I write this huddled under a sleeping bag on a sofa in a tent in Roskilde Festival, Denmark. It’s pretty chilly. Music is playing in the distance, the pounding bass making it sound like I’m in a war zone.
Today I experienced the worst trans-related violence I’ve ever experienced. Actually, it wasn’t so bad; so the fact that it was the worst so far is kind of heartening, especially given the experience of others I know.
This violence involved a guy insulting me (“fucking asshole!”) and throwing water at me as I walked past.
Despite me trying to shake it off, I ended up crying a while after, and with one thing and another I kept crying for quite some time. After seeing my partner and then having to part again, I sat down alone to listen to a band play, crying intermittently. First one woman, then another came over to comfort me, which managed to help me feel quite a bit better. I found myself rather frustrated at how easy it seemed for other people to affect how I feel.
Would it have gone the same way without having been on hormone therapy for a month? I don’t know. I remember remarking once that I hoped and expected hormones to help me cry easier.
Hoped, because before I often found myself unable to cry, or just dry sobbing, at times when I felt I needed to cry. Expected, because of what other trans people had told me.
However, I had already been gradually improving at this, both by breaking down my male conditioning and coming to identify as a woman.
Unfortunately I don’t think I broke down all my conditioning in this respect (“boys don’t cry”). I just stopped having this issue by no longer feeling bound to a male identity. It seems like a bit of a cheap solution, but it is as it is.
So, with one thing and another I was already finding crying more easy as I began hormone treatment. I can’t remember, in fact, at all recently having felt frustrated about my inability to cry. So I don’t know for sure if it was still an issue for me.
But I do have the feeling that hormones have made crying easier for me. And possibly, it may be that I’m finding it easier to express my emotions and for them to change, as my experiences today seem to suggest.
There are lots of subtle effects and suspected subtle effects of hormones which are hard to fully identify and even harder to put to words. I think somehow emotionally I am more like a woman now. I really don’t know how to explain that or give examples. I just feel things a bit differently.
Though it’s subtle, I like that very much.
In general the psychological changes I’ve felt so far on female hormones have been a huge confirmation of my gender identity. Not all of them have been indisputably positive (though none really particularly negative either); but every one of them has felt essentially right and pleasing to me in a way that makes me feel so secure that this is the right path for me. In particular, some of the ways I have been more masculine in the past have changed, and I’ve no longer had an excuse to wonder whether I’m more like a man inside.
The biggest example of this is in my sexuality. I had a weird duality in my sex life before; I disliked penetrating others because it clashed with my gender identity, but somehow needed it or wanted it as well. It’s like my mind wanted one thing, my body another.
Some things I had read online made me wonder if that made me less of a woman. (Note: it doesn’t. You can be a woman and want to penetrate with your penis and even not want or seek surgery. Anything goes and you are the only one who defines who you are). Well, in general, having this bodily need to penetrate frustrated me.
Now, I feel like this need is greatly reduced or gone.
I haven’t had much sex in the last couple of weeks since I noticed this, so I feel I need to experience a bit more to be sure. But I think so.
Somehow, sexually, I am more able to just sit back and enjoy, without feeling this “aahh” need to jump on top and let loose all of this pent-up energy. I feel like I can kind of be a bit more passive – but in a good way. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. In a way that makes me feel like a woman. Gentle, sensual, not rough and energetic. Think lesbian porn.
I liked to be passive in this way in bed before, too. But my more active sex drive often held me back from this. Now it’s easier, more natural. It seems like my body is responding differently, more in line with my psychology. And that feels great.
In general, my sexuality is just less urgent.
I wonder if this is why I seem to be experiencing less of a sex drive nowadays. I guess I still would have a lot of sex if I were with very sexually active partners right now; but I feel less of an urgent draw towards it.
And that is very pleasing to me. Masturbation, to vent my sex drive, used to be almost a chore. Enjoyable, yes, but sometimes I wanted to not be distracted from whatever else I wanted to do.
I’m also very happy with the way my penis responds physically nowadays. I have much fewer erections, but can still get erections whenever I need them. (Though I guess having a soft penis would also work for the sort of sex I generally enjoy). Either I need to be really turned on, or to directly stimulate the area to get hard. No more morning erections, erections from a hug, etc.
The erections themselves are softer. Still firm, but not so so hard, no longer pushing, striving somehow to get ever higher and reach their goal.
And I like that. It feels like I’m finally in ownership of this part of my body, not controlled by it.
I like how it no longer seems so virile. The really hard, raging erections I had before just didn’t seem like part of me. They were kind of shocking; I might have thought, “What is going on here?”
So all of these changes are very good.
Besides those things, I noticed one physical change to my body a few days ago. Well, I had my suspicions for three or four days, and then the day before yesterday I became totally sure.
My skin is softer!
For me, the change is very noticeable. Stroking my own body now feels like stroking the body of any other woman. It’s velvety and very sensual.
In a parallel with my experiences with my change in body odour, I found the first day a little weird and even wondered if this was what I really wanted. I think the main fear that went through my head was, “Is it really so great to have skin that’s so much easier to damage?”. I was feeling rather vulnerable.
But after a day or so was up that fear dissipated as I saw how it wasn’t so much easier to damage. I saw how somehow it just worked. You know, the world wasn’t ending; I had woman’s skin now and that was fine, it’s something that people deal with.
From there, I became very pleased with this new change.
In another parallel with my body odour experience (though a bit more socially acceptable this time), I spent the day constantly stroking myself, especially the hairless areas around my waist and the top of my back. I was also frequently enthusing about it and offering my skin to others to touch (well, my partner and one other friend mostly, and no, it wasn’t as sexual as that could sound, I was mainly just excited).
I’m still in the afterglow of that awesome discovery. I’ll be stroking myself from time to time for a while yet, I guess.
I’m just very happy about this.
A final observation – something that has been going through my head and conversations for a while now.
I often find myself thinking, but wouldn’t everyone want to be like this?
For instance, with my new skin. It feels so nice. Why would anyone want male skin?
Or my sex drive. Why would anyone want to have this aggressive, pushy, male vibe?
Or the more peaceful feeling I have now. Who would want to feel more on edge, more driven and combatative?
But I think about how trans men really do want these things. (They’d probably use nicer words). Think of the comic I added to my last post on transgenderism, for example. The comic character was so happy and excited to smell bad.
In the same way, I can think of my own desire for female hormones to make my muscles weaker. It makes no practical sense – who would want to have weaker muscles?. Yet I’ve always felt a bit too strong somehow, like my body wasn’t quite my own. And so I would want to lose something which anyone would consider a positive thing.
I guess my thoughts here just go to show how easy it is to generalise your experience to everyone. But not everyone feels the same, and when you get that, it’s easier to come to terms with the ways you really are different from others.
Well, now my typing fingers are getting cold and I’m going to try to get into the Rihanna concert, so I’m going to leave you with this for now. Have a great day/night/etc, wherever you are!