Aug 12 16 6:48 AM

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Vivienne has written an interesting piece on MTF crossdressing over at Bluestocking Blue:

A Tale of Two Boxes​

“Crossdressing makes you comfortable,” I am sometimes told. No. Slippers make me comfortable. Crossdressing (using that as a convenient shortcut for the whole package of stepping out of the male role and embracing the female one) is a necessity for my psychological wellbeing.

So it's a simplification (and a hurtful one) to say I just “like to dress up” or “it's all just a bit of fun”, or I am just “getting in touch with my feminine side”. It goes much deeper than that. I have powerful and irrepressible yearnings to dress, and when I do, it feels right on a level which is difficult to fully articulate. It isn't an act. It isn't a pretence. It doesn't feel like a sham.

Kept apart: male and female

I can see why some people need that feeling all the time. In other words, I think what separates me from them is not some huge gulf (“a cross dresser is only pretending to be a woman, while a trans woman is a woman”), but actually a considerable degree of overlap.
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#1 [url]

Aug 12 16 3:30 PM

I don't think I'm ever in "the middle", if by middle that means mixing pieces of both genders at the same time (female pants with a bra under a male shirt, perhaps glossy but short nails). I'd like to think of myself more of a pendulum. I'm a guy at work, for society.. it's the mask I wear. At the same time, I have little desire to transition for many reasons (transitioning only complicates things and makes life harder). Also I don't necessarily want to be a woman 24/7 even if society can't accept this concept. If someone invented a remote that flipped genders, and someone used one on me to permanently change me into a woman, I'd live with it, but I would imagine I would be very much a tomboy most of the time.

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#2 [url]

Aug 12 16 4:26 PM

I always love Vivienne's writings - thank you Jack for letting us know she made a new post. Regarding "crossdressing making me comfortable" I agree that it's not the crossdressing per se. It is the feeling, texture, and experience of the clothing. it's as if I'm at home and comfortable in my skin.

This was confusing for my wife at first. I bicycle a lot and wear cycling shorts, shirts, and so forth that my wife sees as being constructed of materials that are the same as her clothing. So why don't they give me the same satisfaction? Good question and maybe women's cycling clothes wouldn't do it for me - I may never know. But then again if they were in pink I suspect the feeling would be entirely different and better.

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#3 [url]

Aug 14 16 3:22 AM

So why don't they give me the same satisfaction? Good question and maybe women's cycling clothes wouldn't do it for me - I may never know.

Maybe this is not so much about the textiles, as the gender the garments represent.

For instance: For MTF crossdreamers in this day and age long hair is often considered a must because it represents women and femininity.

But in a majority of cultures men would have as long hair as women, and that context the length would not have that power of association. Crossdreamers in those cultures would probably focus on something else.

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#4 [url]

Aug 15 16 12:42 AM

It is just as hard to be in the middle, wearing feminine clothing for me has brought me closer to connecting with my body than anything in the past, even it's only 3 times a month. The feeling or internal sense of wearing masculine/feminine is different I always feel men's clothing course and heavy I don't know why, but feminine clothes always feel light and smooth and do feel more me and comfortable.

I did have long hair for about a year in my twenties but the ridicule from follow peers and especially from my father with those words "Your'll never get a girlfriend with hair like that" does take an mental impact to conform.

But it is hard to find role models that have and continuing to live life in the middle, I am lucky to find people like Lynn whom commented with @emmasweet on Vivienne's writings and CDL.

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#5 [url]

Aug 15 16 7:16 AM

In my day to day life, I usually wear jeans, a tank top, and a little bit of female accessorizing. I don't wear as much makeup as when I go out at night, but I always wear some. But when I go out clubbing, which is my main social outlet, I almost always wear a dress or a skirt, and try to look as sexy as possible. This is an indulgence which I greatly enjoy. I think this is mostly about me being seen in way that has been denied to me for decades. I enjoy how people respond to me when I really dressed up. While I often dress sexy, I can't say that I dress particularly feminine. I often incorporate very masculine elements into my accessorizing by wearing male hats, boots, belts, or even jewelry. I am just not especially girly girl, and I like an incorporating an edgier element into my style.

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#6 [url]

Aug 16 16 5:02 AM

for me the desire is to be female. the 'boxes' are inhabiting the deep desire and inhabiting the outer reality.

the deep desire is grounded in the depths of my psyche. the outer reality is grounded in my accumulated lived experience, and in the connections with others around me. 

the two motivations come from - and go to - such different places that i don't see them in terms of symmetry or parallels or equivalents. 

the deep desire is to be female, not bigender, genderqueer, androgynous, male femme, male lesbian etc. all of the latter might be accommodations of the two spheres.  

it is simplistic to assume that the deep desire indicates objective inner femininity, but, broadening the definition of 'real' beyond a hard positivist one, i think it does indicate that. it is feminine to desire to be female. so in some way i am what i desire to be - feminine. wheee! whoooh!! xxx

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