Friday, 26 July 2013

Men in Skirts

Most of this blog is about men who want to appear as feminine as possible, including some who want to transition. It's only fair that we consider those at the other end of the spectrum.

Recently my friend Ralph (read his blog here) posted on his blog about Mike at Fashion Freestyler. I clicked on over, and from there clicked on some other links. It seems there is a whole community of men out there who are saying: "Hey, I'm a guy. I don't want a fem name. I don't want to wear makeup or false breasts, or a wig. I just like to wear skirts. Deal with it!"


Ralph channelling his inner kendo master
Ralph isn't the first such person I have come across, but he is the one I know best of all, from our email correspondence. I admire his wisdom and his relaxed attitude, but I struggle to comprehend his motivations. (I suppose someone might well say they struggle to comprehend mine!). By his own admission, Ralph is most comfortable wearing a dress or a skirt or a nightgown, so he does, pretty much all the time. He admits he treats his clothing as any man would: wads it up and leaves it lying around for next time. He doesn't do shoes, or cosmetics, or wigs, or hair removal. It seems to be just a comfort thing.

Even his online avatar is designed to mimic his real life appearance: a slightly bearded man wearing a dress.

Ralph's comment about Mike is "This dude gets it. He doesn’t want to be a girl; he doesn’t want to make clothing a part of his sex life… he just wants the barriers between “what women wear” and “what men wear” torn down and be free to wear what he finds comfortable from either side of the aisle."

For his part, Mike writes:
I started as most crossdressers start, by wanting to wear clothing that was typically associated with women. Everything from skirts to make-up to pink. But unlike other crossdressers I did not desire to be a female when wearing female garments. I’m happy to be a man. I just want to be able to express myself with greater fashion freedom and less societal pushback. I want men in general to have more choice than the same boring clothing options we always get.
I believe in the equality of the genders and I firmly believe that although women still struggle to make headway in society as full equals to men, men also need to make headway into areas that have typically been associated with females. One of those areas being fashion freedom. The genders are not truly equal until a man or a woman can walk down the street in their choice of pants or a dress without being looked at strangely or laughed at. 
Mike at Fashion Freestyler
Mike's blog has several pictures of him, and here he is. I see the dramatic masculine pose. I see the boots, the T-shirt, and the absence of other feminine features (even the skirt isn't especially feminine). In fact, the male barista in my local coffee shop wears an almost identical outfit every day (the "skirt" in his case is a long black apron, but it looks extremely similar), and it has never crossed my mind (nor, probably, his) that he could be considered to be a crossdresser, or a fashion freestyler. If I saw Mike wearing this in the street, I would assume the skirt was some kind of apron, rather than an attempt to break out of the fetters of male fashion.

In another of his posts, Mike is wearing a "kilt-like skirt", which has a vaguely tartan pattern. This makes me smile, since I have frequently worn a real kilt, and it has never crossed my mind that the kilt was in the least feminine. To put just one example, a woman wearing a skirt will deliberately sit with her knees together for modesty, where a man in a kilt will deliberately sit with his knees apart, using the weight of his sporran (the pouch) to keep the folds of the kilt down. (They do say that a "true" Scotsman goes commando under his kilt. Though I have indeed done that, it's not particularly special in any way, and probably a bit unhygienic). Add to that, the "traditional" Highland dress features a dagger in the sock; not exactly a feminine touch.

The kilt and accoutrements as we see them today are (as so many things) a romantic invention which caught on, like the popular image of the chivalrous cowboy. However, it is still an evolving style, and wearing a kilt casually (kilt, belt, boots, plain sporran, T-shirt or rugby shirt) is quite a common sight in Scotland, and not in the least worthy of comment. Kilts are traditionally made of wool patterned as tartan. However, some designers are making kilts out of unorthodox fabrics, such as denim. In addition, for formal wear, some designers are producing a plain black woollen kilt, which I happen to think looks fantastic.

Michael Spookshow
All this talk of kilts brings me on to Michael Spookshow of His Black Dress.com, a "freestyle fashion blog advocating fashion freedom for men. [It] is about men rocking skirts, dresses & heels as everyday attire."

 Michael's term for men who wear kilt-like garments is "Bravehearts", which also makes me smile, as I naturally associate this term with hairy men with woad-splattered faces chasing Mel Gibson across the fields.

The next step, Michael writes, is the "one item rule", where men wear one item of fem clothing amid a standard masculine getup. The purpose of doing this, Michael suggests, is for men as a whole to gain acceptance wearing skirts first, getting a toe in the door, so to speak, before opening it an inch at a time.

Michael regards the final point on his continuum to be complete androgyny. He writes:
As we approach androgyny we must first come into the area I fall into, men who ignore the gender label on clothing. This man will wear skirts, dresses, tights, heels, whatever, but will still keep his appearance male. He believes that clothing has no inherent gender, and that it's silly to put such restrictions on fabric. Speaking personally, to me it's about men having a full range of expression and experiences.
To be fair to Michael, his blog contains many essays describing his thoughts and points of view. It's not really possible or reasonable to summarise all of it here, and I commend you to take a look for yourself. But I don't see complete androgyny to be the end of the spectrum; I consider complete feminine emulation to be the other end of the spectrum from the Bravehearts.

When I look at Michael, I see something quite different. I chose this image as one typical of the many, many hundreds on his blog. I see a man with shaved legs, wearing dresses, skirts, fabulous heels, and deliberately posing in a feminine way (one knee slightly bent, one hand on the hip). To an objective observer, there seems to be something different going on. I wrote to Michael to ask him about this. He replied:
My answer is that I shave my legs because I like the feeling and aesthetics of it, and I don't really understand why such an act should even be reserved solely for women. The answer as to why I don't just "go all the way" when I've already chosen to wear a dress, tights, and heels, is because I don't want to and don't have to. Ironically, despite the fact I'm a makeup artist by trade, I don't like to wear makeup. I don't wear a wig because I don't really like having hair (my baldness is, at present, completely by choice). In making the sartorial choices that I make, my hope is that it challenges some of those preconceived gender stereotypes that have been preordained and foisted upon us. The question of "Why is that man wearing a dress?" will hopefully lead to "What makes a dress for women only anyhow?"
For me, I want to be as feminine as possible. I don't wear one item at a time, and I don't wear fem underwear under male clothing, because that doesn't "do it" enough for me. Not only do I want to look as feminine as possible, I want to look attractive too.


I promise this image is not a hoax!
What strikes me is that Ralph's kendo master, and Mike's aproned barista, don't look remotely feminine, which implies they are doing it for some other reason (though Michael is definitely doing it partly for the appearance). For Ralph it seems to be about comfort; for Mike and Michael, acceptance and freedom, but all of them hint at the tactile pleasures of skirted garments. Indeed, Grok has posted on Ralph's blog about the Skirt Cafe, an online forum devoted to the practice of men wearing skirted garments. Though I am not a member, I am indebted to Grok for bringing to my attention some of the terminology they employ, including skirtonian, a person of either sex who enjoys skirted garments, and the classification of bifurcated or unbifurcated garments. Phew! You know people are starting to take things seriously when they start inventing a whole new vocabulary to describe it!

Indeed the skirtonian inhabitants of Skirt Cafe seem also to have a preoccupation with other skirt-like garments for men, not just the kilt but the kaftan, the abaya, the changshan, and other unbifurcated garments. I don't suppose wearing any of those garments would press my buttons any more than a kilt does; but clearly there are plenty of people who think otherwise.

For myself, I have stumbled across this site, which is all about tights for men. It seems there is indeed a tangible groundswell of men who want the fashion freedom which women currently enjoy; certainly, if Michael Spookshow's hit counter is anything to go by, it's much more popular than discussing crossdressing as a scholarly subject.

Where do these men fit into the autogynephilia spectrum? Do they even fit at all? It's really hard to be sure. This is what makes me think the model maybe isn't as simple as it purports to be, though your comments here would be very welcome. There are other potential exceptions to the model as well, which I will blog about when I get the chance.

Overall, I entirely support the freedom of men to wear whatever they want (how could it be otherwise?). And anyone who does anything to further that cause is OK by me. Carry on, chaps!

You might be interested in the related, but different topics, Men with Long Nails, or Women with Beards, or that perennial question: what do men's underwear and Fight Club have in common?

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Addendum: 23rd February 2014

Via Helen Boyd, I have just come across this article in the LA Weekly about Brian and Debbie McCloskey. Entitled Brian and Debbie McCloskey: He Wears a Dress. She's Fine With That and written by Gendy Alimurung, the article takes a sympathetic, matter-of-fact approach to an interview with the couple.
Alimurung: He isn't glamorous, like RuPaul. Or creepy, like some weird, bearded guy in a bikini. Or twisted, like the psychotic killer in The Silence of the Lambs. Brian is a slender, willowy brunet who dresses like a prim and proper lady out of a Talbots catalog: classy, conservative, covered. He favors A-line, knee-length dresses and tights, with a cardigan to hide his arms and "man shoulders." He's a modest sort of transvestite. He keeps his hair long. Debbie keeps hers shortish. Neither bothers with makeup, though Debbie has offered to help him figure out how to apply it if he wants.
Brian told his supervisor at work he wanted to wear dresses to work, and she was completely accepting. So he does. He doesn't have a fem name; he doesn't seek hormones or surgery; he doesn't use women's bathrooms, he doesn't even wear makeup. He just likes to wear women's clothing.
Alimurung: Though he doesn't necessarily feel more attractive dressed as a woman, there are certain times when he does feel "kind of pretty."

"It was the Ann Taylor," he says, turning to Debbie. "You know, the black-and-white one? When I wore that last month, I was walking to work and I was kind of skipping? Swinging my purse and skipping."
This and other clues in the article point to the suggestion that Brian is more of an "ordinary" transvestite (like me) than he might perhaps like to admit. Nonetheless, he is an extremely fortunate man, and I envy him.

Practical: Utilikilts
Brian maintains a blog about pop music, which you can read here.

Addendum: 7th March 2014

There is a further discussion of men in skirts here on Jonathan's blog, Male Femme.

Addendum: 10th November 2015

Thanks to Susie on Quora, I came across this company I had never heard of before. The Utilikilts company was established in the year 2000 and specialises in practical kilt garments for men, with an emphasis on ruggedness, practicality and masculinity.

Their website is absolutely stuffed full of men wearing their creations, hiking across hills, taking apart trucks, sawing up huge logs, and generally displaying the most masculine attributes imaginable.

I think it's quite an interesting idea. I am not sure why a kilt would seem to be more practical than a pair of canvas work trousers (except when working in very hot weather). Nonetheless, the garments seem to be very popular, and the website has a veritable plethora of fabrics and styles from which to choose.
 

47 comments:

  1. I may just be really skeptical, but I feel like their motivations boil down to the same emotional or sexual components as our motivations. It just has manifested in a slightly different way. For some crossdressers, heels or painted nails are one of the most important things. For some they are a turn off. For some crossdressers, looking completely like a woman is what they want, while for others looking like a blend of the genders is more satisfying. Obviously I could be wrong, since I don't know these guys that well or their motivations, but my hunch is that they have psychological stuff going on with the clothing just as we do. Otherwise why would it be so important to them? As they say, it's just fabric? If it's just fabric, why all the pictures, the talk, the fascination with it, and the need to do it, and all of that meaning that they have to deal with the hatred of the culture? Maybe they are just more courageous than I, but if all they are doing is trying to change the stereotypes of the culture, or wanting to be more comfortable by wearing a skirt, they are willing to put up with a heck of a lot of persecution and misunderstanding, for very very very small rewards. Which again is why I think there must be more going on there. I think a lot of their explanations as to their behavior are rationalizations, and I say that because I have said those same rationalizations to myself many times to cover up my true motivations for crossdressing.

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  2. Abaya and changsam are basically dresses for Arab and Chinese women. Not associated with "Bravehearts." Some variants of caftans are intended for men.

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    1. I didn't choose those examples myself but instead just repeated the examples on Skirt Cafe. That said, skirted garments for men are extremely common in many non-Western cultures around the world. It just happens that the kilt is one such garment which fits within Western culture.

      Vivienne.

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    2. How much of the variation seen could be attributed simply to differences in temperament? No two individuals have exactly the same personality.

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  3. One theme for "Bravehearts" is physical comfort-skirts as being much more comfortable than trousers. A good argument, and a good reason to have such garments as an option. (I agree that traditional masculine garments such as kilts "don't do it").

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  4. For discussion of gender, check out posts for "I'm Not Gay Dude," the Fashion Freestyler link above.

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  5. A term that may be useful-[url=http://www.urbandictionary.com/define,php?term=janegirl]Janegirl[/url]

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    1. Hello anonymous poster.

      It makes sense that we would need a feminine version of "tomboy", and I suppose "janegirl" fits the bill, though I have never seen it in print.

      Urban dictionary says a janegirl is "a boy who dresses and sometimes behaves the way girls are expected to, often into more feminine things like dolls, dancing, fashion, gymnastics or beauty. Stereotypically wears clothing of more feminine taste and design, but not necessarily full drag. Often brought up with a lot of sisters or a child of a single mother."

      I disagree with the last sentence completely. I think there is nothing whatever to suggest that upbringing makes any difference to gender identity. But who am I to argue against urban wisdom?

      It would be great if you could identify yourself by some sort of name, just to differentiate yourself from the other anonymous posters on this blog.

      Vivienne.

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  6. Grok. "Comment as" offers limited options. I am not an expert, but I suspect that you are right-that the gender thing is based on nature rather than nuture. The links I mentioned above discussed this. Not only studies of people, but experiments with rats. Biologists manipulate hormones during pregnancy, affecting fetal rat brains. This can influence sexual orientation (which is distinct from gender), as well as gender. For humans, at least, gender seems to have two distinct aspects, Gender Identity and Gender Expression.

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  7. As for Gender Expression, one study indicated that at a certain point in pregnancy testosterone may result in Tomboys. On the other hand, lack of testosterone at a similar point may result in a boy with a feminine gender expression.

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  8. Grok again. "Gender Identity Disorder" (GID) is hard wired into the brain (as is Sexual Orientation). However, Western Civilization demands conformity to a rigid "Gender Binary." Some other societies accept variants; this seems more realistic to me, and perhaps a cultural maturity.

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    1. Hi Grok. I suspected it was you but couldn't be sure.

      It is absolutely certain that alterations in the hormonal environment of the uterus during gestation produces permanent changes in the behaviour of animals, and if you do it at just the right time, you can do it without altering the physical development of the animal. Put crudely, you can produce ewes which behave as if they are rams, including attempting to mount other ewes.

      If such a thing is possible in other mammals, it must be possible in humans too.

      I think gender in humans may be even more complicated than you suggest. Read my post "How Many of us Are There?" for my early attempts to figure it out.

      Vivienne.

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  9. Indeed, I have looked at a number of web sites and books, trying to figure myself out. For humans, besides sexual orientation, there seem to be parts of the brain that involve two aspects of gender-Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. For Gender Expression we may have such variants as Tomboys, and effeminate men. Actually, I suspect that it is more complicated than that. What if Gender Expression has a variant analagous to bisexuality? or to a bigender Gender Identity?

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  10. Another possibility would be to use the term "berdache". The Free Dictionary's online definition-"The name given by early French explorers to Native Americans who fulfilled mixed gender roles, either as male two spirits or female two spirits."

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  11. I find the different gender variants fascinating, as well as the brain/neurology topic. There isn't much more that I can say, however, I am no expert.

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  12. Other designations have been proposed for the group with no name, such as "freestyler" and "casual cross dresser." I don't know which name may eventually stick. But I nope it won't be one that sounds clinical.

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    1. Hi Grok,

      I think berdache is a very interesting word, although I think, (like tranny) it can carry unpleasant connotations which upset some people.

      Like you, I find gender variation fascinating, and it's difficult to tease out from sex variation (some people are physically between male and female, or a bit of both), and sexuality variation (where some people are gay, others straight, and a few are a bit of both). In part, this blog is about making sense of all of that, and attempting to discover my own part in it all. I tend to think that "masculinity" and "femininity" are independent concepts, and I tend to think I score quite highly in both. In other words, I agree with you about the notion that there are people who are "a bit of both" in their gender.

      Another theme of this blog is to try to simplify the various terms in use out there. I think new terms can be a deliberate source of separation and confusion, but I agree that terms which are clinical or pejorative are best avoided. That's why I use the word crossdresser to describe myself; it describes my behaviour without implying anything about my motivations.

      Vivienne.

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  13. I imagine that different groups will develop their own terms for themselves. For example, the "freestylers", who distinguish themselves from the "trannys" (transvestites), and don't call them "cross dressers." (Actually, I preferred the proposed term "casual cross dresser" for the Freestylers, due to its honesty).

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  14. Some existing terms may be worth retaining: drab, Skirtonian, outed, Trousers Tyranny.

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  15. I take Mike at his word. That he wants broader self-expression. I think a lot of guys do. But there are a few acceptable ways for your "typical guy" to do that. So guys are often obsessed with watches, their one piece of jewelry. Or they will have some fancy socks hiding underneath an otherwise drab outfit. They will wear bright Hawaiian shirts when they get a chance. They are interested in buying colorful, cool looking, expressive ties when they have a chance to wear them.

    Why wouldn't men want to be able to incorporate some color and interest and self-expression into their boring clothing choices? And sometimes dresses are just more comfortable. That just sounds human to me.

    I believe there are all sorts of humans out there and Mike isn't your typical man or your typical cross-dresser, seems to me. And yet he does seem to have something in common with both typical men and typical cross-dressers.

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    1. I think you are right that some men want to jazz up more than just their watches, socks and ties. Where I seem to differ from them (and from guys like Mike) is that I seem to derive sensual pleasure from the wearing of female clothing. In other words, it feels good as well as looking good.

      I especially love tights for the feeling they create. I wonder if men who wear tights are doing it more for the tactile pleasure than the aesthetic appearance?

      Vivienne.

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  16. Goodness, go away for a couple of weeks and all of a sudden this place is bursting with activity! Thanks for the shout-out, Vivienne.

    I'm definitely in the "it feels better" rather than "it looks better" crowd. I have absolutely no eye for visual appeal; I don't notice which colors go together or which patterns are appealing vs. appalling.

    I'd be lying if I claimed that there has never been a sexual pull for crossdressing. In my youth, putting on a dress or a pair of pantyhose was quite erotic. Of course as a typical teen/young adult male, pretty much everything that involved something soft coming into contact with my lower regions was quite erotic. But as I've gotten older and my libido has diminished, that particular aspect is no longer at play. There's probably a fine line between the sexual thrill and a more subdued sensual enjoyment of the fabric on skin -- probably releases the same kind of endorphins either way. So it's probably impossible to completely disentangle "this feeling makes me happy" vs. "this feeling makes me sexually aroused".

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    1. Hey Ralph. Glad you had a great time away!

      I agree that feelings of fulfilment may come emotionally or sexually (or intellectually, or in other ways), and it can be sometimes hard to separate them out.

      Vivienne.

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  17. Could one become more genteel in one's older years, as one matures...and the sex drive cools?

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  18. Grok here I'm 56 year old, and my sex drive seems to be fading towards extinction. I've actually started trying to imagine future as an old person. Perhaps I will be considered somewhat eccentric, with an intellectual bent. Very different from young adulthood, come to think of it.

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  19. Grok again. For older people, perhaps it is possible to combine the sensual with the genteel.

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    1. Perhaps I will be considered somewhat eccentric, with an intellectual bent. Actually, I think that would be a good (and largely true) description of me right now!

      I don't know what will happen when I get older. Perhaps it will be so normal to crossdress that I will be able to put on my wrinkly stockings and my knitted shawl and drive my electric scooter along my street, and have nobody bat an eye.

      Vivienne.

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    2. As I start the slow decline into the second half (?) of my life, I wonder what it will be like when I no longer have strict control over my words and actions. Will I throw fits at the nursing home because I can't find my satin nightgown? Will I need help from the nursing staff pulling on my nylon panties?

      I won't care what the staff or other residents or their families think of me, but I hope I don't do anything to embarrass my own family and make it unpleasant for them to come visit me.

      Delete
    3. Hey Ralph. I find myself slightly looking forward to the possibility of being an outrageous old tranny. It's like the poem "when I am an old woman I shall wear purple". Except that I cast myself in the lead role!

      I joked above about the electric scooter. But I am hoping to have a long and healthy retirement during which I can pursue all my hobbies, including crossdressing. Of course, the fates may have other plans for me!

      What happens after that? When, as you say, my mind begins to fail? The very idea fills me with dread almost beyond bearing. Like you, I hope I can keep some shreds of dignity somehow.

      Vivienne.

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  20. Grok posting. I am no longer welcome at Skirt Cafe. No resident bluestocking wanted. Got in trouble for posting long term scenarios about men in skirts.

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  21. Grok posting. Some of the garments mentioned above, such as the abaya, are actually womens' garments. Check out this thread regarding cosmopolitan cross dressing: www.crossdressers.com/forums/showthread.php?208923-Dressing-as-a-woman-in-another-culture

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    1. Hi Grok,

      I did check it out. Interesting. I suspect that many crossdressers want to wear specific styles and garments which were "imprinted" on us. I think that explains why we don't all have similar tastes, even though we may have much in common.

      For myself, I will need to spend a lot more time trying to look acceptable in this culture, before trying to step into a new one!

      Vivienne.

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  22. Hi. Just came upon this blog, and would like to comment here. I'm 65, all male, and have been wearing pantyhose and skirts for many years. Yes, it originally started out as a fetish, but that went away. I enjoyed the feeling of p-hose on my shaved legs, but wore them as support for my legs and crotch. skirts, aka, kilts, sarongs, lunghi's, and numerous other names are and always have been a mans' garment. it is a logical garment. Men have an external package, and it is quite literally very stupid for men to be wearing pants. The pants cause excessive heat build-up, they pinch, twist, separate, smash our testes. All those things are detrimental to our health, i.e. prostate cancer, e.d., sterility, testicular cancer, among other things. Throughout history men have worn skirts, aka UNBIFURCATED garments. That is not a new word, but the correct and true word for a garment with one opening and two legs. Robes are another unbifurcated garment. Skirts and robes are even in the Bible. Alexander the Great wore skirts in his battles, and even early pictures of men show them in skirts and tights. The tights then were cotton or wool, as nylon had yet to be invented. I recently had testicular surgery, and a part of the cause for that was the pants thing. I wear pantyhose to provide support for my legs, and my groin area. Yes they feel good as an extra benefit, but I don't wear the skirts and pantyhose for a sexual stimulation. The past few years, I have stepped out of my perceived box to find I am much more comfortable in skirts and hose. Contrary to what so many women claim, skirts and hose are much cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter. For those women that say the hose are uncomfortable, there are two main reasons you are having those issues, one, you're wearing a size too small, two, put the pantyhose on first. The original pantyhose had a cotton panel. Why? To help alleviate the 'staining' of panties due to natural discharge experienced by most women. TRUTH. I can't speak for anyone else out there, just myself. I do feel much more free and comfortable. Yes I wear my skirts and hose during the day, and night as well. Most of the time I receive compliments from men and women. Some people frown on what I wear, but that's on them, as they obviously wish to remain in the dark about the truth of things. Thanks for letting me post here.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by to post your comments. Would you mind giving some sort of name to differentiate yourself from other anonymous posters?

      There is no doubt at all that skirt-like garments and robe-like garments, have been worn by both men and women throughout history. However, this is the present day, and I doubt whether many people would buy the justification "Well, I wear a skirt. So did Alexander the Great you know!" as authentic.

      I think men and women should be free to wear whatever is comfortable for them (physically or psychologically) provided it doesn't break any laws. I hope you continue to get pleasure from wearing skirts and hose if it suits you to do so.

      Vivienne.

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    2. Hi Vivienne. My name is John. While there are those that won't "buy" that as authentic, one must be prepared to prove the statements, in order to 'justify' the thought and logic. You brought up something else in that paragraph that needs to be addressed as well. You stated that "this is the present day". Yep, it is. Therein lies another point. This IS the present day, and for all of our societies' claims that we are more progressive today, truth is that we have regressed. We are apparently more progressive quite selectively, therefore we haven't truly progressed. It seems that in this day and age, it is quite acceptable for a man to have his maleness surgically altered to resemble a woman, and he is automatically a hero, and is now almost worshipped and revered, yet, for a man to go out and about wearing a garment originally and logically designed for males, he becomes the whipping boy, mocked, ridiculed and ostracized because of that, even though he is doing it for health AND comfort reasons. We males are not the problem, it is the sick and twisted society that is the problem. One poster at the beginning of this thread spoke of the little gains one gets verses the hassle one would get by wearing these garments. I am of the belief that individual has not experienced the comfort, or health benefits from wearing a skirt, so of course it wouldn't make much sense concerning the gains. I can say with certainty, I'd rather go out dressed comfortably, and deal with the few naysayers, and funny looks, then continue to punish my body, and suffer much pain, discomfort, perhaps even get cancer, etc. There are those that 'wish' they could go out and be comfortable as well. They are the ones holding themselves back. They are in chains, and they are the ones that have to stand up for what they believe in, regardless of what others might say. No one is holding a gun to their heads saying that they can't wear those garments. No good thing has come out of being mamby-pamby, and just sitting back hoping someone else opens the door for them, no matter what the subject matter is. The prevailing attitude will not be changed without some sacrifice. One of the big reasons society has this 'bitter taste' in it's mouth is because they've only seen the fetish side of it all, due to the men not being men, standing up for what is right, and being bold enough to say that they are justified in wearing these garments, and that's the way it's going to be. I am truly curious as to when men became such wimps and got such thin skin, to the point they are afraid of some negative comments, and funny looks. Seems to me to be a bit more regression. Anyway, I hope that all the men out there finally get it together enough to do something about this whole thing, and once and for all put to rest the inequality in garment wearing, and actually do something healthy for themselves, and their spouses or significant others. Thanks for allowing me to comment here.

      Delete
    3. Hi John,

      Regardless of history, skirts and robes are overwhelmingly female garments, at least in Western society.

      I don't consider society to be "sick" or "twisted". In fact, I think it seems that crossdressers like me are overwhelmingly tolerated by society, even if we are not welcomed in all quarters. I accept that there may be a perception of some crossdressers as doing it for the fetish, but I think this is because there are some people who are doing it for that reason.

      I think skirts are very comfortable, but I don't believe they have any particular health benefits. I don't think trousers and pants are painful, and I certainly don't think they cause cancer. I think to attempt to use health as a justification is unconvincing for me.

      Overall, I think it should be OK for people to wear whatever they like, provided it is decent, and for no other reason than that they prefer it. You are right that there are many people (and I admit I am one of them) who restrict what they wear because they fear societal disapproval. But I think overall that is changing.

      Vivienne.

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    4. Hi. I will attempt to help you here on your information. Skirts are anatomically correct for a man. Tights aka pantyhose were actually for men as well. Men wore un-bifurcated garments and have since biblical times. You stated "in Western society". So, that makes it not ok to wear skirts and tights? Society does NOT have the right to dictate to you OR anyone else what can or cannot be worn. Skirts were talked about even in the Bible. People want to use Deut. 22:5 as their point of objection to a man wearing a garment that actually was designed for him. They fail to mention that Deut. 22:30 states skirts on men. "A man shall not take his fathers' wife, nor discover his fathers' skirt." This link will give you some answers to that aspect: http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking/sections/gear/clothing/meninskirts.htm I can give you more links to back up what I stated in an earlier comment. Also I mentioned tights. Men did not have underwear so tights were invented. Men wore tights long before women took them over. It was a sign of aristocracy. Yes, the fabric has changed to nylon, but the fact is that they are still tights and originally worn by men. As for the long-johns. For myself, I have tried them, but, #1, they were too small, as I am 6'8" tall, and #2, too bulky underneath my pants, and #3, they constantly pulled my leg hair and so did pants. I do still wear pants when need be, but I prefer skirts and tights whenever I am able. Men all across the world STILL wear skirts/kilts. Dirndl, loincloth, kilt, muumuu, pannier sarong, pareo, lava-lava, sulu, lunghi, robe, kimono, toga (yes the very thing Alexander the Great wore in his battles), and there are many other names, ALL skirts aka un-bifurcated garments. There are men out there that wear these garments due to fetishes, but MOST men that do wear skirts and/or tights, do it for the reality that they ARE mens' garments and they don't give a rip what society seems to want to dictate as being a 'proper' garment for men.Why is it that in Western society, it was/is ok for a woman to wear what is called 'mens' garments', but if the sho is on another foot, all hell breaks loose? We men are merely taking back what was ours to begin with. Society does NOT have the right, nor the education and intelligence to determine correctly what women are to wear and what men are to wear. It is NOT societies place to even attempt that to begin with.

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    5. As an aside to my last comment, if you have no external genetalia, then it is impossible for you to 'feel' what a man goes through with pants. I am sure you've heard about sweaty balls. That is one seriously detrimental issue for the testicles. THAT ALONE can cause cancer, as well as sterility and deformation of babies, whether you believe that or not. Study up on it. I can provide links to that health issue. I have had my 'package' twisted, pinched, pulled, separated, jammed just by wearing pants. I too have had sweaty balls, and it is NOT pleasant. I have had my testes pinched and smashed due to pants and the way that my 'package' sits inside them. I have yet to experience that when wearing skirts. YES there ARE health issues by wearing pants.

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    6. Thanks for your comments John.

      I agree with you that trousers and similar garments are a comparatively new arrival on the scene of human clothing, and that for most of human history, humans wore draped garments like robes and togas and the like, and many cultures still do.

      Nonetheless I belong to a Western society, and I feel pressure to observe its norms and behaviours.

      I looked up the Deuteronomy reference, and most translations say nothing about a skirt, but instead a man "dishonouring his father's bed". Ah, those old testament phrases; open to misinterpretation at every turn.

      Finally, while I accept that tight-fitting underwear is sometimes uncomfortable for men, the only problem aside from that is a reduced sperm count. There is no evidence that I am aware of which links pants to cancer, or deformed babies.

      If you feel better wearing a skirt and tights, then you have nothing but support from me. But I don't accept your arguments that it's healthier than appropriately-tailored trousers.

      Vivienne.

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  23. Hi Vivienne,

    You were wondering why Michael expresses quite feminine in times while he says he only wants to have a broader choice of garment. As I'm pretty much in the same situation as Michael, I maybe can shed some light on it based on my experiences. But it might get a bit esoteric at first... ;)

    In fact, gender identity is a matter of choice. Our soul has no gender, but if we start playing this game called life, there's this binary gender setup here and we need to choose. Our experiences during our life form our character and as we life multiple lifes as man or woman, we add more and more characters with individual experiences to this "team". This "team", usually known as "bigger self" or "subconsciousness", permanently influences our current life, our thoughts and actions. If we now start into a new life our gender identity is formed based on biological sex, experiences, parents, friends, social rules, etc. It basically creates a filter for our "team" or "complete self". As biologically male we usually learn to only listen to the male voices from our team and to suppress all the female ones. But this filter is not fixed. We tweak it based on new experiences and just reading a crossdresser blog can be sufficent to let some female voices come through, initializing even bigger changes to our filter. We might start listening more to the female parts of our self, influencing the way we think and act. We start seeing the world in a more feminine way. By giving our feminine parts more room and freedom, we might start questioning gender- and clothing rules, start acting more feminine, adding female garment to our clothing, becoming a crossdresser. Depending on the share of our female self, we might even start questioning our biological male sex, becoming a transgender person.

    I woul suspect that Michael opened his consciousness to his complete self having quite even shares between male and female experiences and that's just how he expresses himself now: As male (because AMAB) who also gives the female parts of his self room to express.

    I'm basically in the very same situation with even shares of male and female parts, which expresses in an androgynous clothing style. Just like Michael, I'm quite happy with my male sex and have no urge to become a full time female. My female parts express themself in nail polish, skirts and jewellery, my male parts in beard, short hair, wide shoulders and hairy chest. I found a stable point where all parts of my self can happily express themself, but that's only since I'm out of the closet. In the closet there's always this huge pressure building up because the female side only gets very short times to express.

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    1. Hi Joan,

      Thanks for dropping by to post your comments in detail.

      I don't think gender identity is a choice; I think it's innate (though I don't think it is fixed). I think what we do have a choice of is gender expression.

      I fully agree with you that society conditions us to think that there are only two boxes, labelled "male" and "female", and that everyone fits into only one box. (I think even some trans people subscribe to this notion) But I think the truth is that there aren't any boxes at all; in fact I think that everybody is different in their internal identity, vs their external identity, vs their sexual orientation, and so on.

      I am pleased for you that you have found a sweet spot in among all this to inhabit. You are right that living in the closet creates tremendous pressure and unhappiness at times.

      Best wishes,

      Vivienne.

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  24. Well more men that wear pantyhose and tights than one might think under their pants to escape public ridicule. After all we all have legs and there are benefits in wearing such as support , warmth etc.

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    1. Yes I am certain that men sometimes wear tights to keep warm or to get support. On the other hand, there are plenty of garments for men, such as long johns, or sports leggings, which provide a similar function. That's one thing that makes me think that men who actually wear tights are doing it for more than just warmth and support.

      Vivienne.

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    2. But you can't put all men in the same bushel of apples as some would do. Their are those that do wear as warmth, comfort , support even fashion. That would be like putting women that wear clothing designed for men in a category of bi or tomboys. It's just society that puts a gender label to them and if researched back in history men wore hosiery long ago.

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    3. You are right, of course. I am just speaking generally. Of course there are bound to be people who wear unusual clothing for a host of reasons.

      The fact that men wore hose long ago is of historical interest only, unless there are men today who would wear a doublet, codpiece and ruff along with them.

      Vivienne.

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  25. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+22%3A30&version=KJV You are relying on newer versions that have been altered to fit the 'narrative' by todays' society. It appears you aren't willing to do some research yourself to learn the truth. Sorry to hear that. I HAVE done the research and that is why I state what I do. I do not use what my brain comes up with as a response. I do have the truth or I don't speak! :)

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    1. Hi John. I'm afraid my "newer" translation is far more scholastically credible than the good old KJV. It hasn't been "altered" to fit any narrative; instead it reflects clearer understanding of what the original texts were trying to say. And for passages where there is ambiguity, there are extensive annotations and side notes which help the scholar (like me) to decide for themselves.

      In any case, I simply don't accept biblical justification for any clothing practices at all.

      Respectfully, I think we should leave this line of conversation here.

      Vivienne.

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