I’ve never really enjoyed sex. That contributed to a sense of inadequacy and despair over finding a partner, or whether something was wrong with me. And there was. I wasn’t being me.
As a non-binary person, a transgender person, I have struggled my entire life with my male anatomy. So much so, that I can count on three fingers the number of times in my life that I touched myself to orgasm. Don’t worry, I was just as compulsive a masturbator as anyone else, thank goodness, only I was rather creative in my methods. One happy by-product in retrospect was how much longer it took me to “get off”. Ladies, sound familiar?! Another happy by-product was how often I might try and not succeed. Hah! It’s the process that counts, right?
Sex, at least heteronormative cis straight sex, jarred me in its genital focus. Silly-ass Freudianism has done more damage to pansexual approaches to the body than prudism. Coitus has always been difficult for me because it pushes me into my head—when the whole point of sex is to be animal, and not in our heads. Emotional connection in the moment is about feeling, not about thinking. Am I making sense?
Coitus meant being reminded that I have a cxxk, and that was triggering to me. With only a very small number of partners has that not been an issue, but that was made possible because of other things going on in our dynamic—power exchange, kink, or in one case, an overwhelming sense that she was taking me, possessing me, owning my body, when she took me in. But for the 90% of partners and times that we ended up in the sack, I was reminded of, confronted by my own masculinity, and that has always made me uncomfortable.
And what does that mean when you don’t experience sexual satisfaction in that way? What does it mean when you really don’t want to go down that path because it feels uncomfortable? For me, it meant feeling that something was wrong with me. That I had to accept a feeling of inadequacy because what woman would ever want anything other than coitus? How silly of me. And what a waste of energy. Finally, I understand that the cxxk is not necessary for enjoyment—not hers, not mine.
Without necessarily meaning to, but certainly understanding the context above, a dominatrix began to introduce the concept of touch into my life. Through her teaching, and that is what it was, I learned that touch is my primary love language. It was a revolutionary thought for me because I have let so few people come close enough to touch me, and have an intense guardedness about my personal space, physical, spiritual, emotional. You wouldn’t guess with me being my own agony aunt, that I am utterly private in life—letting almost nobody come near—but hey, that’s the beauty of blogging anonymously. I took this gem to a touch therapist, a cranio-sacral biodynamic practitioner who combines talk therapy, hypnosis, and touch therapy and we explored this. She’s the one who got me crying on the airplane to a movie that just hit all my buttons.
Embracing my non-binary nature has made me begin to wonder what happens to me as a sexual being? Although self-medication is definitely ill-advised, there is no wonder that so many people turn to it given the gate-keeping, waiting lists, and hardship associated with the “official” channels, not to mention that many doctors don’t actually know as much as we need them to know in this field. Community centres are a godsend in this regard, and trans support groups have been a huge help to me.
Literally, the day that I was going to start self-medicating on oestrogen was the day that I met the dominatrix I have written about for the first time. Two things happened that made me stop. First, she said, “I love men,” and that made me want to be a man for her. I am sorry that my wife did not, or has not, made me feel that way. Along these lines, the dominatrix served as a guide towards accepting aspects of the self which were masculine—as she identified traits that were positive that were archetypal and that I could embrace. The second thing was that I was scared of what estrogen might do for my arousal, and wanted to not lose that, to explore that, as long as I was seeing this dominatrix. Again, sorry to my wife, but sex has been dead to us for a long, long time.
Is it any wonder at all why I hold the work that SWs do in such high regard? I cannot wait for the day when SW is no longer considered taboo, but is a revered and honoured profession, as it should be. Shame on a society that marginalises anyone, but double shame on a society that does so to people who do so much good.
But despite that stay, the range of explorations that I have been doing lately has led me to realise that coitus is not the only way. Touch can be so sensuous, so erotic. Sex need not be goal oriented, but rather all about being in the moment, being in process. I can’t tell you how liberating this is.
If I were to think back in life to the one most sexually gratifying experience I ever had, it never involved orgasm or coitus. Instead, we were coiled in one another’s arms all night long, touching, caressing, kissing, breathing, and writhing like two pythons wrapped in sensuous embrace. Sadly, it took a few months to realise she wasn’t a very nice person, but that’s another story…
What does this mean? It means that the last significant mental block between me and HRT has broken loose. It means that I can step forward into my own sexuality in recognising that touch can be more than enough for deep emotional connection. I feel like I’m a virgin again, that I’ve never done this before. And yet, it feels so deeply liberating to think that I might be with someone physically, emotionally, and never once have to think that the thing between my legs is at all relevant…gosh, what bliss. Who needs cxxk when you have hands, lips, teeth, breath, and an endless expanse of skin?
It also tells me that our social obsession with coital sex between a man and a woman is just another form of shaming to get us all to kowtow to the patriarchy. I’ve had enough.