By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
When people ask me what it's like to take enough testosterone to grow a beard and have a nice bass growl, I say, "Now I actually enjoy heavy metal music" or "I'm fascinated by anything that involves throwing a ball around." These jokes are a way of fending off more explicit questions, such as: What do I look like without my pants on? What do I do in bed?
I'm not sure if shooting "T" into my body with an intramuscular injection makes my physicality anything like that of a genetic man. But there does seem to be a lot of overlap. My physical needs have become shockingly insistent. If I'm hungry, I have to grab something from the closest source of food. If I'm horny, I have to duck into a rest room and jack off. Of course, this impulse isn't entirely new to me. When I was living as a dyke, I liked a lot of things that aren't associated with the average woman: public sex, pornography, strippers, s/m. But on T, my libido is at least twice as intense.
Now I understand why so many men pay for blowjobs on their way home from work. The difference between sex and love was always clear to me, but my pelvis will frequently strain to have its way with someone that my head and heart have rejected. Is this what it's like to have your cock get hard in inappropriate situations? Dirty stories in books are less compelling than they used to be. I want the visual, and I'm amused and appalled by my fetishesbig tits, battering-ram cocks, and orifices stretched as wide as possible. No foreplay, just in-and-out slammin' sex. Every time I see a cum shot, a little cheer goes off inside my groin.
There's the rub. What do I call all this convoluted tissue between my legs? (No, I haven't had "the operation.") T has enlarged what I used to call my clit. But I don't like the cute tranny slang "dicklet." Everything works just fine, except that I can't wrap my fist around the invisible cock that's been in my pants for as long as I can remember. My chest is as flat as any other fat boy's. T has made my nipples so sensitive that for the first time in my life I can enjoy having them touched. (My surgeon, bless her, did not insist on a nerve-numbing nipple graft when I told her sensation was more important to me than size.) Post-T orgasms are so intense that my muscles cramp and it feels like my eyes are melting. T has also made me feel, even more strongly than I did before, that the natural way for me to come is to put my hard cock inside something slick, willing, and tight.
During masturbation, fantasy is usually enough. It's when I try to put my body next to someone else's that my genital ambiguity can become a crisis. A functional and handsome phalloplasty costs as much as a down payment on a house. I'm a big queeny leather fag who is also a sucker for pretty girls of all sexual orientations. But how would a lesbian femme feel about dating me if being seen with me erases her queer identity (and mine)? If I let a gay man go down on me, will he honestly feel like he is sucking my cock? And what about the presence of that extra hole, which has given me a lot of pleasure despite my prissiness about her? I'm not one of those lucky trannies who relishes taking it up the butt, and I'm not sure my male identity would survive getting fucked in what some FTMs call the "front hole." It helps me to remember that there are men who are impotent, men who have really small cocks, men who have big cocks who scare off more people than they nail, men who don't like using their cocks at all.
Being even partially naked with another person is terrifying to me right now, but it's also healing. The people who have accepted my performance of male identity and desire not only give me sexual pleasure; they mirror the self that feels most authentic at this point in my life. Gender is never just a matter of who you believe yourself to be. It's also a social contract between you and every single person you see. Running the fuck is an integral part of maleness in our society. So it's my partners' pleasure, and the erotic solace they give me, that makes me feel entitled to my hard-won title: transman.
Patrick Califia is a queer theorist, author of kinky porn, therapist, parent, pagan priest, and avowed bisexual.
GETTING AND GIVING TOUCH
The term transgenderpotentially includes just about anybody who chafes at the parameters of sex roles. A straight guy who likes to wear women's panties when he logs on to forcedfeminization.com does not have the same agenda as a post-operative transsexual woman who does not disclose her XY past on the first date. A dyke daddy gluing on a mustache and binding her chest won't see sex through exactly the same eyes as a self-declared FTM. Someone who doesn't want to be perceived as either male or female strives to bring sex without gender into being. (And I think Ihave it rough.) One clever little article can only begin to touch on how gender resisters manage to have a sex life.