Sex Q&A: Is It Ok to Cross-Dress for Fun?

Reader “FR” asks:

What is your opinion on a guy wearing feminine lingerie to spice things up in the bedroom, just for the shock factor, or for some good laughs? And just for one night, being a Damsel in distress?

I have no interest in changing my sexual identity, I am very glad that God made me as a man. I just thought about doing this just for fun, to break away from the same-old-same-old, and to liven things up in the bedroom. To me, this is similar to my teenage son dressing up as a girl for last Halloween, and he is about as masculine as they come… but if this is wrong in the eyes of God, then the last thing I would want to do is to offend him.

I’ll answer this in three parts: what the Bible says, how to apply what the Bible says, and what El Fury thinks.

First, I’m only aware of one verse in the Bible that directly talks about cross-dressing:

Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

I linked the word “abomination” to its definition in the Hebrew so that you can see how strong it is. This verse is pretty easy to interpret, and you’ll notice that it is very culturally grounded: God isn’t specifying the type of clothing allowed for either sex, He’s saying that he expects men and women to adhere to the cultural norms for their sexes. The following New Testament passage is interpreted similarly:

1 Corinthians 11:14-16, “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.”

Despite the invocation of “nature itself”, the last sentence in the passage makes it clear that the instructions about hair-length for men and women are based on the common practice of the time. The Bible instructs us to follow the clothing and style customs for our sex.

Moving into the second part of my answer, there’s a broad theme throughout the Bible that God created men and women to be different and distinct, and He doesn’t like it when we muddle things up. The instructions about clothing and hair are culturally dependent, and the way we apply these instructions depends on the culture we live in. Consider the passage from 1 Corinthians: it’s not accurate to insist that all married women should have long hair in the modern world, because that’s not how our culture demonstrates a wife’s submission to her husband. The key issue Paul is addressing is wifely submission, not hair length, and in the broad Mediterranean culture of the early church long hair was a symbol of that submission.

Therefore, the general application is that men and women, husbands and wives, should adhere to their distinct roles and display the outward signs of those roles as appropriate for their culture. Does this mean that cross-gender Halloween costumes are sinful? Or that a husband wearing lingerie is sinful?  I will not presume to condemn anyone based on my extrapolation from the Bible — each person should pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. However, my opinion is that the scriptural guidance is pretty  clear on this matter, and you’d do best to steer clear of cross-gender clothing, style, and behavior.

Which brings us to the third part of my answer: El Fury’s opinion. I personally wouldn’t dress or act in a feminine manner to make my wife laugh, especially in a sexual situation. Sure, it may be funny, but the essence of the joke is the husband emasculating himself. That’s not an experience I want to put in my wife’s mind. I want her to see me as strong, masculine, loving, kind, and sexy — and humor that undercuts that image is ultimately destructive to our marriage. It may get a laugh for a minute, and then stick in her mind for decades.

Being able to laugh and play together in a sexual setting is a great boon for your marriage, but husbands, your wife should never have any confusion about your intent to sex her up real good.

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will only share your question if you give us permission, and we’ll never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email service like Mailinator.

16 comments

  1. This seems contrary to your previous posts that God has no limits on the holy bed of marriage other than it be consensual, no one gets hurt and no third parties. As long as cross dressing stays in the bedroom I don’t see the harm. One could argue that letting the wife dominate is also a form of gender reversal.

    1. Hi Dave, that’s a great point to discuss. As I wrote at the top of “Can we *BLANK*?”, your spouse can’t give you permission to sin — for examples, no threesomes. If you interpret the Bible in the most logical manner it’s pretty clear that cross-dressing is sinful, so it doesn’t matter if your spouse wants or allows it.

      As for the wife being in a dominant role during sex, please elaborate on why you think this is questionable. The only circumstance I can imagine would be if the wife forced the husband to do something against his will, but that would be sinful if the genders were reversed as well.

      1. Hi again El Fury,

        Per your first paragraph, I think we agree that God wants men to dress and act like men in public, and same for women, as you said “appropriate for their culture”. But IMHO that does not apply to the bedroom for short periods of sexy play time, nor do the two verses apply in the bedroom. There are lots of things we do and wear (or not wear) in the bedroom that would be sinful (or even illegal) to do/wear outside the bedroom.

        Per your second paragraph, I didn’t mean to imply that I’m against female domination in the bedroom — I’m all for it! I just meant to throw that out there as an example of a practice that COULD be interpreted as “muddling things up” in regards to women submitting to men that you wrote about. Again perhaps inappropriate in public but a lot of good clean fun in the bedroom.

        As a Christian of 40 years, I’m so past the legalism. My only rules for the bedroom are like I said before, consensual, no one gets hurt and no third parties, similar to the secular saying “safe, sane and consensual”. IMHO cross-dressing and role play in the bedroom is okay, and I believe God is okay with Mrs. Doubtfire.

        BTW I am a huge fan

        1. Hey Dave, I appreciate the thoughtful comments! You make a good point about clothing that is acceptable in the privacy of your bedroom vs. in public.

          I totally get where you’re coming from, and like I said in the post, it’s not my place to condemn you and your wife for what you enjoy. As always, the Bible requires the help of the Holy Spirit to interpret and apply its teachings, and all married couples should spend time in prayer about their sex life to ensure that they are glorifying God in everything they do.

        1. My wife would be turned off to half the content of this website, if I could get her to read it, and about a quarter of yours Keelie. That’s fine, we all have our limits. But we must be careful not to rationalize our dislikes as “sin” so we can stay in our comfort zone and remain lousy lovers.

          I like the secular definition of what makes a good lover, GGG “good, giving and game” and a lousy lover “SSS” (I’ll let you look that one up). GGG/SSS would be a great topic for either or both of you explore in your writings.

  2. Hello SC, just a couple more thoughts …

    I see you haven’t revised your “Can we do *Blank*” article yet; your site is in a conflicted state until you change that post or this one.

    We have to be careful when pulling verses out of context, especially the old testament. Reading down just a little from the verse you quoted Deuteronomy 22:5, verse 11 “Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together” and 12 “Make tassels on the four corners of cloak you wear” … my Jehovah’s Witness friend doesn’t believe in blood transfusions because of Leviticus 17:10-12 … do you really want to go down that path?
    Dave recently posted…Are Facebook and Netflix Damaging Your Sex Life?My Profile

    1. Dave, I really don’t see the conflict. This post lays out the one thing the Bible says directly about cross-dressing and then gives my opinion, as clearly indicated. No one is bound to follow my opinion.

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