A few months ago, my friend told me she stopped taking hormones.

“Before I went on hormones,” she said, “I used to be able to splatter the wall from a few meters away.”

She was talking, of course, about semen.

“I figured that now that I have tits, I could go back to that.”

Nasash is a transgender woman. She’s been on a mixture of spironolactone and estradiol for nearly three years as part of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which reduced her body’s production of testosterone and boosted its levels of estrogen. When she started sleeping with her partner after a dry spell, she found herself experiencing a lot of physical discomfort during sex. She blamed it on HRT.

When Nasash first told me about her decision, I was surprised. There are several serious procedural obstacles you have to go through in order to start medically transitioning. Because the process of getting on hormones is such an uphill battle, I’d always sort of viewed HRT as a hard-won victory. I wondered, why would anyone ever want to put a pause on their transition?

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