Tag Archives: sex

Cognitive Dissonance and Transgender/Transsex

cognitive dissonanceCognitive Dissonance is the feeling of discomfort we get when what we perceive clashes with our expectations. We all walk around in a mental model of the world. That should be obvious. But this is an immensely sophisticated system. When you enter a space for the first time your eyes target the most important elements and your mind blocks in the rest. As the moments pass, in response to sensory stimuli, the less critical areas are built up in your mental model in much the same way a as a computer works ‘in the background’

This process relies on assumptions that are made at a cognitive level. The sky is blue. I can measure that by using a type of light meter called a colour temperature meter. So while I cannot know how you perceive blue, I do know that whatever blue looks like in your head, the sky is that colour and we can agree on it.

What if you walked outside and the sky was yellow? I’m not talking about some beautiful sunset, just the regular sky. Ten minutes ago it was blue, now it’s yellow. What do you think of that?

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Brain Sex?

brain sex skull
Pic: Rod Fleming

Brain Sex? What is that? Some sort of cyber-intercourse?

No. ‘Brain sex’ is how many transgender activists explain how their condition came about. They specifically say that, ‘Transgender occurs when an individual of one sex has certain sex-related structures in the brain that are typical of the opposite sex.’

In other words, according to this notion, ‘brain sex’ is a physical condition and not a psychological one. Putting that more technically, what is being claimed is that what they call ‘transgender’ — not a scientific term — is caused by a form of intersexuality that is localised in the brain. This is ‘brain sex’. However, physical heteromorphism of this type should be observable. So is it?

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Originally posted 2017-08-01 11:27:00.

Matriarchy is not what feminists think it is

matriarchy in the philippines pic
Pic: Rod Fleming

Western feminists, for over half a century, have argued that gender itself has been the fundamental  agent of women’s oppression. The solution often claimed, is to establish a matriarchy. But very few understand what a matriarchy really is.

Where society was based on forms of meritocracy — often on the power to make financial profit — artificial barriers that might exist in less fluid societies could be broken down by women excelling and so they could rise in the culture.

a kiss for christmas

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Originally posted 2016-09-09 13:34:56.

Kathoey: Thailand’s Trans Sirens

kathoey phuketPhuket, Thailand. Midnight: Bangla Road is packed with tourists. They’re mostly Westerners and Russians, but many Asians and a smattering of Indians. There seems a disproportionate number of unattached males. The music is very loud, and throbbing. Outside the bars, on elevated stages, Thai girls are dancing provocatively. They’re tall, fantastically beautiful, and seductive. They look, and move, like supermodels, but with better bodies. Then you realise: there are other Thai women here too, but they’re short, cute and pretty, not at all statuesque or magnificent. Alongside  the kathoey, Thailand’s famous trans women, they are all but invisible, like candles next to a searchlight. It’s easy to see who has the attention of the gathered men.

On stage, one girl rolls her dress down to her hips so that her naked breasts and torso – she sports a delicate dragon tattoo on her back – are shown off, as she wriggles to the thrumming techno. Her body is as flawless as a Greek goddess’ and her dance mesmerising as a Siren’s: you just can’t help but watch and smile at her exquisite insouciance.

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Originally posted 2015-06-20 13:20:44.

Tele-series, ladyboys and love

tele-series white wedding
The dream of every ladyboy — the white wedding to the perfect Life Partner. Pic: Rod Fleming

March 2016. Jelly I are sharing a studio condo in Maybunga, in Pasig City, Metro Manila. Previously we were in a larger condo and things were much easier. Now the place is like a pressure-cooker.

As ever the television goes on after our morning sex session. This is when I usually try to work and it appears that Jelly has hearing difficulties.

The diet is monotonous. At noon, it’s Showtime, a variety revue hosted by Vice Ganda, a well-known gay performer. Needless to say, Jelly is mesmerised, smiling. There is nothing coming out of the television – even though the volume is full blast. It’s like an anaesthetic.

Curiously, I am reminded of Grampian Television’s ‘One o’Clock Gang’, hosted by Larry Marshall, that was the daily accompaniment to lunch when I was a child. It shows the depth of the penetration; that was 50 years ago and I can still see the faces of Marshall and Andy Stewart in flickering 405-line black and white.


Nothing has changed; The One o’Clock Gang has emigrated and transmogrified into ‘Eat Bulaga’ and ‘Showtime’. But Showtime has a trans anchor. It’s a killer selling point.

The real televisual clue to the lives of ladyboys, however, is in the ‘tele-series’.

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Originally posted 2017-09-11 19:54:09.

Transsexualism: A position statement

transsexualism-manilaMany people don’t quite understand my position on transsexualism, which is fair enough because I have never stated what that position might be. I have been asked why I talk so much about transsexualism here, in general writing  and on my YouTube Channel. So here we go.

My background is in photography and journalism. I had a scientific education but was always propelled towards practicality, so I studied things that could make money, like photography and journalism (duuh.)  I did consider reading English but then discovered that this was a pathway into academic insanity and it is not  a reliable route into journalism (if you want to be a journalist, study a subject of public interest, like politics, economics, law, medicine…not English. They all assume literacy and if you can’t write to the style of the New York Times, with a reading age of 13, you are too challenged to be a journo.)

I have always been interested in human sexuality, since the time I was at Art School. This was because there, I was exposed to a myriad of different ones. People today forget how open the culture, at least in Scotland, was in the 1980s. New Romance was the big thing, everybody wore mascara and it was rightly called the ‘gayest era ever.’

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Moser’s mischievous intervention.

mischievous mayhemIn 2009 Dr Charles Moser entered the discussion about Blanchard’s Typology of transsexualism. It is worth revisiting Moser because his mischievous intervention not only hindered the progress of the science of transsexualism, but damaged some people, while favouring others.

As you may know, Blanchard separates male-to-feminine (MtF) transsexuals into those attracted to their own sex from their earliest arousal, and those who are either not attracted to their own birth sex or who develop such an attraction, usually partially, in later life. These are called, using Blanchard’s terminology, ‘HomoSexual Transsexuals’ or HSTS and ‘Autogynephilic Transsexuals’ or AGPs. (We will later quote studies that call the latter ‘non-homosexual’.)


Blanchard’s underlying thesis is that both these forms of transsexualism are stimulated by male sex drive. MtF HSTS are, essentially, seen as extremely feminine homosexual males. This is relatively easy to understand and this type was formerly known as the ‘Primary’ or ‘True’ type. The other type is much more complex and shares an aetiology with fetishistic cross-dressing men. These individuals are romantically or sexually attracted to themselves, but as women.

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Originally posted 2017-09-10 12:28:09.

Sexuality, Lies and Gender Identity

sexuality lies gender Rod Fleming's WorldThere was a time when I, as so many now seem to profess to do, accepted that sexuality and sex were distinct from each other. Time and examination have since led me to a different understanding.

In general terms, when we are dealing with a natal sex binary (male/female) and without the influence of transsexualism, that premise is true.  The fact that one is male or female is no determinant of a person’s sexuality. There are no shortages of homosexual and bisexual males and females and there seems to be no physical determining factor in either biological sex as to what makes someone gay or bi.

The introduction of transsexualism, though, brings a new dynamic into play when considering the sexuality of both of the transsexual themselves and their partner in relation to their natal sexes.

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Not Men: bekis in the Philippines

not men phils - Rod Fleming's World
Pic: Rod Fleming

Social division into ‘men’ and ‘not men’ groups, together with a domestic matriarchy, explains why transsexual expressions in SE Asia differ from the West.

Male to Female transsexuals are normally scientifically categorised as homosexual or nonhomosexual with regard to their birth sex. I use the term HSTS for the former. Blanchard explained the latter in terms of autogynephilia, love of oneself as a woman. These we term autogynephiles or AGPs. There is a discrepancy, between the West and Asia, however. Whereas in the West, most AGPs are older and about 60% seek relationships with women, most AGPs in Asia transition much younger and are almost exclusively attracted to men. Why is this happening?

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Body-type clustering in HSTS and AGP groups

hsts agp different rod fleming's worldMuch has made about the differences between autogynephilic transvestites (AGP) and homosexual transsexuals (HSTS). However, most of this work remains largely clinical and as such, it fails to connect to the sympathies of the public. An exception to this of course being J. Michael Bailey’s The Man who would be Queen, an almost pop-science interpretation of the data on transsexualism. Even this, despite being a nice read, is written from the perspective of a researcher. What I am getting at, if not already obvious, is that not much is written from the perspective of HSTS women.

I am an HSTS woman, and was invited by Rod to write a piece or two based on my experiences. I don’t usually get to share these with other people, and I thought this a good opportunity. I won’t get into much about my childhood — after you’ve heard a couple of HSTS’ childhood remembrances, you’ve pretty much heard them all — but I will give some basics.

Continue reading Body-type clustering in HSTS and AGP groups

Originally posted 2017-08-29 18:01:06.