Hello, My Name is Linda: Part 3

| Jun 5, 2017

By many accounts my power point presentation about my youthful attraction to feminine lingerie in general and bras in particular had been a success. The visual images seemed to draw out a lot of memories and comments from others.

I was enthused by the response and eager to continue my voyage of self-revelation. However when I mentioned to Angela, our group leader, that I would be ready to do another presentation at the next meeting she gently suggested that I back off and let the others have their turns.  Well, it wasn’t such a gentle suggestion so I acquiesced. I was to be at the next meeting as a supporter only.

On the appointed evening I joined some 50 others as we responded “Hi Joanie” or Anne or Rachelle as each in turn took to the podium to declare details of their ‘bracoholic’ addiction and how they were working to get it under control.

We listened to their stories. I particularly identified with one who as a youth had ducked out of family outings, even church, so he could find some private time to parade in front of his mirror wearing a bra stuffed with socks.

There was one who as a teen had kept a bra and panty set at the bottom of a drawer only to find out that his mother had discovered the lingerie. She dispatched the father to have a talk with him about the danger of getting a girl pregnant. It seems that on finding the lingerie his mother assumed that the lad had been bringing a girl to his room and they were having sex. “Why would she think we were having sex,” he had asked his dad. The dad responded that the mother knew the smell and feel of dried semen when she saw it. “Look I don’t know who you are bringing here or what you are doing but just be careful,” said the dad. “I will,” said the boy, thinking he would be more careful to clean off and hide his lingerie.

There was another who spent some of his life with a compulsion to steal bras out of laundry rooms and off clothes lines. He never got caught but now the feeling of guilt was so strong he wanted to make some restitution to the victims.

One man claimed that he had started wearing his wife’s bra and panty to bed to ‘bring some excitement’ to their love making. However, now it seemed he needed the lingerie or there would be no erection and no love-making.

Other than him the common thread of the speakers was that they were engaging in a solo activity. They carried out their obsession by themselves, not sharing their secret with others.

Finally, a woman in the crowd, there to support her husband, raised her hand and interjected, “but isn’t that a very lonely existence?”  She had made the same inquiry at the previous meeting.

The room was quiet. To some it may have seemed like a dumb question. Of course it was lonely. Who were you going to share this with? Others may have been embarrassed to be confronted with their loneliness. However no one, not even Angela, said anything. 

That is when I broke my vow of silence and interjected. “Yes, often it is lonely,” I proclaimed with more pride than shame, “But not always.  Let me tell you of two personal examples where the pursuit of my beloved bras has led to very interesting encounters. I looked at Angela and she gave me a shrug as if to say ‘sure, go for it.’

This is the story I told: Many years ago I had gone with some buddies on a golf trip to Myrtle Beach SC. It was one of those November off-season specials where the players can play as many rounds in a day as they wish aand pay very little for the holiday. We finished our first round about noon and my friends were keen to head out again. I begged off saying I wanted to do some Christmas shopping. They all needled me about being ‘pussy-whipped’ but I got away. Next stop: the Leggs Haines Bali store in a North Myrtle Beach Factory Outlet Center.

I was the only customer in the store.  I browsed through the sales bins, occasionally holding up a bra for closer examination.

‘Can I help you? I heard the one sales clerk ask, ‘is it for your wife or yourself?’

I was flabbergasted by that bold question. ‘What makes you think it would be for me?’

‘I hope you are not offended but we get lots of men coming through here,’ she said, ‘they fall in to one of three types – those who are dragged in by their wives; they can’t wait to get out of here. That is why our seats are back by the try-on rooms, instead of the door. It keeps them and their wives here longer. The second type is the one genuinely looking for a gift for their wife or girlfriend. They often are sheepish, often won’t have a clue about sizing and will almost exclusively look at the black and red bras and when they pick up a bra they will only look at it face on as if imagining how it would look to them with their partner wearing it.’

I laughed at her observations.     

She continued, ‘the third group is those men shopping for themselves. Usually they will know the size they are seeking and if they don’t ‘she’ just happens to be about the same size he is. They will also case out the complete store before settling first on the sales bin,’ she said somewhat slyly as that is exactly the route I had just taken. But the clincher is how they hold up and feel the bra.’

“How so?” I asked, suddenly conscious of the bra I still held in my hand.

“’Gift buyers will only hold the bra front on. Those buying for themselves will stretch the bra strap as if to test how much give there is if they go for a tighter size.  They often will also turn the bra around and will feel the bra cup between their thumb and fore finger. I guess they are imagining how the bra will feel. 

“Or how it will handle our breast forms,” I outed myself. She smiled and told me not to worry, that they get lots of men ‘on golf trips’ in to pick up a little something extra for themselves.

“’Can I show you our new bra and panty sets,”  she asked with a smile, “I’m sure we will have something ‘SHE’ will like.”

“The girl was right. I found several I liked and when she asked if I would like to try them on, well I’m sure she made her sales target for the day from me alone.”

The store continued to remain quiet so we continued to chat. I told her that my interest extended beyond lingerie to full out crossdressing, that if I hadn’t been on a golf trip with the boys I would have been in the store as Linda.

“We get a few of those, too,” she replied. “Crossdressers are very good customers. They love the bargains.”

She laughed when I told her about my lingerie collection. 

Then she surprised me with a question. “But how would I know when somebody I know might be a crossdresser?” she asked.

“Well, you can catch him or he might tell you. Why do you ask?”

She told me how her boyfriend was often interested in her clothes and liked to try on her lingerie. That Hallowe’en he had wanted to go out as Elvira but chickened out at the last minute.

I replied that it was a very difficult thing for a man to talk about. Revealing oneself to one person could be as good as revealing oneself to the world if the one person so chooses. It can also be damaging to his masculine image of himself. I told her that perhaps she should decide what her reaction to his possible answers would be before she asked the question.  She should first decide what her commitment to him was. If she was ready to make a ‘for better or worse’ commitment then she was owed an honest answer. If he was just the man of the moment then perhaps it was better for her to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’.

She asked me if I would be willing to come to dinner with her and her boyfriend. She wanted him to meet Linda (and I think test his reaction to meeting a crossdresser en femme). I had to say that regretfully I was in town with friends and my ‘Linda’ suitcase had not come along.  Just then other customers entered the store, a woman with her husband in tow. The clerk and I shook hands and I left with the promise to return the next time I was in town. It was about 10 years before I got back to that outlet mall but I did return as Linda. My friend was not on duty and when I asked the sales clerks none of them knew her. 

I concluded my talk to the group saying that I think of that sales clerk and her boyfriend quite often. Which road did she choose to take and if she had asked him what had been his answer.

I looked over to Angela. She was giving me the wrap it up signal so I thanked the audience, apologized for taking up so much time and sat down.

“But you had said there were two incidents,” asked one of the audience.

“That will have to be it for today and besides the other one is a bit racy. I’ll have to check whether it is suitable for this family audience,” I said as I glanced toward Angela.

Angela took the floor.  “Thank you Linda,” she started then continued, “we were asked if being a bracoholic is a lonely existence. It can be no doubt about it. We hide behind the walls of our own fears. But there are two things we can keep in mind from this evening. One is that as we are here we are seeing there are others, lots of others, with a similar passion. Then as Linda pointed out we may be seeing ourselves as hiding in the open when we go shopping but for sure others can read the signs, others are reading the signs and guess what: they either don’t care or they are respecting our privacy. Thank you Linda for pointing out that our shopping activity does not have to be as clandestine and we often try to make it.”

Applause followed.

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Category: Body & Soul

About Linda Jensen: Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the "Transvestian" newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

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