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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crossdressing Thoughts & Reflections - Gwen

When the call went out at the beginning of November for submissions to this series, it is possible that Gwen just did not notice, or maybe she is shy. At any rate, we invited Gwen to participate, and happily, she agreed. 
Gwen is the imaginative author of gwen's tgirl adventure where she writes with passion about this part of her life. Although her story might be familiar at times, when you visit her site, be warned, she does push the boundaries.

If we are to understand each other in this world, it is important to allow ourselves to walk in the other person's footwear. Reading her blog and this post, my guess is she would not be opting for flats…no, no, no! 


Living in the Round
by gwen tgirl

In a comment to Petra's profoundly insightful post, Deena asked ."..what...( do)... you get out of wearing women's clothing? ....Why?"
That's the question, isn't it?  And if we had the answer...well, we'd have a lot less charged on that Victoria's Secret card. But I have been thinking about it, trying to think about my experience in women's clothes, my experience as a cross-dresser. What is it that I feel when I'm en femme? Why am I compelled to femulate?
Is it erotic? You bet it is! Wearing hose, skirt and pumps is a buzz like no other, and I know a good buzz, let me tell you. But I'm not afraid or ashamed to admit to being turned on  just at the thought of it, never mind the actual event. But the erotic charge is fleeting. And after that particular charge is long dissipated, I am left with myself, dressed. and ferreting through closets looking for that next great skirt.  Among my favorite things to do en femme are: file my nails, twirl my hair, walk back and forth in my pumps, try on shoes,look in the mirror, read a book, read a blog, make tea, try out makeup, watch television, write. Simple, mundane things. .... savoring every single second as though it were a glass of the most delicious, expensive red wine.

If it is more than the eroticism then, (and I know that it is)...what is the attraction? 

I know for myself, that the experience of putting on a pair of silky hose is like drinking a glass of wine, in a way; .... in that dressing is, first and foremost, in its practice, a sensual experience.

(**the conceptual experience---the "idea" of being en femme, is just as important--but I also think it's the aspect we get hung up on, and speak to, the most. And it's a whole 'nother can of worms--so, for now,  I'll leave it for the comments or maybe another post!)
Cross-dressing is about looking, yes, but it's very, very much more about touching. The seductive touch of lycra hose on smoothly shaven, soft legs; the rewarding pinch of a pair of stylish pumps on your toes; the welcome grab of a skirt around your derriere as you sit; the tug of a bra strap; the soft silk of your blouse against your torso; the waxy fullness of deep, red lipstick drawn across your lips; the feel of tousled hair upon your shoulders, the weighty coolness of  jewelry across your neck.

Every element of a woman's dress imposes self-awareness upon her; awareness of her legs, her butt, her posture, hair, breath, her movements. Every aspect of  a woman's clothing is something to take notice of. Woman's clothing is  visual and tactile in a way that men's clothing decidedly is not. Every aspect of a woman's clothing makes her aware of herself, of her body, of the way others perceive her. In this way, as she feels the light pull of a dress across her form as she moves, and takes notice of its soft touch upon her skin, and the breeze through the stockings upon her legs, she is aware of herself, forward and backward, front and behind; completely in the round, 360 degrees.  She knows the impact of her presence upon space, she knows its caresses.

Even her fingernails; long, polished, cultivated and cared for, a source of pride and display; impose a heightened sensitivity to the very act of touching, for one must touch-- the keyboard, a book , a lover  --in a very particular way --when one's nails are long.

Cross-dressing, as sensual experience, is very much about a heightened sense of awareness of oneself, of one's physical being, and it is an "aliveness" that male mode is not conducive to, and in fact, actively works to repress. When I am en femme, I am aware of the curve of my hip as it presses against my skirt, the taper of my toes as they rest inside my shoes, the feel of fabric folded across my skin! I am utterly alive to the experience of a way that I have never felt in male mode. I have never felt so alive as when I am dressed. Never.   Every sensation seems to echo and enhance the delight of simply "being"!

Femulate---meaning to emulate not only in attire but through actions, gestures, postures, modes of behavior, is more than attire.  A woman's gestures --at least those that most of us try to embody--speak not only of femininity--they speak of physicality and presence.  Her gestures are meant to attract and allure, not to impose. They speak to delicacy, fragility and the rarefied conditions to which she is accustomed and in which she moves. Her gestures evoke the world that she has surrounded herself with, a civilized world. And they draw her admirers to that world, not via violence or imposition, but via her magnetism, her allure, her sense of herself; exhibited in the way she carries herself, her body.  The gestures typically associated with an idea of the "feminine" work via seduction rather than aggression, echoing her sensuality and telegraphing her intelligence. 
When I find myself adopting some gesture or another, contrived as it may seem (but feeling so natural), I delight at my delicacy, my fragility, and revel in the implications these seemingly  innocuous movements carry..."...I am a person of subtle intuitions... and luminous experience .....a Woman... and I am to be treated with care".  It is a strangely  delicate, delightful and powerful feeling.


  1. Your first sentence caught my eye since you mentioned me so I read the rest. Your next to last sentence startled me a bit because I was under the impression cross dressers are men but you are asserting "womanhood". Most of your post struck me as a description of sensuality and clothing as a 'turn on'. That's ok with me. I strongly believe in the right of each individual to pursue happiness in whatever form as long as it harms no one else.

    Let me give you a bit of a contrast. I get up on a typical morning and may put on shorts and a tank top or a skirt and blouse. There is nothing sensual about either choice. If I'm not going anywhere I seldom don a bra and if I'm going shopping I prefer and un-padded one with just enough thickness to be modest. No hose, no heels, very light makeup (perhaps a bit of eyeliner and moisturizer).

    Now, if I am going on a date or perhaps entertaining a friend at home then I choose clothes to "set the mood". That can mean many different things depending on who it is I will be with and maybe also where we are going (don't wear heels, hose and a strapless thigh length shimmering number to a sports bar). With makeup less is better (even for dates) but some highlighting is a turn on for my BF (or other companion of the evening).

    I wish you all the best.

  2. You raise a very valid and most interesting point, Deena. It seems that based on the last two posts, there is very definately a sexual "payoff" for those men that enjoy cross dressing.

    Most women, in fact I would venture to say the very vast majoity of normal, every day women, do not experience the erotic sensuality of dressing described by gwen. I know that I certainly do not and I would even venture to say that even those women that I know that work as professional entertainers and routinely wear very glamorous clothing do not either.

    For them, the clothing is just part of the job; tools of their trade, if you will. THese women dress the way they do to set the mood, or enhance the illusion.

    This is not to say that I am completely unaware how certain clothing changes how I am percieved, or even how I move. Obviously 3" stilletos and pencil skirt changes my gait. So yes, I do pay a tiny bit more attention to how I negotate a stairway or where I put my feet.

    Nevertheless, I dress for the occasion. If it is a professional setting, I will wear hose to match the season. In the summer, I will only wear hose under extreme duress.

    Obviously I am aware that diffrent styles, convey different messages. A knee length, (or longer), pencil skirt and a nicely fitted jacket conveys a totally differnt message than a shorter pleated skirt and a sleeveless top. But then, I guess all you "gurls" already know that.

    I think what is being missed here is that women dress they way they do for the most part, to be attractive to men. That entails accentuating our feminine charms. On the other hand we generally are not actively seeking out male attention.

    I am married and unless I am dressing to please my husband, I usually go out of my way to NOT attract unwanted male attention.

    Also I am wondering if this post is not so much an "assertion of womanhood", as just an everyday cross dresser's fantasy understanding of what THEY THINK it must feel like to be a woman.

    What I mean is that obviously gwen and many who share her fetish?...proclivity? I mean...what is the correct non-offensive word?...really enjoy and "get-off" on cross dressing. I see no harm here and certainly no cause for concern or discrimination. I certainly am not here to deny or disparrage these well described feelings and sensations as they apply to the author.

    I think where the issues begin to arise is when and how, cross dressers interact with the rest of society. Are cross dressing men to be extended the same rights and privileges as the women that they "femulate"? Am I required to address "him" as "her"? Is society required to accommodate this "cross-gender" expression, and to what extent?

  3. as I wrote this, I was well aware that the self-consciousness I was describing might just as well be perceived as oppressive to those who have to wear the garments everyday as a matter of course. ("self-consciousness" isn't really the correct word--but I do feel, an awareness of a type-not usually experienced by men in male garb--is encouraged(enforced?) by feminine attire--among other cultural determinants)
    I've lived with women all my life, and my wife for half of that. She dresses for herself, no one else. And that means jeans, loose sweaters, tees, and flats most of the time. And I've seen her when she couldn't wait to get out of "these shoes"-"this skirt" etc. often enough to know that the sensual enjoyment I take pleasure in, is definitely not her experience-most of the time.
    But I did say " about touching..." or " sensual experience"-to distinguish my feelings from those of women.(and these are my feelings, certainly not every CD-ers)
    Despite my promise to stick to the sensual side of things, the last two paragraphs do indeed move into the conceptual side of the experience. the last phrase isn't an assertion of womanhood so much but rather the assertion of an idea, or conceptualization of womanhood. Indeed, that conceptualization cannot help but be limited by experience --or rather, lack thereof. Nevertheless, it is an assertion of an idea of femininity, one that I delight in and admire. But certainly--it is merely one aspect of something (femininity) much more complex and much more fascinating.
    Sorry if I offended. the last thing I intended was to trivialize or simplify anyone else's experience.

  4. This post emphasizes something that is so often missed in the conversations between Cross-dressers and Transsexuals.

    When Anne says in her comment:"I think what is being missed here is that women dress they way they do for the most part, to be attractive to men." she is addressing the never ending dance BETWEEN individuals. "...for the most part..." is an important qualifier because it otherwise would exclude women attracted to women from womanhood.

    Gwen's post however, shows that she dresses to attract one man, himself, not really by the clothes she wears but by the sensuality he experiences, erotic or otherwise. The question is for me, does that mean she is a woman, or as she put it:"strangely delicate, delightful and powerful". After re-reading that last sentence of Gwen's post, I cannot read a claim to womenhood in it. I think she dances WITH gender, and that is with himself.

  5. Gwen, I don't think oppressive is the right word either. None of us is affected by your enjoyment of female attire. :)

    I was really struck by the honesty of your post, and I really appreciate it. Cross-dressing is something I don't understand well. You and the others who have posted her have been doing a great job of explaining.

    Just so you know, I dress for myself as well, but my style tends toward...stylish. I like comfort, but I also like to look good. And sure, I like to look good for myself, but also so others will think so. I consider it a matter of pride. (I'm a lot like my old-fashioned mother that way.)

  6. Gwen,
    You have provided an excellent attempt at explaining some of the joy and pleasure that I, as a CD, experience when I dress, in whole or even in part.

    Of course, I recognize that most women dress for the day or occasion or whatever it is that they will be doing when out and about. I can also understand the concept of comfort clothes. I can also appreciate that clothes need to be appropriate for the activity.

    Like other semi-closeted CDs our dressing tends to be mostly in our own homes so the concept of wearing clothes appropriate to the occasion has a somewhat different meaning. In addition to the many activities that you like while dressed I am starting to learn to cook. I am a dervish when it comes to slicing, dicing, mixing, stirring and whatever else is needed to prepare the food. I tend to go with a simple servicable dress, apron, hose and heels outfit rather than something super dressy or too uncomfortable when I am cooking.

    A GG or TS faces the question of what to wear every day. I can appreciate that, for the most part, they will not have the same experience dressing as a part-time CD. Getting dressed in male mode is a chore and a responsibility. Do I need a suit and tie or can I go business casual today? Who am I likely to meet and how should I be attired for that encounter? In general dressing is a drudge, but as a rule a guy dressing for the day needs exert only a fraction of the effort and energy that a woman does. For folks like us dressing as a woman can be a very sensual experience...the silkiness of the hose...the tugging of bra straps...the drape of the dress...etc.

    The old adage that "clothes make the man(woman)" has a lot of validity. We all dress for what it is we plan to do.

    Great post and an excellent job of capturing some of the fleeting and transient feelings that some of us CDs experience when we do get the opportunity to dress.


  7. I'm glad that it's been said the this story isn't meant to be representative of everyone. For Deena and Anne, here's mine:
    You may have to past this link inot your browser.


  8. Gwen. There is absolutely no offence taken. In fact I salute you for an honest and descriptive explanation.


  9. there are seemingly endless layers to this experience--both conscious and unconscious--and peeling them away is work for more than one lifetime. It's taken me close to 50 years to consciously accept this need/desire/will in myself, but I can't claim to understand fully the mystery of its origins. Nor its trajectory. But I've come to understand that-since I began my blog--that expressing myself as gwen, here, among you all-saying what I'm feeling and thinking without inhibition or recrimination-has become almost as important(more?) as the dressing itself. For years there were thoughts and feelings I simply wouldn't allow myself to think--so deeply embedded is cultural repression. Certainly the tone of gwen's voice differs from my "male"(everyday) voice-&-I delight in the difference, encourage the difference--feel liberated by the difference--but its not something I contrive. It just happens.
    what does this mean? Am I "femulating"--or is something else at work? I don't have an answer--it's only something I've recently realized. Another layer.
    I've felt for a long time, that the traditional cultural notions of "female" and "male" are just too simplistic to encompass the complexity of human experience--and that we in this community, each in our own way-is simply seeking some kind of personhood that embraces the full potential of what it means to be human. and for that to happen-- some of these walls we construct around ourselves simply must give way.

  10. "I've felt for a long time, that the traditional cultural notions of "female" and "male" are just too simplistic to encompass the complexity of human experience--and that we in this community, each in our own way-is simply seeking some kind of personhood that embraces the full potential of what it means to be human. and for that to happen-- some of these walls we construct around ourselves simply must give way." -Gwen

    I think that the above statement has within it the key to the conflict that cross dressers have with the rest of society, and that conflict cannot be denied.

    ..."traditional cultural notions of "female" and "male" are just too simplistic to encompass the complexity of human experience--and that we in this community,"...

    In my mind, it is the "WE, IN THIS COMMUNITY", that can and do exist well and happily "WITHIN THE COMMUNITY", that run afoul of the larger human community when they take their feelings of acceptance OUTSIDE that community.

    The danger that I see, as well as the source of the strife is that those of you WITHIN the "community" are expecting that the rest of society be as accepting of you and your "feelings", as you and your "community" is.

    That takes time and is not neccasarily best accomplished by and/or through confrontation.

    There is no question in my mind that "male and female" exists in all of humanity to differeing degrees. However the constraints of our biology determine that some of us produce eggs and others produce sperm. Some of us produce testosterone and others estrogen.

    Because of these biological differences, societies have evolved customs and rules to facilitate the bio-functions neccesary for our procreation.

    These customs, cultural mores, if you will, are not easily changed, and perhaps for good reason.

  11. Gwen, I really enjoyed reading your post. I think how you described your feelings and experiences is really very sweet.


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