Monday, June 30, 2014

dr.a.g. by Christopher Logan

Last Spring I had the great pleasure of getting an advance look at dr.a.g. from Christopher Logan, chatting with him about it, and featuring it in an issue of Frock Magazine. Unfortunately, by the time we went to print, the parent company of the original publisher went into bankruptcy, which meant the book was no longer available.

Well, here we are, a little more than a year later, and a new edition of the dr.a.g. book has been published by Logan’s company bookthefilm, and enhanced with additional material from Acid Betty, Yara Sofia, and Queen Bee Ho.

Produced by Christopher Logan, dr.a.g. is a coffee table book featuring some of the world’s top drag performers, as captured by a wide array of fashion and celebrity photographers. It’s a project where everyone involved donated their time, all to help to raise funds for a movie on the subject of . . . yup, you guessed it, drag! From the New York drag scene to the Vegas Strip, from the streets of Montreal to the cast of RuPaul's Drag Race, dr.a.g. features such notable faces as Lady Bunny, Frank Marino, Nina Flowers, Miss Coco Peru, and others.

Christopher Logan, the man behind the book, is an actor whose credits include Connie and Carla, Saving Silverman, Tron Legacy, and Alcatraz. Born in Ottawa, he moved to Vancouver after training at The Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Hollywood. He got into producing books after writing a novel as a gift for a friend (Daphne, a children’s book about penguins, the last magical creatures of the Earth), and moved on to producing events and books to raise funding for independent film production.

Although primarily a photographic collection, the book begins with a recap of the historical origins of dr.a.g (dressed as a girl) and dr.a.b. (dressed as a boy) - originating with the old British farces, where men would flop and drag their dresses around the stage, camping it up in high-pitched voices in a sort of mockery of women. The terms later evolved through an underground dialect called Polari, a sort of gay slang in the United Kingdom with its origins in travelling Gypsy, into drag queen.

dr.a.g. is an absolutely gorgeous book all on its own, but there’s a larger purpose behind it. The hope is to produce a drag movie that is as beautiful, as respectful, and as uplifting as the book. There's a great range of styles represented within the book, from campy to elegant, and from funny to gorgeous, representing the diversity within the drag world itself.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Taken by a Girl Gang by Kylie Gable

Please Note: The following review is suitable for adults only.

We've all been there at least once in our lives, walking or driving down a dangerous street, and all too aware of the unsafe or unsavory people loitering around us. For the most part, we're smart enough to keep our heads down and our eyes averted, either ignoring the catcalls or politely waving them off with an awkward smile. Sadly, poor Wesley lacks that common sense and lets himself verbally lash out at the all-girl gang that claims the viaduct between home and the bus stop.

The process of being Taken by a Girl Gang starts the very next morning, as one of the girls lays him out with a punch, then applies some bright red lipstick before sending him on his way. From there, Kylie Gable slowly escalates both the level of torment and the degree of feminization, until Wesley is being forced into his wife's sluttiest lingerie (while she watches), and commanded to take some incriminating selfies (at the office) prove his obedience. Finally armed with a little liquid courage, he makes a lame attempt at confronting the girls, only to find himself tarted up and pegged with the very same golf club he intended to use as a weapon.

This first chapter is a relatively short tale, but does a fantastic job of setting things up for bigger, better, bitchier abuse. It's dark and sometimes violent, more humiliating than erotic, but has undeniable appeal. It's an edgy sort of forced feminization fantasy, but it's that edge that makes it so exciting.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Painted Ladies: A Jasmine Frame Story by P. R. Ellis

Even if you're not into police thrillers (and I'm generally not), you might want to give this exceptional book a try. I purchased "Painted Ladies" by P. R. Ellis because of the positive remarks and accolades of the reader reviewers that were posted on Amazon. I'm certainly glad that I did.

This novel turns out to be a well-written and very exciting transgender detective story. The character of Jasmine, the male-born former cop protagonist in the midst of her transition, was brilliantly "painted" and is an accurate reflection of this book's title.

A keen realism evident in the written "brush strokes" of an author who obviously must know a great deal about this subject really makes this work stand out. I really enjoyed this novel!

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my iPad, using Kindle for iPad, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.

An eclectic collection of titles this week, with a little MTF and FTM, some erotica and espionage, gender swap and crossdressing, and more.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Night by Tawni Katherine Bonds

As much as I enjoyed The Night (and I really did enjoy it), I really should have paid greater attention to its extended title of A Cross Dressing Fantasy and More . . . particularly the “and More part. You see, there is a point where the story takes a hard left turn into pure magical fantasy, and it’s a transition that I really didn't see coming, not based on its humble beginnings. That’s not to say the surprise transition doesn't work – in fact, the mystery and confusion it creates is a very nice touch – just that it pulled me out of the story for a while.

Before we get to that, let me just say that Tawni Katherine Bonds is a wonderful writer who clearly understands the cross dressing experience. The first third of the novel, where she captures the thrill and the exhilaration of dressing, the physical sensations of both material and fit, was my favorite. She does a lovely job of taking us inside Heather’s head, allowing us to share in what she’s thinking and feeling. The battle between body and mind, between joy and terror, was exquisite. Her desire to step out onto the balcony, under the cover of darkness, as a first public excursion is echoed beautifully in her fearful paranoia of being ‘made’ the first time she does leave her room.

The experience of finding the mysterious love letters slipped under her door is fantastic, and really allows us to share in her progression from closeted cross dresser to honest and open transsexual. It’s that experience which forces her to confront her desire to not just express her femininity, but to truly become a girl, and it’s that desire that provides the twist for the second half of the story.

I won’t spoil the ‘how’ or the ‘why’ of that twist, except to say that the way the relationship between Alex and Heather develops is a joy to watch. There are serious questions of trust involved there, especially as Heather allows herself to become involved in intimate, erotic games of bondage and sensuality. Alex’s gift to Heather allows her to express the woman inside, to explore her limits, and to test the strength of her own convictions.

As for the final chapter, it took the story in yet another new direction, and one that excited me to no end. I’m not sure how Tawni will deal with all the developments in the next book, but I applaud her for allowing Heather to so confidently and so definitively claim her own identity. The Night is that rare breed of story, one that truly blends the allure of cross dressing with the appeal of femininity. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sissy Dreams: A Gift for You by Paul Zante

Please Note: The following review is suitable for adults only.

If you're looking for a crossdressing tale that's more sensual than sexual, more erotic than explicit, and as much about romantic fulfillment as it is about fetish exploration, then I think you'll find that Sissy Dreams is indeed Paul Zante's Gift for You.

This is just an altogether lovely story about a husband and wife, very much in love, who are finding new ways to add a little spice to their life. It all starts with a little fun involving her soiled black satin panties, and quickly escalates to her insisting he try on a pair of pink satin knickers. Before long, he's taking care of the house in a French maid's outfit, and soon fretting over their first public outing with him fully dressed as a woman.

There is so much about this story to love. Zante touches on all the senses, making is smell, taste, and feel what his characters are experiencing. The act of dressing is gloriously sensual, and the lovemaking between husband and wife gets a bit kinky at times, but comes across as authentic. The final scene definitely strays into fetish fantasy territory, but still comes across as a natural and, one might argue, inevitable, extension of their fantasy.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Stripped of His Gender & Stripped of His Dignity by Anita Mandalay

All too often, authors in the forced feminization genre rush straight to the erotic fun of the gender transformation element, without really bothering to establish the character. We might get a quick opening scene that 'justifies' the transformation, but that's it. With Stripped of His Gender, Anita Mandalay invests the time necessary to understand who Anthony is, and to appreciate just why James takes so much pleasure from his transformation. More than that, she never loses sight of who he was 'before' or why his new life of sexual submission is really a sort of poetic justice.

The transformation itself is scientific bordering on magic (an experimental, instantaneous hormone treatment), but Mandalay does some interesting work with the intellectual/emotional element, exploring what that fresh flood of estrogen can do to a man. James is a bit overbearing and cruel, but there's no denying that it's fun to watch the geek get the chance to not just overcome, but completely and utterly own his bully. As for the sexual element, it's very well done, with Annie trying to fight herself as much as James and his cronies, embarrassed and ashamed by her situation, but unable to deny how much her body is enjoying it.

With the transformation complete and the relationship between James and Annie established, Anita Mandalay is able to step back a bit with Stripped of His Dignity and explore more of what it means to suddenly be a woman. The opening scenes, as Annie tries to wake up, dress, and get herself to work are something we don't generally see in the genre. She has to deal with a sexist, misogynistic world, one in which men covertly grab her ass on the train, and one where women who are complete strangers can bond over their shared experiences.

The relationship between James and Annie is developed further here, with Mandalay revealing hints as to just how long and how well James has planned his sexual revenge. With Annie already broken, he can really exert his dominance, as well as his desire to own his new secretary. It's a far more intimate relationship, and one I'm curious to see develop further. As for Annie, she is slowly coming to terms with her situation, and even gets to have a fantastic take-charge moment in the elevator with one of her abusers from the first story. Again, it's nice to see an author really think things through and explore the consequences of such a transformation, without just relying on the suddenly-a-bimbo trope.

If you're a fan of gender transformation, then you'll want to get in on this series now. Anita Mandalay is a very sexy, very smart author who does more than just arouse - she entertains.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Male Bridesmaid by Sabrina Jen Mountford

While mere chastity and humiliation really isn't my thing, and I was hoping Sabrina Jen Mountford might push things a little bit further, there's no doubt that The Male Bridesmaid was really quite a clever read.

Gary and his wife are stalled in a loving, but nearly sexless marriage, and his addiction to Kindle erotica isn't really helping things. When she discovers his secret fetishes, it forces a conversation that's as intellectually fascinating as it is emotionally embarrassing. Mountford does a good job of exploring how a couple deals with long-buried secrets, and how they approach even the idea of breaking their own taboos and experimenting which each other's.

It's also really interesting to watch a man gets precisely what he wants (chastity and forced feminization), and to have to deal with his fantasy becoming a reality. There's a lot of uncertainty and reluctance involved, as well as the frustration that arises from not being able to put the fantasy on pause. Alison is a fantastic character, a wife who only seems to be reluctantly playing along with her husband, determined to cure him of his perversions by so completely immersing him in them. She comes to enjoy both the power and the pleasure, however, and it turns out her motives are entirely so pure.

The titular scene in which Gary is forced to serve as a bridesmaid for his sister-in-law's wedding is fun, but it's the climactic scene in which Gary and Alison strip down after their own wedding to reveal matching bridal lingerie that I found most delicious.

More sensual than erotic, The Male Bridesmaid is a story that really gets inside your head and makes you think about being careful what we wish for. I quite enjoyed it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pegging Mayor Pigman of Hogtown by Lexi Wood

While I am sure Pegging Mayor Pigman of Hogtown does indeed have absolutely nothing to do with a certain infamous Canadian mayor, it is fun to consider the possibility. It's an odd sort of tale that Lexi Wood weaves here, largely satiric, but wavering between slapstick and cruelty. The kidnapping scene itself is quite funny, with just about everything that could go wrong doing just that, and the mayor himself completely oblivious to what's really happening.

I didn't really care for the awkward sort of forced feminization (humiliation is okay, if done right, but cruelty doesn't push my buttons), but the actual pegging was exceptionally well done. It's both comic and sexy, particularly in the way in which the women find that their chosen dildos present no problem for his loose, fatty, sloppy orifice. I laughed out loud as that scene went so wrong, and while there's no doubt the mayor deserves it, you actually come to feel a little bit sorry for him.

It's a nonsense bit of femdom fluff, with some commentary about racism or sexism, but no real deep political insights . . . and that's ok. Enjoy it for what it is, but be warned that it may put you off bacon (particularly the fatty stuff) for a while.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my iPad, using Kindle for iPad, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.

A fantastic selection of titles this week, with everything from forced feminization, to futa on female, to transgender superheroes!