Originally published in Scarlet Letters, probably in 2001.
(This article is Part One of a two-part series on....well, read and you'll find out, honey.)
Body parts are an uncomfortable issue for many transgendered people. It's not easy when you're nervous about getting naked and the potential lover jokes about how it's OK, you haven't got anything they haven't seen before, and you look them in the eye and say, "Oh yeah?" It's not easy to have unusual anatomical combinations. Sometimes people fetishize that. Sometimes they're appalled by it. Either way, you are not going to "fit" anatomically with them they way a bioman and a biowoman, or even two of each, fit together. If you're their first tranny, making love to you will have to be a step-by-step education. Even people who consider themselves accomplished lovers become nervous and stymied when faced with nontraditional anatomy. You will never have the luxury of laying back and assuming that they know what to do (unless you only date tranny-chasers, which severely limits your dating pool).
On top of this, there's the other issue of body parts, and that's the ones we buy and bring home and insist that you treat them like they're ours. I don't mean surgically-constructed bits; that's its own education. I mean rubber thingies. Now, many perfectly ordinary and non-transgendered folks have a nice collection of rubber thingies in different sizes and shapes, but they generally don't see them the way some of us do. To the average person, they're sex toys. To us, they are parts of our bodies, at least when they're on us. They're auxiliary anatomy, and we expect them to be treated as such.
Zot, a lovely and graceful male-to-female androgyne who was the maid of honor at our wedding, once dated a gay man, who called me up after their first date in confusion. Apparently halfway to the club she realized that she had accidentally left her latex breast forms at home, and refused to do anything except turn around and go back and retrieve her tits. I tried to explain to him how difficult it was for many of us to feel like a whole and sexual person if we didn't have the right anatomy, and that the crutch of a few pieces of rubber was often just the boost we needed.
Of course, we usually have a sense of humor about it. Chris, another transwoman, was still waiting for her own breasts to grow in from the estrogen she was taking, and was enhancing them in the meantime with rubber breast forms; while being hit on rather hard by a friend of mine, she noticed how the individual in question had a hard time keeping eyes above her chest. "Would you like to play with them?" she asked in a kindly voice. Her paramour nodded enthusiastically. Chris reached into her bra, pulled out one tit, and tossed it over. The look on my friend's face was priceless.
Rubber phalluses are an even bigger deal to FTMs, who don't grow full-size cocks the way MTFs do grow full-size breasts eventually. When I refer to my cock, I might be talking about my inch-long enlarged clitoris, or I might be talking about one of my many pieces of rubber. For some FTMs, it's such a big deal that they can't even bear to use one, as its presence reminds them of their lack. For others, it becomes the temporary cyborg dick, the prosthetic repository for their astral penis. It becomes a fetish that goes beyond simple sexual arousal and into the no-man's-land of identity and self-image.
I've certainly met F2Ms who didn't bother with them. I've also met ones who hardly ever took them off except to shower. I've met guys who didn't fit into the transsexual class - butch dykes, boygirls, transvestites - who fetishized that object of desire as much as I did, even if they weren't planning to cut off their tits and take hormones. There are a great many individuals who cluster at the edges of the transsexual phenomenon but don't feel it's an extreme to which they need to go. One such boygirl, a fetishistic transvestite who was lovers with me for a time before I transitioned, showed me that when two such guys get together, it's fag sex, even when there isn't a live penis in the room. It's the heat, the energy, the images we hold in our heads of each other, the magic we fantasize into those prostheses. "There's guy dick," a female friend who'd slept with both of us decided, "and then there's girl dick," meaning the "large clitorises" of pre- or non-operative male-to-females -"and then there's magic dick!"
This same "boy" was the only F2M-identified member of a local cross-dressing club, and s/he invited me to hang with hir as s/he manned the F2M crossdresser info table at the yearly convention. Most of the other crossdressers avoided us as we sat there. I'd just started transitioning at the time, and my beard had grown out. (I'd discovered it was an erogenous zone; having it nibbled on drives me nuts.) I wore my own fetish gear - leather and leather and harness boots - and s/he was dressed similarly. One dropped by and shyly began to discuss with hir what it was like to identify as your birth gender, but get off on being the other one during sex. "You're lucky," the bewigged TV mourned. "You can wear male clothing on the street and no one cares! If I wear a skirt I'm in trouble."
I was about to launch into a discussion of changing male and female roles when my friend cut me off. "That isn't crossdressing," s/he said scornfully, indicating hir well-worn jeans and T-shirt. "That's just ordinary clothing."
"At what point does it become cross-dressing, then?" the TV wanted to know.
My friend reached into hir backpack and whipped out hir cock. dangling from its harness. "At this point!" s/he grinned, eyes twinkling. I suppose it was lucky for everyone in the lobby that s/he wasn't packing it in those strategically ripped jeans. Still, the point was taken. FTM transvestite fetishism revolves around that pole, and FTM transsexual sexuality often revolves around its lack. We can fear it, feel shame around it, or we can remember the original, more magical meaning of the word "fetish" and embrace it, laugh about it, glorify it.
Transgenderism can take many forms, and it isn't always about wanting to be a "normal" man or woman. Often, playing with prosthetic sexual characteristics can be a way to don a "mask" of gender, play with it and transform yourself, shapeshift into a different body and role even if you have no intention of making it permanent. I know a biofemale who identifies as a gay male drag queen; she claims she'd never get a sex change because her lovely female body is more effective drag. When she does her drag queen persona at clubs, she straps down her perfectly adequate breasts and dons rubber ones over top of them, to help her recreate the drag queen experience. I know a male-to-female transsexual who identifies as a butch dyke; she straps her pre-op male genitalia back with a gaffe and packs a rubber strap-on. The possibilities are endless.
Of course, the funniest strap-on story that I know personally involves a friend of mine (the same friend who was so unceremoniously handed the breast she'd been ogling by Chris.) She's a bi-femme, certainly not butch at all, and identifies wholeheartedly as female. Still, in a moment of adventurousness, she had a strap-on made and, in a moment of whimsy, wore it to her job as an apartment desk clerk. She described her feelings on the subway en route to her work: "Everyone I looked at, I wanted to bend over and screw. I found myself looking at women and thinking, Yeah, she wants it. And those cute boys! I imagined them getting down on their knees and sucking it. As soon as I got home, I was shocked at myself." Nothing had changed in her gender presentation (she was still wearing skirts) or her hormones, yet the presence of the phallus mask allowed her to play with and mentally satirize the worst of stereotypical male behavior.
At the end of the first day, she ended up at my house, because it was a quarter mile closer to the bus stop, and she swore, standing right there on the doorstep, that she couldn't walk another step without masturbating. Sure, said I, the couch is over there; help yourself. (Yes people really do turn up on my doorstep begging to use my couch to beat off on. I probably have a much more interesting life than most people.) She lay down, pulled off her blouse to let her tits hang free, hiked up her skirts, seized her new dick, and proceeded to beat off, grinding the base of the strap-on into her clit. "You must think this looks ridiculous," she panted as she worked.
I shrugged. "Tits and a dick? Nah, you look normal to me. But then, remember who I'm married to."
The next day, she wore the strap on to work again under her full skirts, but this time nothing went as planned. In a truly Coyote-like twist, she sprained her ankle on the way home and ended up in the hospital, still packing her toy and unable to get to the bathroom to remove it. She found herself going to all sorts of trouble to keep the medical staff from winding bandage too high on her leg, and thus discovering an addition that would have to be explained. "I know just how a pre-op MTF transsexual feels now!" she commented to me later. Revenge of the phallus strikes again. Be careful what you wish for, intones the FTM shaman. You might just get it, whether you like it or not. Do you get it now?
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