As most of my readers know, I have gender dysphoria. This means that while I’m definitely a woman in the physical sense I think of myself as a man for all intents and purposes…or at least until someone makes a comment that forces me to acknowledge the sex of my body. Given this information it does not come as a surprise to me that a number of commenters/private emailers ask for clarification about how I function in my sexual life. Hopefully this post will help to answer the two most asked questions;
1. If you have a feminine body, but think of yourself as a man, why do you only have a male lover?
This is a pretty standard question, and I can certainly see where the confusion lies. If I am in a satisfying sexual relationship with a cis man, why don’t I just appreciate my female body for what it is?
A) Because having sexual attraction towards someone doesn’t alter the dissonance I feel about my own body. This is why one can find cases of MtF transsexuals who are lesbians and FtM transsexuals who are gay…their attraction to the (now) same sex had nothing to do with the fact that their bodies didn’t feel correct. For what it’s worth, I know my lover is attracted to my feminine attributes and despite the fact that I wish it was different, I don’t hate my body for what it is.
B) I am personally bisexual, though I have yet to act beyond simple kissing and light petting when it comes to women. I experience sexual attraction triggers from both sexes, though about 75% of the time I’ll notice an attractive man before an attractive woman. This could be due, at least in part, to the fact that my biggest sexual trigger is scent…and women tend to wear perfumes/colognes a LOT more than men do, perhaps to the detriment of finding a good mate.
2. How much does your gender dysphoria affect you during sex (aka How do you deal with continuously being the passive partner)?
Answer: I don’t. The idea that women are inherently submissive during sex with a man has always confused me to no end. Whether it has been claimed by Feminists or MRAs, it strikes me as being more than a bit “off”. Perhaps I’m just weird, but in all the years of my lover and I having sex, I’ve never felt like I was being the submissive one or that he was the dominant one.**
Is he bigger and stronger than me? Yes, but he has never used that against me. Is he the one with the penis? Duh, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything in relation to dominance. After all, gay partners *both* have penises, and my gay friends in college had very equal relationships.The argument that I have heard the most often is that “female = the one getting penetrated” and “male = the one doing the penetration” which, when phrased this way, makes it sound like sex is something the man does to the woman.
Which would be all well and good, except that it’s completely wrong.
Sex is not (in my 8 years of experience) something that you give to another person or force on them…it’s something you both share. Personally, I feel anything but submissive during sex. He may be penetrating me, but I’m engulfing/enveloping him. In other words, I’m actively taking him into myself, and thinking ahead to better focus on both our pleasures. Why? Because sex isn’t a competition or a race. You don’t get a medal for being on top the most, or for delaying your gratification the longest. Power play *is* fun, but why inject it into every single encounter? Therein lies the path of boredom and unimaginative sex.
This viewpoint also doesn’t take into account non-vaginal sex. Oral sex, mutual masturbation, female on male anal play, using a strap-on, and erotic massage are all ways for both partners to attain sexual satisfaction that don’t involve the man penetrating with his penis or the woman enveloping with her vagina. It’s not as though these are less legitimate types of sex…or more equal, for that matter. It’s all just sex!
**(Obviously I’m not talking about our role-playing during BDSM sex. In those cases, we *do* fool around with dominance and submission, with the knowledge that it’s just for fun, is only every once in a while, and stays in the bedroom.)
I hope that these answers help some of my more curious readers to understand my sexual views and how they relate to gender dysphoria/my experiences. If further clarification is desired, simply ask for it in the comments or let me know what you think about the idea of inherent dominance and submission during sex. Just remember to keep it polite and try to aim for PG-13 level.