Music - James Brown
It's a man's world, sings James Brown. For many, it's the attraction of this macho world which has lured them to New York.
Diane Tor can fulfil the dreams of women wanting to become men. Most want it to be a fleeting visit, not to become transexuals - and they do it out of curiosity.
Diane: Basically the structure will be, you're all going to dress in your men's clothes and we're going to teach you breast binding that's the first thing and how to make a penis and then we're going to go out in our clothes, O.K.?
Tracy, Mildred and Ajae are their female names - in the outside world where they all have rather conservative jobs - as soundrecordist, bookkeeper and secretary.
Ajae Something like that, sure.
Tracey Kind of sleazy! Sleazy temp type! (laughter)
Tracey has been a drag king for a few years already and is a woman who loves turning into a man. She's helping the others to choose their men's clothes.
Everything is new - not only for the German student Ajae.
Tracey Shoes, those are great.
Ajae It has more to do with gender than with sex; but I do find... definitely I think it is sexy for a woman to explore different kinds of images of themselves that are different from stereotypical images. And women with muscles I just think are fabulous! What can I say, I do.
They cut hairpieces to form moustaches.
But their makeup takes the longest.
How do they feel at this point?
Anja I feel nervous. It's completely new for me, but I'm still excited about what it's going to be like.
Music James Brown.
Picture of Brigitta then others leafing through transsexual pictures in catalogues
Brigitta is already in her 50s. A businesswoman from Boston, she wanted to know what it felt like to be a man. For some it's a sexual or erotic experience - for others an attempt to gain confidence - in some weird way.
Clients have to pay $100. Some are lesbian - others have kids and families. Hundreds have already graduated from this course, Americans and Europeans.
Diane gives demonstration of first stage
The former stripper Diane was NY's first drag king. She's a mother, but here displays the first steps in changing from a woman to a man: breast binding. No one needs to wear a bra, she tells them. Then using a wide bandage she starts up by hiding her most obvious protrusions, her nipples.
Ajae steps forward
Ajae (laughing): Step right up ladies.
Diane: This is the first step.
Ajae: Oh Great!
All Diane's clients' breasts are bandaged up
The women are nervous. Perhaps not convinced that the bandages can hide everything.
Diane putting on tie.
If you're going to be slick corporate, you're going to have to have an ironed shirt.
The businesswoman has to learn how to tie her tie...
This shows how little women know about men's underpants. Diane Tor knows what she is doing. After a theatre performance she didn't have time to change and met her friends in a bar as a man. They didn't recognise her and some even tried to pick her up. That made her decide to learn how to act and behave like a man.
A penis is a must.
This is my penis you see and this is made with tubular bandage and stuffed with cotton wool, and I'm going to pass this around and you can tell me how this feels.
Music - James Brown.
Women pass the ‘penis' around and laugh.
Diane finishes her dressing
The appendage is vital to playing the man - you walk differently with an extra weight between your legs!
The transformation is nearly complete. But first they have to make their own penis and instructions are blunt and to the point.
The women sit around the table, as Diane continues her instructions.
Diane says it's like stuffing a sausage. And she assures them that everyone's will be different. Is she dealing with their ‘penis envy'?
Diane in front of mirror
Now it's make-up time for Diane -alias Danny King. There's the obligatory moustache and less smiling, more frowning like a proper chap!
Diane places apple in her
underpants and laughs
This is not the first time for Mildred. She finds it erotic - but her appendage is a curious addition.
I feel safe. I feel that maybe I was some seventies dude in another life, or something, but as I said, I'm very at ease, very comfortable.
Women making up
Most of the women have no idea how they'll look and feel as a man. Except Mildred, who knows exactly what sort of man she wants to be. Other feels less comfortable.
Brigitta in drag, looks in the mirror.
What a shock, it's incredible. Strange. I look so old though, that doesn't bother men ?
Everybody gets old. I think you look very handsome.
Ajae adjusts her ‘penis'
Some still have problems with their penis - which side should it hang?
Well, how does it feel? Well, it certainly helps me with the effect of standing bigger and I feel like I've got something to show. (Laughs).
When the women have been turned into men, they learn how to sit, stand and walk like a bloke.
Smiles are not allowed, they swagger around the room. And practise giving eachother a firm handshake.
Diane: Hey, good to meet you.
To intellectualise is one thing but to have the experience, to play a role is a totally different phenomenon and I've never had the opportunity to do that and look at things differently.
R: Was the course worth it?
Anja: Yes. I feel a bit more confident, in my movements and so on.
They walk around the block to show off their new appearance.
What sort of women feels the need to be a man? Psychologist Arthur Stein explains.
Fades into Arthur Stein SOT
Some people do it for other reasons: maybe sexual, power, a need to be masculine. Others I think just do it as a fantasy, an erotic kind of sexual fantasy, dominance perhaps for some. Maybe a role that they can play that they could never have played in real life, but they digress in this way to become something else.
Music - James Brown, women dance to the music.
For our would-be men, it is all this and more...they find it fun to be male, imitating a cartoon version of the macho man!