Dear Patrick: I started taking testosterone about a year ago so I could transition from female to male. So far, I seem to be a straight guy. Despite a lot of hysterical warnings from an ex-girlfriend, I have yet to be turned gay by taking T. But I am surprised by some of the things that have changed about my body. Nothing prepared me for how intense my libido got. I heard other FTMs talk about it, but I kind of discounted it. I also did not understand how strongly certain visual cues could affect me. The urgent need to come as quickly as possible when I see a pair of nice breasts, for example, has made me more sympathetic with guys who get caught with their pants down in inappropriate situations. I also understand a lot more now about sex work and casual sex. Six months into this process, I would gladly have hired somebody to blow me.
Then I discovered the Internet, and a whole world of women who actually want to have sex with transmen. The last time I hooked up it was with a woman who calls herself a former lesbian who is “bisexual for transmen only.” After I made love to her, she said she wanted to return the favor. I am not used to that but I didn't say no so she started massaging me and then she went down on my cock. She slid a couple of fingers inside of me, without asking, and I was just about to tell her to take them out when I had the most excruciating orgasm of my life. I came so hard I thought m ears would bleed. Wow.
Now I don't know what to do with this information. I don't like the idea of getting fucked. I am afraid that if I ever asked somebody to do this, they will get confused about my gender and think I am a girl. That makes me nauseous. My masturbation fantasies are all about pleasing women with my big, hard cock. I love to fuck girls until they cry from the pleasure. Transmen understand the need for clitoral stimulation, so I think we make better lovers than the average cis-gendered het man. But if I am straight, why would I want or enjoy penetration? I dislike that part of my body. I wish it did not exist. It seems rather unfair and bizarre that it is now giving me sensations that I never imagined
If you look at fetal development, you will see that at an early stage, the genitals of male and female humans look identical. There is a line of cells that looks like a seam between the legs. But at some point, the mother's female hormones will influence the female fetus to develop ovaries, a uterus, a vagina, and the external female sexual organs of the vulva. A male fetus will usually begin to make testosterone, and the hormones secreted by his tiny testicles will determine a different course of development, so that he winds up with a scrotum, a penis, and internal sex organs like the prostate.
We don't know why some people are transgendered. But we do know that a certain percentage of the population develops a gender identity that is at odds with the physical body. A person who looks female feels himself to be male, from an early age, as well. A person who looks male will state, if asked, that she is a girl, often from the age of 3 or 4. It's my belief that the gender identities of transgendered people come from the same place as the gender identities of cis-gendered (“normal”) people. Inasmuch as a “normal” gender identity is created by hormones, brain chemistry, genes, and other physical factors, as well as social learning, family atmosphere, and cultural ethos, these factors also create the self-image of a transgender person. Sometimes that image cannot be described as male or female. We are becoming more and more aware of the reality and challenges of people whose gender is not polarized into only two choices.
Many trans people find that having sex when their bodies do not agree with their mental or emotional picture of themselves is just too difficult. So the first thing I want to do is congratulate you on challenging that limitation. Most of us need contact with other people to have fulfilling lives. Sexual pleasure is part of that interaction. As a person who has suffered quite a lot of pain because of his body, you are more than entitled to some compensatory experiences. I'm glad you are allowing yourself to feel good about your physicality.
That doesn't mean that transgender sexuality is free from paradoxes and challenges. All human sexuality is fraught with these growth opportunities. It pays to keep an open mind, as well as curiosity and a sense of humor, because sex has a tendency to break the rules. Perhaps one of its unsung benefits is to remind us that we are not such big fucking know-it-alls. The minute you say “I shouldn't do that” or “That isn't something I like,” the forces of Eros begin to conspire to kick your sand castle apart.
If we look at where your genitals come from, the fact that you had an orgasm despite disliking its source may make more sense. The same skin that becomes a vagina in female infants will become the skin of the penis in little boys. Her inner and outer labia become his foreskin and scrotum. Her clitoris becomes the head of his cock.
You wouldn't think it was odd if you enjoyed having a lover stroke your cock. The obvious way this looks is for her to play with your external genitals. But it could also look like stroking you inside. Some of the tissue that ought to have formed into your penis is located inside of your body. You are in a position similar to that of a straight man who likes having his prostate stimulated. In order to get that enjoyment, he has to give in to penetration, which is not widely perceived as a manly or heterosexual pleasure. Nevertheless, there are a lot of straight men who like it when female lovers do this, men who have no interest in same-sex activity. In my opinion, we need to change our definition of masculinity and heterosexuality to encompass the reality of human sexuality. Limitations based on stereotypes are rarely accurate.
Of course, you still have choices. The fact that a certain sexual technique gave you an orgasm doesn't mean you have to do it again. Sometimes there are forms of pleasure that cause too much emotional turmoil. If a certain kind of sex is in major conflict with your values or your picture of who you want to be, it's not worth it. Only you can weigh the reward of the orgasm versus the consternation it produced and decide whether it's worth it or not.
If you do want to see if this kind of stimulation is a reliable trigger for orgasms that make your eyes cross and steam come out of your ears, there are ways to talk about it that a savvy partner can grasp. Explain that you have decided that you deserve sexual pleasure, and that means working with the body that you currently have rather than the body you feel that you should have. You can't help how your body is formed or where the nerve endings are hooked up. You don't want to get fucked as that term is usually understood. But you do want ALL of your genitals to be stimulated, as long as your partner doesn't use that fact to demean or embarrass you. If someone disrespects your gender, kick him or her out of bed at once! A compassionate ally who is also horny for your body will get with the program and either: (da) do what you like without a lot of discussion, or (b) do what you like while talking about it in terms that are gender-congruent. In other words, there will be no use of terms like “pussy” or “fucking.” Instead, she will talk about your cock and your erection and what it is like to hold that big piece of meat and tease and stroke you.
I don't know if you are able to speak to other transmen about sexuality. If you don't have friends who are locally available, I might recommend the Internet. But there are so many crazy people on-line who have extreme rules about who qualifies as a transman and who flunks their precious tests. I don't want you to get your feelings hurt by somebody who doesn't understand or share your candor. Regardless of all that nuttiness, the fact is that many differently gendered guys are facing the problem of how to enjoy male sexuality in a body that the rest of the world sees as female. It is not an easy task. But I think anybody who achieves sexual release is winning a small victory for diversity and tolerance. Instead of jumping on each other to attack or criticize, we could be learning from one another and offering support and good humor. Given how many terrible things have been done in the name of being “a real man,” I'm not sure that label is worth perpetuating.