Check out my new book! Carrolwood. So, what makes this story different from the others I’ve written? A few things. First, I explore the relationships of my main characters, Carl and Sunni, with their parents. We see how their gender swaps change the family dynamic. Second, and this is rare for me, it includes both a MTF and FTM swap. So, I set out to create something fresh and different.
It’s a rivals to lovers style tale with a gender bender angle and a narrator who’s a lot of fun. Free sample!
I am in the full Halloween spirit, good people, and since I have run out of spooky gender bender material to share from the world of mainstream media, I thought I woulds share some info about my Halloween offerings on Patreon!
First, there are Halloween stories! I love writing old school gender swap Halloween stories like the ones I used to read waaaaay back on the early days of Fictionmania, and both stories have that throwback vibe. Lady Maker is about a vengeful spirit that turns men into women, while The Masquerade takes the old “cross-dress for Halloween” in a slightly new direction. There will be two more spooky Halloween tales before the night itself!
Meanwhile, in the slightly weird and wonderful category, I am making Halloween GIFS where classic horror characters such as Freddie Krueger, Jason and Chuckie find themselves turned into females. I will continue to do those and other Halloween morphs through the end of the month as well.
In the spirit of Halloween ( best holiday ever) I am sharing reviews/details on two gender bender horror films. The first is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Thing on the Doorstep. If you are not familiar with the Lovecraft story, it features a woman named Asenath who swaps bodies with a man, eventually taking over his life, leaving him to be her. The movie (available on Amazon) features that central idea, but has many variations. Now, let me say right up front, it ain’t great. The actors often seem as if they are just reciting lines like soulless robots. But, it does have some fun body swap moments including the couple having sex as each other.
I felt it was worth watching. Once. I tried to watch it again and couldn’t sit through it. That probably doesn’t sound great, but, seriously, if you are into body swaps and horror, it’s worth that one watch.
The second entry is based on a story called “Chocolate” in a book called “Hot Blood,” which also featured a really great MTF body theft story. In this film, as in the story, a man gains a psychic connection with a woman he has never met, and begins to feel everything she feels both in terms of emotions and physical sensations. All of which becomes very awkward for him when she decides to have sex. It can be found on Plex as part of the masters of Horror series. I couldn’t get a link to the actual movie, but it is in there under Masters of Horror, Season One.
You might also want to check out the book. There are editions as cheap as 3 dollars!
Happy viewing, and how about checking out my Patreon? In addition to the concluding chapters of my body swap novel Carrolwood, October will feature special Halloween TG Gifs as well as an exclusive Gender Swap horror story!
Today, I’m gonna share on where I get my ideas. I’ve written hundreds of gender swap short stories, novels, novellas and now scripts over the years. While they share a common element– someone gets gender swapped– they also are all different and unique in their own ways. Mostly, that does not result from a kind of logical process, but from an imaginative experience.
One of the greatest idea generating activities in my life involves walking. Aside from getting story ideas, I just like to walk. It’s healthy, and for me it’s a form of meditation. When I walk regularly, I just feel better physically, mentally and spiritually.
And, I get ideas. In the case of my current novel, Carrolwood, for example, the voice of the narrator came to me as I walked around my neighborhood after dinner one sweaty summer night. I sort of met this character, and I thought the voice was funny, and I began to think about what kind of story I could tell with that voice. The characters and setting all then just kind of emerged from my subconscious.
Another time I was walking around the beach down at Asbury Park, NJ, where the evil, 19th century clown Tillie still serves as town mascot, and I just started to think about what if Tillie were an evil spirit haunting the town? As I walked around, I took pictures of different locations, and the story ended up being built around that walk.
In addition to getting ideas for stories, I sometimes walk to inspiration while in the middle of a story. Sometimes when I am writing I get in a jam and can’t figure out what the character would or should do, I take a long walk, and the answer a lot of times just comes to me. Sometimes I see the scene in my head, and at those times I am very much inclined to believe in the idea of a muse that is feeding me ideas. It really does feel to me sometimes like I am seeing the story happen and just writing it down rather than “coming up with it.”
There are other ways ideas come to me. Sometimes I create a cover and then write a story to match. I have been inspired sometimes by other authors. For example, I once decided to write a TG story in the style of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Likewise, Forever Mine started out as “forced femme version of YOU (the book and Netflix series). There must be others I can’t think of right now– Oh, yeah– It Girl! What? Just started out as “TG Anime.”
But, I would say, without walking, I think I would write a lot less. There’s just something about walking along a shady, tree-lined path that allows my mind to open itself up and accept the gifts of inspiration!
Every morning when Woo-Jin wakes up, he finds he has transformed into a completely different person– he may wake up as any gender, age or ethnicity. When the film The Beauty Inside begins, we find him at a place in his life where he has fallen into a routine, working for himself, living largely in isolation and just making the best of his situation.
Of course, that would not be much of a movie, so he soon falls in love with the beautiful Yi-soo, and begins to pursue her though she, at first, has no idea the various people who come into her store are all the same admirer. Finally, he asks her out to dinner, and as the two fall in love he is forced to risk telling her the truth about who he is and how he changes all the time into new people.
Without going any more into the plot, let me say this is a first rate Korean Romance. It’s billed as a rom-com, but it really lives much more in the world of drama, with beautiful cinematography, poetic scenes and heart-wrenching emotions as the two struggle to make their impossible relationship work.
The main character spends a fair amount of time as a female, and some of the most poignant and heart felt scenes occur when he is female and opening up to Yi-soo. For fans of TG elements, there are a few sweet moments: getting hit on by his male friend, shopping for his first bra and being so nervous and self-conscious he ends up running from the store, having a “mother daughter” tea with his Mom. One little detail I enjoyed was that as a female, he is often shorter than his girlfriend, and it seems like he is the femme in their relationship at some times.
Aliyah Whiteley’s The Beauty merges Invasion of the Mushroom People, literary fiction flourishes and Old-school Fictionmania for a gender bender experience best described as different. Based in a post-apocalyptic world in which all women have been wiped out my a mysterious plague, when the book starts off we are introduced to a small village composed entirely of men living in a world that has regressed technologically to a more primitive, hunter-gatherer state.
Since it is literary fiction, there must be some shimmering shrine to “the power of narrative” and so these men spend their nights gathered around a campfire as their village story teller regales them with what have become their tribal legends. Outside the town lie the graves of the last women from their group.
Enter the mushroom women. Mysteriously, mushroom creatures begin to emerge from the graves of the vanished women. They can’t speak, but they have female shapes and a kind of psychic empathy. Soon, the men began to couple with the mysterious creatures, who also take over all the manual labor in the village. The men grow weak, their arms smaller, and soon enough one of them discovers that he is pregnant.
This creates some anxiety among the men, and the story flows from there. The book certainly explores the idea of gender, and it is a different approach, the whole thing written in that literary mode meant to suggest the relating of an ancient myth. Check it out.
One third of all men and women surveyed by Justin Lehmiller for his book, Tell Me What You Want, reported fantasizing about trading bodies with a member of the opposite sex. I found the number surprisingly high. I had often imagined the number much lower. And yet, thinking about how many mainstream movies and television shows and books and comic books have explored the body swapping theme, I suppose I should have imagined it much higher.
Tragically, there wasn’t any more depth to this question, and it left me wondering– did they fantasize about trading bodies with specific people– a lover, a crush? A celebrity? Or was it more abstract?
Though I would have liked more depth, I still found the number interesting. It also made me wonder how many people may have still been too embarrassed to admit to this fantasy.
Some other numbers: 25% of all men and women reported fantasizing about cross-dressing. 59% of women and 26% of men who identified as “heterosexual” fantasized about having sex with a member of the same sex. Both men and women fantasized about changing their own gender role, or the gender role of their partner. Men reported fantasies of being feminized, and women reported fantasies of feminizing their male partners and taking the dominant role.
No women reported fantasizing about being masculinized by a partner, but this makes perfect sense to me in that the masculine fantasies they have involve them seizing power and demanding dominance, so it is something they take and do not wait to be given.
As an author and a human being fascinated with gender fluidity, I read the book primarily out of curiosity as well as looking for potential inspiration. I didn’t love the author’s speculation on why people have these fantasies– he suggest that they mostly rise out of insecurity, which may in some cases be true, but I think often people’s personalities are simply more diverse and multi-faceted than the binary constructs of gender allow, and we simply have a multiplicity of needs and interests. Sometimes people need to be dominant; sometimes they long for the pleasure of surrender. Sometimes people who are deeply in love not only long to be near the person they love, but to be the person they love.
Just some musings. I thought my readers might find the numbers interesting, as I did. If you would like to read the book, you can find it on Amazon.
Two teen-agers, a jock and a nerd, switch bodies. So goes the plot summary of U and Me on Amazon Prime. This 1987 gender swap comedy from Asia is particularly interested in gender roles and expectations, and we see both characters suffocating under the expectations of their new genders.
The female in this story has been raised to polite and meek. Once trapped in a male body, the other guys see her as a sissy, and she is subjected to relentless bullying. We also see her suffering extreme discomfort as she finds herself engaging in innapropriate behavior — entering the boys’ bathroom and shower, going to the beach where she is expected to take her shirt off (she doesn’t).
The guy meanwhile finds himself being subjected to the pressures to be a proper young lady. He is urged to watch his language, to be polite. His new mother makes him come shopping with her, telling him he needs to learn how to shop because he is a woman. In the movie’s best scene, he makes a speech in front of the school on how unfair life is for girls, where they are forced to always be polite and lady-like while boys can do “whatever they want.”
It’s a fun and interesting film that also has some of the usual beats– they guy realizing he has boobs he can play with, having his first period. For a time, he settles into his life as a girl, but both of the characters eventually come to feel they can’t live as the opposite sex. It’s well worth the watch. Check it out!
AFK starts with the premise that a bunch of people who play an online role-playing game find themselves trapped in the game as their avatars. This, happily, leads to a lot of fun gender exploration that goes a little beyond the things we’ve seen before (TWSB).
In the world of the familiar, we do have a womanizing bro who finds himself trapped as a petite Asian “warrior princess” initially wearing a chain mail bikini. The actress who plays “him” does a great job depicting a guy in a naturalistic way, and the character is well-written– hiding his former gender out of shame, struggling to deal with male attention and sexual assault.
In addition, we have the less common female trapped as a male– and though she is not explored as fully, there are some very fun scenes dealing with her discomfort over having male anatomy.
Most interesting of all, though, is a character who refuses to reveal their real world biological gender, telling anyone who asks “none of your business.” This character does the most to challenge gender steretypes because it is very hard to guess what her identity is– in the game she is biologically female, but her attitude and mannerisms could belong to either a man of a woman– which is true in real life of many people. So, I find her the most fascinating.
The show is on a budget, but the love and care of the whole crew is evident in the work. In addition, if you have ever played a MORPG, the show is full of really fun little jokes about the gamer life and the culture inside these games. The identity explorations even getting into people discovering there are multiple versions of themselves inside the game (in the form of their other accounts.)
Drew survives by stealing other people’s bodies. He absorbs their essence, leaving them as lifeless husks, while he comes to not only look like them, but to absorb their memories and experiences.
The writer/director Justin McConnell does not lack ambition, producing a script and a movie that explores what such a life would do to a person, and how they would need to function to survive. I applaud the effort, especially the shots the creator takes to use the premise to examine the human condition, culminating in a poetic monologue by the main character at the end of the film, about which I will say nothing so as to avoid spoilers.
Now, as for the gender bender elements, which I will confess largely fuels my interest in these types of films, there isn’t much to savor. Mostly this results from the fact that the we enter this character’s story after he has been jumping from body to body for decades; he’s been women many times, so when he jumps into female bodies it’s just old hat for him. Had this been a first, some scenes might have popped more for me as a viewer who loves seeing gender roles reversed; for example, he gets hit on by a guy at a bar, but it isn’t the first time for him, so the usual fun of seeing a guy have to deal with being treated like a girl is blunted. The scenes reads like any girl getting hit on by any random guy.
As per my comments above, just as a movie looking to say somethings about life, it’s watchable with excellent performances from the cast and professional if workmanlike camera work and production. It’s getting some buzz on the sci/fi circuit, and has found an audience, so worth checking out, but if you are seeking a deeper look at the gender issues you will probably leave feeling unsatisfied. If you just want to experience an interesting and thought provoking film, it’s an absolute yes.