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.
41 thoughts on “Gender Dysphoria And Sex”
“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”.”
I was thinking the same thing. I think they are confusing submissive with the position that requires more emotional vulnerability. There is nothing inherently more dangerous (that I know of) about having strange penises in your holes, than sticking your penis into strange holes. Both involve vulnerable body parts, and both can end in pain if you’re doing it wrong. However, being penetrated (for a woman at least) is more emotionally serious than for the man to penetrate. Simply because she used to run the risk of pregnancy during the evolutionary past and had to be more vigilant about whom she picks.
None of this means she turns submissive when she had normal sex though. His lesser sexual vulnerability is balanced out by her bigger power to choose.
She also doesn’t turn passive automatically. I assume the one who moves the most is the active one.
That said, she could of course be obedient during sex, or passive if they decide on that, heeheh
Maybe feminists wish women didn’t have this bigger sexual vulnerability, and interpret it as degrading. As for manosphere guys, I dunno. I think it all goes back to men’s overt power and women’s covert power. The former confuses us and makes us think males have all the agency and power. MRAs, being MRAs, should definitely know better.
“However, being penetrated (for a woman at least) is more emotionally serious than for the man to penetrate. Simply because she used to run the risk of pregnancy during the evolutionary past and had to be more vigilant about whom she picks.”
I do wonder if this is still the case though? With the advent of reliable birth control, I’ve met/heard of many women who simply think of sex as something fun to do on a Saturday night…they certainly don’t speak as though they are emotionally vulnerable. On the other hand, most men I know say that there is still a large emphasis on the man needing to be a diligent and well endowed lover. They worry about their penis not being big enough, they are “responsible” not only for their own orgasm but those of the woman as well, if they can’t get it up or they go soft during the encounter they are often ridiculed, and they have no real way of knowing if their partner is on birth control (thus, condoms are still very important not only to protect against STDs but pregnancy too).
Given the current landscape of random sexual encounters (which, ironically, neither of us has experience with), I’d argue that the tables have turned. What say you?
Where do babies come from? };-)>
Well, I don’t know about you, but I was dropped down the chimney by a pterodactyl…None of this “stork” stuff for me! 😉
What a remarkable coincidence. So was I.
Superb job spelling “pterodactyl.” A+
Yup, can’t say those spelling bee awards didn’t pay off. 🙂
No, I really don’t see that the tables have turned (there’s a lot of evidence that men still get more out of casual sex and are more ready and willing to get into it quicker). Women are still on average the picky sex, and men, of course, must perform in a variety of ways to get sex in the first place, and keep the woman coming for seconds. Apparently this is not easily overridden with birth control.
I call it an emotional vulnerability. That kind of thing doesn’t have to look obviously like emotional vulnerability. A woman doesn’t usually say “Sex could really upset me, so I must be careful whom I allow to penetrate me”, lol. But the way they act (increase standards for casual sex instead of decreasing them, feeling upset if the guy doesn’t call after sex) indicates sex is a bigger deal for them than for men.
Men have their own vulnerabilities in sex, but they are of a different kind, usually.
Ah, okay. Thanks for the clarification.
Count me in the ‘sex is an inherently submissive act for women’ camp. I’m equally perplexed that anyone would argue otherwise.
Just to add, if you’re wearing the strap-on and pounding his ass, you’re in the position of dominance. For homosexuals it’s the same dynamic.
Interesting. Can you go into more detail as to why you think this is so? Also, what do you think of non-penetrative sex like I speak of above…for example, does 69ing have any measure of power play in your mind?
It would be difficult to explain. I’d liken it to explaining why something is funny. It’s funny because it’s funny. Some might differ on what they think is funny but as a generality people agree. Same for dominate and submissive acts.
For rough instance, one could argue that the person lying prone on the floor is dominant over the person who is holding him/her down with a boot or stiletto shoe. But it’s generally agreed that the person with his/her head on the pavement is in the more submissive position (not to be confused with subjection or subjugation…the person with his/her head on the concrete might absolutely want to be there and derive great pleasure from it, this doesn’t mean it is not a submissive position).
Per 69: Between homosexual males, it’s a wash…they’re both being simultaneously sodomized and sodomizing. The woman is being sodomized in this act, so she would be in the position of submission still.
Just to add, this has little to do with how the person submitting feels. The sub might feel very dominant performing fellatio (I usually do), it’s still an inherently submissive act.
I’d agree with this example, especially since in BDSM sex the person who takes the submissive role is actually the one in charge (as they control the use of the safeword, and it’s their comfort level that takes precedence over the dom).
So yeah, I’d agree with the idea of a *position* being dominant or submissive, but not necessarily the person *in* that position being dominant or submissive. Example: if I’m on top of my lover, I’m in a dominant position…but I’m not actually dominant over him as a lover. Same as when we are in a standard missionary position…he’s on top of me, but not dominant over me.
There’s no sodomy going on at all when a couple 69’s. It’s a position where both partners receive oral sex at the same time. In a hetero case, this usually means the man lies on his back giving oral to the woman who braces herself above him while giving him oral as well. So the man is in a submissive position and is giving cunninglingus to the woman, who is in a dominant position while giving fellatio. It’s actually one of my lover’s favorite positions. 😉
Sodomy = anal penetration, either with a penis or a dildo/vibrator…or at least that’s the definition I’ve always known. Were you using a different definition, or did you confuse 69ing with a different sex act?
If the person performing it feels dominant, then what makes it inherently submissive? I also feel very dominant/powerful when giving oral, especially when I can make my lover moan or cry out (he’s not very vocal during sex). From our conversations, he also feels powerful/dominant when going down on me.
Thus, I have a hard time equating either fellatio or cunninglingus with being submissive. If the partner performing it doesn’t feel submissive, and the partner receiving it isn’t in a dominant position or role…how could it be considered submissive by anyone (other than a random onlooker who puts his/her projections on the couple)?
Sodomy is anal or oral penitration, Sophia. There’s not much of a point in explaining more. This is like arguing over what stink is.
“If I like the smell of feces, is it stinking?” Answer, yes.
“If I prefer smelling vomit to roses, is vomit stinky?” Answer, yes.
I’ve never heard of oral sex being referred to as “sodomy”, but I’m willing to accept that certain circles may call it such.
I still don’t agree with your ideas about inherent submissiveness or dominance, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions. If everyone agreed all the time, the world would be a very boring place indeed!
The online legal dictionary agrees with me on the definition of sodomy.
Those “certain circles” must be very large indeed.
Per the rest, I agree (unless that’s too boring?). 😉
So I see, lol. Like I said, I’ve never heard of sodomy used to mean oral sex before…only anal. But I’m quite willing to admit that a dictionary definition is correct, and that there are words with excess meanings I’m not familiar with.
I have yet to attain perfection, it would seem. 😛
This is what I don’t understand about transgenderism…honestly it sounds very sexist to me. If you don’t want to be a silly woman who wants to get married and be submissive and maybe you prefer things like sports or science related things or even art well this means you may be trans. You don’t know how many times I have been called guy like just because I am into more “male dominated” things…also are women like Grace Hopper and Marie Curie really transgender? They did things that were considered more male.
Hi there, KDB1978. Thanks for commenting.
I’m unsure of why you feel that transgenderism is sexist. It’s not saying that only men can have traits XYZ and only women can have interests ABC. It’s the fact that for a trans person they literally feel uncomfortable in the body they were born with. Now, some have surgery to make their bodies more to their liking, others only take hormones, and still others simply dress and live as the sex they want to present as. Then there’s people like me, who ACT how they feel comfortable doing but still present as the original sex (usually mistaken for regular tomboys/tomgirls).
This previous post might help to clarify things, since I included diagnostic information too;
oh ok…well, I got from other posts that you thought women were kind of alien and illogical and that rubbed me the wrong way I guess. I guess to me I also feel like I cant relate to most women and sort of blame socialization and I kind of wonder if maybe I am not a woman either really.
I can see that…It’s not so much that I think women are illogical (though some are, just like some men are), but I do feel alien around them 99% of the time. The “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” books are true; the sexes have different ways of thinking/communicating that lead to a lot of conflict and misunderstandings. It’s not that men are better or women are better…it’s just not the same.
I just happen to have a brain that relates, thinks, and responds far more to a male way of living. Doesn’t mean I’m superior to cis women, I simply have a great deal of trouble understanding things they talk about or are interested in. There are subtle clues and ways of communication that are foreign to me…but that’s on me, not them.
I think that many people feel not quite male or not quite female at some point in their life. You may have gender dysphoria like me…but if you are at home in your body, probably not. It’s more likely that you are a tomboy, or that you simply have more stereotypically male interests than most women. None of these are wrong, just as it wouldn’t be wrong for a man to enjoy stereotypically female interests. Embrace your difference, be a good person, have empathy for others, and I believe you’ll be fine. 🙂
Also on #1: gender and sexual orientation are two different things. People constantly get them confused. Thanks for clearing up a lot of confusion on the general subject here.
Hi BB. Yes, it happens a lot, but I think it’s an honest mistake/misconception. Hence why explaining the difference is required for those of us who know it.
Yeah, in all my women’s studies classes I have to go over the difference between the two.
Had a funny incident with my kittens. My neighbor caught them when they were little (they were feral) and told me that one was a boy and the other was a girl– Turned out they were the opposite. I call them (Felix and Lexy) my little transgendered kitties. My mom says, “Oh yeah, they’re gay.” No mom, gay and transgendered are two different things!
I’ve had gay/lesbian pets before…can’t say I’ve ever had any trans ones though. 🙂
Nice blog and interesting post! I will have to read through some of your earlier stuff as well.
This is the first time I have read a personal account of gender dysphoria; I am sure many people share the same experiences as you, but few have written about it. I have known a few women who seem to be like this too, but I don’t think they were really aware of it, or willing to accept that. Thanks for sharing your sexual experiences with respect to all this.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Racer X. It is much appreciated.
I decided to write about my experiences/differences precisely for the reasons you speak of; there are a few forums for trans or dysphoric individuals, but outside of those there’s very little of personal thoughts. Glad to see you liked this post. I hope you stick around and give some feedback on my others, too!
“but outside of those there’s very little of personal thoughts.”
It is your clarity of thought on issues that I find most interesting. A male mind in a female body gives a fascinating insight into both, I think. I wish it weren’t so painful for you at times though.
Thank you, dear sir. It actually helps to write about it, in a way. I just wish more people did. And of course I recognize that while my mind is masculine, my life experiences are different than what someone who is/presents as a man has. Thus, I acknowledge and have great sympathy for cis males in our society, and sometimes catch myself thinking of their pain/frustrations as my own…even though anyone looking at me would simply assume I’m a typical, everyday woman. Dissonance to the Nth degree!
Btw, I *will* get to your private message by Monday night. I’ve had to work 12 hour shifts the last few days, as well as today. If you know anyone who sells Time, let me in on that deal. 😉
When you get a chance is fine, cheers. Quality over alacrity every time. Take care of yourself…
What do you think of the moustache BTW?
I was aiming for stylish yet distinguished. Or maybe, debonair…
It’s a bit rigid for twirling in a devil may care manner, shame about that.
I usually don’t care for facial hair, but your avatar wears it well. Honestly, it reminds me of the sort of moustache one would see on an actor in a Monty Python skit, lol. I like it.
“The idea that women are inherently submissive during sex with a man has always confused me to no end.” Interesting… I’ve actually never heard this idea before, nor did such an idea ever occur to me.
It’s in a lot of what people/society tells you when one grows up female. It lead to a number of second wave feminists spouting the idea that women can’t actually consent to sex with a man due to “patriarchy”, that lesbian relations were equal and better, and that any type of penetrative sex between a man and woman was quite close to being rape.
Lots of sex-negativity there, and even today parts of the manosphere and various feminist blogs talk about it.
Didn’t Andrea Dworkin say stuff like that? Especially the all-sex-is-rape part?
Yes, and others too, though not as many nowadays. However, some feminists do still think that “patriarchy” is around every corner and needs to be considered even during fully consensual kink or bdsm. (See BroadBlogs comment in my BDSM post.)