I guess you could say I’ve always been a leg man…
My name is Paul Duane. I’m a photographer and comic based in Salt Lake City, Utah. I run a photography studio where we focus on music industry, fashion & glamour photography. I am the producer and host of The Paul Duane Show, a late night talk show also based in SLC. I lead a very public life both in my professional and personal world, and as such, I’m well known for my gender – blending style. I’ll try to answer a common questions people ask me about my approach to fashion.
Are you afraid of getting harassed?
- No, on the contrary, I usually get compliments, from guys and girls. (and I know what you are thinking, so I’ll answer it now: it’s usually straight guys that compliment me. Gay guys have gaydar and can tell right away that I’m not gay). The women love my ballsy attitude, the men who compliment me are almost certainly guys who do something a little “deviant” but will never tell a soul. I’ve had guys confess to me, and I get a few hundred readers per day on my hosiery blog – most of them men. I guarantee that you know at least 5 other men that do something like this at home but will never tell a soul. I always get a high degree of respect from people when I’m out on the town dressed up. Here’s the thing I’ve learned about people: When you walk through the world knowing where you are going, 99% of people will either A) politely step out of your way or B) follow you. People respect authority, and only you can control if you carry yourself with authority or not. Once in a while I hear someone say, “WTF?” as I walk past, and that is fine with me. They SHOULD ask that. What’s not to ask WTF about? If you aren’t having experiences that cause you to ask WTF on a regular basis, you aren’t living the right way.
Is it hard to walk in heels?
I’m pretty sure that in a past life, I was a devastatingly beautiful bisexual woman of high society that lived in Berlin, living a jet-setting life in London, New York, and Paris. I lived lavishly and died young, and had magnificent taste in wine, art, fashion, music, and lovers. So…. no. Walking in heels has been really easy from day one.
You are wearing VERY nice tights – where do you get them?
It varies. Stop by www.HosieryReview.net to see what my latest favorite brands / styles are at the moment. I’m always trying out new pantyhose and tights. To my lady friends that hate wearing hosiery, I have two pieces of advice: 1. Do a better job shaving your legs. Stubbly legs always feel itchy with tights on. 2. American hosiery companies are notorious for making horrible products of horrible quality. Smooth skin + quality European hosiery = amazing sensory experience.
Are you a cross dresser?
Call it what you want. To my female readers: are you a cross dresser when you wear your boyfriend’s t shirt to bed? When you wear his jacket? The term “cross dresser” usually refers to a guy that goes all out with hair, make up, bras, dresses, jewelry, etc etc etc. I have zero interest in any of this stuff. If we MUST categorize it though, what I do falls more under the umbrella of “alt-fashion” than cross dressing. Sometimes I loosely refer to it as a fetish, though in the clinical sense it is not; it’s a mere hobby.
Are you gay or straight?
Straight. I have superb taste in women, do I not?
Why do you do it?
It’s fun. I like how the hosiery feels on my skin, and I like how it looks. It suits me well as an outward expression of my character on several levels. It’s nuanced, subversive, and strangely sexy. I refuse to spend my precious few years on Planet Earth living according to other people’s rules.
By just doing it. I dress this way a couple of nights / week, including on stage as a comedian / talk show host. I have picked up girls for 1st dates dressed like this. Most women know about my fashion sense before they know my last name. They either see a photo of me online, they meet me at the club / at a party when I’m dressed up, or it just comes up in conversation. Some girls aren’t into it. Some try to be. Some absolutely love it.
Do you shave your legs?
Of course. In fact, if I have smoother legs than the girl I’m making out with… that’s gonna be a deal breaker. Gentelman: Just try this some time. Shave your legs very thoroughly (for the uninitiated, it will take you 2 or 3 showers worth of shaving to truly get down to a smooth shave). Get yourself some nice, high thread count sheets (600 or higher) Go to bed with a good book, spend a little time lounging in bed. Notice how all of the nerve endings in the skin on your legs light up like a Christmas tree. All of that fur on your legs has been depriving you of a world of sensations.
How often do you do this? Where do you wear them?
Usually 1 – 3x week. It depends on the month, the climate, and on what events I have to attend. I treat heels / hosiery just like I would any other semi-formal wear, like nice slacks. They aren’t appropriate for every occasion. But in situations where nice slacks would be in order, I may also opt for heels pantyhose and a skirt. I also get on stage and host my show wearing pantyhose & heels.
There has been a lot of press lately about the whole tights for men thing. There are some websites out there that actively advocate it as a fashion for men. I think the whole movement is kind of silly. I’m not saying that you should do this, too – I’m just saying that it’s what works for me.
Here’s one reason it matters: This is about living authentically. It’s about being honest with yourself, coming to a clear understanding of your own personal truths, and then living them without asking anyone for permission, and making no apologies for doing so.
Go ahead and admit how you really feel about politics. Religion. Spinach. Your secret love of Kenny Loggins. Admit it to yourself, then admit it to those with a need to know (this list is usually very short). Then have the courage to let go of those who would chide you for your preferences. They’ve been holding you back from becoming the best version of you that you can be.
I hope we can all work toward living in 100% harmony with what you feel inside. I believe that this is the foundation upon which truly great art, friendships, businesses, careers, and love affairs are built upon.
Much love -
P.S. Click here to read all of my blog posts that are related to the hosiery fetish / fashion lifestyle. All of your questions about what it’s like to be a man that wears pantyhose, high heels and skirts will be answered here. And… you’ll get a free pony.