PTBM (Proud to be Multiple)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Question

I used to enjoy having multiple orgasms with my partner. That was back when we thought of ourselves as a lesbian couple. Now that he has transitioned from female to male, we think of ourselves as a queer couple. But I don't really want to get into the identity politics; I need to ask about our sex life.

He has been on testosterone shots for a year or so. He looks a lot more masculine, but he still wants to get chest surgery and is impatient for more facial hair to grow out. He is still very attractive to me, and we are in love. In fact, it surprised me to discover how hot I think he is now. Maybe it's just because he seems to be so much happier.

But he no longer wants to enjoy multiple orgasms! He says that if I want to have them, he will hang in there with me and make sure I get off as often as I want. But he says he only wants to come once; that is what men do; so he wants to wait until I am satisfied, then have one great big orgasm. And go to sleep. I really miss our playful contests where we would challenge each other to come one more time. When I am the only one who is asking for more sex, I feel like a user. I want both of us to spend the same amount of time on our backs, if you get my drift. (I have been accused of being an aggressive switch.)

I don't understand why anybody would give up multiple orgasms. Okay, so women have them more often than men. But don't men do things like get into tantra to be able to enjoy more than one orgasm? Why does this have to be linked to gender? He claims he doesn't want to come more than once, but I can't see how his sexual pattern could be changed that much. I thought testosterone was supposed to make you more horny, not less!

Is there anything I can say or do to him to explain why this is such a loss for me? I want to support his change, but I don't see why we have to sacrifice anything good from our past.

Answer

It is hard to recommend solutions for you two. Exactly what is the problem? Has your boyfriend's sexual pattern changed because he is on testosterone? This is an often reported effect of the hormone. Many guys report that a single orgasm is so intense, it drains them of all energy, and afterward they just want to slide into unconsciousness. Is this what your boyfriend is going through, or is he making a decision to change his sexual behavior because he feels that this will make him more masculine? If so, I can understand his reasoning. While he may appear more masculine to you, the fact that he hasn't had chest surgery yet may be screwing with his self-image. A lot of us relax and stop being so tense about following the rules of a male role once we have the proper upper torso. When your body says "man," it's easier to break some of the rules in private, with a trusted partner.

I can't promise you that he will want to have multiple orgasms after chest surgery, of course. There is a lot we don't know about the effects of male and female hormones on transgendered bodies. But I will share an anecdote with you about my own experience when I started adding male partners to my repertoire. With women, my usual habit was to seek out their hottest fantasies and most sensitive erogenous zones, and give them as many orgasms as I could before my body just wouldn't move any more. And if I was with somebody I trusted who had good technique, I wanted the same thing for myself. With a skilled lover, I could have sex for hours.

So when I was lucky enough to have a man spread his legs for me, I thought I should do the same thing. Imagine my surprise when, ten minutes later, he was covered with sweat and ready to pass out. I started paying more attention to the rhythms of male couples at a sex party I attended. And I came to see that what most of them were doing was postponing orgasm for as long as possible. They were prolonging sex by denying themselves ejaculation. Of course, this could either build up the erotic tension until the release was incredible, or it could fizzle, and an over-stimulated mind and body lost the ability to come. Quite frustrating. A good top was supposed to know how to avoid letting that happen to himself or his bottom.

I told you this lengthy store (sorry) because I think that the typical patterns of male and female sexual response really may be different. Early in transition, this was so for me. I was started to discover that jerking off meant taking a nap as well, and that one orgasm was going to wipe me out. While this ay have been good for the electric bill, it wreaked havoc with my self-image.

Fortunately, I have a spunky boy who loves sex as much or more than I do. And we have discovered that multiple orgasms are possible. I'm not sure exactly how we pulled this off. Part of it was just refusing to quit after one pop. We are sneaky and slow to pull out. If you stay where you are and take a brief break, then gently build up again, you can indeed find the wherewithal to come again.

Find out more about what is going on with your lover. Promise him that you are not going to get mad if he tells you the truth. Then find out exactly why he is coming once only. If he is doing this because he thinks it is more manly, I would like to extend my personal permission for him to say "Fuck that" and do what he pleases. Nobody has the right to tell him he is not a man because of his preferences in the bedroom. Transmen are creating new forms of masculinity all the time, breaking the rules because we want a more humane way to express our gender. Especially during transition, he is so lucky to have you, sticking with him. I'm sure it is sometimes hard to be who you both are. Sex is an important outlet for couples under siege. The two of you have a right to bond with one another; nobody else gets to make rules about that. It's none of their business.

In summary: Your boyfriend may be experiencing a natural effect of testosterone. Some of us do find that our sexual response patterns change, and we only want to have one orgasm. Sometimes this isn't a choice; coming again just won't work. It's not a physical possibility. But for some of us, it's possible to buck that tendency and retain or rebuild a capacity for multiple orgasms.

Reassure your partner that you support his right to change his identity. You want to be an ally in creating this new, more comfortable self. But you also feel that sex is an important glue that holds the two of you together, and you miss a certain way of interacting. Perhaps there are other ways to bring playfulness and competition back into the sex, as well as the experience of switching. There is no law that says men have to always be on top or the top. Your sense of him as a man will not be threatened or altered by his sexual behavior. You would like the bedroom to be a "no judgments" zone where there is unconditional lust as well as unconditional positive regard. (Sorry, I geeked out there for a second.)

If your partner honestly feels that he can only reach one orgasm per lovemaking session, there are ways to have a fun dynamic that includes teasing and switching off, so that neither partner feels they are the object of all the attention. He can try to make you come one more time, and you can tease him with the sure and certain knowledge that if he lets himself come before you are ready to let him off the hook, there will be hell to pay (i.e., he'll still have to pleasure you, via mustache ride or cock pistoning, till you are a mushy happy lump of a girl). The two of you have come a long way together; his testosterone-enhanced physique makes "bed death" unlikely, so don't give up!

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