Eli Schmidt

I remember the first time that I connected to my body. The body I was not supposed to have. The body that I felt betrayed me for so many years. This body that I was told was female and that I would just have to live with for the rest of my life. I remember feeling so depressed in that body. I remember wishing every day that somehow, some way I would magically become G.I. Joe and have this supermasculine man body, one with muscles and abs, one in which I could feel comfortable taking my shirt off at the beach, having people run their hands across it and say, "Wow, you have a nice chest." A body that had hair all over it like Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit—you know, that kind of man chest.

I have always been a very sexual person; even when I hated my body, there was always this desire to be sexual. Can you imagine how difficult that was? Looking back, it's fucking amazing I even had sex—sexual desire is that powerful. Even through the hate and disgust of my body, I figured out, with the usage of drugs and alcohol, how to have sex. But then at one point I realized I was really not feeling anything or remembering anything, and when I finally stopped drinking and using drugs, I was faced with this newfound awareness of how much I really wasn't connected to my body. It's funny how, when you are not wasted, you have to face life, and you either deal with it and try to learn from that or just stay in denial even while sober.

I decided to deal with it.

While sober, I realized my body was not lining up with my identity. My identity was male. My body was female. This was, in a sense, killing me. It's a very hard thing to get across to someone who doesn't have this problem, but just imagine for a minute that your body isn't yours. That your genitals are those of the other gender. That you hate getting naked, that you hate touching yourself and, even worse, having someone touch you. The fear of someone saying something. The fear of being. All of these things I lived with most of my life. The hate and disgust of my body.

Then one day I woke up in a new body. One that resembled G.I. Joe. The one I always dreamed of. It was a fucking miracle. I am not kidding—it was a miracle that I will never forget. I remember this day so vividly because it's the day that forever changed the way I felt and connected to my body. And that was because I woke up horny and wanted to jerk off. So that's what I did.

When I jerked off, I usually just rubbed on my clit, and because of the use of testosterone, my clit had become very enlarged—sort of like a small penis—and it was supersensitive to touch. While rubbing my clit, somehow my hand found its way to the opening of my vagina, my hole. I had never been comfortable touching that area of my vagina before. But this morning for some reason I was drawn to that part of my genitalia. It kind of felt like it was sucking me in without warning. It just all happened so naturally and without any hesitation. Next thing I knew, my hand was penetrating my vagina and I was having the most intense and insane feeling I had ever felt in my body. I realized that I was having an orgasm from penetration. It was like nothing I had ever experienced sexually in my life. The clouds parted!

In that moment, I knew that I had finally connected with my body. It was like my body was telling me that I was okay. That I could have this vagina and still be a man. That enjoying my vagina sexually was up to me and no one else. That I didn't have to be ashamed of myself anymore. Those feelings came to me the first time I penetrated myself, the first time I was honest with myself. The first time I really learned to love myself.