At 4-foot-10 and 97 pounds, he felt he had certain disadvantages. “Women don’t like short men,” he said. “I kind of had to give myself all the edge up on the competition I could get.”

This is tragic. Ben is a "man" with the height of an average fifth-grade boy and a permanently strapped-on strap-on dildo. This is one of the instances in which the word "pansexual" is useful, because Ben's dating pool consists entirely of women who are pansexual—that is, open to any kind of genitals (including surgically constructed genitals) and any combination of primary and secondary sexual features. Not a lot of women match this description.

Of course, Ben could be 6'1" with the physique of a Greek god, and she'd still be frozen out of her desired dating pool because straight women like dick. This is a hard lesson that most lesbians learn early on: most of the people you find attractive simply will never be attracted to you, even if you yourself are conventionally attractive, funny, kind, successful, et cetera. That's just how sexual orientation works.

[–] ProxyMusic 12 points Edited

she'd still be frozen out of her desired dating pool because straight women like dick.

Yes, some do. But I think it's more accurate to say straight women are attracted to men/males overall, and men happen to come equipped with dicks. The whole idea that for straight women it's all or even largely about the dick seems to come from men and the dick-focused dominant culture, not from straight women. Men of all sexual orientations are obsessed and impressed with their dicks and the dicks of other guys; straight women, not so much.

I was reading some research a while back on men with micro-penises. The Western male researchers and medical clinicians all took it for granted that men with itty-bitty dicks would feel sexually inadequate and won't be able to have sexually satisfying relationships. But it turns out the men who are attracted to and involved with women do fine dating-wise, and feel fine about themselves and satisfied with their sexual prowess.

Like the old song from the 1950s that Maria Mulduar had a hit with in the early 1970s said:

It ain't the meat it's the motion/That makes your momma wanna rock/It's the movement it isn't the stock/It ain't the meat it's the motion/It's the action that gives it the sock


This is a good point. It's not just the dick, but the male physique that is attractive to straight women - their wide shoulders, strong chest, strong arms, necks, hands...just thinking on that makes me, ah, well...y'know.

I mean, we can smell them. There are studies where women blind smell shirts of their close male relatives, men they find attractive and men they don't...women prefer the smells of the men they find most attractive despite not knowing who the shirt came from.

[–] Tesserae_Tali 9 points Edited

But micropenises are still penises. I'm sure there are some straight women who would be willing to date a man who had no penis whatsoever (either because he lost it in an accident or because of an intersex condition), but I imagine that they're a minority. My point is that Ben is almost certainly mistaken in thinking that women who want a partner with a penis will regard a partner with a phalloplasty as an acceptable substitute.

[–] ProxyMusic 4 points Edited

Yes, you're right. And micro-penises are still attached to a man, who will be built like a man, smell like a man, sound like a man, emit male pheromones, etc.

I was just pointing out that most women who are into men are attracted to the whole package, not just the dick - or to parts of the package separate from the dick. Yes, some women like and lust after dick itself. But in my observation, that is not the object of most women's desire. Ben is totally fixated on her fauxllus, spending hours a day just looking at it. But most straight women don't tend to spend much time fantasizing about dicks, picturing dicks in our minds, or looking at photos of dicks the way Ben seems to have done. Or at least women not raised on internet porn don't tend to do this. I realize that as a boomer I might be out of touch with what many much younger women today do.

Back in the 1960s, there were head shops that sold dick-shaped candles that supposedly were made from molds of rock stars' dicks. All the girls and women I knew back then responded, Ew, gross, blech. The candles never took off and became a popular novelty item as the makers originally hoped - not even as gag gifts. They just gathered dust on the shelves.

Ben's got more to overcome than her phalloplasty. I think a woman would have to have mental health challenges of her own to get involved with someone who would do such a thing to herself.

I couldn't agree more. The focus on "genitals" as the object of sexual orientation seems weird to me, the product of a kind of Mx Potato Head view of humanity. It's men I'm attracted to, not penises, which actually are kind of off-putting until the action begins.

Seriously. It's like a turkey neck. It's not attractive. It's what they can do with it. And stopping to pump up an arm skin balloon that just can't possibly look or feel or perform the same... it's not the same.

I agree. The idea of "genital attraction" seems to come from Mr Potato Head and porn. Most straight and bi women I know think penises and balls are funny looking and sort of pathetic from an aesthetic point of view. It's the whole package that's appealing. But if asked about which body parts of men are most alluring, most straight women will cite something other than the the genitals.

[–] Eava 12 points

Or possibly the Jazz Jenningses of the world who also severely stunted their growth and have no idea what sex is supposed to be like before having vaginoplasty.

I don't know how any adult can morally do these surgeries on young people who have no concept of what sex should be like. No, it is not about external validation---which both Jazz and "Ben" are clearly relying on. The adults in the room have no real empathy.

The adults in the room are criminals and abusers. I honestly don’t understand how this is medically ethical or for that matter ethical full stop.

As for the OPs point, I would think that the number of people willing to have sex with a person with mutilated genitals that have been formed into a bad simulacrum of the genitals of the opposite sex would be vanishingly small. Smaller than the population of trans people pre social contagion.

Sex is about reproduction even when specific instances of sexual activity and sexual orientation aren’t directly about reproduction. The human sex drive and the drive for a reasonably healthy partner would instinctively preclude deformed or fake genitals.

I really hope that the doctors and others who have participated in this go to jail. They deserve to.

[–] Tq231442 Cervix owner 2 points

Oh God ew sex between two post-op TIPs rubbing their wounds together 🤮

If we needed proof that Ben has the delusional thought processes of someone with low self esteem, we see it in her rationale for getting a phallo: to be sexually desirable to straight women. Like WTF?

And no one in her orbit has the heart to tell her the truth. Straight women like a skin roll up in lieu of a functional penis much much less than short partners. Why oh why isn’t this truth screamingly obvious?

A strap on would be 1,000x better in the bedroom than whatever surgical thing she got. That arm skin tube can't get hard, and many of them are too fat to fit inside anyone and need numerous "debulking" surgeries.

I seriously don't get why TIFs can't just use strap ons. I guess it reminds them that they are lesbians.

[–] Eava 25 points

The media seems to be obsessed with promoting phaloplasty. The New Yorker piece, and now this.

It’s terrible. One of the highest complication rates of any surgery, it’s barbaric to promote it. Shame on them!

I mean I’m glad they’re publishing it to be honest, even if it’s extremely biased. Most people are going to read this and be like… wtf??? They’ll realize these are unjustified surgical interventions on the mentally ill. Not surprised they didn’t open comments.

Seriously, that New York Mag piece was horrifying. That woman was so obviously mentally ill, you would think there would be mass denunciation.

They really should open the comments.

[–] goodyusername Team Terflair 8 points

If you can call this "promoting". It's not pretty. Notice they have comments turned off, because the majority would be disgusted.

I think it is promoting, there is so little push back about whether this is necessary, they don't feature a TIF who had terrible complications. In the end Ben is so happy he has a penis he can't stop playing with.

It is a little confusing though---the article overall has many unfavorable details. I'm really surprised they kept both parts even about 'ben' deciding she's trans while drunk. That does not look good.

[–] [Deleted] 24 points Edited

There are so many troublesome things in this article, it's hard to even begin.

In the spring of 2015, Ben got happy hour drinks with two friends at a Midtown barbecue spot....That night, he began the bureaucratic work of transition:

First time she realizes she's trans, she's also drunk.

That night, drunk at home, he ran a search for “FTM bottom surgery” and spent all night reading up on phalloplasty.

Maybe even more drunk?

He decided his next goals were penetrative sex and aesthetics, in part because he would be in a rural dating pool and would probably be the first trans guy most women had been with. At 4-foot-10 and 97 pounds, he felt he had certain disadvantages. “Women don’t like short men,” he said

Cool that she buys into gender stereotypes here.

On one hand, there’s the call to expand and improve care that has historically been denied; on the other, most of us are not blind to the fact that our bodies make good business in a for-profit system. “We’re salaried,” Bluebond-Langner said, by way of explaining that she doesn’t get more money for more patients. “Though they do incentivize us a little bit. They’ll give us more resources.”

In a roundabout way, explicitly stating that doctors are rewarded monetarily for jumping on the trans-surgery bandwagon.

And this:

Even as the frequency of surgery increases, the patient pool is not yet large enough to know empirically what cuts down on complications or leads to satisfaction in the course of an entire life.

Right before its contradictory counterpart:

In this case, she says, the risks are justified only by the overwhelming impact on quality of life. “People understand the trade-off,” she said. “But we wouldn’t accept this rate of complication necessarily in other procedures.”

How do you understand the tradeoff if there are no reliable longitudinal studies yet?

And I'm not a psychologist, but this seems like an immediate and unsustainable reaction to the whole thing...

I wondered aloud if the point of the surgery was to grant him the freedom to stop thinking about his penis.

“No,” Ben said, correcting me. “I think about it all the time. Touch it all the time. Look at it all the time. It’s my favorite thing to do.”

There is no doubt in my mind that "Ben" is going to be suing someone in less than 10 years.

Yeah I've made some bad internet purchases while drunk (looking at the drum set in my living room) but at least I have never signed on for a penis.

The more I think of this, the more I don't understand how everyone doesn't see these people as deep mentally ill. Who does this to themselves?

How “Ben” mutilated herself and attached a useless roll of thigh skin to the top of her vulva to pretend it’s a penis.

The real headline.

[–] ghoul2 13 points Edited

Penis worship in society.

At least this is honest about the complication rate and about the obsession with doing it at any cost, even potential death. That really makes people think

I wondered aloud if the point of surgery was to grant him the freedom to stop thinking about his penis. “No,” Ben said, correcting me. “I think about it all the time. Touch it all the time. Look at it all the time. It’s my favorite thing to do.”

This just makes me sad honestly and I wish emotional healing for ben

[–] f_by_nature 10 points Edited

Though Ben did know that he liked girls, he did not feel like a lesbian at all.

And because no one firmly explained to this young woman that being a lesbian is fine, and you just need to accept this about yourself and then carry on with your life, she's been turned into a lifelong medical patient.

From start to finish, Ben’s penis took four years to complete.

Oh cool I didn't realise the earth had discovered unlimited resources, neat.

Wtf does "feeling like a lesbian" even mean? If you're a female that only likes females, you're a lesbian. That's the only thing we all have in common, we don't share the same thoughts. It's just as ridiculous as a TIM saying that he "feels like a woman".

Ben's problem in finding a heterosexual girlfriend isn't that she's short, it's that she's a woman.

It is well possible that some women's aversion to short men is because some part of their brain perceives short men as potentially female (a trait that comes in handy now that a significant amount of suspiciously short, bearded people actually ARE women, and might well become more common as evolution marches on ... assuming that a significant amount of women remain unvoluntarily childless by being duped by transmen, which I hope won't happen, but you never know), but there's always been enough women who don't have a problem with short men.

Heterosexual women who are into short men won't be into an average sized woman, though, because they're hetero.

Imagine getting cosmetic surgery in May 2020 when medical care was being rationed out and nurses and doctors were being pulled out of retirement and getting reassigned to deal with the pandemic.