Chapter 1: Different Voices
There’s an art to talking when you’re having sex in drag. Talk as little as possible. Because femininity is more than just hair, makeup, and high heels. Mostly, it’s about good lighting. Try to stay in the dark.
But let’s say you’ve hired a professional hair and makeup artist. Then you went to a studio for professional glamour shots in a slutty Victoria Secrets ensemble. Later, you had these pictures retouched. After posting these highly feminized photos of you on Craig’s List, now you’ve caught someone’s attention. A guy calls you up and ask you for a “date.”
How you talk on the phone is going to make or break the illusion. No one else can talk for you.
The secret to sounding feminine, as I’ve discovered, is to take all the life and energy out of my voice. I call it my breathless whisper. It may sound a little cheesy (Reuben says it’s downright creepy), but femininity is all about softness and frailty. Maybe to you, it sounds like I’m recovering from bronchitis. Perhaps over the phone I just sound like Sasquatch wearing a wig and a bikini. Nonetheless, for a crossdresser the key is to convey that your innate masculinity has been suppressed. Femininity is about appearing non threatening to a straight guy.
Let me give you an example. There was a very pretty white tranny I met at a queer open mic a few years back. She was full time and nearly passable. Except she had a voice like John Tesh. John Tesh was an announcer on a popular Entertainment News show in the early 1990’s. He was known for having a voice that emanated directly from the cock. You can hear it vibrating with his every syllable.
When I heard this white tranny speak, my initial assessment was 13 inches, and beer-can thick. The sound was soothing and reassuring. Her voice reminded me of John Tesh’s because it made me feel like I can hold security in my hands. A security so meaty that I can’t quite wrap my fingers around it. When she read, I felt like a massive and heavy cock was massaging my face, with two musky cucumber slices resting on my eyes while the rest of the gigantic cucumber covered every feature on my face. You could almost smell the masculinity — was someone just playing basketball?
If I had a voice like John Tesh, I don’t know if I would have ever started having sex in drag. It’s hard to imagine veering so far off track with a voice that masculine. In fact, if I had a voice like John Tesh, I think I would have been a much more successful homosexual. But, alas, I have the classic “gay voice.” Too gay to entice the sexual attention of other gays, when I speak you can practically see my limp wrists dangling about. The gay voice is closely related to the breathless whisper. If you’re a natural at the former, you’ll be a pro at the latter.
The secret to my breathless whisper is that I generate the voice from no deeper than my throat. I *never* go past my clavicle bones. I inhale lightly. And, on the exhale, let the words flutter off,
like a warm gust of Indian Summer wind
gently swirling eddies of golden leaves Up! into the air.
With my breathless whisper, my voice instantly lifts up three octaves. And, if I don’t inhale, an octave even higher.
I’m floating, I’m floating…
Why, on my best days I sound like I’m channeling Michael Jackson.
That’s just ignorant! Ignorant!
But if my voice reaches down to my sternum I know I’ve gone too far.
Stop. Go back. Start over.
For convenience sakes, when I speak in my breathless whisper, I limit my conversation to:
“Can you kiss it?“
“Can I see it?”
and, “Are you affiliated with the San Francisco Police Department?”
Like I said earlier, the key is to talk as little as possible. Eventually, your voice will betray you. Make the guy touch you, make him whip out his dick, confirm he’s not SFPD, and get the sex started already. Once the sex starts, he won’t care if your voice changes to James Earl Jones.
But, always, perform these Three Golden Rules before taking money. Can you kiss it Can I see it Are you affiliated with the SFPD. And then you make sure he pays.
I learned these moves from Nikki, the transgender woman I grew up with.
Nikki was half black and half Vietnamese. She, her mom, and her brother came over as a legacy of the Vietnam War. I was sixteen when I first met her. She was a tranny prostitute working the very placid streets of Salt Lake City, Utah. I had just gotten my driver’s license and I would drive to Salt Lake every weekend to hang out at her apartment, watching her get ready for work or sneaking into the gay clubs with her. I was absolutely fascinated by Nikki. Mesmerized.
Nikki made it look so glamorous. For a gay effeminate Asian immigrant growing up in Utah, she was the ultimate fuck-you to a world where neither of us belonged. I was always begging her for more “Working Girl” stories whenever we hung out. Nikki was a magician of sorts: her customers had no idea she was in transition She didn’t have breast implants. She still had all her male anatomy. But she’d had hormones off and on, and that gave her a squeaky but somewhat feminine voice. If you looked real carefully sometimes you can see her goatee growing out. Yet her johns must have thought she was all woman or maybe the Mormon country boys just had no idea what a half black, half Vietnamese woman looks and sounds like. Because these guys were lining up to pay to fuck her! Somehow, through a combination of strategic rolling up of her pantyhose (to keep her family jewels firmly tucked in place), and perhaps an occasional excuse about her menstrual cycle, these guys would get their rocks off without knowing they’d fucked someone who’d been born a boy named Dung Chau.
Some kids grow up admiring athletes or musicians. I grew up with a half black, half Vietnamese tranny hooker as my idol. I recited the Three Golden Rules for my bedtime prayer.
Make sure you never take the money without first asking them, “Are you a-feel-e-A-ted with the police department?” Nikki would instruct me. She spoke English with that unmistakable Vietnamese twang, accented with female estrogen pills. She had a way of exaggerating the word “affiliated,” stretching out each syllable as if she was conveying the full protection of the law through her enunciation. I was curious how Nikki came to choose this particular vocabulary word. Rather than asking, “are you with the police department” or even simply, “are you a cop?”, the word a-feel-e-A-ted sounded strange coming from her. For someone with very little formal schooling here in the States (she quit high school because she was bullied), it was a rather complicated word, wouldn’t you agree?
Maybe saying this important sounding word made her feel smart and educated. A girl needs self-confidence when conducting a business transaction.
But, then again, Nikki did have a colorful way of expressing her personality while systematically butchering and reinventing the English vocabulary. When I wanted to go to Denny’s after the bars closed she would say, “No! Pleez Mary we need to go somewhere more high classic!”
Years later, when I finally made the switch and joined her profession, reciting the Three Golden Rules for myself, I chose an important sounding word of my own. I, too, wanted to sound smart. I chose the word “eleemosynary.” Meaning “of or pertaining to alms, charity, or charitable donations.” I use it mostly when a guy tries to bargain me down in price.
As in, “Sir, this is not an eleemosynary institution.”
So, where was I? Oh yes. I try to talk as little as possible when I’m having sex as Cassandra. The breathless whisper, even though it sounds like I’m hardly talking – that takes real effort. Femininity is a performance. A performance that does not come naturally to me. Femininity is so not the same as being a queeny gay man. Femininity — for society’s expectations, for the sexual arousal of a “straight guy,” for someone like me who wasn’t born biologically female — means taking all the life and energy out of my voice. That takes real work.
And I’ll come out and just say it: I’m lazy. When I walk in heels, I try to walk no further than from the front door to my bedroom. And then I like to pull my skirt down, sit at the edge of my bed, and tell the guy to suck it. Unlike Nikki, I am a Top Girl. There’s none of this “hiding my candy” and trying to fool the guys into thinking I don’t have one. A Top Girl is all about her penis.
Some of the guys who respond to my ads tell me they want to have a drink first. They want to flirt. They want time to acclimate. They say they want to get to know me. But what they really want is to convince themselves they’re talking to a woman. They want the GFE — the girl friend experience. And let me tell you Oh my fucking god fuck the girl friend experience. I never agree to it.
Come on, I want to get it sucked. You want to suck it.
Why do I have to be the one to not breathe?
But there comes a time when I can’t stop talking, however.
It’s called cocaine. Cocaine makes this bitch talk like there’s no tomorrow. I forget my own rule about talking as little as possible. I completely do away with the breathless whisper. Yes, on cocaine my voice really turns into Sasquatch in a wig and bikini.
The first time Mr. Ferrari came over, it was around one in the morning. We had traded emails while I was in the middle of another date. Every time I went to the bathroom to
take a piss “freshen up,” I would trade emails with him. Mr. Ferrari intrigued me. When I asked if he could make a donation and buy me a dress, he asked how much. I shyly asked for two hundred, with a little smiley face after the question mark.
He responded, how about I buy you two dresses.
So I waited up for him. When he pulled up to my curb I saw him try to parallel park. He pulled in. He pulled out. He pulled in. He pulled out again. He could never manage to turn the wheel at the right moment.
And I thought to myself, hmmm…. He might be on coke.
Although I am not a big fan of cocaine (I avoid it almost completely these days), in my younger days I dabbled a bit. I can’t say I ever enjoyed it much — I hated the come downs. Reuben bought me my first coke. It was yellow and wet and stuck to the mirror when we tried cutting it up. It looked nothing like the white powder you see in movies. It was Mexican coke. He must have gotten it wet crossing the el Rio Grande.
So, even though I don’t enjoy coke, back when I was younger I almost never turned it down. Especially when it was free. I’m Chinese. But when someone pays you to do lines with them, when someone like Mr. Ferrari leaves the coke behind — a whole little mountain of it — to try to win favors with you, I bragged about it to my friends. It seemed so glamorous. And maybe it was. Glamorous. Yeah, I still think it was.
However, I think Mr. Ferrari may have had other ideas when he paid me to do coke with him.
Obviously, he did not see the sign hanging over me with the warning, “Give this crossdresser coke at your own peril – she has a lot of issues and loves to process herself when high.”
One line of coke, I’m fine. Two lines, I’m fidgety. Three lines or more and I begin using whoever is around as therapist. Sometimes complete strangers will do. I know these guys come to me expecting sex, but seeing as my cock’s shrank to the size of a cashew, isn’t it better just for me to tell you my life story?
Don’t you find me endlessly fascinating?
I know I do. But that may just be the coke talking.
And that’s the illusion of coke, isn’t it? Its glamour, its seduction — cocaine makes us feel like we are connecting when we’re high. We literally can’t stop talking. We have so much we want to say, so much we want to share and let out.
Mr. Ferrari didn’t get the memo that I like to do the talking when I’m coked up. Because he bitched and bitched and bitched about his ex-wife. He told me he was going to write a letter to her. She really hurt his feelings when she ignored him at their son’s soccer game. After twenty years of marriage she acted as if I didn’t exist, he complained bitterly.
I said, do you think she’s angry at you because you fool around with trannies behind her back?
He shook his head. He said, I didn’t do any of this (meaning me and the whole tranny experience) when we were still together.
Then we talked politics. He told me his friends at the country club think that Obama is waging class warfare. I told him he’s overly privileged and that country club politics by definition are elitist and class warfare in itself. He asked me to snort another line with him. He asked me why I didn’t have a boyfriend. I told him I had to go use the little girl’s room. I was so coked up I didn’t know how to pee in the room next to someone who’s paying me to be a girl. I peed sitting down for the first time in my life.
When I got out of the bathroom, I told Mr. Ferrari that I grew up an immigrant in Utah. That I never fit in. I never live in the moment. I’m alone.
I don’t know if I will ever let anyone in, I told Mr. Ferrari.
When I woke up the next day, I was horrified. Mortified. But, to my surprise, Mr. Ferrari called me again. And again. In fact, until I realized I didn’t like cocaine very much and found an excuse to blow him off, there was something very real there. He couldn’t get enough of talking with me.
Mr. Ferrari paid for my car insurance. He brought me flowers. He wanted me to work on my “issues” appearing in public as Cassandra; he wanted me to accompany him to Reno for the weekend.
Seriously. Not Bora Bora. Not Hawaii. Not even Vegas.
But my experiences with Mr. Ferrari got me thinking. How many people, do you think, get to talk — really talk, to open up, to make a fool out of ourselves — to who we really, really want to talk to?
Are we all dying, a little bit, everyday, on the inside. Why can’t we communicate with that one person we need to the most. One person. All we need is just one person to really understand us.
I talk in a fake voice for sex.
But how many people, do you think, talk in a fake voice through life?
Cassandra Gorgeous is actively seeking literary representation for her memoir, “The Accidental Rapist.”