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.

Jock, Hah!

I play hockey. No, not Janie, him! Yes, him – the guy that I am.

I have always been fairly good at sports, and quite competitive, and I proudly love and play Canada’s game – hockey.

But, there I was last time out, when a guy took a shot that hit me in the ankle and smarted like the ever-lovin’ dickens! And, what do you know, but the only thought running amok in my head as I crumpled to the ice in pain was, “Oh, no! I am going to have a bruise; how will I ever be able to wear that skirt and heels next weekend?”

Now, it didn’t take me long to become more realistic in my thinking, but it was no less distressing, “Sheesh, this really f***’in hurts… I might not even be able to walk in heels at all!”

‘Scuse me!  Has anyone seen that GUY I am supposed to be?

Well, in my defence, I did skate it off and finish the game despite the pain – that’s manly, right?

Then, I went home to ice it in the hopes of heading off that nasty and unbecoming bruise.

Friendmaking

Thinking back on my just ended Vegas vacation with the Wildside girls, I always marvel at how easy it is for me to meet and connect with people there. It is all the more surprising because I have a terrible time of it in my regular life.

I think we all know that past a certain age, it is difficult to make friends; people are set in their ways, have their guard up and often simply just have enough people to deal with in their lives. IMG_7727a

But, I have noticed that t-girls are different – at least the ones I have met at Wildside and even at other t-get-togethers.

The explanation is fairly straightforward.

Obviously, our lifestyle is hell on conventional friendships, so we are pretty open and motivated to find companionship. When we are put together with those with whom we have so much in common in terms of desires, challenges and experiences, it is little surprise that we make friends much more easily. IMG_7781a

Wildside in particular, with its total non-discrimination regarding one’s place on the TG spectrum, and its way of bringing us all together in social situations from intense partying to relaxed conversation, encourages connections between all the participants.

Then, nature just takes its course.

Better and Better

This year’s Vegas trip was the best ever! Then again, it always is…

One of the organizers asked me today whether I thought this year was better than last, and it immediately occurred to me that each year gets better simply because of the people.

Every year, I come back and re-connect with dear friends whom I have missed for 51 weeks, and each of those relationships deepens a bit. And, it never fails that I meet several new friends to add to the group that I will look forward to catching up with at the next Wildside.

So, how can it not get better every year?

As to the event itself, this year, we made some big changes; some were successful and others not so much.

But, the spirit of the event and the people who attend are the same as always: acceptance, sharing, sex-positive, party-positive, very open to making friends and letting people into their hearts.

I think it is also important to note that there are no divisions in this group along “how tranny art thou” lines; there are t-girls of all types, from transitioned to transitioning to not interested in transitioning to not knowing to GG to whatever else there can be. Nobody in this group cares which you are. (Take a lesson out there!)

So yeah, this was the best one so far. Next year will be even better, no doubt.

Me and Elvis

Apparently Elvis is still alive and well in Vegas. have a look:

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Party Like You Mean It

OMG, THAT was FUN!

We invaded Share Nightclub last night and took over the VIP section. It took a few minutes for us to get settled in and suss out the club, and then all hell broke loose!

Our little VIP area quickly turned into an exuberant party, everyone dancing with everyone else, bopping up and down to the beat, embracing, laughing, loving each other’s company! IMG_7351a1

There were lap dances, girls dropping clothes and shoes, and a healthy dose of raunchiness that never really crossed into the realm of vulgarity.

I danced my feet off for hours, sweating out the tequila I had consumed all week.

I’d dance with one girl, and then a few others would join us; some more arrived and others left in a revolving door of dance partners… every so often, I’d feel a hand caress my back or even a body close behind me and a hand or two coming around the front of my body; it was all good…

I was free and happy and joyful! Doesn’t get much better than that!

Around 3 a.m. we headed back for the hotel in a state of complete exhaustion. We cleaned ourselves up a bit and then went back to the outdoor courtyard to hang out as the girls filtered back from the club and gathered to wind down from the party.

We all spent hours talking and just hanging out until the sun came up.

Then, it was really time for bed…

Party Bus

What do you get when you cram 30 sexy, dancing, drinking, flirting, partying tgirls into a bus filled with liquor and ice and music?

Well, you get Wildside in a Bottle!

This is Wildside mobile, Wildside concentrate! All you’ve come to love about Wildside in a convenient travel pak!

The bait to lure us onto the bus was the promise of picture-taking opportunities; it is well known that none of us can resist having our photos taken…IMG_7259a1a1

We had stops at the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, the Cosmopolitan Hotel and downtown on Fremont Street, where they collected refurbished neon signs from vintage Las Vegas into a museum of sorts.

There were a lot of nice backdrops for pictures in the Cosmopolitan, but it was a pretty nice walk to get to them. And, by the time we made it downtown, few of the girls were willing to undertake another long trek in 5-inch heels. Growing pains – this was the first try at it; we will do better next time.

Anyway, photography, night and neon make for a challenging combination and I, for one, got very few memorable photos, despite taking the effort to actually bring along a tripod and a DSLR.

But, it was never really about the pics anyway. Like everything else we do, it was about the love!

It is an incredible phenomenon, but this group plays so unbelievably well together. There is very little hand-holding but if you put yourself into the mix, everyone is your friend, your playmate, your lunch date, your shopping buddy, your dance partner.

We simply cannot get enough of each other. After the bus returned, a large number of us went to the rooftop of the Rio to dance some more.

IMG_7307a1aUnder the stars and above the twinkling lights of Sin City, my friend Gina and I looked around and in every corner where there was light we could see any number of our group dancing, laughing, hugging, flirting. The combinations are ever-changing, having nothing to do with place of origin or who they hung out with last night or last year.

Gina – who is one of the founders of this event – is understandably overcome with pride and emotion at what Wildside has become. But, here’s the thing: so am I. I think all the girls know how special this group has become and are proud to be part of it.

Wildside Tuesday

The goings on in Las Vegas…

Vegas, Baby!

I’ve told you all  in years past (see here, here, or here for example) about our annual Las Vegas shindig… well, it’s on again, starting today!

I am already in Sin City, but things haven’t gotten underway just yet. Still, no shortage of things to do…

I spent the better part of the day at a ghost town not too far from here that is basically a million great photo ops! Just the perfect place for me!

We took literally hundreds of photos, and if 50 of them are not among the 100 best I’ve ever taken, I’ll eat my hat!

No, check that – I have eaten way too much already – and I have only been here for a couple of days!

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My friends are arriving starting today, and the party is about to blast off. For all you kittens that want to follow along in our debauchery and merry-making, check out Twitter under the hashtag #VWS12.

As a Canadian, it is a royal pain for me to use twitter in the U.S. since I either have to find a wifi connection or roll up the truck to Fort Knox to pay for using their cellular network. But for my loyal followers, no effort is too large, right?

Pampering Myself

As I am going to meet my girlfriends after a long time apart, I decided to treat myself to my first ever pedicure, and added a manicure (less nail color – for the benefit of IMG_6780 -1athe customs and immigration officials, as well as the airline employees who, in Canada, are not supposed to allow men who look like women on board a plane).

It was a wonderful experience.

IMG_6817 -1aThe place I chose had really great massage chairs in which to sit while the beautician cleaned, softened and massaged my feet and legs, followed by attending to the specific IMG_6765 -1amatter of doing my nails.  A similarly sensual experience attached to my manicure.

When I was done, I was prettified and relaxed.  All in all, a good start to my trip!

Bacon-Stuffed Janie

Well, there goes my diet!

IMG_6868a1I have been in Las Vegas for not even 24 hours, and I have probably consumed more calories than I normally do in a week.IMG_6886a

Instead of a small bowl of granola and yogurt for breakfast today, I started with a Bloody Maria and finished with a giant portion of Sage-fried Chicken and Bacon-Stuffed Waffles with maple syrup.IMG_6874a

But I will say that GF’s “Hand-Hammered Pork Tenderloin Benedict” took the prize for gluttony. The photo doesn’t do it justice; it is 12 inches across if it is an inch!

(As always, click on each photo to enlarge it.)

Um… Is This the Men’s Room?

I shouldn’t really get a kick out of confusing the poor uninitiated, but for some reason, I do.

I was in a suburban restaurant the other day, totally in guy mode, when the need arose to use the loo. Of course, I went to the men’s room.

As I was standing at the sink, washing my hands, the door (which was slightly behind me and to my left) opened and a man came forward. I turned to look and saw him stop in his tracks as he took in the sight of me, look back at the sign on the door, then back at me.

Then, he stepped back and let the door close.

A few seconds later, the door opened again, and I turned to him and said with a friendly smile, “Yes, you’re in the right place.” I paused, aware that he still wasn’t completely buying it, and reassured him, “And, so am I.”

He snuck one more glance at the sign on the door, and then, meekly, entered.

“Happens to me all the time,” I commented, though, in point of fact, this has never happened to me before.

It is one thing to be mistaken for a female when in male clothing and of a male mind, but quite another for someone to see me with what is effectively a sign pointing at me saying, “Man!” and not be able to find the male in me. He chose to doubt the sign rather than my femininity.

Considering that I am trying to lead a serviceable male life part of the time, I shouldn’t like this development. After all, what strangers see is what friends see.

Shouldn’t like it at all… Winking smile

Thoughts on Thoughts

As regular followers have no doubt noticed, I have not been posting with my usual regularity recently.

Ah, the blogger’s life…

In the years that I have been writing this blog, I have never lacked for things to write about – such is the nature of the wondrous self-discovery that is part of the t-girl life.

And, to be honest, there are no shortage of ideas rolling around in my empty large head (too large for my body, if you ask me) at the moment.

The problem for me has been quite the opposite. I have had so many thoughts and emotions flitting in and out of my consciousness lately, that I feel like a kitten among mice running around and birds flying about… I can’t focus long enough on one to pin it down.

And, the feelings have been particularly personal and intense, which makes it all the harder to be able to distill them into coherent thoughts worthy of sharing.

So, bear with me. Stuff’s coming.

My introspective interlude is about to be rudely interrupted by a week of wild t-girl partying (dare I say debauchery?) in Las Vegas and renewal of wonderful friendships.

I will be sure to report from Sin City, so keep an eye out.  And, perhaps during lazy days by the pool recovering from the prior night’s shenanigans, there will be time for deeper thoughts and an openness to receiving the real truths I have been seeking.

Keep it tuned here and follow me on twitter. I am going to try to tweet in real time, and I believe the girls are going to use the hashtag #VWS12.

Boob-Job Envy

Well, another of my friends has just undergone boob surgery, and each time this happens, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if I were to go that route.

It sure would be nice to have a (more) feminine chest, that’s sure.

But, each of us has her own journey to follow.

Boobies would certainly pose problems in my male life – a life I still hold dear. I would never get really big ones anyway, and so they could be hidden, but still…IMG_6466 -1a

But, the more important issue for me is that I am still struggling with the extent and nature of my femininity. Currently, I take great pleasure in my ability to be convincingly feminine without surgery or hormones, and, in fact, I consider that to be my gender identity – that I am naturally able to assume the role of both or either, without the need for drugs or implants.

More to this point, I figure that I don’t become more feminine because of my clothes, and I don’t become more feminine because I have surgery. Rather, my womanhood is something personal, spiritual and natural, and independent of superficial things.

If and when the day comes that my womanhood has developed to the point where not having breasts is actually misleading to others as to my true nature, then it might be time to do something. But, in my view, that would come after living and experiencing so much more of what a woman’s life has to offer, and embracing it as my destiny.

In the meantime – and perhaps for always – my body reflects pretty well who and what I am.

Why Are You Here?

Literally.

A simple question for which I seek an answer – not in the existential sense, but more in the personal, you and me sense.

Why do you visit my blog? What are you looking for?

I am not necessarily looking for anything profound, just a simple “finger-on-the-pulse” of my readers kinda thing.

How Do You Love Me? Let Me Judge the Ways

Sometimes, the most fundamental questions are sitting right in front of your face and you think and philosophize and argue about so many things, never noticing that basic question.

A discussion group in which I am a contributor provided me with a thought about dating that I read, and then stopped, and then read again, and then and ever since, am completely puzzled as to why the issue never even occurred to me, nevermind the answer.

Here it is:quotes1 - close

quotes1

When dating, do you want a man to like you as a female or as trans?

 

 

Maybe you all out there are different than I am, but it occurred to me that I never really considered the difference.

For the author of that quote, the question was easily resolved; she is a transsexual who wants her boy parts gone, so she wants to be appreciated as a female, and any appreciation for what she is trying to shed is patently unwelcome.

But, it’s different for me. Not only do I like both male and female aspects of myself and the ability to change from one to the other, but I seem to have developed a certain comfort for the particular kind of female that I am, if you know what I mean.

It’s a good thing too, because retaining the ability to assume the role of male or female involves certain compromises that make my feminine appearance more masculine than it need be. Among others, I have a flat chest, I have a strong chin, and my skin’s texture is masculine. I recognize that my appeal lies in the way I am so much the same yet so much different than a GG, and I have embraced that.

I expect to be treated exactly as a woman would be treated, both inside and outside of the bedroom. In fact, I insist on it.

However, I recognize that I am not exactly a woman, and that the men who are interested in me are after something that women can’t or don’t offer them. This could be an experimentation with a “gay” experience, an easier emotional connection or more compatible sexual attitude or maybe just a kinky time.

If I could snap my fingers and turn into a fully-equipped female whenever I wanted to, and then back again, I would absolutely do it. Then, I would want to be desired purely as a woman.

But, as that is not possible in the real world, I can either hope to be desired for what I seem to be (and perhaps wish, at times, to be) or for what I am.

My answer to the question is this: I am happy to be desired as either, and in a sense, as both. I want to be desired and treated as female, but with the understanding that my femininity is a special one.

Or, I could answer the question this way: I have had men interested in me who thought I was GG-female. When I have told them I was a t-girl, their reactions have ranged from polite excuses to increased enthusiasm. Should I prefer the first or the second group?

And, beyond that, should I prefer those who want me in spite of my “difference” or because of it?

Hey, wasn’t that the question in the first place?

Take This Down

“Ok, I’m done writing,” she said, throwing her pen and pad on the floor.

Her skirt fluttered down shortly thereafter.

Sitting down and pulling one knee to her chest, she looked over at him with a strange mix of exasperation and seductiveness, dominance and submissiveness. “Next time you ask me to ‘take this down, Miss Black,’ you had better mean something completely different…”

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Surgery Not Required for Sex Change

A court decision in Canada has struck down a law requiring SRS as a precondition to having one’s gender changed on their documentation.

There are undoubtedly people on both sides of this issue who will be unhappy about it – post-op transsexuals who may feel that anyone who can tolerate the “bits” of the opposite gender is not truly transsexual, and others who may feel that this just makes it too easy to play games with one’s gender and official documentation.

But, remember that most people who eventually undergo gender reassignment surgery spend years living as the gender opposite to what their identification indicates. They do this for financial reasons, or even for reasons of uncertainty and fear of going through with the surgery. They are not fooling around; this is serious business in their lives, and having a passport or ID that matches the gender they are living is important.

One need look no further than Canada’s law about refusing to board any passenger who appears not to be the gender on their ID. This kind of regulation is annoying for me, but I can easily cope. Someone who has been living exclusively as female, perhaps taking hormones, etc., but shows “male” on their passport will likely have both practical and emotional difficulties with this law.

In the end, simply stated, striking down this law gives effect to what many of us have been saying – that one’s gender is not in their pants.

Bits and Pieces

In the past, I have mentioned my preference for masculine men and feminine women.

This has informed my own travels across the gender line and back, as I have maintained a firewall between my feminine side and my masculine self. I have always been one or the other, never both, and never mixed.

Recently, I seem to have evolved this concept a little.IMG_6408 -1a

I still don’t believe in mixing bold black and pure white to create dull, non-descript grey.

But, it is starting to seem like sometimes I am a checkerboard. Bits and pieces of each in a mosaic, but somehow never mixed together.

Sometimes, I forget that I have a gender and then it occurs to me to wonder which I had been for the previous minutes or hours. (I marvel to see how, as time passes, my journey gives rise to ever stranger thoughts – things I never would have dreamt of in years past.)IMG_6407 -1a

Then, there are times when I’m just not sure how I feel. These days I have been known to dress ambivalently, and good luck to anyone to guess from afar whether I am male or female when I don’t seem to know myself.

It just takes a tilt of the head, a change in tone or inflection, an animation of facial expression, an alteration of posture to move from one gender to the other.

These thoughts were swirling in my head as I went for a walk, dressed as you see me in the photos.

I thought I’d share them with you.

Putting It On the Line

Another Scott Church photo of me. He seemed really to like this one, though I am not so sure.

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We’re In

They’ve decided to reverse their decision over at Miss Universe Canada and allow the transgender contestant to compete. JennaTalackova020412

Those of the school that any publicity is good publicity will suspect that the whole thing was a charade. With “the Trump” behind the contest, such suspicion can only grow.

But, I think the image of the contest has been sullied somewhat. Don’t you?

No matter, I think the whole episode has done the trans community a wonderful service by shining the spotlight on a positive image of our community rather than some of the sordid headlines we often get.

Maybe people will rethink their impressions of what a “tranny” is. One can only hope…

I So Love Philly

IMGP1190aEvery time we go to Philadelphia, we have a total blast. Mostly shopping and eating and enjoying the historic streets of the city – and oh, yes, the great cocktail bars.IMGP1174a

I am not sure why Philadelphia seems to offer the best selection of peculiarly-themed cocktail bars that take drink-making very seriously and merry-making equally so.IMGP1153a

But, that’s been my experience.

Of course, there is no mystery when it comes to the Philly cheesesteak. Simple food made exceptionally well from fresh ingredients – there is no such thing as Philly cheesesteak anywhere but in Philadelphia.

I just LOVE IT!!

Shopping as Entertainment

Last time, I discussed a promo that Smashbox and Sephora were doing together.

It was the latest in a series of recent events we have seen at malls around town, aimed at spicing up the shopping experience. I applaud this effort, as it makes the shopping experience so much richer and fun.426353_106846126112627_100003617194214_29211_284043371_na

Days earlier, Geox, maker of comfy but attractive shoes had a champagne and chocolate reception, complete with piano player and 15% sale – a lovely way to attract business and have customers linger for an hour in their store. We enjoyed it immensely, and felt perfectly happy to reward them by buying GF a nice pair of flats.426353_106846109445962_100003617194214_29210_1159716432_na

As I was not properly made up, I decided, in that social and crowded environment, not to push things by trying on a pair of shoes that had caught my eye. (So, in the end, we actually saved money. Winking smile )

A week or two before that little shindig, we happened upon a photo contest at a downtown mall. Oh dear!

As a guy, I’d most likely just walked on by. But, I was totally in girly mode – casual, but female – and even had the luxury of nail polish, well… as you know, Janie never met a camera she didn’t like. Open-mouthed smile

The whole experience was fun – made my day! I hope this trend continues.

Photos of Me? No Thanks

Out in a shopping mall, we happened upon some buzz being generated at the Sephora store. IMG_0508a

Smashbox – maker of cosmetics including the most wonderful primer on the market – was having a fun promo: buy $75 worth of their product, and get a makeover and professional photoshoot on the spot for free.

Yum!! Perfect.

GF and I had been at the mall until closing yesterday, admittedly, mostly riding on my enthusiasm, not hers. And, I had dragged the poor girl back IMG_0524atoday to address some unfinished business, promising to get in and out in no time flat.

And so it was that my rock-solid commitment to honor my word came up against the hard place of my weakness for the attention of the lens…

Caught between as I was, I really had no choice in the matter – GF always comes first. So, of course, I passed on the photoshoot.

Ah, the things we do for love!

Kissed Off at Myself

I am still in the midst of a second adolescence when it comes to the exploration of my sexuality.

I met this guy in a bar last night; he was quite sweet and gentle. We talked for a while, and eventually he started caressing my finger, then my hand… very romantic, very nice.

IMG_0334aAs time passed, things got a little hotter and we ended up doing some kissing as well, before he tested a line that I was not willing to cross, and the boundaries were set.

Fast-forward to this morning, when I woke up in a rotten mood.

I am relatively certain that mood was connected to the events of the prior evening. I had some thought that maybe I just don’t like guys as much as perhaps I believe I do, but my better guess is that I simply am mad at myself for kissing this stranger.

Women have told me that kissing is more intimate for them than oral sex. I think I may be starting to understand that from the inside out. Obviously, I was too dumb to see it consciously, but my gut seems to be sending me a message.

I hope I am reading it right.

What do you all think? Is kissing that intimate that I could be feeling that way? Or might it be something else?

There She Goes…

Miss Universe Canada selected Jenna Talackova as a finalist for the 2012 competition.

But, that was before they found out that she was born male.

Can’t have that!

Yes, the pageant immediately disqualified her, wishing her the best in her life outside their little event. Sorry, just the rules; no discrimination here, they said.

There was some controversy about 35 years ago when an MTF transsexual named Renee Richards applied for membership in the WTA – the governing body for women’s tennis. In that case, one may have had reason to allege that a person born male might have some physical advantages in terms of strength and size over those born female, and there was some hand-wringing then about the fairness involved.

After a landmark court decision in favor of transsexual rights, they accepted her. (Whatever advantages her chromosomal makeup may have bestowed, she never won a single major tournament, BTW.) Eventually she was inducted into the WTA Hall of Fame.

Here, in a beauty pageant, where any masculinity is a distinct disadvantage, a win by a t-girl would be something of a miracle, but where’s the harm in letting her compete, or even win? It would simply prove that transsexual women are women and can measure up to the most exacting standards of femininity (at least those as seen by pageant organizers).

Is it so terrible to treat a person as the real-world person they are instead of what the Xs and Os on their documentation classify them to be?

They must have been worried about the embarrassment had she won… Canada would have been the laughing stock of the otherwise weighty pageant sector, with jokes about how Canada couldn’t field one single young woman within its borders who was more beautiful and poised than a man.

But, she is not a man. And, the pageant’s inability to recognize this simple fact is quickly becoming an embarrassment for Canada as yet another episode of intolerance towards trans people (see our specifically restrictive airline boarding requirements).

For a generally accommodating and progressive country, this is quite a disappointment.

X Marks the Spot

Is she? Or, isn’t she?

Is a she? Or, isn’t a she?

Tee, hee!

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An Utterly Sublime Threesome

Their hands caressed every inch of my body, every nook and cranny – well almost. When they were done with me, I was little more than a hunk of quivering Jell-O; it was as if my bones had turned soft.

This was the best threesome I’ve ever had – and I hope to do it again sometime.IMG_6340a1

For those of you who have never had a “four-handed massage,” I assure you that the experience is exponentially greater than the sum of two plus two.

We are, indeed, talking here of massage, and not euphemistically about anything else. Tsk! Get your minds out of the gutter…

The thing about having two therapists working on you simultaneously is that your whole body is receiving attention at the same time, and you drift into an incredible state of relaxation.

Expensive? Yes. But memorable.

Put it on your bucket list; you won’t regret it.

Apres-Ski

Well, I had to get out of those ski-clothes and curl up in front of the fire…

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Ski Weekend

A pic that asks the question: does a girl really have to wear a jacket while skiing? …or pants, for that matter?

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You Are So Sexy, Wanna Go Out?

Ok, enough already.

I am one of those t-girls who really appreciates the attention of men, but I am getting more exasperated by the day with the lame approaches I receive.IMG_6256a

Example: “you are very sexy girl!! where you from?? maybe i can buy you a drink!”

On its face, not that bad – and by no means anywhere near the worst – but it comes from a guy who has offered no name, no picture, no profile… no information of any kind about himself.

It is as if he expects that I have been sitting alone in the dark for years just waiting for a date, and, upon seeing his offer, I would drop to my knees sobbing in relief that I have finally received an invitation (and the possibility of a free drink)… that I am so desperate that I will go out with anyone from anywhere sight unseen?

Smarten up, will ya?

Sheesh!!

Go Ahead, Dear

I’ve been Ma’am-ed before on several occasions while in male mode, but this is a whole new thing.

When someone refers to you as “Ma’am,” they see you as a blank stranger – another person in line, a customer, someone in their way… whatever.

But, today, I was getting on the plane, and a fairly good-looking man in his 40s or 50s stepped out of the aisle to let me pass, looking straight into my eyes with a smile and softly saying, “Go ahead, dear.”

Certainly not an affirmation of my masculinity, that’s for sure!

I am equal parts puzzled, concerned and pleased.

Puzzled because the only difference I see between my male self today and in years past when this never happened is the length of my hair (and it was tied back in a pony tail, BTW).

Concerned because evidence is mounting that I may be losing my grip on my masculine self.

And pleased… well, that’s because it’s an affirmation of the fact that my feminine self is real and perceptible to others.

For me, the goal has always been to be one or the other. It has usually been a struggle to conceal the male part when being Janie. But, now, the challenge for me seems to lie on both sides of the gender divide.

Cappuccino and Muffin

As I do a lot of work on my computer, I like to get out among people instead of being alone at home.

The result has been a sharp increase in coffee intake, and an appreciation for what’s good and and intolerance for everything else.

I generally drink cappuccino instead of regular coffee – and I do so primarily because it contains a full serving of milk (as opposed to a tablespoon of cream). That makes it less fattening and much healthier.

There are two main things that make or break a cappuccino: the coffee and the milk. IMG_5850b

The espresso must be fresh, the beans must be ground to the right fineness and the steam temperature and pressure must be just right to coax all of the good flavor and none of the bitterness out of the beans. The visual confirmation that this has been done correctly is a layer of crema on top of the espresso which is thick enough to hold up a sugar cube for a couple of seconds. (Incidentally, any place that draws its espresso into a shot glass first and then loses half the crema in pouring it into the coffee cup has lost me right there.)

Then, the milk must be frothed so that it turns into a thick, creamy topping; the air should be so well incorporated into the milk that no bubbles are perceptible. It takes some talent to get it right, and involves technique and speed; it should only take a few seconds to froth the milk – more and the milk will be too hot to froth properly. (If you are ever served a boiling hot cappuccino, you can be sure it will be awful.)

Combine the wonderfully potent espresso with the creamy, soothing milk and you have an intense and pleasurable drink over which to contemplate life, or write that report. Add a magnificent wild berry muffin and what could be better?

Fun with Black and White

A white tuxedo jacket with black lapels, patent white peep-toe heels with black trim and bow, and little else.

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Pro Photoshoot–Scott Church

I had the opportunity to have a photo-session with Scott Church, an accomplished and well-known glamor photographer, who has shot for Playboy and Maxim, among others.

Here’s one of the photos he took:

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Mixed up Crazy World

As we push the boundaries of gender, sometimes things just make you shake your head – even people like me.

Not too long ago, there was an article in a local paper about a guy having a baby.  Not surprisingly, it was an FTM transsexual – and one who had taken pains to preserve her reproductive organs during her reassignment surgery.

Now, I am the first to admit that my views on gender are fairly old-fashioned; ironically, it is that point-of-view that is the foundation for my transgenderism, as I am simply unable to incorporate my feminine side into my masculine without destroying the integrity of both, as I see them.

So, this person is clearly the opposite of me, in that she did not feel that becoming a man conflicted with her desire to become pregnant and give birth to children, nor her desire to be in a relationship with a man.

Amazingly, what did give her pause was the idea that having her feet in stirrups in order to receive the insemination would be too feminizing for her masculine self!!

Janie the Boss

I was recently asked to take charge of a certain event. The organizers evidently thought that I had what it takes to be authoritative and competent in doing the job.

However, in anticipating my role, I had what could only be described as an identity crisis.

After all, telling people what to do is something I feel so much more comfortable doing as my male self. I don’t conceive of Janie being an authoritarian.

Moreover, it has been my practice generally to do the things that feel more masculine as a guy, and the more feminine as a woman.

This little job will force me to go against type, if you will, and as such, should be an interesting challenge.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Mary, Mary, Quite a Pair, We!

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Mary was one of the first people I connected with on a personal level online, and wouldn’t you know it, she lives within commutable distance from me!

Well, it took the better part of 5 years, but we finally met! And, I am glad we did.m412a1a

Her clever and funny comments on my flickr photos belie a creative intelligence and wit, and so it is no surprise that Mary-Margret is a delight in person – in fact, even more winning in the flesh than online.

We laughed, we danced, we had a great time.

Can’t you tell?

Janie Who?

I had the honor of being asked to do a guest post on Jessica de Leon’s fabulous blog, Jessica Who?

To those of you who don’t know Jessica, she is a warm, outgoing, brilliantly funny, and insightful performer and writer. You owe it to yourself to spend some time with her and her friends.

My post, entitled “Second Nature Second-Nature” was published yesterday.  To read it, click here.

Baking

IMG_5833aI love to cook, but I seldom do any baking. It is just too exacting, and I prefer the creative freedom of throwing whatever catches my fancy into the pan and seeing what comes of it.IMG_5818a

But, I felt like scones this morning, and they weren’t going to make themselves. So…

Surprisingly easy, these plain scones with orange zest took all of 30 minutes from setting foot in the kitchen to setting one in my mouth (scone, not foot).

Serve these up with jam and clotted cream or butter (and, of course some fine tea from Mariage Frères in Paris). Totally yummy!

(Yes, I am a bit of a gourmand. Sorry…)

More on Andrej

I took the time to read the New Yorker article referenced by the Washington Post in my last post.

It is well worth reading.

With all due respect to the esteemed Washington Post, Pejic doesn’t really seem to identify as male any more than he does female.  His focus is, much like was discussed in my missive on Psychology Today, that there is no benefit to identify as one or the other.

He says he never did “drag”; he just dressed pretty, in the same way girls do.  Semantics, perhaps, but evidence of a certain mindset.

He does not divide the world into girls and boys, and roles for each, orientations and attractions.  He just takes it as it comes, with no labels.

Its an alluring ideal, compromised only by his repeated concessions to the realities of life.  A man approached him and then left disappointed.  Andrej’s take: “He thought I was a girl.”640_andrejpejic-id-thomaslohr05

He’s not considering a sex change, but says things like, “Obviously, as a kid, you think about it: what would life be like if I was born a girl?”

Another quote: “I want to look like me. It just so happens that some of the things I like are feminine.”  Clearly, he sees things as much in male-female terms as anyone else, even if he is fighting it.

And, he knows to move differently depending on whether he is modeling men’s or women’s clothes. Just acting, maybe, but conforming to gender roles, still.

I like his idea of moving past gender, at least in theoretical terms.  But, you can’t say something is feminine, as he does, if you don’t want to be classified as male or female. 

If you’re saying that a man looking as feminine as the most beautiful woman makes the statement that ideas about gender are obsolete, then the whole vocabulary of femininity and masculinity has to be dropped.

Like the wearer, the clothes, the behaviors just are what they are. 

Easier said than done.

Pretty Boy

After seeing that episode of Bones, I sat down to write my post about it.  In the process of doing so, I looked up references to androgyny in Asian culture and found some fascinating things.

Pretty men in Japan seem to be well-liked by young females, and are popular television personalities and performers as they appeal across a broad spectrum of that society.  They are also popular in manga comics as the prototypical male, especially those targeted at girls.

Here’s a telling quote about the history and endurance of this type of character, from the wikipedia entry on the subject (link is below):

quotes1Lady Murasaki Shikibu‘s Tale of Genji, written in about the year 1000 A.D. Genji concerns the exploits and romances of a young prince, the son of an emperor and beloved concubine, who is not in line to inherit the throne, and follows his intrigues through the court as he comes of age. The novel typifies the Heian age of Japanese history, a period of highly-stylized romance. Prince Genji’s beauty isquotes1 - close described as transcendental, so much so that "one could have wished him a woman", with a bewitching attraction that is acknowledged by men and women alike.

I am not going to reproduce volumes of information or even an entire Wikipedia page.  I do refer you to the following link for further reading, if it is of interest to you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bish%C5%8Dnen

What sets apart the Japanese version of a bishonen (loosely translated as pretty boy) is their sexual ambiguity in addition to their ambiguous appearance.  There is a clear flouting of all aspect of the rules we generally use to classify gender and sexual orientation, and has been for a very long time.

No Bones About It

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the television series Bones.  In many respects, it is just another crime-drama show.

What brings Bones to my blog is an episode I just happened to land on the other day, which involved a visiting Japanese forensic investigator. (This episode, though new to me, is a couple of years old, BTW.) 

As a subplot to the usual grisly murder investigation, the regular characters on the show were mystified as to the gender of this visitor, and determined to figure it out.  Each professed their opinion based on whatever gender markers they found relevant.  There were actual debates about this.282010_1251216852622_480_385

The staff psychologist marveled at the fact that these scientists, who could find a murderer from the slightest clue on a dead body, could not figure out whether Dr. Tanaka was a man or woman.  He was amused both at their frustration and their preoccupation.  (BTW, note that this gender ambiguity is not open to any of us who are not doctors, but have to go with Mr. or Ms or whatever.)

Over a drink, he asked them why they cared, what difference it made? Then, he explained to them that Tanaka identified as Kei – a Japanese ideal that glorifies androgyny on the basis that gender is unimportant.

Our heroes’ biggest problems seemed to be not knowing which pronoun to use, and their inability to rein in their curiosity.  In the end, one of the group went over to Tanaka to say goodbye and gave the visitor a long hug.

As she returned to her buddies, we could see Tanaka smiling furtively.

“It moved; he’s a guy,” came the conclusive report.

My conclusion? This kind of exposure is another small step for normalizing and accepting those outside the gender binary.

Beautiful Andrej

More mainstream coverage and acceptance of the blurring of gender lines…

Andrej Pejic is the only person who can walk down top fashion runways as either a man or a woman.  People seem to accept that.

The Washington Post did a feature on him on February 10th.  How much more mainstream can you get?

Oh, but FYI, Andrej is not transgendered.  So says the Washington Post:

quotes1While he often wears women’s clothing and doesn’t mind when people mistake him for a girl, he has no desire to actually become one. Androgyny and cross-dressing do not make him transgendered — for that, he would have to identify as the opposite sex. Pejic still identifies as a man.

He told New York Magazine: “I know people want me to sort of defend myself, to sit here and be like, ‘I’m a boy, but I wear makeup sometimes.’ But, you know, to me, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t really have that sort of strong gender identity — I identify as what I am. Thequotes1 - close fact that people are using it for creative or marketing purposes, it’s just kind of like having a skill and using it to earn money.”

Fashion_Gender_Bending_Model_039da-592Beautiful, Andrej! 

I wonder if there is any way I could get my mind around that philosophy for myself?  I have tried different flavors of it and none have worked, but maybe this’ll be like discovering chocolate…

I’ll let you know…

Winter Fire

Last week I attended Winter Fire, a fetish event put on by Dark Odyssey.

Unlike most of these events, which are a "Look at Me!" kind of thing, Winter Fire is much more about people and their fetishes. One main reason for this is probably the prohibition against any camera use at the event.

The organizers provide creative activities, mixers, etc. at the beginning of the event in order to facilitate meeting new people. The people themselves are quite friendly and open to newcomers, which is quite different from what I have experienced at Fetish Weekend in Montréal, and what I have been told about other major fetish events.

But, what is most remarkable about Winter Fire is the sheer variety of fetish and gender expression that is on display. You can wander through the several dungeons and playrooms available and find flogging, bondage play, domination, submission, fire play, needle play, sex machines, cages, wrestling… the list goes on.

And, the players come in all shapes and sizes, not just in terms of height and weight, but in terms of gender.

In fact, remarkably, in the Sex-o-Rama room – a place where there were comfortable pieces of furniture on which people could have sex – I walked by a round red bed upon which there were five naked people making love – and I could not discern the gender of any one of them!

[And, I must confess, it was a pretty hot scene! Frankly, not something I thought that would appeal to me, but, live and learn!]

There are also courses given on subjects of interest to this group, ranging from practical how-to demonstrations [often hands-on] to spiritual aspects of sexuality to latex clothes-making. Depending on the subject, I didn’t know whether to find some of the demonstrations in the hands-on courses to be uniquely and instructively open or just incredibly vulgar.

I also got a bit of a chuckle out of the attempts of one lecturer to avoid any offense to anyone in this crowd when describing, say, male genitals.

Using any gender-related term required disclaimers for those born as that gender, those born as that gender but not identifying as that gender, those born as the opposite gender but identifying as that gender those born as one gender but not identifying as any gender, those born as one gender but identifying certain physical body parts as not related to that gender or to any gender, etc., etc., etc. You get the picture.

All in all, it was an eye-opening experience for me, but, as is my way, I found it raising more questions about me and my gender, and about unlimited open-mindedness in general.

I guess that’s a good thing… I’ll share any insights in the coming weeks.

Close to Perfection

No doubt you have taken note of the movie, Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close, currently in theaters.

It is to state the obvious that once again, we transfolk and gender-benders should be delighted with our now regular inclusion in mainstream media.

Let’s take a moment to think about how much acceptance it takes to have a movie like this made, or have a transgender model on America’s Next Top Model, or walking down the high-fashion runways all over the world. 

Albert Nobbs Trailer

There is the creative talent that must not only be open to it, but be so interested as to make it the focus of their work.  There are the actors that must portray someone and cast a certain light on themselves.  There are the producers who must have enough confidence that this will fly as to put their money into it.  And, advertisers, whose main focus is to cast their product in the best possible light and have the best possible associations for it – they must be willing to align themselves with such a project. The critics, whose tastes will influence so many others, must put their reputations on the line with their commentary. And finally, the viewers, who come and see and enjoy, and come back again.

It is easy to complain; let’s take joy where we can find it.

Psychology Today

Lately, I have been overwhelmed by the number of supportive articles I have found in mainstream media.

This most recent example is an article in Psychology Today discussing the obsolescence of defining sexual orientation and gender.

quotes1[M]any young people are no longer finding that categorization by sexual identity is meaningful or useful. They dispense with labels that limit behavorial freedom and instead are digging deeper to discover and embrace their true desires wherever that leads them. Their sexual partner’s gender matters less than the fulfillment of their physical and psychological desires…

We are beginning to recognize that we may no longer need to be partquotes1 - close of a sexual community of others who share our attractions. Instead, as our culture continues to shift, we are leaning towards honoring the uniqueness of our individual desires.

The author’s conclusion: “[M]y inner truth was more perfectly found within my desires than within any identity I subscribed to.”

The whole article is at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intelligent-lust/201202/beyond-sexual-orientation

Womanhood–of a Sort

After speaking with joy about my man-time experience, I would hate for any of you to get the wrong impression – I still love being a woman, such as I am.

“Such as I am” in the sense that I do tend to approach womanhood differently than a full-time female.

A real woman has many roles to play: friend, wife, mother, employer, employee, child, etc.  She summons whatever resources she can muster to perform her functions most successfully. 

For the woman I am, it is more important to be feminine – as it is not something I can take for granted.

Most of the things I face in my life that require me to summon what are considered to be primarily male attributes will end up being handled by my male self.  After all, I have a male self to fall back on; real women have to do their best without one.

Moreover, as a person built male, I have to be much more leery of ending up being perceived as a man in a dress if I allow my Janie self to channel the masculine resources at her disposal. 

In the simplest terms, I will have a much harder time carrying off the image of a female in a lumberjack shirt, jeans and work boots than in a little black dress and a nice pair of heels.

Ditto for yelling, anger, competing, etc.

All these are perfectly reasonable behaviors for real women, but have the real danger of turning me instantly into a man. 

Or, I have to yell less forcefully than I could, get mad less confrontationally than I might, compete less aggressively than I can… all of which is a very tough balance.

So I avoid them.

What results can be a bit of an unrealistic version of a woman. 

I think this is more the case the less I am Janie.  That is, when I get to be a woman for longer stretches, I become more three-dimensional in my behavior for the same reason real women are – “he” is not around.

Manhood

For the first time in a long time I found myself thrilled to spend a day as a guy.

I’d almost forgotten how wonderful that can be. 

So much so, that when I was doing some writing a month or so ago, I had more than a little difficulty finding any reason that truly resonated inside as to why a person would want to be a guy.

It was quite a rush.  A powerful feeling and a feeling of power.  A feeling of strength and control and competence in a way that’s completely different from the feminine versions of those things.

If I had to find a metaphor, it would be, um… shoes.  Masculine shoes and feminine shoes.  Oxfords and high heels.

The heels allow me to walk from here to there, but slowly and carefully.  They put me in touch with my balance and the way my body moves, making me much more aware of myself. 

Oxfords are wide and sturdy, giving me a firma grip on terra.  I walk with purpose and speed and no one can push me off my straight-line path from where I am to where I want to go.

As a woman, I tend to influence; as a man, I tend to direct. 

There is a willingness to confront, a moderate aggressiveness and a benign arrogance that emerges in my best masculine self.  (…and, I must add, a certain ease that comes from being the person I have been since childhood).

The T-Girl Has No Clothes (Actually She Does)

In all the talk about the reasons for and against posting nude photos, an interesting and truly profound related issue was missed, i.e., what makes a naked t-girl female at all (especially where she has had no surgery or hormones)?

Differently posed, how do you go about being “trans” in a theoretical world where there are no clothes?

That is, in essence, the question asked of me by an insightful reader comment on a post from last summer entitled Cause or Effect? that questioned whether I was trans or not.  His feeling was that my answer to that question – or my attempts to answer it – would provide insight on the subject.

And, I think he was right.

[Parenthetically, note for reference how eloquently the photo of me walking nude on the highway speaks to this entire issue – or could if it were uncensored.]

Aaannyyway…

It is impossible to crossdress in a world where there is no dress, and no dressing.  So, clearly, in a world with no clothes, a crossdresser (defined here as a man who dresses like a woman but maintains his male identity throughout) is simply a man.

Clothes or not, on an external level, part of what sets women (generally, to varying degrees) apart from men is their preoccupation with their appearance.  Practically, this means things like adorning oneself with longer hair, perfume, jewelry, nail-polish, makeup, etc., removing bodily hair, buffing off calluses on feet and hands, caring for ones skin, taking care not to be too rough and tumble so as to bruise or scar oneself… 

These external visual clues are more than just skin deep; they are manifestations of a genuine feminine way of being.  But, let’s take the exercise further and go beyond vanity.

Internally, I have felt much more in tune with my body, with my movements and with sensuality.  In my feminine role, I am more sensitive, more tentative, more nurturing, giving, yielding, quieter than as a man.  I listen more carefully and seem to be aware of more of the background (emotions, motivations, context) of what is being said than simply the words themselves. 

In a world without clothes, I believe that not only would I easily be able to feel feminine, but that I would be perceived in that way by others (as I have, at times, even while wearing men’s clothes).  Femininity is perceived in posture and in ways of relating to others.  There may even be an aura. 

Of course, it would all stand in stark contrast to the obvious physical manifestation that is unobscured by fig leaf or fabric. 

Am I trans?  The tempting inference from the above is yes.  But, there remains the question of whether my behaviors and even emotions (and perhaps choice of clothing?) are the product of nature or nurture.

Which leads to interesting thoughts about dropping gender labels entirely.  What difference does it make whether I am man, woman, trans, both or neither?  Is there a need to label this behavior or that emotion masculine or feminine?  Wouldn’t things be better if we could just say “I just am.” 

I am what I am; I like what I like; I do what I do. Why do we need more? 

Sharing Myself

I have spent a few days talking about the merits and demerits of posting nude photos… but something was missing…  

…that, in fact, I am out here sharing myself already in a very intimate way with those who come to my site. 

I share private and personal thoughts, giving readers a real and honest insight into the feelings, emotions, challenges and thoughts of a t-girl who may or may not be very much like them. I like to think people benefit both from seeing themselves in me as well as seeing differences between themselves and me. 

And, I like to think that some people just like to hang out, virtually, with me.

I also hope to educate people outside our community simply by seeing one of us just going about life.

I view my photos as just another way of sharing myself and communicating on a different level. 

In that sense, you may understand that the same things that drive me to bare my soul would lead me to bare my self. Just as some topics I write about are more intimate than others, so too are some photos.

In pictures, as in words, I would hope to deliver important and compelling messages that profoundly touch my viewers in a respectful and respectable way.

In the most general sense, that photo of me on the road wearing only my heels is, to me, a captivating and interesting photo, showing what seems to be a woman, in nature, with no pretensions, walking down the road of life.  I will leave it to those who end up seeing the uncensored photo to draw their own inferences of its message.  (I suppose “Nice ass!” is equally valid. Open-mouthed smile)

Undoubtedly the censored version has its own things to say – but I think those are mostly about what we cannot see.  The black bar is a jarring affront to the message of the original picture, and there is something to be learned from this contradiction, but I cannot conceive that both versions of this photo are saying more or less the same thing.

In any event, there is no doubt that respectfulness and respectability depend as much on your values as mine.

It seems that those of you who have chosen to respond don’t seem much inclined to see the uncensored photo.  And, I totally respect that.  Just because I see things in certain terms doesn’t mean others do.

Clearly, I have found some fulfillment in sharing myself with the world; I have felt – and hoped – that it would do both me and my audience some good.  But, equally clearly, this is not the appropriate venue for that photo and others like it.

I guess that in this as in life generally, I am still looking to find my place.

Why Do Nudes?

There is much to be said for the artistic merit of tasteful nudity.  I have covered that.

There are many who are simply uncomfortable with nudity regardless.  I have covered that too.

Furthermore, I have discussed long ago (on my, now defunct, Naughty Blog) the idea  that nudity is a futile idea for adding interest to my blog.  Once I have done that, what do I do for an encore?  After all, it will only be new and exciting for a short time.  If I find that my creativity has waned to the point that I can do no better than falling back on nudity as a draw, I am better off quitting beforehand as it is only delaying the inevitable, at the potential cost of my reputation.IMG_2853a1

Question is then, “Why do it?” 

There is no doubt that certain people will be offended, or think less of me.  There is the possibility that I will regret it later.  So, why even consider it?

The answer is simply this: it excites me.

Yes, it excites me sexually a bit, but I don’t expect that to last.  And anyway, that’s not what I am talking about.

It excites me as a potential form of expression. 

I have been writing this blog for a long time, trying to express my feelings, thoughts, needs, desires and so on in words.  I believe that much of what I am about can be expressed more profoundly in art.

Some of it requires no nudity at all, of course. 

And, I am not interested in nudity for its own sake.  I am not interested in being shocking or titillating, except to convey a message.

As a t-girl, my sexuality is a wondrous thing, contradictory and amorphous – and an essential part of the whole experience.  I don’t know if I will find someone who can capture the right message in a photo or on canvas, but I am going to look.

Then, I will have one more chance to change my mind.

Life in the Not-So-Big City

I went to one of my favorite cafés today, and who should I run into but an old friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in months.

It just so happens I was coming from a doctor’s appointment; otherwise, yep, I’d have absolutely been in heels and hosiery!

Phew!

This city, that is so large and has provided such good cover for me these past few years, is starting to feel awfully small.

The Boy Is Back

Tsk! Tsk!

America’s Next Top Model quickly removed an ad picturing transgender model contestant Isis with the tagline “The Boy is back” after complaints from the TG community.  The company responsible offered apologies.

isis_antm“The Top Model ad campaign is certainly not intended to be offensive, nor controversial, and we apologise for any offense it has caused. We see it as enormously positive that a hit mainstream show such as ANTM features gay and transgender contestants, and believe that Isis will be one of the stars of the upcoming series. We have, however, received feedback over the past few days that the tagline ‘The Boy is back’ used on the posters featuring Isis is offensive to the transgender community, and in response have already taken steps to have the posters in question removed.”

The complaints basically surround our desire to be referred to in the gender we present, or with which we identify.

It’s a funny thing though.  Of course I understand wanting to be accepted as a woman – all the more so for someone who feels she was born in the wrong body. 

But, my understanding is that the complaint came not from Isis but from advocacy groups – and the test there should be what is good for the community.

In this I wonder just a little bit. 

Don’t take the removal of the ads and the apologies as an admission of wrongdoing.  Companies have nothing to gain from butting heads with over-sensitive interest groups.

I think that effective advocacy requires us to pick our battles, and I am just not sure this one was worth annoying a company that clearly had done us a huge service by having included a transgender model in their highly visible competition.  Will we be able to expect such positive treatment in the future after embarrassing them?  Is there no pleasing us?

402454_339533456077131_170977296266082_1100679_1335110325_nYes, the ad refers to her as “The Boy,” but note that it does not refer to her as “the boy.”  To me there is a big difference; capitalizing it gives the impression that this is a title or nickname rather than a description.

Yes, the ad refers to her as “The Boy.”  But, in so doing over a photo of a beautiful woman, I think it is likely to open many people’s eyes to the contradictions of gender assumptions. 

Two words and a directly, simply an powerfully conveyed huge message…

I guess it depends what message you are hearing.

I invite your opinions…

Compulsive Crossdressing

I recently published a post on Tough Love, which invited members of our community to be more realistic and perhaps judicious in their unconditional support of crossdressers.

Given the consequences of our behavior, I think any of us should be more than happy to defend our choices against strong, well-intentioned opposition.  Such an exercise can provide us with more clarity and a better understanding of ourselves.

As I stated in that previous post, I had a comment from a blogger who claims to have been emancipated by his escape from the habit (or addiction) of crossdressing.

For those CDs in our midst who want to read a good challenge to their decision to wear women’s clothes, I refer you to an interesting post on his site “Healing From Crossdressing.”

The post to which I refer is his attempt to equate crossdressing with pornography, both being unhealthy compulsions. 

It is not that I agree with his arguments, but I think there is enough there to set a gurl thinking about what she is feeling.  And, that’s the point.

I went through it and tried to keep an open mind about each of his arguments.  Some clearly held no water for me; others really provoked some thinking. 

In the end, I was unconvinced that my crossdressing was a compulsion, negative or otherwise.  But everybody’s different, and you may be surprised at your own conclusion.  Or not.

Valentine’s Day

I don’t know where the tradition of Valentine’s Day came from – seems even Wikipedia is confused.  But, who am I to argue with a day that celebrates love?

The way I see it, the more love there is in this world, the better off we will all be – and by love I mean affection, generosity, respect, kindness…

…oh, and lust… Here’s my Valentine’s Day card (as usual, click to enlarge):

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Yes, But It’s Private

“Should I uncensor my censored photo of me walking nude down the highway?” I asked.

In responding in the negative, Shannon said:

quotes1Hold on to some small degree of decorum… and mystery quotes1 - closeperhaps.

(Thanks Shannon, once again.)

As beautiful as the human body is, as titillating as seeing two (or more) people having sex can be, and notwithstanding everything I have said in the previous two posts (Is Nudity Vulgar? and Intimate Portraits), there are those who will argue, for religious or even simply personal reasons, that sex and nudity are private things, and it is therefore bad form to show them.

I understand at least some of this.IMG_2516a1a

No Shame, No Gain

I don’t think there is any disputing that nudity loses its cachet when it becomes commonplace.  It also loses its excitement, both for the observer and the person without clothes.  The freedom and rush that one feels walking down the middle of the highway completely nude comes, <feigning innocence> I am told, from the fact that one has never done it before.  The second time will be a little bit less special, and eventually it could become NBD (No Big Deal).

In my view (which I have expressed long ago in these pages), becoming totally unashamed of our bodies is not a good thing. 

Beyond that, the vulnerability of being totally exposed at our most basic natural level is a sublime feeling that, again, depreciates with overuse.

Too Much Information (TMI)

Some things are private because they embarrass others.  Seeing people naked can convey entirely Too Much Information to others.  We don’t go to the bathroom in front of others; neither should we have sex or even walk around naked in public either, goes the reasoning.

I agree, to a point.  But I would have to exclude nudity that is presented to those who have sought it out, such as exhibits, galleries, and even strip or sex clubs.  These may be objectionable for different reasons, but not as TMI.

Respect Yourself

In any event, one tends to lose some degree of respectability in posing nude – or even suggestively or in underwear… or, depending on the time and culture, exposing her ankles or her hair… The judgment of others is always out there, and too the consequences.

As we do live among people, that is important. But what is more important is to be sure that we are proud of our own actions. (See A Girl’s Good Name.)  Then, we can decide the extent to which we are willing to conform what we wish to do to external limitations.  (Sound familiar?!  It should…)

Mystery and Decorum

Addressing the comment that began this post, even though I have thus far refrained from publishing my picture as originally conceived, I am quite proud of it.  I am of the opinion that the uncensored photo is sexy, sensual and artistic, offering its own delicious morsel of mystery. I believe it strikes a lovely balance between what’s exposed to draw the viewer in and what is not exposed to keep the viewer wanting more.

As for decorum, honey, that went out when guys starting wearing dresses!  A man simply does not do such things in polite society! Winking smile

Frosted Flakes

Ok, maybe I’m the flake…

IMG_9715a1

Intimate Portraits

I was watching an episode of Pan Am the other day, in which a stewardess was mortified to find her privately-taken nude photos in a local art gallery.IMG_5578a1

The gallery owner was quite sympathetic to her embarrassment, but at the same time expressed the profound conviction that the photos were exceptional and beautiful, not for the way they looked but for the way they made him, or viewers generally, feel.

They were art. 

Yes, I recognize that porn is also about how it makes you feel, and while we can debate the merits of that another day, the difference here is that the photographs in question touch viewers in far more complex (and even intimate) ways, emotionally and intellectually.  Titillation, if at all present, is a subtle nuance rather than a slap in the face (or a yank in the pants).

We are all sexual beings, made from sex and biologically impelled towards sex.  Our sexuality is as much a part of us as our intellect, if not more.  And, sexuality is so complex and interesting that there is no end to what we can learn from one another. Art is a wonderful way to convey such complex and emotional concepts.

In the hands of a skilled photographer or artist, the human body is an expressive and beautiful thing to behold on every level of one’s humanity.

Tough Love

I received a comment a ways back from a blogger who claims to have been emancipated by his escape from the habit (or addiction) of crossdressing.

His story piqued my interest because it is very different from the vast majority of what I hear out there – what most of us hear. 

Truth be told, there is a lot of supportiveness out there – perhaps too much. 

Don’t get me wrong; it is wonderful that we all encourage one another.  But, it is good to remember that crossdressing may not be constructive for everyone who undertakes it.

I have struggled in the past with my own doubts about my feminine side, and I think we all do. 

I believe that giving a fair airing to the arguments against going forward for any individual are as important as the reflexive support and encouragement that is everywhere.

We can go on all day about how crossdressing is harmless and should therefore be accepted, but it is undeniable that crossdressing is often a destructive force in a person’s life.  It can and often does lead to divorce, alienation, job loss, dishonesty and shame. 

At the same time, the biological or psychological necessity of transvestism is far from beyond doubt in all who practice it.

So, yes, there’s nothing wrong with crossdressing in and of itself.  But, people who do it should take a long hard look at themselves, and actually invite others to challenge the validity of such a choice, before going forward.

Sometimes, unconditional acceptance doesn’t do the recipient any favors.  True friendship requires more of us.

Day in Court

I had a date with the judge today on the small matter of a particularly vexing parking ticket.

I don’t normally fight these things – SUCH a waste of time! – but the sneaky guy actually gave me the ticket while I was in the car.

So, I got dressed in a sports jacket, black trousers and white shirt, tied my hair back in a neat pony tail and went to court. 

I presented myself to the prosecutor, who took a quick look at me, and said, “And, what’s the name, ma’am?”

I showed her the ticket with my male name on it.

Unfazed, she inquired, “Are you his representative?”

Wow, she was really quite sure of and comfortable with her perception of me as female.  “Nope, that’s me.”

Of course, she apologized, and of course, it didn’t bother me a lick.

But, it does get me to wondering what has happened to my masculine presence.

I mean, all the visual cues were there for her to perceive me as a man.  Jacket, shirt, male documentation.  In fact, it is doubtful she could even have seen my pony tail from her perspective.  I wasn’t wearing jewellery, or perfume, or any color but black and white.  And every single other person in the room was a man. And yet, her natural instinct was to perceive me as a woman.

Maybe I was nervous being in court so I wasn’t assertive.  I don’t know.  But, I still have to wonder why friends, family and business associates would not perceive me in the same way she did. 

They have all seen me with my hair down.  Some have even seen me in shorts and I have no hair on my legs.

Perhaps I am fooling no one…

Yet Another DC Area TransWoman Shot

I am saddened and dismayed to learn of the spate of violence against trans people that has hit Washington, DC.

Deoni Jones, a 23 year old transgender woman was fatally stabbed on Thursday night at a bus stop in North-Eastern Washington just a few days ago. 

Police, understandably, are hesitant to jump to the obvious conclusion that this is a hate crime, but I suspect they will in time.  And this is why:

A little further research reveals that there were 3 reported shootings of transgender people in D.C. over the summer, and all in the same general neighborhood.  The stories all seem similar – someone just walking up to a trans person, asking for the time or something, and then immediately pulling out a gun and taking a shot at them. (See the Washington Post article.)

And, these followed that ugly episode at a Baltimore McDonald’s – Baltimore is not that far North-East of Washington, which I reported to you here.

You don’t have to be a Mensa member to see a disturbing trend here.  Every one of these attacks was perpetrated on a trans person by one or more African-Americans.  Obviously, there is a need for community leaders on both sides to get together to discuss the problem, why it is happening, and what can be done about it. 

Is Nudity Vulgar?

I want to follow up on the nude photo I posted Saturday, and the response it received.

I have tried to present myself in a way that I can be proud of, in terms of both words and photos. 

I have railed in the past against the vulgarity I have found online, and the lack of self-respect of those who present themselves as their genitals or speak of themselves in humiliating ways.

Ah, but as with beauty, vulgarity is in the eye of the beholder.

For my part, the display of nudity is not necessarily vulgar and neither is a portrayal of sex.  Either might be, or might not be.  It depends on the specific instance.

It is hard to define the parameters for what puts something on one side of the line or the other.  In some sense, I’m with Justice Potter Stewart, who, in refusing to define obscenity back in 1964, famously declared, “I’ll know it when I see it.”

What is in bad taste is not only notoriously difficult to define, but is a moving target.  Society in general, and even individuals, tend to evolve in terms of what offends them at any given time.

Super Bowl Cutie

Just a quick note on today’s big football game:  I am voting for the Patriots.

My reason: Tom Brady, the cutest man in football.

Go Pats!

1109_qb-tom-brady_485x340

Over the Line?

Here’s a photo of me walking down the highway, in nothing but heels…

How far down this road dare I go?

You tell me: Is it over the line? Should I publish the uncensored photo?

IMG_4108a

Is Gender a Part of Crossdressing?

(…continued from GenderBlender Offender, Contender, Pretender)

I was considering the experience and approach of a guy who dresses as female without changing anything else about himself as compared to my approach of changing just about everything…

Maybe he’s the one who’s got it right. I mean, after a while, being two people is exhausting… and it gets confusing… and you’re never really two people anyway, right?

Sadly, the common online representation of my friend’s approach is the “hairy man in panties.” It is the bane of my online existence and I can’t seem to avoid it, much as I try. Most of the guys posting these photos are projecting a very crude sexual attitude at the same time. There’s no softness, no respect for the feminine – just vulgar displays of sexual bits, and, not surprisingly, usually no faces.

I am driven to wonder whether these guys are representative of most men who crossdress without changing themselves in any other way, or whether they are just the black sheep of the group.

Also, I’d suggest that the HMiP are not even mixing genders; rather they are simply men using feminine objects to get themselves off; gender never really comes into play.

Which begs the question, “When does presenting as the opposite sex involve questions of gender and when might it not? Does it for you, dear reader? And, where is the line, do you think?”

Perhaps if I saw a different class of photos from men like my friend, who just like to dress up, or mess with gender, I would have a more positive impression. Perhaps if I met more decent men who projected a gender-mixed image that I could comprehend.  I am certainly open to trying to understand and appreciate the concept, even if I am not sure I will be able to.

IMG_4673a

I know a guy who dresses, in public, as a female but has a full beard – great guy, but I just don’t know how to perceive him; my brain is not that advanced, so I concentrate on his mind, which is agile and interesting. I am waiting for a light to go on.  I don’t judge him, but neither do I understand him.

He is certainly playing with the rules of gender in his own way.   How appealing one finds it is a matter of personal taste, I suppose.

Personally, I remain loyal to fairly traditional expressions of gender and gender roles, at least for myself and those to whom I may be attracted.  I recognize that there is a certain self-serving convenience to the idea that my rigid views on gender have found just enough flexibility to accommodate the way I am, and even allow me to find joy and excitement in that.  Is that rationalization or simply my coherent truth? 

Dunno.  But it makes me happy…

GenderBlender Offender, Contender, Pretender

As most of us know and accept, there is an infinite variety of gender-mixing experiences and attitudes out there.  I like to try to compare the approaches of individuals I encounter with my own to see if there is something I can learn.

As those who follow me know, when I dress as a woman, my intention is to be a woman. As much as I may forgive and even come to accept the masculine part of me showing through, it happens despite my best efforts to the contrary. I cannot conceive of looking like a woman without mentally and emotionally taking on the persona of a woman. For me, they are intertwined – one and the same.IMG_4694a1  Fortunately, that usually feels pretty natural to me.

I recently met up with a guy in a dress who thinks of himself as a man. His dress is mostly outward. Sure, he tries to look like a woman, and walk in heels as best he can, but he feels like a man, thinks he should use the guy’s washroom, and talks in his male voice. And, he uses his male name. He is the person he has always been, but now experimenting with wearing a woman’s clothes and the different kind of attention that might bring.

I wanted to explore the differences between him and me just a bit.  I think it is interesting to conceive of what he, with his starkly different approach, is getting out of his experience.

He is messing around with gender, mixing them on purpose, refusing to color inside the lines, refusing to be bound by what is expected in terms of gender.

I’d be fooling myself to think that I wasn’t mixing genders too, albeit in a markedly different way. In fact, I have often admitted to revelling in my difference from genetic women; I find that it makes me a special creature – a connoisseur’s delight (as I have said before), if you will allow me the conceit.

(Of course, that attitude can be seen as self-preserving in the sense that I could never compete with real women on their turf, but it is also a reflection of the fact that I never have aspired to become entirely female and am therefore, at least to some extent, an self-confessed gender-blender.)

Unlike my friend though, I am mostly constrained by traditional gender lines, but for the odd hint of the biological difference; I must be spiritually female, and my appearance must be (almost) convincingly female, otherwise the whole thing doesn’t work for me.

…more on this tomorrow…

Delicious Dreams

[…continued from Play or Pass…]

What does a girl say to a guy she finds handsome and sweet and funny and sexy, who wants to take her to bed with him?  A guy whose ideas about sex are a perfect match for her own?

Apparently, this girl says, “No.”

I was not playing games, not teasing him.  And, it wasn’t anything like saving myself so that he would respect me in the morning.IMG_1203a

Turning down a guy I really wanted to be with was admittedly contradictory, illogical, unpredictable… but also, totally honest, spiritually driven and a move towards intimacy rather than away from it.

I passed on the opportunity for sex mostly because, amazingly, I wanted something else even more.

I wanted the delicious anticipation of dreaming about him, about the possibilities, the fantasy. And, I wanted to have time for it all to sink in and become part of me.

Evidently, I am learning a bit about how to enjoy the experience rather than rushing to the goal.

A secondary curiosity was to see how he would react, whether he would just move on to someone else, whether he would still call me. I’m not exactly sure why that mattered, but it did.  And, he didn’t disappoint.  I got a nice IM from him not long after I returned home.

Finally, I wanted to take my time to think things through.  There are emotional risks, of course, but mainly, I am concerned that he has honed his charm through a good deal of experience – and with experience comes increased risk of health issues.

My goodness, this sort of behavior is nothing I ever understood as a man, yet it seems so natural as a woman.  I can see why we are puzzling creatures.

This journey is full of surprises.

Men Being Men

A couple of days ago, I asked a question about the way crossdressers portray themselves photographically.  Today, I will offer an opinion, which you may infer from the title.

I have made mention in the past of men’s inclination to represent themselves by their sexual organs, often to the exclusion of their faces.  Oh, they take pictures of it from every conceivable angle and then share it with the world as if it were the most amazing thing.

If you’ve got something, show it off: my car is faster than yours; my drill is more powerful; my cellphone is newer, etc.

Crossdressing doesn’t seem to change this:  my heels are higher than yours, look what I can fit in my… (I just can’t say it), and so on…

Men get right down to the nuts and bolts.  As in, “I am crossdressing so, here’s my dress… here’s my ass…  got it?”  IMG_5136a1

The thing of it is that imposing male behavior into the expression of femininity is highly discordant.  To me, it is not unlike imposing one’s fingernails onto the blackboard.

Being a man is great; I know this from personal experience.  And, God love ‘em, boys will be boys!  Men have a wonderful way of relating to each other, and bring their specifically masculine attitudes to the table when relating to women; I wouldn’t have it any other way – not as a woman, nor as a man.

But, in my view, portraying femininity requires a change of behavior.  Crossdressers who continue to act as men while dressed as women obviously do not feel that way.

And so, quite opposite to my worry, expressed in day before yesterday’s post, the prevalence of this sort of behavior shouldn’t cause to me worry that I might be like them.  Rather, given how much it bothers me, it should prove to me that I am quite different. 

Not better, just different.

Ahhh… I feel much better now.

Me and the Jacaranda Tree

While you all ruminate of yesterday’s question, I will try to entertain you with a little photo of my own (click the photo to enlarge it):

IMGP1038a

Seeing Ourselves in Others

Every day, I get people friending me on flickr, and when I go to check them out, I find that a disturbing number of them seem to have gone through a surprisingly similar routine in their self-photography.

What they seem to do is take a few pictures of themselves facing the camera, with their heads cuts off, and then they turn around and bend over for the camera.

A good number of them repeat the process in panties and bra, or in the nude.6544548031_8e84e52768_b

And then, having had the opportunity to see what this all looks like on their computers, they decide it would be a good idea to post it online for everyone to see.

I am forced to ask myself, “Why?” 

Is it lack of imagination?  lack of self-respect?  Or is there some secret code of self-promotion or mating call of which I am unaware?

It is unattractive.  It is in no way titillating.  And it is exasperating.

But for me, the worst of it is, that it is disappointing and embarrassing.  Yes, I am personally embarrassed by it, and this is why:

…because it is so common. 

If one person did this, I could dismiss it as their problem.  However, having seen so many examples of this, I have to conclude it is our problem.

Quite aside from the image problem it presents for our community, I am concerned that it belies a common defect that I might share, that we all might share.

Any thoughts?

People Pleasing

Amazing!

I wrote in my recent post, Masculine Photos, about my observations on the popularity of certain of my photos that I felt betrayed my masculinity – much to my chagrin, mind you.

Well, that post was the most popular one I have ever done!

So, history repeats… and confirms my impressions…

Apparently, photos of myself all prettied-up, wearing nothing but lingerie, a tux jacket and heels doesn’t hold a candle to a strong jaw and maybe a slight crease where it doesn’t belong.

Go figure…

And, so I sit here trying to figure out what to do about it in terms of offering material that satisfies the most people.

I don’t really like seeing my guy self in Janie, but I am at peace with it.  Obviously, there’s lots of folks who prefer it.

So help me out, then.  If you tell me what you want, you’re much more likely to get it.

Play or Pass

[…continued from Punctured Charm…]

I was getting on just fine with this guy I met at my fave bar.

Physical attraction? Check.  Personal connection? Check.  Mutual desire? Check.

These are the rocket-fuel of an affair, no doubt.

Still, there are always practical matters to consider as well, such as having prepared oneself properly, having condoms and other supplies, etc.  IMG_1708a

I rarely come prepared unless I have reason to believe I am going to meet someone I already know, but for some reason, as I was getting ready this time, I decided to toss everything into my purse, even though I kept telling myself there’s no way I am going to use this stuff with someone I just met. 

Funny, that.

“C’mon, let’s go,” he said.

In the course of our conversation, he had described some of the things he wanted to do to me and the way he would treat me, and what he would have me do to him, and it was exactly as if he was reading my fantasies to me.  (Perhaps not the classiest thing in the world to say to me at our first meeting, but it sure made me awfully hot to know…)

I tossed around the possibilities in my mind.  Handsome, sexy, nice guy whose idea of sex was exactly what I wanted…

I really wanted him…

(Conclusion, next week.)

Masculine Photos

It is not lost on me that some of the photos I have posted have revealed more masculinity than a girl would really like.IMG_0291aPink Leotard

I have deleted the vast majority of them on photosharing sites, like flickr, but they remain on my blog – because my audience here gets preferential treatment, don’t you know!

I reproduce here two of the ones I have left up – I am not crazy about them, but at least they don’t make me cringe.

The thing of it is that people seem to really respond to those photos!IMG_0470a2

I would say that the response is often better than to photos that show my best feminine looks. 

A hint of masculinity just somehow seems to resonate with viewers – and I get tons of views and comments as a result.

One photo that I posted on flickr seemed to show just the very slightest hint of a silhouette of my genitals under my clothes – I completely didn’t notice it, but viewers picked up on it right away.  It is one of my most popular photos. I am not sure if I am proud of it – given that it is a shamelessly sexual picture, so I have decided not to reproduce it here. (If you do go and dig it out of my flickr account, please do let me know what you think of it.)

Another, I will not reproduce – you can go find it in past posts on this blog if you wish, but I’m a bit embarrassed about it – shows me in my girly PJs, with a very masculine face. I had woken up that morning, probably had some minor facial hair growth, no makeup at all. It had nearly 5,000 hits before I deleted it.

There seems to be something alluring about a man in women’s clothes – or about the mix of genders – that hits home most profoundly when the mix is obvious.  It is not enough that you know I am not a genetic girl; somehow, betraying my masculinity visually within a feminine image is the most alluring!

Interesting…

Change of Attitude

Here are a couple of shots with a change of attitude from the photos included with the last post.  I tried; I really did…

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The Guy Inside

I have often wondered whether I am being unduly generous with myself in allowing that I might be two spirits in one body.

But then, I have an experience that reinforces the truth of that assertion.IMG_5425a1

I was out and about yesterday, doing my thing in a pretty patterned skirt, pink tights and a white top – and yet I felt every bit a man. It was a bizarre feeling of being trapped inside these feminine clothes, and having to force every girly action. I was totally pretending.

I was feeling strong and somewhat aggressive and practical; not the slightest bit soft.

I remember saying to myself, “These stupid shoes – how am I supposed to get anywhere in these!?”  And, “Why am I doing this?”

It was almost like a clichéd scene from a sitcom where a guy thinks he’s having a bad dream but then realizes he is at work dressed in women’s clothes…IMG_5436a1

I have developed a bit of a female life, so sometimes I have to be a woman whether that’s my mood or not.  And, as you can see, sometimes, it is quite uncomfortable for me.

But, feeling my male side bridling at the restrictions imposed by being Janie only reinforces my belief that I really do have two sides. 

When my feminine spirit is active, the very things that irritated me yesterday are instead a source of pleasure.

I accept that it is going to take me longer to walk where I am going, and I revel in the beauty of my shoes and the wonderful way they make my body move as I walk.

My movements and actions feel graceful and natural; my interactions with others aren’t restrained or forced.  There is no pretense.

At those times, the man inside me is sleeping – and bothering no one.  (Oops, did I really say that?)

No Longer a Virgin

Yesterday, it finally happened.

I don’t normally kiss and tell, but as there really wasn’t any kissing involved, I feel somewhat free to tell all.

Yes, I met a man.  We talked for a while, and I found him intelligent and forthright.  Long story short, he gave the impression that I could count on seeing him in the future pretty much whenever I wanted.

Having built a rapport based on trust, I allowed him to get me inebriated.  Pretty soon, he got me out of my clothes, and then took out his enormous um… equipment… and, slowly but surely, penetrated me.

By the time he was all the way in, I had actually fallen asleep.  It seems he had drugged me…

…which isn’t all that surprising considering this all happened in a medical clinic.

I only bring up this sordid incident to make a public service announcement:

Get a colonoscopy when you get to “that age.”  Colon cancer is a deadly disease that is entirely preventable.

A lot of people are put off by the prospect of having something stuck in their outbox.  (Then again, some of us are just begging for it. Winking smile)

No matter; it is not what either expects. 

This is my experience:

You get into a hospital gown and lie on a bed.  They give you an IV and one of those oxygen thingies in your nose, ask you to roll onto your side and count back from 10.  You get to 9, maybe 8 and then you wake up, feeling like you just had a nice night’s rest, get dressed and go on your merry way.  The whole thing takes about an hour.

There is no feeling that anything has been done at all. 

So, if you’re due, do it… no ifs, ands or butts about it.

Just Add Gender

In response to Friday’s post, Bearded Lady, I received a thought-provoking comment that serves as the foundation for this post.  (Thanks again, Shannon.)

Here is the comment:

quotes1We may say we like or enjoy being both genders yet we go to incredible lengths to feminize that body that must split those gender roles. Hair and beard removal… pierced ears, maybe polished toe nails and daintily manicured hands. We let our hair grow, pushing the limits of societal acceptance for whatever situation we’re in.quotes1 - close
All of this is wonderful for our femme side, but leaves a very feminized version of “male” for the times we say we “enjoy being male also”. Isn’t the focus still female? Don’t we then approach our male side from a very female perspective?

Those of us who want to be male sometimes and female others have to make compromises. 

As I started out being all male (so to speak), trying to be female neither looked nor felt terribly authentic back then.  I had to add more femininity to my physical makeup and manner; I had to move much closer to the imaginary line that divides the genders. 

From that point, I could make the choice of gender presentation much more successfully. 

Each person will decide where their own middle is. In thinking about getting breasts, for instance, my thought process would be whether I am more comfortable being required to create the temporary illusion of breasts for my female side, or having to hide my chest for my male side. For now, at least, the former seems so much easier to me and strikes the right balance in letting me be my male side with less restriction.

Breasts or not, I still will never look entirely feminine, and now I do not look entirely masculine either.  That seems to me the right place for someone who wants to be both.  You do what you can to push one side or the other as the need arises, but you are capable of both.  You put on a dress and heels… or a suit and tie.  You add gender markers where you can, cover the opposite ones, and turn yourself into the most authentic representation you can muster of a woman… or a man.

So, the answer to the question is, “No.  The focus is not female, nor am I approaching my male side from a female perspective.”  I have walked from one side of the road to the center line, and from there, whichever way I wish to go, I turn my back on the other. 

Punctured Charm

[continued from My Tall Drink of Water…]

I have found that online interactions are very helpful in breaking the ice for an ultimate in-person meeting.  It mitigates the awkwardness of approaching someone or being approached by a stranger, and gives you some context in terms of conversation.

I had just met this guy in a bar – but then again, we already kinda knew each other a bit from our online interaction.

As I sat there in the bar talking with him, I was enjoying myself even though I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I continue to be fascinated by the things that strike me so differently as a woman as opposed to my other self.  For example, I could literally feel my attraction to him grow stronger when I realized from a story he was telling that he was a smart and sensible man – or at least capable of being one at times.IMG_1706a

I guess it made me feel like I was with a sane person with good common sense, and that made me feel safer.

But, his charm was regularly punctuated (perhaps the better word is punctured) by incorrigibly naughty words, crude actions or insensitive behavior – perhaps his way of making sure that I wouldn’t be inclined toward any sort of emotional relationship. 

Truth is, I had no delusions of any possibility of a relationship with him, other than perhaps a sexual one.

And, I was fine with that… so I ignored what I took to be his attempts to emphasize that fact.

But I nevertheless told him that I found his intelligence and personality more attractive and interesting than the size of his equipment. He wasn’t all that happy to hear that – “Whatever.” – but he should have been, because there is no way I would ever consider sleeping with someone where the reverse was true.

And, despite what he may have been telling himself, we did have a personal connection – highly sexualized, perhaps, but personal nonetheless.

The distinction between wanting a relationship and needing a personal connection as a context for sex may be lost on many men, but this girl was quickly coming to understand it, and herself.

All good so far.

(More next week…)

Winter, Yay!

I decided on a Back-to-School look for our first Back-to-Winter day.

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Forced Fem

I wrote the following on my profile on another site:

“I love being a t-girl. As such, I don’t consider it demeaning, or somehow ‘a step down’ to go from being a man to a woman; rather, it is a joy and a pleasure! Implication: I don’t have any interest in forced feminization…”IMG_9810a1

I thought I’d repeat it here for a couple of reasons.

First, I think it’s a good thought, and one that might not be readily apparent to many people.

More to the point, I am sure there are those who will argue with what I am about to say – and I would like to hear their take on this.

I know that forced feminization is a popular fantasy among CDs and perhaps other males who don’t consider themselves CDs. But, to me, the implication of being forced to become female against your will implies that it is somehow a lesser existence and that making a man into a woman is a way to degrade him.

I do allow that there are fantasies that seemingly include forced feminization that are really fantasies about something else, where gender change is merely incidental to the main thing the person is being forced to do. I cannot elaborate beyond that for a PG audience.

But, that aside, I just feel like the concept of forced feminization is incompatible with the way I feel about being Janie. It is the last thing I would have to be forced to do.

Bearded Lady

Today was my first appointment with an electrologist. IMG_5467a

Nothing earth-shattering, just another expensive way to help myself look more feminine.  Laser has eliminated over 90% of the hair on my face and body, but I want the rest gone, especially on my face.

Better start saving my pennies…

Anyhoo, the appointment necessitated my doing something I haven’t done before – going on the subway during the day, and without having touched my facial hair with razor or tweezer for 2 days.  IMG_5470a

It wasn’t too bad.  Like I said, almost all the hair is gone, and what is left is primarily grey or blond, but still – no foundation and a hairy face – and not even in the privacy of my own car!

Didn’t seem to matter, thank goodness.

Guys still opened doors for me, and no one gawked. 

Life goes on. (Phewww!)

Looking in the Mirror

It is an inevitable challenge of being a heterosexual t-girl to decipher why it is that you like what you see in the mirror, to decipher between your internal self and your external self.IMG_0163b1

As a non-T guy, you can look in the mirror and think that you look good, and that’s as far as it goes.

But, as a trans-woman, your impression is clouded by the simple fact that your guy side will be attracted to your female presentation.

So, when you look in the mirror, are you a woman admiring herself just as any single-gendered person might?

Or, are you a guy, being turned on by that woman in the mirror, whom you know you can have, who you know will do the things you want…

Oldie But Goodie

Just a bit of an older photo of me to compare to recent ones.  Goodness, my hair is so short and dark.

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Tuesday Starts with a T

Tuesdays are now T-Girl Tuesdays at a bar I have been frequenting for the past few years. 

They have always been accepting of me, even when I was the only one of my kind in the bar, but now they have gone further and dedicated a night to us gurls – with a great response from the community.6350165449_dff06a9e90_oa1

Did it have anything to do with my presence there for the past few years?  I don’t know.  But, it is true that the crowd there has also been more than receptive of me, so maybe they realized it was a possibility.

Still, I suspect rather that the main driver was the fact that there were some “sympathetic” souls in management, if you know what I mean. 

And, I do know that there is one ambitious t-girl behind it all, who does whatever she can to promote this thing.

Whatever the case, I am just glad there’s a terrific place for all the local t-girls and crossdressers to come to once a week.

Now, the main challenge is to get the word out to everyone.

My Tall Drink of Water

I was having a pretty ordinary night at the bar, and starting to have thoughts about making my exit plans when someone gently touched my arm.  I turned around to see who it was, and there he was… yum!

The handsome guy standing before me was dressed smartly in all-black.  I knew him from several online chats we had months earlier.  He was kind of an alluring rascal: a sex-obsessed scallywag with an impish grin and a wry sense of humor, very well-endowed and more than proud to prove it.IMG_1208a

But, standing there in front of me with all of his clothes on, my oh my, he was a real cutie! 

“You have no idea who I am,” he said.

“Oh, but I do,” I smiled, willing my eyes to sparkle, if that’s possible.

We exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes and, becoming a bit more comfortable with him, I took a seat on a bar stool in front of him.

The conversation went in spurts, with some awkward silence in between, yet neither one of us made any effort to move on.  I got the sense that he was into me, and I realized also that I was falling under his spell. 

He was tall, good-looking, utterly charming and even sweet – a much better impression than the sex fiend he projects online – though I have no doubt that is an honest part of him too. 

And even though he couldn’t keep his eyes off every pretty woman that passed by behind me, I knew that this man was the first one I really wanted to be with.  It made me almost giddy.

More next week…

First Week Finale

One more New Year’s pic to end the week (click to enlarge):

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There But For the Grace Go I

Yeah, so I left God out of the title – but this is not about her, this is about grace.

I haven’t really felt all that girly the past few days as work has bogged me down.  I scarcely had time for any exercise.IMG_5355a

But, today, I demanded from myself that I step away from the computer and do some yoga. 

And what do you know, ten minutes into the practice of this graceful, spiritual form of exercise, my girl spirit was soaring.

It was miraculous!  (Ok, maybe God is in there somewhere, who knows?)

I have mentioned before that I never did yoga as a man, nor am I ever inclined to do so even now.  IMG_5369a

Yoga ties into the part of me that is feminine.  My male self competes and does other forms of exercise, and wouldn’t be caught dead in a yoga studio.

Rigid?  You bet?  Chauvinistic?  Probably.

Hey, but that’s your Janie!  Things feel right to me that way.

Vani-T

I am grateful for the comments on my recent post The Irresistible Lure of the Lens, and I think that your explanations for our obsession with taking pictures of ourselves were intelligent and thought-provoking.

Here’s my two-cents’…

I have found that t-girls obsession with the lens is matched by our inability to walk past a mirror without looking at ourselves._w1a2885a

Both are momentary reflections of us that teach us what we may be doing wrong and impress us with what we are doing right.  And we are ever eager to learn about both.

For my money, the mirror is the better learning tool, as it is interactive.  Sometimes, it’s “Goll darn, I am doing pretty good!” but more often than not, there is some flaw that bears improving, and I can look away, take a deep breath and try to change my posture, my expression or whatever, to improve my result.

On the other hand, photos are better for showing (and showing off).  The t-community is very supportive and will boost a girl’s ego when she needs it, which is awfully nice.  There is also the opportunity among friends, to give and receive advice – and an outside opinion is immensely helpful.

For me, the whole preoccupation with seeing my reflection comes down to an endless fascination with what makes us look male or female, how trivial differences can change gender perception, and how to control these. 

Watchin’ Em Work It

Well, after the brouhaha that preceded ABC’s Work It, we finally got to see what all the fuss was about.

Of course the CD community is not going to appreciate some of the innuendo and outright specific comments indicating that crossdressing is nothing but a last resort for desperate people and not something any normal person would ever actually want to do.

I suspect the trans community will object to the trifling with their issues and with the whole concept of changing genders.

But, my opinion is that neither CDs nor TSs are really the true victims here. 

In my view the real victims are men. 

This show is nothing if not another “man=stupid” diatribe.  It is a continuation of repeated portrayals in media and advertising of men as unsuccessful, incompetent, ignorant, insensitive idiots in every facet of their lives – utterly useless human beings. 

The male characters in this show are morons and all male behavior in the show is portrayed as asinine.   The “smarter” of the two hasn’t a clue how to relate to his own wife until he “becomes” one of the gals.

“Oh, I didn’t realize that taking you out for a “romantic” dinner to the bar where my two idiot male friends will be waiting for us wouldn’t be a good idea!  Why are you mad at me?”

Men are being treated like drooling idiots, and this show is the latest and greatest insult yet.

Thank goodness the show is absolutely awful.  Begone!

Celebrating

It’s still the first week of January, so I feel alright about publishing another of my photos of my New Year’s celebration.  I hope you like this one as much as I do.  (Click to enlarge.)

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The Irresistible Lure of the Lens

I wonder why it is that t-girls seem to have an incessant desire to have their picture taken.  I don’t really know how common it is, but my straw poll shows that almost everyone I know is so afflicted.IMG_4718a

What answers are we looking for in the lens? 

Is it just to see how well we’re doing at assuming the female guise?

Or is it more, “I can’t believe I look this way!”

Or is it, “Damn, I’m hot. Photos of myself turn me on like porn…  maybe better!”

I have a good excuse: I need ‘em for my blog. Winking smile

What’s yours?

Now That’s Funny

America is a funny place.

The Playboy Club – a sumptuously shot, multi-layered program lasted barely 2 episodes before it was pulled, due in no small part to complaints from the religious right.

The Parents Television Council said: “Bringing The Playboy Club to broadcast television was a poor programming decision from the start. We’re pleased that NBC will no longer be airing a program so inherently linked to a pornographic brand that denigrates and sexualizes women … we hope other broadcasters heed the important lessons of this programming debacle.”

Now, along comes ABC with “Work It,” an idiotic “comedy” (premiering tomorrow) which needs no explanation beyond the poster at right.  Yes, yes, women have it so much easier in the workplace than men, so of course it would be necessary to pretend to be one to secure a job.

But you know who has it easiest?  Transgender women.  Oh yes.  Especially non-passable ones.  Jobs practically fall into their laps, and co-workers enthusiastically welcome them.

I have generally taken a positive view of being part of television shows, even when we are not shown in the most positive light (see Two and a Half Men (and a Tranny or Two) and Can We Laugh at Ourselves?). I figure we are becoming part of the fabric of society and will eventually become more understood and accepted.

But this resurrection of Bosom Buddies looks so stupid and ridiculous that it offends even me. 

In some sense, I think it is because we are not in the 80s any more; we have already moved past the sensibility that accepted Bosom Buddies.  In another sense, it may just be because I think it is really bad – as in not funny.

BTW where is the Parents Television Council now?  Or do they only object to programming that denigrates genetic women? Funny that.

Much has been made on other blogs and t-sites of the offensiveness of this show; my take on the trailer is that its biggest offence may be that it is just bad tv.  But, I, for one, have yet to see a whole show. 

If it is as bad as it looks, well, one presumes it’ll be gone before we have too much time to complain.  If it is (much) better, maybe we can find a silver lining.

Stay tuned.

Starting the Year Off Right

Nothing like a tuxedo and champagne to start the year, right?

Well, the little-known secret of it all is that, as handsome as a guy can look in a tux, it is nothing compared to the way a woman fills it out. ;)

 

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Happy New Year, Everyone

With 2011 coming to a close and a fresh slate about to be written on for 2012, I wanted to wish everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous and productive new year, full of enthusiasm and energy and success.Picture 78a

And, of course, I hope you’ll visit me once in a while and see what changes I manage to effect in 2012.

I hope this year, more of you will make the effort to participate – not for my benefit but for your own.  I think the experience for everyone is hugely enhanced by each and every interaction between any and all of us.  Let’s make this a community thing.

Let’s everyone try to help one another, here and everywhere.  These are trying times and we all need each other.  Where there isn’t love and compassion, hate and discrimination will surely take their place.

Love and kisses,

xoxo

Janie

Is It Just Me?

Ever look in the mirror and just ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing dressing and acting like a woman?” 

Cuz, I still sometimes do…

Missing Photo

My apologies to all my readers who didn’t get the photo that came with the story I published earlier today.  After all, the photo was the focus of the entire story.

Anyway, I have now fixed the post, and the photo is there in living color. 

Enjoy!

Personal Secretary

[reprinted, and edited, from a post on my Naughty Blog.]

A little fiction for your holiday enjoyment…

The workload was light, being as it was the week before Christmas, and most of the secretaries were taking it easy and talking about their holiday plans.

Claire’s intercom buzzed.  She glided over to her boss’s office door and peered in.

“Miss Black, I wonder if I could ask you for a favor.”

“Oh, yes, sir!” said she with a twinkle in her eye. “Can I get you a cup of coffee?”

“I’m afraid it’s a little more unorthodox request than that… Why don’t you come into my office?”

As she entered, he rose from his chair and walked over to the door and quietly closed it.  She turned to face him.

“Sit down,” he suggested, and sat on the desk directly in front of her.

He took a deep breath.

“Miss Black, you are just so beautiful,” he said, almost sheepishly, as he gently put his hand on her nylon-covered knee.IMG_0356a

“Umm… I don’t think it would be a good idea fo—“

“Oh, no, I don’t… I mean I’m not asking you to…” he stammered as he withdrew his hand. “I mean… you remember a little while back, my teenage son came to work with me?”

She felt a little relief, but still puzzled as to what was to come.

“Well, he’s developed quite a crush on you… talks about you every day!” He went around to the other side of his desk and opened a drawer, producing a camera. “If he could just have a photo of you…”

“Oh,” she exhaled. “Um… sure.”

As he raised the camera to take the photo, she reached forward and put her hand softly on his. “We can do better than that….” she smiled. “Just give me a second…”

She stood up and in no time, her skirt floated down to her ankles. She stepped gracefully out of it. “I’ll just sit here, on the floor, like this. You think he’ll like this pose?”

Cleaning Up My Act

You may have noticed a few little changes in the appearance of this blog… or not.  In any event, they are just the start of many to come.

The most significant change has been to close my Naughty Blog. 

At this moment in time, I am not sure if I want to continue to make the erotic musings of my mind available.  I certainly haven’t had the inclination to write new material for some time, and haven’t posted in ages. Though I will confess that ironically, I happened to come up, quite without trying, with a good story just last night.IMG_1139a

No matter.  It isn’t enough to change my mind.  I may write the story, but publishing it is another matter.

I will always be a highly sexualized woman, but I am having some doubts as to whether overly sexual content is cheapening my image.  What is over the line is a matter of personal opinion, but I think that much of that content was.

I reserve the right to change my opinion again, but for now, that’s where I’m at. 

I apologize to those of you who enjoyed my little stories; I was quite proud of the quality of the writing, to be honest.  Oh well.  I hope you’ll stick around for the content here, or at least leave a comment telling me what a mistake it was to take down the naughtycdjanie blog.

In the coming days, I will re-post some of the tamer content from that blog over here – but not the erotica.

Under the law of unintentional consequences, I suspect that the temperature of this blog is going to rise just a few degrees as a result of not having another outlet for the posting of sexier content.  But, there will be nothing X-rated.

Risky Business

(…continued from Missed It By That Much)

I ran into the wife of a friend of mine, in a place where and at a time when I often would go as Janie; fortunately I was in guy mode.  She happened to mention that she frequents a nearby cafe for lunch that I have often gone to as Janie (though never at lunchtime).

So, I missed being discovered by the skin of my teeth, now what?

Nobody said life as Janie would be dull, right?  (…kinda the point… though I can do without this particular kind of excitement.)

Clearly, if she had “caught” me, all my friends would have known in fairly short order.  Once a wildfire starts spreading, it is difficult to contain, so it is impossible to know how far the flames would have spread.IMG_9892a

By the 6 degrees of separation theory, it is more than a little possible that the news would reach the ears of people I absolutely do not want knowing.

Dealing with my friends would not be optimal, but I would cope.  There would be changes, to be sure, but who knows how things come out the other end?  People often surprise you.

But certain people don’t – and those are my bigger worry.  Again, I’d survive, but I’d much rather not have to go through that.

So, is it worth the chance I am taking to be able to freely walk the streets?

First, let’s better assess the risk.  Remember, she called to me from behind; what are the chances that she would have thought it was me if I had been in female clothes?  It is easy to recognize a guy you know with long red hair – he presents a distinctive target for one’s eye; but in girl mode, I am just another redhead.

Ah, but she could just as easily have been in front of me.  True.  But, then I would likely have seen her and taken evasive action or at least walked quickly by.  I certainly wouldn’t have responded to her. 

And, she would have been left with, at worst, this sneaking suspicion that maybe, “Could that have been him?  Nah!!”IMG_9906b

Context plays a big part in recognition, so that even in these circumstances, being caught dead-to-rights is unlikely unless I give it away on purpose.  No one is going to readily assume something that is opposite to everything they know about you based on a momentary glance.

Of course, seeing me sitting in a cafe, stationary and trapped – that’s a different story…

Obviously, there’s risk – it is not like I didn’t know it before.  But, to avoid that risk means staying at home as a girl, or just going out to t-friendly bars that way. 

I don’t think that works for me.

To be honest, I often get more pleasure from walking on the street in a sundress and sandals in the summer than going out to a bar.  There is a freedom, a release – a normalcy about just being that I love.

Being Janie is not about wearing a costume or a sexual fetish; it is a way of living.  That is why I cherish doing everyday things as much as going out on the prowl.

I have been duly chastened, however.  And, the thing that has hit home is that playing at this is a dangerous game. 

I need to make a decision about where this is leading, and soon, before the worst happens: I end up outed before deciding that I’m better off just being a guy.

I need either to commit to my girl self for the long haul or give it up before I fall into the abyss. 

Style Icon

My friend Cyrsti recently published a blog post on style, and mentioned me of all people, as someone having a dose of the stuff. 

As I told her, I think that’s awfully generous… but I’ll take it – and with a big smile. Open-mouthed smile

Her blog is well worth your time – and not just when she’s sending bonbons my way.  Here’s the link: to the post on style, here and to her blog’s main page, here.

Merry Christmas to everyone! xoxo  (I thought my last Xmas photo for 2011 should have a little naughtiness to it…)

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