Weaponising “autogynephilia”

“Autogynephilia” is a discredited theory. “Female embodiment fantasies” fits how people think and feel so much better. Yet the idea of autogynephilia is still used to attack trans women, sometimes by other trans women.

Go to Urban Dictionary and vote down the third definition, which imagines two kinds of trans women: homosexual transsexuals, and autogynephiliacs. “Ashley has randomly transitioned from male to female despite being age 55. I think she’s autogynephilic.” “Rose just spent her children’s university savings on sexual reassignment. She’s in the throes of autogynephilia.” “I just danced all over Ally last night, and didn’t even know she used to be male. Her movements and voice are so femme. I don’t think she’s autogynephilic.”

It creates a complete dichotomy. No homosexual transsexual transitions over age 25. All gynephile trans women are autogynephiliac. Most laughs in the Urban Dictionary are snark, but even by their standards this is a strong attack. I wonder if the statistic that 90% of trans women are gynephile has any basis in reality. Most cis people are straight, so that could just mean that the proportions of gynephile and androphile trans women are the same as in cis men.

It seems to me that more people transition without GRS, and this is out of a desire not to be mutilated. Why should you have your genitals altered? What good does it do? People talk of wanting the “poison glands” taken away, and orchiectomy means you don’t need testosterone suppressants- it is less invasive in the long run- but possibly we are altered because of social pressure. We desire a woman’s role, and everyone said that required body modification. Or, possibly we gynephiles are sexually passive, and that means we feel greater dislike for male organs. Anyway, gender dysphoria was popularly understood to mean body alteration, and now many trans folk don’t seek that.

I did not have facial feminisation surgery, but have known gynephile trans women who did. It involves grinding away the bones of the skull. I find the idea horrible, but again it could be that there is not the same social pressure. You will pass better after FFS, and that makes life easier, however much we assert that people should be treated differently according to other criteria, and not whether they pass or whether they are beautiful. Passing privilege and attractiveness privilege exist. A trans woman with a clear eye to her own interest might have FFS rather than GRS.

The writer hedges his/her bets with the words “common” and “generally”. All generalisations are wrong; but either the dichotomy is real, or it isn’t. There is no rational basis to this hostility- if it comes from anywhere, it is the idea that we make them look bad, that people would accept androphile trans women if the gynephiles weren’t messing it all up by being so revolting. But no-one who is intolerant of trans women would think the difference mattered at all.

What of this assertion? Generally, the two types of trans women don’t associate with each other in any way. If you are an androphile trans woman, please leave a comment. I find that trans women do not associate with each other generally, whatever their orientation, particularly after transition.

6 thoughts on “Weaponising “autogynephilia”

  1. Is wanting to be sexually desirable by another autogynephilia? I see myself as a woman, but I would be considered to have the wrong genitalia by the type of person to which I am attracted – one who desires to have sex with a woman with a vagina. The fact that there are fewer of them who would want a trans woman with a vagina may further complicate the matter, but I cringe at the thought of someone wanting to have sex with me while I still possess male genitalia. I have had plenty of offers for sex, from both men and women, none of whom having knowledge of my “genital status.” I suppose I could have asked each of them just what they wanted to see when I removed my clothing, but it doesn’t matter, as I don’t want someone who wants me with a penis. Again, am I suffering from autogynephilia? I don’t think so.

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    • I don’t think “Autogynephilia” exists. It is a motivation to physical alteration arising from a paraphilic desire for onesself with a vagina. People have female embodiment fantasies, but those fantasies don’t cause a desire for alteration; it’s the other way about. Gender dysphoria causes the desire, then you fantasise about the desire being accomplished.

      I am not interested in an offer of sex outside partnership. But then, I wonder if it’s not so much what you have as what they want you, or they, to do with it, and with the rest of your body.

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      • My question was rhetorical. I don’t really care whether it exists or not; it does not for me. The concept may be seen as valid in the minds of those who would want to disparage or debunk what only a gender variant person can understand – and then, really only as it applies to themselves.

        I’m not interested in having sex with anyone else but my partner, either. I happen to have one, and we just passively celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary last week. She is not interested in having sex with a woman, whether that woman has a penis or not. I would only want to have sex with her again if I no longer had male genitalia. Sex is, therefore, no longer a part of our monogamous relationship. Of course, it’s not as simple as that, which is why I get so irritated with those who attempt to categorize and explain everything. I see the gender identity scale and the sexual identity scale, when put together, to have an infinite number of combinations – like using a slide rule to find each individual’s place. It should really be of no concern to anyone else but a prospective partner where one places themselves on that scale combination. Furthermore, either the sexual or the gender identity of an individual is subject to change at any given time, so categorization is futile.

        As we’ve decided before, each of us can only be who we are. All that is necessary is for each of us to recognize and accept that for ourselves, as well as for others.

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  2. Clare wrote: “Gender dysphoria causes the desire, then you fantasise about the desire being accomplished.” EXACTLY, this is what I experienced from about 5 years old, which then morphed to some extent as I entered puberty to have erotic overtones that I believe is merely a confirmation of the enjoyment of those fantasies. At 61 and with more realization of my trans experience in real life, there is little erotic nature to my feminine fantasies and much more exhilaration, which I attribute to the fun of simply being myself comfortable in my own skin.

    For some context I am interested in romantic relationships even as I edge closer to transition, which may or may not include surgeries. But for me, only with women.

    Regarding: “Generally, the two types of trans women don’t associate with each other in any way.” I’ve thought about this. I don’t think that it’s a matter of whether I want or don’t want to associate with other trans women, as acquaintances, friends, or romantic partners. As with all of my relationships it’s much more about whether or not we have that chemistry. That said, though, I don’t want or see my life as being so focused on being trans. Yes, I am transgender and support our pride and challenges, but I am also my own person. So part of the chemistry for me, if/when I meet another trans person (man or woman) is where they are with this, too.

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    • I have a few trans women I think of as friends, but never actually see them. When transitioning, it makes sense to spend time with people going through similar issues, but after, as you say, we may have nothing else in common.

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