Anonymous said: Phantom penis anon again! :) Just to clarify, yeah, I do think there's more to my experience than just "well I was tricking myself into it" - I guess a better way to put it would be, I feel like me focusing on the penis sensation as the only "okay" way to experience arousal was feeding into it. (When my dysphoria was really bad, any kind of sexual stimulation that reminded me that I had a vagina made me uncomfortable, so mostly I just read smutty fiction, got aroused, and didn't actually [1/?]
follow through most of the time. If I did, it was only ever clitoral stimulation, never anything penetrative. So sexual activity for me was 90% mental and like 10% physical, and I’d sort of indulge and focus on the phantom sensation and deny/ignore my actual genitals.) Now that I’m pretty comfortable and in a stable relationship with someone who constantly affirms for me that I come across as male, I’ve had a drastic reduction in dysphoria in general. (It’s still there, just a lot less
severe and upsetting. So I’m no longer feeding into and encouraging the brain mapping issues, I guess? …I would seriously love to volunteer for studies though, I wish I lived somewhere where gender studies were more of a thing. This stuff is fascinating and I’d love to know more about the physiological aspects of my identity. [3/3]
If you’re looking into a physiological base, I would suggest more looking into neurobiology instead of gender studies. Gender studies, from what I’ve seen, seems to be focused on social aspects while neurobiology (or neuromedicine) looks more at the brain cause. So I think those would be more the corner you’d want to look into. If you got a university with a neuro department nearby you could try looking into them. Not every faculty as same focal points (my own does a lot of chronobiology for example) so it’s always worth giving their current projects a once over. Psychology departments too maybe but again that depends a lot on what the faculties focal points are and what equipment they have.
But do look into it, getting people who are actually willing to self-report can be a huge issue for studies centered around gender, sex, sexuality and psychology.