Intimacy trouble with a trans partner

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Intimacy trouble with a trans partner

Unread postby Marsblack » Mon May 14, 2018 10:18 am

My husband and I have enjoyed a great sex life but over the years as he has gained more confidence in himself as a man, those things which cause him dysphoria have become significantly elevated. Our sexual intimacy has been severely negatively impacted. Communication about this is ongoing but I feel that his emotional state and dysphoria change faster than I'm able to keep up. Consent to sexual activities is ongoing but I won't say I'm not frustrated that every encounter now feels like walking on eggshells, because it's almost never the same.
The current issue is that he feels emasculated by anything "less" than P+V sex (he says he feels like a lesbian without it) - this is a new and unexpected evolution of his dysphoria and it is both alarming and confusing. He has also been extremely vocal that he is disappointed and frustrated that I don't express explicit attraction to male genitalia. In my effort to show him unconditional affection and walk that line with his body dysphoria I have been very neutral/ambivalent about what I say about his body. I have been clear that he turns me on, I am very attracted to his body, and I love having sex with him, but it's not what he wants to hear. I know he's seeking enthusiastic excitement about dicks from me but we both know that's just not how my desire works. Due to physical pain and dysphoria the only act he wants to receive now is a hand job with a toy, but I am not confident or comfortable doing this yet. It is now a large conflict in our sex life and I know he feels that I am denying him "the last thing he enjoys".
He's slated for phalloplasty in November so I'm sure that is affecting him.
My inclination is sex counselling like, yesterday, but are there any rocks I haven't overturned yet???

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Re: Intimacy trouble with a trans partner

Unread postby Sam W » Mon May 14, 2018 10:51 am

Hi Marsblack and welcome to Scarleteen

This sounds like it's becoming a stressful situation for both of you. I think your instinct towards working on these issues with a sex therapist is a sound one, as it would give you two a neutral space to work through things with a person who can give you different approaches to try. Do you feel like your partner would be open to attending sessions with you if you suggested it?

You mention that the type of hand job he wants to receive has become a point of contention and that you're not comfortable with it yet. Is that discomfort you feel will fade with practice (since you mention not being confident with the act), or is it more that the discomfort is signalling a "hard no" boundary for you? I ask because there's a difference between doing something you're "meh" about because it makes your partner happy (which makes you happy) and doing something you're uncomfortable with because you've been made to feel it's the only thing that will please your partner and I don't want to make assumptions about which of those situations applies here.

With the language around his body, it sounds like you're trying to find ways to express you attraction to him without misrepresenting how you actually experience attraction in general. In the conversations you two have had about this, has there been space to talk about ways that you could express your attraction to him/ his body in a language that affirms his identity without invalidating yours?

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