I am a transgender man who was raised in the bible belt. The world I was surrounded by, growing up, had little tolerance for people like me. There was so much shame around sex and sexuality that my journey towards a healthy and positive sex life has been challenging. I would have to say, with all of the shame I was taught and with the many challenges of being transgender, I have rarely felt free in my sex life. In many ways its difficult for most people to feel free in the bedroom, and this is even more extreme fore someone who's body is not considered normal by society.This is not just an issue that transgender people feel, there are actually many types of people who have bodies that society says are not normal. Transgender and Intersex people fit into this but I have also talked with women who have had mastectomies who feel their bodies are not now normal or lovable.
A large part of what closes people off with sex is the language that is used regarding our bodies and sexuality. It is important to understand that we can never take words back, they have a lasting effect. We have all said things to those we care about that we regret later. Specifically in sexuality, words can cause huge contractions. As a Trans man I have had lovers say things to me during a first or early sexual experience like, "you are different than anyone I have ever been with," or "I am not sure what to do with someone like you." I understand that they are being honest and sharing from their hearts and yet those words made me feel like I'm too much or that I needed to protect them from my uniqueness. That I needed to be focused solely on their comfort and that my sexual expansion was not important. Once those words are spoken it is not easy to ever get them out of your head and feel fully free with that person. There is the feeling of always being too much, too different or too unique. There are ways those things could have been expressed that would not had the same effect on me and my feeling open toward them sexually. They could have re-framed that to say something like, help me know how you like to be touched, talked to and made love with because all lovers are unique. Saying it that way would not have pointed a blaring finger right at the unicorn in the room.
I have become a sex and gender educator and one of my goals in life is to help people shed the shame. I have found that most intimate sexual partners don't fully share their fantasies with one another due to fear of being shamed. I find this sad, that most couples in their most intimate relationships, do not feel safe and supported to share their inner desires or curiosities. In time this stifles relationships and creates distance between partners.
We all go through times of expansions and times of contractions in our lives. In order for us to expand, grow and enjoy our sexuality most of us need to feel safe with the person we are intimate with.How can I make my partner feel safe, you may ask. Here are some suggestions
- Think about the lasting effect of words, especially during vulnerable intimate moments.
- If you are with someone that is different from anyone you have been with before sexually don't make it a big deal. Try to remember that EVERYONE is unique.
- Never Yuck another's Yum -- If your partner is into or interested in trying something that you are not, you can say that it is not your thing without yucking their yum or shaming them.
- Let them know that you love creativity, variety and are open-minded about discussing anything to try.
- Set your boundaries without making it about the other person. You're boundaries are yours, they probably came with you when you met this person. Don't say things like I don't like when you do this during sex. Say it a different way. I don't like my ear nibbled on.
- Let your partner know that their sexual satisfaction is very important to you.
- Be willing to be playful during sex.
- Be willing to laugh together and at yourself during sex.
- Each anniversary ask each other, "How can we help each other expand in our sexuality this year?"
When you finally find someone that you feel open with sexually, feel safe with, someone who gives you the room to play and explore curiosities and fantasies with, then you have truly found the foundation of freedom. And it is a fertile soil to expand and grow in erotically. It is a beautiful place to be in. My sexuality has expanded over the last fifteen years exponentially. Now due to finding this amazing, freeing, fertile playground to enjoy, experiment and expand erotically within my relationship, I am more satisfied than I have ever been. I am free to be open with my partner, I know I am accepted fully for exactly who I am. My erotic life has become a safe place to explore all that I am sexually. Being a Unicorn has never been so good.