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Duchess
Topic starter
(@joannaberry)
Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Joined: 2 months ago
wpf-cross-image

Finally having joined the CDH community, I’d like to share some of my thoughts that have helped me on my journey.

Only very recently, I have reached a peaceful acceptance of who I am and all the parts that make me what I am, one of which is the feminine part, Joanna. She will not go away, and why should she?

Where was the seed planted?

Was it inside our very being when we were created or were there trigger points in our lives that set us on a path to who we’ve become?

Those are a few of the questions that have been floating around in my head for years, sometimes forefront in my mind and sometimes lurking in the dark recesses, only to resurface every time I succumbed to the lure of getting dressed as a woman.

I’d like to point out that these are recollections of a very small boy, a small boy who wasn’t educated about “the birds and the bees,” and without a single inclination of anything being sexual; way too early for any of that silly stuff!

I’ve always loved women’s clothing; from as far back as I can remember. I have loved dresses, skirts, delicate lace, underwear, and the shoes; the way they felt, the way in which they moved slightly obsessed me in ways that you can imagine.

The first memory that I recall is from watching my mother getting dressed. I was fascinated with her tights. This is something that has definitely stayed with me; that feeling of wearing a pair of tights is the single most important thing in making me feel feminine. From that first time I stole a pair to try on to the pair of expensive Wolford satin touch that I’m wearing today, they epitomize my personal feeling of femininity, and it all stems from these early memories.

Pantyhose is for women; right? Not men!

Social conditioning kicks in!

The next outstanding memory was of a much-loved Aunty. She was an immaculately dressed woman of substance and with a keen eye for fashion. She ran a very well-appointed lady’s clothing shop back in the day. Her shoes and handbags were always of the highest quality, and they always seemed exquisitely to match her lovely outfits.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that I’m talking about a very young child here. Sundays were the day my much loved Aunty would visit for lunch, and as routine, we would “spend a penny together.” when you’re a small child, you get taken to the toilet until you are proficient enough to go by yourself.

Good; I hope you get the picture. It’s here where another outstanding memory was etched into this small boy’s crossdressing lifeline. The glimpses of Auntie’s undergarments were fascinating, a girdle with garters and stockings. As her dress was being pulled back down and straightened was mind-boggling looking back, but that seed was planted then; I’m 100% sure of it.

A love of those items was put there, in that boy’s mind, and has continued ever since.

The boy grew into a man and those wonderful thoughts of, “I’d like to wear that” has never diminished. Even now, when seeing a woman in a nice outfit, it still creates the mindset of, “I’d like to wear that” or ”I wonder how I’d look in that!”

So in this story, I believe the seeds were planted by two much-loved, strong, and wonderful female role models in my life. And an overwhelming desire to emulate them; to be as feminine as they were in all their loveliness. Times have changed, and various experiments with different types of underwear and not-so-ladylike variations have surfaced and sunk over the years, along with the purges of guilt and “I’m never doing this again!” I’m sure we all go through similar at some point or another.

As mentioned at the start of this, Joanna and I seem to have come to the point where we’re at peace with my male half and female half. She won’t go away! Why should she? She is me; I am her.

There's no end to this journey, but if you’ve asked yourself the question, "Where did all this come from?" maybe it was a seed that had been planted many years ago. The important thing is to let that seed grow and flourish.

Something beautiful will grow from it 🌸

You💕

Love & Hugs Joanna xxx

(that small boy)

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34 Replies
9 Replies
Baroness
(@annaredhead)
Joined: 4 months ago

Noble Member     Cornwall, United Kingdom
Posts: 477

@joannaberry This strikes a chord with me. I've always known that I wanted to have smooth legs and wear tights. It's taken me a long time to finally do so.

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Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@annaredhead - Oh Anna it’s just the best feeling isn’t it? 💕

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Lady
(@sashabennett)
Joined: 7 months ago

Prominent Member     Wick, Caithness, United Kingdom
Posts: 359

@joannaberry When I was younger I spent all of my time playing with the local girls, never with the boys. I didn't like the whole rough & tumble of boylife. The girls didn't have a problem including me in their games & it was just fun. Clothes didn't even come into the picture until years later & to this day I still think they are less important than my mental self image. 

Having said that I love a nice dress as much as the next girl 😏 

 

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Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@sashabennett - 🤭that’s good to know that you love a good dress as much as the next girl! 
me too. I think back and I was a proper little boy, but when I’ve seen myself on videos I always think some of my mannerisms are definitely girly rather than butch. Now I spend all my time alone trying to be as feminine as possible without looking too camp! 
“Work in progress” I think it’s called 😆💕

joanna x

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(@caroline2k)
Joined: 1 year ago

Prominent Member     Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Posts: 368

@joannaberry 

I can so relate to your story Jo. I too was lured into the world of femininity by tights, and they have remained one of the most important aspects of my dressing experience.

From as long ago as I can remember, I used to look longingly at the pictures of the tights for sale in my mum's mail order catalogues, wishing I could wear them and not understanding why. As I got older from the age of about 5 or 6, I began 'borrowing' her tights and trying them on, enjoying the sensations they gave me.

Naturally, as I got older they became a bit of a sexual thing and I was drawn to trying some of her other clothes - her underwear, shoes (until I quickly outgrew them) skirts and dresses and occasional makeup - although opportunities were few due to our domestic situation. By the time I was a teenager I was buying my own clothes and of course, tights.

Today, I am in the enviable position of being out to my partner and fully accepted and encouraged by her to dress as and when I desire. Consequently, I tend to be dressed most of the time! lol And always in tights. I have given up worrying about 'why' I need to dress this way and accept that it is part of me, but given that I have no wish to transition, it is puzzling why. 🙂

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Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

Hi Caroline,
thanks for taking the time to read my words, I loved to hear your story and the fascination you had with tights from an early age, I wish I could put my finger on what it is with them, but we seem to share that same thing… You are in a very lucky position to share your dressing with your partner, I’m very much in the closet when it comes to being “Joanna”, it’s always been about the tights they make me feel so feminine it’s unreal💕 bare legs just don’t feel right & I’m in the lucky position to have smooth legs with very fine blond hair, so removal is a breeze - my partner is always saying she wishes she had my legs! Like you I have no great urge to transition, kinda happy with “Jo” being part of me as well as the male bit.
Lucky I guess💕

joanna x

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Ambassador
(@lucyb112)
Joined: 2 years ago

Noble Member     Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 821

@joannaberry 

Hi Joanna,

I’m fairly late to the party on this, but this is a lovely article. It certainly resonates with me.

Like you, I was fascinated by ladies clothing long before I was old enough for it to be considered remotely sexual. 

I’m definitely with you on the love for tights. Trying a pair of my Mums in my very early teens is where it all started for me, and slipping into a pair is still one of the best feelings ever. 

The “I’d love to wear that”, and the “I wonder where she got that from” thoughts still occur every time I go anywhere

Thanks so much for sharing this

Lucy xx

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Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@lucyb112  - Oh Lucy 100% as I mentioned my love of wearing tights is what makes me feel so nice and feminine, it always has done and I guess always will 💕

I’m glad you feel the same too. Its sooo nice to read that I’m not alone with the way that my love of being feminine was born out of some little spark from as far back as I can remember…

Thanks for reading & sending your comments.

joanna 💕x

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Duchess Annual
(@qtd3612)
Joined: 4 weeks ago

Eminent Member     Michigan, United States of America
Posts: 13

@joannaberry so well said and so slightly relatable in some ways for sure mostly the part about finding a spot to accept it and not fight it.   Thanks for sharing 

Dana

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Posts: 2709
Hostess
(@ab123)
Famed Member     Surrey, United Kingdom
Joined: 4 years ago

Lovely words Joanna and resonate with me. From that seed the tree grows, produces sweet berries. Is that why Berry is your surname?

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1 Reply
Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@ab123 - Hi Angela 

No it isn’t, but that’s a lovely thought💕  I think I missed a trick there. Thankyou for taking time out to read my words, a boy taking inspiration from strong female role models isn’t a bad thing I don’t think. Maybe that’s more acceptable these days more than when I was younger…

joanna x

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Posts: 1304
Baroness Annual
(@d44)
Noble Member     New York, United States of America
Joined: 5 years ago

I am not really sure how the dressing seed was planted in my psyche but I am very grateful that it was.

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1 Reply
Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@d44 - Hi Fiona, yes me too, it’s taken a few highs & lows along the way to get to the level where I’m now comfortable with it…Ever involving I guess.

The word journey seems to be used a lot these days, but our feminine side is definitely one of life’s journeys. Thankyou for reading my words 

joanna x

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Posts: 932
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Joined: 7 years ago

I love your article, Joanna. It brings me back sweet memories.

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1 Reply
Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

Hi Gisela, I’m glad that my few words have rekindled some memories for you. It’s funny how these little snapshots in time always stay with us somewhere in the back of our minds. It’s wonderful to finally have a safe comfortable place to share with others who feel the same way 💕💕

joanna x

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Posts: 53
Lady
(@nehak)
Estimable Member     Charlotte, North Carolina, United States of America
Joined: 1 year ago

Great article Joanna! My dressing started with my mom too. I can relate it very well.. Seed was planted long back, lets just grow it beautifully and mindfully 🙂

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1 Reply
Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

Hello Neha👋 Thankyou for reading the article, it’s wonderful to read your comments & I now know that is wasn’t just me that was influenced in the same way. Strong positive female role models are so important in any child’s upbringing I think, especially the role of a loving mother💕 The planting of that seed seems to resonate with lots of other girls.

joanna x

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Posts: 62
Duchess
(@gafran)
Estimable Member     Warner Robins, Georgia, United States of America
Joined: 2 months ago

I recall a memory of help my mom by fastening her gardens to her nylons. The transition from nylon to smooth skin and the contrast of colors always intrigued me. Funny how one small moment in time stays with you. Than that seed sprouts and grows the girl within! Thanks for rekindling that memory.
🥰 Fran

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1 Reply
Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

Hi Fran, lovely words💕 From the most innocent beginnings, that’s what makes the whole feminine journey so wonderful. Way before we have any inclination of the birds and bees, some small moments in time stay with us for a lifetime thankfully some girls blossom confidently, others may battle with their inner demons of social conditioning ingrained into us over the years. Hopefully everyone can see the beauty within, it’s not wrong 💕

joanna x

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Posts: 1458
Hostess
(@cdsue)
Noble Member     Delaware, United States of America
Joined: 5 years ago

Joanna -

Thank you for your article. It brings back memories of my mother dressing to go out, seeing her in her slip with stockings and garter belt underneath and helping her zip her dress up. It was her things I wore when I started dressing. I'm sure, as you describe, a seed was planted when I was young - it just took a long time to germinate and expose it's pretty self.

XOXO
Suzanne

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3 Replies
Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@cdsue -

Hi Suzanne, the main thing to draw from these early experiences is that they have made us the way we are today, it sounds like you started your journey the same way as me💕 I think we have been blessed, I really do. It doesn’t matter how long it’s taken…..

joanna 💕🙏

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Duchess
(@missylinda)
Joined: 2 years ago

Noble Member     Ft Worth, Texas, United States of America
Posts: 756

@joannaberry  like Suzanne, it was a garter girdle and sheer stockings from  moms closet.  I remember how careful I was to not run them and smoothing the imprint of the garter after I was done.  Later, it was an Auntie whom I often stayed over with.  Her closet yielded  my first bra, a black lacy longline, and matching girdle. The seeds landed in a fertile field.

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Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@missylinda -  funny isn’t it two of my favourite items are a black long line bra & a lovely white corselette with girdle and built in garters…. Things that I love to wear now & remember from being a child💕 nothing more feminine for me I’m afraid, those seeds rooted well🌱🌱💕 It sounds like you were very careful in those early days 🤭

Thankyou, Joanna x

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Posts: 421
Lady
(@krisburton)
Honorable Member     Northern, New Jersey, United States of America
Joined: 2 years ago

A wonderful article Joanna! It gives me a lot of insight into the early experiences of most Cders. I do not have those experiences myself, having started just a few years ago at age 69. The upside of that for me is that I escaped the guilt/shame/rumination cycle that seems to plague so many of us, some to this day. As you have written "The important thing is to let that seed grow and flourish". It has for me, and I feel I am the happier, more well adjusted, better person for it. Thank you for reaffirming that!
Kris

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1 Reply
Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

@krisburton 

Hello Kris,

It clearly doesn’t matter when you start or how the seed was planted I guess, the fact you have stated that you feel happier & a better person for it is wonderful 💕 I’m fairly new here, so I’m learning lots from others, your words are lovely to read as your journey is different to mine, but with pretty much the same outcome.

Thankyou for taking the time to read & comment, all of this interaction is making me feel blessed to be part of this community 🙏

joanna x

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Posts: 1446
(@debbiedd)
Noble Member     los angeles, California, United States of America
Joined: 4 years ago

One is never sure but I had sisters close in age and growing up their friends where at our house all the time. I started noticing and emulating the cute things they wore like hair clips or tights and a variety of fun wear. I was jealous until I started wearing their things in private by puberty. Sure glad now and the blossuming of the flower has brought great joy

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Posts: 97
Duchess
Topic starter
(@joannaberry)
Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Joined: 2 months ago

Hi Deborah, to read that has made me smile, it really has 🥹 Thankyou for reading my words. I didn’t have any sisters, so I had to wait until I started dating. I’ve already mentioned I’m feeling extremely humble & so very glad to be part of this wonderful community…

I’m going to continue learning and reading other’s experiences, who knows I now might write some more! 

joanna💕

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Posts: 1700
Hostess
(@pattygurlcd)
Noble Member     Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America
Joined: 6 years ago

Hi Joanna Thank you so much for sharing some of how your journey started ,I love hearing about what takes that small amount of femininity deep inside us and turns it in to a strong desire to have a woman side or even go further .Great article.🤗

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Posts: 97
Duchess
Topic starter
(@joannaberry)
Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Joined: 2 months ago

Thankyou so much for reading my words Patty.

I’m sure it’s a familiar journey for lots of us, but it’s also lovely to hear how others have been influenced by little sparks of femininity in their lives, no matter at what stage.

Positive female role models are just as important to a growing boy as any super hero or footballer💕

joanna x

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Posts: 896
Baroness Annual
(@finallyfiona)
Noble Member     Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Joined: 7 months ago

A lovely article Joanna.  It got me thinking (this being a slow process!) but it was my reply to Allie's 'Head Age' thread that finally tripped some memories, which have pointed me at some possible answers to the questions posed in this thread.

I remember back when I was a kid of around 10-11 with my first point & shoot camera in 110 format.  You'd get your photos back from the developing lab in a printed envelope, the one I remember pictured a girl lying on the beach on her side, up on one elbow, in a red one-piece costume.  What got me was the line of her hip, which is always exaggerated in that pose.  I think that image was what kick-started my love of the female form.  But with that memory has also come, remembering being jealous that I was never going to have hips like that.

Then, when I was in my early thirties - my male 'head age' - the local paper (remember them?) carried an article about a cross-dressing singer who was playing to pubs and other small venues.  There was a quote from him about how he was only a woman for the evening and after the show, he would put his boobs away in a box.  That might even have been the first I'd ever heard about cross-dressing as opposed to transitioning, but it was certainly the first I heard about silicone breastforms.  He was a local guy, of a similar age to me and similarly tall and under-developed in the upper body.  But it said he weighed 10 stone and wore a size 6 dress!  I remember thinking, "Maybe one day I could do that, if I could only slim enough not to look silly".  I was closer to 13 stone back then, so I never pursued that thought any further.

Some time around then however, with the approval of the girl I was seeing, I did buy my first epilator and removed all my body hair except for my arms.  This was further than I'd ever gone before, many years previously.  My love of smooth, feminine skin only increased from there.  I was then allowed by my current OH a few years later, to indulge again to the same extent, and to stay that way.  I loved that feminine feeling of water beading off me under the shower after having been out cycling. 

In my profile, I mentioned that I thought it was the hair removal, first experienced during puberty, that was my 'tell' of some feminine desires through my lifetime since.  But now recalling the photo envelope and the newspaper article, I think I may possibly always have had some latent desire for full femininity. 

And now that desire is most definitely being fulfilled.  I am Finally Fiona, like my profile name 🙂

Oh - and after 10 years of cycling and getting down almost to 11 stone with very visible ribs, I'm 5 years off the bike, and back at the same 13 stone that I was before - albeit with much nicer legs 😊  But if I'd only had more confidence to explore back 20+ years ago, rather than dismissing the idea with an obstacle, who knows what might have happened?

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4 Replies
Managing Ambassador
(@ellyd22)
Joined: 1 year ago

Illustrious Member     Norfolk, United Kingdom
Posts: 3402

@finallyfiona 

I hadn't twigged the 'Fiona Finlay' / 'Fiona Finally' thing.

I love it  🙂

Heart

Ellie x

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Baroness Annual
(@finallyfiona)
Joined: 7 months ago

Noble Member     Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 896

@ellyd22 I love playing with words, it's just what I do 🙂 

The surname came first, after I'd settled on Fiona, and shunted my original choice of Janice to be my middle name.  I realised it just had to start with F to suit the letters in the registration of my now-deceased Volvo convertible. 

Having chosen the first such surname I liked the sound of as part of my full name, I then saw my profile name in it.  I hadn't even put on makeup for the first time by that point.  I really wasn't thinking about any long-awaited transition, honest 😇  Not consciously, at least ...

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Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

Nor me!

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Duchess
(@joannaberry)
Joined: 2 months ago

Estimable Member     Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 97

Thanks for reading my article Fiona.
Funny I never really write anything down…ever (apart from my shopping list).
To read so many lovely replies is amazing💕
I find it interesting how other girls remember the little (or big spark) that sticks somewhere in our minds, sometimes dormant for years, but always there.
The point which we act on our curiosity is also a fascinating…
I always admired the female form, way before anything sexual, looking at my moms Grattens catalogs, the clothes & underwear were always more interesting than anything for males.
Your love of having smooth skin is also a personal like of mine, luckily my arm & leg hair is blond & fine, that makes removal easy. My SO is jealous of my legs and the fact that that the hair is fine!
As for 20 years ago,….at least you have made the move to Fiona finally💕

I missed that too🤭

joanna x

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