Being trans and femme-attracted has made my dating pool severely smaller than it used to be and looking for love has been a cultural shock.
It’s the experience of meeting for coffee on the first date and having the conversation bent towards Everything My Date Always Wanted to Know About Being Trans and Never Had Anyone to Ask Before, or an abrupt, ‘I want your girldick in me,’ proposition and having to judge if I should trade my time searching for Ms. Right for Ms. Right Now because it’s a long motherfucking walk through the desert and just how thirsty am I today?
I had one lover like mercury: bright, fluid, and damaging to my nervous system. I was never sure if what she told me about her life was the shape she was at the moment or the shape she was being pulled to be by the gravity of her life.
Laying naked in a hotel room bed waiting for her to emerge from the bathroom, I rationalized being there by telling myself it was a one-night fling because she was married, lived on the other side of the continent, and she was just what I needed when I needed it. I counted myself lucky she only left me with a herpes scare from our fucking and not fucked with a lifelong infection.
In retrospect, I should have steered way clear of her because I had no business having any sort of entanglement, physical or emotional, a few months after my ex moved out and a few months before my transition. Having been placed in involuntary intimate solitude for over a year made me willing to trade being a notch on quicksilver’s bedpost for some physical comfort.
It was a transaction, even if neither one of us was quite sure who was buying and who was selling.
The rest of the landscape has been just as foreign to me.
There was the well-meaning friend who suggested polyamory and would I be interested in going to a meetup? A top with a boundary issue around not respecting the word stop, bottoms pretending to be tops, the other bottoms where I think we were both waiting for the other to make the first move but I’m still not sure, and dudes.
Masculine interest is an interesting counterpoint to the feminine. It’s often more direct, transparent, and dangerous. I’ve experienced dozens of creeps who’ve stared or said something to me and looked like they’d lose their shit if someone told them no. I’ve found it easier to ignore them all–potential good along with all the known bad.
One of these days I’ll learn to speak the language here. I hope.
I’m on Twitter @cistotrans
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