If you’ve looked at my list of activities, you may have noticed that I had cross dressing on my “yes” list and forced feminization on my “no” list (now moved to “YMMV”.) I’ve had a few people ask for clarification, and so I thought I would elaborate on what I consider the difference and where my boundaries are around cross dressing and feminization.
I love cross dressing, whether it’s me putting on a suit or taking a male sub and making him feminine and pretty. I enjoy it enough that I have put together a collection of breastforms, wigs and lingerie in different sizes for my cross dressing subs.
Gender roles and performance are so rigidly prescribed in mainstream society, for everyone, but particularly heterosexual, cis men. Cross dressing can be a wonderfully liberating way to escape those confines (even if only for a short time,) to explore what it means to be masculine or feminine, and to broaden your perspective on gender.
Motivations for and experiences of cross dressing are diverse and can range from strictly aesthetic to deeply philosophical or personal, tied to identity, trauma or social position.
Aesthetic motivations can be as simple as enjoying the silky feel of lingerie, the confining cling of nylon pantyhose, or the experience of putting on makeup, and this is an easy and fun headspace to play in. Using cross dressing as a means of exploring what it means to be feminine and how you’re limited by conventional strictures of masculinity can be a more complex and equally gratifying reason for cross dressing. I love playing within this broad range of experiences.
However, for some people cross dressing is motivated by an underlying belief that there is something inherently lesser and humiliating about femininity and being a woman, and this is where I draw the line for myself. Play that is rooted in and perpetuates misogyny isn’t something that I’m interested in, as it runs counter to my own desires around female domination, contributes to attitudes that do direct harm to women and femmes, and reinforces toxic notions of masculinity that harm everyone (including men.)
So you may ask then, why forced feminization has moved from being a “no” to a “maybe” for me.
On nuance and framing
Reflecting on the diverse motivations for cross dressing in general as promoted me to think more deeply about possible motivations and desires around forced feminization. On further reflection I realize that there can be diverse motivations and take-aways from this activity, including ones that don’t perpetuate misogyny, making it not inherently problematic for me.
While I will still tread carefully in this area, as with so many things it really comes down to framing the activity in a way that is healthy rather than harmful. A carefully constructed scene could potentially even incorporate forced feminization as a means of critically addressing, rather than enforcing, misogynistic beliefs.
So I have placed forced feminization back on the table, with the understanding that my motivations and desires remain, while my framing of the activity has changed. Similar motions or broadly defined categories of activities can be incredibly varied in execution – it’s all about drawing out the nuance in constructing the scene.