“I fucking hate my penis,” Molly at The Toast freely admits, reflecting on the “Before Times” of her sex life before beginning the process of sex reassignment surgery:
[A]t no point did sex ever come naturally or easy to me as a man, because I found it really hard to stay erect when with a woman. I sustained almost no pleasure from sex, and if my ex had been the kind of woman to watch Archer she’d have spent a lot of nights telling me I was pushing rope. The thing seemed to be a mystery to me. I was attracted to women (mostly), but it did not react to them in a way that was consistent with that attraction. I started to believe that at some point every other penis-owning humanoid had been given a manual on how to operate their dicks, but mine had been lost in the post. It made me feel like shit, every time it failed me – and it failed me a lot.
Over time me and my ex figured out tricks to make it work, but they were just that – tricks.
They all seemed to rely on telling stories, and my ex became really great at making up erotica on the spot while actively engaging in erotica. She’d tell a story about some dirty schoolgirl, or herself in a compromising situation, and looking back I can pretty clearly see what was going on and why they worked so well. The actual physicality of sex, the mechanical aspects, became static as she told the stories, and I was able to put myself not in the role of the male aggressor, but in the role of her, or the schoolgirl, or whatever. Anything but me. Anyone but a man. That’s what it took.
In quiet moments back then I would allow myself to hate my penis like I hate it now; imagining universes where I’d been born female or timelines where I’d come out of the closet years ago and had finished all the surgeries and hormones and everything else already. I knew what was going on, in my mind, but I did not want to give a voice to it, not then. It was easier to live a lie and go through a performance for the outside world while suffering immeasurable mental anguish than it was to be honest with myself.