top surgery: some questions to consider

i found some questions to consider before undergoing any sort of trans*-related surgeries (thank you, internet); i decided to answer them and make a really fucking long post outta them.  if you don’t have the patience to read the whole thing, i understand.  if you DO have the patience to read the whole thing, though– advice, stuff for me to think about, etc. are all most welcome.

also, i  don’t think this post is as coherent as i usually think my posts are.  actually, i think this post is a total mess.  beware.

*   *   *

do you have a clear mental picture of what you want to look like after top surgery?

not really.  i know i want to look, um, familiar(?) to myself.  i guess i want to look “right”—i want to see what i expect to see when i look at myself.  i don’t have a clear picture of what i expect to see when i look at myself, but i know my current appearance isn’t it.  i need to change that.

i don’t expect to magically look all buff or anything; i’m chubby and not-buff pre-op—of course i’d be chubby and not-buff post-op unless i started working out serious-time.  i’m definitely not considering top surgery because i have body image problems.  cuz really, these are some hot tits and i feel bad for considering dismembering them.  (except when i feel  excited and all “mwahaha”-y about dismembering them.)

if so, how do you think you might feel if the results don’t match that mental picture?

i think i would feel much more dysphoric than i do now.  i mean, i guess i’m feeling dysphoric about my chest and i’m wondering if top surgery would make my chest feel more like it belongs to me.  so, you know, if top surgery ended up making me look LESS like me, i’d be kinda fucked.

i would probably deal with that by wearing clothes CONSTANTLY; i think i’d be stoked about being titless while clothed.  i’m always comfy and confident while binding, so…  still, i definitely hope to rid myself of some dysphoria.

are you hoping top surgery would fix anything?  if so, what?

“fix” is the wrong word; i’m not hoping top surgery would “fix” anything.  i do hope top surgery would allow me to look/feel like me, thereby alleviating some of my dysphoria.  i hope my chest would look more familiar to me if i got top surgery (my tits shock me, sometimes).  i know top surgery wouldn’t solve any of my issues, it wouldn’t change my personality, it wouldn’t turn me into a sex god (i’m already a sex god)–  and i’m cool with that.

what parts of your life might change after top surgery?  what do you hope might change and what do you fear might change?

i wouldn’t have to bind or wear bras!  fuck yeah!  no more dysphoric days when i can’t bind cuz i have to sing!  no more awkwardly pawing through bins of bras in fucking bra stores while my partner pretends to be looking with me so i won’t feel so outta place!  no more hard searches for bras that have neither lace nor bows!  yay!!!  no more tears of frustration cuz i can’t bind my tits flat enough and i need them to be on someone else’s body!

obviously, my body would be different; hopefully, it would look/feel right to me.  if my body looked/felt right to me, i might trust it more; currently, when i come out as non-binary, people usually point at my fucking tits as proof of my perceived womanhood.  this makes me feel like my own body has betrayed me.  like, this part of my body that may or may not really belong to me gets used against me by grues.

i know people would still misgender me and that top surgery probably wouldn’t have much effect on how frequently i get misgendered, but i think top surgery might make me feel more confident in the face of misgendering.  like, “just try using my non-binary clit against me.  just try.  my non-binary clit is on my fucking side and it will fucking destroy you if you misgender me.  and my treasonous tits won’t help you cuz they’ll be in a trash can—so there.”  (i would illustrate this for you, but i don’t think i can draw a clit destroying somebody.  i just don’t know how.  but feel free to submit such a pic!)

also, when i get misgendered while binding and wearing my gender tag, i feel like i’ve done my part to communicate with other people, i’ve expressed myself honestly, and other people just didn’t get it.  i feel like i haven’t failed myself.  (am i making any sense?)

i do hope i’d be read as a woman a little less often, though.  currently, i’m read as a woman exactly 100% of the time; a single double-take would be plasmic, at this point.  like, really fucking satisfying.  maybe i could hang out shirtless and people would think i were a chubby guy from afar, get confused in the middle distance, and then decide i’m a titless woman up close.  maybe?  cuz then there’d be that moment in the middle where i’d be read as non-binary and i would love that.  i think that moment would be enough.

i’m scared of losing nipple sensation; nipple sensation is important to me.  i know loss of sensation is quite common; if get top surgery, i will have to be prepared to lose all nipple sensation.  (i’m not currently prepared.)

i’m scared my partner wouldn’t be attracted to my titless chest.  i mean, i’m sure he wouldn’t be repulsed but he probably wouldn’t love it wildly anymore, either.  he says he would, but i don’t quite believe him.  and i need my partner to love my body; to be excited about my body .  i don’t know if that makes me vain or what, but it’s totally true.  i’m scared that all my physical attractiveness/beauty is in my tits.

i’m scared i wouldn’t find my body attractive anymore; what if my new chest felt right to me, but i couldn’t learn to love it the way i’ve learned to love the chest i have now?  (i love my tits even though they might not belong to me.  cuz shit’s complicated.)

i’m scared of having a super lumpy chest.  cuz no thanks.  scars?  hells yes; scars are  sexy.  lumpy?  no, please.  i know this is a risk of top surgery; if i get top surgery, i will pick my surgeon carefully in order to minimize the possibility of me having to spend the rest of my life with a lumpy chest.  i’m ok with taking this risk, provided i do my best to pick a decent surgeon.

do you think your hopes for top surgery are realistic?  why or why not?

i think my body would look/feel more right to me while i’m clothed as i’m always pretty dysphoric about my tits while clothed.  even when i know my shirt makes my tits look hot, i still feel like they don’t belong on ME.  when i bind, i’m always desperate to get as flat as possible—and then i feel different and confident.  i feel like my tits aren’t in the way and i can just do ME.

naked, however, might be a different story.  currently, i think my naked tits are fucking hot and i think they make me hot by association.  that makes shit difficult.  see, i’m not sure if i’m confusing “my naked tits are hot and i’m not attractive without them” with “my naked tits belong on me.”  cuz i might be.  (how can i tell?!  this is what’s confusing me the most; thoughts?)

i don’t think top surgery would stop most people from assuming i’m a woman.  actually, i’m sure even a double-take would be a rarity.  i’m sure most people would just assume i had really tiny tits—and i’m ok with that.  maybe people would misgender me more slowly than they do now, though.  maybe?  if top surgery confused a single person for a single second, though, it’d be wicked perk and i would squeal.  i’d be surprised, though.  i mean, customers at work still call me “the nice lady” when i’m binding—and i wear men’s clothing.  i’m pretty sure there’s no hope in that regard.

how much do you know about your options for top surgery?

i know a bit about the procedures/techniques; i know i want to keep my nipples attached and if the surgeon said i’d need nipple grafts, i’d go away and try to live with my tits.  i might fail to live with my tits and end up getting surgery eventually, but i would try cuz otherwise i WOULD regret fucking with my nipples so much.  like, they’re cute nipples; they deserve love and kisses and stuff.

i know about some of the risks; tissue death, hypertrophic scarring, asymmetrical/lumpy contour, loss of sensation, risks normally associated with surgery, etc.  also, general anesthetic is scary.  i can face it, but it scares me.  i think i’m more scared of having tits forever than i am of surgery and general anesthetic.

what do you still need to learn to be able to make a fully informed decision about top surgery?

i need to learn more about specific surgeons, how i would go about getting my surgery covered (i may not have a choice of surgeon if i want my surgery covered, so we’ll see), and i need to learn more about the risks of surgery as a type 1 diabetic.  i’ve heard rumors that the main/only (?) chest surgeon in my province doesn’t operate on diabetics; i need to find out more about this, obviously.

i think i need a more firm idea of what my motives behind wanting top surgery are and i totally need to think about how i want to look when i’m naked (see above for my naked chest vs clothed chest confusion).

i also need to think more about the potential impact of top surgery on my sex life.

is your chest part of your sexuality at this time?  if so, what might happen if you lose that part of your sexuality?

yes.  and i don’t really know how i’d feel if i lost that part of my sexuality.  i mean, my partner and i DO have totally wicked sex without acknowledging my tits (we tend to do this when sexy-feelings coincide with tit dysphoria), but what if we never had fun with my chest again?  would that be shitty in the long-term?

what if i lost all sensation in my nipples?  even if i didn’t lose all sensation, would my sweetheart be interested in playing with my nipples?  i know i’d need to be prepared to lose that part of my sexuality if i got top surgery.

i need to think about this some more…

who else in your life would be affected by top surgery?  how do you think they feel about you having top surgery?

my sweet partner would be affected, obviously.  i can’t see how anyone else would be affected, though.

my partner says he’s supportive.  thing is, he truly IS supportive in all ways and i’m worried that now he just identifies as a mx. punk supporter.  i mean, what if getting rid of my tits would be too much for him?  would he be able to admit it if he felt unable to support the violent destruction (mwahahaha) of my tits?  he’s a very honest person and i reallyreally doubt he’s flat-out lying—but what if he’s fooling himself?

my partner also says he’d be attracted to me whether or not i had tits—but what if he missed having tits to play with?  i tell myself to just believe him (if i’m fine with a titless partner, why couldn’t he be fine with a titless partner?), but i’m a tad insecure about these things.

cuz, you know, when we met, he id’d as a straight cis guy—and now he’s with a fucking queer non-binary person who may or may not even have tits in the future.  so i’m insecure.  i hope i get the fuck over it.  i think this is something i’d need to work out before deciding to get top surgery.

cuz my sweetheart loves me and he is honest and kind.  so there, insecurities.

on the up side, we’re pretty sure my potential titless-ness wouldn’t really impact my partner outside of sexy fun-times; when i bind, he doesn’t usually notice.

how might their reactions impact you?

i reallyreally want my sweetheart to be happy.  i reallyreally hope we keep having wild, loving sexy fun-times and i hope our sexy fun-times continue being fun for BOTH of us.  basically, i would forgo top surgery for my partner.  i know i could end up regretting it and eventually getting top surgery anyway, but i would probably decide not to get top surgery if i thought top surgery would be bad for our relationship.  that probably makes me dependent, pathetic, and silly.

things is, i know i couldn’t handle it if i got top surgery and thereby destroyed our little family.  maybe it’s a good thing that i’m just admitting that up front.

what do you think are “wrong reasons” to have top surgery?

i think getting surgery in hope if meeting some specific ideal body would be a pretty bad reason to get top surgery.  also, expecting top surgery to fix my issues would be pretty silly cuz i’d be the same person with the same issues post-op as i am pre-op (minus tit-associated dysphoria, hopefully).

what do you think are “right reasons” to have top surgery?

well, i think trying to get my body to look/feel “right” to me would be a good reason to get surgery.  i used to experience severe tit dysphoria all the time, and i’ve certainly been experiencing tit dysphoria over the past year.  at this point, i think the intervening years might’ve been a fluke.  like maybe i was test-driving tit acceptance.  i often feel like i’m just waiting for my tits to fuck off—and i think i’d like to stop waiting.  like, i want to get it over with and move the fuck on.

i think i might experience less social dysphoria after top surgery (maybe); that might be a good reason to get surgery.  i currently experience a shit-ton of social dysphoria and i feel like my tits basically command people to misgender me– and that sucks.  honestly, though, i’m certain i’d still experience some social dysphoria after top surgery cuz people would still misgender me all the fucking time.  only, maybe my social dysphoria would be reduced.  and that would be killer.

do you have any other thoughts about top surgery?

i think this would be less complicated if i could give my tits away (to bia!  cuz she asked first and is awesome!) rather than destroying them and dumping them in a pile of medical waste.  that just sounds so…mean.

figuring this out is gonna be a long process and i’m gonna need advice, support, even computer smilies.  :)

also, if you actually read all this—i am in awe of your patience.

thoughts?  insight?  computer smiles?

9 responses to “top surgery: some questions to consider

  1. Maxwell Craig

    Yay! *hugs*

  2. I don’t have any thoughts or insights, but i appreciate you sharing all of this. I am taking everything in for when my son reaches the age for surgery himself. So…thank you for your openness, and here’s a computer smile. =)

  3. aw, thanks, cats!

  4. Thanks for writing. Things are usually more complicated than “yes” or “no”, and deciding on top surgery is one of them. It’s good to see another trans person’s process of thinking things through.

  5. <3
    I would take them in a heartbeat, and return them if you changed your mind.

    I think you've got your head on straight where this decision is concerned. Meaning you may not have come to a solution but at least you've given it fair thought. A lot of people just rush into things because of indecisiveness or insecurities hoping that the decision will work itself out.

    Regarding your lovely partner, take his words at face value. There's nothing more aggravating and disheartening than having a lover tell you that they don't believe you think they're sexy / beautiful / loveable etc. And don't get me wrong, I'm a skeptic, all those worries and concerns are in the back of my mind as well, but you're not really doing anything productive by second guessing your partners feelings you know? It's one of those things where maybe his feelings will change or maybe he's deluding himself but if not you're risking a lot with the second guessing.

    My only suggestion would be this:

    Act as though you are going to go through with the surgery. Seek out providers and doctors, look into costs, and then start saving. Even if you're not sure, just don't commit by making any appointments. This means that you can save money and prepare, and if you change your mind well then you can use that money for something else, a vacation maybe?

  6. tough decision, either way. i did read thru the whole thing, and all i can say is what you seem to already know: take your time, consider both sides of the equation, and think it through before making a final decision. FWIW i have a policy for making major life changes: i consider things for at least a year. if i really want something, and still really want it (or want it more) after a full year of weighing the options, then chances are that it’s the right thing to do. I know this seems like a long time, but in the case of your body/health, it’s important to take the time to make the right choice, whichever choice that happens to be. oh, and thanks for putting all this out there!! hope you can find some clarity :)

  7. @ sc boy: thanks for checking this out, cat. i’m glad you enjoyed the read!

    @ bia: aaaaw! it’s amazing how much easier this would be if i really could just find them a new, loving home. it’s almost like i think my tits are puppies, or something. lulz. seriously, though, i would feel guilty for dumping them in a pile of medical waste.

    “Regarding your lovely partner, take his words at face value. There’s nothing more aggravating and disheartening than having a lover tell you that they don’t believe you think they’re sexy / beautiful / loveable etc.”

    ok. seriously a good point. i mean, it’s not like i’m throwing his words back at him, but he knows i’m skeptical and i bet it DOES hurt him. <3 i know how i'd feel if i told him i'd love him and be attracted to him no matter what and he didn't just believe me. i'd be hurt and sad and probably frantic to convince him. ok. i will now take a deep breath and begin to believe my sweetheart's reassurances. (thank you!)

    "Act as though you are going to go through with the surgery. Seek out providers and doctors, look into costs, and then start saving."

    good advice, cat! i've been looking into surgeons and stuff– but saving's the hard part. fjdsfljflkdfjgk must…try… maybe i could do some clever fundraising…

    thanks for all the feedback, bia! that helps out a shit-ton.

  8. @ tendergender: thanks for taking the time to read my brain-dump and comment! also, reminding me to take my time and to consider stuff is always good.

    “…i have a policy for making major life changes: i consider things for at least a year.”

    me, too, except i typically wait about 2 years. i go through seasons that range from 6 months to 2 years long; i like to ride them out before making any major decisions. this is a good thing to remind me of; it’s one of those things that totally bears repeating.

    thanks for the advice, cat! i’m loving all the feedback i’m getting; i really feel like you cats got my back. so, yay!

  9. Pingback: in other news: my tits! | rainbowgenderpunk

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