A few weeks ago I wrote about starting on hormone therapy, and the effects on my body, and how dramatic they were. In particular I wrote about how spironolactone, the most common androgen-blocker (a chemical that prevents testosterone from binding to cellular receptors, thereby preventing it from doing its thing) was causing some unwanted side effects.
Separately, I have been taking a cocktail of herbal derivatives for some months, and they absolutely seem to be having an effect, but are contra-indicated for when you are taking the real thing, oestrogen, or ‘e’. As an aside, for women reaching menopause, many of these herbal supplements are considered a milder, but effective, means of reducing the side effects of menopause. From my months of taking them, I can say that I could feel them in my body, particularly in my skin overall, but also in my chest area. One of them is even said to make you lactate! What a dream that would be!
Call me the milk maid.
Anyway, as time passes, I am less and less willing to wait or to hold back from what I increasingly consider as destiny. The acceptance of friends and family has been a huge help, and I have to say that even strangers have helped, mainly through their universal positivity. My kids are teaching me slang words for my increasingly far out style of dress, and well, the future is sweet as it has already started.
Did you know what ‘drip’ means in relation to clothing? Well, I didn’t. Apparently, it means hip, hep, cool.
So, I decided to restart on HRT, including with Spiro, but this time, I have added oestrogen. Amazingly, there is a huge difference in sexual function. This was unexpected. Some of my trans friends had noted this, and I suspect it is a temporary thing, but for the time being, I am still capable of arousal, which is nice, only it does feel a tiny bit different (the physical sensation is more general than specific, if that makes sense). Is that a female thing? I’ll have to ask.
What am I noticing in my body?
First, there are some almost imperceptible physical changes. My nipples have grown a wee bit and are larger and plumper than they were. If I am wearing a thin top, my nipples show as erect. And they are way more sensitive, all the time.
I also feel an itching sensation in the area around my nipples, my chest area, and a bit of tenderness. Boy, and suddenly, even my flat chest bangs into things (probably as it always has, but boy do I feel it now. Ouch!).
I have not noticed anything much else yet, though I think that my body odour is less strong (I can tell after a run, for instance, and it just seems a bit less stinky…but I can’t be sure). And people have commented on my skin, but I think this is the result of a tea I have been drinking the past few months. Or just people being nice. Ditto for my hair, which seems to be taking a different consistency, and feels thicker—though again I think that might be a tea and the oils I have been rubbing into my scalp at night. That seems to be working.
But the most noted change is something about how I feel in my body, in particular how my skin feels. It is as if all of my skin has come alive. I can feel it in ways I have never felt before. It feels active…like I can feel everything on it. I can feel the skin on the tops of my feet, my calves, my back, my arms, everywhere. It is all more sensitive to touch than it has ever been before. Through that, I am discovering a different kind of sensuality, and the importance of touch. It is hard to imagine a greater gift for someone who has only recently discovered my main love language is touch.
And the emotional landscape?
The word euphoria is not a cliché. With all of the horrible things going on in my personal life around divorce (which suck), I am filled with an optimism for the future, and a happiness and joy that give me so much strength. I was told that what I am going through is a second puberty, but this one sure doesn’t feel like the first one! So far, I just feel good.
And some of those sensations that are physical have an emotional side effect. A long time ago I posted about how physical weakness was something that I looked forward to. I know that for most men and women, this is hardly aspirational. But what I longed for was the perceptible difference, a marker that my body was changing. And yes, I can feel it, above all, in my arms. And I love the feeling.
And what about sex?
I may be the worst person to ask for even though I loved my wife, we didn’t have sex for 15 years. I couldn’t bring myself to lie with someone who was disgusted by my sexuality. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t sexual, or having those needs, as my forays into BDSM showed.
To make the beast with two backs.
But some of the things that have sat inside me as I wrestled with my own masculinity my whole life are finally falling away. If not today, then soon enough, my penis will stop functioning as a sex organ. At least in the traditional sense. (It will remain a joy to pee standing up, I think, though I know many of my trans sisters eschew standing for sitting or squatting…and squatting is also good for you). I can’t tell you how liberating that is.
But what I want to know now that I effectively no longer have a penis, what is sex like? The idea of it is liberating. But a woman friend of mine who happens to know says that most men and women genuinely enjoy fxxking. Knowing that I won’t even be able to physically do that, is that a problem? There are strap-ons, but it seems a bit odd to lose the real thing to attach one in its place.
I just hope to be able to lie with a woman and to be sensual with her, to have every millimetre of my skin come in contact with hers, to explore each other’s bodies. To know that there is no penis between us is something that makes my heart soar. It makes me feel as if I can be me with her, that I can be with her without ulterior motive, that I can be with her in my innocence, and that we can touch and explore one another in ways that bring everything alive.
I loved that ex-Mistress was so appreciative of my hard-ons, that she felt it was a good measuring stick for how well she was doing, and to live in a near constant state of tumescence in her presence was quite something…but having this measure of my arousal falling away is also deeply liberating.
Our culture teaches us that to be “well-endowed” is to be more of a man. You won’t be surprised to know that the smaller it gets, the happier with myself I become. Let it be a micro-dot.
“I am not a man.” To say that, to feel it, to desire how those words feel in my mouth, is so deeply liberating. It may seem strange to say this, but it makes me feel much more connected to everything, to my spirituality, to the earth, to other people. It is like shedding an unwanted skin. Sloughing off all of this social baggage, letting go of fear, and just stepping into myself without concern for what others think. It is so utterly liberating.
Who would ever think that such joy could come from one little pill? Oestrogen is a miracle.