I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while, but I had an interesting conversation with a client tonight specifically about cis submissive men (or cis male bottoms) who want to be topped by trans women who have not had bottom surgery, and while it’s fresh in mind, I wanted to talk about it. I also want to apologize in advance if anything I say here is accidentally offensive. I hope it won’t be, but I can’t promise because I am speaking only from my own limited perspective. I feel like this topic is fraught for many reasons and almost didn’t want to talk about it because of that. But I feel like that might be exactly the reason I should talk about it.
This is not an unusual thing that men talk to me about on phone sex. It’s certainly not every man I talk to, but it’s enough men that it’s not unexpected for me to hear someone say they want to be topped by a trans woman. (For the rest of this article, you can assume I am talking about trans women who have not had bottom surgery.) And when I say “topped,” I’m talking both about the kinky version of topping and topping in the sense of penetrating with a bio-penis.
To be honest, I don’t think any man I’ve ever talked to on phone sex lines refers to trans women as trans women. They all have used the terms “transsexual” or “shemale.” (Maybe one was an exception.) And I admit that I was very put off by this the first few times I heard those terms used.
To me, the word “transsexual” is just outdated, and the word “shemale” is downright offensive. But then I actually looked at porn and saw that this is how a lot of porn labels trans women sex workers. So, I had initially thought the guys who used these words were transphobic. But then I realized that they were just using the language they were seeing in the porn they consumed. (I would actually say 100% of the men who express these desires don’t say negative things about trans women. They see them as beautiful women who also happen to have penises. If they said intentionally offensive things, I would stop them immediately.)
Whether or not mainstream porn should be using these labels is its own issue and one that I don’t even know how to start addressing. What I wanted to talk about is how I feel about participating in fantasies with cis men who want to be topped by trans women. (You might ask why men are talking to me (a cis woman) about their fantasies about trans women, and that is a question I’m not sure how to answer. I think it might be linked to forced bi fantasies. They like to feel I’m guiding them or encouraging them.)
The truth is that I don’t often feel very good about it. But I don’t know if I really know enough about what I think I know to have any opinion about it.
The reason I don’t feel good about it is what I’ve held as a general truth– that trans women want to identify as women, and their penises are very often reminders that they do not feel comfortable in their own bodies. While I know that there are certainly trans women who choose to never have bottom surgery, I’ve always been under the belief that many trans women experience gender dysphoria, and therefore, I would assume that penetration might feel good but might also be a reminder of not feeling at home in one’s own body. (I do recognize that this is an individual thing and that some trans women may enjoy penetration.)
I also think I know that many trans women take hormones that I believe make it harder to sustain erections, and that if they choose to stop those hormones or reduce them so they can sustain erections, they would then be compromising their transition. But do I know this? Is this true or is this something I just think I know. Can trans women comfortably transition while being on hormones and retaining their ability to penetrate with their penises?
At first, I admit that I thought these fantasies were rather odd. I was aware that many straight or straightish men have fantasies about trans women. There’s a whole porn category for it! But I never really understood why.
However, many of the men I talk to who express these desires also like pegging. So, I think it’s simply an extension of that. What could be better than getting pegged by a beautiful woman wearing a strap? Getting fucked by a beautiful woman who has a real penis.
And then there is the fetishizing aspect of the fantasy. These men on the whole aren’t fantasizing about women who happen to also have penises. They are specifically fantasizing about trans women who have penises BECAUSE they have penises.
Now, I am fetishized too, as a dominant woman. And although that’s something I don’t enjoy in a romantic relationship (for the MAIN reason that someone liked me is that I was sexually dominant), if someone is paying to talk to me because I am dominant, I accept that I’m being fetishized for that. It actually doesn’t bother me at all. We have a mutual understanding that I am at least partly being fetishized for being dominant, and I am accepting payment for that fetish. It doesn’t ALSO mean that some of the men I talk to don’t like me for my personality or looks or excellent verbal skills, but they probably wouldn’t be talking to me if they didn’t have a kink or a fetish for dominant women. And I’m totally cool with that!
So, why should I assume any differently for trans women who are sex workers and who top (or even pretend to top through camming or phone sex)? Even if they don’t like to top or be fetishized for being trans in their personal lives, why do I assume they are not making the same choice that I am—that they are comfortable being fetishized for a part of their body in exchange for money?
I suppose that my difficulty with this lies in two spaces.
One, I am not being fetishized for a body part, especially one that I do not like or with which I don’t feel comfortable. There are certain things about me that I would not feel comfortable being fetishized for any amount of money. Being fetishized for things I do is different than being fetishized for something that I am. To me.
Two, I am aware that life can be very difficult for trans women in our society, and I worry that some women may get into sex work because they don’t have many other choices because of prejudice. And then I feel worried that if indulge these kinds of fantasies, I am contributing to that prejudice and marginalization.
However, that same argument is used to attack sex workers of many kinds. Many people assume that most sex workers do sex work because they don’t have other options. And while that is no doubt true for some sex workers, it’s clearly not true for all. After getting into sex work myself, I’ve spoken to many women who have chosen to do sex work for a variety of reasons—few of which were because they had no other options. Many like it for the ability to set their own hours, to work while dealing with chronic illnesses, as extra income to supplement family income, etc…
So, is it just unduly parental of me as a cis woman to presume that trans women sex workers may be being taken advantage of more often? Or may lack other choices? If a trans woman wants to do sex work where she tops or pretends to top men, isn’t that her business?
The truth is that I don’t actually come into contact with the trans sex workers who are doing the topping. I know they exist, but I only hear about them through the men with whom I talk.
And lots of that is simply talk. It’s just fantasy. But unlike a lot of the fantasy talk that I do with men, including cuckolding fantasies and small penis humiliation, etc…this kind of fantasy just feels sort of wrong to me. It feels closer to “BBC” talk, which I do not do because I feel like it’s racist.
Just like in “BBC” fantasies where Black men are seen as superior to white men because of their supposed giant penises, in trans women fantasies, the woman’s penis is the central part of the desire, and that feels dehumanizing to me. And as a woman who tells men that they should “worship” women, there’s something that feels wrong to me about contributing to any woman’s dehumanization.
I do welcome constructive discussion about this. As I said at the beginning of this article, if I accidentally offended anyone, I do apologize and am open to correction. I do not welcome and will delete anything that I find offensive about gender, and I also don’t want to bash submissive men who have these fantasies, as I do not think that the majority of the men I talk to who have them are intending to hurt anyone.
I do realize that my situation is a specific one, because as a lifestyle domme, this would not be an issue for me. I would not be interested in participating in these fantasies with a partner, and I have not. But as a paid online domme, the line becomes a little more blurry for me about what I find acceptable to talk about and what I don’t and why.
And in this case specifically, I wonder if in my political correctness, I am actually not giving trans women enough credit to make their own choices to be seen as they choose to be seen and enough license for the submissive men with whom I speak to have these fantasies without my judgement—whether or not it is with my participation.