine qualities in general. The 10 Steps to Become a Sissy: Forced Feminization, self-published on Amazon by a user named, “Hotwife Kim,” claims, in its description, to turn “beta males” into women, and that this is the only way such men can be sexually desirable:

“If you continue to live as a beta male, you will be destined to a life of celibacy and sadness. When you become a girl, you’ll have lots of sex — all girls do. The real mark of anyone who truly admires female beauty isn’t simply a desire to possess it, to have a girlfriend or a wife, to have sex with a woman. Your love is greater. You want to become a woman yourself. There is nothing wrong or even unusual about this desire, and thanks to modern technology, it’s is [sic] increasingly possible to make your dreams come true.

In fact, a great transition is taking place in our larger culture as well. Beta-males are becoming softer and more feminine, while women are becoming more assertive and confident in our sense of sexuality. I really can’t blame you for being jealous. I wouldn’t be happy as a beta-male, either. You probably get rejected by girls all the time, all while you are forced to watch them on dates with Alpha-males. And you know that they are having lots of amazing sex, the kind you will always been denied. Or, you’ll be forced into a life of humiliating celibacy — unless you accept your fate as a sissy.”

These types of materials are becoming more widely available thanks to self-publication. In addition to Amazon, Walmart also carries forced feminization erotica manuals online. A search on their website turns up over a dozen titles, including, Feminization from Alpha to Sissy Due to His Inadequate Sized Manhood! and, Forced Feminization: Abduction, Hypnosis Training, Sissy Slave Maid, which features the following description:

“Greg awakes to find himself restrained and dolled up. A mysterious female hypnotizer tells Greg his new name is Ashley, and with a whip, he forgets all about his past. Every idea Ashley had of ‘Greg’ vanished into thin air. The latex hypnotist reveals that Ashley is now part of a feminization cult. Sissy maid training soon starts… The Don is the powerful alpha behind the whole transformation cult, clearly asserting and demonstrating his dominance time and time again. Every lunar eclipse, he chooses one freshly transformed sissy to live in his private mansion. What Don thought would just be another live-in sissy maid, turns out to be more than just that. Ashley… transforms his life for good.”

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“To be a sissy is always to lose your mind. The technical term for this is bimboification. Captions often instruct viewers to submit themselves to hypnosis, brainwashing, brain-melting, dumbing down, and other techniques for scooping out intelligence.

The gestures most often looped in GIF format almost always register the evacuation of will: wilting faces, trembling legs, eyes rolled back into heads. Even the GIF format itself communicates this, a kind of centrifuge for distilling the femaleness to its barest essentials — an open mouth, an expectant a**hole, blank, blank eyes. Sissy porn did make me trans.”

        Andrea Long Chu, Females

Sissy hypno incorporates audio files that aim to “brainwash” male listeners into believing they are women. Through repeated mantras, sissy hypno content creators claim to turn men into “bimbos” and “f*ck dolls.” One example of sissy hypno audio content can be found on the website, BambiSleep.com. On its front page, the tagline, “Deep Bimbo Erotic Hypnosis,” is accompanied by a description which reads, “Bambi sleep is for ANYONE that wishes to become a sexy bimbo girl. The files are not specific to what gender the listener is.” A more detailed explanation is provided in the “How to Get Started” tab:

“Bambi Sleep is one of the most advanced and complete systems in the erotic hypnosis genres. These sessions will turn you, regardless of gender, into a brainless, beautiful, bimbo named Bambi.

Bambi loves to wear high heels, tight clothes and perfect make-up. Left to her own devices, she will alter her body with large implants and lip injections. If your job will not allow for changes to your outward appearance — this may not be [sic] place for you.”

The first video released by Bambi Sleep was published on YouTube in 2018 and has garnered over 100k views. Titled, “Bambi Bimbo Doll Conditioning,” the description promises it is “a complete and powerful training program that will transform the listener into a perfect dumb slutty bimbo girl called Bambi.” It features only a still photo of a woman in sunglasses as a black and white spiral spins slowly in the background. There is a distant hum and an obviously fake computer-generated female voice instructing the listener to relax, and to snap back into a state of hypnosis upon hearing the phrase “bimbo doll,” which is accompanied by the sound of a female moan. In the background, quieter voices repeat the words, “bimbo doll.”

The video continues for two and a half hours, commanding the listener to “obey without question, obey without any concept of free will,” and to become “an eager, willing puppet, your own desires instantly, effortlessly replaced by a need to obey, a puppet with no concept of free will,” suggesting the listener’s IQ will go “spiralling downward as tits inflate.”

A comment on the video by a user named, “Diaper Lover” says, “I’m addicted to watching these hypnosis videos every night now, i [sic] feel so amazing … it feels so good to be a mindless fuck puppet.” Another comment, by a user called Amanda Grey, whose profile photo is a man wearing makeup and stereotypically feminine attire, explains that he is now unable to take off his underwear without first putting a sex toy in his mouth: “I just can’t use the facilities without a c*ck in my mouth. Now I’m going to have to carry a d*ldo in my purse.” Considering the nature of this brand of pornography, it’s not difficult to imagine that this man, and others like him, would prefer to use the women’s facilities while engaging in their sexual fetish.

Another commenter said their father had become addicted to sissy hypno:

“He’s been doing this for years, it possesses his every waking moment and it’s literally driving my mom insane. They’re both senior citizens and he can barely walk or make it to the restroom on time, but somehow he finds the time to do this nonsense and buy poppers… This… has ruined my family and possessed my dad for the twighlight [sic] years of his life.”

“Poppers” is a slang term that refers to drugs that are inhaled in order to relax smooth muscles, especially the sphincter, and increase the heart rate, resulting in a sensation of heat and excitement. References to the use of poppers can often be found accompanying online discussions of sissy hypno pornography.

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The subreddit r/TGandSissyRecovery is a support group for men quitting sissy hypno and transgender porn with about 5k members. Most posts center around personal stories of addiction, and how the sissy addiction in particular led group members to believe they were transgender.

A November 13 post titled, “I don’t know if I am trans or it’s just a kink,” reads:

“I would like to transition but I’m still in the closet, but still I have tried cross-dressing and I get turned on by that, also I want to go with men to f*ck me when I am crossdressed, I have tried gay sex and I think I am more interested in women but when I am a girl, I want to get f*cked.”

A  November 21 post titled simply, “Advice?” says:

“I think I suffer from Transvestic fetishism. It started at a young age, really young, and turned into sexual desire as I went through puberty. The first time I masturbated was wearing my stepmom’s clothes, and now it feels like I need to masturbate wearing feminine clothes to relieve the thoughts, sometimes not being able to focus at all until I wear the clothes. I’ve been to my current therapist several times dressed femininely, so it feels wrong to talk to her about the fact that it brings me sexual pleasure… Like me doing that… would make her incredibly uncomfortable.”

A thread posted to r/sissy in October, titled, “Unprogramming and realizing I miss the old me,” which has since been deleted, read:

“I think this sh*t is sinister and grooming. I was in my teens when I made it to sissy hypno. I used to have better relationships with females. Now I hate them. I used to be cis now I’m having gender confusion. I hate sissy hypno porn now… porn has a negative impact on many of us. Before you got into this, what were you like? What were any of us like? I refuse to call my d*ck a lady d*ck anymore… you were groomed by porn into becoming this way… It really is brainwashing and I’d rather have my mind back.”

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Sissy hypno differs from mainstream pornography in that it addresses the viewer and gives instructions, deliberately wielding the power of the medium in an attempt to alter one’s self-identity and encourage dysphoria. Multiple studies across decades have demonstrated a correlation between pornography viewership, sexist attitudes towards women, and increased instances of violence and assault. The regions of the brain activated by pornography are the same regions activated as though one were actually engaging in intercourse, due to the brain’s mirror neurons. Marco Iacoboni, a professor at University of California Los Angeles, proposes this is why pornography has a strong impact on our minds, including the potential to encourage violent behavior, saying: “The mirror mechanism in the brain also suggests that we are automatically influenced by what we perceive, thus proposing a plausible neurobiological mechanism for contagion of violent behavior.”

Recent studies have shown that pornography can hijack the brain’s dopamine reward center. As pornography results in sharp bursts of dopamine, the brain develops tolerance to the content, requiring more shocking media to elicit the same thrill. As a result, pornography can lead to sexual dysfunctions and depression. In addition, there is some research to suggest that consuming pornography can lead to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), and in particular, penis dysmorphia among men. Given that gender dysphoria is a type of BDD that is characterized by unease with primary and secondary sexual characteristics, it follows that pornography can distort self-perception and reasonably be assumed to induce gender dysphoria, rather than simply drawing out a pre-existing condition.

It used to be taken as undisputed fact that the media we consume can shape our minds and behavior. Yet, as our lives become ever more media-saturated, our ability to think critically about its impact on identity and selfhood have been constrained and often reduced to individual, rather than societal, observations. We must therefore consider the recent extreme popularity of claiming a transgender identity as connected to the tremendous rise in online streaming pornography and its accessibility. The phenomenon and trend is too great to ignore.

Genevieve Gluck is a writer and advocate for women’s sex-based rights and creator of Women’s Voices, an audio library dedicated to bringing awareness to feminist texts and speeches.

This article has been cross-posted by Graham Linehan.

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