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20-Year-Old Male with Sexual Disability in Need of Advice

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Hi everyone! I want to apologize in advance for making this post so lengthy (I want to give you all the full picture), and I would greatly appreciate any thoughts, comments, or advice that you may have. 


I am a 20-year-old male born with a micropenis and a few other complications that led to the nurse misidentifying me as a female at birth. I lived as a girl until I became an early teenager. I played rough in sports and had male-leaning interests; hence, I was seen as a tomboy. However, I liked having long wavy hair and cuddling with my female friends. After I was diagnosed as male, I was assigned a whole team of social workers, doctors, and psychologists. Most of the team wanted me to continue living as a girl and take hormonal drugs. I myself was not completely opposed to it. Thankfully, my parents stubbornly refused and dragged on the process. 


Over time, my hormone levels changed, and I developed sexual attraction to some of my female friends. I also became insecure about my body. My parents and I decided to leave everyone we’d ever known and cut ourselves off from the rest of the family so I could live as my true self. On the day when I left for the airport, I painfully wished farewell to close female friends with whom I’d gone to school since daycare. Some of them were crying while hugging me. My parents made up reasons to their colleagues for having to leave. I made the decision to transition with my parents’ belief at the time that I’d have to be single for the rest of my life. They were uneducated about modern sex and relationships. It seems like my mother has in recent years done some research on this topic and now knows that there are alternatives to penetrative sex.


A therapist said late last year that, throughout quarantine, I was emotionally and psychologically abused by my parents and that I am recovering from some trauma. They were heavily against my getting therapy and tried controlling my love life. They wanted me to wait until graduate school to even ask a girl out so that if things go terribly wrong and everyone finds about my medical condition because the girl is indecent and immature, I can leave the school and at least be able to find a job or apply somewhere else with my bachelor’s degree,  I do not wish to delve into all the details, but I will say that things got a bit physical (but not illegally violent) between them and I not long after I made my May 2021 post; I was clearly not the one to initiate. My parents had a deep distrust of mental health professionals and the government, so when they found out I’d started using a tele-therapy service recommended by the school, they threatened to disown me. 


Despite all the support that I received from people on a different website’s forum, I sadly emerged from my almost two-year quarantine experience with a hatred and some fear of family, intimate relationships, and my own feelings. I’d say I embraced some toxic masculinity because for months I told myself that I as a man couldn’t care or feel anything about having a companion. I hated myself for ever having had a soft, caring side and tried to let the beast in me take over. Simply stated, I felt betrayed and did not trust anyone. Even today, when I feel like crying or even just shedding a tear, I start silently reprimanding myself for not being strong or “masculine” enough. My worst fear is that a woman will think I’m too feminine, especially given my micropenis. I’m a lean muscular guy who plenty of people have described as good-looking and highly-accomplished for my age, but I still have that concern. Perhaps I’m being toxic. 


You may wonder if I hated women too. That was the line my mind couldn’t cross. There were reasons shared with other men with my condition that could lead to misogyny, but it was impossible for me to hate women. Why? Because I’d grown up with girls and most of the people who supported me on that other forum were women. The beautiful young nurse who watched me all night at the hospital back home after I got penile reconstructive surgery was a woman. When I made my first post in June 2020 on that other forum, I was suicidal and a good number of caring and emotionally intelligent women gave me hope. I even had a close female friend who knew of my condition and supported me during quarantine. We have parted ways in life, and I think it’s because we have both come to realize that our friendship would be too delicate to handle in person. If you are that past friend of mine, I want to thank you one last time for your patience, compassion, warmth, and all that you taught me. I never told you this, but sometimes you were like the older sister I’d never had. I want you to know that I am now okay and that I now believe in your promise to me that, one day, I will be fulfilled in life and have a special someone. I wish you the best in everything and hope you become the medical professional that you work so hard to become so that you can help even more people. I will never forget about you.


Things have improved a lot between my parents and I since we started living apart, and I am gradually learning to forgive, which is a very hard thing. My parents and I have scheduled what will hopefully be my last surgery, and in two weeks, I will begin therapy with a clinical psychologist recommended by the hospital. My mother won’t explicitly admit it, but I’m pretty sure she is now aware to a good extent of how her aggressively protective behavior during quarantine has adversely impacted my life. Some of the qualities of my true self that so many friends overtly admired me for were suppressed, and I am gradually learning to unashamedly be my true self again. I am embracing both my cold and warm sides, and am learning to use both energies effectively in different parts of life. 


My mind used to be so focused on my condition that when people told me that I’m a cool and handsome guy, my feelings were hurt. I’ve never quite understood until recently why I keep getting offered leadership positions, some of which I just don’t have the time for. I think it’s due in part to charisma and a very aggressive internal drive that quarantine unleashed in me. A management consultant told me during a networking event a few weeks ago that I have a “very powerful and dominating but in a good way” presence. Coincidentally, a guy friend said basically the same thing two months ago. I asked why, and he said something along the lines of “because you just kind of…make people fall into your frame so you end up leading the interaction. You’re just like hella confident.” A corporate executive with whom I’ve been working for a long time on a side project said during a private discussion, “You’re very nice in the sense that you’re extremely genuine. You’re not afraid to confront people 20 years older than you and say no or start a respectful argument in which you make your thoughts and feelings clear. And it’s not in an egoist way. But you’re also a funny and energetic guy who can make us all cheer up during a meeting. Keep being genuine. I already know that you will have a very bright future. I will say that you are sometimes overly skeptical or even stressed, but please just trust me on that one.”


My parents and I know that talking to people older than me makes me feel most comfortable. It’s because I highly value maturity in platonic and romantic relationships. Talking to people in at least their late twenties feels more natural and secure. They also offer me great life advice when it comes to career and relationships of any kind (yes, including marriage). Am I sometimes overly skeptical of women my age? Yes, but it is a fact that age correlates to some extent to maturity. My parents have rolled back on their strong belief that I shouldn’t date during undergrad. Last year, I was rejected by a girl who seemed really mature for her age and was kind and hard-working. That made me temporarily mentally collapse. I barely ate for two days and almost fainted. My whole life until then had been heavily impacted by my condition, so it was astonishing to me to be rejected based on other factors. I am now just friends with that girl. Ironically, not long after, a female friend of mine explicitly told me that she had feelings for me. I politely communicated to her that I didn’t reciprocate and was able to save the friendship. 


My mother encouraged me a few days ago to not overthink it when I’m sitting next to an attractive-looking girl. My mother said, “Just be in the moment and talk to her if you want to. Then listen to your feelings about her and take things from there.” A crisis counselor once told me that I CAN be in near full control of the pace of a relationship with a woman. Pacing is something I will discuss with the clinical psychologist. My main concern is what to do if a girl asks for sex before I’m ready to divulge my condition. 


I want to close by mentioning that I recently went to a city near my hometown for a few days as a small vacation. My parents and I stayed in an extra fancy hotel in the financial district. I think they did it on purpose to make me feel closer to my past and show me what a life of abundance I could create for myself through hard work if I follow my career ambitions. But as I looked out onto the busy streets, I could see a stronger and more independent version of myself walking with a nice lady in the far distance. Only a mature, mentally strong, and caring woman with a vision and strong internal drive deserves to be brought into my life given what I’ve been through. I’m better off alone by default. My mental health, physical fitness, and academics/career are my main priorities, and with practice, I am becoming comfortable with approaching women I find attractive with no expectations and no fear of rejection (in a way that is as socially calibrated as possible, of course haha). Worst case scenario has been making a good-looking friend or a professional connection. 


I don’t feel so good knowing that so many college students hook up or have had relationships before. I sometimes fear that my youth has been wasted. I’ve done absolutely nothing in the romantic area of life. I don’t know when or if this mental battle will ever end. People tell me online that I’ll find “the one” some day and it’ll all be okay, but I’m uncomfortable with the idea of a woman being the “solution”. That just sounds needy. It’s just so hard to feel okay on my own. I often feel sexually repressed and so turn to porn; I pretty much watch only oral sex, and it sometimes makes me feel better and sometimes worse. It reminds me that I am still a sexual being and want to have an intimate relationship in this cold world. I mostly agree with professionals that porn is usually harmful, but in my case, dating in real life may well be 100 times more dangerous than masturbating to porn. One mistake in real life with an indecent woman and my privacy and life will be ruined.


Thank you very much for reading, and I apologize once again for making this so long. I wanted to give the full picture. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts and/or advice. 

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Have you had genetic testing? Do you have an intersex diagnosis?

See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Discuss the anger and sexual identify issues as well as the micropenis.

Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist for ongoing support.

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There’s a lot there I know I’m missing and I apologise for that. This one thing jumped out at me though, a strong, persistent fear that if you get intimate with a woman she will betray your secrets to the world. That strikes me as a cognitive distortion and a belief that’s going to hinder you ever getting close to anyone. 

Some people will betray you after sex, maybe they kiss and tell, maybe they just kiss and bail. And I think the same thing that those of us who don’t want yet another kiss and bail scenario do to try and safe guard against that will work for you too; don’t bring sex into the relationship until you’ve had some time to build emotional intimacy with all your clothes on. By the time she learns she will be more invested in the rest of you and if you show up ready and willing to find other ways to enjoy intimacy with her I’m sure your genitals won’t be the thing that makes or breaks the relationship. 

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You seem to be feeling inadequate as a man because of your micropenis and perhaps overcompensating (your colleagues/friends describe you as confident and dominant and charismatic). Especially for your generation it is common for men to be in touch with their emotions and be sensitive. And a lot of women find that attractive. So do not suppress or overemphasize any aspect of your personality and try to be yourself. 

A micropenis will be a dealbreaker for some women and it will hurt if you are rejected for that reason. But a lot of women will be open minded and willing to enjoy mostly non-penetrative sex with you.

Obviously it is a good idea to have a strategy how to bring this up and it is better to do so early on because if it is a dealbreaker then unfair to waste the woman (or your) time. 

Also I really do not understand the sentence about "one mistake with an indecent woman and my privacy and life will be ruined"

I suspect this could be coming from your parents in a misguided attempt to scare you away from relationships because they are worried you will get hurt. But it has zero basis in reality.




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18 minutes ago, 1a1a said:

By the time she learns she will be more invested in the rest of you and if you show up ready and willing to find other ways to enjoy intimacy with her I’m sure your genitals won’t be the thing that makes or breaks the relationship. 


You were on track with plan to set the pace and by taking your time, building trust and cultivating a friendship first, either way that woman will care enough to keep your confidence.

Similar, but not, I watched a dear friend who has an std navigate a new relationship.  Fear of rejection and dating within our larger social circle, she took her time and after that foundation was laid and he was equally smitten by her, she took that risk and confided in him. The fear of rejection and the possibility that he could mention it with our social circle was paralyzing. 

Her loves unconditionally and it isn't an issue for him.  They've been together going on 6 months now and incredibly happy.   

Thank you for sharing your story.   I wish you the best of everything.



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I think there is a balance to be struck

You do want the other person to get to know you a bit so they can appreciate the full package which will make them more likely to be open minded when you tell them rather than immediately disqualifying you.  And of course you need to feel comfortable enough with them and trust them enough to share personal information of this nature.  

But it is unfair to expect them to invest too much time and emotion before you tell them in case it is a dealbreaker for them and leaves them feeling disappointed and annoyed they wasted their time. 



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bob1689, thanks for sharing your story.  I dated a guy once (going back 30+ years) who was, for various childhood reasons, unable to achieve that "full" intimacy that so many think is the ideal.  When we started dating we would do various activities - dinner, movies, comedy shows, events, etc.  We held hands and kissed after many dates.  When it came time for "that time," he was very open and sat me down to discuss.  His very openness, and vulnerability, called forth my own vulnerability and we were able to parse it together.  We even achieved, for a time, a very satisfying intimacy.  We parted for unrelated reasons (I had run into my soon-to-be-husband again and the universe turned happily upside down).

You mentioned many supportive and wonderful female friends/relations in the past.  I understand it's scary and maybe even intimidating at times, but it sounds like you have a knack for spotting the right person... maybe even YOUR person.  The universe has plans for you!  Big hugs ((((((( )))))))

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