Guest written by Eva Reign, a Peabody and GLAAD Award winning Brooklyn-based actress, writer and artist from St. Louis, Missouri. She is the star of Billy Porter’s directorial debut Anything’s Possible from Amazon Studios and MGM’s Orion Pictures. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, Vice, Them, The Cut, Byrdie, PAPER and High Snobiety.

Just a few days before Halloween 2019, I had my Bottom Surgery (also known as a Gender Confirmation Surgery, Gender Reassignment Surgery [GRS], or Sexual Reassignment Surgery [SRS]). While this procedure is not for every Trans Woman, it definitely was for me.


  1. Is Gender Confirmation Surgery Right for You?
  2. Life After a Gender-Affirming Surgery
  3. Navigating Sex After a Vaginaplasty
  4. The Best Sex Toys for Exploring Your Body

Are You Considering Gender Confirmation Surgery?

There are many names for this procedure (ie. Vaginaplasty), and there are many doctors around the world qualified to perform it. I am no surgeon, so I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of each surgical method, but I do recommend combing through forums and finding Post-Op Trans Women to discuss this with. I did a great deal of research which led me to Dr. Bella Avanessian at Mount Sinai Hospital (Highly recommend. She’s an angel).

I’ve never felt so free in my body and at peace.

The day after my surgery, some old friends stopped by to keep me company, and they were in awe of how at peace I was. This same serenity translated into my sex life. While I had newfound freedom in my body, I also had a lot to learn about how to navigate sexual encounters both with a partner and with myself.

Life After a Gender-Affirming Surgery 

After surgery, you are given a set of Vaginal Dilators that help with opening and deepening the vaginal canal. These Dilators can vary in depth, but almost always come in a set, gradually increasing in girth. For the first year after surgery, it is essential to Dilate every day in order to effectively heal during such a vital and pivotal time. After the first year, it is recommended that you Dilate once a week. 

I’ll be honest, I do not abide by that rule, and I’m still good to go whenever necessary. I’m not a medical professional, but as someone who has had this surgery and who has also spoken to many other Post-Op Trans Women, weekly Dilation is not the end all be all. That said, vaginal closing is a real risk, so do not let too much time pass between sessions.

It’s also important to note that penetrative sex counts as Dilation, so if you’re getting dicked down, you’re doing alright! To maintain maximum depth, it's recommended to insert the thinnest Dilator as far as it can go. The thinnest Dilator is recommended because thicker Dilators can be the most difficult to insert. As long as you maintain a fairly regular Dilation schedule, all the Dilators will go in just fine. This is also means that penetrative sex will be much easier to engage in, but also enjoy.

Penetrative sex will be much easier to engage in and enjoy

One of the biggest mindfucks after surgery is penetrative sex. For some girls, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, but for others... there’s a big learning curve. Dilation is key for penetrative sex, but as we all know, there’s so much more to sex than a quick in-out, in-out motion. Sex is about connection, first and foremost. For the best results, we have to open up ourselves not only physically but mentally and spiritually. The energetic aspect of sex is something that far too often goes overlooked.

When connecting with your partner, be vocal! I cannot stress this enough. No matter your genitalia- vocalizing your needs is imperative. After a Vaginaplasty, you likely do not know what all of your needs are. That’s fine! But you’ll never know them if you let your partner treat you like a blow-up sex doll.You are a person. You have a body. You have feelings.

Navigating Sex After a Vaginaplasty 

For years, I made sex all about my partner. I wanted them to feel good, and I could not have cared less about my own pleasure. Leading up to surgery, I realized that I needed to stop disassociating with my body. I needed to be present. Dysphoria had me in a tailspin, and I often used that as an excuse to disregard my own enjoyment. I went on autopilot and played a role instead of simply being myself.

At some point, I began to realize that I am deserving of pleasure no matter what my genitalia looks like. I knew that surgery could only do so much for me. While it greatly alleviated my Dysphoria, it was not going to suddenly give me sexual gratification. That was something I needed to find for myself. Through the experimentation of Sex Toys like Rabbit Vibrators, Pulsators (like The Rose), and Wands- I found something that I had been missing for many years. I found fun.

Playing with oneself is crucial for discovering new pleasure centers. After surgery, you have so much more than a new hole. You have a Clitoris, Clitoral Hood and a Labia.

You have a Vagina!

It’s a beautiful thing. Give Her all the time she deserves. She’s worth it, and so are you. There are parts of this newly minted piece of your body that deserve your attention and consideration- they should also be focuses for a partner whether engaging in penetrative sex or not.

During my recovery, I began to connect with myself in ways I never before thought possible, and when it came time for my first sexual encounter, I connected even more. I didn’t have all the answers then, and I don’t even have all of them now. 

During the first few years after my surgery, the feelings I had around certain motions and positions shifted and changed in such surprising ways, but that’s the best part. I was playing. I was exploring. I was discovering. No matter what our bodies look like, everyday is a new adventure. So to any Trans Woman considering surgery, curious about surgery, or currently recovering from surgery, this is my advice to you – Do not be afraid to explore. Do not be afraid to play. Do not be afraid of yourself. This surgery is no joke, but if you learn that it’s the best route for you, I hope you do it, and I hope you have fun along the way.

The Best Sex Toys to Explore Your Body

Inya Rose, $64.00

The Inya Rose is a hybrid sex toy crafted for Clitoral and nipple stimulation. Inspired by one of nature's most erotic plants, this Rose Vibrator is sure to captivate you for years to come. Inya The Rose has gone viral on social media and has become a household name. This discreet, waterproof sex toy uses air to gently stimulate the clitoris or nipples, while the silicone petals send sensation rippling outwards. Explore up to seven variations of power with this vibrating rose's intuitive, single button interface. 

Boundless Dilators
, $35.00

Enjoy the journey to pleasure with the Boundless Dilator Set. Three seamless silicone Dilators graduate in size for gentle, continuous dilation. Each piece has a tapered tip that makes insertion comfortable and easy. It's simple to handle these products thanks to the convenient finger loops and enjoy a perfect feeling of fullness and stimulation. Dilators can be used for post-vaginoplasty care and by people who experience pain during penetration. 

Unbound Babes Ollie Wand, $76.00

Feel the unlimited cosmic power of Ollie, the wand vibrator from Unbound Babes. Ollie is a wand you can count on thanks to it's 10 powerful rumbling speeds and patterns. This 100% waterproof wand is made of out-of-this world smooth body-safe silicone and features an easy-to-grip handle whether your in the water or on dry land. It's ideal for beginners thanks to its reliable rumbly vibes that provide super satisfying external stimulation. Enjoy Ollie on your own or with a partner.

Pacifica Fiji Rabbit, $56.00

Get lost on pleasure island with the Pacifica Fiji Rabbit Vibrator, a dynamic dual-action vibrator with a conservative 4" shaft. Feel the soft, smooth transparent liquid silicone against your skin and experience powerful rumbling vibrations for mind-blowing blended orgasms. Dual motors work in harmony, featuring 10 intense functions of vibration, pulsation, and escalation.

bSwish bWild Bunny, $52.00

The Bwild Bunny Infinite Classic will have you hopping with pleasure. This classic rabbit vibrator design features a tapered shaft perfect for folks beginning to dilate. Explore 4 vibrating speeds and 4 vibration patterns coming through the powerful dual motors and enjoy all the Bwild can offer whether your solo or with a partner. Take Bwild with you on vacation or into the bath - it's fully waterproof and submersible!

Further Readings:

About Estrogen Hormone Therapy: UCSF Transgender Care
Vaginoplasty vs Vulvoplasty: University of Utah Health
A Guide to Dating Trans Women: Coveteur 



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