Good, Giving and Game
Sex can be wonderful and amazing. Or it can be intimidating and unfulfilling. The key difference, in our opinions, comes down to communication. We reached out to Bridge Taylor-Zink and her husband, Kris Taylor-Zink—an Albuquerque queer couple who recently appeared in a photographic series on The Huffington Post about their experience with gender transitioning—to get their advice on how to move past fears and into a fulfilling, caring relationship in the bedroom.
We are queer couple. I am a dyke-butch, and my husband is a transman (female-to-male). When we originally met, we were both presenting as semi-femme-ish lesbians with secret presentation agendas. I wanted some “accessories” from Self Serve and to trash all of my feminine clothing. Kris, my husband, secretly wanted to continue pursuing his FTM transition. We were newly in love, broken from lovers’ wars and hungry for something real.
Sometimes I am his lady, and sometimes I am his boyfriend. We are just two bodies, two people exploring each other and practicing being better lovers.
The reasons why we both hid our desired presentations stemmed from unfortunate events in our lives, but that changed when we took a chance with bravery and opened up a dialogue during sex. Perhaps it was the fact that when we met, we were both too tired for inhibitions, but the important thing for both of us was that we left gender roles and expectations at the door of our bedroom. Now we share the top and the bottom roles, take turns and share control. We allow lots of fun gender role play. Sometimes I am his lady, and sometimes I am his boyfriend. We are just two bodies, two people exploring each other and practicing being better lovers.
In our bed we encourage one another to do what feels exciting and fiery in the moment. It is incredibly sexy to hear things from your partner like, “How does that feel? What turns you on? What else do you want to try, and what can I do for you?”
During the beginning of Kris’ transition, he had some dysphoria about his female-born body as many trans people experience. I wanted to be gentle with him, so I learned to ask him questions about his body and be conscious of how I put my body on him. I had insecurities too, and Kris made a point to help me feel confident. If we were both binding our chests and keeping our shirts on or if we were completely nude and vulnerable, we kept one another safe in those moments with verbal encouragement. Our bedroom became a safe place.
In our bed we encourage one another to do what feels exciting and fiery in the moment. It is incredibly sexy to hear things from your partner like, “How does that feel? What turns you on? What else do you want to try, and what can I do for you?” Dan Savage of the Savage Lovecast is our hero. He says that lovers should be “good, giving and game.” We try and live by that and it has turned into the code of our bedroom.
Do you know that feeling after a one-night stand that went phenomenally? How about making love to somebody you have lusted after for a long time? There is a kind of sensational, confident, stupid-cheesy energy that is produced as a high. We still manage to do that for each other. We have high-fived and wept after sensational orgasms. Sex now allows both of us to feel empowered and in control of our own bodies. We have found that by being respectful and giving lovers, we have created a sense of pride for our own sexual and gender identities. We learned to own who we are, and that has transferred to the rest our world. It is what works for us. We fell in love with ourselves while we made love to each other.
I think no matter what kind of lover you might be, however vanilla or kinky, whatever your sexual or gender preference, try things out, and ask the same of your lovers. Find lovers who are gentle or rough or wild or tender, and make sure you tell them what your body likes. Take chances, be safe and be brave. Know when it is great, and know when to walk away. You are allowed to ask for what turns you on because sex is a gift—enjoy it.