As teenagers most of us sit through some sort of sex education that usually ranges somewhere from abstinence is the only answer to a slightly more in depth discussion of which methods of contraception are best and how to prevent STI’s. However, whilst I was at school at least, the only sex we were ever really taught about was sex that involved a penis being inserted into a vagina which I have to be honest is pretty lacking. Once I started university I found myself relying on the internet to make up for gaps in my education and as I got older, had more experience, talked to more people I began to see a few things. One was that people understood sex between a man and a woman, most people could grasp sex between two men, but what seems to really confuse people is how sex between two women works and how comfortable complete strangers are about asking you about it (seriously people, there’s this magical thing called google).
One thing I’ve seen a fair bit of circulating about on the wondrous interweb at the moment are people looking specifically to date trans people, more commonly trans women in particular, with a feeling of reducing trans people to little more than living sex dolls to fulfil these people’s fetishes and fantasies. Quite honestly I think it’s pretty terrible. For some people the idea of having sex with a trans person, in particular a trans person who either does not want or has yet to have sex reassignment surgery, can bring up multiple questions about gender, genitals, and sex. If anyone is interested there’s an interesting bit in the film Boy Meets Girl where they discuss sex and what constitutes as gay sex, straight sex, and if you’re having sex with a woman who has a penis then how is that defined, which really made me think about how much we interlink genitals, gender, and sexuality.
So given that the title is “what it’s like having sex with a trans person” I suppose I should actually address that directly. First off, like absolutely everyone else, all trans people are different, there isn’t a one size fits all guide to sex because that’s impossible and ridiculous to expect. Some trans people have had sex reassignment surgery, some want it but are yet to have it, and some may never want it at all. Likewise some trans people are comfortable with using the genitals they were born with during sex, others aren’t. There’s a challenge that arises when you want to be intimate with someone, to have sex, but at the same time using the genitals you were born with brings intense discomfort and dysphoria. That’s when you discount almost everything you were ever taught in high school sex education, you learn to write a new rule book, you learn that there is far more to sex than a penis being inserted into a vagina, and that there are a multitude of ways to have physical intimacy with someone.
At the end of the day however, having sex with a trans person is exactly the same as having sex with a cis person. Between both parties there needs to be clear communication, trust, consent, and respect. If you’ve got that then that’s the most important thing, the genitals you are actually using aren’t all that important.
In this article the term trans refers to people who identify as transgender, transexual, non-binary, or otherwise gender non-conforming. The term cis refers to those people whose gender identity matches up with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Edited 04/08/2016 to include that some trans people have had sex reassignment surgery and some haven’t