Ask the Doctors: Feminization Play

I’ve been purchasing Good Vibrations products for some time, but using alone. I’m a beginner interested in finding a female professional to help me with femininization in the SF area. I’ve looked online, but can’t tell the difference between the sincere pros and the others.

Can you refer me to a site or resources that are “Good Vibrations” friendly? Or provide advice on how to get started?
–baby femme

Generally, there are few people who specialize in feminization who are not sex workers — primarily it’s professional dominants who do this. Feminization can take the form of dominant/submissive and/or humiliation play, but even if you are not into that aspect at all, some of these dommes love feminizing clients, do not necessarily include any sex play with their “transformations,” and might possibly be wonderful connections for you. They often have their own wardrobes of wigs and dresses, or you can bring your own, and I would not automatically steer you away from them.

However, Good Vibrations doesn’t refer to sex workers. So I have two directions toward which to point you. First, you can look into the resources we do know about. Adam to Eve Transformations is one — visit http://adamtoeve.com/index.html to learn more about this feminization service.

If you want to splurge on a trip, plan to go to New York and work with the doyenne of feminization, Veronica Vera, at Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. (It might actually be worth reaching out to Miss Vera to find out whether she has any suggested resources in the Bay Area, but she is really #1. Even if you can’t go to her salon, you can order her book from her website.) Another possibility, referral-wise, is to call San Francisco Sex Information to see whether they, a resource and referral agency, have any locals toward whom they can point you.

If you are concerned about seeing a sex worker, it is possible that one of the  Bay Area’s Sexological Bodyworkers could do feminization work with you. Also, any therapist who works with transgender issues is likely to have such resources. I’m not clear from your letter whether you identify as transgender or whether you would like supportive counseling about these issues, but that’s one resource that exists in the Bay Area that might be useful. SFSI will likely have these resources, as will the gender organizations on Miss Vera’s links page.

However, whether the feminizing specialist in your future is a pro domme, some kind of counselor, or a SexBod professional, you will still need to reach out and determine whether she does the things you’d specifically like, and whether you think you’ll enjoy working with her. This kind of compatibility check will be necessary for people looking for sex workers for entertainment purposes too, or erotic release; and it’s just as relevant if you are seeking a therapist or doctor. The fact is, if you are going to utilize someone’s services on any level, you want to find a compatible person with whom to work (or play!).

So, no matter where you get your suggested referrals from, before you call, ask yourself what you really want from the encounter — then enquire about it when you get your professional on the phone. Some people won’t do what you want, or specialize in entirely different things. If you desire someone to take you out in public en femme, you may need a different person than the one who teaches you how an eyelash curler works. If your desire is to get very sexy, a different person may be the right choice than the one who specializes in helping people pass as female for work or other social purposes.

So please clarify your needs and desires, and then when you call, put them out there! It’s possible to use your intuition to find a good connection — but to avoid the risk that intuition is really wishful thinking, come right out with it and really listen to the response you get. The right person is out there, and finding her will be much easier if you know what you hope to gain.

PS — Interested readers outside the SF area, your best bet is Miss Vera and her links page to get started on a comparable journey.

Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at carolqueen.com.

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