In New Terrific Erotic Romance
“We all have to make decisions about what we disclose to partners or potential partners and when we disclose it,” says Alice Dreger, an historian of medicine and science, sex researcher and author.
Dreger, for readers who might not be familiar with her, is the founding board chair of the Intersex Society of North America and the author of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice. Intersex, for readers who may not be familiar with the word, is an umbrella term covering dozens of different inborn conditions.
“They all involve someone having something other than the standard male or standard female body as those that are defined by doctors,” explains Dreger. “There are lots of different ways to be intersex, including some so subtle that you might never even know you had that particular variation of development.”
So that chill hetero boy you’re thinking about disclosing your intersex-ness to, INTER? He could be intersex himself and not know it. But you do know it, and does “knowing it” obligate you to disclose?
“Lying is a bad idea, of course, but she’s not lying by presenting herself as a woman and identifying as a woman,” said Dreger. “She is a woman, just one whose body came with some parts that aren’t common to most women, or maybe lacking some parts that are common to most women (depending on her particular intersex condition).”
Dreger suggests making a mental list of the things a long-term partner might want, need or a have a right to know about your history and your body.
“For example,” says Dreger, “if this chill hetero guy talks about wanting kids someday, and the letter-writer is infertile, she might want to mention sooner rather than later that she was born with a condition that left her infertile. Do her genitals look or work differently than he might be expecting? If so, she might think about when it would be best to give him some guidance about how her body is a little different and what works best for her.”
Each of us has to balance our partner’s legitimate right to certain information, INTER, with our right to medical privacy as well as our physical and emotional safety.
“There’s no reason for her to feel like she has to announce, ‘I’m an intersex woman.’ She could opt to say, at some point, ‘I was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia,’ or ‘I was born with androgen insensitivity syndrome,’ or whatever her specific condition might be, and then answer his questions,” says Dreger. “If the label ‘intersex’ were part of her core identity — a critical part of who she feels she is — then she might want to tell him early on, just as someone might talk about her ethnicity, if that’s really important to her. But otherwise, she can [disclose] just like non-intersex people do with regard to fertility, sexual health, sexual sensation, sexual preferences and sexual function — at a pace and in a way that promotes a good relationship and makes you feel honest and understood.”
My husband looks at porn … porn of women with a body type almost the polar opposite of mine… Example: big boobs and tattoos … Does that mean he’s no longer attracted to my body? I’m so confused … He says I’m hot and sexy, but what he looks at does NOT make me feel that way.
Personally Offended Regarding Nudes
Is it possible your partner is attracted to … more than one body type? Example: Your body type and its polar opposite?
And if your partner were looking at porn that featured women with your exact body type … would you feel affirmed? Or would you be writing to ask me why your husband looks at porn of women with your exact body type when he can look at you? And is your husband sharing his porn with you … or are you combing through his browser history? Either way, PORN, if looking at what he’s looking at makes you sad … maybe you should stop looking at what he’s looking at? And if he’s not neglecting you sexually … if he isn’t just saying he finds you hot and sexy but showing you he does … why waste time policing his fantasies?
People enjoy what they have and fantasize about what they don’t. So long as we don’t take what we have for granted … it’s not a problem … unless we decide to make it one.
My partner and I got married last weekend. For his vows, he wrote a hilarious, wonderful song. (He’s a professional singer in Los Angeles, so the song was pretty spectacular.) I’m a Femme Dom who loves ropes, while he’s pretty vanilla. Despite that, we’ve had a dynamite sex life for the last eight years, in part because he’s so GGG. Early on, I got him to start reading your column, and that concept made a huge impression on him. Here’s the verse from his song/vows that you inspired: “Now next I should obey you / But that one’s a little tricky / I’m what you call ‘vanilla’ / And on top of that I’m picky / Instead of blind obedience / I hope it’s understood / I promise to continue / Being giving, game and good!” Thanks for all you do!
Beloved Revels In Dan’s Love Education
Congrats on your wedding, BRIDLE, and thanks for a lovely note — one that will give hope to kink-discordant couples everywhere. Perfect fits, sexually speaking, are rare. But whip a little GGG into the mix, and that imperfect fit can become a perfect match!
On the Lovecast, Dan chats with the directors of the movie Tickled: savagelovecast.com.