Fucking Dysphoria

I stand in front of the full length mirror my Daddy has opposite his spare bedroom. He’s in his office, only a couple of feet away from me, working on something important and grown-up. Sensing me in his periphery, he twirls in his spinny chair and sees me poking at the squishier bits of my body, frowning intently at my reflection.

“Hey,” he says, stern but caring. “Stop that. You’re beautiful.”

Pouting, I ask, “Am I handsome?”

Understanding, he gets out of his chair and moves to stand behind me, putting his big hands over mine – helping me to squash down my chest. “You’re Daddy’s handsome little boy,” he murmurs, kissing my hair. “You’re so cute.”

It doesn’t make the dysphoria go away, but it helps.


Being genderfluid is weird, because sometimes I love my curves. Sometimes I wear things with plunging necklines to highlight my cleavage, or I find the tiniest skirts my local charity shops have to offer, so my butt catches people’s eyes everywhere I go.

Sometimes, though, I hate them.

On those days, it’s hard not to feel hopeless. I know that in a week, or a day, or even a few hours, I’ll swing back around to feeling femme – which means that I don’t consider HRT or top surgery as options for me. I’m even reluctant to bind, worried about harming my breast tissue, making my boobs saggier (as though saggy boobs matter – of course gravity is acting upon them, when they each weigh the same as a small melon). On my masculine-of-centre days, I hate my body, and I hate my changeable identity that leaves altering anything permanently off the table.

 

I only found the vocabulary for my Gender Feelings™ two or three years ago. Before then, I didn’t feel that I had permission use words like ‘dysphoria’, because I believed myself to be cis – just kinda butch, and only engaging selectively with femininity. Being autistic complicated things further – lots of autistic people struggle to perform their assigned gender, or are simply uninterested in it, because performing gender involves understanding a lot of unwritten rules and having half a clue how other people might perceive you. Plus, performing femininity in particular involves a lot of sensory inputs – tight clothing makes me itch like fuck-knows-what, and foundation and concealer make me wish I didn’t have a face at all.

When I came across a definition of the term ‘genderfluid’ after seeing someone identify as such on Tumblr, my first thought was, Wow, I wish I was genderfluid, so I didn’t have to be a girl all the time! It took me an embarrassingly long time to register that that thought alone probably indicated I was genderfluid. If you passionately hate performing your assigned gender and you’re desperately searching for reasons to opt out of it, you might not be cis.

Having a host of sensory sensitivities and a very complex relationship with food and its effects on my body, I had shrugged off the panicky discomfort and bewilderment I felt when I looked in the mirror while presenting femininely. Nobody tells you how dysphoria is supposed to feel, just that it’s bad. Lots of media seems to portray it simply as a longing to look different, but having an eating disorder meant that I couldn’t find the source of my desire to be flat-chested and without hips.

It took me maybe a year to piece together my Gender Feelings™ into a coherent identity. I tagged my selfies on Tumblr as ‘they/them’ to see how it felt; it turns out I liked it a great deal more than ‘she/her’, which felt clunky, like a pair of shoes the wrong size. I borrowed clothes from my boyfriend at the time; he was six foot something, so they all swamped me, and I found I loved the invisibility it granted my boobs, with my little arms sticking out of sleeves and fabric draped over my arse.

At some point, I came across Bex (of the Dildorks, whose work I link to a lot in my posts), who was transmasculine and who was just starting to take testosterone as I was discovering their online presence. Looking at (and crushing on) people like Bex, who were wearing shorts and didn’t have enormous bushy beards and six-packs, I realised that I’d been buying into the same narrow, cis and heterocentric, and outright damaging ideals of masculinity that I would so vocally denounce when other people were harmed by them. I insisted on my tumblr that boys were allowed to cry and wear makeup, but I wouldn’t let myself do those things – because, I suppose, I didn’t really believe I ‘counted’ as a boy. Finding role models, especially transmasculine ones, expanded my understanding of gender expression and of masculinity.

Realising that I didn’t have to look like a PhotoShopped cis dude on my masculine days was liberating.

I Googled words like “twink”, looking for boys who looked like me. I found that there were ways to express my masculinity without trying to be a clone of my boyfriend, or of Vin Diesel, or Buck Angel.

I could be me.


I kept dating straight dudes for a while.

They insisted they respected, believed in my nonbinary identity. And they insisted that they were attracted to me – sexually and romantically. And they insisted they were 100% heterosexual.

It hurt a bit.

Actually, it hurt a fuckin’ lot, but I didn’t want to admit that at the time. They still touched me like I was a girl, no matter what they said about my gender. They cupped my breasts in their hands, kissed my neck softly, held me by my waist or my hips. They caressed me.

It’s difficult to explain this to cis people, especially straight ones. There’s just a very different vibe when someone thinks you’re a girl. Even if you’re having rough, kinky sex – the places people touch you are different. The language they use is different. The aftercare they give you is different.

Even when straight dudes are excellent at interacting with my front hole, they call it my ‘pussy’. They do deliciously evil things to my nipples, but I’m distracted when they compliment my ‘tits’. I know that when they call me a slut, whilst I like it, they mean a girl slut. There’s something in the way they say it. I spend the whole interaction a little sad, a little distant, feeling disconnected from myself and from my partner.

Sex with people who know I’m not a girl is just better. It’s not nauseating, and it doesn’t leave me feeling miserable, confused, hurt and unseen, and it’s so good because I’m actually in my body, enjoying everything that’s being done to it.


My Daddy slides his hand down the boxers I’m wearing, pulling me closer with the arm that’s around my neck. His fingers brush the thing a medical professional would label my ‘clitoris’.

“Look how hard your little cock is,” he teases me, as I squirm against him. “Does Daddy choking you turn you on, little one?”

I nod against his arm, whimpering. “I – um, I don’t think I want, um, PIV today.”

“That’s okay.” My Daddy’s hand comes out of my boxers, and he pushes his wet fingers into my willing mouth. “You have a vibrator, and you have other holes Daddy can use.”

I watch myself sucking on his fingers in the long mirror in front of us. My scrawny, pale legs are shaking a little from the strangling. My curvy body is dwarfed by my Daddy’s, but I’m focused on my face.

I look like a twink.

I look boyish.

And I look fuckin’ hot.

Protocol Is Perfect For Me

An image of Morgan with a toothbrush in xir mouth, adhering to xir teeth-brushing protocol

I arrive at the train station, where I’ve agreed to meet one of my best friends. In my bag is a half-full bottle of vodka, saved from the last time she and I got up to no good, and clean clothes for tomorrow. (I already have a toothbrush in her bathroom – we do this a lot.) She’s waiting for me, and because we’re not huggy people, we just grin at each other, pleased to be reunited for an evening.

“How drunk are you allowed to get tonight, then?” she asks me, as we make our way towards the gates at the exit.

I think back to the conversation I’d had with my Daddy earlier that day, and to my self-written scale of drunkenness. “A seven, maximum.”

She nods, understanding, and we start debating the best place from which to purchase mixers.


My best friend is quite vanilla, but everyone close to me – including my mum, and the girls at my knitting group – knows the deal. My partner, whom I address exclusively as “Daddy” behind closed doors, sets protocols and rules for me, and I follow them.

Vanilla people who are new to this concept are sometimes alarmed by it. 50 Shades Of Grey has certainly not helped – as well as being a poorly-written, poorly-researched garbage fire, its treatment of rules and contracts is fucking appalling. For those who have avoided the series and its bullshit (lucky you!) the dominant arsehole, Christian Grey, withholds all affection from naïve, lovestruck/Stockholm Syndrome sufferer Anastasia, until she signs a contract she barely understands, which promises Grey all sorts of things that Ana doesn’t really want to deliver.

This is, of course, abusive.

(I won’t give you the tired “50 Shades isn’t real BDSM” spiel, because it’s fantastically unhelpful. The thing is, this shit does happen in the real world, and if we try to claim that “Grey isn’t a real dom, he’s just an abuser,” then we imply that the two are mutually exclusive. They aren’t. People can and do identify as dominants, be known and respected within their local kink circles, and still be abusive, opportunistic, predatory cunts behind closed doors.)

The relationship that I am in, wherein my dominant partner decides how drunk I’m permitted to get, ensures I brush my teeth every day and orders me to send him photos of my meals in order to prove I’m eating well – that’s not abusive.

Because I chose it.

Because I love it.

I’m autistic. For me, structure is key in every aspect of my life that I can control. Routine makes me feel grounded, safe and satisfied. I struggle with executive dysfunction, so being reminded to do basic self-care, and knowing that somebody besides me is invested in my wellbeing, can sometimes get me on my feet even when it feels like doing anything is impossible.

I’m also a service-oriented submissive, someone who thrives on pleasing others, which means that being given clear, measurable, achievable tasks to perform, and performing them well, brings me no end of joy. I love making my Daddy proud. I love being told I’ve done a good job. I especially love performing D/s-oriented tasks when I’m away from my Daddy, when I go back to my mum’s for the holidays or when he drives down south to see his parents. I love all the small ways that my protocols pull him to the forefront of my mind, and me to the forefront of his – and I love dipping, just a little, into subspace, feeling calm and centred while carrying out a task I know exactly how to do.

My interest in protocol grew out of necessity when I was in a long-distance relationship. I wanted to be on his mind at intervals, and to remind him that I was still devoted to him even when it had been weeks since we’d seen each other in the flesh realm. I also wanted to explore submission, and it seemed like the obvious way to kill two birds with one stone. I brought it up, we thought out some rules, and I started to follow them.

My in-the-know vanilla friends were quick to point out that I could break the rules, if I wanted to. I was supposed to ask permission to eat confectionery (a misguided rule to apply to someone with an eating disorder, but one I still honoured), and my friends would always remind me that my boyfriend, some sixty miles away, would be none the wiser if I just bought some M&Ms.

My response was always simply, “But I’d have to tell him.”

I couldn’t imagine not telling him. Aside from the fact that I told him everything (a habit that I have yet to grow out of, with partners, friends and the internet at large), I had asked for these rules to be set out for me because I wanted them. I wanted to relish making my boyfriend proud, and that joy would be muddied and hollow if it was born of lies, or withheld truths.

Plus, he’d have asked about my day, and I’m way too autistic to hold a poker face.

The trouble was, my friends were encouraging me to flout my rules for good reason. Confectionery, I could live without, but one of my rules that was more misguided still was the one where I had to text my boyfriend for permission to use the bathroom. My boyfriend, who had a) very different sleeping habits from my own and b) a job. I’d be shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other outside the bathroom, waiting for my boyfriend’s response, and my friends would be mystified by my insistence that I had to wait. Or I’d give in, go and pee, and then confess to my boyfriend, who would punish me next time he saw me in person.

Punishing a sub like me, really punishing them, is a much bigger deal than this boyfriend seemed to know. The physical side was basically fine – I’m a masochist, and I have a knack for endurance besides – but the psychological effect of a punishment fucking stung. Whether I was writing lines or being beaten, my little heart was heavy with disappointment in myself. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’d let my boyfriend down, even after the punishment had taken place and all was forgiven.

It was unsustainable.


That boyfriend and I broke up for reasons unrelated to our kink dynamic, but I do wonder if our differing styles of D/s put extra strain onto our relationship. He was much more interested in what happened in the bedroom – S&M scenes, humiliating a consenting sub, etc – and for me, kink happened everywhere. It meant something to me in a way that it just didn’t for him.

(It is, obviously, fine for people to enjoy kink in the bedroom and not in a lifestyle setting; but for me personally, especially when I was doing monogamy, it’s a deal-breaking difference from what I enjoy and crave.)

I was a little bit jaded towards the rules thing for a while after that. I wanted to feel small and subservient, but I didn’t want to feel shitty about myself. It took time, as well as listening to other people talk about their happy, fulfilling D/s, to warm back up to the idea of letting somebody else structure aspects of my life for me.

But when I did… oh boy.

I told my now-Daddy that I liked the idea of rules. We sketched some out with the intention of gently trialling them… and I never looked back. I suggested more. I typed them into a meticulously-formatted Google doc and sent the link, excitedly, to my girlfriend, who was overjoyed for me. I wrote a clause into them which specified that, should I want or need a beating, a humiliation scene or anything else, I could ask for one, rather than breaking a rule and dealing with the psychological sting of letting my Daddy down.


Hungover, I shuffle into my best friend’s kitchen to get my Daddy-sanctioned energy drink out of her fridge. She hands me a quesadilla on a Star Wars plate (because she is The Best), and I place it on the table, so I can take a photo. She doesn’t bat an eyelid, and we eat our breakfast in sleepy silence, one of us vanilla and one of us as kinky as they come, and both as content as each other.

 

Introductions & Intersections

My identity is complex, and multi-faceted. So much so that I feel it requires an entire blog post to unpack, and what better way to introduce myself to readers than to waffle relentlessly about who I am and what it means?

I’ll start with my name. It’s Morgan. That’s not my legal first name, but it is close enough to it to make this blog traceable back to other parts of my life. That’s fine – I’m getting more comfortable with being a sexual adult in the public eye. It’s a huge privilege of mine that I don’t need to be afraid of being blackmailed, of the consequences of living as my entire, authentic self. As a white person from a middle-class English background, I’m still working hard on an awareness of my privileges, and I intend to foster an environment where people can feel safe to correct and educate me when I inevitably overlook them.

As well as being indicative of my Welsh whiteness, Morgan is one of those names that isn’t traditionally attached to either of the (imaginary) binary genders. You get boys called Morgan and you get girls called Morgan. That’s not an accident; I’m nonbinary. Since I know some douchebag will ask: I was assigned female at birth, I have a factory-installed vagina and tits, and if you have any opinions about whether or not my gender identity is “real” then you can go elsewhere, ya fuck. Sometimes I’m sending nudes to everyone who consents to seeing them; other times I’m so dysphoric I can’t bear to shower. Obviously, this complicates my relationship to my body and my sexuality somethin’ fierce, but I manage to get naked often enough to write about it.

My gender identity is linked inextricably to another aspect of my identity: I’m autistic. That statement alone won’t make a great deal of sense to people who aren’t queer and autistic, but here’s the thing: gender is about people, how they perceive you, and what they deem to be acceptable and unacceptable ways to portray your gender. Autism is, by definition, about not understanding people, or at least about relating to them in atypical ways. My gender identity is a tapestry interwoven with my bi identity, my experiences of the patriarchy as an assigned female, and the shiny golden threads of not giving a fuck that my autism affords me. As such, I like to preface it in my introductions: “Hi, I’m Morgan, and I’m an autistic, queer enbie.” For this and a huge number of other reasons, I never use person-first language; I am not a “person with autism”, just like I’m not “a person with queerness”.

I am also a bunch of other kinds of disabled: I have depression, anxiety and a tiny sprinkling of psychosis, and I have some unidentified issue with my hypermobile joints that causes me varying amounts of pain and an inability to do any yoga safely. Surprisingly, this hasn’t stopped me from becoming a huge masochist with a fondness for psychology-based kink practices that play upon my anxieties – but I work hard on playing safely, both psychologically and physically.

I’m also a writer, and I’ve been itching to write on being a kinky autistic queer for a long time. I’ve learned firsthand the importance of hearing, in as many voices as possible, Other people feel this too. And I’m aware that there are lots of other kinky autistic queers out there (more on that another day, because there’s a tie between autism and kink too) who could do with hearing my voice. It’s difficult to find the spoons to write regularly and well, what with being multiply disabled, a full-time student, and somebody who wants to, y’know, pay my rent and not starve. Being a writer who can’t always write fucking sucks, but my drive is born of knowing that my voice matters, and wanting to encourage other people to believe the same of theirs.

There are lots of other aspects of my identity that weave in and out of those easier-to-label ones. I’m a sub-leaning switch who benefits hugely from the lifestyle Dom/sub dynamic I currently have with my Daddy dom; I’m polyamorous in a fluid sort of way that moves with my insecurities; I’m a slut with a burning enthusiasm for humiliation and edgeplay. And I’m a nerd, I’m a knitter, I’m somebody who stops in the middle of the street to pet dogs.

I plan on writing something for this blog at least once a week, but I also plan on being kind to myself if I can’t quite manage that. I intend to write about my experiences of kink, polyamory and sluttiness, and hopefully y’all will join me on this sexy, vulnerable journey.