Gender and Sexual Scripts

I’ve recently been thinking about my history of sex with male-identified individuals with penises and trying to pin down my limits and hesitance when it comes to sex with such individuals in the future.  It may be irrelevant–after all, I don’t even have many cis-gendered male friends–but I am curious because for me it’s sort of a sexual black hole that’s scary to poke at.

The place that everything is coalescing around is related to sexual scripts.  This is true, in fact, both for sex with men and male-bodied individuals and for sex with women and female bodied individuals (and any combination).  My big thing is that I don’t want to have sex with someone who views our sex or our relationship as “straight” or “lesbian.”

As a genderqueer person, I can’t have “straight” or “lesbian” sex anymore.  And in my experience, the places where sex gets labeled in that way, and where I start to feel uncomfortable and viewed as “woman,” are the places where a sexual script starts rolling.

The straight sexual script is fairly well-known–foreplay, insert penis, sex, orgasm with variations including some oral sex in there somewhere, female orgasm, what have you.  The lesbian script is similar, if more egalitarian–mess around, get aroused, stimulation (often mutual), orgasms (sometimes multiple), sleep.

For me, sexual healing is a lot about removing these assumptions.  It’s about figuring out what kinds of stimulation I like and what kinds I don’t like.  It’s about being with partners that will ask what I like, and tell me what they like, without the sort of quiet assumption-filled sex I have experience with.  It’s not so much about gender, which I used to think it was.   As long as a partner <i>respects</I> the above and doesn’t make any assumptions–whether that’s about PIV sex, or the order of acts, or what constitutes a “sex act”–then I’m happy.

This post was originally published on the blog Sex Positive Activism, which has now merged to become the sex & relationships section of Queer & Now.

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