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.

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.

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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;

  • 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.

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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Vecca Senn
1 month ago

Like you said there are layers to the onion, but I completely agree with the layer you described! It’s like you read my mind.

Jenni Thomas
1 month ago

Well said Rachel, especially the part about expectations! Having returned to crossdressing after a break of over 20 years, your piece resonated with me. Although my spouse knows that I have returned, our agreement is to keep it private from her. Not having much time or opportunity to dress at home, I got a hotel room for the day and spent the afternoon and the next morning dressing. What a relief to just be me! I gathered my new haul of dresses, underwear and makeup and retired to my room. What calm I felt, putting on a dress, my dress!… Read more »

Active Member
1 month ago

Expectations… so true, seems like dressing does offer an avenue to shed many expectations and choose our own attributes. If only we had choices, options, and acceptance as kids. But would we have met our SOs, or would they have been in the camp “looking for a non-binary, non-crossdressing male”. I want to shed society’s expectations. I want to be free too. But it’s hard thinking of losing so much of it. While I might have so much to gain, my world around me likes its expectations on me. My SO wants her expectations fulfilled, their are also expectations on… Read more »

Jenni Thomas
1 month ago

Wouldn’t the world be a different place if every grown man had to look and act like a woman for just one day?!!

Samantha Tully
Active Member
1 month ago

Rachel, I have been doing my nails and shaving while you describe a delightful utopia. Fantasia. All of us would love to confirm a reservation for this evening at a local 5 Star hotel. Our packed suit case will keep us looking glamorous for a few days or more. The purpose is to enjoy our selves and continue developing the framework of Rachel’s Utopia. Some of us arrive in person and others arrive via Zoom. Rachel, your prose is so well expressed. You have spent some time pondering what you would like to do with your time. I can only… Read more »

Alice Black
Active Member
1 month ago


I am also 66 and newly retired(last work year was 2019) and I worked in IT as well(Programmer) and what you said made an awful lot of sense. Well expressed.
One other thing, you look very nice in your picture.

A question – were you a fan of Renee Richards- the tennis star who transitioned many years ago? I play tennis as well and hope to play more this year.


Alice Black
Active Member
1 month ago

That is okay. Rachel, my new girl friend. My pictures do not come out that great so I am just running an emoji myself. I want to go to Male to Female makeover place eventually. I think they will be able to make me look glam enough that I would be willing to post pics on the site. We all can work at it – we can all look pretty on the outside, But I also think that we are all beautiful on the inside. And that is what counts most.

Active Member
1 month ago

great article and thought provoking. thanks

Staci Green
1 month ago

Your story resonates with me completely and you put things in so eloquently that I am very pleased and fulfilled. Your words have made me think back on times when I was both happy and sad and buying clothes as well as purging, so they have run the gamut… I also just turned 60 and have been crossdressing since I was about seven or eight years old and it has been mostly a very lonely existence. unable to discuss my desires with significant others, not just partners like my girlfriends or wives, but also my really good friends… thank you… Read more »

Trusted Member
1 month ago

Wonderful article Rachel – thanks for sharing it with us. It has provided me with more valuable insight into answering the eternal question of “Why do I (we) do this?” So many of us love being lost in the Pink Fog for exactly the reasons you articulate so well here – it’s an escape from responsibilities and expectations and an thrilling opportunity to explore how it feels to be pretty and feminine. Hugs, Mona

Leslies Ann Gray Girl
Active Member
1 month ago

Rachel , Hi , And thank you for a really thought provoking post . The one thing you said here to and for me , was asking your self why , WHY , .We have all asked this , haven’t we ? , and some have paid someone to try to make since of why . I don’t see how anyone who has not gone through this could possibly know . As i go through life on this journey i have found its just the way i was borne and just accepting my status in life is so much easier… Read more »

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