Married to a Transgender

There seem to be many confusing ideas about transgendered people and how they live their lives. While quite often they are assumed to be homosexual, differing positions actually hold a lot more truth. Some transgenders are married and in fact, have stayed married even through their transition. So how does it work? What is that dynamic like?

 

Well, it’s exactly as you would expect. Normal. A couple, where both or only one partner that is transgender, still run into the same difficulties as any other couple. Issues like miscommunications, trouble balancing a happy family life, finances, intimacy, growing apart, and the list goes on. However, for some couples the process of helping a spouse through a transition can be the hardest part, maybe even something that becomes detrimental to a marriage, but not all end this way. According to a recent survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, fifty five percent of people stay with their spouses or leave due to other issues in the relationship, while fourty-five percent leave the marriage solely because of their partner’s transgender identity.

 

Now, I understand that half and half still aren’t great odds, but isn’t that the same as the divorce rate in this country among heterosexual males and females? Just because the lines are sometimes blurred and hard to understand in regard to transgenderism, doesn’t mean that their marriages, pre or post transition, can’t be just as equally rewarding as anybody else’s.

Introducing Caitlyn

Introducing Caitlyn

catlynA couple months ago, Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner bravely interviewed with Diane Sawyer about his transition to becoming the real version of who he feels he is, a female. He eloquently put that he was simply, “becoming myself because I just can’t hide it anymore”. The rumors have been nonstop these past couple of months about his transitioning to a woman. And with that came the cruel comments, jokes, and blatant ignorance about transgenderism. For someone like Bruce and many others, this is not a joke. This is life and what they know to be right for them. As Jenner said, “I’m finally becoming me”.

 

Because transgenderism is on a platform for discussion now, it’s important to understand what exactly it means to be transgender and differentiate the common stereotypes versus the actual meaning. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that being a transgender is how a person feels, what they truly identify themselves as, regardless of the sexual characteristics they possess. Transgender does not necessarily mean that a person wishes to have the sexual organs of the gender they identify as, although some will choose to make a full transition. To others, it can be simply a spiritual thing, feeling more mentally and emotionally female while having the sexual organs and body type of a man.

 

According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) organization transgenderism refers to an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. A transsexual is a person who feels he or she is trapped in the body of the wrong gender. A cross-dresser, or transvestite, is a person who dresses in the clothing of the other gender and derives sexual pleasure from doing so. You’ll notice that these definitions are in fact, very different from one another. As in the Bruce Jenner interview, he explained it as such that, “in his heart and soul, he is a female, even though he was not genetically and physically born that way”. While there is much more depth to what it means to be transgender, it is important to understand the basics. As a tip, always ask someone what they prefer to be defined as. After all, it’s their choice, not yours.

 

Wishing you the best of luck as the REAL you, Caitlyn Jenner. May your story be a step in the right direction for helping those within the transgender community, as well as for those who might not quite understand.

How To Have GREAT Sex on Your Wedding Night!

How To Have GREAT Sex on Your Wedding Night!

Let’s be honest, there is a lot of pressure built up for sex on your wedding night. For those who have wedding nightwaited until marriage, or for those who haven’t waited but still value it as a way to official consummate the marriage, there is pressure. And of course, you imagine it being mind-blowing. It is your wedding night after all!

So, what’s the best way to have good sex on your wedding night?

Don’t!

It’s not because you shouldn’t be able to have fun together on the first night as a married couple. It’s because you will be physically and emotionally exhausted from all the planning and execution of one of the biggest moments in your life.

Nobody wants someone to start yawning right as a sexual moment starts to heat up.

That’s a definite way to put a damper on the night. Instead, I offer up an alternative; if you can, wait until morning. What better way to wake up to your new husband or wife than with some snuggling and sex.

If you do choose to have sex on the night of your wedding, regardless of what time you get to your hotel, here’s a few things to note. First of all, be sure to have lubricant on hand. Weddings tend to be a great excuse to get liquored up, which tends to dry out females causing more friction. For brides who were attempting to lose some pounds before the big day and took diet pills, lubricant will be essential as diet pills have the same effect of drying you out. Next, be sure to drink lots of water throughout the night, but especially before and after. Your body will most likely be depleted. Probably the most important thing to do is to get some rest! Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before, or even a nap during the day. And also, remember, to talk to each other. Weddings can tend to be more about the event, family, and friends than you two, with all the mingling you do. Therefore, be sure to connect again after the ceremony. It is about your day after all.

A few things to remember: It’s the first night for a lifetime and you will have plenty of time to have good nights full of sex, so leave the pressure of the “big” night at home.

Also, sex is a learned skill that can get better with time,

and if it doesn’t — go see a sex therapist (like me)!

Any issue can be worked on. Enjoy your wedding day and night, but taking care of yourself is most important! Don’t let sex on your wedding night start your marriage off on a possible rough patch. Instead, wake up for a pleasant surprise at the beginning of the rest of your lives!

 

Hope this Helps,

Natlie

The Sexual Journey Through Marriage

The Sexual Journey Through Marriage

Sex tends to be one of the first things to slowly fade in marriage, especially if and when children come along. It’s one of those roller coaster rides with constant highs and lows or in some cases, just lows. There are several different stages of sex within a marriage, phases we should be aware of and prepared for so that we realize a low doesn’t last forever.

The first phase of sex or any marriage is the honeymoon phase. The excitement, the passion, and the sex. It’s constant and free flowing, making you feel on top of the world and as alive as possible. This generally is known to last for about the first six months to a year. Once the year hits, its not that it gets so much less or worse, but rather you start to enter a more realistic phase of marriage. You really are starting to understand each other more now and probably know each other well, which can die down the mystery. You also start to balance priorities such as work, maybe start preparing for a family, and sex tends to fall into more of a habit, rather than a spontaneous act.

For couples that are starting a family, the next phase of sex will hit hard. Sex tends to nose-dive after the first child and marriage satisfaction will dip with this as well. With all the sleepless nights and new priorities, it is pretty understandable how sex can change. Especially for women with a change in hormones again after the baby being born and also, the changing back of her body. After about six months, the sex life will come back up a bit once more of a balance starts to take effect. After a second child, sex tends to plummet. This is harder and more difficult to recover from, but it is possible. Generally, about six months to a year with active work and participation on fixing it. This may be resolved by seeking help from a sex therapist or even a natural effort on both parties.

happy older cplAround this time, couples may start to use phases like “What’s happening to us?” or “I miss how we were in the beginning”. As life and marriage goes on, men and women have opposite reactions to sex. Women tend to show increasing sexual desires around age 40 (after children) and begin to relax back into a more subdued roll with any children, focusing more on themselves. The time after this period can be a stressful for some couples because health conflicts may start to arise. The best way to get through this while maintaining a healthy sexual life is with good communication.

Overall, sex will come and go depending on the life events that occur. With this, the best advice is to seek help when needed and communicate needs to each other. If couples can maintain good communication, sex can be great for a lifetime.

Hope this helps,

Natalie

@SexTherapistNat

You Waited. It SUCKED. What Now?

You Waited. It SUCKED. What Now?

The big argument against abstaining from sex before marriage has been as follows: what if the sex isn’t good and now you’re stuck with that person? While most people tend to engage in sex before marriage, others have different beliefs and prefer to abstain. Some of these people will have absolutely no issues with their sexual happiness in their marriage, and more power to them. But, there will be some who don’t. There will be those who chose to graciously wait for that special someone and then, the fairytale didn’t have a happy ending.

disappointed couple

Everyone looks for that “spark”, for the passion and undeniable chemistry of two people who are soulmates. The problem is that isn’t the truth about all relationships. Sure, it probably exists, but the reality is relationships and marriages have to be worked at, so the same can be said about sex. Sexual compatibility can be a difficult task to learn, but it can be done. If you waited to have sex before marriage and maybe the first couple times weren’t great, don’t worry too much. Sex can be a learned skill (& your local Atlanta Sex Therapist can help), and therefore you have to take the time to get to know each other’s bodies, wants, needs, and desires. There is also no shame in asking for a professional’s advice in this field. Our lives can’t always be like the movies.

 

Here are a few tips if you are in this scenario, take the time to communicate it to your partner (again, if you don’t know how find a sex counselor to help). It’s very likely he or she may be thinking something similar and you must tackle this issue together. Never point your finger or blame the other. Because one (or both) of you may be inexperienced, placing blame will only cause resentment, which is never good for marriage or for sex. Also, discovering what you like by yourself can help you decipher what you need from your partner. You can’t exactly communicate your wants to someone if you don’t even know yourself. Being sexual for the first time can be awkward and you may not be comfortable with yourself right away. Give it time and practice. There’s a reason they say practice makes perfect and trust me, this kind of practice could be fun!

 

Hope this helps,

 

Natalie

Sex Before versus After Marriage

There’s been an ongoing debate of whether sex before marriage is a helpful or potentially debilitating to marriage satisfaction. There have been countless studies in favor of the theory that sex before marriage is more likely to lead to divorce. There are also many studies on the negative effects of not having sex caucasion couplebefore marriage such as a lack of sexual compatibility, which is closely linked to happy, satisfied marriages. As research supports both sides, no objective answer can truly be determined. However, there are pros and cons to each side, which may help in guiding someone to their own decision on the matter.

For most Americans, it seems sex before marriage is somewhat necessary. Understanding and knowing the sexual compatibility you have with someone is important in carrying out a happy and fulfilling sex life. It helps you to learn the sexual desires and needs of another person, as well as your own needs you may be unaware of. And you can do so without time or pressure of being stuck in sexless marriage. It also can be a great means to connect more intimately with someone. It holds great importance in relationships, but can bring very harsh realities if it is unfulfilling. Therefore, as the saying goes, you should test-drive the car before you buy it. However, there is of course a downside. Having sex with previous partners can sometimes bring certain distrust or uncertainty to new relationships. We may be wearier due to our past experiences, which could ultimately lead to unforeseen differences in a marriage. Someone could also run the risk of bringing a child into the world without plan or preparation, which can also affect a marriage, regardless if the child is from a previous relationship or the present one.

On the other hand, for those who do wait for marriage and the sex is enjoyable, it can bring a new light to the relationship and marriage. It can bond the two closer, as the experience doesn’t lead to comparisons or learned reactions from previous experiences. Also, making a decision together to engage in sex is intentional and well thought out, which means the outcomes from it are prepared for as well. It’s always better to be intentional and prepared when dealing with any major decision. Nevertheless, the risk of lacking in sexual compatibility when abstaining from sex before marriage is extremely high. When we gain experience, we gain knowledge and confidence. We become more comfortable and can explore different levels of our own sexual happiness. With waiting comes inexperience and lack of knowing what one likes, which can be difficult to find out about yourself, especially if your spouse has also waited until marriage too.

Overall, there are sides to every story. The answer to this ongoing debate is subjective. There is no definitive answer on what works better because there have been plenty of successful marriages for those who had premarital sex and also for those who abstain from premarital sex. The choice becomes the one that works for you and your relationship. Making decisions both parties are comfortable with, not only with sex, but marriage, career, family and anything else that life offers you.

Fifty Shades of “How To”

As the dust settles from the world experiencing the “Fifty Shades of Grey” book series coming to life on the big screen, some may now be intrigued to give BDSM sex a try. While, it is great to be willing to explore a new avenue, you must understand that not all BDSM is handled or done the way it is described in the book. As a suggestion, if you and your partner are interested in beginning the process of bringing BDSM related sex into your life, consider meeting with a sex therapist first. Not only will you learn how to communicate properly with one another on the matter, but you also will learn proper techniques in a professional, safe setting.

With that being said, there are a few tips and tricks that may make integrating BDSM into your sex life a bit easier. First of all, communication is key, not just during, but beforehand as well. Therefore, BDSM should always be with someone you are truly comfortable with. The environment for BDSM must begin with feelings of safety, compassion, and mutual respect. Discussing boundaries is a must. There will be limits that you are unsure of – it is at your discretion whether to give such things a try or not, but be prepared for the outcome. BDSM is not always for everyone.

For beginners, start slow. There is no need to rush through any kind of sex you’re experiencing for the first time. Try to integrate some of your own BDSM fantasies first, but nothing too extreme. Explore ideas with your partner of what you both would like to try and take it one adventure at a time. You may be tempted to try more high-intensity or stronger sensations right away, but build up to it. There will be plenty of time for that. To keep it simple for your first time, try using a blindfold and take turns using it. It’s a good way to build trust first without to many other toys or sensations being involved.

Most importantly, remember to relax and have fun exploring this new aspect of your sexuality!

Fifty Shades of Control

In the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, the specific type of BDSM that is used is dominant and submissive. This is generally the most common image people have when they think about BDSM, but “Fifty Shades of Grey” only gives us the perspective of the submissive, not the dominant. There is a great amount of control for the person in the dominant position and therefore, a great amount of responsibility. Learning how to control yourself while in a dominant position for BDSM is utterly important. Anyone who has issues with self-control or using control tactics in the bedroom is encouraged to seek help from a sex therapist, either alone or with your partner. It is extremely easy to lose yourself while engaging in activities that create high sensations of pleasure and power at the same time. Not only are you controlling someone else’s pleasure, but you are also maintaining power over them and that must be handled with care.

For those who wish to take on the dominant role, there are a couple of things to remember about the control. You must never bring reality into BDSM, meaning you cannot “punish” your submissive for something that happened in day-to-day life. BDSM should always feel like a safe experience and bringing outside frustrations can turn it horribly wrong. It is smartest to only practice BDSM when in a positive mood, so you can maintain a proper sense of control. Also, listen to your partner and check in with them on their comfort level. Part of being in control is making sure the other person still feels in control of his or her own willingness. So keep your eyes and ears open to them and be sure not to get too lost in the moment.

For those who wish to take on the submissive role, you are willingly giving up control, which can make you feel vulnerable. Remember that part of BDSM is role-play and you should never force yourself to continue on with it if it doesn’t feel right. Part of the pleasure for you is releasing the control, but your partner should always make you feel like you can stop at any point. Also, a therapist’s help may be needed if you are having difficulty giving up control in a sexual setting, even when you want to release it.

Remember, those who hold control hold a sense of power and you must never abuse that. Control yourself first and foremost, whichever role you are taking on.

Fifty Shades of Wrong

Fifty Shades of Wrong

books picWhile the sexual scenes depicted in “Fifty Shades of Grey” may seem enticing, they miss the mark on a few key concepts that must be taken place when practicing or trying any kind of BDSM act. Maybe you’ve experienced a time where sexual adventuring turned sour or didn’t go the exact way you planned. Maybe someone was hurt, misunderstood, or didn’t enjoy the actions being taken. At times, these can turn into traumas, making us nervous, anxious, or fearful of our current partner, future partner, or sex altogether. Even with such things as safe words in place, someone may forget to use one or may get caught up in a moment without realizing one was said. It’s not to say that during this moment of dislike your partner had the intention or want of making you feel this way, but it happened, and now what are you supposed to do?

Recovering from BDSM going poorly can be more difficult than you’d expect. Partially why “Fifty Shades of Grey” misses the mark is due to the fact that the female lead constantly plays a submissive role when practicing BDSM and in reality. And not to mention, Christian Grey’s deliberate neglect for her saying “NO!” in one particular sex scene. Even if you are taking on a submissive role, you should never feel as though you cannot speak up when something isn’t working for you and that you will not be heard. If BDSM is done correctly, you absolutely will be heard. They also constantly express her incredible pleasure with every single act Christian Grey does (even those she was initially uncomfortable with). In reality, this is hardly the case. There is truth behind the saying, “you’ll never know unless you try”, but with that comes the risk that you might not like it, not even a little bit.

While there are guidelines to practicing BDSM safely, it isn’t always laid out in contract form. In order to prevent any trauma from happening, each person must inform themselves of proper techniques and thoroughly discuss boundaries. If some form of trauma occurs, don’t be afraid to discuss it openly with your partner and/or seek a therapist’s guidance to help you overcome it, as a couple or as an individual. It only takes one small step forward to begin moving on from the trauma and finding the fifty shades of doing it right.

Fifty Shades of Nothing

Fifty Shades of Nothing

There has been an extreme amount of hype in the media in regard to the franchise “Fifty Shades of Grey”. It is all the rage, being constantly discussed at every turn and with that comes this undertone thought of the whole world now engaging in sex. So, wait a minute, why aren’t you? The answer is simple. The media often dictates what we discuss and lately, the BDSM-related sexual love story has been at the top of their list. To be honest, it is a bit refreshing to see a different avenue of sexuality openly discussed for once. However, as it has been said before, you can’t believe everything you hear, or read for that matter.

The idea of everyone having sex because of one book and one fantasy is a bit far fetched. But it’s hard to grey standingthink otherwise with the media constantly plaguing you with anything contrary to that belief. The media is great at building pressure, as well as expectations, on people for what their lives should be like. The problem is “Fifty Shades of Grey” only focuses on one aspect of sexuality and the media has glorified it into the sex you “need” to be having. To be clear, not every person wants the storyline of his or her sex life to be exactly like the movie and you don’t “need” to be having this specific type of sex.

It’s important to remember that the idea behind the “Fifty Shades” franchise is about fulfilling a fantasy, specifically only one small sliver of a specific type of fantasy. It comes more from a place of exploration and curiosity, rather than a definitive statement of how sex should be. There may be those of you who feel pressured, or even isolated, because sex isn’t on the forefront of your life – know that you aren’t the only one. Just because everyone is talking about it, doesn’t mean everyone is actually doing it.