“So… what is it you trans people do in bed anyway?” I’ll come clean. I’ve never been asked exactly that question before, or at least not with this level of directness. I can, however, tell many people are thinking it. And it’s not an easy question to answer because ‘trans’ can mean any number of loosely related things, and encompasses the same range of orientations as the cisgender population. This being said, the only correct response to such a question would be, “Your mom”.
In the past, I’ve eschewed talking about sex, partially because I’m celibate and partially because of the whole privacy thing. Well, I rethought all that now that I’m being featured on a fantastic website Informed About Sex, and the offshoot Facebook page Radical Women Talk About Sex that I have hereto added nothing in regards to new material. Remember the whole celibacy thing? Yeah… Anyway, now seems like a good jumping off point as the guilt of being a lurker on a page where I’m listed as an author is starting to zest my lemons.
Many of you are already aware that the T’s in LGBT are the only component focused on identity rather than orientation. The difference, so often expressed, is that orientation is who you want to go to bed with and gender identity is who you want to go to bed as. In spite of the ‘sex’ embedded in ‘transsexual’, it’s about anything but. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never liked the term, though have come to grudgingly accept it as to differentiate myself from the other flavors of trans. Trust me, there is nothing even a tiny bit sexy about gender transition.
I’ve come to notice that the subject of sex never comes up in any of the support meetings. Once in a blue moon someone will let slip what gender they are attracted to, and more often than not, this is met with a period of uncomfortable silence. I’ve been attempting to figure out why on the down low. When you have a group of people willing to openly share the details about large portions of their life they spent years being mortally embarrassed by, why would a little thing like sex be a conversation killer? On top of this, there is almost a weird unspoken vibe that if asked, the “correct” answer should be a continued attraction to women. I don’t know why being both trans and homosexual is the genteel answer any lady of breeding should give, but it’s just in the air.
A big part of the problem is that going through second puberty has a way of seriously fucking things up in all sorts of delicious little ways. Flooded with estrogen and testosterone blockers, both the mind and body change. One causes a glacial and unavoidable shift in thought processes, while the other really takes the bazinga out of the original equipment, not to mention further creates an utter lack of interest in using it anyway. Identifying as female in both body and mind really skews the way a person interacts with others in most contexts, the bedroom included. Well, or the back seat of a Chevy Nova if less on the vanilla side.
While not true of all, but definitely for some, the way we look at men and women during and after transition changes. Other women seem to lose that appeal of feminine mystique we always felt outside of. Men are no longer creatures we are inclined to compare ourselves to. Even those of us who had periods of awareness of our transgender identity, until we actually own it and begin transition, we are always attempting to integrate into our birth gender identity while feeling the pull of attraction to the other we truly identify with. This kind of muddies the waters a bit and brings up a few thoughts.
I can only speak for myself there, but sometimes I have to ask myself if my attraction to women was really based on sexual orientation or strong feelings of identification and lust born of denial? If you think that one is tricky, I often ask myself if my sexual orientation is “straight”, could this mean my attraction will always be to the perceived opposite gender, whatever that happens to be at the time? In other words, if I’m straight, was I attracted to women when attempting to be male, and attracted to men once I realize I’m a woman? Ironically, this seems to be the exact type of question mulled over by red eyed college students with red Solo cups of beer and a cashed out bong on hand.
At the moment, I can’t answer these questions for myself. The hormone therapy is still hard at work making changes, and I have an even bigger change coming up this fall. After the smoke clears and I settle into the hormone level and genital configuration of a middle age woman, the answer will hopefully present itself. Or not, and I remain comfortably asexual, which has advantages of being much less complicated and messy. Either way, I’m keeping an open mind about it all.
Since no one seems to want to broach this face to face, I’m hoping for some good comments about your own experiences and maybe we can get a good discussion going on the topic.