I had an interesting conversation last night with T., about cross-dressing. It’s one of the (many) areas of the kinkosphere that I really don’t know very much about. I mean, I know *facts,* but since I’m not inclined towards cross-dressing, I don’t understand the mental aspect of it — how much of it is a *mental* transformation, as much as the physical aspects.

When T. cross-dresses, he identifies as a woman, and goes by a woman’s name. So I asked him, when he cross-dresses, what mentally delineates between his everyday personality and his cross-dressing personality. Like, where/how does that mental change kick in?

The way he described it, what it sounds like to me is that the outside affects the inside. Like with feng shui — the way you have your home/office organized is supposed to have an effect on your energies and so forth. And it sounds like, for T., it’s the whole experience of being dressed in women’s clothes, right down to 5-inch heels, is what brings about the mental change.

It’s certainly not like he’s a completely different person, but more like bringing out a latent side to his personality. He said he’s more fearless when he’s cross-dressing, that there are things he would do that he wouldn’t do when he’s not cross-dressed. And I think I understand that, even though cross-dressing isn’t my kink.

We talked a little bit about how BDSM gives a person so much more room to play with identity/transformation/image than adults can get away with in the vanilla world. Maybe some people are drawn to BDSM because they think it’s ridiculous to give up playing dressup when they become adults. It’s kind of amazing what a vast range of potential for personal expression there is in the BDSM lifestyle. Though perhaps that’s an obvious statement.