I will stop going on about boobs sooner or later. Honest. Its just so nice to be seeing some real progress on that front and, pace my last public agonising on the subject, I realise yet again that there is an interesting gendered perspective here that one just doesn’t get from the “other side of the fence”.
Reason I posted in the first place is that since changing hormones, a number of things have suddenly started happening a bit faster. I have no issue with that: in fact its very nice, after a period, mid-summer, when everything seemed to have calmed down.
My medical worrying wasn’t hypochondria – well, that’s my story – so much as a concern that with all these changes, I hadn’t the faintest what sort of things I should just take in my stride, what might be pointers to real medical problems, and when even to ask my GP whether I ought to be worried.
Various women posted very helpfully: I liked the reply from (I think) Louise, along the lines of “if its something teenage girls get, don’t worry about it”. Only even that is a bit iffy as guidance: if I WERE a teenage girl, I’d be surrounded by other teenage girls and, I guess, comparing notes on a daily basis.
Like so much gendered knowledge that we all take for granted, it is socialised gradually over years, and taken in by a process of slow osmosis.
One interesting discovery lies in the realm of “sore boobs”. This, I now get, is very very ordinary. All that is going on here is that I am discovering another of those fundamental truths about having a female body that pretty well all women know, and most men don’t. Boobs get sore, for a variety of reasons and for none: sometimes they get very sore.
I laugh at myself. I’m sure this all sounds so naïve. There is also a danger, of which I am well aware, of my almost fetishising what women in general find utterly ordinary: or making something out to be special because it is happening to me, when most just get on with it.
Apologies if I sound like I’m doing that. I’m really trying not to: I am marvelling at each and every discovery about my new body. This is both ordinary and different. Special and mundane at the same time. It certainly does not make me special: but it does constantly surprise me.
The one big insight I take away from this latest development is actually how little the soreness gets communicated across the gender divide. I’d always thought I listened well to women. Maybe I didn’t listen as well as I thought: but maybe in this area, women just don’t mention the issue…or if they do, they don’t explain it.
Sure: I was aware, in a general sort of way, that at certain times and seasons, my partner would flinch if touched in the region of her breasts. They’re sore, she’d say: and I’d sort of shrug and wonder what she meant. Cause men’s boobs really don’t do this.
And now, of course, I know. When they’re feeling good, they feel very good indeed: a definite addition to my bodily erogenous zones. When they’re sore, they are just as definitely off-limits.
So how come men don’t know this? Aren’t they listening? Are women not telling? Or is it some in-between state: another of those Venus and Mars things so beloved of pop psych literature?