A Reddit user wrote the following comment:
“I’m a 23 year old female, lesbian identifying. So, I’ve been seeing this girl for a few months. We live in different cities so we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, but it’s been going alright. We’ve kissed a few times, and she’s been flirting more lately. I’m definitely not a virgin but I’m a bit nervous. Because she has a penis. I’ve always considered myself super gay. Logically, I know I am dating a woman, even if she has junk I’m unfamiliar with. She’s been on HRT for about three months and still isn’t completely female passing, which I don’t care about. But I don’t know how to process the thought of sex. We’ve talked about it, and she let me know she would be fine with not doing PIV at all, and has let me know of other, non penetrative things we could do that I didn’t even know existed. My last relationship (with a cis woman) consisted pretty much entirely of her penetrating me with a strap on. And I feel like such a hypocrite, for being okay with that but possibly not with her organic penis. And then what if I do want it? Does that make me less gay? I’ve never even had an orgasm, by anyone (including myself) and if it happens during PIV was I really straight all this time? I had sex with a trans man once who was pre everything, and I was completely comfortable because he still had all the parts I was familiar with. So am I being transphobic because of her penis? Would really appreciate some advice.”
Now, since this commenter posted in trans-friendly subreddits, all the responses were about how she should go ahead and have heterosex even though she doesn’t seem to be comfortable with it. The material in the comments is an absolute train wreck.
I’m going to post individual sentences taken from the responses, and then add my own commentary.
“It definitely will take some time and it will probably get easier as she gets further along in her transition.”
When you say that “it will get easier,” that implies that it’s not easy now. The reason why it’s “not easy” right now is because this woman is attracted to women but dating a man. This does not feel comfortable for her, obviously. This situation will never get easier, and it doesn’t need to. The idea of having sex with your partner should not feel uneasy or difficult. If you don’t actively enjoy sex with someone, then don’t have sex.
“Being with a transwoman and even enjoying sex with her doesn’t make you any less gay.”
Nah, when you are a woman and you enjoy having sex with a man, that does make you “less gay” because enjoying sex with a man means you’re not gay. If it turns out that this woman does enjoy sex with a man, that’s fine, and that means she’s bisexual. No need to worry about that—it’s okay to be bisexual.
“Oh, sweetheart. Everyone internalizes the weird shit our heteronormative society tells us, and there are few organs as loaded with symbolism as the human penis. You’ve just realized that you’ve internalized a lot of weird, transphobic shit that’s creating a hesitancy or blockage, so I totally understand feeling confused.”
Oh gawd, the irony! You are telling a woman who is likely a lesbian that she should be having sex with a man and enjoying it, but you’re saying that her reluctance to have sex with a man is “heteronormative.” Welcome to backwards land!
“Is ‘lesbian’ a label that you use to describe who you are, or do you find it occasionally is a box that shapes you into some preconceived notion of who you’re supposed to be?…Maybe experiment with letting go to your attachment to your labels and see where that takes you? You being you is far more important than you being faithful to your labels.”
So, basically, the solution to being a woman who isn’t interested in men is not to stop dating men, but to stop calling yourself a lesbian!
“Don’t start by jumping into the deep end with both feet. Work your way into it more easily – start things off with touching (through clothes at first) and GO SLOW. You’re entering what is new territory for you, and it’s only natural that you should be nervous.”
There’s nothing wrong with going slow, but what is really obvious here is that you are telling this woman that she should not listen to her feelings of discomfort and should go ahead with something she isn’t into anyway, despite the nervous feeling. Although it’s subtle, you are gaslighting her and you are working to break down her boundaries. This is abuse.
A few words on “feeling nervous.” Sure, it’s normal to feel nervous with a new partner, but pay attention to what kind of nervous you are feeling. Being nervous because you’re really excited and happy about someone and the relationship is important to you is a good thing. But if it feels wrong or uncomfortable and you’re not sure if you should go ahead because you’re not feeling right about it, then that’s a bad nervous. That’s a sign not to go any further.
“All humans start off as physically female in the beginning of their development, gaining male or female physical sex traits later on….So for trans women, our penises are basically (really) big clitorises.”
Nope. Just because a fetus starts off with undifferentiated genitalia, doesn’t mean that fully-formed adult males can claim their penis is a female organ. This is a bullshit argument.
“It’s not unusual at all for women to not be able to bring themselves to orgasm — hell, I can’t anymore.”
Dude…your inability to orgasm now that your penis has shrunk from estrogen has absolutely no relation to lack of orgasm in human females.
So this was some super terrible advice. Basically, lie about human biology, stop calling yourself a lesbian, and have sex with a man even though you don’t like it! This is really abusive and homophobic.
Here’s my advice!
It is not at all logical that a human who is male would be called a “woman,” since a woman is a human female. What is actually “logically” happening here is that you are dating a man. You say this man has been on hormones for only three months and doesn’t pass as female. Guess what? You are dating a fully-intact typical male. There is nothing female about him whatsoever. The feelings of discomfort you are experiencing are there because you are not attracted to men. That is okay. It is not at all bigoted or phobic to decline to have sex with men. Women do not owe men anything, not sex, not love, not our time or energy, not our validation, not anything.
You don’t have to feel like a hypocrite for enjoying penetrative sex with a woman but not wanting sex with a man. That is entirely normal and okay. A dildo is absolutely not a penis and neither is a penis a dildo. There is no reason why liking one means you have to like the other.
The trans/queer community is gaslighting you—that means they are forcing you to disregard your own feelings and your own knowledge of reality and instead accept someone else’s idea of reality instead. Somewhere in your brain you do understand that your partner is a man and that you are not happy. You are allowed to pay attention to what you can see with your own eyes. You are allowed to trust your own instincts. This is good and healthy for you. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. The best thing you can do for yourself at this point is stop dating anyone who is male, stay away from the queer/trans cult because they are extremely misogynist, and only date women who you are attracted to and who treat you well.
Best of luck to you, sister.