Slow Swap/Fast Swap

Pic is promo for my Hero series, in which NYC cops get body swapped into the bodies
of young strippers.

I know some readers love a slow, leisurely swap.  One day the character wakes up and notices he’s a little shorter.  Next, he finds that he can’t get a jar open.  He’s losing muscle.  Then, he pops a pair of little breasts, and his hips start to widen and round.  His voice slips to a higher register!  Eventually, he wakes up to find he has fully become a woman, and he runs to the bathroom to grab his girlfriend’s maxi-pads as he has his first period.

I tend toward the slow swap.  I find it more interesting and love to watch the character dealing with the gradual changes in their bodies and personalities as well as how the world treats them as they begin to read as female to those they meet. I love the internal conflict and exploring how different kinds of personalities react to their blossoming womanhood.

On the other hand, we have the sudden sex-change.  I feel these often take the form of swaps.  A poorly worded wish to a genie, and a bickering couple suddenly find themselves trapped in each other’s bodies.  A mad scientist builds a machine which switches minds and our hapless couple stops by their house looking for directions.   Now, Jim is Jane and Jane is Jim and they have to deal not only with their sex-change but the need to impersonate each other.

Or, as in the case of Thorne Smith’s Turnabout, a weird old statue swaps the couple into each other’s bodies and again they decide they need to live each other’s lives, with the guy becoming a stay at home housewife who ends up pregnant while his wife goes off to work.

These stories often explore radical changes not just to the character’s sex but also their identity.  Suddenly, a man is not only a woman, but a wife and how does he react when his big, strong wife starts pressuring him for sex?  Or, the sexist boss finds himself a busty little secretary, and all of a sudden his old buddies are hitting on him while he scurries around the office in his skirt and heels trying to figure out how to be a secretary and a woman in the workplace.

These are men who are usually forced to assume new roles and identities instantly, and the new roles are almost always, at least in their eyes, inferior to what they had as men.

In the case of the slow changes, there is the fun of watching as they slowly change and everyone around them knows it.  This isn’t a case where the guy wakes up as a cheerleader and has to try and fool everyone into thinking he’s Tiffany, the perky blonde who loves teddy bears!  This is the football stud who finds himself getting weaker and smaller, whose voice cracks as he’s calling plays and settles into a tea-kettle squeak like a little girl, who has to switch to showering in the girl’s locker room because his perfect D-cups are driving the boys crazy and who usually finally has to accept what is happening and ends up ruefully joining those giggly girls in their pleated skirts and tight sweaters, kicking and squealing for the team knowing that everyone in the stadium knows that he, the hot new girl, was the studly quarterback when the season started.

I feel they both have their pleasures.  They can both be great fun.  I tend to do more slow changes myself, but even as I write this I am thinking about some ideas for instant swaps and what could be really fun about them that I can’t do in a slow swap, which is, of course, mostly that sudden bucket of cold water to the face a straight, white male would experience to wake up to find he’d become one of THEM, and then when he realized he not only was in the body of that smoking hot piece of ass he’d slept with the night before, but that he now had to figure out how to live as a smoking hot piece of ass.

 

 

 

 

Slow Swap/Fast Swap

2 thoughts on “Slow Swap/Fast Swap

  1. That’s very much how I feel about it, too. The various different approaches all give a different angle on the fundamental idea, and help grasp and imagine what it would be like. Thorne Smith’s is the first story I know of, in modern times. Maybe Seabury Quinn’s Alien Flesh was written a little later – though I just saw on Wikipedia that it wasn’t published until 1977, after he died. (Lovely illustrations, too.) Though clearly, from the story of Tiresias and others, the ancient Greeks and Romans were openly interested in the topic. Western society, for many hundreds of years, saw sex in general as sinful, let alone the subversive idea of sex changes, so the scarcity of older material is not so surprising I suppose. I wonder what the history of the idea in Asia societies was? I’m rambling… I’ll stop!

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  2. Great ramblings! I am of the belief that Western society was more open to explorations of sex-changes and gender swaps, and that a lot of the material that existed may have been destroyed when Christianity took over, and even before that when there seems to have been a shift toward patriarchy. This New York Times article talks about how there is a lot of gender fluidity in the original Torah, for example, including a male nursing a baby: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/13/opinion/is-god-transgender.html?_r=0

    When I read through what we have left of the ancient Greeks I have an instinct that at one time there was a lot more on characters like Tiresias and others, but again, I feel like there was a purge where those characters were downplayed and minimized in the same way that important goddesses were turned into minor figures.

    I know in some Asian cultures there is a long tradition of a “third sex” that doesn’t conform to gender norms, but have not read enough Asian mythology to know how much may be there in terms of their ancient stories.

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