Fantasy and Reality

Many of us have fantasies of being strictly bound and gagged and left helpless for hours on end, unable to get free and completely at the mercy of whoever tied us. It’s hot, I agree!

But then there’s reality. One thing I’ve heard many times over the years doing bondage photoshoots is that the reality of being strictly tied up is way tougher than expected. I was shooting with someone just a couple weeks ago who said the same thing – they love the hot fantasies of being hogtied and helpless for hours on end but the reality is much different – after ten minutes they were ready to call it quits. And hey, I’m the same way. I’m pretty tough and can take a lot, but still. The pics below were all super-intense scenes that were hot to endure but in each of them I was thinking, “Get those photos and then get me out of this!”

The hogtie was by Delilah, the intense tape gag tie by ScorpioBD and the hooded hogtie by Michael Keye. That last one was especially tough, mentally I just had to endure it and try to keep calm. Looking at the photo now it’s really hot but at the time that hood was very challenging and nearly freaked me out as it was so tight and confining. It might not look like it but it was. I’d definitely have to prepare myself to do something like that again!

Joe’s Garage

I’ve got a couple online friends whom I email and talk about music. One of them recently mentioned Frank Zappa’s 1979 album, “Joe’s Garage.” I remember my brother owned the album back when we were in high school. I remember seeing it propped up by his desk and I know I heard it but it didn’t make much impression at the time. I was probably listening to KISS, who I haven’t listened to in decades – but they sure seemed great when I was fourteen!

I’ve always been aware of Frank Zappa and admired him in a vague way (cool guy, iconoclast, super talented) but I’ve never really known his music. So I’m happy to say I’m really enjoying this album, which I’ve been listening to lately while editing pics. To me Zappa always seemed like one of those “musicians’ musicians” who was genius-level talented but hard to connect with, at least for me. Good stuff and worth the time. Strange album with some super catchy songs- and that title track just makes me happy!

Wrapping Up 2021 In the Ketamine Clinic

Every December I like to write a little reflection looking back on the year that was. I don’t want this to be a big downer, and I don’t think it is, but Oh boy, this year was challenging. I haven’t really talked about this online but my Mom died in May from an unusual untreated condition in her abdomen (not Covid, thankfully). I’m just grateful that I was able to drive to Denver and spend the last few hours of her life with her in the hospice center and then stay on a couple more weeks taking care of things with my brother. Then I drove back to L.A.

The summer was especially tough but I’m not looking for sympathy. It’s the human condition that we all deal with, our friends and family getting old and dying on us, as will we in our turn. In the early stages of the grief I felt like I would never get over the loss, but then with time, as usually happens, it does become easier to carry though it never completely goes away (and why would I want it to since it’s about someone I love so much?)

My friend Jeanne and I had planned a trip earlier to Yosemite to hike up Half Dome in late June. I thought about canceling, worried that I would be a downer to be around, but decided to go through with our plans. I’m so glad I did. We had a great time and the physical and mental challenge of that very difficult hike was probably just what I needed.

Another positive, the website is still humming along and I’ve shot some nice scenes that I’ve really enjoyed this last year. Star Nine and Delilah both really put me through the wringer and I’m planning to see Star again in about a month and a half.

Not surprisingly though I have felt a lot of stress this year – and not just from the loss of my Mom, but also just life in general. In the fall I had more and more days when I felt like I was just dragging. I’ve mentioned dysthymia before, or persistent low-level depression (what the therapist I talk to calls “walking depression”). I felt like I wasn’t doing that well the last few months – not that I was in any danger of harming myself – but many nights I was happy to just collapse into bed and pray that I could forget things for a while.

Ketamine for Weight Loss – I’d been aware of Ketamine-assisted therapy for a few years, and about the research on psychedelics in treating persistent depression and PTSD. Ketamine is a “dissociative” drug rather than a true psychedelic but it’s trippy AF. The treatment isn’t cheap and I’m certainly not rich but I splurged a little and did three treatments in mid-November, and it turned out to be fascinating and even profound.

I don’t really enjoy tripping that strongly and I often get a little anxiety from substances. A glass of wine or two with friends is nice. Wine is one of those drugs for which there are no surprises. You know exactly what you’re going to get unless you really overindulge. Occasionally I enjoy some edible weed and that can be a little more dicey. At low doses it can be fun and relaxing though I find edibles almost always have a hint of paranoia, which I don’t mind too much since I also find them to be a huge aphrodisiac, especially when wearing a gas mask or being tape gagged! But in higher doses weed can start to become challenging. I do like it but it comes with a price and I know it’s best as an occasional thing.

Ketamine though is deeply strange and intense. I dressed androgynously and went to a nice clinic in L.A. where a doctor who’s done a lot of research into psychedelics and mental health administered the injection into my shoulder. Then I would lie down with eye shades and drone-like music playing on headphones and a psychologist would hang out with me while I tripped balls. After about 30 minutes you come down and can talk about the experience. It was deeply weird! At times I felt like I was in a Transformer’s movie, which makes no sense at all. At one point I was aware of an engine block with a sleek cylinder head cover that was full of power and energy and seemed somewhat menacing, and I feared that I was perhaps going to fuse with the engine block and become one with it.

I didn’t fully hallucinate and actually see things but it was more like I sensed them being present, and I was aware of being in a different dimension, and of colors and patterns, and of waves of energy. I always felt like I was in an enclosed space and at times it felt death-like and deeply spiritual, which doesn’t surprise me considering my Mom’s death earlier in the year. At times the experience could be scary but not super scary, although during the last trip I did think at one point, “Oh man, I wish this was over.”

One surprising thing about Ketamine is that it has strong antidepressant properties and that it often brings up emotional issues or self-defeating patterns that one might be stuck in. I certainly had that experience. Some of the insights felt profound and I think they likely will continue, such as the need to emotionally give myself a break. My “inner critic” means well but can be just brutal. The drug also dramatically makes people less suicidal and it tends to make depressed people hate themselves less – a fascinating article here.

I got a lot out of the experience and I’ll admit that first week I felt about as good as I’ve felt in decades. I knew that likely wouldn’t last, since the antidepressant effects tend to taper off in a few weeks, but it was sweet at the time and a really nice gift for Thanksgiving. The insights often do stick though and I’m hoping I’ll be lucky and use it as a window of opportunity to make some positive changes.

One thing I’ve also tried to do for fifteen years is meditation, as I’ve always sensed there are benefits to it. But I’ve always struggled with it and some days I can’t even sit for five minutes. Strangely enough after doing “Special K” my meditation is much improved and it’s much easier to follow the breath. Weird that a few injections could make such a dramatic change. There is research to indicate that the drug may be stimulating the growth of new connections in the brain that get withered by the stress of depression. It’s really fascinating if that’s the case, as it’s a completely new approach to antidepressants which like Prozac tend to operate on one neurotransmitter (such as serotonin) and need to be in your system to keep working. Ketamine on the other hand gets flushed out within a day or two but apparently can still have positive effects that may persist.

I don’t know if I’ll do more Ketamine treatments again or not. I don’t really enjoy the weird tripping but the benefits were totally worth any discomfort. The treatments did wipe me out for a day or two afterwards and one nice side effect was that my appetite was so suppressed during the two weeks that I visited the clinic that I lost six pounds! Some people with the means to do so go in once a month and trip their ass off since the mood boost that it gives is so worth it. If I had the dough, maybe.

In any case it was a fascinating experience and I’m especially intrigued by other research into psychedelics and mental health, particularly psilocybin (magic mushrooms), which also seems to help in treating depression and PTSD and may even have longer lasting effects than Ketamine. I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more about these substances in the years ahead as this kind of treatment gets more traction and they become more widely decriminalized, which is the direction things are going.

To wrap up, as always, I hope everyone has a nice time over the holidays and can spend time with friends and family. And again, I want to thank all the supporters of the website. I always say it but I truly could not do it without you. I’m hoping to continue on at least through 2022 and shoot a bunch of new sexy material (and hopefully continue way beyond that!) Next March it will be nineteen years of T’s in Trouble so, hey, I gotta keep going!

All the best. Peace and love from groovy Sandra

Phantom of the Paradise

I was just in Denver recently seeing my brother and sister in law and one evening we watched Brian De Palma’s “Phantom of the Paradise” from 1974. It’s silly and campy but I really enjoyed it again after many many years. There are some spoilers below so be warned if you haven’t seen it yet.

I saw it first at a midnight movie when I was probably sixteen and it really freaked me out. The steel teeth really got to me and the plot was so cruel. I think my teenage brain was just going, “What’s happening to this guy is just really unfair!” I may have been a little buzzed on weed at the time too – can’t quite remember but that was a common thing at the midnight movies at that age, which would have only made it worse.

Paul Williams stars as the devil, which is perfect casting. And he has those cool ’70s bangs. I couldn’t place at first who the main actress was till the credits rolled and I realized it was Jessica Harper from Dario Argento’s “Suspiria,” which was one of my favorites when I saw it in the ’80s. (Goofy trailer here). She’s also a very good singer and has some dance moves to match.

“Phantom” has some similarities to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” including a stage performance with a hunk who’s sewn together from various body parts, like Rocky (not Stallone), and a singer, Beef, who’s gay AF.

It’s not high cinema, obviously, but it’s a good guilty pleasure. I think De Palma’s “Carrie,” which came out only two years later, is probably much more skillfully done – and far more frightening. I actually found the poster for “Carrie” so utterly disturbing that I avoided looking at the movie ads all that season when it came out in late ’76. Even now I don’t like watching the pig’s blood scene from that movie. I once turned on a television and that scene popped up with Sissy Spacek and her wide horror-stricken eyes – Holy crap!

If you’re looking for something campy and fun though for Halloween “Phantom of the Paradise” could be a good choice. We just started watching it on a whim and I’m glad we did. Fun stuff!


I wasn’t sure I should post this as I don’t like to post things where it sounds like I’m complaining. But, well, one thing I’ve noticed the last few years is an increase in “ghosting,” or the habit that some people have to just go silent or incommunicado during an email exchange.

It’s strange but I’ve had a number of such exchanges in just the last few months. I’ll be emailing with someone who’s interested in meeting to take pictures, they look good and are into bondage, it sounds like it’s going to happen, and then once it becomes time to commit and choose a date, the conversation goes silent. It’s baffling. On the one hand, I get it. Doing a photoshoot for Trannies in Trouble is a big step. There is some risk putting your face out there on the internet. But most of these people are people who have written me inquiring about doing a photoshoot.

I do have a little theory, which I have no data to support, but I sense that social media and smartphones have contributed to this weird self-defeating habit. So much online communication nowadays, especially texting, which has become so insanely popular, feels almost “throwaway” – you chat with someone, you put it out there, and if you lose interest, well, just close the tab and move on. I certainly didn’t find ghosting to be so common even ten years ago, although on Fetlife people have often complained about the general flakiness in meeting others.

The crazy thing is that among crossdressers and people who are into bondage, it’s a fairly small group of us who are online talking about this stuff and willing to meet, and one’s reputation does get around.

I actually had a really nice local CD write me back just last week and tell me that she was having second thoughts and felt she wasn’t really comfortable modeling right now. Getting such an honest message like that is very rare and I wrote her back to say that while I was sorry to hear she didn’t feel up to shooting, I actually respected her even more for being so honest and up front about it. For someone like that, the door will always be open for her if she ever changes her mind.

Of course no one is required to follow through on a photoshoot with me, even if we’re in the middle of planning a meeting. Even if someone wrote me the morning of a shoot and said, “Hey, I’m having second thoughts and don’t want to do this after all,” well, it would be disappointing and probably pretty annoying but, hey, I’m a realist and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through with it if they didn’t want to. I certainly don’t want to be the kind of producer who pressures people to do stuff that they aren’t comfortable with. That’s just bad karma. And in the scheme of things it’s not that big a deal if someone changes their mind. I’d rather hear “yes” but “no” is also fine. It’s the sudden silence that’s just so baffling and crazy making. I know I’m not the only one.


I don’t get to watch as many movies as I used to, but I am a bit of a movie geek when I get the chance. Recently I saw an interesting German movie called “Victoria” on Amazon Prime (I actually had to sign up for a free intro membership to Shudder to see it, though it’s really not a horror movie). It’s in German, Spanish, Turkish, and actually quite a lot of English too, with subtitles for everything. It’s the kind of movie where it’s best not to know much about it going in, but I can say it’s basically about a cute Spanish club girl in Berlin who decides to hang out with these creepy guys. I had a feeling of dread as it started out and progressed and then it suddenly shifted gears and changed direction quite dramatically.

The one thing that really stands out though is that the movie was shot in one single continuous take, which absolutely blows my mind since it’s about two hours and fifteen minutes long. The first title that pops up on the credits at the end is the camera operator’s name, and rightly so. It’s frankly an awe-inspiring feat to think that they could pull this off, coordinating the camera and the actors and even physical effects that occur during the movie, plus getting into and out of cars and driving. And then keeping it all in focus and mostly framed up correctly. The pressure must have been enormous. The one main criticism is that the movie is probably forty minutes longer than it needs to be since to get to the next location you’re walking along with the actors while they walk and talk to the next spot. So the pace is much slower than it would have been in a normal movie. But hey, it’s European, definitely not a Hollywood movie

I don’t know if it’s a great movie but I certainly found it intriguing, especially for someone like me who shoots videos (though of course I don’t operate on this level of skill and expertise by any stretch). Also, the movie’s not kinky at all and there’s no bondage, but the lead actress who plays the title character is very cute and likeable. If you’re in the mood for something different and know what you’re getting into, something kind of slow and artsy with a slow burn, it might be worth a view. I’m glad I checked it out and especially am glad to have became familiar with the actress, Laia Costa.


I don’t post here nearly often enough and I don’t intend for this blog to become an anthology of Sandra’s favorite bands, BUT lately over on Pandora I’ve been hearing a lot of the British ’70s glam-rock band Sweet and I’d forgotten how terrific they were. I hadn’t heard “Fox on the Run” in years when it played one afternoon while I was doing my makeup – took me right back to my Junior High School years. I also loved “Ballroom Blitz” back in the day. I don’t know how lead singer Brian Connolly made his voice do what it does, sounding so campy. When I hear it now I just think, “Do you know how gay this song sounds?” Love it.

One interesting thing I didn’t know about the band was that apparently they had mixed feelings about their early bubblegum-rock hits, most of which were written by their managers and songwriters Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. Of course those are the songs that made them famous and the only ones I’m familiar with! It must have really sucked to be playing stuff that’s making it onto the charts without being totally into it. Groovy outfits and hairstyles though. If only I could get my guy hair to look like that I’d never wear a wig again!

Music On The Road / The Tubes and Lulu

I have an online CD friend who occasionally sends me some music CDs to check out. One of her best picks was the first album from The Tubes. I had to do a long road trip a while back and that was definitely one of the many music CDs I brought along. Of course musical taste is such a personal thing so feel free to skip this one if it’s not working for you.

I’d never actually heard the first album from The Tubes all the way through though I knew some of it. The opening track, “Up From The Deep,” has all these weird time signature changes that must be incredibly hard to play. They’re great musicians and I’ve always been impressed by how high Fee Waybill can sing with that clear tenor voice of his.

The one track I somehow didn’t notice at first was “Mondo Bondage.” I wasn’t really paying attention to the lyrics and had forgotten the title until the third or fourth listening. Pretty silly stuff.

I could run away to spain
But I’d just get tied again
I could run off to jamaica
If this bondage I could breaka

I remember first hearing about The Tubes from my older brother, who had a wider taste in music than I did at the time. We especially listened a lot to their “Remote Control” album when it came out in ’79, produced by Todd Rundgren. I still really like it, with some very catchy disco-influenced sounds, but it’s also incredibly melancholy, part of the reason it appealed to me as a confused and miserable teenager. Good stuff.

And to completely shift gears, my friend also sent me another compilation of favorite songs on CD, including Lulu’s “To Sir, With Love,” which I have to agree is another favorite since hearing it again a few years ago, even if it’s not the least bit cool. Fun side note, apparently Lulu dated David Bowie briefly when they were both young and, well, she likewise never felt cool enough being with him. He reportedly suggested that she could lose some weight to have more of a “heroin chic” look, but said it in a charming way that wasn’t judgmental, just a helpful observation. Apparently they stayed friends for years. In any case her voice is amazing, as well as her stage presence and just how she moves and emotes. Lovely and still going strong at age 72.

“The Great Depresh”

This is another non-kinky post and I’ll be back to the bondage soon (I hope), but in the meantime last night I was alone at the house for a change, and I was dressed up, so I took it easy and watched Gary Gulman’s comedy special, “The Great Depresh,” about his lifelong struggles with depression. It’s really not a depressing show even though it sounds like it is. He’s an extremely likeable guy and very funny. I was only a little familiar with him before watching his special and really enjoyed it.

He’s struggled with the kind of debilitating “treatment-resistant” depression, as they call it, where he couldn’t even function – sleeping eighteen hours a day and completely mired in despair. We’ve all had bad days or periods in our lives, but this is an altogether different beast. I’ve talked about my own struggles with mood here in this blog, but by comparison my issues are mild. I’m basically (still) a garden-variety melancholic with good days and bad, but I function pretty well overall, and I typically never have problems getting up in the morning. I even had an ex-girlfriend years ago who was almost annoyed that I could wake up and be almost completely clear headed in about two minutes without any coffee.

Hearing more about Gary Gulman’s story it really makes me wonder, what is going on inside a person who experiences such deep depression? It really is a mystery, especially with someone who appears to be a sweet and charming man, with a good life and no apparent major traumas in his past beyond the typical disappointments of simply being alive. I’ve read a lot of books on depression in hopes of “fixing” my own mood disorder, and the thing that strikes me is that there’s always a paragraph where the author, usually a therapist or psychiatrist, will finally admit, “Well, we don’t really know what causes depression.” It’s kind of stunning in this day and age. There are loads of suspicions and tons of research about brain chemistry, social pressures, trauma, learned helplessness, PTSD, isolation, and stress, but in the final analysis there’s still this huge mystery as to why some people struggle repeatedly with low moods and despair and others don’t, or at least not in any persistent manner. The persistence is the thing that’s brutal.

In any case, this does sound like a heavy post but “The Great Depresh” is actually very entertaining and enjoyable, and Gary Gulman has such a light and engaging manner about him that it’s just like listening to a series of interesting life stories. Worth catching if you have access to HBO.

Go-To Videos

We all have our own favorite go-to videos, the ones that turn us on every time…or at least until we’ve seen them fifty times in a row! And even then they can still be pretty hot.

I’ve joined a good number of paysites over the years and what I find is that there are usually only a handful of scenes that really turn my crank, so to speak. What turns us on is just such a personal and individual thing, and can be so specific, about a certain gag or a certain outfit or a favorite color of hose. I’ve had people write me about scenes that I’ve thought of retiring from my website and they surprised me by saying it was one of their favorites! I’d say if I find ten percent of the scenes to be hot on a given websites then that’s pretty good. And I’m sure it’s probably the same for everyone who visits my website too (and whose support I always appreciate!) I wish every update could be super hot for everyone but again it’s all personal taste and preference.

One of my favorite videos on my site is a short struggle video with Silvia Snow tied cross-legged and gagged with smooth duct tape. There’s no storyline but she pleads and plays the damsel very well and the scene suggests that she maybe got robbed and left that way or abandoned by some unscrupulous bondage partner earlier that night. This was a scene that we shot right at the end of the night, just a “quickie” scene before we called it quits, and it exceeded expectations. Silvia was just so cute and I find the video really hot.

Another scene that I really like – well, actually the still photos in this one – is the first scene I ever shot with Ashley Washington. I just love the woman’s business suit she was wearing and the sexy platform heels she had on. She just looks so cute and pretty, like a helpless young TS office lady in a bind – definitely a favorite.

It’s funny that with both of these models, Silvia and Ashley, I only got to shoot with each of them once or twice. Sometimes distance gets in the way, or people move on, or time just passes. There are many other scenes that I enjoy on my site, and so many sexy and attractive girls that I’ve worked with. I find though that I rarely ever get turned on by looking at myself in bondage, though I know some models love to see themselves bound. Somehow though it rarely ever clicks for me seeing myself tied up, although the recent video with the Irish Eights cuffs came pretty close.

I hope everyone who reads this blog has some favorite videos or scenes that also stand out on T’s in Trouble. If you’d like to share, do let me know what your favorites are and what you particularly like to see – I’m always looking for inspiration!

Didn’t Always Love the Bee Gees But Do now

As I mentioned on Twitter I heard the Bee Gee’s song, “Nights on Broadway” two days ago on Pandora and it’s still stuck in my head! It’s funny, but growing up in the “Disco Sucks!” era I was completely dismissive of them. Music of course is such a personal preference, and a song or band either grabs you or it doesn’t. It took me a while but I’d have to say they’re now one of my favorite groups.

An online friend sent me a link to the same song being performed live and it’s pretty darn good. I especially enjoy the look of relaxed concentration in Robin Gibb’s face when he comes in with his lines. And Maurice Gibb doing his falsetto at the end just makes me smile! The only sad thing is how Barry Gibb is the only one left, his brothers all long gone. They defined an era, of which I was mostly oblivious as a kid but I appreciate them so much more now that I’m old(er).

New Search Box for Videos!

Having a search box on the video page is something I’ve wanted for a few years now, so I was thrilled when I was able to hire a PHP programmer a couple of weeks ago who finished the job in about two days! I’m decent with basic HTML and CSS but actual programming with PHP is way beyond my abilities. I find that getting special projects crossed off my to-do list seems to take forever (as is probably the case with most people), but it’s such a thrill when something new gets done beyond the weekly updates.

I need to go through the individual picture galleries now and clean up some of the video links on individual pages, as I know a lot of those are a mess (and again that will take a while.) But at least everything on the video page itself is working great! Thankfully I’ve been pretty good at entering keywords for the videos, probably for at least the last ten years, so it should make finding specific videos a lot easier. And finding your favorite models should be a breeze.

Of course now I need to remove a lot of the old ones and produce a bunch of new ones to take their place! No rest for the wicked ;-)

Looking to the Fall

We’re still only at the end of February but I find myself wondering where we’ll be with the Covid pandemic at the end of 2021. The numbers have dropped significantly since the holiday surge (though at this point they’re still at about the same level as they were back in July, when it was bad.) But with the vaccine rollout you can sense that life may just get back to something kinda like what it used to be. For many the feeling is already that this thing is over!

At the same time I have the kind of personality that’s always thinking, “What could go wrong?” If you’re shooting bondage pictures that’s not a bad trait to have, what with the risk of a bondagette starting to become panicky or stressed, which does happen from time to time. But I also know my caution can make me seem like a total Debbie Downer. I find myself thinking, what are we not seeing that will screw up the pandemic and cause it to drag out for another year or two? Or will the virus simply trick us and mutate around our best defenses? It’s not inconceivable.

Last week I learned an uncle in Indiana died from Covid. It was a typical case: in the hospital for three weeks, difficulty breathing, never on a ventilator but close to it, and finally reaching a crisis point and dying a few days later. I hadn’t seen this uncle in over forty years, so while the news was sad it didn’t hit me the way it did my mother, his younger sister. She took the news as well as she could but I know it shook her up bad, of course. There was a nice zoom memorial service but I couldn’t stop wondering about his time in the hospital – how aware was he, how badly did he suffer, and what was his mental state at the end?

Many of us at this point have lost family members or friends, or have known people who have gotten very sick (I was emailing with one possible model on the east coast who said it took her three months to fully recover – Yikes!) One risk that some experts worry about is the possibility of another surge being brought on by the Covid variants. Apparently the UK variant (B.117) is spreading the fastest of any of them, doubling in number of cases every ten days. And the other day I was reminded that there’s also a California variant that may have been involved in the big surge we just came through over the holidays.

None of this is meant to be political, of course (and it’s still so crazy that this pandemic has become a political issue), but just some thoughts on my mind. I do find myself thinking of a time in the future when the models and I no longer get Covid tests before meeting up for a photoshoot – maybe at the end of the summer? Whenever that happens I’ll know it’s basically over. Of course then I’ll be going out dressed every weekend for the next three months – and probably half of you reading this will do the same! I still wonder though about the future and about any possible surprises that may, or may not, lie in wait for us. But let’s hope that all the Debbie Downers like me are completely wrong. Doing the TEASE Party again or hanging out at Hamburger Mary’s and hugging friends as we meet for dinner would be sweet indeed. Handshakes, though? No, I’ll never do that again.

Heading Into 2021

I hope everyone had a nice time over Christmas and Hanukkah. Christmas was quiet for me but still a pleasant day. I did a zoom call with my family earlier in the afternoon (before dressing!) There are only four of us now, and while I love my family very much, they are, well, family, and can sometimes drive me crazy. I find with zoom calls I often tend to shut down emotionally and mentally edit what I share with them, which brings me down. So this time I tried to make a point of talking more about what was really on my mind, without being a jerk about it.

At one point my sister in law suggested we all have another zoom call on New Year’s Eve. In the past I might have just reluctantly gone along with it, but this time I basically told them, “Well, I’m going to be dressing up and wearing makeup so maybe we should do it another time.” My brother and sister in law just laughed, and I have no idea what my Mom thought, as she didn’t say anything at all, but at least I spoke up. Sometimes it’s best to just tell the truth and be done with it – and if I did that all the time I’d probably be a lot happier – but it sure ain’t easy!

In any case I’m feeling a bit uncertain about what the new year will bring. I always wonder at the end of the year if I’ll still be regularly shooting new material for Trannies In Trouble this time next year. Most likely I will be, but with this year we’ve just lived through anything is possible. In any case it’s coming up fast. I hope you all have a fun and relaxing time Thursday night – Happy New Year!

Pornhub’s Reckoning

For years I’ve wondered how Pornhub can keep doing business year after year without being sued into oblivion. My complaint has always been about the widespread piracy and unauthorized posting on the site. They’ve been an ongoing frustration for me for years, with lots of my videos uploaded without my permission, for which I don’t earn a dime. And while I can get them removed, they make producers jump through hoops, requiring me to give them my personal and business information and to click off a bunch of boxes swearing under threat of perjury that I’m the copyright holder. And this is for my own videos! Wildly frustrating.

This week though things changed dramatically. I’d heard that something was going on but didn’t look into it in much detail till an online friend wrote me. A recent article in the NY Times outlined numerous cases on the site of child porn, revenge porn, and non-consensual sex videos, plus illicit bathroom and shower cam videos. Some of the accounts of the consequences suffered by victims are truly horrifying. A few days later Visa and Mastercard dropped Pornhub and Mindgeek, their parent company which owns numerous other “tube sites” as well as porn production companies such as Reality Kings and Brazzers. Pornhub has since deleted about eighty percent of their videos and is now only allowing uploads from verified accounts, a change that many have asked for for years.

Not surprisingly, there’s been lots of talk on social media, some from people way more informed on the subject than I am (a particularly good thread here). While no one is downplaying the horrible reality of how prevalent child sex abuse material (CSAM) is online, some online voices question the wider anti-porn motives of some anti-trafficking groups, as well as the impact of Visa’s and Mastercard’s actions on legit performers and models who use Pornhub to make a living (selling videos and camming and so on). Obviously those avenues for earning an income are gone for now.

There’s also the question of how much the credit card companies will now start scrutinizing other websites. Certainly other tube sites such as xHamster (where some of my videos are also reposted without my permission) must be sweating bullets right about now.

There’s also legislation being considered in Congress to clamp down on online porn in general, banning downloads, for example, and other measures which could have a devastating impact on the business. At this point I doubt that these actions will end in numerous sites (such as mine) going offline but I’ve always known it’s possible the tide could turn against adult websites. If billing companies such as CCBill were to lose the use of Visa / Mastercard that would be it. And that’s basically what happened to the old Insex website, where Homeland Security allegedly talked to the billing companies, claiming that Insex was laundering money for terrorists – an absurd charge. Once Insex lost the use of credit cards though it was all over.

The thing about Pornhub is that they’ve brought all this on themselves due to their lazy approach to moderation and self-policing. Their approach has always been, “Hey, we’re not the producers – we’re just offering a platform.” All the checks that Pornhub uses to vet their content come after the fact, whereas anyone can make an account and immediately start uploading. A well-written article from the Oxford University student paper points out that while “pre-publication checks…are integral to ensuring the platform is abuse-free, they are incompatible with the business model upon which Pornhub has built its success.”

Obviously I have no affection for Pornhub. It will be interesting to see where all this goes. I suspect Pornhub / Mindgeek will weather this and hopefully clean up their act and adjust their business model to be more ethical, though I’m not holding my breath. What the wider effects will be on the porn / fetish industry, we shall see. More to come, I’m sure.

Seventies Movies: Klute

First off, let me acknowledge that Jane Fonda is controversial. A lot of people hate her for her politics and past activism. I get it. But regardless of what you may think of her as a person, as an actor she’s always had that indefinable spark of a movie star, someone who’s interesting to watch even in a bad movie, stunningly attractive, and with a unique energy and an immediately recognizable voice.

The other night I watched her and Donald Sutherland in “Klute,” where she plays a semi-high-class call girl who gets involved in a murder plot. One online critic said it’s a thriller without any thrills, which is kind of true as they give away the identity of the killer in the first forty-five minutes.

But for a crossdresser like myself watching Jane Fonda in this movie is hypnotic. The movie itself is really dated now, made in 1971, and the pacing is of the time, that is to say, very slow. There are also the kinds of scenes that were probably edgy at the time and now just seem funny. The party scenes especially are a bit squirm-inducing, as they were probably intended to be wild and shocking but by today’s standards they just seem kind of silly. There’s also that tendency for overacting which is so common in 70s movies. I remember as a kid watching movies back then and a character would get really angry over something that didn’t seem to me like that big a deal, as though the script just demanded, “Be angry now!” Jane Fonda does this a couple times, letting out with a loud “Damn You!” I just had to laugh. It’s like, why is she getting so angry?

At the same time, I did like the movie, as silly as it is in spots. And the real draw is just how beautiful Jane Fonda is and her style and energy, and especially that iconic shag haircut that she made famous – if I could make my own hair look like that as Sandra I could die fulfilled. The metallic dress with the long sleeves that she wears is pretty terrific too. So all in all, an interesting, if flawed, movie that saw Jane Fonda at her peak, and for which she also won the Oscar.

This Strange Year That Went by So Fast

Like many I’ve had a lot on my mind and too much solitary time to think about this strange and awful year that we’ve been living through; some of what I’m writing here may be overly reflective, so if you prefer to just check out the bondage pics below and skip the text that follows I won’t be offended.

I just read an interesting article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune online asking, is 2020 the worst year ever? They point out that 1918 was pretty bad with the devastating flu pandemic of the day, and that 1968 was a bad one with the assassinations and riots, and – one I’d never even heard of! – that 536 was maybe the worst of all, “the year a volcano erupted in Iceland and the sun dimmed for a year and a half, leading to a catastrophic global cold spell.” But still 2020’s been pretty bad.

I’ve been pretty lucky and haven’t really had too many major changes to deal with, aside from the lack of parties and events to go to, and a break from shooting with other models that I took in the spring and early summer. For someone like me though who often deals with low moods, in a weird way this year has had moments that have been almost reassuring, as though the world now reflects back to me how I often feel (and by no means do I mean to diminish the loss and suffering of others by saying this.) But it is something I’ve noticed. I’m always half-expecting things to fall apart, and in some ways this year they did.

There is of course the tendency for some to say, “Hey, this pandemic is overblown and it’s not that bad.” I would answer that there are plenty of people whose lived experience would argue otherwise, and that the tendency to minimize is a normal, if self-deluding, impulse for dealing with tragedy. There have been so many stories reported, and one of the best I’ve read was in Time Magazine last May, describing the efforts in New York City to bury the dead. It’s very sobering but if you enjoy good writing it’s worth the time.

Conspiracies – I mentioned earlier too my Mom’s love of conspiracy theories. The events of this year have made it harder to talk about things with her, as there’s always some story to explain the pandemic and the political situation here in the States – 5G, background radiation, the Satanists and pedophiles, the Reptilian overlords, the hollowed-out space-station moon, the deeply offensive “theory” that Michelle Obama is really a man, and so on. It’s exhausting. So we often limit our phone calls to small talk and to the weather, which is kind of sad but you take what you can with family.

I have been shooting again with other models lately, though the number of shoots has been limited compared to last year. I’ve shot a couple times recently with Star Nine, who’s SO good at playing the devious femme fatale (in fact she’s about the only one who’s tied me up since March – not that I’m complaining!)  I’ve also seen my friend Milf Jeanne a number of times and have shot some really fun and sexy scenes with her, including an outdoor one coming up in the next few months.

I have been dressing up more often this year too, just because I like to even if there is no place to go! And when I check in to hotels for photoshoots I usually dress up in my “casual” Sandra mode. There’s something about showing up at the hotel already dressed that I prefer – it just feels more honest – and with everyone wearing a mask it actually makes it very easy and no big deal at all. Being a germ phobe even before the pandemic I’ll probably be one of the last people to stop wearing a mask, especially when checking into a hotel – can never be too safe! ;-) Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if another pandemic were to hit within five years of the end of this one – I fear it could become our new normal. And I also suspect that getting back to normal is going to take a lot longer than many expect. I’m bracing for it to be a long haul still. Then again, who knows? I’ll be perfectly happy if I’m totally wrong on all this.

Elliot Page – One interesting bit of news was seeing Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page) come out as trans and non-binary. It’s totally cool that they’re expressing themselves and being who they are. But I’ll admit – and I kind of feel like a jerk for saying this – but when I heard the news I was also a little saddened by it. When Elliot was Ellen they were so cool and cute and adorable that a part of me thinks, “Please don’t take the male hormones and totally change your looks!” Of course it’s none of my business, but as a crossdresser who has had yearnings and desires to be a woman for decades now part of me can’t help but think, “Oh no, what a waste!” Of course this is totally my own reaction filtered through my own “stuff.” But still. I do wish them the best though with whatever path they take.

In any case, just last week I saw Star Nine again in Anaheim and shot four new videos with her, both of us getting tested for Covid beforehand. I knew the stay-at-home order in California was coming soon, and after Star left I stayed over at the hotel, my legs sore and shaky in a good way from the afternoon’s bondage. The next morning I got up wondering why the room smelled slightly smoky and why my throat felt tight. I didn’t think much of it so I did my makeup, dressed in my casual Sandra mode, and finished packing. As I went outside to load up the car I realized that there had been more wildfires nearby overnight and there was now a huge orange cloud over the city of Anaheim. It seemed almost fitting pulling out onto the freeway and heading home, the orange glow overhead and the fires in the hills receding behind me as I drove away. Let’s hope things are a little better next year.

Thanksgiving 2020

Well, it was a quiet Thanksgiving for me here in Southern California but it was perfectly fine. I usually don’t see my family anyway till New Year’s so I often spend Thanksgiving on my own, and this year it was pretty inevitable with the Covid situation (since my roommate was out). I did talk to a friend recently and she told me she had just hopped on a plane and was now hanging out with friends in another state. As I’ve mentioned before I’m a mild germ phobe, so going to an airport and standing in line among a bunch of strangers is about the last thing I’d want to do. Being in the plane is maybe less worrisome due to the good air filters they apparently use but it’s all that coming and going before and after that would freak me out. But I didn’t give my friend a hard time; it’s her decision and she felt perfectly safe.

I did do a zoom call with my family (of course I arranged for that to happen early before getting into Sandra mode!) and then later after dressing I made a small meal and caught up on some movies. I saw “Midsommar” on Amazon Prime, which turned out to be so creepy and disturbing that I’m not sure it was the best choice, though it is good if you like horror. The same director also made “Hereditary” with Toni Collette, and you can really see the similarities, especially that feeling of slowly growing dread – fun stuff for the holidays! ;-)

An online friend also sent me a copy of “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” which has a nice scene with the lead, Claire Foy, sealed up by her sister in a full-body latex sleepsack – the scene is maybe not played up to the same degree that fetishists and bondage fans like ourselves would like to see but it’s still pretty hot. By that point I’d had one too many glasses of wine so I was getting a little foggy on the plot anyway. All in all though it was not a bad way to spend the day, dressing and relaxing, and I’ve done much worse. We’ll see where we’re at next year.

So for everyone here in the States I hope you also had a nice Thanksgiving, however you spent it, whether online or face to face. And for everyone, stay safe and be well! Hugs, Sandra

Pre-Covid Halloween

Like so many things this year Halloween has been a lot quieter, though I did get to dress up and watch a good zombie movie with my housemate, “Train to Busan,” which was thoroughly enjoyable.

Let’s hope that next year (maybe next summer or fall?) we’ll be back to going out to West Hollywood again for the big street party. Whenever they do get back to it I’m sure it’ll be the biggest blow-out they’ve ever had. Something to look forward to. In the meantime here are a few pics from last year with my friend Ikaras, plus Victoria Venery and of course Jon Woods and Lorelei from bedroom bondage. Fun night!

Starting to Shoot Again…

Hi Everyone…I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately, and it’s obviously been a strange and worrisome summer with the coronavirus pandemic going on. As I’ve said earlier, there are a lot of opinions about what’s going on, and lots of politics involved, which I don’t need to comment on, though all the polarization does sometimes make me scratch my head. I’ll just leave it at that!

The last few months though I’ve shot a number of self-bondage videos (probably still five or six of them that I haven’t yet released). And since it appears that the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, I’ve also cautiously started to shoot again with other models, taking as many precautions as I can.

Here in L.A. County you can get free Covid testing, though getting the results can sometimes take several days, which makes it much less useful, though it’s something if both the model and me have mostly been staying home. There’s also a lab where the porn stars go which I’ve started to use where they do one- or two-day results. You gotta hand it to the porn stars – if we all took testing (for STDs and now Covid) as seriously as they do, we could bring down the infection rates of this disease considerably in just a couple months.

In any case, I’m trying to be as cautious as I can, getting tested before each shoot and just meeting one on one with the other models. I’ve shot about seven scenes so far, a few with my friend Jeanne and a few with GG Star Nine. And I’ve been reaching out to other models. Everyone has their own comfort level of course and some want to shoot and others want to wait, which I totally understand.

I have been shooting at a slower pace, not surprisingly, and I’ve been posting a lot of the older and “reserve” material that I normally try to keep on hand. So I’ll probably have to slow down my update schedule just a little bit in a month or so, but I’ll post more about that as it gets closer. Trannies in Trouble is continuing on – I’m not going away or shutting down, but I also want to continue to move ahead cautiously, especially with L.A. County still being the Covid hotspot in Southern Californa.

In any case thanks again for everyone’s support and understanding in this strange time. I’ll try to write more news as it comes. In the meantime here are a few recent preview framegrabs from upcoming videos – these were all a blast to shoot! Stay safe and have fun! Hugs, Sandra

Sandra Gibbons talks about what's happening in her world, both bondage related and not