I was so thankful for last night’s discussion around transgender sexuality. With the obsession around discussing transgender people’s genitalia, I figured it was only appropriate to really get down to the nitty gritty of the functionality of their bodies pre and post-transition in a safe space (such as the ever-so-lovely, 40-year-old, oldest feminist bookstore in the nation, Charis Books & More). Even though I know a lot about transgender sexuality, there’s nothing better than to hear it come from a personal experience.
As a cisgender person curious about what I don’t know, especially around transgender bodies, I am truly grateful about what I came to learn. When transgender folks are in the media (a’ la Janet Mock, Chaz Bono & Laverne Cox), as a cisgender person, we are quick with the questions about body changes. Sometimes this can lead to two things: 1) fetishization of transgender individuals or 2) loving curiousness and acceptance of bodily differences (if they have them).
I learned A LOT last night, so I wanted to share with you what I already knew and also what I learned in this deep, intense, loving and appreciative conversation:
1) Just because someone transitions doesn’t mean that their attractions change. Of course when you are in the queer community, you have a lot more access to your sexuality with varying degrees of attractions toward different people and it’s easier for you to recognize, but sometimes, when it comes down to it, some of us just have preferences that really turn us on.
2) Use the right language! Sometimes, it takes transfolks a little time to adjust and really know the language they want to use for their genitalia, so be patient. Once they’ve figured it out and you’ve had many discussions about it, use the language appropriately – and don’t forget the dirty talk!
3) Don’t make assumptions of what transgender folks like and don’t like regarding their sexuality and sexual actions. This, again, takes many conversations. You don’t want to inject a source of trauma in their sexual relationship with you because it can be traumatizing to them and to you and might deter you from being with another transgender person in the future.
4) Have a supportive network. This goes both ways. Not only for the transgender person that you are having a sexual relationship with, but also for yourself. Self-care is a necessary and vital piece of having a healthy sexuality. Sometimes, communities are not as accepting, so it’s up to you to find people who are supportive of your actions.
5) Have fun! There are so many different types of people in this world, and I believe that if you don’t know about something, educate yourself! When you’re educated, you have the ability to let go of the assumptions and the stigma and purely enjoy yourself.
For those more interested in transgender sexuality, I highly suggest attending the upcoming FTM Fitness Conference, which has a lot of resources and transgender people who will be discussing all the various facets of transgender sexuality.
Cheers To Your Sexual Success!