January 2, 2008 7:59 PM   Subscribe

Can you suggest articles or books that are anecdotal descriptions of people taking opposite-sex sex hormones?

Once upon a time I read the blurb for an article that seemed to be about how a woman had happened upon a stash of testosterone injections and had, uh, experimented on herself. I vaguely remember that she suddenly "got" visual pornography, and theorized that this was testosterone at work.

Like an idiot, I put the link by to read later and then lost it. A recent FPP on the "third world squat that led me to the mind-blowing Testosterone Nation Magazine reminded me of my interest in these things, so:

I'm not so much interested in things about gender reassignment as I am in, say, some guy's book about how he took estrogen as a one-person experiment and discovered X,Y and Z, or as above, a woman taking estrogen and experiencing this and that.

I guess I'm interested in layperson accounts of how sex hormones might affect the behavior/emotions/thoughts of someone who grew up in the kind of body that doesn't normally have much of that hormone, and not in stories about someone who feels like a man trying to become a man, or stories about what being a woman is like, since those probably won't have the contrast-and-compare thing I'm looking for.

Does that make any sense? I'm not a scientist, so I'm fumbling through the language of what I'm interested in, sorry.
posted by thehmsbeagle to Science & Nature (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: GAH. That should read "a woman taking testosterone". Geez. Sorry.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 8:01 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: This American Life: Testosterone
posted by mpls2 at 8:03 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'll 2nd that This American Life link. Really fascinating.
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:10 PM on January 2, 2008

I remember an account by a sex-positive hipster female artist type who took T and blogged about it. It was totally brilliant, X-rated, and extremely funny. Maybe on Livejournal. Unfortunately Technorati is striking out on me. I'll keep looking.

On the anecdotal front, I heard an interesting story from a friend of a transman who noticed one one extremely noticeable and surprising effect when he started taking T. He challenged us to guess what it was. Libido? Aggression? Inability to ask for directions? We exhausted all the obvious choices. No, he finally said. It was skin hunger. That animal longing, not necessarily sexual, to feel the pressure of another body, to smell their skin, to be entangled and petted and roughed up. That gave me a new perspective on why adolescent boys spend so much time wrestling and playing grabass.

Another friend, considering transition, started taking T but stopped when s/he became unable to cry. It disturbed hir, and s/he decided s/he'd rather keep hir OEM emotional wiring.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:40 PM on January 2, 2008

I hope this can help: One of my favorite authors, Jonathan Ames, put together a collection of memoirs about changing sexes. It's called Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs (Paperback). It's been a really long time since I looked at it, so I'm not sure how much of it was about the experience of hormone therapy.
posted by General Malaise at 9:04 PM on January 2, 2008

Wow, so after glancing at the Amazon page I linked, I discovered this: Just Add Hormones: An Insider's Guide to the Transsexual Experience, which seems right up your alley. I've actually heard the author's name (Matt Kailey) before, so it should be a useful one.
posted by General Malaise at 9:08 PM on January 2, 2008

You also might be interested in Norah Vincent's most recent book, Self Made Man, although I'm not sure if she was actually taking testosterone during her transition.


Vincent's most recent book, Self-Made Man, retells an eighteen-month experiment in which she disguised herself as a male. She talked about it in HARDtalk extra on BBC on April 21, 2006 and described her experiences in male-male and male-female relationships. She joined an all-male bowling club, joined a men's therapy group, went to strip clubs and visited Catholic monks in a cloister. She dated women and describes how inferior she felt, when judged by women during flirting: the harsh way in which many women pre-judged her, assuming all men to be essentially the same, turned her, albeit briefly, into a "temporary misogynist", seeing as most women never can the failings of her own sex from the other side[citation needed]. Vincent writes about how the only time she has ever been considered excessively feminine was during her stint as a man: her alter-ego, Ned, was assumed to be gay on several occasions, and features which in her as a woman had been seen as "butch" became oddly effeminate when seen in a man. Vincent asserts that, since the experiment, she has never been more glad to be female.
posted by davidstandaford at 9:46 PM on January 2, 2008

I recall reading the LJ series about the woman taking testosterone and also remember that she ended up making all the entries friends-only. A shame.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:39 PM on January 2, 2008

I am pretty sure I remember an account of a woman taking testosterone in this book, which is apparently out of print, but maybe you can find it at the library. The author was a real estate agent who was taking testosterone for some sort of medical condition but stopped because she felt it hurt her selling ability by deadening the enthusiasm and friendliness in her affect.
posted by phoenixy at 10:42 PM on January 2, 2008

I remember an account by a sex-positive hipster female artist type who took T and blogged about it

Unfortunately, the original author has deleted every entry from her blog for personal reasons. Here's a boing boing link about it, which shows a few notes from it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:34 AM on January 3, 2008

This is an old series of posts from a young trans guy taking testosterone and the physical and mental/emotional changes he goes through.
posted by SassHat at 6:42 AM on January 3, 2008

Sorry, link above is NSFW!!!!
posted by SassHat at 6:43 AM on January 3, 2008

You can look in your local area for a M2F or F2M support group and go talk to people. Your profile says you are in LA so it shouldn't be hard to find one. Just make sure it's open to friends, family, and supporters before you go.
posted by chairface at 8:25 AM on January 3, 2008

Response by poster: Excellent! Thanks, everyone. The TAL episode is exactly what I was looking for, and I'll check out the other links, as well.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 3:27 PM on January 3, 2008

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