Phalloplasty vs. metoidioplasty: My deciding factors

Looking over back over my decision, 18 months postop.

Community context
There is an attitude among many trans people that meta is the bottom surgery “light” and phalloplasty is the “real deal”. Oddly enough, some people have the idea that meta is like testing the waters, and if you like it, you may go on to have phallo and go “all the way”. I have also heard the myth that maybe meta is more for nonbinary people. Uh, no, none of this.

The hotness factor
Some transgender folks have no sexual need for their meta cock, and the sex appeal of the meta dick is irrelevant. I respect that. For anyone that finds sexual opinion completely irrelevant: skip ahead. 4, 3, 2, 1. Ok. I am queer as a three-dollar bill. I am into dicks. To me, folks who had meta have cocks are damn sexy. I have seen aesthetically gorgeous cocks from meta (ahem, to B. and to S., if you’re reading this). They are arousing to me, like any other dick. To be as frank as possible, this is how I know something is a banging dick: When I look at it, do I get a little frisky and imagine it in my body,, mouth, or hand for a fraction of a second? With that criteria, this kind of dick has sizzling sex appeal. The skin texture of the meta foreskin, the shiny, healthy sensitive glans, the erectile tissue? Hotness hypnosis. So you can understand why I, sexual person, would have considered metoidioplasty. I pity the fool who believes meta cock to be sexually inferior.

Size and pleasure
So what if meta usually yields a half inch, or one, or two inches? Can it please sexually? One of the best orgasms I ever had with a cis man was when he couldn’t get hard, so I basically only had his glans (1″ total length if that) to work with. I rubbed it against myself and we both experienced pleasure out the wazoo. (Up the wazoo??) I know what you’re thinking. (Maybe. You could be thinking about food.) Was it…What about size queens? Shocker, I’m a size queen. And the most intense size queen jollies I’ve ever gotten have been from fisting, not from penises anyway. Small penises are still way hot.

Sometimes you just KNOW
But that’s all about what I find attractive in other people. Over time, I discerned a strong and deep feeling, you know, that innate sense of needing a penis in front to feel physically complete. As much as size does not matter in my attraction to others, would it matter in relation to my own body? What I did to try on dicks, no one ever suggested I should do. No, I didn’t do it with packers, because the texture and sweat makes me shiver with revulsion to wearing them. Here’s what I did…

Ho stories.
Mission, deciding for sure whether I needed a S, M, or L dick. I turned to my hookup app, Grindr. And I said, to any man within 5 miles of me, “I would love to see a pic of your dick soft, then hard.” Goodness, my inbox rose to the challenge! (Intentional subtle erection pun. Yesss.) Within moments, I had hundreds of soft and hard dicks from every angle. Now, what to do with these eagerly provided genitals?

1. Whip out your trusty iPad or tablet computer otherwise, and save all the dictures in your gallery, probably in a folder or group. (For those using translation apps, dicture is an English portmanteau of dick and picture. You’re welcome.)
2. Strip naked.
3. Set the tablet in your lap, and size the image to “try on” the dicks. It really helped me to visualize which one was really me.

Lo and behold, I wanted an average size penis most of all. A little bigger or a little smaller is okay, but I didn’t want anything on the much bigger side– tried that– and I was surprised that I didn’t like the idea of the much smaller size, on myself. I just gazed at them, like augmented reality, to see what it would have looked like if I could have a penis of my own sitting in my lap like it wasn’t any big concern. No joke, I teared up. That was a moment of reckoning that I had to find a way to make surgery happen, come hell or high water. And it would have to be phalloplasty.

The physical endurance required for bottom surgery
I was not afraid of the multiple surgeries, scars, or general risks that present over meta. I was young, maybe 25-28 while I was working my initial trans medical out. I spent 29 and 30 planning how in the world I was going to get bottom surgery to happen, coming from Texas where there are few options for trans inclusive healthcare. At 30, I started consults and got a surgery date. I felt like I was at a physical prime for enduring the healing. I know it’s a common metaphor, but I really did feel exactly the same rush of anxiety and eagerness a child does standing on the edge of the diving board. I could almost smell the chlorine and feel the sandpaper on my wet feet, the emotion was so similar. Like, I want to do this. This is scary. But I’m going to do it! Now I am 31 and just up the ladder on the side of that deep end. I made it. I somehow survived that freefall and splash, without other serious medical needs making the decision for me.

But I know to some people, the grueling year or two of surgery is too much, and a one stage meta works better. Although, I do know a couple guys who are still having revisions on their meta surgery three years in at tremendous expense. I don’t think we should generalize phallo as the hard surgery and meta as the easy one.

CW: this paragraph has a suicide mention
Some people have strong feelings about scars. When I was thinking about scars and whether they would bother me, I was also powerfully depressed and anxious about not having a way to access surgery. At a point, I couldn’t imagine living if I didn’t have phalloplasty. I thought, if I am not going to be allowed to have this part of my body, which science and technology can readily provide in my country, I would not like to live in this world. I would have done anything for it, saving up my entire life, going to surgeon far away in a place with a favorable exchange and parity, taken out a loan on home equity one day, worked multiple jobs, changed my career to something that could earn more, changed my career to something that earned less with benefits, moved to a place that might cover it, anything. I mean, I would have done anything.

CW: this paragraph has a suicide mention
So when people said the drawback was scars, I was like… Scars? I would have given my entire arm if they had needed it. Almost out of spite to the insurance companies trying to deny covering phalloplasty adequately, I thought, “I may want with all my might to die right now, but I will NOT die without at least going under for this surgery. I will be buried with these scars.” That was my motivating mantra. And I remember, as I was going in the OR with Dr. Coon for phalloplasty, I said to him and the team gathering around me, “I can die happy now,” and started to cry tears of joy. They all laughed sweetly and told me I was not about to die. But I didn’t mean at that moment. In surgery, they revealed the rest of my body, that invisible form which that the whole of me had ached and grieved not experiencing.

Life after bottom surgery
Having never known what my body would look like complete, when I pass a full-length mirror, there are no words for how right it feels, in every way. The warmth generated in front of me. The sensation of cold at the end of my penis when I was naked in a chilly room, last winter. The mindfulness of the positioning of my penis and needing to readjust it now and then. Being able to grab it, hold it, feel the weight of it. It does not feel like something they just stuck on me. It feels as connected to me as my nose, lip, or foot. It is me.

Okay, this is all too serious. I am glad my dick is big enough to helicopter, to jump and have it slap on my belly, to ram deep into my partner (as desired, haha) and make my honey gasp at the depth I can reach. Wow, is that a gender euphoric experience for me, and I’m usually the bottom! This part requires you to know that trans vaginoplasty vaginas need the chore of dilating to maintain depth, but if my body (ahem. penis) was of a certain size, I could be her dilator. This is a hot idea to us. My mate jokes that deep thrusting at least weekly is a necessary medical treatment. I couldn’t have done that without phalloplasty.

I am glad I can take those alluring big dick angle sexy pics and show a big bulge. The dickprint in my pants makes people get wide-eyed at gay parties. I mean, I love being able to wrap two hands around the shaft and jack off, just to experience it. My spouse and I joke and giggle a lot in our pillow talk, and for a long time our joke was that I got this penis just to… rest it wayyyyy over “there”. I have already had so much fun trying less usual stuff like chastity cages, sleeves, strokers, and other toys designed for the average cis penis. I feel so validated by getting to walk into a sex shop and know so many of the toys for that anatomy will work with me. I love that my penis is natal passing just walking around naked, if on the large size flaccid. Or, as we say here in Texas, walkin’ ’round nekkid.

Anyway, I’m very happy with my choice. Phalloplasty was right for me. But, I will validate the jawdropping hotness, function, and aesthetics of metoidioplasty all day. For anyone reading my experience from a place on the deciding line, I hope you find what works for you, too.

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