Monday 6 May 2013

Making the Switch

This is the story of my twins, Philip and Charlene.  When they were born, they looked like perfect boy and girl babies.  Their babyhood proceeded along very traditional lines.  Philip was dressed in blue with minimal fripperies and had his hair short whilst Charlene was decked out in pink with lots of frothy lace, frills and bows and her hair grew into a mass of cute ringlets.

Charlene was encouraged to play with soft toys and in time dolls and other girlish things, whilst for Philip it was sports and more rough and tumble activities.  My kids seemed to be developing along traditional gender paths.  I did all this instinctively as it mirrored my own upbringing as a girl and that of my husband.  It hadn't done us any harm had it?

The kids soon grew from infanthood into a little boy and a little girl.  Charlene of course went into frocks and skirts whilst Philip wore shorts or trousers.  In time, my husband, Greg, began taking Philip with him to soccer matches whilst Charlene stayed home with me and either played with her girl friends or read books.

It was when Philip and Charlene were aged around ten that things began to blur.  By this time, Greg had encouraged Philip to sign up for soccer.  Philip was not a bad player and got onto the school team.  Greg was thrilled with his son but I would have rather Philip concentrated less on football and more on his grades, which seemed to get progressively worse each academic year.

The real change was in Charlene.  She was becoming more outspoken and rebellious towards me as she grew older.  She positively hated being made to look pretty.  At every opportunity, she would get out of her school uniform or frock that I had instructed her to wear around the house and don jeans or shorts.  At first, I thought this was just a fad she would grow out of.  I tried to encourage her to embrace her femininity but buying her nice jewellery and promising when she was older she could get her hair permed and her ears pierced.

In my experience, most girls would welcome these things so imagine my shock the following day when Charlene arrived home from school with a buzz cut, her beautiful ringlets all gone!  She had nipped out in her lunch hour to a barbers and got them to shear off her hair.  She looked rather like a boy, albeit a rather effeminate one, dressed up in a girls' school uniform.  I scolded her and grounded her as a punishment, but the loss of her hair had been her way of saying that she was done with girl stuff.

Of course, I couldn't keep her grounded indefinitely, so we came to a compromise that gave her some of what she wanted and yet preserved parental authority.  Charlene could wear trousers around the house and even outside when playing with her friends, but she would have to dress up nice ie in a frock when relatives visited or for special occassions and she had to agree not to get her hair cut without our permission.

That seemed to have solved that issue.  But then Charlene wanted in on the soccer matches.  Why, she would ask, was it only Philip that went with Dad?  Why couldn't she go too?  Greg was dead against the idea.  She was a girl, she was fragile, she might get hurt, he would argue.  Charlene replied that she certainly wasn't fragile and anyway what harm could happen with her big strong Daddy to take care of her?

She was clever, was Charlene, and twisted Greg right round her little finger.  He relented and so the three of them went off to watch soccer once or twice a month thereafter.  Charlene quickly developed a strong interest in soccer and soon she no longer merely wanted to watch others play, she wanted to be out there herself.

But she found that there was a problem with that.  There was no girls' soccer team at the school.  She tried to join the existing squad but they told her it was for boys only.  That was not an answer that my headstrong and determined daughter was ever going to accept so her answer was to disguise herself as a boy and go for the trials that happened once a month.  Her hair was still short enough for her to pass muster.  The coaches were so impressed with her soccer skills that they offered her a place on the team right away.

Charlene then had to reveal her true gender and identity, which caused no small amount of consternation.  But there was no denying her ability with a ball and so single-handedly, Charlene caused an earthquake.  A girl being allowed to join a previously all male squad.  Rules and traditions were consigned to the scrapheap of history.

One player wasn't happy about it. Philip.  Charlene, it turned out, was a better soccer player than her brother and Philip felt that she was showing him up.  There were rows between them over incidents that had taken place on the pitch.  Sometimes it was like world war three in our house and I or Greg had to become the United Nations and get them to calm down.

Then, to make Philip's misery complete, Charlene was made the striker as she was the team's top goal scorer.  As for Philip, he was dropped from the team to make way for another talented newcomer.  Another girl, as it happened.  Philip became bitter and resentful of his sister and wouldn't hear a good word being said about her.  He detested her so much, he even forfeited his outings to the soccer matches.

So, every other weekend, it was my husband and daughter who went off to watch soccer, and my son who stayed home.  I guessed it must have been hard for him to come to terms with the fact that not only was his sister a better soccer player than him, but perhaps a better boy.  I tried to get him to concentrate more on his studies and made him work through a math assignment, but he was in no mood.

OK, I thought, but he's not going to simply sit around all afternoon, so I gave him a choice.  Either he worked through his assignment or he helped me with chores.  As Philip would do anything to avoid math, he agreed to help me.  I took him to the kitchen and took a pinny off a rack.  It was a bit flowery and girly, and Philip objected when I told him he was to wear it to protect his clothes, but when I made it clear that he had no choice he accepted it albeit with ill grace.

I got him to wash up and do some dusting.  His efforts did not meet my standards at first, so I made him do them again.  Philip did so and without any back chat.  I was surprised that he could be so agreeable and docile.  Charlene, by contrast, hated chores and would complain so I had just stopped making her do them, it was less trouble and ear-ache.

Greg and Charlene were highly surprised when they arrived home that evening to find Philip in a pinny and dusting some ornaments.  Greg was bemused but Charlene was a little unkind, calling her brother a little sissy and a mother's boy.  Philip was of course embarressed and felt humiliated, so I told Charlene off and made her got to her room until she learnt to be kinder to people.

So, from that day onwards, I now had a little helper in my son.  He seemed to enjoy attacking the chores with gusto and he soon got used to his pinny, as did his sister and father.  I found it a little amusing that my son seemed to have assumed the traditional girl's role.

The next thing that happened was that, on one of those Saturdays, whilst only Philip and I were home, one of our neighbours, Sally Kirk, paid us an unexpected visit.  Sally is a lovely neighbour, but a bit ditzy.  She was a major force when it came to organising things and was always furiously busy doing something or other.  Anyway, she barged in with a load of dresses and seemed to be on the verge of panic.

I got her to sit down, take a deep breath and explain to me calmly what was wrong.  Sally told me that her current project was to arrange a wedding fayre.  This one was geared more towards girls than grown women for some reason.  She indicated the pile of dresses, which were clearly for bridesmaids rather than actual bridal attire.  It transpired that Sally had forgotten to tell the girls who would be wearing the dresses that she needed to fit them today and the girls in question were away for the weekend on some school trip.  So, she had turned up in the hope of finding Charlene here.

I was exasperated, for I had told Sally not two days earlier that Charlene went to see or play soccer most weekends.  Anyway, she was not here and would not be home for hours.  Plus, although I did not venture to say so, she would not be thrilled at the idea of modelling dresses.  Sally became agitated once again and so in desperation I came up with the solution.

Sally had told me that she had all of the measurements of the girls and that all she needed was one model.  OK, Philip was not a girl, but at age eleven he had a height and build that was similar to that of his sister, so I  told Sally that we had a model.  Sally almost knelt down and kissed my feet in gratitude.

But, of course, Philip was not enamoured of the plan.  Wearing a pinny was one thing, but actually wearing a dress?  It took a lot of sweet talking and promises to get him to consent, but he agreed.  We put him into the first dress, a concoction of deep purple satin.  It fitted so perfectly that it could almost have been made for him and he did look a lot like his sister.

Sally was stunned by how pretty Philip had been made to look and suggested that he might want to appear as one of the bridesmaids at the fayre himself.  As it took Sally a lot of time to make the necessary adjustments, a lot of patience was required of the model and Philip behaved admirably.  With each successive gown, he seemed to become happier and it all became very enjoyable.

A few hours later, finally, Sally had finished on the last dress and Philip was released.  Peace and harmony was restored once Sally and her dresses had departed.  Philip had a strangely dreamy expression on his face and I guessed that he had actually enjoyed wearing the dresses.  I supposed that the feel of silk, satin, taffeta and all of the other fine materials - not usually worn by males - had been a pleasure to him.

Philip's interest in girlish things had been stirred and he shyly confided to me that he wouldn't mind wearing a dress more often - just to see what it was like.  I was stunned at the proposal at first, but got him one of Charlene's old dresses, that she wouldn't miss, and let him wear it when Greg and Charlene weren't around.

He clearly enjoyed the experience and wanted more.  Charlene's room was raided for more dresses, underwear and shoes.  Whenever we were alone, Philip turned into a girl completely.  I found it hard to believe that the very feminine figure wearing a frock, frilly underthings, mary-janes and jewellery was actually my son.

But soon, his yearnings began to get out of control.  Just as Charlene refused to take no for an answer over soccer and wearing boys' things, her brother was equally as stubborn.  He clearly wanted to be a girl full-time, with all of the implications that involved.  To deny him would make him terribly unhappy.  So, first off, I had to let Greg and Charlene into the secret.  Greg was taken aback and Charlene was in hysterics at first but they became supportive.  As Charlene herself had had to fight battles to be allowed to play soccer, she understood the situation, perhaps better than any of us.

So we made it happen.  Philip finished at the school he was at and on the following Monday he attended another school, but as Pippa.  I felt proud of him as he went off for his first day as a schoolgirl.  The staff and other pupils became aware later of his true gender, but accepted him as a girl.  He even made the cheerleading squad.

As it happened, Charlene's school and Philip's new school were to play each other at soccer.  Greg and I went along to watch.  We were proud as Charlene scored two goals, and hoisted the trophy aloft as was her right as the team Captain, but we were equally proud of our son, who made a very pretty and energetic cheerleader.

The journey had been an unusual one for any family but now our kids had escaped from the powerful constrictions imposed by gender and we were one happy family.

Sunday 28 April 2013

No Boys!

Abi willed herself to be patient as her parents faffed about.  Dad was straightening his bow-tie in the mirror (again!).  Mum was fussing over whether she should wear her fake fur coat or just take a fox fur stole.

More minutes passed and Abi was steadily losing patience with her parents although she remained calm and continued to smile as Mum explained how to cook her brother's favourite meal. Pizza.  Like everyone knows what to do with a pizza right?

Just as Abi was ready to go mad, she was saved by the toot-toot of the taxi.  Almost panicking, Mum and Dad gathered all their things, gave Abi a perfunctory kiss, and finally left.  The fragrance of Mum's perfume hung in the air for a couple of minutes after they had gone.

Finally! Yes!!!!! Abi savoured the moment.  For the next six hours, no parents to tell her when to go to bed or to tell what she could or could not do.  She had the house all to herself.

Well, actually, that was not wholly accurate, Abi remembered with a frown.  Her younger brother, Dan, was still around.  Up in his bedroom playing some silly computer game probably.  Even so, Abi had been left in charge and Dan would do what he was told.

Without another moment's hesitation, Abi whipped out her mobile phoned and called each of the girls in turn to say "OK.  All clear.  Get on over here!"  Abi went to put some pizzas in the oven and prepared drinks and snacks.

Then she ventured upstairs to her brother's room.  The door was closed, but Abi could hear sounds of gunshots and explosions at an annoyingly high volume.  Abi grit her teeth with irritation.  She had been planning a night in with her best friends for weeks and nothing, repeat, nothing, was going to interfere with it. Least of all her little squirt of a brother and his stupid game.

Abi tried banging on the door to get Dan's attention, but the background noise was too loud for him to hear, so Abi barged her way in.  Dan was sitting on the floor, mesmerised by what was going on in whatever alternative reality world he was currently visiting.  He was startled when his sister suddenly appeared.

Abi had only been in the room a matter of seconds and she already felt on the verge of a headache due to the noise. What it must be doing to Dan's senses she dreaded to think.  Thankfully, Dan had paused the game and most of the sound suddenly dissipated, except for some background music.

"Abi!  What ya doing in here?  This is my room!" Dan protested.  Abi realised that he was mortally offended that she had dared to breach his domain and interrupt his game.

Abi pointed to the screen and said "That is way too loud!  Turn it down!"

"No" Dan said sulkily "It's meant to be loud" in a tone that suggested "Girls! Don't they understand ANYTHING?"

"Dan, listen to me and listen good.  My friends will be here soon and we don't want ANY noise or interruptions from you.  Got it?  If you ruin my evening, I'll ruin your life I promise you!  Now turn that thing down and keep it turned down!"

To Abi's surprise, Dan meekly complied. "Thanks!" she said "I've got your pizza in the oven and I'll bring it up to you with a drink shortly.  Please can you stay out of the way for a few hours?"  Dan nodded.

Later, Abi gave Dan his pizza and drink and left him in his room.  She had been relieved at his compliant attitude.  She had expected him to be more of a handful.  Not that she couldn't have dealt with him if he had been of course but it was nice not to have to have a fight for a change.

The girls appeared.  Melanie, Natalie, Helen and Suzie.  They were loaded down with clothes and make up.  Abi led them to the living room and closed the door behind them.  Pinned to the door was a sign that read "No boys!".  Just to make it clear to Dan that the room was out of bounds to him.

The next few hours were paradise. Abi and her friends were all fourteen, all in the same form at school, and all eager to experiment with clothes and make up.  There were hysterics at the girls' first attempts at make up, modelling the clothes and trying to walk in high heels for the first time but with more practice the girls were becoming more accomplished at the feminine arts.

To Abi's intense annoyance, there was a knock at the door.  It could only be Dan.  She raced to the door and opened it a fraction "Go away!" she hissed before closing it again.  The knocking persisted. The other girls looked at Abi "Who's that?" Melanie asked.

"Only my pipsqueak of a brother" Abi said through clenched teeth "Don't worry, I'll get rid of him asap".  I'll murder him for this!

But the other girls shook their heads "Let him in.  It might be fun to have a boy here".

Abi stared at her friends incredulously.  Were they mad?  Reluctantly, she opened the door "What do you want Dan?" she asked angrily.  Dan looked small and curious "I got bored playing my computer game so I wondered what you were doing".

"Dan, me and my friends are doing girl stuff.  Definitely not for boys". Abi hoped the emphasis on "girl" would make him run a mile, or at least, retreat to his room.

But the other girls called out "Hi Dan! Come in and join us!" and so Abi had no choice but to let him in.  The others cooed and fussed over him "Isn't he a little sweetheart?".  They asked Dan for his opinion on how each girl looked, and he had the grace at least to give flattering verdicts, which pleased the girls no end.

A little later, when everyone had got bored of modelling clothes and putting on make up, and they were all flaked out on the sofa someone said "I think Dan would make a good looking girl!  What does everyone else think?"

Everyone agreed.  Except for Abi.  My brother as a girl?  She couldn't think of anything more ludicrous.  And Dan himself "But.....I'm not a girl....."

Melanie kissed him "Not right now, no, but with the right clothes and some make up we'll make you look gorgeous!"

"Don't be silly" Abi intervened "We're not dressing my brother up as a girl!"

"'re a right old miss bossy boots!" Mel turned to Dan "Is she always this stroppy?"

Abi could see immediately that this was one fight she wasn't going to win.  She was already being made to look bad in front of her friends "OK, ok. Fine. We'll turn Dan into a girl, if that's what you want!".  The other girls cheered.

Dan looked distinctly unhappy, but as he was surrounded by the girls, he had no way to escape.

Mel took charge "OK Dan.  Strip down to your undies!"

Dan looked at Abi pleadingly, but his sister looked away.  Reluctantly, he stripped down to his vest and pants.  The girls, armed with emery boards and nail varnish, proceeded to shape and paint Dan's finger and toenails with a purple glittery varnish.

"OK" said Mel "Next. Clothes".  Dan was given a bundle of clothes and sent to his room to change into them.  He came down with his head down and his face red.  He was wearing a floral patterned top that left his arms bare, a pink mini-skirt that left most of his legs bare and a pair of high heeled shoes that eh could barely walk in.  Underneath the skimpy top, it was obvious that he was wearing a lacy bra and he wore a pair of matching lace knickers under the skirt.

The girls then made him up and at the end of the process, his features had been softened and feminised and he looked just like a pretty girl with his false eyelashes and deep red lips.  Finally, Dan was given a long blonde wig to wear that made him look more girlish than ever.

Abi was amazed at the change in her brother's appearance.  With just a change of clothes, the application of cosmetics and a wig, he really had been turned into a girl!  They made him walk around in the high heels, adopting the pose of a female model.

Dan had been embarressed and humiliated at first, but with the encouragement and approval of the girls, he began to accept his new feminine state.  As the evening drew to a close, Dan was quickly de-feminised and willingly escaped to his room and the girls gradually departed.

Abi reflected that everything had turned out alright.  She had been angry at her brother's intrusion, but as he become part of the entertainment and had even become one of the girls, Abi's anger had evaporated.  Better still, during Dan's feminising process and whilst he had been dressed up, Abi had secretly been taking snapshots of him.  From now on, he would have to do whatever Abi told him or she'd make sure those pictures of him as "Danielle" were circulated around the school.  Abi snickered at the knowledge of the power she now held over her brother (and sometime sister).

Sunday 10 February 2013

I made a (wo)man of him

Malcolm was having one of his episodes again.  He violently hurled his newspaper at the cat, who expertly dodged it and ran upstairs.

"Bloody animal!" Malcolm snarled.  He shook his fist "Always getting in my way!"

I resisted the urge to tut.  It would only enrage him further.  "I have to go to work now" I told him, getting up and straightening my pencil skirt.  With the mood Malcolm was currently in, I was grateful for the refuge offered by work.  Unfortunately for Dandy, our aging cat, he did not have the same boon and he would have to put up with Malcolm until I got back home in the evening.

As I drove to work, I decided that the "Malcolm Problem" was need to be resolved.  We had been a real couple once upon a time.  We had met at university.  In those days, Malcolm had been cute and fun to be with.  We married shortly after leaving university and had two lovely and bright twin daughters.  We had been a happy family.  Then, the girls grew up and left and then Malcolm was made redundant from his job as a printer.

Malcolm had tried to find work but found that, at age 55, he was unemployable within his field and too proud to work elsewhere at a greatly reduced salary.  As he had few friends outside work and no interests that he might take up, Malcolm found himself marooned at home.  And he was not taking it well at all.  I watched as my calm, placid husband gradually became a bad-tempered monster.  He was increasingly becoming difficult to live with.

At work, whilst doing a multitude of other things, I pondered what I could do about him. I even briefly toyed with the idea of murder.  He was getting that bad.  Other ideas, I considered and rejected.  At the moment there seemed to be no answer.

The answer came by pure chance a couple of weeks later when Malcolm complained of having back pains.  He was scornful when I suggested going to the Doctor's.  He considered it an affront to his masculinity to admit to weakness, except to me.  I hit upon a solution and acted upon it.  I went upstairs and brought down one of my old girdles and handed it to him.

"Try this" I suggested.  Malcolm looked at the garment with suspicion.  With the floral panels and lacy trimmings, it was clearly female underwear. "I can't wear this!  It's a woman's girdle!"

"Give it a try.  No-one but me will know and I won't breathe a word to anyone, I promise" I assured him.  For once, the logic overrode Malcolm's objections.  He went upstairs and put it on.  He shortly came back down and commented that his back felt a lot better with the girdle on.  And that was not the only benefit.  Malcolm seemed calmer and more in control of his emotions.  For the first time in a long time, he didn't even swear at the cat.

At my suggestion, Malcolm wore the girdle under his PJ's when we went to bed.  Whilst I was reading a report for work. I couldn't help but notice that Malcolm seemed to like the feel of the girdle and its overall prettiness.

This was a very interesting development!

Malcolm did indeed appreciate the benefits of the girdle and continued to wear it the following day.  In the meantime, I had decided to take things a little further.  After work, I drove out to a lingerie store that I had found details of on the net during my lunch break.  It was an Aladdin's cave of feminine lingerie.  But, at this stage, I wasn't after a pair of outrageously frilly knickers or a see-through chemise.  I purchased a new girdle.  The new girdle was longer.  It would add more support to Malcolm's back.  Just as importantly, it was covered with white satin and I knew that Malcolm would enjoy the feel of it.

The assistant was puzzled as the size of girdle was too big for me, but the girl said nothing.  A wave of inspiration hit me and I decided to add some black silk stockings and a pair of white knickers to my purchase.   The girl assistant held up the copiously sized knickers, much too big for me, and gave me a strange look, but took my money and handed over the bag filled with my husband's underwear.

When I got home, I got Malcolm to try on the new girdle and he was very happy with it.  It made his back feel a lot better, he said.  I said nothing about the other underwear.  I knew that nothing in the world would induce Malcolm to wear stockings or knickers at my suggestion.  But if I left them lying around.....

It took only a couple of days for Malcolm to overcome his masculine instincts whilst I was at work and try on the silky stockings, and then the knickers.  He tried to hide the fact that he had worn them, but it was obvious that he had.  But he was hopelessly hooked on feminine lingerie and after a little show of resistance, he gave into my suggestion that as he liked the stockings and knickers so much, he should wear them all of the time.  I made another visit to the lingerie store and bought Malcolm a decent stock of women's underwear.

Including, I should add, that most womanly of things, a bra!

Malcolm was reluctant to wear it at first, but at the sight of the lacy, embroidered cups, his resistance crumbled and he allowed me to clap the bra onto him.  As Malcolm had let himself go physically, he had man-boobs that could use the extra support.

From that point onwards, Malcolm was putty in my hands and a willing accomplice to his own feminisation, and so the other changes that were to come, came rapidly.  Malcolm allowed me to depilate him and file, shape varnish and paint his finger and toe nails.  Malcolm began to use beauty products and creams, as well as cosmetics.

As we lay together in bed, we must have made a strange sight.  I wore a pair of ladies' silk PJ's, but my husband was clad in either a silk nightdress or negligee with his growing hair dyed and in rollers and his nails varnished.  Underneath the night attire, Malcolm's body was hairless and perfumed.  He felt and smelt a lot pleasanter than he used to, although it was becoming harder for me to believe that the feminised person who lay beside me every night was my husband.

Finally, inevitably, Malcolm's original wardrobe was replaced by one more appropriate for a lady.  Malcolm was as hooked on clothes, shoes and handbags as any real female and his wardrobe soon surpassed mine.  In spite of his size, for Malcolm was almost six feet tall and broad with it, he made a convincing looking woman and, not only that, using moisterisers and make up knocked years off him so that he looked more like a woman in her early forties than a man aged almost 60.

I was astonished by the transformation in Malcolm.  He had been born a male, raised as one, and had lived as a man for over forty years, yet in less than six months he had willingly adapted to feminine dress and habits as if he had been born and raised as a female.  In many ways, he was more feminine than I was, which I found a little disturbing.

Entirely comfortable with his new feminine persona, Malcolm gave up looking for work and dedicated himself to being a househusband.  He took on all of the chores and jobs that had once been mine.  He learned cookery and baking.  He had the sitting room redecorated in an style that I found overly feminine and which I did not particularly like but which I had to accept as my husband had assumed the same proprietal attitude towards the house as any housewife.

As Malcolm became more confident, he wanted to go out dressed en femme, and so we went out to restaurants and cinemas together with him wearing a dress and heels and waltzing around as if being a woman was entirely natural to him.  I looked and felt pretty dowdy beside my feminised peacock of a husband.

With Malcolm having assumed the feminine role in our relationship, I was becoming the more masculine element.  It was I who wore the trousers in every sense.  I stopped having my hair styled and had it cut short so that I looked boyish.  I stopped shaving my legs and armpits, using cosmetics and I even began wearing plain, unfeminine underwear.  I was becoming the "man" of the house with a "wife" to take care of me and my home.

Malcolm begged me to give up work so that we could spend more time together.  That wasn't altogether a bad idea.  I was almost 60 and I had been asked recently by my company if I would like to take early retirement.  With Malcolm's redundancy money and our pensions, we would be reasonably well off.  So I accepted and finished work.

Malcolm's 60th birthday was looming on the horizon and I decided that the best way to celebrate it would be for us to reaffirm our wedding vows with, of course, our traditional roles reversed.  Malcolm made a lovely woman and every woman should have the ultimate feminine experience of being a bride!  Having been the bride almost 40 years earlier, I was happy to be the bridegroom.  The clothes and preparations were a lot less work.  As the bride, Malcolm would have to fret about everything from his hair and nails, the dress, the flowers and the bridesmaids.  But it would be his day.

On the subject of bridesmaids, our daughters, Josie and Melinda consented to be their father's bridesmaids and very lovely they looked too.  They had no issues with our role reversal.  This was due to the fact that Josie's husband, Lance, had come out as a cross-dresser and wore dresses all of the time, and because Ray, Melinda's husband, had been cheating with a younger woman.  Melinda was a strong woman and knew how to deal with a erring husband.  After threatening to kick him out and take him to the cleaners through the divorce courts, Ray had to accept certain conditions to prevent himself becoming homeless and skint.  One of these was for Ray to be dressed in exactly the same way as his mistress, Sadie.  As Sadie wore skin-tight leggings, mini skirts, thongs, very high heels and far too much make up, Ray ended up looking ridiculous as well as being very uncomfortable.  As a result, none of us women or even the grandchildren, were fazed by the sight of a man in a cream bridal gown and lace veil.

So, almost 40 years after the original ceremony, the man who had once been the bridegroom glided down the aisle in a gorgeous and extremely feminine dress and I, once the bride and now wearing a man's morning suit, waited for him.  The ceremony went well and we went on to the reception.

Malcolm had given me his gift.  A chunky man's wristwatch which I now wore.  I thought of my gift to him, which he did not yet have but was going to receive once we were alone in the bridal suite.  A strap on dildo and two pairs of fluffy handcuffs. Malcolm would learn tonight that one of his wifely duties was to satisfy his husband in bed and I would also make a real woman of him.

Sunday 3 February 2013

After women won the vote.....

.....we decided to hold a dinner party.  Not the usual dinner party, of course, that would have been dull, but an alternative one.

The fact of women obtaining the vote had been known about well in advance, of course.  The prospect had fuelled much speculation in our household and beyond in what the "new world" would be once women became equal to men.  It was said, jokingly, that as the number of women was greater than the number of men, they could vote an all-female government into power and do exactly what they liked.

There was even talk of a complete reversal between the sexes, with the women working and wearing trousers and the men in skirts minding the house and children.

It was this last theme that gave me the brainwave to have a dinner party, just amongst the family, but with the diners dressed as members of the opposite gender to their own, just for a glimpse of what might have been.

I put my idea to my family and, with one exception, they agreed that it might be a jolly wheeze to try it.  The date was selected and all preparations made.  Unlike a "normal" dinner party, this one would need a lot of extra work and attention to detail.

Finally, the evening of the dinner party came and the diners came in to take their places.  What a sight we made!

Mama and Papa were the first to make their entrance.  Mama was wearing men's evening dress - including trousers - for the first time in her life.  She immediately appeared more masculine and commanding.  Papa wore a burgundy silk evening gown that left his shoulders bare.  The gown was puffed out by voluminous layers of petticoats and it was obvious that he was wearing a corset.

Next to appear were me - Penelope - and my darling fiance, Algernon.  I was dressed in exactly the same way as Mama and with my bobbed hair I made a very boyish looking gentleman.  Algy, who topped six feet and had a very masculine physique, was wearing a filmy and clingy red flapper dress, silk evening gloves, silk stockings and high heels.

Last to appear were my younger brother, Henry, and Harriet, my youngest sister, and the baby of the family, and it was with these youngsters that the change in dress was most startling.  Harriet strode in confidently in boys' knickerbockers, a smart velvet jacket and boys' boots.  Henry hung back, reluctant to enter, dressed as he was in a girl's white frock with a very sweet pink ribbon at the waist that ended in a large bow at the back, and frilled ankle socks.

I should add that as well as wearing the outer garments of the opposite gender, everyone also had to wear appropriate underwear.  For instance, I wore a pair of Algy's cotton underpants whilst he wore a pair of silk knickers and a chemise.

Also, although they had not been asked to, the servants also switched clothes, so that our footmen became maids and our maids became footmen.  It was jolly nice of them to oblige us in this way and added to the spirit of it all.

As we took our places, I looked at each of the participants and judged that they all looked exquisite.  Although the diners were dressed appropriately, other aspects of their appearance jarred against their clothes.  Mama was wearing a ladies' wig to conceal her greying hair, Papa still had his beard and whiskers, I had rather large breasts, which had been impossible to conceal, Algy just looked like a Guard's Officer who had been stuffed into a dress, Harriet had golden ringlets and was constantly giggling, whilst Henry had short hair.

In short, rather than everyone looking like a man or a woman, we all looked like curious amalgams of both sexes.  But as the whole point was not to turn men into women (and vice versa) but to give an image of a possible alternative world where women were dominant, it all worked fabulously.

Whilst the rest of us found it all a scream, it was clear that Henry was not at all happy.  He was sullen and resentful.  In babyhood and infancy, he had been a sweet little boy, but now that he was nine he had become insufferably full of himself and contemptuous of girls.  He had taken to teasing Harriet mercilessly as she was a "soppy girl and a baby".  To now find himself dressed as a "soppy girl" whilst his little sister wore trousers was the biggest humiliation he could imagine, and he was not taking it well.

To make things worse for him still, Harriet was getting her own back on him, referring to him as "Baby Henrietta" and suggesting that as he was so pretty, he ought to wear hair ribbons.  It did not help.

Henry refused to enter into the spirit of the thing and his mood did put a dampener on the gathering, in spite of our efforts to make a joke out of the whole thing.  The final straw for Henry came after dinner, for, whilst the gentlemen retired to allow the ladies to enjoy a smoke and a glass of port, and Harriet was given a ball to play with, Henry was given one of Harriet's dolls.  At this, he threw the mother of all tantrums.  He threw the doll away violently and began feverishly tearing off his clothes, demanding his usual ones back.

We ladies decided that this babyish tantrum demanded appropriate punishment.  If Henry insisted on acting like a baby, he would be treated like one.  Henry was put into nappies and made to wear a girls' baby frock and bonnet and confined to a high chair.  Henry soon learned that there were greater humiliations than being dressed as a girl.  Harriet teased her "baby sister".  Henry so hated the reversal that had taken place between himself and Harriet that he soon begged for mercy!

We ladies deliberated and decided to be merciful, but only on condition that Henry behaved himself.  Henry was relieved of his baby frock and allowed to don his girls' frock.  To our astonishment and great satisfaction, Henry became contrite and submissive.  He willingly accepted his sister's doll and began playing with it, just like any other girl.  As the evening wore on, Henry even became more confident in girls' clothes (although he would have died if any of his chums had seen him) walking through the house with more confidence, as if his new clothes had become natural to him.

The evening was a great success and it had been a scream to see everybody cross-dressed, but it was a one-off.  By the morning, everything was back to normal.  The insight I gained into everyone's behaviour was valuable. Everyone, even Henry, eventually accepted their new mode of dress and the behaviours that went with them.

If this is possible in 1918, when the world is still a man's world, could this glimpse of the future became reality in the future?  Only time will tell.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Into Frillies

Aidan was almost oblivious to the other boy frantically circling around him and periodically attempting to land a punch on him.  The other boy, Georgie, was big for his age and fast.  Several of his blows had connected.  But they might as well not have done, for Aidan was not even so much as bruised.

Several minutes later, Aidan ended the contest by punching his opponent hard in the gut.  Georgie doubled over immediately and remained writhing on the floor for another five minutes.  Aidan stayed to help him up, but the other boy shook him off angrily.  Aidan understood.  Georgie did not want pity.  Not from the boy who had beaten him effortlessly.

Aidan went off to get showered and changed.  The boxing coach looked after him sadly.  Although Aidan was only aged ten, he was huge.  He was much bigger and more powerfully built than almost every boy and boys years older than him.  He could easily defeat any other boy in this gym.  But the coach knew that Aidan would never make a boxer.  Pity.  If he had the aggression to match his power, he would be unstoppable.

But there was something about that boy that was off beat.  The coach couldn't quite put his finger on it.

Aidan was walking home.  He considered his mandatory boxing lessons a waste of his time.  But his father, a would be boxing champion who had never made it, had insisted.  The best thing about having to do boxing was the walk home, for it took him past one of his favourite stores.  This was Pirouette, a shop that sold ballet outfits and accessories.  As he walked past, he couldn't take his eyes off the pink, sparkly ballerina's outfit with it's rigid tutu forming a delicate skirt around it.

He lingered for a few minutes.  Too long, as he realised that a couple of girls from his school were watching him curiously.  He recognised them as Sadie Thorpe and Chloe Madden.  They were in the same year as him.  Chloe gave him a delicate little wave with her hand "Hiya Aidan!" she chirruped "Didn't know you were into ballet!"  The girls collapsed with laughter.

Blushing furiously, Aidan marched away.  He thought he heard Chloe call after him, but he ignored her.  They didn't understand.  How could they?  Aidan hurried home to the sanctuary of his room, only to be waylaid by his father who wanted to know how he had got on at the boxing club and attempted to share with him the benefit of his knowledge and experience.  Finally, Aidan managed to escape.

He retreated to his room, which he had to share with one of his older brothers (Aidan was the youngest of three boys), stripped off and went to bed.  He lay awake for a long time, thinking about the ballerina's costume and his encounter with the girls.

Aidan had no idea why he was the way he was.  Outwardly, he was a big, strong boy.  He was the first boy anyone picked when it came to selecting a rugby or soccer team.  But on the inside he was gentle.  For some reason, he liked pretty girls' things.  It was almost an obsession with him.  But he was careful not to to let those feelings show.  It would be too shameful.  Every day, Aidan had to deal with the conflict within himself, with the self-loathing and shame at how he felt when he saw something as delightfully pretty as that ballerina's dress.

Aidan was pretty sure he didn't want to become a girl, but he wanted to enjoy the pretty things that girls took for granted.  But society still condemned boys who liked feminine things.  Perhaps it was his family that were part of the problem.  All male, except for his mum obviously, and even mum was not that feminine and only wore a nice dress for church and family socials.  The family home was bare of femininity.

For the next few weeks, Aidan's routine continued as normal, the only exception being that Sadie and Chloe seemed to giggle slightly when they saw him.  He was terrified that they had worked out his secret. But at least they hadn't told anyone else.  If they had done, it would be round the school by now.

He was sitting alone in the school library, trying hard to get his homework done.  Aidan's brain power unfortunately did not match his muscle power.  He found school work hard and seemed to need to do more than the other pupils to improve.  He was trying to work through some multiplication questions when, to his consternation, Chloe and Sadie sidled by.

But, thankfully, they kept on going.  They each gave him a little smile as they passed and then were out of sight.  Half an hour later, Aidan briefly left his seat to use the bathroom, and spent another half hour on the maths questions before packing up and going home.  When he got home, he took off his blazer only to notice something white, with a little hint of lace on it.

After checking no one else was about, he pulled the item out.  It was a pair of girls' knickers, in virginal white, trimmed with delicate white lace and with a pretty pink bow on the front of he waistband.  Aidan was overcome with a sudden desire to wear them.  He went to his room, undressed, and put them on.  They fitted perfectly.  A feeling of complete bliss ensued.

A little later, Aidan took off his new underwear and hid it somewhere safe.  He had no doubt that Chloe and Sadie had bequeathed him this small item of femininity and he was grateful for it.  Thereafter, he was able to wear his new underwear as and when opportunity presented itself.  On the following Sunday, he feigned illness so that he would be excused attendance at church.  Aidan was sure that God would forgive him.  Whilst the rest of the family was out, Aidan was able to wear his pretty knickers -and nothing else- around the house for a couple of hours.

A week later, Aidan received the following e-mail:

"Hi Aidan.  We know that you received our pretty little gift and we hope that you are enjoying wearing it.  If you want to wear something even more girly, let us know.  Your sisters in spirit, Chloe and Sadie"

Aidan was stunned.  Chloe and Sadie knew his secret (or had worked it out).  He could, if he wished, try to brazen it out and insist that he was a boy.  Or, given that they already knew his secret and seemed willing to help him, he could accept that.  Aidan wrestled with the conflict for a few days before deciding to reply to his "sisters in spirit" that he would welcome their further assistance.

Aidan received a further e-mail inviting him round to Sadie's house on the following Saturday.  Aidan thus found himself at Sadie's house, telling his mum that he had gone there to seek help with his homework.

Sadie and Chloe took him in hand.  After getting him to strip, they perfumed him, made him slip on a pair of satin knickers and squeezed him into a fuschia coloured gown.  They adorned his throat and wrists with jewellery and put make up on his face.  Aidan's large feet were inserted into a pair of high-heeled shoes and the girls insisted that he parade about for them.

Aidan was a little embarressed at being so dressed before these girls, but his desire to wear the gorgeous clothing outweighed the humiliation.  It was very pleasant to feel the swish of skirts against his legs and to wear such lovely jewellery.

Chloe and Sadie were well pleased, as they applauded as Aidan minced before them in his gown and high heels.  Aidan noticed that the girls had made no effort to dress up.  They wanted to dress him up.

Chloe and Sadie henceforth became Aidan's confidantes and allies in his endeavours to indulge himself in feminine finery.  There were further dressing up sessions.  Sadie's mum had a wardrobe stuffed full of lovely dresses and Aidan ended up wearing all of them.  Aidan repaid them by taking care of them at school.  After a quiet word with Damian Smart, the current head of the bullies at school, Chloe and Sadie were left alone.  Even Damian Smart was not stupid enough to try and take on Aidan.

After six idyllic weeks, Aidan's world came crashing down.  During one of his dress up sessions, in which Aidan was wearing a black sequined gown, Sadie's mum came home unexpectedly and went ballistic.  After being ordered to change back into his normal clothes, Sadie's mum marched him home and reported him to his mum. He was sent to his room.

Mum came to talk to him a little later and Aidan broke down in tears and confessed his desire to feel, to wear, female clothing.  Mum took him in her arms, kissed him and told him not to worry.  She would see that everything was alright.  For the next week, nothing more was said and Aidan went to school as normal.  Chloe and Sadie were there.  They had been grounded for a month as punishment but that was all.

On the Monday of the following week, Aidan went down for breakfast as normal, in his school uniform.  Mum looked at him and said "You won't be going to school today, Aidan.  Once you've eaten your breakfast, go and wait in your room.  I'll be up once your dad and brothers had gone".

Aidan was non-plussed by this, but did as he was told.  A little later, Mum came to see him.  She was carrying some boxes.  She set these down and regarded her son sternly.

"Now, Aidan.  You have been a very deceitful and naughty boy.  You've been dressing up in Mrs Thorpe's clothes.  You had no right to do that!  I know those girls encouraged you, but you are still in the wrong.  It took me some time to prepare everything but now it is time for you to be punished".

Aidan looked at his mother.  Although he towered over her and was physically far more powerful, he flinched at the expression on her face.  This was not the mum he knew.

"I've decided to let the punishment fit the crime" mum continued "since you enjoy girls' things so much, you can wear them.  All of the time from now on!"

Aidan was aghast.  It was one thing to wear a dress briefly and in the privacy of his home, but for 24 hours? "Mum, please, I can't do that!"

"Shut up!  You will do as you are told".  Mum took one of the boxes, the biggest, and opened it up.  She took out a white frock that looked big enough to fit Aidan.  Aidan was immediately mesmerised by it.  It had some lacy bits on the hem and sleeves...

"Pretty, isn't it?" Mum said with a smile.  She laid it down on Aidan's bed. "I'm going downstairs now Aidan.  In fifteen minutes time, I expect you to come down, wearing that dress and the other things you will find in those boxes.  Understood?"

Aidan gulped and nodded.  Mum left him.  Aidan looked through the boxes.  There were several pairs of white and very frilly knickers, all in the same style, several pairs of frilled white ankle socks, several chemises with lacy edging and a pair of shiny black mary-janes with a single strap and a buckle.

Blushing furiously, Aidan got changed into the clothes.  Since he had been dressing in girls' stuff for several weeks, getting the stuff on proved less than a challenge than he thought.  The only difficulty was that the frock did up at the back and Aidan couldn't reach.  He felt comfortable in his new clothes.  His body was clothed in soft and delicate fabrics and it felt divine.

He went downstairs to report to mum, who was delighted by his appearance.  She did up his frock for him and handed him a piece of soft fabric, stiffened by a plastic backing.  Aidan looked at it dumbly.

"It's an Alice band" mum explained "Put it on your head sweetie.  It'll make you look even prettier".  Aidan did so.  The Alice band was a light pink colour.  It would define him as being feminine.

"Good.  Alright girl, this is what is going to happen from now on.  You are going to be my daughter, Amy, for the next three months".

Three months! thought Aidan.

"During that time you are going to be a pretty and obedient little lady.  What are you going to be?"

"A pretty and obedient little lady" Aidan repeated dully, hardly believing what he was saying.

"That's right.  And if you are not, you will be punished.  You will do whatever I say and do it immediately.  Is that clear Amy?"

"Yes, mum".

"You will not be going to school for those three months.  I will teach you here.  Then, when your schoolwork is done, you will help me around the house.  A big, strong girl like you can make herself useful".  Mum took a lacy pinny down from a hanger on the door "This is your pinny and you will wear it at all times in the house except when you are doing schoolwork or put to bed.  By the way, on the subject of beds, as a girl it is no longer appropriate to share with your brother.  He will be moved elsewhere and you will have the room to yourself.  Now, put on the pinny and then go and bring me all of the clothes that you used to wear, and be quick about it girl!"

As if in a daze, Aidan put on his pinny and added another hallmark of femininity to his ensemble.  He brought down his boys' clothes, down to the last sock.  Mum took these from him and locked them away in a cupboard.  The message was unmistakable.  Girls' clothes only from now on.

Aidan was then ordered to remove his pinny and sit down to do schoolwork.  Aidan was aware only of the lovely sensations generated by the clothing and underwear he wore against his skin.  The whiteness of his clothing and the fact that he could see frills everywhere he looked made him calm and confident, strangely.

After stumbling through two hours of geography, Aidan was allowed a short break.  He decided to use this time to take a peek at himself in full length mirror.  He made an incongruous sight.  The quality of the clothes was delicious, from the cute little ankle socks and shiny shoes to the pure white and lacy frock.  All so very girlish.  Aidan looked somewhat like a small girl, but the image jarred beyond the pretty clothes.  Aidan, with his big-boned physique, his trunk-like legs and his short cropped hair, looked exactly like a big boy who had been made to dress as a little girl.  He looked ridiculous.

Tears welled up in Aidan's eyes at this knowledge.  Everyone who saw him would laugh at him!  And what about his father and brothers?  How would they react when they saw him dressed like this?

Aidan returned to his schoolwork, which at least allowed him to take his mind off his present condition.  With only a break for lunch, mum kept him hard at it until 3 pm.  Aidan was then made to put on his pinny and help mum in the kitchen.  As he prepared vegetables under his mother's instruction, Aidan kept glancing at the clock, for his father and brothers would be home from work and school at 4 pm.

At 4.13, the three of them came flooding in.  Their jaws dropped at the sight of Aidan.  When he had recovered from the shock, Dad said "What's all this?  What's Aidan doing in a dress?"

"I'll explain later" mum said firmly "Now go and sit down at the dinner table".

Dad knew better than to argue with his wife.  Although he was the breadwinner and although he acted like the alpha male, his wife wore the trousers.  Shaking his head, he and Aidan's brothers went to sit down.

Aidan, still wearing his pinny, had to help serve dinner.  Dinner was eaten in silence on this occasion, with curious glances being cast in Aidan's direction. Aidan helped clear away and wash up and was then sent to his room.  He sat on his bed trembling.  He could hear raised voices below for over an hour.  And then silence.

There was a knock at the door.  It was Robbie, Aidan's elder brother.  Unlike Aidan, he was small, wiry and freckled. "Mum said I had to knock when entering a girl's room" he explained "And I've got to move out and bunk with Larry.  He's not very happy about it".

"I'm sorry" said Aidan timidly.

"Mum tells me you actually like all this frilly, lacy stuff.  Not my scene, Aidan, sorry Amy, but if that's what you like, I'm ok with it.  You actually look very nice...I probably shouldn't have said that".

Clearly embarressed by the whole situation, Robbie hurriedly got all of his bedding and clothes together and left.

Aidan sat alone in his room, suddenly missing his brother.  Robbie was more fun to be with than either his father or his eldest brother.  Both were working men, men's men.  They would not be nearly as understanding as Robbie had been just now.

Aidan lay on his bed for a few hours until mum came to him with another box.  Inside it was a white silky nightdress.  Aidan had to put it on and then was put to bed earlier than was usual.  But Aidan didn't mind.  His brain was buzzing with the exquisite sensations of his body being clad in silk.  He drifted off to sleep in a state of ecstasy.

The first week as Amy was difficult.  Not just for Aidan but for the whole family.  His father and Larry would not accept the situation and regarded Aidan with a barely concealed contempt, muttering "Blooming great sissy" whenever they encountered their new daughter and sister.  Robbie was kinder and even started calling Aidan "Sis".

At the end of the first week, mum went out and brought back some rolls of material and other dressmaking paraphenalia.  Aidan, wrestling with maths again and the fact that his skirt kept riding up to reveal his underwear, looked at her in wonder.

Mum held up some pink fabric "I'm going to teach you how to make your ballet dress!".  And she did.  Aidan had to learn how to size and cut pieces of cloth, sew them together and to sew sequins on.  It was hard and painstaking work and took over a week to do.  Aidan's fingers were in pain and he dreaded the sessions when he had to sew.  The tutu was the most difficult and delicate creation, but Aidan managed it.

Aidan got a real sense of achievement when he put the dress on for the first time.  He had created this beautiful garment.  It glittered and sparkled delightfully.  Mum clapped happily "You look adorable.  My girl, the ballerina!"

Mum handed Aidan a pair of pink satin pumps "These cost a lot of money, so you look after them Amy. Now, we'll get you booked in for ballet lessons".

Aidan was perturbed by this.  Not only would he have to attend ballet classes as a girl pupil, rather than a boy, but he would have to go outside.  As Amy.  The prospect terrified him.  He had to sit down>

Mum wasted no time and it was on the following evening that Aidan was to attend his first ballet lesson.  Mum escorted him outside for the first time since he had had to wear a frock on a permanent basis.  Passers by looked at him curiously.  Aidan was very scared, but nothing happened.

The ballet mistress, Miss Forster, who had had a distinguished career in ballet until age forced her to become a teacher, was upper crust but sensible and understanding. However, the situation was highly unusual.

"In all my years, I have never had a boy coming to lessons as a girl.  I will have to explain the situation to my pupils.  If they decide that...Amy's attendance will be an issue for them, then I am afraid I will have to respect that and Amy will not be able to attend"

Miss Forster came back a little later "Some of the girls are not very happy about it, but...welcome to ballet school Amy".

Aidan had to endure an initial outburst of laughter when he appeared amongst the other pupils in his sparkly costume but that was all.  He concentrated on learning what he could although his size was an issue.

For the most part, the girls in the class seemed to accept him as one of their own, although a few of the snootier girls blanked him completely or snorted in contempt.  There were only three actual boys in the class.  Two of them seemed friendly enough, but other, a teenager called Syd was rather too friendly with some of the girls.  Aidan witnessed him touching girls for longer than was strictly necessary during the routines and the victims didn't like it.

But the lesson was a success from Aidan's point of view.  He had been accepted, as a girl, and now had an outlet away from home.  He preferred it to boxing.  He was beginning to learn that life as a girl was not so bad.

A few weeks later, Aidan was settling in as Amy both at home and in the ballet classes.  Mum loved the experience of having a daughter.  She was always buying Aidan little trinkets of jewellery to adorn his body or hair.  As Aidan's hair grew, mum started doing things with it like shampooing it, putting it in curlers and putting things in it like ribbons, hair slides and Alice bands.  Aidan had to put scent on his body so that he not only looked feminine but smelt feminine too.

Robbie was also happy with having a kid sister, but Aidan's father and other brother were still not happy about it.  They virtually ignored Aidan and pretended he did not exist, but as they were out most of the time, either at work or down the pub, this was less of a problem.  The only problem was Syd at ballet school.  He was still touching some of the girls up and Miss Forster didn't seem to notice.

Some of the girls decided to do something about him and enlisted Aidan's help.  His asset remained that he was bigger than stronger than any boy there.  They had wanted him to beat Syd up, but this Aidan refused to do.  Violence was not the answer.  A little cunning, and the loan of a ballet outfit, was.

In the very next lesson, there was a new girl, Roberta.  She was small and slim and freckly, with long blonde hair.  As anticipated, Syd soon made a beeline for her and began fondling her bottom "Alright there, darlin'?" Syd whispered in her ear lasciviously.

"Yeah, I am thanks mate, but if you don't take your hand off my arse in the next ten seconds I'm gonna clobber you into the middle of next week!" said Roberta in a deep male voice.  Syd leapt back, startled "You're a bloke!"

Robbie removed his wig "Guilty as charged!  You want to be more careful who you touch up you little pervert".  There were howls of laughter from all of the girls present.  Syd went a deep red and bolted for the exit, thoroughly humiliated.

"That should sort him out" said Sophie, one of the older girls "Thanks a bunch for your help Robbie".  She gave him a light peck on the cheek.

Blushing slightly, Robbie said "Glad to be of help to see that perv off, but the real hero, or rather heroine, is Amy.  This was all her idea"

Aidan suddenly found himself surrounded by all of the girls, all dispensing hugs and kisses on him, even the ones who had initially opposed his admission.  He had been fully accepted as one of the girls now.

Sophie was speaking with Robbie.  The two seemed to have developed an attraction to each other "You make a very nice ballerina, Robbie, are you sure you don't want to keep the outfit?"

"Quite sure" said Robbie, grinning "One girl in our family is enough.  I'll bring the outfit round to your house later".

"Oh, there's no need....oh, I see" said Sophie, reddening "See you later, Robbie" she said sweetly.

Aidan sidled up to his brother "Thanks for helping me.  It was very kind of you to agree to dress up like that.  I know that you're not into girl stuff but.."

To Aidan's surprise, Robbie leant over and gave him a kiss on the cheek "You're my little sister, course I'll look out for you".  Aidan almost fainted.  Robbie really did now regard him as his sister.

It was morning and Aidan stirred.  His room lacked the feminine touch.  Perhaps Dad could be persuaded to decorate it so it was more like a girl's room.  Aidan would like that very much.  Over the last weeks even his father and older brother had accepted him as Amy and even took an interest in his doings.  He had knitted them both some nice scarves.

There was a light knock and mum came in "Come on Aidan, time to get up! You've got to go to school today!"

What!? In almost three months, his mother had not once called him by his given male name and as for school....

Mum dumped a pile of clothes on Aidan's bed.  It was all of the boys' clothes he had had to hand over on his first day in his new girlish existence. "Your punishment is over, Aidan, so you can go back to being a boy".

Aidan realised that it must have been three months to the day since he had become Amy.  It had passed so quickly and so much had happened.  He was not only used to being dressed and treated as a girl but he was even starting to think like one.  His life now was perfect.  Everyone accepted him as Amy.  He looked at the pile of boys' clothes.  He didn't want to wear them.  Ever again.  He burst into tears.  Mum rushed towards him and put her arms around him.

"I don't want to go back to being Aidan, mum, I want to be Amy!"

Mum kissed him "Then you can be Amy, the loveliest and sweetest daughter any mother could hope to have!  I'll just get rid of these boys' things......"

Sunday 13 January 2013

A Life in Skirts

I live alone and quietly now.  Although I am known to the world as Mr James Parsons and aged 75, I spend most of my time dressed as a woman.  After what seems to be a lifetime spent in skirts, I now find feminine attire more natural to me.

I was born as a male, in the summer of 1897.  As would have been common in those bygone days, I spent my early years in petticoats before being "breeched" at the age of six and then being allowed to graduate to trousers.  I felt a little sorry for girls, who had to continue in skirts and petticoats their entire lives.  It was much better to be a boy in those days.

I spent much of my childhood in the company of my mother.  She was a short, stocky woman, not intellectually clever, but quick witted, good with her hands and a very sensible woman.  Under her guidance, my early childhood was idyllic.

As for my father, I barely saw him and, I am sorry to say, I barely remember him.  He was scarcely ever home and even when he was he seemed to be so preoccupied with his business that he seemed not to know that he had a wife and son.  I was told that he worked "for the government" and that I should not bother him unduly or burden him with questions about his occupation.

I continued to flourish.  I was a bright and clever boy and excelled at all subjects, but most especially languages for which, I was told by my form master, I had a natural gift.  French, German and Latin all came easily to me.  Great things were expected of me in the future.

Shortly after my thirteenth birthday, however, something happened that was to change my life forever.  Something terrible.  My father had disappeared.  I was never to see him again.  I remember the day well.  I rushed home to show mother my report card - which showed I was an exceptionally talented pupil - to find the house in turmoil.  There were well-dressed men searching through everything and mother's eyes were red-rimmed.  She clutched me possessively.

To this day, I do not know what had happened to my father, but it seemed that the government he had been working for now regarded him as some sort of traitor.  Mother was taken away for a while and questioned but as she knew nothing of my father's business, she was soon released.

When Father disappeared, so did the income on which we relied on.  The house we had been living in belonged to the government and so we were required to leave it as soon as we had made alternative arrangements.  Mother scraped enough money together for her to open a shop and we moved far away.

We had somewhere to live and by means of the shop we had an income, but we had gone down in the world.  Instead of the large comfortable house we had previously enjoyed, we now lived above the shop in a few small, barely furnished rooms.  My education, I learnt, had been heavily subsidised by the state due to my father.  That subsidy was of course stopped and so I had to attend the local school instead.  The staff and facilities there were a far cry from my last school.  Moreover, impoverished as we now were, my prospects were far less promising than they had once been.

To my distress, Mother refused to talk about my father.  It had become a forbidden subject.  She seemed to have put him out of her mind entirely. Strong-willed and determined to build a life for herself and me, she quickly opened "Parson's Fashion Emporium".  Mother was very good at making and repairing clothes and she was also an excellent saleswoman.  As we had moved into a working class district, the shop catered for the working class woman.  The display cases were filled with jackets, skirts, corsets, cotton underwear, hats, shoes and gloves.

The early days were difficult as the shop struggled to build up a clientele.  Originally, it had been intended that mother would employ a girl to help her, but this proved to be beyond her means and to my surprise one Saturday morning she came into my room and ordered me out of bed.

"Come on please James, I need you up!"

Blearily, I stirred and rubbed my eyes and then jumped out of bed.  Usually, I was allowed to lie in for as long as I wanted on a Saturday.  I liked Saturdays as it was pocket money day.  I got dressed whilst mother made me breakfast. During breakfast, mother said to me.

"James, I going to need your help in the shop today".

I wasn't happy about this.  I was supposed to be meeting my friends later. It must have shown in my body language for mother said "Don't get all huffy with me, young man.  I've worked seventy hours this week already.  I need a break.  So, I'm going to train you up to mind the shop when I need you to.  Alright?"

It certainly wasn't alright, but I knew better than to argue with my mother.  I always lost.

"Good" mother said, as she sensed I wasn't going to offer any resistance "Once you've finished your breakfast, come to my room".  She got up and left.  When I joined her in her room fifteen minutes later, I was startled to see a pile of clothes on her bed.  They were clearly items of female clothing, but clearly not intended for use by my mother.

Mother looked at me speculatively to gauge my reaction "I'm afraid you will have to wear these" she said, indicating the bundle of clothes "It is not appropriate to have a boy involved in running a women's fashion emporium, so we will circumvent that issue by disguising you as a girl".

I was aghast.  Had my mother gone mad?  Me pass myself off as a girl?  Impossible.  I told mother that her idea was silly and that I wouldn't go along with it.

"Very well, James.  If you want to be difficult, rather than helpful, that is your decision.  But you will get no more pocket money from me!  I cannot afford it any longer, unless you work for it in the shop.  You may go". she said frostily.

But I couldn't go.  Not with mother so obviously displeased with me.  I couldn't go out with my friends and enjoy myself knowing all the time that I would have to return home and face her in a bad mood.  Besides, without my pocket money, I would have no money to spend.

I looked at the pile of girls' things on the bed.  The last thing in the world I wanted to do was have to wear them.  I couldn't think of anything more humiliating.  But I couldn't just leave things like this.

Mother looked at me stonily "I said you can go.  Are you deaf as well as obstinate?"

"Mother" I said tentatively "I want to help you, I really do, but you must see that this idea won't work.  I'm not a girl.  I can't pass for a girl!"

Mother regarded me and a glint came into her eyes "How about a bet then? If you let me dress you up in those things and you don't look like a girl, we'll forget the whole thing and I'll give you your pocket money as normal.  But, if you do look like a girl, then you will agree to co-operate with me and work in the shop and you'll still get your pocket money.  How about it?"

I considered the proposal and it seemed reasonable.  If, as seemed likely, the disguise was a failure I would have pleased mother for trying and could go out with a lighter heart.  So I agreed.

After stripping off my normal boys' clothes, mother gave me a pair of white cotton bloomers to wear.  These weren't so very different from my male underwear except for the ruffled edging and the knowledge that this was female underwear. Then she spun me round and laced me up into one of her old corsets.

All females of that period had to wear a corset.  Girls had to wear them almost from infancy onwards.  One could tell when a girl or woman was corsetted.  The outline and the shape created by it were unmistakeable.  So, as I was to pose as a girl, I had to wear one too.  Mother laced me tightly and I felt my waist contract to a tiny dimension.  I realised that trapped in the corset, things I was used to do like running and bending over would be next to impossible.

Mother next ran some coarse woollen stockings up my legs and attached these to the corset.  They itched maddeningly but it was just like wearing extra long socks.  Mother bade me to put on a plain white blouse, which I did with difficulty as the buttons did up the wrong way.  Mother then got me to step into a long black skirt and layers of cotton petticoats that fell almost to my feet.  Mother then sat me down on the bed and put a pair of black boots on my feet, mercifully with a very small heel.

Whilst still sitting on the bed, mother put a long black wig on me (for my own hair had been cropped short recently) and arranged it around my face.  Then she held up a hand mirror so that I could see the new me.

The change was startling.  With just a change of clothes and a wig, I did look like a girl. "There we are.  I win the bet!" mother said triumphantly.  I had to agree.  I felt very awkward and silly in my new clothes and hair. Mother got me to walk around for a while to get used to it all and coached me in how to walk, how to sit and how to handle my long skirts.

I didn't much like the experience of suddenly becoming a girl.  My clothes were uncomfortable and cumbersome and I yearned for my normal clobber.  It was downright humiliating for a boy to find himself in petticoats and corsets.

Mother sensed my feelings "It'll be hard for you at first" she said soothingly "But it will get better, I promise and you'll be used to it before you know it.  Now, come, I need to show you how to run the shop".

Mother showed me.  I was bright and clever and picked everything up quickly.  Within a few weekends, mother was confident that she could leave me to mind the shop for a few hours whilst she had a rest.  I was also getting used to being a girl.  Wearing corsets and skirts became natural for me, especially as mother had insisted on my wearing my outfit over the whole weekend.  I was even given a girl's name - Polly - that I had to answer to.

Over time, embellishments were made to enhance my feminine appearance.  Small trinkets of jewellery were added, my fingernails were varnished and I wore a light make up to soften and feminise my features.  My clothes were also upgraded.  I wore silk stockings instead of woollen ones and the change was heavenly.  My blouse was now also silk, as were my petticoats, and my skirt was a smartly tailored one.  I made an elegant young lady shop assistant and received compliments on my appearance.

My existence as Polly lasted for a period of eighteen months.  During the week, I was James and went to school as normal and did boy things but at weekends I became Polly and did girl things.  Under my mother's tutelage, I learnt much about feminine deportment, fashion and even how to apply make up.  These, as it turned out, were invaluable lessons for my future career.

Meanwhile, the shop prospered.  With me to help, mother had time to create some gorgeous lingerie and dresses for higher class clients.  These garments were an instant success and soon the shop was doing well enough for mother to employ two real girls to help her.  Polly was no longer needed.  Furthermore, mother was able to rent us a house in a better district.

I reverted to my whole life as a boy with mixed feelings for I had found that life as a part-time girl was actually quite pleasant.  I missed the rigidity and security of corsets and the other pretty, fussy things that went with being a girl.  But, at the end of the day I was a boy who was about to become a man.

When I left school, I was no longer certain what I was going to do.  University was not an option as  we could not afford it.  To my surprise, mother suggested that I come back to work for her.  Not as Polly, but as her under-manager so that I could take over the business as a man one day.  So, for a while, I supervised the girls and learnt what I could from mother about accounts and stock ordering.

My life was then interrupted by the Great War in 1914.  Aged 17, like most young men, I wanted at once to rush to the nearest recruiting office and join up.  Mother, fearing that I would share the same fate as my all but forgotten father, begged me not to.  I heeded her, but could not avoid being conscripted in mid 1916.

After basic training as an infantry soldier, I fully expected to be posted to the front and I also fully expected to become a casualty before long, judging from what I had heard about conditions in the trenches.  In our last week before being shipped off, one of the lads had put together a concert party for the benefit of the troops and asked me to take part.  I played a female part of course and was fully dressed up as a lady of the period.  As I had been a "lady" before, my performance was very convincing and I got rapturous applause from the audience.

The following day, to my surprise, I was summoned to the Commanding Officer's Office.  With the CO was another gentleman in civilian dress, who was introduced as Major Forbes.  It was Forbes who did the talking whilst the CO listened passively.

Forbes started by saying how impressive my performance had been the night before.  I made a very attractive and convincing woman.  This is what had drawn his attention to me apparently.  He had then looked at my service record, which was sparse admittedly at this stage in my military career, but did highlight that I could speak French and German tolerably well.  Forbes tested me on both languages.  I was a little rusty, but acquitted myself well.

Forbes explained that he worked for MI6, an military intelligence unit whose job it was was to procure information from the enemy.  My language skills alone were of interest but my ability to impersonate a woman was of even greater interest.  They had tried to infiltrate the German military with men, with limited success.  Using a real woman was unthinkable at that time.  Women were delicate and fragile creatures, quite unsuited to the work of spying.  I wished Forbes could have met my mother.  It might have changed his opinion.

Anyway, the plan was for me to join MI6, go to Germany incognito as a lady and acquire military secrets.  I would be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, a big promotion, with enhanced pay.  It was probably certain death, I decided, but then so was going to the front line and at least spying would be more interesting, so I accepted.

Weeks of more training followed, not just in fields like cryptology, radio signalling and languages, but feminine fields such as sewing, deportment, typing and voice training.  It was vitally important that I not only look like a woman but sounded like one.

I was dressed up in a very smart jacket, skirt, hat and all of the other accessories and wore silk lingerie and corsetry underneath it all.  I was of course no longer embaressed by my attire.  In fact, I rather enjoyed it.  I made my way to Berlin without difficulty, and under my cover got a job as a stenographer in an army base.  As a civilian employee, I did not have to bunk with other women at least which made things easier.

I spent three months there and obtained a good deal of useful information about troop movements and other data.  No one twigged that I was anything other than a young German woman Stenographer.  It would have been unwise to have kept up the pretence any longer, for the German authorities were tightening up security and were becoming aware that someone at the base must be leaking information.

I rapidly switched identities and moved to another city.  Obtaining a job as a waitress in a top class hotel, which top brass of the German military frequented, I eventually became on good terms with an elderly German General and stole his military secrets.  The General was a sweet man, buying me jewellery, lingerie and expensive clothes.  I wore all of these for him and became to all intents and purposes his girlfriend.  The General was too old to try anything with me.  As far as he was concerned I was just a pretty, dumb waitress who could be made to look fabulous in a nice frock.

Anyway, once the offensive that he was in charge of failed (thanks to me leaking the intelligence back to Blightly), a furious Kaiser sacked him and that was the last I saw of him.  I kept the presents though and moved again, getting another job in another hotel and under a different identity.

Having to live as a woman twenty four seven, with the added pressure that any slip could be fatal, for I would be shot as a spy if detected, became entirely natural now.  Femininity was now my profession and I was splendid at it.  Being more careful not to get involved in any relationships, I simply lifted whatever information the Generals left lying around.  As a Chambermaid, dressed in a very cute uniform with a frilly pinny, this was absurdly easy to do.

There were disadvantages to posing as a woman.  Naturally, the men assumed I was one and treated me like one.  I had my bottom fondled or slapped on a number of occasions, or ended up on a man's knee and other indignities but the men were less of a problem than other women,which whom I had to spend a lot of time and be friendly with, but thankfully none of them seemed to question my gender.  But I was always more nervous around real women, who might sense that I was not in fact a member of their sex.

Partly thanks to my efforts, the Germans were defeated in 1918 and I was able to return to England for the first time in over two years.  Since, MI6 no longer had any use for my talents as a female impersonator, I was discharged.  But I found that simply reverting to my pre war existence as a male was not possible after more than two years living as a woman.

I returned to my mother's shop, which was thriving, and after a long conversation with her about my decision to continue to live as a woman, I went back to the shop floor as one of the girls.  The other girls were made aware of my true identity and were very supportive.  I spent twenty years of happiness working for my mother as a lady shop assistant and spending our spare time as mother and daughter.  I had my own extensive wardrobe with a small section for men's clothing for the times when I had to assume my real identity.

War interrupted my life again in 1939.  This time, the war effort had no need of me to spy for them as an imitation woman as times and attitudes had changed and real women were sent out into the field in this war.  However, my language skills and previous spying experience were still of use and I worked for MI6 once again decoding communications traffic from the German High Command.  My only regret that I was required during this war to re-assume my male attire and identity in order to do the work.  This I did reluctantly for King and Country though I was glad when the war finally ended and I was able to resume my female persona.

My mother died just after the end of the war, leaving her emporium to me.  I ran it as the lady owner for another fifteen years before selling it and retiring on the proceeds.  When I think back over my past life, I am grateful that I was able to spend most of it in skirts.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Paladins & Princesses

Paladins & Princesses - Redefining masculinity in the 21st Century - an article by Simon and Tilda Mason.

As mankind progresses further into the 21st Century, it is hard to avoid the fact that as women have completely redefined their roles and status over the last century, the role and status of men has never been more uncertain.  Men, it has often been said, are in crisis.  They are failing at school, they are losing their jobs and their status as breadwinners and the value of the male sex within society is questionable.  In an age where women can earn their own living, support a family and even have children without needing to involve a man at all, the status of men is under threat.

Men in general are aware of all this, but most stay silent.  There are, however, exceptions and the object of this article is to look at two of these groups.  Neither of them, we should say, are anti-women in the way that many new male rights groups are.  Both the groups being examined are very different from each other, as you will see.

I (Tilda) travelled to a private estate in Texas and met a man who full titles and names are as follows: Sir Maximillian Plantagenet, Grand Master and Rector of the Most Holy Order of the Sacred Cross.  He graciously allowed me to call him Sir Max during my stay with his Order.

"Sir Max" is actually a Texas Oil billionnaire.  He has been married and divorced six times and each of his former wives has left with a six figure fortune.  The failure of his marriages has lead Sir Max to examine his own personality and spirituality. He found these to be lacking and this lead him to setting up the Order.

The setting for the Order is one of the most impressive sights I have ever seen, for Sir Max designed, commissioned and built a massive medieval castle out of authentic medieval stone that was shipped over from Great Britain.  "Camelot" (for that is the name Sir Max selected for the resulting edifice) is like a fairy tale palace.  Stepping into it was like time travelling back into the middle ages.

There is no modern technology here.  Everything is done as it would have been done in medieval times.  The people who live in this fabricated throw back world are seperated by class and gender.  At the top are Sir Max and his knights, all men aged between about 20 and 60, who spend most of their time practising swordplay and jousting, hunting or praying.  Then there are artisans, merchants and servants who provide the infrastructure for this make believe world.  Then there are the women who are mainly of two types - ladies who prance about in expensive dresses and steepled hats - and menial servants who make beds, prepare meals and do the laundry.  Needless to say, without the modern labour saving devices available in our century, many tasks are time consuming and back breaking.

As a female guest, I was to be a lady, rather than a servant.  I had to exchange my 21st Century clothes and accessories for some linen undergarments, a silk dress and a high steepled hat.  My outfit made me appear more feminine, which I suppose was the point, and it was comfortable to wear.  I then spent a week at the court of Sir Max.  I took part in a hunt, medieval banquets, dances and watched the knights joust.  It was all somewhat enjoyable, but the knights seemed to be having more fun.

The knights and, indeed, all men, were very deferential and courteous towards any woman.  When I entered a room, all men present bowed to me and kissed my hand.  At mealtimes, I was "looked after" by a solicitous young knight who would carve my beef for me and serve me dishes.  But at the same time, I found it all demeaning.  In this world, women were given respect and courtesy, but no say in how things were run here.

That was all decided by the Order, who met in secret at regular intervals.  As only men could be knights of the Order, women were of course excluded.  When I interviewed Sir Max, he explained to me that the Order's focus was on male bonding and spirituality.  Men needed to go back to a simpler time to reconnect with masculine values that had been blurred in recent years.

What about the women? I asked. Sir Max said that women needed to go back to traditional feminine values, but that his Order was not the place for this.  I was not sorry when the time came for me to hang up my steepled hat and return to the real world.  Sir Max's "vision" of masculinity is too narrow and does little for women.

More attractive is a new movement, Princesses, which admittedly does not sound like having anything to do with men but which was founded by one.  My husband, Simon, went along to take a look at them.

I (Simon) contacted the founder of Princesses, Roland Forsythe, who is now known as Rosalyn.  Rosalyn was a middle-aged man who wore an extravagent purple evening dress and expensive looking jewellery.  His hair, dyed a rich blonde, fell to his waist, and he was fully made up.  He insisted on my kissing his hand.  Each finger, I noted, was adorned with a ring, and the nails were varnished a deep red colour.  Rosalyn looked every inch a woman.

Rosalyn reminded me of the condition he had laid on giving me an interview and allowing me access to his organisation.  Tilda had helped denude my limbs and chest and so it only remained for me to struggle into the feminine outfit I had brought with me, a knee length black skirt, cream blouse and matching jacket along with all the necessary underwear, accessories and shoes.  The make up and wig were the hardest items to put on but I managed it and tottered out en femme.

Rosalyn complimented me on my new appearance.  I felt very silly and was regretting agreeing to the condition.  He explained that he had founded Princesses based on his own experience and thoughts on the "gender quake" that had been going on for the last 50 or so years.

Beginning life as a traditional male born in the early fifties, Roland had had a good job, a good marriage and children.  He had been the breadwinner and patriarch without question.  Then, in the nineties, he had lost his job in the recession.  His wife managed to find a job and they effectively switched traditional gender roles.  After 30 or so years as top dog, Roland found this hard to take at first and he came close to having a mental breakdown.

Then, having time on his hands, Roland networked with other men in the same position as him and he conducted research into the genderquake.  What he found transformed his thinking.  It was clear that women represented the future leaders of society.  Every statistic he had looked at on the subject of male and female performance supported this conclusion. Men had lost the battle of the sexes and had to live with the consequences of their defeat at the hands of the stronger sex.

A man's place, Roland concluded, was in the home, supporting his wife whilst she built and consolidated her career.  Not only that, but men should give up obsolete notions of masculinity and embrace femininity as the future.  Roland took the drastic step of replacing his entire wardrobe with feminine finery.  He took housework and attention to his personal feminine presentation very seriously.  Even Roland found it humiliating to dress in women's underwear and clothes at first, but his wife was very supportive and shares his vision.

Princesses exists across the USA to help men who are struggling in a world that is becoming increasingly female-dominated (in line with Roland's predictions) to not only get in touch with their feminine side but to take on a traditionally female persona and role in order to support women.  The movement is small but growing steadily.

Rosalyn, who looked very natural and comfortable in her outfit (as opposed to me who found it very difficult to even walk with any confidence), took me to a meeting of a local Princesses.  There were about a dozen men there, most of them dressed as women in a very over the top way.  There was one man who stood out precisely because he was still dressed as a man.  He was, Rosalyn explained, a newbie.  A first time attendee who wanted to see what the movement was about but this attendee looked extremely uncomfortable in the midst of all the cross-dressed men.  Perhaps his wife had made him come.

There were also some women present, who had come along to support their men.  The meeting consisted of a cookery lesson (Salmon Mousse).  Then a member who had designed his own dress for a social modelled it for the benefit of the group to applause.  Rosalyn then gave a talk entitled "The future of masculinity" which was in essence what he had explained to me earlier.  Then the group retired to the bar for social chit chat and gossip.

I looked around the bar at men dressed in evening gowns and cocktail dresses, wearing rather too much make up and perfume, and teetering on high heels and wondered if this was really the future of masculinity.  Have men fallen so far that they must basically become women?  Speaking personally, it was not a future I wanted for myself or my sons.  I had to leave early, as my heels were killing me.

Having seen two very different re-definitions of masculinity, the future course of masculinity in the 21st Century will probably not be quite as extreme as the visions portrayed by the two groups, but what it will be, in an ever changing world, is anyone's guess.