Something In-between: A GG Perspective on Partial Dressing

MM is the wife of a CD and a moderator of the forums. Someone directed me to this short piece she wrote – because she quoted me (thank you, M!) – and I thought it deserved reprinting.

Something In-between: A GG Perspective on Partial Dressing

“My husband is beautiful as a man or a woman, but unbelievably beautiful when he’s something in-between.” –Helen Boyd, My Husband Betty

I have heard many crossdressers say that being fully en femme is the only experience that truly satisfies them. Their desire is to appear as a woman – with a wig, makeup, breast forms, and perhaps even a corset and padding to complete the feminine image. Some feel so strongly about this that they prefer to dress completely or not all; they find no comfort in wearing a pair of panties and a bra under their male clothing, or adding a few girly details to their masculine appearance for an androgynous look, or simply being a man in a dress. When they look in the mirror, they want to see the illusion of a woman looking back at them, not a man in women’s clothes. When they dress, they want to become someone feminine, someone beautiful–in short, someone else.

Well, each to his – or her – own. There is no call for the antagonism that seems to exist within our community between partial dressers and the “all or nothing” crowd. I understand that some are disturbed by images of crossdressers who make no effort to look female, but I don’t personally share their distaste – and neither do most of the wives and girlfriends I know. In fact, the majority of SOs find it easier to relate to their partner as a guy in girls’ clothes than as a “complete” woman. Very few women genuinely perceive their crossdressed partners as female anyway, even when they are fully dressed and made up. For us, the illusion of femininity that crossdressers see when they look at themselves is invariably undermined by the familiar features and gestures of the man we know so well underneath the clothes. In other words, as far as your wife is concerned, you don’t pass and never will. Does that make you less appealing to her? Probably not. It is your male self she is attracted to, after all, and the more of “him” that shows through, the better.

I do understand that there is a special thrill in “going all the way.”  My husband Angel loves the experience of being fully en femme, and I love to help him achieve a womanly appearance. Assisting him with clothing, jewelry, accessories, and makeup is something I take great pleasure in. Spending time with Angel en femme, whether we go out or have a “girl’s night in,” is very special and rewarding for me. But both of us agree on one point: no matter what Angel is wearing, he – or she – is always the same person. True, when fully dressed, Angel’s feminine characteristics are more obvious and exaggerated. But Angel’s femininity is always present, even without the clothes. It is simply expressed in different ways and to different degrees depending on the circumstances. When Angel is en femme, she is still Angel. There is no “third person” in our marriage.

Perhaps it is because we don’t see Angel as having two distinct identities that we both enjoy seeing him dressed in a way that blurs traditional gender lines. You can call it partial crossdressing, androgyny, gender blending, or any other name you like, but it amounts to being an obvious genetic male dressed in women’s clothes. For example, it is common for Angel to wear women’s jeans, tennis shoes with pink accents, satin-trimmed t-shirts, and women’s cardigans as his normal, everyday clothes. He wears a bra and panties every day, as well as various other undergarments such as camisoles and pantyhose. He may also wear a necklace and earrings, a ladies’ watch, perfume, subtle makeup, and pale nail polish. However, there is no way he could be mistaken for a woman when wearing these outfits. He appears as what he is: a feminized male, or as I affectionately call him, a girly boy. At home he often wears a blouse and skirt without making any attempt at a complete transformation, and I don’t think it looks silly at all. It may not be what most of us are used to seeing, but if the clothes look attractive on a woman, why can’t they look attractive on a man? Granted there are limits on what a man can wear in public without creating a stir, but that has very little to do with what looks inherently good or bad. It is, rather, a reflection of Western society’s insistence on a rigidly bi-gendered world.

There are some crossdressers who wouldn’t dream of displaying their femininity without simultaneously hiding their maleness, and I respect their preference. But I see it as a wonderful thing that Angel can show on the outside what he is on the inside, even when in male mode. I have always encouraged him to integrate his femininity into his male persona, and the mixed-gender style of dressing is an obvious way to do that. Nearly all of Angel’s clothes are women’s, but some are conspicuously feminine while others–including the ones he wears to work–are more gender neutral. This gives him a lot of freedom regarding his day-to-day appearance, which spans the entire continuum from drab to drag. The only thing he never looks like is a manly man. Ask him and he will tell you that he would rather die than wear a plaid flannel shirt.

How do I feel about all of this? Honestly? Well, I’d like to think that my acceptance has helped Angel to feel more comfortable with mixing masculine and feminine signals. Besides the fact that it seems psychologically healthy to strive for the integration of both genders into one’s identity, I also happen to find it attractive. Very attractive. Okay, downright irresistible. Ever since I can remember, I have been drawn to effeminate men. In my teenage years, those 80’s New Wave icons with their arched eyebrows, ruffled blouses and lipstick used to make me weak in the knees. I have an aversion to rugged masculinity and actually feel disgusted by body hair, big muscles, and tough guy attitudes. On the other hand, I am not a lesbian and don’t feel attracted to members of my own sex. What I like is being able to see, simultaneously, the man within the woman and the woman within the man. It reminds me that I am married to a guy who is delightfully different. I hope Angel knows that I love him whether he looks male or female”¦..but I’m glad he also feels free to be something in-between.

© MM 2005



4 Replies to “Something In-between: A GG Perspective on Partial Dressing”

  1. It surprises most of my friends to discover that I, a fulltime transgenderist, do (and have done) a lot of partial dressing.

    When I started crossdressing seriously, I was broke. I could start partial dressing with the purchase of a single panty; full-fledged crossdressing would have required an expensive wig, a full outfit, a complete pallette of makeup, and the skill to put on all that makeup. I had none of those things. So I started out partial.

    And as my partial crossdressing developed and grew, to the point where a favorite outfit would include off-black pantyhose with shorts and shoes with chunky heels, and a purse, I discovered something else: partial crossdressing in public takes guts! I developed not just courage and a thick skin; I learned how to silence rowdy teenagers with the right look. I also learned how to read an alcoholic like a clock; so that when I knew it was just a matter of time until he sputtered out “THAT’S A MAN IN A SKIRT!” I could arrange to be 150 feet away, so to all the world it looked like he was commenting on an imaginary friend!

    So when I added the wig and makeup and first-edition toilet paper falsies, I already had the seasoned attitude to carry it off like a trouper!

    I also discovered what Helen and Marla have experienced–my wife likes it!

    So a sexy androgynous outfit has become our subtle codeword for sexual desire. We call it “play clothes” because it means that the wearer (either one of us) is ready to play.

    Less sexy androgynous looks mark quiet days and evenings at home.

    But today the androgynous look stays at home where it started. I like being treated as a woman too much, out in public.


  2. Thank you for this Helen. And I am grateful to Marla for her expression of this distinct perspective – one that I joyfully share. For me, my softer side – yes, my femanine side – is made all that much more special by the counterpoise or juxtaposition of my male side, and vice versa. There is a wonderful harmony within me that makes me feel so very fortunate. And I too enjoy blending genders in the expression of myself, almost as much as I enjoy presenting myself in full femme mode.

  3. There is no “rule” that applies to all of us. It is a free country- (although less so lately). Sometimes at home I put on a skirt and top and bunny slippers but don’t feel like bothering with wig and makeup- and certainly not a bra- just as any woman might do at home. As to outside- because I am more masculine in my facial and bodily appearance- I need to go completely “done up”. If I were more adrogenous appearing, I might not have to. So each individual has to do what is more correct for him/her to do.
    That said- thank you Marla for putting back some common sense into the picture. Always nice to hear from the GG’s in our crowd. I love your acceptance of your mates “dualness”- the lucky guy. You got a sister?

  4. I agree, those CDS who are lucky enough to find a loving GG who enjoys their husband dressing as a female, are truly the luckiest men in the world! I’d give absolutely anything to have a GG wife, or even just G/F who would be so encouraging and supportive. I’m manly, but if im going in public as a female, i prefer to go all out and be as sexy and girly as possible. It’s alot of work, and takes alot of time for me, so I generally settle for wearing pantyhose under my male clothes. I also have a question for everyone….. I would like to know if anyone else also likes to feel like they are being “forced” to dress up by their GG? I find a dominant bossy female to be the sexiest, and most erotic experience of all! Maybe it’s because I have always had a fantasy of being transformed into a sexy, big boobed, shemale by my GG g/f or wife. HEY! Don’t judge! Lmbo, just being honest…. I know there is a very very small chance to ever find the woman of my dreams, but if I ever do, she will be the luckiest woman in the world, because I will worship her, and treat her like a queen 24/7!! I’m all about pleasing my woman and pampering and taking care of all her wants, needs, and desires.

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