So, I recently blogged about impotence and sexual dysfunction, and while I’m really happy with how the piece turned out overall I did want to explore it on a more personal level than that last write up really allowed for. Because impotence and performance anxiety struggles, for me at least, are really complicated things deeply rooted in both my upbringing and the lingering effects of toxic masculinity that came from those years.
As a queer, nonbinary blogger there’s a degree of contradiction going on internally here too. On one hand, logically, I know that impotence happens and there’s nothing wrong with me, it doesn’t invalidate me or diminish my worth as a person or as a sexual being, and it doesn’t make me a bad partner or lover ether! And yet any time I have had any sort of “problem” with my erections or orgasms I can occasionally find it emotionally crushing and it often fills me with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. At the worst of times I can catastrophize and worry that if I don’t get it sorted out, don’t “fix” my performance issues, then my partners and play friends will stop enjoying sex with me.
Unsurprisingly, I think this links back to the overall social and cultural expectations of big, strong, hard erections being the defining features of our sexuality. I grew up hearing a lot of pretty toxic shit about my penis. I was socially raised to believe that the bigger your cock, the more you’ll be able to satisfy your lovers, and the more desirably you’ll be overall. Likewise, the harder you get, and the longer you stay hard, the more girls will like you and the more fulfilling your sex life will be. Finally, the more you cum, and the faster you can get hard again, the more of a “real man” you are.
Needless to say, this led to me having a lot of insecurities about my own genitals, and to a lot of really self-deprecating comparisons to others. Throughout all of my formative years, all sense of self worth was tied back to that big, thick, hard, virile cock I wish I’d had, and envied in others being depicted as having in porn and the movies.
Fast forward to now, and here I am living my BEST goddamn life as a self-liberated queer enby having the absolute most fulfilling and enriching sex I have literally ever had. I got amazing trans queer partners, outstanding FWBs, and I’ve had more group sex and been to more orgies than I ever thought possible. Generally speaking too I’m really happy with my girl cock as well! I’ve got some hangups about my weight and how that makes everything look proportionately sometimes, but like, I got a nice looking penis and plenty of other folks seem to like it well enough too!
Still, all of those weird insecurities and anxieties remain, the guilt and shame persists. Strangely though, it’s without the toxic masculinity angle because I already unpacked that. I don’t feel like a man. I don’t identify as one, and I don’t perceive myself as one either. I don’t associate my genitals or their sexual function to my “manhood” in any way. So, it’s like I still FEEL the inadequacies that were there and socialized into me over all of those years before my coming out… but not in the exact same way. Yet it still feels super familiar. It still makes me feel bad in similar ways to how it made me feel bad before.
Frustratingly that makes it a little harder to work through them, and it’s weird to me that the same cis male fragility socialized into me as a kid & teen persists in this odd, ephemeral form for me today. As much as I wish I could just completely shake it, I can’t. The conditioning really is that pervasive. And even now, other aspects of our society that are body and sex shaming, cisnormative, and heteronormative work to keep entrenching those affects of toxic masculinity into my life in really disarming ways.
It fucking sucks! But maybe, just maybe, with each passing generation we can weed it the fuck out.
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