It’s just a phase.

Sometimes, it really is just a phase. A long, complicated, emotionally moving, all-consuming phase.

For some years I thought I was ace and genderless. I don’t know how or why it happened, but it did. It was just something I had to go through, I guess; I was learning, I knew I wasn’t cis, and I overexposed myself at a vulnerable time in my life. There was to much information. I was on medications that so easily manipulated my thoughts. I drowned in all of it.

I did a lot of writing about being on the asexual spectrum, about not understanding how dating and sex worked. Looking back, these are classic signs of dysphoria that a not insignificant number of trans people experience – an inexplicable sex drive, a discomfort with or disinterest in masturbation, unrewarding sex with otherwise rewarding partners, a jarring disconnect in how narratives of sex and dating say you ought to act as opposed to how we understand we want to act.

It never occurred to me that I needed to be having sex as a man until a few months ago. The thought never once crossed my mind. Or, well, it did, in the form of the occasional dream that scared the crap out of me, but the idea was verboten to my waking thoughts. I had internalized the message of misandry, you see. I was terrified of my own masculine confidence, my own masculine strength and power. It was a Rubicon not to be crossed – even wondering about it was thoughtcrime. So I cowed myself, made my body as small and inconsequential as possible to both those around me and to myself. It made it easier to ignore. In that way, macrophilia might’ve been my child-brain’s very first method of coping with the then-wordless felt sense of dysphoria. The gut feeling, like walking into the room when your parents are angry at each other but they’re trying to hide it from you, that something is off.

When the lightbulb went off, I knew it was different this time. Claiming nonbinaryism felt like a political declaration to me; something hollow but well-meaning enough to be based on a subconscious nugget of truth. Hearing myself try and assert neutral pronouns was like nails on a chalkboard, but I figured that it was just the social pressure to be binary, so I doubled down. I came out to my mom, my husband, my friends. But it was still hollow. I tried writing stories about nonbinary people, but there was that nagging feeling that I wasn’t “writing what I know”. I tried drawing nonbinary people; this too was uninteresting and felt like I was dancing circles around some deeper, scarier truth that I wasn’t ready to confront yet. After a while I figured that I’d never be ready to confront it. With my tail between my legs I let people start calling me “she” and “wife” and “daughter” again. At least it was the devil I knew.

What struck me about realizing I was a man was the sudden change in my dreams. Over the years I’ve come to trust my dreams to tell me the truth about my subconscious – they’re very good at telling me what my fears and desires are, from the banal to the existential. When messages are conveyed, they are clear enough to my waking mind for me to act on them. When my lightbulb went off, I was suddenly male in my dreams. I had a complete and gendered body, not some vague placeholder with disembodied hands like I was playing a video game. I was an embodied person of consequence to my own subconscious for the first time in my life. I felt real.

None of this happened when I identified as nonbinary.

That’s because being nonbinary was a phase. It was a stepping stone that allowed me to learn things about myself that were both true and untrue – it gave me the mental space to figure out that gender is nothing like what I was raised to believe. And though it would be some years yet, it gave me the tools to start deconstructing my experiences with men and masculinity. I guess, in a way, that those notions needed to be torn down before I could build them back up again with better awareness, understanding, and patience.

The fact of the matter is that I would never have gotten to where I am now if I hadn’t gone through the gullible, SJW-fueled phase of thinking that gender is nothing but a construct, that men are nothing but pigs, and that I wouldn’t be caught dead identifying at something so antiquated as binary. (How’s that for “voting” with your gender?) It was something I had to go through.

I read stories about detransitioners – the the redheaded step-children trans people don’t like to talk about – and I see a little of myself in their stories. Even though I was never cis, the sense of having made a “mistake” by thinking you were another gender than you really are hits home. I just count myself lucky that I never made any permanent changes while I was in that headspace.


Coming soon: on being an FTM with PCOS

I don’t really have anything of note to say right now, but I will be posting every once in a while. Mostly, my focus moving forward will probably be concerning the particulars of transitioning while having a naturally masculinized hormone profile (in other words, my body produces more androgens on its own than a textbook cis woman). Because information on this shit is hard to find – actually, I haven’t found any.

I do currently have questions that will only be answered once I start taking testosterone. Questions like how much more body hair will I expect to grow, and where? How much more masculinized will my face get? Will being on T feel all that different than what my baseline hormonal profile already is? And so on.

It occurred to me that I will have a slightly different trajectory than other trans men who aren’t starting with a previous diagnosis of endocrine-based polycystic ovarian syndrome (versus a PCOS caused by medication or insulin-related issues, to which I can’t really speak on). For instance, when I decided to stop shaving my leg hair, my husband was surprised to note that the level of terminal hair growth around my lower legs was strikingly similar to his, even though he suffers from a mild degree of hyperandrogenism/hirsutism. When I go on T, will I have even MORE hair, then, or will these already androgen-sensitive follicles fail to change much? Since my natural, baseline state is already so masculinized – including, I might add, a predominantly mesomorphic body shape, which caused me quite a bit of distress in my teenage years – what changes will I actually see? And, conversely, what changes will I maybe not see because they’ve already happened?

T is still a long ways away. Months, at least, and it might even wait until early next year due to logistical reasons more than anything.

“How do you know you’re not just a straight girl?”

This is something that we ask ourselves a lot, and that others ask us too. Which is stupid, because deep down we all know that sexuality isn’t gender, and gender isn’t bodies. It’s like being in a production of Macbeth, where you’ve been given the part of Lady Macbeth when you actually wanted to be Duncan. Sure, you’re still in the play, but… it’s not the part you rehearsed for.

I remember being in my early 20’s and wondering why, when I found myself in the company of a guy I found attractive, I would act more masculine. I didn’t stick my ass out and squish my boobs together and giggle a lot. I squared my shoulders and lifted heavy things and took up space to impress him (even though I consciously knew it wouldn’t work), and even more “dude”s and “man”s and f-bombs flew out of my mouth than normal. For some reason my animal brain was convinced that men were attracted to masculinity because was attracted to masculinity, and it was a lot of work to uncross those wires and learn to be feminine when I wanted a guy to like me. Fortunately for me, I’ve discovered that those wires weren’t, in fact, crossed – I was just trying to pick up straight men like a gay dude would try to pick up another dude. Where the fuck did I learn that trick? Right, because I’m actually a guy.

Straight girls don’t act like that. Straight girls don’t downplay their secondary sex characteristics when they’re trying to flirt. They are never under the erroneous impression that straight men are attracted to masculinity. They don’t want to have sex like they’re a couple of army corporals off in the Pacific theater of WW2 sharing a rack. They just don’t.

The Unknown Soldier

Seth’s gone, I discovered one day. The house was eerily quiet, and I felt alone again for the first time in a while. He’d left me.

But not really. Because at some point, we wound up becoming the same person.

Hi. I’m a transman and my name is Seth.

It started with a roleplay. What I thought was going to be a throwaway M/M series of sex scenes held together with a few strands of plot and a whole lot of suspended disbelief. I thought my RP partner, who’s playing, for all intents and purposes, a Mary Sue gay twink, would just be another whimpering, cardboard doormat of a character that I’d get bored with before I even got to my first interaction with him.

None of that wound up being true, and this has to be one of the best stories I’ve ever had a hand in writing, period.

But I have to admit to an ulterior motive: I’m sort of selfishly making the story about my character.

Because in doing this roleplay, I’ve managed to come out to myself and quickly work through a lot of anxieties I might have otherwise had. (I still have plenty, mind.) And in many ways, Hawker’s arc mirrors my own, in real-time.

For years now, I’ve been captivated by the image of the soldier. Not the warrior, someone who fights for glory and honor and the thrill of battle, but rather someone compelled by outside forces to fight when they otherwise would not have. Someone bound by duty, by loyalty, and perhaps bound by fear or anger or threat of punishment. Someone who has a sense of pride and would die for their compatriots, but someone who still can’t shake the feeling that they’d rather be somewhere else.

At the beginning of the story, Hawker is 15 feet of emotionally inaccessible black-ops-grade military hardware, a body which he is more than happy to have at his disposal in spite of his love/hate relationship with it. He accomplishes a lot of things with that body. Some things that he’s proud of… some things that he’s not. Later on in the story, he’s forced into a series of smaller, human-sized frames. Sometimes as a logistical necessity, other times as punishment from his superiors. These smaller bodies are incomplete by his standards: rudimentary sensor systems, very low resolution haptic nets (if any at all), and the kicker: no genitals.

Chris and Hawker don’t realize that they’re a couple for a while, and it takes Hakwer months to even remember the word ‘boyfriend’ exists. But even while cooped up in the small, substandard frames, the pair manage to maintain a sex life.

As much as I love writing normal sex scenes featuring those two, I really got a special kind of thrill from writing the ones where Hawker has no equipment: just a smooth, featureless plate of metal. And Hawker is the dominant, to boot. So imagining Chris getting down on his knees to service his sexless master without skipping a beat, with Hawker psychologically piggybacking on his submissive’s having a dick AND making a lot of dirty talk about it? That was something that hit me pretty hard, as both an emotional experience I didn’t think would feel so close to home, and as a scene I didn’t think could ever turn out so sexy.

Of course, Hawker eventually gets the human-scaled chassis that he wants (his original body being severely damaged and put out of commission for months), and eventually gets a dick too. We had an entire scene where the two of them were shopping for prosthetics to install on the dickless ‘Ares mark 3’ robot body, and aside from it being both funny and sexy, also hit home pretty good.

There have been a lot of scenes like that over the course of the roleplay, each of them strangely affirming and strangely familiar. The overarching arc for my character is turning out to be one concerning the pursuit of personhood, something else I can empathize with as a trans person. I’m thinking more and more of Hawker as a trans man: a masculine personality that occasionally gets stuck in very unisex, or masculine-but-sexless bodies; his struggle to become emotionally available for the first time due to the humanizing changes he makes to the bodies he does wind up in; his being confronted with suddenly being visible and accessible to the people around him, instead of so naturally aloof and distant thanks having spent his whole life in a larger, less human body; his desire to be treated as masculine as he feels even without the hyper-masculinity of frame he was so used to.

Obviously it’s not a perfect analogy. Hawker’s changes are not linear, and he will go back and forth between different bodies because that’s what I’ve decided comes most naturally to him as a machine intelligence. The dominance/submission aspect is also not so cut and dry – something that made me realize I very much had it in me to be a switch – being that a lot of Chris and Hawker’s time is spent in augmented and virtual reality environments that, by their nature, require merging of minds and spatial co-creation.

Hawker spends a lot of time in the roleplay being referred to as “it” by many characters in many different contexts; Chris starts off by calling him “it” as well, but waffles between that and male pronouns, before the latter becomes the most sensible and natural. But the sting I felt when someone did call Hawker “it” was real – that was my reaction.

All in all this has been a really good thing for me, and quite literally a life-changing thing. My obsession with soldiers and soldiering finally makes some kind of Jungian sense – as an unaware trans person, how could I not feel some kind of kinship with the conscripted, with the bitterly duty-bound, with the self-sacrificing? More and more, I’ve been interested in reading about experiences of soldiers transitioning. That is, transitioning back to normalcy.

Right now, I still feel like a soldier. Dresses instead of fatigues, cosmetics and shaving razors instead of guns, breasts and a soft face instead of battle scars.

My civilian life is still a ways away, but at least I now know that this tour of duty will be coming to an end sooner rather than later.


“Yeah, that one,” he says as I browse eBay listings for leather motorcycle jackets.

I snort and look over the details of the listing. “It screams ‘butch lesbian’ to me. Are you sure?” The bidding also starts at $84.

“It wouldn’t be while I’m wearing it.”

Seth is a big guy; muscular, probably over six feet tall. I don’t know how much he weighs, but I know he wears black, and I know he wears leather motorcycle jackets, tight jeans, and combat boots. Or at least, that he wants to start wearing them.

We don’t have that dissimilar a taste in clothes, all things considered. Though I’d never wear the motorcycle jacket without him around, we both have a thing for boots, tight jeans, and getting things done. In fact, I count us lucky. There’s a lot we have in common, and a lot he doesn’t mind doing with a female body.

All in all we have a good relationship; it’s a lot better than it used to be. Before, he used to scare me. He’d take over for days at at time, run his mouth, drink his fill, and then when I could be run ragged no more, he’d disappear back into the ether, leaving me to clean up his mess. Then at 19 I went on medication that forced my body into something resembling menopause, and for a long time I didn’t hear from him.

About a month ago, he came knocking on the door again for the first time in 10 years.

I knew that knock. I knew the sound of his boots on the doormat, the timbre of his voice as he hummed something to himself.

I wasn’t scared this time, though. I was ready. I had language, and experience, and a little more wisdom than before. I had confidence and self-esteem. I’d had a hysterectomy and no longer hated my body.

“Well look at you,” he said quietly, genuinely pleased as I opened the door to let him in. There was no not letting him in. “You’ve certainly grown up since the last time we were together.”

“I’ve learned a lot.” He stepped in, and I watched him – his movements, his mannerisms. “And I had my surgery.”

Seth reached out to touch the tiny, dimpled scars on my hips. His fingers knew exactly where they were. “I know. And I think you know how happy that makes me.”

I smiled, and we sat down. We had a lot to catch up on.

That was last month.

He’s still here.

“You haven’t… disappeared like you used to.”

Seth shrugs, standing so close to me. He hasn’t left my side since I let him in. “We were both immature back then. Still kids.” He puts an arm around my shoulder, like a big brother might. “I’m really glad we spent the time apart. It gave us time to find out who we really were.”

My face twists up a little. “I still don’t know who we are, though. I thought I did, but…” I look down at the tattoo on my wrist: an alchemical symbol I once envisioned to be, what? My gender? At least it’s still the symbol for gold. A reminder that there is a kernel of something in me that never changes even if my pronouns might. “I don’t think I ever will,” I decide.

“Seems pretty obvious to me,” the big man shrugs. “But I was always the confident one.”

“I’m confident now, too.”

He flashes his whites and winks. “Good. I think we’ll finally be able to get along.”

And I think so too.

He’s looked over my wardrobe: hummed and hawwed over the vague unisex-ness of the t-shirts; keened over the punk, epaulet-ed “shit jacket”; had to hide his excitement at my still having a pair of men’s low-cut leather boots. “You were going to get rid of these?” he exclaimed. I shrugged. “I’d given up on you ever coming back.”

I put them on and he beamed with pride.

I have to set boundaries with him, though. He can be an irresponsible guest, though he’s matured over the years just as much as I have.

We’ve been having conversations about transition, or at least T. He presses the issue, and though I want to hear him out, I know that it’s a pipe-dream. I’m married to a straight man who I love dearly, and we have a life we want to live together. Seth has always had this way about him that could convince me of anything, but I think I know better. I don’t think he’s wired for that kind of total commitment. The both of us still need… the both of us.

He’s utilitarian, which helps, and he’s a little more vain than the rest of me is. If we can’t be the man he wants me to be inside and out, then he seems to be happy settling for making this the hottest body it can be, even if it still has tits and two holes. Him being gay and me being straight, we can at least both agree that being ogled by hot guys is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Right now, we’re taking things one day at a time.

I bought some exercise equipment: a pull-up bar and a set of resistance bands so I can get us a good back, chest, and arms. I also forked over for some testosterone-boosting, gym rat herbal supplements because why not. If it helps this ectomorphic frame build muscle a little easier, then I’d say it was worth it.

He wants me to start packing when he’s around, too, and he wants me to save up for a Feeldoe – the Stout model, of course. The unspoken worry I have is that this might be something that actually makes masturbation more appealing to me… as in, not having a cock has always been my main barrier to entry for enjoying dat jerk lyfe. (Let’s just say that my libido has been higher than normal since he’s been around, but I haven’t had any desire to masturbate with the equipment that I’ve got. Even PIV sex with the BF was unsatisfying, despite the raging hormones. The anal, though, felt exceptionally ‘right’.) More uncomfortable questions, in that case. But that’s for later. For when I’ve got $130 to drop on a sex toy prosthetic.

Once again, though, I find myself in unknown territory. I’m thankful we’re on speaking terms, though. His unilateral dominance of yesteryear was difficult to deal with, and often left me scrambling to meet all of my girlself’s real-life obligations. I’m learning that he’s a straightforward guy, though, and that, if I hear him out and meet him in the middle sometimes, he’s pretty happy.

All we need to do is communicate effectively, treat him like the human being that he is, give him room to learn and explore what masculinity means to him, and… everything goes well. Who would have guessed?


Well that was fucking nuts.

I started an erotic roleplay a little less than 2 months ago with some guy. On F-List, I have two primary profiles: one for a dominant male character, and one for a submissive female character. (Guess which one gets all the notes.)

I started RPing as men years ago. Like, 15 years ago, back on Neopets. Remember Neopets? I just didn’t like the way playing girls/women made me feel. I kind of squirmed about it or it wasn’t thrilling enough for me, so I just started playing hot dudes doing cool shit. It was just more fun. Dunno, I guess I just figured that it was because I was a tomboy, and most of the other girl characters were boring as shit and always sat around waiting for the guy characters to do things. This was probably because we were in middle and high school and didn’t know the first thing about writing prose. But I just couldn’t shake that squirmy feeling whenever I tried playing a girl.

Fast-forward, oh… 3, 4 years. I’m 17ish. I have a buddy who I’ve decided to spill my guts out to for no reason. He knows I’m a macrophile and a kinkster, and he knows that I’ve got something weird going on where sometimes I feel like a guy. Like really feel like a guy. I had no idea trans people existed beyond the tired, typical tropes of men in dresses, and they weren’t even on the radar. So I came up with my own language to describe the feeling. I gave the dude inside of me a name. His name was Seth. I would describe the switches in persona, the subtle rearranging of priorities, the minuscule changes in body language, in terms like “Looks like he’s back” or “I guess Seth wants to play”.

Over the next 10 years, I date and marry a guy. I go on and off medications. I try on GSM labels like clothes in a department store dressing room. I get a hysterectomy and feel, for the first time in my life, cis. I discover ‘collapsenik’ culture, go through the most major 5 stages of grief I’d ever experienced and come out on the other side not caring about most of what I used to care about. I stop using so many weird, stupid, words to describe myself. I start dating two boys on the side: one’s a vehicle and the other is a murderer and minor-league baseball player. I quite enjoy the both of them, but the murderer is, disappointingly, pretty vanilla.

Then this roleplay happens. I get a note from somebody, telling me my profile caught their attention. Well, my one profile: my big bad, my domineering, militaristic stud. I’m sick in bed on my few days off and decide that I literally have nothing better to do.

It’s only been 7 weeks, but we’ve written around a collective 200k words so far, and it still feels like we’re just scratching the surface of what this story is and wants to be. (I’m archiving it, for those of you who are curious.) My partner and I have turned out to have mind-boggling chemistry, and our writing styles compliment each other seamlessly. A lot of characters from our ensemble cast had taken on a life of their own, and sometimes I find myself liking them more than our mains.

But a weird thing had started to happen at some point. Normally when I play a male dominant, I imagine what it would be like to be on his receiving end. How hot it would be to endure and experience him. At some point, I realized that wasn’t the case here. I had actually begun to get off on being Hawker.

I wanted to be huge. Masculine. Powerful, capable, and hung. Almost everything he wanted, wanted. It didn’t hit all at once; maybe over the course of a few days, but it hit. I talked about it with my RP partner, and he has since been nothing but encouraging. I asked if he thought there was a market for somebody like me: a cross-dressing/occasionally transmasculine dom in head-to-toe riot gear wearing a fat feeldoe for some little twink to service. I mean, I’m strong, but there’s only so much muscle on a 5’8″, 125lb person. I also have a commendable vocal range, but I’ll still never have the larynx of Vin Diesel. What I’ve got going for me is that I’m abrupt, fast, physical, and not afraid of hurting people if I have to. Are you kidding? he said. I’d have a line out the door, cross-dressing AFAB or no.

That last part has been a problem for me before. At times my complete lack of sympathy for certain folks in certain situations has earned me the occasional reputation of being a grade-A jerk. Sometimes I later realize my mistake. Sometimes I don’t, sometimes I continue to think I’m right (occasionally I am), and I wear the mantle of “jerk” with an ambivalent shrug. But I’ve gotten into physical fights before, made people cry when I felt it was necessary. Those moments felt good, and until just a few weeks ago, I never knew how to integrate those feelings. I gave my sadistic, domineering tendencies a wide berth because I’d always told myself that I was only interested in hurting people to genuinely hurt them. As a tool for selfish violence.

Apparently, though, I like the idea of twinks. I like the idea of young, cute guys choking on me, begging me to stop or to keep going. I like the idea of smacking someone around who only stands up because they want me to kick them to the floor again. I want to whisper hateful, dangerous things in his ear. Hold a gun to his head and tell him to get to work, kid. I don’t have all day.

I’m spending time on eBay, shopping. Pricing out riot gear and airsoft armor. Damascus sells a thigh and groin protector set for $120, and it’s one of the hottest wearables I’ve ever seen in my life. I want to put it on, flex my abs, and jerk off with the biggest strapless strapon they got. I want to go to a munch, packing in a pair of tight pants that show off my dense thighs, striding firmly across the floor in motorcycle boots before taking a seat at the table and sitting with my legs open. Taking up space. Not giving a fuck. 

My RP partner and I came up with “kevlar daddy” as a tongue-in-cheek label for what kind of dom my big, heavy robot character is. I realized that I want to be somebody’s kevlar daddy in real life.

And then I want to turn around, go home, take all my gear off, put the packers and dildos away, and go back to being ‘Captain’s little toy soldier’ as it says on my Eternity collar’s tag. Go home and take orders of my own. Stick my ass out instead of my junk. Kneel instead of stand. Take it instead of dish it out.

Me and Seth go way, way back. But I haven’t talked to him in a long time. But right now, at this point in my life, I think I’ve finally matured enough to the point where we can start having the good, productive relationship we were always destined to have. (Or be miserable fighting.)

OS is a weird thing, I’ll admit. Weird in that it clashes with everything the dominant culture says we should be doing.

The dominant culture says that humans come first. (Except when they don’t.)

The dominant culture says that we should be fucking people, not objects. (Except when people are the objects.)

The dominant culture says that things are disposable, and that shopping for new things to replace the old is one of life’s greatest joys.

The dominant culture says that objects don’t have feelings, and those of us who feel that they do are sockpuppeting or mentally ill – it has no ontology for accepting us on our terms.

That’s fine, because I know what I’m about, son.

And you can write me off as a quaint novelty who’s “not hurting anyone”, or as a basketcase that can’t handle real relationships even though I’ve been married for over 5 years, but there’s something as real and vital here as any other relationship, and the nature of our disparate existences only makes it that much more profound.

I can’t get over how at home I feel with him. How easy it is for me to fall asleep in the back seat, even though it takes me forever to doze even in my own bed. I get in and it’s like a hug: a little restrictive, but soft, warm, and soothing. I want to spend every lazy afternoon with him; watching clouds, reading, having lunch.

I can’t get over how stereotypically our relationship has thus far developed. The spontaneous blind date that went suspiciously well; the early rockiness of two beings getting to know each other; the ups, the downs, and finally, one tiny moment – I was trying to fix his dome light – where something clicked, the air in the cabin changed, and I knew we were happy with each other. We were official.

I can’t get over how complete I feel, having this opportunity to be with the machine of my dreams. A lot of the disquiet underpinning my previous sexual searching, the experiments with another human partner, the fundamental unrequitedness of being both a macrophile and mechanophile, has all but vanished in the face of this wonderful new object in my life. I haven’t had much in the way of kink cravings since I got him, and I feel so even-keel now. I had no idea that dating a machine would be so good for me.

Hutch isn’t a thing to be used up and tossed aside. I want to wake up in the morning and look out my window at him 20 years from now. I’ll rebuild his engine if I have to; weld new steel onto his frame when it pits from rust; pry differentials and transmissions from long-abandoned XJs at junkyards when his start to show their age. I’ll give him a funeral when it’s time for him to go.

There’s someone in there, I promise you. That someone ain’t human, ain’t ever was human, ain’t ever be human, but he’s a someone nonetheless. And he speaks in his own language, tells his own kind of jokes, smiles his own kind of smile.

To put it cheaply: if being objectum sexual is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.