tagReviews & EssaysShemales: An Appreciation Pt. 02

Shemales: An Appreciation Pt. 02

byCal Y. Pygia©

Similarities may be overlooked, but differences demand explanation. In a patriarchal society, wherein men rule, it is men who must explain women, not women who must explain men, and, since men regard themselves as normative, women are considered to be aberrational. In the Western world, until about 100 years ago, women were explained as inferior, weaker versions of men—as pale imitations, as it were, of their betters, or, as Sigmund Freud would have it, as castrated males possessed of "penis envy."

It has been said that it is the winners, not the losers, of military campaigns who write their nation's history. Likewise, it is the ruler, not the ruled, who defines (or assigns) the meanings and values of persons, places, and things in their societies. It hardly needs to be mentioned that, in defining such meanings and values, those who do so do so according to their own purposes. Men have defined women as providers of pleasure, as domestic servants, and as bodies upon whom they may beget children—usually, in this order. To hear men tell it, women have breasts primarily for men's benefit, as means by which to provide them with pleasure, and only secondarily to suckle infants. Likewise, women's vaginas are not for the purpose—at least, not primarily—of incubating babies, but for the same purpose as the anus, the hands, and the mouth, which is to say, again, to pleasure men. In the final analysis, to be female (or, at least, feminine)—and one may be feminine without being a woman—is to be fucked, as I suggest in my short story "Transformation," is to be fucked.

Shemales (by which term, as I use it, I mean "chicks with dicks," that is, male-to-female transsexuals who, having otherwise completely feminized themselves, opt to retain their male genitals rather than to undergo sex-reassignment surgery) offer an opportunity to even more drastically separate women—or man-made women (the impulse to create the perfect woman, which is to say a man-made woman, remains as strong, or stronger, today as it was when it inspired Pygmalion to carve Galatea)—from her biological, or reproductive, function. By dispensing with the very possibilities of impregnation, conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, men, in fashioning for themselves shemales as sexual playmates, reduce such man-made women purely to the vehicles of their own pleasure (and, perhaps, domestic service). As I argue in part one of this series, divorcing females—or, rather, shemales—from procreation has proven very popular among men, because the impossibility of impregnating them relieves men of the burdens of fatherhood while, at the same time, allowing them the pleasures of sex.

Shemales, unable to bear children, offer other pleasures beyond those which they provide by the use of their anuses, rectums, mouths, penises, and hands. They are also, even more than women (who, after all, can be impregnated), vehicles by which, and upon which, men can express the superiority that they have claimed to have until a century or so ago (and often continue to claim to have, even if only to themselves). By relegating shemales to the role of being but providers of sexual pleasure (and, perhaps, domestic service), men, both symbolically (or socially) and literally (or sexually) elevate themselves to the superior status exhibited by their own power and authority in society and the relative powerlessness and submissiveness of the vanquished "other," the shemale herself.

In connection with this thought, it is interesting that, despite the shemale's retention of her male genitals, she is defined as a woman (or a man-made woman) in accordance with her possession of artificially acquired secondary sexual characteristics—essentially, besides her feminine appearance and behavior, her artificial breasts. This definition of her as female (or, at least, feminine) by her secondary sexual characteristics is not as odd, actually, as it may first seem, for, throughout history, whenever a crossing of boundaries has occurred between the powerful and the powerless, rulers have defined those whom they regard as hybrids of superiors and inferiors in terms of the inferior group's attributes. For example, products of sexual liaisons between whites and blacks are regarded as "mulattos," "high yellows," or "blacks," but never as whites, just as the offspring of white and Native American, or Indian, couplings were considered to be "half breeds" or "Indians," but never whites. The same tendency is discernable in characterizing shemales as female despite their lack of vaginas and their possession of penises and testicles. This characterization clearly marks shemales (like females) as being inferior to males. Again, in a patriarchal society, men rule, and they determine, consequently, what meaning and value both they and others shall have. Male is the normative model; females, genetic and man-made, are aberrations—inferior, weaker pale imitations of men.

With procreation denied them, shemales are useful to men in another way. They are vehicles by which men exhibit their strength, power, virility, dominance, and masculinity, because only one partner may enter the other, and, of course, in sex, penetration has long signified superiority because, between male and female partners, it is the male who penetrates and the inferior, weaker, aberrational female (or shemale) who is penetrated. To penetrate a person with a penis, even one who has breasts and is considered to be feminine, if not exactly female, is to deny him (or "her") the natural use of his own penis as a penetrating, impregnating organ—in other words, it is not only to feminize him, but also to neuter, or unman, him. Taking the remnant of a man's masculinity is a conquest of him by means of a symbolic castration—even when, as a shemale, he (or "she") is already regarded as feminine. For men who seek empowerment (or the seal of empowerment), anal sex with a man-made woman is sexy, indeed.

Women are supposed to be fucked. The very essence of being a woman is to be fucked, and not only fucked but transformed by being fucked, that is, to be made pregnant, so that her belly swells with child, and she becomes a mother (and not any longer merely a lover). The essence of men, therefore, is to fuck, and, thereby, to deliver the seed by which a woman is impregnated. This essential difference between men and women remains even when procreation is seen as alternative and secondary to pleasure as the purpose of heterosexual sex.

However, this distinction, fundamental as it is, does not apply between males and shemales, because shemales, lacking vaginas, are not really women at all; at best, they are wannabe women, or artificial, man-made women, flesh-and-blood Galateas. Therefore, although heterosexual sex can end in pregnancy, homosexual sex between a male and a shemale cannot. Denied the essential attribute of womanhood, a shemale's own womanhood is repudiated, and she is shown to be "male," and not "she," after all, appearances to the contrary, which is why, of course, shemales are grouped among gays. Their sexuality, like their identity, is based upon pretense, their own and society's, that they are truly women, despite the technological (chemical and surgical) and the cultural (learned) means of their supposed transformation into "women." To be a woman, one must be a woman born, not made. When it comes to the ultimate test of womanhood, which is the ability to be not merely penetrated, but impregnated, shemales fail at being female. The pretense breaks down. They can be feminine, but they cannot be female. Gender, not sex, is allowed to them.

If, in the final analysis, shemales are not really "chicks with dicks" but are, rather, "dudes with boobs," their erotic appeal lies, perhaps, in their willingness to be regarded as women, rather than as men; in their casting off, so to speak, the mantle of masculinity in favor of the mantle of femininity; of their voluntary subjugation of themselves to the power and authority of men who, in a patriarchal society, rule, for, in doing so, they willingly, of their own accord, accept the meaning and valuation that are otherwise reserved by men for women. They make of themselves the very image of womanhood that men define as meaningful and valuable (to men themselves, at least, if not to women per se). When sex is more a matter of empowering oneself at the expense of another (as, for the most part, it is, when procreation is set aside as unimportant or irrelevant), such a devaluation of oneself is prized by those who seek to exhibit their power, and such a willingness to become weak and inferior is, in short, another reason that many men find shemales so damned sexy. (And, of course, there's neither pregnancy nor menstruation to interrupt one's pleasure.)

Still, shemale are damned hot for yet another, perhaps more profound, reason, which I shall take up in the next installment of this series.

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