Dangerously high heels. Tight laced corsetry. Perfect makeup and hair. Fully fashioned stockings and intricate lingerie. Delicate and considered movements and posture. Eloquent speech and refined taste.
These are just some elements of my femme presentation, and they are also self-enforced obedience training.
I’m gender neutral – there are aspects of my presentation and gender identity that are masculine, feminine, neither, and both. Even when I am high femme, I throw some sort of seemingly conflicting wrench into my presentation - something I find to clash with the femme aspect of my presentation in a way that can be jarring and certainly confusing for some viewers. This is because many of my gender issues lie in how people perceive me based on how they perceive my gender - the assumptions that go along with passing as a purely cisgendered individual make me viscerally uncomfortable.
My childhood, teen years, and part of my early 20s (I’m 25) were spent completely denying my femininity due to internalized misogyny; presenting and acting in ways I associated with masculinity because I associated femininity with weakness and irrationality.
I thought femme presentation was frivolous – but at the same time, little artist me only drew high femmes. I voraciously consumed fashion magazines and watched fashion shows (at one point, I wanted to be a designer and drew intricate dresses and patterns for clothing I wanted to make). I watched makeup tutorials and read about makeup despite not having any myself. Where some other teens shamefully hid smutty magazines in dark places, I hid VOGUE, makeup, and jewelry.
I did not think that one could be empowered and strong and also be feminine.
The last couple years have involved exploring my gender and presentation and what it means to me, but it was only recently that I allowed myself to inhabit this place of femininity that I’ve been both terrified of and enthralled by for most of my life. Allowing myself to explore and experience that has been one of the most empowering experiences I’ve ever had.
It has also become fairly clear to me that my interests in extreme feminine presentation are more than just an interest in expressing my creativity through my clothing and makeup, which was initially what I presumed it was. It has become an exercise in taking things that are generally considered to be oppressive to women – high heels, corsetry, makeup, hair styling – and amplifying them to an extreme for my own sexual pleasure.
As a submissive, I am dominating myself through wearing restrictive clothing, considering every movement and step, encasing myself in delicate clothing that is pure sensation play, and spending hours preparing myself every day. Ritualizing getting ready and enforcing obedience on myself through both my presentation and mannerisms is something I do purely for my own pleasure, thereby co-opting ways of being that are generally considered as being for the benefit of male gaze.
While I enjoy when people appreciate how I look, this is purely for my own pleasure.
I have also come to realize that a lot of my poor self esteem issues when I was younger stemmed from dysphoria – when trying to present more masculine, my curvy body does not match up with my idealized masculine aesthetic (which ranges from heavily bearded lumberjack to dandy, depending on the day). The confidence I feel when presenting glamour femme means I stay mostly in that space, because I cannot inhabit the masculinity I desire in a way that feels right for me, at least not yet.
For me, gender and presentation is a constant exploration – I’ll look forward to talking more about it here. In the meantime, check out instagram for gratuitous selfies.
I'm also hoping to have more reviews of "femme supplies" here, and perhaps some more descriptions of my rituals and how different things feel, if people are interested in such things. Let me know in the comments, or via twitter!