Relationships for HSTS: A Survivors Guide

When I first transitioned over 32 years ago in my early 20’s and in a major metropolitan city in the UK, where there were a small but reasonable number of homosexual transsexuals even back then, I wondered if I would ever have the relationship, the home and husband I so desired. The future was an unknown and a main source of concern for my parent’s was what kind of future I could expect as a transsexual. I am thankful to report that at the time of writing I have been with my husband for 27 very happy years and lots of people (not just those who are transsexual) ask me how we have endured when so many others in our peer group’s relationships have ended in divorce.

This article which I hope will serve as some guidance is a collection of my thoughts and observations gleaned from the experience of my own life and relationship with my husband and the relationships of the people I have encountered in life, both HSTS women and natal women. The two are really not that different from each other.

Target Awareness

There are many men who are willing to form relationships with HSTS and there is a good deal of misunderstanding about them, both on the part of other men in society but also by the transsexuals who do or would date and form relationships with them.

We are not for these purposes referring to “Chasers” as they are called by trans women. Chasers will usually date both Autogynephilic transsexuals and HSTS alike as they are specifically attracted to pre-operative trans women, but should be avoided at all costs if you are HSTS. Chasers are men who are fixated on transwomen and are not interested in the woman herself only the body parts!

So many of these men, though not all, will only see you on their terms, secretly and without ever introducing you into his social life or wider peer group. These men have no interest in a serious relationship and are simply using you for their own sexual gratification.

Take my advice and don’t be a doormat, it will not last and these men are interested in only attractive youthful transgirls and youth has a shelf life! Time is your most precious asset, don’t waste it on anything or anyone who is bad for you or sees you as something to be hidden away.

Understanding Behaviour Profiles

There are, though, otherwise heterosexual or bisexual men who are willing to consider and form relationships with HSTS. The misunderstandings referred to in this article can and do often lead to many HSTS having difficulty in forming and maintaining long term relationships with these men and knowing about these misunderstandings and keeping them foremost in your mind can help you avoid them.

HSTS bring two sets of problems to the issue of relationships, one set is obvious: being transsexual we have a unique set of physical and mental obstacles which natal women don’t present. In addition we also have and exhibit so many of the same behavioural and interpersonal difficulties that natal women do in relationships with men (seriously it’s a wonder the species ever survived). We may be genetically male but we are not men and we don’t think like them, though because of our histories we often have a distinct advantage in navigating this second area because we were socialised with boys and so while we don’t experience the same issues as men we understand why it is that they do.

It has been some years since I had personal contact with other HSTS but I used to know a few HSTS women who had stable relationships with their male partners and many more who’s relationships were so often transient and who seemed unable select a suitable long term partner or maintain what appeared to others to be a perfectly viable relationship with a good man. I have also had many more non-trans friends who’s marriages and relationships have sadly failed for the same reasons as set out in this article and so often the reasons are clearly identifiable to the outside observer and could have been so easily remedied.

Bad Timing

Transition is a difficult time and sadly relationships which start mid transition are often doomed to fail. As are same sex relationships which existed before a decision was made to transition by one party. Gay men do not want women, trans or otherwise, so if you are in a gay relationship and decide to transition it will not survive.

Any new relationship is difficult enough when it turns long term and the reality of forming a partnership and moulding all of the financial liabilities associated with it in Western society begin to be realised. Add to this the emotional upheaval and fallout a HSTS experiences from starting a new life, difficulties with other family relationships and the financial burdens of transition itself and it is a wonder any such relationships ever succeed. However it is not unheard of.

Once a HSTS has reached a stable point in their transition, their thoughts inevitable turn to dating men as the new girl and I have experienced and witnessed some of the difficulties that ensue. A lot of HSTS, myself included, have experience of dating men, usually gay men prior to their transition but this is very different to dating straight men who perceive you to be female.

While I myself was always quite demure, my husband told me when he first witnessed other young HSTS friends of mine that the overt public displays of sexuality they made towards men, which are common among gay men, are very unnerving to a straight man especially when they are coming from a woman and it is certainly not the behaviour they would typically expect of a female. The rules of engagement with men have to be rethought, which can be difficult for some HSTS to pick up on as most of us were never socialised as girls. If you have an active history within gay dating pre transition be prepared for a shock once you are presenting full time as a woman.

Some of the girls I used to know threw themselves headlong into dating; “making up for lost time” dating a different man (men) every week. This is all well and good when you are young and feel you have plenty of time but don’t linger too long in this hedonistic revelry. We may not have the same biological clock as natal women but we experience the same disadvantages with ageing and attracting straight men as they do. “The Wall” is real.

Realistic Expectations

We all have the notion of an ideal partner in our heads but so often this is a complete fantasy and totally unrealistic. You need only listen to MGTOW videos on the internet to hear the unrealistic list of expectations they claim women display towards men and the damage this does to their chances of finding lasting and fulfilling relationships.

Transsexual women are no different; we all dream of having that 6’4” athletic, strong, handsome and successful or sometimes slightly dangerous man sweep us off our feet, but that is all it is, a fantasy! Everybody, including men, come with flaws and limitations which have to be balanced with their good points and accepted by their partners if a relationship is to survive.

I have witnessed women both trans and natal to their continued detriment, chose time and time again typical “bad boys” because they are exciting and these women thinking they can change them. Trust me you can’t! These men won’t change for natal women who have their children and they certainly won’t change for you. A man with a criminal history will most likely continue that way and your life will forever be in a state of uncertainty. My advice is no matter how cute they may be, stay away from these men.

Men’s overt masculinity, activities and risk taking propensity is driven by increased or high levels of testosterone. These men so often do not make good long term partners and there is a fair body of evidence that excessive levels of testosterone actually inhibits pair bonding in human males. See Human Male Testosterone and Pair Bonding. Gray et al Chapter 12 Click Here

What to Look For

The vast majority of men in the world are of average attractiveness and have stable financial lives and while they are completely masculine they have been raised to be respectful and protective of women. Learn to recognise these qualities in men, do not dismiss them as being “too nice” these men are the keepers!

Don’t be afraid to widen your demographic either. Dating slightly older men has many advantages especially if he has already farthered children in a previous marriage as this will go some way to avoiding his own wish for biological offspring interfering with your relationship.

Pair Bonding in relationships

Clearly HSTS are not going to be able to provide offspring and this can be a disadvantage in forming such bonds but pair bonding in humans is directly linked to reward reinforcement and dopamine release and other hormonal factors and not just to obligation such as fatherhood. This is not as simple as just having sex with a partner, though that is clearly a part of the pair bond reinforcement dynamic. Dopamine is released whenever we experience any sensation which we enjoy. So ensuring that your behaviours elicit happy responses in your partner and do not cause him to experience relationship anxiety is key to establishing a lasting pair bond. Too much negativity will offset any reward he may experience early in a relationship and tip the balance against him forming a bond with you.

This means you need keep things like irrational behaviour, tantrums and jealousy firmly locked away. If you keep accusing him of sleeping with your room-mate chances are he will eventually do it as men have little patience for continued false accusations! Also do not bombard him with trans related stuff, don’t take him to support groups or lectures on transsexuality, learn to keep that side of your life separate. Trust me they may be understanding of your condition but they don’t want to live it 24/7 for long.

But most of all keep the negativity to a minimum.

What Men Want

As a HSTS, depending on the age you transitioned (pre-adolescents won’t have this) you should have had sufficient exposure to males growing up to form a reasonable understanding of what “makes men tick” and what they value in women. Rod calls this “The Boy Box” You won’t have experienced these desires yourself but you may well as can I, recall males recounting to each other what they valued about their relationships with women. It is not all about the way they look, contrary to what many women believe. They also adore women who are feminine and who accept their partner’s masculinity and don’t seek to criticise or curtail their man’s natural behaviours. Men often need other men as friends (male bonding) and women very often fail to appreciate this and the role it plays in a man’s mental well-being. Women who try to cut their husband’s friends out of his life usually have very unhappy husbands and strained relationships.

Men are not at all complicated when it comes to relationships. The sex thing is obvious (more about that later), but they expect attention from their partner in equal measure to that which they supply (it’s not all about you). They loath drama and in my experience they highly value women who embrace traditional female roles and behavioural traits. They are not really interested, except at a cursory level in beauty queens who spend every waking hour preening themselves, but they are attracted women who reflect the values the historic significant female relatives (mother, grandmother, aunt) in their lives exhibited. That does not mean you have to be a “meek little house wife”, confident men will relish the success of their wives careers so long as it does not come at the expense of their relationship’s quality.

The point is men seeking lasting relationships are not looking for Divas or sex bomb superstars, any sane man is looking for stable partner who is willing to reflect and compliment his perceived societal role, where he doesn’t feel taken advantage of or de-masculinised.

Sex

If I and other HSTS I have known are anything to go by when it comes to sexual appetite, then for the men who date us it is like all their Christmases have come at once at the beginning of a relationship. We so often it seems have elevated sex drives in comparison to most natal women. We are usually much more adventurous in bed as we were not subject to female socialisation. Nobody ever taught me or reinforced the concept that “Nice Girls Don’t”. Clearly though, this cannot continue indefinitely; things calm down as relationships develop and age and unless your partner is young he is soon going to be exhausted.

As many non-trans relationships mature sex or lack thereof is often an obstacle to the health of the relationship. So many times I have heard women complain that sex with their husbands has become routine and unsatisfactory. This leads to women going off sex when their husbands desire it and to tensions which, would make otherwise trivial issues become major points of contention and the relationships end up breaking down. So many times this is wholly due to a lack of communication about sex between men and women and unrealistic expectations on the part of women.

Back into the “Boy Box”! Contrary to what many women seem to expect, we HSTS know that men are not mind readers! Ladies he does not know what you are thinking or what you want any more than you know what he is thinking or wants. Tell him, you will be surprised how happy he is to finally know.
HSTS are not totally immune to this, they equally with natal women, can become disenchanted with their sex lives. This cooling of the sexual component can be an inevitable symptom of long term relationships with men who still love and cherish their wives. Loving and sensual sex can be the backbone of a stable relationship and is enjoyable most of the time and reinforces the pair bond.

However, men in long term relationships can very easily fall into the Madonna and Whore Syndrome trap, where they begin to see their wives as somehow pure and detached from raw sexual desire. Women relish tender caring sex but not as a continuous sexual diet and so many, as time passes, lament the lack of passion in their relationships. Of the many divorced couples I have known this has been the main cause of the beginning of their relationship’s failure. Women become unreceptive to sex because it has become perfunctory or routine, men denied sex in the relationship seek it elsewhere.

Men will not change this mind set on their own and need to be left in no uncertain terms that the Madonna is on vacation and that it is the Whore who requires his services tonight. TELL HIM and be delicate about it so as not to seem like you blame him. Seriously, if you cannot talk to your partner openly about your desires the relationship is doomed!

Conclusion

It was not my intention when writing this article to come off as an agony aunt. I have witnessed, read and listened to so many accounts of women complaining about being unable to find decent men, when in reality they are all around them and I have seen HSTS make these same mistakes. I have seen women discard perfectly good men and then instantly regret it. Hopefully knowing of some of these obstacles will help you avoid them.