Is there any lower common denominator of human expression than the Internet Comments section? I’m hard-pressed to name one.
Something I’ve been seeing with depressing regularity in recent Comments threads about transgender women is reference to autogynephilia, the pseudoscientific “theory” that transsexual women are really just men with an extreme sexual fetish for the idea of themselves as females. It’s wielded like a weapon to delegitimize transwomen and the trans experience. We’re not really women; we’re just sex perverts who’ve taken things way too far!
I’ve never understood how anyone who actually knows what transwomen go through could ever think that autogynephilia makes sense as an explanation for transition. Of course, the kind of transphobes who lay the label autogynephilia on transwomen don’t understand transition; that’s why they seek to marginalize and stigmatize it.
Let’s be honest. If there are are autogynephilic men out there — and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are, stranger fetishes have happened — then the last thing those men would enjoy would be transition. And that’s assuming they could convince a therapist or endocrinologist to put them on HRT in the first place!
I sat down to try and envision the reaction of an autogynephile to the transition experience …
[A man rushes into a doctor’s office.]
“Doc! Doc! I’ve just had the awesomest idea! I want to become a woman!”
“Why would you want to do that, Andy?”
“Because I get sexually aroused by the thought of myself as a woman, doc. It just turns me on SO MUCH. I figure that if I become a woman, I could be sexually aroused ALL THE TIME! Can you imagine how great that would be?”
“Well, heck, Andy, if all you want is prolonged sexual arousal, I could give you a prescription for Viagra. It’ll give you constant boners! And unlike hormone therapy, Viagra is covered by your insurance policy.”
“No way, doc. I don’t just want boners. I want BOOBS! God, I can’t stop imagining playing with them all day.”
“Okay then. The patient is always right, I guess. I’ll write you a script. But first, you might want to read these.”
[The doctor hands Andy a copy of the WPATH SOC.]
“Sure, whatever doc. I’ll read them at some point. Man, this is going to be GREAT! Oh, and please call me Andrea.”
[Six months later, Andrea returns … ]
“Doc, I need your help!”
“What’s wrong, Andrea?”
“Doc, there’s something wrong with my transition! I’m living full time as a woman now, and I’m wearing skirts and pantyhose like ALL THE TIME, but I’m not being sexually aroused by myself anymore. In fact, I’m not feeling very much like sex AT ALL.”
“Well, Andrea, reduced sex drive is a common side effect of HRT. Didn’t you read the literature I gave you?”
“Only up to the part that said I’d grow boobs. Did it say anything about making my dick not work, too? Because even when I get aroused, I can’t seem to get it up.”
“Yes, it said something about that, too. Have you tried anal stimulation? Some transitioning women find that more pleasurable.”
“Eew, doc! I’m not gay!”
“It was just a suggestion. Is there anything else wrong?”
“Yeah, there’s a problem with my boobs, doc. They don’t seem to be growing much at all. And they’re sore all the time. When do the big knockers kick in?”
“They won’t. You went through puberty as a male, Andrea. Those hormones will only do so much for your bust line.”
“But doc, this isn’t what I wanted at all! All I wanted was to feel sexy all the time, but these clothes don’t fit right, and my parents won’t look me in the eye anymore, and none of the job interviews I’ve gone to have called me back, and I haven’t had a date in months. What’s the point of becoming a woman if I can’t get off on it?”
“Well heck, Andrea, it seems like autogynephilia really isn’t a good excuse for becoming a transwoman, then.”
“It really doesn’t make much sense, does it? And you can call me Andy again. Can I borrow a pair of pants?”
~ fin ~