Why get confirmation surgery at all? I’ve written before about people who insist that getting surgery is some requirement for being “serious” about being a woman (or a man I suppose for the FtM community). My negative feelings about those folks haven’t moderated, no person, regardless of intent has a right to put such a burden on another. It’s a financial, physical and perhaps most of all a psychological burden.
Many people might think that sex would be some significant part of the equation. It was part of the equation for me, but way down on the list. There were pragmatic reasons and sex was not one of them. One has no guaranty over being sensate or orgasmic after SRS, although most surgeons maintain sensation the vast majority of the time.
Pre surgery I was always aware of the discordant note of having male genitalia. I was particularly aware of it when talking to other women, it was my remaining dysphoria.
Showers and nudity weren’t too cool either. A female body with a penis is just not what I wished to see in the mirror.
This was my #1 reason, and I’m happy to say that having had surgery really did address it.
What a reason to need to consider. In a principled world, much less a perfect world, being trans would not put your life at risk. Consider the following trans people who died because the EMTs refused to treat them when they discovered that they were trans due to a mismatch of genitalia and gender. Two you might read about are Tyra Hunter and Shaun Smith, but these can hardly be unique cases although they are most certainly egregious.
Safety was one of the top reasons, what a ridiculous thing to need to worry about.
Fortunately for me I am unlikely to need to ever worry about prison, but for young trans people forced into the sex trade due to parental abandonment or abuse, prison is a real risk. Policies in prisons differ and don’t always place trans women in the female population. You can only imagine the results of placing a women in a population where the men have to worry about rape. There are also psych problems with doing this.
While some places like ladies rooms are easily accessed since we are clothed, public showers and changing rooms are not, nor are all female events that involve nudity.
Additionally there’s the insecurity of being in a bathroom stall with an ill fitting door threatening to pop open under some circumstance. It is unlikely that one would be greeted warmly.
This was a reason for both my top and bottom surgeries. For the top surgery let me opine that few articles of women’s clothing in the XL size I need anticipate a really small chest. My breast growth had been about as good as one can expect at any age, but it wasn’t in proportion to my body.
For SRS though, it relieves the constant worry that something will show through clothing. This is, believe it or not, a major issue in day to day presentation.
There are also (effectively) restrictions on clothing that just can’t work without surgery. While it is possible to “tuck” and use tape and such (yes, as uncomfortable as it sounds) to really hide things well, this is a poor daily solution to the problem.
Sex (for lack of a better title)
The reader might be aware that even months of hormone therapy can leave a transwoman permanently unable to father children, even if she changes her mind and detransitions. It’s a reason to be very sure before starting HRT and to think carefully in those first months whether the right choice has been made.
What may be less clear is that HRT has pretty profound effects on male genitalia and leaves said genitalia fairly useless after a couple of years.
SRS has the potential to provide working, sensate genitalia and so restore the ability to be sexual at some level.
Also, without SRS the likelihood of finding a partner, male or female, is pretty slim. Most people want someone who’s clearly male or clearly female in these things..
Not a major reason for me, probably fifth or sixth on the list.
I hope the above clears up the thought process in choosing to submit to SRS. For the benefits listed above it may well be worth it.