Cos John Barrowman is a whole heap of awesome.
Most people when they see this phrase automatically think of drag queens. As I’m not sure about the exact differences between the two – I’m assuming there are some – I’m not even going to attempt an explanation. Rather, I want to talk about my reading experiences with the subject matter of cross dressing.
The first book I ever read which featured this theme was an anthology, Bravo! Brava!, by MLR Press. Curiousity made me pick it up and my response after reading it… well, how deliciously naughty!
Since then, I’ve read some freebies by Jet Mykles (start with Skirt, but have a fan handy – you’ll need it 😉 ) as well as M. Jules Aedin’s more poignant paranormal mystery Windows in Time and have greatly enjoyed them.
There’s just something about a boy in stockings and stilettos that seriously floats my boat. 🙂
I think I might have read some of the stuff on Fiction with Friction first, but the first real story beyond a few pages was the Bravo Brava (or however that goes) as well. There were cross dressers/drag queens in the Victor J. Banis book but I hadn't read them as the main character of the story.
Does it work for me? Ummm. Not so much. I don't find it sexy, to me it feels like the guy wants to pretend to be with a woman with boy parts. If your attracted to boobs and lipstick and panthose, just date a chick and close your eyes and think of England when the big moment comes. You're either attracted to the male form or the female form (or both I suppose), but not one pretending to be another. So I don't really ge it from a purely cross-dressing point of view. Of course transgender is something different altogether.
Nope. Haven't read any cross dressing books.
I did read some with guys wearing guyliner and black nail polish – worked for me, then again I was a raving 80's Adam Ant fan…just sayin.
Oh by the way Kris, I did you M/M Meme on my blog today – what fun!!
Lot's of penis stuff there too.
Mine first was the Bravo Brava anthology too.
TBH, it doesn't really do much for me – unless the man wears a skirt with nowt underneath. For some reason I find that really hot.
Although I do like guyliner, but don't really count that as cross dresing.
I'm with Jen, guyliner and even black nail polish doesn't count. Full on lipstick, blush, foundating and eye shadow and PINK nail polish, umm, yeah, that's a bit much. LOL
I mostly encounter it in movies. Does anyone remember The Crying Game or have I hopelessly dated myself with that reference? 🙂 Also Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Have to say that I love the photo for this one best of all (though ones for the other two in your “Firsts” series were very funny). This guy looks like he's having a great time!
I remember The Crying Game Val. The BIG reveal!!! Which of course no one kept secret. LOL
Yup – Have read a bit more than I needed to actually..
It did take me a while to get into the difference – between just drag and straight out cross dressing. I find I like both…
Wish more authors did a little more crosdressing books – or at least give us a book with a decent drag plot line…
Barrowman is gorgeous – how fit are those legs….
Crossdressing. Hmm. When all my high school classmates were into Hank Williams Jr and Foreigner, I was into David Bowie and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hmm. That explains so much…
LOVE drag queens and have known some (not compulsive cross-dressers, though; there's a difference). Even put one in my last book and grew very fond of him, because he quickly took on a life of his own.
Y'all should see Adam Lambert as Priscilla. Gorgeous!
Dreamlands features a cross dresser. But that is not by his choice really.
And Flying fish, that's about a kabuki actor playing the female parts in the play.
But I have not read a modern story yet.
I don't have anything against cross dressing as a general practice–it doesn't offend me or scare me–but it doesn't do anything for me sexually. I think many effeminate men are pretty to look at, but I can't see myself with one, and I still prefer them dressed in men's clothing.
To me, men are sexy because of their maleness. Putting them in skirts and panties negates that for me, and actually turns me off…in the same way I usually don't find menswear or extremely mannish styles attractive on women.
I can't think of many exceptions.
OH! Barbara Sheridan and Anne Cain have some cute drag scenes in their ChildsPrey books, and a couple of good ones in Barb's C*cksucker books. But those are very short-term disguises, so I don't really think of them as cross dressing. It's not like the men made a habit of wearing tights and heels.
Guys in frocks are hot! Even the ugly ones do it for me… don't know why.
But I hate it when they look better in a dress than I do. I'm at the age where me and short skirts don't mix in public or private. Is my jealousy showing?
Tam, I think I see it as either being another kink or a compulsion and a pretty harmless one at that… not to mention sexy. I think I've said that a few times. LOL.
MsM: Been and checked on the penis post. You are such a naughty girl. *g*
Guyliner and black polish?? Pfft. Nowhere near close to cross dressing, hun. Try the Jet Mykles short and let me know what you think then. I dare you. 🙂
Jen: “TBH, it doesn't really do much for me – unless the man wears a skirt with nowt underneath. For some reason I find that really hot.”
That's cos you are a perve, mate. Nuff said.
Val: I remember The Crying Game, but because someone told me what the big reveal was I've never watched it myself. I was too POed to. I love Priscilla. It's one of my fave movies.
Do you not know John Barrowman, Val? He of Captain Jack Harkness fame from Torchwood??
EH: JB is stunning isn't he. *sigh*
“Wish more authors did a little more crosdressing books – or at least give us a book with a decent drag plot line…”
I'm so with you with that one! Have you read M Jules Aedin's Windows In Time?? I thought that was very good in terms of dealing with the subject matter of cross dressing. I've also heard good things about Lola by Victor J Banis, although I haven't read that as yet.
Chris, LOL! A light bulb went off here too. 🙂
KZ: You should write your memoirs, and saying this has reminded me about interviewing you. *rubs hands together in glee*
Adam Lambert is starring in Priscilla? Really?? *google, google, google*
Ingrid: Yeah, those stories both sound very different to cross dressing. You should try a contemporary one and see what you think. 🙂
JenB: “To me, men are sexy because of their maleness. Putting them in skirts and panties negates that for me, and actually turns me off…in the same way I usually don't find menswear or extremely mannish styles attractive on women.”
Totally understand where you are coming from Jen. Me, I (obviously) like the contrast. Something about it seems to emphasise the gender of the person. LOL.
Tish: “But I hate it when they look better in a dress than I do.”
Hell yes!! Just look at JB's legs! 😦
I have so enjoyed reading this series on “firsts”, Kris. Thanks for providing such evocative, thought-provoking, and t-m-informative posts.
I am sad to admit that while I've encountered all of the elements you've discussed, I'll be danged if I can remember my first of any of them. Maybe I should start making notes when I read. *snorts*
But for whatever reason, I remember my first guy-in-a-dress. I read Lola dances and to be frank, it didn't do a lot for me. It took me a long time to pick up Bravo Brava, but I was glad I finally did, as I really loved those stories. And I liked Windows in Time a lot.
I agree with you that there needs to be more drag/cross-dressing in our books. I think Jet Mykles could write a fabu book (yeah, “Skirt” is hot!) I don't know what it is about this particular fetish – maybe it's how the other protagonist reacts to the cross-dresser. Seeing a hot guy get hotter over a hot guy in a skirt…mmm-hmm!
Ok, I read Jet's short. Very cute. Sexy too, but I pretended the skirt-wearer was a goth or emo kid wearing all black. The Snow White thing is too weird.
So apparently androgynous guys in black schoolgirl skirts and suspenders and eyeliner/piercings are okay to me…? I guess. I dunno. But OMG could that fantasy have been any more detailed? LOL
But I DO know I'm not down with JB in a party dress and heels.
Yes, I'm fucked up. *sighs and looks for a therapist*
Ok, I've been poking through my librarything, trying to remember what books had crossdressing in them. She's Got Balls by Mia Watts, although that was part of an undercover gig. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Lynn Lorenz. Hmm. There was another one, with several cops going undercover at a drag queen convention or something like that, but I can't remember anything beyond that about it.
Wasn't that Evangeline Anderson book, I think it was called Assignment, or The Assignment..
Wren, welcome! You know all I'm all about being “evocative, thought-provoking, and t-m-i-ing”. LOL.
“maybe it's how the other protagonist reacts to the cross-dresser. Seeing a hot guy get hotter over a hot guy in a skirt…mmm-hmm!”
Great point. That's an aspect that certainly makes the ereader steam for me. *g*
JenB: “Yes, I'm fucked up.” *bites lip*
So after reading Skirt you're semi-converted now?? I'm also now trying to think of an author who I can bribe into writing that story for you. 😉
Chris: Probably if you were on Good Reads you would be able to find it better. *smiles sweetly*
EH: After just recently rereading The Assignment – like many of us did LOL – I can say there wasn't any cross dressing in that.
It's funny. I didn't how many – comparatively speaking – stories there are on the 'undercover cop goes drag/cross dresses' theme. Interesting.
Not semi-converted. 😛 I just remembered some cute photos of emo boys in skirts, and it helped me get through the skirt story without being squicked out.
So if it's the androgy emo thing it works for you, Jen?
Don't mean to make you seem you are in the spotlight, but am curious. 🙂
Jen, you and I can go to couples therapy. The only skirt I like to see a guy in is a kilt. That's not a skirt, it's got it's own name for god's sake. 🙂
Like you it doesn't bother me. Hey, knock yourself out, wear a skirt, just don't expect me to get hot and bothered over it. And stories where they wear a skirt as part of a disguise or a costume party such as the new Lynn Lorenz book are very different. The guy wasn't attracted to him BECAUSE he wore a dress, it was just a situational thing.
No, no. I meant to say as a character from Priscilla. Adam isn't starring in any production. But there's a pic of him on the Web in which he's allegedly dressed in the manner of one of those characters. I'll send it to you.
The androgynous emo thing doesn't exactly make me horny, but I do think emo boys are pretty to look at. Dunno that I'd wanna kiss one, but I like it when they kiss each other. 😀
Tam, I don't even really care for kilts. Not because they look like skirts, but because they look tacky.
*hides from all the kilt lovers*
Tam: I have an awesome pic of guys in kilts. I'll send it to you. 🙂
KZ: Oh, cool. *checks email* Pretty!!!
JenB: “I do think emo boys are pretty to look at. Dunno that I'd wanna kiss one, but I like it when they kiss each other. :D”
Me too. 😀
I just thought of another book with a cute guy dressed up (for a halloween party): Calendar Boys October – Trick of Silver by Jaime Craig. That was pretty, um, steamy. And had a little BDSM aspect. And werewolves. And maybe I'll go re-read it now.
I can't believe I forgot about that book, Wren! I love that one!
And now I feel like rereading it. LOL.
I don't remember my first cross dressing story. I mean, I don't remember at the moment the title or the author. It was a short story about this young man who liked to dress as a woman after school. He did it secretly, his mother didn't even know he was gay. Oh, found it! It's Crossing the Line by Laney Cairo. It's not exactly a romance, more like a coming-of-age story. I don't even remember why I bought it, but it was interesting.
TBH at first I wasn't sure I liked this theme, but then I revalued it. I've always loved Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, whose sexuality was ambiguous at best, and I remember loving the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar with Patrick Swayze in drag. I should find Priscilla's DVD. There's something so brave in a man who defies any conventions and faces the scorn or worse of his peers. It must be very difficult being accepted in the society if you like to dress up as a woman, I can only guess at the jeers and hate… it makes me shudder just thinking at the possible abuses.
The last book I read with a man dressing as a woman is the already mentioned Windows in time, which was very well done and very touching, as you've said Kris, 'poignant'.
Hey, Kris, I actually had no idea who the guy in the photo was till you told me. I'm such a clueless geek when it comes to much of pop culture!
i got into CD/TG/TV stories a couple of months ago and have been on the prowl for more 'good' stuff with substance since. my good friend Clare pointed me in your direction, and i'm so very thankful.
thanks for the recs and links!
Sara, I haven't read that Laney Cairo. I must follow that up.
“There's something so brave in a man who defies any conventions and faces the scorn or worse of his peers.”
Yes, there is. Well said, Sara.
I am so glad that you liked Windows in Time too. I was initially put off because of the ghost aspect of the story, but am so glad that I read it because it was so well done.
Val, LOL. We love you anyways. 😉
merith, hey there. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the few that are mentioned here. I (obviously) think they're all pretty great. Thankfully others agreed. LOL.