Posts Tagged ‘Transition’

Do As I Say Not As I Do

04/02/2011 1 comment

I’m probably going to get a bit of shit from various people in my life over some of the things in this post. Probably deservedly.

Tale from a while ago- me and my (at the time) housemate were talking about gynecologist appointments, and specifically that she had never had a pap smear. We shall call her Housemate 1. Another housemate came in, and we shall call her housemate 2. Housemate 2 started giving 1 shit about being as old as we all were, and not ever getting a pap smear or any gynecologist appointments. She was talking about how even if 2 wasn’t sexually active yet, it is important to know health levels before getting involved with someone. 2 kept getting me and my sexual health knowledge on her side. Except 1 knew very well I have never had a pap smear.

I have never had a pap smear or seen a gynecologist.

Consider the quantity I talk about sexual health, many people are surprised by this.

This past week I went to my annual appointment to check in about testosterone and how my body is reacting. It was difficult enough for me to sit down and talk to an entirely new nurse practitioner about a bunch of stuff, and I do mean new NP as she was a student NP and working under people at my clinic. She brought up the pap smear, and later, when my doc walked in, he did to. Actually, when I emailed him about my most recent refill he said he wanted me in both for my annual check up and to talk to me about a pap smear.

I got an ultimatum. He said he would refill my T for the following year, to the day, with no problems. But no further. Push came to shove, if I don’t go through with it in the next year I either have to 1-find a new doc or 2- go off T.

Neither of these are really options for me. So, I’m going to suck it up and deal. Considering that I get STI testing on an annual basis, that I blog about sexuality all the time, that I talk about sexual health all the time, that I’ve been a peer sex educator, and everything else I do, it is rather surprising that this rather basic aspect of my health I neglect. Apparently, I come by it naturally. My mom’s gynecologist has to threaten her with no longer prescribing birth control to get my mom in for an appointment (as my mom has gone through menopause, to her this means getting cut off from hormones. We bonded over this.)

It isn’t actually a pressing issue in that I’m not what most people in the medical professions define as very “sexually active.” In medical terms, I don’t have penis-in-vagina sex. Of the types of sex I do have and enjoy, they haven’t happened all that often recently. For someone a sex blogger, I’ve had remarkably little sex recently. Then again, I’ve also blogged very little recently. One did not cause the other, more like they are two effects of similar causes, but I digress. I was talking about gynecological appointments and pap smears. Right.

I know the importance. I watched Buck Angel’s awesome “Public Cervix Announcement” last year when it popped up on YouTube. But it is damn hard to get me to set up an appointment for T, which I adore, let alone for shit I really REALLY don’t want to deal with. I’ve been without glasses for a year and a half because I’d need to set up an appointment to get a new prescription. How the hell am I supposed to deal with a pap smear?

My doctor is essentially blackmailing me. And he’s right.

It isn’t just things like body and gender dysphoria that keep me from dealing. That just makes it awkward. Beyond that, as much as I’ve dealt with shit regarding my past and sexual assault, a person I’m not involved with examining me triggers my anxiety. Thinking about it, gets me fidgeting. Talking about it, with my doctor, in a doctor’s office? I was twitchy, anxious, and unable to look at my doctor while talking in an attempt to keep my breathing regular and not deal with an anxiety attack.

In a bit over two months, I’m going to confront and deal. Maybe I’ll manage to stay calm. Maybe after I’ll need to go curl up in a small dark room, shaking, crying, and getting a migraine.

If he didn’t tell me he’d stop refilling my T I probably wouldn’t be dealing with having to get a pap. Even though the deadline is a year off the reality of the deadline spurs me to action. So, I’m dealing. And I have about two months to decide if I want him to get me a one or two pill script for anxiety meds. It says a lot that I am seriously considering it.

Yeah. For the first time ever I am seriously considering taking medication for what is technically a mental health issue (anxiety.) Time to deal with that thought as well.

A Lack of Words

03/10/2011 1 comment

I came across a poem recently, “How to Make Love to a Trans Person” and holy shit I decided to blog.

Because here’s the thing, from the first lines I got stuck on something I realized very deeply last summer at Floating World, and have not been able to get my head around since. I am incredibly disassociated from words describing my body.

I’m doing good at not dissociating from my body in general. Considering that it was my specialty in high school, that for years the main reason I self-injured was to simply be present, not dissociating is damn impressive. Going on T got me to be able to be present in my body in whole new ways. There are still plenty of things I hate about my body, there are still plenty of things that aren’t mine, but as I wrote before that this is my body is a huge step. But there are few words surrounding my body that I feel connect to my body.

Mostly, it is that I don’t think in words. Very few things relate directly to words in my head. The more complex, the more intricate, the more emotionally difficult the thought process is the more likely I am to think outside words. Needless to say, thoughts about my body fall into all three categories. When they are thoughts about the societally gendered parts of my body, it becomes a tangled mess leaving my throat to close up.

Last year at Floating World, I went to a class on FtM cock and ball torture. Suddenly, I was mentally thrust into a world completely disconnected from my thought process– the language of queer bodies. I was unprepared for being unprepared because hell, I spend my of my time in queer spaces. In high school, I went to a queer youth group, a gender youth group, and ran my school’s GSA. In college, I got even more involved. By the time floating world hit, I was a queer sex blogger. Suddenly facing my complete lack of connection to the words other people with similar identities was really difficult for me. To them, the words dick and cock was their own. In my head, it was just as separate from me as clit.

There is only one word I have ever really connected with a gendered part of my body: chest. Not breasts, tits, boobs, or man-boobs, none of them have ever felt like they were actually describing me. Certain expartners of mine might find this surprising because I never corrected their use of that language. No reason why they should know when I never told them. Except whenever referring to myself, it’s just my chest.

Cock is a specific term in my head, and it usually refers to a delightful strapped-on cock with colors ranging from flesh tones to violet. Ideally, green, but green cocks are annoyingly hard to find. Dick, not something related to my body. Clit, a semi-useful term in that technically accurate and not actually connected to me sort of way. And for that reason one I’ve used in this blog more than a few times. Describing other people’s bodies is fine. Describing my own… there aren’t words in my head.

My body is on my mind more these days than it used to be. Particularly, my hesitance to show my body to others. While I have various groups of my friends that have been in more than one orgy (you know who you are) and while I’ve now been involved in some manner with the public kink scene for over a year, in the last year I’ve had a total of one person outside of a relationship see me naked. Two counting relationships (which is actually rather amusing considering my history.) Romping around in my binder and boxers at play parties is pushing my limits, and some parties I don’t even do that much.

One on one, I can deal. I can deal with my own body, the juxtaposition created from spending a decade with estrogen coursing through my veins, and a bit over a year on testosterone. I can not think about it, just think about whatever activity I am so inclined to do. One on one, I can deal. Getting my mind to adapt to one new person at a time being allowed to see my body…

I’ve never really had the opportunity to play with multiple people I’m with whom already comfortable. Adjusting to someone new is entertaining, and rather scary when that idea is multiplied from person to people. It was hard enough pre-T, when someone would first touch my hip and they’d stiffen. They didn’t have to say anything for me to know, they were readjusting how they thought of me. Guys don’t have hips like I do. I’ve seen many incarnations, from nervous hesitation, to afraid, to simple curiosity about what makes me most comfortable. One on one, I can engage with whatever reaction happens. Confusion, nervousness, attraction, amusement… if it’s just one other person, there isn’t a problem. I can have that conversation. I don’t know if I could manage it with two people, and definitely not without fear.

The one time someone tried to make up a new word I rather violently reacted in a negative manner. Admittedly, the discussion was humiliation play, so it wasn’t supposed to be something I liked. The problem was it would have been a total turn off if the person had ever actually used it in play. As in, if they had said it, I would have ended the scene there. No aftercare, complete seperation from whatever happened. They didn’t take my lack of interest in this very well, which was their perogative but had me rolling my eyes. My body is not someone else’s to name. I have granted no one that power over me, and thus any naming of my body, my parts, is entirely mine.

So, things are named without words for the moment. It works for me, and until there are words that suit the names, people can continue using words that don’t offend me. I just have to stop expecting a connection to any word that isn’t a name I’ve granted to that part myself.


1 Year In

02/03/2011 2 comments

One year in, and I’m amazed at the difference T has made. My wrists are still small, but my neck has grown into a size that makes nice shirts more easy to find. My facial structure has changed dramatically, and my legs are a whole lot hairier… well all of me is. I’m growing a decent amount of facial hair, even if it isn’t enough to grow anything fun, it’s still enough that I really do need to shave more than once a week. I revel in the newfound fuzziness of my chest, the furriness of my stomach, and the muscle definition in my legs. I’m ecstatic, and without regrets.

It’s also obvious that there is a long way to go.

I want to be able to be comfortable in my body. A year ago, there was a degree to which no matter how I phrased it out loud, this body was not mine. That is the main thing T did, my situation went from dealing with “this body” to dealing with “my body” in my own head. Except, it is still really uncomfortable.

Sure, there are some things I could do fairly easily to help myself be more comfortable. Lifting weights would probably be the first thing on that list. I’m always more comfortable when I’m stronger, when I’ve got more muscle. But that doesn’t change that when I look in the mirror, my eyes are immediately drawn to the shadow on my shirt showing that I have a chest. A shadow that is difficult to detect for anyone else, looks massive to me. Everyone else thinks I bind so well, enough that I’ve had people be surprised to find out I have not yet had top surgery (though anyone who has seen me with my shirt off would definitely notice.) I see breasts. I see between them, to my new chest hair and I smile a nice big smile. Then I look again at my chest, and so long smile. These are mine, in that they are attached to me, in that I can feel them, but they aren’t mine in that they don’t feel like they belong, they don’t feel like they have anything to do with me.

It isn’t surprising, my biggest body issue that I could easily put a finger on has long been my chest. Especially since senior year of high school when they just grew so much more.

Broader shoulders helps in some ways, but they still are there, still staring at me, and anyone else who sees me shirtless (or rarely, binderless.) Surgery is a thought for the future, not even something being planned yet, let alone something to count on. So, I work on figuring out how to be more comfortable in this body I’ve got. Part of me really wants to try to grow to be okay with my chest. The rest of me responds in a fashion of “Fuck no.” Or points out the irony that would be, seeing as way back when C and I were dating, when I first explicitly told her that I’d ideally prefer to switch name and pronouns (this was definitely not a high point in our relationship, on either of our parts) and she reacted poorly, but had suggested I get top surgery earlier in the conversation. Hopefully that sentence makes enough sense. I want to be able to be comfortable enough to do things like go to The Floating World next summer, and be shirtless in the dungeon. I’d love to go to CampOut and go swimming completely topless. The first, possible. The second, technically possible but highly improbable.

Yes, going on testosterone has done awesome things. The acne is even getting more manageable. But I’ve got so much more still to think on, to process, and to learn to tolerate about my body. In the meanwhile, I’ll go back to squee-ing over my rough cheeks.

Roles and Growth

11/12/2010 2 comments

In high school, I was damn sure I was submissive. I remember wandering around with a friend, just hanging out, talking about how she actually had confidence, but failed at seeming confident, whereas I was good at seeming confident without actually having any. I didn’t want to have to be confident, I wanted to submit.

In college, I realized I was a switch. Pretty early on in fact, because by the end of my freshman year I was identifying as a switch, though usually with bottom tendencies. Somewhere along the way I started getting more comfortable being dominant, being toppy.

There are times when I think maybe I’m just one or the other. I’m pretty sure life enjoys reminding me exactly why that is completely false just at those moments. Any time I’m starting to wonder if I’m just one or the other, something happens. For instance, cuddling on a couch with a very scary top, who pulls my hair, controlling my head, and for those moments at last I’m finally out of my head. The relief washes over me of not deciding, not being responsible, not being careful, of not having to pay that kind of attention. Instead, I get to push through pain, through challenge, and show my strength in giving up that control… and it is a relief to let go and submit. Because I’m not any one thing and I need breaks from whichever roles I chose to take on.

But until more recently I really hadn’t much bottomed (with regards to pain) in a long while. T has dramatically altered not just how I process pain, but the physical sensations. Pain feels different. It is really hard to describe. I’m more jumpy, though less sensitive technically. I don’t know my physical limits as well, I want to push those boundaries more and more because I like not liking the sensations. The first real time I pushed past the pain I liked into the pain I seemed to not like in a consensual, trusting manner got me incredibly turned on… and left me with wonderful bite marks all across my skin for quite some time. In a way, I really hated those bites. Because, dammit, they hurt. I told her more, not to inflict harm but to feel that hurt. I was nowhere near harm, and the pain wasn’t bad for me, it got me wetter than I had been in a long time. But that was before T. So, now bites send me writhing, whining, and twitching far more than before. I don’t know how to process this new sensation, but damn am I enjoying learning.

Also, stingy pain got a lot different, and a lot more intense.

Yet, even while I’m relearning my reactions to pain, even while part of me is seeking out chances to bottom, I pull out The New Topping Book to read. I seek out new opportunities to top, to dom, to control. After years of relationships trying to throw off the politics of owning another person, I’ve come to find how much I want someone else to be “mine” (which, me being me, has absolutely nothing to do with monogamy. Just because something would be “mine” does not mean exclusive rights…) Unless I actually feel my more submissive side reacting to someone, another person’s attempts to dominate me lead to entertaining times of wrestling and me biting them a lot. Probably biting them very hard. A certain puppy learned this the hard way. Or maybe I should say the fun way.

Hmmm… One of these days I should get a picture of someone’s bruises from my bite. They can be really pretty.

No Really, I Haven’t Fallen Off The Face Of The Earth

11/08/2010 1 comment

S and I broke up. For a lot of reasons, I’m not going to go through the details on my blog. I’ll be writing of other things, but yeah that is a lot of why I haven’t written recently. There are a few things about it that I’ll write, or reference, but don’t expect too much.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of getting a mini skirt. I first voiced this out loud to some friends I was visiting over Halloween weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn one. But part of me really likes the idea, even though I usually hate wearing skirts of any kind, or shorts, because I hate my legs touching skin on skin.

T has been going. Acne is still a constant battle. The hardest part for me is remembering to stay hydrated. My skin always has broken out drastically less when I’m thoroughly hydrated, and when I actually get pretty dehydrated my acne gets a lot worse. So, I’m trying to remember to drink more water. My kidneys are probably thanking my skin for getting me to do this more.

My voice has leveled out. It doesn’t shock people every time I see them with how much deeper it has gotten, and I feel like even my grandmother has started to get used to the sound of my deeper voice. No more cracking (yay!) and it definitely passes. I like how I sound. I like that I haven’t changed speech patterns at all, just my vocal range has shifted downwards… but it also shrank. I have a lot less control over my tone of voice, which is to be expected seeing as I have little practice with my new range, but I also have a many fewer options of tone. I’m not just deeper, my range has actually shrunk which makes my range of expression different. I’m not intentionally more monotone, I just end up fading out a lot quicker.

Surprisingly, I really seem to like my newly coming in chest hair. Didn’t expect that. I was looking forward to darker and a lot more leg hair, and darkened arm hair. I’m still waiting for my facial hair to be something worth growing instead of just needing it shaved every few days. But chest hair? I mostly expected to feel neutral about it. Unexpectedly, I’m really liking it, and even looking forward to more. The genderfucker in me wants it darker and to wear my corset. Because honestly, I think it’d be damn hot.

I just started getting hungry again recently. After a few weeks of legitimately not being hungry and having to instill a pretty strict schedule to make sure I ate, I’m glad that it is back. It is strangely comforting, a sense of normalcy returning. Also, I just don’t like living that strictly to a schedule. I prefer being hungry all the time to messing up my schedule a bit and risk passing out from forgetting to eat.

I’ll be back to writing more often now.

Internal and External Discussions

10/06/2010 4 comments

Years ago, while wandering a college bookstore during a summer camp, I came across Dykes to Watch Out For, which really helped me deal with things like “that girl is hot” or the more terrifying version “my roommate is hot.”

In the second book, before it gets into the storyline involving the recurring character that are delightful even in their stereotypes, there are a few ‘random’ strips. One is about internalized homophobia, a lesbian haunted by anti-feminist/misogynistic/sexist thoughts in the form of a “total woman with a pitchfork.”

I don’t have a total woman with a pitchfork in my head, but I understand the sentiment.

And it is damn tiring to wake up every morning and have a 50% chance of a glance in the mirror focusing in on my hips with the thought “why won’t they go away?” It is tiring to glance down at my chest and know that though everyone else sees me bound so well, to me my chest sticks out. Internalized oppressions suck. Probably an obvious statement, but somehow I’m usually seen as not having any. I have opened up to a few friends about those incessant thoughts, like that being trans makes me completely undesirable to other people. I don’t very often, because in part I don’t like to complain but also when I know what it is, for me it ends up perpetuating the internalization by speaking it out loud and giving it that voice, that power. And it is damn tiring to have that constant drone of internalization.

But what is worse is that I’m so tired from arguing with my own issues that I don’t call people out nearly as much as I should. Like last weekend, sitting at a gathering at my friend’s place, some guys (who I just met that night) started saying some unfortunate things about mental illness. They had zero clue they were being offensive, but suddenly the light hearted party had me very guarded. My friend looked at me and quietly asked if I wanted her to say something, and I shook my head. Maybe I wasn’t the only person there who had an issue with what was said, and maybe if I hadn’t been there to shake my head, my friend would have said something. But I was just too tired to engage in that conversation at that time, or even be around it. Too tired of fighting my own personal demons to try to educate another person.

It isn’t always like this. Some days I’m soap boxing and nuking like the best of them. I’ll correct the friends who try asking me my birth name, and explain why it is insensitive, and call people out for their misuse of language. But after a while, explaining for the umpteenth time that I don’t ID as a man, I do not want to be a man, and my taking testosterone does not make me a man, and that my experience is only mine not no one else’s so for the last time stop placing another identity on me… all that, just isn’t worth it quite often.

A friend once said of me, “Don’t know how he identifies, but pronouns as a dude.” I always liked that, pronouns as a dude. No terminology like male or man in there. Just dude, and not declaring me one, but saying pronouns as a dude. Simile rather than equaling.

I just can’t figure out how to convey an existence of greys and colors to a black and white world without always calling others out, without always correcting people and talking about it all the time. Because I’ve got battles to fight in my own head too.

Updates and Upgrades

09/27/2010 1 comment

Recent adventures have included my computer breaking. From my battery to my logic board (yes, computers have logic boards, and when they break the computer goes illogical) I have new parts and this is the most functional my computer has been since I got it almost three years ago. They also gave me a bunch of free upgrades in programs that I’d otherwise have to pay for, which was awesome.

Other adventures include tearing through novels like I haven’t since high school, and reading books on spirituality. No computer? I read. A lot.

And now it is back. So I’m back.

T is interesting. I’ve grown a lot. My feet jumped a size, or a size and a half. I’m a lot broader now, no longer so scrawny. As in, my shirt neck size went from 13 1/2 to 15 1/2, and my sleeve length got longer as well. On the upside, this means I fit into regular shirts now. My sideburns are starting to come in. I really do need to shave more than once a week now, though much of the time I’m still lazy and only do it about once a week.

Still endlessly hungry. Still have a kicked up sex drive. I’ve adjusted to the second, but the first is being a much larger problem than it should be.

But one of the most interesting changes for me throughout transition is that my reactions to pain has changed. The way I feel pain, when S bites me (or when my friend bites my arm and leaves a bruise for a few days) is completely different than before. Not just more or less, but an actual different sensation that is really hard to explain. Stingy pain hurts so much more, as well as very different. At the same time, despite the fact that I’m processing pain differently and needing to completely relearn my limits and thus am far more sensitive than I would be if I knew how things would feel, I’m still needing the pain just as much. But I also like causing pain. About two and a half years ago I realized that I couldn’t date someone who wouldn’t give me pain, and hooking up would be difficult. About a year ago, I realized I couldn’t date someone who couldn’t take pain, and hooking up would be even more difficult than the former. I like pain. Be it the bite marks on my arm, or the scratches on someone else’s back, pain is really important for me. Which makes being so unclear about my own reactions to pain really damn frustrating.

And not frustrating in the fun way either.

Eventually, I’ll figure out how things are working with my body.