My 100th post…

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This is my 100th post. I was hoping to make it a special one with a description of another outing as Valerie, in my new modern “blending” outfit. Unfortunately this post won’t be that, in fact it will end up being the exact opposite.

Over the last several months, I have had a close family member get diagnosed with a fatal condition, and I have been watching as this individual begins to deteriorate in front of our eyes. It is a truly devastating condition, and makes us all feel helpless as it progresses. Most of my time of late has been dedicated to dealing with the situation at hand. Along with a busy work schedule and family responsibilities, there has been been no real time for Valerie at all. To be honest, I have not even had much desire to dress, while dealing with such an unfortunate event.

So I never did finish my “blending” outfit and never did make another trip out into the world… and now I never will.

Full disclosure here. I got stupid. Even more than ever before. I put myself and my relationship with my wife at risk… Over the last few months, I started taking a breast enhancing supplement. I didn’t want to grow large boobs, but did want a little shape to work into cleavage as we cross-dressers do. Honestly, I didn’t take much, and according to what I read online not nearly a large enough dose or for long enough to have any real effect. But I still sought it out, bought it and did ingest some. That is a fact, regardless of the meaning anyone wants to attach to the action.

Long story short, my wife found the supplements and confronted me about them. What could I say? As I said above, I sought them out, bought them, and ingested some of it. Needless to say she was incredibly upset, and rightfully so. I may not have lied to her about them, but I wasn’t honest either. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and completely and immediately remorseful.

My wife was calm and actually composed her thoughts in written form to make sure it didn’t become an argument, so she would not lose her train of thought and ensured she could get her message across clearly.

However, the message is it all has to end now, or we are finished. Valerie has to cease to exist. I have always said my family… my wife and kids come first, so I agreed. So I have now made the ultimate purge… everything, and I feel horrible. For the first time in my life, I have nothing physical that represents Valerie. Just thoughts and feelings that will now go to a deeper level of the closet. A level that until now, I didn’t know existed. I can only hope I learn to live with this void.

So my 100th post is actually my goodbye to you all. I am teary eyed writing this, but I can’t lose my wife/family. I have no other options that I can see.

So goodbye to all of you that I have met, come to know, and have learned to love so much.

Ruth, Kirsty, Cynthia… you were all starting out blogging about the same time I started, and I have enjoyed the posts/talks we’ve had. You are all wonderfully inspirational girls! Michelle, you came along a bit later but instantly became a kindred spirit, and are equally as inspirational as the others.

Mimi,and Ms. Ed, we weren’t always talking gender issues, in fact more often not, but I enjoyed the witty posts you have always shared with the world.

Samantha, Linda, Pat, Sherri and Rose, you weren’t blogging but still had an immense impact on me and So Very Deep. I enjoyed the comments, chats and emails we shared.

I’ve left at least a 100 of you out, but please know I will also miss you all. In the interest of time, I have to cut it short. (I hear the music increasing in volume, like at the Oscars when they are kindly telling you to “shut the hell up, and get off the stage!”)

So this is post #100. Not at all how I anticipated it happening.

Farewell all!

-BobS

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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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“And oh, my dreams… it’s never quite as it seems”

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Quite a while ago, I discussed the fact that I rarely have dreams related to cross-dressing. Until recently, I rarely had dreams at all, or if I did I simply could never remember them. Even when I know I have had a dream, my memory of the details is fleeting. It’s like the dreams are scribbled in chalk onto a brick wall, and as soon as I wake up it starts to rain… slowly washing the details away so they don’t get confused with reality.

I have always felt it was a shame that I had such a poor memory of my dreams. I think it would be very interesting to over-analyze the dreams to see what fears, desires, and loves are represented. My friend Pat had suggested that I keep a dream-log/diary to help prevent the dreams from fading away and I began to do so. Still, I had so few dreams or memories of them, that there was almost nothing to write in my little notebook. Then I had a slight change of medicines, and the dream-factory went into production.

So now recently I have had many vivid dreams. Some have been ultra-personal and others have been a bit risque, so I will keep those to myself. Most of them are not related to cross-dressing, but some of them have been and I thought I would detail those a bit in this post. These are in the order that they occurred, but they were not necessarily back-to-back occurrences:

Dream One –

I woke alone and realized I had slept quite late into the morning. I got dressed in my standard “Bob” gear, and proceeded to go downstairs to see where the family was and to get a cup of coffee. As I walked through the house I kept stopping in various rooms to look at some things. I stopped in the library to examine the various books left open on one of the tables and then stopped in the gallery to examine a beautiful painting adorning the wall opposite the great window. (I suppose I should add that we don’t have a library, nor a gallery with a great window, but it seemed like it was my home as I always knew it)

After a few minutes I heard sounds coming from the kitchen and decided to greet the family. As I walked in, one of my children said “dad’s finally awake” and my wife turned away from the stove and said “good morning”. I was about to respond when I froze in my tracks. My wife was head-to-toe decked out in one of my Valerie outfits…. cream colored silk blouse, navy blue skirt, 3.5” heels, and a lovely set of pearls. Over the skirt was one of my aprons, protecting her (my) skirt as she cooked breakfast. She looked at me strangely and asked me “what’s wrong?”. I said something to the effect of “I have just not seen you in that outfit before”. She replied that she had found several outfits like this in the closet and they obviously had to be hers, so she decided to wear it. My daughter stated she didn’t like the outfit and it seemed like something you would see in an old movie.

At that point I remember getting a plate handed to me, but the rest is fuzzy. Then I woke up. Not exactly a cross-dressing dream, but one that gave me shivers since I previously hadn’t dreamed very much. Strangely enough, I don’t recall liking the outfit on my wife, although I always assumed I would like my wife dressed in a Valerie-type style. Also, we are not the same size (unfortunately) but the outfit seemed to fit her as if it was tailor made for her.

Dream Two –

I once again awoke in my bed alone, and proceeded to get dressed. This time around I put on a blue/white polka-dotted dress with blue heels. I checked my hair and make-up in the mirror and they were perfect (even though I don’t think I had put any on after waking) and proceeded to go down stairs.

I walked into the kitchen and found no one there. I proceeded out into the living room and there were my children. All looked up and gave me a strange look. I recall sensing panic as I realized I was dressed as Valerie in front of my children, who had never seen me dressed. My oldest called out “Mom, you had better come in here” and I started to run away. Before I realized it, I was going between two houses in my neighborhood looking for a place to hide. A door opened and an ex-girlfriend yelled for me to come inside. I ran in and she said they wouldn’t look for me at her house. (This ex does not live anywhere close to me and I can’t say I even recognized the house.)

The ex looked me up and down and said “I knew it all along”. The she said something to the effect of she liked me this way better anyway. She then stated we were late and needed to get going. We walked out to her car and drove quite a distance to a building I didn’t recognize. We got out of the car and we walked into the lobby of an office building. She then said “I’ll see you after work, and have a good day”. Then she disappeared into an elevator. I didn’t know where I was, had no car, no phone, no purse or wallet. I just remember feeling stranded and helpless. I don’t remember much else and woke up soon after.

Dream Three –

Both my wife and I were getting ready to go out. She was wearing tight jeans, a sweater that showed off her curves well and some boots with a modest heel. I was wearing a typical Valerie dress with a full skirt and heels, but this dress was really low cut and I had some impressive cleavage showing. I was doing my make up and she said that I looked really pretty (not something my wife would say to Valerie). As she finished, she said she would wait for me downstairs. I finished up and grabbed my purse and headed downstairs to meet her.

I don’t remember anything about being downstairs or any interaction with my wife at this point. My next recollection is sitting with her in a movie theater. I tried to recall what movie we were seeing, but all I can remember is there were horses on the screen. That’s all I could piece together.

My next memory is being at the entrance of a bar, and the doorman asking us both for our ID. I have not been asked for ID for many years, and was a bit surprised. My wife handed her ID to the doorman who said “thank you ma’am” and then he looked at me. I remember being a bit nervous about this whole process and my wife said something about hurrying up. I reached into my purse and found my ID, and was pleased that it had my name as Valerie South and the picture was also of me in Val mode. He also said “thank you ma’am” to me and we went inside.

We were sitting at a table and already had a couple of drinks in front of us, when a man asked my wife to dance. She said no and explained she was married, and the man left. A short while later he returned and then asked me to dance. Like my wife, I started to explain that I was married and not interested. My wife interrupted and said “you’re not married”. Then she looked at me and whispered “you don’t want to look out of place” even though I am sure I already did. (actually, the way she said it I would have to think he would have heard her also). Then she said in a normal voice “one dance won’t kill you”. In a bit of a panic I was being led out to the dance floor. I remember feeling scared and a little upset that my wife pushed me into this, and I turned to look back at her to signal I needed help getting out of this. Instead of watching what was happening to me, she was gathering her things and walked right out of the bar. More panic and I suddenly woke up. I tried to remember if I followed her or what happened, but I think I was immediately conscious as soon as she had left.

I did not enjoy this dream. It wasn’t quite a nightmare, but the sense of panic, fear, vulnerability and sense of abandonment was truly unsettling.

Dream Four –

I was at work and in full “Bob-mode”. I was in some sort of training or seminar setting. There were presenters rambling on about some work related material and I couldn’t begin to tell you any of that detail. Charts were being flashed on screens and I remember not recognizing most of the people present. One of the presenters asked a question and the majority of the people raised their hands to indicate their agreement with the statement. I didn’t know whether or not to raise my hand, since I didn’t know the question. I remember thinking I had better pay attention before I get into some trouble with my superiors.

So with a renewed sense of focus I continued on listening more intently. One of the female presenters then asked the group “So how many of you here are cross-dressers?” Without hesitation I raised my hand, only to find I was the only one (at least who admitted it) and I immediately felt I had made a mistake in admitting it. One of the other presenters then started to make some notes and kept looking up at me periodically. I put my hand down and looked around at the faces of the other attendees. Most looked either amused or that they could care less about anything going on in the seminar. I woke up quickly after that.

I barely consider this to be cross-dressing related, but I did raise my hand when asked. Shorter dream, but I spent a lot of time wondering what this might say about me and my real life mindset.

Dream Five:

I was busy cleaning up the house and my wife was asking me to move some things around in preparation for some guests. It was my house, but there was a lot of clutter and several pieces of furniture that were not something I had ever seen before, but like in a few of my other dreams, it seemed so normal that I didn’t question it until reviewing the dream later. Anyway, when the room was set to my wife’s approval, she disappeared to get changed and asked me to keep an eye on the food in the kitchen.

I went into the kitchen and the only thing I could find were some store bought, prepackaged, mass-produced, over-processed, chemical crap snacks that my wife detests. But I kept an eye on them until she returned. Having changed into a really beautiful dress, she came back into the kitchen, and said thanks for the help and she was really feeling rushed getting it all together. I had no idea what the whole event was and after seeing her in the dress, asked if I needed to change into something a little bit nicer. She said I needn’t bother since it was only for her and her friends. Fair enough I thought, and went into another room to do something.

A short while later I heard guests arrive and recognized several of my wife’s friends and coworkers voices. A little while after that, my wife called out for me and asked me to come into the room where they were meeting. I went in and found they were having one of the typical “Mary Kay” cosmetic parties, where the rep comes and tries to sell you and all your friends their beauty wares, giving the hostess many discounts and freebies for arranging the captive audience. I did not recognize the “Mary Kay” lady and as soon as I entered the room she looked at me and said “perfect, she’ll do fine”. I asked what did they need, and was told they needed a blank slate on which to apply some makeup and show some techniques, and my wife had volunteered me to be the demonstration subject.

I don’t remember great detail of the makeup application process (dammit!) but once done I was amazed at the face looking at me in the mirror. Totally feminine and beautiful and honestly looked nothing like me when done up in Val mode. Several of the ladies said that if she could make me look that good, then they wanted all the makeup she had used for the demonstration. I told my wife I would like her to get it also, but she said she had already bought some different items. I told her to get these specific items for me and she looked at me strangely and said “whatever for?” as if she had no idea about my femme side. With a room full of her friends and coworkers present, I was in no position to explain or justify my desire for the makeup to my wife. Feeling disappointed and somewhat hopeless, I woke up soon after (with no makeup on).

Dream Six –

I was sitting at my desk and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until I was called into my bosses office. I got up and started to make my way to her office and as I walked I recognized the clicking sound of heels on the tile floor. Sure enough I was wearing a very tall set of heels instead of my “Bob” work shoes. The shoes were hideous really… orange with big flowers stuck on them at the toe. I looked around to see who might have noticed and nobody was giving me or my ugly heels a second look.

When I arrived at my bosses office, she told me to come inside and have a seat. I did so, and instinctively crossed my legs leaving one shoe in plain sight. She commented that I had great taste in shoes and then walked out from behind her desk to show me that she was wearing an identical pair. She asked if I had also bought the matching purse, and I had no idea. I told her “I don’t think so”. She then went to a closet and retrieved a cardboard box that was a similar orange color and had a big flower stuck to it. She then handed it to me.

I opened the box to look at the purse inside but found it was just a box containing her personal items. She then became very angry and said it is very rude to look inside a woman’s purse without permission and that I should know that. (In case I am not being clear here, the box was the purse… even uglier than the shoes.) She told me that she would be sure to let my wife know about my rudeness and that I had better get back to work.

I left her office and attempted to walk back to my office, but I couldn’t find it. I kept going down hallways and everywhere I turned was unfamiliar. I was totally lost. I was looking for anyone so I could ask for directions, but couldn’t find anyone. At some point in the wandering process, the office building had transformed into a hospital… long sterile corridors. The hallways were empty and the clicking sound of my ugly orange heels was very loud. I continued to walk around aimlessly until I woke up.

Dream Seven:

I was sitting with my wife in our living room. We were watching television and there was a wedding program on. My wife asked me if I was disappointed about being in two weddings this year, but having to wear suits. I told her I was, but that there was no other option. She then asked me if I wanted to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. For some reason I never questioned the “her wedding” portion of the question and just immediately said yes! She told me she was excited and very please I had said yes.

She then pulled out some photographs of the dresses she had been considering, and they were all ridiculously full skirted (even for me) southern-belle type dresses. Even Scarlet O’Hara herself would have had trouble navigating a church aisle in these beauties.

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Not as full as they were in the dream, but you get the idea…

She told me they were custom made and I would have to get measured with the other girls. I don’t remember acknowledging this but the idea excited me. She said they would also be taking measurements for my bikini and sandals (huh?? but again I didn’t question it).

After we looked through the dresses, she said she had to find out if I was allowed to be her bridesmaid before we do anything else. She explained she had a meeting with the mayor of our town later that day and would find out for sure. She left the room and I heard the phone ring. I started to look for the phone and woke up to the sound my phone ringing.

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So there you go, seven of my recent cross-dressing related dreams. As of the time that I finally finished this up I have already had three more, so it is showing no signs of letting up thus far. I spent quite a bit of time writing these dreams down and rereading my notes. Several times going through this exercise I would find another detail that I had forgotten and would expand my notes. What I wrote in this post about each dream is just a condensed summary, or this post would have gone on forever. Presented here are the basics.

I am not sure exactly what this might tell me about myself, or if it just more mental gibberish pouring out of Valerie’s subconscious. I do have some theories and some ideas of what may have contributed to some parts of the dreams. However, I know that I can never be absolutely sure of any of it.

I will say this, if nothing else this whole dream exercise has been very enjoyable so far. The dream diary suggestion has been key to me pulling this off (thanks Pat!). I have been able to remember details for much longer than ever before. Not all the dreams have been wonderful, but I go through the same process anyway. If you have never done this before, I highly recommend it to each of you. It is personally rewarding and a definitely insightful. The only down-side to it all is that now I have something else that need to keep hidden from the world and need to be careful I don’t leave it where it can be found by the wrong people…

“Dream on, dream on, dream on… Dream until your dreams come true”

-ValS

NPG x128515; Vivien Leigh as Lady Hamilton in 'That Hamilton Woman' by Laszlo Willinger

There is no male equivalent…

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I had mentioned in a recent post the fact that when I was growing up I thought a whole lot about weddings, and more specifically wedding dresses. Typical boys don’t think about such things… EVER, let alone fantasize about wearing a white gown and one day walking down the aisle. But as I said in that post, but then again there are boys like me.

Some recent emails with a new friend (Linda) have brought me round to thinking (OK, obsessing) about wedding gowns again. It is the ultimate dress in my opinion. Women stress and obsess over a gown they will wear once, for a short period of time, where money is often no object, and it simply HAS to be perfect! There really is no equivalent in the male world, and most men think it’s crazy how women think of weddings, gowns, bridesmaids dresses, etc. However I understand completely why they put such extreme value on such things. In an alternate universe, I would do the same thing.

Way, way back in time, I used to love looking at wedding albums and pictures of the wedding parties. I knew it was taboo for a boy to like or want to wear a wedding gown, but I also knew I wished I could. So as I grew and heard girls and women talking about such things, I grew ever more envious and fascinated by the whole experience.

As I said, I knew boys didn’t wear wedding gowns as early as I can remember. What never occurred to me was that I was not supposed to care about wedding planning at all. It also never occurred to me that if I did get married, not only would I not get to wear a beautiful gown, I wouldn’t get to walk down the aisle either. Once while attending a wedding with my family, I asked my mom why the groom came in from the side and was standing at the front of the church. Why didn’t he walk up the aisle?

She said men don’t do that. She then filled me in… the bride is paraded for all to see and then presented by her father to her husband. Sort of from one man to another. (I’ll leave out all the archaic issues here, because remember… I love weddings). The groom just kind of enters inconspicuously from the side to pick her up. I guess that’s just how most men prefer it.

What also had never occurred to me is that the bride would be given away to a man. I dreamed of walking down an aisle and then… well… never really thought about the rest. It was just about me. I just assumed there would be another bride at the alter waiting for me. Or maybe one would walk down the aisle after me. I dunno, but that’s when reality began to ruin weddings for me. Still I love them like only a cross-dresser can.

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But to this very day, I am still in awe of the exalted wedding gown. I watch wedding planning television shows and especially like “Say Yes to the Dress”. My wife will watch these shows and I “just happen” to be in the room while they are on. That’s the cover story for the family. When it’s just me and my wife, we will talk about the gowns and we know what each other will think of the choices, because we know each others tastes pretty well. Occasionally my wife will say “that dress is horrible” and I will say “I like it”, to which she will smirk and say “of course you do”. I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that I prefer the full, princess style ballgowns. It’s just the Valerie in me. I like many styles from the 50’s as well as many from the 1980’s (god forbid) with full skirts, poofy sleeves, and huge trains. But I love modern gowns also, as long as they are feminine x10. “Traditional” is the word I use… white, ballgown style, minimal bling (crystals that is, pearl beading is good!) etc. My wife calls it “old-fashioned” and I know she’s right… but I like what I like.

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But from these recent email conversations I have once again been dreaming of going into a bridal salon and trying on a multitude of gowns. This is because Linda has done it and is telling me all about the experience. A wonderful story that makes this cross-dresser pink white with envy. In those conversations, we have both wondered why the average woman (already married or not) doesn’t want to go try on wedding dresses on occasion. They could make an appointment, go in and play dress-up any time they wanted. Many women obsess over gowns like me and many plan their wedding days down to the minutest detail, so why don’t they want to do this like we do? I told Linda I would ask my wife, but haven’t had the nerve to do so yet. I have flooded her with issues lately and want to ease up a bit.

My wife knows I like wedding gowns, and actually knows I own one. I bought one a few years ago. I always knew I would get one when I had the means, and really just thought it was a culmination of lifelong desire. In retrospect, it probably didn’t help my case about being thought of as straight to my wife, when I bought myself the ultimate symbol of being given away to another man. As I said, I never really thought it through to the end. It was just about me and a wedding gown.

Anyway, this thought of why everyday women don’t still fantasize about wedding gowns, or go try them on, has me thinking… is it because they CAN that they don’t feel the desire to do it? Is it a case of it not being forbidden fruit? As I told Linda, I guess I could go try on a tuxedo anytime I wanted, but who in their right mind would ever want to to that?? Is it the same thing? I don’t think so because as I said earlier… there is no male equivalent to the wedding gown.

But then the whole Beth experience made me think some other thoughts… Is the fascination with wedding gowns a fetish type desire? That is, similar to Beth’s claim that my 1950’s fascination is like a french maid fetish? I don’t think of it as a true fetish, because there is no sexual nature to it for me. However, on some level the desire to dress as a bride can be considered similar to wanting to dress as a 1950’s housewife. Everyday women don’t want to dress like either in their spare time… but I do.

Along those same lines, I have chatted with many other cross-dressers who share my love for wedding gowns, but it seems to be confined to our deck of the trans* boat. The only transsexual woman who really ever joined into our wedding gown conversations at a deeper level wasn’t fixated on the gown per se, but the overall life experience. That is she did hope to one day get married in the traditional sense… gown, church, bridesmaids, and even groom.

I don’t really understand my fascination with wedding gowns any more that I understand the my fascination with the 1950’s, Barbie dolls, or almost anything vintage or feminine. My wedding gown is just another item tucked away neatly in Valerie’s closet. On occasion I get it out and put it on, noting all the other accessories I need to obtain to complete the bride look I prefer. It’s another project I will work on during the “off-season” But every time I just see it hanging there, it makes me smile. There simply is no male equivalent…

-ValS

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The search is on for that “bigger closet”

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I have recently spent a decent amount of time looking into support groups in my area… or I should say anything within a 250 mile radius, because there simply isn’t anything close to me. There are “ghosts” of organizations that I have discovered while surfing the internet, but they all have led to disappointing dead ends.

Web searches frequently find what appear to be promising results, but when clicked lead to a “page not found” or some grossly outdated information that leads one to believe the group hasn’t been active for quite awhile. One link was so old it led to a Geocities page, and the Geocities web network has been defunct for well over 5 years or so.

I am willing to travel a bit if the group/organization is good. In fact, I kind of prefer it be a decent distance from my closet so that I don’t potentially run into anyone who knows me. It would be horrifying to run into someone who could cause me to be outed, but I guess they would be in a similar situation if I ran into them at a cross-dressing support group.

Still, I have yet to find any potential groups or organizations at this point, but am determined to explore the regional options fully before admitting defeat. I still have plenty of time to continue the search.

I had been discussing my lack of fruitful results to date with Samantha, who wondered why I needed a support group at all. Her point was that I am not in distress or suffering any real issues related to my cross-dressing, so what exactly do I need “support” with? This spawned much deeper conversation as I began to go down that rabbit hole… what was a really looking for?

Initially I have been simply looking for someplace to go when going out as Valerie. Sort of like a half-way house” to assist my transition to a more substantial existence outside my closet. This would be the the next or “bigger closet” as Kirsty and Ruth have described many times. Maybe not ideal for everyone, but a significant growth step for my closeted existence to date.

I will likely be going out next fall by myself, which is already a nerve-racking thought. Having a safe & sympathetic destination arranged would be extremely comforting. I suppose I could go to a trans* friendly gay bar, but I’m not sure that would be a good idea for someone not experienced in going out and trying to blend in, and I certainly wouldn’t want to have to contend with the idea of any sexual overtones. An organized support group just seems like the ideal next step.

So the conversation continued with the occasional person popping into the chat to say they either loved their support group or to describe some less than satisfying experiences. I recognize I may or may not find an ideal group but still need to have the experience first hand, regardless of how positive or negative others experiences may have been. Most of the others agreed that their experiences shouldn’t stop me from trying to find a good option and encouraged me to do so.

But it was during the conversation that I think I really realized what it was I am truly seeking… if I push aside all the excuses and insecurities… I think I just want someone to talk to.

I love chatting online with Samantha and the other girls. I love posting on some of the forums I have visited over the years and reading the many opinions in the discussions. I love exchanging emails with the people I have with come to know from various sources. I love the friends and acquaintances I have made through So Very Deep. But even with all the interactions, conversations, sympathies, common experiences, and shared stories… I just would like to talk face to face with someone like me, or at least someone who understands and accepts me.

I want a chance to be myself, dress like myself, and talk to other people in person. I don’t know why this is such a big deal to me, except that 1st person interaction is the one thing being in the closet does not allow for. My wife and I have have discussed my cross-dressing, and bless her for trying to be accommodating, but it’s just not her thing. I am just tired of being silent in real life.

I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know if it will be satisfying or severely disappointing. At this point I don’t even know if I will find a group, but I know I have to seek it out and at least cross this bridge to see what is on the other side.

Maybe I make some friends. Maybe I can grow with the group and eventually help it to grow bigger. Maybe it is a complete waste of time. All I know is that “maybe” and “what-ifs” are words frequently used by the restrained, bound, and yes… closeted. They are words Valerie uses frequently and I hate that. It is time for a “bigger closet”.

-ValS

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I shouldn’t think like this… but I do

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There has long been a thought in my head that isn’t really pleasant to think about, but one that I frequently return to time and time again. That thought is…Why doesn’t my wife leave me? I often tell myself that it is paranoia that makes me think this way, but recently it was a few comments made to me in emails that brought it back to the forefront.

The first basically asked me why do I stay with my wife, when she doesn’t seem to want to fully embrace the cross-dressing aspect of my being. I stay with my wife because my wife and my family are my world. I don’t know if anything, including cross-dressing, can make me happy if I were to lose my family. Leaving my wife and children is just not a possibility from my perspective.

The second email wondered how they (also a married cross-dresser) would react if the tables were turned and my wife wanted to look and dress like a man. This is hard to really answer because I look at it through my own transgender perspective. If I were not transgender, I would probably not be as accepting as I am in this incarnation. If I were a straight, cisgender, tough-guy and my wife decided to let her body hair grow, cut her hair off, dress in men’s clothes, and possibly even try to promote chest and facial hair growth, etc… I can’t honestly say I would react as acceptingly as I know I would as a transgender person.

So flip this around again… as a cisgender woman, why does my wife stay with me?? Truly, I wonder just what is it that makes this woman stay with me knowing that I am seemingly less and less a man each time she takes a good look at me. She has told me with absolute certainty that she is convinced I am gay, even though I tell her I am not. When I asked her recently why then does she stay with me, she said it is because she loves me. That answer makes me happy and I do believe it’s true, but it still doesn’t answer the question fully.

I am not the kind of guy she dreamed of marrying when she was young. In fact, I have never heard of a young woman describing her dream partner saying he will be kind, sensitive, caring, and more feminine than most women would ever dream of being. He will want to be so much like a woman, that it will be like having a best girlfriend instead of a husband.

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When she was young and dreamed about how her wedding would be, I’m pretty sure she didn’t think about comparing notes with her husband-to-be about dresses, hair, etc. In fact she didn’t ask me a thing really and I didn’t ruin her day, but I had a lot of opinions and preferences that I just kept to myself. Fortunately most things were the way I would have liked them anyway. Point is, most girls dream about their weddings and assume the boys do not. But then there are boys like me…

Over time my wife has become less and less interested in my cross-dressing. In fact, she recently stated it was all for me and did absolutely nothing for her. Her personal interest level has seemingly dropped from 10% to 0%. I actually think that as she has grown older and a little more conservative, she probably dislikes it all together. I can only assume she tolerates it for my well-being and no other reason.

So again I wonder, why doesn’t she leave me and get rid of the hassle that comes along with being married to a cross-dresser. Instead of a “girlfriend” she could find a “real man” to make her happy. One that wouldn’t want to borrow her clothes or makeup or something else. One she wouldn’t think (falsely) would rather be with another man. So why does she put up with me?

Maybe we are just too far long in life for her to want to start over. Maybe a “girlfriend/roommate” is tolerable as long as the kids and outside world are unaware. If she knew 20 years ago where we would end up, maybe she would have bailed out on me then, and avoided what we have become.

Maybe it’s totally about the children. I don’t think either of us want to put them through the pain and ugliness of a divorce, so maybe that is why she stays with me. If we had not had kids and it was just us two, maybe she would give up and say “go be a woman…I’m outta here…”.

Maybe her justification is financial in nature. Maybe she doesn’t like the idea of splitting the income and managing on her own. Maybe the lifestyle we have is reason enough to stay in the relationship with the “gay sissy husband”.

I should state that all these phrases and terms I am spewing out don’t come from my wife, they come from my paranoid mind. She has never called me a “gay sissy” in a derogatory sense or said I was not a “real man”, but I do think it is highly possible she thinks it.

So again I wonder, why does she stay with me? It is entirely possible that she spoke the truth and she stays simply because she loves me. For better or worse, she is in it for the long haul because above all else we are life partners. I truly hope so!

So I periodically marvel at this woman that stays with me, and loves me even though I am engaged in activities she does not really approve of. Maybe I should just let it go and consider myself lucky to have what I do have in a “reluctantly accepting” wife. I know I waste a lot of time and energy thinking these negative things, and shouldn’t worry about them until I hear something directly from my wife. It’s just one of those nagging paranoid thoughts that sits on a shelf in my closet, right next to the box of insecurities and that fabulous pair of heels that are too damn small for me, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of.

-ValS

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Phantom femininity (for lack of a better description)

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I have noticed a strange phenomenon happening to me on multiple occasions, and it has happened for many years. It find it to be more intense each spring as I re-enter the dressing off-season. I am not exactly sure what to call it, but it is a similar sensation to what amputees call phantom limb syndrome.

Before I go any further, I want to say that I am not an amputee in any form, nor do I understand what they may go through… physically or mentally. It is a traumatic reality that I no way am trying to belittle or say “I know how you feel”. I mean no disrespect and I think most of you understand that. I simply don’t know of a more apt description of the sensations I am feeling.

After I spend a significant amount of time dressed, my head stays Valerie long after the clothes and the make up are removed. I still feel as if there will be breast there if I look down. I grab things as though I still have long nails. I walk on the balls of my feet as if I am in heels. I could go on and on with examples. I don’t intentionally do it, it just takes some time to regress away from the feminine euphoria I am in when dressed.

So now I am faced with a period of no real dressing opportunities for the next several months. My body is on the way there, but my mind has not let go of Valerie yet. I was walking down some stairs at work just yesterday and I could “feel” the skirt swishing around by bare stocking clad legs. I put my hand on my chest almost in disbelief that there were no feminine protrusions there. I really don’t how else to describe it except that it is femininity coursing through my veins.

If I sit down and close my eyes, I can easily imaging myself fully dressed, feeling the sensation of lipstick on my lips and mascara on my lashes. I feel the tightness of the undergarments, the pinch of the earrings, and can almost smell the perfume. I instantly relax and feel a sense of peace as my body responds to the phantom femininity.

I love to do this as almost a quick fantasy escape from reality, to touch for just a moment my other side. If I am stressed with work or life, it can be therapeutic and centering. Not much else matters when I feel Valerie.

I do have to be careful though, as walking around in public “feeling dressed” is not much safer than being dressed. Sashaying about on the balls of my feet with bent wrists and extended fingers doesn’t help my cause in trying to blend in as an average male in public. At home it will just add more fuel to my wife’s perception that I am gay, along with being a cross-dresser. After all, I am not dressed, so why would I act like that?

I also find it interesting that I sometimes have to put effort into “blending in” as a male. This should come somewhat natural, but I do have to make a conscious effort at times to “fool” the masses, especially when feeling phantom femininity. While the sensation of breasts or feeling a skirt move is phantom, the true feeling of constant femininity is not. It is real, it is pretty much constant, and it requires some effort to control at times.

Walking up the stairs at my house a few weeks back I must have been in full blown feminine mental form. I was just walking up the stairs and my wife was heading up right behind me. After I got to the top my wife said “women don’t walk like that, you know”. I looked at her and couldn’t speak a word. I thought about how I was moving and I had my arms/hands above my waist as I tend to do when Valerie, and my hips were probably swaying as I was on the balls of my feet. I was stunned because she was basically saying “nice try, but you failed”, but the truth is I wasn’t trying to consciously imitate anything.

So I get into these ultra-feminine moods, even when I am not dressing, and it effects my being. I have been less “on-guard” at home than I am at work or in the outside world and I think my wife sees it. I have to accept that is probably a big reason why she sees me as less than a straight male. So now I probably need to put a little more effort into being more masculine at home.

Where am I going with this? I don’t really know. I am pondering this as I lean back in my chair, taking a break from writing, and I reach back with both hands to sweep my hair into a ponytail. I can only shake my head and laugh, as there is no hair length there to gather up…. just my regular short male haircut.

Once it warms up and I can get outside and get a bit more active with my kids, the phantom feminine sensations will ease up. Until then, I will just enjoy the ever present feeling of Valerie coursing through my veins, just with a little more conscious thought of how I may look to the world. This closet life takes constant maintenance…

-ValS

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