Negotiating sex and sexuality as a trans person can be difficult, especially because of our worries about our bodies. But sex can be the key to loving ourselves
As a trans person you often listen to the opinions of others about your life. This can be especially true in regard to sex.
For some reason, people seem to feel it’s a wholly appropriate topic of discussion, that just because you’re trans, obviously it’s up for discussion.
After all, don’t you exist to educate your friends on the nuances of trans lives?
A Life Of Loneliness?
Actually, I find discussing sex (when I choose to do so) hugely rewarding. Like many trans people, I was awkward growing up and had issues with my body. As a teenager I couldn’t understand how people had sex. How did they trust someone with their body like that? It was a real no-go for me.
As I began to come out, I was reminded by friends and, at times, family, that I wouldn’t have a normal relationship. My dad, despite being the most understanding person in my life, was a little broken-hearted on my behalf.
When I came out to him he was really supportive, but he expressed a concern that it would mean a life of loneliness. A life of the ‘other’, doomed to quickly becoming a cat lady.
To hear my dad voice my own biggest concern came as a massive blow.
Many years later, I’m relieved that we were both incredibly wrong. Since coming out, I’ve gone from being terrified of sex to having my best friend state that I’m not only the most sex-positive trans person he knows, but probably the most sex- positive person in general.
I talk about sex to an inordinate extent. I love to discuss it, to hear other people’s experiences and to learn. Why not?
Sex is so incredibly pleasurable; why should that privilege of pleasure stay in the cisgender community? Why should the trans community accept the stigma attached to our genitals?
I was rather late having sex for the first time. I’d spent two decades of my life being too embarrassed to explore my sexuality and too afraid to share my body with someone like that. But I quickly learned that it’s not just about pleasure. Media and society would have us believe that sex is for achieving orgasms and having babies, but there is so much more to it.
I’ve always been a lonely person. I find personal connections stressful and difficult to manage. Sex was a revelation for me in its possibility as a connection to people around me.
Whether that person be a friend, a lover or a partner, sex has the ability to break down some of the walls our society builds between us.
That sharing of pleasure and closeness breaks down some of the sterile atmosphere we’re used to, day in and day out.
We all have our own worries about or bodies, but they can be hugely amplified by being trans. After all, discomfort with some aspect of our bodies is what makes us trans.
Sex has, to a large degree, taught me to love my body. I’ve been told a lot that I have great boobs. Not great boobs for a trans woman, just great boobs.
I can’t begin to explain how much of a difference that makes to me. Every time I see them in the mirror, I can’t help but smile to myself. “Look at my great boobs.” It’s a little bit of validation in not only my body, but also my identity as a woman.
Sex Is Empowering
One of the things the trans community suffers with is a lack of control over our bodies. Sometimes we want to change them so they’re more in line with our self-image.
We want to be a little taller, have a little less hair, a different shaped face. There are ways to achieve – the changes we desire, but they can often be kept from us by misguided medical professionals or the simple issue of cost.
Sex can be an affirming force in this regard. It can give us back a little bit of power over our rebellious bodies. It can put us back in the driving seat and give us a more positive outlook on who we are. It can remind us that we are beautiful and that we do have control.
Sex Should Be A Given
If you’re in the same position as I was a couple of years ago, don’t worry. Your time will come and the excitement of finally exploring your sexuality will be more than worth the wait.
One of the most important lessons we in the trans community need to learn is that we are deserving of everything our friends and peers take for granted.
A sex life should not be seen as a privilege for trans people, but should be taken as a given, as it is in wider society. The sex-positive trans person should not be the exception to the rule; rather they should be the norm.