My Nipples’ Journey To Pleasure
By JD Davids (he/him) | Crankyqueer.com
It’s been many years since I’ve been living a beautifully-liberated life as a sexually-active queer and trans person. Yet, it wasn’t until after major chronic illnesses, the birth of my child in my 40s, and unpredicted body changes from gender-confirming hormones that I finally threw off the restrictions of gendered ideas and embraced my body as perfect, exactly the way it is. Now, I allow myself embodied pleasure as a sexual being, regardless of gendered notions.
As far back as I can remember, I felt like there was something wrong about me -- and my body was the proof. The other kids seemed healthier, more sturdy, and athletic. I was sickly, small, and slow.
The girls acted like experts in their gender -- I felt like an imposter studying them from a distance. I would find them attractive, mysterious, intimidating, or sometimes all three at once. In many ways, I was just another white kid in the community, but also my family was Jewish, a word that I instinctively knew I shouldn’t say out loud.
Yet even as a misfit, I had so much desire. I was hungry for being wanted. I craved attention. I dreamed of breaking my leg so others would crowd around me, asking what happened and vying for the chance to sign my cast. I did have one or two friends, but I wanted to be adored by the masses.
It was the 70s so both me and my younger brother had long hair going in our eyes. My brother would get mistaken for a girl, and I would be addressed as a boy. In third grade, someone said, “I know what you are -- you’re a tomboy! That’s a girl who wants to be a boy.” I remember being filled with pleasure without knowing why. I was elated; a reality had been named. But soon enough, the delight of being seen was buried under shame and self-doubt.
In adolescence, I became even more determined to become a real girl, and even more frustrated at lacking what seemed like the basics of the gender. I understood succeeding in my gender as being pretty, popular, and sexually desirable. Yet, I would find joy in secretly dressing up in clothes from both sides of my parents’ closet, and simultaneously feel at fault for doing gender so wrong. It felt like I was getting further from the goal, and the proof was right there on my chest. Going through puberty, I had very small breasts; never outgrowing the ugly training bra that I got at 13. Now, everyone could see how much I had failed at gender.
When I figured out that what boys and men around me cared most about was easy access, I set out to make myself very accessible and ended up having a lot of sex. Pleasure was more about validation of my desirability and not so much about the quick acts themselves.
At 22, I realized I was queer and it felt like the sun came out and never went behind a cloud again. I relished my butch identity. My boyish chest suddenly became an asset, though one that generally remained untouched. Experiencing pleasure from my sensitive nipples and breasts was off the menu now. I was in control of my body and identity, but I still had rigid ideas of what affirmed or diminished my gender.
Later when I began identifying as trans masculine, I didn’t pursue top surgery. Putting on a binder hardly changed my appearance. I enjoyed what felt like getting a free ride in gender transition. So I kept my t-shirt and boots on during sex to reinforce this self-image.
When I gave birth to my child in my early 40s, my breasts swelled and my nipples became a source of nourishment to my rapidly-growing baby. I was proud to be a trans masculine gestational parent, and nursed my kid for seven months till I had to stop due to starting medication for a worsening chronic illness.
My nipples stayed larger and felt incredible during sex. I saw them in a different light: as a powerful force of life and pleasure that transcended gender roles. For the first time in decades, my nipples went back on the featured menu for partnered and solo sex. Having had gone through years of mounting chronic illness and relationship turmoil, being able to have affirming sex felt crucial to my well-being.
A year later, I started testosterone and was looking forward to the coming changes to my gender presentation. Soon, my voice deepened, my clit grew into a very eager little cock, and my nipples became a primary source of sexual pleasure! It felt, and feels, extremely queer to have masculinizing hormones make my chest and nipples a peak feature of my sexuality.
Today, sex and kink are central parts of my self-care as a disabled, chronically-ill person. My life, health, and pleasure are beautiful precious things, and too important to sacrifice to binary gender assumptions. My body is all good, all true, and all mine to use and share as I desire.