Dear Dategirl, I'm a late-40s, thrice-divorced male, looking to have occasional sexual relationships. I'm not opposed to a long-term relationship, but my experience of striking out at the plate rules out marriage. My particular issue is that—although I'm in great shape for my age and attract women's attentions—I have a dirty little secret: Daddy likes to wear Mommy's clothes. In particular, I get sexually excited wearing a bra or corset, slinky nylon slips, stockings (thigh-high or with garter belt), and high heels. I like it when my woman friend wears the same. The problem is most women automatically think I'm a repressed homosexual. Either that, or their own insecurities come to bear. For example, my children's mother once told me in the middle of an argument that she thought I looked sexier than she did. Later, in a drunken rage, she burned all of my women's clothing in the barbecue. I've had the occasional woman who was accepting, but usually there were other issues that doomed the relationship (infidelity, alcoholism, etc.). I've been in therapy—this all started when I was very young. (My great-grandma dressed me in female undergarments that were freshly washed, when I asked her to.) Psychology aside, it's what excites me, it's what I enjoy, and I don't see any harm being done by my fetish. Yet even now, I'm still stymied how to approach this peccadillo with any prospective bedmate. It's not that I want to do this all the time (50 percent would be great). How do I go about finding a willing partner without seeming a terminal weirdo? Or should I just go to the occasional massage parlor and forget about finding the Thelma to my Louise?Rufus
Sweetpea: First of all, you need to rethink your movie references—Thelma and Louise went off a cliff at the end. Second, you have to not only accept the fact that you're a bit of a weirdo; you have to embrace it. Hopefully you've seen some John Waters movies. His protagonists are always freaks and proud of it. The result—underneath all the hilarity and occasional poo-eating—is an oeuvre that is utterly heartwarming. (I need to make clear that I am not comparing you with the late great Divine—I just adore Waters' philosophy.) I don't doubt you've had some bad reactions upon revealing your secret, and for that I apologize on behalf of my gender. But if you look at the bright side, at least that weeds out the kind of uptight, closed-minded women you shouldn't bother with anyway. As for how to tell a new prospect, I think the less of a big deal you make it, the better. Because, seriously, it's not that big a deal. We're not talking about a communicable disease, or an unhealthy sexual attraction to your mother; dressing in lady's underoos is just one of the many elements that makes you who you are. And in the pantheon of fetishes, this one's rather charming. Maybe the next time you're getting close, you can just kind of drop "So hey, sometimes I like to wear women's underwear" into the precoital conversation. Make sure you say it with a shrug, not a grimace, though. Presentation is everything. And remember, even the most accepting woman might need time to warm up to the idea. Having a boyfriend in panties will be new territory for most dames. In other words, don't show up for your second date in a faceful of makeup. The tired he-wears-corsets/must-be-gay thing can be dispatched with one gander through Google. Just look at Eddie Izzard: Dubious taste in pantsuits aside, there's a hot straight guy who dresses like a lady. I seriously doubt he's dealing with any shortage of poontang. On the off chance you are, Mr. Izzard, you can contact me at the Weekly. firstname.lastname@example.org Judy McGuire is the author of How Not to Date.