Reminder

Just a quick reminder to all of you who are interested in new content from me – I have been posting regularly at www.janieblack.com

I have moved my blog over there, so I will no longer be updating this site. Please update your bookmarks, subscriptions, etc.

Hope to see you there: www.janieblack.com

Janie

Transitioning

Transitioning. Now there’s a loaded word in this community.

Well, I have decided to undergo a transition… of sorts. Actually, it is more my blog that is transitioning than it is me.

Onwards and upwards as they say…

My new website is up and running at WWW.JANIEBLACK.COM.

Please come visit and let me know if anything isn’t working just right, especially comments, feeds and other technicalities that aren’t immediately obvious to me.

I will be posting all my new content over there. I have already transferred all existing posts to my new site.

This site will remain as is for the foreseeable future, and no new content will be added here.

Please change any bookmarks you may have to WWW.JANIEBLACK.COM or update your RSS feeds accordingly. I presume subscribers will have to re-subscribe.

I hope there will be no problems, but if there are, please let me know so I can fix them. There is a contact form readily available.

I hope you will be patient with me during this transition period. And, let me know what you think. I have much more flexibility to change things over there, so if you ask, you may get…

Thanks to everyone for your readership, commentary and support these past few years.

Love,

Janie

Authenticity

Now that I have discussed Roles (and Multiple Roles) and Impressions, it is time to go back to the questions I posed about being an imposter or intruder last week.

The other day, I found myself having to switch back and forth between my two selves.

I woke up and went to a neighborhood cafe to write my blog as Janie.

But, I knew that my lunch was going to be with family members who expected “him” and this was to be followed by a little road trip to meet some people in the evening: more Janie-business.

It is a bit of a trip switching back and forth. Here is a stream of consciousness about my day: I put on an androgynous t-shirt and light-colored feminine jeans that roll up to capris, showing off my new anklet; I went to the bathroom at the cafe in the morning an used the women’s room; while working, my hair was getting in my face, so I took out my hair clip and pinned my hair up; just before leaving for lunch, I rolled down my jeans to cover my legs, and went back to the bathroom – this time the men’s room; as I was leaving, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror which reminded my to take that hairclip out of my hair (sheesh!), at which time I decided that a manly pony-tail was more in order; I had my lunch date, and then transformed myself back to the way I looked in the morning for the drive…

Each change of clothes entailed a change of mental focus and body language. I certainly prefer to just get comfortable in one role and stay that way for extended periods, that’s for sure; this was exhausting.

But, I AM both genders. I take BOTH roles quite seriously, but one at a time. I was never pretending even through this crazy day. At any moment, I was exactly what I presented myself to be; no deception, no ulterior motive, no interloping.

Ultimately, it dawned on me that the feeling of being an imposter was not, and is not at all about how others see me but how I see myself.

Multiple Roles

One of the things I kinda glossed over last time (Impressions) were the different roles each of us plays.

A woman may be an executive during the day and a casual jeans and T (shirt) girl in the evening, or even a sexy model on weekends.

Someone meeting her in any one of her roles may not imagine the other roles she plays, and may be turned off or taken aback by some of the possibilities…

…of course, not likely to the extent they might be should they run across the woman they met with yesterday walking down the street today as a man.Snapshot_20120825_8a

I know… it shouldn’t be a big deal, but to the vast majority of people out there, it is. (As I said last time, the more it happens, the less likely it will be that it comes as something so hard to comprehend, but we’re certainly not there yet.)

I tend to try to adhere to one or the other of the gender binary roles because both my sensibilities and those of most folks out there understand people along those lines. However, this approach is likely to backfire when one is observed in one role and then the other.

In some sense, this argues in favor of adopting one gender role and sticking with it, or presenting oneself as obviously sitting on the fence.

Or, you have to be prepared to accept the flak that comes when people quite expectedly have a hard time getting their minds around your dual-gendered existence.

Impressions

(… continued from Roles)

It occurs to me that people generally put no small amount of effort into presenting an image of themselves to the world through the way they dress about who they are and how they want to be seen and treated.

Whether it is the youngster in a t-shirt and ball-cap with his pants hanging well below his underwear or the businessman with a $2,000 suit and professionally selected shirt and tie to complement the look, each has taken a great deal of trouble to send a message.

We all know what is likely to be the result of our presentation choices based on our understanding of social norms in society today. Some will go about trying to change these, but most just insert themselves into the existing fabric where they think they want to belong.

(Norms do change over time as people realize that their presumptions about certain people are regularly wrong to their own detriment. A simple example is that most high-end establishments are much more respectful of casually-dressed people these days than they used to be, as they have realized that these days any one of them might be a dot-com billionaire.)

People who give off the impression of being female are treated differently than those who look to be men. Within the female group, there are a multitude of subsets of images and their projections – and one woman may be any number of these depending on her mood, her job, the time of day or whatever.

When I get dressed and go out in the world in female clothes, and groomed to look feminine, I too am communicating my preferences. In the most general sense, I am saying that I want to be treated as female. More specific messages can be gotten from the particular outfit I choose, the way I behave, etc.

I am not trying to fool anyone or surprise anyone. My behavior is entirely in keeping with the image I project, and anyone acting based on what they see from me will encounter a  response consistent with what they might expect from any woman.

“Ah, but you’re not really female, and that’s the deception” one might argue.

But consider… the extent to which I am not female is only a sexual one – and even then only in a limited physical sense. The vast majority of interpersonal contact is not sexual, and so in daily life it should not be relevant.

(And, I am quite conscientious about making sure that people who express a romantic or sexual interest in me know what they need to know early on so as not to embarrass them.)

Roles

The other day, I wrote about feeling like an imposter… which begs the question, “What exactly is the pretence?”

Stated differently, “What is it about being a woman that I am doing that is not authentic?”

Of course, these questions lead into consideration of what being a woman is all about… a bit of a tough question.IMG_0380

I turned this over in my mind a few times, and began thinking about the roles we all play in life. We are each none-too-subtly guided toward certain conventions of behavior based on our sex. Eventually, we all find our own comfortable way of being – usually fine distinctions within the broad strokes of the parameters we were given, but the variations are not always slight and evolutionary.

I think most of us assimilate certain presumptions about ourselves and others, and most people do so without even realizing it or thinking about it. Then come moments of reflection, or catalyst events that trigger revelations, and we may get an inkling that there are possibilities beyond what we have always assumed were the boundaries of our existence.

If we follow those, we start down a road that may lead right out of town, so to speak…

Next time, some thoughts from the city limits…

Imposter

There I was in a neighborhood cafe waiting in line to order, when my mind turned to the two women standing and talking at the other end of the counter, waiting for their orders to be filled.

I was dressed much the same way they were – short jean shorts, a feminine T and flip-flops. But, I had this overwhelming feeling of, well… being an imposter!

This is a new feeling for me, and I am not sure where it came from…

They were very thin, pretty young women who don’t have to fight the fight of looking feminine, as I do. No matter their hair, or makeup or amount of sleep of what they wear, they are women.

I kinda  felt like I was intruding in their territory.

Strange… I am not usually troubled by this. I know what I am, and that the gift of being able to be a man part of the time carries the price of actually having to make an effort to come off as female.

Besides, I am pretty comfortable with the kind of woman I am. Case in point: I debated this morning whether to wear a bra under my tight t-shirt and decided against it, simply because I don’t feel the need to have breasts in order to come off as feminine.

All I can conceive is that “he” was uncharacteristically active in my psyche even as I was going about my female day. Every so often, I suppose it is to be expected that my worlds will collide in discordance.

I will say that in the time it has taken to jot these words down, the conflict has pretty much evaporated. Of course, the women I spoke of have since left.

Now, I’ve got to run too; I am going for a pedicure.

Standards

The other night, I was at a club I frequent, getting to know another t-girl, when who should appear but my handsome beau of some months back. (See My Tall Drink of Water, Punctured Charm, Play or Pass and Delicious Dreams).

As you may remember, I find this guy more appealing than pretty much any other guy I have met so far, however he has a disturbing habit of, umm… being a pig.

True to form, we greeted each other warmly, had a few laughs and then, a crude offer of sex materialized out of nowhere. I told him to holster it, and walked away.

I spent the rest of the evening with my new friend, and have to admit giving her advances a somewhat more favorable response.

So, the question is, “Why.” Why have I been so hard on him and then so friendly with a complete stranger?

No doubt part of the answer is that she was very gentle and her advances were subtle. His were jarringly vulgar.

Beyond that, I figure that if I give in to his advances, I’d be committing to doing much more. I let things progress a bit with my new CD friend, but I didn’t feel the slightest bit uncomfortable stopping things before we went very far; after all, I had just met her…

But, it is more than that…

As much as I would love to give him what he wants, I also get the impression that his desire for sex with me is more a desire for sex than it is a desire for me.

Besides, his crudeness seems to me a way of dehumanizing me, of building an emotional wall between us. And, it ensures that if I accept such an advance, I would lose not only his respect but my own.

Cozy Feeling

I have a lot to think about today, so I had an idea that I would decamp to a cafe for a change of venue to help in the thought process.

Little did I expect the weather to come right out of central casting.

It is a comfortably warm day, but rainy and grey.

As chance would have it, I got a seat at the communal table right by the totally open front wall of the cafe, and my cappuccino arrived just as I sat down. Snapshot_20120814_12a

I take a deep breath and inhale it all…

To my left I perceive the warmth of the cafe, its hum of conversation, the noises of its espresso machine, the clink of small spoons against porcelain, and people whiling away the afternoon – a couple of twenty-something sparsely-bearded fellows talking intently, a pretty single young woman working on a paper across the table from me, a woman sitting on a bench with her husband and holding her swaddled baby, a middle-aged, short-haired woman at a table by herself staring into space, and a youngish father with longish blond hair and his friend treating his daughter to a sweet drink.

To my right, I’m comforted by the cool breeze from the outdoors, the sounds of tires squishing the water as they roll through it on the road, the parade of umbrellas, and little birds hopping about on the sidewalk. The rain today is a mere spraying, scarcely worth a driver turning on her wipers. But the coolness it brings along with the drop in humidity makes the air light and pleasant, and the cloud cover means there is no blazing sun with which to contend.

The barista delivers a perfectly-made cappuccino to the blonde fiftyish “Abercrombie & Fitch” woman sitting outside on the ledge beside me… A weird home-modified jeep-type car goes by… and then a delivery truck, followed minutes later by a transit bus. 

Mmmm… the sounds of the city…

I could sit here and daydream forever…

Gender Orientation

I have heard the point made clearly that gender and sexual orientation are not the same thing and not related.

Gender is about whether you are male or female; orientation is about whether the other person is male or female.

But, are they not related?

I have certainly encountered profiles of t-girls who make it clear that they simply prefer women to men, and therefore want both to change into women and be into women.

I wonder whether, for an MTF t-girl, heterosexuality means liking women, or liking the opposite sex – which is by no means the same thing.

Of course the simpler answer is not to do things on a policy basis, and simply allow oneself to be into a person one finds attractive, irrespective of gender or label.

I recently met a t-girl whose expressed orientation was neither for women or men, but for t-girls.

I prodded her further, and she revealed that this preference had nothing to do with “equipment” either. Pre-op, post-op, non-op, TG, TS – doesn’t matter.

For her, it was the blend of masculine and feminine, in terms of sexuality, but more importantly, in terms of attitudes and personality that was the thing.

She was oriented on the basis of gender, not sex – and not absolute gender at that. How interesting!

Most fascinating is the preference for neither female nor male, but a mixture. We are all, in a sense, mixtures of the genders I suppose. But, I think we tend to think of others as either male or female, even if we don’t see ourselves that way.

I have spoken before about how I expect there are men out there who prefer t-girls because they are essentially female, want to be treated as female, and will behave as female, but are also better able to empathize with the male sensibility, and in many cases are more a male ideal of a woman than a real woman.

Some people will stomp about proclaiming that such a coupling is homosexual. But, that is an oversimplification. It is more about taking gender and sexual orientation, placing them in a big mixer and seeing what comes out.

What Am I?

Today is one of those funny days when I don’t really know what I am.

I got up this morning knowing that I can be as I wish, then got dressed in a white pair of pants that are technically male clothes, but not categorically so. Snapshot_20120814a

I thought about what to put on top for a minute, then settled on my favorite green top with white stripes – a nice complement to the pants, and as feminine a top as the pants were masculine – in other words, debatably so.

Androgynous running shoes completed the outfit.

I hung around the house for a while, eating breakfast and answering emails and such, then had to go out.

I decided to accessorize my look with a necklace and two rings, and in a last minute decision, put on a touch of mascara and subtle lipstick.

The clothes are, as I have said umpteen times before, merely a reflection of my mood, not the other way around.

In this outfit, I can be comfortably male or attractively female without much effort to change between the two. In fact, I can be both (or neither?) at the same time – and that’s kinda what I feel like at the moment.

This is not the guy I am; and I dare say I can be more feminine. But being right here suits me fine at this instant. I simply wasn’t inclined to go all the way in either direction today.

I am not often in the state the hovers between the two sides of myself… Perhaps it is a place to investigate further.

What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?

This weekend’s New York Times Magazine cover story had the same name as this post. I recommend it to you. Click here for the article.

When you read it, note the hundreds and hundreds of comments it generated in its first days. That should give you an idea of how sensitive this issue is.

It is astounding to see how the world has changed, and also to see a pattern of commentary that shows some folks stuck in the past and others racing ahead of where we are.

Any sea change in social structure tends to follow the same course. Think of the resistance to women wearing pants, or becoming capable leaders, or showing their elbows in public, or getting the vote.

The most amusing thing about all this is that people look at what their life was like, what their parents did, and perhaps what their grandparents did and think they know all of history – enough for sure to judge what’s normal and socially acceptable.

The truth is that boys wore frilly tops and skirts, the same as girls, for many years and in many cultures in previous centuries.

Strict rules dividing the sexes were put in place probably for religious reasons relating to the fear of homosexuality. Since then, they have slowly been peeled away – re”pealed” if you wish.

Simple thinking places everyone in easy-to-understand little boxes. But, there will always be those who don’t fit, and are doomed to bridle at the confines of their restrictions, or blow them up and, in so doing, become either a hero or a disgrace.

Well-meaning parents wanting the best for their children, tend to direct their kids to the tried and true – the ways that have the best odds of succeeding.

But, that’s not the kind of thinking that produces exceptional people, and I dare say that our greatest thinkers, musicians, performers, leaders have all bucked that trend and instead gone after what is improbable.

They dared to dream and to color outside the lines. We should too.

Girl Power

Last night, I went out to a club and had a great time.

It was nice to be out, meeting new people, flirting, laughing, dancing…

Coming as it did on the (high) heels of having spent the better part of the day out and about, it seems to have obliterated all the angst of feeling my feminine self being put upon by the practicalities of everyday life.IMG_9229a

It’s like, “Oh, yeah! So that’s what I love about my life as Janie!”

It is a bit surprising that on some level, I can actually forget. I feel like I am missing something (see Backsliding), but that’s mixed with a bit of a search for what exactly that something is, and then an “Is it all worth it?”

I have to remind myself that my experiences as a woman have had a surreptitiously profound effect on my spirit – something I discovered a while back but seem sometimes to put out of mind.

I may be taking for granted the way I am motivated as Janie to try new things, to meet new people, to break old patterns, to solve chronic problems. I didn’t arrange things that way on purpose, but it does seem to work that way.

So, while I may focus on the fun I have been missing, the truth is that my soul bridles at being separated from these positive influences that I haven’t been able to conjure up in my male life.

And, when I start asking myself after a period of disconnect whether it is worth the stress and inconvenience to continue, it is only because I have forgotten to consider these substantial subconscious supplementary benefits.

Flog Blog

So many people have told me how transcendent an experience being flogged can be, how it can transport you to another emotional dimension, how pain and pleasure can become so intertwined.

Well, I gave it a shot tonight.

I haven’t been spanked since I was a mischievous child. I didn’t like it then, and it hasn’t improved much with age.

Of course, the practitioners of this art take great trouble to slowly bring you up and carefully bring you down; it is hardly the stunning, shocking strap of a disapproving parent or teacher. Pains are taken to use various different type of impact – sharp, flat, heavy, light, etc. and to vary the rhythm and stroke, placement and intensity.

But, after about a half-an-hour of this kind of attention, I wasn’t moved by the experience,even though I understood a great deal more about it. What I enjoyed most were alternately the flogger’s caresses and her pulling my head back by my hair to speak to me.

I can see where flogging might be an interesting part of a power exchange scene – where one allows another to take control over them. But, in and of itself, it falls a little flat for me.

Backsliding

Due to circumstances in my life, I have found it necessary to do something or other with people who do know know of my feminine persona pretty much every day for the past little while.

I have found myself getting up in the morning and wondering what the heck to put on. I would be thinking, “I know I will have to be a guy in a couple of hours, so should I wear feminine clothes and then change… or should I just not bother?” Makeup? An even bigger hassle.

Today, I had an appointment at the dentist in the afternoon, but figured I would have a feminine day until then. But, a construction crew showed up outside my home in the morning, and I wanted to go out and talk with them, so…

It has been like this day after day.

The person I usually am has been relegated to an inconvenience, and the few moments I get are spent cooped up inside.

This is not at all the way I want things to be.

And, I can tell you that after a while of this, it starts to feel ever more daunting to go out into the world as female, having to deal with the hassles of getting out of the neighborhood unseen and so on.

All the old bugaboos start coming back.

I am hoping this is just an aberration that will pass.

Me and Her, Yin and Yang

“Normal” is not a welcome word in transgender circles. We are, irrefutably, relatively rare in number, and our take on gender and sexuality is probably not shared by the vast majority of folks.

While “normal” can be a statistical term, it can also be a value judgment. The opposite of “normal” in that latter sense is something like “freak.”

The jump from “different” to “sick because your different” is one that many people make without a moment’s thought.

But, it behooves us to insist that people ask themselves, “Why?” IMG_0292a

Ok, I am different than most people. Why do you care? Why do you think it is wrong? Why do you think it is sick? Think about it. And then again answer the key question: why do you care?

I was once asked about how GF copes with the way I go back and forth between genders.

Unlike someone on the street arbitrarily passing judgment on all of us, she obviously has a good reason for caring – her attraction to me is a key ingredient in the vitality of our relationship; I am no stranger to whom she can simply relate on the basis of “live and let live.”

Really, the answer is simpler than you might expect. After she got over the initial adjustment period – which incidentally required some effort and determination on her part to want to think about things rather than just react apoplectically – and came to terms with having to deal with the stress and risk of being turfed from our social circle if the news ever got out, she realized that she finds me attractive as a woman and attractive as a man.

Some of the conflicts that go on in the battle of the sexes go away when I am Janie. And, we can share certain experiences, feelings and insights that no “normal” couple can.

And then, when she wants the spice, the yin and yang, the sublime tension and passion of a male-female relationship, she can have that too.

Which I am, when, how much, etc., these are all part of the normal give and take of a relationship.

Times a Changin’

Lately, I have been pre-occupied with the first baby steps in upgrading this site.

I have grown weary of that orange bar running across the screen, and of the limitations that this format has placed upon me.

I am hoping to provide both you and myself with a breath of fresh air – a new look and new format, so that we may both be invigorated.

My goal is to switch over to the new site by Labour Day. I think that’s an ambitious timeframe, especially with all that’s going on in my life right now. But, like any construction, it’ll be finished when its done.

I will provide more details as they are implemented – I don’t want to get ahead of myself. But, let’s just say for now, that I am going for a prettier, more exciting look, with the chance to expand my content to other areas and to pursue some artistic projects I have wanted to get started on for some time.

I am excited by the prospects. I hope you will all come along for the ride and bring all your friends too. Open-mouthed smile

Also, if you have any suggestions, now’s the time to let me know. Don’t be shy – I welcome any ideas and am grateful for your participation whether I end up using your input or not.

Clothes Make the Man

It has been a trying couple of weeks, with a ton of family obligations that necessitated too much guy time and very little Janie-ness.

It is always surprising what strange things leave their mark in my perceptions…

What hit me was that, yes, I actually do have some nice male clothes. Who knew?IMG_0359a

In the past couple of years, I have rarely had need of more than two pairs of pants and a few tops, since I wear male clothes quite sparingly, and so I had just been pretty much wearing out my few faves over time.

But with daily use, I had to delve further into his wardrobe. And, guess what? I have some nice stuff, and some of it is even bohemian enough to pull off with long hair.

Interestingly, though, my regular guy clothes – the ones I always wear, as opposed to the nice stuff I have almost forgotten – are really quite androgynous; I can pretty much rock them either way. It is usually the footwear that determines my gender – and even there, I have several pairs of shoes that no one could say for sure if they were men’s or women’s.

Riding that line between the genders, my needs change subtly from one day to the next, and there are obviously major parts of my male – and, come to think of it, also my female – wardrobe that can go either way.

Some days, I only need plausible deniability; others, I can’t afford to leave any doubt. The other day, every piece of clothing  I wore (including my shoes) was from the women’s department, and yet I could still manage – with strangers – to be male with a straight face.

What makes this tightrope act all the more challenging is my attitude that I don’t want to come off as a feminine man or masculine woman. I don’t believe I am coming off that way – even with all this messing around with  my wardrobe.

But, maybe I am fooling myself…

Gift Horse, Mouth–Need I Say More?

As I throw around the idea of whether Janie’s place in my life is for good or not, it helps to remember that my experience so far has been something like having the Red Sea parted to allow me to walk, in heels, down life’s road.

So many CDs or tgirls are confronted by daunting obstacles in their efforts to become what they need to be. They show courage and perseverance and determination, and often suffer through heart-wrenching compromises. I salute them.

IMG_3243a1I often ask myself whether I wouldn’t have quit in the face of their challenges. But, I also wonder why I keep questioning something that, it seems, I was destined for, if for no other reason than that it has been so easy.

I am the right size, and the right proportions. I have feminine facial features (well some, anyway). I can buy my clothes off the rack in regular stores and my shoes in women’s shoe stores. I live in an extremely tolerant city. My job and financial well-being are not threatened by it. My relationship is not an issue, and in fact has been improved by it. My social network is a relatively small concern. I have my hair, and it turns out to be curly and fun. I have a relatively feminine voice. I find it easy to walk in heels. I have a decent fashion sense. Feminine posture has actually helped my back problems. Janie’s presence in my life is the answer to a number of personal issues (maybe not the best answer, but not a bad answer). I could go on…

It’s almost as if it would be ungracious to turn my back on all that…

Green Acres is the Place to Be

Imagine a couple living in Manhattan, with a subscription to the opera, an enjoyment of the restaurants and nightlife and shopping, and the buzz of the city… when the husband, 20 years into this lifestyle, taps his wife on the shoulder and says he has decided to become a farmer and they need to move to the countryside.

“No, New York is where I’d rather stay. I get allergic smelling hay. I just adore a penthouse view; darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue.”

How many women would go along? How many would trade in “the stores” and “Times Square” for “chores” and “fresh air?”

She would have to deal with changing her lifestyle, finding new friends and losing many old ones; in many respects she would feel like the rug was being pulled out from under her and her expectations of how they were going to live their lives. And, of course, the question of, “How long have you been thinking about this without telling me?” would come up, along with a sense of betrayal. If the man is unwilling to compromise his choice, there is every chance that marriage will fall apart.

The relationship issues brought about by this change of heart by the husband are, in my view, very similar to – and quite probably much less challenging than – what happens when a man tells his wife he needs to live as a woman.

And, just because we may feel it is something about which we have no choice doesn’t make it much, if at all, different for her.

She still has to cope with a change in her lifestyle that she never bargained for. She still has to deal with the reality of laying waste to her social life. And she has to deal with knowing that her spouse kept this information from her for many years, regardless of any justification.

On top of that, sexuality and sexual attraction are fickle things. Asking “Why ‘just because I changed my gender’ are you no longer sexually interested in me?” is a hugely unfair question, even when qualified by the fact that “I am still the same person inside.”

It is only a lucky few whose mates will say, “[I am your] wife, Goodbye, city-life… Green Acres we are there!”

Gender Freely Chosen

I had an odd thought today: why shouldn’t I be able to choose my gender according to my desire, no questions asked?

If you are born or brought up male, there are an awful lot of people who expect you to justify the choice of a female life on the basis of medical condition, inner spirit, psychiatric need or some way of showing that a true female lurks within.IMG_1206a1

In fact, we do it to ourselves. I have been looking for some kind of proof of my feminine credentials for some time now. Am I? Really?

But, why does it matter? Why can’t I be female for no other reason than I feel like it, or that it makes me happy? Whom am I harming? What’s wrong with it?

It is not like every Joe on the street is going to see that there is no “rule” against switching genders and immediately shave their legs and put on a skirt. Men guard their masculinity quite jealously. Those of us who even contemplate such things – nevermind actually following through – are obviously naturally inclined that way.

Or, am I missing something? (How’s that for “teeing one up?”)

Feeling Female

quotes1You have lived in and enjoyed your male body for roughly 40+ years, some of your pals, even longer. Given that you have this need to “express yourself in a feminine manner”, just how exactly do you quotes1 - closeexperience that? When you go out, ‘en femme’, do you actually FEEL female? Is it about being seen and treated as a female? Does it not feel extremely odd, even disingenuous, going back and forth?

Any of you who have followed the comments thread on my last post understand all too well the unpleasantness of dealing with a relentless commentator trying to teach us a lesson.

I plead guilty to allowing the whole mess to continue for far too long and allowing her to hijack the discussion. I will do better next time. I see it as my job to create a safe space for you all to share your feelings and make your opinions known, and I faltered. Sorry.

That said, our commentator does have her moments, such as posing the interesting questions at the top of this post.

And so, on with my answer… (I hope readers will offer their own in the comments.)

First, I want to address what I see as an inaccurate inference in the question. I do not become Janie to go out, or to be seen. And, if I may further clarify another potential misapprehension in the question, I do not become Janie by getting all dressed up.Snapshot_20120526b

Like any person, I have feelings and moods. It just so happens that I understand some of my moods – the bigger, broader ones – in gender terms. There are times when I feel feminine, and others (though fewer and further between than before) when I feel like a guy. I have found that I am happier following my moods than trying to overrule them, so when I feel feminine, I am Janie; when I don’t, I am not.

My clothes follow my spirit, and not the other way around.

And, when I am Janie, that presentation communicates to the outside world that I wish to be treated as female – not for kicks, but because that is what I am.Snapshot_20120526_1b

Explained this way, it should be apparent that it is not disingenuous. I am not faking my femininity, but rather, honestly expressing it. To address the other part of the question, I will not deny that one may consider it odd.

Do I actually FEEL female? This is a hard question to answer, since I am not sure what “feeling female” means. I’ve wondered about that for some time – how, apart from sexual feelings, does feeling female differ from feeling male? 

Rather than referencing my entire sense of self at any moment – as I imagine a genetic woman might, including her masculine characteristics – I often perceive my femininity by its difference from my masculinity. I don’t feel as competitive, aggressive, arrogant or powerful. My attention is much more focused on serenity and beauty and people.

And, then, of course, there is the huge sexual difference, which spills over into many other areas – feelings of attraction to men, vulnerability, sensuality, and so on.

I would certainly be interested in hearing opinions, especially from GGs, on what it means to “feel female.” And, as I said before, I’d love to know your answers to these questions. (If it puts any of you more at ease to share, know that our “relentless commentator” has become so exasperated with me that she has given up.)

Secrecy Downside

In my last post, I described how the shroud of secrecy surrounding our separate female lives can work to our advantage as well as how it might mislead us as to its potential.

Let me take a moment to comment on one negative aspect of our secret lives.

Having a separate persona with no family or past or whatever, is great for protecting the emerging t-girl as she finds her legs, so to speak.

However, it turns her into a paper doll – a two-dimensional person.

No one can really get to know someone who doesn’t really exist.

As I have gone ever further in this lifestyle, I have run up against this limitation and find it quite frustrating not to be able to connect on any real level with many of my friends.

We can all have a great time together, but when the person is nothing but the girl she puts on now and again, there is never any more.

And, sometimes, where she is willing to offer her male self in the bargain, to be a real person, it is not someone I bargained for – he is often either too similar to her in his femininity (have I mentioned my lack of attraction to effeminate men?), or too different in his personality that it is not the person with whom I connected.

Oftentimes, she became a girl because she didn’t really like him either…

(more next time…)

Secrecy Upside

One of the reasons that becoming a t-girl can be so liberating is that you get a whole new person, new name and blank slate from which to operate.

More than that, you arIMG_8287a1en’t expected to reveal what you do for work, who your family is or any other details of your real life.

You can start building a whole new reputation. You can do things you might never have done before, because now they won’t be attributed to the guy you are, who has to keep up his appearances.

There is a newfound freedom from the judgment of those who have been judging you all your life.

There is even a newfound freedom from your own inner voices, and your bad habits, and from the burden of expectations you have had to deal with.

No wonder it is so intoxicating, and draws in so many who try it. Who could resist such a contract?

Moreover, I suspect that the more limitations on a gurl’s second life, the more she is unable to resist its charms.

I say this for a couple of reasons.

First, because it provides a built-in excuse for failure – that she was prevented from expressing her true self. She can now blame others instead of herself.

And second – and more importantly – because in never getting to fully live out the female side of herself, a t-girl will tend to romanticize its potential. It is not much different than a long-distance relationship… these often fall apart once the couple gets together in close contact.

As a “once in a while woman” she can always think, I could do this if only… As an everyday woman, she will know her limitations.

(more next time…)

Blue-Eyed Blonde

Well, that’s the name of the drink I’m holding. (Not nearly as good as it sounds Winking smile )

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Identity

Let me go back to the initial thought of my last post – about the betrayal of the guy that I always understood myself to be.

This is a question of deep personal identity.

Do I attempt to release that guy and my expectations of him, or try to recover – or rediscover – him.

While that sounds like a different way of saying that I want to decide whether to be female or male, it really isn’t. I still haven’t given up on the difficult but rewarding balancing act of being both male and female.

But there are some questions about this guy that I am or was. As I hinted last time, expectations of him may have contributed to Janie’s emergence, or my feminine spirit may have led to my rejection of those expectations. Or, perhaps both.

If I am able to let the weight of the expectations on him go, it is possible that it will free my male side to flourish again – or, it may wipe away any reason to bother with that part of me.

I’m really not sure which, nor can I tell if I would be able to do it.

The safer course is always to go back – to try to recover what once was, or at least ought to have been.

And, that’s the nagging thought that is my ball and chain for the moment…

Not a Man

IMG_6750a1For me, the biggest doubts about being a woman concern the betrayal that it may be of the guy that I always understood myself to be, who I thought I was, who I thought I was going to be.

I use the word “guy” because I am not sure that I ever entirely got to the point of considering myself a “man.” There were and maybe still are issues of maturity and other things that are mixed into that psychological mess, but I never acquired, in my own eyes, the gravitas that being a man – as I understand the term – involves.

And, more than likely, being female as I am now is either a cause of or a result of that same thought process.

Or, maybe both.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

I doubt I am alone in confessing that I spend a lot of time in front of the mirror.

I’m not talking so much about the makeup mirror, but more about just seeing the reflection of my female alter-ego.

It seems a common affliction of my tgirl sisters, and I am not immune. It is an old joke that if you want to stop a tgirl in her tracks just put up a mirror.

There are a number of reasons why we do this, and the reasons change for each of us over time.

In the beginning, for me, I think it was mostly about how I couldn’t believe it was actually me.  Also, there tends to be a certain element of sexual arousal in a gurl’s early days.SC1_4220b1a

But all that has long past. These days, it is more about my questioning myself. And, to that end, I tend to inspect not just Janie’s reflection but that of my male self.

Loathe as I am to admit, seeing beauty in the mirror supports the notion in my mind that I am truly female and doing the right thing in following that path, while noticing masculinity in my reflection tends to incite doubts as to what this crazy guy is doing.

The truth of the matter is that neither is of any importance at all. It is all about what’s inside.

And, more’s the problem that some of us get quite desperate about changing that outer shell through surgery and hormones and such just to ensure harmony in the mirror, and convince ourselves that we are doing the right thing.

I think that’s a huge mistake; you have to know that you’re female before you make those outer changes. Cart, horse – ‘nuff said.

I was thinking about all of this earlier today as I went for a long walk in a pair of cute short-shorts, a t-shirt and cowboy boots.

Walking after I had my morning coffee and wild-berry muffin, I felt good. As I bounced down the sidewalk in an energetic feminine gait, I closed my eyes and let my mind take in all that I was feeling and being.

And, I realized – maybe for the first time that I could really put my finger on it – that this was clearly different from the way I used to feel as that guy I always used to be. It wasn’t put on, or in a photograph or in the looking glass – it was inside, and unopposed.

It was spiritual. And, it was what I can only describe as… female.

The feeling may not last – or then again, it might. You have to give these things enough time to percolate.

Bridling

It has been quite a comedown, getting back to “normal” after being away. SC1_8687small

I was female non-stop for a sizable number of consecutive days, and without any restrictions on where I could or couldn’t, or fears of running into anyone.

You may have noticed that I was enjoying myself…

Now, I am back to worrying about my neighbors and certain areas of town – and it feels even more restrictive than before I left.

I am sure I will re-accustom myself to things, but for now it imposes a burden on being Janie that both discourages me from bothering and weighs on me regardless.

The disparity between the way I feel when I am away and when I am home may naturally fade in my consciousness with a bit of time, but I would be a fool to disregard it, or allow it to go unaddressed.

Something’s gotta give… either my actions or my attitude…

Human Rights

The government of Ontario has become the first jurisdiction in North America to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination under its Human Rights Code.

Woo! hoo!

But, while I am ecstatic to be protected from discrimination, I cannot escape a nagging feeling of dread.

I am generally wary of the abuse of power by the unelected officials of Human Rights Commissions, who have repeatedly shown – at least in this country – an inclination to overstep their mandate and meddle in the freedoms of people to disagree or express opinions they don’t like, without regard for balance or reasonableness.

I guess I am hoping that these new protections are not abused, either by the Commission or by claimants.

It will be up to some unseen bureaucrat to determine what “gender expression” means. Will it cover someone who likes to crossdress occasionally at work? How about men, or MTF trans, in 6-inch platform heels and micro-miniskirts? Will it allow businesses to impose any kind of dress-code on trans people, or require that they conform to the expectations of the gender they are presenting? Will it allow a business to ask that a person choose one gender or the other?

Applying these protections with some sort of sanity and balance with the needs of work and business decorum would be wonderful.

But, to me there’s a danger here.

As the HRC has shown a tendency to go all the way rather than take a balanced approach to its mandate, a very positive piece of legislation may turn into a mockery rather than a shining example of the protections we seek.

One example: I would be happy to see the same expectations for grooming and attire applied to an MTF trans-person as to women generally. To allow the trans-woman to come to work in wholly inappropriate female attire and successfully claim that this is the way she expresses her gender would undermine the serious and important aims of the new law.

That would be a huge setback. Other jurisdictions would take note.

Let’s hope these badly needed protections are applied judiciously…

Jump Right In!

Lest it be thought that we party only at night, like vampires, a little vid of my friends doing what they do best in the blazing desert sun.

Our hotel had a great space outside to meet and talk with everyone, and a pool in which and by which to frolic.

Las Vegas provided the sun and the space – we took care of the rest!

Jump right in, it’s the Wildside Pool Party!

 

Women of Wildside

I have been back for a while now from my Las Vegas trip, and have finally sorted through a few of the photos.

Looking at them can’t help but bring back alcohol- and time-faded memories of the incredible fun and joy I felt throughout that week.

A couple of days ago, I posted a video of the raunchy and naughty goings-on at the Fantasy Party – the most fun I have had in recent memory! I didn’t put it up here because there’s a bit of nudity in some of the photos – and when the day comes that I decide to post nudity on my blog, it will be my own Open-mouthed smile.

If you want to see it, just check out my Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/cdjanie

But, before you go, here’s a second video/slideshow. It is a series of shots of the individual women of Wildside (and a few of our best male friends), doing their thing.

 

Doing What Comes Naturally

If you read my recent comments on the effects being Janie has had on my life (here, and here), you should note that I have never indicated that I had a torturing or desperate need to express my femininity. I am no transsexual.IMG_8251a

It should be relatively clear that the female side of my self – which is utterly genuine – is something I express because it serves me.

Yes, it is something that comes naturally to me.

Yes, it is the most fulfilling expression of my sexuality.

Yes, I love being this way.

Yes, I am hoping to follow my feminine leanings in terms of building a better life for myself – maybe I can improve on the results I achieved as a man.

There are countless reasons why being female works for me, personally – coincidences, conveniences and others, which I will recount for you one day – and I have to say that I have doubts as to whether I would have followed this path if not for a virtual Red Sea parting before me along this path.

(I suppose some might say that the life context that has facilitated my being Janie was the result of the way I am rather than a happy coincidence… dunno, maybe…)

And, lately, a new development: the boost in determination and self-confidence I have received from being Janie has filtered over to my male side and resuscitated his energy.

For the longest time it was hard to yield my skirt for his pants; I found it quite upsetting. I wasn’t enjoying my guy life even before (which, I hasten to add is wholly different than not enjoying being a guy), but then all the drudgery was left to his side of the equation with half the time to deal with it and things became progressively worse.

Plus, I was having such a good time as Janie that any time I had to stop was frustrating for me.

Now, though, he has been feeling better, and I am enjoying his (limited) presence. I am finding a better balance, but also, Janie is volunteering to take over some of his burden.

Rather than a transition, I see this as a hugely supportive step for my male side.

Though it is but a remote possibility, it vaguely occurs to me that I might be travelling in a large, multi-year healing circle back to where I started. I doubt it, but ya never know!

On Sexual Orientation

I am “straight.”

I realize that the concept is somewhat strained in a TG context, and far be it for anyone who is sexually interested in both men and women to honestly claim being straight, but there it is nonetheless.IMG_5310a

Yes, I have heard that from men who only occasionally have sex with other men (“Oh, that doesn’t count.”), guys who dream about giving oral to another (another exception, apparently) and others who are simply lying to themselves.

I have no problem with being seen as bisexual, and I fully accept that any guy my female self sleeps with is someone “I” sleep with. So yes, statistically, I am probably bisexual. Nevertheless, from a purely informative aspect, “straight” captures what I am about so much more clearly and completely.

For me, the best sex (and, not coincidentally, relationship) is about the interaction between a man and a woman. It just so happens that I am willing to and capable of taking on either role.

Not to confuse things further, but as a woman, I can also be attracted to other women; as a man, I have no interest in other men.

Ok, so I am predominantly “straight.” Smile

The label’s not really important; I just like the succinct and efficient way of conveying a pretty big thought.

Greener Grass

Sometimes I wonder why I bother… Life would be so simple if I just lived within the lines that society has drawn for me.

I look at regular people who have spouses and children and jobs and friends – and they seem to be happy and leading full and wholesome lives. IMG_1211a

They never think about gender, or dating or STDs or marginalization or passing or sexual orientation, or leading double lives, or sneaking out of their houses…

It is a mixed-up crazy world I have built for myself. So many contradictions. So many difficult concepts. So much self-examination and self-discovery. And that’s before we even consider the external challenges.

In a way, it is a very positive thing. It has forced me to better understand myself, to open my mind to new ideas and to new feelings, and to become a better person.

But, there is much work left to be done, and until I can come to some comfortable understanding of the things that continue to trouble me, the whole house of cards is in jeopardy.

TGirl and Her Huge Hard Black Cannon

Some t-girls are well-endowed. Just the luck of the draw, I guess.

Me, I don’t claim such a thing as my own. I’m just riding this black, steel-hard cannon for kicks. A girl has to have a little fun now and again, right?

Winking smile

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Warm and Fuzzies

What struck me most of all about the innocent little announcement from AP, which I read this week on Yahoo’s news feed, about Janet Jackson signing on to produce “Truth”, a documentary on the lives of transgender people, were the comments from readers, among which:

  • Oh great, Hollywood pushing it’s gay agenda again!
  • We live in a VERY sick society in these modern times.
  • [Josh] Yep. This is what it has come to. Immoral people trying to get everyone to ‘accept’ their garbage and call it ‘tolerance.’ Anyone that ‘tolerates evil and freakishly immoral stuff like this yet bashes God needs a wake up call. If you think our society is better off with everyone being transgender and gay then you have no idea what it is to have morals and I cringe at the thought of these people having kids.
  • [Anthony] I cringe at intolerant people like josh c. If you don’t agree with something that’s your right. but you don’t have to attack people just because you don’t accept who they are
  • I agree, Josh. Right is considered wrong, and wrong is considered right nowadays. It IS freakish.
  • And Josh yes it will come, but does it have to come now, to our families?…
    Jesus never said when and think this is why, he gives us the freedom to fight this form of satanism. I actually think he would want us to fight against these demonic forces trying to push aside and discredit his teachings, if not doesn’t it just defeat the purpose of it all.
  • We really need to go to the barn, dust off and break out the hot tar and the feathers and rail to carry them out on
  • She should know. Her brother went from a poor black boy to a rich white woman. Only in America.
  • Evidently the ‘pervert’ force is strong in the Jackson family.
  • Notify me when God announces you can change your sex due to ability to change DNA. Chop off and add on whatever you will you’ll still never change the DNA and “become” what you aren’t.
  • Anthony…I am simply assuming you do not have a problem with a program such as this…that is fine. You statement sort of left a crack in the door for moral or even immoral people to put their foot through. Just what exactly do you mean by attacking? I think the word intolerant is rather pointless when we (moral’s) don’t have a real option to escape what is trying to be crammed down our throats. Just who do you think a program like this is pointed at? And why pray tell do we have to accept something that was taboo for centuries and now suddenly those of us who were raised by moral standards now have to embrace something what we consider abnormal, perverst, degenerate or maybe even mental? How are those of us supposed to ignore something that is thrown in our everyday life now? I personally do not care about these gay agenda’s or gay people in general as long as it does not interfere in my moral way of life. And what I mean by that is my daughters liked michael Jackson and now Janet is putting on this program which they may or may not watch or been recorded and played at their friends home which will undermine what I am teaching them about God’s purpose was and is for mankind. Now an atheist viewpoints on the mockery or Church and God really puts a large knot of anger in my chest. Personally I really wish all homosexuals would simply stick to their private lives and leave things as it were. Guess this makes me a bigot or worse in your opinion. So be it. Seems we both have a bone to pick in my book. You don’t accept my opinion on the subject and you won’t accept mine. I’ve stayed out a so called personal attack…but when you shove something down someones throat, it becomes a confrontation of distaste or debate

(very few like Anthony’s BTW.)

Given the peculiarity of the Jackson family, there was bound to be “interesting” commentary, but this? Sheesh!

100 Steps back–cont’d

(continued from 100 Steps Back)

I was foundering and floundering in many aspects of my life, and my feminine self emerged as a coping mechanism, if not a solution to many of them.

Aside from needing my sexual needs met, I was bored with my career, kind-of aimless in terms of my future, and not engaged socially. I have done much better at all these since Janie has become part of my life.

This is no coincidence; like many others, I am far more engaged in things generally when my sexual energy is high – it is basically a life force after all – and being female does increase my sexual vitality.

So, it turns out that sexual gratification wasn’t really my final destination, but rather part of the equation of making me whole and motivated to improve my performance in the rest of my life.

In that regard, I have plucked the easy fruit by now. I have made a bunch of new friends online and met many of them; I have run this blog and built a readership; I have conquered my fears about being out in the world as a particular kind of woman and learned a lot about my sexuality and opened my mind to new ideas.

But now, this girl has to follow through, or else she will wither and become much the same as I was before she emerged.

And, that’s why she has to earn her keep; that’s why she has to find a tangible way to help people; that’s why she has to make real, deep connections with friends and perhaps lovers.

Otherwise, I may begin to see it all as a distraction, a fantasy, even a fraud.

100 Steps Back

There was a time when I dressed only to go out to a club, or on a trip, in search of, basically, sexually charged fun.

Now, why was that not good enough for me again? Why did I need to go further?IMG_8148a1

Part of the issue was the kinds of connections I was making. I craved something more.

Of course, my friends are great, but they are all across the continent, and as such, not part of my day-to-day life. Also, as much as I enjoy their company, I have found it hard to make deeper connections given the context and frenetic nature of our get-togethers.

In addition, I wanted to meet a nice local guy who would treat me like a human being and date me or invest his time in a friendship with me, rather than a guy in a bar who was intent on having sex with me that night and hopefully never crossing paths with me again.

To meet a real guy, I reasoned that I needed a real life.

Simple. But hardly complete…

(The rest, tomorrow.)

Single Womens’ Weekend

Got invited to a party in Provincetown – a single (lesbian) women’s mixer.

I felt obligated to tell our new friends that I failed on pretty much every count possible: I was not a woman, not a lesbian and not single.

Oh well.

Open-mouthed smile

Anything Goes, but What?

I’ll return to weightier issues soon enough…

I am currently in Provincetown, the most accepting and gayest of places in America.

We spent a few hours at a coffee shop catching up on work when the owner came over to talk to us. We mentioned that we had been in PTown before, in October – and he immediately assumed we had attended “Womyn’s Week.”

Provincetown in October is one special week after the other. We come to town for Fantasia Fair, but immediately preceding the crossdresser/tgirl extravaganza is a week dedicated to lesbians.

“Um, no.  Fantasia Fair,” I said. He took an obvious double-take at me.

Even in  town where everything goes, people can’t figure me out.

And, that’s just fine with me.

Being Janie is NOT Enough

For a long time, just being the woman that I am was something, was enough.

I did everything that needed to be done as a man, and when it was time for fun, there was Janie, the party girl.

But, now I am realizing that Janie has to pull her own weight or risk becoming a fantasy, a pretense. IMG_7868a1

I cringe a little as I say this, but I need to undertake work, drudgery and conflict, commitment and responsibility, problems and challenges, routine and expectation – all as a woman if Janie is going to continue to feel real to me.

Funny, though, because part of the inner appeal of my femininity has been how light and wondrous it has felt. And, now I seem intent on weighing it down with reality.

Truth be told, though, I am sure that I will deal with the difficulties with a totally different perspective than my male one.

The work I choose will be different. (Working part-time as male in one job and part-time as female in another is really going to be a challenge, that’s for sure – anywhere I can sign up for 48-hour days? – but, I have a plan… really I do.) The friends I make will also be new. And, certainly, I will have to develop my feminine coping mechanisms.

And, I am no feminist; I believe that men do lots of things more effectively than women do and so I will have no qualms about seeking male help to deal with certain situations; it just so happens that for now the most reliable and available guy shares the same body with me, but I sure hope to find other good guys on whom I can depend.

Every step of the way thus far, the more reality I have introduced into my life as Janie, the more real and the more wonderful it has felt.

I don’t suspect this will be any different.

If Only…

After a week of partying with Wildside friends, there is a temptation for those of us who are struggling with the place of our feminine side in our lives to think that a week of such fun validates this lifestyle choice.

After all, we find friendship and common ground, we have no issues with acceptance and no need for pretence. And, quite understandably, our hearts soar. IMG_7417a1

We are liberated from our worries, freed of our real-world shackles, welcomed with open arms and smiles and laughter, and exposed to the company of role models and sisters of the same feather.

…and none of it would be possible without being T.

The people we meet would not be as open to meeting others if they weren’t T (we all know that making any new friends in middle age is tough, nevermind great friends). We wouldn’t be as needy without being T. The greatness of the people we meet is inseparable from their T-ness. The ease with which we all find common ground is tied into being T. And, so on…

It is almost irresistible to contemplate that our everyday lives could be just the same, if only…

And, who would not want to live that kind of happy life that comes with such abundant love and happy times?

So, it is important to remember that, as much as we feel and act like giddy teenagers for that week, we are adults with families and jobs and responsibilities and real-life issues.

It is important to remember that a party is fun for a week, but we all need the challenges and sense of accomplishment that real life brings. Besides, none of us could keep it up much longer than a week. To riff on the well-known saying, “all play and no work makes Janie a poor, boring and useless girl.”

(I wonder what our gathering would turn into if we stayed together for a month rather than a week…)

It is important to remember that in the real world, being a tgirl is being an outcast, not a rockstar like in Vegas, that being T makes everything harder, not easier.

If you are T, celebrate and enjoy it. Just don’t think you can take Wildside on the road with you, except in little moments here and there.

Green Monstah

I finally made it to Fenway Park after decades of wanting to.

I’m not that big a baseball fan – too slow for those of us used to the pace of hockey – but I do love the lore and history of baseball, and Fenway is rich in all that.

Even got to go up onto the Green Monster – the famed and iconic left field wall.

(click photos to enlarge, as always)

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Bonding Beyond the Bubble

Coming down off the high that is my reunion with the great women of Wildside, I have to remind myself of what real life is about. There is at least a bit of a tendency to think, “Ahhh, that’s the good life; that’s what being a tgirl is all about!”IMG_7660a

But, it’s not.

As much as the friendships and good times are the stuff of which a great life is made, the experiences of that week are far too intense and short-lived to be able to extrapolate much from them.

Wildside burns like a meteor, which – as everyone knows – soon crashes to the ground. We all put our party-selves into high gear and rock Vegas for a week, but by the end of it, even the most hearty of our number – and perhaps, especially they – have run out of gas and need a week to recuperate.

100_3089aIn fact, it is during the week after that most of us slowly are able to recall and truly appreciate much of what went on – it having zipped by so quickly, and the stimuli having been so numerous and unrelenting that it was impossible to process everything in real time.

Of course, we have so little time together that we try to pack in as much as possible into that one week. It is a testament to our understanding that time is precious and we should not take one moment for granted. 100_3411a

However, we are only human, and cannot live at quite that pace for long.

I have felt in myself and sensed in others a desire to find time in that week to connect on a deeper level with each other. Connecting with someone takes some time – a commodity in short supply in that week especially. And there are so many people worth talking to, so we try to connect somehow, if only for a second.

I think we realize that to create real, serious friendships, bonding must take place in the context of everyday life and the challenges of the real world. I think visits between our get-togethers are becoming more common for this reason too.

These are really terrific people; I am quite sure we’d be amazing friends in the real world as we are in the Wildside bubble. But we live so far from one another and we each have pretty full schedules. (For those of us who lead double-lives, not having 48-hour days really makes time tight.)

That’s part of the sadness of leaving each other every year; we know that many of these people are compatible and interested potential friends that we may never have in the full sense of the word. And none of us has enough good friends. Right?

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Special Kitten

If you think a soulful and sensible person has to be boring, you haven’t met Jennifer Long.IMG_7319a1a

I have major trust issues; I admit it. I am very slow to trust people on two separate levels – their intent and their judgment. But, Jennifer is wise, sensible and truly good. I sensed it right away. She broke down my defences in a heartbeat.IMG_7330a1

I had corresponded with her online before meeting her, but at that first meeting, she enticed me onto the bed in our party suite and climbed on top of me, giggling an evil giggle.

She put her knee on my groin and pinned my hands down. I responded to this relative stranger by spreading my legs and relaxing, putting myself entirely at her mercy.IMG_7332a1

That’s so out of character for me. But, I knew that I had nothing to fear from her. Oh, I had no doubt she would take full advantage of the situation and that I would suffer for being her pet, but I had full confidence that she wouldn’t harm me in any real way, and that I would love the experience.

And, I was right.

In the years since, I have come to know her better and my opinion of her has only deepened. She loves a good time and she loves good people. And, she makes both the people and the times she is a part of so much better!

So, here’s to you, Jen – a truly special kitten. Meow!!

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It’s All About the Love

The women of Wildside are near and dear to my heart. Herewith a few photos of me and my friends:

These women are more than just pretty faces and sexy bodies; they are truly special people.

Cici is a stunner and a model who graces club promo flyers and smoulders before the camera; but what is most amazing about her is her beautiful heart and mind.

Divinyl sets a standard of perfection for herself and meets it every time, but beyond being impossibly beautiful and initially intimidating, she is smart and sensible and unbelievably charming.IMG_7316a1aIMG_7390ba

McKenna and Dana are sweet, down-to-earth people with incredible inner and outer beauty.

And, Gina, well, she’s the cat’s meow! She has a bigger heart than anyone I know, she is kind and giving and sexy as all get-out! She is the example we all follow and the one I respect most of all.

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There’s one kitten missing from this group; I’ll tell you about Jennifer next time…

Inner Beauty

2012-05-17 22.03.06aThat thing in my mouth is called a Hellbone.

It is a specialty of a favorite restaurant of mine consisting of a perfectly tender, falling-off-the-bone slow-barbecued pork rib – the “bone” – slathered in what they call Inner Beauty Hot Sauce (a painfully spicy sauce made from habanero peppers – the “hell” part ).

Eating one of these is a sublime pain-pleasure experience; you sweat and pant, but you love it.

As I was just finishing, our waiter came over and said, “So how was everything, ladies?”

I looked up at him, my face covered in sauce, my lips burning, my brow glistening with perspiration, flecks of cornbread in my hair, and reached for a napkin. “It was wonderful,” I said, “but I don’t look like much of a lady at the moment.”

(Uh-oh, did I really say that out loud in public?!)

“That’s why they call it ‘Inner Beauty’ hot sauce,” he joked without missing a beat, thankfully not taking a swing at the fat one I served up right down the middle of the plate.

I smiled behind my napkin…

Then, I cleaned myself up, took a long drink of cold water, and re-applied lipstick.

Time in a Bottle

Last time, I spoke about trade-offs that I make in my effort to be capable of assuming both masculine and feminine roles.

In a conversation with a friend, who confided that it took her 3 hours to get ready each and every time she went out, it hit me there are some compromises I am simply not willing to make.

I am not judging her – she’s totally fabulous, in fact! But, the truth immediately hit home that among the many things I am willing to change, give up or massage in order to allow Janie to flourish in my life, a 3-hour lead time was nowhere to be found.

I am just the girl-next-door… ok, with a twist… and maybe some exotic spice added. The point is that I am just regular people, and I want to be able to be who I am any day, every day.  It is not a performance; it’s not an event; it’s just life.

My life is mostly just about going out for dinner, dating, hanging out with friends or shopping. It usually takes me about fifteen minutes to get ready to go out; if it took 3 hours, my night would be over before it started.

It’s simply a question of practicality for me. I am Janie almost every single day, and a 3-hour lead time would discourage me mightily. Something that’s supposed to be natural wouldn’t feel that way to me if I had to go through a 3-hour process each time.

Trade Offs

I spoke last time about my concern about getting a bruise while playing hockey as a guy.

But, that is just a little part of the bargain I have made with the devil.

As I live on both sides of the gender divide, I am finding more and more that compromises have to be made on each side in order to allow the other side to thrive.IMG_6648 -1a

For the most part, the compromises on Janie’s part are about the things I don’t do to myself – like hormones and breasts and facial feminization.

Though I never really quite thought it all through in advance, my guy side has been making compromises that are becoming all the more obvious as I go on.

First thing to go was working out with heavy weights; I replaced that with low weight-high reps to tone but not build bulk. Easy enough, but of course, I do not have the power I used to.

I will no longer do anything that requires strenuous use of my hands that might develop callouses, or worse: big, thick, strong hands.

Coming home after a manicure, I realized that fixing the light that was broken on the side of the house was out, as was getting my hands dirty in the garden. In fact, I am hesitant to unthinkingly grab at anything for fear of breaking a nail.

Sometimes, being female can be crippling!

Of course, I won’t keep this up for long. I have some events to go to and I want to look nice. But, I can see how a focus on feminine beauty can get in the way of actually doing anything.

It is high time I learned that I simply cannot be both to the extent I could be one if I dropped the other. It seems obvious, but I am only now cluing in.

It’s all about balance. And, I am quite lucky to be able to choose where to set the dial.

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