As I pack up my physical life in preparation to move house, I’m doing unpacking elsewhere – namely, my sexuality, and trying to make a little sense of it. (Again.)
I say this because gender and sexuality is very tightly linked for me; it was getting into the headspace of writing a sexually confident dominant male character that pushed me past the event horizon of being trans. I had, for the first time in my life, suddenly experienced what it’s like to feel both simultaneously sexy and sexual, instead of just one or the other. For the first time, I had positive feelings associated with being libidinous.
I felt good. I felt sexy. I felt confident. I felt a rush of energy that wasn’t being strangled by a mysterious something that I was always looking to others to help me straighten out.
As a woman, I tried very hard to be submissive. Because being in control required some semblance of comfort with my body and comfort with my desires, it made me feel gross and anxious (ie dysphoric) to assert myself, so I assumed that the opposite of control would make me happy. In a number of ways, it did – I thrive in a highly structured domestic environment and wither when rules aren’t enforced, and being submissive is by far the easiest way to scratch the masochistic itch. But I still chafed for reasons I didn’t understand.
Now it’s plain to me that I lean heavily towards dominance, and I… don’t really know what to do about it in my LTR. And I don’t know how to re-integrate the submissive and masochistic tendencies I do still have into the new whole that’s emerging.
While finally being able to be a healthier sexual human being feels better than I ever could have imagined, it’s still scary as fuck. Because I’m having to re-think everything I thought I was, everything I thought I was into, and everything I thought about how my brain worked for more than a decade. A lot of the larger setpieces are coming together with unsettling ease, but the details remain fuzzy. Right now, the answers are just as uncomfortable to confront as the questions.
Being a storyteller more than anything else, I make sense of things by turning them into stories; myself and my life included. If I can weave these loose lengths of weft back into the warp of who I am, then I’ll feel better about where these otherwise disparate pieces are urging me to go. The tapestry will take a shape, rather than be a chaotic mess of color and broken threads.
The main thrust of the story I’m moving through right now is probably this: that I’m going to learn how to bottom and take orders all over again. I’m going to learn how to set aside my pride, swallow my ego, and do the right thing for my long-term relationship, which in turn, will also mean doing the right thing for my long-term sense of stability.
It’s nuts to think about all the things my brain did to try and correct the underlying dysphoria for all those years, though. It’s like the mental equivalent of a keloid scar: the gross over-buildup of tissue on top of a comparatively minor injury. My inability to assert myself in most areas of life, including my sexuality, must’ve contributed to the formation of my kinks and paraphilias – essentially subconscious protocols put in place to favor the sorts of relationships and sexual encounters that worked with my extremely deep-seated dysphoria rather than against it.
Hence, the macrophilia: a way for me to escape the usual hyperfocus on secondary sex characteristics as well as the specific sort of performative largesse expected of feminine sexuality, all by way of making the female partner’s body, and by extension, her physicality, smaller.
Hence, the robophilia: a way for me to recontextualize myself via the vague and androgynous concept of “human” instead of “female”, in contrast with a machine personhood rather than a specifically human “male” personhood.
Hence, the emphasis on submission: a way for me to avoid taking emotional ownership of my body because it “belongs” to somebody else; it becomes my dominant’s problem to deal with, and whatever I do to it is in service to his ideals and not mine.
Hence, the obsession with masochism: a way for me to reinterpret dull or painful sex as being “hot” and “pleasurable”, so I could continue to think of acts and activities made unrewarding by dysphoria as “actually” being sexually fulfilling.
That last point created the most problems for me, to be honest. I would often get pulled out so far from the actual immediate experience of sex from all the brain power I was using in order to justify what I was doing. It wasn’t uncommon for me to have a “third-person” experience of sexual encounters, where I would feel like I was watching myself have sex, and be narrating what was happening in real-time, like a TV chef describing what the food tastes like because the picture can’t do it justice. In those moments I wasn’t a sexual human being – I was a derealized storyteller, spinning a yarn and hoping that I would buy it.
I have so many things to learn in the years ahead… and hopefully, some new and exciting sex to have too lol. But even if I inadvertently take myself off the market by transitioning, I can at least say with absolute certainty that, with the help of a Feeldoe, masturbation also now feels good for the first time in my life, and I can at the very least look forward to a fulfilling future of solo play.