Naomi Wu is an Internet personality and ‘maker’ who lives in Shenzhen, in Guangzhou in southern China. She built a career around making ‘how-to’ videos and doing technical reviews. Hers is an invented name and it would be fair to categorise her, in part at least, as a performance artist. She is also, self-admittedly, a ‘geek’.
Naomi Wu got into trouble with the relentlessly leftist and deeply unpleasant Twitter mob (before Elon came in) over a row about an interview she did with Vice magazine, a suppurating boil on the backside of the Internet. But that is not our concern here, other than that it raised her profile enough to be noticed outside the ‘geek-world’ she naturally inhabits.
More germane is her persona. Naomi Wu has never hesitated to flaunt her feminine assets and has always been a walking, talking affirmation of gender. Habitually, in public and on camera she wears outfits that display significant amounts of her and she has, well, spectacular breast implants. She is tall and has long legs, which she is clearly proud of and shows off, wearing the briefest of shorts and tallest of high-heels.
One has to admit that the ensemble is impressive. Although she tends not to wear a lot of make-up, she always wears some and is attentive to her appearance. She describes herself as the ‘Sexy Cyborg’ and is a committed transhumanist, a philosophical position that welcomes the coming together of human biology and innovative technical devices.
By any measure, Naomi Wu is a striking figure, beautiful, articulate and clearly smart. But recently, her fans got a shock: this quintessential Internet tech-babe, all legs, boobs and brain, is lesbian.
Autogynephilia is a narcissistic, sexualised self-reward syndrome. It is a non-homosexual man’s compulsive desire to be, or appear to be, a woman. It is satisfied by achieving this, more or less. Although there are other rewards, the most powerful one is by having sex as a woman.
That is to say, by being penetrated, usually anally.
Because it is self-reinforcing, the more often the satisfaction is achieved, the stronger it gets. It is narcissistic because it is focussed on the male self in role as a woman. Because sexualised reward is so strong, autogynephilia is extremely powerful and quickly becomes an obsession. Sex as a woman can turbo-charge it.
One of the most remarkable things about Autogynephilia is its extreme range. Theryn Meyer and Rachel Levine seem very different, but they are not. However, once the condition is understood, one reason for this becomes clear.
Prior to 1980, the concept of the Sexual Invert, the petite, highly feminine male who was exclusively attracted to men and wished to play the recipient role in sex, was well documented. They were never interested in members of the same sex and identified strongly with feminine models, often presenting as girls or at least, in as unmasculine a manner as they could get away with. This last type, in adulthood, was called ‘homosexual transsexual’ or HSTS, by Kurt Freund in 1973.
Freund did not himself originate the concept behind the term, since it was discussed in detail by Magnus Hirschfeld, Havelock Ellis and Harry Benjamin, amongst many others. So this is a well-documented phenomenon that has been thoroughly studied for over a hundred years.
The problem was that this concept, of innate Sexual Inversion leading to transition desire and homosexual transsexualism, did not cover every person coming forward to seek assistance in appearing to be a woman. There were also men, often middle aged, who were usually married and had children and most interestingly were not attracted to men, but to women. They were non-homosexual. How could these be explained?