The Teiresias Test

Sex has not returned: in some senses, i am not sure it ever will. At least not fully. But the capability is definitely there, along with a growing facility for making use of the “new equipment”.

Which leaves me, irrepressible inquirer that i am, wondering whether it is ever in any way going to be possible to determine how alike the trans and cis experiences are on this front.

From the personal…

Let’s start with the personal. When i touch, when i explore, the way i react is very similar to how cis women i have confided in describe their own experiences. Arousal now is definitely harder, more elusive, more of an all-body experience than ever before.

To which the cynics will reply: nah, tis mostly in your mind. You are expecting that experience, so that is what you get. Which may be part true. But only, i think, part.

There is a portion of experience that i have been able to share with other women, and there is much around the physicality of the act that i certainly was not consciously aware of before that i seem to be discovering independently. None of which prevents the total cynic from arguing that even though i wasn’t consciously aware of this or that being expressed within the dialectic of female sexual experience, nonetheless, i must have ingested it subconsciously at some point. So still we reach impasse.

…to the “body informed”

Too, there are aspects of THIS body that don’t match those of someone female from birth: the way one lubricates; the muscle structure of your vagina; even the existence – or not – of that elusive g-spot thingummy.

That’s obvious: but it became front of mind a week ago when chatting to a French academic. She smiled at something rather personal i said to her and said that my feelings and responses to a particular situation were “body informed”. I liked that, because its a neat way of putting stuff i wrote about at length during early transition.

If you have boobs, espesh if they are sore, you walk up stairs ever so slightly differently from if you don’t. Your experience, expectations of and, ultimately, interactions with the world are informed by your body.

To put it delicately: the fact that there are things i can do now that i couldn’t before mean that not only fantasy, but also those slight involuntary movements one makes when thinking about sex are “informed” by how my body is and works.

Which, to jump back a paragraph or two, means that my experience can never precisely mimic that of the average cis woman because at the granular level there are body differences, leading, in turn, to different “body informing”.

The comparative measurement of experience

But still, my incessant psychologist demands: how different? And can it ever be measured?

That’s a question about methodology as much as anything else. Like studies that purport to answer questions as to whether men or women “tolerate pain” more easily. Or even studies about comparative happiness.

I should look at how those are done. Because i know, from years of psych experimentation, that stuff that initially looks impossible to do is sometimes resolved.

But this? The ultimate question? (At least, as far as this morning, this blog goes). How closely do the two sets of experiences – trans and cis – map onto one another? How much can we ever really know?

Leave it to the illogical Greeks

At the end, i am left fondly reconsidering one of my favourite Greek myths: that of Teiresias who was supposedly punished by the Goddess Hera for interfering with a pair of copulating snakes. I know, i know: don’t ask WHY anyone would ever do such a thing. He just DID!

Anyway, his punishment (?) was to be transformed into a woman for seven years. Drat! ONLY seven…๐Ÿ™‚

And at the end, he fell foul of the Gods once more, as he was called in by Zeus and Hera to settle an argument as to who has the greater pleasure in sex. Sadly, for Teiresias, he replied that “Of ten parts a man enjoys one only”.

Which may have been honest as far as he was concerned: but wasn’t the answer Hera was backing. So she promptly struck him blind.

An amusing tale – though one that has always left me wondering at the rationality of these Greek story-tellers, since Zeus appears constantly to have been turning himself into a variety of nbeasts and, er, other objects in order to have his way with innocent maidens: a swan, a bull and a “shower of gold”. Huh?

Anyway, you’d think he’d have just done the transition thing himself and saved poor old Teiresias yet more grief at the hands of his wife. But apparently not.

jane xx

14 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rebecca Ashling said,

    I think Teiresias was on the right track with his answer but I’d say it’s more “of ten parts a man enjoys four”.

  2. 2

    Your prostate has become your g-spot, Jane – it’ll be in pretty much exactly the place it would have been if you’d been born with a vagina and as most evidence suggests that they are essentially one and the same, you’re fully equipped in that regard.

  3. 3

    eclectic chicken said,

    @bec -so when a post op MtoF goes for a prostate exam does the doctor access via the anus or vagina?

    • 4

      janefae said,

      think that depends on the familiarity of the doctor. er, familiarity with trans stuff, i mean.

      The community is rife with tales of GP’s and A&E’s just not treating probs that trans women get “down there”, because “its a fanny, jim: but not as we know it!” On occasion that has led to near fatal incidents…women with bleeding, f’rinstance, sent away from A&E because they don’t know what to do.

      istr there was also that semi-comic encounter over at Stamford A&E after i fainted last year: the medic seemed genuinely puzzled as to how to deal with me. Medically!

      jane xx

      • 5

        eclectic chicken said,

        if they go up the arris as no doubt the ladybird book of prostate exams says to do…they surely they wouldn’t be able to find it unless it was the size of a largeish thing?
        if its where the g-spot is they’d have to go in the front surely for there to be any point at all.
        and further surely you’d point them in the right direction rather that let him invade various holes until he hit lucky..wouldn’t you?

    • 6

      janefae said,

      there is also a degree of genuine confusion. I have now been invited in for both breast checking (one, two: yep, they’re both there) and cervical smear. At least one NHS person with whom i dealt was initially unclear as to why i needed the former…but not the latter.

      jane xx

      • 7

        eclectic chicken said,

        you should insist on the latter just so you can empathise with the cis experience… given how much trouble they have finding my cervix they may not notice you don’t have one.
        (i snapped a plastic speculum last time…having told them my cervix is tricky to find and they’d need a metal one)๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 8

    zoebrain said,

    Body configuration depends on the surgical procedure used.

    Don’t be too sure that our muscles differ. If you’re even mildly Intersex, they may be within the usual female range.

    You don’t have 2 sets of glands most women have – but some don’t have them both either.

    Vulvas differ.

    Going by my own experience – I’m Intersex, was anorgasmic before the change and subsequent genital reconstruction by Dr Suporn. He’s good in such circumstances, where initial anatomy is ambiguous.

    Now – NOT anorgasmic!!!!!!!!

    Jane – you’ve never been a guy either. You might have had more masculinised parts than myself, but your brain’s anatomically female. More F than M anyway, there’s overlap in everyone.

    Parts are re-configuring, or rather, de-configuring from what they’d been coerced to be (with limited success), and are now reverting (so to speak) to a more natural state.

    Careful though, sex can be very, very addictive.

  5. 10

    Rebecca Ashling said,

    My understanding is that cervical cancer is related to penile cancer so a smear test is not without point or reason.

  6. 11

    Flow In said,

    mmm. sex. so much better in some ways, so much more frustrating in others. i think a lot more men need to learn to ‘retain their semen’.

  7. 12

    just another tranny said,

    Waaay….TMI.

    • 13

      janefae said,

      Then perhaps the simplest solution would be not to read what is here? Its clearly not TMI for some readers, since feedback has mostly been positive…

      Besides, if you read carefully, i’d suggest that this post is pretty coy, with most of the icky bits left to the reader’s imagination.

      Clearly you have probs with your imagination. ๐Ÿ™‚

      jane x

  8. 14

    Paula.. still alive, listed missing.. TransPanther said,

    I just want to add.. at 46 I have lost interest.. thats where 14 years being messed around gets you.. post menopause and completely bemused by the obsession with it… but.. whatever rocks your world I spose..

    How are you finding the lifetime deep programmed reactions going?.. I ran into a very unexpected one a few weeks ago.. took me completely by surprise. As a psych student I’m watching for others now.. and there are a few. It’s funny being legally bulletproof and yet still sometimes the automatic responses occur..

    By the by.. I have a deal with my husband (wedding invite soon ok?.. after olympics junk is out of the way.. air fares are hiked up for those weeks) .. he can have his beard as long as I don’t have to be obsessional about my legs. Other than that we are playing it as it comes.. no expectations on either side.

    My DHT blockers ran out last week and I feel like shit.. Double estrogen doesn’t make up for the lack of decap. Roll on the jabs in the morning *sigh*


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