Am I gay if I like transsexual women?

This is probably the most frequently asked question on any discussion board that deals with this subject, to the point that asking it can produce hilarity. But it’s a legitimate question and the fact is that any man who admits to a liking for transwomen will be thought by many to be gay.

 The media, in particular the US media, reinforces this stereotypical attitude, which is deeply conservative.

 So the question is one that any man who likes transwomen has to answer for himself, and I want to try to help if I can.

 In the West, since the twentieth century, homosexuality has been defined by attraction. Gay men are attracted to other men, or, to put that another way, they are attracted to masculine sexual attractors—muscular taught bodies, facial hair, prominent jaws, assertive attitude and so on. If we define homosexuality in this way, then it should be clear that being attracted to soft bouncy hair, full breasts, red lips, big eyes and so on simply cannot be seen as a homosexual attraction, for a man.

 If it were as simple as that, then that would be it. But it’s not. There are some other issues to deal with, especially where the woman has not yet undergone Sex Reassignment Surgery, and retains a penis.

 The problem with the attraction model of gay male sexuality is that it is essentially a socio-political construct, which was evolved in order to prevent gay men from being stigmatised, particularly gay servicemen in the US. Gays were encouraged to be as masculine as possible themselves, while being attracted to the same attributes in others. Gay men were very strongly encouraged to drop all of their effeminate behaviours and become macho, macho men, as was once so well parodied by The Village People.

Incidentally, one result of this, and other social and peer pressure, has unquestionably been that an unknown number of transsexual women have ended up as gay men, as I have discussed elsewhere.

 So this type of gay man is one who looks like the men he’s attracted to. Now it would be nonsense to suggest that this attribute, being attracted to what we ourselves look like, could have been invented by a handful of gay political activists. It must have already been there, in the make-up of homosexual men, even though, prior to this, homosexual men were universally seen as highly effeminate and feminine.

 Being attracted to what we ourselves look like, was described, funnily enough, by our old friend Ray Blanchard, not while discussing homosexual men, but transwomen, and he called it ‘autogynephilia’ which I have described at length elsewhere. In brief, autogynephilia is an extreme form of narcissism, in which the individual, in this case a male, is attracted to himself as a woman.

Put that another way: autogynephiles go to extreme lengths to appear to be women, dressing, wearing make-up, up to and including cosmetic surgery and even SRS, because they are attracted to women and seek to be that which they are attracted to.

 Homosexual men, under the Western, or ‘egalitarian’ model, go to great lengths to be as masculine and macho as they can because they are themselves attracted to masculine and macho.

 It would be a bit much to suggest this correlation is just coincidence. It is becoming increasingly clear that autoeroticism is a completely normal part of being human, and absolutely not a paraphilia, as Blanchard suggested. And this is natural. Our own bodies are the first we get to play with, after all, and sex is the most powerful reward we know.

 So, egalitarian, macho gay men are attracted to other macho men, and not transwomen, so that rules them out. What about effeminate gay men?  Well, they are also attracted to men but feel themselves to be very feminine; if left to themselves they will present as very effeminate. Again, they are attracted to masculine men, not transsexuals. So by these two measures, being attracted to transwomen does not make a man gay, since a gay man would not be.

 However, the modern way of describing homosexuality, by attraction, is just that—modern. It’s only been around for just over a century, and has names connected with it, like Freud, that should have alarm bells ringing. The alternative, older way of identifying male homosexuality was, and remains in most of the world, by practice.

 This model recognises the truism that for a man to be penetrated is a transgender act; he surrenders his maleness and becomes female. Only the receptive sexual partner is seen as gay, while the penetrator is not. Typically, gay men in this model are very effeminate, and the lines between this population and the transsexual one is extremely hard to place, if it exists at all; in the Philippines, for example, it is seen as a continuum, with those who are transsexual being described as ‘completely gay’ and those who remain male, only ‘partly’ so.

 So the question then is, how does this affect the status of the man who is attracted to transwomen? Well, it is absolutely obvious that a very significant number of men who are attracted to these women, are attracted for one reason only: the presence of a penis, which must be functional, i.e. can erect, and the girl must be prepared to use it to penetrate the man in order to satisfy his own desire to play the female role in sex.

 There is simply no doubt that, at least by the standard of practice, these men are homosexual or bisexual. They may live in social circumstances where they feel unable to reveal their desire for transgender sex, because it might impact on family or career. Often these men describe themselves as ‘alpha-males’ which lads one to suspect a measure of over-compensation. Or they may genuinely find other masculine men unattractive, and respond instead to feminine attractors. (Nevertheless, were they only attracted to femininity they would not seek out transwomen.)

 They may or may not be homosexual under the ‘egalitarian’, attraction model, even if they are under the older definition; it depends on whether they are genuinely attracted to the transwoman’s femininity or to her residual masculine features.

 These men will always claim that it is the femininity that attracts them, but whenever a well-known transsexual courtesan or model has SRS the storm of protest echoes on for months. The duplicity is clear; the men who protest want cock, and only cock. So they use transwomen to get what they want. Men use women all the time as sexual playthings, and this is no different.

 There is a proportion of these men who take this further, according to the reports of trans escorts and prostitutes. These men like to dress as women when being penetrated. Until fairly recently I was unaware of this, and it is only from the statements of transwomen that I learned about it: the men themselves keep this secret. It appears that their self-consciousness about their own transgender status is powerful.

 These are clearly fetishistic cross-dressing men, or transvestites. Their dressing is a part of the transgender sexual experience that they desire. They are gay male transvestites, who have a public face as men and a private face as transgender women.

 There are also men who are attracted to transwomen but who do not wish to be penetrated sexually. Often they have no difficulty finding natal women as sexual partners, and so why are they interested in transwomen? If they were attracted to masculinity, they would seek out men; but they don’t so are not gay in that sense. If they sought the transgender experience of being penetrated, they would surely do so, since that is available from transwomen and from men.

 Frequently these men will admit to enjoying penetrating anally, and this is clearly a major attraction. After all, any sexual penetration of a pre-operative transwomen has to be via the anus, so for a man who desires this kind of sex, she’s a good partner. (I am with Bill Clinton here; oral sex isn’t really sex.)  However, many of these men are also specifically attracted to post-operative transwomen. That is to say, they like something about these women that is not associated with their penises, yet they still see them as being as or more desirable than natal women.

 These men are not gay by either measure we have described. They are not bisexual in the sense of this being some sort of switch, liking men some of the time and women the rest. Frequently they report being repulsed by men, at least sexually.

 I personally suspect that this attraction comes from our first experiences of sex, with ourselves, as adolescents, when our bodies were not masculinised yet began to give us enormous sexual pleasure. It was though the discovery of ourselves, through masturbation and fantasy, that we discovered sex, and we are naturally more comfortable with those who have travelled a similar path.

 Which would mean that our attraction to transwomen is related to our autoeroticism. If we look again at the man who desires transwomen to be penetrated by them, we see someone seeking to explore his own transgender, and to understand what it is to be a woman, at least sexually, and often, in terms of appearance. However this other type of man is not seeking this at all. He seeks a woman who actually understands what it is like to be, or have been, male, and to have possession of the organ of penetration and all that goes with it, even if this is denied.

 It’s simply not possible for a natal woman to really and fully understand a man, just as a man can never really understand a natal woman. We can never know the mysteries of childbirth or the cyclical nature of a life so governed by the constant changes of menstruation. We can, however, understand transwomen.

 I suppose that we could therefore say that the transattracted man, who wishes to be penetrated, is seeking a transgender or homosexual physical experience, whereas the transattracted man who does not is seeking something conceptual and spiritual, or romantic.

Neither is really gay in either the ‘egalitarian’ attraction sense, although the former certainly are in terms of practice. However the latter, while not gay in either sense, nor even bisexual, would have to admit they are not ‘straight’ either, since they are happy to be in bed with someone who has a penis. But one has to ask oneself, why would anyone want to be?

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Copyright 2013 Rod Fleming’s World

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