Lindsay wrote: “Hi Liz! A bit of background may be required here because it’s a bit complicated. To start off, I’m a bisexual non-op trans woman (male to female), meaning I still have a penis and plan on keeping it, and my current girlfriend is cis (non-trans). Our relationship was going great until unfortunately, I did something extremely stupid and got in trouble with the law. Pretty soon, I have to spend four months in jail and thought I had pretty much blown our relationship, but recently, we talked it out and she said she’s committed to wait for me and stay with me while I’m in. I thought it was incredibly sweet until she sort of hinted that one of the main reasons was because she enjoyed sex with me because of the fact I’m a woman with a penis and she knows she can’t get that from, well…just “anyone”. Should I take this as a sign that she’s mostly into me for the sex and my genitals? She’s been extremely considerate and caring to me ever since we started dating, but I’m a little taken back by the thought that she might not wait for me to get out of jail if it wasn’t for the fact I’m a trans woman with a penis. Is my judgement just being clouded because I’m stressing out about my already crappy situation? Thanks Liz!”
Liz says: I understand your concern, you’re unique in a way that straight, cis people sometimes fetishize. Like Asian women, you express worry that someone is only with you because they fetishize you, not because they see you as a whole person and genuinely love everything about you. A lot of people have similar concerns while dating. For example, wealthy people have to worry about gold diggers.
In your case, you mention she has been “extremely considerate and caring” since the beginning, so I suspect she is not with you only because of your non-op trans status. I can see how she might have thought it would only be well-received to highlight to you that your transgenderism is one of the things she loves about you, not considering how it sounds. Kind of like when someone emphasizes other unique attributes as to why they find their mate irreplaceable (“Of course I’m going to wait for you, where else am I going to find someone with a thick Irish accent and who goes down on me every time I ask?”)
Have you ever asked her if she would stay with you if you changed your mind about keeping your penis? That might or might not be a deal breaker for her, neither of which is necessarily a bad thing, but it might be the conversation you need to have given your concern.
But keep in mind, you did say your girlfriend said sex with you was “one of the main reasons”, not the main reason for waiting for you.