What will testosterone do to my sex drive?

Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
brungerbulb
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What will testosterone do to my sex drive?

Unread post by brungerbulb »

I ask because most of the testimonies I’ve found about this subject are from adults, not teens like myself. This is important because sometimes they describe their attraction as being “like a second puberty”, which it technically is, but the thing about me is I haven’t even finished my first. If you’re supposed to be “horny like a teen again” on HRT, then what does that mean for someone who’s already a horny teen? I’ve heard it’s an increase in libido, but by how much and in what ways? If it just means more arousal in general, I think I’ll be fine, since I tend to think about sex a lot from an aesthetic or philosophical standpoint, and it wouldn’t really affect my general thought patterns all that much. But I’ve read from one place that men find themselves having new fantasies on testosterone, and another said that that isn’t because of the drug itself but because when you grow more comfortable with your body you’re more comfortable exploring past interests, but does that really hold true?

I only worry because I’ve got OCD, and I spent half a year nearly paralyzed from horrible sexual intrusive thoughts, it took six months of twitching and crying for me to learn that the thoughts in my head aren’t harmful and aren’t what I really enjoy, and I fear having to adapt to a new sexuality will set my OCD off again. I can ignore passing thoughts and groinal reactions now, but what will it be like with the increased libido of testosterone, when I’m more often aroused and more often erect? I don’t want to be forced to become a woman because of my sexual intrusive thoughts. My therapist promised me that we won’t let my OCD ruin my life, but still I find myself crying about it. It’s really just going into it blind that’s giving me the shivers. There’s been so little research done on how HRT affects children, and very little done on HRT’s effects on men and boys, and of course the taboo nature of child sexuality doesn’t help anything, so really I can’t see a yard into the future, to speak metaphorically. I really don’t mind my sexuality as it is today, it’s a great inspiration for my art and creativity, and I’m really excited about other components of HRT, such as the body hair or the lower voice, or even some of the more psychological aspects I’ve heard of like feeling your emotions simpler or at least easier to decode. I even think the bottom growth will be a good outlet for me on the more psychical side of things. But still, I’m afraid. I really don’t know what will happen to me, and this is really the only place I know to ask. Are there any studies anyone has read on anything like this? Maybe some reassuring person anecdotes? I don’t know.
Michaela
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Re: What will testosterone do to my sex drive?

Unread post by Michaela »

Welcome back to the boards, brungerbulb!

I'm glad to hear that you feel like you are at a place where you feel more comfortable and have a good relationship with your sexuality since last time on the boards! It sounds like you are experiencing some worry which is completely normal when you are anticipating changes in your body. The unknown can be scary and like you expressed, exciting as well!

If you poke around through some other board posts you'll see that sexual desire changes are a common concern that people who are going through/anticipating HRT have. However, we cannot answer the question of how testosterone will individually affect you. Although T has been reported to increase some people's sex drives, it's impossible to predict exactly what it will be like for you. Have you spoken with your healthcare provider about these worries around possible changes in your libido?

It's good to hear that you have been working with your therapist around your OCD to help you feel more secure in your sexual thoughts. It might also be a good idea to bring up some of these newer worries with them, and some of the other things you mentioned around weighing both the risks and benefits of HRT for you so that you feel confident with your decision. Since you have already done significant introspective work, what are some of the things that helped you to feel more comfortable with your sexual thoughts in the past? Leaning into these perspectives/techniques could be helpful moving forward as well.

As you mentioned, being as informed as possible is a great way to make sure you are comfortable and confident with your decision to start HRT. Trans bodies, trans selves is a great book including personal anecdotes and information on libido that you might find helpful to read (Here's a link to their website for it). We also have an article breaking down testosterone that you might find some information on as well (Trans Summer School: Testosterone).
Mo
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Re: What will testosterone do to my sex drive?

Unread post by Mo »

While I can't speak to whether any changes in your sexual thoughts or feelings after starting T will set off your OCD or not, I can say from my own experiences that the "intensifying" effects on my sexual feelings, while definitely present, were pretty short-lived. It's something I got used to and I adjusted to my "new normal" pretty quickly! I'm hoping that even if you do find that it has a negative impact on you, it won't be something that lasts for long. And hopefully it won't impact your OCD at all! I'm definitely glad you have a therapist you're working with currently; I think that'll be a big help.
brungerbulb
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Re: What will testosterone do to my sex drive?

Unread post by brungerbulb »

Unfortunately, not a lot of progress has been made in actually talking to healthcare providers about it, considering that even getting HRT at all has been very confusing and unrewarding so far. I managed to get a couple letters written by some doctors, but I’m not entirely sure if all the paperwork has been filled out yet. Anyway, we’ve got other stuff in the household that takes priority first, so it’s likely going to be a few months before I even book a consultation, or however this works.

Sometimes I try to backtrack and remember how exactly I managed to get over my sexual guilt and anger issues, and find I’m basically coming up blank. I just changed, I guess. I think since I don’t really know what happened to help me with those, I’m worried that any change might throw off the balance I’ve somehow managed to create. From what I can tell, it may have just been a positive change in my environment or values, which meant I didn’t really need to lash out at anything.

The good news is a lot of my OCD issues were dealt with through medication, which I haven’t heard about being upset by HRT at all.

In the meantime, I’ll talk to my therapist about all this. I sent her a very anxious email about the whole situation before I opened this thread, actually. I might show her what I’ve written here.

Thanks for the reassurance, by the way. I’m feeling better now.
Elise
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Re: What will testosterone do to my sex drive?

Unread post by Elise »

Hi there brungerbulb, I'm glad to here that Michaela and Mo were able to help you feel reassured and better 😊. Speaking to your therapist and showing her this thread sounds like an excellent plan, and talking to her about this whilst waiting for all the admin to get done to get HRT sounds great too. What can really help with feeling anxiety/intense discomfort about something that is uncertain in the future (particularly if some of the potential outcomes are scary to think about) is to make a plan with your therapist about what you can do to handle them if they do happen. This can help a lot as quite a bit of the anxiety can be about feeling out of control/unsafe if the outcome(s) you're concerned about do happen, and having a plan can help make things feel safer, as you know what you can do. Even if they doesn't come to pass and everything goes well, you will hopefully have saved yourself a great deal of anxiety and stress in the lead-up!

Making a plan can look like making a list of the coping strategies that have worked for you in the past that you can use (which your therapist can help you reflect on and hopefully remember, particularly as she may have notes from the time if you told her what was working or what she recommended) and/or ones to try. It can also look like making a simple plan to contact her and/or making an appointment ahead of time that would allow you to check in a certain amount of time after starting HRT to gauge how you're going, which can be a comforting kind of safety net. How does that sound?
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