Masturbation has always been among my favorite pastimes. As a teenager, however, my sexual fantasies posed a strange problem: I wasn’t in them.
I’d always imagine an anonymous man and woman together. If I’m a lesbian, I wondered anxiously, why do I always think about straight sex? Though I can be aroused by ideas and images of lesbian sex, straight sex has always been what really does it for me. I found this rather disturbing. Was my mind just that colonized? Was there something wrong with me? Most importantly, who did I want to be in this interaction?
My transgender self was literally unthinkable. I could become aroused only by removing myself from the scenario altogether. Fantasizing about myself in a sexual encounter was impossible–I suppose because my self was a lie.
It all fell into place when I realized I’m a guy. There is nothing wrong with me, and I know who I want to be, who I am, during sex.
But I notice that I still edit myself out of my sexual fantasies. Even when replaying a real experience, I imagine it from the outside, like a movie. This is a real mental contortion, but it feels like nothing at all, the habit is so ingrained.
I see this as one more effect of growing up trans. There’s this persistent sense of unreality around my body, around me. I guess it’s just the years of denial. It doesn’t help that there are vanishingly few images of people like me–having sex, eating lunch, or doing anything else.
I don’t want to indulge meaningless conjunctions of other, anonymous, idealized, cissexual bodies. Whether alone or with my partner, I want to be aroused by actual sex–personal, specific, meaningful, imperfect.