Columns May 20, 2015 at 4:00 am

Car Talk


@99: Sometimes disclosing your own characteristics will not get you there. For instance, many women, of all sizes, are exclusively attracted to tall men. There really isn't any way to clue potential partners about that other than flat-out saying it. E.g., one of my exes, who is 5'3'', only dates guys who are at least 5'10''. Saying "I'm 5'3''" on her profile would not clue a 5'6'' dude that he had no chance with her. On the flip side, I have a friend who is 5'10'' who is totally into dating shorter guys. It would be awful if disclosing her height meant that those guys thought they shouldn't bother.

In other words, I certainly see the benefit in subtly describing what you want by discussing your own life-- if you can pull it off. If you can't, however, then I don't see the problem with being up-front.
@103 I tend to find short men more attractive and upon seeing someones height on their profile would see being short as a positive, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't date tall men so I'm in a different boat than your friend. I prefer describing myself because I want to convey my personality as much as possible to accurately establish some kind of attraction. I understand the logic of trying to weed people out through exclusions but still disagree with it personally. If people feel this helps them save time good for them, but I just don't believe that's true myself. Again, I just don't seem to have definite deal breakers the way other people seem to (I would have to observe a combination of factors).
For an example of why to not put "no trans" in a dating profile, see comment 102. This who who you will be having coffee with with that stipulation in there. Makes an uncomfortable meeting with a transwoman you're not interested in seem like a mild inconvenience by comparision.
@105 - shitty thing to say. SummerT is entitled to her opinion...especially since it is based on her own experience as a lesbian. Are you one too? or are you projecting your own ideas about unity, ally status, online dating, etc onto her and insinuating she is therefore a horrible date?
With 105 comments, I'm not sure whether anyone has said this already, but "Not an Asshole" - as well as the lesbian to whose post his comments refer - need to consider that they will appear MUCH more unattrative to certain members of their potential dating pools who are trans allies. Personally, I find it to be a turnoff when people state rigid preferences in their profiles, whether or not they are meant to exclude someone like me. News flash - "no offense, just" my preference" qualifiers don't make your comments less offensive. Is your time so limited - and your sense of politeness so under-developed - that you can't take receiving a comment from someone who's not specifically your type? It seems like a small price to pay to let a group of folks who have been historically disenfranchised feel a little less so.
well it appears the cf. lucio profile is gone already... so nevermind! chump.
Jubi - i completely agree about the "no offense, but..." notion. However, i don't get the feeling from anyone that they are wanting ZERO emails from people outside their desire spectrum... just that they don't want to get blindsided on an actual date.... That is really more what i took from the original LW's question... was that she was ending up on dates with transwomen lesbians without knowing in advance that they were trans....

maybe i missed comments where people complain about being contacted at all.... but i have been approaching this entire conversation from the pov of being on an actual date.... not trading emails.... or getting e-winked at... or what not....
Mr Monic - I agree with your point, but you chose perhaps the least fortuitous example for it. Being exclusively OS is like starting a game of Diplomacy in control of the fourteen centres that can be held with only ten units - no Ally necessary.
@101, "And what really would be the point of a man with two dicks? I only have one cunt." You also have an asshole. Also, some people like two dicks in their cunt, asshole, or mouth at the same time. I'd date someone with two dicks in a heartbeat, male or female. :-)
@102 It's not all lesbians that are under attack by trans women and our allies, it's people like you. Trans women are women. Lesbians, generally speaking, are attracted to women. A trans woman can have breasts and a vagina, much like a cis woman. Trans women aren't all "male bodied" by any meaningful definition. Similarly, trans men aren't "female bodied". Yes, (cis) lesbians (and bi people, and straight men) are free to not be attracted to trans women, for whatever reason. But it's not a requisite component of being a lesbian, and claiming it is is what's transphobic. As is claiming trans women are "male bodied".
One interesting thing about trans people is that they have by necessity either a) changed orientation or b) changed the gender they prefer or c) are bi/pansexual

The relevant example: If a man changes gender to woman but is still attracted to women, he changes from straight to gay (or was always bi). The only way her post-transition orientation could be straight is if she had started preferring men.

Trans people fall outside the "always hetero MF" straight stereotype. LGBT. I think a cis preference is understandable as more than just a physical preference, and almost a cultural or orientation preference. Living as a different gender for part of your life is a very different experience from a cis person's. But as members of a sexual minority, trans people should be shown more courtesy. Not a whole first date's worth imo, but refraining from "no trans" on a profile sounds reasonable. Maybe hinting about whatever disappoints you about meeting a trans person in the profile (framed as the corresponding attribute that you had been looking forward to), and asking directly in the first correspondence, idk.

Star - Did you counsel someone to transition without considering the change in their dating pool? I'm not sure why you are so vehement that a cis attraction is unhealthy/shallow/questionable/etc. Do you think a strong trans attraction is similarly questionable?

Well, he did a reddit AMA and it turns out he stuffs both of them in the same hole sometimes. Some people seem to think that sounds hot. There were pictures, too.... And they are very nice dicks.
@111. Oh thanks. A dick in my cunt and asshole at the same time. Not that fussed with having dicks up my asshole, so please, offer this little gem to someone else. I'll pass. A one dick man is fine by me.
@113: I don't think that's necessarily true. I've heard of people who realized they were trans when they were toddlers, before their orientation or gender preference had developed. A transwoman who identified as trans her entire life would insist that she was always (a) a woman or girl, and (b) attracted to men (if straight) or women (if lesbian). Any hormones or surgeries would just change her body to match her identity. They would not change her identity.
@116 I have heard of trans feelings very early in childhood, but I don't know anyone who actually identified as trans before puberty. So they declare an orientation in their assigned gender, until they start identifying as trans. I wonder how much leeway schools give children to present as trans, without changing gender officially. Cross dressing was not permitted in my school. Sometimes it all seems to come back to pronouns. Anyway, point taken, it's possible for a kid to identify as trans from before puberty until death, and thereby keep both the same orientation and gender preference for life.

That trans person would be quite the spokesperson.
I also sometimes see guys posting "no drama" or "if your role model is Kim Kardashian, move along".

Now I don't like drama, and my role model's Emma Goldman, but I will never ever reply to a guy like that because they're almost certainly a sexist jerk.

Even something like "no racists" makes you look immature since, yeah, obviously no racists, but what's your purpose in putting on your profile?

Blanket statements never make you look good. (heh)
@117: Several children at my kids' elementary school identified as trans while still in fairly early childhood, well before puberty, and those self-identities were respected and taken seriously by their families and their community. I also have a friend whose child identified as trans quite early on. All these kids were put on puberty blockers and two have actively transitioned, including getting top surgery. Granted, I live in an area noted for its progressiveness and tolerance, but this is just to say that I personally know three kids who felt/identified as trans before puberty, and I'm sure that there are a ton more.
As for whether people have the right to preferences... Duh. They also have the right to preconceptions and stereotypes and mean spiritedness. And other people have the right to their preference for people who don't do those things.

What precipitated the whole discussion was whether admitting a "preference" to not date a certain group of people will put you at a disadvantage with people you *do* want to date, and at what point excluding people from your dating menu hurts people's feelings. If you don't care about those things, then why worry about it?


That's a very interesting insight! Thank you!
@121 Are you speaking to someone in particular, dearheart? Because it seems to me that you can't begin to express anything adequately without addressing the individual that you are so sorely disappointed in.
Also, 113

You have hit the nail on the head. Kids have to make choices between a bad option and a less bad option. They choose to live with a body that doesn't feel right or to live with the stereotypes and prejudice and everybody thinking it's totally understandable that nobody would want to date them, as though even suggesting that they be given a chance is just a huge goddamned imposition.

So, yeah, if I had ever counseled a kid to transition, this discussion would (and should) break my fucking heart.


The research seems to support early transition as having a positive effect on outcomes. There was a trans girl who was homecoming queen at a local high school. Things got pretty bad for her in the months after the publicity, though. There really aren't good answers. Not transitioning is very bad (high rates of suicide and stress-related illness) , but people are not kind to trans people.

Im betting the butt toy letter, which we've pretty well ignored?
Star. Are you serious? Hurting people's feelings on a internet dating site?
Have you checked out these sites? Not, in my opinion for those whose feelings are so easily hurt.
You gotta be a Catholic, Star. So quick with the guilt inducing words.
@123, 124: Actually, if kids identify as trans pre-puberty (and have supportive families), they can be put on puberty blockers, drugs which suppress puberty and the physical changes that accompany it. So voices don't change, breasts don't bud, hips don't widen, adam's apples don't develop, the distribution of muscle mass and body fat doesn't change, periods don't arrive, and body hair doesn't sprout. Height also gets stopped. Then, if the child decides that he or she really wants to live as a different gender than that which original biology would have dictated, hormone therapy can begin. If someone hasn't already gone through puberty, their chances for successfully passing or for being indistinguishable in their chosen gender are quite high indeed.

Of course many people don't take children or their legitimate sense of self very seriously.

The research follows non-medical transition as well (when I said transition, I didn't necessarily mean medical transition.) This is a really tough question for parents!

The puberty blockers are good because they give a few extra years to make the choice. If the child changes their mind, they can stop blocking and puberty will proceed. But that's a medical choice, the whole discussion of letting a child live as trans pre-puberty has been the subject of a lot of discussion. APA has a position paper on it.

And as we've established, passing isn't the only issue. They will always be transpeople , and have that need to disclose, and face the stereotypes that say "It's normal to not be attracted to transpeople because they aren't the same as others of their gender." It is great that our kids have better options, but as long as people don't even give them the chance, their individual qualities can't win out.
@Estarianne: I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case (that of a straight woman), the impediment to my being able to date a transman is the lack of a functioning, big-enough (by which I mean in the average category) flesh-and-blood penis. It has nothing to do with gender.

If a transman was able to sport a realistic, average-sized, functioning penis, I'd have no problem whatsoever. It's a big assumption, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that if a trans person had indistinguishable, passing, functioning genitalia, many of those to whom they're not a dating option would have different opinions.

You're making this about gender; I contend it's more about genitals.
5 is VERY young to have mastered pushing an object past an anal sphincter, especially something like a toy car, which I would think to be impossible without lube. And if a 5 year old is familiar with anal lube, there's almost certain abuse, so I vote FAKE.

As for CIS-only dating ads... lots of thoughts here. But, keeping it brief... I like to apply the "opposite" test. In other words, would you ever place an ad stating no CIS-women, (substitute race, size, hair color, etc). If you find it inappropriate to make exclusionary comments about the majority, then you shouldn't be making those comments about the minority. But if it's a venue where it's acceptable to state a preference for the minority (e.g. seeking trans-woman, etc.) then stating a preference for the majority (e.g. seeking CIS-woman) should also be acceptable. I recommend all such statements indicate what you seek (e.g. seeking trans-woman), not what you don't seek (e.g. no CIS-women need apply).

Personally, I'm a pretty open person and never shied from new experiences and never had a truly awful coffee date (well, there was one that was pretty bad, but we ended up in bed together anyway, so it's really not too legit to count it in the bad column). I know what body type/color/gender/orientation generally turn me on, but in each case I've been attracted to individuals who fell outside those generalities. Each had a beauty I would never have appreciated and experienced if I was guided solely by stereotypes and preconceptions.

But everyone has their own reasons, right? One lesbian says that transwomen have "mannish" bodies, and straight women say transmen don't have boy parts , and gay men say transmen have girl parts, and all it adds up to is that it's totally normal for people to exclude transpeople from their dating menus.

In the end the why doesn't matter. Until "normal" is that transpeople are dateable and the people who exclude them are the unusual ones, transpeople have to deal with the constant exclusion. And that kind of sucks.
132, it's an advice column. He gets letters from people.
Sigh, 133 is a comment on 130, I cut too much.

Also, there is a study design in which people are given the option of two movie theaters. One choice requires them to sit with a person from a stigmatized group , the other does not.

When the movies are the same subjects tend to choose to sit with the stigmatized person. When the movies are different, they tend to choose not to sit with the stigmatized person, no matter which theater they are in.

In other words, when they don't have an excuse, people choose social responsibility. But when they can masquerade their prejudice as a movie preference, they choose to avoid people from stigmatized groups.

I keep remembering that research while following this discussion.
Estarianne, I'm not sure what your point is. Yes, it sucks to be rejected. Yes, trans people are subject to more harsh treatment and exclusion than others and that's not fair, and it's frustrating and sad. So are people of color and gays and lesbians and, in the U.S., Muslims, And Jews, and atheists and disabled people, and old people, and fat people and unconventionally attractive or straight-up unattractive people. And to some extent, women. All that sucks.
And your point is . . .?

@46: Where on earth do you get "she'd had 3 recent dates who were undisclosed trans women" out of "Lately, however, I've had a few women contact me who turn out not to be cisgender"?
And @47: Where on earth do you get "This is all about one group of dykes pissed off because another bunch of dykes don't want to fuck them" out of CIS's letter? No one was pissed off, and no one was even talking about fucking.
@69: "Tall men only; must be tall; 6' plus, ad after ad. I start to figure that even women who don't state the preference must feel the same way."

We don't. Yay! (I'm 5'6", and it's nice if a guy is taller than me, and/or not self-conscious about his height, but those are my only preferences height wise. I'm currently dating guys who are 5'7" and 6'7".)

@98: "Genitals don't determine gender, but they can be a factor in sexual compatibility."

Estarienne finally gets it! Cue the fanfare!

@101: I'm with you -- one dick is just the right number.

@102: Trans women do not have "male bodies." If you think so, you have never met one.
@132: Perhaps that's because there were THREE letters, and more than 130 comments, the authors of any of which could be described as "you".
Particularly when you refer to an author who signed off with the acronym "HISMOM" as "he".
All true @112. The truth is though, that a Trans woman is Not a Cis woman.
And I'm thinking that's what @102
Is referring to. She also, in her experience( valid as anybody's), feels that some lesbian trans women are putting pressure on some lesbian cis women to date/ have romance with

@141: Thank you for translating for the angry cis lesbians who weren't making much sense :)
Certainly if ANYONE -- any group or individual -- is putting pressure on others to date or have sex with them, then that's not a good thing. Whether this is trans lesbians or short men or bisexuals. That is just entitled behaviour and failure to respect others' rights to date who they want.

None of that came across in CIS's original letter, though.

Yes, those are all stigmatized groups.

And prejudice makes life suck in some ways for all of those groups.

Was some point beyond "prejudice sucks" necessary?

As I said before, if being fair and making life suck less for people isn't a priority, then there's no issue, carry on. If making life suck less for people is something you want to do, then find out what makes their lives suck and stop doing that. Social justice isn't rocket science.

And that's what Dan pointed out. Exclusion from dating menus makes trans people's lives suck more than it has to. Daters can make their lives suck less by not doing that. So either keep doing that and don't worry about whether it makes people's life suck, or stop doing it. Why is it so important for people to have it both ways? (that was rhetorical).

And most people have reasons for their prejudices. I had a very lengthy discussion with a neurologist with 30 years in practice who had a carefully crafted rationalization for why homosexuality is a mental illness (most of which hinged on his assertion that social science isn't actually a thing).

Social psychology experiments show that people start with a belief ("I don't want to date trans people") and construct the rationalization (that's because trans people ). Yet, they think that the process happens in the opposite direction, that the belief came after the reasons.

But some people would say that social science isn't a thing, so belief attribution theory probably doesn't apply to them.
I'm having a hard time figuring out just what is bothering me about this discussion. As a cis lesbian (not on the dating scene mind you) I agree that putting "no trans" in your profile may be hurtful and is probably unnecessary, but...

I don't know the statistics for trans men versus trans women, but according to an article I found on the National LGBTQ Task Force website… 23% of trans persons identify as straight, 23% as gay or lesbian, 25% as bi, 2% as asexual and 23% as queer.

Given that the percentage of cis-gendered gays and lesbians is exponentially tiny in comparison, it seems that this "issue" appears to affect lesbians (and gay men) much more than it does the straight community. Because of that I find it curious bordering on insulting that we have some very vocal straight voices (Estarianne chief among them) arguing that lesbians are being close-minded bigots for not wanting to date trans women.

I'm not arguing that trans women aren't women, or that they have mannish bodies. In fact I'm more attracted to female athletes than to models. But I have preferences just like everyone else and I'm entitled to those preferences just like everyone else. And what I want is a cis lesbian. I shouldn't be made to feel guilty for that, or told (in a most condescending manner) that if I just TRIED IT, I wouldn't be such a goddamn bigot anymore.

Just one lesbian's perspective...

I suspect it's unrealistic to expect that a choice to eliminate any group of people from your list is going to not result in some negative sentiment. There are reasons for that, especially in the lgbt community where the fight between generalization ("essentialism") and individuality has pretty significant ramifications. It boils down to basic philosophy of social construction, and is probably unresolvable.

If you think you're doing right by the trans community, and trans people you know are OK with what you're doing, how much better can you do?

Since another basic tenet of social psychology posits that we all have prejudices, either conscious or unconscious, and that the unconscious prejudices can be the more harmful, it seems like you're ahead in the race.

I will say that there is a lot of switching between the general and the specific in this discussion. It might be hard for people to know whether accusations of bigotry are aimed at them or not. Personally, I'd never use that word to describe someone's honest emotional reaction to people from a particular group, if paired with empathy. Or, if I did use it, I'd have to acknowledge that it applies equally to myself.
@119 NoCute - Thanks for posting this. I'm glad that trans kids were welcomed by your community. I'm mostly glad that it's less acceptable to shame genderqueer feelings. I'm not sure how I feel about hormone changes or cosmetic surgeries before adulthood, though. I'd love it to be easier to transition officially and socially and save medical decisions for adulthood. Puberty blockers... idk. Puberty is very different for each sex, and might help to connect a gender identity to the body's sex. Then again, puberty is tough to go through and transition is less successful after puberty.

Interesting study, Star. I am more inclined to try to help a disadvantaged minority. But less inclined to have sex with quite a few of them. So those results make sense to me. I wonder how the results might change if the subject were booking a date night instead of a single viewing.

@138 Where on earth do you get anything else from, "But one great thing about online dating is that you can express preferences before going on a date, and I'd rather not unknowingly walk into these potentially awkward and painful situations."

The implication of the study is that although we do try to overcome it, interacting with stigmatized people creates psychic stress. And while we want to be nice, if we can avoid it without looking like a jerk we do so (of course, we aren't all programmed with the same stigma, so ymmv).

The most publicized version of the study involved people with disabilities. Depending on the visibility, most people with disabilities also report difficulty finding romantic partners. So, I would assume that in much the same way, people find reasons to avoid sex with the stigmatized group and then rationalize their choice so they don't look like an asshole. We've also established that people tend to date within their race.

The solution isn't to guilt people into having sex with people they aren't attracted to, it's reducing /eliminating the social stigma so that more people are open to being attracted to them. But you can't eliminate the social stigma if people feed it to avoid the psychic stress of dealing with it. And rationalizing and legitimizing the stigma does perpetuate it. As does advertising it.

Social justice activists would tend to the belief that airing the prejudice is preferable to rationalizing it. I don't know that that is a consensus view in social psychology, though.

I tend to think people are better off understanding the role of programming and socialization on decisionmaking. I don't see naive realism as helpful.
Estar, you're forgetting that it really doesn't matter how oppressed or marginalized you are; if other people don't want to date you or have sex with you, they get to not do that.

It doesn't matter why anyone else thinks they're making that choice. There is no level of oppression that obligates anyone to date you if they don't want to. I eagerly await your reaction to straight dudes who can't get laid. Their lives are often fairly shitty; what obligations does this impose on anyone else who doesn't want to date them?

The answer's the same; it doesn't matter how unhappy it makes you to be undateable, no still means no. Trying to shame people into dating someone they don't want to date is not the right way to try to make anyone less undateable. It doesn't matter whether or not you think their low SMV is justified; there is no way around the fact that other people's sexuality is theirs. It's not a tool you can use to reduce anybody's marginalization, because it is not yours.

I'm saying the stigma causes a great deal of the "preference," and that in return the "preference" perpetuates the stigma. But that the cycle can be broken.

But if you want to claim that anti-trans stigma has some biological basis, have at it. I haven't seen any evidence to support that.
And how would I use someone else to do anything? I am suggesting that if people want to help, they can use their own choices as tools. And that some people think this is a way to do so.

Does my opinion really matter so much that sharing it is going to cause people to weaponize their sexuality? I kind if doubt that.
I believe that I understand where Estarianne and the rest of the people in the comments are really butting heads. It seems to me that the same reasoning for why you wouldn't date trans people could be used by transphobic people and contributes to an atmosphere that disadvantages trans people in that way. Everyone else is just defending their personal choices. In some ways I agree with this sentiment that people are unattractive for culturally relevant reasons but at the same time I can't think of a way to interfere with the process. I think its more a matter of time that when we see more acceptance of trans people we will see changes in the dating environment. For example I believe that people continue to date within their race so often because of the same reasons that we remain so racially segregated.
You're assuming that not being anti-trans is more important than not being anti-sexual autonomy. It isn't. It never will be.

No one is obligated to have sex with anyone they don't want to. Period. There are no exceptions. "But trans people want sex, and are oppressed" is not an exception. Your attempt to cast "Does not want to have sex with this person" as "does not want to help that person," isn't going to work because these have nothing in common. It doesn't matter how oppressed you are; somebody else's decision not to have sex with you is final.

If you want to keep interrogating someone else's "no," you have a very high burden of proof, and your claim should be looked at with serious skepticism. You don't seem to be meeting this burden of proof, nor acknowledging the extremely good reasons for the skepticism that's being directed your way.

If you went out right now and had pity-sex with a few dozen short and/or fat guys, I'd consider the possibility that you don't know that the argument you're making is bullshit. Since you're not doing that, you very clearly do know that one can both believe that fat/short people are unfairly stigmatized and still believe that you don't have to have sex with anyone you don't want to.

If I accused you--due to your lack of pity-sex-giving--of endorsing anti-fat stigma, you'd know it was horseshit. It would also seem like creepy pressure to control your sexuality, because it would be. "Yay Trans People" and "No Rape" are not actually incompatible principles to hold, and if they were, it would be "Yay Trans People" that got dumped, not "no rape." Sorry.
@153: "It seems to me that the same reasoning for why you wouldn't date trans people could be used by transphobic people and contributes to an atmosphere that disadvantages trans people in that way."

No one has to have sex with anyone they don't want to. If this disadvantages trans people, then it is right that they should be disadvantaged. If transphobic people use this to justify their choice not to have sex with transpeople then that is their right.

You don't get to coerce anyone into sex they don't want. That's rape. You don't get to rape anyone. Even transphobes. If this bothers you, get over it.

Scaremongering about how horrible it'd be to live in a dystopia in which transphobes went unraped doesn't work because it's not actually scary.

Listen, you're coming at me with conflicting requirements.

You're saying on the one hand that my opinion doesn't matter (for example, whether someone could/should alter their sexual preference to promote inclusion. You mischaracterized my opinion, but the basic gist is that it doesn't matter because it's just my opinion.)

On the other hand you're saying I should silence said opinion because other people might feel less autonomous if they know I disapprove of their choices.

So say I did ever, anywhere say that people should sleep with trans people. That would be part of an opinion in which inclusiveness is a value to society that outweighs individual stress over interacting with people from stigmatized groups.

For what it's worth, your argument, that individual autonomy outweighs the social benefit of inclusion, is used in of the civil rights debates I've participated in (it's the basis for the efforts to pass religious freedom laws). It isn't a simple argument. But before we get into it, you need to decide whether that's the discussion we're going to have, or whether you're going to keep trying to convince me that I'm not entitled to an opinion at all.

And if I refuse to have sex with fat people, OF COURSE I'm propagating anti-fat stigma. The whole label "pity sex" propagates stigma. The problem is that I've never claimed not to be part of a social system that propagates stigmas, I've simply made an effort to be aware of them.

Your focus on forced sex is kind of weird. Just sayin. Nobody can force you to have sex by sharing an opinion about your "preferences" over the interwebs.
Aaaand there he goes...
I think interacting with less predictable people in general creates psychic stress, not just stigmatized people. I like the solution of more public trans exposure, debate, demystification, as happens in this column. I aim for eliminating the practice of bigotry (behavior), instead of changing people's feelings. Emotional manipulation is also unethical when it's not consensual. It generally hurts people to treat them as Pavlov's dogs, attempt to tamper with their preferences, unless it's a mutual decision. Some exceptions for legal guardians, but parents look weak to me when they rely on bribing & shaming to govern behavior.

I don't feel comfortable judging others' preferences or feelings, I will only label behaviors as "wrong" or unethical. I don't think that ideas can be unethical either, although they can be uninformed or misinformed. I don't think the desire to kill your parent or have sex with a toddler is "wrong". It's a problem that a healthy person should address to stay healthy, because acting on those desires would be WRONG. We are very opposite in philosophy. Maybe because I really like how individual preferences shape such a diverse population, I think it's a huge human strength, that people are attracted to a variety of different skills or activities or aesthetics or symmetry or foods or genitals. Homogenizing attractions to include (Trans, Fat, Old, Skinny, Poor, etc) sets a dangerous precedent.

Realism can be naive?
@155 I never said what you think I said. I just believe that attraction is influenced by culture and that as culture changes general ideas about what is attractive will change as well. I am not looking to vilify people for their individual preferences or tell people who they should have sex with.
"And if I refuse to have sex with fat people, OF COURSE I'm propagating anti-fat stigma."

Clearly, obviously, this is true, but care to humor me and explain why rejecting someone sexually is a stigma or mark of disgrace?
An observation: trying to influence people's sexual behaviors, whether through legal or social pressure, has historically been very harmful. It's the same argument conservatives make in urging gays to live celibate lives, in urging the polyamorous to be monogamous, in urging transpeople to act in their assigned gender, etc. The liberal attitude-- that society's interests end where the bedroom door begins-- is only recently becoming mainstream, and then only in liberal enclaves.

I'm guessing Star has been privileged enough not to experience the Bad Old Days, which are still the reality in large parts of the world. That's why she can't seem to grasp the notion that consensual sexual conduct is off limits in social discussions. I suppose this is a triumph of sorts for liberalism, but I worry that illiberal liberal attitude might undo our recent advances.

Naive realism is a thing. Very interesting, look it up ๐Ÿ˜Š

Unfamiliarity doesn't actually explain the whole picture, unfortunately. Even people who are exposed to minorities often absorb the stigmas. There is a test called the IAT... have you heard of it? It is one tool used to measure subconscious bias and is available online. There are other research tools.

I had a mild negative bias to the racial group that includes the people I trust most in the world. And I'd like to think that the test just got it wrong, but when I thought about it I figured it was pretty accurate. I know my family, but when meeting new people, I react more negatively to POC. Part of this is familiarity, but obviously not all of it.

How can you assign value to something that everyone does, even if it impedes a fair and equal social structure? I think we're in a period of social flux based on new understanding. We know about these cognitive biases that lead us to stereotype, so it is harder to identify bigotry, but we don't have new social values to promote self-reflection.

@156: "You're saying on the one hand that my opinion doesn't matter (for example, whether someone could/should alter their sexual preference to promote inclusion. You mischaracterized my opinion, but the basic gist is that it doesn't matter because it's just my opinion.)"

No. I am saying that other people's right to not have sex they don't want is not contingent on your opinion. Thinking someone is oppressed does not give you the right to make anyone else's sexual choices for them. Even if you think someone is very oppressed, you still don't get to try to shame other people into having sex with them. Even if you think trans people are Really Really Great, other people still get to not have sex with them if they don't want to.

You're entitled to an opinion. That doesn't mean your opinion is necessarily correct, but that doesn't matter: trying to apply negative labels to people as punishments for not having sex with the people you want them to is never acceptable behavior. And it's extremely obvious that that's what you're doing.

"And if I refuse to have sex with fat people, OF COURSE I'm propagating anti-fat stigma."

I guess I'm stigmatizing the hell out of the entire population of planet Earth (minus one). If we accept your argument, then stigmatizing things is totally acceptable. Whoops! Didn't really think that one through, did you? Stop trying to attach negative labels to good things; it doesn't stigmatize what you're trying to stigmatize, it just destigmatizes the label. It's like when Republicans in 2008 didn't notice that yelling "Socialism!!11!" at Obama just destigmatized socialism, if it did anything at all.

I mean, you just accidentally destigmatized stigmatizing. Jeeze.

Actually, the opinion that someone should be having sex with someone has been attributed to me, I have very clearly stated several times that I don't actually believe that.

I only have so much control over the words people put in my mouth. And I haven't really bothered to clarify because what I really think is that my opinion about who you should have sex with shouldn't matter to you.

Even if I had one.
Actually, I do have a question.
Dan pointed out the difference (elsewhere) between drag queens and men who have or are transitioning to female, and I think a lot of people who don't have a lot of exposure to the trans population imagine one as the other.
Now - the pussy. What a lot of het males really like about a sexual relationship is the sensation of being inside one. I find it...hard to believe that transitioned males have something that feels the same as a cis female's girlparts, but science marches forward, and I'm ready to be educated.
Anyone here with a penis, fucked a trans pussy (not sure what the official term is, don't care but so much), and if so, what was the sensation like?
@159 " I never said what you think I said. I just believe that attraction is influenced by culture and that as culture changes general ideas about what is attractive will change as well. I am not looking to vilify people for their individual preferences or tell people who they should have sex with."

Oh. Good. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I absolutely agree that as being trans gets destigmatized, more people will almost certainly be more willing to date trans people.
I googled naive realism. Hate this new word. Naive realism isn't actually realism. It's an assumption. I am perfectly aware that senses can be mistaken. That doesn't change the fact that I find sensory information to be very useful. Seems like an off topic insult. Disappointing. I had thought I found someone with very different ideas but a common courtesy.
@161: Exactly. When our tribe wasn't in power, we said "no one should be allowed to coerce anyone else's sexual behavior." Now that (we seem to think) we are in power, we suddenly decided that coercing sexual behavior is just fine, as long as it's us doing it, and as long as we code it in the language used by Us rather than the language used by Them.

It's sort of tragically hilarious how quickly people, given even the smallest taste of power, suddenly lose all ability to remember that ethical principles still exist.

@166: "...but science marches forward..."

Which is why, I suspect, this whole conversation will be nigh-unintelligible to someone from the future. Right now, due to the limitations of current medical science (and the scarcity of access to same), trans people are usually physically distinct from cis people; but the trend isn't in that direction.
Quoth @165
my opinion about who you should have sex with shouldn't matter to you.
This isn't the silver bullet you seem to think it is.

Suppose a homophobe gets on his soapbox and loudly rails against "dem homos havin da buttsex", and how it's gross, unnatural, against God's will, etc. When confronted about it, he responds "my opinion about who you should have sex with shouldn't matter to you." Should we let his hate go unchallenged?

If you think yes: suppose it's not one homophobe, but millions. Not necessarily on their soapboxes, but constantly chipping away at "homosexual conduct." You know, like what actually happens. Should we leave that be, since "[their] opinion about who [gays] should have sex with shouldn't matter to [them]?
@138, Dozens of comments, from all identities, have made it very clear that online dating is about wanting to fuck, and anyone in trans*, queer, lesbian, and/or feminist communities has already been having this conversation. Hell, even the gays have been trying out FTMs on Grindr and things the last couple years.

It's really quite simple; Savage handled this one badly, and it's not too presumptuous to assume he did so either our of fear of retribution (which has happened to him in the past) or because he's quite comfortable telling ciswomen that they should just go out on dates with transwomen, even if they don't want to, because they might like it. This is unquestionably patriarchal and straight out misogynist. Just because the other parties are also women doesn't erase that fact. It shows how profoundly programmed almost everyone is that the cislesbians and other trans* and gender variant people who have expressed similar things as I have are either ignored or called "transphobic" lays bear how deeply embedded people's patriarchal tendencies are. Trans equality can and should exist without reinforcing homophobia and misogyny, without the erasure of cislesbian experience. It's a complete double standard: "transwomen are women, listen and believe them" butting up against, "lesbians are transphobic if they don't want to date transwomen"....hmmm? And coming from people whose writing indicates heteronormativity? Not saying you specifically, but plenty of folks in the comments keep repeating certain (PR? NLP?) phrases that, no matter their truth, do not change reality, do not change the reality of some cislesbians. It's so funny how caught up in "listen and believe" everyone is, except when cislesbians and feminists want to talk.

The letter from CIS was an airing of laundry; when that happens we're gonna talk about how it's hanging, whether that jibes with some people's understanding of the situation.
Eudaemonic, I am reading your post but you are so far off of what I'm saying that I can't get from here to there.

I'm talking about social structures and you're trying to mold that into an opinion about individuals. It just doesn't work that way. Being a Democrat doesn't say anything about what I think Republicans should do with their lives. I can a have a belief that we should provide free health care AND believe that people have a right to vote against free health care.

So I believe in inclusion and social justice. AND I believe in individual autonomy. You started with a false dichotomy and followed it somewhere I did not point you.

We exist in a social system that stigmatized. We both participate in and perpetuate the stigmatization with certain actions. That is an opinion many people share.

What does that statement say about what you should do on any given day with any given person? Nothing.

It is not an individual mandate. It isn't a personal recommendation. It is a view of our social system as a whole.

That this system impacts our choices and that our choices impact the system isn't a stretch. The stretch is to assume that wanting to change that system automatically means that I do not support an individual's right to choose their own path.

It's kind of funny because everyone's telling me what I'm telling them they *should * do, but when I try to think what I think people *should * do I have trouble coming up with anything beyond "be empathetic." Population studies just don't turn into personal recommendations like that. Which is why I believe in individual freedom.

Now, if you're saying that I shouldn't have an opinion on the things you *do* do, I think that's unrealistic. Not because I have an opinion on the things you're doing (other than when you're being an asshole), but because people form opinions about shit like that. I think that old people shouldn't sleep with kids, and that people shouldn't hurt the people they love- I have a heap of opinions about what people do. But not a single one of them involves thinking "wow, he should have slept with that person he wasn't attracted to."
Estarianne @147

Your reply to me was some first class gobbledygook. Care to translate this?

'I suspect it's unrealistic to expect that a choice to eliminate any group of people from your list is going to not result in some negative sentiment. There are reasons for that, especially in the lgbt community where the fight between generalization ("essentialism") and individuality has pretty significant ramifications. It boils down to basic philosophy of social construction, and is probably unresolvable."

The construction of your first sentence renders it nearly inscrutable. Are you saying that if I put a profile on a dating site with no language regarding a potential date's trans status (which is what I said I would do), but I then chose not to respond if a trans woman answered my ad - that I would be judged in a negative light? I'm confused. Because if I'm right in my translation, who would judge me? No one would even know! The rest of your paragraph is psychobabble, which I don't speak.

You then go on to say @149

"The solution isn't to guilt people into having sex with people they aren't attracted to, it's reducing /eliminating the social stigma so that more people are open to being attracted to them. But you can't eliminate the social stigma if people feed it to avoid the psychic stress of dealing with it. And rationalizing and legitimizing the stigma does perpetuate it. As does advertising it....I tend to think people are better off understanding the role of programming and socialization on decisionmaking. I don't see naive realism as helpful."

That is so patronizing it burns. I wasn't "programmed or socialized" to be attracted exclusively to cis lesbians any more than straight men and women were programmed or socialized to be attracted to the opposite gender. According to your world view it seems that everyone should be bi-sexual, since then people wouldn't be choosing "to eliminate any group of people" from their lists.

And one more time for emphasis - the reason I'm not attracted to trans women isn't because I'm rationalizing a social stigma. That is the worst kind of pseudo-psychological BS and it's extremely insulting that you keep insisting on using it. If that's true, then I challenge all the straight women and men on this board to first sleep with someone of the same sex, then a trans woman, and finally a trans man. We may need to add pre-op and post-op to that list - I'm not sure.

You first.


Right. Because it wasn't meant to explain why it was OK for me to negatively judge your choice in sex partner. It was an explanation for why I didn't correct someone else's *guess* as to how I felt about people's choice in sex partner.

Because as long as I *don't * tell people that I have a negative opinion about their sex life, my actual opinion doesn't matter. So really, they should not worry too much about it.

Estar, you've been telling people that they're bad people--sorry, "not trans allies"--if they don't date trans people for days now. It's a little late to start claiming you aren't telling people that.

Well, I'm a pseudo-psychologist, so there you go.

Quote @165
Actually, the opinion that someone should be having sex with someone has been attributed to me, I have very clearly stated several times that I don't actually believe that.
I think you missed my point in 161. I'll restate: people's consensual sexual conduct is off-limits in any liberal discussion. We stay the fuck away from that. Do you agree or disagree?

A (hopefully) clarifying example: most Americans only have friends within their ethnic group. We can talk about how that's probably a bad thing, how it's intellectually helpful to be buddies with people of different races, how ideally we would all be color-blind with regards to friendship. We can even get to individual conduct, like challenging ourselves to make friends with people of different races. In that discussion, no one would say "You, Star, must become friends with Jack over there, otherwise you're a racist." We're not mandating specific friendships. But that overall social discussion is worth having.

A switch: most Americans also only date within their ethnic group. We can note that reality and how it's slowly changing, but that's the end of the conversation. No talk about how dating within your ethnic group is a bad thing, how we should all be willing to date outside our race, and god forbid, no challenges to expand your dating pool. Unlike our social lives, our sexual lives are off the table, because it's not society's business whom we fuck. Because when society gets involved, bad things happen.

See the difference?

Please quote where I said that someone who doesn't date trans people is not a "trans ally?"

Or are you claiming that there is not a fundamental difference between excluding a group offhand and simply not choosing members from the population? Because to me one gives people a chance, and the other writes them off before they even get started. That's the choice that I have been criticizing.

Further, I think I posed the ally issue as a question. What IS an ally? Is someone who does that an ally? What are the requirements? I don't actually know the answer to that question. I think that not caring whether someone is hurt by your actions probably excludes you, but I certainly don't think you need to sleep with someone to be an ally. Otherwise PFLAG needs to disband.

Also, I'm clearly not a good hetero woman because I have found people from both genders, including trans people, attractive. So, no, I don't really get the exclusionary orientation thing at all, but that doesn't mean I don't support someone's right to be that way.

Errr, sorry, but studying things like dating within an ethnic group is part sociological study. Can you quote where I said that was a bad thing? I think I said it was a thing.

Nice that you've laid out the rules for "liberal discussion" though. I am pretty good at not following rules.

So how does this apply to Dan giving advice about whether a lesbian should date trans women? Or the other commenters who regularly weigh in? I'm curious as to how "liberal dicourse" is so restricted that we're not allowed to touch on social justice issues with regard to sex in a forum dedicated to sex questions, especially those applicable to minority groups.
Arguing for emotional tolerance or sexual tolerance is very different than arguing other forms of social tolerance. Sexual rejection is not intolerant of anyone's rights, because partnered sex is a privilege not an entitlement. Friendliness is a privilege, not an entitlement. Equal treatment under the law is an entitlement. Expecting law abiding behavior is an entitlement. I also believe that people are entitled to their own thoughts and feelings. I believe that people should defend their rights and entitlements. I am intolerant of dating women. If you want to shame my preference as bigotry, you are entitled to. And I'm entitled to think you're a controlling brute. Just because you feel bi, doesn't mean that feeling bi is objectively correct.
@JIbeHo #173...THANK YOU.

Estarianne creates double-binds in their subtly shaming and passive-aggressive use of language. They very clearly express that people must be changed/reprogramed into being attracted to trans* people while also asserting that desire cannot be "coerced"....a certain line of transactivism promotes the creation of new binaries and new definitions for existing terms around sex and gender, coupled with medical industry support and language, that seeks to reprogram everyone at the linguistic level. Estarianne is overt about this.

You and others (myself included) have simply tried to assert that some cislesbians don't want to date transwomen. This has been met with "you think wrong about this" as if your/our experiences do not matter because they don't reflect this new agenda. It paints you as behind the times, not open to the possibility that your experiences of gender and sexuality might be far ahead/beyond the one you are being asked to accept. Profound misogyny is at the core of this; it's inconceivable to most that the new trans-narratives might be incompatible with the way you've experienced the world. Because they have no understanding of the cislesbian experience.

Why would anyone want to listen to and believe cislesbians? Cislesbians don't matter. They never have and of course you are the first group who should be re-programmed--lesbians are who transwomen want to fuck!
as an aside to the general discussion that is going on this week...

I prefer when posters refer to each other with at least a nod to the screen name.... This new back and forth with just post numbers is too sterile for my taste....and ultimately... a bit dismissive... intended or otherwise. Just my opinion

its also more tedious to track a conversation if one poster is referring with a name...and the other with various numbers...

Jibe @ 173... I agree with your assessment that it is patronizing. It is also convenient for someone who cannot be considered a participant in any of this to be telling other people how they should behave if they were truly interested in equality (instead of this obvious charade we are all hopelessly entangled in....) It is also ridiculous for any of us cis hetero people to think we have a right to tell one group in the LGBTQ world how to treat another group in the LGBTQ world. I think of it as Liberal Omnipotence... (generally speaking)... and i am horrified when i sometimes realize i am perpetuating it. Its a modern day religious mission.... gotta save the savages from themselves... tell them how it is... etc.... from my safe place as an observer... ick.
@180: I think your response proved my point back in 161, which I'll requote:
I'm guessing Star has been privileged enough not to experience the Bad Old Days, which are still the reality in large parts of the world. That's why she can't seem to grasp the notion that consensual sexual conduct is off limits in social discussions.
I'm not arguing that the notion is sacrosanct, some rule of discourse granted from on high. What's I'm saying is that the notion exists. That those of us who were not so privileged, who lived through times of massive sexual shaming, instinctively recoil from prescriptive discussions of sexual conduct.

You seem baffled by this attitude, and keep conflating issues regarding sexual preferences for trans* people with every other issue regarding trans* people. I'm not saying you have to agree with the "sex off the table" rule, but it would behoove you to acknowledge it exists, and to understand the reasons why.
Be careful Star. You might push your luck with these kind folk, and the point could come when you are just ignored.
Thank God at least nobody's using 'man in the boat' anymore...

One of the things that annoyed me in the last LW's missive is the whole 'hey, it's just coffee' thing. This is the purest Zeno's Achilles and Tortoise/reductive sophistry. Yeah, it's just coffee, it's not a commitment, we know. By the same token, whatever people write on a dating profile is just a compendium of electrons, 1's and 0's sent out into the aether. You're not afraid of 1's and 0's, are you? Well, ARE YOU?
Being in the break room at the same time someone else comes in for coffee is just coffee. A coffee date is an interview, where you will be judged on your overall attractiveness as a possible future sex partner, and everyone knows it. Nobody wants to be found wanting, and I notice that nobody's yet replied to Eud's question about normatively unattractive het males who can't get laid, and who are thus having their feelings hurt with every rejection.
Several people on the thread, including Dan, who happen to already be in relationships, have no problem telling others how to conduct their dating lives, and how, were they still single, why, they'd be on those coffee dates like a shot, I tell ya!
This is the same forum where Seattleblues has expounded both on his hatred for porn, and his villa in Italy. So, y'know, talk is cheap.…
My previous question (#166?) should have been expanded beyond the pussy, as we all must at times, to something I'm genuinely curious about. How common is it for someone to go on a date, even a coffee one, with a transwoman, and think the whole time that they were with a cis? Has this happened to anyone here?

Chairman, the fabulous thing about fighting for power balance in a democracy is that it's all about other people having the political strength to choose for themselves. If people with political privilege don't get involved, majority tyranny rules.

I think the effort to restrict trans dating to an lgbt issue is another interesting twist. Straight people don't date trans people?

it can be done without sanctimony Estarianne. You are twisting my intent with your last statement in 187. Whether cislesbians should be the ones to welcome aboard the transwomen lesbians is a decision best left to the cislesbians themselves.

I developed sexual maturity during a high-shame period. I'm also a sexual assault survivor. I am not sure what the "good old days" were?

I also see a pretty firm line in the sand between "the population from which you choose your sex partner" and the actual choice to have sex. A roomful of people can be "possible partners." None of them is an actual partner until you cross that line.

I think people are conflating "attraction" with "sexual compatibility." The efforts to combine these discussions into a single opinion has been really puzzling to me. Because you generally start to feel attracted to someone pretty soon in the acquaintance. All kinds of things can happen before the decision gets made to actually have sex that takes sex off the table. Attraction seems to me like just an ingredient, not an end point.

@187-Estarianne: "I think the effort to restrict trans dating to an lgbt issue is another interesting twist. Straight people don't date trans people? " THIS IS IT. RIGHT HERE. To reassert your own very binary, possibly homophobic vision of this issue you oh, so delicately add that it's an "effort to restrict"...NO, actually, it's the reality of LGBTQ lives for a long time. But you won't listen to anyone who is of those groups who isn't T because for you this is a literal and specific argument in which "autonomous assertion" creates reality. And you ahistorically and without context refuse to acknowledge that it is in fact an LGBTQ issue. There has been a historical connection between the T and and the LGB for thousands of years, across the world, in various permutations. Some folks see this new understanding as an attempt to eradicate homosexuality. It can never be eradicated, it's too important within nature.

What I'm saying is that you are coming very close, if you haven't already, to being outright homophobic. You support the erasure of cislesbian experience and history in order promote your agenda. Your binary refusal to embrace any complexity is almost breathtaking.

Plenty of straight people date trans people and many of them discover they are now bisexual, queer, or otherwise. Some who dates trans people remain straight, as the transperson may also be straight and not connected to the LGBTQ community. This is not even hypothetically at issue right now, as the situation involves homosexual women dating each other. Transwomen step into a history of lesbianism, feminism, and experience of the world from a particular perspective. Why can they not be expected to learn the history, the codes of behavior? Why is the goal not that? Why the imposition of a new way of seeing without consultation? Why the steadfast refusal to acknowledge this?

Being told how things are now and being expected to just follow suit is what patriarchy demands. Lesbian transwomen should know this ain't how to talk to other lesbians. And as women you'd think they'd know that...

Okay, let me back up.

If I haven't been clear on my specific opinions of how cis lesbians in particular should be doing this, it is because I really am terribly aware of the fact that I have no fucking idea how cis lesbians should be doing this.

Earlier I commented that as long as someone is empathetic and feels good about how they are doing it, nobody can ask for more. I really believe that.

So I haven't really engaged in the discussion "how should cis lesbians handle dating" because I have no experience on which to base even a flippant opinion. If that made it seem like the subject was invisible to me, I apologize.

To me, the *only* question on which I have information to add is "how do our cognitive biases affect the choices we make" and "how do the choices we make affect social power imbalances." And you know, social psychology is NOT everyone's cuppa. So if I say things play out a certain way and you call bullshit, I am not going to turn around and bury you with data. Because if it isn't your thing, that's fine.

So if that made you feel like I was non responsive I again apologize. Because really what I was thinking was that my opinion wasn't very relevant to you, not that yours wasn't relevant to the discussion.

It is quite possible that it didn't occur to me that, in the weaving discussions here, my lack of input would be seen as a vote of non relevance rather than maybe with a sigh of relief that I wasn't going off on yet another subject. Plus I've been distracted by other things.

But, yeah, I didn't mean to make you feel that your input didn't matter. That's not OK.

(no time to proofread, sorry!)
Well, CatB. I suggest if these sorts of slang terms are to be used by you boys, at least change it to
Little woman in a boat.
Really Star, you are starting to really get on my goat.
It is not prejudice, ok?
A few trans women have commented here and they say/ as opposed to you say/ that they would rather people were up front re their preferences for who they are looking for to maybe date with.
Lava, nobody's using it any more, except people writing either porn or hipper-than-thou articles on vaginal shaving or something.
That's why the modicum of outrage that sprang up about it was so laughable, besides being (I submit) a poor use of time and energy, it was akin to protesting the use of 'Twenty-three skiddoo!'
"On behalf of those with skidmarks in their drawers, I find your expression highly fecal-vestitus-normative. And triggering."
Hey, Lava, you have dreadlocks? And blondish hair?
Quoth @189:
I also see a pretty firm line in the sand between "the population from which you choose your sex partner" and the actual choice to have sex. A roomful of people can be "possible partners." None of them is an actual partner until you cross that line.
Sure. But how I choose that initial population, and how I choose which subset of that population that has sex with me, is nobody's business but mine and the people I'm having sex with. It is most certainly not the business of those I reject from the initial population, or those I refrain from choosing for sex. And it is definitely not the business of anyone concerned about the hurt feelings (if any) of the rejectees, or those who want to make society a better place.

So. If I refuse to even consider someone forty years older than me: my business. If I reject Republicans out of hand: my business. If I have a huge fixation on redheads: my business and the business of anyone I am fucking or want to fuck. If I don't want to date dudes: my business. If I won't look at a Pisces, or a single mom, or someone with an even number of letters in their first name, or Italians: all my business.

That's a big part of the resistance you're running into, not some ingrained transphobia. Or to put it another way: that someone disagrees with you is not a mark of transphobia. It may mean they disagree that their or anyone else's sexual activity is open to discussion.

1. You write: "To me, the *only* question on which I have information to add is "how do our cognitive biases affect the choices we make" and "how do the choices we make affect social power imbalances." And you know, social psychology is NOT everyone's cuppa. So if I say things play out a certain way and you call bullshit, I am not going to turn around and bury you with data. Because if it isn't your thing, that's fine."

Exactly. I think you'd likely share with me data with which I am already familiar; I was able to identify the ways you were using certain rhetorical strategies and linguistic tactics to make your point. Don't assume/imply/infer and/or insult me by imagining that I would be "against" "data"...

2. You write: "So if that made you feel like I was non responsive I again apologize. Because really what I was thinking was that my opinion wasn't very relevant to you, not that yours wasn't relevant to the discussion." AND "I didn't mean to make you feel that your input didn't matter."

This isn't personal. I wasn't speaking from a place of hurt nor did I feel "hurt" by what you wrote. Nor was I writing in response to you in my previous comments nor did I expect that you would reply to me. I did, however, notice a particular pattern emerging among your dozens of posts in these two relevant threads and when I got annoyed at the continual one-upping "but wait, what about this" coupled with the speaking out of both sides of your mouth, I wrote about the particulars of your language and how it did specific things--like appear to rule-out cislesbian subjectivity. Claiming you don't know about dykes only further proves my point and doesn't exempt you from having done it.

Listen, after one of your most recent comments, #189, it's obvious that some of this is about not understanding that between iphones, the Internet, social media, and people's active lives, there are less possibilities for the previously experienced organic attraction thing to happen. And with the movements forward in gay and trans activism, among other things (like Internet pornography), people know their sexual proclivities at a far younger age than before, and people often forefront those specifics when looking for relationships. Prior to comment #189 I would have bet money that you were being paid to derail any conversation that offered a perspective beyond "transwomen are women and cislesbians should date them"...

3. You're terribly passive-aggressive and assuming. You deny, minimize, project, and crazy-make. All most anyone has done is argue based on the language each other uses, noting the implications, asking for clarifications, etc. You, however, have taken this exercise to whole new levels of mindfucking. Maybe you are being paid, after all. Are you a transwoman on activist payroll?
Estar, could you answer the question about short or fat guys who want to date and can't? Or why you aren't out trying to shame women into dating them, or lecturing the women in question about their unexamined prejudices?

I'm pretty sure you can't--selective empathy, and all that--but it'd be interesting to see the cognitive biases at work. ;)

On that note, could you respond to the actual trans women in this thread who are telling you that you are wrong? Or even acknowledge their existence and presence? I imagine that would probably be more appreciated by the actual people you claim to be defending than your other efforts so far.

When I say prejudice, I mean prejudging by group status. I don't imply a malicious intent.

It isn't prejudiced to date only people you're attracted to. That's judging people as individuals. And it's been pointed out several times that making group restrictions is part of the online dating culture, something about which I know nothing.

I think that as a pattern, seeing a particular group excluded will add to stigmatization and I hope people consider that. But I don't actually have any alternative suggestions, and the prospect of getting a lot of responses that are people you're not interested in does sound daunting. I don't think I'd like that either.

I am not sure how I feel about just going to coffee with people to avoid exclusion. I can see both sides of that question as well.

See why I never commented on any of it? I seriously have no opinion one way or the other. It's a great big wall of equivocation.

I don't really mind pissing people off, but I will do a better job of not being dismissive.

@51, Star. You said this is not an aesthetic issue; yet I contend it is.
If I were a lesbian, I might like to be with a woman whose Breasts are not the result of hormones/ or if she's a cis woman, she hasn't been surgically enhanced. That is an aesthetic choice.

No CatB, I don't have dreadlocks, I have three small dreadlocks thru my hair. My hair colour, at the moment, is a auburn colour.
And obviously that phrase is not just used by the porn industry, because the LW used them.

I found this reddit post pretty interesting. With cis and trans lesbians discussing this topic outside the context of online dating.

Um, I am not sure how to answer that question. I wore ballet flats to my wedding.

I don't know any guys who seriously can't get laid.

I have mentioned that it hasn't always been easy for *me, * but it hasn't been particularly difficult either. Mainly because I put out.

The implication I have gotten so far is that I'm a hypocrite because there's all these people I wouldn't sleep with either. And I think it is a red herring because I have never really had a type, so things don't work like that for me. I've always dated men but that hasn't ever really even been a requirement.

I don't think it's hypocritical to consider that trans people have specific issues in this area, and that people who are allies could do what we can to make things easier.

But I am thinking more along the lines of careful language and focusing on inclusion (listing what you do want) rather than "pity dating." I can't figure that dating someone you're not interested in would help anyone.


When I said that, I was responding specifically to a statement that someone was not attracted to trans people *in general*.

So that required them to base their decision on assumptions of all of these people that they had never met.

It wasn't based on aesthetics because they had never seen these people. But of course, individual attraction that you actually feel for a person you meet is based on aesthetics at some level, for most people.
Estarianne @189

I don't understand this at all

"I think people are conflating "attraction" with "sexual compatibility." The efforts to combine these discussions into a single opinion has been really puzzling to me. Because you generally start to feel attracted to someone pretty soon in the acquaintance. All kinds of things can happen before the decision gets made to actually have sex that takes sex off the table. Attraction seems to me like just an ingredient, not an end point."

What is your distinction between "attraction" and "sexual compatibility"? I am attracted to a subset of the cislesbian population. I won't know if we're sexually compatible until we've had sex. How do you think people are conflating these things?

Also, what do you mean that attraction is just an ingredient? Ingredient of what? Sexual compatibility? A relationship? Most of the questions that Dan gets are from people who are unhappy in relationships because they lack sexual compatibility with their partners. It seems to me, and to many others here, that attraction is a pretty important ingredient. One last question - you say that attraction is not an end point. What does that mean?
Ms Cass/Ms Jibe - I think your voices should be centred here (at least with regard to the part of the discussion that deals with cis lesbians being poked and prodded into "Approved" Actions and Attractions; what constitutes a Trans Ally would be nice to see trans voices address). Would you like a supporting post, or shall I just let you two carry on?
Whatever, Star. Heavens, look at the time.
Really got to dash, been great catching up. Let's do coffee again sometime. You free this time next year?
#201 - Really? That's your response? You really, seriously, 'don't know any guys who seriously can't get laid?' That's your response to Eud's, and my, question about guys who don't meet common dating-site standards?
(Dusts hands) "Ugly guys, fat guys, short guys, quit your bitchin', Star says your pussy's out there, you're just not picking up the phone, or something."
Yes, if you're a chick who puts out, especially if you give enthusiastic head, you can a guy to do you, at least once. This is not news. Forgets transpeople, gay guys get straight guys to accept no-obligation blowjobs all the time. Guys tend to be pretty slutty, yep. Not sure how this bears on the current conversation, as casual bj's aren't why people meet for coffee dates.

And your wearing flats to your wedding means....?
OK, Jocass', I'm starting to get on board with your idea that she's a paid shill or something, getting an image of a ship with a gaping hole in the side, and the first mate yelling, "Plug it with anything! Anything that will stop that water!" But it's more like she's an alien reporting back to the homeworld, "My Emperor, I stymied and confused them as long as they could, is my Rescue Pod yet in the vicinity?! You have not yet commenced the invasion...?'
If this was all one massive troll, I expect to get an invite to the party afterwards.

Lava, 'the porn industry' isn't using 'man in the boat,' if Belladonna or someone said "Ooh yeah, baby, suck my man in the boat," they'd have to cut the scene while everyone involved, including the boom mike guy, burst into giggles. It was a goofball letter writer...I think. It's all so dim and hazy. But If anyone's worried about it creating attitudes, based on the regarded gender of the clitoris, they can relax.
Red highlights! And some dreads, somewheres. Knew it!
With all this distance between us frequent writers, must make up mental images of everybody. Seeing you as a kind of compendium of surfer girls from around here. NoCute looks like this girl Jennifer I knew in college...Would send you a pic, NC, if we could PM on this thing. She's pretty.

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