Sixteen Years of Trannies In Trouble

March 22nd, 2019 at 8:02 pm (life in general, los angeles)

Here it is – Sixteen years of Trannies In Trouble! I’m grateful and always a little amazed that the site is still chugging along after those very modest beginnings in 2003.

On the down side, sites like Pornhub and xHamster drive me a little nuts, but they’re here to stay. I have a few online friends who send me notices when they see a new batch of my videos reposted on the tube sites. (Obviously so much of what those sites post is stolen material and it always amazes me from a legal standpoint that they stay in business year after year, but then again it’s “just porn” so there are no real consequences.) Recently I saw one of my videos with Jewell Marceau and me that had over 130,000 viewings on xHamster, and just the other day another one with Star Nine that had over 220,000 viewings! The biggest irony is when viewers watch my stolen videos on those sites and then leave a “thumbs down” rating! I’ve had people ask me, “Well, isn’t it good free publicity?” If there were just an occasional reposted video here and there it wouldn’t make any difference, but at this point it’s become such a widespread problem in the porn business that it’s made piracy the norm. I’ll admit though I do plan to make a Pornhub account to at least post my free preview videos. I might as well try to get a little traffic out of it. We’ll see.

But I don’t want to be all negative. It is pretty amazing to me that my site is still going, even if from a business point of view it has experienced a decline. But I get it. As I’ve said before, the whole naughty website business has on average seen a downturn this decade for a number of reasons, with the tube sites and social media being only one part of the story, as well as changing online habits and the huge increase in smartphones. But I’m still in the game. And yes, my current mp4 videos are viewable on smartphones, which is part of the reason I switched to that format in late 2016.

As always I do want to say to the paying members: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can’t do it without your support and I really appreciate each of you. Every sign-up, even just for a month or two, makes a difference and keeps the site going. I hope my material is worth it.

I am hoping to continue on to year seventeen and hopefully far beyond – with my fingers crossed. I’m always open to feedback and suggestions and new ideas for scenarios. And I’m always on the lookout for new models and new locations to shoot at in Southern California. I’d like to shoot a few scenes this year that are more revealing (more panty bulges and maybe even a few fully exposed shots), so anyone who has a nice put-together look and who might be interested in something a little more naughty, send me an email. While I can’t always shoot with everyone, I always give honest and considerate feedback, and for those who would be a good fit on the site I definitely want to hear from you! In the meantime, I’m going to keep cranking it out and hope to see you back here next year at this time…Stay safe and keep it tight! Hugs, Sandra

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Classy Lady Delilah Returns! / Plus Online Interview at Your Kinky Friends

February 27th, 2019 at 9:25 pm (life in general, los angeles)

I’m excited to be posting a new gallery with my friend Delilah Knotty to close out the month! We shot these a couple years ago and I’ve been holding onto them till a good time, which is now, since Delilah also just did a nice interview with Nicholas Tanek over on his website, “Your Kinky Friends.” Check her out!

I hope you like the new gallery – it’ll be a hot one with tight hemp rope and several gags, including a super tight OTM gag over a stuffed cleave gag to keep her quiet!

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Sybil Minnelli Returns!

January 29th, 2019 at 8:34 pm (life in general, los angeles)

It’s been a few years since I’ve seen my friend Sybil Minnelli, so I was thrilled when she was able to spend a weekend recently in L.A. We were able to get together with our friend Ikaras Jones, who brought a bunch of rope and helped us out with some picture taking. It was a blast doing some new bondage scenes and just hanging out. Sybil was looking as incredible as ever. She has the best outfits with her amazing stockings and retro lingerie! Here are a few preview shots, with the black and white pic taken on her phone. Ikaras and I put her in rope bondage, mummified her, and finished up with an intense Hitachi scene. I don’t think she minded too much…More coming soon!

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2018 Quickly Draws to a Close

December 19th, 2018 at 1:46 pm (life in general, los angeles)

2018 has been an interesting year for me and a good one! As I mentioned earlier I signed up with a new healthcare plan which helped me get back into therapy. I’ve been in therapy a number of times over the years and I highly recommend it (as long as it’s a good therapist whom you feel some rapport with). Just to be able to share stuff openly and not keep it inside – it’s been a huge relief for me.

I also mentioned on Twitter an interesting podcast series about Pornhub and the effect it’s had on the porn business. It’s called “The Butterfly Effect” and it’s fascinating, although, hey, I’d listen to it just to hear the host, Jon Ronson, and his Welsh accent. (Here it is on iTunes)

photo by Michael Keye

One of the takeaways from the podcast is that sites like Pornhub (as well as social media in general), have created an atmosphere where many consumers now feel that naughty pics and videos should be free. Of course this has had a negative effect on the porn and fetish website businesses. It didn’t really hit me till about three years ago but I certainly have noticed a downturn, which I’ve alluded to before. It helps that I have a very specialized website, so not all my stuff gets reposted (though a lot of it does). I never scold anyone when they write and tell me how much they love seeing my stuff on the tube sites, but I always nicely explain that those videos are all stolen and pirated. And besides, I understand how it is. I used to watch old bondage videos myself on the German site MyVideo till I finally gave up the habit. And soon after that the site changed its format anyway. I really doubt, though, that very many people here reading this blog look at my stuff on the tube sites anyway, as so many of the comments here are from regular viewers of my site or people I know.

I say this every year, but I do really appreciate each of you here who are currently members of my site or have been in the past. Without your support it would not happen (or it would just be a fraction of what it is now with an occasional update). So thank you so much! And I understand too if joining a paysite like mine just isn’t in the budget – I know how it is. I’m definitely still in the bondage game, though, and I plan to keep going for as long as I can. I’m actually more excited about the coming year than I have been in a long time. Maybe the world is going to hell and California may burn to the ground, but in the meantime I’m looking forward to shooting some hot new stuff in 2019 (even if it is among the embers!)

On a more serious note, earlier this year after Anthony Bourdain’s and Kate Spade’s deaths I did write a heavy blog post on mental health issues and suicide. I got some really nice responses from people. And then I started to feel self-conscious about what I had written and I even considered taking it down. I was worried that I said too much. I didn’t want to come across as though I defined myself by my suffering, and I didn’t want to sound like I was too “troubled.” But from the emails I got I know that the blog post touched some readers so I decided to leave it up. I still have days that are a struggle, when it can feel like a real grind to get anything done, but I’m actually doing much better than when I wrote that post and I feel like I’m ending the year on a nice upswing.

I hope that everyone out there reading this is hanging in there and doing okay. In spite of the craziness of the world that we live in I do think it’s going to be a good year for many of us, so I hope we all stick around for another one. In the meantime, keep it tight and hide those knots from prying fingers. See you all in 2019! Hugs, Sandra



photo by Delilah Knotty

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Dreams of Love and Lust

November 29th, 2018 at 10:21 pm (life in general, los angeles)

Talking about dreams is usually boring as hell but I’m going to do it anyway, so forgive me if this is a snooze. A couple times a year I’ll have a dream where I’ve met a mysterious woman who’s really into me, or who gives off that vibe, and whom I also find attractive. I’m almost always in “boy mode” myself though I think there have been a few exceptions. Usually it’s a scene where we’ve just met and I’m tiptoeing around my feelings, unsure of whether to own up to just how attracted I am to her. In some of them, though, the woman approaches me and her presence is intoxicating. Usually there’s nothing explicit going on but the atmosphere is highly charged. In a few of them we have been in bed in an embrace, or she’s put her hand on my cheek looking into my eyes, or my hand will be on her leg. Something big is about to happen but it hasn’t happened yet. But there’s always a feeling of, “How lucky I am to have finally met this person and to be here in this moment alone with her…”

Just a week or two ago I had one of these dreams, with a woman wearing a satin blouse and shiny skirt, like in the picture below, very voluptuous, practically coming on to me. In the back of my mind I knew I’d have to tell her I’m a crossdresser and I wasn’t sure how she’d respond. I was a little worried but feeling completely swept up in the moment. Again the atmosphere was so charged and I could see her legs and her stockings through the slit in her skirt. The curves of her body pressed tight against the clothes.

At this point I’ll usually wake up and then go, “Damn it, I’m awake!” And then the sadness hits. There’s such a feeling of connection, followed by the thought that I may never feel something like this in real life. I lie there just wanting to be dreaming again. These occasional dreams are by far the most powerful ones I have, like a brief moment when life feels perfect but, alas, they’re not real. I only hope I have one again soon. Maybe by writing about them I’ll trigger some more. Otherwise it could be another six months. It’s worth the wait…Nite Nite.

Photo by AmberKatt

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West Hollywood Halloween, 2018

November 2nd, 2018 at 12:43 am (life in general, los angeles)

I had a great time last night in West Hollywood. Most everyone I know who usually goes was skipping it this year because it was a weekday night, so I grabbed my camera and went solo and had a fun time shooting a little video. Towards the end of the night I was even able to connect with Ikaras, Lorelei from Bedroom Bondage, and Jon Woods from American Damsels. So there’s even some bondage shots in the video! I was really glad to make it again since I’ve had to skip the last couple years. Another one all wrapped up!

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Video Preview Clips Redone

October 28th, 2018 at 3:14 pm (life in general, los angeles)

It took me long enough but I finally re-edited the free preview video clips over on the site. The old ones definitely needed a workover. These little clips really take a long time to put together, the toughest part being just finding the right moments in the various videos that work well for a one- or two-second shot. It’s nice to finally have these updated and looking better. Really hoping to get another one done before the end of the year…

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Another Humiliating Scene on the TInT News Network

September 25th, 2018 at 6:08 pm (life in general, los angeles)

I can always count on LordIce to dig up some new humiliating scenes where everyone on the web can see what I’ve done! I posted this one over on Twitter recently, definitely a new favorite :-) Thanks, LordIce!

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Hogtied and Posture Collared!

September 3rd, 2018 at 10:29 am (life in general, los angeles)

While updating my new computer and switching over to Windows 10 I found another video from 2015 that I had completely forgotten about! The still pictures from this scene are on the site and now the video is too. Delilah Knotty tied the hell out of me on this one, which is what she does! It was totally inescapable, especially once that hogtie was all cinched down…Sexy and intense!

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“Remember These Pics?”

August 27th, 2018 at 9:10 pm (life in general, los angeles)

I recently had to upgrade to a new computer and I’ve learned that Windows 10 has this odd habit of sending you occasional notifications about old files and folders on your computer. I got one the other day asking about some old pictures from around 2014. The second one I’d completely forgotten about, shot by my friend GW with some nice moody lighting. And the first one was just a casual pic that I shot while feeling sexy in my latex skirt and tight sweater. This was after a photoshoot earlier that day, and I recently posted more of these over on the site. So, yes, thanks, Windows 10! Now I DO remember these pics!

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More Animated GIFs from Twitter

July 26th, 2018 at 2:45 pm (life in general)

I’ve been posting more of these sexy animated Gifs over on Twitter and thought I’d share a few more over here, featuring Allison Li, Anna Sky, Ashley A., Bella Hart, Cassie Woods, and Miki Lee. I am always amazed at some of the responses I get from people, where just a four- or five-second clip can be so sexy! I’ve also been working on some new video techniques and am shooting with a new camera so there should be some even larger-sized videos coming soon if all goes as planned. More to come! :-)

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In an Eeyore State of Mind

June 19th, 2018 at 3:12 pm (life in general)

(After the recent suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, I rewrote this blog post that I’d been working on, basically an update from my earlier post about depression back in 2016. It’s a heavy subject but I try to end on a hopeful note. It won’t interest everyone so I won’t be offended if you decide to skip this one. I’ll be back to writing about bondage again soon.)

Earlier this year I had to change my health insurance and, to my pleasant surprise, the new plan covers some visits to see a therapist. I’ve been in therapy many times over the years but it had been a while, so it’s really nice to be seeing someone again and to be able to talk freely about things.

After going through a very thorough intake interview in March, I was finally diagnosed with dysthymia – a low-level persistent depression that hangs on for at least two years, with at least some depression symptoms occurring more days than not. It used to be classified as a “personality disorder,” which sounds so stigmatizing, as if you’re just a permanently fucked-up person. Later changed to a mood disorder, it was most recently renamed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the bible of mental health professionals, as “persistent depressive disorder.”

One blog I saw recently refers to it as “the depression that stays hidden,” or simply as high-functioning depression. It’s basically like having the personality of Eeyore. I have good days and bad, and I hide it well, although on bad days I may seem overly quiet and inward. I am still able to feel joy and have a good time – things aren’t always bleak – but as I’ve written in this blog before I’ve probably been dealing with this since I was a child.

There is something strange about seeing a mental health diagnosis written down, as if to say, “Well, you always knew there was something wrong with you. Here it is.” Something else that I’ve struggled with for years, social anxiety disorder, was also listed on that sheet of paper. Neither diagnosis surprised me in the least.

I’ve never been actively suicidal but, as I’ve touched on before, I have had suicidal ideation for decades, starting back when I was about nine years old. I remember getting out of bed one morning to get ready for school, and as I walked into the bathroom to pee this wave of sadness and futility came over me and I wished I were dead. Since then over the decades I’ve had similar “death thoughts” probably thousands of times. When things are stressful my mind can easily go to those dark places, sometimes very dark.

Like many people, I was shocked and saddened by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s death by suicide, and Kate Spade’s just a few days earlier. Suicide has always been one of my biggest fears, so whenever I hear about someone actually going through with it, it hits close to home. Of course, with someone like Anthony Bourdain, who just seemed so cool and put together, it’s especially troubling.

Another suicide last year that really shook me up was that of pro-domme and fetish model January Seraph. I had never met her but again, from the outside, she seemed to have such a successful life and career, although she was open about the dark side and her ongoing struggles with depression. Her Twitter feed ominously ended with, “This is the last thing I was working on before The Nothing took hold.” Since last summer there have also been several other suicides and drug overdoses by models in the fetish and porn scenes, with several articles talking about the disturbing trend.

Obviously talk about mental health issues makes many people uncomfortable. There’s a huge stigma around mental disorders and especially suicide. I get it. It touches on our own darkness, and our potential for self-annihilation, which is frightening to consider. We all know that life could take a turn and beat us up so badly that we give in to despair. Suicide has always seemed to me like a temporary madness that takes over, and I have great respect for just how dangerous that impulse can be. One way I try to resist the stigma is to be open here about my own experiences with depression. Keeping the dark things hidden feeds the shame and self-loathing that so easily grow when deep down inside you feel like a damaged person.

Let me be clear again that I have no plans to kill myself. In my own case I’m talking about suicidal ideation versus actually offing myself, though I know my risk is higher than the average person, which is why I plan to never own a firearm and to do everything I can to minimize that risk. When I was going through a tough spell earlier this year, I even vowed to myself never to take my own life regardless of future circumstances. I hope that makes a difference in the end. Life is tragic enough without ending it like that, and I’d hate to have people on Twitter and Facebook writing, “Hey, did you hear about Sandra?”

So I cope, and I do pretty well though I can’t say I’ve ever felt cured of depression. I’ll have times – a few weeks when things are going well – and I’ll think, “Hey, maybe I’m getting this thing under control.” But the low moods, anxiety, and that empty feeling in my chest always seem to return. At this point I suspect it’ll be a life-long thing that I deal with, with ups and downs, although thankfully I’ve never been manic or bipolar, just a gloomy Gus.

But I consciously do a lot of positive things to manage it, some of which – keeping a gratitude journal – are easy to roll one’s eyes at. Corny as it sounds, though, that journal really does help. I also exercise regularly, meditate daily, try to eat my vegetables and drink more water, get a good night’s sleep (not easy since I often get insomnia), and try to watch my rumination and negative self-talk (again, not easy at all). I always look forward to the holidays too, with October through December usually being my best time of the year. I just really like Christmas!

Although dysthymia is a mental disorder, I’m a little skeptical to think of it as a disease in the same way that diabetes is a disease – for example, there is no blood test for dysthymia. And after all these years psychiatrists still don’t really know the underlying causes of mental illness. I’m no expert but it seems to me that this uncertainty just points to the complexity of causes – physical, social and psychological – behind mood disorders.

In my own case, there’s also the whole question of gender. I’ve never been particularly happy with being a man, but I also don’t really feel like I’m a woman. And while I don’t think about gender all the time it does often feel like a weird limbo state. I’ve thought it over many times but going back and starting over again with two X chromosomes somehow doesn’t seem like a particularly viable option.

A few people have asked me, why aren’t you taking medication? It’s a valid question. I actually did take Prozac for many years, and later Wellbutrin too, but after the first year I didn’t get much response from the drugs, which is an all-too-common outcome especially with milder forms of depression. Martin Seligman, the father of the field of positive psychology, points out that one of the dirty little secrets of psychiatry is just how often the drugs don’t work, with only a third of people taking them getting full remission of symptoms. For those lucky souls who get a good response the drugs do make a huge difference. But that leaves two thirds who get no relief from medication or only partial relief.

Although the verdict is still out, there’s even some evidence that long-term use of antidepressants where only partial remission occurs (which is what I experienced) can actually lead in some cases to a permanent depressive syndrome. There’s no way to know if anything like that happened to my brain chemistry but I do regret taking Prozac for so many years when it really wasn’t doing all that much. Having said that, I still follow the research on some of the newer drugs in development, such as Ketamine. It’s bizarre to think that a form of the club drug Special K would ever be used to treat depression, but if it gets good results in the drug trials I wouldn’t completely rule out trying something new.

In his book “Lost Connections,” Johann Hari argues that our modern world with its isolation and lack of social support is making so many of us miserable. Here in the United States, deaths from suicide now outpace deaths from traffic fatalities – close to 45,000 per year according to the Centers for Disease Control – with an increase of 25 percent in suicide rates since 1999 and thousands more failed attempts. The World Health Organization (WHO) now lists depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide, with a global increase of 20 percent in just the last ten years. CNN reported after Anthony Bourdain’s death that the WHO “estimates a global suicide rate of one death every 40 seconds, which by 2020 they predict will increase to one every 20 seconds.” As many have pointed out, something is deeply wrong.

But I don’t want to end on a completely bleak note. Collectively the world may be fucked but individually there’s still connection and beauty and meaning. Simple moments connecting with friends and family, or having one of those rare perfect days when the sun sets and all feels right with the world – I find those times do make it worthwhile. My fears of the future and of eventual decrepitude may tell me otherwise, but in the end I believe the struggle is worth it and that there’s a dignity in continuing on.

I may be a little nuts, but I’m still here and I hope to stick around. Keep the faith…Sandra

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More from Trannies In Trouble Network News!

June 2nd, 2018 at 12:32 pm (life in general, los angeles)

LordIce just sent me another cute and kinky digital manipulation. Lots of bondage in the news lately!

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Digital Manipulations from LordIce

May 24th, 2018 at 6:20 pm (life in general, los angeles)

Recently I got these clever digital manipulations from LordIce, who contacted me over on Yahoo. I really love both of these, and that humiliating “slut-shaming” scenario from the local news made me laugh, which Delilah just dismissed as #fakenews over on Twitter ;-) In any case, LordIce is working on some more. I’ll look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

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My Photobooks on the Kindle – Free Giveaway!

April 20th, 2018 at 9:21 am (life in general, los angeles)

I just posted my two photobooks over on Amazon for the Kindle reader and I’m doing a five-day free giveaway – free to download and keep, all yours. I’m hoping to get a few reviews over on Amazon and in turn get a little more publicity for Trannies In Trouble. If you don’t have a Kindle you can still look at them with the Kindle App on Amazon, for viewing on your computer…Here’s a link to my Amazon page, big-deal author that I am ;-) Thanks! ~Sandra

Cover designs by Treiops Treyfid

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Fifteen Years of Trannies In Trouble!

March 23rd, 2018 at 7:11 am (life in general, los angeles)

I’ve been looking forward to the fifteen-year anniversary of the website for some time now. I’m kind of blown away that I’ve been doing this for so long and at the same time it seems sort of inevitable that it’s still going. Like what else would I do? Of course if it didn’t pay for itself and pay the bills, I’d probably have to go back to my former career as a much-sought-after office temp, or maybe end up working as a very twisted home health care aide. But for now, crossdressing bondage is a better choice.

Last year I also started making some animated gifs to post over on Twitter to help promote the videos on the site. These are a lot of fun and here’s a little selection below. It’s amazing how sexy these little snippets can be.

Every year when we hit this new anniversary I always wonder if the site will still be here next year at this time. I figure it probably will be but I never take it for granted. As I’ve mentioned before, the website business just isn’t what it used to be, as there’s just an endless stream of free stuff out there. I’m still hanging in there and plan to keep going for as long as I can. But it is a fairly insane way to make a living. As always, though, I want to thank everyone who supports the site now or has supported it in the past. I would never be able to do this without the paying subscribers, even those who have been on the site for only a month or two. So thank you all! I mean it. And if you’ve ever wanted to check out the site in more detail, the sign-up link is over here. It’s easy to cancel at anytime, and I answer emails directly if there are any technical or billing concerns that ever come up.

It’s been quite a ride and I hope to make it to year sixteen and then (who knows?) on to year twenty – that would really blow my mind! We’ll see you along the way…Keep it tight! Hugs, Sandra

18 Comments

Ashley A. Gets a Surprise Visitor

March 20th, 2018 at 9:45 am (life in general, los angeles)

Ashley A. was just back in town and I had a great time shooting with her again. We shot this week’s upcoming scene in a small place in Venice, CA. It was one of those photoshoots where everything just came together, and the update coincides nicely with the upcoming fifteen-year anniversary of Ts in Trouble. Ashley was looking sexy as ever in her cool leggings, short shorts, and lace-up booties, and she handled the bondage like a pro, being tightly tied up with her hands taped up, panties filling her mouth and layers of clear tape sealing up her lips. This gurl was seriously tied up!! The video turned out great, if I can say so myself, and has a bit of an edge to it, with Ashley waiting on a girlfriend who never shows up, instead being surprised by some junkie looking to nab some cash, played by a very creepy Otto Devoid. Looks like Ashley was in the wrong place at the wrong time! I’m really excited about this set of pics, coming up in just a few days!

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Chinese New Year Gone Bad…with Kaitlynn

February 25th, 2018 at 11:56 am (life in general, los angeles)

Just a couple of weeks ago Kaitlynn Nguyen and I shot a fun Chinese New Year-themed set of pictures, where she wears her classy cheongsam-style dress for a party but instead ends up tied up overnight in a back-closet and then gets stuffed in a car trunk to be transported for shipping overseas.

Kate and I actually had access to a garage where we could discreetly tie her up, and then once the sun went down we really did drive around with her locked in the trunk. Of course, this is a high-risk stunt, so I was very careful about how she was tied and gagged and I was extremely careful on the road and only stayed on quiet streets near our location. It’s not like I was going to go screaming down an L.A. freeway, though that would be a pretty hot fantasy.

This set of pics should go up on the site probably in a couple weeks, and we’re already thinking about how we could do it again with maybe a battery powered light in the trunk and a small video camera to record some of the ride. We’ll see if we can pull it off on a future update. In any case if you ever decide to do something like this, just be careful about it. It is rather crazy and all kinds of things could go wrong and even lead to police involvement, which none of us wants. It was one of the most exciting rides I’ve ever taken, I’ll admit. I suspect Kate would agree ;-)

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More Vivian Chen in the New Year!

January 24th, 2018 at 1:16 pm (life in general, los angeles)

I had a real fun time last weekend shooting some new pics and videos with Vivian Chen. She was looking amazing as always in these cute new dresses (and pretty sassy with that red hair in the first one!) We did something a little different with Vivian getting to practice as an escape artist (not getting too far) and then interviewing for a position as a hypnotist’s assistant. I just posted a gallery with Vivian so it’ll be a while till these go up on the site but I’m looking forward to them. She really got into it and as always made a great damsel.

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Getting Started with Dressing (and What I Wish I’d Done)

December 26th, 2017 at 7:15 pm (life in general, los angeles)

One of the common mistakes about crossdressing that I made when I was young was thinking that I had to find someone to help me buy clothes and do my makeup. It is indeed easier if you know someone, but there’s still a lot you can do on your own when you’re just starting out. I definitely waited longer than I should have, but frankly I was just scared and lacked confidence in pretty much everything. At the same time, though, growing up in the 70s it really was a different world before the internet came along. I never even knowingly met another CD until well into my thirties! Now there are so many opportunities to talk to people online, and maybe even meet some of them. And there are tons of free makeup videos on YouTube. One of my regrets is that I never dressed seriously in my twenties. OMG, I would kill to have been taking pictures at that age! But it just wasn’t in the cards. I was so confused and moody when I was young, just kind of drifting through life. Looking back I wasted a lot of time and missed a lot of opportunities. So in a way this blog post is written to that confused kid all those years ago and what I wish I’d done back when I was getting out of high school.

Of course I don’t want to come off like the old fart dispensing wisdom, BUT if I were to give any advice to those starting out it would be not to wait, but to start playing around with makeup and getting some outfits together even if you have to do it on your own. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact simple is better when you’re just starting out. I wrote a little thing on dressing tips several years ago here (which probably needs to be updated), but knowing what I know now here’s the simplified version of what I’d do:

To start out I’d shave my legs and my whole body, or as much as I could get away with. Of course I didn’t have much body hair back then so it wouldn’t be a big deal. Then I’d get some inexpensive makeup from Target or the dollar store to practice with while watching YouTube videos. Then I’d slowly acquire some simple outfits, starting out with tight-fitting shapewear and pantyhose – Legg’s pantyhose has a nice sheen and are pretty inexpensive. For a bra I’d probably just stuff it with panties or birdseed in used pantyhose legs till I had the money for breast forms (I was broke back then). And finally I’d look for some cute outfits again at Target or the thrift store or on Ebay, maybe even something like leggings with a houndstooth pattern, for example, or tight skinny jeans, which can be a sexy casual look if you can pull it off. And of course I’d also get a wig or two on Ebay, definitely with bangs, or from discount wig stores online.

None of this has to be very expensive. The main thing that’s required is to just sit down and practice with the makeup and the clothes until you start to put together a “look” for yourself. And then the next step is to eventually work up the courage to go out dressed, maybe to a munch if you’re in a decent-sized city, or going to clubs with friends, or just going out alone if you have to (and trying to be safe). If I’d had the sense to do all this when I was young I would have been on top of the world and not even known it. But like I say, I didn’t have a clue back then and didn’t know where to start. In any case, that’s my take on what I should have done all those years ago – it seems really obvious to me now! If you’re closer to my age and grew up before the internet, let me know what your experiences were like starting out and at what age you became more active with dressing. I hope this maybe helps someone out there a little bit…Hugs, Sandra

photos by Delilah Knotty

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