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Thread: Beginner-level public en-femme: The After-Dark Errand Run

  1. #1
    leggings junkie ellbee's Avatar
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    Beginner-level public en-femme: The After-Dark Errand Run

    Sometimes I feel like I took a big step back.


    Back in my hey-day, for years I went out all dolled-up. Mostly social, but sometimes doing mundane things like running errands or whatever. Morning, afternoon, evening, night... Didn't matter. And yes, while I had no issue going it alone, it was definitely a lot more fun (and even easier!) having friends with me, regardless of who they were & how they were presenting. Full of confidence, I most certainly was!

    However, gradually that faded away. I even eventually stopped dressing for a long time. But for me? It always comes back at some point.


    Heck, I no longer do the whole en-femme thing all that much anymore, as these days I'll typically just "guy-mode" it (wearing women's stuff while not hiding the fact that I'm a natal male). I usually feel most at home with that presentation.

    Of course, tonight was a different story.


    Had some free time available. Spur of the moment kinda thing. I took my time getting ready, enjoying it all... But I also didn't go full-tilt, ya know? It was more of a moderation kinda thing, yet still totally en-femme.

    Full-face, but medium-level makeup. Skinny jeans, long black pullover hoodie, femmy black combat booties. Same blonde wig as in my avatar, but styled a bit differently. Only padding/shapewear was a partially-stuffed padded sports bra. Overall, I looked fine. Sort of a dressy-casual for a Monday night. And most important? Blendable -- which is what I was aiming for.

    Not looking for attention. The whole time I was getting ready, I had to remind myself to keep it toned-down some. No overly-dramatic eyeliner, no attention-grabbing red lip. No short skirts, dresses or high heels. Simply going for an average-GG kind of look, doing average-GG things. While still keeping it somewhat femmy, of course.


    Yes, tonight I had a mission: I had to mail something!

    With my purse slung over my shoulder & my keys in hand, off I headed to my car. Would I see someone in my apartment building or in the parking lot? Who cares, really. Only person I saw was someone warming up their car sort of nearby -- and yes, I had to walk through their headlights somewhat. No biggie.


    As silly & as boring as it is? These little en-femme drives are always a nice little adventure for anyone, really. And also a bit of a confidence booster for those who may need to regain it, or who are looking to take the first steps to getting out there in the big wide world.

    Change of guy-clothes? Makeup wipes? Nah, I never do that. Not that I'm against them or anyone who does that, but no safety nets for me, thanks. Get out there & own that stuff, girl!


    Yes, I drive carefully. Waaaay better than I do driving as a guy. No speeding, always use my blinkers, no rolling stops, etc. I'd rather not get a ticket, and I definitely don't want to get into an accident. Keep it safe. Nice change of pace!


    Anyway...

    My local post office is a rather short drive. Got out, and dropped my envelope in the blue box. Okay, that was quick. Now what -- go home??

    Nope... Keep going!


    Figured I could fill my tank that was only halfway full. Sure, why not. Oftentimes an easy option. Large, brightly lit gas station. Paid at the pump. Saw a couple people doing the same, but not sure if they saw me. Didn't matter. Thought about going inside to the convenience store thingy afterwards, but didn't really need anything. Eh, maybe do that another time?

    Drive around, drive around. Now what?? Didn't want to go home just yet. As mundane as these tasks may be? Always a bit more fun while all dolled-up!


    Last stop? Walk-in ATM to withdraw a bit of cash. Car with people outside in the opposite parking lot. Probably saw me. Didn't care. Though I'm sure the cameras saw me!


    This is something *easy* to do. It was dark out, yet not too late, either. Some people were still about & about. And some places were still open.

    Put all you need in your purse. Drive safe. Have some errands in mind, yet also play it by ear. Make sure you stop & get out of your car -- for specific yet normal reasons. Be mindful of your posture & your gait.


    And don't wear stuff that will attract way too much attention. One of the biggest mistakes I see in those "CD'er in public" videos on YouTube. Rule of thumb? If a GG would attract too much attention by wearing it? You will, too.

    You can still get all dolled-up. Just try to tone it down a bit... Hair, makeup, outfit. Nothing wrong with dressy-casual, ya know. Skinny jeans, slacks, leggings, whatever. And unless you have good reason to believe that many of the GG's are wearing it at the time & location? Try to stay away from short skirts, dresses, hose, high heels, etc. Oh, and boobs that are too big, LOL!

    Dress like a GG would, for the specific time & environment. Nothing wrong with that. I mean, isn't having the GG experience (as opposed to the *CD'er* experience) what it's all about?



    Anyway, I'm sure others may want to chime in, with either some little stories or helpful hints or whatever, for those at the beginner-level of going out in public en-femme...
    Last edited by ellbee; 02-23-2021 at 12:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this very helpful post. "Rule of thumb? If a GG would attract too much attention by wearing it? You will, too." GGs dress for comfort above all else. I often tell newbie CDers to go out into the world and count how many GGs they can find wearing high heels, mini skirts, tight dresses or pantyhose? The (unfortunate for us) truth is that most women today are in jeans, leggings and comfy outfits/shoes. Now, if it's your mission to stand out and draw lots of attention to yourself - and sometimes that can be a blast - then by all means disregard anything I have to say.

  3. #3
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    You can make runs for mundane things attired in a dress and heels. I do not own a single pair of female pants. leggings, etc. It is dresses and dresses only. Elbee is doing her errands under the cover of darkness which is my comfort zone also. At six foot and 200 lbs I would not feel comfortable strolling through a grocery store. Don't tell me nobody would care. It is my comfort zone, so why do it if I am not comfortable. Yes, I started out with some made up trips. Return books to the night slot at the library. The library closest to my house has a parking lot. I could park twenty to thirty feet away and just toss and leave. Another library further away is on a busy street. I park my car across the street and walk up to the night drop off. It was the same with mailing a letter. Or getting a newspaper from one of those free boxes. All in a low heel (wedge) and a dress. I graduated to parking my car and strolling throw a safe residential neighborhood with lots of shops, restaurants and two grocery stores. I carry a tote with the name of the store on it. It usually has an extra pair of male shoes or a pair of male pants in case there were to be a need to change...flat tire, etc. It appears to the casual observer that a woman is coming home from her office job or grocery store. None of that driving to a parking lot on the freeway or closed park. A dress and low heel is not out of place. I see many women in Target, either on the way to work or coming home, wearing dresses and heels and makeup. Women combine trips to get chores done. I do find heels to be tough on the legs when walking on concrete. Concrete also destroys heels. I would recommend buying a pair of women's athletic shoes with bright colored laces. I see many women hoofing it from bus stops with heels in a tote and athletic shoes on feet. The financial district in my small city has steep inclines, so many women do just that....wear athletic shoes and carry their heels while wearing a dress and makeup. You only draw attention if you're out of place. You can easily be out of place and draw attention is you're under dressed for the occasion. A hoody and jeans in the financial district and you're out of place.

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    Ellbee,
    It's pretty much turned itself round now for me I don't feel comfortable doing it in male mode . I do agree with much of your advice , I still feel I do a little more than most GGs but that's more to do with covering up any male traits , if you're consistent then it gradually becomes your identity as you can see in my avatar .
    Last edited by Teresa; 02-23-2021 at 10:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Ellbee,

    I've experienced similar as my opportunities to go out dressed are normally one week a year so that first night out is like starting all over again. I usually end up sat in the car in a supermarket car park telling myself, "You've done this before, just do it".

    Couldn't agree more about not over dressing and also avoiding going out in the dead of night. Guilty of it and now realise it's only the criminal class out at that time of day so you're putting yourself in greater danger.

    I have worn modest heels while out clothes shopping, there are ZGG's that still choose to do so but they are just that, modest, 1 1/2" - 2" at most but mainly flat boots. My aim is always to blend into the crowd.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Michelle 51's Avatar
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    Love this post .Thank you Ellbee.I go grab a coffee at a drive-through for wife and I in femme mornings before the sun is up.That will change soon as daylight is getting earlier everyday but I enjoy the freedom of it.
    If I knew where it was going to take me I probably would have put my mother's panties back.

  7. #7
    New Member SavannahVee's Avatar
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    I have not been out in public yet, but love to hear the tips and experiences of others to do it sensibly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    A wonderful and beautiful post, Ellbee. For most of us what you describe is often the end point that works best. But then for others it follows a different path. For those like Teresa it follows yet another path where femaleness is much more the total expression. How we approach it varies all over the map, but the best way from the standpoint of not being a spectacle is to blend in with the appearances and the mannerisms, posture, stride, grace of movements. But, each to her or his own.

  9. #9
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    I have said basically the same thing many times; Dress like an actual woman would dress for the time and place. This means moderate makeup, knee or below length skirts and no "hooker heels".

    It's a simple matter to go out in public as a male and make note of what women in your area are wearing in public. Then go home, dress the same and go out and enjoy your time in the world as a woman.
    Krisi

  10. #10
    leggings junkie ellbee's Avatar
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    Thank you all for posting so far!

    All great things to consider, for sure. Wish I could reply to everyone, but instead I'll just touch on a few things...


    I never said, per se, to definitely stay away from short dresses/skirts. If that's what many of the GG's are wearing at that time & place? Then who's to argue?

    But I feel too many CD'ers automatically default to those -- when it should probably only be a secondary option way down the list. Showing off lots of leg in hosiery with heels are definitely visual & auditory attention-grabbers. And you'll be sticking out like a sore thumb, for sure.


    What happens a lot, too, is that it seems too many CD'ers over-emphasize the traditional feminine visual cues, in attempt to mask the masculine ones... Like, they over-compensate, ya know? What *should* be done, IMO, is to actually try to minimize/downplay the masculine features, themselves, in various ways. Of course, obviously *some* of the feminine ones should be highlighted, along with that... Just don't over-do it, is all. That way, you're attacking the issue from both sides -- not just the usual one, which creates a very noticeable imbalance.

    And I say that, because the general public will most likely react in different ways, depending on how you're dressed. If a CD'er is too "tarted-up"? Yeah, a stranger may very well quickly form an opinion that's not too kind... It's like, "Okay, my Spidey senses are definitely tingling, here. I'm sensing that his motivation for this might be coming from a not-so-good place..." You can actually see this in certain YouTube videos (which the CD'er does *not* see happening, in the moment, mind you), in terms of facial expressions & various types of body language.

    But if the CD'er is presenting in a more "normal" & socially acceptable way, given the particular environment/situation? The stranger's mind will be more at ease & they'll tend to let things slide. Their attitude & any reaction will follow suit.


    Yes, that's another thing... For those who do want to do this After-Dark Errand Run thing? I don't care how legit you may look -- but at some point, you *will* get "read"! You simply can't fool all the people, all the time. Be prepared for this as best you can, because it will come your way, someday.

    Hopefully, however, the person won't actually outwardly acknowledge this. Negativity can happen, for sure. But, here's the real kicker: Sometimes, once they read you? They will actually go out of their way & be *nice* to you! Probably more so with GG's, but it can happen with certain guys, too.


    Let's see, what else. Oh, yeah... Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. While anything can happen, at any time (regardless how you're presenting), you want to try to avoid any potential mishaps. If you know you need to get something fixed soon, or haven't changed the oil in like 10 years, you may want to take care of that before any outings. You don't want to break down & be stranded somewhere, or get into an otherwise-avoidable accident, while all dolled-up, if you can help it. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but something you'll probably want to shy away from.


    Getting stopped by the police? Yes, it happens. You read about it here... DUI checkpoints, speeding, some kind of light is out, etc. And yes, it happened to me a long time ago. I should share my story here someday. But surprisingly? The officer was very nice & professional to me -- and this was like 20-25 years ago!

    (Okay, now I feel OLD! )


    Anyway, yes, this is true, as someone mentioned... For some, these After-Dark Errand Runs may be all that they'll need, and be quite content to stop there. Nothing wrong with that. Personally, this kinda suits me these days, as well -- for now.

    The past couple years or so, I've been itching a bit to hit some kind of LGBT nightclub or drag night or something. There's a small city within driving distance from me, that I never really explored this scene there. I've looked into it from time to time. Unfortunately, it is also a city where too many I know who I *don't* want to know, either live there and/or socialize there. Risk versus reward? Who knows, maybe someday. Or not.


    So, the errand thing can be a bit of a stepping stone, for some, if that's what they want & need. Definitely a good way to build up your confidence, and to see how things might be in the larger public world while en-femme.

  11. #11
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    I think you are getting the feel for it.

    The longer you stay dressed the longer you will want to stay that way.

    Just enjoy what you do and stay safe.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

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    Ellbee,
    The " Over friendly " aspect could be a problem but so far I haven't had any , I will add it's usually more from GGs , it doesn't realy bother me which gender it is .

    Lets not forget some people have never met a trans person before , I'm sure we intrigue some and possibly scare others , I find the majority are very much on your side but as you say if they find you socially acceptable . Also of course some do genuinely think you are female , I've fallen into that trap not realising . The reaction I've had on more than one occasion is a look of confusion when I've mentioned my wife , so I've stopped doing it however it's perfectly OK to talk about children and grandchildren .

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    Agree with the above. Going out at 3am to avoid attention usually results in the opposite, because someone is always watching.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the post Ellbee. I enjoy doing the same. Basic dressing to blend and going about my tasks.

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    Senior Member TheHiddenMe's Avatar
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    We're not spies. We're not undercover cops (currently watching "The Rookie"). We don't need to sneak around and hide in the shadows.

    My start to going out regularly? I walked into a mall into Sephora at 2:30 PM on a Tuesday afternoon to get a makeover. Then I walked into Nordstrom and tried on dresses. I made two friends from that day.

    Been out 200 times since then, most often during the day. Stores, restaurants, walking on the street, in the midst of lots of people. Never a problem, but a fair number of compliments.

    I've worn dresses and I've worn casual. I assume people know I'm a guy in a dress, but they don't know it's me in a dress.

    Use common sense, but the biggest obstacle to going out is just conquering our own fears.

  16. #16
    The Anima Corrupt Wen4cd's Avatar
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    I remember how scary and thrilling it was to go out the first time or two. I sat in front of a restaurant once for an hour fighting my own fear, and that was in some distant town.

    Now I just go out and do all of my shopping and dining and errands dressed however I feel most me and don't even flnch anymore.

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    Junior Member AndieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wen4cd View Post
    I remember how scary and thrilling it was to go out the first time or two. I sat in front of a restaurant once for an hour fighting my own fear, and that was in some distant town.

    Now I just go out and do all of my shopping and dining and errands dressed however I feel most me and don't even flnch anymore.
    That's awesome. Was it just a mental block sort of thing at first that went away after the first time out dressed? Or was it something that told you not to care anymore?

    I worry about clamming up and getting nervous to the point where the male side of me becomes too obvious.

  18. #18
    Aspiring Member April Rose's Avatar
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    One thing that has worked for me in the past is going out very early in the morning; just at sunrise, or a little before or after. In the summer it's pretty early and there are not too many people out. It is a way for a beginner to get her feet wet. And it's not as dangerous as going out at night.

    Then, if you are still feeling daring, you can stay out.
    I am a vessel of the goddess. Let me express my calling to a feminine life through nurturing love and relatedness.

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    Sunshine Gal AngelaYVR's Avatar
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    Just wait until you figure out that most people do not care who you are! Whether you are wearing jeans or a 1940s inspired herringbone skirt (is that too specific?) your most important accessory is confidence. It is of course fine to blend if you like the style but otherwise...well, it seems a shame to waste the opportunity to wear all those amazing clothes that they make for, you know, women.

  20. #20
    The Anima Corrupt Wen4cd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndieB View Post
    That's awesome. Was it just a mental block sort of thing at first that went away after the first time out dressed? Or was it something that told you not to care anymore?

    I worry about clamming up and getting nervous to the point where the male side of me becomes too obvious.
    It was a bit of both for me, unfortunately. I do gain confidence each time going out, but there's the first time for everything. It was literally my first time out alone, but I was determined and willing to use my love of Vietnamese cuisine lure me out of my comfort zone. After dinner I went to the soiree and met Steffi and so many others and had a great time.

    But then the next day I realized that the my choice to attend the event, and my choice to overcome my fear and go into a restaurant dressed, had effectively ended my marriage, my relationship with my wife, and this trickled down to my kid, and it's a bit tragic but I needed to do it.

    It was a harsh scene the next day, and led to a lot of pain, and after enough pain you just don't care anymore, or else you grow from it. When I told my family about overcoming my fear and actually getting the confidence to be in public, it was not the confidence they had wanted me to gain. My wife told my daughter, (right in front of me,) that "your father is so selfish that he now forces his fetish (never had a fetish element with dressing, but whatever) on people in restaurants and service positions who are forced to put up with him" and she vowed never to touch me again because I had shaved for the event.

    After a few (maybe 5) years of living in a disused back room on a sleeping bag on the floor, crying over the loss of my family's love and connection, I ended up just not caring anymore, so yeah.
    And so we go, on with our lives...
    We know the Truth, but prefer Lies.
    Lies are simple, simple is Bliss.
    Why go against tradition, when we can admit defeat,
    Live in Decline, be the victim of our own design?

  21. #21
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    Wen4cd,
    I have to say some of that sounds familiar . Perhaps my daughter may have been older but she had heated discussions with my ex-wife about my gender issues , it's good to say she stuck to her principals and supported me . My wife's world began to shrink because I was still getting the support of my family even when she was so disaproving . I met her sister several times for coffe and shopping initially behind her back . Now she realises nothing was going to stop me evolving as Teresa so she's had to come to terms with it

    I'm so sorry it didn't work out the same way for you .
    Last edited by Teresa; 03-07-2021 at 09:59 PM.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Lori Anne's Avatar
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    I've found that if I don't dress to attract attention, I don't attract attention.

  23. #23
    The Anima Corrupt Wen4cd's Avatar
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    @Terersa,

    My daughter (now 20) is in charge of like, campus diversity groups in her university, her online profiles are lgbtq this and that supportive, but none of this ever seems to apply to her own family, as she still tends to (along with her mother) get up and leave a room when I enter it. Neither of them speak to me outside of "get this while shopping" and I live a solitary life even though we still are still under the same roof. She doesn't see me as transgendered, she just sees me as her mother describes "selfish" and "incapable of putting others before my own needs" to be or express myself.

    I sort of fear that ultimately this will not ever resolve, and she would eventually have find my body dead from self inflicted wounds before she understood that self expression is a life or death need, at least for me. Even that would be pointless, as her mother would of course teach her that this is the 'justifiable end for the selfish personality,' and carry on with her drinking and reality-tv-show-watching long after I was in the ground.
    And so we go, on with our lives...
    We know the Truth, but prefer Lies.
    Lies are simple, simple is Bliss.
    Why go against tradition, when we can admit defeat,
    Live in Decline, be the victim of our own design?

  24. #24
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by April Rose View Post
    One thing that has worked for me in the past is going out very early in the morning; just at sunrise, or a little before or after. In the summer it's pretty early and there are not too many people out. It is a way for a beginner to get her feet wet. And it's not as dangerous as going out at night.

    Then, if you are still feeling daring, you can stay out.
    The issue here is that you should dress like a woman who is out at sunrise. In most cases, that would be a woman out walking her dog or getting some exercise before going to work. This is a bad time to be wearing heels, a miniskirt and excessive jewelry or makeup.

    My thought is, the best time and place to go out is where there are crowds. Hiding in plain sight, if you will. So go to the shopping mall at noon or later. Go to the tourist section of town (if there is one) and act like a tourist. Dress like a business woman and go to the business part of town and walk around.

    For me (and I have posted this several times), the difficulty is not with being out as a woman, but getting out of my house and neighborhood and getting back in afterwards. So, I underdress and finish dressing in the vehicle. A royal PITA that makes going out dressed almost more trouble than it's worth.
    Krisi

  25. #25
    Junior Member KristyPa's Avatar
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    i use this advise now when I go out, less is more. Yes there are occasions when I want to do the hot short skirt thing and I do. The first time I went out to a bar I wore a dress like you would wear to a wedding, I never made that mistake again. All the other women had jeans on.

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