- A large, online group of men who consider themselves involuntarily celibate, or “incels,” believe they can build better, more successful lives by transitioning to female.
- These so-called “transmaxxers” believe society is rigged against men, particularly those who aren’t conventionally attractive, but argue that men can and should adopt female identities — even if they have never experienced gender dysphoria — in order to improve their lives and their sexual prospects.
- “If you do not currently feel like living as a female you might have to work on fixing that,” a prominent transmaxxing advocate wrote. “Identifying as male or being emotionally attached to a male body is bad for you if being male results in you living a bad life.”
A community of men who consider themselves involuntarily celibate, or “incels,” are transitioning to the opposite sex to escape sexual rejection and improve their lives, according to numerous posts on Discord servers and other social media platforms reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
While many transgender advocates argue that one’s sense of gender is innate, unchangeable and largely unrelated to one’s biological sex, members of the online “transmaxxer” community encourage one another to transition for personal gain, often regardless of whether they have gender identity issues. By undergoing cross-sex hormones and identifying as female, transmaxxers argue men can improve their sex lives, access a new dating pool and escape the perceived hardships of being a man.
For instance, one Reddit user who said he was 17 asked the transmaxxing community for advice about whether he should medically transition to female, citing perceived failure as a man.
“I was seven years old when I started ‘praying’ to God to let me become a girl … I tried looksmaxxing when I realized that there is not much you could change just by working out and ‘getting a haircut bro.’ Got hit with this dilemma of wanting to be female, couldn’t, so I did my best to be a man, failed, and now I’m back to the start,” he wrote. “I’m lost and I don’t see the finish line anywhere near, I just don’t want my future to be as hopeless as it is now.”
“You’re trans,” the top comment read. “Leave this incel stuff behind and transition. You aren’t cis, can’t force yourself to be. You need to be yourself to be happy.”
The transmaxxing phenomenon, reported by Sanjana Friedman for Pirate Wires, has made inroads on other corners of the internet, including Reddit. Men who are curious about or actively pursuing gender transition commiserate on these websites about the ways they believe being a man makes their lives worse, such as being denied affirmative action opportunities, women supposedly having the upper hand in romantic relationships and a lack of empathy from others.
“Transmaxxing is about transitioning for personal gain rather than focusing on things like ‘gender identity,’” a moderator going by the alias “Vintologi” on the Transmaxxing Discord server, which boasts over 1,200 members, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “What matters when it comes to medical transition is whether or not said transition would actually be beneficial, thus the extent to which gender identity is innate does not inform us much regarding when medical transition is appropriate.”
Vintologi created a Transmaxxing manifesto laying out the benefits of male-to-female transitions, many of which involve sex. Transitioning improves sexual satisfaction through cross-sex hormones and access to a different pool of sexual partners, and those who transition get access to female-only spaces and are “able to extract resources from males,” the manifesto claims.
“Since females have the upper hand on the dating market transitioning from male to female will usually improve your options when it comes to getting sex. In addition the sex you enjoy as a female will be of higher quality,” the manifesto reads.
Transitioning is so beneficial that men should consider it even if they have no gender dysphoria, the manifesto argues, adding that one can try to induce dysphoria by watching pornography, especially from the female perspective, and by attempting to induce autogynephilia (being sexually aroused by the thought of oneself as female).
Vintologi has since walked back this advice in a response to Friedman’s report, saying it’s not clear this approach could actually work. The moderator also downplayed the incel-to-transgender pipeline, sharing a year-old internal poll which found that a significant portion of the group’s members experienced significant gender dysphoria before transitioning.
“If you do not currently feel like living as a female you might have to work on fixing that,” the manifesto argues. “Identifying as male or being emotionally attached to a male body is bad for you if being male results in you living a bad life.”
Joseph Burgo, clinical psychologist and advisor to Genspect, an organization that is critical of some aspects of gender transitions, said concerns about being insufficiently masculine were common among his clients.
Stella O’Malley, psychotherapist and founder of Genspect, said the transmaxxing phenomeneon indicates that social influence does play a role in transgenderism and addressed the role of autogynephelia in the transgenderism debate.
One transitioner in the transmaxxing community who said they did not experience gender dysphoria reported that adopting a female identity resulted in an improved sex life and avoiding military service.
“I’m 25 years old and I started the transition half a year ago,” the Reddit user wrote. “During these six months, I had relationships and sex with 2 girls, one of them is quite a porn actress. And I also avoided the threat of getting into the army … I really feel happy. And I still don’t have any dysphoria.”
Members of Discord chats within the Transmaxxing server offer each other advice on various subjects including women’s fashion and how to obtain cross-sex hormones, and in some cases aggressively encourage one another to transition.
The Transmaxxing manifesto includes step-by-step instructions for transitioning, along with testimonials purportedly representing individuals who transitioned from male to female and saw major life improvements. Common themes throughout the testimonials included hostility toward women and claims of lying to medical professionals about having gender dysphoria in order to access hormones.
“Before all of this I 100% completely identified as a man, a man’s man type of internal mindset. Very heterosexual,” one anonymous testimonial read. “It all started when I got my new therapist three months before that, who referred me to a new general practitioner he knows. Obviously I told him nothing about being incel or hating females. Only that I always felt like a girl, which was a massive lie.”
The individual also expressed a strong hesitation to having genital surgery.
“I don’t know if I can ever go through with having my genitals cut off,” the testimonial read. “I just have like a mental block over such a barbaric surgery. I think I could live fine with just having male parts. I partially identify as female but know deep down I’ll always be a man because men are awesome.”
The testimony undercut the popular talking point that transgenderism is primarily about one’s inner sense of gender identity rather than sexuality, both through explicit refutation of that claim and with a lengthy explanation of the way hormones had helped the individual improve sexual sensations and to masturbate as many as 40 times in an hour.
“I just want to say for the record I don’t believe in any of the trans bullshit about being born that way,” the testimonial read. “Basically they are mostly cross-dressing fetishists.”
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