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… 🙂
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.