More from My Husband Betty

I just finished My Husband Betty the other night, and it’s excellent – I would say probably the best and most honest discussion of crossdressing that I’ve read so far. But some of it made me depressed as hell.

The author, Helen Boyd, was talking about how the sex lives of crossdressers and TVs are often one of the least understood areas of their lives. She talked about three common issues that she’s often heard about from couples where the husband is a TV. I’m single and haven’t dated a genetic woman in several years, but I saw a lot of myself in her comments: 1, a lot of TVs want to be seduced or submissive in bed; 2, some TVs develop more of an interest in masturbation than in sex with a partner; and 3, some TVs become asexual with their partners, especially if married, and shy away from sex altogether.

She also touched on the fear of women that some TVs have and how masturbation may feel safer than the risk of being rejected by a woman for being a “pervert.” I can relate in varying degrees to all those things. I’m definitely a masturbator and live out my sex life through my fantasies. I figure that’s why I like to take bondage pictures so much. It plays right into my sexual “thing.” And I’ve often had that feeling that it’s too much of a hassle to try to date “real” women. There’s that voice in my head that says, “Well, they’re either not going to want me because I’m a tranny, or if they do want me, they’ll smother me and demand so much time and attention that finally I’ll get tired of it and leave.” I’m such a loner and have spent so much time looking at bondage pictures, and though there’s nothing wrong with that, I sometimes get a feeling of, “Gee, is my obsession with bondage taking me away from a real relationship with another person – male or female?”

I meet a fair number of people in the L.A. kink community and get to play quite a bit. But it’s been a while since I can say I’ve had a really close girlfriend or boyfriend. Do I go out with men and other TVs because I’m too scared of real women? I wonder. Reading this book I got to thinking about such things and started getting into a groove of doubt and self pity. I have friends and family and people in my life who love me, but then I’ll get to feeling sorry for myself and that old, “Oh, I’m-all-alone” routine will come up in my head. Usually I snap out of it pretty quickly. But this book raised some interesting and troubling questions – questions that I could probably never completely answer but worth looking at. Highly recommended.

Book Signing Last Night

Last night I went out to Threshold for a talk / book signing with Joan Kelly, whose book, “The Pleasure’s All Mine” just came out. It’s about her experiences working as a professional submissive in the bdsm scene. It was a really great evening. At first the turnout was very small but it picked up as it went on. Joan was thoughtful, charming and funny. I had to buy a copy and just started it, and it’s really good.

I could relate to a lot of what she says about the difficulties in finding a kinky relationship that works for her, and some of her discomfort with “The Scene” in general – for example, guys who wanted her to address them as “Master” and how it made her feel silly. Or trying to find a relationship that would leave her satisfied but not feeling personally abused or diminished as a person. She’s a really good writer too and it’s a fast and enjoyable read. I’d highly recommend it for anyone with any interest in alternative sexuality.

I saw some familiar faces and had a nice time, and I wore my tight red spandex jeans that always make me feel sexy.


I’d heard that this movie was really intense and horrifying, so I figured it was my kind of thing. Unfortunately I wasn’t that impressed by it. It is indeed terribly gory, really a vile movie, but it’s actually so explicit that for me it finally lost it’s impact and was, well, kind of boring.

The idea is promising: Two young American dudes (who are total jerks) go backpacking in Europe and end up in this hostel where some really bad stuff happens. There’s some pretty obvious political irony to it that’s kind of amusing. With the United States being so unpopular in much of the world right now, it’s kind of like every American’s worst nightmare of visiting Europe – ending up in a torture chamber and being tormented by vicious Euro-sadists.

But as a horror movie, I couldn’t recommend this one. It’s of the “more is more” camp of horror movies. Nothing’s left to the imagination and finally it becomes kind of numbing and not much fun and never particularly scary, just gross.

The “making of” feature on the DVD wasn’t too good either. It didn’t look like the cast and crew were having a very good time on it, just another miserable film shoot with long days and little sleep.

National Honesty Day

It looks like one of my favorite holidays, National Honesty Day, is close approaching. No, to be honest it’s not a favorite holiday but still a pretty cool concept. I’m sometimes struck by all those hundreds of white lies that we all tell through the course of the day, such as “How are you?” “Oh, I’m fine,” when I’d really like to cry or scream real loud.

Then there’s all the sexual lies and withholding that come with being a transvestite and a bondage fetishist. The crappy thing about being sexually different is that it teaches you to lie from such an early age and it becomes such second nature. I find even now that most everyone in my life knows that I’m a TV, I’ll still keep things secret that I don’t even have to anymore. It just comes so easily.

Or those times when someone asks a perfectly innocuous question, like I’ll be at a club and someone asks, “How long have you been coming here.” And for some unknown reason I’ll have this impulse that saying the truth, (say, two years), is somehow dangerous, and without even knowing why I’ll find myself myself saying, “Oh, about eight month.” Why did I even do that? It doesn’t even matter, but I lie and don’t know why I’m doing it.

So honesty is sometimes on my mind, though I fall short all the time. But maybe April 30th will be a good day to practice. Self help guy Brad Blanton, who wrote the Radical Honesty books, makes the nice point that in the short run honesty often does make things worse – more difficult and complicated – but in the long run it makes things easier. It allows you to deal with reality and the “way things are.” A tough philosophy to pull off.

More Rope Demo

Last night’s bondage demo turned out to be really cool and the traffic wasn’t so bad after all. It was held at a place in Orange County called the Palatial Mansion and the lovely Emma Hui gave a great talk and demonstration on her love of rope bondage. Delilah made it too so we got to tie each other up and later tour the place, which was new to both of us. Emma was really skilled and a lot of fun, and there was some talk that the OCLA they might do a monthly bondage class. A fun evening.

Rope Demo

It looks like it’s off to Orange County tonight. There’s a group called the Orange Coast Leather Assembly that’s doing some kind of rope bondage demo / class tonight, so I figure I better go and see if I can pick up some pointers. I’ve never been to this group before, mainly because of the traffic. Crawling down the 5 at this hour will probably be pretty bad. We shall see.

The Lodge – Yet Again

Since the Lodge in N. Hollywood (which hosts the weekend “Club Girl Talk” nights) is closing soon, my good friend Kim and I went out Saturday. I’ve always had really mixed feelings about the place. I’ve met some really great friends there (including Kim) and have had some pretty good times. But I’ve also had many dreadful evenings too – feeling lonely and out of touch, getting felt up and creepily hit on, and damaging my ears to the overly-loud music on the dance floor. I really can’t stand clubs but have been out so many times. And once the TG crowd finds a new Saturday night place I’ll likely be there too, and most likely will still be asking, “Why?”

Webcam with Domina Delilah

I’ve been so busy lately, but finally have the chance to post some pictures from the webcam chat the other night. I started out with some fairly elaborate self bondage, which was interrupted by my good friend Domina Delilah. As the night went on I later had the chance to turn the tables on her. Her treatment must have brought out the aggressive bitch in me, as I roughly handled her and tied her up extra tight. She even commented on it later.

More on Meeting People

Another thing about meeting people, I’ve often found that if they live nearby and it’s possible to do it AND they seem to be someone you might like to know better, it’s usually best to meet soon after you start emailing each other. Otherwise it’s so easy to fall into the habit of carrying on an email relationship that can go on for years and years. I always find that the longer I wait to meet someone it always seems to be harder to get together. And I know I’m not very good at keeping up with email.

Recently I had the experience of talking to someone through email and within a week we were down at the Pico Blvd. Baskin Robbins enjoying a nice Jamoca / Coffee refreshment. It was really nice. And we weren’t meeting to jump in the sack or anything, but just to see if we had anything at all in common in terms of our personalities and our crossdressing and/or bondage interests. If we don’t, that’s cool and if we do, that’s fabulous. As some character said in one of those Muppet movies, “People’s peoples.”

Great Date Meeting Place: Baskin Robbins

I’ve met a fair amount of people through the internet and my absolute favorite place for meeting people in real life is Baskin Robbins. I’ve gone there in both boy mode and casual girl mode (no six inch heels), and it always works great. Everyone likes ice cream and if you’re watching your weight you can get the soy / low fat stuff, which is really good. There’s no pressure at all and none of the attitude that you often get in bars. If it’s not going well you can easily cut it short, and if you get stood up you still get: Ice Cream!

What’s on my Nightstand

I just started reading Helen Boyd’s book, “My Husband Betty,” and have really been enjoying it. She takes a really clear-eyed look at her experiences being married to a crossdresser. She’s very honest about her mixed and complex feelings on the subject, both good and bad. (Betty’s really cute too, by the way.)

I appreciated her comments about how some crossdressing groups, in particular Tri-Ess, seem to deny that there’s any sexual element to crossdressing, which has always seemed to me to be ignoring reality. She makes the point that if that’s so, then “Why do crossdressers spend so much time looking at lingerie catalogs?” Pretty funny and so true.

Now I don’t want to slam Tri-Ess. I think it’s a helpful organization for many people and some of my good friends are members. I’ve even been to a couple meetings, but being bisexual and definitely having a sexual thing for the dressing left me feeling like I didn’t really belong there. Sure, as I’ve grown older, dressing isn’t only about getting off sexually anymore, but I can’t deny the roots of it, which for me is certainly a sexual fetish. I remember being eight years old and getting an erection thinking about girls’ clothes and being tied up in them.

Now that I’m in my forties I have pierced ears and wear a purple watch that’s obviously pretty girly, even when I’m in boy mode. And there’s no sexual thrill there. But I do have a hard time figuring out where the fetish ends and the transgenderism begins. It all seems so mixed together. And it seems to become more of an obsession as I get older – not in a red-hot “Oh my god” I-have-to-jack-off sort of way – but rather as a quieter but fairly constant thing that’s so often on my mind as I go about my day. It can really be a pain in the ass sometimes to constantly be checking out what women are wearing and so often daydreaming about ways to bring more and more of the femme presentation into my life, and just generally being self-absorbed with the subject. Would I be a happier person if I wasn’t a crossdresser? I don’t know.

Subtlety at the Industry of Death Museum

My friend Kim and I recently went to the bizarre Scientology anti-psychiatry museum that recently opened in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. It’s quite an experience and the building and displays are pretty impressive. Obviously there’s plenty of room to criticize psychiatry, but they seem to get a bit carried away. I’d say the most effective parts of the museum are the displays on abuses in mental hospitals and the horrors of lobotomies and other bizarre treatments from the past. Their criticism of psychiatric drugs makes some good points too. Hell, I’m on Prozac myself and want to get off it eventually.

But the odd thing about the museum is how absolute their total condemnation is. They blame so much on psychiatry: genocide, the Holocaust, racism, violence in schools, apparently even 9/11. It’s as though everything about psychiatry is evil – Everything! Like they’re saying it has done absolutely no good for anyone in the world – Ever! Which just seems to be taking things a bit far, and is a clumsy way for anyone to make an argument. There’s so little in the world that’s that black and white. A little more subtlety actually would have made a much stronger case. As it stands I just walked out thinking, what’s going on with this? What’s the motivation here?

One pretty cool thing, from my own twisted perspective, is all the great medical restraints on display. They have some great gear that I’d love to own: straightjackets, leather straps and manacles, and this awesome blue leather mummy bag. The thing has a hood and laces up the front and even has straps that can be used to lash it to the wall so that the person inside is forced to stand upright completely sealed up inside it. It would cost a small fortune at a bdsm shop.

I think the next time I have out of town visitors I’ll have to take them here and then in the afternoon perhaps pay a visit to the even more bizarre Museum of Jurassic Technology (totally cool and without the creepiness factor of Scientology), for a nice day of complete L.A. weirdness.

Are You a Musician?

I was out in boy mode getting my annual eye check-up and a guy in the waiting room started up a conversation and asked that question again, “Are you a musician?” It’s the hair, earrings and tight low-rise jeans. I wish I’d just said, “Oh, no, transvestite…” I’m going to have to try to get into the habit of using that, it would be very freeing.

Requiem for a Dream

I missed this movie when it first came out in 2000 but recently caught the DVD. It’s totally harrowing, about four characters in Brooklyn suffering horribly from various addictions. The whole movie is permeated with images of drugs, loneliness and despair. It’s the kind of movie where at the end you’re sitting there silently thinking, “I don’t feel so good…”

There’s some funny comments on the IMDB message boards, especially the ones about “movies that make you feel like crap.” It is a real downer, but I think it’s brilliant and an important movie about the suffering of life and the ways that so many of us try to avoid it. The DVD has an interview with the author Hubert Selby Jr., who wrote the novel it’s based on, and it’s very enlightening.

The Lodge Last Night

Last night Kim and I went out to the Lodge. Word is that they’ve lost their lease and will be closing this summer.

It was an odd night. There seemed to be a lot of people I’d never seen before (not that I really go that much), and the vibe felt different. At one point we went over to the dance floor and the sound system wasn’t working, it was just jukebox music, so people were just standing around talking like at a cocktail party. Later things picked up a little. One very funny guy insisted on sitting on my lap and taking some pictures and an interesting guy from the techie end of the movie business told me about his interest in one night stands with trannies, and about keeping it secret from his regular straight life (married with kids). He wasn’t gross or anything, just matter of fact since I was asking him a lot of questions. He didn’t hit on me, which was nice (he knew I was a bondage freak but shared none of those interests). We just had an interesting talk, which can be rare in clubs.