FEMINIST GAZE REVIEW: “Dr. Annie Sprinkle’s Female-To-Male: A Transsexual Love Story”

Dr. Annie Sprinkle’s Female-To-Male: A Transsexual Love Story

Review by Domina Doll

I *heart* Annie Sprinkle. I have been a big fan of Annie since my university days when I first discovered her in one of my feminist art classes. I admired her unorthodox performance art that embraced her feminine sexuality as something beautiful, whose purpose was also to educate such as her infamous Public Cervix Announcement, where she got up on stage, spread her legs and invited “the audience to view her cervix with the aid of a speculum and a flashlight.”

Annie has starred in and directed many films in her 26 year career, and what-ever she does, she does in her own unique, radical way.

Dr. Annie Sprinkle’s Female-To-Male: A Transsexual Love Story” is no different. Part documentary, part biography, part journal, part love story, “A Transsexual Love Story” is unlike any film you have ever seen and defies classification. It features Annie and her lover Les Nicols (Linda) a trans man who lives as a self-identified “surgically-made hermaphrodite” through a series of several sexual reassignment surgeries.

Annie Sprinkle & Les Nichols

Les identifies as a male. The film shows his evolution from a radical lesbian female butch “man-hater” (his words) to a man who is much more forgiving of his “gender”, due to his understanding after transformation. Why would someone who doesn’t like men want to become one, you may wonder? Les explains in the film that he has always seen being a man as a place of privilege in society, and since becoming a man has noticed the change in his social status and the respect that he receives. Mainly, it appears that male was what Les truly felt he was inside, and he could no longer identify with his former female self.

The film also touches a bit on the struggles that Les had to overcome during his transformation. At one point during their lovemaking, Annie breaks down in tears because of the hurt she feels that he must have gone through—that many transsexuals have to go through—to be whom they feel they really are. The scars that cover Les’ body are visual witnesses to this pain, and you begin to realize how strong and determined Les must have been to make the changes he did. Still, above all, Les appears incredibly positive and happy about his life now, and reassures Annie by comforting her. His total attitude during the interviews is very upbeat—he always has a twinkle in his eye and a big smile on his face. It is easy to see why Annie fell in love with him in the first place.

Les' Cock with Annie Sprinkle FTM transsexual

The film also explains Les’ transformation in medical terms, including the creation of his prosthetic cock, which is pretty amazing. There is an intimate scene, showing Annie and Les making love for the first time with his new penis which Les first uses by inserting a rod to stiffen it, then later his own thumb. This is interesting, as a few years back I was fortunate enough to meet Patrick Califia (one of my favorite sex writers), who is a FTM transsexual who joked about using his cock in the same way, with his thumb. I suspect that both Les and Patrick had the same genital reconstructive surgery, although the film
explains a few other methods as well.

What I really loved best about this film, is the human aspect by which Annie portrays their story, which is sweet and wonderful to watch. And, Les is totally cool in his biker duds, James Dean hair, and tattooed body. You can’t help but fall in love with him just a little bit too. My only critique about the film is that it is only thirty minutes in length, and I would have liked to see more interviews with Les, and a more in-depth biography of his life. But, the film is about Les and Annie and their love, and is more of an artistic celebration of love, rather than a stale documentary with just talking heads. I’d recommend this film to anyone who loves Annie Sprinkle, to anyone intrigued about FTM transformation, and to those who want to watch a real-life love story that is both intimate and poignant to watch!


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