Offensive Rap and the Mysteries of Self-Love

(If you find heterosexuality gross or upsetting maybe don’t read this and definitely don’t watch the video linked to. Also if you just don’t want to know about my sexuality don’t read this.)

I got a really good comment today. It was from someone who is very like me in terms of maybe some kind of inherent gender presentation tendency and in terms of being into dudes. And then they are also someone who has made very different life choices than me. That’s fascinating. What’s even the point of the internet if we aren’t coming across people so much like us and puzzling over what’s different?

So here’s the comment:

“Do you believe transition is wrong for every AFAB? Is it a bikini vs burqa deal? Is there really no out for coming into this world as a cunted, titted, assed laughingstock and victim waiting to happen, particularly if lesbianism doesn’t appeal, even if being some guy’s trophy hole doesn’t appeal either? What about the stealth trans guys post phallo, who may be happy having escaped the execresence of girl existence? Why do only cutie gay boys who are AMAB get to live as humans who like men? Why does an AFAB have to be a lesbian in a lesbian community to be treated as human (as long as she stays in her commune). How does slapping on makeup and trying to find a straight dude give you more authenticity than shooting T as a trans man?”

I’m not going to be able to tackle everything in the comment in one post.  But some stuff is easy to respond to- I know AFAB people who live their lives as men and seem pretty level about the whole thing. They’re in relationships, they own houses, they’re really into their dogs- all the outside indicators are that they have made choices they feel good about. So I have anecdotal evidence that AFAB people transitioning to live as men can lead to them having pretty happy lives.

Perhaps I haven’t been putting that out there enough on this blog. Yeah, I got trans guy friends. I’ve needed to distance myself from those friendships a little bit, but they’re good people and I’ve got every reason to think they’re pretty happy. (And yeah, duh, I know a ton of people who are physically transitioned to live as men and feel regretful about that choice, if you hadn’t put that together.)

I don’t have any trans guy friends who exclusively date men. I knew some bi trans guys in Cali. When I considered myself a bi trans guy in Cali the dating scene scared the shit out of me. I wasn’t close to passing and I really didn’t know which scared me more- the craigslist ads looking for passing trans guys or the ones looking for non-passing. The ones for passing trans guys were so over the top- like “i’ll lick your front hole and pound your back.” Which, you know, lots of people find talk like that on a craigslist ad appealing. The ones for non-passing trans guys were a lot of threesome situations. Like, couples that wanted a non-passing trans guy to play a teenage son in a role play scenario.

Being attracted to only men while on testosterone and since was undoubtedly the final straw. So many things went wrong- it turned out I didn’t want people to think I was a cis white guy when I entered the room, it turned out I couldn’t get housing with male pronouns, it turned out I really hated a lot of the social aspects of the trans/queer scene in the Bay, it turned out I realized a lot of my misery was from being so wrapped up in myself.

But it was exceptionally important that it turned out I only liked men. It was very hard to accept. The day I accepted it I was working at the clinic. I had started going for runs on my lunch break because the clinic was giving me crying fits and I was just trying to keep it together. I was running up a hill and listening to this song on my headphones: (I wouldn’t recommend my more radically feminist readers watch this video, I really think you will be out of control offended. But if you start watching keep watching through Gangsta Boo’s verse.)

I was running, and listening to the song and thinking about how great it would be to fuck to this song and I stopped and looked out over the city, and it was beautiful, lots of white houses on green hills and a big blue sky, and I thought, “oh shit, it’s definitely that I want El-P to be into fucking me because he finds me a sexy woman.” I did not want El-P ever talking about my “front hole.”

I really do not think I would’ve found this song sexy if I’d never taken testosterone. I know that sounds unbelievable. I know it’s all backwards. It’s so backwards I wonder all the time if this is a made up story I’m telling myself, that maybe I was always really straight or something, but no, I definitely was in love and lust with female people before testosterone. Also the men I liked before testosterone were not broad-shouldered rappers- they were skinny little long haired record store employees.

So like, there’s that. I’m not advocating for the moral superiority of this particular erotic aesthetic. I’m definitely not saying it’s feminist. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. Them’s the facts about the inside of my head. I am NEVER advocating for the moral superiority of the inside of my head.

I haven’t written about this because it is a part of the inside of my head that I think could be very upsetting to a lot of my readers, and also it’s gross. I used to be very, very into talking about the details of my erotic landscape, because I thought it was really radical of me. But actually springing your sex life on people who didn’t ask is totally gross.

So does slapping on makeup and chasing straight boys make me more authentic than you? I mean, I’m not you. I can’t tell you what would be the most authentic way for you to be in the world. I’m not writing about your life when I write on this blog. Sometimes in my life I come across people who I suspect are making mistakes like the ones I’ve made. It is true that fundamentally I don’t know what they should do with their lives.

The parallels between transitioning and moving to SF are numerous. You don’t know what it’s really like until you do it. If you do it you should save up a ton of money first. You shouldn’t count on being able to find a job. You’re gonna meet a lot of people who don’t realize they came from rich families and then a lot of people who are living on the streets. Most people who are thinking of moving to SF should stay home and work on themselves.

And then some people absolutely should move to SF. It’ll be the start of their lives. I can’t predict who those people are and who the people who should not are. All I can do is talk about why I shouldn’t have moved to SF in case someone whose thinking about it is all “whoa I could see myself running up a hill to keep from crying and realizing I wanted El-P to bend me over.”

I also haven’t written about the changes in my own erotic landscape because with this stuff I don’t know what self-love is. That’s the real question behind the comment, and also this whole blog/my daily life. How do you know when you’re being self-loving? I thought I was being self-loving transitioning, and now I think quitting was a self-loving choice. Lots of people would say being turned on by a song about sucking dick is definitely not self-love, and I’m pretty convinced by those people. And yet, them’s the facts. I don’t know if the makeup I wear is self-love. I know that for me, shooting up testosterone ended up being not self-love. I feel you on feeling like the only clear self-love choice is a lesbian commune, and also being like, but…. there’s this dick over here though. Maybe we’re both super fucked up. Maybe we’re both doing pretty well.

Maybe it’s always hard to be born female in a patriarchy and we’re just all trying. Maybe what we have in common is the important part, and maybe it’s really almost impossible to speak across the different choices without pissing people off.  I don’t know. Let the soft animal of your body loves what it loves? Ha, a lesbian wrote that, we’re definitely fucked. Oh well, take care.


13 thoughts on “Offensive Rap and the Mysteries of Self-Love”

  1. Since you opened the TMI door here: I’ve seen images online of plastic surgery peen, and I’ve seen Mapplethorpe photos of what he thought were especially lovely peen. There is a problem here for women who want to transition into being gay men, and sure, one can make a good argument that it’s partly about gay male culture, except I see lesbians saying the same thing: no substitute for the real thing.

    Getting surgically done genitals limits your sexual options. It really, really sucks that so few men can handle women who don’t perform femininity. I hear you. But gay men are even less likely to be interested. Gay men either don’t like women at all, or they want to be your gay boyfriend, not your boyfriend.

    It’s all really quite horrible.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Maria, been reading your blog for quite a while, but have only just now made a WordPress. I really loved “Ice Balls” in particular; I think it kind of cemented a few things about the world of men and potentially entering that world into my mind once and for all.

    Sexuality & sexual attraction is such a bizarre thing… I’ve never been able to get any sort of solid grip on analyzing what makes us attracted to one thing over another. Obviously it has biological roots that I’m not really qualified to talk about, but I mostly mean what influences it and how does it work when we talk about it from a position of our own experience or by looking at it through a social lens? I mean, the queer scene is pretty clearly wrong that what we’re attracted to or ought to be is “gender identity”. But it’s not clear that attraction neatly divides along strict biologically-defined sex lines, either. There’s a lot of fuzziness about the boundary conditions of attraction. I don’t mean that in the sense of personal boundaries around who we sleep with or ought to (that’s not up for debate) but in the sense of if I’m a straight woman attracted to men who is assessing potential partners, I may have a completely different set of possible partners than straight Sara and Lisa over there, and it’s not clear who is “right”, or if any of us is confused about labeling ourselves a straight woman, or what standards we ought to use to assess this at all. And of course, the brute facts of our attraction often stubbornly remain no matter how much we try to analyze our way out of them… they are particularly resistant to change and I think “born this way!” doesn’t adequately capture quite why.

    The same goes I think with whether we’re being authentic or have the possibility of living happy lives or can liberate ourselves from oppression by doing X, Y, Z… those are questions that don’t have clear standards by which to investigate them and on whom many very smart people disagree… they are also questions that through analyzing them we often run up against some very basic and incompatible desires within ourselves.

    It’s easy to conclude that we’re stuck in a trap and there’s “really no out”, as the commenter puts it. It also can be easy to conclude that since there’s no best choice to make under patriarchy, it’s time to just do whatever you want. I don’t think either permanent stuckness nor complete wantonness is a good answer, but I don’t know how to even start coming up with a better one. I’ll just say good luck to the commenter, and good luck, Maria, on that front.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So much smart stuff in here! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! Yes, it’s funny and sometimes feels hard to both identify big societal patterns and justify your own way of being within those patterns.Add in the realities of conditioning, and now you can’t even trust the inside of your own head and what do you do with that? I guess the individual has to strike a balance between reflection and what “the soft animal” craves, and you feel your way to a life that nurtures you.


    2. I found it helped to learn more about how to recognize abuse and symptoms of trauma. It’s easier to know what to watch out for if you know what it looks like. While I agree that whom we are attracted to is not a matter of debate, it still is possible to spot patterns in one’s self and others that reliably lead to bad outcomes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is really true and very helpful. I think knowing that I’m attracted to abusive dynamics has made coming to terms with this straight thing harder, because boy HOWDY straight culture is ok with some really over the top tilted power dynamics. I feel like it’s a rock and a hard place anywhere I go. I just want to control my own life, my own body, my own living space, and I don’t want to be lied to. And I also want to flourish.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. So much of it comes down to boundaries and people feeling entitled to transgress them. Or feeling entitled to encourage or even pressure one to allow other people to transgress them. And this is so commonplace that it’s easy to take it for granted and not see how truly disrespectful this behavior is. I particularly like “you’ll never get a man if you don’t lower your standards,” which tends to be code for “just let anyone fuck you who wants to and eventually you’ll come to like it,” which is basically grooming.

        People are not sexualized pinball machines.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Thank you for addressing my comment. I love your writing and respect our differing perspectives. This post really clarified a lot for me. As you can probably tell, I am a post transition trans man. I have, both pre and on T, always been very masculine, dominant, never get fucked, and am only attracted to very submissive feminine men who are total bottoms and are not heterosexual. My long term partner fits this description to a T (yes, that was a bad pun, and not even relevant as he is an AMAB bisexual man).

    I would be appalled at those Craig’s list ads, all of them. One of the many reasons I transitioned was genital dysphoria from my earliest memories, and refusal to ever use that part for ANYTHING. I can’t understand trans men who would, whether using it as an entrance (getting fucked) or an exit (having kids). This is their prerogative, of course, I just can’t relate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well thank you for the initial comment, thanks for reading and sharing your experience, and especially thank you for making a pun in this comment! I LOL’ed, there’s not enough puns around these parts. Genital dysphoria is interesting-it hasn’t been a part of my experience, but has been something a lot of my friends have struggled with. Honestly I’m really interested whenever someone talks about the specifics of their dysphoria because I think a lot of different feelings are being lumped into one word. I know our experiences and choices have been different and honestly I think all the differences are a big part of why it’s important everyone with gender dysphoria and sex dysphoria talk about it. I think we’re pretty far away from understanding the dysphoric experience and the more people talk about it the better. So yes, nice to internet meet you, thanks for reading and sharing your experience!


  4. My pleasure. Please keep writing and sharing your expertience! It is always great to internet meet (I do not know any in real life) any AFAB dysphoric who is attracted to men, whether they are a detransitioned woman, non transitioning woman, non binary person or trans man. Of course, I also live in a small town with only a handful of LGBT folks, almost all very assimilated cis gay men. I am stealth for safety reasons, my boyfriend gets enough flak for being very gender nonconforming and openly bisexual.

    Best wishes for happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

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