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Number 13

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"Where dreams are the stuff reality is made of"

Explorations

by , Editor

"Cinderella Liberties"

Every transsexual gets caught up in the "Cinderella Syndrome", picturing a prince on a white steed sweeping her off her feet. Unfortunately, fantasies don't happen as often as realities, so it is always a thrill when a guy comes onto you, especially the first few times. The problem is, you have the body of a woman and the experience level of a little girl. It doesn't matter how sophisticated you were in the old role, none of that applies now. So as a new woman you are extremely vulnerable to male attentions.

My first encounter with a pick-up artist was before surgery as I was shopping in the shoe department at K-Mart. I was wholly focused on which heels to wear with my new white dress for my 20th High School Reunion, when an accented voice broke my concentration.

"Too many different styles", the voice said.

I looked up to meet the eyes of a rather handsome man of middle-eastern decent, his thick mustache curled up in a smile.

"I know", I replied. "It makes it too hard to choose." I smiled back.

Now if I had any sense at all, I would have realized that this fellow was not hanging around the women's shoe department looking for a pair of penny loafers. But, no, innocent me just appreciated the attention.

I was nervous, to be sure, as I was still not confident in my presentation, but he picked up the thread of conversation, and before I knew it, we were talking as we walked through the store. I headed toward the checkout line with two pairs of shoes, wondering what was going to happen next. While we stood in line, he asked if he could buy me a cup of coffee. I figured, what the heck, and agreed cheerfully (it was GREAT to get this kind of attention! I had never experienced anything like this before.)

As we waited for those ahead of us, he asked how much the shoes were. Being cheap (after all, this WAS K-Mart!) I had purchased inexpensive shoes at $10 a pair, and told him so. He offered to buy them for me. Well.... I may be naive, but I'm not stupid. I respectfully declined, saying I didn't want to impose, but in fact did not want to be obligated in any way - this guy was moving fast!

Eventually, I got through the checkout line (although not without being thoroughly checked out by this guy) and - as I had truly enjoyed his once over - I asked him where he wanted to get coffee. Actually, I was kind of looking forward to having coffee bought for me. Somehow it made me feel like I had some value. But he had other plans.

"It's too crowded in a coffee shop to get to know each other", he began. How about if we just sit in m car for a while and talk?"

Well, even I could see where this was leading, but still I felt flattered by the attention, reasoned I could get out of the car if I needed to, and as long as I did not let him drive me anywhere I would be okay.

"Okay", I said.

He had a middle-of-the-road car: no great shakes, but quickly explained, "My car is in the shop... this is a loaner." Then, he riveted those steely black eyes on mine, never looking away from my face, and began to tell me how he had been so attracted to me in the store that he just had to spend some time with me. He told me I was sexy and began to stroke my shoulder. Moving his hand slowly toward my breast, he described how "men are not like women: They first get the physical attraction, then they fall in love."

Of course, I knew this was all bull, even though I had never tried such a thing as a male. Yet, the attention was so intoxicating, his hand massaging my nipple, so heady. If I had not been male, he would have had me right then and there! But I had been male, and so could call up just enough objectivity not to succumb.

He told me that he wanted to make love to me and that we should go to a motel right then and there. I kept hedging, trying to get as much of this as I could without going any farther. He kissed me and said we should go. Still, I did not give in. He said, "Are you worried about getting pregnant?" I replied, "I don't think I have to worry about that."

Finally, I told him I would not go to a motel right then, because I had to think about it with a clear head. He asked for my number; I refused. I said he should give me his number and I would call if I decided to go. That's when he got really nervous, but seeing that the fish was about to steal the bait and run, he went ahead and gave me his number. But it came with the instructions: "Don't call except on Tuesday or Wednesday nights, and if a woman answers, say you are a customer at my upholstery business." Right.

Well, I escaped with my virginity that time, though if I had been post-op at the time, I rather think I wouldn't have. But did I learn how to stave off male attention? NOT! Some months later, I was working as editor of a feature film. One of the actors came in to see the dailies. Later, he found a moment with me alone and told me he recognized me from my support group meeting. I had not recognized him, as he was not there very often, and was not transgendered, but a "TS Shark" - one of those guys who has a special place in his "heart" for people in or after transition.

He wanted to have lunch, and I thought, "Okay, it'll be fun to have a guy buy me lunch." That went fine, and he was very gentlemanly. However, each time he came in after that, he got more and more "friendly", eventually telling me he wanted to start a relationship with me.

I was (and am) still married, but at the time, did not want to jeopardize my marriage, so I thanked him for the flattering offer, but declined. Several days later, we were recording sound at Universal Studios, and he came in to loop his lines. He sat next to me and kept putting his hand on my knee. That evening, the director, the producer, a friend of theirs and myself went to dinner near the studio. The fellow in question approached the director and invited himself along.

I realized he just wanted to close in on me and so I found a moment to tell the director what the problem was and that I would appreciate it if after dinner he would keep the guy busy while I went to my car. He agreed.

Sure enough, after dinner, I left in a hurry, and he was going to follow, but the director snared him. That didn't work for long, however, as I had not quite gotten to my car when he caught up to me anyway. It was in a dark alley behind the restaurant, and there were no other people in sight.

We started talking and he made a number of suggestions about how we might be involved. After several minutes he began to come on to me very strongly. He gripped my derriere tightly and pulled me to him. He tried to put his tongue in my mouth.

Now, I know what you are thinking: why didn't I just tell him to bug off? Well, part of the whole thing was my fault. The ol' Cinderella Syndrome kicked in and made me feel special that he was interested. I didn't want it to go any farther than talk, but I didn't want it to stop completely either. I liked where it was. Problem is: guys just can't leave it at that. I now know that they just keep charging ahead until they get resistance and even then they keep trying until they are sure the resistance can't be broken down.

Well, I was standing there clamping my lips together but even still, his slimy little tongue kept weaseling in and lapping up against mine. Why didn't I just push him away? For the same reason women everywhere are afraid to fight back: they are afraid if they resist they will get beaten up. Suddenly I understood the nature of female fear. Here I was in a dark alley, alone with a determined horny admirer whom I was sure was a lot stronger than I was. I just held out and didn't respond until some people finally came by and I had the opportunity to break away and tell him I had to run.

I shakily opened my car door, got inside, and was just about to close the door when he stepped in front of it, blocking it open. He told me he wanted me to know how much he was excited by me, took my hand and placed it against the bulge in his pants. I replied, yes, I could see he was interested. I can still feel him running his fingers across my lips when another group of people came by. I used the opportunity to close the door, waved good-bye and took off into the night.

Now, I'm sure he remembers it a different way. I'm sure he was convinced I wanted him as much as he wanted me. But that is because men and women don't evaluate things the same way. This kind of miscommunication is just what we have to learn to avoid as new women.

As a final example, there are two 7-11 stores equidistant from my home. One to the East, the other to the West. When I go to work in the morning, the West one is right on the way. I like to stop there for coffee on my way in from time to time. At least I used to until the counter guy got the hots for me.

The first time I met him, he riveted his eyes on me and started a conversation. The next couple of times he would always hold my hand when giving me my change. Finally, I went in and while getting my coffee was startled to feel an arm go around my waist. I looked up to see him smiling and asking me how my day was. I just rolled with the situation and said it was just fine, thanks and then paid and left. I could feel his eyes on me all the way to the car.

All the way to work I hated the way he had taken liberties and loved the way he found me attractive. Nonetheless, I determined not to go back for awhile so things would cool down. A couple weeks later, I went back and didn't even get to the coffee before his arm was around me. This time I was really beginning to feel harassed.

Still, the fantasy of having some guy so turned on by you that he makes those kinds of advances was narcotic. But I kept from swooning with it, paid my bill and left. I vowed never to return again. Several weeks passed and I had occasion to stop home for lunch. Afterward I decided to buy a candy bar at the other 7-11 which I had gone to exclusively since the last incident. This time, however, I was running late and knew I had to stop at the trouble spot or go without a candy bar.

Suddenly I got enraged. How DARE he make me feel ill at ease in going into the most convenient store. How DARE he encroach upon my freedom like that!!! So, I girded what loins I have left and pulled into the parking lot. I looked through the window and was relieved to see that there was someone new at the counter: maybe he quit!

I went inside, feeling comfortable there for the first time in months, and looked over the candy bars. No sooner had I picked one, but the guy at the counter yells to someone I couldn't see, "Okay then, I'll see you later!" He walks out of the store and MY guy takes his place!!! I couldn't believe the luck!

Of course he saw me immediately, riveted in on his prey and kept me in his sights as I came to the counter. My skin crawled in anticipation of what might come next. But he surprised me. He just made pleasant conversation! Things are looking up, I thought. He's gotten the message! After he gave me my change, he even offered me his hand to shake. Well, I thought, he's a gentleman after all!

I reached out and took his hand... and he grabbed mine and pulled me across the counter and into a kiss! And then another one! Right there in the damned 7-11!!!

He released his grip, I smiled and left and haven't been back since.

Now, why did these things happen to me? Because I didn't understand men, that's why! Men are more aggressive than women. To them, the only time to quit is when they are convinced they can't make any progress at all. But I don't like to offend. And by nature am flattered by attention. As a transsexual, the whole concept of being desirable is better than sex - maybe even preferable to sex!

The combination of the two different points of view led to me being "violated" by these three men in ways I preferred not to be. But even as I was being kissed between the Lotto tickets and the $1.99 roses, I had the strongest surge of sexual desire I've ever experienced without foreplay! Even while I was being violated, I was being turned on!

What does all this mean? That when fantasy and reality collide, its easy to be of two minds. I know I am. And until I make up my mind, this sort of thing is likely to happen again.

Cinderella Liberties aren't just taken by the man, but are also given by the woman. We are both participants in the act. Until you can sort out how you really feel and learn how to communicate if your shiny new baubles are for touching or just for looking its a good idea to err on the side of caution. It's the best way to make sure you live happily ever after.

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Melanie's Wise Words of the Month

"Don't look to others for answers;
Look to them for questions you have not thought to ask."

--Wilma Snakestare (map)

May you never find occasion to say, "If only....."

The Subversive #13

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, Editor


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