This is just my opinion based on my own experience.

Genetically, I’m a man.  But why do I feel so calm and peaceful inside my heart and mind when I slip on women’s lingerie, a woman’s dress, makeup, and high heels?  This glorious feeling is why I want to spend the remainder of my life dressed as a woman and seem to be pushing closer to making it happen.

Am I that bored with my life?  Am I mentally ill or completely depraved?  No. No and no.

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For me, it’s not a sex thing.  I’m straight and not attracted to men, although, good sex with anyone is getting hard to pass up.  I can easily rationalize that one in my mind, but crossdressing changes my existence.

Crossdressing makes me feel – (healthy, correct, right, calm, peaceful, relaxed, optimistic, giddy, hopeful, and energized).  I need to understand “why” this seems so right.

In peeling this strange onion in my mind, I believe I have discovered one explanation that makes sense to me.

Just try thinking this through for yourself;

Have you ever stopped and taken an inventory of all of the people who have placed their expectations on you?  How about all the people and organizations that expect certain behavior from you daily?

As very little kids, we either don’t care what instructions are being given to us or we are greatly annoyed by others telling us what to do, when to do it, or telling us how they expect us to act.  We pay a price for not behaving as expected.  And it’s painful, but we acquiesce.

Over time – but not a lot of time – we learn to modify our behavior to create the least friction, pain, and noise from others around us and those who barge into our life.  After years and years of people heaping their expectations on us, we can end up carrying a lot mental and emotional weight that was dumped on us by “others”.  Not chosen by us.

Look at the following list and think about all of the people who place their expectations on you in your life and think about what each one of them expects from you;

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  • Significant Other – Wife or Girl Friend
  • Immediate Family – Kids, Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers
  • Extended Family – Aunt, Uncle, Cousins
  • Friends – the people we want and need
  • Neighbors – people that just happened to show up here – unchosen
  • Boss – forced on us with a power that’s absolute
  • HR – tells us how to dress, what we can say, where to park
  • Co-Workers – we act this way and you must too to fit in
  • Society – men are strong and burly.  Don’t act weak or feminine or you’re totally discounted
  • Law – Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs?
  • Religions – (don’t even get me started on this one)
  • Self – last on the list?  Why am I always last to get to set expectations for me?

This list points out the tons and tons and tons of heavy expectations that are heaped on you as you live your life.

Shirk – a combination shirt and skirt?  The dictionary defines it as; Shirk  /SHərk/ verb –  to avoid or neglect (a duty or responsibility).

Turns out that for me, a Shirk is a strange garment that I like to wear often.

When I put on this dress and slip into these high heels, I am taking complete control of my life.  I shirk all expectations and responsibilities from others.  I separate myself from the rest of the world – if only in my mind.

I create a new identity that only I am allowed to define.  I even have a new name for myself as this identity – Rachel.  I’m not Richard anymore – I’m Rachel.

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No one can place expectations on Rachel at all.  Even with me looking sort of like a woman, no one can expect Rachel to have a baby because I’m not female.  Dressed this way, no one can expect Rachel to chop down a tree, or rebuild an engine, or be strong and burly.  Rachel shirks all expectations.

The bra and panties I’m wearing are totally unexpected on a man, so, the world doesn’t know what to do with Rachel.  But I do.

The energy sucking leaches of expectations and responsibility slip right off of the silky stockings I am wearing.

All anyone can expect of me is to be pretty.  I can do pretty.

As I have worked in IT Management, I learned how important it was to manage the expectations of the upper-lings, the clients, and the bosses.  I learned that I must have a very clear understanding of what they expect from me and my work, or I will fail to meet their expectations.

We manage peoples’ expectations of us every second of our existence.  Don’t expect me to like cauliflower or your bad attitude or being yelled at by anyone.  Hey, don’t expect me to take being treated like a serf or a person with less value than yours.  Don’t think you can just take things from me or force me to accept situations that I don’t like.

Sometimes, meeting and enforcing expectations can get to the point of exhausting.   My life as a man carries a lot of wounds and disappointments.  Dressing fully as a woman helps shed (or at least bandage) the scars and pain.   I can escape from the expectations of the world – if just for a while – and submerge my mind into being Rachel.  I can lose myself in planning a life for Rachel.  Where will she live?  How will she get by?  Who will she live with?  Where will she get new friends?

I get to define my own expectations for Rachel.  I decide everything for my new identity and no one else can set expectations her.  That calms me.

For today, I’m wearing my Shirk!

This is just one layer of the onion.  More to go.  At the center of this onion is one human.  Me.

Now girls, please take a few minutes to either send in a response to my article or one or more of my questions I’ve posed to you below:

  • Have you made plans for the life of your cross-dressed identity? Where she will live, how she will get by, who she will live with, where she will get new friends?
  • What would be the personality characteristics of your new cross-dressed identity? What would she be like?
  • Would you expect your new identity to “fit in” or “stand out” in society?

Thanks a bunch for your time girls, and have a wonderful week ahead!


Rachel Renee Richards





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    Amy Myers
    Noble Member
    2 years ago

    That is a good analogy to the layers of an onion I think, Rachel. I feel many of the same things as you, and you describe the people (other than us) who have various expectations of us. For me the one biggie, is that I am now fully retired, so I don’t have a boss or a company, or even my customers when I was independent. That is so freeing, not to have those obligations anymore. Naturally I have others, my wife, my kids, grown up now but I still do a number of things to help them out. The… Read more »

    Hilda Beaumont
    2 years ago

    Very thought provoking Rachel and resonates with my situation in that after several years of unhappiness during which the HildaRuth within me finally managed to emerge and express herself through cross dressing (somewhat late in my life I’m 75) I and my wife are divorcing and I am about to move into my own flat and live according to my own expectations. Some of these will be to continue to do some of the things that I’ve done professionally for several years others will be quite new and involve being/becoming HildaRuth. Although a late starter I am really excited about… Read more »

    2 years ago

    Thank you soo much! That is exactly how I feel ( funny I work in “IT" as well). I can’t pass and haven’t really tried yet but i just feel right wearing silk panties and sitting around in a nice dress. Your article inspires me to keep on my right path. As a matter of fact after reading it I went out of the house wearing pink nail polish. It’s a start.

    2 years ago

    Hi Rachel – I really like this way of identifying how we (or at least I) feel in this world. You are so right about the expectations put upon us, especially through family life and work. Whilst I say that, and however much I would love to live a full life as Isabelle, I do have to admit that I love my wife and grown-up youngsters … and therein lies too the dilemma many of us probably face. For my part, I do manage to live a partial life en femme and maybe, personally, I will continue to accept the… Read more »

    Susan Sue
    Trusted Member
    2 years ago

    I know how you feel Rachel. I just love my Susan time and wish I could be Susan. When I have my Susan time it is so relaxing. My wife knows that I cross dress and she is ok with it. Yesterday she asked me if I had time to relax (cross dress). I told her yes that I put on my navy blue skirt with navy tights and a top. I told her I felt like a lady that works in a office. Wish I could be that office lady. Susan.

    Rachael Rose
    2 years ago

    Thank you Rachel for sharing your thoughts in such an eloquent manner – you have identified some of the key reasons and benefits that so many of us find so fulfilling when we allow our feminine nature to be expressed and slip on some nice lingerie and an outfit that makes us look and feel pretty and see the woman we aspire to be looking back at us in the mirror. The sense of both relief yet excitement when I unburden my responsibilities for bosses, bills and other demands for a while, whilst I explore the female side of my… Read more »

    Julianne Mitchell
    2 years ago

    Hi Rachel love the article and definitely agree with all the expectations on all of us Male or female some are self imposed others are societal . I do always feel more relaxed when dressed and this might just be because I am pulling my self out of the normal routine of Dailey life but I have recently come to feel that I have identified as Gender fluid and my understanding of this is that I have a gender fluidity that is masculine and feminine and I feel it is society that has deemed me a crossdresser because I want… Read more »

    Grace Shiraz
    Grace Shiraz
    2 years ago

    Thanks Rachel. I think you have delicately peeled that onion away and for me all that you have said is so true. This gives me great encouragement as a newbie.

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