Update:

I  have written this article about 10 years ago. Many things have changed since then and mayby I would change some items today. But as a whole I find everything I said then is still true today. Maybe thing are not anymore as chaotic as they used to be and I find more and more people to think the  way I do. Anyway I received many beautiful letters applauding my views, expressing thanks; having found valuable insights and help.

It deeply grateful of your responses.Thank you so much.

June 2006

Here the is the original version.

II would like to acknowledge the help of Madhu from India who is responsible for the the first draft of this translation from a German lecture I held some time ago. I hope you will forgive the sometime not adequate grammar or sentence structure. If something is radically wrong let me know, I gladly accept your corrections. I just received a new corrected version by Bobby  Francis. Thank you Bobby your help is greatly  appreciated.
 

Preamble 

IIf there is any contribution I can make to the many facets of Transgenderism, Transvestism and Transsexuality then I hope it is my conviction that there is an alternative to sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). I know that many of you will disagree with my point of view and some may even be offended. I have no intention of hurting anybody’s feeling. The sole purpose of this article is to open a constructive dialog and advance my view that there is an alternative. To prove my point, I have for the first time publicly exposed my past and to a large extent this is the reason why I dared to publish this homepage. I welcome all points of view and hope you will let me know (hopefully in the guestbook!) of what you think.
 

 

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 woman.

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 gratifying.

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 real thing!

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 advantage.

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 masculine clothing.

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.