NOT ENJOYING SEX AFTER SEXUAL REASSIGNMENT SURGERY

 

Q. I had male to female surgery eight months ago and had vaginal intercourse with my sweetie for the first time tonight. I’ve waited forever and ever, and maybe I had too many expectations, but I didn’t find it natural to move with him. It was the first time I’ve experienced penetration of any kind since post-surgery recovery required I insert a stretching device. I guess I thought it would just feel much better than it did. Now I’m scared that I have the shape but not the feeling of a woman.

 

What a fucking bad joke.

 

Any helpful thoughts?

 

Veronica

 

A. Veronica, first I think you need to find a good trans support group with other women who want to really talk intimately about this. There is nothing like sharing a learning process with other women who are going through the same thing, and who have experience of their own in adjusting to a restructured vulva. There are some good online chat-rooms.  Please look at my Transgender page for some resources to get you going.

 

Be patient. You have had major surgery, which is a physical trauma. Your body needs to heal and recover sensation. You also need to explore, get to know, and welcome your vulva.

 

Set aside a daily love session for yourself in a warm, private, erotic environment. Set out candles, music, scented oils in the air – whatever you find pleasing to give yourself an inviting nest.

 

Take time looking at, caressing, tasting, praising your beautiful vulva – welcome her to the family! Use a lovely lubricant and practice penetration on your own – with your finger, than as you relax and adjust, with gradually larger dildos or phallic objects of your choice. When you become quite comfortable with one, move to the next size until you reach your maximal comfort zone around the size of an average penis.

 

Never force, never cause pain.

 

When you are comfortable, practice building a pelvic sexual rhythm, with coordinated breathing during penetration. Let yourself make sounds. Don’t expect; discover. Nurture yourself.

 

Keep in mind that sometimes surgical adjustments may need to be made to give you a deeper vagina, but you have plenty of time to discover if you’re satisfied with your vaginal depth.

 

While you relaxing your vaginal canal, also: make sure you can masturbate to complete orgasm.  Being orgasmic should be emphasized at least as much -and I think more- than having vaginal depth.  Sex is not viable unless it is satisfying you, and this is a good time to explore what pleasures your new vulva.

 

Go to my Sensate Focus page and use the hell out of it. Take your time. Draw your own Sensation Map. Then when you’re ready, you can share your self-knowledge with your sweetie, too!

 

Sex is wonderful and irreplaceable, but sometimes it really is a bit of work. It’s a myth that it all just happens naturally. For some of us it’s a journey, and you’re on that journey now. Take the pressure off your body to “perform” and just allow yourself to think of this as a beautiful period of discovery and awakening.

 

         -Shain

 

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Shain Stodt is the founder of Informed About Sex and the founder/moderator of the Facebook page Radical Women Talk Sex. A Sex Educator (IASHS), author, and community activist,  Shain became involved in sex education with the New York Women's Center, where she worked with the pioneering Abortion and Birth Control Outreach project and lectured on sex education in the public school system. Shain also developed sexuality workshops for the Women's Center and other feminist organizations, and hosted a local cable program on sexual issues in New York City. She lives in North Carolina.

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