Painting by Hajime Soriyama

I wanted this post to be about muffs. It turns out that playing with a part of your body that you were only peripherally aware of is difficult. There was some weekend exploration in the shower but after some pedagogical maneuvers, my partner and I called it quits for the session. So more to come — we at least now know where they are, kinda.

I’ve actually been pretty depressed and dysphoric this past week, which doesn’t always translate to sexy very well. I’ve also had a number of conversations — okay, two — with trans people (both friends were trans fems) about how much we hate our bodies and sex. This at least gave me a little more conviction for this process of self-sexual exploration — I don’t want to hate my body. Sure I can change it, but I want to give my self a chance to grow comfortable with it. In that spirit, I purpose to write about one of two parts of my body that I unambiguously don’t hate: boobies. (You have to stay tuned for the other part.) Now, I don’t want to suggest that my breasts are perfect, they’re not, but they do much to counterbalance dysphoric feelings associated with the rest of my body.

Starting with the mechanics of it, I think trans women (fems) who take HRT post first-puberty are in a unique position. We get to feel our boobs grow while we are sexually active. I know, I know, some cis women’s breasts grow for a long duration over the course of their teens and even early adulthood. But many cis women are very young when early breast growth starts (I am reasonably sure of this because when I was looking up resources about breast growth the audience was usually aimed at 12 year-old girls). Anyway, in those first few months, as the breast buds are developing, like hard knots in your chest, they hurt like hell. But they also have the nerve ending sensitivity of an atomic explosion, like getting kicked in the jewels — sorry no cross-sex analagoy for that one. But, unlike a kick down there, you can control your contact with them and it is/was overwhelmingly sensational. This level of sensitivity, for me, lasted much of the first year I was on HRT. I could orgasm almost exclusively through stimulating my burgeoning chest flesh. They are still growing and hurt, but the intensity has toned down — I am now a 38 full-B, so there is more stuff surrounding the nodules. And even when they are not growing, they’re still incredibly sensitive. (They grow in waves.)

In those first months, breast play was pretty much the only consistent sexual contact I could have, as my lady-bit was all over the place. Sometimes she could get hard, often she was just flaccid. More important than my breasts’ erogenous potential is their dysphoria counterbalancing power. At first, they had an asymmetrical effect on dysphoria. During sex, I liked to be on the bottom, but as my breasts started to grow they were smallish and disappeared into my broad chest when lying down. This created an impossible scenario. I wanted to be on top so that I felt my chest, but then being on top made me dysphoric. I would move onto my back to feel comfortable, only to feel masculine as my little breasts once again disappeared into the surrounding chest — which still had muscle at that point. This period of my trans-sexuality was more often than not unsuccessful and resulted in a lot of crying.

Luckily, through much obsessive attention and self-examination, my breast grew. Though they no longer feel like explosions when touched, they are still super sensitive. Largely they are the centre of my erotic excitment. Better still, they no longer disappear when I lie down. And even better, in the most ideal of situations, when I can feel my breast in front of me, or my partners face pressed between them — in conjunction with my softer, fatter, female body — I feel comfortable. Very occasionally, I feel like I can fem-top (by which I mean top and not feel repulsively masculine because I am using my lady-bit in an AMAB typical sexual maneuver). And here lies my hope. If I can sometimes get to a point where I am comfortable in my own skin, then maybe there is hope that I can better accept myself. It takes feeling very physically feminine, but it can happen. And my breasts are essential to that feeling. And I am very fortunate that I have them. They are more amazing than I could have ever conceived possible, considering that I began HRT at 31.

So, that’s my sexual default, breast play. But it’s only the beginning. Breast play now usually only leads to arousal, and I still don’t feel comfortable with some of my other parts. And then there is size-based dysphoria — I’m 188/6'2. So it’s all so complicated. And maybe, in the end, I will get “the surgery.” In a way, SRS has always felt like the telos of this story. I just responded to a Reddit post about tucking in the tub as a kid. But the process of SRS scares me. And my breasts make me feel a little more comfortable in this alien flesh. So, perhaps there is solace to find in this fleshy assemblage of differently sexed parts.

After all, “I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess.”

I’m trans, a PhD candidate in Gender Studies, and a researcher.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store