Q: Safer sex for transgender women?
Q: Last week, I saw that you covered safe sex for trans men. But what about trans women? What can we do to stay healthy?
A: I’m so glad you asked! Ladies, don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you! There’s just so much info out there, we wanted you to have your own article.
One thing that we didn’t mention in our article about trans men was how to safely expose yourself as a trans person to your partner. In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be an issue. But it’s hard to tell if someone will be cool about such a revelation. For that reason, do it somewhere that’s both public and private. Public enough that they won’t be able to get violent without someone there to notice, but private enough that you can keep the conversation between the two of you. Stepping outside of a bar or party with your potential partner is a great place, but as long as you’re feeling secure and comfortable, do it at your discretion.
Now to the fun part. For the sake of this article, when referring to a trans woman’s pre-op genitalia, we’ll call it a strapless. For women who have had surgery, we’ll refer to their genitalia as a vulva. Safer sex for trans women is sort of a mixture of safer sex for ciswomen and men, and, of course, it depends on your partner.
If your partner has a vulva and you have a strapless…
If you intend on penetrating your partner, you’ll certainly need a condom. It doesn’t matter which orifice you’re going into. Check out our favorite condoms for anal sex.
For many women with straplesses who are doing hormonal therapy, it can be difficult to get off via stimulation on their strapless. Even if you can’t ejaculate, it’s still important to use barrier methods for safety. Even if you’re getting/giving manual sex (handjobs) or oral, wear a condom or a dental dam to stay safe from STIs. Remember, it’s about potentially protecting your partner just as much as it’s about protecting you-- and if your partner is a ciswoman or a trans man, there’s a possibility of pregnancy.
If you and your partner both have vulvas...
Like in our article on safe sex for trans men, much of your safe sex with other women or with trans men will revolve around dental dams. You can learn more about them here. Our suggestion is to use a garter belt to keep one on even if you’re just going to use it for oral-- hands-free is always best. You can also use them on the anus. If you intend on penetrating your partner with your hands, use latex or nitrile gloves or finger cots.
If your partner has a penis or a strapless and so do you…
Condoms, all the way, baby. Even if it’s for oral or anal. Once again, we have a great list on our favorite condoms for anal. Remember, even if you can’t ejaculate due to hormone therapy, you should still wear one if you’re going to be penetrating your partner in any way, and you should have them wear one as well. STDs can infect anyone.
If your partner has a penis or strapless and you have a vulva...
From what my research seems to indicate, it’s perfectly alright to use a female/internal condom on a constructed vagina. Remember, these can also be used for anal sex, even though they are not yet FDA-approved. Just make sure you use lots of lube!
That lube will go a long way. A big problem many post-op transwomen have is having trouble staying lubricated down there. Depending on the surgery you have, you may even have the issue of being too lubricated. Regardless, it’s always a great idea to find a lube that works just right for you. Silicone lubes stay wet longer than water-based lubes, and they don’t get as tacky-- one of my personal favorites is WET’s Ecstasy Silicone.
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