“David, did you ever realize that your body shape is similar to that of a woman’s?” my buddy randomly blurted out one day as we were laying out on the beach along the Jersey Shore. “Your hips look like my mom’s and you have moobs almost big enough to need a bra.”
I’ve always been self-conscious about the way I look. I was never the most attractive individual, the six-pack I had always dreamed of buried somewhere deep under my perma–dad bod. But my friend's random comment was concerning. Was there actually something wrong with the way I looked? Was my body abnormal compared to most males? My friend and I always told each other to say what we feel, but what he said really got to me this time.
The best way to describe my body is pear-shaped; I've always had very slim shoulders and ginormous hips. I have fond memories of purchasing a pear from the local grocery store, solely to hold it up and compare myself to it in the mirror. Sure enough, it was a perfect match. Moreover, by age 19, I had barely any body hair and my voice was still high-pitched. One could say that I hadn’t yet hit puberty.
My sex drive was basically nonexistent. I had never watched porn or even been casually turned on by girls. I was essentially asexual, but it didn’t really concern me. I was more worried about getting through college so I could score the job of my dreams. There was no time to go out and try to punch my V-card.
Yet I was surrounded by guys who had normally shaped bodies, were getting laid every weekend, and didn’t sound like 15-year-old girls. Something was wrong with me, and I was finally realizing it. But why was I so different from a normal 19-year-old male? Why didn’t my sex drive work like it should, and why did I keep seeing a woman’s body whenever I looked in the mirror?
A testosterone deficiency, that’s why. I saw an endocrinologist who discovered that my testosterone levels were significantly lower than the average male at my age. My lack of desire for sex and abnormal body shape were caused by hypogonadism in my body, or the failure of my body's testes to operate properly. A lack of testosterone causes an increase in body fat (hence, my larger hips and perma–dad bod), decrease in body hair, and lack of sexual arousal.
Would I carry my V-card forever because I couldn’t have the normal sexual functions of a male? The thought of being a virgin for life terrified me — I was ready to change my entire lifestyle so that I could feel normal. I began using Androgel, which is a testosterone gel and a common treatment for abnormal testosterone levels. My daily routine required me to apply a pump of testosterone to both of my shoulders, three times a day. This expensive process gave me a slight chance of having normal sexual functions — and losing my virginity by the time I graduate college.
After three months of use, I finally started to see changes. I suddenly grew a ton of facial and chest hair, my voice deepened, my pear shape slowly disappeared, and I felt a lot more confident about myself. The experience of getting turned on for the first time was a pretty interesting moment, as my body finally went through a process it was supposed to go through four years prior. Sex was now the only thing I wanted and became a focus of my life.
While my testosterone levels have increased, though, I still have a ways to go before they are normal. Here I am, 21-years-old, about to graduate college, and still proudly holding onto my V-card. But I still feel like a man, even if I may not have the same sexual functions as other men my age.
This experience is something I need to confidently and openly speak about so that I don’t feel different and abnormal. Having a low testosterone level is not something to be ashamed of. The person I used to see in the mirror and cringe at is now someone who I can look at and be proud of. I want to walk back along that beach by the Jersey Shore and confidently rock my dad bod. It’s what makes me unique.
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