What’s it like to be a post-orchiectomy non-op trans woman
Dear enbies, ladies, eunuchs & everybody who’s curious about what does an orchiectomy look & feel! I have made you 〜illustrations〜
Content warnings first: This is personal, diary-like, with me going on and on about my own feelings and experiences; because I think that’s, in a sense, more informative than a bare objective report, and it’s the kind of thing I missed when I was researching to decide whether I should do an orchi. This text has nude photos, including detailed images of convex genitals. I am (mostly) not dysphoric about my genitals, and will use positive words about them. There’s a discussion of genital dysphoria, marked. I’m not posting lewd videos in this space, and I tried to make the photos illustrative rather than erotic, but some stuff came out somewhat lewdish anyway because I love my body and what can a girl do? There are close-up photos of the healed scar, and broad discussions of surgeries; but no pictures of blood or graphic details about medical stuff. I will discuss sex stuff in a clearly marked section at the end. The list of topics is: looks and anatomy, panties & tucking, dysphoria & walking, hormones, sex stuff.
And here’s an unrelated picture so that scrapers won’t put a photo of my genitals in preview thumbnails.
For the purposes of this article I’ll use the expression HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to abbreviate feminising HRT, in the sense of making the body estrogen-dominant.
- 2020-12-04: Added note on experience with vibrators.
- 2021-04-21: Added notes on thongs, rings.
- 2021-10-14: Added notes on fashion, sex life, vaginoplasty.
Looks and anatomy
Depending on the angle and position, the appearance doesn’t change much.
The scrotum is still there, and viewed in a frontal angle as in the photo above, it doesn't look so different as what it used to look like in a cold day, with the gonads retracted inside. (Incidentally, do you know those visible undulations on the skin as the size changes to adjust gonadal distance and temperature? These movements still happen, even though there's nothing inside to adjust lol). There’s plenty of skin left for transdermal application of estradiol spray, and for an eventual vaginoplasty if I ever decide to go that route.
But the difference to the touch is tremendous. It feels flat, and below girldick there’s a most delightful nothing. Perhaps stretching the skin as in this photo gives an idea. At this resolution you can't even see a scar; that's representative of what it feels like to me in the mirror.
The appearance will depend on the type of surgery. Inguinal orchiectomy cuts at the lower abdomen and remove the entire spermatic cords, leaving two super cute pride scars in the bikini area. I left the choice to my surgeon and he opted against it because 1) he could hide the scar better down there, and 2) I will be doing a vaginoplasty on the whole thing anyway. But they couldn’t really get their minds around what I meant when I said I maybe would do a vaginoplasty; and I failed to make it clear that I wouldn’t mind scars up in the groin, and that I’d rather have left the scrotal skin intact; so I regret not having talked more and insisted on it. (In my defence, the surgeon in this hospital didn’t even talk to me directly before the operation, there was little space to intervene, plus my German is terrible so it’s hard to explain things.)
So the incision was directly at the scrotum (a normal bilateral orchiectomy), removing just the gonads themselves, which were donated to science. Scrotal skin is precious to vaginoplasty, and to prevent damage, this surgeon cuts along the raphe (the dark vertical line that bisects the genitals, where the vagina was supposed to form before mistakes were made and it closed up). The scar barely shows.
Note how dark is my raphe at the bottom of the photo above; it tends to darken under estrogen. See how the darkness disappears midway up? And the line gets kinda wobbly? That's the incision. Even in this high-resolution photo, it’s hard to even notice at a glance. The biggest wobble, at the bottom of the scar, was from a small complication – one stitch opened during recovery, and I had to tape it up with normal bandages until it was healed.
In this position you can see the raphe disappear at the incision, then resume at the top. Plus, without stretching, an horizontal fold is visible. That's all for visible marks from this operation.
Incidentally, my surgeon was Dr. Heß from Uniklinik Essen, who also does vaginoplasty in the Schaff method. I chose him because he’d knew how to preserve skin.
Panties & tucking
The effect of orchi on panties is a bit overrated; you won’t go down a size just by not having gonads, and by and large the panties that were comfortable to me (as a non-tucker) are the same as before. Still, orchi does open up some possibilities. Here’s a video that I made showing some movement to illustrate the difference, but it turned out more erotic than planned, so don’t click if you aren’t comfortable with that. I had fallen in love instantly with these girldick-pride banana slips, but even the largest size turned out a bit too snug for my body. This kind of tightwear was uncomfortable most of all because it pressed on the gonads. Now I forget I even have them on. The flat base at the shaft doesn’t need any room. Notice at the start of the clip how my legs are fully closed together (more or this later), and when I move them, it feels like there’s nothing at all nothing at all~
One big difference is small panties. Since transition I’ve been wearing slips, hipsters and boyshorts (terrible name but they’re cute and comfy). I never wore thongs for what I assumed were obvious reasons, but after orchi I randomly put one I had lying around for reasons and, to my surprise, found out it’s about the perfect size and shape for orchid girldick. There’s no way to post a picture here without it being outright porn but trust me on this, it fits like a glove. If this is your kind of thing, you’re in for a treat.
Similarly, it is now possible to wear fashion items that require the piece to be up tight between the legs, without discomfort or any need for tucking. Many fem clothes will still show bulge, ofc, but I'm now able, for example, to wear denim or crepe hot pants fastened way up to my waist at a level showing off butt, without discomfort or need for tucking. This has become almost as much of a staple in my outfits as miniskirts are.
check out this Eeveelutions T-shirt tho
I’m personally put off by tucking for several reasons, but I know how important it is to many people, so I wanted to try it out how it could work post-orchi. It becomes quite trivial: just pull your genitals down and back, and support them with something tight. Any snuggly panties will suffice for most clothing, but for failsafe universal tucking, specialised underwear works best. Let's see how well it fares with my super mega revealing bodycon skirt that I never could use!
I'm wearing the same tight panties here as in the video clip above, with girldick nonerect, out to the front and pointing up, which is the position I prefer her to be. This absurdly tight skirt clearly shows too much bulge (along with hip bones, tummy, specks of dust etc). Personally I think bulges are super cute and I'm pissed off that I have to hide mine, but society feels otherwise so let’s try to offset it. (I mean, IRL I still won’t wear this skirt ever ofc 😇, but for science.)
Above, girldick is now tucked down and back with the tight panties. This would suffice to hide the bulge for almost all clothing pieces, but with bodycon skirt, and if I push my hips forward like this, you can still see a small mound.
Now changing to tucking panties! These are from Stripitback on Etsy; they’re snuggly, thick and soft (like me uwu). Not much to see here but that's the point I guess! Note the empty space under genitals, even though I’m not at all thin.
And presto – even pushing the hips forward in the skintight skirt, no bulge! No tape, no uncomfortable gonads to push inside, can be set up in seconds. If you think you can see the hint of a salience in the upper bikini area – that's actually the top of the panties where the fabric begins, that's how revealing is this skirt.
Dysphoria & the unexpected magic of walking
Some dysphorias are conscious. I always knew I hated my facial/body hair, spent hours plucking them on bed depressedly. I knew I didn’t like having muscles or a male bodyshape, and wanted it all gone. But for some stuff, I didn’t even realise that the dissonance was there. Shortly after starting cyproterone, one day I noticed that my skin scent was gone. Just like that, one day I woke up smelling like girl. And it was such, such a relief. I never thought too much about my scent; it was just my scent, clinging to my clothes and having to be washed away. Only when it disappeared did I realise it had been weighting on me all my life (well, my postpubertal life).
I remember, as a little girl, hiding my genitals between my legs, trying to feel what it would feel like to have a vagina. The idea of it remains positive to me. But at the same time, I’m not overtly dysphoric about girldick; in fact I have very positive feelings for her, which have grown stronger as HRT made her look and feel and act distinct from boydick.
I never much liked my testicles, but didn’t actively hate them either, not how I felt about my facial hair. They were unappealing, pointless, just kind of in the way. The night before surgery, I touched them a bit awed at the notion that this part of my body wouldn’t be there tomorrow; but the thought only brought me scientific curiosity, not the desperate urgency of conscious dysphoria. The single major reason I wanted to do an orchi was to get rid of testosterone, completely, irreversibly, forever; for that, yes, I was more than eager. I also liked the idea of having a custom bodymodded girldick, but I thought of it as just a bonus.
Orchiectomy is a simple operation, and many people go home in the same day. I felt too dizzy, and opted to stay the night in the hospital. On the next day, when I managed to stand up and walk, I immediately noted that I could keep my legs very close together while moving. It’s a tactile thing, hard to show in videos, but the difference is incredible. There’s your estrogen-thiccened thighs, and between them, a nothing. You move one foot forward, swing – you don’t have to pull the thighs apart at all. I’m a country girl, grown accustomed to walking with feet pointing outwards, but suddenly pointing forward was more natural than ever, making it easy to move from the hips. Kneel, and you can comfortably have your knees together. Cross your legs, lie down in bed – thigh on thigh, and between them, at all times, this conspicuous absence. This palpable nothingness.
And it feels. so. correct.
I walked back from the hospital like that, marvelling at the feeling of body consonance. I never stopped walking like that, and never will.
It turns out I had unconscious dysphoria about the testicles themselves, about their shape and physicality. Which has forced me to reëxamine feelings. Because if changing the base from convex to flat already feels this proper, if my body had been expecting to be like this all along, then what are the chances that it will feel even more relief and consonance from concave genitals?
I’m not in a hurry about a vaginoplasty, I’m happy with the current configuration (proud, even), and I intend to maintain it for the foreseeable future. But I will keep observing my feelings, exploring possible bodies in the imagination, trying to check if this is affecting my psychology without me noticing.
Content notice: This section deals with possible avenues of masculinising effects, and may cause enduring fears of things that are quite unlikely to happen.
Short story: T at 18ng/dL, life is good.
After you remove the gonads, your body still produces some androgens (‘male’ hormones (kind of), T included) via the adrenal glands, to the same extent that cis women do. How much depends on the person. Some people doing HRT report symptoms of post-surgical masculinisation (stronger skin scent, oily skin, body hair thickening/head hair thinning, libido changes etc.). There are many rumours of ‘adrenal spikes' shortly after surgery, as if the body was trying to compensate for the sudden drop on T levels (though if you're already on good blockers, there may be little or no drop in the first place).
Orchiectomy is often studied in the context of cis men treating for cancer, who need to get rid of androgens urgently. In these contexts, adrenal T or androgen spikes post-orchi have proved hard to find.[^1] The chance of occurrence should be even lower for trans people taking high-dose estrogen. But, even if the reports are anecdotal, several trans ppl online say they had higher T levels for two, three weeks after surgery. At least one trans woman says she had to continue taking T blockers even a year later. Some cis women have high T levels too, so it may be just cases of individual variation.
One further worry is ‘backdoor DHT’. DHT is a more potent androgen than T, known for causing both male-pattern hair loss and growth of body hair. It is normally derived from T, so that if your T levels are low, you usually are safe from DHT. However, in cis men with prostate cancer, DHT has been found to be made directly in the cancer tissue out of a different androgen, androstenedione (A4), which survives orchiectomy well. I have no idea whether this may affect trans people in normal, non-cancer tissues, or if it can do so any more than in cis women; discussion on the reddits is disputed right now, with many conflicting theories and little reliable evidence. Some trans people are said to have high serum DHT paired with low T post-surgery; if this shows in a blood test, it should be treatable with bica. If the DHT is made directly on tissues I don’t know what to do; cancer patients take abiraterone, but it’s expensive and has bad side effects and drug interactions.
I also found an article somewhere that SHBG spikes can be prevented by keeping the E2 doses the same post-surgery, but I can’t seem to find it again (sorry).
Based on this information, I decided on the following action plan:
- Refuse to reduce E2 dosage.
- Stay on T blockers for 3 weeks after surgery.
- Quit blockers, watch closely for signs of masculinisation.
- Rub finasteride on scalp just to be safe.
- Wait >5 half-lives for body to be clean of blockers.
- Test for E2, T, A4, DHT, SHBG, FSH (high FSH→take more E2).
- After 6 and 9 months, test again.
The latter timeframe is for cyproterone (CPA). In cis men, it takes this long for T levels to stabilise after CPA discontinuation (furthermore, their T only goes back to like 80% of the original value). I don’t know how much CPA affects adrenal androgens, or how long would it take to ensure your no-blocker levels are stable. Cypro is primarily an (excellent) antigonadotropin – it prevents your gonads from producing T, basically a temporary chemical castration – but it’s additionally a weak anticorticotropin (affecting adrenal production), a general androgen synthesis inhibitor, and a receptor blocker, so it will also have some effect against non-gonadal androgens generally.
Sadly my current lab only tests E2 and T, and finding better tests under insurance has proven to be tricky. But ~2 months after surgery, I have noticed no signs of masculinisation (except if you count erections, which see below), and T levels at least look fine. Compare with pre-orchi:
- March 2020, cypro 10mg/day, E2 9.18mg (6×) spray twice daily on scrotal skin, progesterone (P4) 100mg rectal: E2 395pg/mL, T 26ng/dL
- November 2020, post-orchi 47 days, off cypro 22 days, same E2 spray, same P4: E2 307pg/mL, T 18ng/dL.
All tests taken >12h after doses, at the nadir right before next dose.
This should probably be clear by now, but just as a final content notice: This section will be explicit. I’m using sexual/erotic language, else there’s no fun to it. I also describe sexual behaviour related to convex genitals, including erections, in positive terms. And there’s a discussion of concerns about libido being possible related to hormonal issues, which includes mention of bodily dysphoria.
I think the sexual effects of orchiectomy will be bigger for people who had partial T blocking, because of the change in hormone levels. If HRT was already in the lower half of the feminine range, there will be little change.
For me, girldick may or may not have shrunk (I think she looks smaller but it may be wishful thinking, I didn’t measure); the skin is softer, thinner, gets hurt more easily, the scent got neutral; I don’t have hard erections, not enough for penetrative sex; I mostly orgasm dry, sometimes a few drops of clear, sweet liquid. However – all of this was already the case before orchi, from cypro+E2 alone. The surgery caused little appreciable change in sexual function or anatomy; maybe erection behaviour, discussed below, and the mechanics of having a flat base. The photo I showed at the beginning, stretching the skin up with my hand – that’s what the base looks like when girldick is erect, by her natural stretching. The overall appearance ends up a bit like a sex toy; just a shaft, nothing hanging underneath (when erect, not even skin).
Libido, orgasm and erections
Libido is a complex thing to evaluate. Orchi could lower your libido if it was relying on T, and the surgery lowers your T below what your HRT did. Or, conversely, the exact same scenario could give you more of that slow-burning, day-long estrogenic horniness, if the orchi helps you get better feminising HRT than you did before, and your body is sexual on it. If the surgery makes you feel more gender-consonant about your genitals, like I did, it may increase your libido psychologically simply because you’re happier about your new body (never underestimate the importance of this).
Post-orchi, I do find myself hornier, but my recent sex life has hitched up a notch for unrelated reasons, so it’s hard to say how much of that is from the hormones in themselves. One thing that feels physical to me is that I went back to having ‘fast‘ erections – I mean getting hard from words or thoughts, a text message or a memory, rather than having to stimulate girldick physically at length. I also had my first wet orgasm (though only a couple drops) in like ten months or so. This could all be due to my girlfriends pushing my body further and further, but somehow it feels like something has changed internally.
This effect got me a bit wary of high T levels, but then the test results came, and it’s almost ideal. I think hidden DHT could theoretically affect something directly on the genitals – I know of no studies on this – but so far I don’t feel any other effects of hormonal masculinisation, and DHT is a powerful beast to do only 1 thing. Sometimes I get paranoid – is my cleavage hair growing faster? Will my body become like that again? But people who know my body well assure me there’s been no changes so far, and comparing photos etc. I can’t see anything bad either.
One speculation I have, based on what ppl report online subjectively, and I want to make it clear that I’m going totally on a limb here, is that cypro may affect erections beyond just low T levels. That is, if you’re at 20ng/dL T on cypro, you may have less erections than you’d have at 20ng/dL T on bica or from castration. Good for the erection-dysphoric, bad if you want function. If I’m right, then the change I noticed could be from the absence of cypro and the myriad little ways it affects androgens all over the place. As long as I don’t get any other androgenic effects other than faster erections, I see it as a complete win. Please don’t take this theory seriously, I studied dialectal Japanese linguistics not endocrinology.
Flat base feelings
I know that the scrotum is an erogenous zone for many, but it never did anything for me. Dunno if out of that unconscious testicular dysphoria or what, but I much disliked the tactile sensation of gonads being touched, even by tongues etc. (One more reason I never liked tucking, and never succeeded in muffing).
While now… I found out by accident that a shower stream will give me the oddest erotic ticklish sensations. Lewd nerves in the area working better than ever, is what I'm saying. This is good news, since these are the same nerves that would be used for the vaginal lips if I ever decide to digievolve girlcock one step further. Mounting atop a girl and rubbing the base of the shaft on her groin feels pleasurable to me now, like not just because it’s hot visually, but as an erotically stimulating physical sensation.
2020-12-04: Vibrators are interesting. I’m very much into magic wands, but for me they work best directly on clit glans; using them on the orchid nerves is pleasantly ticklish, but nowhere near as powerful in sheer sexual stimulation. (There’s a sweet spot to it, without pressing too hard, but even then). Except, somehow it feels like if girls spend some time stimulating down there, then return to clit tip, the sensation up there somehow gets extra doubleplus good ✨ I have done,,, extensive testing, on what I’ve taken to call the ‘hold down to charge up mechanic’; it’s quite noticeable and seems to work reliably. Dunno what’s this all about anatomically, but I’ll continue to experiment with it in the interest of scientific inquiry.
Will have to leave y’all hanging on this. The holes feel tricky to find, and I’m wary of messing with stuff so soon after surgery. At least there’s no unpleasantness from the gonads anymore.
I wonder if inguinal orchi would be better for muffing, due to removing the cords out of the way. If I ever manage to get the hang of the thing, I’ll rewrite this section describing what it feels like.
A funny little side effect: You know how when you’re tired af but also horny like a bitch in heat and you pull girldick out of panties without bothering to take them off, and the tubes get pressed by the elastic and it’s kinda uncomfy and bad? Yeah that doesn’t happen with a flat base. Unsure how the mechanics of this work, but there’s nothing there being strangled anymore. Between that and dry orgasms, it has never been so damn convenient for a girl to pleasure herself lol. The same works for sex, of course; if girldick is going into somewhere, the panties can easily stay there for added cuteness.
This detail affects the effectiveness of rings. The guides I see for rings loop them behind the testicles, not in front, so they probably rely on the effect of the gonads. On the other hand, the same rings used for boycock are also used for straps, including purely cylindrical dildos and vibrators, so I’m guessing a ring of the proper diameter should still work. Still, the smallest pink ring I could find at Ø4cm is still too big to have any effect on me. If you like this kind of toy it might be better to rely on the kind with adjustable cords—and DIY might be the best approach here, since for mysterious reasons that don’t make sense, it’s quite hard to find ones that are small and cute.
One year later: sex life,
dysphoria consonance and vaginoplasty
(this section be lewd.)
23:59: “Eh I never liked penetrative sex much, it makes me kinda dysphoric, plus my hardware is too soft for that anyway.” There! What a neat and satisfying narrative, let's give it one last polish and put it on display… 00:00: Whoops I dropped it (crash!) (porcelain shattering noises) :>
Yup, after through exploration of my trans body with a statistically improbable number of other trans bodies all of whom feature amazing delicious butts, turns out I can top genitally too, and moreover I like it a whole lot. Any insecurity I had about that making me too masc has long melted away before the masses of trans lesbians yearning for me to do exactly what I craved doing to them. Queer love is magic and I love my life.
Girldick can't get a stable enough erection to play that way every single time, but you can just explore her the normal trans way and when the vibe is right, every so often she just gets in the mood, you know? She's still small and cute and sweet-tasting, and I love that. I still find it fully satisfying to top with hands or toys only, to play in a soft state, to do non-genitally-oriented non-penetrative stuff for hours etc. Honestly trans sex is amazing, it has become kinda my #1 free time activity.
On the other hand, the more I experimented with the orchi nerves the more I came to appreciate them. I still can't muff, but just a simple rubbing or surface fingering is about as pleasurable for me as having my breasts fondled (i.e. a lot). One of my favourite sexual positions, which kinda just developed spontaneously out of sheer wanting-to-get-off, is to grab someone's face between my estrogen-thicc thighs and rub the orchi area on them while touching myself; this is about the most reliable way to induce myself an orgasm. It took a good while for me to realise that what I was doing is literally face-sitting the way cis dommes do it. I keep expecting to have a hole there, when I dress up, when I take photos. My childhood feelings of 'there should be a vagina here' have intensified the more I thought about it.
But so have my feelings of body positivity, pride and love towards girldick! It was a bit of a dilemma, for real. Sex is important for me in more levels than just pleasure or fun, or maybe pleasure and fun are more important to me than in the dominant ideology, same difference. I bond over this, build community over this, we're basically a band of bonobos over here. And I love having a deviant body, I'm me in a deviant body, in ways that I'm not sure cishet society will ever understand. But I've been transing long enough to know the texture of embodied consonance when my feelings touch it.
Thesis: My body will be happier with a vagina. Antithesis: Girldick is awesome. I honestly don't know why it took me so long to reach the synthesis.
¿Por qué no las dos? Both is good 😌
Yes, Mother, I shall become a futa.
And when I manage to wrestle that surgery out of the cistem, I'm gonna document the heck out of everything online in the minutest self-exposing detail :>
The gallus [ancient trans priestess of Cybele] throws off her clothes, rushes to the center with a great shout and takes up a sword, which, I believe has stood there for this purpose for many years. She grabs it and immediately castrates herself. She rushes through the city holding in her hands the parts she cut off. She takes female clothing and women's adornment from whatever house she throws these parts into.
Lucianus, De Dea Syria 50-51
I’m annoyed that nobody told me I could have redeemed them for outfits >:(
[^1]: Parker et al., Orchiectomy does not selectively increase adrenal androgen concentrations, PMID 6235240.