Editor’s note: In this series, we’ll highlight conversations with our readers/viewers. We think folks will benefit from these conversations. All names are made up to protect everyone’s privacy. This letter and response are particularly long. We felt it important to include both the full letter and reply because it would help men like the person who wrote us.
Dear The Transamorous Network,
I feel very ashamed. Yesterday I had an encounter with a trans escort. I don’t feel proud of it because in some way I feel I contributed to the escort world, which is something against my values. I don’t want to justify it, but I realized I did it due to a buildup of tension over many years.
As a teenager I realized, accidentally, that porn featuring women with penises was the main category that turned me on. I felt really ashamed and avoided it for years, thinking it meant I was gay. I watched lots of gay porn to check, but it did nothing at all to me. I watched lesbian and heterosexual porn too. Those very rarely did something to me.
That was until one day at the university someone passed pictures of a trans woman with penis as a prank and realized again, that, instead of feeling disgust like my classmates, I was intensely turned on, even though I pretended to feel disgust like they did.
During my master’s degree I was in a long term relationship with a cisgender woman. And I actually enjoyed everything about it (including sex). But unfortunately we didn’t have the same vision of future and we parted different ways.
At that time I felt very low and sort of rediscovered porn. I realized that again, what I discovered happened to me during my adolescence still was happening. But I didn’t accept it. I felt it was related to a trauma I had to overcome or something similar, so I avoided the entire thing and suppressed my thoughts.
I have to admit that each time during my past year when I realized about it I would for a short period of time accept it as a possibility and even searched info on how transgender women lived lives, how transition felt for them, both emotionally and physically. I also read about challenges they face in everyday life and I empathized but I was scared about the idea of having that in my life.
At some point I accepted I maybe enjoyed porn featuring transgender women with penises. And let myself have sexual thoughts and reactions without doing anything about it. I didn’t feel I wanted to act on it but I felt I preferred to allow my body to feel instead of suppress.
I had one encounter with an escort. I didn’t feel much during it. So I left it at that.
After a long streak of unssuccessful dates for over 3 years with cis women in dating apps (with whom I didn’t connect). I stopped dating for a while. I went full monk mode. I spent half a year without doing anything sexual even alone. And for some reason I reconnected with a cisgender woman I met who I like and have been getting to know although I haven kissed her yet.
After some days of not meeting with that woman and lots of stress from work, one day someone sent me a prank with a picture of a transgender woman with a penis. I immediately felt intensely turned on. I felt ashamed and deleted it. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And started thinking about my adolescence reaction and all my past reactions to it. What if I had been supressing a natural attraction I had. How could I know? There was no way.
I don’t see transgender women in my everyday so I don’t have that experience. And if I see them I can’t tell them a part from cisgender women. I was very aroused and I wanted to meet with transgender woman but the idea of hurting their feelings if I was not into trans women, stopped me from opening a dating account. Also I didn’t feel ready for it.
At some point I decided I would go to an escorts service. I wanted to know my real sexual orientation. I did lots of research and found in my country it is legal for someone to create a company that gathers people who voluntarily want to do sex work. I found one that was in the register managed by women and checked if they had the licenses in order. Since they did, I thought I would give it a try one day.
But knowing I could explore my sexuality, legally and with a consenting person, I just couldn’t wait anymore and felt I had the obligation to myself and future partners to experiment now that I am still single instead of discovering it later on when I am married with someone with all the consequences it could have.
I went there and felt very anxious and uncomfortable while I was waiting. A trans woman who had different feminization surgeries entered the room, her face still looked a bit masculine, I didn’t quite feel comfortable with it, since I feel attracted to femininity, and that made me feel guilty and superficial. Once we were at it, by just touching her skin and cuddling I immediately ended, because of how intense was my reaction to her. I felt extremely embarrassed. It was totally unexpected. She calmed me and we had a normal conversation and then continued which I very much enjoyed as I liked her feminine body and behavior, even though she was not completely my ideal of femininity.
I went home and woke up thinking that I did very homosexual things with that transgender woman and the worse part was that my body enjoyed it a lot. I felt bad about it and worried. One thing that made me feel bad was that she said “you gay men enjoy us, trans women with penis”, and also that she said to another one while I was leaving “he is a fagot”.
But what doesn’t fit this narrative of me being gay is that I don’t feel the same way about men. I don’t want to touch a man’s body, I feel no interest in it, neither in porn nor in real life, the idea disgusts me. On the contrary I have fallen in love with cisgender women and had sex and enjoyed it, even though I don’t feel much interest in porn where they appear. But for trans women, I don’t know, it’s really strong my reaction to them.
I feel like I cheated on the cisgender woman I am getting to know although I am not in a relationship with her. I feel bad about that. I have a date with her in some days and I have been enjoying her company and what I feel when I am with her. But maybe it’s because I am looking at things from an exclusive lense. I don’t have to give up on cisgender women if I am attracted to trans women, and the other way around. Maybe it’s something compatible. I guess I will try to find a way to merge both into the same identity.
What’s your experience in that? Is that possible? Can a man be both attracted to cis and trans women? (Ones more emotionally strong although sexually also, and the others more sexually strong, I don’t know about emotional since I lack that experience).
How can I keep exploring safely without hurting other people’s feelings in the process? How can I meet trans women out of escort’s world? I want to have normal experiences like meeting someone that has a job like mine or similar, and that can keep intellectual conversations at my same level.
How can one deal with the guilt? and insults from others? and what’s the sexual orientation of someone that is attracted to women regardless of their genitalia?
I am scared of being physically assaulted if I meet a trans woman and this keeps me very much away from it. Not to mention I know some people I know think it’s a faggot thing and that “they are mentally ill” and men “period”. So I don’t feel comfortable about opening up about it or risking being seen with a trans woman. I still don’t feel ready for that. Maybe in the future, who knows.
Foreign & Fearful
Hello Foreign & Fearful!
Welcome to your life. You stand at a wonderful crossroads. It is the same crossroads many men come to. It is an opportunity to grow, to become who you are authentically. When you do this, your happiness will grow too.
Your strong feeling you call “ashamed” is normal. The reason you feel shame is you think your attraction is wrong, maybe even perverted. Where did these thoughts come from? Have you thought about this?
Here is a hint: You did not think this way when you were born.
Your happiness depends on accepting ALL of who you are, part of which is being attracted to transgender women. Your resistance exists because you have false beliefs which contradict your authentic self. Your opportunity is this: become more of who you are. Give up beliefs that are contrary to who you are. The more you do this, the happier you will be. Period.
Some escorts do what they do because they believe that’s all they can do, or they enjoy what they do to some degree. You are not responsible for contributing to anything other than your own life and experiences you have. People you interact with are there cooperatively, they help you create experiences so you can see who you are authentically, then embrace more of who you are. Your shame, as I wrote above, tells you you are not embracing who you are. So your shame is a very good thing!
Where do your values come from? Do you know? It’s a question worth asking.
There are no accidents. As a teenager you encountered women with penises because you wanted to. You wanted to because you knew such experience would increase your happiness and help you embrace all of who you are. You knew if you embraced this part of you and lived it authentically, you’d have a happy life.
But values you learned over time, caused you to shy away in fear. That’s why you avoided it for many years. You think being attracted to women with penises means you’re gay. But later, in your email, you recognize they are NOT the same thing. GAY MEN ARE NOT SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO WOMEN!
Attraction to cisgender women is compatible with attraction to transgender women. Why is that? Because transgender women, even transgender women with penises are women. THEY ARE NOT FEMALE. But who cares about that??? It is irrelevant.
So there is no conflict in cisgender attraction and trans-attraction. The problem – for trans-attracted men – is women with penises. Because what’s possible with that kind of woman, for the trans-attracted man, makes them special. There are many more positive characteristics trans women have over ciswomen, most of which have nothing to do their penis.
Transgender women bring interesting extra experiences because of their journey. Those experiences make some of them extremely strong, resilient, confident, and people who don’t take any bullshit. These are very positive traits in a woman.
It is good that you examined your trans-attraction as you did. Good for you too that you softened your resistance to your sexual attraction so you can enjoy your thoughts and reactions. That’s progress, right?!!!!
About your encounter with the escort: It’s possible your fears and apprehensions overwhelmed your latent enjoyment. That happens a lot when men have their first encounter. Don’t make too much about that.
Accidents are not accidents: There is more going on in life than people acknowledge. These “pranks” are not accidents, nor are they coincidence. They are YOU showing yourself where your genuine, authentic, NATURAL attraction exists. It is you saying to you: “accept who you are and stop judging it as bad. If you must judge it, judge it as good. BECAUSE IT IS!”
You must understand that your intense positive feelings are telling you what you’re doing is VERY GOOD.
And this strong negative feeling…and subsequent action…tells you that your stories about this VERY GOOD THING are inconsistent with your natural, wholesome desires. You know what you want, you know you’ll find joy in it. But your stories born or bogus “values” are keeping you from having it.
Every human being has a number of stories going on at any one time. They simultaneously create their ongoing reality. Take the transgender escort, for example. It is 100 percent certain her stories include “the only men interested in a transgender woman with a penis are faggots” (this is bogus).
She also has stories which create low self worth, insecurity and fear (about meeting someone who will accept her). It also is highly likely she doesn’t like her penis, wants to get rid of it, and is ashamed at having one. This is obvious for several reasons I will not go into in this response.
But you and her are a perfect match because she feels many of the same ways about herself that you feel about yourself, and you feel about her….and vice versa. So you two were a perfect match. Of course you two would meet each other!
You can’t hold on to values contrary to your happiness and be happy.
Any man will find an attractive woman attractive. Including transgender women. The only reason men feel revulsion is when they discover (or know in advance) that that woman either has a penis or once had a penis. They get turned off only because, for them penis = gay.
Should you seek trans women outside the escort world? At this point, I don’t recommend it. Not yet. Before you go outside the escort world, you first have to develop more comfort with who you are and what you like. Otherwise you will meet terrible transgender women.
Keep exploring with escorts. While you do that, seriously consider changing your values. Consider your stories and change them. You must come to the point where you are happy being you. If you don’t do that first, any action you take will connect you with trans women who are exactly like you: insecure, shamed of who they are, angry at men like you (chasers), and therefore your experiences will only inflame your insecurity and shame.
Does this make sense?
Insults from others will disappear once you change your stories about many things you have stories about. Many of those men who ridicule other men who have desires like yours have the same desires. They cover their shame by shaming others.
Your guilt and shame will disappear too when you change your stories.
As for labels, don’t worry about labels. Your question “what’s the sexual orientation of someone that is attracted to women regardless of their genitalia?” Is 100 percent irrelevant.
People use labels to categorize then judge. What are you wanting a label for it? Just know what you like is good and pursuing what you like will create the best life for you. Once you do something about your stories.
Last words: You are on a path. You are discovering an important part of who you are. This path is extremely good for you and for others. This path leads to more happiness for you (and others). Take your time, go slow. Read material on our website and watch our videos. There is a lot of free information that will help you understand who you are, what you’re going through and how to move forward. You are not alone. Many many men are having similar experiences.
Thanks for writing and enjoy your trans-attraction!