Posts Tagged ‘drag king’

Drag king videos

December 19, 2007

The Slate article prompted me to find some drag king videos on YouTube:

This one’s a montage from the Great Big International Drag King show:

This one is of MilDréd – here’s an interview with her

And here’s Justin Zaas doing Thomas Dolby’s “She Blindded Me With Science”

Emily Yoffe’s stint as a drag king

December 19, 2007

“My Short Life as a Drag King,” Emily Yoffe, Slate – click through to watch the video as well of Emily performing as “Johnson Manly” (via Feministing)

I was familiar with drag queens—men who dress flamboyantly as women for shows or events, but I wasn’t aware of a complementary drag king culture until a Slate colleague suggested I enter it. I quickly found the D.C. Kings, founded in 2000, which bills itself as “The World’s Longest Running Drag King Troupe.” The first thing that struck me when looking at their Web site was that drag kings are nice girls. “[W]e are extremely supportive of one another,” they promised. “We are here for you and we want you to have fun.”

Their shows—consisting of 10 individual or paired-up performers lip syncing to popular songs—occur twice a month. To get on the roster, all I had to do was attend their monthly meeting. There were about 18 of us, a mixed-race group mostly in their 20s and 30s. Some were feminine-looking women with long hair and makeup. Some were clearly female but with short haircuts and mannish clothes. Some just looked like men.

The meeting was run by the troupe’s founder, Ken Vegas, 34, a graphic designer whose real name is Kendra Kuliga. Ken (I will refer to people by their preferred names and pronouns—usually male) began the meeting by suggesting we all introduce ourselves by giving our names, astrological signs, and packing preferences. This last item does not mean Styrofoam versus bubble wrap, but what kings like to put in their pants as a simulated phallus. The answers ranged from socks, to Mr. Bendy, to half an apple.

At the meeting, Herbie, 23, volunteered to be my guide. He is stout, has a blond crew cut, and describes himself as a “non-op female-body transgender person”—essentially a lesbian who identifies as a male but is not doing anything surgically about it. Each day, he packs and wears what’s known as a compression shirt to bind his breasts. “I call it ‘manning up,’ ” he explained.

All The Kings Men drag king troupe

December 3, 2007

Boston-based All The Kings Men

Anyone who read all of Crossdressing: Erotic Stories, or who snuck ahead to the end to read Melinda Johnson’s wonderful “Some Things Never Change,” got to vicariously experience the thrill of being a drag king. Here’s a snippet:

Writing is a lonely profession, so I break the monotony sometimes by doing a little drag. I’m not the world’s greatest drag king, but still, there’s nothing like the feeling you get from prancing around on stage, women whistling and screaming for you. But it’s more than that, really. I love the way a drag king or queen can be old, saggy, butt-ugly in either gender, but what counts is that they’re up there, doing it. The shows I do are very small, in an old, beat beat-up hall on the east side of town, but when I’m up there, I feel like I’m king of the world. I even throw a few Leo references into my act sometimes, just to amuse myself. No true drag artist can resist a pun. It’s that magic, the magic of the stage, that lets awkward, geeky me get a few girls now and then. Like Christine.

I can replay my first sight of her like a movie in my head. The MC, Mr. Dick Manly, resplendent in a blue sequined tux, had just announced me, “Put your hands together, ladies, for that stud muffin, Herman Leman!” My music started, and I strutted slowly on stage, keeping time to a slow, throbbing electronic beat. I don’t dance so much as pose, gesture languidly, and gradually peel off my outfit. I make a pretty convincing guy, as long as I strap down my generous chest and add a little judicial facial hair. I’ve been told I look a lot like a female James Dean, —the same cast of face, the same carriage. Well, maybe James Dean after a nice motherly type fed him up properly; I’ve always been stocky, and I capitalize on it by lifting weights.

I was dressed in black pants, black shirt, black leather jacket. I walked out on stage, hands on hips. The crowd whistled. And I saw her. They must have seen my tongue hit the floor from the back row. She was a small, slim woman dressed to kill in an acid-green sequined dress and a hot-pink feather boa. Both were Value Village specials, and showed some wear on closer inspection, but from my view on the stage, she shone like a scarlet rhododendron gleaming through the mists of a soft Vancouver rain. I stood open-mouthed, staring, missed my cue to start flexing.

(read the book for the rest!)

You can also catch real drag kings on stages across the country…such as Boston-based drag king troupe All The Kings Men. They describe themselves thusly:

ATKM is an all female performance troupe dedicated to pushing the boundaries and exploring the stereotypes of gender identity through comedic and dramatic story telling set to music.

And another hot description from their MySpage page:

“Sexy melt-in-your-mouth and through your seat theater with hilarious pee-your-pants-and-on-your-neighbor moments, lip-synched, choreographed and improvisationally personality-driven comedic, political, and purely entertaining homo/hetero/bi/a/pan-sexual snort-laughing costume fest.”

There’s a very interesting Bay Windows piece about a straight, married drag king:

But Ryan Stone, known in her daily life as Robin Maxfield, wasn’t like most of her competitors. A straight, married mom in her early 40s from Jamaica Plain, Maxfield works by day as a real estate agent, one of the co-owners of Prudential Unlimited, which has offices in the South End, Brookline, J.P. and Belmont. And she first dabbled in the world of drag a mere three weeks before blowing the competition away at Drag King Idol.

She said her friend David Elliott, owner of the Taylor House bed and breakfast in J.P., told her he was doing drag at Jacques Cabaret as Hazel Nutz, and she was immediately intrigued.

“I said, ’David, I want to be a drag queen. I am a drag queen. I want to do that.’ I have always made costumes, I’ve always liked acting out, but I’ve never really had the opportunities growing up. I didn’t have dance and theater and all that stuff. So I think it’s just been constantly there, but I’ve been living it through other people,” said Maxwell. “He said, ’Well, Robin, you can’t be a drag queen, but you can be a drag king.’ And I said, ’What’s a drag king?’”

Once Elliott explained the basics of drag king performance, Maxwell decided to give it a shot. At a birthday bash for Elliott’s partner, Maxwell and Elliott did a Barry Manilow/Bette Midler duet, “Slow Boat to China.” Maxwell was hooked. (read the rest here)

You can catch them December 6th (see flyer below) and check them out on MySpace.

Crossdressing book release party TONIGHT!

November 29, 2007

Erotic Stories cover

6PM Crossdressing

6PM Reception, 7PM Program, $10. With Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel & authors Helen Boyd and Veronica Vera, respectively pictured below:

Caught reading by Anya Garrett

Veronica Vera, reading at True Sex Confessions Night April 18th

“Explore the erotic thrill of crossing the gender divide and mixing things up in these sultry stories about slipping into something more comfortable. From a femme who channels Marlene Dietrich in the sexiest of suits to a high-powered male executive whose tearoom trick is thrilled by his lingerie, these characters boldly indulge their fantasies of being a girl . . . or a guy . . . for a night,” according to Crossdressing. Rachel Kramer Bussel is senior editor at Penthouse Variations, host of the In The Flesh Erotic Reading Series, and wrote the popular “Lusty Lady” column for The Village Voice. Helen Boyd is the author of My Husband Betty, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary award, and the follow-up memoir, She’s Not the Man I Married. Veronica Vera ( is the author of Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls: Tips, Tales and Teachings from the Dean of the World’s First Crossdressing Academy and Miss Vera’s Crossdress for Success: A Resource Guide for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. Miss Vera’s Academy is in New York City.

Crossdressing: Erotic Stories is out now!

November 8, 2007

Erotic Stories cover

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.

Veronica Vera
New York City
March 2007

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