I am about to make a brash and possibly offensive blanket statement: no one is happy with the way they look. I for one will be the first one to put myself out there and admit it. I do not like my body, and there was a time when the thought of being naked with another human being, of said human being touching me would literally make me cringe. Dysphoria is, literally speaking, a state of unease or dissatisfaction with yourself, your life, and in many cases, your body. If you have ever avoided eye contact with a mirror, pushed and prodded at parts of yourself hoping they would simply disappear, or hidden yourself under oversized clothing, then listen up, because I am talking to you now.
As I mentioned, I do not like my body. However, being cis-gendered, I am happy with my gender. I am a woman, and my body reflects that. I am extremely lucky in this sense, as it is a luxury that many in the GFB community do not have. In the past, during sex I never wanted to be touched on my stomach, my sides, anywhere that I felt there was ‘too much’ of me. It caused me to push partners away, often physically because my anxiety about my body was too high.
This is something that those in the trans* community live with on a daily basis, not just in a sexual context. Sex with your partner should always be a safe, comfortable, and loving experience, and if it is not then you need to open a dialogue of communication until it is such an experience for both of you. If you are a cis-gendered person, you may not understand just how dysphoric your partner is, especially if it is not a conversation you have ever had. So… have it. Ask the questions, get the answers (and the consent), and touch them how and where they are comfortable. Communication is so vital in these situations because sometimes, your partner telling you what they want may just be too scary for them to be able to voice to you. So make sure you ask. If your partner is a trans*man, his chest is most likely a spot on his body he is not the most comfortable with – and that is just what it is – his chest, not his breasts (boobs, tits, choose your poison). Refer to this as his chest; just as you would refer to his genitals in the male form (dick, hard, what have you) as mentally, that is what he is equipped with.
The most important thing with respecting your partners body or gender dysphoria is that sex is never ordinary or routine. It is different for every relationship, for every two people. Just because something was okay with one person you were with does not mean it will be okay with another, so please, I am begging you… make sure you ask. Plus, let’s face it – consent is fucking sexy.