Behind the Mask

I originally wrote up a Bio for this blog in 2011.  I edited it bit over time, but it mostly stayed static.  In 2013 I lost something of myself, and made an entire post about that.  I tried to update this in 2014, but I just wasn’t “me” (and yes, ‘me’ is a complex proposition!).  I thought my days of posting to this blog in any significant way was gone. 

But here it is, July 2015.   In April of this year I made an April Fools cap… and it felt good.  In May I started posting in a new way… Obscuras.  No, Obscuras isn’t a European Mascarra, it’s an image with a simple short story.  It’s the beginning stage of a cap that will never evolve into a full cap.  And it feels good to post those.  So good that I’ve made 28 of them. 

So… am I back?  Am I really here?  Am I just pretending?  I don’t know.  But now that I’m posting regularly, I figure it’s time to update the whole bio.  A couple things before I get into the details.   First, I have and desire privacy.  While there are plenty of posts here that share much of my life, that all stopped in 2014.   I started a ‘private’ blog where I share my life.  I share much more there and only hold back the most identifiable things like names and exact locations.  So this bio will only open the door so far… I’ll mention my past as a photographer and my current job as a nurse, but not much more than you could get by simply reading all of my previous posts.  If you want to know more, then simply join me over at “Calvin’s Musings”.   This bio will be more about how I changed for Calvin to Caitlyn and back again. 

So where to start.  I was born a boy and am now a man.  I’m in my early 40s and feel equally young and old, often at the same time.  Sometime during junior high I learned about sex.  I found my Dad’s old Playboys and learned that I really liked women.  I later learned that I evidently liked Playboy models from the 70s as that was my introduction.  Sometime in high school I found porn stories.  I’ve always been a big reader and seemed to get more enjoyment out of the stories than the simple photos I could find on BBS (yes children, this was before ‘the interwebs’!).  There were plenty of stories that followed the basic premise… guy finds girl, guy fucks girl, guy and girl are happy.  But then there were ‘other’ stories. 

Some of these other stories were written from the woman’s perspective.   Some involved bondage and discipline.  Some involved sado-masochism.  Some involved homosexual pairings.  Some involved trans-gendered pairings.  Many involved humiliation…. And boy did I like/hate those.  For many years I couldn’t admit that I liked them…. But I kept reading them!  And I kept searching them out.  They’d arouse me, I’d ‘get off’, and then I’d be embarrassed by them.  It took me a long time to realize that reading them was a form of humiliation… and that I was turned on BY that humiliation.  I knew I’d have that embarrassment afterward and that knowledge heightened the excitement. 

I started to prune this ‘other’ list down.  I didn’t really enjoy the S&M stuff.  I didn’t really like male homosexual pairings.  I was on the fence when it came to voluntary gender changing, but I really liked the bondage and discipline, and I really liked the involuntary gender changing.  I also liked ‘straight’ stories from a woman’s perspective but there didn’t seem to be a lot of that out there.

Soon after finding the internet, I found Fictionmania.  And boy did the love/hate feelings increase.  I also found so many more photos.  At the time video wasn’t really all that common, so I’d download photo galleries.  If anybody found these galleries they’d simply see straight up porn.  But what they couldn’t see was the internal stories that went along with them.   There was the guy transformed into a secretary.  A fella made over into a gal for his roommate.  A dude that was cursed into a sex starved bimbo.  Any of that sound familiar?  Many of the stories were specific and I’d cull the gallery down to match those stories.  If you ever wanted to have a starting point of writing trans gendered fiction… that would be it. 

Sadly, I have purged my porn collection several times, so I don’t know when that definitively was.  I know it was after 1992 (the year I got my own personal computer), and I know it was before 1998 (the year I moved to Chicago). 

For the longest time, that didn’t change.  To anybody on the outside looking in, I was just ‘one of the guys’.  I chased skirt, I liked porn, I went to strip clubs, I talked a good game.  But when I wanted to get off, more often than not I’d turn to Fictionmania and my growing photo collections. 

Let’s back up the real life train a bit.  After high school I attended college.  I changed my idea of a career after three years.  I started at another college and after another three years got my photography degree.    For ten years after that I tried just about every photography and digital art job I could get my eager hands on.  I got very talented at Photoshop and even when not using it professionally, I used it recreationally.  But in 2008 I reached my ending point.  Photography and the digital arts never provided a stable income.  It never provided with me but the most meager of a life.  In 2008 I made a major decision… I was going to move on with my life and NOT be a photographer.  That fall I started on the pre-requisites of nursing school.  Soon thereafter I began the Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at the local college. 

Throughout all of that ‘real’ life, my secretive love/hate fantasy was always at work within me.  And only me.  I wasn’t naive enough to think I was alone… hell someone  had to write these stories!  But I never told anybody.   No one in my family.  Not a single friend.  Not even the anonymous people online.  I never interacted with anybody about this… I just enjoyed it and hated myself for enjoying it.  But after 10 years of working, I was a student again.  I could have easily been 18 again.  I had a lot of free time and the privacy that only an adult can appreciate. 

I don’t remember how it started, but I finally started to grow past the written story.  It was probably some blog, but I found my first caption.   An obviously porntastic image with a very short story telling me what was going on.  And while the image was undoubtedly of a woman, the story was of a man recently changed into a woman (or cross dressed, or sissified, or… whatever).  The story was more than likely bad.  The image was probably poor.  The layout and design were probably lacking, but putting those facets together… image and story… were incredibly intoxicating and powerful.  I still primarily used Fictionmania, but this ‘new’ venue was something I searched out. 

I bounced from site to site, from blog to blog.  I eventually found Rebecca Molay’s blog and while I loved many of the caps she had there, I really kept coming back for her links.  She had an extensive link of TG cap blogs and even noted which ones were active and which ones were dead.  It didn’t feel like a world changing moment.  It felt like just an extension of finding my thrills on Fictionmania.  But finding and regularly visiting Rebecca Molay’s I came upon a cap that directly pushed me into a new world.  It was laid out nicely and seemed to be written better than most caps.  The image was of a woman strapped up inside the legs of a bar stool.  The seat had been cut out enough to let her face be placed right at crotch level of anybody sitting there.  It was quickly spank material. 

Up until this moment, most of the caps I had come across were entirely anonymous.  There was no artists name associated with it.  So it took a little digging (probably just returning to Rebecca’s blog and actually reading what she posted about this cap) to find out that this was made by Deementia at a place called Rachel’s Haven.  But the Haven was blocked… you needed to sign up for an account to take a peek inside.  That would mean giving up my email address… that would mean giving myself a name.  That would mean losing my anonymity.

It really didn’t’ mean all of that.  I could have gotten a second email address and my name could have had nothing to do with me.  But I gave my real email address and gave a variation of t he name I use everywhere.  Calvin.  There, at Rachel’s Haven, I not only broke down my decades long ban on interacting… I met a friend.  I met Deementia.  She was…. She was a person!  Just like me.  Well… not JUST like me, but she wasn’t some perverted sicko porn producer.  And she had other friends and I met them and they were like me too. 

I believe I made my first cap that same day. 

It was like opening up a dam.  No… it was like blowing a dam to smithereens.  Making caps not only provided me with a creative outlet, it let me share my inner most fantasies.  It let me explore them with a group of people who not only accepted them as normal, but shared in them.  That was huge for me.  It was like waking up.  I had been asleep for so long and I had finally woken up only to realize my dream was real! 

I didn’t exactly change overnight.  This was still my ‘secret’.  It was just a secret that I shared with a secret group of friends.  But the more I interacted, the more I broke down barriers.  At least in this crowd, I didn’t have to be embarrassed any more.  And losing that embarrassment let me see the truth… that I was truly and honestly turned on by humiliation.  Not only that, but I could speak with that voice… I could be that inner person who I was so shamed by… I could be…

Caitlyn

The next barrier to come down was the protective barrier of Rachel’s Haven.  Dee made a blog of her own and I wandered over.  While most TG blogs I had seen before were just a venue for sharing caps, Dee’s went more in depth.  It was talking about making caps and enjoying caps, and enjoying the life hinted at within the caps.  I wanted to join in the conversation and did so, but it was kind of a pain.  I had to post my comment and add my name to it as the post came from ‘Anonymous’.  Anybody could write out a comment and add ‘Caitlyn Masked’ at the bottom of it, so I took the next step and set up my own blogger account.  That way I could simply log in and post.  Each comment was then titled with my name. 

Signing up for a blogger account gave me full access to create my own blog.  I never intended to make a blog of my own.  I honestly looked at my work and wondered who would want to look at it… but then I remembered all of those blogs out there.  I had met several of the authors at the Haven.   The thought I had was that if any of them had talked about the Haven earlier, then I might have been there long before.  So why not do that?  Why not post some caps, do like Dee does and write out what I did to create them, and then point them back to the Haven.  That was November of 2010. 

Caitlyn’s Masks… this blog… was born.

I’ve shared a lot of myself here.  Almost all of my caps as well as many high and low points of my personal life.  If I look at those two things together… my cap creative outlet and my real life… I can see the first crack in Caitlyn’s armor in March of 2012.  I had graduated in December of 2011 and was trying to take my licensing exam.   By the time March rolled around I saw ‘Caitlyn’ as getting in the way… she just distracted me too much.  So I took a step back.  I stopped making caps, I stopped updating the blog, I stopped interacting completely. 

This was big because up until then Caitlyn was still growing.  At first it was just a name.  The femme moniker I used.  But she turned into more.  She was more than just A voice.  She was MY voice.  I was her, and she was me.  There are plenty of posts where I was completely talking as my Caitlyn Persona.  And by stepping away from  her for a little while, I realized just how integrated she was with my real life.  She had completely taken over my idea of porn.  I no longer hated myself for loving this style of erotica.  I was still humiliated in a way, but that’s exactly what I was going for.  While Calvin in this world was more of an introvert, Caitlyn was a exhibitionist.  And saying goodbye to her meant saying goodbye to that comfortable enjoyment. 

It ended up being a short sabbatical, but looking back it was a major milestone.  That crack in Caitlyn’s armor grew wider in October of 2012.  I had a bit of identity crisis.   I had finished school and (eventually) got my license… but I wasn’t working yet.  My ‘real’ life was completely in limbo.  And I was spending a LOT of time mentally as Caitlyn. 

I wrote a post about it here called ‘Being Caitlyn’.  I followed it up the next day with the thoughts laid out in cap form called ‘Why?’.  Reading that post and that cap series now I can see my confusion.  My struggle.  In retrospect, I think I was coming to realize something and doing everything I could do to deny it…..

Caitlyn wasn’t me.  She was an escape from me.  By becoming her and being her so much I saw that I was giving up on my ‘real’ life… and that scared me.  I eventually found her voice again and got back into capping.  At least that’s what I told myself then.  What I really did was escape again. 

The armor finally fell apart in July of 2013.  I got a job.  I was so excited.  But it only took a week for me to realize that Caitlyn was leaving.  I guess a better way to put it is that I was leaving Caitlyn behind.  My ‘Real’ life was stating to take off and there just wasn’t time for Caitlyn.  But if nothing else, I’m quite stubborn… and I refused to let her go.  For the next 11 months I tried and tried and tried to keep up being Caitlyn. 

But reality can only be denied for so long.  Yes, I could still make caps.  Nothing had changed with my design/layout/Photoshop skills.  And I was still turned on by the same subjects I had been capping for years now… but the verve was missing.  The soul was gone.   June 5th, 2014 I posted ‘The end is the beginning is the end’ and ‘closed’ the blog. 

I had made 593 posts before that one.  I still made posts afterward, but they were made with the goal of keeping this blog alive.  I wanted to keep it alive for several reasons.  If anybody ever found thig blog and started their own ‘Catilyn’ journey, then it would be totally worth it.  I was also proud of the caps I had made… I don’t like patting myself on the back, but some of them are really good.  But more than anything else… I wanted a place that I could look back and celebrate Caitlyn.  She… well she saved me.  She saved me from living a life where my own turn ons were turn offs.  She saved me by giving me a creative outlet.  She saved me by helping meet a whole new group of people.  She saved me by teaching me to be more open… to help me see people as they are and not just what they put out for the public to see.  And most of all, she saved me from realizing just how deep and dark my depression in real life was.  I think a solid argument could be made that I save lives at work.  Well if that’s true, then Caitlyn also saved all of those lives.  Only when I tried to look past Caitlyn did I see how dark and bleak my life was… but she just wrapped her arms around me, placed that mask on my face, and let me smile and wander back into my creative happy spot. 

I almost wish I could stop the story there.  But the lure of this community, this wonderfully quirky, and sexy, and fun community is too strong.  I want to share with them.  I want to be a part of their routines and let them be a part of my routine. 

I eventually found a way.  Obscura

As I said above; An Obscura is the beginning stage of a cap that will never evolve into a full cap.  It’s not like I lost my desire to look at images.  It’s not like I lost my sexual desires.  Yes, some of my sexual fantasies now are more vanilla.  I dream/fantasize about making sweet long love to a woman who owns my heart.  I picture myself a big strong manly man having his way with women who swoon just seeing him.  But after all of this I’d be stupid to think that my desires for TG fiction would just go away.  Since closing this blog in 2014 my TG fantasies have slowly come back.  But those fantasies are shallow compared to what they used to be.  And they’re short lived.  I don’t stay in that mindset all that long.   I’d see an image and have the fleeting thought…. “Oh look at that, it’s a guy that got changed into a female secretary”, or “Hey, it’s a fella made over into a gal by his roomie!”  Or even “Whoa, it’s a due that was cursed into a sex starved bimbo!”.   Sound familiar? 

Before those would all be inspirations for caps.   Maybe the very image I was looking at would be used.  I’d look at the image, flesh out the story, write it down, pump it up, and then put it into an appealing design/layout. 

Now those are just to fleeting.  I don’t have the staying power to do more than have that initial thought.  So I post the image, write out what I can, and post it as an Obscura.  Some could be caps all by themselves.  Some would make great starting points and could be a good cap with just a little effort.  Some could be decent caps with a lot of effort.  And some are just crap.  But it’s me… it’s me sharing what little I have left.  It’s me being a part of this community. 


So that’s me.  That’s the birth, rise, celebration, and death of Caitlyn.  If you want to know more about me… Calvin me… you’ll have to join up at Calvin’s Musings.  As I said earlier, I don’t hide much there at all.  And because I talk so frankly, I don’t want it to be public.  So to get inside of Calvin’s Musings I need to know that I can trust you… send me an email at caitlynmasked-@-gmail-.-com (take out the dashes), and I’ll let you in.