Dear Ask an Alaskan,
I think I am into trans men. My previous two relationships were with trans men, and I am currently dating a trans man. Does it make me a fetishist because I am having repeat relationships with transgender individuals?
A lost queer who does not want to offend her trans friends.
Well little lost one. There are a lot of questions that have risen out of your writing. You call yourself a queer, but the only relationships you have told us about are with men. No commentary on that, just something that caught our attention.
Now let us tell you, we have been on many sides of this situation. There are those of us that have been the subject of desire for fetishists, and there are those of us that have had a really good time dating trans men. To start, let’s break down the word fetishist.
People use the word fetish to describe things that they shouldn’t. A kink and a fetish are two very different things. Kink is something we use to enhance our sex lives. If something is a fetish, it means that it is required for sexual arousal to occur. Things like feet, bondage, spanking, and watersports can all be kinks or fetishes. People, like bears, drag queens, blondes, and trans folx, can all be a fetish. The important part is how you are viewing these partners.
What are your reasons for dating these individuals? You need to ask yourself what sexually excites you about the person, and make sure that your reason for dating them is the person that they are and not their transness.
For one of us that became the object of a fetishist they started to notice that any time they weren’t interested in sex, or unable to have sex, their partner would get sullen and argumentative. As soon as they noticed this pattern they started to wonder if their partner would still be interested in them without sex being part of the situation. We think that might be a question you need to ask yourself. If your partner was unable to have sex anymore would it change how you feel about them, and to what degree would that change? What if they told you that they realized they were asexual and wanted to continue a romantic relationship with you, but wanted to stop the sexual contact? If sex with this person is the only part of them that interests you, then yes, you are a fetishist.
Now for those of us that enjoy dating trans men, there are several reasons why. As a woman it is fun to date a guy that is closer to the same height as you, and many trans men tend to be shorter. For another it’s because they typically share the same political views, or perhaps it’s because like one of us, you attend events that happen to have a higher number of trans men in attendance and so it’s just something that happens.
Now is there ever a time when it is ok to have sex with someone simply because you see them as a sexual object? Absolutely. It is when both parties are aware of what is happening and agree to it. It’s back to that informed part of consent that we all seem to forget about. Since you are in relationships with these people, we doubt that it is a quick sex thing.
The answer to your question needs to come from you. What interests you about the human that you are dating? If you are treating them like a person, and not a sexual object the same way you would a sex toy, you are in the clear. Having a type is ok if you see them for everything that they are, and not just part of them.
I think I am in love with my best friend. He identifies as gay and I have always identified as straight. We have been best friends for years, and we always tell each other about our random hookups. I have recently been finding myself aroused by the stories he tells me. I know that he isn’t opposed to the idea of being with women because he has done so in the past, and that got me thinking about whether I am straight if I just want to be with him? How do I bring up the subject of us hooking up? I think it might be the perfect relationship, he is already my best friend, and if we could add sex it would be perfect.
Congratulations on being the fantasy! Well, not really, not for everyone, but bi-curious boys are so much fun sometimes.
We are going to dive deep into this word that you signed your letter with. Curious. That may be all this is. It is completely possible to be straight and still have thoughts about men sexually, especially when you have never experienced it. Your issues go a little deeper than some guy on guy action.
You started your letter by saying that you think you are in love with your best friend, then talked about just a hook up with him, then went into talking about a relationship with him. You want more than sexual curiosity satisfied, but it’s a good place to start your conversation with this guy.
Our suggestion is to mention his sexual fluidity and to say that it has gotten you thinking about your own. Make sure that he knows that you have had these thoughts for a while, but you also must tell him about the other parts. You must tell him that you have been catching feelings, and you might want more, and that he would be the person that you would want to explore all of this with. He could have several reactions, and so that is why before you say a word to him, you must ask yourself something.
If his reaction is poor, or if his reaction is to help you explore your curiosity, and things end up driving a wedge between the two of you, are you sure enough about these feelings to risk your entire friendship for it? There is always the chance that he has been harboring feelings for you also, and this could be the beginning of something beautiful, but that is not guaranteed.
As much as he needs to be aware of all your thoughts about him, you need to be prepared for any of the possible outcomes.
Good luck Cat. We are rooting for you.
Happy Pride everyone! This is your reminder from us that gender is a social construct, sexuality is fluid, and all means all. If you have questions for us, please email lastfrontier email@example.com