His Straight Cis Male Husband Isn't Into the Idea of Having Gay Sex With Him Once He Transitions

Comments

1

"I have trouble believing that anyone honestly could be solely attracted to just one physical presentation type absent societal pressure."

Well, ya better start believing that, cause it's very obviously the case. The whole world isn't bi.

2

I would make the analogy to lesbians who are attracted to butch women. Just because a woman is attracted to a woman who dresses like a man traditionally does/exhibits traditionally male characteristics, doesn't mean she is also attracted to men.

3

I wholeheartedly agree with Dan.

I'm gay, and only attracted to men. If my husband were to come out to me as trans tomorrow and thereafter wanted to identify as female, I would be super supportive and loving. I would continue the marriage if that was what they wanted. But if they physically transitioned to female, sex would be off the menu. No matter how much I love them and support them, it would be impossible for me to find sexual attraction to them in a female body. I can't help it. That's how my libido is hardwired. I am only sexually attracted to a male body. Slowing down the transition would make no difference. No amount of patience or time will alter what I am or am not sexually attracted to.

Love and sexual attraction are not the same thing. Your husband may love you a great deal. It sounds like he does. But no matter how much he loves you, it sounds like he is sexually attracted only to a female body, even if somewhat genderqueer (whatever that means). If you dramatically alter your body to present physically as male, then of course he won't be sexually attracted any more. That doesn't make him a jerk, just a heterosexual. You should be glad he's being honest and forthright with you.

Probably the only way for your marriage to be successful is if you lovingly allow each other to get your sexual needs met elsewhere after your transition.

4

I've become slightly annoyed lately at the insistence from some supposedly sex positive people that straight sexuality and a preference for genitalia/bodies traditionally associated with that actually exists. Likewise with gay/lesbian sexuality and those traditional preferences. No one should be having to defend their sexuality in this way and no one should be allowed to call themselves sex positive or open-minded if they question others' existence. It really gets my gander, and then I remember that I've only ever seen these sentiments expressed online and out in the real world this isn't such an issue, but still I feel bad for people who are actually having their sexualities doubted or being shamed for them by the people in their real lives.

I would have said I felt equally sympathetic for both the LW and his husband in what is going to be a major change for their family. While I still wish them both the best of luck, the LW needs to pull his head out of his ass and stop questioning other people's existence. He sounds like an asshole.

5

I'm transitioning from male to female.

I'm 54, and previously identified as a gay man, transitioning was my plan for as long as I can remember, but it was always pushed down. Too expensive, not possible while I served for 20 years in the Navy, my partner loved (still loves) his ex wife but she didn't posses the correct anatomy so they split. Always a reason to push it down.

The ex and I split about 5 years ago, and after some emotional healing I began my transition. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive lover at that time. He said he was bi and what was between my legs didn't matter. It would have been a lot harder without him.

About 6 months into my transition, my lover came out as trans also. You can only imagine the guilt. She was there for me, but I knew immediately I couldn't be there for her. I've never been sexually attracted to women, 20 years in the Navy god knows I dealt with enough peer pressure (societal pressure) but being a top with a man or woman was never my cup of tea.

I'm still living with her, she's now my sister by choice. It took me months to work up the courage to tell her why I had withdrawn and become aloof, but I owed her honesty. She took it very hard and I can't blame her - I felt like an asshole, but if I had tried to be someone I'm not and we'd grown closer it would have been devastating for both of us when the truth finally came out.

Being MTF I know how important support is. Having an MTF partner I also know how important it is to be honest while remaining supportive.

Your not alone DIBI, find a Transmen support group (if you don't already have one) - listen to your partner and accept the love he's capable of giving or you'll lose that too.

good luck -

6

L-dub, essentially you are asking... how could my husband possibly not have the most optimal reponse (from my perspective) to the huge unilateral change I'm making to myself and our marriage? Well, I mean, how about a little empathy for him? Sounds like he's being pretty cool considering. Genitals and overall presentation are a huge part of sex and sexual attraction. You either have to be incredibly self centered, or so woke your brain fell out not to appreciate that. So, stop being so damn self centered.

7

@#6 is L-dub an expansion of LW which is an abbreviation of Letter Writer?

8

LW: I think you may be having an (understandable) case of wishful thinking here. If he’s heterosexual he just is. And I actually commend him for knowing himself so well and being so straightforward. It’d be far worse if he encouraged you to go ahead under the false pretence that everything would remain the same - especially if he were trying to convince himself it would all be fiiiiiine and then you two had massive painful rows as he gradually came to terms with the fact that he loved you but wasn’t into dudes. Instead he’s treating you with love and respect. He’s respecting you, and your gender identity, and giving you the incredible gift of a straightforward yet loving answer. I think you will be fantastic co-parents and I wish you both luck in finding more compatible partners.

9

"I have trouble believing that anyone honestly could be solely attracted to just one physical presentation type absent societal pressure."

One could just as easily say, " I have trouble believing that one can be attracted to the same sex" or " I have trouble believing that one can be born female and identify as male".
But, here we are in reality, where other people have different feelings, desires and wants!

If people want to be believed and respected in/for their feelings and desires they sure as fuck should believe and respect other people's feelings and desires whether they understand them or not!
I get it, transitioning is a big step and I assume one goes through a whole host of emotions and self exploration to come to that.... But damn, the LW sounds self absorbed. Possibly stuck in self exploration mode?

10

Reminder to everybody to peek at the bottom for the Originally Published date. I hope it went well and that there'd be some sort of followup, but this specific LW has likely made their choices already.

11

LW, your husband has been supportive and honest with you. You need to give him the respect of believing what he is telling you. He's not sexually attracted to men, and does not want to have sex with men! How much sex you're having now, and how much time you take to transition will not change this fact. After so many years together, it must be frightening and painful to think that you won't be able to stay together, but you need to accept what he is saying to you.

12

So much confusion over basic plumbing.

13

I hope that they were able to maintain a positive relationship and that both LW and the husband were able to find more compatible sex partners for themselves.

14

@5. kelly. I can't see you were an asshole. You're not attracted to women and don't top with men or women. The best of luck in your transitioned life and with your companionate partner.

/break/
With this letter, the line I thought deserved comment was the same one schmacky picked out:

"I have trouble believing that anyone honestly could be solely attracted to just one physical presentation type absent societal pressure."

'Absent societal pressure'? What emotion is absent societal pressure? What motivation, what orientation? You wouldn't be transitioning if it hadn't become more acceptable, societally, more feasible or intelligible, societally, to do. It isn't 'just one physical presentation' you mean, it's 'one gender'--since presumably your husband finds women of different presentations--blondes and brunettes; managers and garage mechanics and fashion models--all attractive. Gender is so important to you that you're transitioning--despite your long having queered your femininity--yet you can't grant it as being sufficiently important to your husband that it determines his sexual object-choice? You think he's just socially conditioned, and you're busting your social conditioning? Put yourself in his shoes.

The most important thing to you is to transition. That is worth your sexual relationship with your husband. (There will be another relationship left, it seems). So you need to risk its being worth your sexual relationship with your husband. Don't blame him if he wants to be with a woman. As you anticipate, there will be a world of MM sex for you to navigate and explore.

15

@1 yeah the LW's take seems unreasonable. Is the.. wife (?) attracted to women? "Genderqueer presentation" sounds like a lot of women I'm attracted to (straight and not-straight), yet David Bowie or even that guy who works as a female model (pretty convincingly!) don't do it for me at all. Is that even unusual?

16

@10 it's the same previous Savage Love column that yesterday's SLLOTD was pulled from.

I think, I'm at the point where I really wish SLLOTD's were handled by Dan's "intern" to tackle questions that don't make it into the weekly column. Dan's not going to write forever, and if there's ever going to be an heir-apparent, might I humbly suggest that the LOTD is the place to do it?

17

On the question of what one has 'trouble believing', I have trouble believing that cishets (male and female) can accept their social destinies so unquestioningly (to be the main breadwinner, marry monogamously, have kids; to be the main caregiver, marry monogamously, have kids). I have 'trouble believing', though less trouble believing, that GQ people can identify so heavily or urgently with the other gender identity that they transition. Isn't queering their birth gender enough? But, say what? If on a certain psychic level, I have trouble believing these things, as a rational observer of society I have no trouble at all--in that observation tells me fairly emphatically that I'm the outlier, I'm the exception. Emotionally, psychologically, I've made myself into the norm--and this is what we all do; there's no wrong or harm in it. But it can have bad consequences if it leads to us denying others' reality.

18

Calliope Muse @2, this would be a good analogy, except in my experience it's not uncommon for lesbians into butches to also be attracted to transmen, or at least to their FTM partner both pre- and post-transition. Anecdotally, lesbian couples (and lesbian communities) seem to cope better with this situation than other sexual demographics - not sure why. I know several formerly-lesbian couples, where one partner has transitioned during the relationship.

19

Shorter:

Conversion therapy for homosexuals is immoral, so maybe you shouldn't attempt it on anyone else, either.

20

I just hope LW (Dennis Riley?) didn't succeed in arguing Husband into "reverse" conversion therapy.

This reminds me, most depressingly, of what promised to be the start of a series of cringe-inducing columns at The Good Men Project by a man whose husband transitioned, beginning with an article about his fulfilling his parents' dreams by re-coming out to them as straight and an initial follow-up column about how he'd never realized what a terribly toxic male he was.

21

20 crossed with #19. Also, I forget to give Mr Savage a +1 Grade of Execution for the conclusion. I'd vaguely thought it was not terribly common that I find opposite-sexerism in men a nearly complete attraction killer.

22

Unlike Dan, I'm not assuming that the LW plans surgery (because unfortunately AFAIK at this point it's far from what we all wish it were).

But I do assume that the LW doesn't merely plan to "act" male. I assume he plans to start taking male hormones)...that will make him male as far, er as what they used to call "secondary sexual characteristics" go. And this means changing gender, as Dan elaborates upon very well.

(Scroll scroll to the bottom...oh for FUCKS SAKE THIS IS A RE-RUN. [Christ on a cracker, Dan!] Oh well I'll finish reading the letter and post my comment anyway.)

OK, to rephrase Dan's reply...

LW, you might find your husband turns out to discover he's bi. (Some people are without initially knowing it, I imagine.) But that's not likely. I'm pretty surprised a 43-year old didn't know this.

Hey if you're out there, man, let us know how it turned out for y'all!

23

@22 p.s.
It occurs to me that that comment that I posted without thinking much once I realized it was a re-run might be offensive on points such as:

"secondary sexual characteristics"

That was the terminology I got taught in high-school a million years ago; I hope it isn't offensive now.

"I do assume that the LW doesn't merely plan to "act" male"

I mean I assume from the letter. I /don't/ mean that there's the slightest thing wrong with presenting male without undergoing hormone therapy (let alone going under the medieval knife).

(It hope that this p.s. helps. I was concerned I might have offended people including CMD.)

24

It’s a worry Sportlandia @16, because these weekly re runs have been happening for a while now, some weeks a couple.
Is Dan slowly leaving, and who could replace him.

25

Thank you for sharing Kelly L @5. Yes, we can’t lie about who attracts us sexually.

26

Hey, you guys... this was a new Q&A, written yesterday, by me. I copy-and-paste the boilerplate at the bottom of the SLLOTD and drop it in the new one... and I grabbed yesterday's "Originally published..." by mistake. I write one column a week, do a podcast or two a week, and do three original SLLOTDs, one oldie, and the Friday roundup.

27

Isn't his husband respecting the LW's gender, by no longer being attracted to him once he transitions? I mean the husband is straight. If he continued being attracted to the LW that might be because he didn't think of his partner as a real man.

28

Thanks Dan, I was grieving you leaving already, wondering how the team could stay in touch.
So, it’s a current letter.

29

@26: Thanks for the correction, Dan. I kept reading comments here saying this was a repeat letter, and I looked back and could not see anywhere where it said this was originally published on an earlier date.

30

Don’t hold your breath LW, that your husband might find you sexually attractive after you transition. This is a path you now take alone, with his love and support. He sounds a lovely man, and he’s the father of your child(ren).
Your husband has told you straight how he feels, accept his boundaries because if you push or hold out hope as Dan is giving you, he might withdraw altogether.
Respect his words, and accept the love he can offer you. Good luck.

31

Thank you Kelly @5, best of luck to you.

Thanks Dan @26, I didn't remember seeing this letter before. Great answer. To sum up: Some people are straight, get over it. You can't expect a straight man to continue to be attracted to you once you are a man. You are who you are, but he is who he is too, and you must give that the same respect you want for yourself. To gain yourself, you may lose this man as your life partner, but isn't that worth it? Sounds like you'll still be great friends, then you can both find partners who are compatible with your gender/gender preference.

32

Dan @26, thanks for clarifying about the one old letter per week. Previously there were only reruns if you were away. Could you check, though, to make sure the reruns aren't recent re-reruns? And is there any chance of amending answers if they have subsequently been debunked? (Yesterday's "fantasising" woman and the wheelchair user letter that turned out to be fake spring to mind.)

33

I have realized over time that I am a vaginaphile, trans women do nothing for me but trans men with vaginas are still arousing. If someone hit me in the head with a gender studies book and dragged me on tumbler for a month, that would likely still be the case because my dick does not care.

34

@7 It is! The reasoning, I imagine, being that "LW" is one of those funny abbreviations that is shorter to type, but not any shorter to say. "LW" and "Letter Writer", when spoken, both have four syllables. So, when spoken, "LW" becomes "L-dub", so that it's actually shorter, and then that makes its way back into written language.

A great example of this is "www" which is short for "world wide web" and is 1/4 the length written, but when spoken, is actually three times longer than what it stands for (hence, "dub-dub-dub").

35

Cure @ 22
Thanks for clarifying where you come from. I’m not familiar with the term nor am I offended.

As for transitioning folks- It is very important to do your homework and learn from others who were and are in your situation. For your own sake and peace of mind, consult with peers, medical personnel and therapists before, during, and after swallowing/injecting any hormones.
Never rely exclusively on online accounts.

I think LW is a bit naïve in this regard and has some unrealistic expectations, like their husband’s assumed change of sexual preferences. It may happen and it may not, so far hubby indicates no signs for change and those should be taken seriously.
They may also think from a cis female POV, assuming it will be easy to hook up with other men while ignoring the many accounts of trans men who are struggling to find cis male partners.
Another thing to be aware of is that hormones may have an effect on your own sexuality which may not manifest right away, yet could kick in at some point.

36

Lost Margarita
Some more in-between celebrities in last week's thread in case you're interested.

37

@ Everyone who answered #5 - me

thank you. Knowing I shouldn't feel guilty or like an a-hole doesn't make those feelings go away. I'm doing great thanks for the support. My room mate is improving and we're in a good place.

38

Not to be dismissive, rude, or judgemental... but... between the letters on here and the (admittedly few) trans folk I've run across... there seems to be a vast difference of expectations between the person transitioning and most everyone else in their life. I suppose we all have an inner narcissist, but if you meet a person and you're presenting as one gender there's a very high probability that if you switch that up, it's not going to work. How can that be a surprise? Yes, there are bisexual people, but not a lot who just up and switch teams in a LTR... most tend to be casual partners with both genders.

39

I should really read all the comments before starting to write so I don't e.g. get ninja'd by Dan himself responding to speculation about his career.

We love your work, Dan! I can't actually imagine how you manage to do the Lovecast - listening to calls (I assume most of the sifting through submissions is done by staff), considering responses, drafting responses, doing multiple takes as needed, editing etc. for a 70-90 minute show - plus a multi-letter column plus three more letters plus whatever editorial duties you have (which, even if they're mostly planning meetings, still take up time) PLUS Blabbermouth most weeks.

I like the regular repeats: I can sometimes see if my thinking has changed, or simply enjoy reading a classic letter or response, and it's a good way to loop new readers in to the now-very-large back catalog of Savage Love (there are people in college now who weren't born yet at the time I started reading Savage Love as a teenager on the back page of The Onion when they still had a print edition and were operating out of a shitty office in Madison; gods, I'm not even that old yet, and I'm already doing the bygone era bit).

@33: Any gender studies book worth the paper it's printed on or the pixels it's rendered in wouldn't challenge that in the slightest. Indeed, exactly because gender transition, gender fluidity, genderfuck, and non-binary genders disrupt the traditional, normative, binary (along 2 axes) gender/sexuality matrix, lots of gender theorists over the past several decades have advocated using older/alternative models for gendered sexual attraction that don't rely on relative gender between the person in question and the people to whom ze's attracted. One alternative (still predicated on a binary concept of biological gender/embodiment, though it's relatively easy to expand unlike the homo/hetero/bisexual model) from earlier in psychology (and then sociology) is a model that only specifies the gender (originally in the sense of gendered embodiment i.e. biological sex) of object orientation - androphile, gynophile, androgynophile (for people attracted to males and females both and/or people attracted to people who embody some combination of maleand female characteristics).

Despite what the subset of people who think that their internalized sense of identity is or should be the only or at least the most important factor in all of their various social interactions wish were true, one's identity PER SE is generally, functionally the least important factor in a social interaction and may be utterly irrelevant. This is primarily because people can't read minds, so nobody else ever knows what any of the various elements of your identity actually are. People can listen to what you say, of course, or try to read various normative social cues (manner of dress, manner of speech, etc.), but now we're talking expression rather than identity, and expression is not the same thing (for example, while people are mostly genuine in expressing various elements of their identities, they aren't always; the closet and "passing" in any sense are mostly constituted by disingenuous expressions of identity - understandably so, in many cases, but the point is that expression cannot be taken as an absolutely true indicator of identity). This isn't to say we shouldn't treat people with decency and respect, just that identity is not an essential truth but rather a relational social phenomenon and that it's ultimately oy expression and not internalized identity itself that's even knowable to other people, so we should take these factors into consideration when building social systems and norms around identity.

With respect to sexuality, embodiment is an EXTREMELY important element in nearly everyone's sexuality. This shows up in plenty of ways that have little or no relation to gender (biological or social) - attraction or aversion to tall or short people, a general preference for facial symmetry, attraction or aversion to large muscles, attraction or aversion to various amounts of subcutabeous adipose (body fat), attraction or aversion to breasts of different sizes and shapes, attraction or aversion to penises of various sizes and shapes, legs of different sizes and shapes, necks, collar bones, arms, wrists, eyes, noses, mouths, shoulder blades, ears, feet, knees, elbows, hands, haircuts, beards, whatever. Probably all of these are culturally influenced to some degree - probably literally everything about a human being is because there is no such thing as a human who reached adulthood in an environment without human culture.

At any rate, I see this letter in the context of a broad social movement that (purports to) elevate identity above all other consideration in social relational hierarchy, which I see as an overcorrection in response to a very real problem of category-based marginalization, and based on a misunderstanding of how identity operates socially. I've been seeing more critical evaluation of this tendency on the Left in recent years (the Right always opposed it, for some of the same and a lot of different reasons), so the trend may not hold much longer.

40

"I have trouble believing that anyone honestly could be solely attracted to just one physical presentation type absent societal pressure."
Just wait until you run into the gay men who aren't willing to date trans gay men.

41

Kelly L, @37: guilt sounds like such a heavy emotion to carry for something you have no control over. Regret is a softer emotion. Regret that you weren’t able to be there for her authentically, as she was there for you, authentically
. As you pointed out, you could have pretended, and that would have been worse.
You are still together, and going well, so in the end you did and are looking after her.

42

Good post John H @39. I’d never thought about my identity until I started reading SL. My presentation as a cis woman just was and is my identity, as I went from a pre pubescent tom boy, to post The Change. Luckily I came of age when gender roles and expression were being confronted in the West, because I’ve never been a feminine type. Though I would have liked a Barbie Doll, as she had just come out. No. My mother got my sister one. Maybe that turned out to be a good thing. I got my grandson one of the new shaped Barbie’s, she’s got hips, because she’s a Dr and he’s got a toy Drs kit, so she joins that game.
My identity and my gender, have just been. You can’t leave out the supremecy of nature, because babies occur, and all the other signs post adolescence, that occurred in my body.
How others see me is not my concern, one has to inhabit oneself fully.

43

Now, now that my fertility years are out of the way, I return to my tom boy ways. Without the tree climbing.

44

@42 Population analysis has shown that individuals with maternal grandmothers who were alive, able, and lived nearby had significantly higher survival rates (i.e. significantly lower rates of infant mortality) than individuals whose mothers did not have their own mothers to rely upon for help. This holds true in various other primate species, and several other mammals as well.

Not that you're the maternal grandmother to your grandson, or responsible for his continued survival -- just trying to demonstrate the power of an involved grandmother. (This is something I lacked; my paternal grandmother died decades before I was born and my maternal grandmother died when I was 2.)

45

39, John-- Thanks for a good essay. I can imagine summing up my position at a pride parade by holding a sign which reads "Embodiment Matters!"

46

Dan: "I've never been sexually attracted to a woman". Didn't you at least express "interest" back in 2015 when Ruby Rose came to everyone's attention?

47

@39. John Horstman. What are the considerations above which you think identity (or a particular concept of identity) has been elevated?

48

"I have trouble believing that anyone honestly could be solely attracted to just one physical presentation type absent societal pressure."

It might help to vet any trans-positive websites you've been on. It sounds like you've been reading the ones that insist that people should be "attracted to a person and not a set of genitals" crowd. Which is a rather nasty way of making the other person someone shallow and bad.
You're changing your life in a rather dramatic way and changing his as well.

49

Yes, Muse @44: I’m a back up, like his other grandmother. No grandfathers though, one is dead and the other lives far away. He’s just turned three, a bit past the horror stretch.

50

Lava@ 42
Mattel Just announced a Ziggy Stardust Barbie that is way more feminine than the original David Bowie character.
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/jul/11/mattel-announces-david-bowie-barbie-dressed-as-ziggy-stardust
I suspect you know what kind of Barbie I’d like to be.

Ms Mooz @ 44
Not necessarily. I grew up in a small community where for whatever reasons you may or may not guess, hardly anyone of my generation had any grandparents around. It was long ago, not too many resources, and food shortages at time. Still, infant mortality wasn’t an issue.

51

@50 Sorry if I wasn't clear -- this was analysis of population dynamics in pre-industrial societies. Think 17th-century Britain. None of those patterns would be likely to be present in the developed world in the last 100+ years. Maybe in severely underdeveloped parts of the world, but not even in poor, rural areas of most modern nations.

52

I read about it in the book "The Evolution of Beauty" by Richard Prum (Full title: "The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World—and Us"). Fascinating book focused on the powerful role of female mate choice in the evolution of the animal kingdom, especially birds (the author's are of expertise) and, of course, humans.

53

*area of expertise

54

@CMD & @Calli- I'm not sure what Calli is referring to precisely, but I have also heard of studies about grandparents and the reduction in infant & childhood mortality and an increase in fertility. From memory, some of this is about pre-industrial societies, some of it is about having childcare (freeing up time for the younger adults to do stuff like cultivate food / hunt but also to fuck) and some of it is about how the benefits of achieving food security affects the generations (just like a famine affects generations beyond the immediate one that experiences it). General trends over the centuries aren't going to account for all specific situations, but genocide or a war of attrition can disrupt a community in a different way than long term food scarcity or generations of no grandparents (meaning, it was a one-time generational disruption as opposed to a society in which most people have not had grandparents for many generations). But I don't recall any of these studies being about life in modern post-Industrial communities in which most of the variables correlated with mortality have less to do with individual family structure and far more to do with wealth and public health (vaccinations, clean water supply, sewage, etc). So to clarify, I'm asking- are you saying there are studies correlating grandparent involvement NOW (meaning, in modern industrial societies) and mortality, etc?

Also CMD here's another one for you. Like one of the last ones, this fellow is also in Houston. I'm seriously going to start going to the ballet. https://www.instagram.com/p/BY188N8gmlz/

@47 Harriet, Hopefully John will respond to clarify (very informative post, John) but he mentions sexuality here- or physical embodiment, etc. Sfhally above mentions people who insist that people should be "attracted to a person and not a set of genitals". Which is a thing (though I think it's probably louder online than in real life)- there are people who are calling lesbians vagina-fetishizers for example if they are not sexually attracted to women who have penises- telling them they can't be real lesbians, etc. This very letter is an example of htat- the LW questions the existence of people with certain sexualities- he say she thinks that it's all social pressure. So in these cases, someone's gender identity is being elevated above someone else's sexual desire for certain kinds of bodies. John mentions the left, and I'm not sure what he's referring to exactly. But for several years (a decade at least) there's been an on-going debate in the left about the role of identity (of various kinds, not just gender or sexuality) in left political struggle. Even outside of leftist politics and into the mainstream you'll hear discussion about identity vs class- which plays a greater role in society, etc. And the trend in recent years has been to emphasize the role of personal identity (electing a black president, increasing the number of female CEOs, etc). In this case, it's a matter of emphasizing personal identity over class structure in social hierarchies. Since our social hierarchies have traditionally been dominated by certain identities (cis people, white people, men) then a lot of what we call "Id Pol" is necessary, but I think John is correct when he says that the current trend has been to emphasize that over other social relational hierarchies- for example, landlords and tenants, bosses and workers, military/police and civilians, social relationships that result from the criminal justice system, from privatized healthcare, etc. For example, it's not uncommon (for liberals especially) to respond to the issue of police violence against black people by suggesting we should just increase the number of black cops. While racism and white supremacy are certainly alive and well, the racial identities of the police and the public is only one factor in the hierarchal relationship between the two groups yet it is the one that is currently most emphasized.

55

Oh sorry Calli, I had the window open and typed my response, then I got distracted on Instagram dancing men, and when I came back, I saw it had not posted. I just posted and refreshed and see you also responded, crossposted, excuse me.

CMD, I just discovered that there is a "ballet boys" account. I thought this was just what Dan was calling it, but turns out that's a thing. Here's one: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwdxln3glTk/

56

@55 EmmaLiz Nice pictures on that account. I like this one: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx50kllJvff/

57

Humans are pretty cool sometimes.

58

Thanks! Great bodies and equally great photography. I love that it's acceptable to hold one's penis in an upward position while dancing. I think it allows male dancers more freedom of movement while jumping and doing the splits.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtLBIwegSLI/
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvx73HzAR-4/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BvNFkBsgLaI/

Admittedly it also reminds me a scene from a yet another Zucker brothers' classic, Top Secret:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSJVEb-qljA

59

Sexual orientation is real, and speaking as a trans guy, embodiment matters more in a T-ballanced body than an E-bsllanced one. Some people seem more affected by bones and genitals, others seem more affected by hormonal traits (I tend to be attracted to small women, and I sometimes find trans women with more masculine bones or who are very tall less attractive than cis women at a distance, but have discovered that goes away very fast in bed -- and conversely trans men often strike me as cute at a distance, but it just doesn't quite work in bed.)

Anyway, my point is: the husband may actually find that lw's transition matters less than he expected... but he may well find that even a couple of doses of T really changes his reaction to LW.

And also, I think wives are probably genuinely more likely to remain attracted to a transitioning spouse, because of their own hormone balance. LW may also start to understand his husband's perspective more after starting T, too.

60

@54. Emma. I would think the expression 'vagina-fetishizer' foolish, in that a fetish is usually an object to which someone's sexual desire is diverted, away from sex, the person they might have sex with, or their genitals. (Sometimes the fetish sates someone's desire so that they don't have sex, and sometimes sex becomes impossible without the presence of this usually unrelated object). Obviously your lover's, or object of desire's, genitals are as much 'sex' and as little like 'a substitute for sex' as it gets. I understand and respect 'only being attracted to persons of a certain sex' and 'only being attracted to persons of a certain gender' without thinking them the same thing (or indeed being that way myself).

61

Imagine there's a guy that isn't into fat chicks. His wife of 17 years finds out that she is going to have to get on a medication that will make her gain weight. No one would think it outlandish if she said "Are you sure you can't look past the weight and see that the same personality that was there for 17 years is still there? Maybe I can start on a low dose so I gain the weight slowly to give you a chance to get used to it?" In fact, most people would expect him to continue being attracted to her. The personality he loves is still there, everything they have done for and with each other still happened.

Or what if a man is into big boobs, and his wife gets breast cancer and has to have hers removed. Or a woman is into dicks and her husband loses his in an accident.

A transman was always a boy/man, they just don't necessarily always LOOK like one. LW's partner fell in love with a man. The confusion is not a refusal to believe that purley straight (or purely homosexual) people exist; the confusion is because LW's partner has loved a man for 17 years.

People are attracted to what they are attracted to, and they can't change that. But it is shallow if you're purely attracted to physical features. It's not necessarily wrong/bad, but it is shallow.

62

@24 Dan will never "leave" - he's an owner of The Stranger. But surely at some point he'll retire, or focus on other things, or fuck the last few years of youth out of his trophy husband, and leave writing a sex advice column behind. He's closing in on 30 years at the job.

63

@61: No, it's pretty clear that you think it's not only shallow but also bad/wrong.

64

@Harriet 60, Agreed, except there aren't words for those distinctions. I suppose we could start making loads of new words and categories (seems to be the trend these days)- like for people who are attracted to a gender, people who are attracted to a sex, people who are attracted to both in congruence, people who are attracted to both when they aren't traditional, etc. But the common words available to us are straight, lesbian, gay and bi- and these words do not include those differences. Therefore, I think best to leave it up to each individual, and it's shitty to argue with someone about it or tell them they can or can't define themselves with these words if they prefer a certain sex + gender combo. Honestly I hope we are moving towards a world in which these labels have less and less meaning and we can all just meet and date one another as we like.

@Blazn,

It happens very frequently that changes like that affect a long term couple's sex life- in fact it's more common that it does affect their desire for their partner than it isn't. But also it's just dishonest to treat sex (not gender but sex) as something that is just another feature like weight or height and not instead the most central aspect of many people's sexuality. Also this 'it's shallow' stuff is a bunch of bullshit. I love my best friend dearly, as much, in a different way, than my husband. I love my nieces and nephews more than life itself. There is nothing shallow about this love. But I'm not sexually attracted to them. If my husband were to transition, it would be the same. My love for him would not stop, but I would have no sexual attraction to him. And it's this mind-bending totally dishonest bullshit that makes me concerned that this stuff is not just online until I remember that we are in fact online: "The confusion is not a refusal to believe that purley straight (or purely homosexual) people exist; the confusion is because LW's partner has loved a man for 17 years." Uh, no. The LW's husband has been in a relationship with a woman with a pussy with whom he had children. That person is transitioning and is now a man. In his mind, he might always have been a man, and therefore you can say that he has always been a trans man. This did not exist outside of his mind- his husband has been in a relationship with a woman. He is now in a relationship with a man.

@Sporty, "trophy husband" is a really insulting way to describe someone's life partner and co-parent and fuck you for continuing to be a sneering asshole.

65

I mean, love and attraction are deep and complex things with or without sexual attraction. But the sexual part itself - the actual sexual attraction not the love or the relationship or the just general attraction to a person- the sexual attraction itself is not shallow nor deep. These aren't words you can use to describe sexuality. They just ARE. In the same way you wouldn't say it's shallow to be gay or straight but deep to be bi. Or shallow to be sexually interested in people of a certain age but deep to be sexually interested in everyone from cradle to grave. Sexuality just is- it's a part of a person's being- and for a shit ton of people, this includes genitalia and sexual (not gender) characteristics. There is nothing either deep nor shallow about this once you tease it out from everything else. The love I feel for my husband is deep just like the love I feel for other members of my family. But the lust I feel for him (and the absence of that lust for the rest of my family) is no more deep or complex than the lust I feel for some of those beautiful male ballerinas I've been following on Instagram since Dan brought them to my attention. It just IS. And yes their junk and what I'd do with their junk, their muscles, their male physique has a lot to do with that lust. If this is shallow, then my entire sexuality is shallow and I have yet to meet a person who has one that is "deep". It's a stupid false dishonest distinction in the first place, all this shallow vs deep sexuality. It's bullshit.

66

It’s obvious you’re not a parent EL @54. Good grandparents save lives, I tell you.
Check out Senator Robert Foley on YouTube, see his take on vaccines and safety.
Children need lots of people to love them, pity western culture doesn’t realise this. Thinks if you throw objects and money at kids, all will turn out fine. You have no idea how many times I’ve comforted my dear exhausted daughter, and been available for my grandchildren.

67

Jeez, Lava. We are literally talking about infant and maternal mortality rates, not happiness or success or general emotional health, etc but literally a trend for which there is data- how many people survive motherhood, how many people survive childhood, how many children a couple has on average, etc. I didn't say grandparents weren't useful or important or comforting - only that AFAIK the studies Calli was referring to were from pre-industrial societies (which she confirmed in the crossposted comment) and that current rates of all of those things correlate with public health infrastructure which is just fucking true. Children don't literally die if they don't have grandparents. They do literally die if they don't have clean water, sewage infrastructure, or modern medicine. Even if all the antivaxer stuff were 100% true and all the damage is true as well, infant/child mortality rates are STILL radically reduced compared to before their existence. I don't have any idea what in the world you are going on about regarding children turning out fine- that's not the topic of conversation and no one ever disputed the fact that grandparents & family are super important- it would be ludicrous to claim otherwise.

68

Honestly I re-read my post to see what in the world you are talking about. I asked if there were studies that correlate grandparent involvement with maternal/child morality rates. I guess this is what you are responding to? Seriously have no idea.

69

EL @ 64
“fuck you for continuing to be a sneering asshole.”
Have you gone to the ballet yet? All other sporty reeducation programs have failed spectacularly, including the one administered by our in-house parenting expert.

Lava @ 66
Your insistence on injecting parenthood into conversations, combined with an “I know and you don’t” attitude, aren’t helpful and often come across as aloof and condescending.

70

lol CMD, no as there isn't one here. The closest is a couple hours away, and I have a bit of sticker shock about how expensive the tickets are. Things are going to lift up for us in another few weeks when summer ends, so I guess I'm looking at the fall and/or winter. I'm serious about all the hot hot hot objectification and all (at the distance of the internet and on their public pages) but honestly I'm thinking it could be a thing I actually like as well. Fun to discover new possible interests. Sporty is often offensive, but it seemed a new low even for him to insult the family members and private life of our host- something I don't even do to politicians or actually terrible people unless they are likewise public figures (like Ivanka for example). Just seems bullying.

71

@65 we throw around "trophy wife" all the time around here, get the fuck off your imaginary high horse. Jesus god damn christ. If you don't like it, please just leave.