[Fashion] Kicking the Bucketlist

I’ve been on the epiphany rollercoaster for a couple of weeks, partly because I’m off work courtesy of being told to take time off work or go mad(der), and partly because I had such a wonderful eye-opening time with my dear friend on our ‘couples’ night out. I described that fully in the last blog post, which may have come across as a little, well, terminal around some of Sarah’s interests, but that’s not the case. It’s more a shifting of what Sarah, yeah, yeah, me, wants.

See, as you get older your perception of what is important changes. Mostly because you start to realise that you’re nearer (cough, *way* nearer) to the exit sign than you are to the entrance lobby, but also because you’ve had enough experiences to understand what works for you and what doesn’t. When it comes to fantasies, especially around the minefield we called gender fluidity, you have to be realistic. Or at least, you have to be realistic around what fantasies you will get around to doing.


Pictured – yeah, realistic. Dressing as a 1960’s midwife is as real as it gets….not.

A lot of us have wildly swinging fantasies about doing things (and having things done to) our female alter-egos and while a lot of them are jolly entertaining (in a one-handed way) a lot of them are unachievable. For me, spending time with a proper t-girl who intends to transition and has focus out of the yin-yang was a serious eye-opener for the part-timer/wants-the-best-of-both-worlds person like me. To understand her seriousness and commitment really put my situation in a different light.

And a better light, in my humble opinion. See, with great fantasies comes great responsibility. Well, not really, but I like that quote. Shining a light of reality onto my vastly extensive set of ‘situations I want to put Sarah in’ got me thinking of what I really want to do as Sarah.


Pictured – *as* Sarah, not *to* Sarah, as that’s a whole different therapist discussion.

And that’s a really fun thing, because once you split your femm-bucketlist into ‘never-going-to-happen’ and ‘you-know-I-think-I-could-really-pull-that-off’ makes the fantasies that make the gilded bucketlist a whole lot more fun.

Because they are achievable.

Our world/society is pretty bloody awful at the moment and if I was being completely honest I’d admit that the last couple of years have made me a little too serious (understatement alert, understatement alert). Also turning the big five-O has made me a little, well, sad for all the wasted time I’ve squandered over the years (most of it under the influence of the great solution and great cause to all world problems, alcohol). I’m under orders to lighten up, or at least relax, so culling and rethinking the bucket-list of Sarah stuff seems like a bloody good idea right now.


Pictured – although some politicians seem to think we should go back to the 1950’s, at least in terms of various human rights and gender behaviours.

So, in light of that revelation I thought I’d share some of the bucketlist items that survived the pragmatic-purge, and a couple that didn’t….


1. Go to Vivien of Holloway’s shop on the Holloway Road in full retro femm

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but that sentence above makes my knees quiver. I *love* the dresses from Viv’s so much that the idea of rocking up to the front door of the shop in super-glam retro, wearing my Taffeta Black and Silver Kitty is just a mind-blower.


Pictured – obsessed with Vivien clothes, moi?

I’ve been to the shop twice, both times in my drab camouflage. Both times it was just the wrong side of too warm (which for the Nordic Valkyrie in me is just north of 20C), just before closing and the day before a Sarah Session, so I was pretty scared both times. Interestingly I felt the same terror walking up to the door of Vivien’s of Holloway that I used to get when walking up to the semi-porn-shop door of Transformations in Bristol. Why I still feel that way is beyond me.

Both times I went I played the ‘I’d like a dress for my wife’ card and both time, being honest, I’m pretty sure I was read as a crossdresser, albeit a hairy, sweaty one.


Pictured – my ‘wife’ wearing the gorgeous floral Grace dress I bought for ‘her’.

I’m 95% sure if I tottered into the shop as Sarah I wouldn’t be as scared. Nah, scratch that, I’d be terrified but in a good way. Problem with this bucketlist entry is a: it is entirely possible at some point in the future I’ll have *just* enough beer during a session at Cindy’s to slip it into conversation and end up doing it and b: when I got there I’m pretty sure I’d *destroy* my credit-card.

Viv frocks aren’t cheap (I’ve said before when you wear one you feel the quality) and I can imagine Sarah would have way less brakes on spending than drab-me. With drab-me it’s a hit and run exercise, storm the shop, buy the frock, retreat to safety. When going as Sarah I think she’d be in heaven – all the accessories, separates, Kittys, Runaround Sues…… Dribble.


Pictured – and Grace dresses, of which I have a few.

So that one is definitely on the bucketlist. In fact on occasion Viv’s does a lock-in evening and I would be lying if that wasn’t high on my wish list as well…….

2. Go back to Torture Garden, Unescorted.

I blogged about my visit to Torture Garden which was a lot of terror and fun. Terror, because I was out and about in London dressed in serious fetish-wear and without the safety net of a pair of jeans, and fun because, well, it was my kind of weirdos.

I went escorted by the wonderful Cindy and Vicky from BWBG and it was an experience I’ll never forget. From walking in the door and going to the bar and failing to notice the goth-girl giving head four feet away from me, to sneaking into the gents to avoid the huge queues into the ladies and trying to man-handle some seriously tucked apparatus in such a way as to pee into the trough. And believe me, standing to pee is all well and good until you’ve got four inch heels on and are trying to stop the corset and three layers of bum-enhancement material from joining in the fun of a pee stream. On the plus side I got to pee about thirty minutes faster than if I’d waited like a good girl in the queue with the other women.


Pictured – myself and the always gorgeous Cindy posing outside the Torture Garden. And yes, that PVC frock has a zip up the front which made it a *little* easier to get rid of some of the copious amounts of alcohol I’d drunk.

Being escorted is wonderful but it feels a bit like riding with training wheels on. For places like the Wayout it’s bloody essential; I can imagine going to the Wayout alone as a t-girl is a horrendously gropey experience, which of course some of us girls like. But with Torture Garden it all felt wonderfully safe. No-one was pants-wettingly drunk, which meant none of the drunken ‘do you have a penis’ conversations that seem to highlight trips to the Wayout (and that question has always confused me – not because I have external bits and pieces, but why on earth would an admirer start a conversation like that? It’s a T-club. The answer is probably going to be a ‘yes’. Followed by a ‘f*ck off’).

Everyone was respectful. As I walked around the place focusing purely on not losing sight of Cindy or Vicky as I felt about three fathoms out of my depth, a number of people complemented me on my look. For no reason other than, well, to complement me. Girls in full leather dresses, guys in studded jockstraps, even a post-op woman with a corset that looked like it was trying to turn her into a wasp combined with the largest breasts I have ever seen, all complemented me in a way that felt genuine, respectful and just a lot of fun.

Yeah, it’s a scene event, but when that scene is so damn friendly it’s a joy. Last time I was petrified because I didn’t know what to expect. This time I do. So, the bucketlist entry is to attend a Torture Garden in full Sarah fetish mode by myself and see what fun happens.


Pictured – and this is the outfit I’d love to wear to the Torture Garden

3. Have a Starbucks

Yeah, I know this one doesn’t sound exciting in the least, but bear with me. When I have a session I tend to focus on the hyper-femininity aspect of our little hobby. I always say, a little too enthusiastically, ‘retro please’ to Cindy when she asks what look we want to go for.

Now this is because I *love* the retro glam look – big lashes, big lips, plenty of blusher, the works. It is what I love about femininity, But it’s not your average day to day look that, say, a normal girl has.

Just once I’d like to go for a glamorous but normal look, and sit in a coffee shop, wearing something pretty but not in your face, and have a coffee like a normal woman. Maybe read a woman’s magazine, check my phone for the latest set of Instagram hits. Maybe even do a little online shopping on my phone, slowly because of the nails of course, while sat with my legs crossed, sipping coffee.


Pictured – Sarah with a more normal makeup as opposed to a retro one. I kinda think I might be able to get away with this….

Just the once. To see what it feels like to be a woman in society. Sure, my frame would probably give it away, and I tend to revert to man-speak after the first word (actually a lie, I’ve never tried to soften my voice while dressed), but just once I’d like twenty minutes or so of relaxation in a dress in a public place.


Pictured – I’d just like to be her in the real world, if only for the duration of a Mocha and before I lose my bottle and order an Uber back to safety…

Aim high…..


And there are things that I used to fantasise about from Sarah’s perspective that, in the light of the day, just aren’t achievable or don’t tick the right boxes any more…

1. Being intimate with a man

Yeah, difficult one this. Not going to pretend that this wasn’t on my bucketlist for a long, long time, but this was hyper-femininity at it’s most potent. The idea of being with a man, as a woman, is a strong sensation and an urge for a lot of us at various points in our journeys. For me it is still a powerful thought but Sarah just doesn’t work that way, because behind Sarah is a damaged man who has a broken view of gender.

I’ll put it a different way – if I ever did this entry on the bucketlist it would be for all the wrong reasons. Events of the last couple of weeks and a lot of hard thought has made me realise that Sarah is a precious part of me, but she is part of *me*. It’s going to sound mad but drab me does not want to share her with another man, she’s mine, even though I can’t be physical with her.


Pictured – and she knows I can’t be physical with her, the damn tease.

And also every time I’ve taken Sarah out in public or interacted with anyone other than Cindy and Vicky I instantly shift back to ‘man-in-dress’ mode. Not because I want to, but because that’s where I go automatically. I can’t think of anything less romantic than discussing previous drinking sessions with a man or comparing daft amounts of exercise as I pull his pants down…..

2. The trans-archytypes

A difficult one this. When I came back out of the pink closet a while back and discovered that, gasp, when makeup was applied to my rough, masculine (hey, give me that, I need it 😉 ) features they softened to the point that I actually looked a little feminine, I wanted to do all the archetypal cross-dressing tropes. The wedding dress, the maid, the tart, the maid (cough), the schoolgirl, the maid (really?).


Pictured – yes really, although I did give the maid a retro twist with a Beehive and a lovely little frock with a petticoat. Still a maid though…

And for a while I tried them, and they were fun. But after a while I realised I was subscribing to an opinion of sexuality that wasn’t really the one I believed in – I have nothing against people who want to dress as their sexual fantasies of what women should be. I just have different view now, especially as we appear to be entering a phase of fashion where women no longer wear dresses. To me, when I get a chance to dress, I want to do the things that I love about feminine fashion – the retro look, the housewife look. And none others anymore, so those costume and sexually stylised looks are no longer in my bucketlist.


Pictured – not a trope, just a Judy Garland obsession, nothing to see here, move along.

Again, if you’re like me in your choice of gender fluidity and those things appeal to you, go for it. Everyone is different(ish).

So there you go, a rethink of my personal pink-satin-lined bucket’s contents.

Stay beautiful and stay true to yourself and your own fantasies, and for those fantasies you can realise, enjoy them.


Pictured – did I mention I love Vivien of Holloway clothes? And the housewife look? I did? Good.



3 thoughts on “[Fashion] Kicking the Bucketlist

  1. Sarah,

    This is a wonderful post and super that you have clarity on what you and Sarah will, and will not do. I agree you can now focus on, and enjoy, scenarios that are credible. Important to keep a few fantasies in mind but love your new vision for Sarah. Take care and I am always there for you,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another brilliant and insightful post Sarah. Your ability to analyse your situation is amazing. I wish I had such skills!
    And I found it very interesting to read what you have kept and discarded on your bucket list.
    Now, your first one – visiting VOH is totally doable! 😊 Last year, I managed to arrange something similar with my favourite (and local) vintage clothing shop. The lady owner is trans friendly and very generous with her time. So when I was able, I managed to arrange an after hours visit (with a local trans friend for moral support!) to her shop. As usual time was not on my side and I was hoping that I would have been ‘en-Femme’ and made-up by the time I got there. Instead I had to dress there and didn’t have time for make-up. (😞) But still I had a wonderful time talking with Sam(the owner) and trying on lovely frocks. And I did spend near to £200 on dresses and accessories as well!
    I sooo want you to do this one sweetie – and the others too! And I will offer my time and abilities – such as they are – to help you achieve them! Expect a message at some point. 😉
    Take care Sarah. 🙂 😘


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Way Out, Torture Garden; ha!, child’s play compared with arriving with Cindy at the crowded coffee shop round the corner! She tells you to grab those last two empty seats while she queues. It’s a long, slow moving queue of course. You are packed in with totty to the left and totty to the right. Normally quite enjoyable but not when dressed by Cindy for “going out”. Now most of the outfits I wear Cindy would not let me out of the studio in, but even soberly dressed, it’s Torture Starbucks. Why are they all staring? They probably aren’t but any look in your direction is a penetrating stare acknowledging that in their book you are a freak with a willy. At this level of fear they would have great difficulty seeing it!
    This was my intiation rights I guess. Even followed it up with the statutory visit to the Thames despite the risk I migh jump in.. but I didn’t. And we have a selfie to prove it.
    Nowadays my visits are sufficiently rare that I get my enjoyment from 6 hours of dressing and chatting. Probably I bore Cindy to tears but she keeps smiling. So more Cindy visits are top of my bucket list (but without out going “out”!).

    Liked by 1 person

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