Today I used AI to envision myself as a female by swapping my face onto the most beautiful women’s images I could find. I named the character Maya for whatever reason. The results shook something inside of me. As someone who has undergone deep bio-medical processes to alter my cosmetic expression in the world, this exercise reveals much about our body’s evolutionary drivers to pair bond. This is the first time in history that such a visioning exercise is available to everyday digital artists and the results easily fool our own systems along primal polarity.
We are attracted to our self image. This is healthy and is the subject of various sexual wellness modalities, self love practices, and self worth.
I want my genetics to pass on to the next generation and thrive as healthy humans in the world in my legacy. This drive is how our species has refined our existence as a vehicle for consciousness to explore the human experience as life itself.
When I see myself as my polar opposite, I want nothing more than to meet this human and procreate with them. But what if the result of this procreation could exist through bioengineering and be the new vehicle for my own consciousness to explore this life?
There is no template for this post gender existence.
Would I be a man or a woman? Would I be virile/fertile? Would I be some form of eunuch?
Perhaps I would be an unobservable gender punk; a beautiful being beyond binary gender.
Yet, this is critically unrealistic to covet. It is a rejection of who I am today. And more importantly, resting my attention on the possibility of myself as the opposite sex is isolating and feeds into a form of narcissism. In small doses, this experiment was fun and entertaining. And on a deeper level, this activity was fully engaging and exciting in a manner similar to a state seeker striving for the next high. I finally pulled out of this AI art wormhole to realize 2 hours had passed and I was not in my body.
From past experience with this form of escapist motivation, I know that this is unhealthy for precisely the reason that it pulls my conscious attention out of my present body and projects this onto a romanticized version of a non-existent self that objectively does not and cannot exist.
For those who do not know, there are genetic and skeletal limitations to even cosmetic gender transformation. Namely, skeletal development and psychological development. When we go through primary puberty, insulin growth factor is released in cycles that align with those of our peers. These IGF-1 secretion cycles spur secondary sex characteristic development and are subconsciously significant to the developing psyche. We navigate these physical changes through peer bonding, and therefore socializing, with others undergoing similar changes. This is critical to forming healthy social relationships in adolescence.
With what is called in Thailand “second puberty,” or the most advanced transgender sugical and hormonal treatments, individuals experience an accelerated form of this socialization as they engineer an additional round of physical transformation. Notably there is a case for IGF-1 supplementation in future transgender hormonal regimens, though it is challenging to control for adverse skeletal growth and catastrophic outcomes as the hormone acts broadly across the entire system. There are cases of transgender individuals DIY-ing their hormonal replacement therapy protocol and ending up with irregular jaws or disproportionate hand and rib cage growth. This is all irreversible, even with severely invasive surgical intervention.
Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that the androgenization of skeletal development in males and females is most defined during these initial complex hormonal secretion periods of primary puberty, resulting in hip to shoulder ratios, hand size, jaw, and brow development. Not to mention vocal cord length and primary sex organ function.
Returning to the AI art experiment, what I was gazing upon was an unobtainable alternative developmental trajectory of approximately my facial characteristics transposed upon the developmental cascade of an adult female. For this to have happened, my body would have to have undergone the correlated hormonal washes from in utero development, through primary puberty, and later into adulthood. As this is not the case, it is unavoidably true that my body developed with consistent and receptive androgen hormonal washes and I owe my entire embodiment to this.
In fact, as I have now spent 3 years reintroducing testosterone injections to my system, my psychology has never been stronger. I find myself vitally integrating new information and opportunities along a solid framework, rooted in my body. My feminine traits are housed internally in my psychological relationship to self care, sensuality, and health. And my masculine traits are expressed externally in my strength, communication, peer groups, and relationships.
It is this internalization and externalization dynamic that enable healthy pair bonding in couples, where the woman (or feminine expressing partner) is able to relate to my internal cultivation of feminine energy with her external and social role. Inversely, I as a man am able to project my masculinity into the relationship to meet her inner masculine and understand how to engage. This is the language of the body and the core principle of polarity in all things.
We each have both masculine and feminine polarities, and in right relationship, we can form healthy bonds with others.
When we, as men, fail to care for and cultivate our inner feminine, our subconscious can externalize the need for self care through attracting partners who polarize us into an external feminine role. Here we learn from others how to care for the feminine, such that we may improve our own relationship to ourselves. This is not how we are to remain configured. These relationships are often attracted to reveal to our conscious mind how to be better and once this has be integrated, such relationships tend to experience less polarity.
This would be evident in the case of the feminized male attracting a masculinized female, only to fall into somewhat traditional relational patterning and experience a decrease in attraction. The relationship is not a failure; rather, it occurred for a purpose and that purpose was achieved.
Are you navigating these dynamics in your own life?
What is flowing and what is challenging?
Where am I messing up with this perspective and how could I do better?
I am here to serve.