Until I moved across the country my OBY-GYN and I were social friends and had dinner every few months. She was a cis dyke and of course I was out to her, in the sanctity of her office. I was thinking of going back to see Biber for a labiaplasty and wanted to get her “vaginal wall” insight — in short her medical opinion. As on OBY-GYN she not only did exams, she estimated she had helped deliver thousands of babies and therefore I considered her an expert.
She observed that women, especially younger ones, would sometime obsessed over their labia, the most common complaint is one side being a different size than the other, but it did not stop there. Far from it! She said over the years she had heard almost every possible dissatisfaction expressed and she did a lot of “cosmetic” adjustments as an outpatient procedure. In short what could Biber do that she couldn’t?
She, and other doctors dealing with women of transition, have given me the advice, “Make it yours.”
I read Maxwell Maltz book, Psycho Cybernetics, (←link to wikipedia article and the book also online as a PDF) not long after it was published. As a plastic surgeon Maltz was surprised how many people had surgery and could not come to grips that their appearance had changed.
While some of it was psychology-base, I postulate that some of this also has to do with proprioception. If I get Novocaine injected by the dentist and later I try to drink water, it is comical as it dribbles down my chin because I don’t know where my facial lips are. Even if SRS was “devoutly to be wished,” my brain still is processing what was imprinted when I mapped by body while in infancy.
I found that sexual intercourse, irrespective of the partner’s sex, was a strong remapping experience, but not absolutely necessary. My OB-GYN said with a smile, “You need to have the film in your brain,” meaning the pictures.
Breasts were a bit different. I have my own and they developed over time. The SRS is very sudden.
I am not clear on what you mean about the part that butch women are invalidated. As a lesbian I was strongly attracted to butch women, even ones who were stone, and I never felt either partner was invalid.
You have opened a lot more, especially with the part about before, and the loathing of the ugly growth between one’s legs which in my case lead to blotting out all associations much of the time. Being free of the blotting is a reversal of body awareness.
We should open a thread where people of transition can speak sub rosa with one another and these subjects.