Some of you might know that I have been letting my fingernails grow naturally. After much filing, they’re now at pretty much the same length as some of my “fake” nails which I have been using for so many years!
This was the result of a chat with one recent TG friend, whom I have “known” not for long, but who I’ve caught pretty much at the stage where she’s leaving CDing behind and embracing transition. I will return to that in a bit, but at some point in our conversation, she brought up how she had been complimented on her nails, and I asked her what kind she used (there are many brands of fake nails here), etc. She was somehow shocked. She said she did them professionally at the salon when engaging in a CD session (usually during our local equivalent of Mardi Gras; she actually doesn’t dress that often), and wouldn’t think of using anything glued or stuck on her real nails — “natural is better”, she claimed. Well, I didn’t disagree, I have even one or two videos on Multiply where I actually have painted my natural nails, but I just told them that they were too short — and my fingers too long, my hands too huge — to make them look good enough and passable as female fingernails, so I used fake ones.
“Why don’t you simply let them grow?” she asked in surprise. And to that I had no easy answer except “well, I can’t!” What would people in the street say? What would my wife say? What would my friends say? And so forth…
Her level of incredulity just grew and grew. “Nobody notices!” she exclaimed and to that I had no answer!
It’s true that I keep myself pretty much hairless on chest, arms (and armpits) and legs, and few people actually notice, even if I’m wearing shorts or T-shirts in “male mode”. Well, here and there I get a comment, but of course I shrug it off: it’s fashionable for guys to shave themselves fully these days, so people just laugh. The truth is, people get used to it very quickly. Most of my friends didn’t notice my arm hairs, and now they don’t notice my hairless arms.
But fingernails is something exquisitely feminine. How could anyone fail to notice them? So, well, I thought that this was too risky but I could certainly try to let them grow just a little bit longer, and if someone noticed, I could only mumble about having no time to cut them.
And so my nails grew and grew… and grew… and nobody noticed. I was expecting at least my wife to notice, but not even her said anything. To be honest, after 3 weeks of this, I cut them because I didn’t dare to let them grow more. But then I said to myself, why not? It’s not illegal to have long fingernails. And truly, nobody really noticed, and I can always cut them off; it’s not as if it’s something irreversible!
This fits a bit in the “life story” of a typical crossdresser who, at some stage, tries a bit more of body femaling, as explained on one previous article here at my blog (Reflecting upon transgenderism). We tend to start changing what we can safely change on our own bodies while reflecting on our transgenderism and on how far we want to go. Shaving one’s hair is reversible, and during most of the year, we can safely shave the legs at least; from there to shaving the whole body, since these days it’s acceptable for males, is a short step. Nails can be grown and cut at any time. Hair can be grown too, although it’s trickier to give it a feminine styling (but I’ve learned it’s possible to keep it in a braid so that nobody suspects), but long hair is acceptable for males as well. Piercing the ears is also acceptable for males in most countries and cultures (not mine, but this is an exception in most of the world), even though it’s slightly harder to reverse (but not utterly impossible). When you’ve exhausted all that, well, it’s time to think what comes next.
The experience with longer-than-male-average fingernails has been delightful! I always used to dream of not ungluing the fake ones after a CD session and just sleep with long fingernails and remove them in the morning, but, in truth, I haven’t done that in well over a decade — at the end, I gave up, and went through the tedious process of unsticking them (taking me sometimes as long as half an hour!). Now I just have them long — all the time. And a few things are very curious. Of course, if you wear glued-on nails when you dress, you already know the feeling: you need to pick objects differently; typing on a keyboard requires learning a new skill (it’s easy on flat keyboards, less so on the old ones); your gestures become naturally more feminine and elegant because long fingernails “demand” it. But you also lose something in the process: you need to pay more attention not to break nails, picking up very small objects is hard, and scratching your inner ears has to be done very carefully! Also, if you don’t have a pet at home, you might be at a loss to explain the occasional scratches while you slowly get used to long (and sharp!) fingernails! 🙂
In my case, I enjoy having to pay attention to what I do with my fingers — it’s also good meditation practice, but I’ll spare you the details; email me if you’re really interested in understanding why and I’ll be happy to explain. And, of course, when you get to dress, all your gestures are way more natural. It’s true that I still tend to be overprotective after polishing the nails, because I don’t want to ruin the polish, but in general, everything is so much easier with real, natural nails. You won’t be scared that they get unstuck at embarassing moments. And if you have healthy nails, they’ll be strong enough, so you don’t need to fear those gestures where a half-glued nail simply comes off. And, finally, you get an extra time enjoying the art of nail painting 🙂 I’m actually lucky, and with good nail polish, I’m not too bad at applying it, but I remember my first attempts — hours and hours with polish remover to get them just right. Nowadays, I get them painted in about twice the time I took gluing fake nails on. Sure, it also means an extra expense (more nail polish!) but it’s cheaper than buying fake nails all the time (and I tend to reuse them over and over again).
So far, in the past two months, my wife only commented that my nails were “ugly” once. And she was right. With long nails comes something new: maintenance. Keeping them properly trimmed (mine are square, some might prefer round, oval is out of fashion and really catches the attention) takes time and some skill! And they need to be washed more often, specially beneath the nail. If you smoke, it means stains on the nails (unless if you use a holder — which I do, even as a male), and nothing catches the attention more than dirty, yellow nails. It takes some getting used to, but it’s another “femme” routine you get — like shaving your whole body — which every crossdresser should have the right to enjoy, even between CD sessions! I’m certainly having lots of fun, and I’m hoping to be able to do my own French manicure some day — it’s way harder than a simple, two-coat varnish coating, but it should be fun. What a pity it’s so much work for just a few hours!
But at least, when you undress and remove your makeup, something will remain from your femme self, which you can look at every moment of your life. And that’s what convinced me to keep them long: shaven arms might not be strictly female these days (since so many males do that anyway), but long fingernails are purely femme 🙂 And it gives me a thrill when I go out to have dinner at my mother-in-law’s. I have now the longest nails on the group, which includes four women and usually another guy besides me. It’s uncanny how nobody notices! I do — like all crossdressers, I’m always looking at all details on women (the only great thing of actually being male is that it’s acceptable for males to look at women…) — and I’ve certainly noticed that my sister-in-law has far less skill in applying nail polish than I have. She would have cardiac arrest if she knew about my crossdressing so I cannot offer to do it for her; my wife, however, has considered letting me do her nails, which made me proud 🙂 After all, it’s just a question of practice, and having a relatively steady hand — I don’t have the steadiest hand in the universe (I’m always way too excited!) but nevertheless manage to do an acceptable job. And no, you cannot fully appreciate it on the low-rez pictures and videos on Multiply 🙁 When I get some good quality nail varnish, I promise to do a close-up some day; the bottles I have are drying up and getting clogged…
Anyway, my point is, don’t worry too much about letting your natural fingernails grow: most likely, absolutely nobody will notice. Try it out for fun and let me know about your experiences!