"Autogynephilia" from Greek αὐτό- ("self"), γυνή ("woman") and φιλία ("love") — "love of oneself as a woman") is a term coined in 1989 by Ray Blanchard, to refer to "a man's paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman." Alternative terms proposed for this notion include automonosexuality, eonism, and sexo-aesthetic inversion. The DSM-IV-TR includes an essentially equivalent definition, and recognizes autogynephilia as a common occurrence in the transvestic fetishism disorder, but does not classify autogynephilia as a disorder by itself. The paraphilias working group on DSM 5, which included Ray Blanchard, included autogynephilia and autoandrophilia as subtypes of transvestic disorder, a proposal that was opposed by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), stating the lack of empirical evidence for the theory.
Autogynephilia is most notable for its use in Blanchard's taxonomy to explain the presence of gender dysphoria in "non-homosexual" gynephilic]] male-to-female transsexuals, in contrast to the gender dysphoria observed in "homosexual" androphilic transsexuals. Autogynephilia has also been suggested to pertain to romantic love as well as to sexual arousal patterns.
Blanchard provides specific case examples to illustrate the autogynephilic sexual fantasies that people reported:
Philip was a 38-year-old professional man referred to the author's clinic for assessment....Philip began masturbating at puberty, which occurred at age 12 or 13. The earliest sexual fantasy he could recall was that of having a woman's body. When he masturbated, he would imagine that he was a nude woman lying alone in her bed. His mental imagery would focus on his breasts, his vagina, the softness of his skin, and so on—all the characteristic features of the female physique. This remained his favorite sexual fantasy throughout his life.