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Poem: "Dress for Myself" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Dress for Myself"
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls.  It fills the "principled or ethical" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest and the "crossdressing / costumes" square in my 1-4-16 card for the Trope Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by curiosity.  It belongs to the Cuoio & Chiara thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

This microfunded poem is part of a package bought during the May half-price sale, to be paid on an installment plan.  So it's not seeking donations from other people, and the remaining material will be posted over time.

Warning: This poem contains some intimate and intense topics.  Highlight to read more details, some of which are spoilers.  Coming home early, Cuoio walks in on Salvo trying on some of Chiara's dresses with her. Cuoio is cool with it; Salvo freaks out; and Chiara smooths it over. It's mostly character development. This poem is probably NSFW. If that's not your thing, you can skip it without missing too much plotty stuff.


Dress for Myself


Cuoio's latest assignment had gone
unexpectedly well, a bit of guard duty
that ended early when a shipment arrived
in late morning instead of early afternoon.

That left him coming home with plenty
of time to take Chiara out on the town.

He scampered up the path to the door
of the little cottage, its smooth-worn wood
already familiar under his fingers
as he pushed it open.

Cuoio could hear voices, light
and cheerful, one joking and
the other laughing, although he
could not make out individual words.

"Chiara, darling, I have the rest
of the day free," he said, moving
from the foyer into the house proper.
"I thought we could go out and ..."
His voice trailed off in shock.

From where he stood, Cuoio
could see through the open door
of the bedroom, where Chiara
stood with her hands full of
lingerie that she held out to ...

Salvo, who was wearing
Chiara's favorite sheath dress,
its stretchy silk lining bedecked
with silver threads and bugle beads,
all fringe from the knees down.

"You're home early," Chiara said.

"My assignment wrapped up,"
Cuoio said. "If I'm interrupting
something, though, I could
always visit the gym instead."

"No, I'm the one who should go,"
Salvo said, sidling away from Cuoio,
behind Chiara and toward the bathroom.

"Are you all right?" Cuoio asked, frowning.

Salvo didn't look all right.
They'd sounded happy enough,
before Cuoio came home, which
made him wonder what he'd
just messed up and how.

"I'm ... fine," Salvo said.

This was quite possibly
the least convincing lie that
Cuoio had ever heard.

Salvo's voice was flat,
he wouldn't make eye contact,
and the silver fringe trembled
where it dragged the floor. He
was enough shorter than Chiara
that her dress was a bit long on him.

Cuoio had gotten the talk about
respecting diversity from Ruggiero,
seen a handful of Family members with
creative modes of dress -- including
that fashion disaster of a healer
and a butch enforcer that Cuoio
wouldn't mind working with again.

He was at a loss regarding what
had gone wrong or how to fix it, but
he had quickly learned to rely
on his new resources.

"Help?" he said, turning to Chiara.

She glanced at Salvo, who
gave her a helpless shrug.

"I asked Salvo for his opinion on what
I should wear tomorrow, and then his ...
reciprocal interest came up," Chiara said.

"I don't see the problem," Cuoio said.

"It's not a habit that everyone
handles gracefully," she said.

Cuoio was sure  the Family guidelines
called for tact in that regard. Ruggiero had
been quite clear on the topic of tolerance.

"I've been told this Family is one of
the more welcoming when it comes
to things like this," said Cuoio.

Chiara sighed. "Every family tree
has some rotten fruit," she said.

"I ... see." Cuoio's voice frosted over.

Salvo flinched, the motion magnified
by the shimmering inches of fringe.

Carefully Cuoio sidled into the bedroom,
keeping close to the wall, which left
the door open in case Salvo chose
to flee. Then he sat down on the bed,
which was low enough to make it
hard to get up again quickly.

"Relax, Salvo," he said. "I don't
know what's happened in the past,
but it is definitely not happening here."

"You don't ... mind?" Salvo said.

"Why would I mind?" Cuoio said.
"Not my dress, not my business.
If Chiara said you could borrow it,
then that's between you and her."

"Some people don't like that I ..."
Salvo waved a hand at the dress.

"Some people are idiots," Cuoio said.
"You look pretty good in that."

Salvo seemed so wrecked that Cuoio
wondered what he was doing wrong
and how to dig himself out of that hole.

Fortunately Chiara came to their rescue.
"Why don't you go try on the blue one?"
she said, pushing some of the lingerie into
Salvo's hands. "Or if you really want, you
can change back into your own clothes."

Salvo scurried into the bathroom,
almost slamming the door in his haste.

"Be gentle with him, Cuoio,
I think that Salvo has had
a hard time," Chiara said.

Cuoio wanted to hit someone,
but he did not know who.
"I'll be careful," he said.

On that count, Cuoio could wait.
He didn't have a target yet, and
Salvo needed his attention now.

Cuoio might be a supervillain,
but he didn't have to be a bully.

Salvo came out of the bathroom
wearing a slinky dress of sapphire silk,
the elegant criss-cross bodice designed
to accentuate breasts he didn't have
and wasn't trying to fake.

"Hmm ..." Cuoio said, trying
to recall the discussions that he
and Chiara had about fashions.

"You hate it," Salvo said.
"I really should go."

"Don't go, I just found you!"
Cuoio exclaimed. "And I don't
hate it, I'm trying to think about
how you look in that dress."

Salvo looked at Chiara.

"Cuoio actually enjoys shopping
for clothes," she confirmed. "He's
new to thinking in terms of fashion,
but I think he has a knack for it."

Salvo turned in place, anxiety
making him too clumsy for
a proper twirl, but at least he
gave Cuoio an all-around view.

"It's a beautiful dress, and it
looks good on you, but there's ...
something missing, I don't know,"
Cuoio said, spreading his hands.
"You have great shoulders and
nice legs, but no bosom and
you're shorter than Chiara too."

"We're still debating whether
Salvo's shoulders are an asset
to be emphasized or a liability
to be disguised," Chiara said.
"Those different strategies call
for different choices in clothing."

"Okay," Cuoio said, turning to Salvo.
"That part is all up to you. If you
are looking for feedback, though,
I'm in favor of the shoulders."

A smile flickered across Salvo's face
and then vanished as quickly as it came.

"That's what is missing!" Cuoio said,
snapping his fingers. "It's your personality.
Chiara is assertive, and you're bubbly.
Well, usually you're bubbly, today you're
as flat as champagne the morning after
a party. You need clothes that reflect that,
and Chiara does flirty but rarely playful.
Most of her dresses are elegant."

"I don't know ..." Salvo said slowly.

"Think about why you're doing this,"
Cuoio suggested. "People dress up for
all different reasons. I want to look sharp
and just a little intimidating. Chiara likes
to show off her muscles in a sexy way.
Why are you dressing up and who is
it for? That helps pick the clothes."

"I just dress for myself," Salvo said.
"It makes me happy. Most of the time
nobody else sees me dressed up anyway."

Cuoio privately thought that was
a shame, but kept it to himself.

"Do you always borrow, or do you have
some dresses of your own as well?"
Cuoio asked, leaning forward.

"I have some of my own, but not
very many," Salvo said. "I haven't ...
had much opportunity for that. I don't
borrow often, either, it's not exactly safe."

Cuoio wanted to hit someone again,
but this time he hid the impulse
better to avoid spooking Salvo.

"Well then, it sounds like a shopping trip
is in order, and we happen to have the day free,"
Cuoio said. "Chiara, do you know of a good place
we could go? The butches and the male comares
must be getting their clothes from somewhere, so
I assume the Family either runs a suitable store
or has allies who do. What's near here?"

"There's the Mosaic," she said at once.
"I shop there sometimes, because it's hard
to find clothes for my body in a women's store.
Designers expect women to have more curves.
Plus the Mosaic carries both new and used clothes,
if budgeting is a concern. It's a friendly place."

"I'm buying today," Cuoio said with a wave of
his hand. "I like to see my people fitted out
in proper style. That makes me happy."

"I'm your bodyguard, not your comare,"
Salvo pointed out, but he was fingering
the soft blue silk quite fondly.

"Still one of my people," Cuoio said.
"You make me laugh, and I need that.
I want you to have what you need, too."

What he didn't say out loud was that
Salvo made him feel alive again in ways
that he hadn't for some time, like Chiara
but different. Salvo protected Cuoio from
the dark memories, protected him from
himself, and that was a remarkable thing
for a bodyguard to be able to do.

Buying Salvo a dress or two would be
small compensation, but it was a start.

Perhaps it showed on Cuoio's face,
because Salvo smiled a little wider
and said, "Okay. Let's go shopping."

If anyone made Salvo cry today, Cuoio
would seriously punch them in the face.

He trusted Chiara's recommendation
of a suitable shop, though; that was
part of her job and he was really
beginning to appreciate the luxury
of having a comare for advice.

"You take the bathroom, I can change
right here," Chiara said to Salvo.

Cuoio's day was looking better every minute.

* * *

Notes:

This is the quote for the title.

Cuoio's Italian cottage has a very simple layout.  See the exterior and the floor plan.  On the left, the patio has an arbor above it.  The living room has a couch that converts to a bed.  Between the living room and the kitchen is a center wall with a hearth fountain facing the living room and a shelving niche facing the kitchen.

See Chiara's silver dress.

Crossdressing involves wearing clothes typically associated with a different sex.  There are many reasons why men choose to crossdress.  It doesn't correlate strongly with homosexuality; most crossdressers are straight men who simply enjoy the way it makes them feel.  Some but not all transfolk go through a crossdressing phase before discovering or admitting their innate gender.  Here is a basic wardrobe checklist and a list of tips on how to crossdress.  Consider trying it for self-growth.

This is Chiara's blue dress.

Dressing for your body requires knowing your shape.  It's an important skill for crossdressers.  Here are some ideas for flattering different body shapes and highlighting your assets.  Understand that what you consider your "assets" is a very personal decision and you don't have to follow the usual rules if you don't want to.  Chiara considers her muscles an asset, so she often dresses to show them off instead of trying to create a more traditionally feminine hourglass.  Cuoio agrees that this is hawt, so everyone wins.

People have many reasons for dressing up.  Ideally, your clothes should express your personality.  Here are some tips on developing your personal style.

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28 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 24th, 2016 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cuoio is a good guy.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 24th, 2016 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

I think so too.

People on the other side of a fight from him would probably disagree! ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 2nd, 2016 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
This was very yes. People should be able to feel happy with their clothes. :)

--alatefeline
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 2nd, 2016 09:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

I'm glad you liked it. I want to do the clothes shopping too, because it's a bit different than the earlier one with Chiara.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 2nd, 2016 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)

yay! *handflap*

so excited! Do we get to see them shopping?! That would be made of win!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2016 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: yay! *handflap*

We get to see them shopping, if people prompt for it. Several folks have expressed interest. There is a fishbowl coming up on Tuesday, July 5 with a theme of "Is there a word for that feeling?" which really fits. Come and prompt!
From: technoshaman Date: July 2nd, 2016 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait... is Cuoio bi? Or just appreciative of beauty where he sees it? obviously Chiara is more than okay with this concept... *laughter* it occurs to me that an obvious crossdresser, dressed for movement as well as ... success... could *ahem* pass... for "not a threat" until and unless the fit hit the shan...

(Zelazny I think takes the cake for "most egregious pun" with that one... but I digress.)

Just the idea of male/butch comares makes me happy; it tells me that whole mini-society is done *right*, which isn't exactly like the L-American mafia (having a number of attitudes leftover from conservative, old-country Catholicism, after all).... OTOH, I see echoes of Cuoio's emotions within myself when it's mentioned that somebody was less than kind to one of my people... now, the question is, if I'm thinking ahead (and Cuoio is starting to do this), do I punch this mook myself, or do I *hold him* for Salvo to use as target practice?

I'm with Cuoio WRT Chiara's look... something backless and halter-toppy with a long skirt with long slits... A finely-muscled back like that and sculpted calves peeking out - with the inevitable walk that someone with time in the dojo as well as the regular gym is gonna have - says "you can look all you want, but *don't touch*. Don't *even* whistle." :D Mmmmm, mm, MM. And Cuoio, like me, has learnt to revel in her presence... and even rely on her. Good man!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 2nd, 2016 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> Wait... is Cuoio bi? Or just appreciative of beauty where he sees it? <<

I'm not sure. He may not have a rigid orientation. It does seem to be flexible at the moment because he's highly responsive to trying new things. The things I know for sure are that he greatly enjoys having sex with women, and he's capable of forming deep, permanent platonic bonds with men.

>> obviously Chiara is more than okay with this concept...<<

The comares tend to be very broad-minded, or at least that's the ideal which is taught in their classes. Of course they have personal tastes, but it's not a job for someone with a lot of squicks or who's stuffy about sex/relationships. I guess you could say they're libertines with a lot of practical skills who want the security of a contract.

>> *laughter* it occurs to me that an obvious crossdresser, dressed for movement as well as ... success... could *ahem* pass... for "not a threat" until and unless the fit hit the shan... <<

I had not thought of that, but you're right. It isn't the kind of thing most fighter bosses could pull off, although there have been a few women who've done it. Cuoio would be brilliant at that. Just as women tend to be underestimated, the same happens with feminine-seeming men. People would look at Cuoio in a dress and think "pansy" right up until he cleaned their clock. ^_^

>> Just the idea of male/butch comares makes me happy; it tells me that whole mini-society is done *right*, <<

You are heartily encouraged to prompt for this, as I'd love to show more of them. There are a few butch comares, but more of the butches tend to wind up as bodyguards or enforcers. Most of the male comares are pretty boys, but some of them are staunchly masculine. And I know at least one man who wears his hair long, is not a comare, takes care of his boss, and kind of had to write his own job description. The Marionettes are flexible that way.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 2nd, 2016 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts


>> which isn't exactly like the L-American mafia (having a number of attitudes leftover from conservative, old-country Catholicism, after all).... <<

At one point Ruggiero mentioned that this is one of two or three Families with a high tolerance for sex/gender diversity. Most are more conservative in that regard. What this means is the Marionettes are pulling from much of Europe. They attract people who don't fit in elsewhere, which also runs up their percentage of soups, and that influx of skills and talent is part of what keeps them on the top of the heap. They're still conservative in other ways, like don't get drunk in public and how people's clothing usually though not quite always matches their job.

>> OTOH, I see echoes of Cuoio's emotions within myself when it's mentioned that somebody was less than kind to one of my people... now, the question is, if I'm thinking ahead (and Cuoio is starting to do this), do I punch this mook myself, or do I *hold him* for Salvo to use as target practice? <<

If Salvo were going to defend himself, he would've done it instead of leaving the estate. You know how some people can't stand up to a childhood bully, and it's worse when an adult is protecting the bully. 0_o So I have notes on the scene in which Cuoio introduces the fellow's face to the side of a door. Which is not how problems are supposed to be solved inside the Family, but no one had quite got around to explaining that yet.

>> I'm with Cuoio WRT Chiara's look... something backless and halter-toppy with a long skirt with long slits... A finely-muscled back like that and sculpted calves peeking out <<

Yep. She likes to flaunt her arms and legs. Look at her choices in "Poleaxed" and you can see some of this. You're right that I should look for something backless, though.

>> with the inevitable walk that someone with time in the dojo as well as the regular gym is gonna have <<

:D Oh yes. Chiara stalks or strides, rather than the hip-swaying saunter that most comares use. She moves much like a horse. Those legs!

>> says "you can look all you want, but *don't touch*. Don't *even* whistle." <<

Comares have a tendency to break straying hands. There are reasons why the formal greetings are structured the way they are, and that's one of them.

>> :D Mmmmm, mm, MM. And Cuoio, like me, has learnt to revel in her presence... and even rely on her. Good man! <<

Definitely so.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: July 3rd, 2016 02:11 am (UTC) (Link)
«"you can look all you want, but *don't touch*»

My daughter just came back to the States for a month or two, from traveling and teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language) in Asia, to see friends and take care of some business. Today she was wearing a T-shirt saying

DON'T

XXX


Edited at 2016-07-03 02:12 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2016 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

Good idea. I've seen assorted "don't touch" buttons and shirts and such.
starcat_jewel From: starcat_jewel Date: July 2nd, 2016 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww! Now I want to see a follow-up and find out what they pick!
From: rhodielady_47 Date: July 2nd, 2016 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like it that Cuoio is smart enough to want to take care of his people.
:^}
thnidu From: thnidu Date: July 3rd, 2016 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Cuoio is thoughtful. When he sees that he's getting into emotionally dangerous territory for the person he's talking with,* he takes his time and tries to work out ways to ease them.

* And who he wants to be friends with. I suspect that with an enemy he'd be thoughtful, in advance if possible, to push them toward a more vulnerable condition.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2016 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

>> Cuoio is thoughtful. <<

He is that. He's also young enough to be impressionable, and he has taken up with an emotional expert. Won't this be fun?

>> When he sees that he's getting into emotionally dangerous territory for the person he's talking with,* he takes his time and tries to work out ways to ease them.<<

Sooth. He has also learned, very quickly, to rely on Chiara's strengths. She's not going to turn loose of a boss who makes it that easy to do her job. ;)

>> * And who he wants to be friends with. <<

Cuoio has very good taste in people.

>> I suspect that with an enemy he'd be thoughtful, in advance if possible, to push them toward a more vulnerable condition. <<

That isn't the kind of work he's been doing so far, but he is just astute enough to spot an opportunity and take advantage of it. Which is the sort of initiative that leads to assignments like that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2016 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm glad that appeals to you. He's a very generous and protective boss. This is going to make him popular. :D
curiosity From: curiosity Date: July 3rd, 2016 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes!

Shopping for Salvo!

Wine Red / Backless Dress

Black Backless

Mesh Sleeve Backless

Turquoise Strappy Backless

Floral Dress

Lacy Lookin' Backless

No, I am not hoping for the shopping trip write-up at all. >.>
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2016 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes!

Of those, the mesh sleeve, turquoise, and lacy ones are the best matches for Chiara's style. The floral is a definite miss: she doesn't often wear 'girly' things like pale pink or little flowers. Fuchsia or bold orchids, maybe.

These are the ones I found this afternoon:

Black Beaded Backless Dress

Long Black Backless Dress

White Backless Dress of Linen and the Back

Red Backless Dress and its Back

Of those, the white stands out as simpler and less brazenly sexy. I think she likes it for a beach dress. Linen is so breathable, it's comfortable as well as pretty.

Since they're going to a shop that carries both new and used clothing, my thought is that Chiara finds a rack of runway clothes -- things that were made to show a new line, which means they're deeply discounted high fashion due to being hacked into fit. They'll need attention from a good seamstress to undo the hasty alterations and fine-tune them for Chiara's figure, but it's an awesome find. :D Salvo is getting the new clothes this trip.

Feel free to prompt for the shopping trip in Tuesday's fishbowl. Several people have expressed interest in it. :D There are certain to be thematically relevant moments of emotional confusion.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2016 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm happy you had fun with this one.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 4th, 2016 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
"He may be a super villain, but he didn't have to be a bully" just got to me. Whoever hurt Salvo is going to come to regret it. Yay for Cuoio and Chiara being supportive!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 4th, 2016 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> "He may be a super villain, but he didn't have to be a bully" just got to me. <<

Aww!

>> Whoever hurt Salvo is going to come to regret it. <<

Yes, yes he will. :D Feel free to prompt for that if you want to see it. There's a fishbowl on Tuesday, July 5 with a theme of "Is there a word for that feeling?" which ought to suit. Several folks have asked for more of this.

>> Yay for Cuoio and Chiara being supportive! <<

They are good people, despite being mobsters, and they're good with each other in particular.
helgatwb From: helgatwb Date: July 4th, 2016 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the resources. My son is a crossdresser, and I have no resources. Most of what I've found sexualizes it, and that's not what he's getting out of it. He's physically comfortable in the clothes, and likes to look pretty.

Oh, and the poem was great, too.

It feels selfish of me, but I'm more interested in the resources right now. Is that okay?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 4th, 2016 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> Thank you for the resources. <<

You're welcome.

>> My son is a crossdresser, <<

How wonderful for him! *waves hi*

>> and I have no resources. Most of what I've found sexualizes it, and that's not what he's getting out of it. He's physically comfortable in the clothes, and likes to look pretty. <<

Well, that's what most crossdressers get out of it. Among the most prevalent reasons is texture: women's clothes are often soft, silky, fuzzy, lacy, etc. in ways that men's usually are not. Another is color, since women get to wear bright or pastel colors far more often. Some men dislike the feeling of having their legs and crotch snugged into pants, hence the popularity of kilts and robes in addition to dresses or skirts.

As for looking pretty, that's where you see one of the big divisions: men who want to look like dressy men, and men who want to look like women. Cuoio is in the former category, because he doesn't shave off his facial hair or wear breastforms. But some men like emulating women, and only a few of those are transfolk in progress. Some genderfluid people move along this spectrum. Another reason for crossdressing is when a man has a very strong anima, or inner feminine spirit. Any type of crossdressing can help a man explore his anima, which is a very healthy thing to do and improves relationships with women (platonic or romantic).

http://www.geocities.ws/karenspecial/junganima.html

http://www.transvestitelounge.com/articles/95-the-beauty-of-crossdressing

>> Oh, and the poem was great, too. <<

Thank you!

>> It feels selfish of me, but I'm more interested in the resources right now. Is that okay? <<

That's okay. Take what you need from my writing. Once it's posted, you can share it with anyone you think would appreciate it.

Several folks have asked for more of Cuoio, Chiara, and now Salvo's crossdressing thread. If you're interested too, feel free to prompt for it in tomorrow's fishbowl.
helgatwb From: helgatwb Date: July 5th, 2016 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Well, he's cisgender, and he's always been interested in girls, in that prepubescent way that usually matures into a sexual interest after puberty. He's just now getting to the maturity level where he's getting bi-curious. I don't know where he'll wind up on the spectrum, but he's exploring right now. His gender expression has always been a mix of masculine and feminine, and the crossdressing seems to be a mix of that and not wanting the bits squished. I just didn't have any information before, and I'm so grateful for this. Thank you.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 5th, 2016 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

>> Well, he's cisgender, and he's always been interested in girls, in that prepubescent way that usually matures into a sexual interest after puberty. <<

That makes sense.

>> He's just now getting to the maturity level where he's getting bi-curious. I don't know where he'll wind up on the spectrum, but he's exploring right now. <<

Exploring is good! :D It may help to know that there are many aspects of sexuality, romance, and socialization. One may be interested having sex with someone, doing romantic things, or being best friends. It's a good idea to check all the lines for an active signal, because the mainstream culture has a tendency to quash a lot more than just gay sex. >_< Homoromantic and homoaffectionate are real too.

>> His gender expression has always been a mix of masculine and feminine, and the crossdressing seems to be a mix of that and not wanting the bits squished. <<

That makes sense. Regarding the latter, I do recommend looking into kilt culture. It attracts a lot of men who for various reasons do not like constricting their boybits. Some of them can be dress-hostile dicks but there are also genderqueer and crossdresser guys (and a few gals).

>> I just didn't have any information before, and I'm so grateful for this. Thank you. <<

*bow, flourish* Happy to be of service. Holler if you/he should get stuck. Keep an eye on Astin's thread over in An Army of One, too, because that's another place where I'm posting links to gender expression and dress mode.
kengr From: kengr Date: May 12th, 2017 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay for Salvo getting support. I was in my late 30s before I got any for my interest in crossdressing (and in kink).

There's a sexual component, but a lot of it is that if I'd been left to my own choices, I'd have socialized as a girl growing up.

I got a strong dose of gender policing when I started school. :-(

But I got some really good help from a friend. She is an inveterate thrift store shopper. and, even though we are very different in height (I'm 6'0", she's 4'10") our body shapes are similar enough that if something turns out to be a bit small on me, often she can wear it, and vice versa.

Nice to be able to trade dresses. Also nice to not have to return things that weren't *quite* the right size.

If you are curious, some pics: http://brooke.shadowgard.com/photos.html

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 13th, 2017 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> Yay for Salvo getting support. <<

\o/

>>I was in my late 30s before I got any for my interest in crossdressing (and in kink).<<

Bummer.

>>There's a sexual component, but a lot of it is that if I'd been left to my own choices, I'd have socialized as a girl growing up. <<

That makes sense.

>> I got a strong dose of gender policing when I started school. :-( <<

That sucks.

>> But I got some really good help from a friend. She is an inveterate thrift store shopper. and, even though we are very different in height (I'm 6'0", she's 4'10") our body shapes are similar enough that if something turns out to be a bit small on me, often she can wear it, and vice versa.<<

Yay! Awesome friend.

>> Nice to be able to trade dresses. Also nice to not have to return things that weren't *quite* the right size.<<

Agreed.

>> If you are curious, some pics: http://brooke.shadowgard.com/photos.html <<

The winged sleeves on the transparent top look very nice.
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