Braided Hair

As a child, I longed to be one of the girls. I spent a lot of time wistfully watching my sister and her friends braiding each other’s hair and wishing that I could do that too. Both because I liked girls and because I wanted to be one.

As an adult, I’ve definitely been sad that I missed out on all those practice years. That I didn’t get the training in hair care that comes with girlhood. But today, I decided to look up instructions and try to braid my own hair.

It’s messy and loose but I finally tried it and the good news is it can only get better from here.

Looking back

Sometimes it’s helpful to look back and realize how far you’ve come. I ran across some photos recently of a vacation I took in 2016 and I was shocked at how hairy I used to be and how different my face looked. It is really a testament to how well laser hair removal works that I don’t really have to think about that much anymore. I used to have a very full beard and now I have shaved once in the last 2 months. It is such a relief to not have the constant dysphoria-inducing shadow on my face from stubble. And I’m so thankful that I had the resources and support to make all this expensive hair removal happen.

2016 me
Me today

Trying to have patience

I’m still trying to have patience and I’m beyond frustrated with the pace of nerve healing and sensation. But there are a few areas I’ve made progress.

Last night I tried out vibrator number 5, a simple slimmer model I bought specifically for this stage of healing, and it seems to be a hit. No orgasm but I felt closer than I’ve been and I learned that being able to move it in and out easily is important for me which is easier with this style.

The missing part of the picture is definitely the clit area. It feels like there is a void where there should be a something important. But last week when we tried to wake it up with the Hitachi magic wand, we overdid it and made it bleed so I have to let it rest for now. It is has been bleeding on and off so I don’t dare try the other new toy I got, a clitoral suction vibrator. Hopefully soon the nerves there will wake up. I am terrified that they were damaged when my clit fell off and that they are dead cells. But again, all I can do is wait and keep trying.

But the other exciting thing I did last night was upgrade finally to the largest size dilator that I was given. It’s exciting to finally be there and once I get used to it, it opens up a lot more toy possibilities as well as the option of PIV sex after this pandemic is over. There is apparently an even bigger size I can special order if I want but most people stop after getting to this level.

A hard reality

I know I probably shouldn’t be writing when I’m tipsy but here I am anyway. And it’s time for me to say some uncomfortable things about surgery.

Right now I’m kinda regretting having bottom surgery. I know this period of no orgasms is supposed to be temporary but it’s been 4 months since I’ve had that release and I’m beyond frustrated. I really wish I still had my old parts so I had a reliable way to get off. Instead I just have to keep throwing different toys against this clit-less vulva and hope something finally happens.

I don’t know if things would be different if I still had my clit but I am terrified that this anorgasmia will last forever, especially with its loss. It has always been my biggest fear and this waiting game is wreaking havoc on my anxiety.

Anyway, that’s where I am. Hopefully I won’t be there forever and someday I’ll unlock the magical orgasms I’ve always dreamed of. In the meantime I’m going to try to keep focusing on the wonderful reduction in dysphoria and hope the rest catches up.

Trying to orgasm

Content Warning: Talking about sex

I got my new rabbit vibrator in the mail today so I decided to try again to see if I can orgasm or at least feel pleasure. The last time I tried having sex with my partner 2 weeks ago I could barely feel anything.

I was disappointed to find that even though I got a toy that was smaller than my old favorite, I still couldn’t insert it all the way. But I was able to get it far enough in that I could feel the vibration internally and externally. I played with myself for quite a while but sadly I couldn’t reach orgasm. The good news is that I can definitely feel it now and it feels great internally, though not much sensation in my clitoral erogenous zone yet.

I’ll keep trying because the vibration is supposed to help the nerves wake up but I think I need to go up another size on the dilator if I want to use penetrative toys made for more elastic vaginas. I’m definitely disappointed but less so than last time I tried so I’m trying to recognize the progress. Hopefully it doesn’t actually take me the full 9 months to orgasm because I’m already pretty frustrated after 4 months without that release.

Final laser appointment

On Wednesday I had what I hope is my final laser hair removal appointment for my face, legs, and chest. I am so close to having my hair reduced to what is normal for most cis women after spending thousands of dollars out of pocket for “cosmetic” dysphoria treatments. This time I paid $1,400 just for one session.

As I was sitting there, gritting through the pain, I was really struck by how much pain and expense trans people have to go through just to treat dysphoria because we went through the wrong puberty. A puberty which is totally unnecessary with modern technology. I really wish more parents could believe their kids and more doctors would be willing to prescribe puberty blockers to teens. It really would save so much money and pain in the long run.

Despite how much it has cost, I am really glad I had the privilege to get that done. When I first shaved my beard, the dysphoria from the stubble was absolutely overwhelming, even when freshly shaved. I can barely stand to look at pictures from that time unless I was wearing a lot of concealer foundation because the whole color of my skin was off. Now I can shave the few remaining hairs once a week and hopefully not even that now that I’ve had my final session. If I have more hairs pop up later, I can get a couple hours of electrolysis to finish it off.

Shaving off my beard was so scary for me because of that phase I had to go through. And there are days when I can really admire how stunning it looked in contrast with my femme presentation. But overall I am really glad I look more overtly feminine now. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better but I am so glad to be past that part.

3 Month “Graduation”

I had my final post op appointment in person today and got some confirmation and a little reassurance.

I was correct. The tip of my clitoris did in fact fall off. My freak out was totally warranted and it wasn’t normal.

The good-ish news is that my nerve bundle is still intact just under the skin and I should still be able to orgasm, though it may take another 6 months to regain enough feeling for that to happen. The lack of sensation at this point is completely normal. Eventually I’ll just have an erogenous zone there where a clit usually is, it will just be harder for people to find.

I am definitely disappointed. I feel simultaneously like I haven’t fully processed it and that I kinda did process it several weeks ago when it happened. But as long as I can eventually orgasm, this surgery will still have been worth it. The reduction in dysphoria and the euphoria I get from being able to pee properly are a significant improvement. I just wish I didn’t have to be the one with the weird complication.

Otherwise I’m healing well. They treated the granulation tissue spots with silver nitrate and sent me home with a cream that will clear them up so they stop bleeding. I’m making good progress with the dilators and hopefully it should be smooth sailing from here other than waiting to have orgasms. Crossing my fingers that those eventually work right.

Week 12 Update

I’ve reached the end of my intensive healing period! The 12 weeks of no baths, hot tubs, or lifting is over and I can now go down to only dilating once a day. That also means I’m back at work full time now.

Unfortunately the healing is by no means over. I tried having sex and I could barely feel my partner’s fingers at all. The nerves haven’t woken up yet so I have no sensation and it is going to be a lot longer before I can find out how/if orgasms work now.

I have my final post-op appointment in San Francisco tomorrow where I’ll ask about the nerve healing and find out if that is normal. I also still need help figuring out if my clit is just hidden or if something happened to it during healing. The doctor can seal off my granulation tissue at that appointment to keep them from bleeding frequently which will be great.

I’m very nervous about flying during COVID but hopefully the plane will stick with their 2/3 full protocols. I’ve also read some heartening reports about how masks are really working and cutting down on transmission even when there are confirmed cases on board.

I’m glad I can start returning to normal life a bit more but I’m frustrated sexually and hoping that the nerves wake up soon. My biggest fear about getting this surgery has always been that I would be in the tiny fraction of people who have complications that prevent orgasm. My doctor has tried reassuring me but she really can’t do much until she sees me which makes this flight worth the risk. Fingers crossed that I get some answers that calm my anxiety.

Week 11 Update

I’m in the final week of the 3 month healing period and it seems to be smooth sailing right now. The tightening seems to have ended and I may try going up to a new dilator size today. There hasn’t been any bleeding from the granulation tissue for a few weeks now but I’ll get those chemically burnt off (painlessly) next week at my final post-op appointment.

My only concern is that I still can’t feel any kind of definition on my clit which has me worried that either something happened to it during healing when that tissue fell away or that she just didn’t build a very useful one. Not much I can do about it now other than fret because that’s who I am.

Next week I can finally take baths, go in the hot tub, lift things, and have sex again. It has been hard to remember the last couple weeks not to lift things because I’m feeling better now. I also get to go down to dilating once a day instead of three times and return to full time work. I feel like I’m ready for work now but I still have to spend so much time dilating and I’ve been enjoying sleeping in.

The part I’m really not looking forward to is being on a plane during a pandemic… Wish me luck in not catching anything!

What is it like to be cis?

I’ll admit it. I don’t understand cisgender people. It’s hard for me to imagine what it’s like to have an uncomplicated relationship with gender and have a body that doesn’t need extensive modification to work with your brain. But just because I don’t understand doesn’t mean I go around villainizing all cis people and telling you you’re invalid.

Yet that’s what it’s like being trans. Everyone from children’s authors to radio personalities think they can attack us without repercussions. They tell us we can’t possibly know what our experience is and that we are somehow anti science for just existing.

I’m thankful for all of you who take the time to read my blog posts or educate yourselves about trans issues. It means a lot that you try to understand.