Q & A
the Young TS
A Reader Asks...
My name is Bob and this
is the first letter of this kind that I have written. I hope you don't
mind, and have patience with my attempts to articulate my thoughts.
I've followed your story and transition during the past year or so
through your Subversion articles on AOL.
Now my questions.
Hormones and perhaps your predisposition have changed the way you feel
emotionally about men. Do you still feel the same way you did in 1992?
Do you still feel aroused by women? How much of your "male"
senses remain e.g. do you still look at some things from Dave's
Hormones have such a gradual effect
(spanning many years) that it is hard to determine which changes in
attitude come from the biochemistry and which simply come from life
experience. For example, since I am still living with my family, they
quite naturally look to me for the same kind of leadership of the
household I had supplied previously. As a result, my entire mindset is
much more geared to being the head of the household rather than a
participant. Often, I do not get to enjoy the role I have chosen for
myself since I effectively still fulfill the husband's position.
Certainly, Mary and I are no longer
romantically involved, yet it is a strange mix of friendship and
something closer. We still snuggle together and in many ways act like a
married couple, though we do not sleep in the same room, and neither of
us desires an intimate relationship with the other.
There are positive and negative
aspects to dating men. On the plus side, there is an intangible,
wonderful, feeling I get when with a man. Part of it is protection when
in his arms. Part is the relief of not having to be the person in charge
all the time. (But would I still enjoy that if I didn't have that role
every day at home?)
Sexually, I find I am no longer
attracted physically to women at all. Not that I couldn't be, mind you,
if some gorgeous babe were to come on to me, but just that I never think
of women in that way anymore on my own. (All right, well maybe once in a
blue moon, but in fact I'll bet you that just about any woman alive,
whether she admits it or not, finds herself briefly aroused by an
attractive woman from time to time.) I don't experience that often, nor
in any degree of intensity or for any duration to speak of.
As for men (from a physical
standpoint) I don't find them sexually attractive at all - until one of
them holds my hand or gives me a hug. Suddenly, I find myself getting
turned on as if by magic. That never happens with jerks, but only comes
to life when I have become aware that the man in question has
compassion, intelligence, and wit. Put those three together and I find
him interesting. Have him be interested in me and get around to making
physical contact of any kind and that ignites the spark.
I'll tell you what - I never could
understand this in my former life when women told it to me, but here it
is - what attracts me physically to a man is not his looks or how many
muscles he has but idiot things like suspenders, blue jeans, neatly
trimmed beards, even round frame glasses like John Lennon. I look for
how well he is dressed - not how expensively, but how tastefully,
appropriately. That can be as casual as a T-shirt and jeans, but if they
are clean and neat, in short (as corney as it sounds) if he is well
groomed, that is a plus.
Then, a non-show-off confidence
indicative of a quiet strength, well that sets the stage. It doesn't
mean that he can't ever be out of his element, petty, confused, or
worried - as long as he deals with it in humor without taking himself
too seriously, and if he unintentionally steps on my feelings, he is man
enough to apology (after struggling with himself for a while because he
is convinced it is my fault). It doesn't matter whose fault it is, as
long as he looks after my feelings.
I've come to think that men are
looking for physcial profits and emotional security, whereas women are
looking for emotional profits and physical security.
Now a question which
bothers me in all Transgendered relationships with spouses or SO's. I
realize this question is very personal, and will understand if you
don't want to answer. But you have been intimate with both men and
women after your surgery. You had ( up to Chapter 33) come to realize
how much you needed a man in your life. You wanted to be held, to
experience the dating game, to do all those things you had not done
before. You don't want to give up your family -- the're great but not
fulfilling enough. You apparently havve achieved some sort of new
relationship with Mary. You have had the sex thing and now want to get
(Very well paraphrased!)
This is your story and
you have told it from your perspective. But what about Mary? What is
her life now? Does she date, have intimate relationships with men,
want a man to hold to have his arms around her. Want all these things
, even if still loving you?
After all, she has not
changed. She has has the same female needs, desires and longings that
you now enjoy. Does she have the same freedom in relationships that
you have? It seems that she, and others in her situation, still living
with their spouse, have lost something-- perhaps more than what you
have gained. I guess that I just worry about her and others like her,
and find it hard to understand the emotional rollercoaster that she
Well, I often wonder about that
myself, but Mary is a very private person with her emotions (much more
like a man in that respect). So, I can only surmise what she might be
feeling from the little clues I can pick up.
I think of the two (emotional profit
and physical security) she is VASTLY more concerned with physical
security. Naturally, like all women, she would like both. But also like
all women, when it comes down to it, diamonds are a girl's best friend.
It's not that you want to be rich - having a huge surplus is not the
issue. Even a small, one room apartment will do, as long as the woman is
sure she can keep it.
That is the real key, both for Mary
and women in general: to know that what you have won't be taken away.
That is why Mary gets so emotionally raw whenever our finances are a bit
shakey. When we have enough in the bank to feel secure, she often comes
to me without ever having had a conversation with me about money and
says, "I don't know why, but I really feel content." Well, I
know why - it's the security.
Now, beyond that, of course she would
like a man to hold her and take care of her. I imagine that my knowing
that is a big part of what keeps me here. I can't bring myself to leave
her with nothing in that area. At least I can hold her when she is sad,
take charge with strength when she is afraid or depressed, and give her
father-like guidance when she is lost.
Of course, those are just the things
I am looking for myself, not the things I want to be providing. But,
with all her loyalty, well that means a lot to me. So, I'm willing to do
what I can, even if it comes at an emotional cost to me.
Would she be better off if I left? Am
I just a tranquilizer for her real needs? Would she find a good man if I
gave her the space to grow into? Who knows! And would I be able to let
the unpleasant attitudes I must adopt for her fade away if I was gone?
Would I be able to have a stronger relationship with a man or would I
remain alone in an apartment? Who knows!
I stay out of love and fear. She
desires me to stay out of love and fear. Love of each other, fear of the
alternatives. We have each overcome so much in our lives, I wonder if
either of us will ever have the strength to risk it all, yet again, for
something that might be better but could just as easily be worse?
I'll let you know in thirty or forty
This letter is long
enough. I hope I haven't offended. This was not my intent. Please
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