A woman's boyfriend has been cross-dressing for over 2 years, and she says she loves his alter ego

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  • Artists Benjamin, 25, and Nastia, 22, have been dating for over two years. 
  • Benjamin cross-dresses — or dresses up in women's clothing and makeup — as a hobby and has a tall, blonde alter ego name Alaska.

When Nastia and Benjamin, artists who have been dating for over two years, go out in public, they look like any other creative straight couple. But a closer look at their respective Instagram accounts tells a different story. 

While many of Nastia's pictures show her and Benjamin happily coupled up, some of Nastia's posts show her romantically posing with a tall woman in over-the-top, bedazzled pink outfits.  

Benjamin has a passion for cross-dressing — or dressing up in clothing traditionally designed for women, along with putting on makeup, wigs, and high heels — and has created a hyper-feminine alter ego named Alaska 

 

Benjamin told Barcroft TV that he always had an interest in cross-dressing but was scared to tell his friends, family, and romantic interests about it because he thought it would insinuate he was gay, or they would think it was odd and reject him. 

Despite his initial fear of rejection, Benjamin told Nastia about his passion for cross-dressing shortly after the two started dating, according to Barcroft TV. Nastia's response was overwhelmingly positive, and she even encouraged her boyfriend to create his alter ego.  

Now, the two have turned Benjamin's passion into a full-blown couple's activity, spending hours doing each other's makeup and taking artistic photos while dressed in elaborate outfits. Alaska and Nastia post photoshoots on Instagram, go to clubs, and even having casual date nights out on the town. 

Benjamin's friends and family have been mostly supportive, and while he has had to cut out some people in his life for not accepting his art, he told Barcroft TV he feels happier overall now that he's able to perform as Alaska in the open.

 

 

 

Men who cross-dress aren't necessarily queer or questioning their gender identity

While Nastia and Benjamin's relationship is stronger because of their mutual appreciation of fashion, performance, and makeup, some couples are put to the test when a partner admits they have a passion for cross-dressing. 

Dr. Karen Ruskin, a psychotherapist and relationship expert, has counseled numerous heterosexual couples in similar situations to Nastia and Benjamin.

Ruskin told Insider that a common misconception about men cross-dressing is that it means they are questioning their sexuality or gender identity. This can put a strain on their relationship because women may feel inadequate or like there is something "wrong" with their partner for cross-dressing.

But motivations for men who cross-dress are complex. 

Whether a man is exploring femininity in a way societal expectations don't allow, dealing with loss, or simply expressing creativity, Ruskin said that every case is different. 

"Cross-dressing allows them that moment to give themselves permission to feel emotions and softness and nurture and love in a soft way because it's deemed as something a woman would do," Ruskin said. "By putting on those clothes, they can tap into that."

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Ruskin said women who find out their male partners cross-dress should approach the situation with an open mind 

Ruskin, who has 25 years of experience as a therapist, said that she has noticed a significant uptick in couples coming in with problems surrounding cross-dressing in the past 5 years. 

Ruskin's biggest piece of advice for women who find out their male partners are interested in cross-dressing is to approach the situation with an open mind.

"Really discuss with your man in a non-judgmental [way], be an active listener, caring with curiosity, kindness and compassion, not fear that they're hurting you or that they're sick," Ruskin said.  

While Ruskin said it's fine for a woman to acknowledge that the situation makes her uncomfortable or is incompatible with what she wants in a relationship, it is crucial to understand why a partner has a desire to cross-dress rather than jumping to conclusions.

"They should be able to uncover and discover, giving them a safe space to talk to find out why it might be the case, because it's different for different men." 

Read the original article on Insider