I feel like this is so insensitive but something I’ve always wondered. How has starting the transition (and your dysphoria) affected your sex life? I view physical intimacy as a crucial part of a romantic relationship so are you comfortable discussing whether you’re physically intimate with your partner(s)?
I don't think this is insensitive at all. I mean of course you should never ask a person this without their permission but I did say *anything* so here we are. I'm always kind of astounded, but not shocked, by how much people view trans people *first* through this lens of sexuality and sexual intimacy and like... then we get to the other stuff.
But for me it was totally the opposite. I already had problems around sexual intimacy and honestly when I started transitioning that was the first time since I was... really young.. that I'd gone entire weeks without some kind of sexual contact. It was amazing to be honest. So honestly sex was kind of an afterthought in my transition and sorta still is in a lot of ways. I only think about it insofar as I feel like I have needs or wants for that kind of closeness ya know?
Coming out was really the first time I had, in every possible way, decided to reset my boundaries and expectations about my body. I was in control of how I looked, how I cared for myself, how I dressed, how I did or didn't have sex, all of it for the first time.
And slowly I've been using that control to learn what I want and don't want and need and don't need in regards to my body and identity. Touch is one of my love languages so over the last year I've really learned how much non-sexual physical intimacy truly matters to me. Just being held by someone is one of the most amazing and gratifying experiences I've ever had. So I've learned how much I truly crave and love that experience.
In regards to sexual intimacy, I am sexually intimate with my partner(s) and I'm still sussing out what that means for me to be honest. I do have a libido to speak of, it's kinda always at this sorta very low simmer so it's not like overwhelming or anything but there are times we get to a boiling point. In terms of what acts I do and don't do in the bedroom like.. there are certain things that because of medicines that I take... I'm really not able to do but I also don't miss that because they make me super dysphoric so a lot of my sexual experience in the last few months has been very much exploration and learning what feels good and doesn't to this body and to my heart.
But my experience isn't the same as everyone else's like.. a lot of my trans sisters are VERY sexual because they see that as a way to reclaim their sexuality and their ownership of their bodies. Many of them are straight up disinterested in sex entirely. There's a WIDE variety of sexuality in the trans experience. I'm a Buddhist so I try very hard to seek out the middle way when it comes to most things, but also the right way for me. I feel pretty happy with where I'm at sexually and I know it'll be different in a few months and then different in a few months after that. And if and when I choose to/am-able-to have confirming surgeries I know my sexuality will be very different then as well.