FTM Bottom Dysphoria: Strategies for Coping
Listening to conversations on bottom dysphoria among trans men, one thing rarely mentioned is the battle of reconciling the desire to take up a male form with the reality of how testosterone alters the genitals.
Although each trans man’s story is unique, there is a high chance that most of them have experienced bottom dysphoria at one point in their transitioning journey, which is why this discomfort is worth acknowledging.
In this article, we discuss more about bottom dysphoria, highlighting its symptoms and the different types there are.
We also delve into the different ways to deal with it and answer a few FAQs. Read on!
What Is Bottom Dysphoria?
To answer this question, it is crucial to emphasize that while gender and FTM bottom dysphoria are terms often used interchangeably, they aren’t the same.
The main difference between these terms is that gender dysphoria focuses on general gender identity.
This means that as a trans man with gender dysphoria, you may feel alien in your own body due to not identifying with your assigned sex–male/female–at birth.
Bottom dysphoria, conversely, is only focused on the genitalia and intimacy issues.
Simply put, it is the discomfort that a trans man may feel because the genitalia you have does not match the gender you identify with.
Learn more : What is FTM Bottom Dysphoria?
Symptoms of Bottom Dysphoria.
In addition to feeling misaligned with their assigned sex at birth, persons experiencing bottom dysphoria are often overcome by a sense of dislike and hatred for their social sex or anatomical characteristics and long to have different sex characteristics.
These feelings may manifest as discomfort in your body, a lack of self-recognition, and social anxiety resulting from other people’s assumptions about your gender.
You may also feel disconnected from the mannerisms, dressing, and expectations of your assigned gender and develop a strong dislike for your genitalia and an extreme urge to self-harm.
Often, these feelings are accompanied by sadness, anger, and an urge to isolate yourself from your loved ones.
Types of Gender Dysphoria
Besides bottom dysphoria, other types of gender dysphoria that can affect trans men are voice, height, and chest disorders.
● Height Dysphoria
Height dysphoria is a feeling that something is wrong with your height. You may feel like you are too tall or too short.
For trans men, this directly relates to societal gender-specific expectations. Cisgender men are expected to be tall, while women are expected to be shorter.
Males that transition to females are usually taller, and this disparity can make trans men uncomfortable.
If you are so conscious about your height, there are leg-lengthening surgeries you could opt for, but they are costly and risky.
Some of the ways your doctor may recommend to cope with height dysphoria include:
a.Going People Watching
Go to a public place like a mall or nightclub where everyone is going about their everyday lives.
While there, observe the diversity of the bodies and how much more colorful variety makes life.
You will notice that there are lots of men that are short and women that are tall, which is okay.
Being in touch with the reality of body diversity instead of struggling to live up to societal norms will help reprogram your brain.
b.Talking to a Professional
It helps to seek a therapist’s help to address your height dysphoria throughout your transition.
You should, however, be wary of persons offering conversion therapy as it is an unethical program.
c.Find a Trans Community
In addition to seeking professional help, talking with other people going through the same thing can be affirming.
Peer support groups instill a sense of shared experience and offer validation to help you get through your discomfort.
● Voice Dysphoria
Often, a person’s voice is a significant identifier of their gender.
Hence, voice dysphoria makes it hard for trans men to communicate as they aren’t perceived as the gender they identify with.
As a result, they may feel stressed or anxious whenever they need to speak up and may prefer not to go out at all.
Developing a natural-sounding voice matching your gender expression can help improve your quality of life.
Doing so with the assistance of a professional addresses various communication variables and lessens the risk of damaging the vocal fold tissues.
However, if speech therapy fails, consider other options, such as hormone therapy and thyroplasty type III.
● Chest Dysphoria
Trans masculine persons may also experience discomfort and distress from unwanted breast development, causing them to explore masculinizing chest surgery (MCS) options, including FTM top surgery.
FTM top surgery is a procedure that aims at creating a more masculine-presenting chest in trans men.
The surgery could help alleviate gender dysphoria and prevent complications associated with chest binding.
During the procedure, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon removes both breasts and eliminates excess skin surrounding your breasts.
They then reposition your nipple and make any other necessary changes, leaving a natural flat chest.
How to Deal With Dysphoria?
From strategies for coping in the moment to long-term solutions and treatments, here are some ways to help you deal with gender dysphoria as a trans man:
● Have a Safe Space
Recent research indicates that having a safe space can prevent gender dysphoria from escalating.
This could be your home, where you allow yourself to be open and vulnerable.
● Seek Professional Help
It is worth mentioning that mental health control makes up a significant portion of dealing with gender dysphoria.
So, if you ever feel overwhelmed, there are several progressive gender dysphoria therapists that you can open up to.
● Get a Hobby or Volunteer
Keeping yourself busy could help take your mind off some things, improving its state.
Interacting with others during these activities also reduces social dysphoria.
● Avoid Triggers
Another way of dealing with gender dysphoria is by avoiding unpleasant situations that could trigger you.
Once you understand that your mental health always comes first, you will learn to remove yourself from unsafe or triggering situations.
What’s more? You can always stop relating to and interacting with people who do not respect your identity.
● Join Self-Help Groups
These give you a sense of community and are a great way to meet like-minded individuals.
If you do not have a safe space at home, your self-help group can be it. Here, you get to express your identity and feel more like yourself.
Bottom dysphoria is a common plight among trans men; if you are experiencing it, it will help to know that you are not alone.
The good news, however, is that there are several ways to cope with and even alleviate it.
By acknowledging your emotions, dressing in outfits that affirm your gender, and enrolling for body and voice training sessions, you can improve how you feel about yourself.
Bottom Dysphoria FAQs
● Is Bottom Dysphoria Recognized as a Medical Condition?
No. On its own, bottom dysphoria isn’t recognized as a medical condition like gender dysphoria.
Rather, it is considered an aspect of gender dysphoria.
● Can Bottom Dysphoria Change Over Time?
Yes. Like other gender dysphoria aspects, bottom dysphoria can change over time.
Its manifestations and intensity, however, may vary from one individual to another.
● How Does Bottom Dysphoria Affect Transgender Individuals?
It may cause anxiety and discomfort as a person feels disconnected from their assigned gender.
They may feel an extreme dislike for their genitals and may even self-harm.
● Are There Support Groups or Communities for Individuals With Bottom Dysphoria?
Yes. If you scour the internet, you will discover the thousands of physical and virtual communities that connect people experiencing bottom dysphoria.
For example, the Los Angeles gender center,