It’s only recently that transsexuals are becoming more accepted in our society. From our pop culture to our political discourse, transsexuals are the topic du jour. Despite all the rising awareness of transsexual issues, there’s a side to this story that isn’t really examined: the people who find themselves attracted to transsexuals.
Even just five years ago, the amount of knowledge the average person had about people who are transgendered was very narrow. There was a common misconception that if a man was attracted to a male-to-female transsexual, the man must be gay. While there are cases where a trans-attracted person is struggling with their sexuality, it is a minority of the cases. So just why do so many people find themselves trans-attractive?
From my observation, there’s actually a diverse number of reasons why people find themselves attracted to people who are transgendered. These reason often overlap and mix, so it can often be hard to spot where these motivations arise.
I want to be clear: I’m far from an expert in this subject matter. I am, however, a keen observer -- and I’ve certainly had the opportunity to meet and get to know people who are attracted to trans folks through my personal dating experience, my webcam performances and my social media engagement as a porn star. While the folks I have interacted with numbers in the tens of thousands, it is still too small a sample to draw accurate conclusions - what I am positing are theories only -- it will be up to others to test them.
One other note before we dive in: an interaction between two people can be seen from either perspective. Typically when conversations of trans-attraction are looked at, the discussion is framed in a way to respect the gender identity of the transsexual (and rightfully so). From the transsexual’s perspective, when a male is attracted to a transsexual woman, that attraction is labeled as heterosexual. In a perfect world, this would always be how the relationship would be defined. It should be the default view of these situations unless other facts are present. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to examine the issue from the alternate perspective: the trans-attracted person. This will result in some cases where this ideal definition of the relationship will not be applied. It is, unfortunately, a necessary evil so we can examine some of the psychological origins of trans-attraction.
A New Theory of Sexuality
Our society is one driven by the gender binary: This social construct is built around the concepts of male and female, despite the rising scientific evidence that there are many shades of gray between the two genders. It’s not surprising that we define our sexualities through this binary. We refer to sexuality in terms of gender interest: homo- (interest in same), hetero- (interest in the opposite), and bi- (interest in both). When dealing with a cisgendered person (someone who is not transsexual), this is fairly straightforward. But when the genitals are incongruent, how do you explain the variety of responses we see?
I’m a trans-person who blends into society -- outside of my work in porn, most the people I interact with on a daily basis have no idea I am a transsexual. I often encounter heterosexual men who are drawn to my femininity and find me attractive. When I disclose that I am a transsexual, a certain number of these men lose interest -- in their mind, they cannot conceive of a relationship with anyone, feminine or not, with the same genitals as them. Another group of men have no issues with my genitals at all - they see me as a woman but are unphased by my factory installed extras. The final group is uncertain how they feel initially, but are often willing to explore the relationship. Eventually they settle into one of the two other camps. I’ve seen this same behavior with homosexual women's’ attraction to me as well. This suggests to me that our sexuality has more dimensions to it than simply the gender-identity to which we are attracted.
In addition to attraction to gender identity, there is also a consideration of attraction to genitals . In my experience this attraction to genitals can be shorthanded to: attraction to vaginas; attraction to penises; and indifference to genitals. While this may not be the only dimension of the definition of sexuality which we, as a society, need to expand, it is a critical one to add to help to better define how people are attracted to transgendered individuals. Since it only becomes relevant when someone finds romantic interest in someone with incongruent genitals, it’s not a dimension of sexuality people typically consider.
I first developed the theory after dating a lesbian woman whose response to learning of my cock was: “I have one too… it just goes back up on the shelf when I’m done.” She never would have dated a male, but was nonplussed by my factory installed extras. Understanding this new definition where we split sexual attraction to attraction to gender identity AND attraction to genitals, it is easier to see how incongruent genitals can still lead to the more traditional sexuality definitions.
The Fetishization of Transsexuals
While a redefinition of sexuality helps explain some of the dynamics we’ve seen between transsexuals and those people who are attracted to them, there are other motivations as to why some people find transsexuals attractive. Until recently, transsexuality was in the shadows -- we were a taboo subject… and with any taboo subject, there will be a certain number of people who will be drawn to the exotic nature. As human beings, we collectively get our rocks off to the unusual. Because transsexuals have been outside society for so long, some people have been conditioned to view us as exotic.
If you ask any transsexual sex worker, they will tell you a large number of the men who approach them are cock-obsessed. While some small portion of these men are struggling with their sexuality, I do not believe that this explains all the behaviors we’ve seen. There are other psychological avenues which can cause the person's infatuation with transsexuals.
There are those who do fetishize the genitals -- this leads us to a different way in which folks find themselves attached to male-to-female (mtf) transsexuals -- the genital obsessed. In these cases, the origins of interest in mtf transsexuals arises from the juxtaposition of the penis against a feminine body. From our earliest human civilizations, the phallus has been a symbol of power. Folks who find themselves attracted to transsexuals in this way are fascinated by the penis by the power it represents. They often seek to be dominated -- to be forced to perform cock worship, for example. This attraction by males towards male-to-female transsexuals is closer to the concepts of power exchange amongst the BDSM community rather than homosexual activity. They like the combination of the role reversal of a female with power with the female also having a perceived symbol of power: the cock.
A similarly related group are people who are aroused by humiliation. While this can take many forms, the common thread tends to relate to the inclusion of the incongruent genitals. For example, men who are aroused by small penis humiliation find it particularly exciting to have a transsexual woman demean them by stating how pathetic it is that a woman’s cock is bigger than theirs. As another example, someone who has internalized that cock sucking is a humiliating, submissive act will find arousal at being forced to please a woman in that manner. Someone who has internalized that homosexuality is forbidden will get off on being called a cocksucking faggot while being forced to go down on a transsexual woman.
It’s important to note: the concept of a “trap” and the male sexual fantasy of predatory transsexual women who seek to “trick” an unsuspecting heterosexual male often arises from this humiliation arousal. Most transsexual women are not attempting to “lure” in and trap anyone, yet this fantasy and concept still resonates with many people - in large part because of the humiliation aspect of being “fooled.”
Yes, You Could Still Be in Denial
While it will be the minority of cases, there are some instances where an attraction to a transexual is truly driven by questions of sexuality. A transsexual can be an expression of “gay light”; a way for someone who is not ready to accept their own sexuality to convince themselves they are still straight. But in my experience this is rarely the answer - I am a woman and gay men aren’t typically attracted to my femininity. Males who are questioning their sexuality will typically gravitate towards people who are more on the masculine end of the spectrum.
The Broad Spectrum of Attraction to Transsexuals
One of humankind’s abilities to thrive in the world comes from our ability to simplify a topic down so we can make a determination: Yes or No; Good vs. Evil; Male or Female. Unfortunately, reality is rarely so clear. Among males who find themselves attracted to male-to-female transsexuals, their first question to themselves is “am I gay?” While the answer to this question can be yes, it’s more common that the answer is one or more of the factors of attraction we’ve been examining. For example a heterosexual male attracted to a transsexual female could have a female-attracted, genital neutral sexuality and still get off on cocksucking because they view it as a submissive act. Ultimately, these motivations must be explored by the people experiencing them, as only they can answer why they are finding themselves attracted to transsexuals. What is clear, those attracted to transsexuals are far from alone.