Saving myself for no one

The concept of sexual intimacy is not lost on you or me. However, somewhere along the line – growing up in a Christian household, trying to be a good, heterosexual boyfriend to the few girls who gave me a chance, my admittance of being of an agnostic, free-thinking perspective, and embracing my identity as a pansexual transwoman – I lost sight of what I should and should not deserve. Rather, I never had much of a chance to really explore the idea of engaging in sexual intimacy. For specific reasons, I just accepted that my time had not come.

My long-standing belief has been that one should reserve sexual intimacy for the person they have committed themselves to in a monogamous, romantic relationship. I have since realized that this line of thinking has been the last bastion of traditional, Christian-centric thought that had somehow survived through everything that had drastically shifted in my lifestyle. The idea had been deeply engrained into me, despite being “born male”, and the shame of contradicting this thinking loomed near whenever temptation arose. My parents being religious & fairly traditional led me to put my own romanticized take on it, believing that if I remained patient & virtuous, one day I would be able to entrust my body to the person I believed was “the one.”

I recently read a novel that turned me on (pun intended) to the very common practice of two characters meeting one another. After their initial meeting, both of them recognized their instinctual attraction to one another over time with each chance interaction feeding the heat between them. Eventually, one makes a move and the other is equally overcome with ferocious passion. For some reason, the timing in which I was exposed to that story – right around when I turned thirty – caused me to have an alternative perspective. Prior to turning thirty, I would have asked “who could possibly jump into bed with someone who clearly had no romantic intentions to remain faithful to them”? However, in the face of physical aging, sparse intimacy over my lifetime, and the high level of self-love I had cultivated as the woman I was born to be, what I read now appeared almost natural and sensible as my former mindset seemed almost something an insane, brainwashed prude would do.

#1: I can be shallow as fuck about looks.

#2: I am light-years from being a “prude”.

“Turning 30” has been a recurring theme in this blog as of late and sexual expression is not excluded from it. As I often do, I wondered why only I had to be the one sexually frustrated, swearing off intimacy just because “the one” hadn’t come along. I could count on one hand how many times I had believed I would marry someone. This romanticized notion of keeping myself “pure” for “my first time” when I was already perverted, unabashedly playful in my sexuality, and near legitimately considered a succubus among my close friends rapidly became outdated through rigorous self-assessment.

Being met with my cold logic quickly turned to frustration. I was three weeks into being 30 and had yet to experience unrestrained intimacy followed by sharing a bed with my partner. Like an ignorant, virgin teenager, I was still wondering how people [read: my friends] have sex and if there were any steps to follow for a successful romp. And then I was smacked in the face with the truth: This was all my own doing. I repeatedly declined the idea simply because no romantic commitment would follow when there were multiple instances where sex likely would have been welcomed.

Another hard truth washed over me: The combination of my past upbringing and now my present life as a transwoman had somehow made me believe by default I should never feel safe experiencing sexual intimacy other than with someone who had confessed their love for me. An amalgamation of anger and sadness careened through my body. There had to be a way to rewrite this automated preset equation that I had left unchecked in the midst of my gender transition.

I want to be a good woman.

Only sluts sleep around.

How do you take love out of sex? I’m so clingy. I’d fall in love with them and get hurt.

Will I ever be loved?

But…

…why I should starve myself.

I’m desirable. Beautiful. Lovable.

If sex with someone I trust could make sense…

Experiencing intimacy with someone I feel comfortable with isn’t shameful.

Yes, I want to be loved. Sex doesn’t equal love. It never has.

I won’t be young forever. Live your life. 

Fuck who you want.

So I did.

More than just a pretty face

Yesterday, on my break, I overheard an older man flirting with what I perceived to be a fairly pretty woman. If this was just  any man, I wouldn’t be writing about this. Given his voice and choice of words, I quickly realized that he was the same man who had flirted with me just under a month ago in the same establishment just as I was about to leave.

He began his flirtations just as I was receiving my food on her opposite side. I’m not going to go into detail about what he said and did, but he used the same level of persistent charisma as well as his “I work here” line before ordering her a slice and drink. All the while not noticing that the not-so-put-together woman next to her – almost incognito in a way as I was wearing glasses, no noticeable makeup & had my hair up – was the same very put-together woman he tried to give his number to.

Not all cis males are like this and being a transgender woman makes this really easy to accept. However, being a transgender female is exactly the reason why it’s important for me to remain vigilant and aware of my self-worth and intuition. This does not apply to just me, but to other humans like me. Cisgender or not.

With regard to my personal narrative, transitioning later in life as I have seems to come with a lot of baggage. For example, lack of self-love, body dysphoria, low confidence levels on most fronts, self-doubt, etc. We typically want to be “seen” as a form of validity in our fear-mongering society. The best way to achieve that? Grabbing the attention of a person within our sexuality’s alignment. Even if that person isn’t someone we particularly are attracted to, we’re so hungry for that attention and validation that we typically wind up settling for just about anyone who will accept us at the risk of being outed, deemed “damaged goods”, or, in the very worst case, assaulted.

That lack of awareness and self-worth is what “chasers” look for. They settle and never grow in their strength, relying on the honeyed flirtations of the cis population to make them feel like they’re worth something. This is the most dangerous path for anyone, not just transgender people, to end up on.

As the fight for human rights and transgender/queer equality continues to rage on, I wish to remind my transgender siblings to seek not the approval of everyone. That is an exercise in futility. Rather, become the best version of “you” possible through building your own foundation of self-worth, self-love, and self-confidence. The pattern is obvious; selfishness for the sake of your own survival is necessary. When others refuse to hear you or see you, do not allow their actions or words to have power over you. Take control of how you believe others should acknowledge you by consciously making daily decisions to value yourself – how you look, who you are, and what boundaries won’t be overstepped.

The “younger” me, fresh into my transition three years ago, may have fallen into the emotional trap of allowing myself be so easily affirmed by that man to the point of having my self-worth of him “seeing” me as a woman to be stripped away. Thankfully, the only affirmation I received was knowing my intuition to use the “my significant other wouldn’t approve” line when he offered me his number was right on the mark. And the only thing I gained from him was being momentarily irked he didn’t offer to pay for my food like he did with his new flavor of the week.

Tale of the Transwoman and the Sample Girl

pixiv-rera
Mumei & Ayame Yomogawa by rera

Recently, I encountered a pretty female offering samples from a local yogurt shop she worked for. I was having an incredibly shitty day in the field – my attitude had crumbled under the pressure of producing the results I knew I was capable of. As the girl wandered up to me and I took another sample, I put on a smile while fighting with the more carefree side of my personality that felt the day was already unsalvageable. As she began walking away, my bolder side won and I did something completely uncharacteristic.


“Hey, sample girl!”

The short girl with long, dark black hair stopped and turn to me. The expression on her face was friendly, but hardly without a hint of apprehension.

“Yes?” she replied in a calm tone. She really did seem like a sweet, attractive female with enough social skills to be out on this crowded street making a moderate living.

Now was not the time for thinking, however. I turned on the confidence and didn’t bother putting up the usual emotional shield. The day was already shit and I had nothing more to lose by asking.

“I have a question for you,” I said slowly, making direct eye contact as I approached slowly. I’m almost certain a coy smirk ran across my lips in lieu of my bolder, carefree side handling this conversation.

“Hm?” Her face was quite nonplussed by now, but clearly she was well trained in interacting with others as I had been. She didn’t back away. Likely because I was also just another woman in sales as she was.  Perhaps she too was curious as to what I had to say next. So I wasted no time getting to the point.

“Do you like girls?”

Pure indifference rolled through me as the words jumped off my tongue and into the air. I really didn’t care what happened next. The worst that could happen would be receiving a confused “no” and declaration of heterosexual preference. I wasn’t going to make a dime today, so why not accept the hinted possibility based on seconds of interacting with her that just maybe she could be a single lesbian.

Upon processing my question, she closed the gap between us, signaling she preferred a more personal exchange from here on out. “Umm, you mean like…dating girls?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, okay. Well I’m bi actually.” I could see a hint of uncertainty on her face, but she wasn’t ashamed at all of her preferences.

“Could I..maybe take you out on a date some time?”

“Unfortunately..I’ve got a boyfriend right now,” she said cooly.

“Ohhh! Nice. That’s cool.” I said with a chuckle, attempting to play off the swirling feelings of ‘HOLY SHIT I WAS ACTUALLY RIGHT’ and ‘WELP THAT FIGURES’ careening through me. As is in line with my truer nature, I backpedaled. “I mean, I’m not looking to bother you if you’re already involved.”  I was already dejected from the day, so under such negative circumstances, a relaxed countenance managed to win out.

“I don’t mind being social with other people,” she said with a smile. She shifted her weight to the hand holding her sample tray and pulled out her smartphone. “We can exchange numbers~.”

“Oh! S-Sure! My name is Nina. What’s your name?”

“My name is…”


I shared this in a narrative format because I felt there aren’t many tales of how transgender people handle approaching someone of the same gender identity. As this is the first time I’ve ever approached a perfect stranger like this, I wanted to paint a proper picture of how everything unfolded and what was going through my mind at the time. As a transwoman, having romantic interests is extremely tricky, let alone discerning the sexual preferences of females.

Female to female, it seems the best way to approach is to 1) Have a initial shared interest/interaction, 2) be confident, 3) show respect, and 4) don’t be pushy.

Funny how in my interactions with men, the majority always seem to skip #1, focus purely on #2 and forget #4. I may get into that in another post.