I'm a twentysomething genetic male. I thought for a while that I might be trans, but while I hate my masculine features and want to be "cute," I have no desire to be female. I've been with both boys and girls, and currently I'm with a trans girl. Recently I've found myself indulging in trans-girl porn. Is it insensitive to have a predilection for trans girls? My girlfriend wants to get sex-reassignment surgery (SRS), and while I support her wholeheartedly, I think she knows I'm happy with her current equipment and I don't have any desire for her to go through with SRS. I believe she resents me for this. But my question is more of a catch-all: Is it insensitive to be attracted to trans (or intersex) girls? I don't want to objectify anybody. I just think trans girls are real cuties.
Unavoidable Gender Hullabaloo
"Having a sexual preference — whether it's liking guys with red hair, tall women, sports fans, blue-eyed agender individuals, men with vaginas or women with penises — is fine," said Parker Marie Molloy, a freelance writer and trans media activist whose writing has appeared in The New York Times and the Advocate and on Slate. "So long as the preference is not the sole reason for the attraction, so long as UGH remembers that trans people are actually human beings ... and aren't solely defined by their transness, UGH should be able to avoid coming off as creepy."
"As is the case with any sort of attraction, a preference crosses over into the realm of objectification only when the person's potential love interest is reduced to a single aspect of their life," said Molloy. "So UGH's preference for trans women is only insensitive and objectifying if UGH makes it insensitive and objectifying."
No one wants to be reduced to a single aspect of their life by a romantic partner or anyone else. But being objectified in short, concentrated bursts by a lover isn't a problem for most people — quite the opposite, in fact.
While I had Molloy on the line, I asked her to address the issues of trans porn and SRS. "It's no more wrong to indulge in trans porn than it is to indulge in porn starring or created by cis people," said Molloy. "Whether UGH's favorite trans-porn outlets are stories, pictures or drawings — or if they're videos of mainstream trans porn stars like Bailey Jay or independent queer-feminist performers like Chelsea Poe — UGH shouldn't feel ashamed. As to whether his girlfriend gets SRS, that's something that has to be up to her. Quiet resentment, guilt and pressure to have or not have surgery should serve as signs that maybe this relationship doesn't have much of a future. I suggest that the two of them have a long talk about genitals, preferences and deal breakers."
Follow Parker Marie Molloy on Twitter @ParkerMolloy.
If a woman writes in her Craigslist hookup ad that she is a "bigger beautiful woman," is there a polite way to press her for more details? Or is it rude to ask a self-proclaimed BBW just how big she actually is — to determine if one will be attracted to her?
Befuddled Baffled Wonderer
If we were talking about personal ads on sites where people look for relationships — Match.com, OkCupid, Gun Lovers Passions, etc. — it would be rude to ask someone precisely how big she is. I would suggest going on a low-stakes, no-expectations date instead and having a look/human interaction. But we're not talking about a dating website, we're talking NSA hookup ads on Craigslist. And when you're in a meat market — literally or figuratively, physically or virtually — there's nothing wrong with asking a polite, direct question about the meat on offer.
I am a bi man married to a straight woman for 10 years. On a regular basis, we invite others into the bedroom for fun. We have one friend who we do this with weekly. Because he is here so often, a bit of his clothing and a few other essentials are stored in our guest room. We hide our monogamish lifestyle from those who might unfairly judge us, but we figured a few pieces of clothing and a friend who "crashes" with us on the weekends wouldn't raise too many eyebrows, right? Wrong. My snooping mother-in-law found a drawer with boxers that were obviously not my size, lube and a butt plug. She continued to snoop so that she could "find evidence if I was cheating." She found gay pornography in our bedroom and a few ambiguous text messages. I'm infuriated at the invasion of our privacy. Now she thinks her daughter is married to a closeted gay man. I want to tell her the truth, but my wife does not. MIL is religious/conservative, and she may disown my wife if she finds out our marriage is often a threesome. What's the right thing to do?
Not In The Closet
You should tell your MIL to shove her fucking money — the inheritance your wife might lose if her mother were to disown her — up her religious/conservative ass. (I can only assume the stress about being disowned involves an inheritance; otherwise, there is no downside to being disowned by this bitch.) But if your wife places a higher value on her mom's money than on her independence and your right to marital privacy, she should tell her mother that the plug and the gay porn are hers. (Shrug off the ambiguous text messages.) Lots of straight married women with straight husbands enjoy gay porn. (Most slash fiction is written by and for straight women — why not send MIL some links?)
It boils down to which will be the greater torment for your MIL (and therefore likelier grounds for disinheritance): the whole truth (her daughter and SIL are sinful, nonmonogamous pervs) or the face-saving lie (her daughter being a bit of a perv).
On the Lovecast, is being kinky a sexual orientation? At savagelovecast.com.