Reader has second thoughts on vaginoplasty


A reader who “chose SRS for a lot of the wrong reasons” notes:

I guess I can say I can speak one of the common stories a lot of transwomen (including my girlfriend) went through. I knew something was wrong from day 1. I couldn’t totally say that I knew for sure I was trans at age 4, but in hindsight it all makes sense. It was just hard for a four year old mind to process.

And I started transition at 22. I needed it bad, because not only was I not happy as a male, I couldn’t even hack it. Long hair (since I was 7). Shaved body hair. Plucked eyebrows. Whatever I could get away with, and had I been smaller and less assertive than I am I probably would have just been beaten up as a sissy - but since I wasn’t instead I got a lot of labels of people trying to figure me out. Rockstar. Hippy. Surfer. Pothead. Rebel.

I had good luck with my first surgery, which was FFS. Three years later after getting it at 25 and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Sure the first couple days of recovery was rough and painful, but if I had to live with my old face or do FFS again, I’d be ready for FFS in about two minutes.

I also suffered a lot of surgery anxiety prior to FFS. I suppose it was just because I hadn’t had surgery much in the past, I didn’t like the idea of being “injured”, and I didn’t like the fact that I had to go through this painful, expensive surgery where GGs had the correct face without going through anything like it.

After my face, the next thing that bugged me was my lack of breasts from HRT. I did have some development, but even starting hormones in my very early 20s led to about an AAA cup. Literally. On a tall body that wasn’t rail thin or anything like that.

So for a lot of reasons, I thought about doing BAS seperate, or doing it in combination with SRS, or doing SRS and seeing if I got any new results after eliminating testosterone from my system. Or getting an orchiectomy.

I had been living full time for almost two years, but still I think I chose SRS for a lot of the wrong reasons. My breasts and testes were what bugged me really. It wasn’t so much my penis, which was a bit more of a love/hate relationship. There were times where it bugged me, times where it was okay, times where I kind of liked it, and times where I hated it. But 99% of the time, it was my breasts that were causing my gender dysphoria.

Yet I had decided to go to Thailand for my breast augmentation, in large part because they used silicone, which was not readily available here in the US at the time - and even when it was it cost as much as both augmentation and SRS in Thailand!

Figuring I would be so far away and with my girlfriend who was also getting SRS, I decided to do it as well. There was nervousness in the weeks leading up to surgery. I played it off as the same anxiety I had before FFS. But I thought I would be happy with it. I thought being just like a natal girl was what I wanted. And I thought that this was what would finally cure my 26 years of gender dysphoria. It is the prescribed treatment, after all (that and hormones and counseling). Breast augmentation and FFS do not even require standards of care letters!

After surgery, I was upset. It wasn’t that I woke up and immediately thought “OMG I made a huge mistake”. I recovered. And during recovery I had bouts of depression. Those too were played off; post-op depression is common. And I ended up getting laid off at work. My relationship with my girlfriend was rocky and we even lived apart for awhile. I suppose these things occupied my dissatisfaction with post op life.

I eventually came to understand though, that I missed being pre-op. I think I missed out on something, that is, having breasts, but still being a pre or non-op woman. And it took me 13 months after SRS to orgasm. I miss things too. I miss the trans community, where I am now in the cisgendered community. While there are good people in the cisgendered community and some real dummies in the trans community, overall the trans community was better for me. And really, I do miss my penis. I hate how my vagina/vulva looks and feels on me. I don’t miss being able to stand up and pee (I always sat anyway), but I hate the additional wiping required. And I hate dilating. And the extra washing. And just how it feels sitting and to the touch and everything. I’ve been so depressed about regretting SRS that I’ve had lots of suicidal ideation and some near attempts.

I don’t even think it’s that I miss my penis much, it’s more that I miss the familiar. The way I was. And now I’m seeing another gender therapist about it. She wants me to learn to be happy with my vagina, but says I could still one day have another SRS if a more viable FtM option becomes available.

I don’t know. I have trouble EVER seeing myself liking having a vagina. I just hope for a viable SRS reversal to come along. I did make some progress though. I’ve been able to fully embrace the idea that I am just as much a woman as any transwoman or GG, whether I would have been a non-op.... or the regretful post op I am now.

I would do virtually anything to go back and change how things went though. And it’s been over a year and a half since my SRS so this isn’t mere post op depression.

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 07/25 at 10:20 AM

What a wonderful and honest post! I bet more people have struggled with this than care to admit.

For me, the first time I went on HRT and lost all that male sex drive, it really bothered me that I lost all that drive. It scared me enough to stop HRT for a period.

I guess that for me, the big things are, it’s really important to have that ‘look’ when in the mirror and to have that ‘sound’ when I’m in the bathroom. Using the ladies rest room and not sounding like a woman was always a huge issue for me.

I’ve also always wanted to be the female partner in a relationship. for as long as I can remember. So that’s a big factor.

I don’t think I ever truly ‘hated’ that part of me, it’s just that I never felt like it was a real part of me.

Someone (dare I mention her name) compares us with people who are obsessed with self mutilation and amputation of limbs, but I simply can’t see the comparison, we are not removing anything, we simply changing the function of that organ. The cost is a little steep (dilation and additional maintenance) but considering the alternative, to me, it’s worth the cost.

I truly hope that you can learn to be happy with your new body, I can’t imagine the distress of feeling that this has been a mistake. It’s easy to say ‘embrace’ your femininity but I hope that in time, you are able to feel in harmony with your whole body.

As always, this is my humble opinion.

Posted by  on  07/30  at  06:40 PM
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