Q: What are some important things to consider or be aware of when approaching sex with a transgender person?
A: Having a sexual relationship with a trans person is really not that different from having one with a cisgender (non-transgender) person. The key is to communicate your own sexual needs and to be receptive to their needs as well. A trans person is someone who has clearly thought a lot about their body, their gender roles, and (hopefully) what satisfies them sexually. So, I suggest just asking them about it.
Some trans people like to play a predominantly masculine or feminine role in the bedroom, most often coinciding with their gender identity. This can be related or unrelated to the sexual organs of their body. But, you don't want to assume that a trans woman would want to play a wholly feminine role in the bedroom or vice versa. For example, there are many pre-op, trans men who enjoy having their vagina penetrated during sex. There are also many trans people who engage in both "masculine" and "feminine" behaviors when having sex. So, try not to enter the sexual relationship with any preconceived notions about how "trans people like to have sex." Get to know the individual trans person you're with and form a unique sexual relationship that satisfies both of you.
Cosmopolitan did a great two-part series on things to know when dating a trans woman or man. You may want to check it out...
12 things you should know before dating a transgender guy
14 things you should know before dating a trans girl
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.