Opening Up — and the Death of Absolutes
If there is one thing I have always prided myself on it was my integrity. If I told you I was going to do something I would do everything possible to do it. So it goes without saying that one’s inability to keep a promise can weigh heavily on this person’s soul.
Having such pride in one’s integrity can get obfuscated when one factors in transition. It’s a common trope from the anti-trans establishment to claim we exist as frauds; transitioning only to follow the most difficult and dumbest path to a perversion. Like seriously, if I wanted to skulk in “safe spaces,” I didn’t need to risk losing everything, suppress my natal sex hormone, or replace that hormone with one that will eventually make permanent changes to my body. No, if I wanted to violate the sanctity of those safe spaces, I would have just done so — Easy Peezy!
Transition is so removed from being a “con” that the haters can’t fathom the truth… Up till we transition, we were all con artists. The only difference is that we were forced to run that con by the very same people who claim we are currently engaged in some form of elaborate and nurfarious ruse.
Society believing us as frauds is convenient means of absolving themselves of the damage they’ve inflicted upon us. Naturally, those people take no issue deriding us, while we are finding new happiness through our own self acceptance. It’s freeing to shed the con that was thrust upon us since the day of our birth but how many layers does this con have? Is the need to simply transition the only lie we’ve been subtly and subconsciously directed to discard; or are there other layers of suppressed identity?
From this point on things are going to get really personal and intimate. What I write here may not for the squeamish. You’ve been warned.
I don’t really recall at what point in my childhood I began penetrating myself. I was lost trying to experience my femininity in the only way I could. I had no one to talk to about how I related to my body, so I just experimented by myself; a lot! You know that old meme that says “anything is a dildo if you’re brave enough”? It’s kind of like that; a kid can have a wild imagination, and kids tend to be hella brave.
To be fair, it didn’t always go the way you’d think. Since I was desperately wanting to experience life as a woman, I even turned my attention to the only opening that was even remotely close (on my body) to where a vagina would be on a cisgender woman; my urethra. What some fetishists now refer to as “Sounding” was something I began experimenting with in the 80’s. It was mostly short lived because… DUH!… It hurt like hell!
Ultimately I ended up turning my attentions back to the obvious orifice, and thus began a lifetime of abuse that was born out of a need to feel female. At such a young age, and having no resources, I thought this meant I was gay. This never felt right, I could not envision myself with a man, as a man. This left me more confused about myself, and why I was doing the things I was doing. Even now I still compartmentalize this abuse.
This form of self-gratification would eventually be termed as “pegging.” And the older I got, the more I realized it’s a thing that many men do behind closed doors (but won’t admit) — it’s a great means of stimulating a prostate. I tried to whisk away the stigma of these actions, but I was burdened by how few people I could ever share this knowledge with. Which is ironic considering I share everything openly now.
I began to think I was just a guy with an ass fixation. Not just mine by my girlfriends as well. That’s an even more common fixation for heterosexual men, so I began to discount that interest as being nowhere close to shameful. I was normal; at least that’s what I convinced myself.
By the time I moved away from anyone and everyone I knew, I felt more free to be honest about myself and what I wanted sexually. I bought actual toys for this purpose; no more of this “anything is a dildo…” when you actually have access to the real thing. I also began being very forthright in my online dating profiles, and in the blog I maintained on LiveJournal.
After meeting a particularly adventurous woman on Match.com I was compelled to share the sexcapade in a LiveJournal community called AnalPlay. Someone took an interest and began a dialog. But in a short time frame that conversation drifted from sex to more pedestrian topics such as favorite bands. Then she asked for my number; before long we got swept up in an online romance that neither of us saw coming. What I found particularly endearing was that she was aware of my sexual proclivities (from finding me on LiveJournal) and she didn’t care. That acceptance made her infinitely more attractive than most.
Well, most of you know how this goes. Eventually, after three months, she flew to meet me, and within 4 days of physically meeting, we were married. We spent the next 2 years of our marriage in Yuma Arizona. Being separated from our families allowed this time to become a very intimate “honeymoon” period. Unfortunately as honeymoons go, they eventually end, and the fire cooled. The girl I had inside me was having her needs met in the beginning, but when we moved to Oklahoma City everything changed.
I won’t spend too much time lamenting what’s happened; I don’t really want to rehash the darkest part of our past. In 2008, and in my drunken truth-telling, I told my wife if she didn’t want to be intimate with me, that’s fine, but I had needs and if she didn’t want to fulfill those needs, I should have her permission to have those needs met elsewhere. Of course at the same time I also confessed that I thought I was bi-sexual. It was a lot for her to digest. She never gave me permission; and I never stepped outside the marriage.
Following that conversation in 2008, the marriage began to fall apart; so much so that I attempted to kill myself in 2009. Thus began a very trite period that lasted for 7 years. During such time I had fallen back on old masturbatory habits; it was really the only way to feel feminine — the only way without transition that is. Something I never read too much into was that typically I would watch heterosexual porn, and imagine I was the woman; a fact that would establish clarity for me later.
By 2016, my alcoholism had gotten off it’s chain. This problem was enhanced by having a gastric bypass surgery in 2012; but most certainly driven by living half-a-life as the wrong gender and shamefully compensating for that with intimate moments spent alone — unwanted, and undesired. My wife forced my hand by demanding I stop drinking and figure myself out. That was in August 2016, and by the end of the month it was confession time.
I told her on August 27th 2016 that I was transgender. At the time, I was terrified that she would immediately kick me out. I told her something what I thought was true; I told her I wouldn’t have GRS. While inside I absolutely wanted to surgically transition (I've always wanted to), I couldn’t visualize a path to pay for that surgery, so telling her this didn’t seem like a stretch of truth. I just never dreamed that it would be within my means.
As I transitioned my wife would repeatedly tell me that her biggest fear was that I would leave her for a man. I vehemently stated that men didn’t interest me; having lived in their heads for so long, I actually find them a bit repulsive. This of course is endemic of feeling, and even reinforcing, misogynistic tendencies over years of living as a “man.” To live as a woman and feel utter disgust over those feelings caused me to loathe the generalized notion of men. So for lack of a better verbiage, I affirmed my unending devotion to my wife through my internalized disdain for men.
In early 2018, while advocating for transition related healthcare benefits within my company, I came to learn that this was a benefit I had all along — my insurance company had lied to me when I’d inquired about these benefits. It was at that time that I began pursuing GRS. This — of course — went against what I had told my wife on the day I came out. She didn’t fight me on that, by this point she knew who I needed to be.
Our sex life grew real stagnant in the wake of transition. Hormone treatment, an orchiectomy, and her lack of attraction to women all played a factor. These of course were all things that I wrought because I chose to transition. In a manner of speaking, I felt I deserved it. But as unfair as it was for me, it was even more unfair for her; she didn’t ask for any of this — she thought she married a man.
I underwent Gender Reassignment Surgery on November 7th 2018. My wife would later tell me that when she could see that her spouse no longer had a penis, it hit her very hard; the last physical vestige of her husband was finally gone.
My surgery was less than successful. While my new vulva does create some very affirming feelings for me, I have almost no depth; I’m left feeling like half a woman — it’s a strange feeling to have. At times I have phantom sensations of my old anatomy, and even arousal feels like an erect penis under a tight pair of jeans. I don’t know how this equipment works, and the lack of vaginal depth complicates that.
In the months that followed my GRS, we had only attempted intimacy once. I could see the unsettled feelings in my wife’s eyes as she tried to learn how stimulate me. It was difficult for me as well, since I wasn’t even sure I was capable of orgasam. There was no happy ending for me that evening, but I was happy that I could still bring her pleasure, and that was good enough for me. The benefit of no longer having testosterone is the gratification I get from simply being intimate; sex, and orgasam are significantly less necessary. This is not to say that I would opt for Asexuality, it’s just freeing to no-longer be lead around by a boner 24/7.
Following that encounter I set out to do everything in my power to experience an orgasam. I even got a vibrator that was way more intense than I could imagine. I settled into a hotel room on my weekly work-related layover and focused my attention on my most intimate body part… After an hour I’d finally done it; I discovered I wasn’t broken, I could still orgasam! HUZZAH!
Unfortunately, in that moment I discovered the fact that I had been oblivious to even though it should have been obvious to me for decades…
I was unable to climax without fantasizing about having sex with men. As I said, I used to watch heterosexual porn and imagine I was the woman. It was so obvious, and plain as day. I had become so mired by maintaining some societal expectation wrought from being a man that I convinced myself that men weren’t part of my sexual equation. (BTW I’m bad at math; don’t get me started on algebra or geometry.)
This did not go over well. How could I tell the woman I love that I needed to experience men when I’d already told her that wouldn’t happen? This would only be another untruth; another crack in my prized integrity, and another aspect of the con levied against me that I had turned a blind-eye to.
I fell into another depression, and my alcoholism flared up. It wasn’t long before she began to see the same pattern that lead to my coming out as Trans. It didn’t take as long until she began asking the right questions at the moments when I tend to be the most forthright and unfiltered — when I was inebriated.
As best as I recall… I asked her to remain calm, and don’t hate me for what I was going to say. She agreed; and just as I explained my sexual epiphany to you — I explained it to her. To my surprise, she actually was calm, and understanding. The conversation then politely gravitated towards the very matter that caused so much marital timult back in 2008 — opening up our marriage.
The following day the whole conversation felt like a dream. Like I never thought for a moment that we’d ever broach this subject again with any form of civility. She asked me if I remembered what we’d discussed, and I told her that we talked about opening up the marriage.
It wasn’t a dream!
We’d come to an agreement. Both of us deserve sexual pleasure, and it’s unfair that I transition my gender and expect that she (a cisgender heterosexual female) would find that pleasure and attraction in being with someone who identifies as female. Conversely, while I am still very much attracted to her, my sexual needs cannot be met by her; and it would be unfair to expect her to act as a male to satisfy my needs.
Over the course of these past two and a half years I think my wife began to understand certain inevitabilities. Perhaps it is the myriad of similar stories that fueled her belief that I would want to experience men, or perhaps it was the nearly non-existent nature of our sex-life that caused a tipping point towards this acceptance. Whatever it was is moot; we are now sailing into uncharted territory.
I think we both have this expectation that we can remain happily married while openly dating other people. But there is still fear. Fear of becoming jealous; creating jealousy, but also the fear of love. When I came out with this, I told her how I feel I keep breaking promises and how this affects me because I do not consider myself to be intrinsically dishonest. I explained that I no longer want to deal in absolutes because I’d rather say anything can happen, then say something absolutely won’t happen; only to be blindsided when it does.
Because I spent nearly four decades predominately thinking like a male, I have a deep-seeded suspicion that I will never experience love outside of what I already know. Most deem us (Transgender individuals) as a fetish, and disposable; something that sickens me to my core. But as someone who wants to stay married, is that such a bad thing? My wife can have far less fear that anyone would ever truly love me, but at the same time, I am riddled with fear that someone will love her more.
Someday, after being discarded by a suitor, will I come home to an empty house? This is my new nightmare. For as much as I know things need to change, it’s that change — the lack of absolutes — that terrifies me.
If we’re both scared, maybe that’s good. We’re passing to the dark side of the moon. Neither of us knows what awaits us there, but I remain hopeful that when we come around the terminator — on the other side of this metaphoric celestial body — we’ll still love and cherish each other.
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