Since I was… However old I figured it out (Early teen? Maybe?), I have had an ambivalent relationship to masturbation. Nearly every time, I come out of it thinking, “… Why did I just do that?” I feel gross and unpleasant and ashamed—and then to nail it home there’s this mess. That last stage, when I had no energy or will to handle it, was like this punishment for something I should have known better than to do, that didn’t get me anything, that made me feel physically unwell, and that just reinforced all these negative ideas I had about myself. Yet as will happen, particularly to one with a masculine-coded penis, there was this compulsion, right. A thing one feels the need to deal with, if for no other reason than to get it out of the way so one can think about other things. And it was so friggin annoying, god.
The thing about all this is, between this and my real severe problems with sex, and my transness, and how that plays into my sexual identity, there’s a lot of really confusing messaging going around, every piece of which has to be examined on its own terms to determine the shape of the puzzle and where it may actually fit.
The problem isn’t with my dick, right. I like dicks, and I’m very fond of my own—especially since it’s gotten feminized and has begun to behave itself, but even before I fixed my hormone situation. That’s not a problem. That’s not what weirds me out here.
As I’ve talked about, the fact that I feel very little compulsion these days is such a relief—as is the fact there’s so little cleanup in that regard anymore. But even with no punishment it’s not really—like, I don’t get much out of it. Not enough to bother almost ever, right. Like, I just feel empty, lesser. Annoyed with myself. Physically there’s this fleeting glowing rush, which is more intense than it was in the old days. But it’s like, who cares? Any therapeutic value from the physiology is usually more than offset by everything else still. At best I wind up with this sort of neutral situation, like, well, that just happened. Oh well. So, it’s pretty great that what barely-there libido I ever had is pretty much vanished entirely. It’s like my body and mind are finally operating on close to the same level.
So, to put a pin in this, now I’m thinking about my problems with sex—which are many and complicated, and will possibly never be fully unwound—in part because there’s no practical element. I will never have sex again under any circumstances, and I wish I could erase what I’ve had.
One especial trauma point for me, when I look back, is the expectations lumped onto me. I’ve only had two partners, right; both were cis women, with their own… issues, that are none of my business. But they really expected me to play a role, that they expected me to understand. And for their part they just… did not want to be involved. They wanted to be 100% passive, and they projected all this stuff on me on the basis of my genitalia (and I guess their misreading of my gender). And they got so vicious when I failed to play that role in the way they imagined it.
I’ve often dwelled on how inhuman I was made to feel. Like I was just some kind of a wind-up toy for the other’s benefit. There was no communication, no fondness, no joy. I was a tool, and I was there for a purpose, and if I failed to do so automatically, I was useless to them. So it was my responsibility to be the horny one, to regularly initiate sexual situations, to arrange everything appropriately, to actively engage them in everything, while they just kinda… sat there. Because I had a penis, that made me a top. Because they saw me as male, to them I was mega-top.
Except, whee, that has nothing to do with me. I couldn’t, can’t handle that garbage. I don’t have a libido. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t really like sex. I just wanted to be close buds, right. Share my life, spend my time studying the other. I didn’t want to dominate. It made me so sad and it freaked me out and made me feel awful about myself, and in hindsight it shot my dysphoria through the roof. I was so ashamed of the way I looked, of the way my body worked, back then. I felt disgusting. I nearly had a panic attack every time. It was bad. On a couple of occasions I did actually have a full-blown attack, and wound up pulling away in terror and just curled up in a ball in a dark corner, shivering and sobbing. Which they then seemed to decide that was a thing never to bring up again, to imagine never happened.
And for all of that, sex was my exclusive responsibility. I was tolerated as a person on sufferance with the understanding that I provide them a service, right. Which was not my understanding, entering into these agreements.
Which is kinda where I have consent issues. I don’t know how to parse the situations I was in. None of it really feels fully consensual to me, and it’s just… I’m holding back tears just writing this now, as long ago as it all was. Hell, the last time I had sex at all was… I think, 2014? Not nearly long enough, but still.
So, there’s a lot going on there, right. But if we strip away the interpersonal weirdness and narrow it down to my own physical and emotional mechanics, there may be some things we can pick apart in here.
A big issue here of course is the dysphoria: deep and crushing and all-encompassing but undiagnosed at the time and not understood in the least. I felt like some horrible creature, and did not want to be seen the way that I was. More than that, I did not want to play that role. In that itself there’s a lot to unpack, about communication and genuine care and affection and love and concern and so on. But it’s worth focusing on the gendered expectation, and the assumption that well of course I would be a top. They thought I was male. I had a dick, right. Sexual roles have nothing to do with gender or anatomy, obviously, but like everything else, people tend to make these assumptions. And not to play too much to stereotype, but contrary to what people kept telling me, I am a girl. And I think this is relevant to some of my wiring.
To bring that back to the masturbation thing, if we posit that to the extent that I would have any sexual role at all, I would very unambiguously be a bottom in fact, that may inform some of the historical issues here, including the focus on my dick (which is otherwise great). Like, psychologically, emotionally, it does nothing for me, even upsets me a little, to emphasize stimulation through penetration. I don’t want it. And what physiological payoff may result doesn’t really offset the personal damage that it does every time.
What’s confused me with most of the literature that I’ve read around this topic is the hyper-focus that it tends to take with genital dysphoria, right, which again I don’t have going on. My dick is gorgeous and one thing about me I’ve always been happy about. In my case, it’s not the penis itself that’s the problem, but I think probably the role lumped onto it and the consequences of leaning on it as a primary instrument. Which just messes with my head and makes me feel awful.
So now, there are a hundred problems with butt stuff as well, right. In my case it’s almost entirely down to cleanliness, which is just… you know. Not a thing I want to dwell on here. And as fine as I am with the mechanics, it feels so weird to talk about in so many words. The thing is, though, for all the aversions and complications about cleanliness both going into and coming out of that scenario, ultimately it’s less of an imbalance than the what-feels-like punishment when one focuses up front—which again almost never feels worth it on balance.
Again I don’t really have an active libido, and it’s never going to be more than a rare occasional thing, but I feel like butt play is both more affirmative and more rewarding than genital play. Like, I find myself glowing for a whole day afterward as opposed to feeling miserable. The near total lack of shame (as hesitant as I may feel to verbalize it), the full-body rush of calm and giddiness. The feeling like I am a real person. Something in my brain clicking, and my feeling my gender more strongly than ever. Feeling in love with myself and who I am.
Even if it’s super gross.
Between that grossness and the general lack of an impulse, there’s more than enough to prevent me from getting around to it almost ever. But it actually does make me feel good. It has a therapeutic value that masturbation is supposed to have, right, that I don’t associate with the act.
All of which feeds back into sex. I think I better understand a piece of why it has always upset me so very much. Again there will never be a circumstance where it comes into practice, because this is just not a thing I will be doing with myself, but I’m so very much a bottom. And that’s fine, and that’s good, and that’s neither here nor there. And it’s kind of obvious if one knows anything about me. But it’s interesting just how deeply wired that is, and how much it wounds me to go against it. How much it makes me frankly hate myself.
Which is absurd, because I’m wonderful.
So. Okay. That’s me, thinking this through. As these discussions will tend to be. I think this makes more sense to me now.
Anyway. Another brick in place, in the puzzle that is Azure. One that really shouldn’t have taken this long to cement, but here we are.