Dating, Relationships

My Relationship ‘Inexperience’

My first serious relationship took me by surprise, it wasn’t something I’d been looking for, and I definitely didn’t expect anything to materialised with the man who later became my boyfriend of nearly 3 years. The relationship just seemed to happen, we didn’t even discuss whether it was something we wanted or were ready for. We spent most of our free time together, alternating between each other’s homes, until we decided to move in together.

Sex didn’t really play a huge role in our relationship. I know he had hoped for more sexual intimacy, however I was still young and found the whole process to be quite painful and uncomfortable; I was unhappy with the way my body looked and tried very hard to conceal the parts of me I disliked. At no point had we every really discussed roles or status in our relationship; he naturally assumed the (typically assigned at birth dependant on gender) roles of male breadwinner, while I assumed the role of domestic Goddess (although I still worked). Our roles in the bedroom also mirrored societies expected norms.

 It wasn’t until 2 years into our relationship, when we agreed upon a brief ‘parting’, in which we both went about doing our own thing whilst living apart. It was during this time that I discovered myself in a more sexual way. I became liberated and was able to let go of the psychological hindrances that were holding me back. Mainly the fear of rejection from a partner – I believe this is why people may cheat on their spouses. It’s much easier to admit your fantasies and desires to a stranger whose judgment you don’t fear, than it is to admit to a partner who may reject you. The same was true for my partner; while we enjoyed our brief separation, he too had been able to experience the sexual desires he found most gratifying.

 We were both quite young, barely in our 20’s and with little experience between us. After we reunited, he was unwilling to admit his new self-discovery to me, so I resorted to my own form of espionage. When I raised the subject with him, he was quite uncomfortable, however he eventually admitted his new found experiences and desires. Believing at the time that I was in love, we tried to adapt our relationship to satisfy both our needs for intimacy. It was a struggle, and ultimately our relationship ended. We were no longer compatible, our relationship had come to a natural end, and I’m glad to say there is no animosity between us.

 At the time we began our relationship we were both naïve, inexperienced and unsure of who we were or what we wanted. As an adult, I am now somewhat surer of myself, and what I want from life. In the time since my first relationship, whenever I enter into a new encounter with a possible suitor, I always raise the issue of sexual desires and expectations. I come from quite a liberal family background, where sex was discussed often. I want to ensure future ventures aren’t going to end abruptly with the discovery that we’re not compatible in bed, or worse, have a partner who cheats on me to fulfil his desires.

 I’m not saying we should all walk about with badges that describe our sexual orientation or role, but I do think in this blurred world that is still not openly accepted by wider society, we cannot simply guess that an individual will take an ascribed role. There are many variations of personalities, character traits and desires for individuals; individuality that should be celebrated, but amidst those celebrations we need to find a way of communicating what we truly want. This isn’t applicable to all relationships, some never reach a romantic level, but for those that do I believe it is better to know that both partners are walking the same path to reach their destination.

M

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Relationships

Accept yourself before you start dating

So dating while living in the shadows, living with the insecurity of yourself, being uncomfortable with who you are – not a great experience.

I want to tell you about the best of times and the worst of times, to steal from a great opening.

I don’t experience dysphoria in the traditional sense; I have in the past before I accepted myself, experienced something similar.  Usually the thoughts would be something like “Why do you like her?” – “Why can’t you be normal?” – “What if someone sees you!”

The first thought was the worst because it’s the most stupid; the answer to number one is who the hell cares! I’m attracted to her because of who she is and because she identifies as female.

I never went on dates for sexual gratification, I think I’d attempted to do that a few times but those were the dates I’d cancelled, I’m ashamed of that but I’ve evolved as most people do when they figure themselves out.

The dates I went on were because I’d found that person interesting, alluring and romantically compatible with myself.

I once went on a date in London with a very sweet Italian woman, mid 20’s beautiful black hair.  We went somewhere local, GBK, her choice, nothing spectacular but I think she just wanted some normality.  I actually think that being in London had helped me to not be so bothered about publicly going out with her. I’m going to be honest, I look back at that moment, actually all of the moments where I was ashamed to be out in public with someone, it was all me, projecting my insecurities, never anything to do with my date at the time.

I cringe just thinking about those moment, I was actually scared what people thought if they looked at us, how pathetic that seems now and how far away it is, nonetheless it represents a great source of shame and regret for me personally.

We talked about her art studies, literature, even UFC fights, her family and transition, we were there most of the night, we went back to mine and watched a few fights, had a beer and kissed.  It’s funny because I could sort of feel the stubble on her face slightly but It didn’t bother me, I actually liked her, through spending the evening with her and getting to know one another, I’d just forgot about all those negative thoughts.

She left and thankfully nothing happened, I say thankfully because I’m just not that sort of guy, by that point in my life I knew I got little to no gratification from random hook-ups with people I didn’t share a connection with.

It’s not to say we didn’t share a connection, but I think in honesty I was afraid to let anything develop, my insecurities were very strong, I’m sorry to say I don’t think I was personally strong enough to overcome them.

That was probably the worst of times, where something could have happened between two people but didn’t, I think that was ultimately my fault.

Let’s shift to a different date, this was someone that I’d spoke to online for a while, I finally mustered up the courage to ask her on a date.  We met at New Street, Birmingham, UK; it was already dark and had a hint of rain in the air.  This date was slightly different for me, because we had talked for such a long time before actually going on a date, I had a lot less worries and fears actually publicly dating, I didn’t notice this until after the fact.

It helped that she was beautiful, tall, long red vixen hair, I remember vividly the first time she said “Hi Stranger” in her long black dress and smiled, I hugged her, kissed her on the cheek and held her hand as we walked down into the bar.

It was quite an unconscious thing, I felt totally at ease with her.  We spent the evening talking about her Job and aspirations, I’m very attracted to ambition and people with goals, and she blew my mind when she talked about the future.

If I reflect on all of my dates I’ve had, I can firmly say that the best dates have been the ones where I’ve got to know someone beforehand and their personality and persona have largely overshadowed my feelings towards myself.  The worst dates have been where I thought someone looked pretty and arranged a date too quickly without really getting to know her, there is something so disjointed about the internet that allows you to become quickly familiar with someone, you don’t get to judge facial expressions or body language.

This is all one guys experience and I thought I would share it, I regret a lot of my past decisions and although I’ll never be able to undo them, I have learnt from them.

Si

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Relationships

The Pitfalls of dating – TBC

Growing up in the 90’s and 00’s I was exposed to trashy teen sitcoms ‘Saved by the Bell’, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ and ‘Friends’ amongst other things. For years I watched heterosexual relationships play out on screen, building up my ideals of what a ‘normal’ relationship should be. Naturally when I got older I wanted to experience those same things that I had watched on TV. I wanted the romance, drama, and excitement…

Being honest to myself, I transitioned from a young age, but I felt those hopes of dating fade away with my decision to transition. I worried that I would never experience what I believed to be the teenage norm. Still, I went through the motions. I had a warped perception of love; after one date I thought I’d found the one, someone who accepted me for being the way I was. I never truly experienced love until I was in my 20’s, by which point I had been dating for over 5 years. I went on countless dates; some of them were thrilling, leading to further dates and hopes of a possible relationship. Others were terrible, with my insecurities playing havoc – if a man would use the wrong term and refer to me as a tranny or shemale I would be immediately filled with hate towards him. At the time I was still learning about myself, it hadn’t yet dawned on me that he was probably still in the learning process too. I was quite unforgiving in my younger years; bitter towards a world I thought had ill-prepared and shunned me. Yet I was also quite unwilling to share or discuss my journey with those who showed an interest.

I want to share this article and my experiences in the hope of educating men and women out there, so that one day a teenager who is struggling with their transition can turn on the TV and see a healthy transgender relationship with which to communicate their hopes and dreams for dating.

This should not be a taboo subject in which we fear to openly discuss. The more we talk about this topic and educate men and women (whether cis or trans), the better chance we stand at creating a functioning part of society that integrates equally as well as the term heterosexual does.

I hope that one-day society will evolve past labels, but until it does, I will settle for the acceptance and tolerance of all labels. First we need to educate the fuck out of ignorance!

M

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