Genital Preferences Are Bullshit
Note: This is copy & pasted from a Facebook comment I made on a post asking for help explaining why genital preferences in sex are transphobic. I don’t feel like editing it to change the tone and target audience. The info is the same.
TW: The following is detailed descriptions and implications about sex. Mainly, the diversity of sex that I have. And my genitalia. In somewhat lengthy detail.
Letting genital “preferences” determine who you have sex with is really fucked up imo, and presumes a lot about:
a) What the genitals of other people look like before you have seen them yourself. Many trans people have surgery, are intersex, or have hormones that change the configuration of our junk.
Most of the time people who say they have these preferences, are assuming a lot about what qualifies as what type of genital, which just doesn’t translate to biological reality. How long does a phallus have to be before it’s a penis? How short before it’s a clitoris? If it’s 3 inches? 4? 2? 5? What if someone’s phallus is 5 inches, but they also have a vulva and a vagina?
I have a two or three inch phallus, and a vulva and vagina. I personally call my phallus a dick. Technically, that’s what it is. I’ve only been on testosterone for maybe 6 months in total, and there was a year break in the middle. My phallus is likely going to continue to grow a bit over the next while. Where on this “I won’t have sex with people with penises” spectrum does my genitalia fit? (Also why haven’t we heard the same number of people come forward saying they won’t have sex with people with vaginas?)
b) What kind of sex that person is even okay with having.
This assumption gets extremely dangerous and is generally inappropriate and quite frankly, rude to be making.
Why do you phrase it, “I won’t have sex with people with ______,”
and not, “I won’t have sex that interacts with ______,”
since consent for sex does not mean consent for everything sex could ever possibly be?
It is not appropriate, or justice-minded to apply cisheteronormative ideas of sex onto others.
I’m dfab and currently have ambiguous genitalia. I’m on testosterone. I still have an innie down there but I also have an outie down there. I could both penetrate and receive penetration. I also have a butt, hands, fingers, a mouth, hips to grind with, a tongue, etc, which can also be used for sex.
When someone says they have a genital preference, a good follow up is to question what that means. What interactions with different body parts are they talking about? Are they assuming that all trans people with that genitalia would want their genitalia interacted with that way, and rule out any other sexual acts that don’t involve that?
I have regular sex with other trans people and it’s not all PIV. Sometimes it’s kissing erogenous zones, sometimes it’s butt stuff, sometimes it’s grinding in places that aren’t genitalia-to-genitalia rubbing.
I’ve had plenty of sex with folks who have prominent outies without touching or interacting or even seeing their outie in any way.
Receiving oral still counts as sex. One person could be fully clothed and consensually touching someone else in a sensual + sexual way, and that still counts as sex. People could literally be dry humping and it still counts as sex. Masturbating while giving each other eye contact? Sex.
Literally anything that could lead to the possibility of orgasm for somebody involved, that counts as sex.
Cis people need to stop assuming that just because a trans person invited you to have sex, you have full rein to do what you want, how you want, with our bodies and body parts. Or that is a thing on the table that you need to reject. When you talk about having sex with trans people, nothing is implied. Never assume. Always ask and have actual conversations about what is cool and what’s not.
Consent is important, and consenting just to “sex” doesn’t mean that any and every kind of sex is on the table.
And that includes having conversations on consent for referring to different genital configurations with different gendered terminology. Especially in order to refer to it only in the context of rejection.
[It’s also important to note that this happens with trans women more than any other group of trans people. Women’s bodies are policed and criticized enough. Don’t act like a woman is unattractive just because of her genitalia. You wouldn’t do that to a woman who is cis and perisex.]
If you don’t want to have sex with a trans person, you don’t have to explain or give them a reason. And you should never feel pressured to do that, for anyone you turn down sex from.
And if you do give a reason, don’t make it about them. Don’t make it about how unattractive our bodies are to you because of our genitals. Don’t pick apart things about our bodies which make you uncomfortable. We don’t exist to make you comfortable and we don’t exist to make you uncomfortable, and putting sex on the table is never an invitation to pick apart someone’s body.
If you do give a reason, make it about yourself and how you don’t feel like it, or you aren’t interested, or you aren’t ready, or you need to unlearn some stuff before you would feel like having sex with this person (or people, if that’s what you’re into) could be enjoyable for anyone involved.
I think the axis of this issue is applying cisheteronormative ideas of what sex looks like onto trans people is just a recipe for… shitty sex, for one. And definitely a lot of cisheteronormative standards being placed on trans people, our bodies and our sex lives and possible preferences. That is cissexist. That is transphobia. That is a problem with you, and not a problem with us, or our bodies.
Sorry if this sounds really harsh, it’s not directed at anyone in particular, it’s just a lot of angsty buildup from a lot of conversations I’ve had over the years. I came out in 2011 and have had to explain this stuff for a very long time.