A brief introduction is in order; Mistress Alison is a good friend and a very knowledgeable and experienced Mistress, she has also been a frequent contributor to PDQ. She is now available to answer questions from both Mistress and sissies alike, assuming a respectful tone of course. These email conversations may well be included at some future date in PDQ though a request for privacy would be respected. Feel free to write her at firstname.lastname@example.org and please don't waste her valuable time asking "where / how can I find a Mistress?"
Dear Mistress Alison
I am in a quandary about what to do about my husband. While on holiday in Germany last autumn we attended the Munich beer festival, the Oktoberfest, and he kept remarking on the attractiveness of the serving girls and how much he liked their outfits. I'm sure you know the kind of thing I mean; buxom, flaxen haired, in dirndl skirts with low cut front laced blouses and carrying eight overflowing glasses at once. I said quietly, "Do you think I'd look sexy dressed like that?" and slurring his words he answered, "I meant for me." I laughed it off as drunkenness but something about the way he said it bothered me. The following morning I asked him if he remembered what he'd said about wanting to wear a German barmaid's outfit. He said no he didn't remember anything about last night, but I knew from experience that at best he was concealing something and at worst he was lying. He was obviously suffering from a hangover so I let it go until later in the day.
When he'd recovered I asked him straight, "Is there anything you want to tell me? About women's clothes for instance." Again he said no. I modified the question and asked, "Well is there anything you should tell me, or should have told me perhaps?" He went quiet and then I was certain I was onto to something. I said, "Last night after going on and on about how attractive you thought the serving wench's uniforms were you told me you'd like to wear one. Is that true?" There was a long embarrassed silence and I then said, "So it is true. How long have you felt like this?" He tried to bluff and bluster and tell me that it wasn't what he had meant but he was only digging himself deeper into the hole. Finally I said, "Just stop lying and tell me the truth." In many ways I now regret it, ignorance is supposed to be bliss, and in many ways what he told me has opened a can of worms.
He told me at tedious length that as a teenager he had what he called experimented with women's underwear and, to use his own words, "adored the soft sensual feel around his privates." When he left home to go to college he moved on to wearing stockings and suspenders under his trousers every day and even once tried what he called a girdle, but found it too uncomfortable and restricting. He said when he left to go to work he gave up wearing female underwear, though from time when he saw certain types of garments he would think about what it might feel like to wear them. The garments that interested him were all overtly feminine, ball gowns, Dior's new look, 1950s style big skirts with petticoats and white gloves, some uniforms. He said they were all things he found alluring on women and wondered if they felt as glamorous as they looked.
When we got back he showed me your website as evidence that he was not alone in having what he called harmless fantasies. But nearly all the letters and certainly most of your advice seems to be about putting these so called fantasies into practice and there is an obvious theme of domination and control and some of the things described seem excessive and far from harmless to me. How can castration be called harmless? In one of your more recent replies you describe petticoating as "a system of training, a regimen, to control and realign male behaviour and thinking" and later on say that all the men you've encountered who like wearing feminine clothes and in particular ultra feminine sexy underwear are submissives and all of them want to be dominated. Do you think this is true of my husband and should I indulge him in his desires or attempt to eradicate them? If he does want to be dominated by a strong woman then surely that includes not doing anything I tell him not to.
If I may attempt to put things in perspective: your husband has told you that during adolescence he experimented wearing women's clothes and enjoyed it, this lasted a short while and then he stopped, but he still has occasional thoughts about wearing elegant female attire. Apart from one comment while under the influence of alcohol he has done nothing about these thoughts and his latent desires, fantasies, or whatever you wish to call them, appear to have had little or no effect on your marriage. So this is hardly a hanging offence. Most boys/young men experiment sexually before settling down to their preferred option and for most of them it's a heterosexual partnership leading to children. What used to be called normal, a term that has now become politically incorrect. Nearly everybody has fantasies or dreams, but few ever become, or have even the remotest chance of becoming, reality. My own mother, a strait-laced pillar of the Presbyterian church, once told me in rare moment of candour that ever since seeing the film Lawrence of Arabia as a teenager she'd had fantasies of being a slave girl in Omar Sharif's harem.
It is true that at Petticoat Discipline Quarterly we espouse and advocate female led relationships and the primacy of women. However, just because a letter is published doesn't mean we endorse its contents, we try to be as broad a church as possible. You have read my advice to others and are therefore aware of my own stance on petticoating and its uses. I firmly believe that the vast majority of men are to some extent submissive, and those who wish to wear, or enjoy wearing, female clothes are more so than most, it's simply that upbringing and societal norms have taught them that this is somehow wrong, perverted and shameful, so they conceal it.
You ask me whether you should "indulge" your husband's desires or attempt to eradicate them. This is a question only you can answer. There are only two certainties here; firstly the genie is now well and truly out of the bottle and there is no way to put it back, secondly no matter what you do you will never eradicate as you put it his thoughts about cross dressing, you can prevent him from doing anything about it, even from ever mentioning them again but they will always remain somewhere deep with his psyche.
The very fact that you've written to me indicates that you are not minded to dismiss the whole thing as just a bit of harmless fun and forget about it, so for you too the genie is out of the bottle. Your husband has given you a piece of knowledge and knowledge as they say is power, so the real question is how are you going to use that power and to what end? The other fact, that your husband is familiar with our website and regards the contents as harmless, indicates that he would not be averse to yielding to your authority. However, a female led relationship (FLR) would not be about what he would like but about what you want. The quiddity of any FLR is that the woman makes the decisions and the man does as he's told. Many married men find feminists' description of marriage as an outdated form of patriarchal servitude deeply ironic as their wives definitely rule the roost in the family home. Sadly a majority of these ladies do so by using a combination of nagging, whining, and the time honoured method of withholding sex in order to get their own way, techniques I regard as corrosive to any relationship. Far better to use your natural female authority and be open about it.
Openness is the key to any successful relationship so the first thing you should do is talk to your husband and discuss what you (that's you singular not plural) want to do about this. Have in mind some idea of what you want achieve and where you want this go before you start, though that may be just to take things a step at a time and see where it leads you. You could forbid him ever to raise the subject gain, though I believe this would probably be counterproductive. The important thing is for everything you allow him to do, demand something in return. For example, you could allow him to wear stockings and panties under his trousers, but whenever he is doing so he must obey your every instruction without question. Or when he is dressed as a German barmaid, he must cook and serve your dinner and wash up afterwards without using the dishwasher. In exchange for wearing female clothes at home he must launder and iron all your clothes etc, etc. These are only suggestions and I'm sure you will be able to think of others. Whatever you decide it is preferable that your husband does at least some of what he wants at home under your watchful eye and supervision rather than doing all of what he wants behind your back.
Please feel free to write again if need more advice.
I wish you both well for the future.