QT the Cutie

QT the Cutie

Can you imagine the embarrassment of being named Quentin Tarantino Clarke? At least I don’t look like my face has melted. (Sorry, I know that’s going to offend someone!).

But what happens when someone decides that although my name is QT it sounds too much like Cutie? I can tell you ….. life begins to get very complicated. And then one of my friends is truly slick with Photoshop and the given task is to morph me with ….. wait and see. It’s just Life-changing.

My parents thought it would be neat to name me Quentin Tarantino Clarke? Not to put too fine a point on it – he may be a brilliant filmmaker but he’s also right on the edge of weird and he looks like his face has melted. Can you imagine the embarrassment. On this particular issue, I can't, don't and won't think my parents' choice wonderful.

But my parents think he’s fantastic. The best of the best. They have film nights with their friends. He’s only made 8 films and it’s only taken him some 24 years. And I think my parents have watched every film, every documentary, every interview, every snippet about anything to do with their idol – and they often expect me to sit through it with them. And I did for many a year until I got the nerve to say “T’ain’t my kind o’ thing’ paw.” Then I only watched if I felt like it. Maybe I’m over-reacting to being named after him. For me, it’s not a great choice of name.

So, what’s been the alternative. Wait for it, it’s probably worse.

I’m fourteen. I’m a pretty ordinary looking sort of bloke. I’m already five foot eight, I weigh a good solid nine stone moving towards ten. I keep my hair short so that it’s out of the way when I play sports. And I mean sports – plural. I love anything with a ball, racquet or whatever. Almost every second of my spare time is with my mates playing something or other. Except they’re not really mates. I can’t talk to them about anything much other than the games we play.

We spend some time bragging about our success with the girls – and it’s mostly lies. I know I’m lying. And we do so much together there’s really not a lot of time left for the exploits they talk about. Certainly not enough time to get to know any girl well enough to let her allow the performance of such activities as are bragged about. That sentence sounded really complicated. Let’s leave it that I’m pretty confident they’re exaggerating. I know I am.

I don’t actually know who they’re trying to impress. None of us look like they believe anything that anybody says. The girls they want to impress are nowhere near and certainly not available for the sort of vulgar relationship these lads pretend they are having or at least hoping for. It’s all a bit silly. That’s a bit of a girly phrase but I can’t think of an alternative.

“Hey, QT, concentrate on the game. ‘You half asleep or sumfing?”

I was getting tired and I had extra work to do at home on one of my school projects. I needed to get my focus focussed. I told the lads “It’s time for me to move on for the evening. Things to do, dames to date, y’know. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Do you know anything about hypnosis? My mum actually does it as a job. She says that most of the clients are coming in for ‘just that little extra boost’ so that they can give up whatever addiction they hove or replace a bad addiction with a good one. Apparently, it’s all about confidence and self-belief. If you have low self-esteem then you are wide open to taking up some activity to make you feel better. And it’s all too likely that this will lock you into a cycle of aloneness, separation and even less socialisation ….. and none of these will improve the self-esteem.

She’s even been giving me hints about how to improve, well, almost anything. She gave me the first lesson about a year before when I had to deliver a presentation to the class. And the best two or three would be expected to do the same at school assembly.

I was trying to practice in front of the mirror and she saw me. “Now that could do with some help, young man. Do you want a hand?”

“Er, what sort of help were you thinking about?”

“Something simple. That you could do by yourself and the mirror.”


“Let’s see. You’re building up to do this presentation, eh? So you need to be confident. Step One – Stand in front of the mirror and say ‘I know what I’m talking about and I shall present clearly and firmly’. Say this three times to the mirror. If you have your first line and conclusion ready ‘Say ‘To start with …. and your line, pause, then ‘in conclusion and your last line.”

“It can’t be that simple?”

“That is a very simple lesson in building self-confidence for a specific task. Yes.”

“Hmmm, interesting.”

“Get your first and last line ready, and in a few minutes time, just do it. Do it morning and evening for, say, three days and see how it goes. The repetition will be part of it but the certainty you give to yourself and reflect back is the other part. Simples.”

I do as she suggests and, some while later, I do feel much more confident. And I like my opening and closing sentences.

By the time mum’s serving up dinner, I’ve got some questions. “Are there limits to this hypnosis thing?”

“I think that’s the first time you’ve ever expressed an interest in what I do. Do you have some ideas of what sort of thing you might want to be properly hypnotised about?”

“Naaah, just startled at the pretty near instant improvement in my presentation.”

“About the only thing a hypnotist can’t do is persuade someone to do something that they really don’t want to do, that’s against their fundamental moral code. But the trick is to bend the relevant rule. For example, I know that you’re not a thief, you don’t steal, you don’t even get jealous of what other people have that you can’t afford. But I would bend that by saying something like ‘you need to do this for a truly valid and necessary reason such as you will starve or your best friend will starve if you don’t do such and such’ …. which will be theft of some sort – but your brain has been persuaded that there is a valid reason.”

“But as another example, you’ve just talked about your presentation for class, but indulging in a little wordplay, I could encourage you to think about your general presentation – how you dress, how you groom, how you look. It’s coming to the time for you to think about jobs which means interviews and such. How you look makes a difference to getting a job and what sort of job you get.”

“I’ve had to begin thinking about jobs. I mean everyone else at school is getting there even if they’re thinking about college too. I’d reckon only about one in five or one in six actually has a clear idea of what job they want, which seems a really low number to me.”

“Doesn’t seem a lot different to me. If you’re like your uncle Jed then he still hasn’t made his mind up and he’s 58 next month.”

“I suggest you take up people-watching for a few days. Sit down and actually make judgements about what people are wearing, what you like, what you dislike, what you might like to see yourself wearing. Take notes. Be confident. Try to avoid ‘don’t know’ and the usual ‘well, er, um’. Focus on the significantly good and the dreadfully bad. It’ll be interesting to see what you come back with. As an incentive, if I think you’ve done the job properly, I’ll buy two good outfits for you. One to use at this class presentation and one for fun. There’s quite a big difference.”

So I took up my new hobby. And it was a lot more fun than I would have expected. On the second day after I had finished eating lunch and was still sitting at the table, Valerie and Jill came up to me and said “What are you doing. What’s all this with watching people and making notes, mmm?”

I explained. And Jill said “That’s a cool idea. Like any girl I watch and judge but I’ve never done it as thoroughly as you’re doing it. Can we join in?”

Valerie mumbled something like ‘Might as well, could learn something, ya.”

Fortunately, we were at one of the less popular tables near the entrance; I’d chosen this so that I could watch more people and, hopefully, there would be fewer people on the table to interfere or comment. By now, I was on my own at one end and there were two others at the other end.

Having others join in made the task much more interesting and we built up a lot more comments. Having the two girls made another difference too. They commented in completely different ways about the boys so I had to start commenting about the girls. And my comments were as different, in their way, as theirs were about the boys. Soon, we were commenting on anybody our age who went past – be they boy or girl. And a very few that we weren’t sure about. Jill said something about dykes and femmes at one point. Valerie said ‘there’s the boys too, they have butch and femme as well.”

“There’s so many labels. I was drifting across the internet. There’s people who call themselves or are called maybe, bois, gurls, tomboys we know about, lolitas – they’re mostly in japan all ultra-ultra-frilly, and there’s brolitas which are the boys who dress that way. There’s so many. Kind of strange some of them.”

After a while, Jill said, “You’re good at this you know, QT. You’ve really got an eye for what works and what doesn’t. I picked up that Jenna shouldn’t have been wearing that shade of green and yellow but I’d never have thought of stealing Anna’s scarf to make it work. That’s a neat trick. And I’m a girl so it’s supposed to be my task in life to critique and comment on other girls. Keep going and maybe I’ll learn some useful tricks.”

“Don’t be silly, Jill. You always dress pretty well.”

“There. You’ve said it. But I don’t want to dress ‘pretty well’. I want to have style and panache and even pizazz. Okay, maybe not at school, but I know I could dress better. I’ll have to take lessons from you.”

“Don’t exaggerate. How could you take lessons from me?”

“I’m doing it here, right now, just by listening. The only way I could ‘take lessons’ from you would be if you were a real girl and dressed better than me so I c….”

There was a pause.

“Now there’s an idea,” said Val. “Not to put too fine a point on it, there’s times when you’re definitely Q T and there’s other times, like now when you’re more like a dainty little Cutie. And your inner girl peeps out.”

“What. No way. Inner bloody girl – you’ve got to be joking.” Like I said, I’m a pretty average looking boy. I’m not the slightly undersized, slim, long-haired candidate for instant-girlhood that happens in some of the stories I’ve read since. But strange things can happen.

“Course I was joking ……. but also not quite joking. You remember that sociology – psychology stuff we did in Life Learning. That everyone has a yin-yang component. That means that I’ve got a bit of bloke inside girly-me. Now girly-me what loves frills and lace and satin and being oh-so-pretty then bloke-me wants something different, maybe like getting out in the woods and getting all muddy. And inside your brutish macho exterior is a sweet and pretty cutie, so to speak, desperate to wear frocks, stockings and high heels. The talk about femmes and tomboys and gurls and so on got me thinking.”

“Naughty. Okay, Val, I’ll go as far as accepting that everyone has a yin-yang. I’ll go further and accept that there are spectrums for most characteristics. And that’s got to include gender, sexuality and a whole range of others. But I’m not going to accept that there’s an inner me who wants to wear stockings, high heels or any of the other girly paraphernalia.”

“Cruel boy. How dare you accuse us of spending all our time and money and your money on mere ‘paraphernalia’. Vile male. I shall find ways for you to suffer for your grotesque impropriety.”

“Yeah, yeah, cool down. You were joking just as much as I was.”

“Hmm, we’ll see about that.”

I didn’t notice her tone of voice and how little she was joking. A mistake.

I’ve read the stories. Sometimes the potential victim is hooked by losing a bet of some sort. Sometimes it’s a matter of ‘persuading’ the victim to try on a pair of panties and finding ‘oh how lovely these are’. Sometimes, it’s a ‘sudden memory’ of getting dressed as a young lad or being manipulated into it by sisters/ mothers / aunts / cousins or best friend’.

None of these were what happened to me.

What did happen? A complete fluke. It was only the day but one after our session in the mall. Jeannie was playing with Photoshop at school in IT. The suggested task was to morph one face into another. For reasons known only to the teacher, a colourful character called Jacko Page, he had one list of school fellows and a second list of film or stage people. And he wanted one swapped into the other. He said he had done it randomly – but several of us weren’t sure. And, by hindsight, we were almost certain that some of his choices were deliberate. But too late for me.

Yeah, I was one and Emma Watson was the morph-target. Unfortunately, the shape of my face was horribly similar, I had short hair already. It was too easy. Jeannie was really pleased with the result, Jacko was pleased too. Was I pleased to see Jeannie’s morph sequence up on every possible social media within the hour? Simple question – obvious answer. I was NOT pleased. By the way, I now HATE Photoshop. I didn’t care before that day. But now I had seen the results – I HATED it.

By the next morning, my new nickname was Emma. Did I like that any more than seeing the morph. NO. It was ungood. Maximum ungood.

And this gave Val and Jill, and rather too many others, the incentive to ask. No, no, they didn’t ASK, they DEMANDED. They told me what was going to happen. The bible implies that life is a complex interplay of God’s Will, Man’s Free Will and Choice. I really have to say that this situation involved no choice by me. It involved none of my free will. I was stuffed like a turkey and about to be pushed, pulled and manipulated.

“We’re going to pretend to be really sorry about this, Q.T. But in our guise of psychic fortune-tellers, we forecast your fate and your doom. This e’en at the stroke of six, you will attend our residence. You will be tested as to the reality of the transformation deemed right and true by the gorgeous Jeannie, witch of the Photoshop.”

“Y’ what.”

“Cheer up, QT. We’re going to see if you’re a Cutie as well as a Q.T.”

This time I heard the altered pronunciation. I did not want this to happen. But I was getting the strong impression that what I wanted was not going to happen. Two of my friends wanted to play dress-up …… and I was going to be their dolly.

“Val, have you got the morph loaded on slowmo?”

“Yes, Jeannie sent it to me.”

My brain shuddered. This was getting too too real.

And so, verily, it came to pass. At six o’clock in the summer evening, I, Q.T, was morphed for real and transformed into a cutie.

And, what was worse, they did almost nothing to me. Well, barely any makeup. Just a little adjustment to my hair which was quite long but not girly-long. I was given a girly-style top but not excessively so.

Val explained. “We’re not going to dress you up too much. Jeannie’s shots are only head and shoulders so we’re not trying to do any more than that. We just want to do Jeannie’s morph with the real person. We could pretend you have a choice, sweetie. But, well, y’know.”

“I think I can guess what’s happening. But please, be sensible with any photographs.”

“As if we’d embarrass you. Well, not any more than Jeannie’s morph already has.”


“Come on, Q.T. Have we ever done anything iffy. You’re our friend just as much as Jeannie is. She didn’t have a choice with getting you and Emma – but, you have to admit, she did a cracking job. I’d never seen it before but she really did a job in proving that there is an easy morph between the two of you.”

Once they had finished and shown me the new-me in the mirror and taken their pictures, I did have to agree that their efforts were pretty startling, and actually pretty too. I mean, Emma Watson isn’t beautiful but she is very attractive, very feminine, very sophisticated – and the new-me had some of that aura too.

“Cutie, are you willing to be a bit bold. There’s two ways this could go. You could be labelled by the ugly brigade as a woofter, sissy, girly-boy OR you could be bold and say ‘It’s all okay folks – it’s just a costume in which I can look as good as someone else, er, who happens to be a girl.”

“No point in letting myself be called a sissy or stuff like that. I ain’t a woofter, poofter or any of Dad’s old slang. I’m not going to portray myself as a major stud either. It’s not true, even if, well, I’m not going to talk about that. I think, don’t like it, but I think I’ll have to go with you on the costume approach. How do you suggest we take it further?”

“Simples, my duplicate Emma. We give them Emma. In public and under our control.”

“Really, you think that’s best.”

“Yes, and we offer ourselves up either as your lesbian lovers or …..”

“No, I don’t like that. You really can’t set yourselves up as lesbians. You’d get into more trouble than me from the nasties. What other suggestion have you got.”

“Who’s the closest to being your girlfriend. Who d’you like best. If you ask nicely, we’ll tell you who thinks the same about you. I’d guess you haven’t got the nerve up yet to ask your chosen one.”

“No. Not that. But there’s several I think a lot of, and a couple I think about a lot. D’you think Jeannie would go out with me, or Hazel, or for a third, Sarah.”

“Sarah Jones with the long blonde hair, or Sarah Stevens, the tiny one with the red hair.”

“Erm, red Sarah.”

“Good choice, she thinks you ought to have asked her out for weeks now. Hazel has her eyes on Jimmy Ford and Jeannie is recovering from being dumped by Olly Morris. She’s not going to be in any mood to be helpful right now. Not even to you who she has expressed mild interest in. For today, Red Sarah’s your best bet.”

My expression must have said something.

“You really didn’t know any of this did you? But yes, really. She thinks you’re kind, nice and, well, worth getting to know better. Didn’t you have a clue? You dreadful boy, you. And I mean ‘BOY’ with all the labels and stuff attached that makes you boys so not understandable and not understanding. And you obviously didn’t know about Hazel and Jimmy or Jeannie and Olly. What do you boys talk about?”

I went scarlet and Jill exclaimed, “Oh, no. Do you really spend all your time …. Oh please tell me you don’t think about girls and sex all the time.”

“Er, no. We don’t. But just perhaps some of them do a bit too much. I’m not sure I believe them much. I know I have to exaggerate so as to be in the middle of the crowd. Y’know, not too little and not too much.”

“Oh, you boys. Mind you, there’s not a lot of boy showing just at this moment.” She giggled.

I pretended to be offended. Probably a mistake. “You – you dare call me a mere boy, dressed all pretty and girly.”

“Er, Q.T, you’ve only got a top on. So far. And shouldn’t you be wondering why we asked about actual and possible girlfriends.”

“My mind is not coping well with this situation. Give me a clue.”

“We ask Red Sarah to assist.”


“We … ask … Sarah … to demonstrate … to … the … thickos … that … she … likes … you … whether … you’re … dressed … as … Emma … or … as Q.T. Do … you … understand.”

“When you put it so clearly, it becomes almost obvious. Will Sarah go along with it?”

“Step One - I’ve got my phone here. Step Two - I have her number. Step Three – I dial her number. Step Four - I ask the question.”

“Sarah, Jill here. I’ve got Q.T here with me and I’ve got a question to ask.”

……. “Have you see the pictures put up by Jeannie?”

….… “You haven’t. Where have you been?”

……. “I’ll send it to you. Because of it, there’s a bit of a problem. And Q.T might need your help.”

……. “Yeah, it is a bit of a ‘wow’. But there’s two ways for it to go. Either Q.T gets labelled as a girly-boy of some sort which even in these enlightened days is not convenient for one’s social life or … we deliver proof that Q.T is both a wow dressed as Emma AND is also a good one for the girls.”

……. “Where do you come into this? Why am I ringing you? Simple, because our surprisingly shy Q.T would like to have asked you out but hasn’t been bold enough to actually ask.”

……. “Yes, the silly boy is here with us.”

……. “Yes, and we’ve got him looking just like the final image in Jeanie’s morph.”

……. “Are you willing? We can’t make it an instant romance, that would be as silly as silly.”

……. “You want to come over and talk with Q.T. Although, to be fair, it’s more like Cutie we’ve got sitting here.”

……. “Ten minutes, yes. Okay.”

She clicked the phone off. “See, sorted. Well, mostly. As you heard, she’s coming over and you’re going to have to work out what the two of you can do this evening when we go out.”

“This evening! Surely not.”

“Surely yes. We’re taking about your reputation here. There’s not much time to spare to make sure everything possible is done to keep things such that you come out of this okay. You know how fast ugly rumour doth spread her wings.”

“But, this evening. I haven’t got a thing to wear.” And I fluttered my hands as girly as I could.

“Well, within reason considering we’re not even close to the same shape, there’s my wardrobe. In addition, Val is only a couple of hundred yards away and she actually is much the same size as you. Finding an outfit or two for you won’t be a problem. But, here’s a thought, if we want to emphasise your lookalike as regards Emma, then we might look for a more specific look. Fortunately there’s a lot of pictures of her on the web.”

This was getting more and more complicated as far as I was concerned. But I was willing, well fairly willing, to avoid getting any unfortunate labels. Alright, let’s be blunt, I didn’t see any actual benefit in being labelled as a homo. Or a sissy. Or a woofter or any of the range of names that are available.

We’re a varied school with every sort of shape, size, colour and, within the rainbow of casual rumour, there were supposed to be schoolmates of every gender and sexual persuasion. Well, not every sort, but enough to ensure that we were aware of the complexities. And the general aura of the school was pretty good as regards tolerance and willingness to accept difference. But, even so, there can still be problems for one’s social life and even within one’s own family about degrees of acceptance.

That’s real life as compared to how we’d like the world to be. It’s actually not being prejudiced or intolerant or any of the bad words to point out that some minorities do get a pretty rough deal – so, if it is possible, repeat ‘IF’, then not being labelled as belonging to such a minority is a good idea. I’m not, as far as I know, anything other than male and heterosexual. I didn’t think there was any doubt about my gender or my sexual preference (however little I had practised that!). As a typical teenager – certain about life in every way I knew about – I didn’t even consider that there might be any flexibility in my views on gender or sex.

Whatever MY intentions, the day was getting further out of my control. So far, the day had begun normally. By lunchtime, my morphed image as Emma Watson was public knowledge. By teatime, I had genuinely been real-morphed into an Emma-Watson lookalike; now, I was going out for the evening dressed as a girl, looking like a girl, smelling like a girl. To the casual observer, I was a ‘girl’. I didn’t like the way things were going. On the other hand, and how soon would I run out of hands, I did agree that it was crucial to emphasise that I was still a heterosexual male merely wearing a costume.

But, on the other hand, just in the previous hour, I had learnt more about the girls I was friendly with than I had ever guessed would be possible until I was old enough and bold enough (and had gold enough) to get to as yet unforeseen levels of intimacy.

And on the other other hand, I was going to be linked up with a Red Sarah who, apparently, wasn’t repulsed by either me or the thought of me-in-a-costume. Wow.

Not much later, Sarah arrived. She squealed when she saw me. “You’re beautiful. I love the new look, Q.T.”

By now, I had changed my costume several times. I was wearing a grey jersey dress with an asymmetric hem, deeper at the back just brushing behind my knees and a few inches higher at left and front. The short sleeved creamy-yellow blouse came halfway to my elbow in a sort of puff. It felt nice. I enjoyed the unusual feeling of air between my legs and the other new feeling of cloth swiffing against my legs. The pull of the bra was yet another weird feeling, the outline of the fake breasts and ….. well, if you’re my sort of guy-girl then you know what I’m talking about. If you’re a girl you may not even think about it except when you’re aiming for sexy. If you’re a ‘normal’ bloke then it’s not your thing.

It was all very new. It was all very …. surprising. I still thought Photoshop and the use to which Jeannie had put it was a wrong, dreadful, appalling and probably a lot of other words.

By the time we had got ready to go out and I had accepted the inevitability – we’d done a lot of talking.

Somehow, this access to a new level of girl-world did seem worth the very unusual situation in which I found myself. The recent introduction of game theory in our Life Lessons was bearing fruit. Was this truly a win-win game for me. Was my Cost v Benefit Assessment suggesting a good outcome. Oh, the lessons of life.

But all learning is good, yes? Just the same as all progress is forward? Don’t believe everything you are told. Some people may have their own secret and unusual agenda which MAY differ from what you expect and from what you want and, even, from what you deserve. That’s three ways to be surprised.

Having people be nice to you is ALMOST as dangerous as proper hypnosis. You get encouraged into doing things you’d never have thought of. And because other people are having a good time, you have a good time. Because other people are enjoying having you dressed in frills and frocks, silks and satins, lace and leather, (can I keep this going), pants and petticoats, smooth and soft, cashmere and calico, heels and hairdos, makeup like mascara, lipstick and all the other opportunities. Even after I had stopped with the officially girly stuff, my brain kept going – rubber and ribbons, corsets and coconuts, at which point I stopped before brain-strain.

After several days of this – that is almost every evening after I’d done my homework - I was really in the swing of it. The Girls loved it. The Girls loved me. I loved the Girls, I loved Me and I loved IT. I loved the new feel of the clothes. I loved the slide of lipstick. I adored smelling pretty.

I wasn’t girled up throughout the weekend – just a couple of times when Val and Jill ganged up on me. Red Sarah was away doing a short trip with her parents – but she rang every day and always called me Cutie.

And nobody was calling me Q.T anymore – well not among the girls anyway. The boys continued on their sweet way, ignorant of the perils of Photoshop as regards the male with feminine potential.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But when you do something dangerous or risky, at the most unsuitable moment THEY get to find out about it. And they ask questions. And they force you to make decisions. To choose your own punishment if you have done something deemed to be wrong, vile or inappropriate.

It was next week, when the female component of THEY called me from my reading.

“Dear son of mine, attend, upstairs, swiftly.”

OH gawd. I was never invited with that particular phrase ‘Dear son of mine’ unless I had done something far beyond average levels of dreadful.

“I hear. I attend. I await whatever doom ….” As I entered the room, I stopped short. Mum was standing there holding one of the composite photoshop pictures. It showed me, Emma Watson and the morphed me – all clearly labelled.

“Do we have some colourful explanation involving your computing teacher and the unusual requests he makes of his students. Or what? You don’t need to actually answer. Don’t worry, I simply asked what tasks the class had been doing and were going to do because we were contemplating a computer upgrade for you. The poor man was innocent as a lamb and told us all. But while it explains one thing, it adds to my confusion about other aspects of your life. Such as the make-up you were unable to remove from your eyelids. Or perhaps the girls didn’t do it for you or perhaps you forgot to ask. Mmmmm. Have we gone completely silent?”

“It was Jeannie with the morph picture. Then it was Valerie and Jill wanting to see what it looked like for real rather than on the computer. Then Sarah got involved, and, erm….”

“In which case somewhere there are real pictures of my son all prettied up. Where are they? Show me.”

“They were on my phone because Jill used it – but I deleted them all.”

“I assume you did your usual thing of saving – I know you’re paranoid about backing up more than once. Are they pushed somewhere with a weird name and strange sub-directory perhaps?”

“Well, you got me good with that one, Mom.”

“So that’s a ‘yes’. Let me see. Now.”

I got the pictures up. I hadn’t deleted them. I tried never to delete anything – except sometimes my browser history or really dud files.

“Interesting. Do you know what’s going to happen next? Are Valerie or Jill or even Jeannie going to press you to repeat the experiment?”

“You’re going to learn that the ‘pressing’ has already begun to happen. They’ve been rather persuasive.”

“Tell me more, dear son of mine. Details, dates, costumes, when, where, who with and so on. Perchance we may light upon why you let this happen and what we are going to do about it?”

“Come on, mum. How many kids my age can resist a determined woman, let alone three or more of them.”

“More than the three you’ve named?”

“Well, Red Sarah has got involved too. I told you that.”

“The son blushes like unto a sunrise. Does this Sarah have special meaning to you? Is this a complication which is both pleasing and appalling? Tell me more, dear son of mine.”

“That first day, it all went ballistic in just moments. There was the Photoshop session, then the picture got sent round a few people. Jill and Valerie got all excited, dragged me round to Val’s house. Then to persuade me to go out for the evening, they got Red Sarah, who I’m pretty keen on – even though I hadn’t told her – to encourage me a bit further.”

“You went out for the evening! How were you dressed?”

I showed her the pictures for the evening as well.

“Coo. From sports star to pretty girl in just a few hours. I can see the dress, clearly you’re wearing a bra and therefore panties too. They’ve put make-up on you and done things with your hair. You do look amazingly good. I have to look hard to see my boy. You must have been fairly willing to go along with it.”

“Well, the offer by Sarah to go out with me wasn’t going to be turned down. Even if she demanded I go out with her more than once.” I pulled a face.

“If I go out with her as Q.T then later I have to also go out with her for a girl’s night as Cutie.” I saw mum pick up on the change in emphasis between QT and Cutie.

“That is more than usually unusual. You’ve surpassed yourself. When were you going to tell us about this – or were you trying to keep a secret from your mum. As if t’were possible.”

“Tell me, Dear Mother of mine, exactly how would you have advised me to come to you and say, the girls have been dressing me up and making me look pretty. What should I do about this?”

“Actually, saying exactly that would have been pretty sensible and extraordinarily clear. But it is hard to overcome the depths to which teenage embarrassment can turn the average male brain to drivel. I shall answer the question as if you had asked it.” She paused for a moment or seven. “Was this just a one-time gag or do they or even you want it to go a little further?”

“They haven’t pressed me too much. I’ve been forced to dress up about 5 times since last week.” And yes I knew that I was lying a bit much. Mum could easily get hold of Val or Jill or even Sarah to push for more details. And the exact amount of ‘force’ would be made evident rather quickly – though there had been some!

“I suspect that you’re sliding the details a little. But what you’ve said is quite enough. You’ve gone out in public dressed as a girl several times, yes? You’ve let several girls dress you, primp you, do your hair and makeup – and you were trying not to tell me anything about this. That’s just not nice at all. Haven’t you seen me when your cousins come round. They’re a bit older and a bit younger than you so you must have seen how much fun I had with them. And I was doing the dressing and the buying, well some of it, and the primping and prettifying. Why on earth ….. honey babe, would you let me do the same to you as the girls have already done? Pretty please.”

“You approve?”

“Of course I don’t actually approve of what they’ve done. And especially not of keeping anything like this secret from me. And even more I disapprove of the girls exerting any force whether by bribery, blackmail, bludgeon or blood. But it’s happened. The bird is not going back in the cage. So, if we can make it work, I’d like my chance with what I can only call my occasional and temporary daughter. Is that going to be okay with you?”

“I really don’t know. It’s been going on for a few days now. The girls don’t seem to be behaving as if I’m a short-term plaything and it’ll soon stop. And I want to keep doing things with Sarah.”

“You’d better be careful exactly what you mean by ‘doing things with Sarah’”

“No. Not that. We’ve both got a lot more sense than that.”

“Even getting to her breasts would be a step towards too far for me. And you’re not getting near her panties either.” She sniggered. “They’re obviously far too petite for you to wear anyway but no hands. I guess you’re getting to the stage of enjoying skin to skin contact with girls, touches, even kisses too – but no going under any material, not yet. Until the time comes when you suddenly realize how exciting it all is and how much you want to do in the next fifteen seconds, you have NO idea of how close to disaster your hormones can take either of you. Girls can get excited too. You MAY learn that if you spend time with them as Cutie. But I need to be able to trust you and your restraint.”

“I really think you can, Mum. Sarah says her mum gave her much the same advice.”

“Maybe we should talk and check our advice is consistent. We could even swap children or I could talk to Sarah and vice versa.”

“No, mum. Icky.”

“Okay, I’ll not do that. Well, not exactly. But if you’re seeing more of Sarah as a girlfriend rather than your previous friend-who-happens-to-be-a-girl – then I need to meet her. You need to meet her parents and, quite probably, the parents need to meet. How close are they?”

“About a mile. It took twenty or so minutes to walk and about six or seven on the bike.”

“Okay. Set it up, boyo. When are you next due to see Sarah?”

“This evening.”

“Is she as fast as you at homework?”

“Sometimes yes, sometimes no. She’s good at different subjects. I was supposed to be going to her house.”

“I think I’ll drive you over. It’s a lovely evening. If it comes to rain, I can pop over and pick you up, yes?”

“If you’re being so helpful, even though I suspect complicated motives, I have to say ‘yes’, don’t I.”

“Good boy. You’re learning every day. What are you wearing to go there?”

“Sarah’s wanting it to be a girls evening. There’ll be something there ready for me. Probably a fair bundle of things, the girls are being horribly generous with things that don’t fit them anymore or that they think doesn’t suit them. Too much. And so girly some of it.”

“Poor boy. Well, poor sometimes boy, sometimes girl, then” Mum smirked and offered a high-five.

She was clearly having more fun with this than I expected. It would have been rude and probably stupid not to join in. I high-fived back.

“Okay, when are you due? In half an hour or so. I can do that. Have you eaten? Do you want a quick snack, say scrambled egg on toast?”

“Thanks Mum. That’d be just fine. Three eggs please and are there any mushrooms?”

“I can do that. Actual omelette or scrambled mush?”

“Don’t care. I’ll be upstairs. I’ve realized I did one question badly. I need to fix it and then check the answer with Sarah.”

“Fine, and ready to go as soon as you’ve eaten and tidied up, yes?”

So, not much later, we arrived at Sarah’s house. To my surprise, Mum knew one of the neighbours opposite too. She waved at them as we drew up.

We sat in the car for a few moments while Mum finished what she had been saying to me. “Now, remember, do nothing you’re not comfortable with. Don’t let Sarah or anyone pressure you. I am just a little concerned at how quickly this has gone from not even being an idea less than a week ago. I am minded to say that after today, you have a month without being Cutie. To give you a break. To allow you to assess just what’s happening.”

“That’s probably a good idea. It’s hard for me to slow things down because I’m in the middle of it and they’re my friends. But if the mother-unit says ‘Enough’ then it’s much more difficult to argue with. Can we see how it goes today and then say ‘no’ for a week or so. Then it’s half-term and you can say ‘just a little but no more’. That’ll give us all a chance to slow down.”

“You mean, you’re not willing to go cold turkey on this new addiction for a whole month?”

“It’s not just me. It’s my friends too. Going slower makes a lot of sense – but I’ve only just started getting closer to Sarah and I don’t want that to stop. I do really like the amount I’m learning by having girl hyphen friends instead of being what boy teenagers are supposed to do and thinking always of girlfriends.”

“Okay, but sound her out on ‘my mum says slow down’ and see how she deals with that. What suggestions she comes up with to keep going with you but without you wearing skirts half the time.”

“Okay, but I don’t think we can sit here much longer. I’m off and I guess you’re going to speak with Sarah’s Mum and Dad, if he’s around.”

“You speak truth, young one.”

I waved hello to Sarah’s Mum as I went upstairs. We had come to an agreement that I could go into Sarah’s room as long as the door was wide open. Sarah’s Mum, Merry, had seen me dressed up one evening and, after a little discussion, had accepted that it was ‘just one of those things’, ‘just a bit of fun’, ‘just teenagers experimenting’.

Merry had said very clearly that Sarah knew the rules about boys, but she was being trusted about this and I’m trusting you too even though I don’t know you well. DO NOT abuse my trust or hurt Sarah.”

I think, or rather Sarah told me, that her mum was actually just as much concerned how suddenly Sarah had gone from just having friends to having a frequently visiting more-or-less boyfriend. Sarah told me that one cousin was flamboyantly Goth and another was, the family were waiting to be told, gay and rather effeminate.

Sarah said, “my only problem, as far as mum is concerned, is this red hair.”

“Oh, golly, don’t change that ever. It’s fantastic. It’s what people know about you.”

“Exactly, do you really think I want to be known only as ‘Red Sarah’ ? There are other facets to me, to my character, to who I am and who I want to be. It’s the ‘only existing because of the hair’ that my mum objects to. She wants more people to see me as a real person.”

“Now that’s an interesting project. But be very careful with changing your hair. If it makes a difference, it’s wonderful gorgeous and feels so nice too. And people only need to be with you for a little while and the red hair becomes only part of you.”

“That was quite well answered. But as regards the hair, I’ve noticed how much you like stroking it. Got a bit of a liking for long hair have we?”

“Come on. I’ve never had the chance to appreciate how lovely long hair does feel. You can’t go round stroking random girls – or if you do, there’s quite appalling consequences. None of my friends have long hair or not long enough to enjoy. I really don’t think Serena would have let me brush or braid her hair like you let me.”

“Oooh, so the hair turns you on does it, Cutie? What are we going to do about your shorn and non-existent furry top?”

“Shall I let it grow?”

“That’d take ages – and how long do you want it? I can see if there’s a wig to borrow. Your hair’s too short even to add extensions.”

“Are you sure? Anita, last year, had extensions after that surgery on one side. Her hair was pretty short before.”

“I’d forgotten that. I’ll look it up or we can ask at a salon while we’re out. But I think part of the answer is to grow your hair a bit longer. But growing can be soooo slow. Again, we can ask at the salon.”

“We’re going out?”

“Yes, how else do we get to a salon. Then we’re meeting the others for pizza.”

“And who are they meeting? Umm?”

“What you mean Q.T or Cutie? I was expecting us to go out as Cutie and Red.”

“It’d be the first time I’d be out in the daytime. I’m not sure what my mum will say. She wants me to take a break from all this sudden girlishness.”

“Oh. Oh dear. That’d be a shame, I’m having such fun with both of you. I like Q.T in one way but I do like having Cutie as a friend too. It’s so, not sure what the word is, so kind of nice, to have a friend who I can share so much with.”

“Is that why you insist that I’m Q.T and Cutie more or less alternately?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“You told me that nice girls don’t say ‘yeah’.”

“Yeah, snigger, but I’m a girl so I can break the rules. Rule One - the Lady is always right. Rule Two - if a man understands the rules, change them. Rule Three - if the Lady appears to be wrong, refer to Rule One. That’s all any man needs to know. Yeah, got it?”

“Oh yes, I so comprehend those rules. They are as clear as crystal. Do the rules apply for me when I’m dressed as Cutie.”

“I don’t think anybody is available to make a judgment like that. I think it’s sort of – if you can carry it off, then the rules apply, otherwise otherwise.”

“What do you have me wearing today?”

“I’ve planned a pale blue blouse with dark blue flowers, and a pale blue denim skirt, asymmetric below the knee at one side and with frayed hem. I’ve got a white and blue clip for your hair. What d’you think? It’s laid out on the bed.”

Sarah did not mention the unmentionables – there was of course a pair of white panties and a matching bra.

I got changed quite quickly. Then I looked for the shoes. I’d been left several pairs but none fitted very well. There were some more pairs off to one side and Sarah said she’d borrowed them from her mum. They actually fitted much better. They only had a low heel because her mum had sore feet. I liked them a lot.

It didn’t take long to get dressed, then Sarah fluffed my hair and added the clip. I looked in the mirror and thought ‘I do look quite good’. Not ultra-girly but provided I was confident and gave the aura of ‘girl’ I wasn’t going to get anyone pointing me out.

I’d been told this right at the beginning. ‘Look good, feel good, be confident – and people will see the girl not the boy.”

It was Cheryl who had said this. “Q.T, just look at me, I don’t dress well because I don’t care. I don’t have a very good figure and I don’t feel I fit in well. When people see me in my plaid shirt and jeans, there’s quite enough who see a person of indeterminate gender not the girl I am. And I’m not confident either. If YOU do whatever you need to do with confidence and certainty – you should be ok. And we’ll be with you anyway.”

Way back then (all of less than a week ago) I had answered “Thanks, Cheryl. And you’re a liar as well. If the girls can do this for me – then they can do it for you. I was kind of manipulated into this, but all you have to do is ask!”

“I don’t find it easy to ask. Not for anything, not from anybody.”

“Then you’re not actually giving your friends the chance to show how good they are as friends. If you don’t ask then you won’t get. Come on, girl. Be as bold and brave as you’re making me be.”

“Ooh, that’s sneaky. Are YOU sure you’re not a girl?”

“Nope. Sorry Cheryl, it’s just that I’m your friend and I like you enough to tell, once in a while, an uncomfortable truth. You’re much prettier and more attractive than you think you are. As a bloke I can promise that there are some lads around who’d be delighted to take you around. But I’m not pushing you towards them or anything like that. First and foremost, I’m your friend – if you want an introduction to one of my nicer friends on the boy-side then that could be arranged. But only once you have the confidence to ask. Just remember, once again, you’re my friend.”

“Thanks Q.T. I’m not sure I deserve ….”

“Now, stop right there. Exactly WRONG. A girl with confidence wouldn’t be able to say ‘I don’t deserve’. You’re a nice girl, bright, attractive, possibly even fortunate in not being beautiful with all the problems that apparently brings. Face up to it, you’re a nice girl. Be happy with that – be confident about that.”

“And what do YOU have to do to become confident as Cutie when you’re all dressed up?”

“Ah, I’m working on that. Depends a lot on how often I get pushed or pulled into being Cutie and how far down that track I go or get taken. It’s a range of possible futures and it’s only days since it all started. And there’s the same problem as you in being taller and bigger than average.”

What with Mum pressing me to slow down, I wondered how I wold have answered those questions from Cheryl now, or even last night before Mum has issued the slow-down command.

Anyway, I was in Sarah’s bedroom, changing into that pretty outfit and wondering exactly how much make-up I could or should wear – especially since Mum would be seeing Cutie in a few moments!! She knew about Cutie and she had seen some of the minor outcomes, such as specks of makeup, but she hadn’t as yet seen the whole version. She had expressed some concern but not actually disapproval.

We went downstairs, they were wood so our heels click-clacked as we came down. The senior ladies watched as first Sarah then I came into the room.

“Now there’s a surprise. Doesn’t my boy dress up so pretty!”

I wasn’t sure whether to scream or scream. Sarah was ahead of me. “Now, Mrs Clarke, that was clearly rehearsed and I don’t know if you were trying to be funny, unkind, sarcastic or some combination. I really don’t think it was kind of you. It’s not Q.T’s fault at all that Jeannie did the Photoshop. It’s not Q.T’s fault that he dresses up so prettily. We’ve all talked about it, and it gives him a fantastic unrepeatable chance to learn about girls and likely even to finish up as a better boy because of it.”

There was a pause.

I could see that Mum was about to speak when Sarah continued. “And Cutie is being so nice about it. He doesn’t get upset when we dress him up. He does really well at being a girl with us girls. So I think this is actually good for him – and you should be helping too.”

Mum smiled. “Perhaps my wording was off-key. But … no I’m not going to say what I was about to say. It can wait until you’re back. But be good, be nice, be kind and don’t do ‘anything I wouldn’t do’.” We all chorused the end of her traditional message.

Sarah and I set off hand in hand. It was nice. Somehow doing that was a mixture of boyfriend-girlfriend and two girl friends.

We had a good time at the mall. We met some friends, did some looking, some trying on and, this time, almost no buying. That is until I could no longer resist the lure of Waterstones bookshop. I had learnt to buy a maximum of two books at a time but this week they had a Buy Two get a Third for Free. And there was a lot of temptation. I had eventually learnt that if I bought too many books then sometimes the last one was never read. After all, I had chosen one of the other books in preference and then another and another so perhaps it wasn’t as good as I had thought. I knew the calculation was stupid but I had had it happen too many times. So I bought two or three books as a maximum.

I was pleased to have Sarah with me as she really wanted one book and I wanted two others – easy choice so we split the cost two-to-one and went on quite happy.

I enjoyed everything I did with Sarah. I enjoyed it whether I was being Q.T or Cutie. And we were beginning to feel like a couple in pretty much everything we did. We did our homework together, we spent time in each other’s houses. And I was beginning to lose track of who I was. Because I really liked being Q.T but there was something very attractive about being Cutie. The chance to wear sensual and feminine clothes and to smell nice, to be with pretty girls doing girl things. I loved so much of it.

But Mum was concerned. She thought that getting mixed up was absolutely typical and reasonable for a teenager ……. but that the way I was getting mixed up and the quite sudden and dramatic change in gender-style was not necessarily in my long-term interest. She wanted me to be certain of what I was doing – for it to be right for me.

“Honey, I think I’m going to take some professional action with you. I’m not comfortable with the amount of change you’re being encouraged to take. I need to work with you because there’s a whole series of levels that you might be moving towards. I’ve been reminding myself about the whole trans-spectrum. There’s a lot of information out there and, I have to keep reminding myself, the pros and the antis both exaggerate. I’ll be polite, I’ll call it exaggerating rather than lying to try to score points. As if, ha.”

“At your age, there’s a lot of experimenting. Lots of teenagers are vague and uncertain about every possible aspect of sex, sexual attraction, gender, gender attitudes and all sorts. I want to be comfortable with the amount of change that’s happening to you. We’ll be talking with a bunch of my egghead friends, psychs and shrinks and head-bangers of various sorts. Honey, have you done any research yourself into what’s going on?”

“Well, uh, yeah, sort of.”

“That is about as vague an answer as I never want to hear in this house. Yukness. I like it not.”

“Erm, sorry, mum, well, like you say, there’s levels of interest and activity to the whole trans thing. At one extreme are those who feel from an early age that they are ‘born in the wrong body’. For some it’s not a feeling, it’s a certainty. It’s a complete certainty that their body is the component that is wrong and that medical intervention to ‘amend their plumbing’ is essential, even though there will not be any completely successful gender alteration.”

“Next come those who come to realize they’re wrong-bodied later in life. Many of these people realize it before puberty or during their teenage years. Some don’t act on it and many suffer badly from family pressures. Suicide rates and Family-ejection rates are extraordinarily high. These people need to ‘change sex’ although the wording should really be about their gender or at least the personal and public display of their apparent gender.

“There’s a larger group who have less desire to go to medical intervention. They can cope with their required amount of transition by clothing and accessories and public presentation. Some like to present as their chosen gender on a permanent basis, others can cope with occasional events.”

“There’s a yet larger group who just enjoy the clothes, well mostly the clothes. Some get a sexual thrill out of it – and, for me, that’s just, just wrong. Some go for the drag routine, but the web alsmot always labels them as gay first then drag second. – so that’s fortunately not for me. Some just love the occasional wearing, in fact there’s a whole bunch who are happy just to wear undies.”

“I’m going to interrupt right there, boyo. You’ve got a really good basis for looking at the whole world of the trans-people. But that’s all looking at groups of people. And I’ve learnt that when you look at a group and take it all the way down to individuals – not one of them fits into the apparently standard box. If you know that the average British family has a husband aged 47, a wife aged 45, 2.4 children, their income is £50,000 and they work 40 miles from home and they drive a Ford. Well, when you look for just one person who fits those average facts – there won’t be a single one available. So – rather than looking at a group for what you should do – we need to look at you, just you.”

“Oh, but Mum.”

“I rather think you should be saying ‘thanks for looking out for me, mum’. Could you try that instead. I do know that you’re having a lot of fun right now – but I do want you to be confident and comfortable if you get any more certain about what’s going to have to happen. Do you have any feeling that you ‘should have been a girl’ or that you ‘are a girl’. Personally, from what I know of you after considerable observation over the years, I think perhaps you’re just someone who gets a bit of a buzz from wearing pretty clothes and, especially, being able to share this with Sarah. And Sarah is a nice girl as far as I’m concerned. You seem to be doing well together and for each other.”

“Yeah, I think we do do well together. I’m glad you think that. And I haven’t had any thoughts that ‘I’m a girl’ or ‘ever was a girl’. But I can see some sense in what you’re saying. I’ll grumble and say ‘But Mum’ but that’s my job as a teenager. In’t it?”

“Got that right. And aren’t I grateful for how seldom you turn into a complete brat or a lump of slothful revoltingness. I probably don’t say it often enough, but you’re a pretty good kid and I’m proud of you lots and lots.”

“Oh gosh, be I ever so ‘umble, missis. I f’gets ma place, I does. I promise I won’t be bad no more. It were an axdent, hones’. Don’ beat me, please.”

“Now, young master, I’ve spoken before about you pretending to act as a guttersnipe. I will have none of this vile and lowly behaviour. Am I expected to resort to a Victorian method to suit your especial crime. Should I, there’s a humorous suggestion, offer to put you into petticoat punishment as did happen at the time.” Then she spoilt her act by smirking and letting a huge grin appear.

“Ooh, mummy, would you be outing me in the frilliest girliest ever pettis, oh that would be so fabulous. I’d be girlier than the girliest girls at school. Oh mummy, please …. NOT.” And it was my turn to snigger at Mum’s expression.

“Y’know, you got closer than you would have dreamed or nightmared of halfway through that. You’re so lucky that I have a sense of proportion in these things.”

“Ah well. I can’t imagine it being a lot of fun dressing like a little girl with half a ton of frills.”

“I dunno. It’s a bit special. Perhaps such a time will come when Cutie misbehaves. I’ll have to have a word with Sarah.”

“You can’t be serious?”

“No, not really. Althoooough, you would look awfully pretty. I saw an article about the Japanese Lolita and Brolita fashions and so on – some of them looked fantastic. And you would look just as good.”

“Er, mum. Exactly which side of the fence are you sitting on. Some of your comments seem to be in favour of me spending time as Cutie and some seem very much otherwise. Which is what, eh?”

“I think I’m pretty much where you are. You aren’t ever going to change sex, you enjoy girl-time and being as much of a girl at those times as possible – I’m the same. I love you as my son. I enjoy you as my son-in-a-dress. But I want to be sure that there’s not too much strange and weird going on in your head. So, you will talk to some folk – and so will I.”

Not much changed over the next two or three weeks. The various doctors and so on that mum wanted me to talk with weren’t available that quickly – but mum and I did some talking. Actually I talked almost as much with Sarah’s mum.

But I did slow down quite a bit on swapping between Q.T and Cutie. I was going out, mostly to Sarah’s about one evening during the week plus either Friday or Saturday night and maybe Saturday daytime too.


Then came the next mind-stunning alteration in my life.

I was in Sarah’s bedroom. It was sort of allowed when I was in Cutie mode. Where else were we supposed to look at clothes, talk girl-talk and so on. Sarah was tidying up. The room wasn’t a mess but there were always a few things which had been dropped, thrown, tossed or put away wrong. The current occupation was returning the floor to being mostly carpet.

I told Sarah about having to talk to people and how that might change things. “Time will tell. And my mum’s still insisting on a slowdown on being Cutie.”

“Oh. Oh dear. That’ll cause a …. I don’t know what it’ll cause. Perhaps it might be a good thing to go a bit slower, to be a bit more deliberate in how things progress. I do know from personal experience that doing things in a hurry can be, well, disastrous.”

“Ooo, ooh, tell me more.”

“No, some things are private. And stay that way.”

“Shame. Oh well, we’ve all got embarrassing stories in our past. Mind you, being found out as dressing as a girl could from a lot of people’s point of view be, er, way way beyond embarrassing. All the way to abuse, hurt, bullying and the rest.”

“Simples, Cutie. Don’t get caught. Like Cheryl sort of said, don’t pretend to be a girl – be a girl.”

“But, Sar, I’m trying ever so hard. There’s just so much to remember – don’t adjust your bra straps too obviously, don’t use boy words, don’t stride, don’t manspread, walk differently in heels foot in front of foot or even slightly across to get the hip sway, so many things for a girl to remember.”

“Oh, sweet. But it’s mostly a matter of making these new techniques natural. You are doing well. I’m proud of you – and I love you lots.”

“As long as I can keep a balance between Q.T and Cutie so that both of them are happy and everybody who knows them is happy with whoever they meet. In this startlingly intolerant world I know that some of my friends will freak out and some of my nearly-friends will become better friends because of this. Change happens. And I just want to make sure that most of the change and whatever change I can control is for the better. Probably a bit optimistic, but why not aim high.”

“Yep – let’s aim high.” And as a joke she threw a pair of her panties at me as I lay on the bed watching her. They landed on my face and I realized they weren’t clean and fresh but warm and hot and, wow, they smelt amazing.

I’d never smelt hot girl before. My brain and lower brain were jangling with new sensations. I wasn’t sure what to do or say. Sarah saw my expression and guessed what had happened.

“Ooops, sorry, that might have been the wrong thing to do. I didn’t realize what I was throwing. I just heard the word ‘aim’ and aimed. Houston – do you have a problem?”

“No. Not really. But being blunt and vulgar and thinking about you in a way I hadn’t quite reached yet – you smell amazing. You smell like I want to ….. well, I think you get what I’m saying.”

“Wow. You’re that turned on by a pair of panties.”

“Dirty, used, smelly, wonderfully smelly panties, my sweet. Your smelly panties. Yes. I am exactly that turned on and I think we’d better look at new rules for when we’re together. If I managed to avoid thinking about you in intimate detail before – that ability is now history. I am wonderfully, gorgeously, excitedly turned on.”

“Is it Q.T or Cutie who’s turned on?”

“I’m really really not sure. I think I need to go and make a drink downstairs. Right now. Now.” And I ran downstairs almost not noticing that I was wearing high heels. It’s amazing how the brain can’t cope with two problems at once. Previously, high heels had been a disaster.

I really wasn’t sure what to do next. I had had girlfriends before – although mostly they were friends who were girls. I had managed a bit of stroking and fondling with a few, and only a few, of these friends. In my Cutie-persona I was getting to know girls so much better as people that my whole view of things was changing. But this was the first time I had been so conscious of the effect of scent on the male. Hot, moist, female pheromones. I was intoxicated, addicted in bare seconds. I needed to communicate with Sarah. And I meant really communicate, to send the correct message in a clear and simple way so that the recipient got the message that was sent not the message they thought they heard or turned it into.

I was not panicking. Really not. But I wanted more of Sara and I wanted to keep her as a friend and to avoid turning her into a lust-thing (which right then was an option). But who was there to talk to about this? Should I take my uncle Bob’s advice. Whenever he had a problem or even when a friend had a problem his key phrase was always ‘I’ve been wondering. There was talk at work about this guy who ….’. The family’s opinion was that it was uncle’s skill at showing both sides of the problem that let people believe that it wasn’t about him or a real friend of his.

Could I say ‘A friend of mine and his occasional girlfriend were messing about and a pair of her panties fell on his face….’ Nope – I couldn’t see that being believable or getting a good answer.

How about, ‘A friend of mine is getting really close to worked up with his girlfriend. He thinks she is too because he can detect what he says, or thinks is, the scent of her arousal. How slow or fast should he go and what is the ‘next step’?” Nope – not sure that would work either.

Being more blunt could I try - ‘Sarah, those panties were hot and everything. Are you getting signals from your body about me or life or anything? Do we need to talk?” Probably better than the other options. But talking like that about things like that required both of us to be quite sensible and adult. I wasn’t sure I could do that. I wasn’t sure whether Sarah could do that. We were both teenagers – and the rule is ‘Hormones Rule’. Ignoring the panties wasn’t going to be possible. They were not forgettable. No way. My very first smell of hot girl was ingrained into my brain. Deeply.

But, sort of, by the end of the morning, we’d moved on to all the other things that teenagers talk about and spend time doing.

But I needed to talk with someone. And it turned out to be Cheryl. She had taken my advice and was finding life considerably easier.

I rang her as soon as I got out of Sarah’s house. She lived half a mile further away, sort of at right angles to both of us. It took only a few minutes to ride there. Cheryl was making cold drinks for both if us. I was still in a semi-cutie costume of shirt and jeans, so she welcomed me as Cutie rather than Q.T. We sat in their sunroom and enjoyed the sunshine.

“Cheryl, I might talk a bit vulgar and I don’t want to upset you.”

“Cutie, you probably don’t realise that girls can talk a lot more vulgarly than the average boys do – mind you, I’m only guessing about exactly how boys do talk. Maybe you could give us all some insight sometime, eh? But, us girls, we have to go to the gynae clinic and have women we have never met, sometimes mean actually, put their hands and instruments and gadgets where the sun don’t shine. After that has happened a few times, and your mums have told you gruesome stories, then a bit of vulgarity ain’t so bad. Mmmm. So, on with your problem. You’re my friend. I’ll listen and give you my best.”

I told the story of the incident in the bedroom … and eventually of how I had felt with the hot gorgeous smelly panties on my face, in my nostrils, in my brain and in my groin and in my soul.

“Now, then. Obviously, that bird ain’t going back into no cage. And you say Sarah and you are both aware and alert to each other’s interest, mmm?”

I nodded, maybe even enthusiastically.

“My suggestion would be to tell each of your mums about this. Or maybe actually to tell the other person’s mum. That might squeeze in some tiny separation of view from the typical appalled and anxious parent. I get that all of you, Sarah and you and all available parents are being sensible and accepting the situation – however unusual it actually is. Well, be up front with more truth. The truth is you’ve now been triggered into a much deeper and more excited interest in Sarah but you both want to stay together and are both intent on not going any further ….. yet.”

“It’s the excitement and the need to keep it all as ‘not yet’ that worries me.”

But I took her advice. I decided on a few changes first. I would try to spend a little less time in Sarah’s bedroom and vice versa. I would, I had no idea what else. Perhaps I could insist that Sarah never let me near her hot pants. How would that go down …. and almost instantly my groin asked me ‘how would they go down, when, where, how soon ….’ so I told it as sternly as I could to GO AWAY.

I wondered whether to talk to my mum or Sarah’s. Or even both …. But what if Sarah had said nothing. We were both trying to be sensible but we had different ideas on how to do that.

I spoke with my mum. “Er, mum.”

She was cooking. “Mmmm, yes, light of my life, whassup?”

“It’ll wait.”

“Nope. You know the rules. Don’t interrupt when I’m cooking unless it’s important. So speak.”
“Erm, are you actually interruptable?”

“Not really, wait about ninety seconds and then I can slow down for a while. It sounds like this is important.”

Those ninety seconds took ages.

“Okay, boyo. I’m all ears.” And she patted herself all over to check as per the family joke.

“It’s about Sarah and me ……”

“Right, well, that’s not unusual these days. So what’s happened.”

I couldn’t be bothered to go over the whole bedroom scene again. “It was her panties, mum.”

Her eyebrows began to climb.

“She threw them at me.” Pause “And they landed on my face.” Pause “And they weren’t a clean pair, I mean, they were hot and ……”

Her eyebrows would’ve reached her hairline by now if physically possible. “And ….. this was truly your first time with the amazing smell of hot girl in your nose.”

My scarlet blush gave that answer.

“And you want to know what to do next ….and you’d both prefer that ‘what next’ isn’t exactly what your body is demanding.”

“I’m not sure I’d’ve phrased it quite like that. We do have some sense.”

“I’m proud of both of you that you didn’t get all fumble-fingered and naked within the next minute. Well done. But now you’re aware of Sarah in a deeper way than ever before, mmmm?”

“Sho’nuff, ma’am.”

“D’you have any idea what Sarah thinks?”

“Not really, we haven’t seen each other or been together since it happened, the day before yesterday.”

“I think I’ll have a quiet word with her and say how proud I am of her too.”


“What? That she’ll know you’ve come and spoken to me about something personal and private.”

“Erm, yes.”

“For me, that just demonstrates that you’re more grown up than I would have been at your age.”

“TMI, mum, TMI.”

“I was never, never, going to give you any more detail. Yes, I’ll speak to Sarah and give her some ideas on how to keep things slow. And I’ll try to ensure that you both get slow yet steady, okay. I love you both and want this relationship to be good for both of you.”

I had to ask. “Sarah’s my first real girlfriend. Will it keep going?”

“I’m not going to make promises I can’t keep. As long as you both care about and for each other – then you’ve got a good thing going. If you let doubts creep in or mistrust or unkindness – then all too likely it will crack and fracture. And life causes damage too. If her family moves away or a thousand different things might happen. As long as you both care then it will be as good as it can get. Truly it is doubtful that the two of you will make it to adulthood as a partnership. Statistically, it’s as rare as rocking horse shit. Schools will give you the physical score on making love or, more likely, on having sex. But they’ll do b. all on relationships and how important it is that you care for your partner. Damn stupid if you ask me – but they’ll never do that. Sorry, gone off at a tangent there. As regards you and Sarah, I have hopes for both of you. You’re both kind people who very often think of others before yourselves. So, I have hopes. It’s your future not mine, chum. Be nice and spread a little love.”

“Thanks, mum. And spread a little love in Sarah’s direction too.”

“I wouldn’t do anything else. I like her too much. I think I’ll mostly ask her to keep her hot pants out of nose-range for some while. And anything else that might trigger either of you.”

“I hope she doesn’t get too upset.”

“Unless she wanted things to accelerate, she should be proud of herself and of you …… and a bit embarrassed about hurling her girl-flavoured pants at you.” She smirked.

Mum did report back a while later. “Sarah’s very happy that you didn’t go over the top and she’s had a chat with her mum. Don’t be surprised if she dresses a bit more carefully for a while, mmm.”

“Thanks, mum.”

“When are you next seeing her?”

“I was going to phone and arrange that.”

“Invite her for dinner tomorrow, seeing as it’s Friday night. And if you want, you can be Cutie at home for a change.”

“Really, mum. You haven’t seemed too keen on that recently.”

“I’m a woman, darling. I can change my mind at the drop of a hat, even if I don’t have a hat nearby.”

Fortunately, this way a couple of days more passed before Sarah and I were alone together again. I had had time to think about everything. I had even had time to talk again with the mother-unit. And all these things had allowed me to slow down, to calm down to think with something other than my groin-brain.

I’d taken some time to think about things. And my conclusions? I did enjoy being Q.T …. but I also enjoyed being Cutie as well. Did I think ‘I should have been born a girl’ ? – NO. Capital letters, Bold, Italics, Underlined, Highlighted and Coloured. NO.

Did I enjoy dressing sometimes in pretty clothes? Yes!

Was this going to be a problem?

Not for me – if I could prevent it. Not for my Mum – I think. Not for my friends. So the problem was going to come from those who weren’t my friends. From ‘them’. From the people who had little or no knowledge of me as a person. It didn’t seem reasonable that people I had never met could make decisions about my life.

Mum put me straight on this. “Honey, have you ever thought of the rules you’ve grown up with – don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t do this, do do this or that ……? Most of these ideas come from the Bible in some interpretation or another. This western world we live in has had 2,000 or more years of behaviour strongly based on the Bible. Not that the average person has obeyed most of the rules most of the time – but they’ve been a background guideline for 2,000 years or more … or less.”

“Erm, no. Can’t say I’ve really thought about that sort of thing. It’s just ‘that’s what decent people do’. Y’know.”

“I could suggest you read some chunks of Bible ….. but maybe not tonight. How about ….. how do you know you’re doing the right thing?”

“Mum ….. can I say I’ve never really thought about that or anything like that. We’ve certainly never thought about it in any class I’ve ever been in.”

“Honey, if you’re going to start bending or breaking the rules that ’they’ make then, first of all, you have to have some idea what the rules ARE. Secondly, you have to know how to break them so that you don’t get stomped as a result. And cross-dressing is one of those things that, strangely, pushes all sorts of ugly buttons. The nasties get so so so upset about clothes.”

“I think I have begun to notice that, mum.”

Mum continued. “And it’s not as if there’s any real consistency to what they say. They seem to think that what was worn about 100 years ago is what everyone should wear now. Girls in dresses to the ankle, frills, lace, corsets and so on. While the men must wear suits or trousers, ties, short hair. I did study costume at university. A hundred years before that or maybe a bit more, the men wore the velvet and satin, the lace and frills while the women wore dull drab.”

“Is that true, mum.”

“You imply that your mother, the fount of all perfect knowledge, might give you misleading information. Fie, disbelieving child. And go and look it up for yourself.”

“Is that the sort of advice a parent should give?”

“Yeay, verily I say unto thee – do as I say not as I do. But if you do want some better information, there’s a couple of books on costume in the big book shelves.”

So I fought my way to the back of the sitting room where the big books were piled. Past the sewing basket, past the folding chairs, the spare lamp and the suitcase from the last holiday …. it began to sound like a weird version of the Voyage to Narnia. There were three books with big colour illustrations. Some of the costumes were fabulous.

I spent some time curled in the big chair reading. And I found that I was looking at the girls’ costumes just as much as at the men in their lace jabots and frilled jerkins. Obviously I was badly infected with some dread disease of uber-girly. I put the books down and went to make a proper inch-thick boy sandwich.

“Aaah, that’s nice” I said as I bit into it.

“Q.T – have you any idea how ghastly that looks?” came a voice form behind me. It was Val.

“Erm, what?”

“What I see, because of the t-shirt and the tight-cut jeans – is a typical teenage girl forcing a typical boy sandwich into her face. It’s just not right.”

“But I ain’t no girl.”

“Well, mostly not. But sometimes, there’s a real cutie peeping out. And the complicated thing is we like both Q.T and Cutie.”

“How’s this going to sort itself out, Val?”

“Being truthful, I haven’t got a clue. Have you any idea where you want this to take you? I mean, as far as I’m concerned you’re a male friend of mine who, due to a quirk of fate and a bit of a game by and with your friends, has been given this opportunity to enjoy clothes like men used to. As peacocks and popinjays, strutting your stuff the way men did centuries ago. Even I think it’s pretty unfair that women and girls get to enjoy all the colours and materials while most men get dressed every day in the same old boring and dull and drab grey-brown-blue-black. Dullsville. Do you enjoy getting dressed up?”

“Well, yes and obviously definitely ‘no’ depending on who I’m talking to and exactly which part of the process we’re talking about. I mean ‘do I feel as if I’m a girl trapped inside a male body’ …. What a load of guff. Absolutely not. Well, not for me. I’ve read a lot of trash about the subject and quite a lot of sensible stuff too. There’s definitely some people who have got the wrong labels. After all, depending on who is bending the statistics, there may be as many as 1% intersex people who obviously need counselling and advice as to their choices. Yerck, no way would I want to be in that box – wondering day after day what sort of person I really was.”

“I mean, for most people sex and gender don’t really matter until puberty begins to change their whole mind and body. Then – for some, there is a ghastly realization that they’re being turned into the wrong sort of body. Terrible. And they get little or no sympathy. But me – I’m a boy who likes a bit of pretty. I’ll stick with that for the moment. If things change – then I’ll deal with it. If my family and friends support me then it’ll be a lot easier. Otherwise, I’ll join a minority of some sort who know they’re different but are going to do it anyway.”

“Golly, you have been thinking. I’ll stick with you. Cutie or Q.T – whichever turns up on the day.” And she slid over on the sofa and gave me a big hug and a kiss. A girl to girl kiss – not a smooch. That was reserved for Red Sarah.

“Are you giving Sarah any leverage in how things go.”

“Durr. Of course. She’s my girlfriend, in part because of this whole Cutie thing. She likes both of me. or rather she doesn’t care how I present – whether as Cutie or Q.T. That lets me be comfortable about the whole thing. And school doesn’t give me any grief – which is amazing. After all, there’s so many haters out there. But somehow, either I’m of no great concern or there’s just fewer of them round here.”

“Huh. Wherever you look there’s haters of some sort of another. Or pests, or perverts. Or gropers or just plain nasties. You hear about them and you just hope they never come near you or anyone you love. Heck, you don’t want them near anyone you know. Well, perhaps if you already know some haters then they deserve a taste of their own medicine. Nah, thinking that sort of way can turn you into a nasty. I cancel that idea, reject it and think instead of butterflies.”


“Why not. They don’t really do anything except be beautiful and look absurd as they wobble off like flying origami. Thinking about them makes me feel nice. Sort of the opposite of the trick where someone offers you money if you don’t think of a pink elephant for the next minute – BOOM – pink elephants wherever you look. I prefer butterflies. They’re smaller and you can get more than four in a car.”

“Brute – you’ve got me thinking about pink elephants in a car.”

“I know. Irritating isn’t it. I’ll suggest butterflies riding a bicycle, hmmm.”

“Wow – weird. I’ll remember that for some future event.”

“Cutie, did you ever answer about where this is going in the short term.”

“Not really, ….”

“Are you enjoying any of the Cutie stuff? Do you like the feel of a dress instead of trousers? Of pretty soft blouses. What about heels – do you like the way they make your legs feel – all taut and trim? And do you like being told you’re beautiful?” This went on for a while “I can guess some of the answers from your expression each time I asked a question!” Val giggled.

“And – what did my expression tell you.”

“You love dresses. You aren’t that fussed about the blouse idea. You do and don’t like heels – like most of us really. Once you’ve worn them for too many hours, your feet hurt but your legs still look wonderful. And you’re not sure about makeup. Am I right?”

“I refuse to answer on the grounds that I will incriminate myself. But yes – I do like being Cutie some of the time. As long as I’m Q.T as well. And as long as it doesn’t turn nasty.”

“Sounds reasonable – maybe a little hopeful for the long term. But if you like pretties and being pretty – then join our club, darlin’.”

“Mmm, well, it’s a club I like being part of already. But I need to keep balanced – which means you and all my friends need to help me keep my balance too.”

“What balance exactly? How to be both a boy and a boy-girl?”

“Pretty much.”

“Well, you like the pretty very much, so we’ll just have to help you be a boy some of the time. And I don’t mean boy-stuff misbehaving with Sarah.”

“No way. I wouldn’t know who would kill me first, my mum, her mum, my dad, the local police, you?”

“We’d probably take it turns, kill you a bit, wait, a bit more.”

“You can’t kill someone a bit.”

“No – true. It’s like being a little bit pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.”

“And don’t mention pregnancy in the hearing of any of the potential killers you’ve just listed. No. Not happening. No.”

“Not even if a waft of hot-girl Sarah comes your way?”

“Wh, what d’you mean. As if …. She hasn’t said … Has she?” I was scarlet with embarrassment.

“What. You’re wondering if Sarah told us about the effect of warm girl-stinky panties on her boyfriend. Too right. It’s given so many of us ideas as to the when and the where. We do talk about sex, y’know. Just not the same way that blokes do. We’re more about emotion …. and feelings …. and relationships. Rather than the actual deed itself. Which most blokes, according to what we tell each other, do very badly with an inexperienced young girl who wants loving. But the realization that the scent of hot-girl can have that immediate an effect. Yes. Some of us will be using that knowledge.”

“I really don’t want to do that. Certainly not yet. Sarah deserves the best I can give her. I love her, I like her and, just a bit at times, I lust her.”

Val grinned. “And is that especially so when you think of hot panties?”

I didn’t answer – my blush and erection did that for me.


I had been dressing as Cutie for nearly six months now. Not every day, sometimes not for a whole week. But it was well known that I sometimes did dress up.

Mum came into my room one Saturday morning. “Honey, do you have any long-term plans about this dressing up?”

“Not sure what you’re asking?”

“Is this a long-term thing – are you going to keep going for the next few years? Do you have any, even occasional, feelings of dressing up permanently? Or every day? Or even, of being a girl, becoming more girly.”

“What like wondering about breasts and implants and stuff. Or getting my hair removed. Or even of growing my hair long enough to style properly?”

She swallowed. “Er, yes. Any of that?”

“No. Not really.”

“Sorry, but ‘not really’ demands a lot more detail. So – breasts? Then hair. Then anything else you’ve wondered about.”

“I’ve wondered about breasts, y’know. Sarah’s feel so wonderful when she lets me near enough. And wearing those falsies, they don’t feel right somehow. So, of course, I’ve wondered about breasts of my own. When Sarah kisses them, it feels wonderful. Real ones, they’d feel even better wouldn’t they?”

I’m not sure I can describe Mum’s expression. There was a pause.

“Truly, darling, since I have no experience of NOT having breasts, I can’t tell you how real breasts differ. I can’t and won’t give you advice. What about hair?”

“Some of the girls comment when they can see any hair on my legs or arms. But they also say I’m really lucky as the hair is really quite thin and pale. Most of them tell me, the clothes would feel much nicer, much sexier on bare skin – but it’s up to me. Louise did insist on waxing my forearm a bit to show that it didn’t really hurt and did feel nicer. I thought it did hurt and perhaps she didn’t do enough for me to feel a difference. So, I don’t think I want to bother with getting rid of my hair. But the hair on my head. That I’d like to grow longer so there’s more choice about how I wear it.”

Again the unreadable expression. “I hear what you say. As far as the hair goes, perhaps we should go to my salon and investigate the possibilities. They’ll have books of styles for hair your length or a little longer. We’ve got to keep it so you can be Q.T but if you need to be Cutie then you’ll have some options.”

“Thanks, mum. Sarah had sort of suggested the same and was going to check with her mum as to when we should go.”

“Perhaps all four of us should go?”

Brain-freeze. Then I managed a response of ‘At least that way, three really important women would help me make a sensible decision. Now you’ve pushed me a bit, I do actually really want to experience long hair that I can style.”

“So now it’s ‘styling’ the hair. Not just a trim and a tidy.”

“I do like being Cutie some of the time.”

“No – I think you got that wrong. I think when you ARE Cutie you like it a lot and the some of the time is the amount of time you are being Cutie. And you like being Q.T as well – it’s just quite different. As long as you don’t get a split personality out of this.”

“I don’t think you need to worry, mum. I’ve got a lot of friends making sure that I keep my feet on the ground.”

“Huh, barely on the ground in those four-inch heels.”

“It was a figure of speech, y’know. Like ‘Keep your hair on’ which was really difficult with that wig thing.”

“Mmmmm. So Cutie has been wondering about going just a little further into this two-way life. You want hair enough that you can style both ways. You’re thinking about breasts – in a way that is most unusual for a typical boy. And what else should we do at the salon on Saturday?”

“Do you know, mum, I haven’t a clue. Surprisingly, I’ve never been into a salon, spa, boudoir or any similar temple of femininity. How would I know what goes on there. But, IF and I mean IF we go there, I want a promise that you won’t do or let anything silly happen to me.”

“Ooooh, darling. Don’t you trust me?”

“Yes ….. and no. Of course I trust you. Except when you get a little over-excited and do or say things that a little later you say to me ‘perhaps I shouldn’t have done that’, yeah? You can’t deny that does happen now and again.”

“Truly true, child o’mine. But if there’s three of us to keep me in control, should be okay, mmm?”

“Yes, unless the three of YOU get all silly together. But I think I can trust two out of three at any one decision point. Okay. Salon on Saturday. I’ll ring Sarah and her mum.”

So, it was set up. And there were phone calls, long ones, between the two mums and sometimes with Sarah. I tried not to overhear what they were saying. But I did remember one phrase, I was walking from the kitchen ‘Of course it’ll do it. Then Cutie’ll have a better shape for the …” I moved on quick because Mum was glaring at me. What on earth was that all about?

Saturday rolled on. I’d been out with Sarah the night before. She’d liked my new dress, red, calf length, in taffeta with double petticoat. On the other hand, I’d definitely enjoyed her skirt. A short kilt-style with the pleats flicking from side to side as she walked.

At the salon, I quickly learnt about …. a lot of girly things. Mud packs, waxing, massage, pedicures, manicures, and then it came time for them to discuss my new hairstyle.

Genifa was the name of the girl in charge. I joined in a conversation she was having with Sarah. “And I do know exactly what you mean about being flexible. One of the girls here has the same issues. Cutie has lovely hair, but as yet it’s too short to do much with. I can make it a little more adaptable but it needs about six weeks more growth before I can give Cutie a proper style. I know you’d like me to do the biz now but, skilled though I am, I can’t make hair grow any quicker. Shame sometimes.”

I looked around to see the ‘other girl’ and Genifa gave me a very gentle tap on the side of the head. “No peeking, and anyway if nobody has been able to tell for the last year or so, you won’t be able to guess either. Don’t be nosy and nobody will be nosy about you, yes?”

“Ooops, sorry. It’s still kind of hard to believe that there’s other people like me, y’know, boys who like to wear dresses.”

“Oh, is that as far as you’re going. No, no, she’s a girl through and through apart from what she calls the ‘nasty-flesh’ – and that’s going to be gone by next summer anyway. No, no, she’s all girl from the top of her head to the tip of her toes. But you seem to be saying that’s not for you?”

“I don’t think so. There’s some pressure and some encouragement to go for the inner-girl but it doesn’t feel right. I like being a boy and I love wearing soft, smooth and sleek girly stuff. So I have to find a middle road – and that’s mostly why I need what you call a ‘flexible’ hairstyle.”

“You’re not the first and you won’t be the last. Though I’ve only helped a few schoolkids with this sort of problem. But I think you’re probably the youngest who’s aiming at flexible. The others of your age or thereabouts have been pretty certain that they’re wrong-body kind of people. But I or rather the folk here help as best as they can.”

“I think that’s the sort of thing I was hoping to hear. And what sort of style have you thought of for me?”

“I’d like you to have a really pixie-type style that you could just flick over into a boy-side parting and – tada – all boy again. But I’m feeling a bit cautious and I think I’ll prepare the foundations for doing it properly in a few weeks time. There’s things we can do like tweaking your eyebrows and showing you how to fill them in for the less-feminine look. Sorry, can’t really take a girly-shape brow and make it actually masculine without too much glob and makeup. And pierced ears are a big marker as you can do so much with the style of earring. Your ears would look so pretty with earrings – they’re a lovely shape.”

“How many boys get complimented on how pretty their ears are?”

“More than a few, I’d have you know. More than a few. As well as the girly-boys and the dressers like yourself. There’s not just you and ….. you’ll learn.”

“Thanks, and I have been learning about being a girl. I’m still definite that this is a to-and-fro thing. I’m not learning to BE a girl just to be comfortable and undetectable when I’m out with the girls.”

“Just out with the girls? Not the boys?”

“No. Big No. I’ve got a very nice girlfriend who likes me in both my personas. I know that’s supposed to be rare – but that’s how it is. We’re very happy, very much feel like we’re together. And the idea of boys, I’m sorry, but that so far beyond yuk. No way.”

“I’m sorry I asked. And I wasn’t meaning to tease you. But being asked a question like that out of the blue by a stranger – well, it can help crystallise exactly what your views are. I’d say it’s pretty obvious that you are exactly what you say you are. And, if you’re comfortable with that and enough of your family and friends are comfortable – then stay just at that limit. Going beyond – when you’re not ready. Oh dear me, that can be a mistake.”

“Picking up on talking to strangers – do you want to talk to me about that? Is it a mistake you’ve made or was it ‘a friend of mine’?”

“Even asking that question proves that you have more empathy than most people, and certainly more than almost any macho-man. But, honey, you’re a little young to be listening to adult-type problems.”

“That may be so – but my mum does it as a job and she says ‘the biggest part of my job is just to sit and listen while the client talks. With a few ‘and…’ and ‘well, what do you really think’ and ‘then’ usually the client talks enough to tell themselves what the problem is and what the solution may be. The difficult part is not giving advice. So, if you really need to unload – I’m just lying here while you snip away.”

“Honey, I’ll bear your offer in mind. But I think not. Just accept that you’re planning to be part of a minority that is easily hated. Like most folk, I belong to a number of minorities and I’m not as brave as you are. My particular foible is done privately behind closed doors rather than in public like you are doing. But even just speaking those words reminds me of how small my problem is compared with some others. And I don’t mean that you will or are going to have problems. You come across as calm, confident and genuine. And I hope today’s new hair will help – because I’ve just about finished.”

I looked and was very happy at what I saw.

Genifa said ‘Now watch carefully’ and she redid the hair into boy-style – and then back again and finally she said ‘for today which shall I leave it as?”

When I said ‘This afternoon it’s Cutie – so girl-style please.”

And she looked so happy. And my team of three were equally pleased with the result.

Sarah’s mum drove us to a shopping centre a few miles away. “I suggested this and Sarah has agreed that if Cutie is getting one then she’ll have one too.”

What were they talking about?

Then we were inside the building, it had nothing visible in the shop window apart from a Victorian narrow-waisted dress mannequin wearing just a hat and an ostrich-feather fan. Inside I could see that it was a shop selling corsets. So, I was getting one and so was Sarah. Wow.

Sarah smiled at me. “Did you know we were planning this for the school dance? So that we could both wear a fancy dress. But we needed to get you squeezed down to match me – so we can be twins. D’ja like the idea.”

I realized what the phrase was that I had overheard – not ‘Of course it’ll do it.’ But ‘A Corset’ll do it’. At least Sarah was going to be getting something of the same experience.

I really don’t know if you’ve ever worn a piece of clothing that is too small for you, designed to be too small for you and made with stretchy material that pretends it’ll fit until you’re completely trapped and squeeeeeeeezed too much. It’s not nice. But gradually you begin to get accustomed to it. And then it’s not so bad. And THEN – you put on a dress and see that you suddenly have a figure that is definitely worth having for that little extra effort. Wow – did that red dress look even better than before.

Once we were both dressed we set off to the others in town. I felt completely different as the new clothes made me hold myself differently – straighter, taller, hippier, bustier too. I was forced to walk differently as well even though today’s shoes were a fraction lower in the heel than I had been using recently.

The new clothes gave me all these physical effects but there was an emotional, mental effect too. It wasn’t the first time I’d had this new feeling – but this did feel different. I really didn’t feel like a boy wearing a dress because I wanted to. I was in a group with other girls and I felt like I was one of them. If it was indeed possible, I thought the feeling was ‘being feminine’. I felt like a tigress, with claws and attitude.

Sarah noticed. “You’re feeling a bit hyper aren’t you. Has that corset given you a push into uber-girly?”

“Darling, I can’t answer that because I don’t know what ‘feeling uber-girly means’ – ‘cos I ain’t. But I do like feeling like this and looking like this. But not, repeat NOT, as a regular thing. I’m still keen to be a boy. Or more accurately, with you, I want to remain the man. I’m not changing my mind on that – however luxurious or even sexy the clothes that you persuade me to wear.”

“Don’t worry honey. I still want you sexy. And I want the sex to be all mine. It’s just that you do look pretty delicious and pretty too in that show-every-wrinkle costume. And it’s all mine too. Other people can look and guess and wonder – but you’re mine. Don’t forget it.” And she slid one hand around my waist and squeezed while the other stroked my leg.

I thought she was being appallingly blatant – but as far as I could tell nobody noticed. Maybe I couldn’t notice anything for those next few seconds while I was blushing like a tomato. And I liked it too. I enjoyed the feel of her hands on my stockings. I liked the extra squeeze she gave to my corseted figure.

Then she leant over and murmured, “Love you, Cutie Q.T.”

And I murmured back, “And I love you too – so let’s keep this going. For richer, for poorer, for better, for worse for as long as we can.”

She giggled, and wriggled her hand a little further up my leg. “Reckon that’s a close to a teenage marriage as we dare go. But I like it. I’ll have you as a keeper, please.”

But I can’t tell you how we went on from there ……not yet anyway.

The end - probably

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