Sex addicted: you MUST be a bloke!

Oh dear. Waking this morning to a super, sensational (and mostly unnecessary) piece on the front pages of the Sun about a woman who’s over 1,000 sexual partners and – eeek! – she “used to be a bloke”, i couldn’t help wondering if i hadn’t somehow contributed to that.

No! Not sexually. But by being polite to the This Morning programme.

I’ll explain. Last week, a researcher from TM rang: they had a guest on who was a 39-year-old virgin. They wanted someone to come on and put the “opposing point of view”. That is, to tell her she really ought to get a shag. I said no. Much as it grieved me to turn down national TV, i said there was no way i’d tell her that. It was wrong, unethical – and up to her whether she slept with 100 guys or none.

Oh! The researc her was non-plussed: asked who i might recommend since i wrote in the field of sexual relations. I mentioned a few names, but added that i thought they’d have the same take. (And sure enough, over the next day or so, i heard from others who write in the same area that they, too, had had the call and turned it down).

Half joking, i suggested they needed either a “professional slut” or a teenager.

Roll on this week, when TM trots out Crystal Warren as guest: her main news value seems to be that she has had a lot of sexual partners. Hmmm. Minor story, except Eamonn Holmes causes a bit of a stir by asking why she doesn’t get people to pay her…and then the story looks set to fade.

Until today, when in screaming 36-point, the Sun proclaims: “This Morning sex addict Crystal Warren reveals: I used to be a man”.

Ah, well. If you think the papers are about news, this will be a puzzle. If you understand that the tabloids are about entertainment first, news third, this makes perfect sense, since it combines two current obsessions: sex (and more sex) with that old chesnut “is it a bloke?”

This is playing to the crowd, pure and simple: hardly an anti-trans agenda. Just couldn’t care less and knowing that their readers will be salivating over a story like this.

Who initiated it? If Crystal approached the Sun, she could certainly have made a lot of dosh. Equally, though, after appearing on TM, the chances of someone from her precious life spotting her seem pretty low. Calculated money-grab, or naive self-outing. Either way, she’s not wholly innocent.

A cesspool of uninformed bigotry

So its off to the Sun to read the early comments, which contain the usual spew of nastiness and normative “i’m a real man, i’d vomit if i discovered i’d slept with a tranny” sort of stuff.

Really? As i myself comment: years back i worked in a bar and was frequently amused by blokes who would take a sip from a pint of lager – and THEN ask if it was stella or Fosters or whatever.

My reaction then: if you can’t tell, does it really matter? And besides, there seems to be a lot of confusion going on here, between guys whose respect for women goes about as far as drooling over topless pics. They MIGHT have some sense of the inner woman: MIGHT be thinking “i wonder what she reads?”; but i very much doubt it.

Most of the time, most of these blokes are more than happy with the outer wrapping. But somehow, in some way, if they know that there once was a guy somewhere in the mix, they are outraged. Disgusted.

There’s a big philosophical question in there at some level: if you can’t tell the difference, what difference does it make. But i doubt the average Sun reader would get it.

A painful agony aunt

Then, slightly more serious, there’s a rather catty comment from erstwhile Sun agony aunt Deidre, who suggests that men and women think differently about sex and if you are a sex addict, that means you still have a “male sex drive”. Miaow! And also how uninformed.

Time, perhaps, for Deidre to go back to agony aunt school?

Criminal offence at the Sun? Who’d have thunk it?

Last but by no means least is a possible criminal offence committed by the Sun: a side by side pic of Crystal’s old and new birth certificates. Printed with Crystal’s permish, that’s OK: without – and they’ve just broken the law.

Hmmm.

jane xx

8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Liz Church said,

    I doubt she’s outed herself. The story is in other news outlets (I checked the Mirror first thing). The only story concerning her listed on Google news that outed her was The Sun. Also, consider this: “I’m scared there will be a lot of angry men out there reading this…” which rather looks like pinning a target on her back (and everyone else’s too.) Finally, before I look in today’s Scottish Sun, Tim Toulmin, ex director of the PCC, stated before Leveson earlier this week, that people with gender dysphoria aren’t picked on by the press any more.

  2. 2

    misswonderly said,

    Crystal Warren said “she had spoken out so others finding themselves in a similar situation will take courage and find comfort and encouragement from their nearest and dearest”

    I have to say that, after looking back a couple of months at the stories on TMW Facebook and after reading this article, I’m coming to a conclusion which may perhaps not thrill the whole trans community.

    Few of these articles are intentionally malicious. I’d say this Sun article is more mischievous than anything because of the knee-jerk reaction they know it may provoke in transphobic men. However Crystal does make a pretty convincing if rather clumsy case about her authenticity as a woman, which is a narrative which needs to be out there.

    The main problem with the press to me is the constant inaccuracy. I can actually forgive the gratuitousness of putting this story on the front page because in my view the more stories like this there are … so long as they are not judgemental or malicious … the more being trans loses its sensationalism. I think there are a lot of guys out there who need to read about Crystal, envisage themselves as one of those 1000 guys and think even if only secretly: ‘Well actually she’s an attractive woman. I would be OK with her”. This is a conversation which needs to be opened up.

    I know that it might be seen as playing into the tropes of deceiver and sex-mad trans woman. However Crystal makes a good argument that she deceived nobody … an argument which needs to be out there. And if she’s sex mad … so what? The Sun has published numerous previous stories about women who’ve slept with thousands of men. This may be misogynistic but the fact is it’s far more acceptable for women to have numerous partners than it ever was in the past and I suspect, if there was a poll of Sun readers, a large majority would say it was perfectly OK … but not so many would approve of ‘cheating’ which Crystal emphatically was not doing.

    Bottom line … Is this article discriminatory? Only in as much as it would not have made the front page if she had not been trans … but then my point would be that perhaps it’s a good thing for this story to be on the front page because perhaps narratives about trans women sleeping with men need defusing by being out there, non-judgemental [as this one is] and eventually becoming unexceptional.

    The point about the birth certificate is a good one.

    Whether comments should be allowed is another issue. Given the type of comments which experience tells us will always crop up under such stories, I’d view them as providing a platform for hate.

  3. 3

    k said,

    It’s not the first time that “This Morning” have entertained a sex addict. Maybe this one’s a man as well

  4. 5

    Hells Bells said,

    I think the issue with the Sun’s article is not that it exists, but rather the prominence that it is given. If it had been a cis-person, I bet your bottom dollar that it would have to have been a major celeb to get the same coverage. It’s not as if there wasn’t any other news yesterday. The ONLY reason this story is published is that Crystal is trans. It falls under “being trans is not, in itself, a matter of public interest”.

    If she wanted to sell her story, no problems. If she wants to sleep around, no problems.

    What the article actually does again is conflate trans with sex – in this case addiction – and is presented with a slant of deviance. The clear implication is that trans people are all “deviants” like Crystal. Maybe not as “bad” as sex-workers or paedophiles but the association exists…

  5. 6

    […] Sex addicted: you MUST be a bloke! « Jane Fae's Blog […]

  6. 7

    Gabriella Hudson said,

    To be honest, Crystal Warren has mental health problems in my view. No decent genetic woman, man or even transexual or intersexed person would sleep with a 1000 men. Of course, the bigotry starts as usual, because she outed herself for money, not that she was that passable as I figured her out and am post op myself. People like her give decent transexuals and intersexuals a hard time and bad name because now we are sex mad, get paid for sex and are attention seekers. Still at least her sex addiction will be cured. Don’t think she will get many men now and as for 100 for half an hour in her dreams I look better than that

  7. 8

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