Subject: The Mythical She-Male
Date: Mon 13 Jul 1998 - 13:36:31 BST
Subj: The Mythical She-Male
Everyone has heard of them. She-Males --people with large, firm, breasts;
soft, hairless bodies; manes of luxurious hair and extremely large schlongs.
They have been captured on film -- usually not the sensuous and well lit
images of Playboy erotica, but in the crude monochromatic images of dime-store
pornography. They walk the streets in certain places, young and transformed,
ready to be rented for a bit of sexual favor. Tales are told of them and how
they were created in gigabytes of homegrown transvestite fiction.
To many males, she-males are perfect erotic fantasies, seeming to be almost
machines made specifically for sexual pleasure. And, in truth, they are
correct -- she-males only really exist in the world of "adult entertainment,"
and are created by young transgendered males who find the way to express their
nature is by giving men who will pay for the privilege what they want. These
boys transform themselves into images of the mythical creatures that men crave
so they can receive the attention -- and the cash -- that they need to live.
Why do some men fantasize about she-males -- or as researchers call them,
gynandromorphs (males who transform into women)? Is it because she-males
allow them to act out homosexual acts without having to see themselves as
homosexual? Is it because they are also transgendered, and fantasize about
becoming one of these people?
Both reasons have some truth. The range of transgender includes TG, TV, TS
and TF -- transgenderists, transvestites, transsexuals and trannyfuckers. Any
transgendered woman will tell you stories of men who beg to be dressed up, to
be transformed into a beautiful woman, into a mythical she-male. Most of
these fantasies are sexual in nature, related to exploring the parts of being
a woman that are not shared with being a man, the parts that are not everyday
When men fantasize about being with a she-male, they assume that "she" will
use her penis, and he will satisfy "her" orally or anally. They assume that
she-males think about sex like men, believing that sex might lead to
relationships, rather than relationships might lead to sex. When they meet
transgendered women, they are often crude in their approaches -- looking at
breasts and asking "Are those real?" or simply asking if they want to go on a
"date" right now. If women think that gay men are useful, people who look
like men but think like women, why shouldn't men dream about people who look
like women but think like men?
While some crossdressers, who are committed to being men-in-dresses may be
more like men, the truth of most transgendered women is simple: they don't
think like men, they think like women. They want a bit of romance, some
courtship. They don't want to be hit on because of their penis -- in fact, as
women they don't want to think about their penis, and if they have taken
enough hormones, their penis will not simply snap to attention anymore, though
orgasm is still possible.
This confuses many men, who can understand why one might want to have their
own breasts, but cannot understand why any male would want to actually be a
woman or would not want to gratify their penis at every opportunity. Yet, if
transgendered people would want to be men, they would never go though the
changes required to feminize themselves, and with those changes usually don't
want to be thought of as a male of any kind. In fact, a transsexual following
the Benjamin standards is expected to claim not that they want to be female,
but that they have always seen themselves as female, as a woman, in the first
Sex workers, on the other hand, do work to gratify men, work to be the objects
of fantasy -- for a price.
There is no doubt that women are sexual objectified by adult entertainment,
but the truth is that there are many other images of women in the culture.
The boy who masturbates with a copy of Playboy probably also has a mother, a
sister, girls in his class, and even sees Barbara Walters on TV. However, the
adult who sees a stroke book of she-males has not had a range of relationships
with transgendered women, and so, to him, she-males only exist as fetish
objects rather than real people.
This can be very difficult for transsexual women who feel that men fetish
their transsexuality, cast them only as well endowed sex-nymphs built for
pleasure. The stories of sexual assault by these fetishists on transgendered
women abound -- even to the point of crossdressers raping transgendered women
in the bathroom at transgender bars. This can create great animosity against
Are "transfans," however, completely different from transgendered people, or
are they people who have focused their urge to break gender rules into chasing
rather than embodying transgender? Clearly, many transfans have their own
desire to express transgender, and one reason many transgendered women feel
such animosity about these transfans is because at one time in their life they
had the same feelings.
One problem with moving anything beyond the norms of society is that we lose
control of that thing. If, for example, sex is out of bounds, then there can
be no "safe sex," because by definition all sex is beyond the limits. When
you force someone to break the rules to follow their desires, there is a good
chance that when they develop tolerance for breaking the rules they will
continue to break the rules. In other words, is some man is so crazy that he
can wear a dress, what else might he do? Transgendered people have to build
up an immunity to feeling ashamed of what they feel, and that means that the
shame that holds them from really hurting another might be eroded too.
This is the cost of overusing shame as a community. When we overuse
antibiotics to kill microbes, the microbes eventually build up a resistance to
the control and then can run unchecked. When we overuse shame to get people
to conform to cultural norms, we can build up a resistance to shame in some
that means they may not even conform to laws and actions that really hurt
For a transgendered person to get in touch with their emotions enough to be
sensitive and open to others often means they have to confront the pain and
shame they had growing up, drop the defensive walls they built, and this can
be an overwhelming task.
The she-male is a myth, created by pornographers, that combines both classic
tales of androgyny and the modern skills of hormones and cosmetic surgery,
much like Barnum and Bailey created a unicorn by surgically altering a normal
The question that we must consider is what the cost of this myth is -- what do
we pay for creating this fetish for a mythical creature that lies beyond the
bounds of society?
Men who lust after she-males lust after only the image of a human, whether
they lust to have a she-male in their bed, or read the enormous amount of
home-made transgender erotica that allows them to imagine themselves
transformed into a busty, well-endowed sex-slave. These images allow them not
to have to explore the humanity and implications of transgender, but simply to
focus their feelings in their genitals, leaving them buried in the aftermath
Transgender desire in and of itself is not bad, but that must always be the
desire of one complex human for another complex human, not simply the desire
of one complex human for a paper thin image taken in a dirty hotel room with
She-males are a myth -- only humans exist in this world -- but a myth that
will be hard to kill.
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