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When the Dress comes off

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(@bmactavish)
Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Joined: 8 years ago
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There is so much feeling put into the preparation of becoming the woman we envision. The excitement that builds as a certain time gets closer. It can be the world’s greatest distraction. The hands of the clock moving at a speed slower than snails on a glue trap… Many have the luxury to dress daily or frequently, while others must calculate, plan, adapt, and be ready for heartache when plans go awry for a special day.

So many have shared their stories, their personal excitement and successes. You can read about them in the article archives. I want to explore the feelings after the dress comes off, the makeup is removed, and our inner-woman is once again pushed down into the place we hide her.

My life is infinitely better for having my feminine side. Way back, it didn’t feel as such. The instant the dress came off, I might have tossed it, and the recently purchased shoes, into the trash. I would go through the shame, guilt, and futile promises of “never again.” It was as bi-polar as it could get. The buildup, the excitement, the living in the fog of the moment… and then… it ended. I’d hate myself, what I did, and what it meant to MY (perceived) life. It would take a while for the negativity to dissipate. And yet… I found myself better mentally after it did. I was happier and more settled, even focused on the tasks that I needed to do. But…

It wouldn’t be long before that itch pricked my brain, and I would spend waking and sleeping thoughts on when the next time would be. The plotting and planning to buy that next pair of high heels and what to wear with them. This cycle would continue over most of my younger adult life. It never “clicked” for me; that it was the gaps afterward that were the problem. Shutting out a very important part of myself created the tension that needed to be satiate. It took a divorce and another failed relationship to see that I was the ultimate problem in the equation.

Taking off the dress and putting/ tossing it away was a momentary pause to the bigger issue not addressed. I have a feminine side that is never going away. It can’t be eradicated, destroyed, convinced, challenged, or ignored. I didn’t know or understand it, but she did. And she is very persistent. Eventually, I came to understand why she is so important and to recognize that together as one, we are a much better individual. I still have my anxiety about what the world will think of me if she is exposed. Although, that feeling continues to be less threatening to me.

Today, I appreciate the opportunity to put on the dress, and I take special care when it is taken off. Reverently, I set it aside for the next time. Oh yes, I know there will be a next time and another one after that. I’m blessed in that I start most of my mornings giving way to my feminine side. It’s not about becoming passable (I rarely do makeup) or living off the pent up excitement dressing once meant to me. It is instead the bringing together of my particular unison. The exploration and the completion of myself. I can honestly say now that having to take off the dress is more likely to make me sad as I feel a greater pull toward my femininity these days. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like my male side; I just find more comfort and connection with my feminine self. This blend, this union, whatever you wish to make of it, it has helped me to find more peace within.

I hang up the dress, stow away the nylons, shoes, and wig until tomorrow. It’s rare that it is longer than a couple of days (only because the male world had a hook in me) before I am me again. Yes, me is wearing the dress, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Typing with my acrylic nails (sometimes extra-long) always makes me smile. Brushing the wig-hair out of my eyes and seeing the lip-gloss stains on my coffee cup feels right. I’m not acting, playing a role, or even trying to pretend; I’m just being me. I’m also me when the pants and guy clothes go on so that I may blend into the world and what it expects of me. Little does it know that I’m no longer an either-or.

Not only has my mindset adjusted, so has my body. The maleness smartly hacked away to offer more in conjunction with the feminine perception. My morning ritual would be more acquainted to womanly than manly. I still shave, only now to keep my face more neutral and less huntsman. My normal scent is citrus (shampoo and body wash), I use a neutral cologne, deodorant, and body lotion and have long stopped worrying if others notice. (They don’t care, and neither do I!) My jeans are women’s (men’s don’t fit right—but is that my perception, my feminine perception, or just a reality?) Who cares? I like the fit better, but I miss the deep front pockets… My natural nails are longer, the hair on my arms trimmed and shaved back, torso as well. I wear women’s underwear (I do keep a few male pairs around for guy trips—fishing.) Why do men like boxers? I never did… but is that my femininity at play? I can’t help but wonder how many men would give up their standardized clothes once they started wearing women’s attire? It just fits and feels so much better. Women are always right.

My wish for all of you is simple. I hope you find your own peace. We have a life to live, and sometimes it demands a certain obedience. The consequences can be harsh for not following procedures. I get it, and so do your sisters in arms. My hope is that the next time you take off the dress, you’ll consider what it might really signify. Not the end of an experience, but rather the connecting bridge to becoming a more contented you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a feminine side, or in its expression. For me, that dress is a lifesaver. What is it for you when the dress comes off?

Be well, be happy, and be amazed by the little things that surround you…

Until next time,

 

Brina

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109 Replies
Posts: 31
Duchess Annual
(@jp3)
Eminent Member     Chicago area, Illinois, United States of America
Joined: 3 years ago

Hi Brina,Very well said and really helps me to not feel as judgemental on myself for feeling the way I do.Thanks so much !!!

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thank you, Jennie for the kind words! 🙂

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Posts: 60
(@Alexis "Lexi" Moon)
Trusted Member
Joined: 5 years ago

Well done, Brina! I agree with everything in this article 100%. I find it more and more difficult to take off the dress these days. In all truth, I think it was always hard but I would "do things" that made me want nothing more than to rip it off and (like you say) throw it all away (I think you know what I mean...). I've found that leaving that practice behind and enjoying the femininity for what it is - a true expression of who I am - allows me to carry forward more of the good feeling after the dress comes off. So I do take extra care to hang things up nicely. My regular undressing routine is to take off the dress and heels, put away my jewelry, and while still in bra and panties (and wig) use a makeup wipe to start cleaning up. Sadly, once that step is done the "dude" is too obvious, so I very quickly get back into regular clothes and finish washing my face.

But still, that routine seems to help sustain the positive vibes. Don't get me wrong - still a bummer - but it helps make the transition a bit less rocky.

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Great pictures in your words. I could see it as I read along! When we finally toss out the self-imposed negativity and learn to embrace the positives, the world becomes less hectic and sad! Thanks for the comments! 🙂

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Posts: 115
(@jenniferramirez)
Estimable Member     Los Angeles, California, California, United States of America
Joined: 4 years ago

Hello Sabrina
WOW! Another great piece of work
And everything you wrote is so true.
I would go through everything you wrote, from the guilt, throughout all my clothes.
But years ago, I discovered in the Bible, in dueteronomy, that men should not wear woman's garments and like wise for the women. Am a believer in JESUS CHRIST so
This is another of my dilemmas.
Keep those stories coming
Jennifer Ramirez

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Duchess
(@sheandhe90)
Joined: 3 years ago

Estimable Member     Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America
Posts: 176

Read your comment. I too believe in Jesus Christ and I dress frequently. Had my dilemmas with that situation, but its ok Jesus loves us as we are warts and all. I have peace with Him knowing that he knows everything about me and accepts my faith in Him regardless.

Keep the faith, sister! Love, Aurora Borealis

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thank you, Jennifer! Religion is tough, let alone the interpretation of sentiments stated 5,000 years ago. Much like the assessment and rethinking of the constitution in politics. There will never be a good answer because we have no one of historical age to communicate with or verify to. Much like my status on the gender spectrum, my religious and political outlook is similar. We could have a long and lovely conversation on perceptions over wine or coffee someday 🙂 I appreciate your comments!

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(@jenniferramirez)
Joined: 4 years ago

Estimable Member     Los Angeles, California, California, United States of America
Posts: 115

It is tough, but mine is of faith, and not a religion. As far as politics are concerned I don't dabble in it. Have a blessed day Sabrina

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Faith is a very powerful state of consciousness. It alone is the one driving motivation behind completion. It's a truth in all endeavors, and yet it is never right or wrong, that is a human concept.

I wish you a beautiful Sunday!

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(@Alexis "Lexi" Moon)
Joined: 5 years ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 60

Perhaps I shouldn't comment, because I consider myself an atheist, but this just makes me sad. We have a hard enough time judging ourselves and worrying about being judged by others, then to have another layer of guilt added because of some words that were written down by some guy thousands of years ago? Not helpful. I should add that, despite my beliefs, I agree that there is a good, strong message of love in the teachings of Jesus, and therefore anyone who believes in Jesus would only be honoring him by loving and respecting this community...we aren't here to hurt anyone! (And, FWIW, Deuteronomy is Old Testament anyway - an atheist I may be, but I've studied my share of theology!)

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

You would love my new book...once it's published...

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(@Alexis "Lexi" Moon)
Joined: 5 years ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 60

Oooh! Tell me more...

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(@jenniferramirez)
Joined: 4 years ago

Estimable Member     Los Angeles, California, California, United States of America
Posts: 115

Your right Alexis you shouldn't have commented!!

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Posts: 34
Lady
(@sylvial)
Eminent Member     Texas, United States of America
Joined: 3 years ago

Friend Brina, you're making me think a LOT today, and that's a good thing. I need to take a good look at myself which isn't easy, but it is necessary. Thanks much, and keep up writing!!

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thank you, Sylvia! 🙂

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

Lovely thoughts Brina. Always hung, Never tossed!

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Made me smile! 🙂

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Posts: 19
Hostess
(@kimrose)
Active Member     Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: 4 years ago

Thanks for that Brina, wonderful article that I can absolutely relate to. I’m definitely at the ‘hang carefully away’ stage now and I am far happier for being there. The gaps between dressing fully are too big for my liking but I always carry some part of Kim with me in one way or another.

X

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

It is my hope that we save a few beautiful dresses and shoes from unnecessary demise! Thanks for the comments 🙂

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Posts: 176
Duchess
(@sheandhe90)
Estimable Member     Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America
Joined: 3 years ago

Great article! Hugs, Aurora B.

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thank you, Aurora! 🙂

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Posts: 885
Duchess Annual
(@robertaf)
Noble Member     Louisiana, United States of America
Joined: 4 years ago

What a great story, thank you for sharing.

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

You are welcome! Thanks 🙂

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Posts: 192
(@steffaston)
Estimable Member     Near Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Joined: 6 years ago

Hi Brina
That is such a lovely article and so so relevant to a lot of us. In my case I think my mind set started to change a few years ago but in the last twelve months my feminine side has been growing exponentially! which to start with I must admit was a little unnerving but now I’m enjoying and embracing the developing new me.

When you talked about times gone by it got me thinking of those times to, when I was young and the kids were just in school the only time I had to dress which, back then was once or twice a year and could only happen if I took a sick day off work! The utter excitement was almost overwhelming but when it was time change back the thrill would be replaced by a dark cloud of self hate and loathing and what items I had would get unceremoniously stuffed into a shopping bag and either thrown away in disgust or stashed back up in the loft!

Fast forward twenty five years and it’s total different now, I don’t hide anything anymore, I’m out to my wife and kids and have all Stephanie’s things in my own draws and wardrobe, also, being made redundant at the start of last year though hard at the time has turned out to be a real blessing as I now have so many more opportunities to be Stephanie.

Taking the dress off is still a sad moment but carefully folding or hanging Stephanie’s clothes and putting them away is now just as special as it is to picking out the dress from the wardrobe in the first place. for me, dressing is no longer an intermittent event but a lovely new way of life.
love Stephanie ❤️

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Well said! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your sentiments!

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 Leah
Baroness
(@leah63)
Prominent Member     Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
Joined: 6 years ago

well said and great advice!

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thank you, Leah 🙂

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Posts: 1703
(@dlgeb275)
Noble Member     niagara falls, ny., New York, United States of America
Joined: 9 years ago

hello and great post and words. i dress up when no other adult child is home, wife would tell me i can dress up, but when i do it's all over i dress up all the way and make up on, perfume, earring's, necklace, heels, nylons, panties, pad, bra, wig then i hate to take it off. when no one is home i dress up and then i see my wife coming home so i hurry and get undressed for some stupid reason, she knows why hide it? i hate undressing, for i feel that i should be dressed as a female. plus, its a depressed and panic release. feeling the sensation of being a female that i should of been. there are a few things i gad to throw out for they were torn or worn out. but others i have kept. i also have my mom's things that she left behind when she passed away, my wife dresses that don't fit her, and some of my mother i laws earrings that my wife gave me to have and wear.

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(@Alexis "Lexi" Moon)
Joined: 5 years ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 60

My wife knows too, but out of respect of her wishes, I don't dress around her. I don't think that's a stupid reason at all. Maybe that's just what works for your relationship?

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thanks for the comments, Lucinda. I get where you are coming from. I think it still comes down to the boundaries set for us and by us. Mine are ever-expanding outward...

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Posts: 367
 Mona
Duchess
(@yestothedress)
Reputable Member     Florida, United States of America
Joined: 6 years ago

Excellent, well-written article Brina! Just about everything in it resonates for me.. Thanks for articulating what so many of us feel. I find it harder and harder to take off the dress...

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thanks, Mona! I agree.

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Posts: 455
Lady
(@krissy1967)
Reputable Member     Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Joined: 3 years ago

Loving the heels in the picture! Do they come in any other colours? Xx

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

They do. I found them on Amazon. One of my favorite pairs now.

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Lady
(@krissy1967)
Joined: 3 years ago

Reputable Member     Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Posts: 455

Cool. I love browsing on amazon too! So many bargains to be had, i love to buy new shoes most weeks, starting to get quite a collection. A girl can never have enough shoes. X

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Posts: 791
Lady
(@marieclaire2)
Noble Member     London, United Kingdom
Joined: 3 years ago

I loved your article. When I wear women's clothes I enjoy every moment, but in the end I always feel something strange, I still don't know if it's a feeling of guilt, frustration...
Despite this, every day my feminine side grows stronger. I love my men's boxers, but if I could I'd trade them for panties and bras.

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Managing Editor
(@bmactavish)
Joined: 8 years ago

Noble Member     Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 922

Thanks for the comments, Marie. I tried to wear boxers, hated them...maybe if they were satin and pink... 🙂

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