Where’ve you been? or… Valerie’s home

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It’s a common, age-old story we have heard countless times before… A young boy grows up taking advantage of any opportunity to do his makeup and hair oh so pretty, and put on his favorite dress and patent leather heels, with all the accessories. What male does not experience this fascination with, and proclivity towards all things feminine?

Well, apparently the vast majority of males do not, but I certainly do and have done so for as long as I can remember. And for the last two days I have had my first opportunity in several months to become 100% completely Valerie and it was Oh. So. Wonderful!

Body hair gone again, fingernails and toenails bright red, makeup done to perfection (standards vary), hair looking fine, foundation garments doing their jobs, petticoats providing to necessary poofiness, dress looking so classy and vintage, accessories adding their detailed allure (pearls wherever possible), and a pair of heels that provide that final thrust into an unavoidable swish.

I find myself in such an intoxicating state of mind that I wish I could just live the rest of my life this way. It just makes me feel so good, both mentally and physically, and dare I say it… it makes me feel complete. Yes, I said it.

In truth, I don’t think I could function in life being Valerie all the time. When I am Valerie I don’t think about the burdens of everyday life. I just want to focus on the extreme feeling of being whole. I have said before, and I will say again now… I wish everyone could experience the absolute peace that I do when dressed as Valerie. I need to do this more. So now the femme season is here in all its glory. Everyone knows this is my favorite time of year and my mile-wide smile proves it.

I spent the first day completing what I will call the “Bob” elimination procedures. All those tasks that are more considered the maintenance of a cross-dressing persona. You know, all the not so glamorous tasks… body hair removal (quite a task after 9+ months), laundering some Valerie items that have been in storage for awhile, painting toe -nails, brushing out and styling my favorite wig, etc, etc. These are all the things I want, well need out of the way so that day two has more time dedicated to just being Valerie.

On day two I woke early and waited patiently (yeah, right) as each one of my family prepared themselves and went out into the world. Once I had the house to myself, I was on it! Showered, shaved, and suitably perfumed, I went about meticulously doing my makeup. Unlike many women, I absolutely love the process of applying my makeup. It is as enjoyable as being totally femme and dressed. I spend far too long on it and treasure every second of it. It is like a painstaking archaeological exploration wherein Valerie first begins to show through in my face. Once I was done with makeup I just stood and looked in the mirror and admired the look. I could only smile and think “I am only just getting started!”

So off to select my outfit I went. I have a closet of dresses and skirts that are all adorable and all clothes I could not bear to lose. So I looked at them all one by one, and then went to build the body foundation… bra, panties, stockings, shaper, padding, slip, and of course petticoat. Even at this point in dressing, I was already in heaven. When it came time to finally pick my outfit, like a creature of habit I selected the same black dress I have worn the last three times Valerie came to visit. I can’t help myself, it is just so perfectly me. So then came the pearls, rings, bracelets, earrings, fingernails, and finally the wig. Valerie was physically back and I could have cried. Not sure why, that’s not a feeling I have ever had before upon getting dressed, but I could have literally sat down a just had a good cry. I stopped myself before ruining my makeup.

So I selected a good purse and found Valerie’s coat and I went down into the house to surprise the animals. No real reaction this year, I think they know who I am pretty well anymore. Just a little tail wag and back to sleep they went. I went about doing various nothings throughout the day, just enjoying the circumstances. I was less cautious around some of the open windows (less caring) and didn’t bother planning an “escape route” in case some one came home or a visitor popped in. It was a true que sera, sera day.

After several hours I decided I needed to try on a few different outfits to see how they fit still, and to try on a new skirt I had yet to wear. So like a little girl playing dress-up, I ended up dressing in several different outfits, remembering why I loved each one so much. What I noticed is that not a single outfit is what I would call a “blending in outfit”. So much more to do on that quest!

The new skirt is one I just recently bought while trying to find some suitable blending in outfits. I have been searching for some acceptable everyday outfits, but find they are just not Valerie. I am getting better, but there is such a distinct Valerie style that I have to force myself to look at clothes outside my comfort zone. The new skirt itself is still far from a blend in garment, but it was so Valerie I just had to have it. Now I am forced to buy a cropped cardigan and top, and the perfect heels to go with it. There’s no petti needed for it, but it still screams Valerie (as well as a few other things according to my wife). I’m mean, how can any girl not buy this???

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Roll your eyes if you must, but we all know this close to perfection in the form of a skirt!

So I tried it on with a few tops and just love it. Cant wait to wear it with the complete outfit put together. That will likely happen after the first of the year. Not because I don’t want to wear it yet, or that I don’t have the perfect top… it just so happens that the damn thing is just a little too small. So I have resigned myself to losing the extra “Bob” and fitting into the skirt by February. It’s a perfect motivational reward (and also allows me time to find the top and heels).

Speaking of new things, my wife received a purse as a gift from a very good friend this last week. Now my tastes in purses (much like my tastes in clothes) tends to differ from my wife’s immensely, but not this time. She loved it and so did I. She received a purple (if not slightly electric blue) Coach purse that had to have cost a pretty penny!

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My wife’s new purse.

I liked it so much that I told her I was envious of her new treasure, which caused her to cradle it close and say “this is mine, got it?”. Anyway, I am happy for her good fortune, and I will leave it alone. Unfortunately, I can guarantee that no friend of mine will be giving me a lovely purse anytime soon. Maybe in one of my frequent dreams…

Anyway, this has been another posting big on words, but small on content. I just wanted to express my absolute joy of getting back in full feminine form I and am looking forward to many repeats over the next few months.

And I wondered for the first time whether ‘feeling feminine’ just meant feeling good in your own skin.” – I.W. Gregorio, None of the Above

-ValS

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Not a woman, but always a lady (by one definition)

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I received an email after my last post, questioning my comment that Valerie (me) is a sissy.  The actual question was “You said in your last write up that ‘Val is pretty much a sissy’, but isn’t any “guy” that dresses up like a woman or wears makeup a sissy? And not ‘pretty much’ but completely?”

I guess I see their point, that to a normal guy or girl, any guy who wears a dress, or make-up, or carries a purse, etc, etc. is a sissy in their eyes.  But I am talking about further dissecting the cross-dresser pool even deeper.

What I mean is that I don’t just put on a dress and go about doing regular guy things while I wear my dress.  I do girly things and my mannerisms are more feminine when dressed.  I have told my wife and some other cross-dressers online that I may not be a woman, but I am always a lady.  It is ingrained in my femme soul.

Many years ago I read an old book on proper lady-like behavior and deportment.  It was the kind of thing that women today would roll their eyes and laugh at.  Being what I am, I took it all to heart and it greatly influences my behaviors when dressed:

When I sit in a skirt, my knees are together.

I sit on the edge on the seat, typically with my legs off to the side, hands in my lap.

I don’t slouch.

When I stand, my right heel goes into the inner arch of my left foot, at a right angle.

I always carry my purse on my arm, not on my shoulder.

My hands never drop below my skirt waist (try that for a few minutes and try not to look like a sissy).

I never make a fist, and keep my fingers extended.

I could go on and on… These things come naturally to me anymore.  I do it without thinking and trust me, it can look pretty sissy-ish.

Lot’s of cross-dressers don’t do this, and just wear a dress and make-up.  They are truly just a guy in a dress.  I am just a little (lot?) more than that, which was the essence of that last post.  So there it is.  Valerie South is pretty much a sissy.  Doesn’t mean all cross-dressers are and that is the point I was trying to make.  But if you’re going to argue that any guy in a dress is a sissy, then I guess you have a right to your opinion.  So I would then argue that some of us are bigger sissies than others.  Same difference I guess.

Keep in mind that all the above tendencies I have are only when I am dressed femme (I hope).  My guy persona is mostly like any average guy you know.  However, I do some things in guy mode that most guys wouldn’t, but nothing obvious that would out me as a cross-dresser or sissy, at least I don’t think.  That thought could be something I can explore more in a future post.

Hopefully that clears up the matter, but as usual I probably just muddled it up more.  Anyway, thanks for the email and for the question (regardless of the spirit of which it was intended).

-ValS

Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be

Doris Day

One aspect of cross-dressing that I have always struggled with is the “just clothes” vs. “complete female presentation” argument.  I am a straight male cross-dresser and I don’t want to be an actual woman, I just want to dress like one.  Seems like a simple enough idea to me, but much to my dismay there are deeper levels to this argument.

When I was young, I was not sure if I was gay or straight, or if I really wanted to be a woman.  It kind of scared the hell out of me.  Over time I learned to trust my instinct and accept that I just was what I was.  I had never walked by a guy and thought “wow, he’s gorgeous”, or never said to myself “I wish I was a woman”.  I have walked past women and thought “wow, she is beautiful” and have said to myself “I wish I could dress like a woman”.  So 25+ years ago, I came to the conclusion that I am a straight male cross-dresser.

So now we flash forward to somewhere around 1993.  I was talking with my wife about my cross-dressing, and probably complaining way too much about how society won’t let me wear the clothes I want.  She replied with a statement that took me right back to that time in my life when I wasn’t so sure what I was, or what I wanted to be.  I wrote about it in an internet cross-dressing forum that I used to be a part of.  This is my actual post:

Recently, my wife and I were discussing cross-dressing in general, and she hit me with a question that I’m just not sure how to answer…

First of all, I have always believed that my cross-dressing was limited to the clothes. By that I mean I am not gay, I am ok with being a genetic male, and that I just like to dress as a woman when I can. I still believe this to be true.

I have often told my wife that women are lucky that they can wear feminine or masculine clothes when-ever they want, without any issues. Women can wear traditionally male clothes, and no one will look twice. But if a man wears a skirt… well, you all know the story.

Her reply left me a little speechless. She said it isn’t just about the clothes, that there is a lot more to it. If she wears a pair of jeans and one of my sweatshirts, she doesn’t feel the need to “stuff” her crotch area to give the appearance of male genitalia. She doesn’t tightly wrap her chest area to restrict and reduce her breast from showing. She doesn’t stop wearing make-up either. She just wears the clothes.

She said if I just wore a skirt, then it would be the same type thing. But I don’t just wear a skirt. I shave my body hair, minimize my bulge, and create the appearance of breasts. I wear all the lingerie, do my make-up, wear a wig, add nails, carry a purse, and generally become a different person, etc., etc.

Nothing she said is false. It is more than just the clothes. But once again, I still can say I am not gay, nor do I have a problem with being a genetic male. For the first time in 30+ years, I am confused.

I like to dress in women’s clothes. That is the most basic part of being a cross-dresser, but how do I explain her other points? I’m sure she thinks I really want to be a woman. I can’t come up with a reply that truly explains the situation as it is. Do I really want to be a woman??? I don’t think so, but there has to be some sort of additional explanation, doesn’t there?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I could use some of my sister’s insight here. I should add that my wife is truly a wonderful and accepting woman, that is really only trying to help me understand myself.

 

To this day I can’t explain it.  I still believe that I am a straight male cross-dresser, nothing more.  My wife truly believes that it is more than that and that I am in denial to some degree.  I understand why she would think that, but I don’t think she’s right.  She once said she doesn’t think I’m totally gay but could be bisexual. She argued that if a guy tried to seduce me when I was dressed up, I might react differently.  I still don’t think so, but I can’t be 100% sure since that scenario has never happened to me.

It’s true that when I’m dressed, I move around in a manner that would make a man look gay.  My wife has even made the bent wrist gesture (jokingly) to me when replying to something I have said.  It is true that my mind is in a different mode when I’m dressed, and it’s hard to be a manly man in a poufy skirt and heels.  Just can’t happen with me.  I have said before and will say it again, Val is pretty much a sissy.

So flash forward to this very moment in time.  I still somewhat struggle with the idea of what I am.  Again, I believe I am a straight male cross-dresser.  I am pretty damn sure of that.  99.9% sure.  But there is that .01% still out there, and probably always will be.  I doubt I will ever be totally sure, and honestly tire of thinking about it.

Que sera, sera.  Whatever will be, will be.

-ValS

I would say yes to the cross-dress… over and over again

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Being a male cross-dresser, deep in the closet, there are thousands of things that I will never get to experience.  None of these are exceptionally monumental, in fact most of them are really quite common, everyday things that most women likely take for granted.  Some women I know would even find many of them to be a hassle.

Cross-dressers who are out and pass well often do these things, although I think they have a greater appreciation for them.  I admire them, even envy them, but that just isn’t part of my reality, being destined to remain in the closet for the rest of my days. I’m not whining, that is the path I chose.  But here are a few of those things:

Every time I go by a nail salon and see a woman getting her nails done, I wish that I could just go in and get mine done too.  Long red nails (of course) as I sit and wait.  Maybe I would get the pedicure too, and get the toe nails to match.  Who knows, after a while, I might get adventurous and try a different color.  Maybe a French mani. (sigh)

When I watch “Say Yes To The Dress”, I dream about being able to in a bridal boutique and trying on gown after gown.  What a dream that would be!  On one episode a bride-to-be said “I am so tired of trying all these dresses on” and I just thought I would trade places in a heartbeat (except for the marrying some guy part).  If I were on the TV show, I would always say no, just to keep it going. Eventually they would throw me out, but I would have had fun!

Wrong era, but I would also love to get my hair done and sit under one of those dryers, reading a magazine as I waited to be pouffed out and sprayed.  Kind of an odd fantasy really, but it goes with the Valerie South persona.  Maybe I could get my nails done as I was getting set.  That would be a double win!

How about something so simple as just carrying a purse.  I love purses like I love shoes.  I carry my wife’s purse without hesitation if she asks me to, just because I like it.  Carrying my own with my own things inside would be great.  Never understood why guys don’t get the idea of a bag to put your things in.  I like the girly ones of course, but the general idea of a bag shouldn’t be so gender oriented.  But it is.

Another thing would be getting a facial or trying makeup in major department stores.  It would be great to get the opinion of someone who knows makeup, and have them show you how to combine and apply their selections.  I’m sure I would go broke, but it is still on the list of things I would love to do.

I could go on for a while with the little things, but you get the idea.  I don’t get to enjoy these simple pleasures, but will always dream about them.  Maybe they are not as special as I think they are, but from where I sit, I’m pretty sure they are.

-ValS

Finding the real Valerie South

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Over the years, from the time I had gotten my “red groupie” outfit, my femme style began to change and develop.  It was wonderful being able to buy my own women’s clothes.  Not only did they fit finally, but I could also pick the clothing that appealed to me.  No longer did I have to open up someone else’s closet and pick what to wear.  It was wide open.

So I experimented with outfits:  Longer skirts, fuller skirts, jeans, denim skirts, capris, skorts, dresses, suits… sweaters, silky blouses, basic Ts… boots, flats, lower heels, sandals… and on  and on and on…

It wasn’t long before I had as many girl clothes as I did guy clothes.  I will admit that 75% of the clothing I bought was a fashion disaster.  Outfits my wife would look at me in and just laugh.  The majority of them were worn a couple of times and then relegated to just hang in the closet.  Many of them ended up being donated or sold by my wife in garage sales.  Still, it was fun to try all the outfits out and see what I liked.  Girls/women have a lifetime of experience in clothes and I was trying to make up for many years of being on the outside and looking in.

What I found was that over time I tended to wear the same few outfits over and over. It was the style and look that I was drawn to: Long, full skirts.  Soft, silky, blouses.  Traditional 2-3” classic pumps.

That was what I found myself in more often then not.  I liked a skirt with body, no pencil types or minis for me any more.  Blouses were soft, feminine, and frequently had bows at the neck.  No sandals or boots for me, just a clean classic pump.  That was Valerie South look.

My wife had a name for the look, “old lady”.  She said the years in my mom’s closet have scarred me, because I dressed like my mom did years ago.  It was true, when I looked around the only women I saw wearing similar clothes were older women going to church or some old lady function.  So I was turning into an old lady.  I always wore pantyhose, support garments, and never went without a slip.  More evidence.  I couldn’t help it, I was what I was.

My wife was the voice of reason as I tried to figure myself out (still trying to accomplish that by the way).  She said that since I wasn’t going anywhere, wear whatever you like.  So I dressed (and still do sometimes) like an old lady.  My wife teased me many times about the “old lady” thing.  Once she sent me to a store to pick up a gift for her co-worker and I had to call her to get some clarification.  I told her the place was full of old women, and she replied “so you fit right in”, then she added “don’t dawdle gossiping with the girls”.  What could I say?  Walked right in to that.

A while later, after more clothing exploration that didn’t take me too far from the old lady look, I said to my wife that I was bored with my purse, and wanted one that was more my style.  I searched around the internet for a bit and couldn’t come up with exactly what I wanted.  Now, my wife is much more intuitive and better at reading people than anyone I have ever known.  She said “would you like me to show you the purse you want? For that matter, would you like me to show you the look you really want?”  Not really believing she had the answer, I said yes.

She jumped on the computer and entered a few words into google and brought up a series of pictures that once again had me dazed:

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Oh my god, she was right.  I got goose-bumps as I stared at the pictures. Everything was perfect, the purses, the clothes, everything.  She knew it and now I had just been let in on the secret… I was a 1950’s housewife at heart.

I am not kidding that it was a revelation to me.  Everything was exactly what I loved.  Full poufy skirts, soft feminine blouses, classic pumps, and now a classic kelly purse to match.  I only ever wore pearl necklaces, always painted my nails bright red and wore matching lipstick.  It all made sense.

I grew up watching June Cleaver and Donna Reed, wearing my mother’s skirts and heels, and spent my time cleaning the house and doing housework while my mom was at work.  I did love their look, then and even more now.  So then I bought my first vintage dress and a petticoat to go with it.  That was all it took, I had come full circle and felt like I knew what my style was finally.

As if being a cross-dresser isn’t odd enough, I am a vintage cross-dressing 1950’s housewife.  Love my pearls, my petticoats, my bright red lipstick, my classic pumps and my purses.  As my wife said, I don’t go out so I can wear whatever I like, and I do just that.  These are a few of my favorite things:

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So that pretty much completes the backstory of who Valerie South is.  With this in the books, I can now get on to rambling about other cross-dressing things.  Can’t wait!

-ValS

Shopping for my first femme items

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After outgrowing my mom’s clothes and shoes, I was left with few options.  I still played around with her makeup, but clothes was what I really wanted.  I went through a pretty long period where I didn’t get to dress up, at least not enough to be satisfying.

When I met and told my girlfriend (now wife) about me, that drought period began to end.  I wore some of her things, but like my mom’s, they didn’t fit.  I needed some things of my own and my wife agreed to take me shopping.

Remember that this was before the internet was at our finger tips.  Today you can browse different clothing retailers or eBay to look or buy things while still being in the closet.  I had no clue what to get or what was available.  I had never had a choice before, but I was super excited (and nervous)!

We went to a shopping mall, far enough away that running into people we knew was unlikely.  From the time I stepped out of the car, I felt as though everyone knew what we were doing.  Like I was holding a big sign that read “I am buying women’s clothes for me to wear!”  It was also the first time in my life that I realized how docile/subservient I was when it comes to dressing up.  When she said we going to blah blah store and getting you a skirt, I just said OK.  I was in a daze, felt extremely vulnerable, and doing what she told me.

We went to a big department store and she was looking through racks. She pulled a skirt out and held it up to my waist.  I tried to protest this obvious indication of who it was for, but she said she had to size it up, unless I was going to try things on in the dressing room.  Well that wasn’t going to happen, so she kept holding things up to me and was thoroughly enjoying my embarrassment.  She selected a bright red mini-skirt (it was the 80s) and said she had a top for me already.  She didn’t torture me anymore as we were paying, but once again I felt like everyone knew it was for me.  Once we had paid I thought to myself, “I own a skirt”.  I was all smiles!

Next we bought my first pair of heels, red to match MY skirt.  I don’t remember the whole event of shoe shopping, being in a state of euphoria since I owned a skirt.  I don’t think I tried them on in the store, but they definitely fit.  Unlike the skirt, I’m sure there was no doubt who they were for, since I wear a shoe a few sizes larger that her. So I then found myself wandering the mall carrying MY skirt and MY heels.

Next store was where my first bra, panties, and purse were purchased.  All red, just like my skirt and heels. I asked her why I needed a purse if I wasn’t going anywhere.  She said every girl has a purse, and quickly followed up with a “you don’t want it?”.  I said of course I do and she said “I thought so”.  Once we had paid the sales clerk held out the bag for us and my then girlfriend looked at me and said “get your things”. I’m sure I was as red as everything else we had bought that day.

We finally left the mall and I was exhausted.  Being so nervous and self-conscious literally wore me out.  She said we to make another stop for some routine items, but them we could head home.  We went to a K-Mart and she picked up a few items that she needed. When we got back to her place, she told me to try it all on.  Everything fit great, skirt was tight, but it was supposed to be.  She gave me a white shirt to put on, and there I was.  The outfit was a typical 80’s rock groupie look, which was basically a step just barely above prostitute.  Didn’t matter to me, they were my clothes and they fit!  I spent the evening clicking around in my heels.

I thought nothing could be more embarrassing than the shopping experience I had just lived through, but I was wrong.  She went through the K-Mart bags, tore open a few packages and handed my a few things to put in my purse: a compact (powder and mirror), a tube of red lipstick, a hairbrush, and a tampon.  I was dumbfounded and she just smiled and said “all women carry these in their purses, so here’s yours”.  I did what I was told and put my things in my purse.

She then did my hair and my makeup and I spent the evening dressed in my own girly things for the first time in my life.  I wore those things every opportunity I had.  I have once again outgrown those things and I am not really too sure what happened to them years later.  The only item I still have from that early experience with my wife is the red heels.  Every once-in-a-while I put them on just because they were my first.  They are reasonably well worn since I wore them at every opportunity, but I will keep them forever.  They are a symbol, almost a trophy, but really more of a reminder of a great time in my life, when my wife helped me to be me.

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My femme style has changed since then, as I began to discover what kind of person Valerie South is.  My clothing preferences have evolved greatly since that time (maybe I should say devolved), but that is another story.

-ValS