Puberty's Second Coming

February 18 7 min read

At the end of my last relationship - more than a year ago - these thoughts ran through my head: who would love me now? Who would desire me? What would become of this nonbinary trans person on T? Would they really want me or would they just fetishize me? When we transition we lose privileges, and many of us lose access to something as basic as romantic love. Yes, they want to fuck us, but do they want to love us? Honestly, it terrified me, it was the first time I was single living out of the trans closet.

During this physical and psychosocial restructuring - in the midst of the growing body hair and muscles, a deepening of the voice, sudden clitoral erections, stopping menstruating and the confusion of trying to understand myself. I was being ripped through puberty for a second time, going through all the things that should have happened to me at sixteen, at twenty-three. My gender role was changing, and parents no longer let me sleepover at their daughter’s houses.

I was always presumed to be a “lesbian”, because I was a “masculine woman” when actually I’ve always identified as bisexual - with a preference for women and non-binary people (who have the common characteristic of a vulva, not for any real reason). The funny thing is, this all changed since I began testosterone and my attraction to cis men increased (a common secondary effect some trans guys also experience). In the end, if I had to define my bisexuality now, I would say my experience is closer to being a bisexual with a preference for people more femme than me regardless of gender.

So, I found myself thinking: If my sexual desire had increased and expanded its limits, had I stopped being demisexual too? It was not only that I was transitioning between genders and discovering new social expectations, my processes of arousal and attraction had completely changed, as well as the dynamics of courtship... perhaps it was time to explore if that label also didn't fit anymore. After all, not every day or every person experiences a restructuring of their gender, identity, orientation and social reading at twenty-three.

Spoiler: it was a mess.

For those who don’t know: a demisexual is “a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond. Most demisexuals feel sexual attraction rarely compared to the general population, and some have little to no interest in sexual activity.” according to the demisexuality resource centre. When I was younger I had no interest in sex at all, even when I did date people (rarely) I just wanted to hug and hold hands, since being approached for sex just made me numb. With my first girlfriend at eighteen, we dated for almost a year and a half without having sex and I didn’t even think about it. Also, what seemed strange to me the most was that I was not capable of fantasizing about people, sorry Harry Styles but I just didn’t have crushes. When I did have my first sexual encounter though, I understood that I do in fact like sex, but I definitely did not experience sexual desire in the same way as other people.

The first time I had sex with someone after puberty, the second coming, I concluded I was definitely no longer demisexual; I felt so comfortable in my body and came so easy that I didn't even care that the person I was fucking with misgendered me. It was the first time someone I was about to fuck didn’t know I was trans and the first time I had to explain it. At first, they assumed I was a cis man, then that I was a trans woman and after we had both came - that they “loved having sex with girls.”  What they meant was they loved having sex with AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) people. I think they were pretty confused so I let it pass. We saw each other several times, each one better than the last.

The second time I hooked up with someone it didn't go so well. She was my friend, so definitely wouldn’t misgender me but it was the first time I didn't want to take my shirt off due to my dysphoria. At some point, both of us ended up very anxious about our sexual encounter, as past trauma had reared its head for both of us. The good thing? It happened to us together, and we hugged and nurtured ourselves. She hugged me until I stopped crying, and I did the same for her when she was triggered, all while listening to Here Comes a Thought by Steven Universe. It was beautiful and sad and healing. That day I asked myself: could it be that I am exceeding my limits?

Then quarantine started and for a few months I flirted with people online but it didn't even get to sexting... At the beginning of the pandemic dating apps and social media were the only ways to meet people, but they have been a difficult place for me. A lot of discrimination and gender stereotypes are reproduced on dating apps: women look for masculine men and men look for men…with a penis. Grindr is a strange place when you are new to it (and in the world of gay men in general) and not used to the dynamics operating there; being called a "twink", being asked if I am a top or a bottom, bottom shame, transphobia, the rejection of female bodies, are all dynamics I’ve found violent. So, apps remained nothing more than a curiosity.

Then, without planning it, I went for dinner with someone I didn't expect to have sex with… and suddenly we were having sex. I told her I was a demisexual and worried she would think I was lying because we had sex on the first date. To tell you the truth, the sex was great and didn't give me an ounce of anxiety. She was the second person I didn't have anxiety with. What had changed? Could you be demisexual with exceptions? Can demisexuals be fluid?

The last time I attempted to have sex it was all chaos. I felt fetishized, alone, not seen. And it became clear to me I was indeed exceeding my limits, in the worst way.  In my keenness to explore I had neglected to pay attention to the red flags that, by this point, were billowing wildly at half-mast. I had put myself in situations I didn’t want to be in at all and all my fears accumulated in the form of this last person. Nothing physically harmful happened but let’s just say it felt wrong and took a real toll on my budding confidence. Even though they did eventually reach out and apologise, it just wasn’t ok.

Although I managed to have satisfactory sexual encounters with new partners without them ending in tears and feeling like I was gonna die - I discovered I could sometimes have sex with people who were not necessarily my friends or with whom I don’t share an emotional bond, and also that... for me a lot of communication, care and tenderness was always important. So I still identify as demisexual but part of me still wonders if I may not be and I just wasn’t interested in sex at all because of my dysphoria, I guess now it's my job to find out. I don’t know many other demisexual people so I guess it's different for everyone.

I have felt more like a little boy discovering his body than anything else, hence my reference to Big Mouth. And I think it's very funny that just a few weeks ago my best friend told me I should start watching the series because he was sure I was going to relate to it since I was in eternal puberty. And it's true, the first two chapters made me laugh like never before because I could identify with both things: being the pubert who has involuntary erections in places that he should not have them because of testosterone, but I was also the angry and troubled teenager who got her period and felt scared and confused and sad. It is wonderful to be able to recognize myself in both stories, and yet being able to write my own stories too.

A great thing about transitioning as an adult is that I am more aware of my processes, and I can pay more attention to the little changes I go through and I can take better care of myself. I can't imagine how hard it would have been being a horny teenager who doesn't know what to do with his body and has zero sexual information. I'm happy with how things turned out to be right in the moments that happened in my life. And, at the end of the day: I'm still rebuilding myself, a journey that will take all my life; and 2020 turned out to be more interesting and rewarding than I thought.

Amelio Robles
« Amelio Robles is named after a Mexican transgender colonel who participated in the Mexican Revolution. Amelio is convinced that he is his great-grandson and would like more people to know about his great-grandfather » All posts →