I recognise the peculiarity of this content, it being fairly unalike my other content which focuses upon theology, philosophy, and religion. But one of my great interests has always been the investigation of psychological factors. I am a strong believer in the importance of risk factors identification in psychology, though proper investigation of risk factors has been made controversial for the supposed sake of respecting patient sensitivities.
Owing to the lack of an established method, field, and professional specialisation in this most important concern, we fall short of a term with which we would describe it. It is merely referred to as “risk factors”, but as psychology has come to place great emphasis upon diagnosis and treatment, it has withdrawn the importance of identifying risk factors and makes the consideration of risk factors a very broad and accidental consideration. I reject the field’s disinterest and devaluation of risk factor research, and believe it to be so important that it is in need of its own dedicated specialists.
For the sake of this writing, and for any other future writing I might do on this topic, I will name it Psychotelestology: the study of psychological factors. The word is constructed as such: psycho-telest-ology; from the Greek psyche meaning ‘soul’, telestís meaning ‘factor/operator’, and -logia meaning ‘study of’.
Lastly, I wish to prompt the following with a recognition that early childhood experiences impact this development, some more greatly and others not so much, but my following discourse nonetheless still plays an integral role in a man’s psychical development towards transsexualism.
The modern permeation of a psychical metaphysics which affirms the primary good of all things to reside solely within the base material goods naturally leads men to desire to accrue as much of these base goods as they can, since it is these which promise to give them their life’s fulfilment and pleasure.
Sex is strongly treated as a superior base good, both by our instinct to reproduce and by the modern culture we’ve curated to emphasise its desirability. Porn has developed a sexual mythos that very many have subscribed, presenting the sexual good in a way that is unreal and fantastical, and is always implied to be far superior to whatever sexual good the consumer of pornography has available to them. This creates frustration, the effect especially acute among men as testosterone informs the male psyche to behave more ambitiously and greedily when pursuing goods (an observable and self-evident truth, but studies have shown this too). It’s for this reason there is such disparity between the number of Male-to-Female vs Female-to-Male, MtF being far, far higher in their number. And since MtF is significantly more common, I have given it my focus.
Pornography’s sex mythos has produced an extremification of women’s sexual pleasure to absurdity, men taking pornography’s presentation as truth and idealising women’s sexual experience to be far superior to their own. Society has also gradually shifted towards emphasising the abilities of women, the more aggressive expressions of this tantamount to idealising women as being everything a man can be, and then more than this. While the social factors by themselves are unlikely to tip men, pornography is the most significant causal catalyst due to sex having such a core and integral connection to every human’s psychical life.
Developed recently has been a cultural willingness for women to remark, comment, and criticise men’s sexual physical capacity and performance. I believe it’s not generally common for women to go out of their way to degrade a man in this way, even when speaking of former partners, regardless of what they may personally think of it, but Hollywood has elevated the practice of degrading men’s sexual self-esteem by permeating an acceptance of declaring men’s inadequacies. It has been further compounded by pornography’s explicit use of sexual elevation and degradation in their sexual mythos.
Consequently, men presume it is widespread and standard, and that always they are the subject of this judgement. Its permeation has meant that at least some women do make these judgements publicly, and so this is another to presume it’s the sport of all women in a man’s mind. We can see its impact on the psyche of men in how the “Cult of Big Penis” has its greatest following among men, they seeing it as an essential metric of their prowess – especially with porn their influencer, it having implied an extreme ceiling for women’s pleasure, the maximal attainment of her pleasure they associate with their masculine success.
So we have from all this a strongly compounded impression upon men that they, by fact of them being men, are intrinsically lacking access to the goods they hold to be highest in their lives. The sex goods they desire are believed to be completely fulfilled within women, while they only partially have these sex goods themselves because they are men. Although it is also inevitable that every male concept of self is impacted by these things, man’s average psychical resilience against these influences keep men from slipping to the extreme of transsexualism. Much could be discussed on the other consequences, but we shall continue to restrain the topic to transsexualism.
There are these men, however, who are not so naturally resilient against impressions, and are more susceptible to slip towards the extremity of their internal psychological actualisation. The psychical life of these men turns malicious towards themselves as feelings of inadequacy and insecurity begin to dominate them. Pornography and their sex life ceases to be merely the fulfilment of a primitive urge towards reproduction, and it takes a totally new meaning and purpose. A ‘fulfilled sexual-self’ becomes mentally symbolised, pornography and sex becoming mediums for affirmation and confirmation. It is through these and other sexual mediums that they believe they will receive the goods they perceive to be lacking.
Transsexualism is not the sole outcome of this path, it possibly manifesting in a kind of damaging nymphomania or violent behaviour, but transsexualism is the path of those whose psychical life is especially plagued with the idealisation of femininity and a love of the female goods that they see intrinsically vested within the opposite sex. Their sex life evolves into greater and greater eccentricity, finding what’s become called “vanilla sex” to never adequately deliver them to the goods they’ve become conditioned to desire above all else. Their identity is contorted around this as it increasingly pervades their thoughts. It eventually gets to such a point that it is impossible to go day-to-day without constant reminder of their absolute dissatisfaction with their sex and self.
The transgender diagnosis has opened up an avenue through which these feelings are validated as legitimate. Despite the formulation of this diagnosis, however, prognosis has been totally neglected and there is a default towards utterly simplistic psychotelestology, giving explanations such as an incidental hormonal exposure in the womb or by nothing but pure chance. The truth, as is the case with all psychical concerns, is in the human’s psychical development, and does not reside in merely incidental occurrences save in the case of transvestites.
By the establishment of the transgender diagnosis, there has been an intentional and deliberate shaping of how this identity becomes understood and expressed by people diagnosed with being transgender. Rather than, as I’ve noted, considering the psychotelestology and prognosis of transgenderism, focus instead is placed upon its affirmation. Via an approach of affirmation, hormonal replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery have become available to those who suffer this condition. The availability of these treatments presents to the sufferers a promise of the sex goods they have felt long denied to them, a final release from the plague of uncertainty in the goodness of their identity and a concrete path towards achieving those primary base goods they have long desired and long pursued.
The hope itself is enough to put them into a kind of negligent stupor, doping them into a honeymoon period. At first hormonal replacement feels to them like a dream coming true, and as they experience the shift in first their mind and then in their body, the changes are felt so immanently that they feel their desires are finally being fulfilled. In this period, they report great satisfaction and improvement in mental health.
The honeymoon eventually ends, and HRT no longer goes far enough towards attaining their idealised goods as, naturally, merely taking estrogen and blockers is not to completely reconfigure the biology of your body. The same thoughts they suffered prior to HRT begin to return, so now they look to the next advancement. They undergo cosmetic surgeries to alter their appearance, these giving them boons to their self-confidence and identity, but these boons also fade overtime and their thinking returns to a feeling of inadequacy in attaining their maximal good of being, this still they still feel beyond their reach.
Thus comes the finality of sex reassignment, reconfiguring the entire sexual apparatus into an appearance replicating the opposite sex; a final step in the psycho-medical treatment of their condition which has continually teased them with the promise of completion and self-fulfilment. They would become the sex they’ve long idealised as superior in their innate goodness and it would be the end of their torment. Sex reassignment is tantamount to a kind of castration – it is not technically, seeing the penis is reconstituted rather than cut off, but it is a castration of their masculinity, an irreversible abolition of the penis.
A lot of study has been done on how the penis forms an integral part of a man’s identity (so much so that it’s been found that circumcision can impact male mental health), and it shouldn’t be surprising to consider this seeing a male’s entire sexual life is tied to it. Sex reassignment is far more than simply a physical alteration, it is more importantly a psychical symbol of abolishing their maleness. With the psychical castration of the symbolic penis, this is their end.
And it doesn’t work. Again, they find themselves in a similar doped stupor they were in when they first began HRT, possibly even more intensely as they’ve adorned themselves with the highest expectations of self-fulfilment, pushing away doubt and experiential contradiction for as long they can in an expectation that they will “come into it” each time they begin to have the slightest concern regarding their new life post-operation.
The psychical horror begins when they can no longer push away their doubts, their experiences failing to produce the goods of femininity they have acutely idealised and constructed their identity around. The song of fulfilment they were sung by psychologists and medical professionals turns out to be not only utter nonsense, but even worse: the surgery has failed to give to them the good of femality and it has broken what good they had as a male.
From this point, their identity is completely shattered. The sexual organ is a mere imitation of the one they held so highly to be good. Falling so far from being female sexual organs, to their minds it becomes a form of bodily mockery. The doubts they had before surgery are completely rekindled, and then further they become intensified to the maximum extreme.
Transsexualism’s development comes by the promotion of sex as central to the person’s identity. Sex having become their identity’s centrality, any remnants of their former self-identity are subjugated to the sex-self. It is intrinsic to the sex identity that its ‘centre of gravity’ be the sexual organs; the transsexual begins to view them to be the point of emanation that informs who they are.
It is for these reasons we see their identity crumble into total nothingness: the organ is a failure not only by way of it failing to attain the sexual goodness of the vagina, but it also now suffers a state of inferiority to the penis. The ideals of womanhood and the sex goods they vested into it is now so beyond their reach that the pursuit is found to be totally and utterly hopeless. Having taken the last step of sex reassignment, it is at this stage they suffer their first conscious certainty that the desire which drove them down the path of transsexualism is impossible to attain.
True femality now impossible, they turn from the idea of female and see their loss of male. Risk of self-harm and suicide is at its most acute as the identity is turned to oblivion, the psychical life becoming existential as their thoughts are forced to converge inwards towards what partial-self they have left of their former maleness. There is no timeframe within which this self-oblivion can be reliably expected to occur; it may take months for one and years for another. Self-oblivion is, however, inevitable.
The transsexual’s path from here is either their total self-destruction, leading to damaging behaviour such as self-harm, substance abuse, and/or suicide; or they attempt to construct a wholly new identity to replace their lost identity. There have been attempts by numerous transsexuals, though unfortunately the act stigmatised among transsexuals, to ‘detransition’ after suffering self-oblivion.
Psychical self-oblivion can occur earlier than post-operation, and early detransition has far higher success than detransitions attempted later in the ‘treatment’ of transsexualism. Post-op detransitions are very psychically difficult given the condition of their sexual organs and physical body. Detransitioning is done in the hope of maintaining sex as the focal point of their identity, an effective salvaging of themselves after having suffered self-oblivion. More often, post-operation transsexuals faced with self-oblivion will instead seek to find identity through some other means not connected to their sexuality given the condition of the sexual organs making the meaningful restoration of their sex identity an impossibility.
It should be noted that the self-oblivion episode is often constrained and not expressed by the transsexual; not only has stigma developed against negativity towards the efficacy of transition which encourages silence on these concerns, but also it is inherent to humans to conceal failings in their endeavours and to continue to boast confidence in their ends.
Transsexuals have built communities that form up sometimes the totality of their trusted support network, and since the members who make up these communities could be liable to doubt or criticise were a transsexuals’ episode of self-oblivion be expressed, it is completely internalised and suppressed for as long as the transsexual can do so. It is for these reasons that outwardly happy individuals who insist on the goodness of transition and the fulfilment they’ve received from the therapy can suddenly suicide; from all angles they are discouraged to admit to self-oblivion and so assistance and therapy becomes impossible.
It is unfortunate too that, owing to the transsexual community’s collective suffering of self-oblivion, many in the community have worked to convert their identities into political objects which are used as psychological surrogates of identity and fulfilment. By politicisation, they only further entrench their inability to express self-oblivion as politicisation converts the transsexual community into a form of tribe which is antagonised against. Expressions of self-oblivion consequently become acts of disloyalty which can lead to social marginalisation.
I hope these insights may prove intriguing and enlightening on the question of transsexualism’s psychotelestology.