Linkage: Sex and Sexuality

Subject: Linkage: Sex and Sexuality
From: TheCallan (
Date: Wed 13 May 1998 - 18:36:21 BST

I have come to the conclusion that sex and sexuality are linked. That's
probably not goning to be much of a surprise to most people, but for people
who work to sever gender roles from birth sex, it's something that needs to be

One key question about gender roles is: Are they are about who we want to be
with or about who we want to be? Should every choice in a person's life be
seen as linked to finding and keeping sex partners, or is there more to life
than that? The heterosexist view is simplistic, based on a binary, that
attraction is at the core of every choice, or at least at the core of choices
other people make about themselves. Many look at people and decide how
attractive they are to us, assuming that they made those choices deliberately
to attract us, all designed to titilate and thrill us. In short, some assume
that other people's choices are about us, not about them.

Transgender people stake a simple claim: "My gender expression is about who I
want to be, not about who I want to be with. I dress like I want to, I act
like I want to, I come from my heart and not some template of how to construct
a gender to attract some specific goal." This is a bafffling notion to many
who live in sex saturated worlds, who shape their own life to attract and keep
partners, who rate others by how the others shape themselves in ways that
attract the viewer. We have males in miniskirts that are not trying to
attract straight men, just to please themselves,. females with buzz cuts that
aren't designed to be sexually attractive to a partner, but rather simply an
expression of a masculine heart.

In fact, to express transgender, we have to step out of the system of desire
that regulates gender expression, to start to create expression for ourselves.
That means that many of us have trouble finding partners because we don't fit
neatly into anyone's dreams of an idyllic partner, anyone's expectations of
who they want to be with, anyone's dream date. In fact, we often find the
dreams of others limiting, be they parents expecting normativity, gay male
partners who want us to remain men, lesbian partners who wonder if our
transitions makes them het, "straight" men who dream of she-males, wives who
demand "healthy masculine expression," or any other kind of expectation. When
I say this to a friend, she simply says "Who could imagine someone as special
as you before they met you?"

Yet, while we claim gender as indvidual and personal, not simply an attempt to
attract other people who desire us, while we unlink gender and birth sex,
stating that who people are isn't defined by the bits of flesh between our
legs, many of us face the challenge of how to deal with lonliness. For us, we
have some need to be sexual with a partner, to feel the touch and caress of
another human being, a human who has expectations of us, whatever those may

When we feel the need to be sexual, sex comes into play. As someone born male
who has surrendered their penis, but not claimed any aspect of female sex, I
feel the sting of being neutered, of dropping outside of the possibilities of
being sexual.

In Toronto, I stopped in at Glad Day bookstore and flipped though their
transgender section. Hausman's (?) book on transsexualism and medicalization
got to me, a book that discounts the narratives of transsexuals because they
have an inherent interest in maintaining a system of medicalization, and so
will say anything to keep it in place, making their own texts false and
manipulative. She addresses transgender only in the epilogue, making only two

The first is that people who claim to want to dismantle the gender system by
creating more gender roles, like Kate Borstein, have an inherent dissonance in
their words, because dismantling and creating more are cross purposes. I
agree with this, and it's one of the reasons I never say I want the end of
gender, why I say I like gender, but want it changed.

The second is more insdious. Even transgender people who don't want SRS, she
claims -- and the whole notion of "sex change" as an invented notion core of
the book" -- still can be erased because they take hormones, "very dangerous
drugs" that require their complicity with the medical system and taints their
own narratives to the point of invalidation. How something that occurs
naturally in the body becomes a "very dangerous drug" is beyond me, but that
isn't the point.

My personal history screws up her theory, because I am "transnatural,"
deliberately never altering my body in any way. To her mind, it gives me
credibility and standing, because I never had to shift my story to meet the
demands of the medical system. In some ways I agree with her too, because the
reason I have not changed my body is so I could focus on the issues of
changing my views, understanding my choices.

That's all well and good, but there is one area where it is hard. Sexuality
and sex are linked, and for me, that means not changing my apparent sex,
though chemical, surgical or other means, makes it hard for me to participate
in sexuality, leaves me lonely and frustrated, and that is very, very hard.

There was talk about this website on I am
fascinated by some of the language used here --

- - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Copyright 1998 Castle Supply - All Rights Reserved

 "Finally...a realistic vagina that makes everything seem to disappear..."

 "I've been looking for something like this for a long time...I can honestly
go out in public and my identity will truly be hidden!"

"My new vagina makes me feel more like a woman than I ever dreamed

 Have you been looking for something that provides you with the ultimate in
femininity? Join the growing numbers who are experiencing the Female
Prosthesis/Vagina otherwise known as the V-String Vagina!!

After twenty years of latex and mold-making experience, we are very proud to
present the V-String Vagina. The natural appearance and sexual excitement
produced is beyond the ability to explain in words. You must experience this
yourself to believe it!! The film strip photos give only a hint of what is in
store for you. Click on photo for a larger image.

The V-String Vagina's flesh colored latex rubber andyour choice of hair color
will give you a very natural appearance. It is designed to completely hide
everything necessary to allow the lady in your mirror to emerge and make
your transformation complete.

Wearing your V-String Vagina, you will understand what we are talking about.
You will not only look better, but feel better, by improving your self-esteem
and increasing self-confidence. It will make you feel more alive sensual and
ready to meet the word.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It's a bolt-on sex change, that will change a male to apparently female for an
evening, "hiding a true identity" and making you "alive" and "sensual." It
clearly has its roots in all the contrivances and devices used in TV fiction
that allow functional vaginas without having to surrender the penis.

I saw one of these stories posted from and made a list of
what the specifications were for the garment in the story:

Power Pussy Panty Specifications:

1) Made out of fleshlike latex material which matches skin tone.
2) Auburn colored merkin/public hair wig
3) Sculpted female genitailia.
4) Tight sheath for penis that redirects penile head into the position of
5) Urination through "clitoris" is possible.
6) Hides testicles
7) Lubricated vaginal cavity, sized to accept multiple fingers, with thin top
wall which allows "clitoral" stimulation.
8) Large lubrication reservoir which continuously seeps fluid to simulate
9) Inflatable anal plug, very long, with ridges and external inflation
10) Remotely controled vibrator for penile sheath

What does all this mean to me? It means that we can agrue that gender and
birth sex aren't linked, but arguing that sexuality and (at least apparent)
birth sex aren't linked is very difficult indeed. Do we make mules of
transgendered people, rendering them impotent and sexless, neutral and
neutered when we suggest that moving past sex is possible?

For those of us who have walked into this land beyond sex, which so often
turns out to be a land beyond sexuality, we have to wonder what the point of
all this is. Do we become celibate, or at least only live with self-pleasure,
or do we opt for ways to change sex so as to participate in sexuality? And do
we, when we choose to change sex, end up having to sell out to a system that
controls access to those resources?

I'm not at all sure what the answer is, other than the truth that I don't want
a plastic pussy, however it is made, even though I dream of having a real one
every time I am aroused. Yet without that, I seem to be neutered, and the
lonliness of that is far from satisfying and nourishing.

I also know that FTMs have similar issues, that many dream of a penis, and for
them the even constucting that pole is more difficult. C. Julian Leonard has
written provocatively on his own dream of being able to engage in sex as a
male, yet his tesoterone enhanced organs and Johnny Wadd strap on just don't
cut it, bring him connection.

How do we cope with the simple truth that while sex and gender may not be
linked, sex and sexuality definately are? Where are the theories that bridge
that gap and give us insights into a new life?



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