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Our first daughter was born in July 2002 and from then onwards I suppressed my urge to dress for several years.  Unlike some conflicted cross dressers, I never had the big “purge” and threw out any of my female clothing – not that there was much of it anyway – but it just languished at the back of the wardrobe.  I needed to be a father first and foremost and my own wants had to take a back seat.

Our daughter was probably around 5 years old when I retrieved the female clothes from the back of the wardrobe and I began intermittently dressing again in secret, only for 15 minutes here and half an hour there when I was in the unusual position of having the house to myself.  I didn’t do it particularly often, sometimes going several months between dressing sessions, but it never really went away.  It never does.  All of this was being done without my wife’s knowledge as far as I know, and I can’t really explain why I decided to go back into the closet in this way.  I suppose it had been so many years since I had last done it that I believed she thought it to be a phase that I was out of, with fatherhood having cured me of the need to dress.  Of course that wasn’t the case at all, but I saw no need to shatter her illusions.  It was only a very rare occasion after all, wasn’t it?

One point worth mentioning here is that when you wear the same items of clothing every once in a while over a period of years, they get quite dirty.  Downright revolting in fact, particularly the knickers!  I would hatch schemes in my head for how to get everything washed, but since I don’t even know how to work the washing machine, and had nowhere to dry the clothes, these plans were all doomed to failure unless I came clean (pun intended) to my wife that I was back in skirts.  And I didn’t want to disappoint her.  So the clothes got filthier, the hold ups stopped holding up, and I somehow got more and more uptight that I might be found out.

Our second daughter came along in 2009 but unlike first time round there was no renewed period of abstention for me.  The dressing continued intermittently, but it was a bittersweet experience.  What I really wanted to do was to look and feel as feminine as possible, wearing beautiful dresses, glossy tights, gorgeous shoes and with a figure to match.  Instead I was a hairy bloke with a tiny collection of particularly rank clothes that went out of fashion in the last century, and wearing exclusively male clothes from the waist up.

During 2012/2013 I was putting on these clothes more and more but just not enjoying it like I should because I was pretty disgusted – not guilt-ridden or anything like that, just revolted at the state of the clothes I had.  So heart in mouth, for the first time in my life at the age of 42 I went into a shop and bought some female clothing for myself.  A new pair of black hold ups from Tesco, slipped into the weekly shop in the hope that nobody would notice.  I must have looked like the world’s worst secret agent as I cautiously looked this way and that, surveying the scene to make sure that nobody was looking at me looking at ladies hosiery, then somehow managing to find a pair in extra large and sticking them in the trolley, quickly covered up by a large chicken pie.  Then sod’s law happened and I got to the checkout to discover there was a charity bag pack going on and some big burly bloke was going to be packing my bag.  And big burly bloke for reasons best known to himself set my holdups to the side while he put all the food into the bags, and then didn’t put them back in again.  I had to pick them up.  Myself!  With big burly bloke watching!  The horror!

Next opportunity I got, on went the new holdups and of course they felt wonderful. I think the old ones were so old that they were stretched beyond use.  They may actually have been wider than my thighs!  Putting on the new holdups just brought everything flooding back to me about how much I loved wearing these clothes, and rekindled a strong desire to fully express my female side to an extent that I hadn’t felt in years, possibly decades.

Having got through the encounter with Big Burly Bloke relatively unscathed save for a temporarily quickened pulse, it was with renewed vigour that I attacked the weekly shop in the second half of 2013.  Panties, more holdups and tights followed, every one provoking a feeling of sheer joy as soon as I put them on.

For all the good feelings I was having as a result of my new purchases, they were still only undergarments, and I desperately wanted a proper outfit to wear, I wanted a nice feminine wig, and I wanted to wear make-up.  So I began formulating plans about how to pull this off, which is not as easy as it sounds if you want to stay secret.  It’s simple enough to hide some tights and panties under a pile of socks and boxer shorts on a wardrobe shelf, but it’s a different matter dealing with dresses, bras, new shoes (5″ stilettos are a bugger on the feet even for 15 minutes), and who knows what else – wig, breast forms, cosmetics?  I was researching all this stuff on the internet and knew what I wanted, but I had no idea how I was going to actually get it into the house.

Probably the most imaginative plan I had involved ordering everything online, charging to the front door every day to make sure I got to check what post had arrived before my wife saw it, and getting any deliveries removed to a “staging post” in the cupboard under the stairs.  Larger items would be held at the Royal Mail sorting office so I could collect those in person and alone.  Then everything would be moved from the staging post to a suitcase which I would keep in the loft.  Considering that the only way into our loft is by using the stepladder which we keep in the garage, I have no idea how I thought I was going to surreptitiously get these clothes up to the putative suitcase, never mind get them back out again when an opportunity to dress presented itself.

No, if I wanted to get the collection of clothing and accessories that I needed in order to be the woman I wanted to be (from time to time) then I needed a willing accomplice.  I resolved to come clean and tell my wife everything.  Really everything, not just some sanitised version like I had done 15 years earlier.

to be continued