9 Months Post-Hysto

Seeing as how I’m probably one of the few NB folks who have had a hysterectomy and wish to continue to have PIV intercourse, it’s really no wonder I haven’t seen this addressed at all in the transosphere. (Granted, it’s not like I’ve really gone looking all that hard either.)  But after you have a hysterectomy, and probably especially with a complete one (removal of uterus, tubes, and cervix), the vagina can narrow, shorten, and/or atrophy.

And, as I discovered a couple of weeks/months ago, that is exactly what mine has done.

Penetration, as brief and slow as it was, was so painful for me that I was sore to the point of cramping for the rest of the day. Now, I probably would have been warned about this had I not lost my insurance right after the surgery and actually gone to my follow-up appointment, so I had to find out the hard way. Please don’t find out the hard way. If, for some reason, you can’t make your follow-up and everything else about your recovery seemed to go just fine, a word to the wise: check to see if your vag has changed since the surgery. Do it with your fingers, because honestly, even just one might be too much anymore.

There are a few remedies for this, and it’s definitely not an unsolvable issue. If you do go to your doctor, they might do either or both of these things: put you on vaginal hormone therapy, or tell you to get a set of dilators. The hormone therapy is basically a cream and/or pill that you insert into the vagina that will help change the thickness and elasticity of the tissue, and as far as I can tell, it’s almost always used in conjunction with dilator therapy. Dilators, as I’m sure you guessed, are exactly what they say on the tin – a series of plastic tubes with rounded ends, that you insert into the vagina for a few minutes each day to help retrain your muscles. You start with the largest one that can be inserted without pain, and work your way up from there.

For some reason, dilator sets are ridiculously fucking expensive for what they are: 4-10, sometimes hollow, pieces of plastic. And that’s it. What’ll this run you if your insurance doesn’t cover it? Oh, anywhere from $50-100. Another bit of proof that the medical industry doesn’t give a shit about vaginas. Here’s a set that costs $90 for no good reason:

Like seriously, they’re little more than silicone tinker toys. I guess you’re paying for the box.

At any rate, because of this, and because I’m too broke to be able to afford even the cheaper sets and not get angry about it, I’ll be using fingers. (Though on second thought, there’s really no reason that you couldn’t use veggies or another similarly-shaped household object if you also have access to condoms. Just be sure that the thickness doesn’t vary, and that the end is ROUNDED. If it’s tapered, I imagine that it could be pretty painful if that tapered end hits the end of the vag where the cervix used to be.)

Oh! And one more thing: I read something about taking vitamin D supplements while doing the retraining/dilation therapy, as it has something to do with improving the strength and sensitivity of the vaginal walls.

At any rate, none of this is in any way ideal. But I can’t possibly be the only NB kid who has been left high and dry after a surgery, so here’s some thoughts and advice in that case from a very-not-medical professional. Oh, and good fucking luck.

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A Partner’s POV

This is a post that my husband wrote this week in response to a few different things that I’ve written recently. He specifically wanted something to respond to, so I sent him some things that are on my mind these days, and it’s been really great to be talking with him about these subjects and experiences this way. Hopefully I’ll get a few more of these from him in the future!


 

Long-distance relationships are easy. Long-distance sex lives; not as much? That said, I credit the situation my spouse and I share for keeping “things” more interesting than what seems to await the archetypical long-term relationship sex-wise.

Since even before we were an item, she literally made me aware of numerous kinks and fetishes I never even thought existed. Hell, if I recall, within the first week of us chatting online she linked me to a full documentary about a couple of dudes who get off on cars. Literally. Then they go on a road trip together. The one guy cheated on his own car with some random stranger’s car. Never before had I ever felt violated on behalf of an inanimate object.

It went on from there. I had been living a primarily sheltered internet life at that point, as I’d only recently returned to using the internet regularly after an amount of years that pre-dated things like Youtube and Encyclopedia Dramatica. Here was this person who was opening my eyes, and mind, to facets of sexulaity I’d never given much serious thought to. And this coming from a guy who was in a metal band for the majority of his 20s.

This all definitely fed the inevitable attraction that followed, and led to her eventual very reluctant (and seriously adorable) admission of her kinks. Now, I’ve always been entirely open-minded when it comes to fetishes and whatnot, and figured that pretty much everyone has one, but I was not at all prepared to the world I was about to go into.

I’m pretty sure the first one she shared was the macro deal, which didn’t strike me as terribly odd. Nor did the D/s, in spite of its considerable influences on overall lifestyle. Later the tough stuff came though, such as the gender realignment and declaration of asexuality. These are not particularly easy things to grapple with as a cishet dude in his 30s. Nor did I expect them to be dimensions I would see in my marriage.

But love is love and I find myself willing to explore a lot of things I never planned. The basic vanilla stuff that I always unconsciously assumed would be the bread and butter of any marriage I would be a part of is basically out the window. Funnily enough though, a lot of aspects of our individual sexualities find these amusing and cute ways of running into each other like tentacles flailing in the dark. (No, not that sort of tentacle action, but hey, if she digs it…)

Like a lot of cishet dudes in their 30s for example, I am a toy enthusiast. I have a disparate collection of figures and statues that run the gamut from Marilyn Manson action figures to vintage Muppet plushes. That mix has naturally included a fair bit of sexy-type figures of comic book and movie women, and before meeting my spouse I had never been specifically confronted by current mates about my interest in them. I once even dated a girl who had more figures of John Lennon alone than I had figures of females put together. But she clearly exhibited an insecurity towards sharing a home with plastic renderings of other women that either turned me on or entertained me somehow. And that’s totally understandable.

Now, having found out about this kink about being one of them feels both ironic and not at all surprising at the same time. And I gotta say, I love the idea of it so far. It comes across as something that can be a lot of fun for both of us, especially in conjunction with the pet play we’ve recently begun exploring. I’ve always been a sort of possessive type, and crossing these with D/s seems like it would put checks in a good amount of boxes, even in the absence of PIV. Also it makes me think of those “hot glue” vids and that’s funny as shit.

About the Dub-Con:

As my relationship with my spouse has led me to feminism, I admittedly recoiled in shock at the revelation shared about our first time. I was reassured after reading her post that it’s ok, and there were some specific kinks served directly by the circumstance. I only just recently learned about the term “dub-con”, but this sure seems like an example of it. None the less I’m extremely glad to receive the reassurance because this is certainly a completely different interpretation of how things went at the time than mine.

Knowing what she thinks of it now leaves me thinking a few different things. Like a new appreciation for the memory itself in light of how our relationship has evolved. And wishing I’d known more about how she was processing the experience at the time. Sexual communication is one of those things that seem simple and obvious that people will find their own special way to suck at.

But I think the most interesting thing here is that I have to admit that this information I’ve just received actually turns me on (only once the CON part was better emphasized). She got a kick out of feeling somewhat manipulated by me, and enjoyed not being a part of the decision-making process as it were.

Embracing more of a D/s lifestyle has been a long process for me, and I’ve always had a bit of a concern as to whether I had it in me, but this kind of stuff really makes me feel like there’s something truly rewarding to be had, and I’m completely certain I would be missing out on a lot of things if I were not married to the person that I am.

My LAT

I don’t think I can quite understate how amazing I’ve felt since hubs and I came to the conclusion that we don’t want to cohab. Like… an immense pressure has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel revitalized. I think he does too.

I told some of my friends what our plans are, and none of them understood. My best friend, who I described as turning more and more into my dad as the years go by, was trying to rationalize our desires and couldn’t. Another told us to “try cohabiting for a while before you knock it”. Maybe I should have told them to try being poly before settling on monogamy? Or something similarly silly? Speaking of polyamory…

Was talking with him about it more last night–he got a kick at how confused they’d gotten when I told them the plan–and started to get the very distinct feeling that this may be another kind of -amory. Or at least, in how I feel that the two of us are expressing it. I want word for it, now.

Nisiamory: island love.

Apomonogamous: isolated marriage.

Misoamory: half love.

Filoamory: friend love.

I’m kind of partial to that first one, “nisiamory”. The image of two islands nicely illustrates our ideal living situation. And none of this “regretfully apart” or “ambivalently apart” like most of those surveyed seem to categorize themselves, as described below.

The cultural term for the arrangement itself (rather than the emotional and romantic propensity for it, as my proposed term encompasses) is called “Living Apart Together”. From Wikipedia:

Living Apart Together (abbreviation: LAT) is a term to describe couples who have an intimate relationship but live at separate addresses. LAT couples account for around 10% of adults in Britain, a figure which equates to over a quarter of all those not married or cohabiting. Similar figures are recorded for other countries in northern Europe, including Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Research suggests similar or even higher rates in southern Europe, although here LAT couples often remain in parental households.In Australia, Canada and the US representative surveys indicate that between 6% and 9% of the adult population has a partner who lives elsewhere.LAT is also increasingly understood and accepted publicly, is seen by most as good enough for partnering, and subject to the same expectations about commitment and fidelity as marriage or cohabitation.

Some researchers have seen living apart together as a historically new family form. From this perspective LAT couples can pursue both the intimacy of being in a couple and at the same time preserve autonomy.Some LAT couples may even de-prioritize couple relationships and place more importance on friendship. Alternatively, others see LAT as just a ‘stage’ on the way to possible cohabitation and marriage. In this view LATs are not radical pioneers moving beyond the family, rather they are cautious and conservative, and simply show a lack of commitment. In addition many may simply be modern versions of ‘steady’ or long term boy/girlfriends. Research using more comprehensive data suggests LAT couples are a heterogeneous social category with varying motivations for living apart. About a third see their relationship as too early for cohabitation, while others are prevented from living together, although they wish to do so, because of constraints like housing costs or (more rarely) job location. Many, however, prefer not to live together even though they have a long term relationship and could do so if they wanted. In practice motivations are often complex, for example one partner might wish to preserve the family home for existing children while the other might welcome autonomous time and space. Sometimes ‘preference’ can have a defensive motivation, for example the emotional desire to avoid the recurrence of a failed or unpleasant cohabiting relationship. Overall, LAT couples may be ‘gladly apart; ‘regretfully apart’ or, for many, undecided and ambivalent where they experience both advantages and disadvantages.

Apartment Therapy ran a blurb about it a few years ago and some of the comments are amusing:

I always remember reading about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s residence in Mexico City that was made of two separate houses connected by a bridge. I always thought that was one of the most brilliant homes ever built.

Never been married, but I always thought the best of all possible worlds would be to have apts/condos across the hall from each other.

I understand this for committed dating and engaged couples (in fact, it’s not a new idea. Living together is a new idea). But not if you’re married. Isn’t the point to live together? If one of you is a very light sleeper or something I could understand twin beds, but if you are so selfish that you can’t share your home, you shouldn’t be married. If you need more space, build a “man cave” or the feminine equivalent.

Whatever happenend to committing to someone for life, through thick & thin? Is the institution of marriage just yesterdays news in this day and age? I’m visiting a friend but had to register just to reply to this thread. Ok, may be numerous marriages or numberous years of living alone might give one another view. But if you truly care about someone this much and still choose separate houses, ya might wanna look inward. This is not a healthy relationship no matter how you define it.

My current lover and I have both [separately] commented that the coolest thing on the entire planet would be living next door to/on the same block as each other… but not in the same house. Close enough to have breakfast together in the mornings, or drop by spur of the moment, or *choose* to spend the night together, but far enough apart to each be our own hermit-y introverted selves. Best ‘o both worlds, in my book!

Nisiamory…

I’m going to be spending a LOT more time researching this, especially for those of us who desire it as a permanent lifestyle and love language arrangement rather than something that we’re just “dealing with” until it’s time for us to move onto the next stage of our relationship. Maybe we were never LDR after all– just LAT.

My LDR

How people think we feel:

How we really feel:

No seriously. As I’ve started telling people, the hardest thing about being in a long-distance relationship is that travel is expensive.

Anyways, I’ve talked a little bit about my marriage before, but this post is dedicated to it 100% because 1. I don’t think I’ve done it yet, and 2. a queer tumblr activist/personality recently put out a call for queer LDR stories and resources and I thought that I’d pitch in.

Read More…

My Gender Hasn’t Changed– Language Is Just Playing Catch-Up

[ March 2016 note: I’m no longer in the same place as I was when I wrote this. I no longer identify with the term “epicene” either, as I’ve come to find that any word that attempts to approximate a gender, either as a goal, space, flavor of embodiment, or social role, is insufficient and irrelevant to me. Even words like “genderless” are too much like soundbites to me and encapsulate nothing about my lived experience, which I actually do get into a bit here otherwise. Also, now that I’ve had my hysterectomy, and am off medications, I no longer want any more surgeries, let alone colpocleisis. ]

I’ve always had a pretty decent understanding of what the “inert nothingness” feels like within the context of myself; it’s just finding words to describe that experience that’s always been sucky. It’s made engaging with trans* spaces sucky.

But a word caught my eye the other day (two, actually, from different places, and they are related in a way): epicene. You can google it to get the jist of how it’s generally used. But it has this quality to it that really interests me. For one, it doesn’t have the word “gender” or “sexual” in it. And that is a HUGE bonus, seeing as how I’ve recently referred to myself as being not quite transgender, not quite transsexual, and not quite cis; over the course of about a month those words suddenly ceased to have any meaning for me, like a house of cards come tumbling quietly down. It wasn’t an identity crisis at all; I’d just become allergic to that sort of language almost overnight without having gone through anaphylactic shock. It was time for me to move on.

Read More…

Moving Away From the Transgender Label

It’s only been like, 2 years since discovering that I might be trans*, and already I feel myself drifting away from the label.

Maybe it’s because I can’t seem to be able to tolerate very many transgender people when I get to know them even the tiniest bit. Maybe it’s because the trans* movement is white-washed and racist as shit. Maybe because nobody talks about what I want to talk about. Maybe because I’m not supposed to be using the asterisk anymore.

Those are all reasons, but the main one is that my experience of embodiment is very different than most it seems, and the result is that I’m alienated from pretty much all trans* narratives, solutions, activisms, and coping mechanisms. That’s what the asterisk represented for me, and the more that I think about the hubub surrounding it, the more useless I realize it was in the first place. The asterisk is by and large claimed by AFAB nonbinary people seeking a more masculine presentation and way of living. That’s… not me at all either, and I don’t want to be read that way by other transgender people.

Truth be told, ever since I started anti-depressants my dysphoria and dysmorphia have slowly fizzled away, leaving a pleasant sort of nothingness. Not “nothingness” as in something akin to the feeling of being cis, a lack of being trans*, but a nothingness where my physicality should be. It’s different than presentation, it’s different than sex/genital configuration, it’s different than hormone profiles, it’s different than assignment, it’s different than what my internal sense of gender is– it’s literally how I experience my own physical self. My sense of embodiment. How I occupy both my body and the space my body is situated in.

So I’m exploring labels that swap the “gender” prefix and suffix for “body/bodied” instead.

Bodyqueer.

Bodyfluid.

Bodyflux.

Aliabodied.

Transbodied.

This is definitely an “other” category way off in the boonies. This is something that is giving a name to my experiences of disembodiment, OBEs, and BIID. I don’t expect this to catch on at all, except maybe among a few in the BIID community. If I ever go to a gender conference, I guess I could make up informational pamphlets to hand out, though.

Anyways, this is where my thoughts are headed, I think. For now, I may start calling myself a cis agender person since I’m becoming less and less dysphoric by the day. (Or I may stop caring about what label I identify as altogether since the whole construct is meaningless to me anyways.) But the body thing… I might have more to say on that.

I Have BIID

[ March 2016 note: While my BIID symptoms have lessened since getting my hysterectomy (which helped to correct some of that feeling of overcompleteness) and since going OFF antidepressants, I still experience this sometimes. This is still one of the more important pieces I’ve written, addressing the elephant in the room that no trans person seems to want to consider being sympathetic about, so it’s one of the few posts I’ve decided to keep. ]

BIID: Body Integrity Identity  Disorder. Also known as Xenomelia and Foreign Limb Syndrome.

I was talking with some nonbinary folks on a trans* forum about how what we know about things like phantom limbs and neuroplasticity might apply to us and explain our ability to desire intersexed (or even physically impossible) bodies in the same sort of fundamental way as an FtM or MtF might desire a binary-assigned body, which supposedly can be completely explained by having brain structures unique to the sex they feel they should have been assigned at birth.

Stumbling on resources that informed me that research on phantom limb syndrome has shown that it is possible for sufferers to manipulate their phantom appendages in physically impossible ways, or have fully-functioning appendages that they never had (called congenital phantom limb syndrome). Some trans* men report having phantom penises, and so on. The discussion wound up having me do a search for “the opposite of phantom limb syndrome” perhaps as a means to help explain what goes on neurologically with, say, a neutrois individual who might want no secondary sex characteristics or sexed genitalia despite never not having them. I got a lot of search results about a disorder called BIID, and started reading.

I began to realize that many of the symptoms, coping behaviors, and tendencies match many of my own down to a tee, even though I don’t see any mention of anything even remotely like the sort that I experience. A number of articles and posts about the disorder reference a feeling of “over-completeness”. When I read those words I knew this was what was behind a huge portion of who I am.

From Wikipedia:

Body integrity identity disorder (BIID, also referred to as amputee identity disorder) is a psychological disorder wherein sufferers feel they would be happier living as an amputee. It is related to xenomelia, “the oppressive feeling that one or more limbs of one’s body do not belong to one’s self”.

BIID is typically accompanied by the desire to amputate one or more healthy limbs to achieve that end. BIID can be associated with apotemnophilia, sexual arousal based on the image of one’s self as an amputee. The cause of BIID is unknown. One theory states that the origin of BIID is that it is a neurological failing of the brain’s inner body mapping function (located in the right parietal lobe). According to this theory, the brain mapping does not incorporate the affected limb in its understanding of the body’s physical form.

The basic misconception is that only arms and legs are affected, though once you start doing a little digging, it quickly becomes apparent that that’s far from true. It seems that the disorder can affect your relationship with just about any part of your body; or rather, any part of your body that you are conscious and aware of. It can also extend to affect the relationship that you have not with any particular piece of anatomy, but ability, like being able to see or hear.

The sort that I have seems to affect the entirety of my body, making me feel like I should be smaller than I currently am. I’ve written about this feeling before. I also wrote about it at the Experience Project. Discovering this is a huge, huge deal for me. It informs my gender, my orientation, my sexuality.

One of the things I’ve discovered since having sexual relationship is the strange way that I seem to process touch. Namely, it seems to be diminished and I’m pretty incapable of feeling anything in the way of marked pleasure from intimate contact, even in so-called erogenous zones. I thought there was something wrong with me for a long time, and just as I was coming to terms with the idea of not getting pleasure out of being touched, I discover BIID.

But that’s just one thing that is beginning to make sense now, within the context of the right parietal lobe theory.

The right parietal lobe is the part of the brain that seems to be responsible for the somatosensory system, and feelings of bodily ownership, proprioception, and sensory processing.

The point-to-point mapping of the body surfaces in the brain is called a homunculus and is essential in the creation of a body image. This brain-surface (“cortical”) map is not immutable, however. Dramatic shifts can occur in response to stroke or injury.

A disruption in body image may be linked to something gone haywire in this part of the brain. And at it’s core, BIID is what happens when the brain has improperly mapped an otherwise complete and functioning body. For most sufferers, that incomplete image may mean that a leg has been left out, or a finger, or the ability to walk. Many folks with BIID report diminished sensation in the offending body part.

Over on the sidebar over there, I call myself a sensation whore. I am. I like pain, I like being made physically uncomfortable. I like feeling weighed down and restrained. And in a way, I consider myself lucky that I do get pleasure from these kinds of sensations, since I can’t otherwise. Like I told my husband, I enjoy being hit because it’s my way of feeling something on my skin.

So then, this opens up another question: how might this inform my orientation? Am I saying that this made me asexual? Maybe, maybe not. But if I’m lacking the ability to really feel erotic pleasure in any way that is meaningful to me, then how can I possibly frame any relationship or fantasy of a relationship that I might have within the context of eros? How can I fantasize about something that I’ve never felt, feel attraction by a means that my body is unfamiliar with? Sure, sexual attraction is more than its constituent parts, but like a human being, you still have nothing if those parts don’t come together in the first place. If you don’t fantasize about sexual encounters in a sexual way, if you don’t masturbate, if you don’t feel motivated to pursue sexual intimacy with someone or something else, if you don’t get a sexual thrill from the sexual contact that you do receive, then I would say that these things together result in asexuality. I think it would definitely explain the way that I do tend to fantasize, though. In one of my previous posts trying to suss things out before I knew about this disorder, I talked about fantasizing about being eaten or crushed or dominated physically and emotionally but not sexually. I guess that these are the things that my subconscious mind knew to be more relevant to my reality than sex and it’s taken me over a decade for my conscious mind to catch up.

Maybe BIID is the cause of my asexuality. Or maybe I’m not actually asexual at all. But that’s the hairy intersection of asexuality and disability, isn’t it? Is one responsible for the other? Can it be? I don’t know.

Though I know for a fact that it’s responsible for my macrophilia. They’re two sides of the same coin, really.

Trans* people, as I found out pretty early on in my research on the disorder, hate BIID with a burning passion. Hey, it’s to be expected– if a bear is chasing you and your friend, you only have to outrun your friend to survive. If society is going to call you a sick freak to justify treating you like shit, the first step in justifying your right to exist is to find someone else to call a sick freak and treat like shit. Sure, it may not actually help you in the long run, but it sure feels good to know that you’re not at the bottom of the social food chain at least.

Part of the “sick freak” knee-jerk has a lot to do with the medical establishment’s obsession with pathologizing sexuality, and especially the sexuality of folks it deems abnormal. This is where we got autogynephelia from: the supposed fetish that trans* women have for themselves. Of course the only reason anyone would want to be a woman is for sexual funsies, right? Nevermind that the vast majority of cis women, when subject to the same criteria used to detect autogynephilia in trans* women, apparently suffer from the disorder also.

The fact of the matter is that people sexualize shit that they find pleasurable and things they find not so pleasurable. They sexualize who they are and who they want to be. It’s basically human nature. Some people use sexuality to heal, and others to cope.

I use mine to cope.

If I can’t change my body to reflect who I feel like I should be on the inside, then I damn will find an outlet to let off that building pressure. If I cannot have the relationship with physical intimacy that I truly want, then I’m going to vicariously experience that through art and stories. I’m going to sexualize the very thing that’s causing me distress and discomfort so that I can at least attempt to have a semblance of control over it before it eats me alive. I am going to find a reason to take pride in that unrelenting desire. I’m going to find a reason to like it.

I suspect a lot of folks with BIID might feel the same. We are sexualizing ourselves, our identities, our experiences to make them easier to live with day in and day out. Do we not have the right to find ourselves sexy and attractive just because we have a disorder?

Me, if I was never meant to be small, then I could still imagine other people who would make me feel small.  And also safe. Somehow, in my convoluted daydreams, I knew that they were also keeping me safe from the very thing that was causing me to imagine myself with them to begin with.

Trans* people think that we don’t deserve the same rights, respect, and considerations as they feel they’re entitled to because we “fetishize disability”. Sorry, but this is horseshit, and it’s exactly the same thing as saying that trans* women don’t deserve respect because they’re just fetishizing femininity. We are not doing this for attention or for a sexual thrill any more than a trans* person is, nor should we be robbed of our sexual agency simply because we suffer from mental illness. The debate about the medical ethics of voluntary amputation is a completely different consideration and I’m not going to go into that here. Suffice to say, I’m a firm believer in bodily autonomy, and if someone’s overall quality of life would improve by becoming disabled, then I would support that choice if reasonable alternatives have been exhausted.

Ok.

And what about the gender thing? How could this possibly inform my gender too?

Well, I’ve written about it before. Somewhat. Using fragmented and incomplete language.

My gender is “small”, “cute thing”. I sort of vibrate between pretty fairy boi, manic pixie girl, BMO, and housecat. But those are all just aspects; the real me is nothingness. A ghost haunting a house that belongs to a different family– I might chose to obey the floorplan? But really, I just end up walking through the walls all the time anyway. I barely even care that there’s a house there to begin with.

But really. What is gender but a collection of feelings and affirmations about who we are in relation to our bodies and cultures? Of course “and then some”, but gender is also these things. My gender is both nothing and small. And for some reason I have it in my head that for small, genderless things, puberty is meaningless, secondary sex characteristics are mostly an annoyance, and genitalia are birth defects. Having diminished sensation all over does carry over to my genitalia. I don’t seem to be able to feel much down there other than “I’m being touched” and “ow ow ow”. I didn’t even really consciously or symbolically understand that I had genitals until I was well into my teen years. Why should I? When I touched myself in the shower or whatever, it didn’t feel different or special in any way. It was literally just like scratching my ass. You might say that my brain, for all intents and purposes, has incompletely mapped my innie-junk, and has incompletely incorporated that part of my anatomy into my understanding of what constitutes “me”. To speak a bit more poetically, it honestly feels faint to me. Distant, in a way. I would much rather trade friction and penetration for the simple feeling of something large and heavy simply resting against it. For some reason, that actually allows me a glimpse of what it might be like to have that area of my body fully integrated in the way that I imagine it should be.

I think the research going into BIID (what little there is) might be of interest to the agender and neutrois communities. I for one feel like my gender identity, which consists of both, is for sure informed by the disorder. Who knows, maybe wiring in the right parietal lobe might have something to do with the feeling of alienation from secondary sex characteristics and anatomical sex, in the same way that other structures might be responsible for FtMs’ alienation from their chests and MtFs’ from their genitals.

I don’t have much more to say about the subject, really, other than that this has been an intense discovery for me and has provided me with something of my own personal “unified theory”. I hope that this post might help someone else who struggles with similar feelings or experiences dysphoria of a sort that’s hard to pin down. I’ve spoken to others about this, and there is apparently some evidence to support a link between having BIID and being transgender. I’ve only spoken to one trans* person so far about this, a trans* woman who desires to be paraplegic, but the disorder itself is pretty rare and finding people who have it is proving to be really difficult so I don’t even have anecdata to refute that or back it up.

I’m hoping that I can get back to finishing the next part of the macrophilia series after this. Still, it might take some time. I’m still trying to figure out what this means for my identities, especially if it’s causing them. Do I give a shit if it is? Right now, I don’t think so.