Gender dysphoria is a relatively new concept describing a quite common phenomenon – feeling that your physically assigned gender is not the one you are identifying yourself with.
Gender identity issues are researched and discussed for decades already, but only in recent years this topic became socially acceptable and discussed openly. Before this – gender identity crises were often diagnosed as some type of disorder and suppressed with medicine, without even properly examining the so-called patient.
What is more, society's attitude towards this phenomenon was negative, due to the lack of information and open discussion. However, this concept in recent decades is becoming one of the most relevant and controversial topics discussed worldwide.
Many different opinions and theories are surrounding the gender dysphoria concept, but all of them agree on one thing – it is an important topic and it cannot be ignored anymore.
Table of contents
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- GENDER DYSPHORIA AND TRANSPHOBIA
- BOTTOM DYSPHORIA AND EMISIL MISSION
- HOW TO DEAL WITH DYSPHORIA FTM DAILY?
- BEST WAYS TO ALLEVIATE FTM BOTTOM DYSPHORIA
- HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY FOR TRANSGENDER FEMALE TO MALE & OTHER MEDICINE
- TESTOSTERONE THERAPY: WHAT, WHERE, AND HOW?
- Pills, or capsules
- DHT gel, or DHT cream
- Testosterone patch
- Testosterone pallet
- BODY CHANGES: FTM TRANSITION TIMELINE
- IN CASE YOUR PERIOD RETURNS
- FTM AND INTIMACY: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW?
Gender dysphoria and transphobia
Worldwide research tendencies show that gender dysphoria is experienced by far more people than it could be anticipated. Many people dealing with dysphoria describe it as “being trapped in the wrong body” and in many cases, their feelings are ignored and suppressed. Unfortunately, not facing dysphoria very often causes anxiety, depression, and even suicidal tendencies. These experiences are especially common for female-to-male transgender individuals. According to the raw statistical data, around 70% of FTM individuals are dealing with gender dysphoria and they also have experienced anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. This just proves, that this is a very serious issue and it needs to be destigmatized as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, gender dysphoria is not the only challenge FTM individuals are facing on the daily basis. Although society is becoming more open to understanding what transgender individuals experience, still there are a lot of instances of transphobia occurring daily. Society is yet not fully understanding the concept of gender identity and very often this lack of understanding is transformed into some kind of hate or aggression towards transgender community members.
There multiple cases of transphobia registered every day, some of them include physical injury or even death of the transgender person. For example, last year there were 44 fatalities tracked in the U.S., and this year there are already 17 people who lost their life due to their gender identity. This data only proves, that there is a need to discuss and educate the public about the transgender community issues as well as the concept of gender identity itself.
Transphobia is very well rooted in society, so it is essential to destigmatize and educate youth, as well as to provide enough support for transgender individuals, who require help.
The interest in gender dysphoria and ways to deal with it was growing exponentially for some time already, but throughout the last five years, the interest in this topic spiked noticeably. The increased interest is especially evident in Japan, the US, Canada, UK, and other economically developed countries.
Bottom dysphoria and Emisil mission
We at Emisil are working with the FTM transgender community for over 8 years now, so we are well aware of the rapid changes, which affect the FTM community occurring worldwide. Our clients often open up about the bottom dysphoria they’re experiencing daily, and helping them is a very important part of our company mission. So, what is bottom dysphoria? To answer this question, it is very important to emphasize, that gender dysphoria and FTM bottom dysphoria are not the same things and any transgender individual may experience one or both of them.
The main difference between these two concepts is that gender dysphoria is focused on gender identity in general, meaning you feel an alien in your own body due to being assigned female/male at birth (a.k.a. afab/amab) and you do not identify yourself as female/male, the bottom dysphoria is focused only on the genital area and intimacy issues. In short, bottom dysphoria is the discomfort, which occurs because the genitalia person has does not match their gender identity.
Usually, people experiencing gender dysphoria can separate it into two main issues – body dysphoria and social dysphoria. Body dysphoria is mainly focused on body issues, people feel dissatisfied with their body as it does not match their gender identity. The body dysphoria is usually reduced with the help of binders, medicine, multifunctional FTM packers, or even sex reassignment surgery (female to male) – depending on each individual.
Social dysphoria is a more complex issue psychologically and FTM individuals face it daily. This type of dysphoria is focusing on the gender mismatch in social situations, meaning that in each situation when the individual is misgendered, the wrong pronouns are used or the appearance is commented just increases the social dysphoria feeling, which in time may lead to anxiety, depression and other disorders as well. The feeling of dysphoria does not go away, but with the right combination of therapy and coping mechanisms it can be managed and you can make sure it does not intensify, or lead to any other complex psychological issues.
Statistically, about 70% of people who experience gender dysphoria also are diagnosed with other psychiatric disorders, such as PTSD, depression, various phobias, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many others. If dysphoric people are surrounded by an unsupportive environment or do not feel safe, the chance of additional psychological issues as well as the risk of suicide increases to 57%. This may be explained by the fact, that transgender individuals (both FTM and MTF) are very often subjected to bullying, physical and verbal abuse, discrimination, and social isolation.
Keeping the gender and bottom dysphoria aspects in mind, we at Emisil try to create ultra-realistic packers with different functions and options. Each of our products is handcrafted and custom-designed to make sure it looks and feels very realistic and helps to lessen the bottom dysphoria. We can offer FTM packers, pack and play models, or STP devices – depending on what you are looking for. Many researchers state, that buying the perfect FTM prosthetic is very helpful in lessening the bottom dysphoria and improving the mental state.
♥ Read more: In these US locations people search for "FTM packers" the most
How to deal with dysphoria FTM daily?
Internet and more open discussion about FTM gender dysphoria created a possibility for people with the same struggles to gather and try to find ways to cope with them. With the help of the Internet, qualified specialists, and people with the same struggles, there are quite a few ways on how to lessen bottom dysphoria and decrease the feeling of hopelessness.
Nowadays, there are a lot of books helping to cope with and control dysphoria. What is more, there are also various support groups available and, in some regions, – even the safe space to live can be found with all the necessary support system. Although, there are still many challenges and various societal reactions towards FTM transgender individuals, there is still a significant improvement and acceptance tendency noticeable worldwide. Keeping this in mind, there is hope, that in the next decade the transgender community will have a support system as well as the medical care they deserve.
1. SAFE SPACE AT HOME
If you or someone close to you are experiencing gender dysphoria, please do not ignore it and seek help if possible. Some ways help to cope with the distress and feeling of hopelessness. One of the most important things is finding a safe space for you to be open and vulnerable. In case your close environment (family, home, job, etc.) is not safe, then we strongly suggest finding a safer space if possible. According to recent research, the risk of experiencing severe gender dysphoria and other psychological disorders decreases significantly if a person has a safe space to be at. If a person does not feel safe at home, then we strongly suggest looking for an FTM support group and joining it as soon as possible. The support groups have both live meetings where they can gather and discuss the challenges and achievements eye to eye, and also there are various online support groups or chat rooms available. Online support groups are a very good option if the person is not ready to open up about their gender struggles or their identity.
2. PROFESSIONAL HELP
It is important to mention, that mental state evaluation and control is a very important part of dealing with gender dysphoria. So, if at any moment you feel overwhelmed, we always recommend seeking professional help. There are a lot of progressive and experienced gender dysphoria therapists available and ready to help, so you would need to choose the one which suits your situation best.
Mental health is still stigmatized in society, but this needs to change because various psychological issues are very common among transgender people and if ignored, they become rooted and too complicated to control.
3. HOBBY OR VOLUNTEERING
Another way to reduce gender dysphoria is finding a hobby or volunteering. Studies show, that participating in various group activities, volunteering, or adding a new hobby to your daily routine helps to improve mental state and reduce social dysphoria. It was noticed, that once a person does not focus only on the negative aspects of the gender and find ways to express themselves in other ways, gender dysphoria is noticeably reduced and a person’s mental state improves significantly.
4. AVOIDING TRIGGERS
Another way to alleviate gender dysphoria is trying to avoid unpleasant situations or any triggers. Please understand, that you need to take care of your mental health, so you always have a right to remove yourself from the triggering or unsafe situation. What is more, you also need to remember, that you can always remove people, who do not respect you and your identity from your life or reduce the contact to the minimum.
As FTM individuals very often feel anxiety and other social interaction fears, they sometimes forget, that respect needs to be earned and if you do not feel respected – you have a right to stand up for yourself. Of course, there some situations, where you may face dysphoria triggering situations (for example a hospital, bank, etc.) but these situations can be reduced to a minimum.
5. SELF-HELP GROUPS & FORUMS
Reading self-help groups, finding someone to follow, and creating goals for the future self is also very helpful in trying to maintain a good mental state. It takes time, but usually, people manage to find ways to express their identity and feel more like themselves – for some people it is yoga, makeup, or clothes, for others, it is music, volunteering, etc.
There is no one right way to work through severe gender dysphoria, each person is different, so the methods vary as well. However, please do not forget that changes do not happen overnight, so be patient and go confidently, one step at a time.
Best ways to alleviate FTM bottom dysphoria
Bottom dysphoria is a concept, which sooner or later becomes a daily struggle for every FTM person. Naturally, the severity of this feeling may differ, but every transgender person (afab, or amab – does not matter) face this feeling and try to find ways to cope with it. Multiple resources are explaining why this feeling occurs, but none of the researches offers one universal way to cope with it.
✔️ EMOTIONS ARE IMPORTANT
One of the most important things while dealing with the bottom dysphoria is dealing with your emotions and not suppressing them. It is very important to accept the emotions you are feeling and share them with someone you trust. For some people, this may be a good friend, a support group, a therapist, or a family member.
Others choose to express themselves by writing a journal, posting to various chat groups and forums. Expressing yourself in any way helps to understand the emotions you are feeling and plan other steps for coping with them.
✔️ APPEARANCE HACKS
Another way to feel more like yourself is by changing the appearance accordingly. Changing the wardrobe and hair is proven to be a helpful way to reduce dysphoria. It both helps you to understand and imagine what you are looking for, as well as it helpful for others to understand your gender identity as well. It also helps to create ways to express yourself and not to hide behind a closed door. Today’s fashion trends celebrate all genders, so it is easier to express yourself than a decade or two ago.
✔️ BINDERS & PACKERS
Intimate situations very often become one of the biggest challenges for FTM individuals while experiencing bottom dysphoria. Anatomy of the body sometimes becomes one of the biggest challenges and fighting it is extremely difficult. Therefore, many FTM individuals start using binders, change their wardrobe and use various packers, including our Emisil products.
Selecting the packer is an important mission, as there are multiple options available online. Packers have a few functions, so it is very important for you to understand what you are looking for and select the best product for you. Our advice is not to choose the cheapest option, as the lack of realism may increase the feeling of dysphoria rather than alleviating it. If you have any questions regarding packers, please do not hesitate and contact us, we will be more than happy to help you in choosing the packer suitable for your needs.
✔️ BODY & VOICE TRAINING
Gender dysphoria very often intensifies when a person starts to overthink how they look or mainly focuses on appearance rather than personality. To regain control of the situation, many specialists suggest using body and voice training. It is proven, that with the particular set of exercise and patience, FTM individuals can achieve a very masculine look.
If you decide to start training, then we suggest finding a professional trainer, who would help you with the exercise as well as with tracking your progress. However, if you are not ready for these options, you can always find some programs online.
Please keep in mind, that to achieve the visible results, you will need to train regularly for months. Another plus side – when you work out, your body produces more testosterone, which is crucial while transitioning from female to male. Finally, posture and manners also matter. It is very important to note, that even the way you walk, stand or move may create a more masculine effect. So, we suggest finding time to learn masculine manners.
While body training requires determination and discipline, voice training requires lots and lots of patience. A deeper and lower voice is the goal for every FTM person, so there is a lot of advice about this topic posted on Reddit and other FTM forums. There are also several apps created with the sole purpose to help in voice training. The main advice is to train regularly and be patient because the changes do not happen overnight.
Hormone replacement therapy for transgender female to male & other medicine
A large part of the FTM community members when speaking about their gender identity emphasize, that they more or less knew that they were born in the wrong body from early adolescence. Most of them admit, that they would have liked to start their hormone therapy as early as possible and therefore, they are very happy about the new possibilities for people to start the hormone therapy sooner and easier than a decade ago. Before starting this step of your transition, you need to know, that you need to be 100% sure because once you start hormone therapy, it makes some changes to your body, which cannot be reversed.
First of all, to start hormone replacement therapy you need to have multiple tests done. Usually, the tests consist of all the necessary bloodwork, a physical exam, a detailed overview of your family medical history. Discussing the fertility question, as well as the history of any drug or alcohol abuse as well as any other additional important information. It is very important for you to be open with your doctors about your sexual history and any health issues you have experienced. Only when you are honest, doctors can choose the best action plan for your transition. However, it is equally important to understand, that it takes quite some time to transition from female to male, therefore you will need discipline, a strict routine, and financial stability.
Hormone replacement therapy is prescribed only after evaluating your mental health as well. Therefore, you need to be prepared to discuss your gender dysphoria, any mental health issues, gender identity issues you experience daily, etc. You would also need to express your goals and expectations, as well as your social circle support and risks. Once you pass all the tests and evaluations, you should be cleared to start hormone therapy. Usually, the therapy is started with small doses of testosterone, which are increased exponentially over the next few months, or years. The testosterone can be taken using injections, gel, various patches, pills, or testosterone pellets. The method for each patient is selected, based on the dosage and preferences.
Testosterone therapy: what, where, and how?
Once you decide to start hormone therapy, it is very important to find the best option for your situation. There are several ways of taking testosterone and each of them has its upside and downside. This hormone can be administered via skin using different gels, patches, creams, but it can also be taken in the form of pills or injections. Another, fairly new option is a testosterone pellet, which is implanted under your skin and lasts at least 3-6 months.
This is the most common and time-tested method to receive your testosterone dose regularly. The testosterone injections were approved in 1979 and there is an option to choose the strength of the dosage from two variants.
This method is the fastest way to get your testosterone into your blood circulation system, but it has a downside – the injections need to be administered on a strict timetable, and the injections are not the most pleasant option to choose from.
✔️ PILLS, OR CAPSULES
This method is also one of the most common methods to administer testosterone. The upside of this option is that the dosage can be calculated and easily adjusted. Although it might take longer for your body to get used to the testosterone dosage, as it takes a bit longer to get in your bloodstream, taking a pill is easier than taking injections daily. Also, this option helps you to avoid any misunderstandings about needles, and puncture scars on your body.
The downside of this option is that you need to keep your prescription up to date all the time and visit your doctor more often. Also – strict time planning is essential while taking testosterone pills. One more very important thing – it is crucial to give up alcohol, drugs, or any other substances, otherwise, they can reduce the effects of testosterone, or cause serious health issues.
✔️ DHT GEL, OR DHT CREAM
Testosterone gel is the medication, which is usually administered to the abdomen, shoulder, or upper arm. There are several brands available, however, all of these gels need to be prescribed by the doctor and used according to the prescription.
Please keep in mind, that the gel needs to be applied only on the clean skin and it needs to dry before covering the skin with clothes. Please do not forget to wash your hands after applying the gel.
The testosterone cream works almost identically to the testosterone gel, the only difference is that once you apply the cream, you need to wait at least 90 minutes for it to be absorbed properly.
✔️ TESTOSTERONE PATCH
Recently, one more way of applying testosterone is becoming very popular – it is the testosterone patch. The patches are usually applied every 24 hours. It is very important to keep the patch no longer than 24 hours and remove the older one, before applying the new one.
As the product mainly consists of a high dosage of the hormone, it is very important to apply patches to the different places on your body and do not apply the patch to the same spot twice in one week. You need to give it at least a week to avoid any allergic reaction.
The upside of this option is that it can be easily administered anywhere and is less noticeable and the downside of this method – you have to keep up a very strict routine for it to be effective.
✔️ TESTOSTERONE PELLET
Getting a testosterone pellet is a fairly new option in the market, but so far it is proven to be a quite comfortable option for daily use. The pellet is usually a very small 3x9 mm size piece, which consists of a high dosage of crystalline testosterone, which is slowly released into your bloodstream.
The pallet is usually active 3-6 months and needs to be replaced regularly. The number of pellets, which need to be implanted depends on the prescribed dose of the hormone. The downside of this treatment is the fact, that the pellet needs to be regularly replaced and the procedure is not very pleasant.
The price of the procedure and the pellet is also not available to everyone, unfortunately. Finally, changing the dosage in some cases might be challenging. Despite these downsides, this is a very comfortable option nowadays.
Body changes: FTM transition timeline
Once you start your testosterone therapy, your body immediately starts reacting to the hormone changes.
✔️ NO MORE PERIODS, MUSCLE MASS CHANGE & HAIR GROWTH
The first thing to change is your period disappearing. It is documented that the period stops within 2-6 months of taking the testosterone. The time depends on each patient individually. At the same time, you will also notice an increased facial and body hair growth. Also, your body fat and muscle mass will start to change within 6 months of taking testosterone. If you implement the exercise routine to your daily schedule, you should see some results sooner, while if you leave everything to testosterone – then the full effect will be visible after 2 years of taking the hormone, at least.
✔️ VOICE CHANGE
Another important milestone while taking testosterone is voice change. According to medical research, the voice should get deeper and more masculine after 1 year of taking the Testosterone. The full voice change should happen after 2 years of taking the testosterone, however, as discussed earlier, the FTM transition timeline may be different for each individual.
✔️ BOTTOM CHANGES
Your genitalia should also start changing within 3 months of taking the testosterone. Within 1-2 years of taking the hormone, you should notice the clitoral increase, at the same time the vaginal area should decrease and become less sensitive. Many FTM individuals also choose to use additional medication for FTM genital growth. Usually, people choose DHT gel or cream for this purpose.
There many different brands to choose from, but all of the products work more or less the same – when applied in certain spots, the cream or gel introduces testosterone dose to your bloodstream causing the trans bottom growth.
Although it may sound simple, this process is not that pleasant. People report, that with using topical DHT cream or DHT gel, the FTM testosterone growing pains appear. In various FTM forums users report, that after they start using the cream/gel, they feel discomfort and, in some cases, quite prominent pain in the genital area. Usually, this discomfort disappears after few weeks of using the medicine.
In case your period returns...
Sometimes, even when taking testosterone, the period appears causing a feeling of desperation and triggering the gender dysphoria. So, what to do if this happens? First of all, you need to understand, that sometimes the FTM period on testosterone happens, and being angry is not helpful. Stress, lack of rest, and other factors may cause the period to reappear, so it is better to be ready for when it happens. Please read below a few easy FTM period hacks.
✔️ FIND THE BEST FTM PERIOD PRODUCTS FOR YOU
The first thing you need to do is always be ready and find the best products. There are various options available, so it is your choice what to use. Some people prefer reusable pads, others menstrual cups, or tampons. If you are triggered by the visual reminder of the period, then a tampon or menstrual cup is a better option for you. However, if you dislike the feeling of putting something inside your body – then the pads are the way to go.
✔️ BIRTH CONTROL AS ONE OF THE OPTIONS
Each body experiences the period differently, while some people almost feel nothing, others are fighting a heavy flow and complex period cramps. If you experience these symptoms, the doctor may recommend using hormonal birth control as a way to stop or at least ease the period symptoms. There are multiple choices for hormonal birth control, just do the research and see which option is best for you. This is one of the most popular and successful FTM period hacks so far, but hopefully, in the future, our medicine industry will evolve and create the medication, which will guarantee, that the period will not reappear.
✔️ ACCEPTANCE IS THE KEY
When the period returns, you may feel betrayed by your body, and feel the wave of negative emotions overflowing you at once. Therefore, it is very important to find a way to deal with them and regain control of your body, and mind. During the period, hormones take over your system, so it is crucial to keep yourself grounded.
Self-affirming thoughts and acts are very important during this time. We always recommend dressing to match your gender identity, because the visual look helps to express your true self, especially when the body is not very cooperative. Another important thing is not to forget to be kind to yourself.
Do not pressure yourself, do not overthink the fact that period is back, just try to accept it as a fact and move on. It is also proven, that working out, spending time in the fresh air, and distracting yourself with various activities also helps to keep the balance and avoid bottom dysphoria flare-up. Finally, we suggest keeping track of your period – this way you will be able to physically and mentally prepare and will not feel caught off guard.
✔️ FIND SUPPORT
If you feel, that the emotions are overwhelming and you are losing control, or your dysphoria is getting severe, please do not hesitate and join any FTM support group. There are various FTM support groups available, some of them meet online, so you can join any time. If you feel, that you need a support system or action plan, we always suggest reaching out for professional help.
Transgender support groups online are a safe space for you to express your feelings, fears without feeling embarrassed. There are many groups available depending on your age, situation, or the support you are looking for. Please see below the list of a few trustworthy and professional transgender support groups online:
- Very helpful in every aspect: https://translifeline.org/
- Mainly focused on young people and their support: https://support.therapytribe.com/lgbt-support-group/
- For young people in crisis: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Please do not forget, that all emotions you are feeling are normal, and do not feel embarrassed for your mental state. There is always a solution, you just need to find the best one for you.
FTM and intimacy: what you need to know?
Relationships are complex in general, but if you are an FTM in a relationship, or you are having a relationship with an FTM person, then it gets even more complicated. FTM people very often face various mental health issues, as well as a lack of trust, previous trauma, intimacy issues, etc. Therefore, FTM usually is not in a rush to put themselves in an intimate situation. So, what do you need to do, to get ready for intimacy with your partner? Please read below a few FTM sex tips from us.
1. BUILD THE TRUST
Trusting your partner is the foundation of every relationship, no matter how long it lasts. Therefore, before getting intimate you need to learn to trust yourself, as well as your other half. Before getting intimate, please make sure you feel comfortable with the person.
2. BE OPEN
The researches show, that it is extremely important to be honest with your partner about being FTM, as well as the fact that you are wearing (or not) a packer, so there would not be any surprises. Discuss how you feel about this, also talk about the boundaries to avoid any unpleasant situations. Always inform your partner if something is making you feel uncomfortable, or unsafe. If you are experiencing the bottom dysphoria, also inform your partner, so they would know what you are feeling. It is proven, that a pack and play FTM product can be very helpful in alleviating the bottom dysphoria, as well as helping to make you feel more like yourself. There are some very realistic packers available now, so you can easily live your life to the fullest.
3. STAY SAFE
The most important thing is your health, so no matter the circumstances, always stay safe. We always recommend using condoms during intercourse to avoid any infections or sexually transmitted diseases. Also, if you are using a pack and play FTM packer, please make sure always to use a water-based lubricant as well, to avoid unpleasant friction. After use, always wash it thoroughly to make sure no bacteria are growing on the product.
4. ENJOY IT
The most important thing is to enjoy intimacy with your partner. Make sure you get to know your body and your preferences. The better you know yourself – the better intercourse will be. Do not rush into things you may find uncomfortable and always discuss any changes with your partner and do not forget, that open communication is the key to a successful intimate relationship.
5. FTM PARTNER SUPPORT
If you are looking for the best ways how to support your FTM partner, we have some advice for you. First of all, try to speak honestly about things, that are troubling you. FTM individuals in many cases are overwhelmed with various mental issues, dysphoria aspects, and social norms pressure, so they are not always considering your position in the relationship.
To make sure you have a strong relationship, you need to work through various mental blocks and personality issues. Usually, people find that it is very helpful to participate in various workshops, retreats or programs, where they deal with relationship issues.
If you see, that this is not enough – then we suggest seeking professional help. We suggest a gender dysphoria therapist, who specializes in relationships between partners of all gender identities and they can offer you the best ways of dealing with your relationship problems.
FTM partner support is very important and if you are willing to work towards a better relationship, any FTM person will appreciate it.