How do people who don't know Stana react when they first hear your voice? In other words, how female do you think you sound to strangers you interact with?
I am soft-spoken. I do not have anything approaching a deep, manly voice.
More importantly, I have a feminine vocabulary. I use phrases and words that females are more likely to use than males. And I use them in a feminine manner.
For example, a man placing an order at a coffee shop will typically say, "I want a large coffee with cream and sugar."
A woman placing an order will typically say, "I would like a medium coffee with cream, no sugar" or "May I please have a medium coffee with cream, no sugar."
The man is demanding ("I want"); he is being aggressive, assertive, whereas the woman is asking politely ("I would like" or "May I please"); she is deferential, unassuming.
I have always been soft-spoken, deferential and unassuming in the way I speak. As a result, my voice often "passes" without further feminization.
When I am out, civilians address me as a woman without balking. Usually, they call me "Ma'am" and occasionally "Miss." I can count on two fingers the number of times I have heard "Sir."
I am sure that some of the time the civilians are just being accommodating. They see a man or perhaps they are not sure if they see a man or a woman, but since I am presenting as a woman, they treat me as a woman.
Other times I am sure that my voice passes. Admittedly, my voice is along for the ride with the rest of my presentation, but I have seldom had situations in which I think I am passing until I open my mouth.
What voice training, if any, did you do and how long did it take?
I am never satisfied and always want to do better, so I looked into voice training and bought Melanie Anne Phillip's How to Develop a Female Voice videotape.
I copied the audio from the videotape to a cassette tape and took Melanie's course in my car during my half-hour commute to and from work every day for weeks.
One day during week three, everything clicked and a voice I had never heard before came out of my mouth. Wow! It was actually a little scary to hear that woman's voice --- was that really my voice?
To maintain the voice, I have to practice using it, so I recently purchased Melanie's course in MP3 format to load into my iPod.
The only problem is that since my naturally feminine voice seems to work for me most of the time, I am loathe to practice. But I am trying to be more conscientious and have been practicing more often. As they say, "Practice makes perfect" and I always strive for perfection.
Femulate reader Rhondasocks at the VooDoo Lounge in Las Vegas during WildSide week. She is wearing a dress, JB by Julie Brown, that I posted here earlier this year and challenged readers to femulate the model wearing it. Good job, Rhondasocks!