Huffpost Gay Voices
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Buck Angel Headshot

Dating Technology for the FTM

Posted: Updated:

As the world's premier producer of transmale adult entertainment, people have been asking me for years where and how they could meet FTMs. I've also responded to countless questions from transmen, wondering about the best way to meet potential partners. This struck a particularly personal chord with me, as I met my own wife over ten years ago in an online group. I knew the Internet held great promise as an effective place to seek a partner. Everyone else from pet owners to sports fans all had their own corner of the web to meet each other. But there was still no special dating site catering to the unique needs of transmen.

Much of the correspondence I've received from FTMs expressed sadness and despair as these men felt it was unlikely that they could ever meet a partner. The psychological ramifications of gender non-conformity are intense and can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. The overriding theme of my work is about self-love and acceptance, and showing that transmen indeed are sexy and desirable.

You can't necessarily tell a transman from any other kind of man in social situations; so many FTMs are uncomfortable with meeting people in bars and clubs. Why? Well the question of disclosure can be a tricky one. How and when should the subject come up? Simply tossing out, "By the way, did you know I was born female?" may not always go over well. However, a dating site that caters specifically to this type of clientele completely eliminates the need to deal with those awkward and potentially unpleasant encounters.

While it may come as a surprise to the general public, there are plenty of men and women of all kinds who have an interest in dating transmen. When I met my wife, she was actually looking for like a man like myself. We were able to connect on the basis of this consideration, rather than in spite of it.

These folks who are attracted to transmen and gender-variant people have not had any venue to seek such partners. By having it all out in the open on this niche site, there is finally a place to go looking. Each free profile allows users to state their gender identity and what they're looking for. Then, the program automatically provides suggestions for matches with compatible profiles. Huge advances in technology have outpaced the online group format. The buckangeldating.com website allows for enhanced profiles, instant texts, and video chats. This gives people the opportunity to talk online at will, see each other at a safe distance, and decide whether or not to take it further.

In all honesty, I'm an old fashioned kind of guy and the categories of Male, Female, FTM and MTF seemed to work fine for me. But gender has been undergoing a transformation that even I didn't see coming. This created some interesting challenges with the usual format of a dating website. Fortunately, my partner in this venture, The Dating Factory, has been very accommodating and worked with me to add more classifications to fit with some of the newer terminology that is being used. Additions include "gender queer" and "other." Now, many a dropdown menu includes "other" but this one is different: there are individuals (non-gender conforming) who actually identify as "other!" We're still working out the kinks, and as gender fluidity comes into it's own, there will likely be more options down the line.

Certainly Chaz Bono's coming out has brought this issue into the spotlight and caused greater public awareness. Yet this exposure did nothing to demystify transmale sexuality, which is where my work comes in. With the worldwide film festival screenings of my groundbreaking documentary, Sexing the Transman, it had become clear that there was tremendous interest in FTM sexuality, and very little to satisfy that curiosity.

Years ago, when I realized there was absolutely no representation of this type of sexuality in the adult entertainment industry, I launched my own production company to fill this void. I used myself as talent, in part because no other transmen were ready to publicly show their sex lives onscreen. It took years to build to this point where finding FTM talent and others to work with us is no longer a challenge. These days, my inbox is overflowing with messages from FTM guys who want to appear in my docu-porn series, Sexing the Transman XXX. This change has showed me that there had been a significant increase in the popularity of this genre, leading to more openness and acceptance.

When I was asked to speak at the prestigious "Idea City 10" in Toronto, it became clear that I truly was educating people about a type of gender and sexuality that they had either never encountered or much misunderstood. As my work progressed I began to focus on education and advocacy by doing workshops, seminars, and speaking engagements. With this move to more mainstream venues, buckangeldating.com dovetails perfectly with the subject's newfound popularity and my desire to help trans-sexuality to become a normal part of contemporary culture.