Humans are naturally curious creatures - it's a primate thing.
As kids, we tend to explore those curiosities and ask whatever random question popped into our heads. As adults, we learn that some stuff just isn't our business. Some questions are intrusive or uncomfortable.
We don't necessarily "mature" beyond ever having an inappropriate or intrusive curious thought. We are just mature enough to know we aren't entitled to those answers, and that it's unfair to make someone uncomfortable by asking those questions.
But then there's Reddit...
Reddit user Spunkybluepuppy asked:
"What’s something you wish you could ask trans people without any judgement?"
Curiosity isn't a good enough reason to treat a random stranger like a science experiment - but there are plenty of people willing to talk openly about their experiences - and they're the real heros of this thread.
Stopping Cyclesperiod yes GIF by U by Kotex BrandGiphy
"Do periods go away when you start T? Is there a way to get rid of them without surgery?"
"For some folks, yes, for some folks no."
"Some IUDs can stop periods, like mirena, or for some taking birth control without the sugar pill week can stop periods."
"For transmasculine folks The most reliable way to get rid of periods is by having a full hysterectomy with oophorectomy , which also helps reduce the amount of estrogen in the body."
"My period stopped after two months on T. My friends' stopped after he had been on T a bit longer, not certain of the exact number. But both of us had a last period that was a real b*tch. Worst cramps ever! I'm glad I'm done with it now! 😂"
"Yes, my cycle ended about 6 months into T."
"Do you get to choose a size?"
"For trans guys, it depends on how much skin they can safely graft, I think. But after the maximum is established, yep."
"NB transmasc here, MtF wife So for masculine bottom surgery:"
"It really depends on a lot of things. First HRT will grow your clitorus, this averages 1-4cm of growth, some surgeons require either a certain amount of time on HRT/ certain amount of tissue. So from here there are 2 commonly surgical options, each have their own pros and cons and have different methods of being done : 1- metoidioplasty, sometimes referred to as a Meta 2- Phalloplasty sometimes called a phallo. Either can have urethral lengthening, some surgeons will require one depending on the surgery. An issue with urethral lengthening is that the urethra can become blocked/collapse which is obviously no fun. Scrotoplastys are also common to also have done, usually that's done in 2 surgeries where they create the scrotum and then add testicle implants later."
"For a meta what is happening is the ligaments that hold the clitoris to the body get cut and released from the pubis, giving you more shaft. 4-6cm is average length. It will basically look like a small penis. Benefit of it is it can get erect without further surgery. You will likely have more sensation compared to a phalloplasty. You also don't have a giant penis 24/7. Depending on length you may or may not have issues standing to pee."
"For a phallo there's usually multiple stages to the surgery. If you have a meta you can still get a phallo in the future but not vice-versa. So you'll have a donor site, either your arm or you thigh is pretty common, you'll get some say in length but it really depends on how much tissue they can use and the goal is generally average size. They cannot become erect on their own. You have to get an implant for that which is an extra surgery and more money on top of the money you've already spent to get a phallo. Because the tissue is donor tissue taken from other parts you won't have as much sensation if any. Some say they never get sensation to the shaft, some do get some sensation to the shaft. The lack of sensation can actually be problematic during healing because you can't feel if you accidentally bump your penis into something. And with a phallo it will always be full length as it can't deflate like a cis-penis would."
"For transfeminine bottom surgery: So there are a few different ways to make a neovagina. A common way is by taking the penile tissue and inverting it, so the length here varies based on how much tissue. Another procedure uses rectal tissue, the benefit here is that is has some self lubricating capabilities, unlike with penile inversion. Though due to risk factors it's less commonly done. Another surgery involves taking peritoneal tissue from the abdomen to create the vagina. This is a newer surgery for transgender women even though it's a surgery that has been used on cis-women for decades. It also has the benefits of self lubrication and having a stretchier vagina compared to penis inversion. Length here varies quite a bit on what tissue is available for use. Most surgeons operate with the goal of length of cis vagina when aroused. Though some will result in a short vagina. Dilating the vagina after surgery and for years afterwards will help maintain depth overtime. Anecdotally I've heard of dilation once you're past recovery stage to only be necessary if you aren't sexually active and it can depend on the type of surgery you received."
"Edit: I came here from a trans sub honestly expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the really great questions. It was fun to spend some time answering questions. I think there really isn't enough good conversation on trans topics. The people who are the loudest on trans topics are generally the ones who are not transgender, incredibly misinformed, and do not care to listen to other points of view or scientific information. So I really hope there were some good conversations that might have brought issues to people's attention/ broadened the understanding of what being transgender is. Anyways, have a great rest of your day! If you comment a follow up question to my comment I will do my best to answer if possible. :)"
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"Trans men… do you realize the manliest experience you’re having is being told you’re not a man?"
"That’s like 60% of being a man."
"This was hilarious and validating thank you"
"You know what's the crazy thing? I've always been bullied for being a girl. Decades later I come out as a girl and now the same 'manly men' tell me I'm a man. Like make up your mind! JEEZ!"
"Does sitting down feel different after you get bottom surgery"
"At least for this one trans woman, Sitting down the three months after bottom surgery is a b*tch. You're still recovering and all the irritated flesh is very painful."
"Then eventually sitting down is the same except for the fact that I no longer have my privates in the way."
"However for me personally, when I sit down my belly button feels weird because my nerve endings regrew incorrectly."
"Over a year post-op, and it feels way more natural & easy. There's no extraneous crap between my legs any more, and I can sit like a degenerate bisexual much more easily now."
"Is it still possible for a person to have an orgasm after reassignment surgery? Not a doctor, but my understanding of the process of creating the genitalia (F-M or M-F) would seem to make that prospect incredibly dim."
"The sheer number of nerve endings in the clitoris and tip of the penis make it seem impossible enough survive the surgery to provide the same sensations"
"My surgeon uses a technique that leaves the neurovascular bundle fully intact, the tip of the penis just gets reduced in size to form a neo-clitoris. I had my first orgasm 34 days after surgery and the intensity is pretty much as before, I just can have longer ones now."
"To add to what many people are saying here... there is a risk of losing sexual sensation after surgical intervention. We all know it. Before surgical intervention is performed, that risk will be made explicitly clear to the patient, they will have to acknowledge that it is a risk, and confirm, often in writing, that it is an acceptable risk, and that they are prepared for that outcome."
"It is, however, considered an unintended side effect these days... something that decent surgeon will be able to avoid almost all of the time."
Just A Phase
"Is there any part of you that is genuinely worried that it is 'just a phase'?"
"Yeah. That's why it took me over 10 years to accept it and begin my transition"
"Yes. Most if not all trans folk wonder this at some point, this is why a lot of us are depressed."
"Yep! I think that’s fairly normal with any identity tbh. It’s annoying because rationally I know that I have dysphoria and prefer certain pronouns but my irrational brain is really good at making me second guess myself"
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"If you’re transitioning MtF and are on hormone replacement therapy but haven’t had bottom surgery yet,"
"1) does the penis shrink up and become unusable?"
"2) can you still have penetrative sex (penis in vagina)?"
"3) can you get someone pregnant via question 2?
"I’m a cisgender woman and am genuinely just curious"
"1: It varies! Some people retain full size, some people shrink. The jury is out even among the community on if you can control it, and to what extent. 2: Yes! 3: Yep! Fertility is generally harmed by hormones, but not always completely gone."
"I am talking purely from personal experience."
"1)yes it does, but primarily when soft, you lose random erections which work as bodily check if your penis is healthy, which means it's recommended to get it erect every so often so the muscles don't atrophy, which could lead into it being unsuable."
"2)If I wanted then yes."
"3)Possibly...The funtioning sperm count heavily decreases on hormones, but that doesn't mean all of it does. Usually it's recomended to freeze your sperm before taking hormones. Still wouldn't count on it as 100% save from getting someone pregnant."
"This actually hasn't been studied systematically in trans women very extensively (there are huuuuge gaps in the medical literature), buuuuut there are cis men who get testicular cancer and can't go on testosterone replacement (like, their tumors were hormone sensitive, so it's risky to go on T again), and we know a fair lot about them. Since testosterone is what mediates penile response, what applies to them seems to apply to trans women who are either pre- or non-op. Thus, to answer your questions:"
"1)It's not that simple. When you nuke testosterone, some people lose the ability to have erections, but most retain it to some degree. What disappears is nocturnal erections--ie morning wood--and the biological function of that is to exercise the skin, vascular contractions, and so forth of the phallus. Unless you work the phallus out, you'll lose size and function, but if you use it regularly, it seems to stay just fine, according to the literature."
"2)Why wouldn't you be able to? Many girls don't want to, because it makes them feel dysphoric, but those who do can. Some need help from cialis or viagra, but that's not exactly a big deal."
"3)HRT has major effects on fertility, radically reducing the likelihood. However, 24% of girls with testes on HRT still produce some amount, albeit small, of sperm even years and years into transition. So, yes! HRT is NOT birth control."
"I work in medicine. Often times it can be apparent that someone may be transitioning, but it’s never right to assume anything about anyone."
"I’ll usually see their given name before I meet them, and it’s standard practice to have a pt confirm with their legal name and dob."
"What do you think is the best way of being asked if you have a preferred first name other than what is 'legal' in that situation?"
"I usually stumble with something like 'Hi I’m looking for John Doe is that you? Nice to meet you, is John okay or do you go by another name?' "
"But it always feels clunky."
"Looking for advice."
"EDIT: My main clinical setting is an urban hospital in a large network of hospitals. This makes any change to charting/intake very well out of my reach, unfortunately. It is a discussion that I hope continues to climb to the administrators."
"I don't know if this was to avoid using my birth name (most likely it was) but I've had doctors use just the surname when calling me and then confirming by asking for my birth date or ID."
"the way you say that is perfect, i don't think there's a better way to do it. big ups for actually asking, way too few people do that!"
"love that! you can still say that, if you don't want them to assume you thought they weren't cis (some people may feel discomfort from that) you can say its because some people don't like their name or go by a nickname they use as a first name (you can make up a person in your life, if you want to add in small talk, for example, both my parents don't use their legal names simply because they're too used to what friends and family have been calling them)"
"These answers are the dialogue that's missing right now."
"After years of trying to understand, I finally feel like I get it. Thank you all for educating and enlightening! Media dialogue seems elusive and circular - these answers made clear sense and I feel like I learned something."
"No- thank you. This comment made my day, aside from this post going viral. I’m so glad that you showed and interest and even happier that you learned something after years of trying to understand!"
"It’s been really nice to talk about it without pushback for the most part. I feel like education is what’s needed for it to be understood without malice."
"Media dialogue on trans people not being very helpful to understanding trans issues is very much by design - media has grown increasingly hostile to trans people in recent years."
"thanks for reading and learning :))"
When people are willing and able to freely talk about their experiences, we can all learn a lot from one another.
The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
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"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
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"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
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Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
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"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
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"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
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"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
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"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
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"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
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"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
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"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.