Random T changes I wasn’t expecting

When you start T you usually get a giant list of things you can expect to happen.  Voice dropping, facial and body hair growing, changes below the belt, it’s pretty standard.  Other guys often have their own things to add, usually about how much ass hair sucks and how often you’ll want to jerk off for the first year or so.  However, there are some things that seem to either be individual or not talked about.  These are mine.

1: Increased visual-spatial ability. I am not a visual person.  Those questions on IQ tests where they give you a shape and then ask you to pick what it’d look like if you rotated it drive me nuts.  At least, they did before I started T.  Now it’s like I have some sort of computer animation programme in my brain, it’s awesome.  Really helped with my drawing skills too, I don’t have as much trouble making sure Mickey’s gloves aren’t twice the size of his head.

2: Fewer mood swings.  This one surprised me just because everyone talks about ‘roid rage and anger issues and massive T-drop swings.  I expected to have serious problems with my depression and an increase in violent tendencies.  In reality the opposite has been true.  I’m far less prone to anger, when I do get angry I get over it quickly, and my moods are largely stable.  I still get depressed, I have chemically based depression, that’s not going to go away.  I don’t go into the same level of depression when I’m in a bad phase though and I’m more likely to be able to snap out of it without medication.

3: Meat cravings.  I’ve been vegetarian since I was 12.  I never really liked meat, it always tasted kind of gross to me.  As a kid I preferred broccoli to chicken nuggets and rice to hamburgers.  After starting T I’d smell a hamburger and my mouth would water.  I crave ribs, a food that used to make me nauseous.  I haven’t gone back to eating meat largely because I’m not sure my stomach could handle it after 10+ years of not having any.  I’ve considered it a few times though and at some point I may see about slowly trying a few things to see if it’s just the smell or if the taste has gotten better too.

4: Accelerated learning rate. After I hit 17-ish my ability to handle math and languages dropped off in a bad way.  I went from becoming fluent in four different languages in a year to repeating Italian 101.  This isn’t entirely unexpected, it just happened sooner for me than for most people.  I was the genius kid though and suddenly having to learn things like a normal person freaked me out quite a bit.  After a month of what would become my regular T dose my brain randomly shot back up to speed.  I went back to the learning rate I had at 14 and haven’t come back down from it since.  Don’t know if it was actually the T or just really great timing, but I’m not complaining.

5: Decreased interest in women.  Here’s a little secret: I was closer to a four or five than a six on the Kinsey Scale pre-T.  I’d never actually done anything with a woman and I wasn’t likely to try (too scared), but there were definitely some fun fantasies.  When I was starting T damned near everyone around me was going from exclusively into one gender to very evenly pansexual so I opened myself up to the possibility that I might start liking women more.  …Yeah, that didn’t happen.  Fooled around with a few women during those early “don’t care as long as it gets me off” days, but it was never really satisfying.  After a while I realised even my favourite female fantasies weren’t interesting and stopped trying to force myself into liking women.

6: Increased hyper-focus.  I have ADHD.  Like, bad.  I compensated pretty well until college, then the lack of structure got to me.  Every trans guy I knew with ADHD got worse after starting T and several who hadn’t been diagnosed as kids were after a month or so on T.  I was flat out terrified.  On my good days I’m spaced out and kind of ditzy, getting worse would’ve been hell.  It was, actually.  While I was figuring out my dosage and for about three months after getting it right I was barely functional and impossible to live with.  Almost burned down my apartment a few times, my flat mate was ready to kill me.  Then it just kind of switched.  Instead of scatter-brained and spaced out I went to hyper-active with intensely long periods of hyper-focus.  Honestly, I prefer it this way.  I can handle my activity levels better than my mind wandering.  It’s the one major reason I’m militant about when my shot is done.

7: Increased…flamboyance. This is almost guaranteed to be a response to passing rather than T, but since the two kind of go together I’m listing it here.  Pre-coming out I was…not girly.  I was about on level with my “not butch, but not effeminate” guy friends with a handful of “girl” hobbies like figure skating and fashion design.  After coming out I went into kind of metro/college gay guy with way more Abercrombie shirts than anyone should own.  Then the T…I don’t know what it is, but within days of starting my mannerisms went from “eh, whatever” to “oh my god, he’s like a miniature Emmett Honeycutt.”  I’ve finally learned to control them enough for more conservative settings, but for a while there I even got on my own nerves.  Also developed a sibilant ‘s’.  No idea what that’s about.

8: Decreased acne. Yeah, this one rocked while it lasted.  Now with shaving and the high humidity of my current city I’m back to being a regular at the spa and dermatologist, but those first couple of years were nice.

9: Increased interest in exercise. I have always been a fit person.  I grew up in military youth groups so running and sweating were a part of daily life.  Never really been into exercise as a hobby though.  I worked out in the morning out of habit, not because I thought it was particularly fun.  After about a month on T though I started noticing that I liked doing push ups and running for six miles.  It was weird, like all of those endorphins everyone always talks about finally kicked in.  I’m never going to be a gym kind of guy (too musty and gross), but now I look forward to a quick bit of exercise when I’m stressed out.

10: Increased immune function.  Rather, what seems like increased immune function.  I’m the first to admit that this is likely either me having a selective memory or the result of no longer being as weighed down by depression or some other random combination of things.  At the same time, pre-T I would end up with at least one bad flu that required hospitalisation every year.  Every.  Year.  It was hell.  The winter after starting T I had exactly one cold and it was over within the week.  Since then my allergies have been kind of a pain in the ass, but I’ve only been really sick once or twice.  It’s nice, even if I am slightly nervous about it all catching up to me.

So yeah, those are 10 random things I wasn’t particularly expecting from T.  I’m sure there are probably more if I keep thinking about it, but ten is a nice round number.

4 Replies to “Random T changes I wasn’t expecting”

  1. it’s interesting what you write about increased mental abilities. I have several friends who say that T made them “stupid” or that they lost language abilities.
    As for the meat- I used to be a vegetarian too, I started with cooked white fish to get my stomach used to meat again. Now I’m eating chicken and turkey mostley, it’s easier to digest than red meat.

    • I have a harder time finding words in English than I used to. Not much, but enough that I notice. Learning new languages is amazing though, I’m back to being an adolescent sponge. Only language that’s continued to give me trouble is German and that I blame on post traumatic stress after an absolutely EVIL instructor when I was first coming out.

      I’ve considered starting off with some fish and seeing what happens. Just haven’t really had the time. About to be off for a long weekend in a place with great seafood though so I may try.

  2. I was vegetarian for eleven years and I dove off the deep, meaty end all at once. I suffered zero ill effects doing this. I started eating chicken then ground beef and sausages, now I eat all kinds of meat. Never had indigestion although I still find rich cuts of meat intense (but I think that’s normal) and I have to eat small portions.

    I craved it for a long time and then I just did it. I was an ethical vegetarian for many years and now I’m an ethical omnivore so I never had issues digesting meat in the first place – might be different for someone who did.

    • I just really didn’t like meat. Tried eating pepperoni pizza once about five years ago and was sick for days, but that could also have been the copious amounts of alcohol that went with it… (just a note: never try to out drink a group of Marines.)

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