Wednesday 3 October 2012

Words, words, words

I haven't posted for ages, for which I apologise. I've been overwhelmingly busy at work and home for the past two months.

This blog post was suggested in response to something Michelle wrote in her blog, The Michelle in Me, entitled Why am I here? In it, she asks the question: "Why do I have this identity on the Internet?" And it got me thinking. In turn, Michelle's post was prompted by this blog post, Public or Private? by Tina Cortina. This blog post is an elaboration of the answer I posted to Michelle, with some thoughts from Tina's post too.

First, I’m all about words. Some guys go fishing, some play golf. For me, words are one of the things which relaxes me the most. So a blog is a natural thing. Words are innate to me.

I maintain three blogs: one is my professional work one, which covers my research and links to my academic publications (I have written and published quite a lot). It gets a handful of hits most days. The next is my family one, where I post updates about us and the kids and what we are up to. Again it gets a handful of hits a couple of times a week, when someone wonders about the latest news.

Second, at the time I started this blog, I was really struggling with the impact crossdressing was having on my life. I had almost no opportunity to pursue crossdressing as an activity; worse than that, there remains nobody in my life I can actually talk to about it. My wife just doesn't want to even have a discussion about it. As a result, I had no moral compass; no way to compare my feelings and behaviour against any sort of frame of reference. So, no way to even exchange words about it. I needed an outlet, a means of reflecting.

Third, a tremendous amount of what is out there on the Net about crossdressing just doesn't sit right with me (Hairy men in panties? Aargh!). I discussed this in greater detail on another of my posts, Just Like Me? But in my own blog, I can talk about the issues which interest me, and I can put across my own points of view, which don't quite accord with those you might have read else where.

Fourthly, this blog was about developing and maturing my feminine identity. I have posted a couple of pictures of myself here. As I explained elsewhere, I am not an especially successful crossdresser, and many pictures of me dressed are somewhat repellent. Once in a while, I get a nice one, and I've used a couple here. I can look nice 24/7 and present my best "face" to anyone who logs on. In addition, as I said elsewhere, when I first started to crossdress, I fantasised that my feminine self was somehow different from my male self: tempestuous, flirtatious, daring, where I am none of those things in real life. On the other hand, I realise now that actually, Vivienne is not a different side of me, she is me. And therefore, even when dressed, I am scholarly and bookish and academic. So I can be that person here on my blog. Me, but on a good day.

I had great trepidation starting off this blog. My first concern was that nobody would read it. In fact, to my great surprise, within six months the hit counter had overtaken my academic blog, and there has been a varied and interesting selection of comments and discussion posted in response to my articles. I try to find something interesting to write about, so that people will be amused or entertained or a bit intrigued. I think there is no point writing unless people read what you write. On the other hand, some of my favourite posts have garnered very few hits, where others which I consider quite weak have had hundreds of hits. So it shows that me and my “audience” are not wholly in sync!

Inviting: A blank page and a fountain pen
But let me say now, thanks to all of you who have dropped in to read this blog. A special thank-you to those who have linked to it from their own blogs, or "followed" it: you know who you are and you have my gratitude! I do find it tremendously validating when people read my blog, and I count my hits every day (looking for approval from my hit counter?).

The second reason I had great trepidation in starting off this blog is that it made me feel guilty because I was sure my wife would not approve. Though I tried to think of the least harmful way in which I could explore my femininity in a safe and academic way while not being emotionally or physically unfaithful in any way, it still felt wrong, because it was behind her back.

Recently, I told my wife about my blog and she was quite supportive. She wanted the link and I gave it to her, though I honestly can’t tell if she’s read much, or indeed anything. She’s certainly never mentioned it or spoken of anything she’s read. I feel a tremendous sense of relief that I am now blogging with her approval. On the other hand, now I am slightly less comfortable posting, just in case she is disturbed by what she reads. Some of these thoughts are echoed by Tina, in her blog post.

My wife aside, I am almost certain that nobody I know has read any of this blog. But if they did, they would instantly recognise me, for my style of writing, if not for my appearance. (If you do know me, please talk to me about all this!) On the other hand, it's clear that quite a lot of people who stumble on this blog are looking for something else entirely: the search terms which Blogger lists leave me in no doubt that intellectual discussion is far from the minds of some of those who find themselves here!

So overall, this blog has been a great success. It's enabled me to explore my feelings, discuss them with others, and express a point of view. I feel a little bit at home here, where I can be myself, express myself, and unite myself.
Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.


  1. Grok here. I'm definitely interested in intellectual discussions.

  2. Great! Feel free to comment on anything you read, or drop me an email if you prefer to "talk" more privately!


  3. Grok again. In relation to this blog, which topics would you be interested in?

    1. I guess you can see from the range of topics I have covered that I am interested in any topic to do with crossdressing, including slightly tangential topics like entertainment, advertising, androgyny. Join any thread or suggest something new!

  4. Would you be interested in a thread for discussing Third (or Fourth or Fifth....) Gender subcultures? Or a thread discussing Transgender variations?

  5. Grok here. What about a thread about androgyny?

    1. Androgyny: definitely. It's on my to-do list. Third gender subcultures: maybe, but I would need to do my homework first. Transgender variations: the whole blog is about transgender variations!


  6. I stumbled upon this blog by following a link from somewhere else. I was delighted to find intellectual reflections on, and discussions of, cross-dressing. I read "The Story So Far..." first, which struck so many chords, then went back to the beginning and have been gradually catching up over the past several weeks.

    I also really appreciate the links to other blogs (Tina Cortina, The Michelle In Me, etc.), though following them has slowed my progress through this archive.

    Only another 3 years-worth to go...!

    1. Thanks Alice. Delighted you found me. Please enjoy the blog and feel free to comment on any article or to get in touch.