While on the red carpet at the AVN Awards back in January, I couldn't help but notice a cute, petite girl in a mirrored dress coming down the carpet after me. Waiting in line to be interviewed by Showtime, I found out that that the tiny woman was Madison Montag, who was nominated as "Transsexual Performer of the Year." She has a real magnetism and a disarming kind of charm. A few weeks ago, I asked Madison if she would open up about the intimate details of her sex life, her struggles, and what it was like growing up trans. She revealed both titillating secrets and sweet dreams for her future.
Madison, please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I'm a 19-year-old transsexual who resides in rural West Texas. I grew up in a really small, conservative town, went to a really small school where everyone knew everything about everyone. I must say it was like growing up in a utopia.
You were born a boy, but at what age did you realize that you didn't feel like one?
I've always felt different ever since I was a young boy playing with my sister's Barbies -- which was about age 3 or 4. I was little back then, so I never thought anything of it. As a child growing up in a strict Catholic family, I was always very feminine. I was very close with my mom and sister, and mostly because my older brother never really cared much to interact with me or spend time with me, and my father was in the Army and was never home, and never had time for me as a kid, either. As time passed I started feeling more and more like a girl but never really thought anything of it.
Around age 16 I was battling severe clinical depression and started going to therapy for it. I started to get more in touch with my feminine side, and I knew something was different... I didn't feel like a boy anymore, and that scared me. I was wearing makeup, girl's clothes, hair extensions, etc. But I would try to make up an excuse to myself and to my friends by saying I was just a feminine gay boy. I continued therapy for a couple of years, but I always felt very unsatisfied with myself. At the end of the day, after washing all my makeup off, taking out my clip-in hair extensions, I realized it wasn't enough for me. I wanted to stay looking like that forever. I then realized I was not a boy and, in fact, I was a girl.
How do you identify sexually?
I identify myself as a straight woman.
How did you tell your parents that you are trans? How did they respond?
I told them I was gay when I was 14, and at the time I thought I was, because I was attracted to men. I was in denial about who I really was and how I felt on the inside.
I told my dad right before going to church that I was gay, and he started crying. He told me that he would not tell my mom, and I should tell her when I was ready. Eventually she caught on when my father was acting "strange" and confronted me about it, and I told her. They both took it really hard, since I am the baby of the family, but got over it really quickly. My mom would secretly buy me all my makeup and girl's clothes, but she thought it was just a phase.
At the age of 18, and after years of therapy, I finally came to terms with the fact that I was transgender. I felt liberated to know that the way I was dressing and acting was actually normal, since I was transgender and not a flamboyant gay guy. I told my parents after one of my therapy sessions, and they took it even harder. My mom always knew there was something different about me, so she was more accepting. My father, on the other hand, was very devastated and just pretended like it was all a phase. In the end, they may not support everything I've done, but they are accepting. I am very fortunate to have accepting parents, unlike a lot of other kids in the LGBT community. My parents never beat me or kicked me out. They've stuck by my side, and until this day they are still accepting.
What was your first sexual encounter like?
It was very interesting. I was 14, and my boyfriend at the time was 16, and we were in the movie theater, and he asked me if I've ever done anything naughty in the movies before, and I said, "No." We were watching Pirates of the Caribbean, or we were supposed to be. He leaned in for a kiss, and he stuck his tongue in my mouth, and I accidentally bit it! It was more mortifying since it was my first kiss. I felt so bad afterwards and tried to kiss him again. I was such a prude back then and so inexperienced; I didn't know what I was really doing. After that second attempt of trying to kiss him, he unzipped his pants and asked me if I wanted to stroke him. I was nervous since we were sitting at the very bottom of the theater and everyone could have seen us, but I felt so bad for hurting him, so I did it. He started kissing my neck, which got me really aroused, and I started getting really into it. He then told me to suck him, and I was so turned on that I actually did it. Thank goodness there was no accidental biting at that point.
Did you ever have sex with women?
No, I never did. I've always admired women for their beauty, but I never really wanted to have sex with one. I'm open to the idea, but for the most part I have always been attracted to men, and I don't think that's going to change.
Do you like to receive oral sex? How do you think sex is different for you than for a cisgender woman?
Oral sex is very different for me. I'm really shy in real life about my body and genitals. It all depends on the chemistry with the guy and if I'm really into him. I normally don't like it because it just feels weird and uncomfortable to me. I have had one great experience with a guy I had amazing chemistry with and was sexually/emotionally connected to. He gave me oral, and I really did enjoy it!
Sex is obviously different for me, since I don't have a vagina, but I work around that. I do enjoy getting anal sex and giving oral sex, and I love rimming, both receiving and giving, which is one of my favorite things to do in the bedroom. I can still ejaculate and get myself off, also. But when it comes to emotions, I feel for the guy after sex. I get attached to a guy if I have sex with him, like every other woman does. To be honest, I'm not really a sexual person. I don't have sex that often because I want it to be special, with someone special, not just some one-night stand with a guy I meet at a club or something.
Did you ever feel that people treated you badly or judged you because you are trans?
Yes. It would be a lie if I said I didn't. I was always treated badly and judged throughout high school, during my personal life, and even in my porn career. I was often judged and discriminated against when I would apply for jobs in my town, simply because I am transsexual. Genetic girls would make fun of me because I am a transsexual ,and because I didn't have boobs or a vagina like them. Men were either disgusted by me or didn't like me because I didn't have a vagina.
I mostly received a lot of hatred within my own community. Other transsexuals would tease me and make fun of me for not having breasts and not being on hormones as long as they have. I was often called a "cross-dresser," "boy with hair extensions," "he," "it," etc. A lot of hateful comments and accusations were made about me, when obviously no one knew anything about me, and I was being true to myself. I believe we're supposed to stick together as a community, not bash each other because of where we're at in our transitions, or our looks. Life is hard enough being a transsexual; we don't need that negativity and hatred against our own kind. It wasn't easy growing up, and it still isn't easy. I've learned over the years to accept that everyone judges, and there will always be people who are ignorant and have something to say. Those people mean nothing to me, and I don't want anything to do with them.
Did you ever feel that you had to compete with other straight girls?
Sometimes. Being a girl every day of your life, you feel like it's a beauty pageant, whether you're trans or a genetic girl. It's really tough! Society puts so much pressure on girls, and it's hard to live up to what guys or girls think is "beautiful." I've learned that you shouldn't feel like you have to compete with anyone. You should be the best person you can be inside and out, and you shouldn't worry about anyone else or what they're doing. I do have my days where I sometimes don't feel good enough compared to "straight girls," but then I realize how special of an individual I am, and that I have a lot to offer other than just my looks.
I know that you recently had surgery to get breast implants. What made you decide to do that?
To be honest, there were many reasons why I decided to get my breasts done. I always felt insecure about my flat chest, since I identified myself as a transwoman, which was one of the main reasons why I had the surgery. I always wanted breasts like the other genetic girls, and I wanted to feel more comfortable in my skin and look more feminine. Another reason was more psychological, rather than just physical perfection. I wanted to get my breasts done so that whenever I do find that someone special in my life, I will be able to give him a part of me that no one has really seen. You can go Google pictures online of Madison Montag, and all you will find is pictures of a young girl with a flat chest -- not the improved, better version of me. I want the guy I share my life with to feel special, despite the fact that I did porn when I was younger.
Would you ever get bottom surgery? Why or why not?
That's a very interesting question. A year ago I said I wouldn't, but at this point in my life, I'm not sure. I'm still very young and have time to think about it. I'm still growing mentally and physically, but I'm leaning towards "yes." Only time will tell. For a lot of trans people the goal is not to have all the surgeries but to get to a place where you are living as the gender you present as, and where you are happy with yourself. I have found that a lot of trans people cannot be comfortable with any leftover misgendered parts, and that the obvious "end game" becomes complete sexual reassignment surgery.
How did you get into the adult entertainment industry? What are your plans for the future?
I got into the adult entertainment industry at the tender age of 18. I was young, naïve, and in need of money for my transition. Growing up in a small town, I was discriminated against when it came to jobs. I applied everywhere, even Burger King. They didn't hire me. It was so hard not having the resources and other trans women to relate to. I felt so alone and needed to make fast money to get on hormones and get my surgeries. I got into the industry just for that reason. It was quite an experience, I must say. I learned a lot about life and about myself, and what I wanted out of life.
After being in the adult entertainment business and dealing with all the drama, I decided that life was not for me. I met some good people in the biz, and I had accomplished all the goals I had set for myself, but I wanted out of that lifestyle. I don't regret doing it, because I wouldn't be where I am at today: a strong young woman. But I do wish I would have made better choices and thought things through before selling my soul and body for a couple of hundred dollars to a business that ends up exploiting women and only cares about making money off of them. As for my future plans, I want to go back to college and try to live a normal life. I don't want anything to do with porn. That's the past, and I'm no longer that sweet, innocent girl I used to be. My philosophy is, "Don't judge me by my past. I don't live there anymore." I want basically what every other girl wants: to find love, get married, have a family, and just enjoy life. Will I find it? I hope so!
Do you feel that the treatment of trans women in the adult industry is fair?
I don't think it is fair at all, but nothing in life is fair. I can say that the girls are not equally valued as models/performers. To the companies and directors each of us is "just another girl" who can be replaced easily. The transsexual niche in porn is very small, and we don't have exclusive companies like Digital Playground, Wicked, etc. We have very few companies to work for and only select talent to work with. It's kind of a sad business. I worked with a photographer for a major company in the transsexual niche, and he treated the girls like they're a piece of meat. I was totally disgusted by him! He made many girls I know feel like they were nothing but just another hole to fill. Companies/directors don't know what transsexuals have to go through in life and how hard their lives are than other people's lives. We have it so much harder, and we deserve the same treatment and respect as a contract girl from Digital Playground. I don't see that happening anytime soon, but maybe in the future. I have the best hopes for girls in the industry; I want them to stick up for themselves and not let the industry take advantage of them.
How do you feel about Donald Trump's decision to allow transsexual women in the Miss Universe Pageant?
I respect his decision 100 percent! I think that's very noble and brave of him to make that decision, since he is a man who is respected by so many people. I think transsexuals are just as beautiful and deserving as genetic women and have every right to compete.
Do you think you are beautiful? Why?
Beauty is not something I have a static or full and definite understanding of yet. There are the societal ideals of beauty, which are so subjective. Then there is my definition of beauty. There are beautiful people who are beautiful for who they are, and beautiful people who are beautiful for how they look. I have grown comfortable with my looks; I can feel beautiful in that way, but I would much prefer to stand back, look at my life, and feel like a beautiful person. That is my goal, and life changes so much, so rapidly, that I find it difficult to remove myself and objectively judge my life and its impact on others. Right now, though, when I look at myself, I can be at ease with what I see in both regards.
Is it easy or difficult to find men to date? Have you had problems with men wanting to date you openly?
Living in such a small town, I do attract lots of guys, but either they know me because of my porn career or don't know I'm a transsexual. It's kind of hard to actually pursue guys that I like, because most of them don't know I'm a transsexual. I mean, I live in Texas, so I worry about men's reactions when I tell them I am a transsexual. We live in a cruel world, and you never know how people will react. I do plan on moving in the future to a larger city, starting over, and leaving everything behind. Maybe then I will have more luck in the dating department, but as of now, it's very difficult.
I have had problems dating men in general. Living in such a conservative town in Texas, I find that most guys were ashamed to be seen with me and didn't want to date me openly. I know it's not easy dating a transsexual, but I am just like every other girl except for what is in between my legs. I haven't found a man that is secure enough with himself and his sexuality to disregard what other people would say or think about us dating. I don't want to be a "secret" anymore. I know what I'm worth and what I deserve. I hope sometime in the future I will find a man who will want to show me off to the world. I've yet to find that, but I hope I do someday. I'm relatively young, so I know I have my whole future ahead of me with endless possibilities. I haven't lost all faith in finding a soulmate.
What are your thoughts about children? Do you wish that you were able to get pregnant?
I love children! To be honest, I really wish I was able to experience the beauty of pregnancy. Knowing that I'm carrying something inside me that my husband and I created and then giving birth would be one of the most amazing experiences in life. It is upsetting at times, because I feel like an inadequate partner since I can't give birth, but I know I have other options, so it's not the end of the world. In the future I do want to adopt a child when I'm married and raise him or her the best way I can. Children are one of the most beautiful things on Earth, and I want to experience motherhood and give my child all the things I was not given as a kid. To me that would be a rewarding way to spend the rest of my life, with my soulmate raising a child with good morals, values, and the freedom to express themselves without fear of condemnation.
What advice would you give to young trans people?
My advice is: don't try to rush into your transition. As cliché as it sounds, good things do come to those who wait. Do your research with your hormones and surgeries/surgeons. Be smart with your decisions, and always consult with a close friend or family before making a life-changing choice. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, because someday it won't be there. Don't listen to anyone who says you can't do something. Work hard, succeed, and prove all of the people who doubted you wrong. Never lose faith in yourself, and always strive for the best and to be the best. Never forget who you were; that boy or girl who you once were has helped you get to where you are today. Lastly, remember you're not alone in this world. We have all been in awkward stages of our transitions, but you'll get to where you want to be; it just takes time.
I was surprised at Madison's wholesome aspirations for life, but then again, as a woman, I can relate to the deep desire to settle down and just be with the one you love.
I'm off to speak at Harvard University next week as part of their month-long series of events for Take Back the Night. I will be giving an interactive, campus-wide talk called "Epic Vagina," which details my journey from victim to victor, and how I overcame my history of sex abuse in order to reclaim my sexual power and reshape the landscape of the adult entertainment industry. My next column will be a reflection on what I learned from my dialog with the students and faculty. See you the week after next!
Photo credit: Mallorie Nasrallah
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