As one tries to look feminine it becomes apparent that there seem to be lots of skills that females perform as if innate magic knowledge was placed inside them at birth. That there ought to be some magic wand you can touch to transfer those skills.
From a cross-dressing perspective, perhaps the first feminine skill to attract attention is hosiery. It’s a fine accomplishment the first time you pull on a pair of tights and haven’t already laddered them. It’s a transferable skill when you upgrade to stockings until you’re flummoxed by the garter belt. Fiddling around with the clip that’s out of sight in a contortion that would easily make you the winner in a game of Twister (provided all the other players were male).
When you’ve got the basic idea of hosiery, you can experiment with shoes, especially heels. What a palaver. I think that some manufacturers of larger size heels just do so as a practical joke. A reasonably comfortable fit is something that only becomes a priority after some painful lessons mincing around the room reaching out to grasp a chair, then the sofa and another chair for support. In the nearly 30 years I’ve been collecting heels I’ve known 2″ heels that can cripple like Chinese foot bondage and wonderfully comfortable 5″ heels.
Of course, once you find pairs and styles you can actually wear there’s the real embarrassment of learning to walk all over again. The feminine grace and deportment in heels that you’ve admired feels like a total mystery. An innate grace and skill for which you ever feel the outsider. A couple of years ago I was made to feel a whole lot better about this, two women walked by outside the office, one in some nice 3″ heels. The other one said “I envy you being able to wear such high heels all day. I can’t wear heels at all.”
It was one of those rare moments when you catch a glimpse of what women keep hidden inside the sisterhood – that they can find these things bloody difficult, too. I did get a short burst of smug mode over that one as I wear 4″ heels most of the time outside work.
Clothes and outfits are a minefield on their own. Dead easy as a male, work day ? Shirt and trousers. Weekend ? Shirt and trousers. Female clothes, adjusting styles and colours to find what works and where the different dangly bits are supposed to go. Even then you’ll be totally unsure until a sympathetic female opens a chink in the door to the sisterhood’s innate knowledge and gives you a critique to hang your head in shame.
And then there’s the equivalent of the search for dark matter. The dense unfathomable mysteries of grooming and makeup.
Nails are about the easiest. Though as they’ve reached a good length it means learning all sorts of feminine mannerisms. Males use the actual end of the tips of the fingers, women use the pads for a very good reason – nails. And it means re-learning almost every movement of the hands. For a time that’s back to square one with the hosiery 😉 Typing is very different with the click of the nails on the keys – often the wrong keys. Never mind the disasters of nail polish application from shaking hands.
Makeup skills are fine provided I only want to look like an Aunt Sally after a night spent in a sauna. Or like Barbara Cartland. Did I mention the shaking hands ?
And yet there’s some salvation. Whispered in quiet corners I hear the faint admissions that this stuff can also be hard for women. That it’s not always a skill applied perfectly every time. And that gives me hope I can learn.
I just need to reach out and find the right teacher.