Uncut Jems: How Erotica Became Part of My Gender Journey

by Dev Ramsawakh

At the very end of last year, I began a testosterone microdose regimen as part of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as a transmasculine person. I had been anxious about starting HRT for a few years, not really sure how I would finally react to changes in my body. But boy, was I not prepared for the extremes of my newly bolstered libido. 

I am horny nearly all of the time, and there are a lot of ways porn just doesn’t cut it for me. In my experience, even with “diverse” porn, the bodies are all abled and cisgender, performing gender and using language that just doesn’t relate to me, or that actively makes me feel dysphoric. 

So I returned to my smutty roots and started to write erotica again. 

As a writer, it was something I dabbled in from my adolescence into young adulthood. I was an avid reader of and regular visitor to Literotica.com, where I could find stories that lingered on the parts of sex I was truly interested in. The jump to writing it was really a logical step, the return to it in my testosterone-induced heat was another.

My increase in libido is directly related to the changes happening in my body. I’m arush with hormones that are affecting my facial hair, voice, the shape of my body, emotions and my clitoris. While I have been impatiently waiting for these changes for months, if not years, they’re still scary to go through. Especially as a person who was often perceived as an attractive cisgender woman. Would I still be attractive? Would I like the changes once they were here? And being non-binary, my gender transition goals aren’t within the norms of conventional beauty. Then add the shame and anxiety I can feel around sex as a disabled person. 

Erotica has allowed me a space where I can explore these changes through the lens of pleasure. I can describe parts of my body that are going through changes. I can describe them experiencing pleasure. They can even be the subject of desire to someone else. I can incorporate these changes, in my mind, with the idea of being touched or kissed tenderly and passionately, of being desirable in the state that I am in. I can be safe from microaggressions and saved from having to educate somebody else on how to name parts of my body, or what parts of me I don’t want attention drawn towards. 

Besides, there are some fantasies – like consensual non-consent, exhibitionism, or even hentai-inspired tentacle monster sex – that aren’t practical to coordinate in real life without a trusted partner, especially within the confines of a pandemic. It’s not always easy to find someone who can meet the communication and safety needs to satiate those fantasies, and someone you can trust to keep your safety a priority. But I can write out exactly the parts of the fantasy that bring me pleasure, without putting myself at risk. 

I can slip into a fantasy, and see where it takes me. Sometimes I start with the act that I want to perform and try to figure out how — as well as where and with whom — it would happen. Sometimes I have the setting or the characters, and I take my time imagining how the situation would play out and how everything would feel. Sometimes trying to describe the tiny details of the pleasure I imagine helps me to understand what about the act I enjoy or want so I’m better able to communicate it to partners or find alternative methods to satisfy them.

I’ve written before about the literary value of erotica, but on a more personal level, erotica has been healing and a safe space to explore my sexuality across all my intersecting identities. For others, it can help improve communicating your desires. Or, it can be fun to explore fantasies that you may not actually want to play out in real life. There is a lot to be valued in getting creative with sexuality by writing erotica. 

Dev Ramsawakh is a disabled, non-binary, Indo-Caribbean-Canadian multidisciplinary producer whose work focuses on their intersecting identities. They are a writer, a podcaster and audio engineer, filmmaker, educator, model and horror aficionado, and their work has been published on Chatelaine, CBC, them and Xtra, among others. Follow Dev on Twitter and TikTok @merkyywaters and on Instagram @merkyy_waters, or find more of their work on their website IndivisibleWriting.com.