You're assuming everybody is level headed and rational.
@Kense No, just us in this community, including you and me
But what if you are hosting ?
If there is a longer queue at the Gents lavatory, can I identify as a trans woman for a few minutes ? I think Olympic athletes have to show a sustained low testosterone level.
@geoff1000 If I'm hosting, we move to a couple of chairs and have an interesting talk.
That whole bathroom thing is different since minors use public facilities
Is that an anecdote of what you have done in the past, or what you like to believe you would do ?
@geoff1000 Not an anecdote and I KNOW it's exactly what I'd do.
Wheeee, life. Okay, I'm back.
@PeopleLikeUs asks "Is [being straightforward about your body type] something you think should be [a site rule] or something that is?"
I refer you to @SoulcuddlerZ's comment here: "Our official position is that a member's profile is expected to be accurate, including gender. If someone is trans or otherwise gender non-conforming, it should be noted, especially if that member is a pro."
In other words, just letting people know your gender—the type of personality you have (broadly), the social role you play, etc.—isn't enough: you also have to tell folks whether you were assigned that role or simply matched it so well you dropped the one you were assigned and went with what worked better. Them's site rules, yes.
I don't, however, think telling someone what you were assigned at birth is giving them useful information for a cuddle—"male/female" labels are assigned purely on the basis of genitalia, which doesn't determine body type. If my former coworker only told a prospective buddy "I'm a cis woman" and didn't describe her body type, he might be... disappointed. Being straightforward about your crotch giblets isn't terribly helpful for a platonic cuddle (unless, for whatever reason, you need a part of your buddy that you shouldn't be seeing or touching to be shaped a certain way).
A good reason for that would be "it might poke you." In that case—as I said in the original post—you should let folks know.
If your privates aren't the reaching-out type, though (whether because they're not shaped right for that, or because they don't function that way / don't function that way anymore, or for some other reason I can't think of right now), there's no reason to metaphorically wave your privates around in public. Tell people what they can expect in a cuddle, not what they're never going to encounter.
@geoff1000 says, "We may not be able to see what is in a person's pants, but a previous poster mentioned feeling a "pokie" from it."
It seems you missed the "I don't think anyone on this site needs to tell anybody what they've got in their pants unless they know it might do a bit of 'reaching out', so to speak" part of my original post.
Some people's bits don't do pokies. Even when those bits are man bits. In that case, you wouldn't know (or need to know).
@Kense says, "What if that person gets a hard-on and you feel it? It can happen."
You also seem to have missed the part of my original post where I said that if what you've got in your pants might do something to announce its presence, then (and only then) you need to let your buddy know it's there.
...Strange how people keep skipping over that.
I’m cis. Once I cuddled a trans-female. Early in the cuddle, she felt comfortable enough to tell me a story about a man she cuddled who was upset about her having external plumbing. In the middle of the story I started laughing and by the end I was grabbing my sides, my jaw ached and tears were rolling down my face I was laughing so hard. She looked at me hurt and said, “What’s so funny?” I replied, “Because some people are so f*ing stupid.” She slowly smiled, laughed, and pretty soon we were both in hysterics. We cuddled for 16 hours and have vowed to cuddle again when I come back to her area.
The gender spectrum is so incredibly beautiful. If the rules of this site reflect anything but respect for women’s bodies and their right to personal privacy, then the rules of this site are wrong.
@DarrenWalker I appreciate @SoulcuddlerZ clarification.
So you're saying only male transexuals need to tell people? If a person was born female but Identify as a male they don't have to share that?
...crotch giblets ...
If a person were born female, but felt they were "in the wrong body", there would be a very long process of : behaviour, clothing, drugs and then surgery.
Ditto for a person who was born male.
I think I might be happy to cuddle a born-female who felt they were actually a man ; but their behaviour transitioning, is probably helped by adopting stereotypical roles, in that case being the big spoon to a female.
It likewise seems better for a born-man trying to transition to a female, to help their psychological transition, by adopting the more usual female role of small spoon. Then there's no unexpected poking.
If people want to transition from one gender to the other, why do so many want to keep the behaviours of their old gender ? This is 2020, so anyone can have any gender preference they want, for any level of intimacy they want ; it seems to me, no longer necessary to actually change one's gender.
If on a bus, the rule was left- handed people on one side, and right-handed people on the other ; those who want different scenery or to sit with a friend, would have to become adept at writing with their other hand.
If that rule were scrapped, no-one needs to bother with that effort any more.
Sex = what body you were born with biologically (male, female, intersex)
Gender = societal role or how you identify/see yourself (man, woman, fluid, etc.)
Born female, male or intersex.
Conditioned to be a man or a woman (because our society can't handle the gray areas, we like to primitively cram everything into binaries). Then what you decide you'd like to identify as (man/woman/fluid, etc.).
If you're born female, you may or may not like to be the little spoon. You are conditioned generally as a woman that you should. If you're born male, you may or may not like to be the big spoon. You are conditioned generally as a man that you should. Just because you identify as a man or a woman doesn't mean you also accept the entirety of the sex role conditioning. Just because you identify as a man or a woman doesn't mean you need your body to have the bits that the binary has demanded that you have to "match" that role. A born-female can identify as a man and love to be big and little spoon. The whole point is, if we step out of the binary, we are humans trying to each find our way in a confusing landscape of conditioned bullshit and a palette of sparkling human options. What we're born as is clear -- it's biological. How we want to define ourselves and relate, well, that's just up to who we individually are.
It's challenging to think outside the binary for many of us. We were so indoctrinated into it and that continues. It's hard to get the language right. It pays in this modern age to listen, read and get with it as those of us who remain ignorant actually perpetuate harmful assumptions that hurt people. It's hard. We don't want to be out of our comfort zone of everything in its proper bucket. But this generation is tossing out the buckets and dancing free, with many a bump along the way. It's paving the way for each individual human to look and deeply question what's true about THEM and what THEY want to be seen as, to live as, and how they relate.
I'm appreciative of all the peeps I'm close to who have helped me understand some of this, and those who have tolerated my ignorance (including those on this site) as I've clumsily found my way to more of an understanding. I'm still a total dork in this area, and it's been especially challenging because my passion has been bringing understanding between people with women's conditioning and people with men's conditioning, formerly known as women and men.
Throw out the binary and we're plunged into chaos. Creative chaos. Yikes! Woohoo!
I personally developed many of the qualities usually associated with the male sex role because of my athleticism, love of logic and a rebellion against what I thought being a woman meant as I came of age in the 70s. Back then you were just a "tomboy" or a "liberated woman" and no one I knew was changing their gender role in an attempt to reckon with it. It was later I opened to the more devalued yin qualities in the human template, because I was after wholeness. At almost 58, I just feel like a human. I have the plumbing of a female, and however that, and the experience of birthing and breastfeeding, affects and has shaped my psyche and orientation. I deny myself no quality or experience simply because it's associated with a particular gender role. I don't care if someone calls me a woman, a pollywog or a hobbit. But I know for some people, it's really important that someone calls them a woman, a man, or nothing at all. To each their own.
I'm finding my way. It challenges things deeply held to make room for this fluidity. Yay for all revolutions of consciousness that challenge me to look at myself and my assumptions and get closer to what's actual and morph accordingly to as to be as informed as I can be and as harmless as I can be to my human siblings, both through what I do/say, and what I don't do/say.
OK, Thursday morning novel complete. Any non-cis-gendered person reading this is extra invited to comment or correct me.
As a lifelong Cis man, your novel, though well written, triggers me with its micro aggression against my core beliefs.
Back to Bruno Mars on YouTube..
My point is that if a man wants to be identified as a woman, why do they feel the need to go the whole hog ; instead of merely doing everything that a woman does ? Or why, having decided that they really aren't a man, so must anatomically transition at some point ; do they then want to do so many things that are typical man ?
I can understand cis- people doing all sorts of things that are more usual for the other gender, or people transitioning from one gender to the other. What I can't understand, is why those who have decided to transition, continue with the behaviours, that are typical of the gender they don't want to be identified as.
I was born an Englishman. I could renounce my citizenship, and become an American, and live in America. I could instead become an American only to live back in England, but what would be the point of that ? If the countries had free movement for travel and work, I could be an Englishman, spending 1 to 99 % of my time in England, or America. Why tear up my passport, just to get one of a different colour ?
@geoff1000 "Anything you can do I can do better" comes to mind. There is no such thing as "typical man" or "typical girl" , just your biases.
Girls play sports, girls shoot, girls like being big spoon. Hell if you wanna get really gender role about it, some girls even top.
@grumpy_cat Right on! Way to cut to the chase!
If @grumpy_cat is correct, and I believe she is, that means much of @littermate 's novel is in need of a rewrite, no?
Men can donate sperm, and find it a lot easier taking a pee outside on a cold day. That's about it.
I'm asking why a man who is so motivated to live as a woman, to the point of extreme surgery, would then choose typical male behaviours ; why not leave their body alone, and choose typical female behaviours ?
If instead we have decided that there are no longer typical male and female behaviours, then why bother identifying as the other gender ?
Some women enjoy kissing other women below the waistline. A man who wanted to do that to a woman wouldn't need gender reassignment surgery, or even identify as a female in other ways ; unless he wanted his female partner to believe, for some reason that he was female.
@geoff1000 Your question boils down to "Why bother transitioning if you are just gonna do the same thing you always did". You can either choose to believe the transgender community that something intrinsic to themselves tells them they are the opposite gender, or you could simply believe they have mental issues. I'm not here to judge for you.
My point is that you cannot attempt to define what men and women are by sterotypes, there are so many different types of men and women and by that logic that many types of trans men and women.
@Groucho would love the details. Trying to learn here. I put out my operating theories to date and am open to input and correction from people's experience. Not sure what core belief of yours I was micro-aggressing toward, but would like to hear. Happy to rewrite my novel; happy to rewrite my operating theory when new info comes in. Would love to hear comments from @grumpy_cat on it.
I once read an academic paper on the movie Eraserhead being a metaphor for transgender transitioning and the accompanying anxiety for the Cis community. Keep in mind that the movie was over 40 years ago and the paper was about 28 years ago. It was interesting but it made me rethink Twin Peaks. I wish I could find it now.
This topic could really use the input of a trans person. But anyway, addressing the original post, I think all of this potential misunderstanding should be avoided since any member can self identify as trans on their profile.
There may be some who would prefer to identify as simply man/woman instead of transman/transwoman, but I imagine trans people are well aware of the fact that some people respond negatively and/or violently to feeling they've been 'tricked'. Most trans people that I know will tell you about the disproportionate amount of violence, sexual or physical, that trans individuals face.
To touch on @geoff1000 's points... Unless I'm misunderstanding, you are saying that it's weird that someone would transition, just to behave in a manner that is more in line with the gender they're transitioning from (ie a transwoman still behaving like a man and being the big spoon for example). This just comes down to the fact that, although gender norms are most typical, they don't always apply. Whether talking about cis or trans, an individual can behave however they want. It doesn't really fit anywhere, but I'd like to mention that a transition does not always involve surgery, I think that comes down to an individuals dyaphoria or lack thereof.
@FunCartel I always considered Eraserhead as a horror movie akin to Alien. Where Alien is a woman's nightmarish fear of insemination, rape and motherhood, Eraserhead is the male equivalent.
This topic could really use the input of a trans person.
This topic could really use the input of a trans person.
Hoping for this.
How about this analogy.
I began life as a pedestrian ; but I wanted to be able to go longer distances, so I bought a car, and am sometimes a car driver.
If I told everyone that I wanted to be a car owner, but having bought a car, I continued to walk everywhere ; people would be sure to ask, "What exactly do you enjoy about having a car, and why did you spend all that money on it ?"
@DarrenWalker can i just say how much i appreciate your posts. We are lucky to have your voice here.
I've cuddled with a transgender individual. I appreciate that the person told me prior to the cuddle, not because I'm concerned about their identity (I would have cuddled with them were they male, female, non-binary, trans, or a purple people eater), or their body type, or their age, or their ethnicity, what have you. Those things aren't important to me. What's important is how they treat me, if they're respectful, whether we can trust each other, whether we can accept each other for who we are without conditions. But the reason I'm glad they told me beforehand was so that I could be extra mindful of body issues, of consent, of listening to body language for signs of discomfort. Cuddling is only enjoyable if both parties can relax, and I wanted to make sure they were comfortable with me.
I would imagine that anyone struggling with issues of gender identity, gender expression, and the like may have sensitivities that the cis-gendered among us aren't aware of because we don't experience them, at least to the extent that they do. I want to do everything in my power to be supportive of others' journeys, even if those journeys differ from my own.
@Kense asks, "So you're saying only male transexuals need to tell people?"
No, I'm not saying that AMAB trans folks need to tell their prospective cuddle buddies about their bits. I'm saying that anyone whose private parts might do something during a cuddle to get themselves noticed—anything, from poking to pooling—should let their would-be-buddy know.
For instance, if a trans man knows he's going to have to visit the bathroom frequently because it's that time of month, that's something that could affect a cuddle: he should mention it.
@littermate's novel is a good one. The genderbread person might help with understanding, too:
Sex is anatomical. It has to do with what's between your legs. Gender is psychological. It has to do with what's in your mind (and in the minds of others). Gender roles are the roles people mentally associate with the different genders. Gender expression is the body language and facial expressions you use, the way you dress, etc. It has to do with the way you present yourself to others.
Like @littermate says, when you're born the doctors look at your bits and decide whether you're male or female. Sometimes they do surgery to make you fit into one of their pre-prepared boxes (obviously in these cases they don't ask you what you'd like before irreversibly altering your body to suit themselves).
Then, once they've got you fitted into one of their two neat boxes, you're raised according to the label on the box.
You don't get to choose your gender role or expression: you're conditioned to dress and behave in the ways traditionally expected of folks in whichever box you find yourself in. This also affects the way others see you! For instance, imagine there are two of you: identical copies that do and say and think the same things. You're from an alien universe where it's normal for everyone to have two bodies, let's say—something like that—for you it's like having two hands.
Dropping down into our universe, you say and do the same things with both right and left hands, but the humans respond to each hand completely differently.
Let's say both your right and left hand are wearing dresses: the humans try to rape your right hand, and attempt to murder your left. They both say the same things: the humans interrupt your right hand and listen politely to your left. Your hands both buy identical large stuffed animals: the humans assume your right hand's buying the toy for itself, while they assume your left hand's buying it for someone else. And so on.
Now imagine that you want the humans to treat your left hand the same way they do your right.
@geoff1000 wonders why so many trans folks seem to prefer changing their bodies to changing their behaviors—this is the reason. Someone in a body that looks physically male will be treated very differently from someone in a body that looks physically female, no matter how they act. If you're thinking of someone as male (or female), you'll be primed to pay particular attention to anything they do that's even slightly masculine (or feminine).
How I love thee @DarrenWalker and your clear expression. I particularly liked the exclamation point on this sentence:
This also affects the way others see you!
This also affects the way others see you!
I feel like I'm in a library reading group for kids and you're really excited about the story you're reading us. Like you're really having some fun.
And thanks for validating my novel.
PS I really love the Genderbread Person.
@littermate: Heh. Yeah, this is one of those "things I'm passionate about" which I can't seem to put in order to make a decent post for that one thread....
This would be a terrible subject for a children's reading group at the local library, though.
Not only do I seriously doubt I could get permission for that even if I wanted to, I have a tendency to turn kind of bitter when it comes to stuff like insistence on gender conformity and slicing up babies' bodies to make them match a sexual binary. I'm definitely super passionate about it.
I agree that if someone would cuddle males or females, they would probably also cuddle anyone on the scale from one to the other.
However, someone who wants to only cuddle one end of the scale, is less likely to accept someone on the scale ; else why draw the line at 99 % ?