One year ago… (SRS +1 year)

One year ago I was me. But not the me of today. I had relationships. But not those of today. I got ready for work or dates or just hanging out with friends. But not in the same way I do today. I had sex. But not as I do today. The person I was then could never have imagined the world she lives in today. I am somebody who analyzes. Plans. Evaluates options. Thinks critically about every possible scenario, their outcomes, and how to mitigate the risks or negative potential results from those outcomes. I constantly try to take a critical look at myself to figure out how to improve myself. And in all of that analysis, I could never have imagined the world I exist in today. I will forever be grateful to those who helped me get to, and through, SRS which has allowed me to be who I am today. I don’t think I can ever repay them or show them how thankful I am for their support and help through one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

This is a post of reflection. One where I take stock of where I am today, what I’ve learned, how things have healed, and attempting to encapsulate the past year into a post of cumbersome, and imprecise, words. I’ll start with the easy stuff. I had many fears and anxiety going into SRS. I thought of some ways I’d have done differently in retrospect to help avoid as many as I could. Well, I’ve had a year since then to live and experience life now. I can say now that while I understood why I held those fears, they were not ones that ever manifested themselves thankfully. Not to say they were unwarranted or irrational, because they certainly weren’t. There was no way to know where I’d be today, and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I still have fears. I still have issues. I still have concerns and things i need to work through, but… this is better. It’s worth everything I went through to be where I am today. To those of you reading this blog thinking about SRS and if it’s right for you… I obviously cannot answer that for you. I can tell you that there are so many things that I worried/stressed about that I no longer do. I don’t have to worry about tucking. I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing (well outside of “is it cute” lol). I can go swimming, jet skiing, to the beach, etc and not worry about it. An immeasurable weight is gone from my daily life. A close friend recently had SRS herself and is very much in the healing process (I’ll likely post a 3rd party account summarizing her experience as she went to a different doc here in the US), but she has found similar to be true already even though she is very much still in the healing process. What about the rest? Well…

Dialating

Dilating is pretty easy anymore. I do it once every 3-4 days and still have depth. It takes me about ~30 minutes if I’m taking my time and doing it while reading a book, or about 20 or so if I’m just trying to get it done. If I attempt to masturbate this is tacked on at the end of the process and usually is about 30 minutes. I’ll talk more about that part in the orgasming section though. I still have a shit ton of lube. I ended up buying what I thought would be a 6 month supply. There are 37 tubes remaining out of the original 180 I bought. I use about a 50/50 mix of the QC lube from Thailand and coconut oil. The mixture really is the best of both worlds and approaches silicone levels of longevity/slickness. The oil keeps it from drying out, while the QC gives it a the water lube level of slickness. After 3 months I highly recommend doing this.

The way I do it is I grab about an oz of coconut oil, and just rub it all around my pussy and in between the labia folds. Then I take another oz and put it on the dilator. From there I squeeze a bit of QC on the dilator (another oz roughly), and slide my hand all over it to mix it. Note, I keep my left hand on the flat side of the dilator where there is no lube to keep my left hand un-lubed and usable. I’m right handed FWIW.

From there I’ll insert the medium one and it can sometimes be uncomfortable (as I’m likely pushing how long I should go between sessions) initially, but then eases up. I get to depth in maybe 2-3 minutes. I use the medium for about 5-10 minutes, then switch to the large using the same method to lube the dilator as before. The large one is pretty mild now. It is a little tight at first, but nothing nearly as bad as dilating was initially. I’ll get to depth with this one in another 2-3 minutes, and hold this one for about 10 minutes.

My mornings used to be wake up at 630 to dilate for 90 minutes to then get ready for work and get to the office a little after 9. Now, I get up at 730-745, get ready, make breakfast, and end up leaving about the same time. Mornings I dilate I’ll get up at like 715 to start and hit the rest of my morning timing without issue (unless I masturbate lol). All in all, it’s pretty minimal in my life anymore. I still have it on my mind at times thinking about when I need to do it next. But doing it twice a week is easy compared to 3x/day.

Aesthetics

It looks like a pussy. Looking from external in it fits well within the range of “normal” vaginas. There are things I’d change of course, but that’s because I’m kinda a perfectionist lol. I’ve thought about looking into a revision since I can get it done for just a flight over and the stay. So what would I change?

  • Inner labia is a bit more pronounced than I’d like
  • See if something can be done to help orgasming
  • See if outer labia can be reduced in size
  • Really just smoothing things out

The scar lines on the outer labia are still there. They are visible if you know what they are. If you’re not aware of what they are though, it just looks like a line that marks different coloration in skin. Which can happen in cis women as well (maybe not as pronounced, but even then it’s not super pronounced and keeps fading over time).

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it looks. One thing I need to work with is to get more comfortable with others seeing it. I am extremely self-conscious and protective of who I share it with. I’m afraid it will “out” me, or will be judged for it. I think that’s the fear. I also want to be very protective of it now that I have it.

Sexual intercourse

Ugh. Sex. I am a very sexual person. I’m involved in various kinky events, and have explored sex with men and women over the past year. I’ve not been sexual with many partners since SRS. Generally because of the prior section where I talk about my reticence around letting just anybody see my vagina or have sex with them. I don’t want sex to just have sex. I want sex that has meaning behind it or, at minimum, looks to be memorable or otherwise enjoyable. But I need more than just a physical connection for it that enjoyment to be had. Some of the partners have simply been just sexual in nature. I don’t regret or wish I hadn’t had that with them at all. Doing that showed me that it’s not really worth it just for the sake of sex.

Perhaps this is a flaw in my thought process or my approach. Maybe I need to accept that the point of sex isn’t orgasming with everybody or every time, but instead to share that physical intimacy with somebody. I can say that just having sex can feel really good. Sex with men is what I’ve always wanted sex with men to be like. I feel like a woman. Instead of just imagining I was one. There is really nothing in it where I see myself in any way other than as a girl having sex with a guy. I enjoy being seen with guys romantically as well. I might not “get off” from it, but the fact the rest of it can happen is pretty incredible in and of itself.

What about with women? Well, there have only been two I’ve been with. One was just a FWB situation. The other is my current gf. In both cases it was more “intimate” than with guys (well… except the guy in NC where sex is very much similar to with my current gf and ex’s). The first girl was older and had a lot of experience with women. There wasn’t an emotional connection there though. With the gf there definitely is. So while I haven’t gotten off with her, I could see it happening with time as there are emotions there already which I expect to develop more over time.

So what’s sex like? Well, non-penetrative sex doesn’t do a ton it would seem. Although fingering my clit and the secondary spot (basically the area between the clit and vaginal opening) are how I get myself off. It needs to be light with plenty of lube though. It’s more about the movement than pressure. I haven’t enjoyed receiving oral much in any of the times I’ve received oral. Part of it is being worried about smell/taste which I don’t think is an issue, but one of the things I’m really self conscious about. But beyond that is it’s usually too much. It is like fingering with too much pressure. I don’t know what would need done differently with oral to make that get me off. I’m sure that’ll get explored with the gf over time though.

In the penetrative sex realm it’s generally enjoyable. Provided enough lube is used and after easing into it as it’s still “tight” (if I dilated more I’m sure that would be better). After that it becomes an emotional thing. If I feel disconnected from the person and thus sex with them, then it’s simply going through the motions. Which feels good, don’t get me wrong. But it’s also not relaxing and what I enjoy about sex. This is largely tied to my own psychology and emotions internally than anything regarding the results themselves.

Sex as an act is physically enjoyable with the parts I now have. My next goal is to get it to be emotionally and mentally enjoyable as well, which it is when it’s with people I have those connections with. Maybe I’ll keep from getting comfortable with it casually. To be determined I suppose.

Orgasming

Meh. This one is depressing for me. I have gotten off from masturbation but never with a partner. I have come (pun intended) close with my gf, as well as with a rope partner who used a hitachi wand on me for about 45 minutes. The hitachi will be another post though talking about sex toys. Unfortunately I have not been able to with another person. Well, save the time with the ex where bleeding ended up ruining it… I’d have cum then. I’ve been close with the current gf as well, but hasn’t happened quite yet.

Since I know for a fact I can cum (albeit not easily) I have tried to suss out what the issue is with other people. I obviously haven’t found the answer yet as I’m still having issues being able to orgasm with a partner. I can say it’s very much a mental game/exercise for me. I think what it ultimately boils down to is trust and being able to emotionally let go and be vulnerable to that other person I’m with. Who knows. This is probably the thing I’m working on hardest in regards to anatomy and post-op “issues” so to speak.

Masturbating on my own is hit or miss. Sometimes I get off, sometimes I can’t. Everytime I’ve gotten off it’s been through reading stories on Literotica or occasionally a fun reddit post in their version of NSFW sexual stories. It’s also been using my fingers with a dilator in me, not from a vibrator. Although I’ve not tried vibrators a ton yet.

Perhaps one issue around it is that I know orgasming releases the chemical oxytocin which has a strong relationship with the feelings of “love” and is referenced as the “love drug” because of this. I am extremely scared of falling in love and getting hurt again like I was last year. That hurt for a long time and still does in many ways. I’m afraid of getting hurt like that again, so shy away from risking “falling” for people. It took the better part of this past year to get back to a healthy mental and emotional place after those ended. I could see this being in part why I can’t “relax” or get “there” mentally with orgasming with partners. But that’s a best guess and would likely need a lot of therapist appointments to figure out if that’s the reason or not.

“Wetness”

Up until this past week I didn’t think I really got wet. Maybe a small bit until I orgasmed. Even the orgasm amount was not much. However, I had a situation happen where I got super wet. Now because of the specifics I don’t know if it was natural wetness or from some kind of physical trauma (it was involving a hitachi). This is very much an unknown.

That said, I need lube. I have started to use Sliquid Organics for sex and found it very good. I’ll use coconut oil with some toys and in some circumstances but keep in mind that it cannot be used with condoms and may present other issues for some people. I will also use a lube injector sometimes so lube is up there already. It helps prolong sex without requiring more lube applications during sex.

There are plenty of other options out there for lube choices, and there are girls who get more wet than I do from what I’ve read on the Facebook Suporn group. So I may or may not be normal, but it’s certainly not a major issue. Keep in mind that many cis women don’t naturally get wet. Here is a link to some Google results for your perusal (didn’t want a single source). I even had a comment posted yesterday on a previous post from a cis woman who doesn’t produce her own lube either. Point is, this is not a problem! If you don’t get wet, get some lube, and have fun. Just make a point to carry it with you. They sell small amounts for exactly this reason.

Hair and hair removal

So while Suporn does remove all hair during the operation, but removes some. He also doesn’t require electrolysis. So, yes I have a hairy vagina if I let it go. I can shave, although that’s super awkward for me. I could go and get it waxed/lasered off, or electrolysis if I want to remove it permanently. I will likely do this down the road, but for the time being it gets shaved if I care. Otherwise it just grows for a bit until it annoys me lol. Just like many other women out there.

I do have hair on the pelvic mound before you get down to the actual vagina itself, then on the outer labia, as well as the fold between outer and inner labias (note, this is the area I dislike the most because I don’t want to nick myself shaving it and it’s really awkward getting to). There isn’t any I’ve found inside the vagina itself, although around the opening there is some.

If you’re not a fan of hair, you’ll probably want to look into waxing or laser post healing. Check out Groupon and such for deals on both as usually it’s not too expensive by me. I can do 6 laser sessions in the brazillian area for ~$250 or so, then get it with a different company for the other 6. I can also do 3 brazillian waxes for about $60 or so that way. Just a matter of what you like and want to do. Smaller areas (i.e. bikini area) are cheaper usually.

Dating

I’ve talked extensively about dating before. I’m still conflicted in many ways how to handle it. However, the way I now handle it is largely a byproduct of my personality. I am one to be pretty direct and up front with that kind of thing and if you’re still interested/around after then you are worth my continued time. If not, no big deal I’ll find somebody who is.

It does create issues, problems, anxiety, and some depression at times. So to help mitigate those I am pretty blase about dates until I get to a point where I think they are worth continuing to talk to, and from there tell them. If they’re still around then I’ll open up more and go from there. This seems to be the best approach for me personally at this point. Will I still do it this way in another year? Or a decade? Who knows, but I’ll figure it out then.

One of the parts that really seems to bother me is that up until I tell people they see me as a woman and depending on the person/scenario want to have sex with me. Then I tell them, and it changes everything. They usually fall into one of two camps. Either the “well I’ve never been with a trans woman, so now I’m curious” or the “I can’t get past you were a guy” (sometimes this also has the bs of them wishing they were better people or know that it shouldn’t matter with it). They rarely say this directly, but things they do say essentially fall into one of those two schools of thoughts.

I get it too. I can see why those two reactions happen. I would like to think I wouldn’t react that way, but if I’m being honest with myself and you the reader (thanks for reading btw!) then I can’t say I’d react differently if I were cis. I’d like to think I would. But I can’t say for certain since I’m not in that situation. If you’re cis and reading this blog though, I’d strongly encourage you to do some introspection to figure out why you’re uncomfortable with it or feel that way. To question what really matters to you in a partner, because I’d be willing to bet that being born with a vagina really doesn’t matter. You just want a partner with a vagina (if you’re into women with vaginas anyways).

For those of you who are pre-op or non-op, don’t go through SRS just to try to make dating/relationships easier. Do it because it’s the right thing for you. SRS isn’t for the feint of heart. It’s an intensive surgery and having gone through it myself then seeing my friend go through it now, I would strongly encourage you to ensure it’s the right thing for you. If it isn’t, then it isn’t. That’s totally fine, and be who you are. Own who you are. You’ll find people who love you for it, so be proud of who you are. Confidence is sexy.

Hormones

I stayed with the same dose (200 mg spiro, 4 mg estrogen, 200 mg progesterone daily) through the past year for the most part. I have not had blood work done since SRS though so I don’t know if this is still appropriate. That said a month or so ago I dropped to 100 mg spiro and have felt better. I’m going to go to the endo in the next month or so to get blood work done to see how this has changed.

Overall thoughts/results

I’d say if 10 was a natal vagina and a 0 was a totally botched procedure that left me with no useful sexual organs at all, I’m generally around a 7 or so in satisfaction of SRS with Suporn. If I figure out some things (like sex/orgasming) and things keep getting better (like scar lines fading/natural lubrication) then it would probably go to an 8 or so. I would absolutely do it again and have no regrets about doing it with Suporn. He did an excellent job and I’d recommend him to anybody else who wants SRS.

SRS and transitioning are not overnight things or a short term goal/process. Both take years to get through. I was extremely fortunate in that I was able to do it quickly, but that also presented its own set of issues that I’m now kinda working through. Either way, you have to work through a lot of stuff. If you go into SRS expecting to be back to normal in a month or two, you’re very mistaken. My friend is looking like she is going to be similar to myself and take 3-4 months to get back to ~80-90% of normal, and 6+ months to get back to 100%. I’d also wager that she will end up going through a lot of self discovery in the next year or two now that she is post-op. She transitioned a few years ago too.

I can say that I feel more comfortable with myself, my body, and the life I lead than I ever did before transition/SRS. There is a lot more to go, but I don’t believe I’ll ever be done working on self improvement. It’s kinda the point of self-improvement after all. This first year has been one hell of a road. It’s been very traumatic for me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I got through it though, and every day is better than the day before it. I’ll run into rough patches in the future as well I know, but some of the internal ones are now behind me. I now meet and date and socialize and interact with people who never knew the person I was. That person is an abstract concept to them. They will never meet that person, and for that I’m thankful. I love who I am today. The body I’m in today. Flaws, imperfections, differences, and all of the other things that make me, well me.

I’ll be doing a reddit AMA on r/AskTransgender if you want to ask questions about my experiences. Thanks for reading and cheers! Time to go celebrate a bit 🙂

Also, as a final note, there are other posts I’m working on as well. I will continue to update this blog over time and may have some guest posts in the future from other people.

Moving on. Literally. (First interview post transition)

A month or two back I started applying for a new job. My current one has kind of hit a dead end professionally speaking, I’ve stayed ~6 months after their generous ability to “work remotely” from Thailand for a month for SRS, and feel that I can now move on without burning professional bridges. Additionally, I’m now healed to the point I’m back to 100%. I can go 3 days without dilating if I need to, although try to do it daily since I know once I drop off daily it’ll never come back. Relationships crashed around me last fall in a spectacular way and I’m still trying to rebuild a social infrastructure that was lost when that ended. Unfortunately, no matter how much I want and wish I could restart a relationship with partners from that group, she’s seemingly moved on and I don’t think a possibility of me being a part of her world exists anymore. Maybe I’m wrong and that does exist and one day our paths cross again, but I can’t keep waiting for that day that may never happen. I miss the three of them immensely and loved them all. So with my job being now professionally at a dead end (and remaining that way likely for the rest of the year at best), SRS is basically recovered from, and only a handful of really close relationships at present… now is a good time to move if I’m going to. If I found relationships here again, or got a new job here, or whatever then who knows how long I’ll remain in this area. I started applying and ended up with two positions that I was interested in. One didn’t work out. This is the other position.

Phone interviews went really well. Everything aligned there, rough salary numbers were close enough to talk further, etc. So they offered to fly me to their office in the Pacific Northwest for the last interview stages in person. I was totally on board and a week or so later was flying out there. Unfortunately due to some issues with connecting out of Chicago my original flight the night before wouldn’t workout and resulted in getting up at 330 AM Eastern, to land at 1130 AM Pacific, and go right to 6 hours of interviews.

Walking in presenting female for a senior level technical role in IT for the first time was surprisingly easy and comfortable. It really was amazing how just natural I felt. Here I was in a place where nobody knew I was trans and everybody saw me as a woman. I can’t say I wasn’t worried about “tells” outing me, like my shoulders, voice, makeup/beard stuff since electrolysis is still on-going (and makeup was ~10 hours old when I landed), hand size, or whatever else might “out” me. I absolutely was concerned about all of those things. The thing about it though is… it didn’t matter. I was there to interview for a position they wanted me for. They wouldn’t spend ~$1500 to fly me out if they didn’t want to hire me at that point. Once I got into the interviewing all of that faded away. I ended up with an intent to offer by end of the next business day (note, it was only an “intent” as there was a lot to discuss/clarify about the overall offer itself prior to them getting a written approved). I’m likely going to get a written today or tomorrow and then be deciding if I’m going to take it the same way I figured that out before transitioning. Nothing has changed there.

What has changed, and will change if I take the offer, is that nobody there will know my past. Not a single person there can “remember” the persona I crafted for the public. I’ll be walking into a place where people don’t know that person before. They don’t know I had SRS. They don’t know anything other than the person I always wanted to be and now am able to exist as. That’s powerful. Yes I’d miss so many of the friends and family I have here, but I need to move forward in life. I’ll do what I can to maintain and ensure those relationships don’t get lost, but I need to build up the life of the person I am now. Without the history of my past there. I spent ~20 years in my current area before transitioning. It’s really hard for me to not see things through the lens of the person I was, regardless of myself not being that person. I need that to end. I need a way forward. I need to build new memories solely as the woman I am founded from that foundation.

One thing I do want to talk about though regarding my experiences. As I’ve said before I’m extremely fortunate in that I “pass.” This made it infinitely easier as people see me as a woman, instead of being trans. I have a few thoughts on this. First and foremost, regardless of how it should be currently in our society “passing” makes things easier. But what does that entail? Well, you might be surprised. There are a lot of women who have “masculine” features, so work on finding yourself and being happy with yourself. Whoever that is. With that being said, personally speaking voice is one of the singular most important things for me and has helped people to overlook otherwise “masculine” features. For what it’s worth, I started transitioning just after turning 28. It took about 6-9 months before I was generally “passing” (although my voice wasn’t since I hadn’t worked on it at all). My genetics happened to respond well, but don’t think that you can only successfully transition when you’re younger. Furthermore, I didn’t transition for society. I did it for myself. And I am so glad I did. To those of you reading this blog in the early stages of potentially transitioning, or having started to… it gets better. It’s not an easy process and you have to work at it. Find out how to dress yourself properly to make shoulders look smaller (like I have to do). Work on your voice if that’s important to you. We are all different in our journey on this path, but you have a lot of control over your destination. If “passing” is important to you like it was to me, then you have to work at it repeatedly and brush yourself off when rough patches happen. Figure out what you want though and work relentlessly towards it. I absolutely will say though it’s worth every ounce of fucking effort I’ve put in, and I still work on things daily (like voice). I’m trying to get to the point that I have as much experience as any other younger professional woman, and that means a lot of time practicing. Things will get better and in the mean time try to enjoy the ride. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that is unlike anything else I’ve ever been through. Here’s to moving forward with my own life, and hopefully helping you move forward with yours. Cheers!

Dating v2

A little while back I put together a blog post about dating after SRS. That post was put together pretty soon after a situation happened that hit me kinda hard where I started talking to a girl on Fetlife, we hit it off really well, and the conversation went to getting together. Since she lives in another city and I’d be staying with her and her bf with sexual things planned, I told her. She said I “misled” her by not disclosing on my profile and to never contact her again. Due to being in a pretty rough spot from relationships ending, it hit me even harder. I also see the “trans” descriptor largely a historical aspect as it’s not really relevant to my day to day, it means it’s more in the back of my mind. I chalked it up to a difference of opinion ultimately, albeit one that still bothers me a bit.

Now we’re a few months removed from that situation and I’ve been dating since then. A lot more successfully too, and after a recent reddit thread I thought a new post might be warranted. Plus I’m in a mood to opine on life.

From that December situation I changed a bit of how I approach this stuff and it seems to be largely why things have been going a bit better. One big change though is my mental and emotional health is a lot better now, albeit still not back where I want it. That’s a post for another night though. My current method has primarily been to handle it in one of two (well a 3rd that’s out of my control) ways, as I ultimately know I’ll disclose it to a partner (total “stealth” from a partner I’m not sure is realistic, or ideal which I’ll get into later in the post).

  1. Standard talking online/app/whatever, arrange a date/time to get together, and then like the day before or day of try to casually mention it in conversation letting them know if they don’t want to get together just to let me know. This can result in a mildly depressing night though if it results in a cancelled date which has happened. Most of the people I’ve talked to though are already more LGBT friendly due to my screening early on, and it hasn’t been an issue most of the time.
  2. The other main option is to do the normal talking thing followed by a date or two. Then tell them before we do a date in private (i.e. their place or mine) and/or before sex happens. Usually it’s after the first, before the 4th, and done via text. This can be problematic as some people will feel “lead on” so it’s not a one size fits all solution either.
  3. If the right situation presents itself I’ve disclosed before on a date or in conversation as well. One date I had a girl who mentioned she thought about transitioning (FtM) earlier in her life. At that point I disclosed I was trans and all that. Her and I have had a lot of fun times in the intervening time.

Regardless of the time I disclose it, I try to do it as casually as possible. Something along the lines of:

One quick thing is I want to let you know I’m post-op trans. It’s part of my past and not really anything currently relevant to my life, but I make a point to put it out there early on.

Casually disclosing it makes it a lot less of a “thing” and much more of a FYI thing. By not putting a focal point on it “defining” me I show them how I perceive it personally while keeping potential partners informed. Informed consent is a good thing, and I know some trans people will vehemently disagree with my views on it but this is how I perceive things for myself.

Which leads to the conversation about “total stealth.” Do people get away with never telling a partner? Absolutely. It’s also your life to disclose what you want to with a partner. I don’t see “total stealth” working for me though. Right out the gate what are the odds that I’ll go the next ~60 years with a long term partner who *won’t* find out or figure it out? I’d wager pretty low. If they find out it can potentially undermine any and all trust built in the relationship. Let’s set that aside for the moment though. I also don’t want to be with a partner who wouldn’t want to be with me if I “was a dude” or something like that. If a partner has an issue that I once had different anatomy, then that’s not going to be a relationship I’d want to have long term. Finally, I’m not ashamed of my past. I own my past. I might not want to put it all out there from the start, but I also don’t put out there my financial situation right off the start either. Everybody does this, it’s normal to not put everything out there up front. Not that you shouldn’t if you believe you should, or choose to. Just don’t put it out there if right away if you don’t want to. I want somebody to share my life with (or people if it is a poly scenario), and that means I share my past with them too. I want to be able to tell them “my balls hurt” jokingly (as an aside, havinga vasectomy many years back means there are two “balls” of scar tissue that hurt sometimes… I’m going to look into options to fix that at some point but need to wait for things to heal first). I want to be able to joke about trans stuff. It’s who I am. I enjoy self deprecating humor, and jokes about gender is rather enjoyable at times.

Am I handling this ideally? I don’t know, but it’s working for me so far. And by working I mean I can live with the results and ramifications of how I choose to approach this topic when dating.Is it ideal? No, I’d greatly prefer to not have to mention it because nobody cares and it’s not a problem for anybody in society. That’s too idyllic at this point in time socially speaking. Especially with the state of politics in the US at present. We’ll see if things change over time in how I date, it’ll be interesting to see.

Post op, but not post trans – Dating as a trans woman

So, as of late my personal life has kind of gone to hell. I lost people I saw as family. One of them was somebody I loved more than others before. I lost two roommates which changes my financial outlook. And I’m still recovering from SRS. It’s been a rough past 6 months. It really has been. But, that’s life. And I’ve gotten through it. I’m now at a point where I feel I can start going out and dating again though, at least casually as I’m not over that poly group ending and don’t expect to be over that for a while to come still. But, I won’t sit around at home feeling sorry for myself about it. So, dating it is (along with other things like returning to exercising regularly and cooking more and getting my house to a place I could sell in the spring if I wanted). But… Now we’re back to one of my first posts:

To stealth or not?

In that post I talk a bit about what my thoughts were around post-op dating life. And unsurprisingly some of it is accurate. Mainly that at this point (4.5 months post) I can get away without disclosing I’m trans if I were to choose to do so to a large extent. Right now about the only stuff that “outs” me is facial hair since electrolysis isn’t completed (hey girls… if you’re going to transition… start electrolysis yesterday… better yet, last year), sometimes my voice is still deeper (i.e. I don’t think about it or care in the situation), and my vagina still is healing. Although there, in the dark, there is no way to tell. I only know because of what I’m looking for and as long as somebody doesn’t go down to inspect they wouldn’t be able to tell. There are scar lines and things are a bit swollen still, but now it basically falls within the neo-natal vaginal spectrum on a looks perspective. And I’ve gone on dates in the past month where after I told her I was told she didn’t know for sure, but suspected due to my hand size. Which in post-puberty transitioning mtf girls can be larger than cis-women (although certainly not a sure-fire way to “know”).

So I don’t have to disclose I’m trans. But if I don’t, as discussed in that post, I’d have to cut out a lot of my current life. And I don’t want to do that right now. So, that means I’ll need to disclose at some point during the dating process. So when do I disclose it? Up front is great and all, but the down side is then you have to deal with shit from people harassing you. Or, further, is the professional concern once I leave the job I transitioned at. Okay, not in my profile, but should I before the first date? Well if I do that then a bunch of people will duck out and bail, which I’m okay with but then that just points back to disclosing in my profile because it would weed them out from the start. And, if I don’t see any potential with them then why did they need to know? Doing this means I then go to the first date without disclosing. Which date do I disclose on then? Well if I’m going to disclose it needs to be before sex. So somewhere between the first and 3rd-4th most likely. I thought this was a solid strategy. Until today.

I’ve been talking to a guy for the past 3-4 days off and on. I didn’t say anything about being trans. He starts talking about getting together, and since I met him off Fetlife (kink community site) sex was on the table for the first time we got together potentially. Because of this I disclosed to him earlier today. He responds saying I should’ve been up front about it, to which I respond saying I felt I was being up front (keep in mind we’ve only talked 4 days intermittently). He said he feels I deceived him and that ends that. So now I’m back to where I started? Am I wrong with waiting to disclose? Should I disclose up front on some sites but not others? Should I just never say a word (especially if it’s likely just going to be a sex thing)? I just don’t know at this point. I think the current course of action is going to be keep the status quo and deal with shit like this when it happens. Then in ~6 months I can re-evaluate things as I’ll be further along on electrolysis so I won’t have morning stubble, and Suporn’s excellent work will be healed to the point it’s basically akin to a cis-vagina to just about anybody.

First week at home, working from home (SRS +26 days)

Okay so it’s been an interesting week since I’ve been back. A lot has happened personally in my relationships that hasn’t made it the easiest week. My hormones are still screwed up and are working on getting back to normal, although who knows what “normal” is now though. Lose some hormone producing parts, body likely overcompensates and produces an excess, and I’m only about a week of being back on them. Couple that with a few other factors (pain, stress, timing of some stuff, etc) and it just makes it a less than ideal week emotionally speaking. But you’ll have that.

The upside though, is that dilation and healing has gotten drastically better! So first with the bad. I have a lot of various spots that have pain. It feels like it’s a micro-tear or little cut in that things sting. Then there is the constipation issues as my body hasn’t figured out how to do that normally again yet (and no I’m not taking pain killers which cause that to happen). Add in that my urethra now I can feel when dilating (not just the end, but way further up) which is weird and not enjoyable. Oh and things are swollen. I also have this weird thing running down my left leg sometimes that is a very strange feeling. Then there are the random shooting pains during dilation. And I think I now see why they say dilate 3x/day, as today I only did 2x due to how things fell (1 PM which was 14 hours after finishing up the one prior, and second at 11 PM which was 10 hours later) today logistically. And things were tight both times. Although, that said I was able to hit depth and it wasn’t a problem, just took a little longer. Also things now seem to be contracting stronger (at least today) which either means my body is in “month 2 and 3” style healing, or it’s because I waited. Either case, I need to make sure to go back to 3x/day. The showering is killing my body. It’s drying out my skin something fierce. Lotion helps, but still 6x showers/day is rough.

So what’s good then? That’s a pretty long list of bad right? Well it is. But, these are more minor gripes/annoyances than “holy crap I don’t know how I’m going to get through this dilation… let alone another 1-2 today, and another 60+ days of it… FML why did I do this again?” Granted that only really happened 2-3 times when I was still in Thailand (and then remembered why I did this or see myself in the mirror naked and am happy about what I see). Moving on though, this is actually a better place than where things were just a week ago. I’ve had 5-7 stitches fall out, including the lowest one on my urethra that I could feel during dilation. I’ve had some other ones along the minora also fall out with more loosening up. This is about when Dr. Suporn said they would, so yay! This just is one of the reasons things sting. When a new stitch falls out, it usually makes the next dilation or two sting there. But because they have been falling out it’s made it less painful. I took two laxatives the night before that the clinic gives, and today I think just about everything is back to normal there. Well we’ll see about constipation tomorrow/next day, but at least tonight I wasn’t competing for space internally while dilating. I can also go right to the large if I want, although it’s about the same amount of total time as it takes longer to get to depth. I also have my routine pretty well set, I can sit for extended periods, I can drive my manual car (although not super enjoyable), I caught up on a lot of work I needed to do during this time out of the office, and swelling (while still there) has gone down immensely. I can also sit without a cushion, provided I put one leg under the other in a chair.

So things are moving along. It’s still a long and tedious process of recovery. And I don’t enjoy dilation and don’t see how that could be sexual at some point, but I’m sure it will be. All in all a lot has happened just in the week since I got back as far as the healing process. And while it’s not totally healed, pain-free, I can have enjoyable sex, and dilate every so often (or substitute sex to some extent) it’s so much better than it was. During static dilation I had no idea how I would get through 3 months of that pain. It hurt so much. Moving to dynamic wasn’t as painful as I expected, but adding in a 3rd session really sucks. Upside is 3 months is election day here in the US, which means I just have to get to the point where I find out if I should’ve just stayed in Thailand or not lol. When I think of how long the primary season was (almost 6 months) and how that dragged but still was quick due to me watching it and reading about it a ton, I think that it’ll be here before I know it. And until then, throw on some music (Spotify discover weekly playlist), get comfortable, and dilate 3x/day. This might not be too bad *knock on wood*

To stealth or not?

The other night I was talking with one of my gfs about the fears and concerns I had around SRS. She and I have talked extensively about it. She has been the best person I’ve found to help me through this stuff. My therapist has been good in many ways, but she hasn’t been there the same way this gf has. My other gf has been helpful and supportive and likewise been a great partner through this, just not in the same way as the one the other night (she’s been more helpful in other ways… the two combined have been pretty much perfect for me through transitioning).

Anyways, her and I are talking about these fears the same as we’ve talked about them for the past month. It’s really nothing new. Until it was. At one point during the conversation she asked me to, “remove all the other crap and think do you want a pussy or penis?” I still can’t answer that question without caveats, or thinking of the reality of both. I can’t answer that question in the way she was asking. I responded by saying, “well I’ll put it this way, if I were alone on Mars I’d prefer a pussy most likely… even though both are kind of irrelevant in that situation.” From there I brought it back to relevance by saying, “But sure if I could’ve been born with a pussy, I would’ve preferred that. However I can’t remove the emotional and mental associations with either of those. They are intrinsically tied to which I’d prefer.”

From there I gradually came to recognize that post-SRS nobody new I met would know I was trans, unless they were told (by me or others). That means that for situations like dating for example I have to remind myself I’m trans to disclose that to a partner. Likewise I can’t entirely voice my opinions on trans rights, or joke about trans things, or any of a multitude of aspects around being trans unless I want to continue to be tied to this whole trans thing. Right now I have no issues with that because everybody basically already knows. When dating I have to disclose things because of my anatomy, regardless of anything else. But post SRS I can begin to forget that there was a “before female” part of my life.

But if I do that it means I’d have to distance myself from, or more likely cut out entirely, friends and family that I’ve had and known for decades. These are good people. These are people I like being around. These are people who have been there for me in countless ways. And now I’m going, “well thanks for all you’ve done, it means a lot… oh and have a good life!” That’s not right either. And that makes me tied to my male anatomy in a strange way, it’s not because I want a penis. It’s because I’ve had a lot of enjoyable parts of life with it there. And it ties me to my past with these people.

So the question really gets distilled down to, “do I want a penis and keep a tie to the person I was, or want a vagina and start over?” I get that many people will take issue with that perspective, but it’s the essence of the question for me. If I have a vagina, I don’t want people to know there was a time I didn’t. And I can’t trust people to not “out” me on accident which means I have to keep track of who knows and who doesn’t to make sure those who don’t know aren’t interacting with those who do. And, honestly I think the vagina and start over path is what I want. I just need to find a way to make that work without having to cut everybody in my current life out. Because I want many of them around. And I want to be female, not trans female (at least for the foreseeable future).

Suporn is 18 months out, but not for you!

I’m in IT. That means I spend a lot of time around systems and figuring out how to automate or otherwise make my life easier, as well as monitoring to know about issues before people come to complain at my desk. So once I made the decision to get SRS with Suporn I started to look to see if I could move my date up a bit as I didn’t want to wait the 15 months it was going to be. So I started to refresh the Suporn scheduling page on my phone and at home twice a day roughly. But I realized that due to the time differences as well as infrequency of my refreshes, it would be likely I’d miss an opening. So I found a way to automate this task and got my date moved up a year (to the day funny enough). Here’s how.

Knowing I’d need to monitor the page for changes I checked the source code to see how easy it would be to create a script to go and poll it to watch for changes. The code is easy enough, and I could’ve written a script to do exactly that. But knowing there are services that watch external website pages for companies, I did some quick googling and experimented with a few of the results. Most sucked, didn’t monitor it right, or required pay for services to monitor more frequently than a day. But one, Follow That Page, wasn’t like that.

So, I needed to setup an alert. With a free account you get one check per hour. This was good enough for me. So I setup an account using a unique Gmail address for it. As an aside, Gmail ignores anything after a “+” symbol which means your gmail address “transgirl@gmail.com” will get email for “transgirl+suporn@gmail.com” and “transgirl+reddit@gmail.com” for example. You can replace “suporn” or “reddit” with other text and thus create a unique email address per site (better security since you don’t reuse credentials, along with the ability to see who sold/gave up your email address). Coupled with a password manager that has 2 factor authentication and you’re in a pretty good spot for online accounts. But I digress.

Once the account was created, under the tab “Your pages” I setup an alert:

address to monitor

After clicking “Next” you’re brought to a page that has a few options, but we only care about changing the polling frequency to every hour (in yellow):

Page monitoring settings

The side provides a preview of how it reads through the page you’re monitoring. This is similar to what you’ll see in the email alerts. It removes some of the pretty colors, but you don’t care about that. You care about when a date with initials changes to a number. That’s what’s important for moving your date up. Here’s the preview though:

Preview

Once you’ve clicked save you’re done. Now just sit back and watch as the emails come in. I usually get 1-2 a day Mon-Fri (US Eastern), usually in the morning although sometimes afternoon and evenings as well. The emails can certainly be used to track changes directly, however the problem is it doesn’t include what year the changes are in. This means when you see “September” it could be for September 2016 or 2017. For me I found it’s easier to just refresh the page on my phone when I get an alert, but you can do more work to get this customized if you want. I didn’t. So when the site gets updated, I get an email that looks like this:

Email

In this example you can see that Jul 13th opened up, September 6th/14th were reserved, and November 15th opened up. It also tells you when it was updated (the surgery date line) if you’re interested. When you see something open, email them ASAP and it’s likely you’ll get moved up. If not, keep watching it. Stuff opens up usually 60 days out (mine was 63 days out when it opened up) due to how Suporn does the deposit and losing part of it <60 days in most cases.

Good luck!