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Old 30th Nov 2016, 06:26 PM   #1
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Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

Hi everyone,

On Wikipedia, if you look up bigender, it talks about people who identify as bigender experiencing the phenomenon of having a phantom appendage of the opposite gender (I will leave you to assume what that is). I was wondering how many other people who identify as bigender have experienced this? and if so, did this influence your process of figuring out you were bigender? Also, do you have dysphoria from having a phantom appendage and how do you deal with the dysphoria from your phantom appendage?

Thanks!
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

^^^

This is my post above. I am asking because I think I am bigender and think I am experiencing this. Wondering what other people have done to deal with it.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 11:14 PM   #3
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I experience phantom breasts. I can feel them move, etc. I have breast forms that I wear and it helps put something physical there that matches what my brain says is there. I think it's quite common but not discussed at length. I do try and remind myself that I don't have breasts, yet my brain thinks I have pretty big ones.
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Old 2nd Dec 2016, 04:55 AM   #4
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I was reading online that it is more about our brain having a map of our body that is inconsistent with what is actually there. It is that our brain has boobs or a penis in the mental image map of what we look like but our physical appearance doesn't actually have one.

I find it a strange thing to get used to when I feel not female, perhaps I will try packing to alleviate some of the dysphoria.
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Old 2nd Dec 2016, 09:44 AM   #5
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

so i went to the gender therapist again today, and we talked about my victories of the past month, actually did make up, she loved the pics and offered some constructive criticism, and said i look quite feminine in my facial features and that the wig made a hugh difference (its only a cheap dollar store wig) she even picked a favourite pic that she said looks really relaxed. i told her about asking people in the trans support group to call me Sarah she was so happy saying it is a big milestone for me, i guess she's right this was/is a very safe place. i also went over my fear of coming out and transitioning, not the process but the reactions towards myself, my family and at my work place and how i dont want to be seen as a dude in a dress, she said i could never be a dude in a dress because ive never been a dude.

i also shared my 'phantom boob' experience and she'd never heard of it, phantom erection yes but not boobs. i couldnt even come close to describing how great that felt, that they were attached, mine and had weight, how i gasped when my night dress brushed across my phantom nipple, i couldnt begin to express the intensity of my feeling that night. im still smiling when i think about it, i want that again and to have the real thing.

BTW i was awake and sober at the time, just laying in bed.


all in all; it was a fantastic session.
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Old 2nd Dec 2016, 10:26 AM   #6
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

that was me above, forgot to take the anon button off.
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Old 2nd Dec 2016, 03:29 PM   #7
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I think everyone fears the societal reaction from transitioning or coming out. I have that same fear with the idea of coming out to my family about being bigender. But if you are more girl than guy, I don't think that anyone is going to think that you are just a guy in a dress. Also your gender therapist sounds like a good therapist all in all.

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i also shared my 'phantom boob' experience and she'd never heard of it, phantom erection yes but not boobs. i couldnt even come close to describing how great that felt, that they were attached, mine and had weight, how i gasped when my night dress brushed across my phantom nipple, i couldnt begin to express the intensity of my feeling that night. im still smiling when i think about it, i want that again and to have the real thing.

BTW i was awake and sober at the time, just laying in bed.
I don't think there is really much literature (at least online) about "phantom boob" experiences or on phantom penis experiences (non erection experiences). I mean phantom erections I saw some articles on, but just generally experiencing the feeling of having an appendage you have never had was very strange to me at first. I don't think I have had such a vivid experience on the flip side of the equation with being AFAB. However, on male days I often mentally feel like I have the bulge from a penis regardless of where my pants lay or anything else. I feel like it is mostly a mental thing in general and also maybe is partially mental in how vividly you experience it. It is satisfying sometimes to experience it because when I accept the feeling and pretend/believe it is really there, it seems to quell some of the last bits of dysphoria.
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Old 2nd Dec 2016, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

Do you ever feel like your penis is visible to others? I feel like that with my boobs. My breast forms make me very large and I still feel they aren't quite big enough for what my brain says. We are kind of in the same boat. What exactly do you feel with your phantom penis? I have been trying to find others who can relate.

Thanks
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Old 2nd Dec 2016, 08:23 PM   #9
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

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Do you ever feel like your penis is visible to others? I feel like that with my boobs. My breast forms make me very large and I still feel they aren't quite big enough for what my brain says. We are kind of in the same boat. What exactly do you feel with your phantom penis? I have been trying to find others who can relate.

Thanks
There is actually a few feeds on reddit about both phantom penis and phantom boobs interestingly enough. I was just researching a bit more on the topic. Not that they had a lot of insight beside experience and some studies they found. It is I guess not a common phenomenon being discussed or researched.

I don't think I have felt like my phantom penis is visible to others, but who knows I never had that thought before. I mean I think my brain automatically thinks the fabric has moved because the phantom appendage seems like it is a part of me? I do feel self conscious of it sometimes because I don't know if i walk or act differently when I know it is there.

I feel like for me it is in flux of how real it seems or feels. It is never quite as vivid as another person mentioned earlier with their phantom boobs. To me, sometimes it just feels like a bulge in your pants. Other times I feel more like it is an actual penis and balls trying to be hidden in my pants. In general it is kind of like just an energy or sense of something is there (or supposed to be there), but when you touch or check, there isn't anything there. For someone just figuring out that they are bigender, it is a strange experience. Glad that I am not alone in experiencing this phantom appendage experience.

At the moment, it is more an experience that fluctuates in intensity on days I am a guy. And it is less vivid the less my mind acknowledges its presence. I find it is more based on the picture my mind's eye has created of my male gender vs reality sometimes. Because it is not necessarily how I see myself in this moment but how my mind pictures the other gender inside me.
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Old 3rd Dec 2016, 05:33 AM   #10
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

would be interesting to see if that's an "actual" phantom appendage phenomenon happening, or maybe auto suggestion - the latter is a powerful force not to be underestimated. For it to not be auto suggested would mean it's neurological (as phantom limbs are), and neurological structure doesn't "shift" like you describe your experience.
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Old 3rd Dec 2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

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would be interesting to see if that's an "actual" phantom appendage phenomenon happening, or maybe auto suggestion - the latter is a powerful force not to be underestimated. For it to not be auto suggested would mean it's neurological (as phantom limbs are), and neurological structure doesn't "shift" like you describe your experience.
Who would want to suggest to themselves that they have a penis? Because that is what autosuggestion is: Thinking or saying to yourself that something is true to hypnotize yourself into having it be true. In my opinion autosuggestion is not what I am experiencing. I sense it when I am male at different intensities but it is there when I feel male. When I do sense it, I try to accept that it is truly there because it helps quell any dysphoria from not actually having a penis when my brain says there should be one there. The fluctuation in intensity I describe is more like a genderflux situation where I don't always feel my gender at the same intensity. When I notice my male gender more, that is when I notice the phantom penis more.

Also science doesn't know all there is to know about the brain. The brain is the only organ we study without directly looking at it. There are a few articles that state that perhaps in the future we will see the difference in structure of the brain that bigender people experience compared to other different genders. Here is one of them “That was dysphoria?” 8 signs and symptoms of indirect gender dysphoria | Zinnia Jones.

Here is the relevant part I thought was interesting:

Quote:
Scientific corroboration, then, supports what individuals have tried to express for years. Since the time of Hirschfeld and Benjamin, the trans community has expanded to include not just transvestites and transsexuals but also androgynes (individuals who identify as androgynous), genderqueers (individuals who identify as somewhere in between male and female), bigenders (individuals who identify as both male and female), and any other individual who describes gender in a non-binary way. In all likelihood, scientists may soon find distinct features of the brain that correspond with each individual point along this continuum of gender possibility, identification, and expression.
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Old 3rd Dec 2016, 05:30 PM   #12
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I never argued it couldn't be the case, I'm just saying I'm curious if it's not auto suggestion, and that doesn't need to be conscious, in fact it most often isn't.

I feel my chest as empty and as if internally collapsed. Is that because so have almost no muscle there and I'm super flat, or because I know I'm trans and I have my confirmation bias set to look for anything that even remotely assures me that I really have dysphoria? I have no way to say which is which. Unconscious suggestion is just beyond my reach to self explore, and I obviously can't study my brain and body that way. So, I'm left with that question unanswered. Might be some phantom stuff, might be auto suggestion, might be just my flat chest with no muscle. You can see how easily I could wishfully make the latter confirm the former, mm? Making the middle option the real answer.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 07:09 AM   #13
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I agree that the human brain is a complicated and wonderful organ that science is trying to understand. But human psychology and behavior is still making breakthroughs. Unfortunately research is done when only where there is interest and money. We need some transgender, gender fluid, and bigender scientists to drum up enough interest to do research in this area.

I know I don't have female breasts, and maybe my gender fluid tendencies is convincing my brain that I have them or maybe it's the other way around. This seems to be a subject that people don't like to talk about because we are forever analyzing what it all means. Sometimes the subject is even taboo, even among those who experience the phantom sensation of a penis, breasts or a vulva, because in our society, we don't openly discuss those parts. From my point of view, I have them there and that is it, I don't understand why, but I think some open and frank discussions about how and when we feel them would be beneficial. Even if the science doesn't cover it, we know what we feel. So I wear my forms, usually at home, out sometimes too, it makes me feel better.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 10:39 AM   #14
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

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I agree that the human brain is a complicated and wonderful organ that science is trying to understand. But human psychology and behavior is still making breakthroughs. Unfortunately research is done when only where there is interest and money. We need some transgender, gender fluid, and bigender scientists to drum up enough interest to do research in this area.

I know I don't have female breasts, and maybe my gender fluid tendencies is convincing my brain that I have them or maybe it's the other way around. This seems to be a subject that people don't like to talk about because we are forever analyzing what it all means. Sometimes the subject is even taboo, even among those who experience the phantom sensation of a penis, breasts or a vulva, because in our society, we don't openly discuss those parts. From my point of view, I have them there and that is it, I don't understand why, but I think some open and frank discussions about how and when we feel them would be beneficial. Even if the science doesn't cover it, we know what we feel. So I wear my forms, usually at home, out sometimes too, it makes me feel better.


I don't understand why I experience a phantom penis either, but honest discussion about what we are experiencing and when we experience it I think is beneficial to those who aren't brave enough to discuss it as well as those who are questioning. I don't know if it is our brains suggesting that we have it based on our gender tendencies or what. I do think it would be interesting for a psychologist or psychiatrist or other scientist to pick up this topic and do some more research into it. Science has yet to cover it, but each of us knows what we have experienced.

From what you say stoudtdriver about your breast forms, I almost wonder if me packing while at home would make me feel better on male days.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 04:33 PM   #15
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

For me, the breast forms help me. That was a very personal decision, you need to make that determination for yourself, but if you do, please share your feelings. What do you think it would accomplish for you?
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 05:09 PM   #16
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I figured it is a very personal decision. I am still thinking it over as I am not yet out to my family, and would only be able to wear it when no one else is around the house. I will try to report back if I do end up deciding to do it. I think it would help to quell some of the dysphoria on days when I have a guy brain.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 08:48 AM   #17
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I hate to revive old threads but I'm curious as to how the feelings have been over the past week or so?

I have bought a house and over the past week I have been very busy, too busy to wear the forms, so the phantom feelings are very strong, carrying a box against my chest, wearing a seatbelt, or going up and down the stairs has been a bit uncomfortable.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 04:28 AM   #18
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

ok so, last week I was going out to dinner with my son. we're driving in the car, it's raining so I need extra attention to the road and he's telling me about his day at the college etc. suddenly I can feel the seat belt, like very aware that it's between my boobs... I can feel my shirt pressed out (not hugely) and the seat belt pressing along the top of one, going between them and along the bottom of the other. I couldn't really focus on the feeling because im driving and listening to my son, but it went on for about a mile or so. like 4 or 5 minutes. I freaking loved it. so I know I wasn't dreaming or something, this was soooo real.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 04:35 AM   #19
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

I've been wanting to add my experiences here too.

I have a phantom penis. I don't feel it every moment, but I feel the weight of it at random points of the day. It feels very real, I know what size it should be, etc. I don't know how to describe the feeling, just a presence. Obviously I know it's not there but I also know it should be.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 04:56 AM   #20
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Re: Being Bigender and experiencing a Phantom Appendage

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I've been wanting to add my experiences here too.

I have a phantom penis. I don't feel it every moment, but I feel the weight of it at random points of the day. It feels very real, I know what size it should be, etc. I don't know how to describe the feeling, just a presence. Obviously I know it's not there but I also know it should be.
kind of a validating feeling isn't it?
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