Phalloplasty, in being such a complicated procedure, comes with a lot of possible complications. A major concern for a lot of transgender people considering this surgery is the risk of loss of sensation. Losing sensation was certainly something I feared. However, thankfully, my fears have not been realised. In the following blog, I map out my phalloplasty sensation progress over the four years since I had my first stage phalloplasty.
A Warning Before Continuing
Please note, this blog is of a very sensitive nature. I talk very frankly about intimate aspects so bear that in mind before continuing to read. Also, bear in mind that the words I use to describe things are personal to me. Not every trans person uses the same words to describe their body, the words in this blog are the ones that are comfortable for me.
First Stage Phalloplasty – Sensation Immediately Post-Op
I had my first stage of phalloplasty in August 2015. A stage one, as well as having the phallus created, I also had a testicle implant in one labia, to form the beginnings of my scrotum (This happens at a later stage now). I also had the opening made for the urethral hookup.
I had expected that having things reconfigured, might change the sensation in my original parts. However, I was surprised to find that all sensation remained the same. It was only my newly created penis that had no sensation at all, which of course at this early stage, was to be expected.
Four Months Post-Op – First Signs Of Sensation
The first signs of sensation on my new penis appeared just before four months post-op from stage one. Initially, the sensation I felt was very subtle, and it was also very strange.
Initial Displaced Sensation
I first noticed the faint tingling of sensation, when I was using my hair trimmer to remove some stray penis hairs. When I touched my newly created penis with the trimmer, I could feel its vibration. However, I didn’t feel this sensation on my penis, but rather in my T-dick (the name I used for the clitoris because it grows on testosterone, to mimic a mini penis). This displaced feeling was rather surprising but apparently not uncommon!
How The Nerves Are Harvested For Phalloplasty Sensation
To explain, when the donor skin is taken from the forearm, they also harvest a couple of nerves. Then, the harvested nerves are placed through the newly created penis and attached to the back of the clitoris hood. Over time, these nerves regrow to give sensation.
The displaced sensation I was experiencing, therefore, was the nerves re-growing, and the signals not yet quite rewired properly. This was very promising, and I was very excited! (In more ways than one!)
Six Months Post-Op – Phalloplasty Sensation Increases
As the months went on the sensation when I touched my penis got stronger, but the feeling remained displaced. By six months post-op the feeling had become far more definite and in fact, had become incredibly sensitive. The sensitivity was very much like when my T-Dick first began to grow and anything touching it would make me hit the ceiling!
A Second Displaced Sensation
At around six months post-op, I also began to feel a second displaced feeling. Now, when I touched my new penis, not only did I feel it in my T-Dick but also my groin area too. Again, this made sense as one of the harvested nerves gets joined somewhere in the lower abdomen. This new sensation was clearly that new nerve connection also beginning to wake up and regrow.
To reach climax at this point, I still needed to directly stimulate my T-Dick because there was not enough sensation in my new penis yet. However, by this point, touching my new penis had become pleasurable, and I began to incorporate playing with it, at the same time as stimulating my T-dick.
Having Stage Two Phalloplasty – Concerns About The Impact on Sensation
Approaching stage two phalloplasty, I found myself worried again. Lots would be changing after this surgery. I was to have the hysterectomy and vaginectomy and urethral hook-up. Also, I had also chosen to bury my T-Dick so that would also be a huge change post-op. Having started to regain sensation, and being able to still climax, I worried how stage two might affect things. For example, what if I couldn’t access my T-Dick when buried and I couldn’t orgasm?
Thankfully, I found my T-Dick very easy to locate straight after surgery, because it is only buried under a thin layer of skin. Also, the newly growing displaced sensation on my new penis was still there. This was such a relief to find!
One Year Post-Op (And Three Months Post-Op Stage 2) Sensation Continues to return
At about three months after having stage two and reaching a year post-op from stage one in total, I noticed that my displaced sensation was getting stronger again. Feeling the displaced sensation in my T-Dick was even more peculiar now it was buried!
At this point, I began to rely less on my buried T-Dick for pleasure. I had found that as long as my hand rubbed somewhere near it, I could reach climax. My orgasms also now began to change and become far more intense. I think perhaps this is due to the vaginectomy, but I don’t know for sure.
Phalloplasty Sensation At Two Years Post-Op
In the year approaching two years post-op from stage one, more and more sensation arrived. However, the sensation remained displaced. There was a subtle sense of direct feeling, but only tactile, not erotic.
Regarding reaching orgasm, at this point, I did still rely on my T-Dick but in an indirect way. To explain, when I stroked my penis during masturbation, the action of pulling it, in turn, pulled and stimulated my T-Dick. Also, the back and forth action of my hand meant that my hand pressed against my buried T-dick.
Of course, at this point, my penis was still flaccid having not yet had the erectile device fitted, so I was having to sort of grab my entire new penis in my palm, to move it back and forth.
A Shift In How I see My Lower Parts
Despite indirectly still relying on the stimulation of my T-dick to reach orgasm, I had pretty much ignored the T-dick itself. I no longer directly stimulated it. In fact, I changed its name at this point. To more accurately reflect how it had stopped being a separate part, I began to refer to it as my base dick.
Three Years Post Op – Stage 3 Erectile Device Inserted
Just before reaching the three-year post-op from stage one mark, I finally had the erectile device fitted. I again had the same concerns as I had in previous surgeries, about losing the sensation I had gained. Again, however, apart from the initial post anaesthesia numbness, my sensation remained the same. However, after this surgery, I had a significant increase in sensation.
The Beginning Of Direct Sensation
As soon as I was able to start tentatively pumping up the device and playing with my new penis, I noticed that I had lots more direct sensation. I tried out a male stroker toy and could distinctly feel the ribbed inside. The tactile sensation of the ribbed inside was most definitely felt on my new penis, but the erotic pleasure that gave me was felt on my buried base dick! So, it seems as if now, any tactile touch is felt directly but erotic sensation is still displaced.
Evaluating Sensation at Four Years Post-Op First stage Phalloplasty (One Year Post-Erectile Implant)
Over the last year since having my implant device added, the sensation has continued to increase. I wonder if having a firm inside when erect, for my penis skin to rub against, means that the nerves are stimulated more, resulting in more sensation? I do not know this answer to this of course!
Now, I can reach climax by simply stroking my penis. I no longer must make sure my base dick is stimulated. I can still access it if I need and get pleasure from touching it. However, it is no longer necessary for me to do so to reach orgasm. This has been an amazing development!
Reflecting on the Way Sensation Has Returned After Phalloplasty
The way sensation has returned, was not in the way I had expected at all. I had anticipated, that when I got my feeling back, it would be directly in my new penis. It has very much surprised me to discover this displaced feeling. However, regardless of where I feel it, its sensation none the less and lots of it!
It dawned on me recently, that this isn’t about feeling coming back at all. I have had a brand-new penis created. This penis has never felt anything before and therefore it has been about growing the ability to have sensation, rather than sensation returning. Looking at it this way, it makes the way that sensation has developed, make far more sense.
Looking To The Future
The sensation may continue to increase from here, and perhaps become more direct, but even if things stay exactly as they are now, I am very happy! Not only have I not lost sensation, but I’ve gained new sensation too. Reaching climax now feels more intense and incredible than it ever has. I think this is most certainly helped by the fact that my whole body now affirms my maleness to me. Being able to masturbate and have sex in the same way as any man, is in itself a huge part of the arousal process. I am very glad that I took the risk because the last four years of frustrations, pain and continual recovery, has been very very worthwhile.
Onwards and upwards! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
I hope this is of help, please do leave me any comments, or contact me privately if I can be of any assistance. Don’t forget to check out my resources page, for additional phalloplasty and other resources.