Sex: A Discussion.
(Trigger Warning: Transphobia, sexism, frank discussions of sex and institutional violence.)
As a Trans-Woman who often dates other Trans-Women, I’m often asked.
What is it like for me to have sex?
This is one of those all too personal questions that comes down to the wire depending on how you feel about your own privacy.
There is a certain mythical quality to the collective representations that are The Bodies of Trans People.
Society tends look down on us as freaks if we don’t pass their guidelines for how women should look, or as sultry deceivers only out to undermine patriarchal views of masculinity and enforced heteronormativity, it seems even the news often tells us we deserve anything we get if we choose to violate those bounds.
Outside of traditional media and news reports lies the heavily fetishized version of our bodies depicted by the transsexual pornography industry. In this vision we’re labelled as ‘she-males’, ‘trannys’ and ‘sissies’, once again labelled as imposters, made to show what we ‘really’ are.
With all these forces seemingly arrayed against us is it possible to have a dialogue about the bodies, sexual identities and practices of Trans people without resorting to fetishization or demonizing.
The answer is of course yes, and relies on the common telling of stories.
The ability to talk about sensitive issues from a place of safety, anonymity and empowerment is key to having this discussion.
Within the feminist community there is an ongoing dialogue about women’s bodies that talks in a positive manner about the lack of presentation of a wide range of bodies in the media, this lesson can be taken up within the trans-feminist community to help discuss these issues.
It’s no huge secret that I as an author was heavily influenced by the Riot Grrl scene of the early 90s, despite attitudes held by some of the women involved, I still find looking back to that era hugely empowering. The radical in your face performances of the time had an effect on popular culture at the time has never really been achieved since.
We can look at what was most important about that era and say with ease that it was the way equality, diversity and voices were shown through art forms. The wonderful thing about presenting a subject through art is that it will generally leave a lasting impression.
Some of these radical discussions are already happening from the incredibly recent Girl Talk event (which sadly being a country away I did not get to attend) to awesome online projects like Fucking Transwomen.
I believe deep down that trans-women are beautiful, we’re shaped by our personal struggles and histories, beaten down at every turn and yet we survive. Because we must and because we are strong.
We come in all shapes, colours, sizes and sexual preferences. Our stories must be told if we are to ever be treated on our own terms, I firmly believe that they are also the key to escaping the false dichotomy that is ‘passing’.
There is of course the never ending pressure to conform to social expectations of how women should look, as well as the dysphoric feeling brought on by the simple fact of being a transsexual.
That dysphoria has a whole language of its own that needs to be written.
I love my body, despite its flaws it is mine and I would never trade it for another.
I spent so many years to get to this point, and will no longer pander to society by allowing myself to be forced into a position of hatred.
Every Trans-woman will have a different dialogue to bring to the table, and while we will all interface with this issue in varying ways, we are united by a common stance of mutual understanding.
The discussion needs to begin at the basics to define a language of expression, we use words like ‘dysphoria’, ‘cis’, ‘transgender’ and ‘transsexual’, words that are common place for us and yet outside of academic discussion and the feminist community, barely understood.
So it comes back to that question.
What is it like for me to have sex?
How I behave between the sheets is highly dependent on who I’m with, their sexual preferences, feelings on kink and issues of consent.
Before I have sex there is always a discussion of comfort zones, of what is on the table.
What can be touched, what can’t and how.
I have never been comfortable with penetration, so often sex with me comes down to somebody being able to move beyond the power dynamics involved in that act.
Sex is more than just orgasm; it is an act of mutual sharing and passion. To lie in bed and be truly comfortable with a partner is for me a lovely experience. That said I am comfortable enough with other people giving me orgasms, and no I don’t cum like a boy.
That is another myth that needs to be told, hormones make powerful changes to the body and most people have no idea what they are beyond the more obvious external changes.
At the end of the day sex for us is more than just genitals, the assumption that sex has to involve genitals or even penetration is one of the most horrible assumptions placed upon sex by the collective standard of heterosexuality.
There is no one way to have sex, just as there is no one way to love.
We as a community are in a position to be able to have this discussion, to dispel the myths of trans bodies, we just need to do it.
Who is Samantha Razor?
Samantha is a 26 year old trans-woman who studies sociology somewhere in Australia.
She has Aspergers, bipolar and many other labels. In her spare time she writes and plays piano.
She thinks she can change the world.