Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Kramer Bussel’

Great review in AVN

February 19, 2008

Crossdressing: Erotic Stories is the spolight pic in AVN‘s Febraury issue for book reviews!

“This volume contains 18 erotic short stories dedicated to the glory of crossdressing by both sexes.

From the allure of phone sex and pantyhose in Stan Kent’s ‘Phone Fatale,’ to the gender-bending, line-blurring exhibitionist romp of two costumed couples in Helen Boyd’s ‘Halloween,’ these tales of transvestism are sure to delight the sensual reader.” -Jay Marlowe

Review of Crossdressing in Forum UK

January 10, 2008

I’m thrilled that Crossdressing: Erotic Stories got such a fabulous review in Forum UK.

There’s a lot more to crossdressing than simply a desire by men to wear women’s clothes, and this intelligent anthology covers it in thrilling detail. Yes, there are trannies here, most vividly brought to life in Tulsa Brown’s Temporary, the tale of an unexpected liaison between a drag queen and one of the kitchen staff in the sleazy venue where she’s performing. But there’s also a straight girl who fulfills her dominant lover’s request to dress as a boy (Alison Tyler’s Like a Girl), a butch femme who finally embraces her girly side by wearing a beautiful evening gown (Teresa Noelle Roberts’ Tough Enough To Wear a Dress), two couples who attend a fancy dress party as James Dean, Sal Mineo, Clara Bow and Joan Crawford and discover how much it is when boys will be girls and girls will be boys (Helen Boyd’s Halloween) and even a woman whose fantasy is to have sex while dressed as a Yeoman of the Guard (Lisabet Sarai’s Beefeater). Throw in an introduction from Veronica Vera, the head of Miss Vera’s Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls, and a high quotient of stories featuring men in panties (always guaranteed to keep me turning the pages!), and this is one short story collection which doesn’t need to be dressed up as anything other than really hot read. — E.C.

Crossdressing: Erotic Stories reviewed on Blogcritics

December 6, 2007

Erotic Stories cover

Crossdressing: Erotic Stories just got its first mainstream (as in, nonerotica-specific) review, at Blogcritics, and they didn’t really like it much:

The book opens with “Temporary,” a tale of a M2F transsexual who seduces a straight male dishwasher. Every time it starts to get sexy, some hideous cliche ruins the mood. I think author Tulsa Brown is the only person outside a trashy Harlequin romance to still use “meat” as a euphemism for penis.

Most of the stories are told first person, which, quite frankly, grows tiresome. In a collection that is about gender bending, it is often hard to tell if the narrator is male, female, or someone in between. The stories all feel too awkwardly personal. It is like reading a collection of coming out of the closet stories.

Some of the good: “A Cute Idea” by collection editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is easily the best in the collection. It is a playful and sexy tale of a woman dressing her boyfriend in her sexiest see-through panties. “I Need a Man” is a short, very hot tale of a girl dressing up like a man for her girlfriend.

As for my take, obviously I liked the stories, ’cause I published them, but more specifically, I LOVE the fact that these stories are so personal. Speaking of which, I can’t wait to get the video up of me reading Ryan Field’s “Down the Basement” – so, so hot!

For now, if you haven’t read the book, here are excerpts from Andrea Dale’s “I Need a Man” followed by Ryan Field’s “Down the Basement” – Enjoy!

Kim had done a great job, I had to say, right down to using a men’s aftershave rather that her usual perfume. But when we went cheek-to-cheek on the dance floor, I caught the underlying scent that was so very her.

My nipples hardened under my ripped Mötley Crüe T-shirt. I hadn’t figured it out, but Kim had put it all together and dug out my ultimate fantasy. I didn’t want a boy, not really. I wanted to pretend I was with a pretty boy.

The fact that it was someone I loved made it even better.

Then she flexed her hips, and I felt her other surprise pressing against my mound.
“Well, hel-lo,” I said.

She laughed and nipped my earlobe. “Special present, just for you,” she whispered. She slid her hands around my hips and pulled me close, grinding the fake erection against me.

The room spun. Or maybe it was just me, spinning on the heady lust of being in the arms of my girlfriend, who’d dressed like a man to tap into my darkest dreams, a fake cock nudging against my crotch. The promise of sex later or, if we weren’t careful, some serious pleasure right here on the dance floor, in front of everyone.
You can’t wear panties under spandex. Not even a thong. So the fact was, I knew immediately just how wet I was getting, and given a little more time, when we pulled apart, the rest of the bar would know, too.

“Come home with me?” Kim growled in my ear, still in persona. She punctuated the words with a series of thrusts, and if the question had taken longer, I would’ve climaxed right there.

“I’ll follow you,” I said.

Because at that moment, I would’ve followed her anywhere…

From the super-hot “Down the Basement,” in which a gay man dressed in drag on Halloween finds himself in a basement with four frat boys:

The one who wanted me on his lap, the leader of the pack, stood and walked over to a bookcase where there was a large television and one of those small Bose radios. He turned on the radio and turned up the volume, and Mary K. Blige began to sing. “Let’s dance,” he said, grabbing my hand and pulling me off the sofa.

The other three, still passing the joint around, howled, “Go man, yeah, look at her move.”

I fell into his strapping body and placed my arms around his wide shoulders. He pulled me closer, and then put his rough hands under my dress and lifted it all the way up to my waist so the other guys could see him petting my bare ass. We began to dance very slowly; I arched my back and invited him to play with my ass cheeks while I rubbed the back of his thick neck. His breath smelled like pot and beer; I slowly licked the stubble below his ear, and he moaned. One of the guys on the sofa, a tall, lanky dude with huge hands, stood and staggered up behind me. He put his hands around my waist, shoved his crotch against my ass and began to slowly hump his erection banging against the crack of my ass. I reached down with my right hand and began to massage the one in front; an erection so hard and thick I felt it pulse through the fabric of his football pants. He leaned forward and stuck his tongue in my mouth while the one behind me reached down and began to gently squeeze my ass.

I knew I had to change course; the next drunken move would be to reach between my legs for a pussy that wasn’t there. So I untangled myself from the sandwich and said, “Okay, boys, everyone on the sofa.”

They were eager to please; the joint was finished, and they were all too wasted to remember anything by that point. The leader, who’d brought me down there in the first place, sat off to the side at the edge of the sofa and watched; the other three sat next to each other. I slowly went down on my knees and began to unlace the football pants of the one who had been behind me dancing. I pulled his pants down to his knees; a nine-inch erection popped out because he wasn’t wearing underwear…

Read the rest in Crossdressing: Erotic Stories!

Crossdressing book release party TONIGHT!

November 29, 2007

Erotic Stories cover

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29
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 (MissVera.com) 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.

What’s so wonderful about crossdressing erotica

November 28, 2007

Today I’ve got some takes on crossdressing and erotica, and why crossdressing and crossdressers are arousing.

First up is Fiona Locke guest blogging over at Lust Bites:

Cross-dressing is a common fetish if you mean men dressing as women. Transvestites describe the joy of wearing soft feminine things, so unlike male clothes. I experience the reverse when I hide my girlish curves in boys’ clothes. It’s strangely erotic, the thick and unflattering cotton Y-fronts and boxer shorts that cover so much more than a flimsy pair of knickers. I feel surprisingly vulnerable, stripped of my feminine wiles and charms. The strict headmaster of my fantasies might take pity on a whimpering girl, but he’s not about to be lenient with a boy.

I’ve done a lot of roleplay as a boy. School canings across my taut schoolboy shorts. Formal 19th century birchings in my Eton tailsuit. ‘Rent boy’ scenes in my Edwardian boy’s suit. (Honestly, before Tipping the Velvet, I had no idea any other girls were into dressing as boys.)

I have some modern clothes too; teen boys’ stuff fits me pretty well. I have to bind my breasts and tuck my hair up under a hat, but I’m reasonably convincing if I don’t have to talk. My boyfriend took me to a strip club in the States once and the low lights helped my disguise. One of the dancers asked if I was gay, but she didn’t suspect I was a girl! Using the gents’ loo was an especially naughty thrill, though I didn’t have the courage to use the urinal. I chickened out and went for the privacy of the stall with the locking door.

Then she’s got an excerpt from a storywith a narrator who “always wanted to know what it’s like to be punished as a boy.”

Portia Da Costa, in “He’s Not Just a Pretty Face…” gives her “Thoughts on Men in Frocks,” also at Lust Bites:

I’ve always had a fondness for writing about men who dress as women. I fact in Not Just a Pretty Face, the second story I ever had published, way back in 1991, Rosie, the heroine thought she might be a lesbian because she fell in love with her glamorous new ‘female’ boss, Ellis. Of course she pretty soon found out that the beautiful creature she so fancied was a ‘he’ and that she wasn’t gay after all… because she’d subconsciously sensed what was under Ellis’s elegant skirt.

I’m not sure why I like to put drag queens and transvestites in my stories. I can’t think of any deep psychological reason for it, other than I’m fascinated by duality, by people having one or more different personae, and assuming masks and disguises and being someone else. Like Clark Kent turning into Superman, Michael turning into Dorothy in Tootsie… like a quiet living, perfectly ordinary and unremarkable Yorkshirewoman turning into Portia Da Costa when she turns to her ‘dark side’ and writes hot erotic romance.

And Crossdressing: Erotic Stories contributor Debra Hyde talks about her story “Just Like a Boy:”

In Crossdressing, I explored my own desire to genderbend. The tale itself isn’t autobiographical — that Master/boy scenario did not go down that way — but the character’s childhood history was my own. Yes, I did indeed have gender presentation arguments with my mom at that catalystic age of three, but I think my father’s acceptance of his outdoor-sy tomboy daughter mitigated the mother/daughter stress.

However, that tomboy default of mine has long had me interested in straight women genderbending. Men crossdressing — whether’s it’s through a domination-based force feminization, or the mere sexual arousal of silk against the skin, or some level of residual glamrock from decades past — we’re erotically acclimated to those elements of male-centered crossdressing. And we’re familiar with the man queer permutations of gender identity. In fact, it’s those very permutations of gender fucking, originating for me in Pat Califia’s fiction, that led me to write Just Like a Boy years ago. I wrote that tale as a voice for my own permutation: that of a bisexual woman connecting to queerness her desire to pack a stiffy and get off on men’s cocks. It was my inner tranny fag speaking volumes. Thankfully, Rachel understood.

Erotic Stories cover

Sweatshop Sissy on Crossdressing

November 20, 2007

Blogger Sweatshop Sissy likes Crossdressing: Erotic Stories

For me, the desire to cross-dress is almost impossible to resist (I’m a full-time panty boy) and the sexual charge isn’t the only reason why I do it, but it’s a big part. For some reason I’d never even considered the hotness of cross-dressing from anybody elses point of view and  I’m really embarrassed to admit that I was really surprised by most of the stories in this collection.

I’ve always known that clothes (outer and under) can change how I feel about myself, can even change my persona and clothes certainly change how others see and react to me so it shouldn’t have been that surprising that lots of other people get off on it as well. From male, female, straight, gay, lesbian, transgender and any combination thereof, these stories were hot hot hot. There were stories of how clothing can blur the gender lines and shake up sexual orientation, if only for a night. There were stories of sexy secrets hidden beneath the outer shell and stories of how donning a different costume can reveal an inner passion, and not just in the cross-dresser.

You can read part one of my man in panties story “A Cute Idea” at Eros-Zine, here’s the first part:

It started out as a cute idea, inspired by my boyfriend Neil’s close-to-perfect ass. He was naked, his tall, slim body bending over our dresser, burrowing around to try to find the pair of boxers he was sure was buried deep inside, even though he hadn’t done his laundry in weeks, maybe months. We’d reached a détente where I left him alone about the state of his dirty clothes hamper as long as he eventually got, or bought, clothes that wouldn’t make me crinkle my nose in alarm. He’d done pretty well over the last few months, though he was nowhere near approximating my weekly clothes wash, and he simply laughed when he found my voluminous collection of sexy, lacy, very delicate, expensive panties, garters, stockings and bras drying in our bathroom.

As I looked at his ass, which is, inarguably, the sexiest part of his rock-hard body (though there was plenty of close competition from his solid chest, strong arms, which he uses to carry me when I’m too tired to walk to the car at night, and, of course, amazing cock), the part I loved to grab, fondle, squeeze, and sometimes spank, an idea came to me. I heard him muttering to himself and knew he was probably out of briefs and even out of boxers, which were a far second in his choice of intimate apparel. “Hey honey, I have an idea. Why don’t you put on a pair of my panties? Maybe those new pink ones, with the bows,” I said, remembering our devilishly fun time shopping for the sexy pair, which I’d modeled for him in the dressing room.

Erotic Stories cover

Book party!

November 14, 2007

Erotic Stories cover

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29
6PM Crossdressing

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

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 (MissVera.com) 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

Foreword

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