There's something that I just cannot understand and get my head around. There are transgender women out there, who consider themselves women, yet are OK with having a penis. This blog isn't to debate the merits of women who are OK with having penises; rather, it's to try to understand. There is often vicious debate back and forth between so-called TG and so-called TS women on this issue. I'm a woman. No, you're not. Yes, I am. Well, you're cool with a penis, so you're not. Yes, I am, that doesn't define me. Ad infinitum. Pointless bickering.

There are one group of humans who I think we all can agree are women... cisgender women. Women who came out of the womb with a vagina. The fact that it is possible for a TG woman to be OK with having a penis must mean there is at least one cisgender woman out there who would be OK with this condition as well. I hope the cisgender women who would be OK with having penises can help me understand this. Because for the life of me, I cannot. My own experience clouds my subjectivity on this issue.

I'd ask that trans folk refrain from commenting on this, because I've heard y'all's opinions a thousand times over, and none of it has added any clarity for me. Frankly, any comments that even hint of argument on this issue from trans people, I'll delete. This is my blog. Deal with it.

So, to my natural-born female readers, and I know you are out there, I ask you this:

If you had a penis, and you had the financial and logistical means to get rid of it, would you? Or would you be OK with living as a woman with a penis?

Yes or no? If yes, why? If no, why? I look forward to your comments, anonymous or otherwise. Help me understand. Help me understand how a woman can possibly be fine with the fact that she has a penis.



If a cisgender woman is okay with a penis it is because she is an FTM transsexual. Sweetie it is a debate you cannot win because there are far more of them than us.


honestly as a cigender woman I don't think I can answer. It's too far from anything I have experienced in realty to say for sure. I don't think I'd be ok with it but honestly I can't say for without knowing.

I do know this however. I lost 150lbs about 7 years ago. (No surgery, diet and exercise and YES it can be maintained!)

I have a lot and i mean A LOT of excess skin. I don't really have the means to have it removed. I could if I *really* wanted too but I have other finacial priorities. Every person I become intimate with has to find out this rather large secret about mw--That I used to be lazy and obese. My boobs ar hideous. I used to be a 44 DDD and now I am a 36B. Well, I'd be damn near flat chested except it's all loose skin. Pretty shocking to men who think I have a nice rack with the help of a push up bra.

with all that said I don't think i would have the skin removed even if it was free. It's a major surgery with massive recovery (as GRS is too I would imagine) I am just TOO scared to go thru with all that.

hell no.

I've had this discussion in mixed groups of trans and cis women (both lesbian and straight) and the usual outcome is that the cis women say they'd love the chance to "try out" a penis for a week or so if that was an option. The straight women usually just want to pee standing up, whereas the lesbians would like to experience sex-using-a-penis.

As for a permanent penis? I think that for me, the difficulties would be social rather than personal i.e. dealing with explanations to others if it were "discovered". In a society where it wasn't a big deal, I'm fairly sure I'd be okay with it but of course I might change my mind if it actually happened.

As for the commenter who said that any cis woman who was okay with having a penis would be an FtM, I think that's a rather sweeping generalization. Like I said, I think I'd be okay with it, but despite being a tomboy who rejects most gender-based behaviors, I do not identify as FtM (and yes, I have given it some thought). I think I could adapt to having a penis, but I wouldn't be comfortable with being referred to by male pronouns, or adopting macho behaviors. I'd just be a woman with a body part most others didn't have.

Like anything else, I think gender-based body dysmorphia is a spectrum. There will be those whose mind matches their gendered body parts, and they wouldn't be comfortable with anything different. At the other end, there are those whose mind is opposite their gendered body parts, and they are extremely uncomfortable with the mismatch - they would be classified as transsexuals. And in the middle are those whose minds aren't really bothered by what gendered body parts they have, and this group would probably include those who have the greatest trouble understanding transsexuals as to them, it "doesn't really matter". I believe I'm somewhere in the middle although I'm grateful to my transsexual friends for enabling me to appreciate that to most people, it does matter!

Would I want it "fixed"? Well, I tend to be squeamish about any surgery and avoid it unless my condition is life-threatening or excruciatingly painful. Even the thought of LASIK eye surgery is scary enough for me to be content to wear glasses for the rest of my life. So I'd like to think I would adapt.

All that said, I recognize that I may not be representative of most cis women out there, but then I think you may find that to be true of other cis women who are reading your blog! I look forward to answers from others.

No. No. No.

I would not be ok with having a penis, and I completely understand the need that many TG have to have their bodies "corrected". I believe that if I were in your shoes, I would too.

It would seem to me that if I truly believed I was given the wrong body, and my insides didn't match my outsides, I'd take the steps necessary to make things congruent. The feeling when your inside feelings match your outside appearance... (in way less complex scenarios, even...) is priceless.

That being said, I'd LOVE to have a penis for a week. Even maybe for a day. It is a pretty cool organ, if you ask me. It has a life of its' own, it's sensitive and dangly and, well, I'd like to see what it's all about. But that's only if I knew I could go back to being "me" after my week was over.

I would not want to live life as a woman with a penis.

If I were a F->M TG person, I would take steps toward obtaining a penis. I wouldn't want to live life as a man WITHOUT a penis. It wouldn't seem genuine or authentic to me.

Just my opinion.

I understand it's quite the involved and complex surgery. But... in my opinion... it would be necessary for me to do it...

xo LW

I would not want to have a penis. I adore the penis. I love that some, men or women, have the penis. But for me .... I would not feel like a woman if I had a penis. I can imagine if I was given a penis on loan that I would probably enjoy it for awhile, like Laura said, they are super cool!! but I would not want to keep it forever. I would look in the mirror and not feel feminine. I honestly wouldn't care what anyone else thought but I would personally struggle every time I felt it or saw it in the mirror. My breasts make me feel feminine even though they are big and sort of heading south but If they were to be removed I would feel ... not right. I would want them back. I would want to rebuild them. I can completely understand wanting the outside pieces to match the gender inside and see nothing wrong with it if it's what you want. It's about your body and it is your decision.


Ok. As a transman this will violate your rule for this post, so remove it if you want - I was warned.

What do you mean by being "ok" with having a penis (or from my perspective, not having one)? There's a range of things that could mean, it seems to me, from "it doesn't matter to me at all" (seems unlikely) to something short of "I would rather be dead than not have a penis" (yikes, but some of us feel that way and act on it one way or the other).

It most definitely matters to me. If I could snap my fingers and have a perfect male body, I would do it. That's not the situation, though, so trade-offs must be considered and choices must be made. For me, the risk, the cost, the whole package (pun!) outweighs the likely best-case result. That leaves me with finding ways to live with what I've got, and I'm as "ok" with that as I can be. I'm lucky in that I have the ability to manipulate my own mind to a certain extent. It's suboptimal, but there it is, and I'm not going to spend what time I have left being upset about it.

I really think it comes down to individual differences. I know there are people who will insist that I must not "really" be a transsexual because I wouldn't make exactly the same choice they would make - moving heaven and earth to have a particular surgical procedure - but those people are wrong. I know exactly what I am. I can't believe that there aren't some transsexual women who are in more or less a parallel place.

Congratulations on your surgery date, btw - that's fantastic news!


Thanks for your post, David... it's great to have your perspective on the issue. What do I mean by "ok" with it? Something close to the "it doesn't matter to me at all" is what I think of when I say "ok with it." For example, to me, what you described falls under the "not ok with it" category. You said that it matters to you. It would be difficult for me to truly think of someone as a transsexual if it didn't matter. I've met transgender women for whom having a penis doesn't bother them in the least. They are "ok with it." I've met transsexual women who cannot afford surgery, or cannot have it for medical reasons, and it bothers them. They are not "ok with it," whether or not they've learned to cope.

It needs to matter.

I know the situation is a different for transmen, than transwomen. I suppose that one place that transwomen have it better is in the area of surgical results. Hopefully someday the results will improve for transmen, as I know that the best-case result, as you put it, falls far short of what you might like. And that understandably impacts the decision to have surgery, or not.

Again, thanks for posting. It's good to hear from a transmen in the midst of all the estrogen-induced cat fights!!

P.S. Why would I remove your post? There was absolutely nothing argumentative about it! :)

I am curiuos as to what YOUR reaction to these responses are, Faline. It seems that you have an adequate grasp of the reality.

Well, first and foremost, Anne, I like that there have been responses from quite a variety of people. I think that makes things interesting. I think they've all been completely honest responses, which I love.

@Liz... That is what my gut tells me. I suppose that was obvious in some of the wording I used in the post.

@Anon #1... first, congrats on losing all that weight and keeping it off!! As far as the skin is concerned... it's a little different than the GRS issue since many of us feel we have no choice in the matter. And yes, GRS is major surgery with a difficult recovery, and I'm a little scared. But it doesn't matter. The end justifies the means. :)

@Anon #2... thanks for the honest and succinct input. I could take a lesson from your brevity!

@Sonora... your response is likely different than most cisgender women, as you acknowledged, but you have some degree of discomfort with your body, as you also acknowledged. There hasn't been anything I've read in the comments here that tells me that a cisgender woman exists who would feel congruent with a penis. I think of "cisgender" as more than just "natural-born."

@Laura... it's funny, I read, "I'd LOVE to have a penis for a week," and I cringed. :) But I can understand that. It's clearly a common sentiment! But what would Dumpster think? ;)

@Teej... yes, they are super-cool, as long as they are on someone else's body. :) When you wrote "I would not feel like a woman if I had a penis... I would look in the mirror and not feel feminine," that describes how I feel almost exactly. It would be very politically correct of me to say that I'm able to completely feel like a woman and feel feminine without GRS, but the truth is that I am not completely there without it. For example, I need to get a passport for when I go to Canada. I can get an "F" on the passport, as the State Department has changed their requirements. You don't need to have had surgery. As someone who *needs* surgery to be congruent, I almost feel that I am being disingenuous by getting that "F" on the passport before surgery. I know that I am a woman, but I do not completely feel like one... yet.

I've commented above on David's much-appreciated and respected perspective.

P.S. I didn't *really* mean for transwomen not to comment... what I didn't want was this blog degrading into one of the battles that we've all seen too many of.

P.S.S. I doubt that the cis women above would really like it for a full week. I suspect the novelty would wear off rather quickly. Oh well. We'll never know.

i guess i can't answer that. i think a younger version of me would probably be concerned and want. it. off. The me i am today? i might be okay with it. It's hard for me to articulate why, but i think it's something along the lines of "If a penis does not make a man, why should a penis make not a woman?"

i think Liz is saying that gender and sex must always be aligned "correctly," or someone's lying to themselves, yes? From that perspective, then, what happens with intersex people? People with androgen insensitivity syndrome? Who decides?

Okay, maybe not have a penis for a whole week .. but at least for 3 days, in which I'd use it every which way it can be used! :)


Laurie, it's true that the presence or absence of a given organ doesn't necessarily make someone a woman or a man. For example, there are women who cannot afford surgery, but are not and will never be congruent. To me, it is what is in one's mind... one's gender identity. Intersex conditions, AIS, not related to gender identity. They're physical.

My thought is that one with a female gender identity will not (cannot? perhaps.) feel congruent with a penis, and so far, I've seen nothing here to refute that in this sample size of 9. :)

I lean towards this... "Has penis" doesn't necessarily imply male gender identity. "Is congruent with penis" implies male gender identity.

i realize gender!=sex, but my interpretation of Liz's statement is that one's gender identity must align with one's sex, otherwise... you're wrong about one or the other? In an intersex situation, then, how does one's gender identity align with one's sex? i suppose i'm assuming a binary gender scheme.

i guess i also don't see a reason to categorize, label, and judge people based on labels and body parts, but i realize i'm unusual that way. :)

Laurie, there is huge debate in the trans world about the so-called transgender "umbrella," and how certain people, like me, would just assume not be put under the umbrella. I've written about this before. I'm not going to speak for Liz. I explained things as I see them.

It's very politically correct to look at labels with disdain... oh! the horror!! I've been LABELLED!!! whatever shall I do??? I agree that there's not a reason to judge people in terms of good or bad, but I don't agree about the uselessness of categorization in general. For example, at the pool, do you think there should be separate changing facilities for men and women? I suppose that would be a legitimate reason for categorization. Do you communicate exactly the same with your male friends, as you do your female friends? I suspect that at one time or another, no matter how anti-label and free-spirited we are, we've behaved differently towards someone, consciously or otherwise, because of their gender. Perhaps it's not "right." But it is a fact, I think.

"To me, it is what is in one's mind... one's gender identity. Intersex conditions, AIS, not related to gender identity. They're physical."

But gender identity is neurological, which is just as physiological as any other gender marker. If our neurology is incongruent with other markers, that *is* an intersex condition.

I think you and others have hit on an important distinction, though: That between "being" and "feeling like." The imprecision of the phrase "feeling like" is the problem. If a cisgender man lost his penis through injury or disease, he might say he doesn't "feel like" a man anymore, but there wouldn't be any doubt that he *is* a man, just one with a catastrophic physical loss. It's exactly the same for me. It's my neurology that makes me male. Having this incongruence doesn't make me less of a man, and having a penis wouldn't make me more of one, it would just make me feel more congruent. Being what I am and feeling congruent are two very different things.

The passport thing and the feeling of being disingenuous is what inspired this rant. I understand and experience that feeling, but I strenuously object to it. It's easy to confuse feeling congruent with feeling "real," two different meanings of "feeling like." What I am saying is that you are real whether or not you feel congruent. I wonder whether the militancy of some women who say they are ok with male body parts is perhaps an expression of that same objection? That in some cases, being "ok with it" means not congruence itself, but an insistance that they are real regardless of congruence?


David... I suppose that's the definition of severe gender dysphoria. One knows what he or she is, but isn't comfortable or congruent with his or her body. I, too, strenuously object to my gender dysphoria. It sucks. :) Mine has lessened as I have gone through transition, but it's still around.

Anyway, if you're born with a penis, and you are congruent with it, by definition, you don't have severe gender dysphoria. That's not a judgement or a statement about those who do, or don't. It's just a fact grounded in the words. Whether or not a biological male who does not experience severe gender dysphoria can be a woman, well, I'm going to leave that one alone and let them fight about it over at TS-Si.

Here's the a cisgender woman, I really can't answer that question. I don't have one (unless you count my husband's, but that's in euphemism only.) At this point, it would something foreign that wasn't there to begin with...the logical part of me would say that it should be removed.

Now, I'm with Laura and TJ when they say they'd like to try it out...the penis is something I can only imagine having, and no amount of questions posed to DH really answer what it's like to have one (though he does answer any and all questions.) The question actually makes me think about that episode of the Drew Carey show where Oswald gets boobs as part of a scientific study. The novelty of it would wear off in short order and I'd want to go back to what I know to be me.

I am pretty much aligned with Laura on this one. I like the idea of grabbing on to something, and of peeing standing up, but after awhile the novelty would wear off and I'd just want it out of the way.

Now breasts - I could do without those any day.

Once someone told me that the sexual organs reflect the way we face the world in some way. Where with a vagina, you must be accepting of love/sex, welcoming it INSIDE of you. With a penis, you are the one going in, putting yourself out there, etc. It's an interesting concept to ponder, and I wonder how that ties in with gender identity and our whole emotional make-up?

And what about those with ambiguous organ development - like elongated clitorises (clitori?) or lack of penis development?

I truly believe that there is a unique answer for every unique person. Maybe we should ALL be able to choose which parts we want - could we have them all?

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