About Crossdressing: Erotic Stories
This is a page maintained by Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkb at gmail.com) about her anthology Crossdressing: Erotic Stories, which was published by Cleis Press in August 2007. It will contain information about the book and its contributors, as well as news about crossdressing, drag, gender, and related topics.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Veronica Vera
Introduction by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Temporary by Tulsa Brown
Just Like a Boy by Debra Hyde
Halloween by Helen Boyd
More Than Meets the Eye by Stephen Albrow
Tough Enough to Wear a Dress by Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Sweetheart of Sigma Queer by Simon Sheppard
Tori’s Secret by Andrea Miller
Like a Girl by Alison Tyler
Michelle, Ma Belle by Marcy Sheiner
Beefeater by Lisabet Sarai
Phone Fatale by Stan Kent
I Need a Man by Andrea Dale
A Cute Idea by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Higher and Higher by T. Hitman
Birthday Girl by Jason Rubis
The Princess on the Rock by Elspeth Potter
Down the Basement by Ryan Field
Some Things Never Change by Melinda Johnson
From femmes who channel Marlene Dietrich in the sexiest of suits to men who love nothing more than the feel silky panties stretched tight against their skin, these characters boldly indulge their fantasies of being a girl — or a guy — for a night. Drag queens get dolled up for a night on the town, a dyke packs a special surprise beneath her dress, and a devoted husband puts his dress-up skills to the ultimate test in this seductive new collection.
“Crossdressing presents a catalogue of kinky fiction from some of the industry’s most respected names. Each author has tackled the subject with an eye for the unusual, a sense for what works, and a finger on the pulse of what is erotic. But, beneath the fiction, there is a message that shows we can all enjoy a range of erotic stories, regardless of whether the characters are dressed as men or women and regardless of whether they want to be a perfect woman, or whether they want to simply take it like a man.”
—Erotica Readers and Writers Association (lick through to read entire review)
“The stories about men who dress in feminine frills range from light and sunny (Rachel Kramer Bussel’s A Cute Idea, in which a young man agrees to wear his girlfriend’s silky underwear) to poignant (Higher and Higher by T. Hitman, in which a frustrated man in a dead-end job and similar marriage finds the “dudette” of his dreams) to tragic (The Sweetheart of Sigma Queer by Simon Sheppard, in which a crossdressing young gay man is sexually used by a succession of men who regard him as a joke).
The theme of sneaking into forbidden places wearing “inappropriate” garb continues in stories about men, since “women’s” clothing is generally more taboo for men than vice versa. In More Than Meets the Eye by Stephen Albrow, a businessman loves wearing women’s lingerie under a suit. After defeating his corporate rival in a ruthless takeover bid, the character shows his alter ego, “Suzy,” by taking off his masculine business armor in the men’s lavatory, where the rival is allowed to “win” sexually.”
—Erotica Revealed (click through and scroll down to read entire review)
“The perverts in Crossdressing bring fascinating sexual fluidity to their kink.” -Books to Watch Out For
“With a good-natured, light-hearted approach and plenty of steamy erotic action, Crossdressing celebrates the sexual thrill of gender play while having plenty of erotic fun.” -Eros Zine
Some years ago, before the birth of my crossdressing academy, I was invited to a costume party. I was dating a cop from Canada and he’d given me the shirt off his back, so I decided to go as a police officer. I found a pair of navy-blue trousers and wore black leather boots, but I still felt like a lady. It wasn’t until I put on a tie that things changed. That skimpy, phallic fabric dangling from my neck caused a physical sensation. I no longer had firm breasts, but a broad chest that swelled with authority. I stood taller, I felt stronger. As if by magic, I, the queen of femininity, felt like a man. And people’s response to me was different, too. They gave me more space; they were more reticent and submissive. Before the night was over that visiting policeman felt my long arm of the law in places that certain states still called illegal.
That experience impressed me with the erotic power of crossdressing and to this day remains vivid. Since then, as the dean of Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls, I’ve seen many times over how a tight corset can free the most shy from the confines of their inhibitions, or a lace nightie turn one who is well-armored into a delicious morsel of vulnerability.
When invited by Rachel Kramer Bussel to write the foreword to this book, I was tickled pink. Too often, the art of crossdressing is presented in limited form, stripped of its sexual potential⎯but potential and limitless options are what crossdressing is really all about. The media will focus on the visual make-over⎯everyone likes to see the “before and after”⎯as long as the action stays on the surface and doesn’t penetrate. How many times have I answered questions about the sexual orientation of my students as “the line between who is gay, straight, bisexual is a very blurry line, especially when you dress up and play with gender”? The eroticism of crossdressing is a subject that needs to be freed from the closet.
Leave it to Rachel, the Lusty Lady herself, to open this door. Rachel champions life with an erotic edge, and she also believes in the power of good writing. The combination is provocative, even subversive, just like crossdressing. In Elizabethan times, “sumptuary laws” were written to keep the masses in check. A man could not wear women’s clothes, nor could a woman wear a man’s. No one could wear clothing above his or her station, for fear that dressing too fine would give a person fancy ideas. A mingling of the classes could change the face and the figure of society, even lead to revolution. These laws were short-lived because they were impossible to enforce. When it comes to our imaginations and libidos, we humans are just too messy and chaotic. Reader beware, because the stories in this book can shake your status quo, excite you in ways you might not have thought possible, shred your resolve to ribbons. We all have invested our clothes with intangible qualities and they can take possession of us.
Here you will find literary temptations, guidelines for crossing erotic borders, with clothing and props that expose even as they camouflage. What you will not find in these stories are long inventories of outfits with no payoffs. When these characters pack, their purpose is not just to fill up a suitcase.
There are those who may deem this book politically incorrect (to me that’s part of its charm). They prefer to keep sex and gender as two separate categories where never the twain shall meet. It is an attempt to make kink more conservative, and transgender more acceptable and less threatening, not only to outsiders but to those who themselves identify as transgender. Some will say, “Crossdressing is not about a different sexual orientation but about a different gender identity.” But these stories invite all of us to experience ourselves as transcending gender, in practice or as literary voyeurs. Each one of us has the physical capacity⎯enough holes, appendages, and extensions⎯to give and to experience pleasure from any other.
I’ve always believed in the intimacy of sex, whether the scenario involves those who know each other well or total strangers. Stories such as these that delve into the minds of the players, as well as describe their actions, outfits, and accoutrements, bring us closer together, help us to understand one another, and increase family values⎯our human family values. We connect with the forces of creation alive within each of us. And we evolve. While you are reading these stories, whether alone or with a lover, if you are inspired to masturbate, as well you might be, enjoy the pleasure of your orgasms and know that by your pleasure you make the world a more enchanting place.
For your homework, why not form a reading group and get together with some friends and explore these texts in depth? Just remember to dress for the occasion.
New York City
Introduction: Crossing Boundaries and Bending Genders
Crossdressing spans such a wide range of possibilities, erotic and otherwise, that the only thing we can safely say brings the mélange of its practitioners under one umbrella is that they dress (sometimes or all the time) in the clothing of another gender. In an age when gender is becoming increasingly fluid, deconstructed, questioned, and sometimes abandoned, we can begin to see the idea and reality of crossdressing in a new light.
This book focuses on the erotic pleasures of crossdressing, while also touching on the life-changing, mind-melting, earth-shifting experiences that can come from actively playing with one’s gender. For some characters, crossdressing means transgressing, transforming, subverting the rules to enter another body in order to enter another world, literally or figuratively. Sometimes it gives them permission to go where they’d be unwanted otherwise. For other characters, playing with their attire lets their minds create the fantasy creature they’ve always longed to be. It means acting, homecoming, freedom. Sometimes, it’s a fun, risqué adventure, a break from the ordinary, a chance to see what might happen if you slipped into a dress or suited up. Would you be the same person? Would you feel the same? Would you get turned on in the same way? These questions and more get tackled in Crossdressing, though the answers are as varied as we are.
When these characters don the clothes of another gender, or another gender role, they find not just their bodies but their minds altered in powerful ways. What was once forbidden is now acceptable⎯or maybe it’s still taboo but even hotter because of it. When they literally step into someone else’s shoes, their bodies, minds, and libidos can explore passions they might not dare voice otherwise. Whether it’s the bra, panties, and garter tucked away under the charcoal-gray business suit or the bound breasts flattened under a drag king’s snazzy attire, clothes, as more than one character here can attest, do “make the man”⎯or woman, though the person inside those clothes creates his or her power from within as well.
In Stephen Albrow’s “More Than Meets the Eye,” his businessman protagonist has a secret under his suit that’s his private treasure, until he chooses to share it: “My Brooks Brothers shirt is thick enough to cover up my white satin bra and garter belt, but not so thick that I can’t feel the garter belt’s lace trim as I run my fingertip over my abs. Just knowing this little bit of Suzy is there is enough to calm my nerves.” Part of his narrator’s delight is in fooling those around him. Yet revealing Suzy to her special lover is a bold thrill that yields untold rewards, and it’s this push-pull of discovery and secrecy, of flaunting and hiding, of male and female that makes the story come alive.
These stories are not just about crossing genders but about living with the duality of one within the other, mixed together, mingling—the experience of living as one changing how a person lives as the other. Ashley Laine, the sensual, seductive drag queen narrator of Tulsa Brown’s exquisitely rendered “Temporary,” reveals the fear that haunts her at being found out: “When his thick fingers began to creep under my panties, I edged away, afraid to ripple the surface of his fantasy.” Yet she proceeds, risking rejection for the joy of bringing that duality together into her erotic life. You can feel the shivers Rory delivers to her with the words “Oh, girl”—two simple but powerful words that encapsulate the crux of both Brown’s story and this collection as a whole. When these characters⎯men, women, and those in between or neither at all⎯are finally able to be recognized for their chosen selves, the thrill goes far beyond the sexual.
Yet sex, desire, lust, and longing are front and center throughout, even as more complex gender dynamics come into play. In Debra Hyde’s “Just Like a Boy,” we learn that simply turning oneself into a “boy” is not enough for her narrator. She longs to be the boy of her childhood dreams, not “an androgyne in boy’s clothes.” Yet her venture into male territory isn’t only for her but for her lover, Matthias, as well. Hyde draws out the tension in this dominant/submissive relationship, where power gets exerted in twisted, yet intriguing, ways.
The power of uniform gets invoked in Lisabet Sarai’s humorous “Beefeater,” in which a young British woman mocks family⎯and tradition⎯to dress in the garb of the Yeoman Warders guarding the Tower of London. The secrecy of her mission, combined with the defiant naughtiness of their endeavor, had me rooting for them with all the fervor of anyone who’s deliberately disobeyed, half-hoping to get punished.
Crossdressers themselves aren’t the only ones here with a tale to tell. In T. Hitman’s “Higher and Higher,” Pete pretends to be his naughty alter ego, Nate, when he hires Roni, a “dudette” who shows Pete a few tricks as she turns one, worshipping him in ways nobody else ever has. His internal dilemma, caught between sheer arousal and propriety, between who he thinks he should desire and who he actually does, gives us a peek into how those who lust after crossdressers of any variety also struggle to embrace their wants.
In Crossdressing, you’ll find men in panties, butches in dresses, girls looking like boys, drag queens, drag kings, and those who can’t be tidily summed up by their outer appearance. You’ll find men who want to be men, only prettier, and women who don’t have penis envy per se, but don’t always want to be the little lady. In short, you’ll find people across the sexual-orientation spectrum fucking with gender and gender roles⎯and simply fucking.
At one point, looking at herself in the mirror, Brown’s drag queen says, “Some people might call this a fantasy, but it was my deepest truth.” Here you get hot fantasy, fiction, and the kind of truth that really matters, the kind that gets under our skin, under our clothes, under our disguises to a place that speaks to us deep in our erotic souls. Whatever you’re wearing right now (or not), I hope you’ll join me on this tour across stages real and imagined, where the limits of gender-bending are in the eyes of the beholder.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City