Gender Reassignment and the loss of Sexuality

Nothing seems to be written regarding the fear one experiences prior to having a penis reshaped into a vagina. Not just the fear and the pain associated with surgery and recovery, but the fear of losing one’s sexuality altogether.

After living fifty years as a man and experiencing my entire sexual life with a certain appendage I was now going to have it removed, and? And what? What would I be trading it in for? It’s not exactly like trading in a used car for a new one is it? Perhaps closer to trading a Cozy comfortable bed every night for a mystery bed behind door number one. It could be a bed of nails, or a slab of ice! Maybe it’s 800 count Egyptian cotton sheets on a beautiful pillow top mattress. You just don’t know.

I’m a sensual person. Physical sexuality isn’t some minor concern. I definitely enjoyed that part of my life. But oddly, at the same time I didn’t. It always felt a little bit askew. I realized relatively early in my twenties that I preferred to be more of the pursued rather than the pursuer. I was happier as the less assertive partner. That didn’t always go well with my female partners and I was only attracted to men when I was dressed as a woman. I could manage, and did find real pleasure, but it never felt 100% right. I often imagined myself with an inny rather than an outy during sex.

By the time I was 50 and considering surgery, I felt I had explored and experienced most of what I was interested in with my standard equipment. I found myself more and more interested in making a change. This interest became more like a need after I socially transitioned and began living full time as a woman. The maleness between my legs became a nuisance and a risky liability. It limited my potential relationships and exposed me to possible hostility and discrimination. I began to hate it. I wanted it gone.

But still, there was the unknown sexuality or lack of it I would be experiencing as a result. Was I okay with that risk? Was I willing to possibly live without any sexuality? That’s a profound question. Much of who we are and who we have been is experienced at least in part as a sexual being. What would I become without it?

I suppose I look at life as a journey made up of a series of experiences. Some positive, some difficult, some even extremely painful. Each one with a lesson attached. The trick is to try and learn whatever lesson that is. Some lessons take more experiences to learn than others. I decided that whatever lesson my male parts had to teach me were done. I was willing to move on to whatever the next experience had to teach regardless of the impact on my sexuality. I went ahead and scheduled my surgery.

I found myself immediately happier post op. Immediately, even though my nerve endings hadn’t been rerouted. I had a completely different and from my perspective improved contour. In addition, my testosterone count finally fell to zero. No more hormone blockers. No more battle to avoid the frightening «de-transition» possibility.

As the weeks became months I wondered. Will I feel anything sexual down there anymore? It still felt a bit numb and alien to me. I wasn’t really concerned, but I did hope there might be something. Somewhere around 3–4 months I experienced it. Or did I ? Was that arousal? Was my new vagina coming awake? After another month I had no doubt. We had lift off. There would be sexuality in my future!

My fears abated more and more as my wiring became more and more sensitive and understandable for me. After all, there really is no manual. No guide or YouTube video (as far as I know). Getting bottom surgery is still a step across a little explored frontier of human experience. And as such there are a lot of unknowns and associated fears. This frontier space is no trivial concern either. I count it as the most intimidating choices of my life. One I considered very soberly. What I came to understand was that my fear of not crossing the frontier seemed even more frightening than crossing it.

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TransGen

TransGen

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Genivieve is a Transgender Artist living in Santa Barbara California.