Ok, a bit of a preface… I have amended this post several times. I’m uncomfortable talking about desire or sexual needs. I have redacted and toned it down, perhaps more than I should have. But I am a work in progress and talking about this at all is a larger step than you might imagine. 

Gender dysphoria is an ongoing problem. There are things about me that will always be inexorably male-like. Due to my age before coming out, years of testosterone poisoning have changed my body into that of a form of general maleness. HRT has done what it can, it is still working tiny changes, but it cannot perform miracles. It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that I will never turn someone’s head. There are times where I feel utterly feminine, but when I look in the mirror even though I finally see myself, I see the shadow of the changes that testosterone has wrought, gender dysphoria taunting me. Pretty much the worst way in which the devil can be found within the details.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

The carefree expressions of who I was as a child were terrorized out of me. The parental equivalent to being scared straight – or cis. I learned that being feminine in any way was something I had to suppress. Pretty much everything about me was suppressed, my mannerisms, the way I talked, the way I dressed, who I was attracted to. It was all designed from an early age to hide who I was inside. After all these years I’m still battling my inclination to suppress myself.

Though I am married and monogamous, I feel the pain of being pretty much unattractive to everyone. I’m not talking about being pretty, sure who doesn’t want to be beautiful? But I’m talking about being attractive, in that indefinable but insistent way. I’m attracted to a large variety of people, with no boundaries to gender or presentation. To be sexy to others in a non-fetish kind of way would be nice, it’s something I’ve never really encountered. I love my wife and I love who I am. But I know that I will never be desired by my wife. I will never stir her to deep longing, like she does to me. She loves me, I know that. But she will never look at me in the morning light and think “Look at that sexy mess of hair, I never, ever want to stop kissing her”. Some of it is her own issues, but I know that mostly it’s just me.

It’s a hard topic for most people, but seems to be an especially hard subject for trans people. In fact a friend of mine, also a trans woman, just posted on FB essentially what I am writing about at this moment. I hate that she also feels this way, she is a beautiful person inside and out and if I were single, I would totally date her. I want her to find someone, we all deserve someone even if we don’t actually believe we do. To be wanted, for someone to desperately long for us. It can be just a sexual need for some, and a deeper desire for others. Some of us survive on the smallest amount of affection, hopeful that things will change for the better eventually. We are told by hateful people, that we will never be loved, never be desired. It’s not true of course, it’s just harder for us to see ourselves as being desirable, dysphoria feeds upon our doubts and fears. It’s also harder for some to accept that they are desired or wanted. It can harden your heart, or make you fall apart. 

Nothing about this is effortless, none of this is easy for me to talk about. I’m normally very open about the things in my life, but talking about sex or desire is always where I stumble over myself. My inability to talk about sex is probably one of my biggest faults. I can’t seem to push myself over the edge of silence and into open discussion with my wife, it was the same with my previous partners. I’ve contemplated deleting this post several times as I was writing it, as I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or anger anyone. But I know that by deleting it, swallowing my own thoughts, I am only hurting myself. It would just be me suppressing myself yet again, letting everyone else be comfortable while I am the one that suffers in silence.

One thought on “Desire

  1. Lynn Jones

    I feel this must have been a tough post to write given what you’ve said. The things you write about, they are incredibly personal. FWIW, my own sexuality isn’t something I can write aboout. Maybe that’s a bit odd given I’m just another straight bloke, but I guess everyone has their limits. 🙂 I think your post shows a lot of bravery.

    As to feeling attractive, I used to worry about this as a younger guy. For me, it wasn’t that I wanted validation about my looks – and I’m certainly not saying that of you. Instead, it was that attraction was about – obvious when I think about the word 😉 – attracting someone who might be interested in me as a person.

    I think the question around attraction is quite nuanced rather than a binary of yes/no. For me, I can find something in others I find attractive. It might be their attitude, outlook, style, looks, etc; but I don’t act on these for various reasons. Being married to a fabulous lady for one, but also in not that type of person.

    I wonder how many – if you excuse the metaphor – pings of interest you don’t get to see? These flashes of desire in the heads of others that they don’t act upon. You are married, you’re at work, the person may lack confidence to approach you, etc. Plus a lot of men don’t want to be that Creepy Guy, so barriers appear that hold back what might be.

    Liked by 1 person

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