But it is curious that most normal people who have carcinoma of the penis, which is not rare, and they have an amputation of the penis as a life saving measure, a majority of them, maybe about 80%, 85% of them, experience a phantom penis, including phantom erections. This is well known. Since this chap is saying his penis doesn't belong to him in the first place, what if his penis is amputated because he wants to become a woman, what happens then?The bit about "phantom limbs and mirrors", where the psychological distress can be alleviated by the use of mirrors "restoring" missing limbs in a reflection, might explain another phenomenon (according to a correspondent who wishes to remain anonymous).
The answer is the majority of them don't experience a phantom penis. What's amazing is that your body image, which includes your genitals, is at least in part programmed by genes and your brain is hard-wired to incorporate the genitals as part of your body image. Even more amazing is the observation that women who undergo transgender sexual surgery who acquired an artificial penis, a majority of them since early childhood have experienced a phantom penis. This is absolutely extraordinary because it means that each of us has a brain-based body image which is detailed down to the fine anatomy, including your genitals.
If your brain body image does not match...normally your brain body image and your external morphology are synchronised in early development through hormones, through genetic mechanisms. If this gets uncoupled and they aren't in synchrony you end up with a body image that's morphologically male, so they experience a phantom penis. What's amazing is that all these years of culture being raised as a woman, as a girl, and even seeing that they don't have a penis does not correct this body image. This shows that even though your body image is extremely malleable, as we have shown with phantom limbs and mirrors and that sort of thing, it also turns out that there's a strong genetic contribution to your body image. This has, of course, great implications for understanding how your brain represents sexual behaviour and constructs body image.
The almost universal (80%) practice amongst trans people of cross-dressing prior to transition. By cross-dressing and then looking at one's reflection in a mirror, it might (I emphasise might) activate the same kind of soothing mechanism found when amputees see reflections of themselves that appear to cure their problem.
As an aside....I never cross-dressed, the phrase "putting lipstick on a pig" comes to mind as being appropriate. But I didn't even do it for fancy-dress parties, in fact I fanatically avoided even coloured shirts or patterned ties. Nothing even partly reminiscent of femininity.
Much as an acute alcoholic might fanatically avoid even a low-alcohol beer. I couldn't do it because then I wouldn't have been able to stop. Maintaining the "boy act" was so hard, the whole facade would have shattered, leaving me helpless to avoid a transition I was terrified of.