The following is reprinted from the “Savage Love” column where Dan Savage quoted Dr. Tiger:
October 5, 2011
by DAN SAVAGE
I am an 18-year-old straight male. I have a hodgepodge of birth defects that affect my genitalia: severe hypospadias (my urethra—my piss slit—is at the base of my penis), micropenis (less than two inches), and anorchia (I was born without testes). I have never been naked around anyone else. I don’t really like being naked by myself, to be honest.
Lately, my sex drive has skyrocketed. It is driving me up the wall. Couple this with the fact that women see me as attractive, and I’m not doing well. Sexual situations are presenting themselves to me and there’s nothing I can do. I’ve recently started college, and it’s endlessly frustrating to see my friends having relationships and being sexually active. I know that casual sex/flings will never be an option for me, but I am dying over here!
“His story is one that is very familiar to us,” says Tiger Howard Devore, vice president of the Hypospadias and Epispadias Association (HEA). “He should know that he is not rare and many with his kind of genital difference have learned how to communicate about their difference to potential intimate partners.”
You’re right, MUJ: Casual sex/flings—shucking off your clothes and jumping into bed with a girl you’ve just met—may never be an option for you. But you know what? Drunken college hookups last an hour or two, while the communication skills you’re going to have to develop to navigate your sex life will last a lifetime.
And you will have a sex life, MUJ, and there is a lot you can do. There are women out there who prefer tongues, toys, and touch to vaginal penetration. On the Savage Lovecast, I took a call from a woman who was worried she would never find a partner because, although she enjoys other kinds of sex, she’s physically incapable of vaginal intercourse; there’s a new dating website for straight men and women “who cannot engage in sexual intercourse” (www.2date4love.com); and if you fall in love with a woman who enjoys vaginal intercourse, sex shops sell strap-on dildos to men, too.
In short, MUJ, you have options. You also have role models.
“One of the most validating and reassuring experiences someone with genital difference can have,” says Devore, “is to meet with others who share their birth history and have dealt with the same issues of self-acceptance, shame, and isolation, and the challenge of intimate relationships.”
HEA hosts an annual conference and it’s coming up, MUJ. If you can get your ass to Chicago over the weekend of October 21–23, I strongly encourage you to attend HEA 2011.
“Connecting with others who share his difference is the best way to end his isolation and begin his healing,” says Devore. “At the conference, he’ll get expert information from doctors and psychologists, and he’ll meet men who have grown up just like him and have faced the same fears and overcome them.”
HEA offers financial aid to men who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend—an experience that is life changing and, in some cases, life saving—and I’ve made a donation so more men with hypospadias can attend this year. I’m encouraging my readers to do the same: www.heainfo.org/Donate.html.