Porn. Even when I hate
it I can't seem to stop watching it. There are times when it's all in
good fun, but there are also times when I feel like an addict. But one
thing I've noticed, it's something people don't like to talk about
much, not even transguys.
Since I relocated to the
DC area, I haven't been to a support group yet, but while I was in NYC
I went fairly regularly. And even in those groups, folks talked around
sex, and porn was only mentioned in passing. Yet I know I'm not the
only one who found themselves watching hours of pornography once I
went on T. It was only a year ago when I ran into a fellow transguy at
a coffee shop in the Village:
HIM: Hey, man, how ya
ME: Good, you?
HIM: Fine. So you started, eh? Your face looks good. Me too, like two
months ago. How's it feel?
ME: Pretty good. Everything's really smooth. Well, except for the fact
I can't stop watching porn, but other than that
HIM: Oh, man, you too?! I thought it was just me. My girlfriend came
home and asked me what I did all day, and I didn't know what to tell
People always want to
know if my sex drive has gone up since I started the T, but it's more
complicated than that for me. Even my partner the love of my life
simplifies it when it's not simple. It's changed, definitely, but it's
not like I want to have sex with everything that moves. I don't look
at random men or women on the street and think about having sex with
them. But I do think about masturbating almost all the time. And porn
is way for me to get turned on fast, jerk off, and get back to all the
things I really need to be doing. When it comes to masturbating, there
are times when porn serves me well. For instance, last night I
couldn't fall asleep, and after tossing and turning for an hour, I
slipped out of the bedroom and popped some porn into the DVD player.
Fifteen minutes later I was done and in twenty-five minutes I was
asleep. But then again, there are times when I'll get back from the
gym and want to get to the fourteen things on my to-do list, and
instead I will spend an hour and a half watching internet porn before
finally jerking off and getting in the shower.
It kills me. I smoked
cigarettes for about five years before quitting, and I know what it
feels like when I'm having a social cigarette, and when I can't think
about anything else, can't do anything else, can't move forward an
inch until I've had my fix. Masturbating feels like that sometimes,
and the porn addiction is woven into it. Sure I used to masturbate
before I started T, practically every day in fact, just before bed.
But it never felt like a compulsion until I started the shots.
Does my sex life with my
partner factor into it? Probably. Have other things changed about what
kind of sex I want and how I want it? Definitely. But the porn thing
has become its own beast that I need to tame. And on top of watching
it so often now, I've changed the kind of porn I watch. Before T, I
watched gay male porn and some straight porn if the power dynamics
weren't too offensive. Now I'll watch almost anything, and I just pray
that the acting isn't atrocious. I'm drawn to "voyeur" and "reality"
and "homemade" porn, and preferably porn where the women aren't so
obviously faking it for the camera. So much porn does hinge on unequal
power dynamics, though, and I often feel contaminated afterwards. I
try to look for erotic movies that my partner and I can watch
together, but they're few and far between, and we don't get Skinamax (Cinemax).
I'll even watch "mature" or "gonzo" porn in the hopes of finding
something that works, that gets me there.
Since I began T, almost
two years ago, my porn addiction has lessened somewhat. When I first
started T, I couldn't walk by an adult video store without walking
inside and popping a couple of dollars into a booth in the back. I
felt horrible. I felt controlled by it. Finally, I lowered my dose of
T from 1 mL to 0.5 mL every other week. It's better, but it's not
I tell you, I now have
sympathy for teenage boys. Not that hormonal urges are any sort of
license to bully women or even other men, it's not. But it's not an
easy urge to suppress. At least as a 31 year old adult, I have some
concept of what's going on with my body. I can talk about it, write
about it, research it, consult my doctor about it. Who's a teenage boy
going to talk to? We don't yet have a culture that allows for open
communication about sex as it is, transguys barely talk about it
with each other. And unlike most teenage boys, I've found my life
partner the intense desire to get hard and get off numerous times a
day doesn't excite me, it frightens me.
One last thing about
porn: It has damaged my fantasy life. I used to be able to conjure
fantasies in my head and masturbate to those. Now I'm so impatient, I
use the visuals from the last porn flick I saw, or I plop down in
front of my computer and just watch something. I think there is
something to be gained from trying to get back in the habit of
creating a fantasy that I want, that I like, that is my version of
exciting and titillating. I think porn deprives us of our
So no, I'm not
anti-pornography. Not at all. But when I used to smoke, I could tell
the difference between that certain cigarette maybe after a meal, or
with a beer that felt satisfying, and all the others that left me
with ashes in my mouth. I want to be in control of when I watch porn
porn and when I don't.
from Deen: Transmasculine