Today I went hiking with a good friend up the 13-mile trail that goes to the top of Pikes Peak, which towers over Colorado Springs. I’ve done it a few times over the years but it seemed especially brutal today. Usually we would also hike back down, but my right knee was so sore when I finally dragged my ass up to the top, that we decided to take the cog railroad train back down. Not sure when or if I’ll be doing this again anytime soon. I always forget that people occasionally die hiking up tall mountains. Apparently lightning strikes and the occasional heart attack are the main risks here. Not that I was going to die or anything, but with the thin air and the stress of the constant uphill climb, I’ll be struggling along and can hear my heart beating really fast in my head. It can be a little unnerving to imagine something serious happening and being stuck above timberline with no way for anyone to quickly get to you.
Yesterday I was in the airport in Ontario, CA, watching a young mother who had three young children to travel with. They were running around and playing and generally have a great time. And what really struck me was how utterly un-selfconscious they were. It was amazing. At a certain point in life we all start having the joy and spontaneity beaten out of us, and we start to learn that we aren’t okay the way we are, that people will hurt us, that we’re on our own, that things generally just aren’t okay in the world. But before that, we’re alive and full of joy and playing in the airport terminal. I almost wished there were some way to protect them from what’s to come, but alas…
I’m in a library in Colorado on a public internet terminal and I’m using this awesome service called GoToMyPC that lets you access your home computer from any computer in the world connected to the internet. I was afraid that it might be slow or quirky but it seems to work just fine, and with just a minimal delay in response time. Before, when I’ve traveled I’d always have disks in my briefcase with files and software that I might need while on the road (still a good measure just in case). But with this service you’re basically just working off your home PC anywhere. No need to lug around a laptap or anything, just log on from any intenet-connected computer. It’s awesome. I’ll be using it in the future anytime I go somewhere, and no, they’re not paying me for an endorsement ;-)
So like I mentioned earlier, I’m going to be doing a little traveling for a week or so, just visiting family and friends, till after the 4th. Updates on the trannies site will be the same as usual, though my chances at checking email will probably be limited.
If anyone has password problems or anything with CCBill, while I’m on the road, they have a good help page here.
I recently got to see Eddie Izzard’s stand-up routine the other night with a very generous friend who snagged some tickets. He’s absolutely brilliant – he does this routine about houseflies that had me laughing my ass off. Whenever I’ve seen him on his recorded shows he’s usually dressed in some fashion or other, though this night he was in boy mode. Either way he’s priceless. If you get a chance to see him you won’t regret it.
I wanted to dress for the show, but it’s been hot as hell all week and I had no desire to go out earlier for dinner with makeup dripping off my face. So I went in my modified androgynous mode, where I try to look more like a musician than a crossdresser – tight jeans and a studded belt, a tight stretchy top, girl’s gym shoes, and eyeliner and dangley earrings. It’s really much more comfortable than doing the full makeup thing, which often leaves me feeling like I’m wearing a mask with a layer of sweat between it and my skin. Even in this manner of dress, I get a lot of looks walking down the street, most just curious but every now and then you see someone who looks confused or maybe even a little offended or something. Of course, who knows what’s really going through anyone’s head? I want to avoid confrontations and always avoid getting into any “stare-downs” with anyone. But it just really shows, even if you push that gender barrier just a little bit, it’s gonna get noticed, for better or worse.
The excellent URNotAlone site has some really good regular columnists, including the lovely Alice Novic, author of Alice in Genderland. I’m way behind on my reading, but she has a very interesting article in two parts that she did a while back describing what she sees as the two “types” of MTF trans people. She talks about those of us who “love to be femme” but for whom it often doesn’t come naturally, and this can often include crossdressers and some late-transitioning transsexuals. On the other side, she talks about those who “act femme,” or who are naturally effeminate from the beginning and who, she suggests, often grow up to be early-transitioning transsexuals, drag queens, or effeminate gay men.
She credits Ray Blanchard with his concept of autogynephilia as one of the first to recognize this distinction. It’s an interesting idea and one that to me seems to make sense, though it could definitely be threatening to someone very much invested in the “usual” three-way breakdown: crossdressers / transsexuals / drag queens. It’s funny, but friends and I have often noticed the same thing that she points out about the local TG clubs: There always seem to be the young and fabulous transsexual girls who pull it off so effortlessly, and the rest of us crossdressers for whom it’s a lot of work and for whom it never feels completely perfected. Of course, some might disagree with the distinctions, but it’s an interesting way to look at things, and in a way could help relieve some of the internal self-judgments that so many of us have. If you haven’t read Alice’s column before, I’d highly recommend it. By the way, Alice is also a real dear in person, a total babe, and quite active in the local L.A. TG community.
I’ve really been on a tear lately writing some short stories for the trannies site. It can be very time consuming, but when the plot comes together and I get an idea that turns me on, I can get into the flow of it and sometimes the story nearly writes itself. Other times it just feels like work – but I’m not sure it has much impact on the final outcome one way or the other. I’m no brilliant writer or anything but I know what turns me on and I can usually describe it fairly well. I’m definitely a bit drawn to darker themes and ideas rather than playful bondage romps. I know when I try to do something more light and playful it tends to turn out kind of lame.
In any case, I finished a new story for Friday’s update, with Michelle Green looking very sexy in a PVC hobble skirt. I’ll be posting it later tonight. Here’s a quick preview pic.
Next week I’m going to be going to Colorado for a few days, to visit with family and friends, which is something I like to do each summer. The updates on the site will of course continue, though my answering email may be a bit worse than normal (it can be pretty bad even when I’m in town). My blogging will inevitably suffer too.
I’m going to be at FetishCon this August in Tampa and am really looking forward to it. I’ve had friends who’ve gone in the past and loved it, but I’ve actually never been to any kink conventions outside of L.A., where DomCon is held. There’ll be a lot of great models and photographers whom I’ve been a fan of for years. So it should be quite an experience and I don’t really have any idea what to expect.
I can sometimes be a little quiet and shy in big groups so if you see me there, please come up and say hi. Believe me, I’ll really appreciate it. I’ll be there for the whole four days, from August 9th till the 12th, and hopefully will have a chance to do some shooting while I’m there. I’ll also be looking to maybe do some “trade” shoots with other models or webmasters (one set for you, one set for me, or something like that). And if any “fans” have custom private shoots they want to do with me tied up, drop me an email from the Trannies site. My rates vary depending on the scene, no sex or cock shots though. Yeah, I’m a big ‘ho.
It was another good party at Club Fantasy tonight. I’m beat, it’s nearly 2:00 AM, but it turned out to be another fun one. I got to tie up a couple girls, including a cute new girl for whom I believe this was one of her first times dressing and her first time ever being tied up. It’s fun to corrupt the young ones. I’m still a little wired from the post-party excitement so I’m just farting around on the web before I call it a night.
I brought a bunch of heels to give away and my friend Blair brought some things too. We were able to give away quite a bit but I still have a big bag left over that I guess is going to the thrift store. Hopefully I won’t buy back my own discarded heels the next time I’m out shopping there.
So tomorrow, Friday, June 15th, I’m bringing about 15 pairs of heels to the Club Fantasy party in N. Hollywood to give away. There are some strappy heels and some ridiculously tall platforms and a few others, mostly in size 12 womens, though there are a few other sizes that other people have given me to bring. And quite a few of them have never been worn at all. They’re just taking up space in my tiny apartment and they have to go. I’ll take anything left over to the Out of the Closet thrift store, one of my favorite places.
See you tomorrow in Hollywoodland!
(Update late 2010 – since doing the Forum more than three years ago my interest in Landmark Education has dropped way off, though it’s still always interesting talking to others who have done it or who are still active in it and hearing what they think of it. I did two other Landmark classes after the Forum but frankly they were very unsatisfying in comparison, and in fact the last one I took was very unpleasant and anxiety-provoking. I don’t really regret doing Landmark, though my bank account is a little smaller. However, would I really recommend it to anyone? No, not really – unless you really really love this sort of thing.)
I haven’t been online much this last week because I was busy over the weekend doing the Landmark Forum. It’s an intense three-day seminar that’s designed to make you look at your life and how you’re living it. It grew out of the est workshops that were started by Werner Erhard back in the 70s. It’s a fairly controversial program. A lot of people have taken it and say it has had a powerful and positive impact on their life. Critics, on the other hand, have accused it of being a cult or of using mind control techniques. A friend who took the seminar earlier this year introduced it to me and I was curious enough that I reluctantly signed up for it. I did it in “Robert” mode.
It is very intense: three 12-hour days in a row. And it’s designed to be confrontational and to really make you look at your shit. I’d have to say it was one of the most intense things I’ve done in a very long time. I resisted it a lot and had many ups and downs over the weekend, more downs than ups, to be honest. But last night there was a short wrap-up evening session and it really brought it all together for me. Before last night I was feeling a little bit freaked out by it.
The funny thing is that there really isn’t much that you need to “buy into” or understand when you’re doing it. It’s certainly not a religion, and although they present many concepts or “distinctions,” as they call them, there’s no pressure that you have to agree or accept anything. It’s also very much concerned with your relationships to friends and family and other people, which leads me to discount the cult charges. Cults are groups that tend to separate people from their families and from others, and create an insular and structured group that has the “right answer.” The Landmark Forum on the other hand is nearly obsessive about your relationships with others and about making even stronger and more authentic connections with other people.
Would I recommend it? If you’re drawn towards this kind of thing, then yes, I definitely would. It’s an experience that’s hard to put into words, and what each person gets out of it is unique. You could write down a long list of the “distinctions” that they present but without the experience of being there it’s just not the same thing at all.
Also, it’s quite expensive – $450 dollars. But having finished it I’d have to say that the money is now a non-issue. It was a really wild up and down ride, but I’d do it again just like that.
Oh, and the gender and kink stuff weren’t even much of an issue over the weekend. I told a few people what I do for a living but I could have not brought it up and I don’t think it would have made a difference to the experience one way or the other.
Some other links and perspectives:
It’s that time again. This Friday is the next Club Fantasy party, June 15th, in N. Hollywood, CA., from 8 PM till midnight.
Once again we’ll be having our friend Lady Jeri Ann arriving early, around 7 PM, to help with makeup. I also usually get there around 7:00.
I’ve been cleaning out my closet and have some shoes and things that I’ll bring to give away too. I have several pairs of never worn or lightly worn shoes from Fredericks, size 12 womens, that I want to get rid of. I’ll see if I can find anything else to bring between now and then. Hope to see you there!
It was a busy weekend and a lot of fun here. The Fetish Ball at Syren! in West Hollywood turned out to be awesome. I went with my friend Kim, who’s a regular bar-hopping companion, and as always we got there too early (I’m really such a lightweight). It was about 9:30 PM and the place was empty, but as the evening went along it started to fill up. There were a lot of hot girls there and lots of pvc clothing and general shininess. Kim got lucky and spent much of the evening in a back booth, while I hung out in the outdoor area and met a lot of nice people. The highlight had to be when a rather tipsy and lovely young lady (sorry, I can’t name names) introduced herself with a rather extended gropefest. It’s really wild to meet a “real” cute girl and almost immediately find her wrapped around you with her arms around your neck. Don’t mind that at all.
I gave up drinking a few years ago so I’m usually the designated driver. It was getting past my bedtime around 1:00 AM but the place was still hopping when we left.
Jay Wiseman on Sunday – Then Sunday afternoon it was off to Threshold to hear Jay Wiseman talk about “Negotiation as Foreplay.” He’s an excellent speaker, one of these people who’s truly relaxed and comfortable with himself, and had lots of funny stories to share and good advice. I’m really glad I got to meet him and got him to autography my copy of his “Erotic Bondage Handbook.”
He’s going to be giving a couple more presentations this week on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings before he leaves the L.A. area, and I’m planning to check out both of them. Wednesday night, in particular, should be especially good when he talks about “Rope Bondage You Can Actually Use.”
I’ve just been getting ready a new set of pictures from my last visit with crazy Rebecca H. Heels. I’ll be posting the full set for this Friday’s update on the Ts in Trouble site. It’ll be a self-bondage scene with heavy cuffs, and as always she gave me a totally over-the-top look. Here’s a little preview.
I was feeling a little down the other morning, though I sprang back pretty quickly. Like I’ve mentioned before, women scare me, especially when they’re attractive. I think part of the reason it’s easier to do bondage play and to fool around with other tgs or with guys is because I know I’m not going to develop some deep emotional attachment, and figure they’re not going to feel that way about me either. The only times in life that I’ve felt as though I were falling in love was with “real” women. But at the same time, there’s that little voice of self-doubt inside that expects to be rejected by women (because I’m a transvestite). Of course, real life has shown that that’s not always the case – yes, many women would not want to be with a tranny, but there are some out there who don’t mind, and a few who might even be into it. But those old patterns of self-doubt die hard.
Anyway, I was out the other night, just in guy mode, doing some volunteer work for a group I sometimes get together with. A new girl was there and I felt really nervous around her. I wasn’t even that particularly attracted to her but my shyness kicked in and I felt awkward and uptight. Driving home later I found myself growing more and more depressed about it. I try to remind myself at such times that my emotions aren’t dangerous and that there’s really nothing to be worried about, that after a good night’s sleep I’ll be feeling fine. But I still felt pretty down, and lying in bed I had one of those “looking into the void,” moments, where you feel so alone in the world and life feels like a low-grade nightmare. I know that none of this is true – I have friends and family and most of the time life is pretty good. But those dramatic feelings are one of the characteristics of being depressed – that it feels deep and “dangerous,” as though if it were to continue I would never recover. That never happens, of course, and yes, after a night’s sleep, or a long walk around the neighborhood, I’m usually back.