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So You Think You Want to Be a Woman (1992)

So You Think You Want to Be a Woman (1992)

©1992, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Dallas Denny. (1992). So you think you want to be a woman: A word to the wise from the far side of the transsexual curtain. TV Connections. 





The following was written for the readers of Denna Moore’s TV Connections magazine, but I think its message pertinent for a wider audience. I’m not certain this piece was published, but since it predates two others that did make it into print in the magazine, I’m fairly certain it was.



So You Think You Want to Be a Woman

A Word to the Wise From the Far Side of the Transsexual Curtain

By Dallas Denny, M.A.


Yesterday, thanks to the miracle of science, I was able to talk to Deena Moore, the editor of TV Connections, across three thousand miles, just as easily as if were we sitting on opposite ends of a couch. “Hello,” she said. “Hello,” I said. A continent spanned at the speed of light.

What did Deena and I talk about? Girl things, for one. But we also talked about her determination to have a balance in her magazine (which includes sexual contact ads), and to present important information, the things we don’t really want to hear about, and yet we really do. You know— information about sexually transmitted diseases, discussion of the risks and benefits of hormones, AEGIS’ Dangerous Curves ad, warning about the hazards of freely injected silicone. Deena is committed to balancing fact and fantasy; it’s a worthy goal, if a difficult one. I gave her permission to reprint freely from Chrysalis, a magazine I publish, and told her I would be happy to write for TV Connection as well.

One of the things I’ll try to do in this article is draw a line between fact and fantasy, and point out that line to others, for it’s when we can’t see the line, when we confuse fact and fantasy, that we can get ourselves in trouble.

The same science that spawned the telephone has made possible medical treatments which enable an individual born in one sex to acquire the primary and secondary characteristics of the other sex, and, in many instances, to eventually pass well enough to live viably in the role normally associated with the other sex. This is what has been called sex reassignment, or, more colloquially, sex change. Hormonal therapy, electrolysis, and plastic surgery can fashion male noses into female noses, male chests into female chests, male genitalia into female genitalia, bearded faces into smooth ones, masculine-looking men, in many instances, into passable, and even attractive women. This is a wonder and a delight for transsexual people, who are profoundly unhappy with their bodies and consistently wish to change them to resemble as closely as possible those of the other sex. But it can be a horror when those who are sexually-driven, rather than gender-driven, pursue sex reassignment, for when they eventually decide being a woman is not really for them, many of the physical and social changes they have brought about are difficult to change, and some are irreversible. Relationships will be forever altered, breast tissue may require surgical removal, and neovaginas cannot be turned into phalluses or castrated testicles replaced.

I wrote once about how female hormones embark on a search-and-destroy mission. Their target: everything that makes one a man. The more obvious changes, like breast development, are not, in my opinion, nearly as significant as the subtle psychological changes which occur. The “specialness” of crossdressing is destroyed. It is replaced with the specialness of being a woman, but that is something entirely different; women are rarely sexually motivated by clothing and cosmetics.

Crossdressers can and often do become enamored of the notion of having breasts, smooth, hairless bodies, or vaginas. Disincorporated parts of the female body, transposed to the man, and magical thinking about being a sexual object (and little more) as a woman is fetishistic, in the same way four-inch heels and garter belts can be fetishes.

What is critical here is to separate fantasies of being a woman which occur as part of the male arousal pattern— growing, reaching a peak, and then receding, from thoughts of being a woman which are gender-driven— consistent regardless of the level of sexual excitement. Transsexual people, in their frustration, can have strong fantasies of being a woman while sexually aroused, but in the quiet moments after climax, and at all other waking hours, and perhaps even during their sleep, they desperately desire to be of the other gender. They may repress their crossgender feelings, but they are always there, underling everything they do. It is a question of who they are rather than what turns them on.

If you want to be a woman, know this: if you’re successful, you will be a woman, and not what a man thinks a woman is. Hopefully, you may even be a lady—and ladies don’t place personal ads in TV Connection claiming to be hot sluts. Think about it.

We all know overt crossdressing fantasy when we see it:

Chris couldn’t believe it. Staring back at him from the mirror was a complete stranger. There was no trace of his former self, only a startled-looking girl in a pink prom dress. She was, in fact, the kind of girl he had always admired, the sort he would have liked to take to a prom, a slim-waisted beauty with long blonde hair and, blue eyes that were, at the moment, wide-open and unbelieving. There were a hundred little signs of femininity, exciting him and making him tremble: the little diamond studs in her ears; the delicate arch of her brows; the lashes, darkened and individually defined with mascara; the slight pout of her lips; the stray wisp of hair that caressed her cheekbone. Only the pain in his ears, caused by their recent piercing, and a certain sensation in his groin made him aware that underneath the cosmetics and cloth there was the sexual equipment of a young man, rather than a young woman. (Hey, not bad, huh? I didn’t know I could write this stuff!)

Yes, we all know crossdressing fantasies. They differ greatly from reality:

 Chris looked in the mirror. Oh, God, her hair wasn’t staying up. It would certainly be a mess before the end of the evening. She wasn’t happy with her makeup, but it would have to do. Oh, no, there was the doorbell; Stephen was here already, fifteen minutes early. What was it with him? She seethed, remembering how he had told her he had thought of asking Mary Banks to the prom. She should have turned him down, flat! “That’s what Mary would have done, I’ll bet,” she said to herself, and went to the door to let him in.

When a male mistakes crossdressing fantasy with wanting to actually become a woman— when his fancies take on the trappings of reality, at least in his own mind— when he confuses his sexual motivations with transsexualism, he is in trouble. This happens more often than you might think.

If you have pleasurable fantasies about being a woman, indulge them, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they are anything other than male imaginings. They are part of your own psyche, your own specialness, your own sexuality, to be enjoyed. But when they drive you to seek sex reassignment, it’s time for a reality check. You must— I repeat must separate your sexual motivations from your sense of who you are before making irreversible physical changes to your body.