Columns Nov 23, 2011 at 4:00 am



So I assume Major Palgrave was murdered.
Who did it?

An unrelated question: how does one get italics or other snazzy formatting into her comments here on Slog? I have tried writing them in my word processor and formatting my text the way I'd like it, with italics and whatnot, and then cutting and pasting into this comment box, but when I do that, all my formatting disappears. Yet I notice that others are able to use special text boxes (ankylosaur) or italcize (many of you).

I'm using a Macbook, if that makes a difference.

@304/305 - I don't think avast was addressing you.
@308, I could see having "a good friend who's Asian but doesn't really dig on girls that are." That's his/her preference. To me, that's fine.

But if it went further, and my friend ruled out, categorically, ever being interested in anyone Asian, or Jewish, or black, or trans, or handicapped... I'd stop hanging out with that friend. Guess I'm super sensitive to hurt feelings. You want to trace that back to my elementary school experiences, be my guest.
@311, Simple html tags.

The tag for block quotes is "blockquote."
@303 who said "If somebody says they aren't interested, and they are sure enough of their disinterest that they aren't even interested in considering a hypothetical, it isn't your job to go all Sam-I-Am on them and insist "well, you just haven't met the right woman yet."

Exactly. This is all reminding me of when I first came out and all the people who kept badgering me about "how can you know if you never tried women?", or "Maybe you just haven't met the right girl yet...".

I know what I like. I know what I don't like. Being told what I should like is something that, as a gay person, I have had to fight all my life. I am not willing to be told by anyone, be they straight, gay, transsexual, cicwhatever, queer... what I SHOULD like or what I SHOULD be open to.

So long as someone isn't voting away your rights, denying you a job, or in some other way hurting you for who or what you are then they haven't done anything wrong. But no one has a right to tell anyone else who they should or should not be open to dating, marrying, fucking or other very personal and intimate kinds of interrelations.

What I don't get is why people want to try to force others to be "open" to fucking or dating someone they don't want to fuck or date.

Who here really wants to date someone who has to force themselves to date them? Do you really want to date someone who isn't comfortable being with you but is willing to suck it up just so they don't get labeled as a bigot? Do you really want to get intimate with someone who needed years with a therapist just to be able to contemplate fucking you?

I would bet not. So getting on someone's case about it so long as they aren't hurting you doesn't make sense. And not fucking you isn't hurting you.

But I do agree with Erica about what she is saying. I just say it more bluntly and honestly.


That's basically what she is saying, just in a round about way. Yeah, don't be honest and say "I could never get involved with a transsexual", because that is just going to get shit on.

Just say, "I would love to date a transsexual if I ever met one I was attracted to. I just haven't yet", even if in your head you are thinking, "No fucking way, ever, ever, ever..."

Think it, don't say it. Lie. Everyone will be much happier in the long run.

As Brian in Queer as Folk said, "It's not lying if they make you lie."

If telling the truth is just going to get your ass raked over the coals then they don't really want the truth. They want you to lie, so don't disappoint them.
@315 Yep. Thanks for saying that so well!
Unfortunate (almost) everyone has SOME prejudices. No matter how open minded we may be, or try to be, how we're raised, past experiences, etc cause some biases to form. Should we try to move beyond them to the best of our abilities? Of course. But not everyone is able to overcome everything.
Do I believe that people should say that they would never do something? No. We never know what we may do or not do in the future. But FRAUD doesn’t say he would never. He said he wouldn’t feel comfortable. And that it’s a mental hurdle he can’t clear. That doesn’t mean ever. That, to me, means presently. And I think he does feel bad about it, which shows that he’d like it to change. Doesn’t mean he will change, but he wants to grow.
I think the best thing we can do for posterity is try not to push any biases we may have obtained on them as well. Not racism, sexism, etc. I also have had a few trans friends over the course of my life. I can’t say I’d never have sex with them. But I do think there are some mental hurdles that might need to be overcome before I’d be able to. I’ve never thought of these friends as females who were trying to be men. As far as I was concerned, they were men when I met them, and that’s what they are, but it doesn’t mean that some small part of your brain may tell you “But they used to have girl parts!”. I hope that if I was attracted to a trans person, I wouldn’t let that be what got in my way, but I also can’t say with absolute certainty that it wouldn’t.
Because FRAUD is so active in the LGBT community, I do think that he deserves some slack. He is a far cry from many straight men. And telling someone they have a phobia repeatedly can make them believe it, and stick to it because they believe it. I’m sure any future children this man has will learn from his already open-mindedness, and will be able to take it a step further. That’s where progression really comes in.
For example: My mother was raised in a family that didn’t believe in mix-race couples. They never shunned anyone for the fact, or bi-racial children, they just didn’t agree with it. Because of knowing how her family felt, she never really developed an attraction for men of other races. She is able to notice when they are attractive, has friends in mixed-race relationships, and loves their children. From her example, I have no issues with dating someone of another race. But, I will admit that I’ve had physical relationships with people who don’t share the same skin tone as me, I’ve not had a romantic relationship. There is still that portion of my brain that knows I could lose several members of my family by doing so, and I’m only willing to risk that if I believe someone is “the one”. Hopefully, if I have children, they will feel completely comfortable dating whomever they want because they’ll know that they can be who they are without upsetting their family.
Likewise, instead of berating people for the prejudices they still hold, we should be educating them. Another example: My father. He was homophobic for a large chunk of my life. However, the majority of my friends while in high school were gay men. This meant that he got to see them on a personal level. Instead of just, “That gay guy”, they had names and stories. Some of those friends have been among his favorite of the people I hung out with. People can learn and evolve. But we have to be understanding of their misconceptions and work with them, instead of just telling them that isn’t how they should feel.
@297: I'm not sure that's true: neovaginas might just feel completely different than natural ones. There are still physical differences between post-op transwomen and ciswomen.

Even if there weren't: so what if the differences are all in your head. Sex is mostly all in your head anyway: why should people not be allowed to have preferences based on what's in their heads?

I agree that people should be polite in expressing their preferences, but that doesn't mean you have to be dishonest. I would personally much prefer being rejected for something I can't control (my height, skin color, genitals, gender identity) than something I can. I don't think there's anything wrong with listing characteristics you like as well as ones you don't like on a dating site, for instance. If I fall into some category that turns someone off, it's not my fault, it just means we're not compatible, and it's good to know that.

Compare that with me doing something that turns someone off, or something about my personality turning someone off, which is a lot more hurtful.

I like the idea of thinking of people as individuals who I might date or not date, be attracted to or not attracted to, as opposed to members of groups that I go for or don't go for. Still, I can say that I generally go for women with vaginas, even if someone changes my mind on that. I'm open to the idea that I might someday be attracted to anyone, even someone I never thought I would be attracted to. Even so, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying who I'm generally into.
@318 Sometimes cis women have reconstructed vaginas too.…


Nope. I guess we have to agree to disagree.


That's basically what she is saying, just in a round about way. Yeah, don't be honest and say "I could never get involved with a transsexual", because that is just going to get shit on.

Just say, "I would love to date a transsexual if I ever met one I was attracted to. I just haven't yet", even if in your head you are thinking, "No fucking way, ever, ever, ever..."

Think it, don't say it. Lie. Everyone will be much happier in the long run.

As Brian in Queer as Folk said, "It's not lying if they make you lie."

If telling the truth is just going to get your ass raked over the coals then they don't really want the truth. They want you to lie, so don't disappoint them. "

I wouldn't want to be friends with people who I have to lie to. If I had a "friend" who would rake me over the coals for being honest about my interests then... I don't need to be friends with them.

That was the point of what I was saying. The LW writer was talking to his friends. That was the context. Not just bringing it up out of nowhere.

My friends all know how absurdly picky I am and guess what.... we're still friends. I don't need to lie. And neither should anyone.
@320 Glad we can be civil here, even though we have different priorities.
@320, it would be nice if no one had to lie about such things, but clearly from this discussion it appears that many do.

We don't know the context FRAUD had this discussion with his friends in, or exactly how close of friends they were. But it isn't even limited to friends, as this discussion shows.

The topic came up, and different people have different preferences which they expressed, and some are getting flack for it. I expressed similar preferences in a different context in another thread here and got 90% shit for it. It taught me never to express such things openly in such a context again.

I generally don't have to lie to my friends about such things because I am pretty sure that most of my friends don't care a bit if I wanted to fuck them or not, as I don't care if they want to fuck me or not. But clearly for others it is an issue.
@312 EricaP, re:@303 avast2006's comment: Thanks for the clarification. I see that now.

@303 & @315: Okay---you meant something completely different, entirely! I see your points. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
I think I overdosed on sweets.
FRAUD: Just because you support LBGTQ rights doesn't mean you have to be friends with everyone you meet who identifies that way. If these folks want to force you to conform your sexuality to what they think it should mean to be straight, and call you names like Transphobe when you resist, it might be time to find some less hypocritical, more open minded friends. MTF's are real women, but there are key differences, such as: pheremones, pussy taste, facial features, body build... the lists goes on. There's no shame in sleeping with women but not being sexually interested in women who used to be men. If there's anything a Savage Love reader should know, it's that you can't change who you want to fuck or how you want to fuck them.
@325 - any evidence for those differences, in women who transitioned before puberty?

you are being transphobic.

how do you know there are key differences, such as pheremones pussy taste, facial fatures , body build among women and transwomen, can you absolutely verify that through a test? are you saying that you have a foul proof test to prove that the pussy in front of you is cisgender or transgender? if you do, please enlighten me.
and ps: , I wouldnt be friends with anyone who think I used to be a man just because I am trans...i would tell FRAUD straight up that his discomfort needs to be challenged..

its FRAUD 's choice if he wants to care about the opinons of trans people, and I have given him my opinon, hes free to listen or not.

I found it funny how many people keep saying FRAUD is not prejudical at all but transphobia and ignorance are being espoused all over this topic..
Please ignore the unregistered. It just derails.

I think that most of us aren't too far apart here. I think we've all been twenty years old and talking with our friends to crazy hours of the night about everything under the sun, including our sexual preferences. That's the kind of conversation I imagine this all came up in for FRAUD. He might have said, "Nope, not ever," and he might have been more diplomatic. I hope he erred on the side of kindness, but if not, he still has time to learn better manners.

I also think that if not wanting to date a transwoman is prejudiced, then fine. He's a little prejudiced. I can live with that; heck, arewethereyet said she can live with that. As mentioned before, it's unclear whether transwomen are just falling all over themselves to go out with him, anyway.
I have to say, I kind of resent being told I'm not straight.
@326: First of all, prepubescent transitions are a recent thing and unfortunately all too rare in the US, so that's not likely to come up. Also, the bodies of post-op transwomen are going to be in general different from the bodies of post-op ciswomen, just because they started off male.

That being said, I think someone who says "I would never want to date a transwoman" is much more likely to object to the idea of dating someone born male than to have this kind of preference for some somatic features over others. I think we could present the LW with a beautiful woman, have him get turned on, then tell him she was born male, and he'd get squicked.

It's certainly ok for someone to have the preference not to date someone born male. We're allowed to choose who we want to date based on anything we want. And sex is in the mind, so it doesn't make sense to object to it being a mental thing for him, as opposed to a somatic thing.

However. I do think this is mixed in with homophobia and all sorts of cultural ideas about gender roles. And I do think it's homophobia we're talking about, rather than transphobia, the idea being that it's somehow "gay" for a guy to date someone who once had a male body.

A comparison might be a white guy who said he would never date black women: while it's possible to have a preference for the way one race looks, it's likely that this preference is tied in with all sorts of cultural baggage involving racism and negative stereotypes about black women.

In some ways, this reminds me of the BDSM debates about whether people's kinks are based on experiences they've had, or they're just born with them. It can be both, but either way we can't escape the cultural baggage.
I'm a queer heterosexual! Or as my moms and I say, "Culturally Queer."
@329 clashfan: For the win!!!
Forgive me for being late to the party but I think men who are attracted to cis-women are typically men who do not find the idea of touching a penis, or what used to be a penis, something they'd do intentionally if well informed. Her vagina is of course not a penis anymore than an A cup would continue to be A cups after breast augmentation but it *used to be* a penis.

There are plenty of women who will date a guy, really like him but if his penis is really small or "looks funny" they will lose sexual interest in him. From what I know of MTF GRS is that the new vagina does not have the ability to self lubricate, many many many many many many many many many many cis het men love a vagina that is naturally well lubed and do not like using lube (outside of anal play or edible ones for foreplay). It's no secret that for a lot of straight men, the big TADA is PIV sex and a pre-op MTF couldn't give them that.

I would say this: if a straight het cis man met a straight or bisexual trans woman who they were attracted to and enjoyed having PIV sex with and then later dumped her because she's "a man", that would make him a transphobic asshole. **

**Of course if he ( didnt feel like she was a man) and felt like there was a breach of trust in her not telling about her childhood and being raised a boy or showing him pictures of what appears to be a little girl and saying it was her (when it wasnt) then lying is a big deal and wouldnt be transphobic for breaking up with because she lied but he would clearly be capable of dating a trans woman and being sexually attracted and active with her.

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