Although I can’t speak for every guy who does not want this surgery (or series of surgeries), I can provide my own reasons for going dickless in Denver, and I can also speak to what I have heard from other guys about their own reasons. Of course, I’m hoping that readers will chime in as well.
When I first started transition 13 years ago, I desperately desired a dick, and I’m not talking about on a partner (although I did want that, too). I felt that I needed those parts, and I felt inadequate and incomplete without them. There were times when this was difficult for me.
But in the U.S., we have no insurance coverage for these procedures, and I was looking at $60,000. Well, actually, I wasn’t looking at $60,000, which was the problem. I simply couldn’t afford it, and I couldn’t imagine how I would ever get that kind of money. Even metoidioplasty with scrotal construction was far beyond my price range.
And although I had seen some really excellent metoidioplasty results, I was less than enamored with the results I had seen with phallo. I had also just had chest surgery, and I wasn’t certain that I could endure, either physically or psychologically, another series of surgeries, even if I did have the money. But I didn’t, so everything else was a moot point.
Fast forward 13 years. The results of phalloplasty have improved dramatically over the last few years. There are many new and innovative techniques. But I am still looking (or not looking) at around $60,000, give or take, and I have also aged 13 years. I still don’t have the money, and the thought of going through those multiple surgeries gets less and less attractive the older I get.
Some people might say, “Over 13 years, you couldn’t have saved some money?” Well, no, I couldn’t. But honestly, it’s been a long time since I’ve cared. I don’t intend to have genital surgery. For me, what you see (or don’t see) is what you get, and you can take it or leave it.
My factory-installed equipment works just fine, and I haven’t had any complaints. Those who would be the most likely to complain are those who are least likely to get themselves in a position to do so, anyway. Basically, they know the score before the game even starts, and they can choose to play or not.
I also don’t pack on a regular basis, although I am not immune to its charms, and I do own a nice packer, just in case.
But my own story aside, here are the top reasons that I have heard from guys who are not having phallo:
> No money (this is, in my estimation, by far the biggest reason for not getting bigger).
> Results are unsatisfactory (but, as I said, this no longer holds true as much, because the surgery has improved quite a bit and most guys are finding the results very satisfactory).
> Have health complications that prevent this type of surgery (or sometimes any surgery).
> Do not want to endure multiple surgeries.
> Prefer a non-standard body for political or other reasons.
> Body is acceptable just the way it is.
For many guys, hormones and chest surgery are the essential parts of the process, and the outward male appearance and being treated as a man by society are the most important factors leading to physical and psychological well-being.
That said, there are a couple of implications to all this talk of phallo and the “choice” of whether or not to have it.
And the first one is the implication of “choice.” If someone (like me) doesn’t want to have phalloplasty, does that mean that it’s not medically necessary?
The second one has to do with not having surgery for whatever reason. If we reveal to non-trans people (particularly the non-trans people “in charge” of the laws that regulate health care, public accommodations, and so on) that not all of us do have genital surgery, which is considered to be the legitimizing step in a transition – the one that makes us “legal” – are we hurting our own quest for legitimacy and equality?
Since this post is already longer than anything I have ever seen on any of my non-trans male partners, I will address those two questions in Part Two, which I will post tomorrow.
Readers, it’s your turn: Why do some trans guys not want phalloplasty?