no sex, please; we’re trans

As so often, it is a comment on a related issue that has set me off on this one. So while this post is about sex, trans and porngraphic imagery, it should not be taken as direct response to the original.

Merely a train of thought leaving the station tangentially. It starts with an appeal to keep direct pornographic linkage out of a serious treans forum.

That’s fine: i have no probs with that. So long as the linkage in question is “gratuitous”, in the sense of being put up purely for titillation purposes and not to contribute to debate. And so long as that interdiction doesn’t equally become a bar to discussion of sexual content.

Shhh! Don’t mention the s-word

Cause like it or not, around a third of published content online and off is widely assumed to be devoted to porn: and porn, or, equally, sexual(ised) imagery of anyone can quickly become a part of the definition, a large part of the problem.

As, too, can rejection of that trope.

Take feminism and the (now) slightly retro feminist critique of porn. It highlights, rightly, the way in which porn narrative objectifies women and, through a simple reduction of women to body parts, devalues and creates a narrative within which consent is merely a matter of physicality: and withholding of consent is regarded as perverse.

I say retro, because the counterpoint to that is a more modern narrative that focuses on consent and has attempted to create a porn that is, if not feminist, at least woman-friendly. In which efforts i thoroughly applaud the work of feminist film director Anna Span and one-time editor of Filament Mag, Suraya Singh.

As i posted elsewhere more recently, we are well overdue a synthesis of those two views.

Trans sexualisation

But back to trans stuff. There is no doubt that trans folk come in for a lot of harm as a direct result of the way in which they are included in various straight (?) porn narratives. It certainly seems to me that there is direct linkage between a variety of psychiatric theories of trans and what they have supped from the well of t-chaser fantasy…which does raise questions as to the real suxuality, orientation and agenda of some early therapists.

Chicks-with-dicks is a popular porn theme, subject of any number of magazines and websites, and something i find personally quite offensive. As narrative, it has nothing at all to do with me.

Which is not to say i never had any use for porn. In hindsight, i remember picking up cross-dressing stories (you know the sort: maiden aunt forces feminisation, represented by stereotypical and humiliating clothing, on naive young guy…much sex follows): picking them up and quickly putting down. There was something there, but again, it did nothing for me.

And then i found a somewhat narrower vein of true transformation stories, in which bodily change was the focus: usually effected by magic or sci-fi means; possibly with, and possibly without a sexual element in tow. Let’s face it: my very first experience of erotic literature was the Metamorphoses of Latin poet, Ovid.

Trans puritanity

So was i utterly pure of heart and mind? Of course not: and here’s an important point. There are times when it certainly feels like the trans community as a whole is teetering on the brink of being anti-sex. At least publically, throwing a truly Victorian fit of vapours the moment that sex and trans get mentioned in the same sentence.

And that would be wrong: a cultural cringe, perhaps: buying far too much into the therapic insistence that transition is NOTHING to do with sex.

Which is going to the other (wrong) extreme. Transition is not about sex, sexuality. But that doesn’t make trans men and women into a bunch of vestal virgins either. Sex is there, always. A constant part of the narrative.

Something trans folk do during and after transition – time to stop being ashamed of that! – and a major part of the critique turned against transition by the ignorant cis.

Gratuitous sex? No. But we shouldn’t be afraid, either, to examine sex and sexuality as part of the trans narrative.

jane xx


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    cathy anne daniels said,

    hi, cathy here,
    how did you get on with sorting out my little problem that you said you would sort,with the papers for me ,cathy

    • 2

      janefae said,

      if you are round tonight, give me a call…or i’ll call you.

      the issue has, at one level, been sorted…though not necessarily in any way to give you joy. but i would still be more than happy to post up your version of your story as somewhere you can direct peeps.

      beyond that, i am going to add an apology to you directly for failing to get very far with this. on the media front, i’ve probably changed what the papers now report as standard in terms of transition costs…but your personal issue has a lot more to do with getting your self sorted out…and that is much more to do with your personal fight with your pct.

      let’s get back up to date and see where that gets us and also whether i can involve someone in the mix who would be able to give you more direct help.

      jane xx

  2. 3

    I think gender and sexuality are more closely linked than most people care to admit. But this is partly because both are constructed on the basis – the assumption – that sexual orientation relates to the gender identity of the people we are attracted to.

    It is why I like bisexuality and pansexuality. I think they go beyond gender.

  3. 4

    just another tranny said,

    “…examine sex and sexuality as part of the trans narrative.”

    Are you planning to enlighten us, or…

    “Is that all she wrote?”

  4. 5

    mishmich said,

    I agree Jane, it is bollocks, but I guess with people like Bailey, Raymond and their supporters in certain radical feminist, lesbian and gay groups working to have MtF’s seen as closet homosexuals, hookers or autogynephiles, it is not surprising that people are reluctant to talk about sex. At first it was the gatekeepers who insisted on an asexual narrative, and then it was those who want to maintain transsexuality and transgdenderism as forms of psycho-sexual dysfunction (presumably curable through behavioural therapy) effectively forcing trans people to remain in their asexual-isolated-stealth-closets.

    • 6

      just another tranny said,

      I think that in order to have an honest discussion one has to acknowledge the existence of, and frankly the preponderance of, “closet homosexuals, hookers and/or autogynephiles”, covered and included by the TG umbrella. While these folks are most certainly human and entitled to their human rights they most certainly are not suffering from transsexualism or DSD.

      IMO it is folly to try and group all these distinct typologies under one all encompassing term. Also I think it is highly myopic to overgeneralize the thinking of of such ‘learned’ dimwits, who know nothing of the reality of these conditions, to all medical providers. There are many who thankfully do not subscribe to the GLAAD/HBIGDA hive think.

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