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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Identifying as male only in sexual situations? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Identifying as male only in sexual situations?
Heather
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No need to be sorry: how much you post is about what works for you. [Smile]

Just let us know if you want to keep moving forward, and we're happy to keep on talking whenever.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Berry Babe
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Yeah! Thank you so much! I hope you're having a great new year so far!

I'd love to keep trying to move forward, but I'm not sure what more you guys can help me with? Since I have to get those books and talk to my roommate, I'm not sure how you could still help? If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me! I'm just sort of vaguely lost whenever it comes to things like this. But thank you so much for everything so far!!!

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Robin Lee
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HI Berry,

It sounds like you're waiting on a few things right now, for you and your roommate to be in the same place again, getting those books, and so on, but if there is anything you feel like you need to talk about, we're here.

How are you feeling about having that conversation with your roommate? Need any help with that?

Have you had any success finding counselling services, or has that also been on hold with the holidays?

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Robin

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Berry Babe
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Thank you so much. This means so much to me.

I mentioned it to her over Skype, and she said she'd definitely be willing to help out. She says she'll do whatever she needs to to help me out, which is wonderful of her. So now I just have to hold up my own end of that deal.

I'm waiting on a job before I can get those books, so hopefully that'll be sooner rather than later. Counseling will have to wait until I'm back at school, too. So those are both things that I'll have to be patient about.

But I do have a question for in the mean time. I keep hunting the internet for information on people who might be in a situation similar to mine. I understand that my dysphoria and such is most likely spurred from my abusive history, but I'm curious. This may sound silly, and I'm actually a little nervous to even ask about it, but should I be trying to focus on, how do I phrase this, on what caters to my biological sex or to my dysphoria? Like. I guess that doesn't make too much sense. I'm trying to ask if it's more advantageous to address the dysphoria and keep feeding it or if it's better to try to slowly work my way out of that mindset? This might sound really close minded, so I'm sorry if it does. I'm just totally lost in situations like this. So yeah. Thank you! Sorry if that was awkward or anything.

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Robin Lee
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Not awkward at all.

From what I understand through what you've shared here, the dysphoria is specifically related to how you express yourself sexually. are you currently sexually active, or are you taking a break from sexual things. I think I saw that you and Heather had discussed that, but I don't know what you came up with/decided to do around that.

I could certainly give you my opinion on what I think are the most pressing issues for you, and I'll do that if you'd like, but I'd also like to know what you feel like is most pressing for you.

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Robin

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Berry Babe
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Yeah, Heather and I decided it would be beneficial if I stopped partaking in the sexual activities that I was for a while. However, for the past few years I've been trying to convince myself to masturbate, but I've never been able to bring myself to go about it. I've begun to think this is because I've been approaching it like a female, when my brain wants it to be addressed with male parts? If that makes sense. So what I have never seemed to be able to figure out is if I should try to keep slowly forcing myself into that as a female or if I should encourage my dysphoria and try to find something pertaining to that that might help. Or if I should just stop trying all together.

As for the most pressing things about this situation, I'd love to hear your input. I'm not so certain about it myself. But maybe to address the possible psychological problems behind where I'm at right now? Pretty much, counseling is probably what I should most be looking into right now. As far as I can tell? I'd be curious to hear what you have to say, too.

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Robin Lee
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Yes, I think counselling is a really good place to start. From what I hear you saying, and from what I know about people in general, it sounds like working with a counsellor around the abuse you've experienced and, as you say, where you are now, seems like a helpful place to start. IN general, with counselling, a counsellor will ask you what's going on, and through the process of talking about it and the counsellor asking for more information, you'll both figure out what needs to be addressed.

Regarding masturbation, I'm personally and professionally not in favour of people forcing themselves to masturbate. It's supposed to be fun. [Smile] [Smile]

Does masturbation feel like a personal priority for you right now, or something that you feel like you're supposed to be doing?

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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Hi Berry,

Have you looked in your local libraries for the books that Heather suggested? Getting the books from a library would be faster (and less expensive) for you than waiting, as it doesn't sound like you know when you'll be working.

Just a thought for you. [Smile]

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Robin

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Berry Babe
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I just got back to college so I'll check the university library. They might have them!

I'm not sure. I feel like it's something that I should be doing. It's just sort of the norm, it'll help me not to get into sexual situations I don't want, and I think maybe it'll help me figure out where I stand on this whole male thing? But I can't bring myself to do it. So. I'm just not sure how to approach that. So...yeah. Does that help explain?

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Robin Lee
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School libraries are vast, so they might indeed have one or more of the books.

I think I understand what you're saying. I'm hearing you voice that it's not something you really feel pulled towards physically, but intellectually you see it as being helpful. Am I understanding you correctly?


I think that for people who enjoy masturbation, it can be an alternative to partnered sex. I'm not really hearing here that masturbation would relieve any sexual needs or desires as you are feeling conflicted about it, but again, I'm still not sure if I'm understanding you 100% so I don't want to put words in your mouth.

You mentioned keeping yourself from getting into sexual situations. Have you thought of things you're going to do to help you do that?

Just so you know, I'm headed off for the night, but will be back in the morning.

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Robin

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Heather
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I'd also add, as I think I mentioned near the beginning of this thread, that I'd be hesitant to consider gender dysphoria something that's sound to self-diagnose.

I also understand dysphoria as something that's not really situational like you're describing, but pretty unilateral in all areas of a persons life.

I'm certainly not stating you can't soundly identify your own feelings about your gender, overall, or in certain situations. Of course you can. But I'm, personally, not really comfortable talking about this as dysphoria, and considering that what I seem to hear most from you is how much you want to identify as a woman, again and again, I guess I don't feel like it really makes sense to, either.

That all said, I think however you choose to come to masturbation -- or partnered sex, for that matter -- in regards to things like how you want to think about your body or certain parts, or what you want to call yourself, your body or certain parts is all fine. I don't see any reason to identify yourself or your body parts in ways that make you less comfortable, versus what makes you feel more comfortable. I think the sticky wicket here is that it sounds like either way there is discomfort.

Does that sound right to you? If so, I don't suppose you've tried seeing what it feels like to take gender out of the equation entirely? Like, with masturbation, if you come to it and your body with fantasies, or a sense that there's no gender afoot period, how does that go?

That may change nothing, but since it seems there is dischord and discomfort identifying as a man or a woman, for different reasons, I'm just checking to see if perhaps there might be another set of questions and answers to explore here that you haven't yet.

I do still think counseling sounds like it's something you'd really benefit from, by the way. I've been a little out of the loop with you lately: were you able to look into your options with that yet?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Berry Babe
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Hey! Okay, first off, I want to apologize for not being on the forum much. My computer completely broke down, I needed to order a new hard drive, reinstall windows and some drivers, and now FINALLY I have the internet back. So hello! Sorry about all that, and I hope you've been doing well!

Since I last posted, a lot of things have happened. Although I haven't had a chance to talk to a therapist/counselor yet, I've begun reading a few of the books that Heather suggested to me after I found out they were available as ebooks at my library (I was too afraid to check them out in person). I'm working on following the advice in the books I'm reading so.

In a moment of what might not have been the best decision making, I've asked my roommate and one other close friend to use male pronouns for me. It's not that I've realized that I identify with being male, but it's more of an experiment than anything else. I figured it couldn't hurt anyone, and on such a small scale, I wouldn't get any negative feedback from transphobic people, so I thought it'd be worth a try. This is only the first full day of that, though, so I don't have much to report on it yet. Just that I'm exploring options.

In response to your posts from what seems like forever ago, I think you're right, Robin. I'm seeing masturbation as more of a logical conclusion than anything else. That's probably not the best decision I could have made, though. Or the best viewpoint I could have on it. And no, I haven't thought of ways to avoid sexual activities right now, but I desperately need to.

As for Heather's post, I'm sorry about the confusion about dysphoria. I guess I had seen that term used incorrectly and assumed it was the correct usage, only to be proven wrong. So I apologize for that! And I'll stop misusing that word.

I think you're right, that it's awkward either way for me. I'm not sure, though, how to approach those situations without gender playing a role? Maybe I'm just naive or maybe I'm just not thinking straight, but I might need suggestions in order to try that? Sorry for being needy.

I plan on making a meeting with a counselor either next week or the week after that, so hopefully I'll be able to tell you about that when it happens. Thank you guys so much and I hope you've been well!!

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Heather
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No worries about not being around, but sorry to hear about the computer issues! Computer troubles are always maddening.

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be okay to try on pronouns to see how and if they fit. I agree with you: it's not like it does anyone any harm, and I can certainly see the value in trying it out to see how it feels for you.

In terms of how to not have gender play a role, I'm not sure how to explain that, save to say that it simply doesn't have to. Really, we decide what has gender and what doesn't, it's not like anything, ultimately, has to. Gender is a social construct, and like any construct, we can make it or not, you know?

So, just like, for instance, you can be a person with, say, a vulva, and that vulva can be a woman's body part -- if that person is a woman -- it can also be a man's body part -- if that person is a man -- or the body part of someone who is just a person, and whose gender isn't something they identify as man or woman, but maybe as either, both or none at all.

On the other hand, it may be that for you so far, your experience of sex of any kind is as something that's about gender, that must have gender involved for you. This is all very personal and individual stuff, but I just tossed the idea of there being no gender involved on your part during sex to get a sense of what you thought and how that might feel for you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Berry Babe
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I'm glad that it doesn't seem like a bad idea to try that out, then! I was pretty nervous about it.

The idea of gender not playing a role in a situation like that is definitely something that interests me. From my own experience, though, gender is pretty much a requirement of any sort of sexual activity. That might sound incredibly stupid or shallow, but it's true. I'd love to see how to separate the two, though, since they're so vastly different. I'll have to look into how to do that.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Berry,

I don't think that sounds stupid or shallow. So much of the modelling we get around sex (from pop culture representations of it, common ways of discussing it, etc) involves pretty detailed gendering.

When it comes right down to it though, what is involved in sex (with a partner or with oneself) are bodies, personalities, feelings, preferences, personal histories, and so on. Gender doesn't have to be part of any of these. Or, put a different way, two people could experience the same sexual activities in similar ways regardless of their gender and more based on all those other factors.

None of this is hard and fast though. How do you feel about exploring the taking gender out of the sex equasion?

--------------------
Robin

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Berry Babe
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I think I understand, and I definitely think it'd be an interesting thing to try. Again, what could it hurt? My only concern is...I'm not sure I know how to separate it? I know it's more of a mental state, so I'll do a search and see if anyone has any suggestions on how to separate the two. It might be really beneficial, considering my male tendencies started in sexual situations. Separating these may very well do me a lot of good.

I'll need to look into it, but I won't be home for most of this weekend, so I'll do my best when I get back!

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Robin Lee
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If you're not currently engaging in sexual activities, do you feel like you have more time to figure this out per gender and sex, or are you feeling a lot of urgency around it? Just trying to get a sense of what you're feeling aroudn this, as well as what you're thinking. [Smile]

Sounds like it's a busy weekend for you. Hope it's enjoyable.

--------------------
Robin

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