I’m becoming pussified* by testosterone

*I made up this word, I think (actually I just looked it up, and I totally did not make this word up), but that doesn’t mean some people don’t like it.  Let me know if you don’t like it; I’ll think more about it.  The root word is “pussy,” which I don’t mean to use in a derogatory way.  More like it has a certain ring to it; it is an accurate descriptor for what I mean to say.  I’m writing about becoming a pussy when it comes to pain, basically.

Also, trigger warning: self-injury

Before I started taking testosterone (about 9 months ago), I had a peculiar, but not really uncommon, relationship to pain.  In many cases, I derived pleasure from pain.  I would create sensations of pain, within my control, in an effort to calm myself.  Also, when I’d hurt myself accidentally like for example, hit my arm on a doorway, I would feel alarm, followed by an adrenaline rush, followed by a pleasant soothing wave.  I think in retrospect, I had a lot of potential to really get into BDSM, except for the fact that before taking testosterone, my sex drive was pretty close to non-existent, so none of that was all that appealing in a sexual context.

Now?  If I hurt myself, it hurts!  If I accidentally ran into a doorway, it would not be pleasant in any way, shape, or form.  I remember the first few times I got hurt in little ways, in the first couple of months of being on testosterone; I was so surprised by how much pain was coursing through my body.  I just felt like, aaaaaah!  I’ve been swearing under my breath and feeling unnerved by how much stuff hurts.

When I’ve been feeling particularly upset or depressed, I will still have the urge or flash-image to self-injure myself, but there is no real desire to follow through with it whatsoever.

I haven’t self injured since last winter, which is so incredible to me.  I hated that it was such an effective coping strategy.  Probably my most effective coping strategy, for about 13 years or so.  I’ve had such a long, complex relationship to self-injury, both as a concept and as it relates to my body.  And I’m so glad to see it changing.

Is pain tolerance a gendered thing?  I’m sure the way people experience pain is all over the map, but are there generalities between genders?  Such as, females have a higher threshold for tolerating pain.  I have no idea, but I’m really curious about it.

And seriously, how cool is it to be living through such a transformation on so many different levels?  Like when I started testosterone, it never occurred to me that I might feel differently about pain and be cured (so far at least) of my self- injuring tendencies!