It was a transformation that took months to achieve. She built up her physique with weights and took voice training classes. She wore baggy men's clothes (with a bust squashing sports bra and padded jock strap underneath) and got a buzz cut. A make-up artist put the finishing touches to her appearance including five o'clock shadow.
As Ned, she infiltrated traditional male bastions such as the bowling alley, strip clubs, a male only therapy group and a monastry. She learned how tough it is to chat up women, went on dates, and even (and this is of course where the whole thing gets most interesting!) ended up in bed with a woman.
The experiment was conducted at great cost to her own mental health, and she found herself becoming severly depressed because of the effort it took to suppress her own identity.
The experience changed her views of men and male sexuality forever:
I passed in a man's world not because my mask was so real, but because the world of men was a masked ball. Eventually I realised that my disguise was the one thing I had in common with every guy in the room. It was hard being a guy.The Guardian has an extract from her book Self-Made Man: My year Disguised as a Man.
It's a book I won't be able to resist buying, I think.