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It may come as no surprise that, as a transgender woman, I'm not always comfortable with my body. I hate my body. I hate what my body tells the world I am. I feel completely at odds with my body, and feel totally trapped by it.
Sex is difficult for me and honestly it always has been.
It isn't just being transgender that makes me uncomfortable during sex, it's also a long history of sexual abuse and harassment. The wrong thing being said to me at the wrong time can give me flashbacks of stuff that's happened before and it's so important that my partner understands this. Thankfully, he does understand and he now knows what is okay and what isn't okay for me.
Both of us being trans certainly makes things easier. We both understand how the other is feeling and we know what to do to try and ease that a little bit. It feels a little weird sometimes though. We should be the opposite way around in the bedroom and it can be quite upsetting that we're both feeling the same way about something that society tells us is meant to be so good and so pleasurable.
The way to feeling comfortable during sex isn't exactly easy. In short, it's about having open dialogue between the two partners. It's about acknowledging that some things are upsetting and painful, and learning what not to do or say. It's about feeling safe enough to say "no" or "please stop" and knowing that you won't be judged for it.
My partner and I are still learning all of this stuff about each other. We both have similar feelings and have been through similar things, which makes being sexual quite complicated for us. We know what we both want to happen and we know what turns each other on, but when it comes to the real thing — it can get daunting.
We've had a good discussion about things and have helped each other to feel more at ease. We both want to be comfortable with each other and our bodies around each other and that's slowly, but surely, becoming a reality. I feel more comfortable with him than I have with anyone before, and that says a lot.
As a transgender woman, sex can be difficult when it comes to what role I want in the bedroom. The way I want to fuck is different to what, to put it bluntly, my body will allow. And it's different to what his body will allow. Sure, their are ways around it — but it doesn't feel natural to me. It doesn't feel natural for me to use toys and to put them in certain places. It just makes me feel even worse in a way — it makes me feel worse that I'm having to be fucked there rather than where I feel I should be.
I'm slowly learning to accept my body a bit more, which is helping to calm me down during sex. I don't respect my body as such, but I accept that for the time being I'm stuck with it — and I accept that for the time being, if I'm going to be intimate with a partner, I'm going to have to use my body in ways that may not exactly feel 100% comfortable for me. The end result is worth it all though, feeling intimate with someone and feeling connected with someone is worth the temporary bad feelings.
I guess it's a game of making mistakes and learning from them. It's a game of doing things and pushing your boundaries and learning what you do and do not like. Learning what makes you uncomfortable and what sends you into a sexual ecstasy.
All I can really do is learn more about myself and my body and learn more about my partner and his body, whilst I'm still on the waiting list for the gender clinic. I'm stuck with this body for now, so I may as well make some sort of use of it until I can have my dream body that will free me from these shackles.
Before ending this article, I'd like to say that I speak for myself — my views, feelings and experiences are by no means representative of the entire transgender community and I by no means claim to represent the entire community.