2013 Winds Down

Well, here we are again at the end of the year. I’ll admit 2013 has been another very mixed year for me. It did have some great highs and fun moments: there was the L.A. Marathon, which I never thought I could finish but nicely surprised myself; later in the year I dated a woman who’s one of my favorite people in the world, and although it didn’t last and she’s moving out of state for work I’m thankful that we’re still friends; the Indiana bondage parties put on by Donna Patricia Richardson were great fun and highly recommended; and there were also some very fun and sexy shoots during the year, and some great events such as DomCon (the best ever, thanks to Krystle!). There was also the Halloween parade in West Hollywood (pictures below), and a few TEASE parties that really stood out. But at the same time, not to dwell on them, there were also some real lows, challenges, and moments of doubt as another year passed.

I’m heading out in a couple days to Atlanta for my end of the year visit with my parents – my Dad’s not doing great but he’s hanging in there – and then it’ll be back to work in January. I’m also hoping that Mr. K. gets better in 2014. He’s a good friend and has always been so supportive, and although he’s having some health problems he’s slowly making a recovery.

What really stuck out for me this year though was the sense of the uncertainty of the future and of life in general, and just how quickly these years pass. Obviously, we make our plans but then life often has its own ideas. After a year like this one, which really wasn’t bad, just challenging, I’d be foolish to believe that I’ve really got it together.

I am very thankful, though, that the website continues to do well – thanks again to all the paying members who really are the ones who keep it going. If it was just me I’d have reached my limits long ago. I will probably have to look at the finances of it more closely next year as it continues to be more expensive to run since I’m shooting more with other models but it’s moving forward very well and I’m extremely grateful for that.

In any event, I’m still very happy to be back in Los Angeles, am planning more photo shoots, have some new bondage gear and photo gear to play with, and am really looking forward to making some new pics and videos in the year ahead and keeping the bondage fun going. All the best in 2014 and keep those ropes and gags tight!

Finally Met that Crazy Babette

A couple weeks ago my archrival and new friend Babette Jones from Bound to Tease was down here in Southern California and we finally had a chance to meet after emailing occasionally over the last eight or so years. She was a lot of fun, with a great sense of humor. After meeting at the TEASE party first (very fitting), later I was able to visitor her here in the Valley and hang out for a long afternoon. It was kind of a power struggle as we’re both controlling bitches but Babette was no match. Even though I was tied up briefly at one point, it didn’t last for long and eventually our roles were reversed, as of course they would be. As I’ve gotten a little older I rarely find anyone who’s a match for dominating me and this was no different from most encounters. If you’re with Sandra (from now on I refer to myself in the third person) you’re probably going to end up in bondage and also heavily gagged, while I smirk and laugh; that’s just how it goes these days. In any case here are some candid shots that Babette sent me taken from the video camera. (I know they’re mostly me but that’s what she sent me, really. And hey, how come there were none of her tied up?!) It was a really fun party the night before and a fun day hanging out, and Babette was such a smartass that I’m actually smiling and laughing in most of these!

What is it About Facebook?

There are some friends and nice people whom I occasionally hear from on Facebook but I also get so many weird emails, to the point that I sometimes wonder if I should just cancel my profile. I’d say it’s certainly one of the sketchier social networking sites out there despite its mainstream popularity. And I don’t log on too often because of that and finally turned off the option for anyone to post anything on my “wall,” because it was just too much work to clean up. I’ve probably gotten more marriage proposals on there and emails with long passages of purple prose talking about love and searching for one’s soulmate, all from perfect strangers whom I’ve never talked with before. It’s always a little disconcerting to get those, especially when there’s no mention of crossdressing or bondage or any reference to any common interests. I’m always thinking, “This person certainly knows I’m a CD, right?” I assume they do and maybe they consider it bad manners to address it directly, but hey, no, actually if someone writes and says, “I love crossdressers and bondage” that’s great (well, hopefully they’ll write a little more than just that.) But even then we might actually have a conversation.

Just this evening I also got a request for money from someone who’s going through a tough patch. I’m sorry to hear about that but there are probably other sources of support than a strange tranny with some sissy maid pictures, but I’m just guessing here. Anyway, I’m not really upset or anything, just a little baffled at the level of bizarre. Of course, I’m not going to cancel my account, as it’s great free publicity for sending people over to my own much smaller website. Finally though, if you and I have ever exchanged emails on Facebook, believe me, I like you very much and don’t think you’re strange at all. No, of course not…unless you’re asking for my Paypal account or calling me a sweet flower of the morning who will bring you the joy and love you fervently seeketh in life (but not spelled that well). Good luck!

Being Tall

I was at the grocery story this morning getting snacks for the TEASE party tonight and saw a genetic woman who must have been 6′ 3″ and wearing low heels, which probably made her even a couple inches taller. The nice thing is that she looked all dressed up for the office, with a nice skirt and top and killer legs. The thing that struck me though was how much she stood out because of her height. I’m six feet tall myself, without heels, and have commented before how I’ll never really pass because of that, along with other tell-tale signs, and people often say, “Oh but there are lots of tall women out there!” Which is true, but whoa, those tall women who are out there – they really stand out! Which again, for a CD, “standing out” kind of kills it for passing. Just an observation ;-)

Coming Out

The whole question of whether to come out of the closet as a crossdresser, and to what degree, is a tough one. I was looking at some profiles in a Fetlife Group recently and was struck by how many of the photos avoided showing the face, which struck me as mildly depressing. And if you’re on Fetlife you’ve probably seen CDs who periodically delete all their pictures or shut down their profiles after being online for a while, and it just suggests so much ambivalence and self-doubt. I don’t want to sound like I’m wagging my finger at anyone, as I totally get what being in the closet is like; I was there myself for many many years and was so scared of letting anyone know. And yes, for many CDs the likely price to pay is just too high, so it sometimes makes sense to stay closeted.

But I do think being in the closet does take a toll on one’s psyche. It certainly did for me. I’ve always had a slightly depressive tendency to begin with and have always had this dislike of being secretive about things, but being a crossdresser I of course learned at an early age that it makes sense to be secretive. I did find, though, when I finally came out, first about my dressing and years later about being bisexual, that it did help lessen a weight that I’d been carrying around inside, and I don’t think I really knew how stressful my situation had been until it started to improve somewhat. It’s not perfect and I still struggle at times and have moments of doubt but things are so much better now than they were then.

And of course no one is ever totally out of the closet. It’s an ongoing process. With the majority of people that I meet day to day it would just be weird and creepy to insist on telling them about my fetishes and my sex life. But with the people in my life who matter it just feels better to not carry around this big secret (without going into the unnecessary details!), and at this point pretty much everyone in my immediate family and social circle knows what I do so it really doesn’t feel like that big a deal anymore. That’s the thing: when you keep something secret it just seems way more significant than it often really is.

But as I said earlier, how much to reveal is a decision that each person has to make, and for many the price is very high. I have two or three friends who could possibly end up divorced or homeless if they came out about being CDs (or trans – a whole other topic there) so it would be crazy for me to assume they should reveal themselves. But it does feel good to get things out in the open, or at least to keep things less hidden, even if it’s only revealing yourself to a few close people.

I think the unhappiest emails I get are from guys who tell me they plan never to tell anyone in their immediate circle, including their wives. I can understand the impulse but I think living like that would just be too hard and depressing for me. In most cases, yeah, their wives will probably be very pissed off and hurt and confused, even humiliated, and some of those marriages would end in divorce, but you just know one or two of those wives have their own secret dominatrix fantasies and it could have been a match made in heaven if only someone had opened their mouth! I actually know a couple cases just like that so I’m not just joking. But it is a tough decision, and personal.

In the long run, the more of us who are out the better it is for all of us because when someone realizes that they actually know a crossdresser it does slowly change attitudes. For most people in society what we do is so outside the norm that they don’t even consider the idea of males who like to dress as women; it’s not even on their radar. So the more visible that CDs and trans people are, the better – and certainly trans women and men have made far more progress than CDs have, just by the fact of the visible lives that they have to live to be true to themselves. In the end I only hope anyone who struggles with this question can find some peace of mind whatever they decide to do and whatever best fits their situation. But I’d also say, if you can come out, do so. Good luck to us all.