This is one of those areas of my life that is SUPER difficult for me to talk about for trauma reasons but like.. I know a lot of people have questions about sexuality where it concerns trans folks and I did make it a point that I was going to be honest about this journey here so… here goes. I was having a talk with a friend earlier today about sexuality and this whole change of perspective and we ended up having this really good talk about consent and pressure and it got me thinking a lot about how my relationship to sex and sexuality has changed in the last 9 months.
My sexuality before I started transition definitely came from a place of trauma. I’ve always been pansexual in the way that I really don’t concern myself with the gender of my partners, but my relationship to sex itself has ALWAYS been very much that I was a utility for someone’s enjoyment (hopefully). It felt like a thing I did for other people — a sort of sacrifice with benefits, I guess.
When I started my transition, I just.. stopped. For the first time in my life, I genuinely said “no” and I held onto that. And early on one of my relationships suffered and the other was totally fine. I just really did not have that energy to give someone, I needed to be totally focused on me as a person and figuring out who I am.
I’m immensely grateful to my partners for giving me the space to say no and respecting my bodily autonomy while I went through a lot of figuring out where this aspect of my life fits into my history and my womanhood. That really helped me re-establish my relationship with what used to be this… thing that I did because I was supposed to and now it’s a really intense form of intimacy, vulnerability, and connection for me and it’s also one where I feel like I have true control which is something I’ve never felt before.
(Also I wanna be just so incredibly clear that my partners have always respected me, never forced me, or attacked me. This is about my perspectives and feelings, not their actions, so please don’t take this as me criticizing my past relationships. I love those people and those relationships and I treasure the time I had with them)
I’ve felt duty and compulsion either by others, societal expectation, or by my own body demanding things of me and that demand really took a lot from the whole experience for me and added a lot of baggage. It helps that, after 9 months of hormones, diet changes, and lifestyle changes that I simply feel comfortable opening up to people in ways I couldn’t feel safe opening myself to them before. It also helps that my whole body seems to be wired differently so that kind of intimacy isn’t as triggering for me as it once was. So all around things are much healthier which I think is truly amazing and I’m very happy about that because this is another language I can speak with people I care very much about now.
And with that has come a lot of change in how people treat me. It’s funny because sexuality was a quiet expectation people had for me before transition. Which is to say everyone expected me to be a sexual being, it wasn’t talked about. And nobody paid me much mind or commented on my body or randomly offered me sexual attention.
And that’s changed, too, except I really don’t have control over other peoples’ words about me or to me so it’s been kind of awkward like I have this newfound sense of control over my body and my sexuality at the exact same time as I’ve perhaps never been so sexualized by others. I don’t even know if I’m complaining about the attention or not, to be honest, because there’s something intoxicating about being told you’re attractive — especially when you’ve had a lifetime of feeling deformed and objectified. So that’s new and in some cases very validating because it’s like “HEY someone just crawled in my DMs to call me — and I quote, ‘[their] little slut’, and THAT SUCKS but also YAY they see me as a woman!” But like this particular song and dance I can only react to, right? Like I can’t consent to this or say no in advance, people just… say things. And I’m still figuring out how to assert myself in that arena and I’m really grateful for my girlfriends giving me guidance on that, too.
Anyway I know like.. this is an important aspect of transition, right? Like folks have had about how transition has affected me sexually, what parts of me “work” and which ones don’t now, how things feel, and so on and some of those are conversations I don’t really feel like having in a public forum but this seemed noteworthy. So just like.. if you’re trans expect that a LOT is going to change even by small degrees both in your physical body and your relationships to sexual energy but also don’t forget to take time for you and to really allow yourself space to let the change come to you and to explore it safely.