My life in sex The eu­nuch

The Guardian - Weekend - - Body & Mind | Oliver Burkeman -

I look at women for­lornly – they’re amaz­ing. I was di­ag­nosed with tes­tic­u­lar can­cer 23 years ago, when I was 31, and both balls were re­moved. I had been in a re­la­tion­ship for six months, but it ended soon af­ter and there’s been no one since. I was treated with a hor­mone re­place­ment ther­apy which caused re­lent­less erec­tions; lonely and horny is a mis­er­able com­bi­na­tion. I started watch­ing pornog­ra­phy be­cause it was safe and there was no fear of hu­mil­i­a­tion, but it only re­in­forced my sense of iso­la­tion.

The treat­ment was with­drawn be­cause of its side-ef­fects – obe­sity, ag­gres­sion, sex­ual ram­pancy – and since be­ing put on a “safer” type of testos­terone, I’ve been im­po­tent. I be­gan vis­it­ing es­cort girls for a kiss and a cud­dle, ly­ing with them in my arms. I’d call a chat­line and have fake phone sex, pre­tend­ing to or­gasm at the ap­pro­pri­ate point in the cha­rade. I’ve fan­ta­sised about fan­tasies, acted out roles of vir­ile mas­culin­ity, wretch­edly im­per­son­ated a man. Re­cently I be­gan mak­ing po­litely in­ept passes at gor­geous girls, em­bold­ened by in­evitable dis­missal; an­other sham pan­tomime.

I have noth­ing else to de­clare – I’m a sex­ual nonen­tity. I be­gan coun­selling in Jan­uary and wish I had been re­ferred 20 years ago. The an­guish never stops, so I’ve learned to re­press dan­ger­ous emo­tions. I ad­mire women ab­stractly but oc­ca­sion­ally one slips through my de­fences and de­stroys me; I’ll find her in­cred­i­bly at­trac­tive, want her des­per­ately, but have no out­let for the pow­er­ful feel­ings that surge up within me. I weep un­con­trol­lably when I imag­ine be­ing with her, sweet de­sire un­leash­ing all the shame, rage and de­spair in­side me. Each week, a reader tells us about their sex life. Want to share yours? Email sex@the­guardian.com

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