We’d like to thank the folks at Jems for making this post possible. When they approached us and asked us to tell people about trans sex, we were overjoyed, and we asked our followers in a vote if they’d support us making a post with Jems. They came back with an overwhelming yes, and now we’re here, overjoyed over what we’re allowed to write and say. We hope it’ll be a help to our readers!
Our goal here today isn’t to tell you how to sleep with trans women; there is already a good zine about that. Our goal is to bring up aspects of trans bodies and trans sex lives that are under discussed and resultantly can cause anxiety and concern.
Like in other populations less at risk of unplanned pregnancy, such as the homosexual and senior citizen populations, STIs are globally more common among the trans community. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as decreased risk of pregnancy, increased promiscuity, a higher than average reliance on sex work for employment, and a trauma-related increased likelihood to participate in unsafe risk-taking sex habits. It is also largely due to a lack of sex ed appropriate to trans populations. It is important to talk about safety, testing, and any other disclosure that needs to happen (applicable to any permanent STI, not just HIV/AIDS). However, prevention is not enough. Destigmatization is also important. We live in a world that has taught us nothing but shame and fear regarding STIs, when in reality even the scariest, when diagnosed and treated properly, are manageable and do not mean an end to your future or sex life, and others amount to little more than a skin condition. Largely it is their relationship to sex and genitals that have turned STIs into some of the scariest and unspeakable moments in our lives, not anything inherent about them. If you contract one, you can be okay.
Condoms are a key part of having safer sex, but for many trans people, they can prove a problem. Most notably, lots of trans femmes have trouble getting hard, or don’t desire to be hard, plus sometimes even a hard trans femme penis isn’t very hard. This can make putting condoms on and keeping them on more difficult. We’ve also heard of people who find the act of putting the condom on to result in disassociation and loss of erection. For trans femmes who still want safer genital on genital contact, we know of a variety of workarounds. For instance, a larger size condom (if applicable) can lessen the discomfort as it may be easier to put on, and draw less cognitive attention to your penis once it’s on, by being less tight. Unfortunately, buying something called “magnum” can be dysphoria-inducing itself. We’ve also heard of dental dams being used for non-hard genital on genital play, and you can easily make one out of a condom, should you not have one in handy. Lastly, flavoured, coloured, or patterned condoms are sometimes cited as decreasing dysphoria. Talk with your partner/s openly and see what works best for you!
For anyone who enjoys penetrative sex, lube can be your best friend, however there are a few unique ways it can be extra important for trans people. For instance, trans femmes who have undergone bottom surgery will find themselves going through truly massive quantities of lube for at least the first year in order to keep up with their daily dilation schedule. It is important to buy good quality, unscented and unflavoured lube with as few additives as possible to avoid irritation and potential complications during this period. And if you’re having penetrative sex with your partner during it, looking into a condom coated in an equally high-grade lube is also a smart idea. Medical grade lube is often the best approach, but there are cheaper alternatives on the market. Some find KY works well, others have strong reactions. If you’re going to try a non-medical lube, it may be a trial and error process. Likewise, for trans masculine people, lube can become a central part of your sex life depending on if you take testosterone and how it affects your own natural lubrication. We’ve heard accounts of suddenly needing a lot of it, and accounts of the exact opposite. Listen to your body.
The Feminized Penis
While almost everyone who knows anything about trans sex knows about “the mouthfeel,” it might be useful to go into a few other aspects of what taking feminizing HRT can do to your penis. Perhaps most importantly to most, the sensations it feels are likely to change, as will the types of contact it finds most pleasing. It’s a great time for experimenting. The colour, consistency, quantity and taste of what it produces might also change. You may also notice you “get wet” when turned on more. As mentioned previously, the intensity and ease of hardness might decrease. Likewise, your skin will likely get softer and more sensitive. While this can be great fun, you’re also more likely to get friction burns! So if you get one, try not to freak out, and consider investing in some lube to avoid future burns. Overall, most people enjoy the changes that occur, and if you don’t, talk to your doctor as there are often adjustments that can be made.
The Masculinized Pussy
Pussies on testosterone can be affected in very similar, often inverse, ways to penises on estrogen. For instance, masculinized pussies can change both the colour (often becoming more white) and the amount of wetness. Likewise, amount of sensation may increase or decrease, but often trans masc people report “masculinized” sensation and an easier time achieving orgasm. Some people report fewer full-body orgasms and instead say they experience it more confined to the genital region. Trans masc people also sometimes report both increased horniness and a more notable physical sensation of being turned on or horny. There is also a slight risk your pussy might atrophy on testosterone; this can be solved by localized treatments so try not to worry about it.
Types of Bottom Surgery
GRS, gender reassignment surgery, is still the main term these operations go by. Previously they were often called sex reassignment surgeries or sex changes. Today they are increasingly called Gender Affirming Surgery, though this latter term can include other surgeries too. For trans feminine people, there are three main types of bottom surgery: with cavity, without a cavity, and rectosigmoid. The first provides a vaginal canal, the second does not but still provides a realistic exterior, and the third does provide a canal, but uses pieces of the colon to ensure the penis remains intact (often jokingly called the “futa surgery”). For trans mascs, there are a plethora (often overlapping), including urethroplasty, hysterectomy, ovariectomy, vaginectomy, scrotoplasty, metoidioplasty, and of course, phalloplasty.
Kink and Dysphoria
What “sex” is to a trans person can vary greatly, both between people, between different partners, and from situation to situation. In our society, we call any form of sex that doesn’t involve genital interaction kink or a fetish, due to a societal presumption that sex is directly tied to the genitals. For many trans people, especially those with bottom dysphoria, kink is our bread and butter. It becomes a comfortable, exciting, creative, and versatile way of interacting with our partners when one or both of us do not wish to engage in more normative forms of bedroom intimacy. While it might not be for you, it’s important to remember that there is a whole world out there of people experimenting and having safe and consensual kinky fun, and that most kink is nothing like you see on TV or in the movies. So withhold your judgments, kick your shame to the curb, and do what’s best for the people involved, including yourself.
Follow @autogyniphiles_anonymous on Instagram for more (they service trans communities and philosophy lovers alike!). You can see this content as it originally appeared @jemsforall, along with insightful comments and conversation around people’s personal experiences.