Can you live as
a woman, every day for the rest of your life, with the past as a
male and without sexual surgery (SRS)
Before I begin to
answer this question let me start by advancing the following hypothesis: All
transvestites are in reality transsexuals because all of us, would submit to
sex-reassignment surgery if the following points would be true and attainable:
We were assured our financial future as a woman is as secure and as profitable
as our present income.
We do not risk our present family structure.
Our body measurements, our facial features correspond by and large, to that of a
We have adequate financial means to pay this expensive operation, as well as the
money to support ourself during the month of recovery and adjustment.
There is a real need to use the newly constructed vagina. (if you are hetero
oriented and love women, there is no pressing need!),
There is absolutely no risk to our health and body during the operation.
Can our new vagina give us the same sexual gratification and climax (orgasm) as
the one we experienced as a man. ( The most important point)
If we could sign a contract with God or with the devil, that all these
conditions would be fulfilled (otherwise refund of money and psyche), then I am
convinced that the topic “Sex-reassignment surgery: Yes or No”, would, for most
of us, not be a topic at all. We would do it. Even I would do it.
So much for the hypothesis. The reality of course looks different. One must
consider the advantages and the disadvantages of all the above points. One must
weigh everything and then make a decision. If you don’t want to take risks and
cant make a decision on any of the above points, then you are best served by
maintaining the status quo; as a Transvestite. You will have to continue to
change between being a woman and a man, going out as a women on a part time
basis and utilizing the many self-help groups that are available today. At these
meetings we have fortunately a place and a forum to be ourselves. Here we can
make the most of our love for the feminine, Within the body of these
organizations we can be the woman we dream of. So my advice to anybody who is in
doubt : Wait and live your feminine self within the framework of these
gatherings and other get-togethers that are organized for us.
Now back to the individual points. Perhaps a few of us have no financial
problems to make our dream come true, maybe we have a trade or job which can be
performed as a woman, or we are willing to learn a new one. Perhaps nature has
endowed us with a body and a face which, with make-up and corresponding
clothing, appears convincingly feminine. Maybe we are unmarried, divorced,
without children, or without parents or friends whom we have to consider.
But, … and this is the crux of it all. Can we enjoy sex the same way as we
did, prior to sex-reassignment surgery? Will we reach a (sexual) climax? Is
there an orgasm as we used to know it, or one as most women experience it?
Here I say clearly no, It is just not possible. I know that some of you,
especially those who have had sex-reassignment surgery do not agree with me and
are shaking their heads. Please excuse my candor and don’t get upset with me
when I say that, for those who claim the contrary, it is mostly justifying a
fact which can not be reversed. This conflict of course is fully understandable;
because you cannot expect agreement with this statement from people who, after
years of struggling with themselves and the people around them, living with
extreme physical and financial sacrifices and finally fighting their way to an
irrevocable decision to undergo the operation from man-to-woman or vice versa.
To demand from these people, that their hopes and expectations have not been
fulfilled, this is asking a lot and too much. To expect that these people
will say: "Friends, I have committed a mistake," is simply unrealistic.
It is highly questionable to ask such people for unbiased advice. to ask whether
you should commit yourself to the irrevocable procedure of SRS?
(Quite a few Transsexuals work as counselors!) Can these people give you a fair
and unbiased opinion? Are these really, happy adjusted people? I’m sure quite a
few are, but as a whole I doubt it. I know lots of reassigned transsexuals who
now regret their decision and some of them have dared to voice openly their
doubts about the merits of SRS.
For example, the much celebrated Coco in an interview in Annabelle (A Swiss
fashion magazine) of February 1999 said: "After a while I realized that the
doctors wanted to profit from my operation." To the question whether there
was a situation where she wanted to be a man, she said: "Now I have no options
any more and if I had the need to marry a woman, I couldn't do it today. Somehow
that makes me bitter." One must of course read the entire article to see behind
the lines, to completely understand her disillusion and depressions, combined
with the constant thoughts of suicide. (Since making this statement, Coco made
her threats of suicide come true. She died a few month ago.)
A study in America examined 425 transsexuals and found that compared to the
normal population, reassigned transsexuals had a fivefold higher mortality
rate. The reason, primarily, suicide. Can one speak here of happy people?
Many years ago in Amsterdam I got to know Monique in a drag show. She was from
Pakistan, picture perfect and as pretty as can be. She had a head full of long,
thick, black hair and the most beautiful almond shaped eyes I had ever seen. She
just had her reassignment operation a few month previously.
All the men adored her. A year later when I went back to Amsterdam and asked
about Monique, I was told that she was in Paris. She had made it big and become
one of the most successful fashion models. Money and luxury was no object any
more. I was surprised when, a few months later, I read an account about Monique
in a German magazine. She complained bitterly how, despite all the money, luxury
and elegant limousines, she was lonesome and heartbroken. She was now a
beautiful woman, but she had no sexual feelings any more. “I feel like a
castrated dog,” she said literally.
In an article I found on the internet, a transsexual said about her sexual
reassignment operation: "If I had known what I know today, I would have waited
and maybe made another choice. At the time I was just dragged into the whole
thing. I was led like a cow to the slaughterhouse. At that time, I was convinced
that one could not be a happy, warm and loving woman if one has a penis .
In my younger days, when I lived in America, in Hollywood, it was the beginning
of my period as a woman. I visited bars that were largely patronized by
transsexuals. Most of them were either pre-or post operated transsexuals. Many
became good girl friends of mine, and with some of them I had long talks. I was
curious and wanted to know what I should do, and therefore I asked many of them:
"Would you undergo this operation again if you would have known prior to the
operation, what you know today?” The answers varied. When the night was young
and all were sober, the answer was
mostly: "Yes. I am very happy." The later the hour and the higher the alcohol
level, the less convincing was the answer. Then suddenly they were honest. The
closer our personal friendship was, the more often they would tell me: "Don't do
it, don't make the same mistake I did!"
All these conversations made me think. I tried to analyze, contemplate and
visualize my future. It was a time full of questions without answers. I
desperately wanted to be a woman, yet I was married, I had three kids and a good
going business of my own. During the day at my job I was a man, but whenever the
occasion arose, mostly in the evening, I went out as a woman. I rented a small
apartment where I had my clothes and could prepare my change over for the big
night to come.
Soon I found a doctor who was ready to give me the long-awaited hormone shots
and hormone pills He didn’t ask any questions about me, or why I was there. It
was more important that I paid in advance the fee for his services. I was
overjoyed and could hardly wait for my next appointment.
After about 6 - 8 weeks the first results showed up. My breasts began to swell
up very slightly. I got very small girlish breasts. To my disappointment, they
didn't even fill the cups of the smallest girl's bra I had bought in
anticipation of the wonders to come.
One problem that I had not counted on was the decreasing potency. I had problems
in getting an erection. To my wife I had to look for excuses Even worse than the
decreasing potency was that the longer I took the shots and the longer I took
the hormone tablets, the lesser I felt the desire to dress up as a woman.
Prior to the hormone treatments, when I dressed as a woman I experienced a
prickly, lustful wonderful exiting feeling. Now all of a sudden, it was just not
there. Before, whenever I saw a sexy, well dressed woman, I visualized myself
being and looking just like that woman. Now that exiting feeling was all gone.
Now, I didn't even turn to look back. Window shopping was no more a thrill.
Velvet, silk, lace and sexy lingerie, the most beautiful shoes, all left me
cold. Everything was the same. Nothing could excite me. It was the beginning of
what one today calls chemical castration. Fortunately, it is a form of
castration which is reversible, in contrast to a total sex change. After a few
months I stopped the injections and took the hormone pills on a reduced scale
for a few more years. I tried to strike a balance between potency and breasts,
and in that I succeeded to a fairly good degree. Today I do not require any sort
of hormone medication.
The more I pondered about the advantages and the disadvantages of total
sex-reassignment, the more I realized that to be a woman is not dependent on
the small thing between the legs. The more successful and convincing my
appearance as a woman became, the less important was the desire to do away with
my penis. All in all I told myself, you love women and not men. And to my
astonishment I found women who liked me, who loved me for myself, with or
without feminine attire. Believe it or not as a woman I was far more successful
with other women than I ever had been as a man. It was astonishing and
I was then, and I am today, still not absolutely proud of my masculine
instrument and if the sexual act with a woman were to the same degree, possible
without this instrument, then I think I might entertain the idea of SRS. But
since this is not possible, my penis fulfills, for better or for worse, a very
useful function, which I do not want to give up.
Today I consider the question of whether I should have a operation or not from a
different point of view, and I think more realistically. Nobody will dispute the
fact that SRS changes the anatomical appearance of a man into that of a woman,
but neither can anybody argue the truth that the removal of the tesicles is
equal to a total castration. Whoever contemplates SRS must be aware of the
consequences a total castration involves. I am sorry to say that castration
means nothing less than total abstinence of any and all sexual activities.
It is a fact that chemical castration, the way I have experienced and described
it when I received my hormone injections, has recently been introduced in
California as an alternative to prison for sex-offenders. Now think, why would
one allow sex offenders after a chemical castration outside of a prison wall, or
why do you think all the eunuchs in the palaces of Arabian kings were castrated?
Why are dogs and cats castrated? Why some mentally handicapped persons?
All of these forms of castration have only one goal, to eliminate the sexual
drive of those concerned. As a matter of fact, it probably is the only cure
to free a transvestite from his obsession of searching for a feminine identity.
But that is exactly what a real transvestite does not want to happen.
Therefore my question: Why would a mentally, emotionally and physically sound
human being, choose by his own free will this irreversible step? Is it possible
that the men and women who so desperately seek SRS, are not as normal as they
would like to see themselves? Is it a form of masochism, is it the pressure of
our society which says being woman means having a vagina, or is it the
law-makers, who for a female name, demand proof that everything between the legs
is meticulously removed? Perhaps it is the doctors who see the monetary reward
these complex operation bring. Or could it be, it that many of our transvestites
and transsexuals long for self-destruction? I venture to guess that most likely,
it is a sum of all these factors.
I find it irresponsible when a renowned medical professor explained to me after
my breast surgery: "The next thing we'll do for you is to make you a vagina. You
know I make beautiful clits!!" This, even so I never asked him about it. To my
question: " How is it with feelings after such an operation?" He answered: " How
do you define feelings? You know everything is relative. One can get used to
everything. Stroking and embracing are forms of feelings!"
The doctor is right about the cuddling and petting bit. Everyday my dog,
although castrated, still demands - or despite it – his time of loving and
stroking. And he never gets enough of it. I am no dog. I didn't want then, nor
do I want now, caressing and petting as a substitute for real sex. I want the
Is there then a good reason to justify this last step? Virginia Prince, pioneer
and authoress of numerous books on Transvestism says: "Yes, as long as the
person concerned could, neither as a adolescent or a man, have a satisfying
sexual relationship, with a man or with a woman." That means a person who is
totally impotent and sterile. A neuter with no gender. Of course every rule has
its exceptions. Perhaps there are really men for whom to be a woman with a
vagina is more important than orgasm. Perhaps there are people who are satisfied
with caressing and fondling. I hope you don’t belong to this group.
For a heterosexual transvestite, castration and the changing of the penis into a
vagina is in itself questionable, because the partner is a woman.
What does one do with a new instrument that has cost so much money, pain and
despair? The only way out would then be to find a man to try it out with and use
it regularly. It is therefore no accident that a large number of transsexuals
earn their living, after their operation, by working as prostitutes, or have no
other choice left but to take up such a living.
Perhaps in Third World countries the situation is different. There the relative
large amount of money that can be earned through prostitution is for the lowest
class of population - I won't say the main motive - but definitely a factor not
be underestimated, that speak for a sex-change operation. The temptation and the
prospect of riches or fame is more important to many people. The question
remains at what price and whether these people are really happy. As statistics
show, this is very doubtful.
And the question as to whether this goal could not have been reached without an
operation remains unanswered.
One might think there is no problem if a transvestite feels attracted to men,
meaning a homosexual transvestite. But even that is not as simple as it appears.
Most homosexual men are penis oriented. Even if he is looking for a feminine
partner, in slang a "queen", it is doubtful whether he will accept a man turned
into woman without a penis as his object of desire.
And last, most normal heterosexual men will reject the idea of a transsexual
woman as a partner for a long lasting relationship. They, just like the
transvestite or transsexual are afraid of the problems, burden and social
pressure such a bond entails.
Now then, is there an alternative? Can you have your cake and eat it too? To
this I say without any doubt: Yes, one can live and be happy as a complete
woman even without the operation.
There is an alternative as long as one fulfills certain conditions that I have
mentioned at the beginning. But don't let yourselves be fooled. This path too,
is full of obstacles, deprivations and humiliations. This road also requires
many years of patience and work on yourself before one feels free and will be
accepted as a full woman.
In my own case I had the luck of having my own business and in my job as an
optometrist, a women is just as qualified as a man. As a kid my peers used to
tease me, because of my small size and fragileness. Now it was suddenly an
After my wife had left me along with my children and went back to the USA, my
world collapsed and I was down and out. After this moment there was no going
back for me. I felt I had lost everything that was dear to me and thought there
would be nothing more to lose anyway. While my parents were alive I led, to a
large extent, a double life. I didn't want to destroy their feelings, memories
and hopes. But after my father had died, I decided to burn my last relics of
My acquaintances accepted me more and more as a woman and many friends didn't
know of my past. In art I found a second new career. Today, 15 years down the
road, everything looks different. Buying a new dress or the weekly trip to the
beauty parlor have become habit. The compulsion to prove that one is a woman,
and the fear of your past being discovered, diminished more and more till the
topic “Transvestism and Transsexuals” is no more an issue.
I do not need to justify myself anymore, and even to my friends the subject is
hardly newsworthy any more. I cannot remember when and with whom I last
discussed any aspect of my new life.
Today, I feel better than ever before. I have fulfilled practically every dream;
dreams which as a transvestite one hardly dares to think of. Today, being a
woman is no longer a matter of staying in your closet, not daring to show
yourself in public. Today I’m part of public life and sometimes I stand in the
limelight. As an artist I am in contact with the press and answer journalists'
questions. I play tennis in my club, travel around the world and participate
actively in meetings of my community. I don't hide myself anymore and I assume
leadership whenever I’m asked to do so. I feel freed from all compulsions of the
past. I do not regret any step and I am happy to say, like in Sinatra’s song: “I
did it my way."
I would like to add one more point to what I've just said, a point of which I am
especially proud. When I am in the limelight, it is not on account of my past as
a man, but solely because of my professional achievements. I have never tried to
further my career with sensational details about my past, although time and
again I did have the opportunity.
Are there disadvantages? Yes, a couple, of course. For example, the euphoria of
the past when I bought a new dress, or when I applied make-up, looking in the
mirror and suddenly discovering a woman. These moments are no longer as exciting
as in the past, when all was a game. A beautiful game of course.
Today a lot has become routine. If there are regrets, there is only one; I would
have loved to be in politics and hold a public office. I think I would have been
a good politician. This wish in all probability will never become true, because
in a public electoral battle, most likely my past will be more important then
issues, which is not what I think politics is all about.
Coming to the end I hope I have not hurt anybody's feelings. The purpose of this
paper is to open a constructive dialog between people and to further the
discussions of the value SRS promises. I accept and tolerate different points of
view and I accept any decision made by an intelligent person; as long as the
person takes all options into consideration. With my remarks I would like
to show and say that there is an alternative; there is a third way. We
should not be led like sheep or cows on their way to the slaughterhouse . I
appeal to all people who consider sex-reassignment to evaluate all other options
available. I appeal to psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and social workers
who act in a advisory position or as consultants, to use castration only as a
last measure, as a last instrument of no return.
To be a woman is not a thing of a penis or a vagina. In public, nobody looks
under your skirt or checks what’s behind your trousers. To be a woman is a thing
of the heart, of the soul and of feelings. As a woman you have to prove only one
thing. That what you do, you do well, that you’re a person who signals human
understanding and love for all mankind.
P.S. If would like me as a speaker at your organisation please let me know.
I gladly help wherever I can.