“My Husband Wears My Lingerie”

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I recently went through my husband’s phone and found pictures of him in my panties and lingerie. The pictures showed him with an erection. I’m so disgusted and confused, and I do not know how to approach him. We have had some troubles in our marriage in the past but nothing ever like this.

My concern is that he could possibly be involved in homosexual activity and putting my health at risk. We have a 5-year-old daughter who absolutely adores him, so ending the marriage is not that easy. I know that when I bring the pictures up he will be highly embarrassed. I just can’t imagine why he would be doing this. — He Wears My Lingerie

Your husband cross-dresses because it brings him pleasure, and he keeps it a secret because he’s ashamed and/or because keeping it a secret increases his arousal. Cross-dressing and homosexuality — and transgender identity, for that matter — are NOT the same thing, and a man can be into wearing women’s clothes without being sexually attracted to men and without feeling like he’s a woman in a man’s body. In fact, many male cross-dressers can have perfectly happy and healthy heterosexual relationships with women they love and are attracted to.

It’s possible that the problems you’ve had in your marriage are related to your husband’s secret (or, they may be unrelated), and bringing the issue out in the open and discussing it compassionately could actually bring you closer together. I’d suggest sitting your husband down and telling him what you found.

Avoid accusatory language, but, of course, ask him if he’s being faithful to you and if you have any reason to worry about your sexual health. Tell him you love him and want to understand this behavior. If you can reserve judgment and just listen to his explanation with an open heart, hopefully your husband will trust you enough to share his feelings and you will find that this is really nothing more than a kink — and a pretty harmless one at that — and doesn’t have to have a negative effect on your marriage. It could even have a positive effect.

I actually answered a very similar question (privately) from another reader, and she sent me an update saying: “Our relationship has gotten much better since my husband told me about his cross-dressing — even the sex is better. After 20 years, he has nothing to hide anymore, and, thanks to you, I’m fine with it now. He just likes the way it feels on his skin, and I can understand that.”

Here’s hoping you and your marriage have as positive an outcome.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

    My question after reading: What made you want to snoop through his phone?

    1. So, I saw the snooping as her getting the feeling that he’s keeping something from her. And since he’s been keeping this from her, well, there’s your secret. Sure, it could mean more (I certainly don’t know), but I can see getting a general “he’s keeping something from me” feeling to fuel snooping.
      I get a pretty good gut feeling when my guy is keeping something from me. And he’s so bad at lying, I’ve ruined many a good surprise by prying just a tiny bit…

      1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        I get that feeling–but talk to him. And if you can’t trust him to be honest, there you go. That’s your answer right there. You don’t need to go snooping for that.

      2. Alternatively, maybe she wasn’t snooping – “recently went through my husband’s phone” could mean she was looking for pictures of her 5-year-old’s recital and he wasn’t being as discreet as he could have been.

      3. bittergaymark says:

        She’d have said that in the LW. The wording reveals the snoop.

    2. I’m sure she suspected something and her instincts were to check on him, it’s not the most righteous thing, and I know I’ve always resisted that temptation, but I get it. something’s wrong and he either isn’t telling her if she’s asking or she just wanted to snoop. Maybe its just me but I think I’d be relieved if this is what I found.

      1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        Just wanting to snoop-really crappy excuse.
        Him not telling her=still not great…but a better one–but one that needs to be dealt with on its own-snooping won’t solve that problem.

      2. You Should go snooping if you feel that your spouse is keeping an intimate secret.
        Crazy to think that’s out of line
        (lady In purple?)”if you can’t trust him to be honest there you go. There’s your answer right there” lol
        There’s absolutely no answer in that lol.
        I found out my spouse was keeping a crossdressing secret from me by accidentally showing up to his house and letting myself in while he was gone. I found the clothes and other items I won’t disclose, And initially I thought he was reminiscing over his ex girlfriend and missing her so I tossed the clothes over the fence! ( we had been arguing before I had showed up there earlier in day ) Later on when we were getting along again I told him how I tossed that laundry basket of clothes over the back fence and he was mad! I said, “you care that much about her that it’s gonna upset you this much?!”
        And he yelled, “ they are not hers!!!”
        Right away I heard the message loud and clear. That’s been almost two years ago. It’s still a secret tho. We can not discuss it or there will be hell.. not from me..
        And my feelings are still upset and hurting about the secret but mainly cause he don’t or won’t talk to me about it or share the intimacy with me.. I totally can dig it and It would turn me on if he was dressed during sex. However he puts very little real effort into our sex but he puts a huge effort into his masturbation Sex life and tbh.. that hurts too

  2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    I get that phones are most people’s regular cameras these days but I can’t help but wonder if the fact that he used his phone means he sent or plans to send the pictures to someone else. … Just wondering: when you went through his phone, were there any sent images? (Also why were you going through your husbands phone?) It sounds like you may be more worried about/suspect infidelity rather than a kink. I wish there were more information here. But, like Wendy said, you’ve got to ask him. And the best way to approach him would be to not jump to conclusions … but if there’s more going on here (and there must have been something to prompt you to go through his phone), that may be hard to do.

    1. So I have to say I haven’t picked up my ‘real’ camera in over a year. I exclusively use my phone to take any pictures. It’s also easier to see yourself if your phone has the switch the view option so you can take a better picture of yourself.

      But, I would probably not jump straight to cheating either. I would have thought of it as a fantasy first. So I agree that something else is fueling the feeling that he’s cheating and the original looking through his phone.

    2. I had the same thought as you Addie Pray. I wonder if the fact that they are on his phone means that he has sent them to someone. Although I have taken pics of myself in a bathing suit to show what I looked like in this bathing suit before I started a certain work out program. But I’m certainly not aroused and didn’t plan on sending them to anyone.

  3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    Assuming it’s just a kink – the guy likes to dress up in women’s clothing and it turns him on – ladies, would you be ok with that? My first reaction is “I think that’s weird” which then makes me think I might not be so open-minded and understanding as I would hope. Or maybe that would be my first reaction and then I’d become open-minded and understanding? I’d hope. What about you?

    1. Depends on how good he looks in women’s lingerie…

      1. So, not totally related, but I thought underwear would never make a difference in this regard, and I am not a fan of the frilly, slinky underwear stuff. Then I went to a gay club and they had men walking around in boxer briefs – holy shit, that is hot! Totally wasn’t expecting to have that reaction, but I’ve gotten Bassanio to occasionally change his underwear habits… He hasn’t complained.

      2. Question to the gay men out there: is it common for gay clubs to have random hot men walking around in boxer briefs? Or is it just that one place?

      3. Bittergaymark says:

        Fairly common. Extremely common. They are called Go Go Boys. And — yes — they are prone to wear boxer briefs as they are the hottest male underwear around. More often than not these dancing dudes are broke straight college boys who make BANK. Gay men are visual creatures, what can I say? And we like a good show.

      4. Thanks BGM! Man, were those Go Go Boys hot, and now I know what to inquire about next time my friends are down with going to a gay club… 😉

      5. bittergaymark says:

        Do you live in Portland, by chance?

      6. Do most men wear boxers? My boyfriend is strictly a boxer briefs kind of guy.

      7. I don’t know about most men, but the ones I’ve dated were all in the boxer category, unfortunately.

      8. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        I’ve also only dated boxer wearing guys

      9. bittergaymark says:

        Uh-oh. He wears boxer-briefs? GAY!! (I kid, I kid.) All men SHOULD wear a rotating combo of boxers and boxer briefs… Tighty whiteys look good on like 9 people in all of America… 😉

      10. Ha, well it is probably partially because those are the kind of underwear that his mom buys for him for Christmas and birthdays, along with socks.

      11. bittergaymark says:

        All mothers secretly want gay sons… 😉

      12. Fiance started off all boxers, now does all boxer briefs cause he says they are more comfortable. I’m certainly not complaining….

      13. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I personally like regular white briefs because when a man is just wearing briefs – oh especially with socks – he looks so nerdy I LOVE IT.

      14. Is it the Risky Business Tom Cruise image? Because I wouldn’t see nerdy, I’d see that…

      15. Avatar photo fast eddie says:

        I recently switched from briefs for the support to boxers seeking comfort. I seems that you just can’t have it both ways at the same time.

      16. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Boxer briefs are my kryptonite. My boyfriend wears the on special occasions like I do lingerie. I hope to slowly phase out all of his boxers for boxer briefs.

    2. I think that just as it’s OK to have a certain kink, it’s also OK to find some kinks to be turn-offs (not to be confused with shaming someone for their kink). If I were confronted with this, I wouldn’t be thrilled (men wearing women’s lingerie do not look sexy to me), but I’d probably try and see if I could adjust to the idea of my guy doing this. But if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t feel guilty about that.

    3. lets_be_honest says:

      I think lots of things are weird at first. I used to think my dad eating octopus was weird. I used to think the word “phat” was weird. I used to think people who wore jeggings were weird. So, I think at first, many of us would be all ‘wtf?!’ but then get used to it.

    4. I think I would be taken aback at first, just because that’s a big part of someone’s self to not know about. Like if I had a fantasy I was living out and didn’t share with m, I would feel weird. But, I think after the original reaction I would be fine with it. I think understand what exactly about it turned him on would definitely make the sex better.

    5. kerrycontrary says:

      I would really have trouble wrapping my mind around it, especially if I saw pictures of it. I have to admit that I would really have trouble with it. I don’t have any issue with it in theory, but if it were my SO….That would be difficult. I think it would turn me off from sex with him.

    6. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      hm good question. I like to think I am pretty open minded but I would probably be slightly taken aback at first. If it was a serious long-term boyfriend, fiance, husband that I was deeply committed to, I would work with it and accept it for sure, it would probably just take a bit.

    7. I don’t think I’d have a problem with it. In fact, I would be entertained to go lingerie shopping with him. You know, get his and hers in complimenting sets? I’m sure the conservative ladies in the women’s bra section would love that.

    8. I think it would be normal to be a little surprised/uncertain about it at first. It’s unusual and unexpected, for one, and for two, there aren’t a lot of good cultural scripts for talking about this kind of thing (as evidenced by the LW automatically jumping from ‘wears my lingerie’ to ‘homosexual’ – that’s not a judgment, it just shows that people in general just don’t know much about cross-dressing as a behavior).
      Were it my S.O. I think I’d probably be OK with it as long as it was openly communicated. It’s a pretty harmless kink and not even one that I’d have to actively participate in — I’d probably encourage him to get his own garments rather than borrow mine. But then again, I’m bi and tend to be attracted to men with a notable feminine streak (personality and/or appearance) so maybe that why it’s kinda “meh” to me, or even potentially positive, I could see this leading to some fun role-reversal sexytimes or something. But as far as kinks go, I’d rather it be this than some others I’ve heard of…

    9. It’s really difficult for me to separate the “my SO wears women’s clothing” situation from the “I don’t fully know my SO, and he doesn’t feel he can share this part of himself with me” situation. I think I’d be taken aback if I suddenly found out that my partner likes to wear women’s clothes… but mostly because I’d feel like he’d been keeping something from me for a number of years… and I’d feel sad that he hadn’t shared this part of himself with me.

      1. This is where I am with it I think. Like, good for you that you want to wear women’s underwear/lingerie. If it turns you on, that’s cool…. but how about we not keep things like this from each other?

    10. Lemongrass says:

      I would be shocked that my husband had kept that from me but I would be okay. It’s a pretty minor kink as kinks go. I used to sell shoes to a man who loved to wear them. He had a wife and she would come shopping with him. He always thanked me for being so open, he wasn’t out about it so I would watch for other customers while he tried them on behind the accessory racks- he didn’t want the reaction from other people. He said I was one of the only salespeople that he tried them on in front of because of people’s reactions. I think that’s sad, it’s just fucking clothes.

      1. My MIL had a part-time job at Ann Taylor after she retired. She had a male customer who always came to her to help him shop for women’s clothes in his size, because she was discreet and nonjudgmental. Man my in-laws are the best 🙂

      2. Oops, meant this as a reply to honeybeenicki above! (And I’m with most others here…if I found out my husband did this, I’d mostly just feel bummed that he felt like he couldn’t tell me, unless keeping it a secret was part of the kink.)

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Aw, your MIL sounds very kind.

    11. findingtheearth says:

      Yes. Women dress in “male” clothes all the time and it is perfectly acceptable. Why not the opposite?

    12. regular lurker says:

      So my boyfriend came up to me once when I came home looking all shamefaced and goes “There’s a run in one of your black stockings.” I just figured he’d been doing laundry, until he followed up with “I may have been trying them on. Sorry.” And I think my reaction was just, oh, ok, they were cheap, no worries. Like I didn’t spend a single second thinking about it past that…except to occasionally wonder if I could get him to do it again. 😛 Maybe, maybe not, but I just know him as the kind of person who likes to try things, just to try them, so I just dismissed it.
      Then again, if he were to come up to me again and tell me it was actually a big kink of his, I think I’d just be glad he shared. Like yay, I know something else about you, let’s do that! But if not, eh, I have no strong reaction either way.

    13. Avatar photo Crochet.Ninja says:

      I think it would be hot! (except not mine… he has to get his own :p)

    14. AbbyNormal says:

      I would definitely be ok with it. I briefly dated a crossdresser who was very open about it and I had no issues with it and I actually enjoyed helping him shop for clothes and makeup. As long as he had his own stuff and wasn’t borrowing mine, everything was fine 😛

    15. I’d be annoyed he was stretching my sh*t out. Get your own!

  4. Crossdressing is a fairly common kink and it’s not necessarily related to homosexuality. Definitely ask your husband if he’s been faithful if you’re worried about that, but don’t just assume that a) he must be interested in men or b) that he’s being unfaithful. If you talk about this kink with your husband, I wouldn’t lead with “why in the world would you do this?” – he will just feel shamed and misunderstood if you do that.
    Also, reading between the lines it kind of sounds like you want to leave your husband. I’m getting this from the fact that your main reason against separation is your daughter and that you mention “other problems”. So… if you want to separate, whether it’s due to those pictures or other reasons, that is fine. You don’t need to prove that your husband is a “perv” or whatever to pull the trigger on a separation. If you lean towards ending the marriage anyway, then I wouldn’t make this about the crossdressing.

  5. @AP Fabello does that (dress in lingerie). It threw me off at first (just…aesthetically…) & it doesn’t turn me ON but it doesn’t turn me off either. Also, he takes pics of himself…it’s like a sexy selfie? I take sexy selfies that I don’t necessarily send to people

    1. Can I send you my sexy selfies for critique? Haha.

      1. Um, YES 😉

  6. Bittergaymark says:

    Wow. Bet you are thrilled you looked through his phone, eh? Honestly? That anybody in this modern era still thinks transvestitism = homosexuality is fucking hilarious. NEWSFLASH: Your husband enjoys a common HETEROSEXUAL kink and or fetish. One he WISELY kept from you because you are clearly a closed-minded, homophobic bigot.

    1. Redundancy police here: BGM, did you ever meet an open-minded homophobic bigot?

      1. bittergaymark says:

        As a matter of fact — yes. True story. I’ve slept with a few open-minded bigots. What can I say? They were asses, but hot asses, with hot asses.

      2. I stand corrected.

      3. bittergaymark says:

        They stood…erected.

      4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Bada bing!

  7. Laura Hope says:

    We don’t know that she’s a homophobic bigot. All we know is that she doesn’t want her husband to cheat on her. And since he has a secret life going on, who knows what other secrets he has. She needs to communicate with him.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      The immediate leap to “Eeek! Homosexuality!” wasn’t exactly a great display of modern enlightenment.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        If you were in a long term relationship and the dude all of a sudden was into something new that isn’t the norm, how would you react? Please answer seriously, because I’m curious. I could totally see myself being all wtf and freaking out at first.

      2. bittergaymark says:

        I’d simply ask my partner about it — rather than panic and run to my computer to query the internet about it… 😉

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Ha, yea true. Its pretty odd she didn’t even talk to him about this yet.

      4. So, Dan Savage does have a theory that (out) gay people are much more open to revealing their kinks than straight people. Something like “since I’ve basically already told my mother that I like sucking dick, telling someone I’m seeing that I want to be pissed on isn’t as scary.” And I imagine it goes the other way too.

      5. I’m with you on communicating with your partner, but given where the LW’s thoughts are going, it’s probably a good idea for her to be getting some outside perspective before trying to talk to him about this.

      6. So maybe it’s not “enlightened” for her to associate cross dressing with homosexuality but she just found out something completely unexpected about her husband. Of course her mind is racing as she tries to make sense of it and figure out what else he might be hiding.

        Also, a woman not wanting her husband to be gay does not necessarily make her a homophobic bigot. As a woman married to a man, if I found out he was cheating it would be horrible but possibly something we could work through. If, on the other hand, I found out he was gay… there’s no saving the marriage. My entire life, our kids’ lives, almost everything would change. Not to mention the amount of self doubt I would experience in wondering how I could have not realised something so fundamental about him.

        Call it what you want – I don’t care what other people do in their own bedrooms – but I’d probably freak out too if I thought MY husband was gay.

  8. findingtheearth says:

    Communication. Be honest with him what you did and what you found. Discuss what your thoughts are and his thoughts. Let him actually talk about it and do not just shut him down or out because of whatever misgivings you have.

  9. Lemongrass says:

    Question: I rarely take my purse with me when Mr. Grass and I go out and often he’ll run into a store to get something and I’ll wait in the car because it’s a pita to get E in and out for something quick. I’ll ask for his phone to keep me entertained and sometimes I play games and sometimes I go through his photos to look at ones of E that he’s taken. I’m not looking for anything sinister, I trust him. Does that count as snooping? He doesn’t care, I don’t care and I’m not going to stop because it isn’t harming us and I like to see the different pics but I’m curious whether you guys think that is okay or not.

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      That’s not snooping. Snooping is going through someone’s personal stuff without permission, searching for insight into someone’s behavior, thoughts, or lifestyle.

  10. Laura Hope says:

    Yes, Mark. I reread it and you’re right. Although in all fairness, she’s completely ignorant about anything outside of her “world”.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      heh heh heh…

  11. He needs to get his own gear and buy the LW some new stuff. I’m not against the kink, but you don’t eff up someone else’s stuff. I can imagine it being stretched out in some unlikely locations, waistbands shot etc. But then I have a vivid imagination. He also needs to respectfully launder anything he has been using.

  12. How many flash drives do I have of photos of Mr Peachy in lingerie that I bought for him over the years? 6? 7? Anyway, quite a few and it is one of the enjoyable side-lights to our happy hetero sex life.
    LW please keep this in perspective – it is likely a harmless pleasure and quite common at that. Your husband is many things (which you know and love) and now you have a bit more information about one of those many things. You can ask about what you saw in a non-judgmental way by talking about yourself: “Honey, I saw some photos on your phone that are confusing me, can you tell me what this is about?”

  13. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

    It is kind of telling that you jump right to the possibility of ending the marriage…or thinking he may be gay or cheating on you. Do you trust your husband typically? If so, this shouldn’t be the end of the world. Would you really end your marriage over something as harmless as this? I understand feeling incredibly hurt that he has kept this from you for so long, but you have the chance to rectify that, and learn about this side of your husband. Honestly this could be a great opportunity for growth and closeness and for you to show your husband he has nothing to be ashamed of, if that is the reason he has kept it hidden. Approach him with openness and warmth and ask him to explain this to you and let him know it is okay with you and he doesn’t have to hide it anymore.

  14. Avatar photo Crochet.Ninja says:

    I’d be more upset that he didn’t share it with me – the fact that he felt he had to hide it is the real issue. and the fact that you snooped.

  15. Sort of related to the boxer brief discussion — why isn’t there more lingerie for men? Okay, I can make a few guesses as to why, but imagine it. What if men could get silky, lacy undies made just for them? (Okay, they probably can, but again, it doesn’t seem common? Not as widespread as the purchasing options and lack of popular judgement for women’s lingerie?) How many men who crossdress because they enjoy the sensation of the women’s fabrics would be all over a nice silky pair of leopard print boxer briefs with a little soft lace trim? What would a “masculine” line of lingerie look like?

    1. Ooo, silky boxer briefs! That would be so hot!

    2. AbbyNormal says:

      Banana, I think lingerie for men should definitely be more common and I think guys would be all over it once they realized how comfortable lingerie can be. For what a “masculine” line of lingerie would look like, you should check out Body Aware.

      1. That’s where my boyfriend shops! (among others)

  16. LW, I would say to look at the information that is right in front of you. Don’t Jump to the worst. Now, I would go for a run or workout until you are physically exhausted. I find that all the panic goes away and I can think clearly. Now, I would really think hard about your sex life and what you are willing to accept or open to exploring. Everyone has weird fantasies and it is just thinking about how you can incorporate these things in your life that make you feel comfortable. Then speak to him openly without judgment. Listen to him. This does not have to be a deal breaker so don’t spiral.

  17. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

    To all the comments above about wanting your guys to switch to boxers briefs. Buy them saxx brand boxer briefs, I think they look pretty good and have the bonus of being the most comfortable thing I have ever owned, and if I was ever to do a reader rec, it would be first on my list and I would go on and on about how amazing they are.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      sounds like you need to do a Reader’s Rec!

      1. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        its on a mental list of to do items that I’ve been to lazy to do, I already have all the products that I would do picked out. But seriously, best boxer briefs ever

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        i can’t wait to have a boyfriend so i can have you advise me on things to buy him. also, so i can have a boyfriend.

    2. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

      seriously ladies, and guys, go out and purchase a pair of saxx for one of the men in your life, they are a game changer.

      1. Oh believe me, Bassanio’s going to be getting an early birthday present…

    3. Avatar photo theattack says:

      How much ball room is there, mrmid? Can you talk fruits that would comfortable fit into these boxer briefs?

      1. Avatar photo theattack says:

        *comfortably, not comfortable.

      2. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        Haha pretty much anything can fit super comfortably from my understanding, if you delve further into the science, there is essentially a pouch that every thing fits into, and it kind of holds everything in place and actually keeps it separated from the legs, which is surprisingly amazing

  18. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

    @ap, well if you need a guy to buy things for, I’m right here 😉

  19. Avatar photo fast eddie says:

    Some decades ago I loved to put on sexy panties and even wore them under my jeans to go shopping. It was a huge turn on and it was before digital photography so no evidence ever surfaced. The thrill faded slowly but a couple of GFs at the time enjoyed my enthusiasm and encouraged me put on something lacy before going out for the evening. At no time was I ever sexually interested in men.

  20. Anyone want to trade sexy selfies?

  21. pumkinheadd says:

    I have the same issue in my relationship. He likes to wear womens underwear and I want him to be happy and free. I, however, am no longer attracted to him. What should I do?

  22. Hi,if this is all you have to be worried about be thankful.For some odd reason society is very judgemental about this-although it is no business except for the person wearing the panties.Really , when you come down to it what is so bad about it.The couples who are the happiest are the ones where the female partner is happy to indulge her husband’s whims.I was in a relationship where my wife would let me wear women,s clothes.The result was that she had a very supportive, and loyal husband.It might be in your best interest.

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