This is another packed episode of The Dark Web Podcast. THERAT talks about toys. All kinds of toys. All the toys bought in the last two months and toys coming in the future! Music topic includes A Boy Names Sue and a confession about country music. Yikes. And dress shopping anecdotes are talked about. Yes I went dress shopping for Stephanie and we got some cute outfits. Lots of stuff to talk about. No video this week. Stay Cool.
In the interest of keeping my sanity I have deleted my Facebook account. I will maintain The Spiders Lair Facebook page for those who are interested in keeping up with what I have to say. I deleted my personal account and will be sharing less stuff on social media.
I created this blog originally as a place for me to vent, to process my thoughts and generally be myself. I know it’s going to take more work to find an audience without Facebook, but I am going to rise to the challenge. I would rather preserve my integrity and keep my content at a level that is personal and insightful than have to compromise my content to satisfy the whims of Facebook.
I will maintain my Twitter account as well but I will be making some changes to it as well. I don’t know if I will make everything private or not but I will be moving more towards a social media strategy that revolves around me interacting with people more than shooting off tweets about my latest video, article or podcast. This is all part of an on going effort to become a better person. For me, that means cutting myself off from the toxic people. I disabled comments on this website a long time ago. I am doing the same on my YouTube channel as well. I decided that if someone really has something positive to say about my content the best thing the can do is share it to their respective social media platform of choice. I will be less accessible and therefore less likely to have the negative engagements that have pushed me away from these unhealthy platforms. Thanks for understanding and Stay cool.
I write all types of articles. I mostly cover topics of things I did or liked from my childhood or whatever Nintendo is up to these days. Sometimes I share a personal story. This is one of those times.
As my life has evolved recently to be more open and direct I decided to spend more time exploring the world around me. One aspect I have been getting braver is not only telling people about Stephanie, especially her interests and feelings, but also talking about items I have been purchasing to make her happy. Yet there is something I left out, the fear that is underneath everything we do together. That fear is what makes it hard for me to live my life. Yet here I am pushing past the fear and telling a story that needs to be told.
Over the years I would pick up new dresses in one of two manners. I would either snatch something from a donation bag one of my sisters or cousins were donating to a thrift store, which okay is technically stealing, or I would purchase things online from Amazon.
Sneaking things out of the donation bag was always a challenge. I had to first identify the item I wanted. Then wait for someone to put it into the bag and then form some sort of distraction to get their attention off the bag while nobody was looking then quickly recover the item and hide it away somewhere in my closet. Talking to my sisters after the fact I learned if I had just shared my desires they might have helped me out more openly, at least to some extent. Oh well you live, you learn.
It was just over two years ago I finally told someone I might be trans gender. Before that I had only confided in two people about my secret “cross dressing” habits. The first was my youngest sister who I was, at the time, very close to. They other was a former family member I don’t know how, or why, the conversation came up. Needless to say I was very defensive about it as well as super secretive. I’m getting more open but it’s taken time.
I told a co-worker and friend of mine I was trans and probably going to begin transitioning soon. At the time I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to explore Stephanie but I want to make sure she existed. I was fortunate in that she worked in a dress shop so she helped me pick out items from time to time that would work on me. Then there was the day I went into the women’s aisle at Walmart to grab some underwear. I needed panties and bras to go along with the items she helped me obtain.
I must have walked around the store entirely twelve times circling the women’s area before I pushed my cart in and quickly grabbed the items I was after, went to the self check out and left the store as fast as I could.
I no longer let the eyes of strangers keep me from getting panties. They are a necessity and it’s nothing to walk in casually snatch a bag and be on my merry way. This has gotten much easier over time.
Recently I had two different occasions I felt the overwhelming need to buy a dress. The first was this last summer. I needed something to replace my most recent purge. A purge is when you panic and throw away everything feminine in an attempt to force yourself to be more masculine for whatever reason. This most recent purge was the hardest for me because I ended up getting rid of my wig among other things. But it happened and I recovered.
I did the same as always. Circle the stores at least a dozen times each casually browsing for the item I wanted out of the corner of my eye while keeping a close eye on the other shoppers to ensure nobody was noticing what I was putting into my cart. The fear of being discovered, found out, noticed or called out was over whelming. It was almost paralyzing. It ended up being a 3-hour ordeal.
This past weekend I was in a desperate need for a different dress. I have yet to fully stock Stephanie’s wardrobe at this time, but I felt I needed something to wear around the house on weekends that was more fitting of the style I was picturing in my head. It was a very specific style of dress. Needless to say the very first store I walked into had it. The right style. Right color. Right material. Even the price was right. Why didn’t I get it? The size was all wrong. I didn’t want to stand there and verify it was going to fit nor did I want to continue thumbing through the rack trying to find one that would, instead I quickly left the store and proceeded towards my usual practice of circling. Finally it hit me. I have as much of a right to shop as anyone else in there. Second, I’ve started telling more people about my secret which is quickly becoming the norm rather than a secret. As such I figured out that, to hell with the people who might judge me it’s not like any of them will ever see me again or recognize me anyways. Based on that I pushed myself straight into the dress aisle at JCPenny, flipping through the clearance rack until I found not one but two dresses that were not only the right fit but perfect style and look for what I was going for.
It has all been an informative experience. Each time I seek out to buy a new article of clothing it gets a little easier. Now that I am not longer worried about being found out, since I am telling people about Stephanie, it’s getting easier to not let that voice in my head talk me out of getting the items I am there to buy.
I understand not everyone is going to relate to this struggle. I also know my audience expects more from me than stories about Barbie dolls and dress shopping. Fair enough but this is my website where I share my life. It’s always been about me. The person living in the darkness, hiding from the society that shames them. Scares them. Threatens them. This is why I write these articles. I want to do my part to show that society is changing. People like me, others out there with similar fears, need to know how to overcome those fears. It’s important for me, it’s important for Stephanie to be heard. Now all I want to do is get glammed up in my pretty new dress and share lots of cute photos to my social media followers. As the fear erodes the chances of public exposure increases. Stay cool.
I have been a toy collector pretty much my entire life. Now of course I was raised a boy in a boys world where the coolest toys were target, you know at males. But I also had three sisters who each had various toys I coveted or desired to interact with in some form or fashion growing up. I’ve talked extensively about my overwhelming desire to have a Rainbow Brite, and that day is coming. Up until recently I hadn’t put a lot of thought into whether or not I would consider seeking out additional stereotypical girl toys or not. The easiest ones to put on my list of possibilities were Easy Bake Oven, the aforementioned Rainbow Brite, and various female superheroes from the Marvel and DC comics line.
This time I decided while shopping for a specific Barbie accessory my 10-year-old niece told me in no uncertain terms was necessary for her continued affection, I would take the plunge. It has always been the type of thing that I know I shouldn’t care what other people think. So pushing past that here goes.
I did it. I bought my very first Barbie. Not one I stole or borrowed and never returned from one of mys sisters but my very own. Now I have had mixed feelings about how much I wanted to pursue this whole Stephanie thing. You know as a recent convert to the Catholic faith and being raised fundamentalist Baptist I always felt I was dabbling in a world I was forbidden to enjoy. That being said, I want to keep religion out of this and concentrate on the elation I felt walking out of that toy store with the doll in my shopping cart legally bought and paid for. I want to say I celebrated by dancing to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” on the drive from the store, but alas I felt Debbie Gibson’s “Anything is Possible” was more appropriate to how I was feeling at that moment. On the way to the store I was scrambling to find my CD with Stacy Q’s “2 of Hearts” but I was not successful.
It didn’t take long for the emotions to rush in once the doll was firmly sitting in it’s place in my toy collection. Unlike the bulk of the action figures that are kept in a special display case in my storage shed, Barbie joined me and my kitty Chloe in the bedroom. She has a special spot laying on my pillow next to where my cat sleeps.
I don’t want it to come off as creepy. I’ve begun the process of transitioning into my truer self and as such I will be making room for some things that will provide some relief from the daily stress of being, me. Buying a Barbie, or rather adding the doll to my life was a major step for me. I am getting ever closer to the point where I stop apologizing for or explaining my feelings and just accept myself as is. This has been an incredible journey to get to this point. Buying make up and learning how to do mascara was a big hurdle already. Yet none of the things I have done for Stephanie are as meaningful to me as walking, confidently, into the toy aisle and placing that doll into my cart. I decided I have every right to have whatever interests I desire and I am not going to worry about what others think.
Since adding the doll to my collection I have taken small steps towards my own bliss. It will be a while longer before I can break down and buy a Rainbow Brite doll, no matter how much my heart aches to own her, too. For now, I will happily settle for purchasing outfits and accessories for my newest collectible. I am a toy collector, and Barbie is, first and foremost, a toy.
This week’s topics include remembering The Ring movie, more classic toy collecting, picked up a Barbie, Transformers G1 DVD box set, Gamestop closing stores, Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster returning to TV’s and more.
It’s a packed episode with lots of topics, two weeks worth! Enjoy and Stay cool.
Ever since I was a kid I would play dress up with my sisters. As I was the only boy it was easy for me to find myself lured into the seductive world of the mysterious female creature. Not that I want to belittle women, on the contrary I am not only fascinated by femininity on a personal level, I have a deep respect for what females go through. Over the years there were a number of movies, TV shows, cartoons, toys and even video games that either inspired me or motivated me in some way as I explored the feminine form through cross dressing.
Below are a few of the different works that shaped my world.
Boy Meets World
It was season 3. Corey Mathews and Shawn Hunter were doing a class project to become a female in order to experience dating from the eyes of a girl. It was an eye-opening episode that stirred things not only in myself, but clearly in the writers as it really cemented the comedic running gag of the adoration the two friends had for one another.
It wasn’t the Girl Like Me episode that really tickled the girl hiding inside’s fancy. It was actually the later episode where Joey the Rat and Frankie the Enforcer dress the two boys in cheerleader outfits. By the time I discovered this episode I had already stolen my sisters discarded cheerleader uniform and claimed it as my own. Oh I wore that thing out with my secretive dance routines. Not for nothing but it was glorious for me to see my role models strutting their stuff on national TV in front of all my peers quietly reaffirming my own feminine desires. I experienced a similar incident when one of my male friends dressed like a girl to school for a class project and one of the boys in class commented how nice his ass looked in girl pants. I wasn’t in his grade, I was a couple years older but when he relayed the story to me I immediately mentioned our mutually favorite TGIF sitcom to which he smiled and got into the spirit of it.
Super Mario Bros. 2
This one is two fold. First it was the perfect opportunity for me to play a video game as a female character. It was a way to cross dress in plain sight, even if it was only virtually the case. Still playing the game as Princess Toadstool (peach) was such a revelation for me. I enjoyed it a little too much at times I must say. It quickly became one of my favorite video games of all time. It was easy for me to justify picking the princess too because she had that floating jump that made her useful as a character.
In later years I would learn to use video games to express my girly side more often. I had to be sneaky at times with some games but it started with me running around Subcon as the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom on a quest to return home.
All of that by itself was easily enough to stir things in me. However Nintendo Company Limited, or NCL, the Japanese parent of Nintendo of America, sneaked a nifty little cross dressing surprise in the game just for “girls” like me. Birdo is a pink bird enemy boss in the game that shoots eggs at the player. Fortunately in the official lore Birdo is actually a cross dresser pretending to be a girl bird but is really a guy bird. They never explain how he/she is able to shoot/lay eggs but that’s not too important, after all it is a fantasy game.
Being John Malkovich
I cried. I literally cried when I got to the end and heard the voice over of the adult male swimming in the pool inside the body of the young girl. I had long desired to not only look and act more like a girl but there was always this part of me that really wanted to have a female body, complete with all the stuff most girls complain about.
The movie itself is very weird. At first I was only passively into it out of morbid curiosity. However as the story progressed it captured my imagination and held my attention until the very end. To this day I feel a stirring whenever I think of this movie. In fact it was such a powerful feelings I’ve since decided to ration my viewings of the film in order to preserve some of that mystery. I would hate to watch it too much and wear it down.
If this movie didn’t make a list of a budding cross dresser as something to explore I’d say that person isn’t digging deep enough. A combination of heartfelt, awakening and a little on the creepy side, it has that perfect blend that makes you just uncomfortable enough with how comfortable it makes you feel about cross dressing, transgenderism and even homosexuality if you go that route. It was one of those movies that was hiding some subtext I picked up on quickly under that mask of a kids show. Don’t think that was lost on someone like me who enjoyed heavily seeking out forms of entertainment that either normalized, if not glamorized the ideas I was fostering.
This. This game was heavenly. The first time I realized I could create an imaginary world where I could live out my fantasy of being a woman entirely from childhood into adulthood was mesmerizing. Of course I was already a fan of sim type games, Sim City, Sim Earth, Sim Ant, etc., but to get to create a female character with her own hopes, dreams, personality and style and then set her on the path to success, OMG it was beyond heavenly, it was absolute ecstasy.
This one falls more under the category of exploring lesbianism as a potential lifestyle. Still, as someone who was fascinated with all aspects of femininity I couldn’t help but consider the need to also learn about the females who were sexually attracted to other females.
The movie is considered archaic today by the LGBT community for it’s stance on being gay being a choice which is not the common view point held by many in the community. Still, it was one of those movies that, at the time, did a lot for breaking down walls and getting people like me to ask the questions my parents were hoping I would avoid.
The movie itself doesn’t really do much for a cross dresser but it still helps normalize the alternative lifestyles as they call it which something.
The Secret World of Alex Mack
This one isn’t so much about cross dressing in particular but it was one of the earliest examples of a female super hero that really stuck with me. It was a teenage girl trying to live her normal life while being granted super powers. Of course the far superior and vastly more popular Buff the Vampire Slayer would soon replace it in the cultural lexicon but you have to give it props for being able to lure young boys into a watching a TV show where the main character is sort of an action hero and totally a chick.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I already mentioned it above but this show broke down barriers. It obviously left a mark on me. Now truth be told I already had a crush on the young Alyson Hannigan from her appearance in My Step-Mother is an Alien a few years prior. It was easy for me to get into this show as it featured her as one of the prominent characters throughout.
This show started off with the lesbian leaving Ross for another woman right off the bat. It also sported three equally interesting and very strong female leads who carried the weight of the show as much as, if not more than, their male counterparts.
Over the entire course of the show’s run I took flack for liking it so much from many of my male compatriots. It was called a show for chicks, a show for gays, or both. I didn’t care I replied, Rachel is hot so whatever. Hey, Rachel was hot so there is that. Nobody needed to know I was equally checking out the cute outfit she was rocking each week while also appreciating the rest of her beauty. There was also the episode with Ben playing with his Barbie. Obviously this stirred things up in me as well.
I know I’ve talked about this a lot but you know what, if my older sister hadn’t introduced me to the lovely world of this amazing super hero with her cast of colorful friends, who knows what I might have ended up liking. The toy and cartoon both had an impact on my interests in life early on. I especially liked the purple girl that wore glasses. She was my favorite.
There are many others, too many for an article such as this. Here are a few quickies to round out the spectrum.
G1 Transformers and Arcee, a female robot made by male robots to understand females.
Super Metroid for staring a bad-ass action hero that looked somewhat masculine to trick boys into playing but was totally a woman underneath it all.
Clueless, a teen comedy all about fashion and shopping. What’s not to like.
Herman’s Head. He had a chick living inside his head controlling his sensitive side.
And there you have it a brief list of movies, cartoons, video games and toys that either inspired or influenced the cross dresser in me. Stay Cool.
I recently had a discussion with myself on my podcast about the difference between a thriller and a horror movie. I wasn’t quite sure where to place this particular film. I hadn’t seen it since sometime in 2004. I decided to give it another view last night.
Before I go further my reluctance to watch it is not based on a dislike or lack of appreciation of the film, on the contrary I loved the film tremendously when it was knew. My reason for avoiding it for so long was personal. I had a good friend and former boyfriend of my baby sister drown to death in the winter of 2004. His body was trapped in the frozen river for over a week. We attended a closed-casket funeral because of the disfigurement his body was in. As such I had a very hard time returning to a horror film that uses drowning as the method of killing. It was too hard to over come.
Enough time has since passed I was able to bring myself to watching it last night. I don’t quite know why I was drawn to it. I was thumbing through my DVD collection and where I normally move passed this film instead I found myself grabbing it, inserting into the DVD player and starting it up in one instinctive motion. It felt like something I needed to do.
I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time talking about my friend. That is in the past. Rather I want to concentrate on remembering how, and why, I loved this movie so much upon my initial viewing. In fact I enjoyed this movie so much I not only returned to theaters multiple times to see it again, I made it a point to bring someone new each subsequent viewing. I had to make sure as many people as possible experienced this harrowing tale. I felt such remorse and sympathy for Samara. My heart ached in a way I can’t quite describe. With each viewing I continued to develop an obsession. I went so far as to drag my mother, who despises horror movies, to see this movie. I assured her it was a movie she needed to see. She didn’t disagree with me. Sadly I had forgotten her own brother drowned to death at the mere age of 11, not far from Samara. It wasn’t the first time I would make this mistake. My mom didn’t talk about her brother’s death with me much before that time. She made it a point to do so afterwards. Even more so once my friend drowned.
In a way I’ve always considered drowning to be one of the worst ways to die. You are powerless yet completely aware. Unlike being shot or killed in a car accident where you could die nearly instantly, this is a cruel way to leave your life behind. The fact the little girl in the film took seven days to do so made it all the more chilling. She had plenty of time to devise her revenge upon those who terminated her brief walk upon this earth.
Looking back at the film I imagine from the child’s mind the betrayal of her own mother, who wanted her so desperately in her life to be the one to end it had to impact her soul. It certainly pushed the spirit of into seeking revenge. I can’t decide if she is sympathetic in the way she allowed her victims a full week to get their affairs in order before taking their lives or if that was a sign of her sadistic nature, torturing them for the week before granting them the relief death provided. The entire movie continues to send chills down my back even to this day.
Every once in a while something will come along in our society that speaks to me or touches me in a deeply personal way. I don’t quite know how to explain what specifically about this movie did so but it really captivated me upon first viewing. Last night, as I was watching it again for the first time I not only fell in love with it all over again, in a way I felt bad I had been away from it for so long. I can honestly say the sting of the death my friend experienced and the scar it left on my psyche have healed I imagine as much as they are going to. In the end the movie continues to call to me in that same subtle way it did over a decade ago. I used to watch this movie easily 3 or more times a week. It was a film I needed to see over, and over a again. I am fairly certain it woke something inside of me this most recent viewing as I am sitting here regretting the length of time it will be before my next opportunity to revisit it again. I am certain it will be sooner rather than later. All of my previous feelings of adoration for this film are now mixed with a powerful twinge of nostalgia that makes for an emotional cocktail I am surely to become greatly intoxicated by what remains one of my top ten movies of all time.
This episode marks a milestone, yes THERAT ended up having another birthday. It gets discussed along with birthday presents and wishes, memories and toys.
Original G1 Transformers Soundwave at Walmart thoughts, impressions and shopping tale.
What does THERAT have to say about the Rise of the TMNT? Find out.
Nintendo is adding more characters to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Episode 9, IT part two and maybe other movies that might be worth seeing?
Why did Stephanie enjoy the Quad City DJ’s so much and how did THERAT use that to break into the hip-hop street culture? Find out this and more inside another exciting episode of The Dark Web Podcast all inside The Spiders Lair, Where Chaos Resides. Stay Cool.
Welcome back to another article here at The Spiders Lair, Where Chaos Resides. This time I am happy to announce I am starting a new video series called “What’s New to YouTube” where I will talk about newer, smaller channels.
Each week I will shoot out a Tweet and Facebook post inviting YouTube Content Creators to recommend their channel for review. I will select one channel based on the following criteria.
1. The show must be active
The creator needs to be making new videos semi-regularly, once a month will do. They must also be actively promoting the channel. This can be social media, podcasts, other means. As long as the creator is trying to grow his or her respective show I will check it out.
2. It must be a small audience.
The purpose of the show is to help get exposure to new, smaller channels while creating quality content that other YouTubers will enjoy. The channel cannot have more than 100 subscribers.
3. It must be relatively new.
This is subjective but if the channel was created in the last year and is actively growing it is eligible. If the channel was created some time ago and only posts sporadic content on rare occasions it is not actively trying to grow and is not eligible.
4. There needs to be some proof of commitment.
This is also subjective but I am using 20 videos as a minimum threshold. The most current video cannot be older than a month or else it won’t be considered active.
5. It has to be quality content.
This is very subjective but Let’s Eat, prank shows, conspiracy theorists, hate speech, personal diary style vlogs etc., will most likely not make the cut. But don’t hold back submit a channel and see if it gets featured.
I will feature one channel a week. I will look at the content, I will reach out to the creator on social media and I will link back to the channel and creator’s social media once the video is live on my channel. The creator is free to share the video and discuss it in their own content; blog, podcast etc., but they are not allowed to upload it to their channel or spam the comments of the video.
I am trying to make a series of magazine/TV style videos similar to Entertainment Tonight or TV Guide that brings attention to quality, but unknown, content.
I have a companion show called What’s Streaming. There is absolutely NO criteria for this show, I decide which videos or channels to feature.
What’s New to YouTube will ONLY review YouTube channels. I am not interested in Twitch or similar content. What’s Streaming can be anything, from YouTube, Twitch or podcasts to Hulu, Netflix and the like.
If you want to submit your channel for review on this exciting new series feel free to respond to one of the social media posts on Twitter @ phatrat1982 or Facebook @ thespiderslairblog. As always, Stay Cool.
I recently made it known I am very much into a lot of girly things, including my struggles with discovering my own possible trans gender identity. I’ve come to terms with the fact I enjoy hanging with girls, listening to female singers, dancing, dressing up with make up and other feminine activities. I’ve kept a lot of this to myself over the years but now that I am no longer bothering with letting other people dictate to me what I am doing with my life I decided to explore some other areas of my interests that have remained dormant.
I’ve been an on again, off again toy collector since I was a kid. I’ve never been ashamed of liking toys. I mostly buy action figures because even as an adult our society has been fairly acceptable of grown adults collecting action figures. The one area I’ve strayed away from, however, is the more obviously stereotypical girl stuff. Oh sure when I was a kid my sisters had their own Barbie dolls that I quite often entertained myself with in a non perverted way. In fact I was very much into the Barbie, Care Bars, Popples and Rainbow Bright as I was Transformers, TMNT and Star Wars. In fact I resisted He-Man on the basis it felt sexist to me to say boys have to like muscle bound barbarians in nothing but underwear for clothes. It always I guess bothered me.
Recently I contemplated whether or not I wanted to begin throwing all that out the window and buy every toy I desire to own, not just the supposedly gender appropriate ones. I’ve walked down a Barbie doll toy aisle many times thinking I wish I could buy some of these without judgement or fear of being attacked in some fashion.
Telling my family I am an action figure collector, or even toy collector wasn’t that difficult. I justified the Transformers because they were metallic toys with rubber wheels, nothing different than say collecting die cast cars which even my dad did. It does seem weird for me to consider purchasing a Barbie because I know it will raise eyebrows as well as questions. I kind of wish I could push past that stigma and say hey, look if I determine I won’t or choose not to dress up in women’s clothing for my own mental health then maybe I can live vicariously through Barbie. I know I put a little too much thought into the things I buy. Believe me I do this with everything. I worry every DVD or video game I pick up will someone accuse me of being gay? Trans? Feminine? Or something else? I decided since I don’t let it bother me any more well as much as I can, fear is still very real but I’ve lived with fear my whole life. It’s time I stop letting it dictate my own enjoyment and do what makes me happy.
Much like little Ben on Friends, I would have been very happy to sport my very own Barbie doll growing up. I am now at a point where if I can justify owning plastic figures of mutant ninja reptiles that live in the sewers, why can’t I justify buying a Barbie and Stacie doll and some accessories? I know some would question my desires to own any toys while others will certain fixate more on the feminine stuff. I am getting to the point where if my hobbies will deter people from associating with me, maybe I’m better off without those people anyways, family excluded of course.
We’ll see how or where this goes.