One of the big questions every one of us has is whether we’re going to be able to orgasm after SRS. It’s a valid question for several reasons, but the principal reason is that your whole area down below is getting entirely rearranged.
Most surgeons will tell you, or say on their website, that you will almost certainly have orgasms after surgery if you did before.
Women and Orgasm
There’s lots written about this, but I’d like to talk about a couple of points worth keeping in mind.
Lots of women have actually never had an orgasm. Inhibitions about self exploration, the lack of a partner either willing to listen to feedback (yes, right there!), or a fixation that she ought to be able to orgasm from intercorse, which all the information available says is quite rare. Oral sex, manual stimulation, sex toys are all lovely ways to correct for this.
Unlike men, women get some of the really nice effects without necessarily having an orgasm from the release of Oxytocin. Then again, female orgasms aren’t as much of a one and done kind of thing.
SRS doesn’t cut the nerves to the glans penis so that the neoclitorus will be sensitive from the start. Other tissues may be more or less numb for awhile post surgery.
Although the nerve feeding the neoclitorus is not destroyed by the surgery, it does all get moved around and the sensation probably won’t be what it will be. If nothing else, it’s kinda rude from that nerve’s viewpoint to get dissected away and moved to it’s new locale.
For me there were two things about those early sensations. First, they were pretty uncomfortable, almost painful. Things were hypersensitive and not in a good way. That took somewhere between 6 weeks and 2 months to subside. The second was this sensation that my penis, which was of course not there, was “stuck” inside me. In fact I was probably feeling the base of the penis, which is the equivalent of the clitoral crura. Compare the following images, the clitoral crus on the left and the penile crura on the right:
There are differences in size, but essentially not in form. The clitoris has a small corpus compared with the penis for obvious sorts of reasons, but if you amputate most of the corpus on the penis, what’s left looks a lot like the clitoral crus. The sensitive part of the glans relocated with the “stump” yields essentially the clitorus and certainly serves for one.
Over a period of about a year the sensitivity and feeling improved. After a few months stimulation wasn’t painful or annoying, but the degree of sensitivity wasn’t really there. I did experience a very short, somewhat painful orgasm at about eight months. The pain, which I had (long) before surgery as well was (I’m presuming the same cause) a referred pain from the upper urethra. It was encouraging to have a positive sign, but the pain ended any good feelings right away.
Around ten months in things started getting more interesting. I’d get these really short things happening. They felt pretty good but I wasn’t certain if they were short orgasms or not. Then on December 25th, no kidding, a real Christmas present if there ever was one, I had a full blown orgasm. It’s since been repeated, so it wasn’t a fluke.
Trying to research what a woman’s orgasm “feels” like was pretty difficult. If nothing else it can be hard to find the right words. I also talked to girlfriends who were open to it about their orgasms. There were a couple of things that now resonate:
- The feeling varies, but it is much more of a body experience. There’s a lot of pleasure in my pelvic area, but other areas like the chest get some as well.
- There is this feeling that is like, but not the same, as feeling the need to pee. You won’t pee, but it’s a little intense
- So far, these have involved having a bunch of little orgasms followed by a bigger one. Of course this may not be your pattern, and for me, sometimes I quit before any have happened and sometimes just quit without going further. The little ones are fairly common though
Some notable differences from a male orgasm:
- There’s normally no ejaculate (although there is for some women)
- It lasts a good deal longer, at least my prior ones as a male were just a few seconds long
- You may well be able to have another one without any “down” time. Male orgasms normally result in losing interest in sex, or at least not needing or wanting much.
- There is a bit of muscle contractions, but it isn’t a dominant feeling as it is in the male orgasm. I barely notice that part.
There are some good references out there for women to learn how to orgasm, just be careful with your search terms. One thing everyone agrees on, clitoral stimulation is key. Exploring and finding what works for you is key. Time and relaxation is really important too.
Focusing directly on the clit is not necessarily a great thing to do, at least before you’re getting pretty turned on. The shaft of the clitorus is remarkably sensitive. There’s also something about the way the wiring to the brain works that makes areas like your nipples directly connected to your genitals.
Don’t underestimate the nice feelings you can get from the inside of your thighs and belly. If you have a handy boyfriend or girlfriend they can also stimulate your neck as well as providing some other kinds of stimulation!
I highly recommend the YouTube channel Sexplanations, it is a great, non-judgemental source of information.
Another surprisingly good source is Cosmopolitan. I wouldn’t normally think so, but because it is aimed at young adult women, it deals with a fair amount of sexual information. Of course, that’s also what sells. Still, useful information and a good deal of information about dating, which is interesting at my age coming back to wanting to date again.
That said, this is a popular subject for virtually every woman’s magazine out there.
Many mainstream medical websites also talk about the issues.
It can take up to eighteen months to reach that first orgasm after SRS. Consulting with another trans woman who had surgery with the same surgeon, it took both of us thirteen months. If you’re lucky it might be just a few months in, but I think that one year mark is more typical.
Relax, keep trying, check out the toys available to help. It’ll happen. If it isn’t getting there then talk to your surgeon, pcp or gynecologist about the issue. You won’t be the first one.