by: kimmie oh
If you ever wondered what a fully realized TG
person might be like, Mardee Louise Prynne has provided at least one answer. All of her
stories portray at least one character that embodies the dazzling possibilities of true
androgyny. She has written six thoughtful, deservedly X-rated tales that are unique in
plot, character, and theme and, aside from occasional stylistic awkwardness, generally
well written. But her most important contribution to TG-fiction and the main reason she
should be read is her provocative view of the transgender ideal.
The best place to start in exploring Ms.
Prynnes world is the story "Self Empowerment," which, she writes, is
"dedicated to all of us who were teased and tormented for our femme ways in
school." The story follows Neely, an effeminate boy, as he discovers the power of his
feminine self. Interestingly, this power does not take the expected form of sexual allure.
Yes, our new boy-girl is suitably pretty and sexy. Later on, s/he will meet another pretty
boy-girl for some hot 69, etc. But what surprises is that first he physically beats up the
bully who has been brutalizing him and then taunts his fallen tormentor by showing him his
panties. Ms. Prynne writes that Neelys "newly realized femininity allowed her
to express her rage."
Seldom in TG-fiction do you see a kick-ass sissy. You
see it over and over in Ms. Prynnes stories. Many of her TG-characters are adept in
judo and often use it at least once on their male lovers. In "Evolution," a
story at once tender, thoughtful, and raunchy, there is enough fighting to fill a WWF main
event, or, at least, a Jackie Chan movie. In "Odd Encounter/Odd Affair," where
the sissy character Chrissie kicks her boyfriend in the groin before having sex with him,
the physical violence is confined to a single brief but symbolically powerful episode.
What Ms. Prynne seems to be saying is that physical violence, or at least the potential
for physical violence, can be empowering and protective for sissies. Indeed, we are told
that Chrissie was raised by her mother to become the ideal human being, part male and part
Actually, it isnt exactly accurate to call Ms.
Prynnes unique hero(ines) sissies. At least you cant call them that in
the expected sense of the term. In "Odd Encounter/Odd Affair" Chrissie, after
exhibiting femininity more alluring than that of any girl, anally penetrates her masculine
boyfriend. The same variation occurs in "Audition" where the lithe, stylish,
Audrey Hepburn-look-a-like, Randi eventually deflowers and transforms her love struck
boyfriend. This kind of polymorphous eroticism permeates all these tales to one extent or
another. Ms. Prynne seems determined to blur the lines of gender wherever they might be
Another unique aspect of Ms. Prynnes stories is
the use of masculine narrators who recount in romanticand sexually
explicitdetail their attraction to the beautiful tg-boys who are the objects of
their desire. In "Island Summer" the narrator tells of his affair with Bobbie,
who could have been either boy or girl. Randi in "Audition" and Chrissie in
"Odd Encounter/Odd Affair" possess this same quality.
None of the TG-boys in Ms. Prynnes stories try
very hard to conceal the fact that they have penises. By happy coincidence, none of their
masculine boyfriends are at all disturbed or particularly surprised to discover that they
are not genuine girls. In fact, it is just the opposite. As the narrator in
"Audition" says of Randi, more or less paraphrasing the cult erotic writer Marco
Vassi: "Her cock made her all the more beautiful and all the more desirable."
In the stories "Loners" and
"Evolution," Ms. Prynne goes against the trend of most TG stories by having the
action revolve around strong, complex female characters. These characters are not just
devices for the TG-action of the story. In fact, it might be argued that the TG-boys in
these stories are actually just supporting characters. Certainly they are no more
important than the women in these stories and that in itself makes both "Loners"
and "Evolution" interesting departures from the usual.
Reading these stories, one realizes just how
one-dimensional the depictions of women are in most TG-fiction. In a way,
"Loners" and "Evolution" might almost be considered feminist
TG-stories. They depict a world in which women equalize the relationship between the sexes
by remaining both feminine and strong and showing boys how they can do the same. In Ms.
Prynnes stories there are no bimbos. Feminization does not mean loss of power,
self-respect, or self-determination. On the contrary, feminization is the ultimate form of
It is the idea of feminization as self-empowerment that
distinguishes the stories of Mardee Louise Prynne. In many ways, she has contributed a
rough sketch of just what shape the 21st century fox might take. It is an
idealboth of the individual and the eventual one-gender society he/she might
createthat is well worth considering, debating, and developing.
Mardee Louise Prynne posted the six stories here on
Crystals site in an eight month period from January to August 2000. Amazingly, these
six stories generated only one reader review. Ms. Prynnes work definitely deserves
more attention. Paradoxically, it may be the very uniqueness of her efforts that has kept
her stories from attracting a wide popularity. But if you are looking for strong
TG-characters, unique situations, and a somewhat controversial TG-outlook on life, you
might just want to give Ms. Prynne a try.
Mardee has now submitted ten stories and novellas. The author has
reused themes and settings to an advantage, sharpening writing techniques, emotional
range, and plot integration. The writing completed through Kimmie's review was technically
correct, but a bit stiff, almost challenging the reader to push through the story. Even
over those six efforts, there was noticeable improvement in technique that reduces the
Mardee has always shown a flair for description, an observant eye, an appreciation for
sensuality. The stories convey an appreciation for setting, for the arts, for food, and
for violence and domination as a precursor to sex. The stories have generally covered
around the world, every tab in every slot, providing a scenario for every flavor. That
ability to describe, so overwhelmingly predominant in the first six works, was what kept
pulling readers along.
Beginning writers please note: Read Mardee closely for handling descriptive detail.
Mardee usually writes in the first person male voice, maintaining a consistent
viewpoint very well. Only in "Gigi," the first novella effort, did the action
shift outside what that voice would know. There is the occasional typo and plot logic
problem, but only to an extent that bothers purists and critics. When the writing is as
good as Mardee's has become, I am quite content to bobble past them, much as over the
names in a Russian novel.
The four works submitted since Kimmie's review have shown remarkable progress. Not only
have they been more ambitious, with greater plotting, more characters, and pulling the
loose ends together, but most of the technical flaws have fallen away. No longer is
dialogue blended in one paragraph. No longer is the writing one declarative sentence after
another. Sentence fragments seem natural, as pieces of thought streams rather than force
fed. Rarely are there author comments on the ongoing milieu to disturb the reader.
The last two works, "The Firebird" and "Odd Beginning - Happy
Ending" are essentially reworks of earlier pieces. But what reworks! The prose flows,
the handling of emotions is a world apart. The integration of plot is first rate. These
works are Mardee's masterpieces, an introduction of a truly fine writer, up from
journeyman. Compare these works to "Creating Gigi" and "Odd Encounter/Odd
Affair" to see just how much Mardee has grown as an author. The upscale settings, the
use of combat, the ready acceptance and passing as beautiful girls are all still there,
but handled as settings for and evolving pieces of plot and character rather than as be
all and end all.
Every author is not for every reader. If violence upsets you, Mardee is not for you. If
you like your violence in the "let's pretend" realm, you know, dungeons, and
bondage, and accouterments but not really for real, then Mardee is not for you. If you
prefer your "girls" with enormous physical attribute, ditto. If you must have
your main characters very young or fully mature, if you dream of secretaries and hair
salons, school stories or nurseries, Mardee does not have those elements. If you are high
on emotional exploration, stick with the latter works. But if you dug the "West Side
Story" fight scenes, understood Anita's hopes for Bernardo in "Tonight,"
you will likely find Mardee your cup of tea. (Or is that aperitif?) If you detect that the
Fifties, with wasp waist wide belts, shirtwaist dresses, pixyish dancers and ingénues,
and "A Touch of Class," was a cauldron of bubbling sensuality (after all the
Baby Boom didn't just "Happen!") rather than totally repressed and depressed,
then Mardee has your number. If you find a glimpse of lace more intriguing than full
frontal, then Mardee's sense of the sensual is right up your alley. If you dream of a
twenty-something flitting gracefully, graciously between appearances, having multiple
lovers guiding the way, then Mardee will enthrall.
If you sampled the early wares but haven't been since, dip in for a taste of honey now
that the recipe has been refined. If you haven't tried before, start with "Odd
Beginning." You could be nicely surprised by a bite of spice.