Just say yes?

I don’t just blog about things. I also talk with friends about issues that interest me. Which is why the following exchange arose.

Hot on the heels of discussing what could count as funny, we got on to the subject of when it was appropriate to “out oneself” as trans. I know I’ve been on a journey as far as this is concerned. From early days, when I would regularly more or less apologise for any confusion…to lately when I just let it ride.

I don’t pass astonishingly well. On the other hand, I do identify as female…so I’m not going to go out of my way to set myself up for comment. I call myself Jane: introduce myself as “Ms”; and tick the “F” box on questionnaires.

I’m pre-op but…may be post-op a lot quicker than I originally thought. However, as various persons have commented to me along the way, it is really no-one’s business but my own what I happen to have in my knickers.

Well, except…if you happen to be in the business of finding a sexual partner, then I’d suggest it is probably sensible to be upfront about that particular issue at some point before you end up in bed with them.

Our conversation drifted on. We got on to meeting someone in a club and going home with them. Would it be relevant then? Yes? Well, maybe not. There is no way anything is going to happen sexually “below the belt” for me right now. No touching. No viewing. No stripping off. Nothing. Nada.

Kissing and cuddling really is the limit, which probably underlines just how teenage I feel about this whole process.

Whereupon the conversation travelled a notch further. What? Did I mean I would happily go home with someone from a club and then NOT “put out”? Er, yes. Because…there’s no rule saying you have to, is there?

Much tutting on their part at my presumed innocence and the suggestion I’d just be asking for “a slap”…quite irrespective of the fact that they might be offended by my being trans in the first place. (But if we’re not doing anything of that sort…?).

I was flabbergasted. In various ways. First, and maybe this is why I had the more than occasional difficulty living as a bloke: I always sort of assumed you COULD go home with women after you met them and just be friends. In fact, I much preferred that mode of interaction, and over time it did piss me off that the relationship dynamic seemed to insist on our doing something above and beyond having coffee and chatting.

Far too many late-night encounters seem to have turned erotic when I would much rather they hadn’t.

But second this idea that I “would be asking for violence”. What? I am still trying to get my head around that: no, not just the statement; but the fact that i am so obviously inhabiting a different planet from my conversation partner. Whatever happened to “right to say no”? Bodily autonomy?

The irony, of course, is that this conversation took place not with some caveman-like bloke…but with a woman. Am I really so out of touch?



8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Phoebe said,

    I don’t think you’re that out of touch. Outside of serious long term relationships I’ve had a pretty much stone sexuality in most sexual interactions for the last few years and besides people feeling like they’re obligated to touch me (and then doing so) when I’ve explicitly asked them not to a few times I’ve had a great time with it. Being a top generally seems to help a lot in this respect though because a lot of bottoms tend to be happy attention-sinks. And also having a clear hands-off policy probably helped quite a bit thanks to it being so obvious where the boundaries lie once I’ve said that, whereas I imagine there are a lot of people who would end up trying to push kissing/cuddling on further so long as it was happening because so many people fail to respect the value of less intense forms of intimacy without them needing to be a prelude to full on sex.

  2. 2

    Renee said,

    A couple things.

    Obviously, you “no” means “no” and in a perfect world, nothing would ever happen that we never intended to happen. There is absolutely no reason that a man should automatically assume that going home with the means sex, and yet, many of them do.

    But this isn’t a perfect world and just because you intend for one thing to happen doesn’t mean another won’t, especially if the second person has other ideas. I was sexually assaulted about a year ago when I went home with a guy from a bar, believing I could trust him. And I’m a volunteer rape crisis counselor, so it wasn’t like I was especially naive about what could or couldn’t happen…and it still happened. I blame him; it’s his fault and I did nothing wrong, but I don’t counsel people to play with fire either.

    Secondly, unless you’re radically different than me, kissing and fondling above the waist will still evoke a biological reaction that could give away your operative status. And if you’re at that person’s home, and they don’t already know you’re trans, it’s an invitation for trouble.

    There are a lot of things out there we can’t control. It’s not fair, but the world’s not fair in general.

  3. 3

    Lucy Melford said,

    I agree that you would be playing with fire. The world has changed; sex is expected much sooner than it used to be, and you could find a situation sliding quickly out of control if you allowed any intimacy whatever. And the inevitable discovery of the ‘wrong’ bits might mean trouble for you. Or not: but then, do you want to be appreciated as a ‘chick with a dick’? I’m told it’s OK, but I wouldn’t want it.

    The best way forward would seem to be get your surgery done, heal up properly, then go to it. And meanwhile learn a useful household art, go out with the other girls, and avoid one-to-one dating.


    • 4

      janefae said,

      Oh , Lucy…not actualy planning to go and do ANYTHING! And whilst some might consider “chick with a dick” to be best of both worlds, i personally would hate the idea.

      And whilst i am looking forward to being post-op, that is really loads more about feelin “right” than going cruising. 🙂

      No. This was really just about ideas…and my surprise that a woman would come out with what felt to be such an atavistic point of view.

      I get out and about to clubs a lot (part of the job description), but i am a vey good 50’s sort of a girl. 🙂


  4. 5

    Stace said,

    No going home should not imply anything, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be interpreted that way by some people.

    And not just from one side either. When I first moved to Holland I had a close friendship with another ex-pat new colleague who was female, extremely attractive and a few years older than I was.

    I house and cat sat for her when she was away on business and would often stay the night at weekends after watching a film or something, or when the trains were on strike as her place was easier for getting to the office (in seperate bedrooms i hasten to add) and the rumours flew.

    I still don’t think the people that I worked with believe that nothing was going on… The term smoke and fire was thrown about quite a bit.


  5. 6

    Out of interest, was the person you were chatting to straight? I’ve noticed nearly as much difference between opposite sexualities as between opposite genders when it comes to relationships. I’m not sure how you’d currently regard your sexuality, but I remember myself watching “The L Word” shortly after transitioning and having a bit of an epiphany as I’d always conducted relationships in what might be regarded as a “lesbian” way, even pre-transition. (“First date’s a coffee, second date’s a U-Haul” and emphasis on emotional bonds rather than sex, for example)

    • 7

      janefae said,

      oh, shit….another of those epiphanies (cause i hadn’t even heard the reference to U-haul until you just wrote it). You got me to a T.


      Oh my…

      And i was out today talking to someone about how my relationships as a bloke were always ill-fated…something i always got wrong…whereas now, despite all the disadvantages of being trans, i feel more at ease, more genuine than i have ever been in my life before.

      The person commenting is bi…but i’d class her as more hetero than gay. Over to you: what do you read into that?


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