Today marks the beginning of my last quarter at Stanford. It’s strange, thinking that this is the last time I’m going to experience the first week of a quarter and the last time I’m going to register for classes. It’s so weird to think about.
So I’ve always considered myself a late bloomer. I didn’t learn to write an essay until my junior year (and I’m an English major…for shame!). I didn’t realize I was a boy until the age of 19, and I didn’t start male puberty until the age of 21. I know I’ve taken a lot of great strides in terms of my own maturity, but I still haven’t touched a lot of the milestones that are part of normal coming-of-age narratives. I feel like I’ve missed out, and here I am, almost at the end of my Stanford career. I feel like I’ve just started.
For one thing, I’m still a virgin. I’ve hesitated about focusing on sex in my column, mostly because I never thought of myself as a sexual being. I’m at my last quarter, and I have yet to have any sort of sexual experience. I figured that maybe if I wrote about it, then I’d feel more comfortable approaching sexual situations. Maybe. Here it goes.
You see, sex is a strange concept for transmen — or at least, it is for me. How exactly is a transman supposed to have sex? We don’t exactly have, you know, the right equipment to do the job. I’m not very sure how a girl would feel at the prospect of having sex with a transman. Maybe I’m stressing out over this a lot more than I should be. But it terrifies me that I would be rejected from my first sexual experience because of my body, which is why I don’t take the risk in the first place. I might be confident as a man in all other areas in my life, but when it comes to the topic of sex, I feel inferior and not “real.” To a degree, I feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to have sex because I’m not a legitimate man. It’s something I admit I’m still trying to work through.
And call me a prude, but I don’t really see myself having sex with anyone until I am in a committed relationship with them. It might be because my rather strict Catholic upbringing has made me this way. Or maybe it’s because of my inherent terror of physical intimacy. Either way, I’m not exactly a fan of casual sex. One of the complaints I get from my female friends is that I’m way too respectful towards women (now please tell me, how is that a problem?). But I guess that’s how I am, and I can’t really change it (I sincerely apologize, ladies).
I see sex as something that needs to be done with consent and respect, and I don’t think I can handle that if I’m drunk, and I would hate to be that guy who went too far with a girl and made her feel awful the next morning. But that’s just me, and I understand that doing it the old-fashioned way might be a bit self-destructive, since basically nobody does that anymore, but I don’t know, I can’t really see myself doing anything else.
So as I approach my last quarter at Stanford, I feel pressured to finally have sex. It does embarrass me to know that a lot of my freshmen have more sexual experience than I do, and I feel like I haven’t fully taken advantage of the experimental nature when it comes to sex in college. It feels like, you know, now or nothing. But I know I shouldn’t make myself do something I’m not ready for. I would never have sex for the sake of having sex. That would be unfair to both my potential partner and me.
But there is hope. During finals week to procrastinate, I managed to do some research on this great place called the Internet. To keep things short and relatively PG-13, I did discover that transmen can have successful sex lives (If you’ve got time, look up a transman named Billy Castro. He is my new hero). I’ve realized that my feelings now, though conflicting and complicated, are feelings that are only temporary, feelings that are not a testament to my own manhood or masculinity but to my own insecurities about my body. Hell, I’m a pretty good-looking guy — on the short side, perhaps, but cute nonetheless. I shouldn’t have to worry about the way I look. But I do. And it’s something I need to work on.
Who knows, maybe I’m fabulous in bed. I guess we’ll find out eventually. We’ll see.
Have some advice for this confused little transboy? E-mail Cristopher at [email protected]