Disheveled

Friday, December 24, 2004

Question

Q

Dear Advisor,

I am a 49-year-old lesbian in a three-year relationship with a woman who is extremely adept with strap-ons. This was a first for me, and it has been an amazing three years. I've even mastered the art of fellatio, which I find totally empowering. My problem is that I am finding myself attracted to a female-to-male transsexual (FTM) at work. Besides the "never at work" mantra in my head, I need to know if this attraction is unusual. Cock was obviously never my thing, and I am very confused by all these thoughts.

Answer

Is it fair to say that a woman who expertly wields a strap-on dildo is exhibiting masculine traits? Certainly the act of penetrating one's partner with a phallic symbol is equated with the male role in our culture. In the process of eroticizing this act, you've probably also eroticized people who were not born male who nevertheless know how to fuck. Your body may be assuming that the FTM co-worker has not had any genital surgery. If he was going to fuck you, you may unconsciously think, it would have to be with a strap-on. (In reality, FTMs may or may not enjoy sexplay that involves a harness and a dildo.) Inasmuch as he wasn't born male, you sense enough of a similarity between his body and your own to feel permission to be attracted to him. At the same time, it's a rather safe infatuation, since you don't want to embarrass yourself by courting or seducing a workplace hottie.

It's only in the last 10 years that FTMs have become visible enough for things like this to happen. The presence of an FTM community and the growing numbers of female-born people choosing to make a gender transition are changing the lesbian community in unforeseen ways. Who knows if your sexual orientation is 100% women only? Maybe you are simply attracted to masculinity. Some human beings are hard-wired to respond to erotically to high-risk situations. The more something is forbidden, the more attractive it becomes. But sexual harassment laws apply to women as well as men, and your employer may have some pretty strict policies against workplace cruising.

Before you think about flirting with this guy, be aware that he does not think of himself as a woman with facial hair. Dating an FTM is not the same thing as dating a butch woman. Most FTMs see themselves as men, period, and may be as confused by a lesbian showing interest in them as any genetic man would be. So enjoy your fantasies, but show respect for his identity, whatever it may be. Going after a co-worker could mess up your job, your relationship, and your sexual orientation. If you know all of that, and you still want him, I'd say your primary attraction is to danger rather than an FTM.

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