Why are straight men attracted to transgender women?

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This article is for all men who find transgender persons, ladyboys or transsexual women attractive and who find themselves asking: “Am I gay now?”. We explore the reasons why straight men find trans-women attractive.

The attraction of trans people and the question of sexual orientation

For some people with a limited and often transphobic world view, being attracted to a non-cis lady is the same as being homosexual.

However, finding a trans woman attractive or desirable and being interested in TS dating doesn’t mean that you have to be automatically gay or straight.

Instead, it means that you appreciate that person for whom they are: a woman. Studies have found that the arousal patterns of cisgender men work in response to both cisgender and transgender women, while gay men are only aroused by men.

The bottom line is that if you find yourself attracted to a TS girl, you are unlikely to be a homosexual man.

Instead, you are open enough to allow yourself to establish a genuine connection with an attractive woman, regardless of her past, or the gender assigned to her at birth.

A sweet short hair girl wearing rainbow mascara doing a heart gesture

What do Trans Women Look for in a Man?

You have to accept and respect your date for who she is and identifies as: a woman. However, for many insecure men, this can be a bit of a hurdle. The idea of walking down the street, holding hands or kissing a trans lady can feel like a secret they don’t want to share in public. Check out this article for more information on what it is like to date someone who’s transgender.

If you’re someone who finds transsexual or genderqueer women attractive and you don’t have problems showing that openly, it’s a sign that you’re confident and comfortable in your own sexuality. And that is attractive!

It simply proves that you’re ready to build a connection with an attractive girl, regardless of her past.

Loyalty is key

If on the other hand, you’ve got a problem being with your partner in public, then you might need to ask yourself some searching questions.

For example, would you have the same problem showing affection in public, hand in hand with a cisgender woman? If your response is ‘no’, then you have your answer: if you and your date are happy and connected, then it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

The problem for many trans women is that they are often kept ‘in the shadows’; a clandestine partner that is never allowed out into the real world. However, this is tantamount to abuse and, at the very least, is entirely disrespectful to the woman you are dating.

If you’d feel safer keeping your relationship with a transgender woman hidden away, then you might need to consider whether you should be dating her at all.

How to Treat a Transgender Woman with Respect

While you might be someone who doesn’t feel constrained by the idea that gender and sexuality are binary, you might also need to think about what’s expected from you.

  • Treat your date as she deserves. Transgender women are women – no more, no less. Be aware of what you say to her and how your comments can affect her. As such, you should treat her with respect, care and attention.
  • Don’t let sex get in the way. As many trans women are only too aware, there are plenty of fetishists out there who only want to date a “shemale” or a ladyboy to find out what it’s like to have sex with them. If that’s the case then you’d be better off looking at dating sites for hook-ups.
  • If you’re embarking on a relationship with a trans woman, wait until the time is right before you get intimate. Sometimes, the basis of sex is communication. In no possible way you should ever make her feel pressured to be intimate with you.
  • Be considerate and reluctant with your questions and wait until she’s ready to open up to you. There are many sandtraps to step into. Ask about the “deadname”, about surgery or generally about her physical traits is, plainly put, disrespectful.
    After all, you also wouldn’t ask a cis person what’s down their skirt or pants.
    If your date wants to open up to you, however, she’s going to choose the right time to tell you everything that’s important for your relationship.
  • Don’t be afraid to show affection. There’s nothing more attractive than a man who is comfortable enough in his own skin to show respectful affection to his date, wherever he might be. There is still some stigma surrounding dating trans women but showing that you don’t care what anyone else thinks is a sign of your own personal and sexual confidence.
  • Be as open, empathetic and tactful as you can. We’ve all got baggage and sharing yours with your date is a great indicator that you can be trusted. However, if she’d rather not talk about her life pre-transition, don’t push the topic.

attractive trans woman looking seductively into the camera

Remember: You’re Not Unusual

Many men who identify as transamorous can believe that they are alone. However, as things progress for the LGBTQ+ community and society in general, more and more straight and cisgender men are ‘outing’ themselves as ‘trans-amorous’.

In this day and age, biological sex is becoming less a focus on our attraction, as more open and inclusive ideas and communities gain traction. Today, there exist a myriad of identities such as asexual, pansexual, transsexual, and so on that through older ideas out the window.

There are online forums for men who find transwomen attractive, where you can discuss your feeling with other guys in the same boat. It’s also okay to talk to a friend about it, as people become more tolerant and accepting and transphobia is becoming a thing of the past. 

Finding trans women attractive isn’t unusual or weird, as long as you are respectful of the person you are dating.

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FAQ for men who are attracted to trans women

Questions about trans experience and identity have been addressed from online forums to the Journal of Sex Research, where academics like Stephen Rosenthal, Alven Weinberg, and Jae Sevelius have contributed, and even by playwrights like Ramses Underhill-Smith. 

There are a mountain of questions and ideas revolving around the growing field of study around transgender individuals. However, there are also some everyday questions related to attraction and where it comes from that are frequently asked. 

Here, we’ll attempt to answer some of the most common questions: 

Is it normal for a guy to be attracted to non-op trans women but not men?

Yes, it is perfectly normal and is not grounds for you to completely throw away and idea of heterosexuality you may have. You may need to question whether you are bisexual or even homosexual, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t attracted to women and trans-women. 
There’s nothing wrong with finding the physical characteristics of a non-op trans woman to be attractive regardless of her genitalia, as you are attracted to her as a woman. Trans women transitioning can very much “pass” as women, which explains your attraction. 
The more important thing to focus on is whether you are attracted to them as a person or not. 

Why am I attracted to transgender women?

Your own sexual arousal or sexual desire for someone who is trans can stem from a variety of sources, originating naturally. Perhaps you find the combination of attractive male and female figures arousing, or just want to experiment. 
In either case, regardless of who your sexual partners are or will be, you shouldn’t feel any unnecessary shame about it. Sexuality and sexual orientation are on a spectrum, and the important point is that you simply are attracted to them and should be comfortable with it. 

Why is “shemale” so commonly used?

The term “shemale” is really one that only revolves around pornography and the sex trade. As a result, many people mistakenly assume that shemale is interchangeable with transexual or transgender. This is why you see “best shemale dating” services that offer “Shemale chat”. 
Anytime you see things like that or the “Shemale free dating” line, know that it is trying to capitalize on people who fetishize the sexual identity and even sometimes the ethnicity of trans people. 
As a result, there is a lot of people have a misunderstanding about transgender identity and of non-binary people, often sexualizing them entirely.