How to Deal with Gender and Sex in 2017
You may have noticed that we’re essentially living in the future now, a futuristic era wholly dominated by the Kardashians and Twitter beefs.
Kylie’s revolutionary Lip Kits aside, there are progressive things happening in society, especially with LGBTQ+ rights. For one, gay marriage was recognized nationwide in America. Additionally, there’s been a huge shift from praying the gay away to embracing genders and sexualities that deviate from cis-gender and heterosexual norms.
We’ve seen big companies such as Facebook and Tinder add gender options that span all the way from agender to two-spirit. While extremely progressive, this easily makes dating increasingly confusing for those who weren’t raised on RuPaul and acceptance.
Since education is the cure to ignorance, here are a couple tips on how to navigate sex and dating in a world which finally recognizes that there are more than two genders:
1. Know Your Terminology
The first step to understanding dating beyond heteronormativity, is to know the vocabulary! (I used this video by sexplanations as reference)
Cis-gender refers to when the gender assigned at birth is correct, Trans refers to when the gender assigned at birth is incorrect.
Transboy/transman typically refers to someone who was born with a vulva, marked as female on their birth certificate, but identifies as male. Transgirl/transwoman typically refers to someone who was born with a penis, marked as male on their birth certificate, but identifies as female.
Gender dysphoria refers to dissatisfaction, depression, and anxiety because parts of one’s body don’t match with their gender identity.
Gender is a spectrum, so your partner may not fit entirely into one of these categories, thankfully there are plenty of resources online to help you understand. If you are unfamiliar with how your partner identifies, look it up!
2. Politely ask about preferred pronouns
If you find yourself dating – or even hanging out platonically with – someone who identifies as Trans or Genderqueer, you might find yourself wondering what you should call them. People might even go by two names in some instances. If you’re confused the best thing for you to do is to ask – very politely – what you should call them. If you feel uncomfortable asking, use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they, them, theirs” instead of “her” or “him”.
And NEVER ask what someone’s “real name” is.
3. When it Comes to Sex Communicate
Because having sex with someone who doesn’t identify as cisgender means you’re operating outside of what is considered “normal”, you need to make sure you communicate effectively and often.
Ask what your partner would prefer you call their genitalia, ask what they are comfortable with, ask how you can have sex with them without triggering gender dysphoria.
I recommend using this video by sexplanations or this video by wickydkewl as a guide for getting the conversation started. Sexplanations’ Dr. Lindsey Doe is a licensed sex therapist and wickydkewl’s Davey Wavey is a gay guru and storyteller. They both have very insightful videos on gender and sexuality, which I would encourage you to check out if you or your partner identifies as gender queer.
Dating and sex is all about communication. When you’re dating people, who don’t conform to heteronormative expectations, all that means is that your relationship requires a little extra patience and communication.
With that, I wish you happy dating (and happy fucking, of course).
Check out the video below to learn more about proper pronouns to use for transgender people!