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Plain Vanilla (2005)

Plain Vanilla (2005)

©2005, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2005, Fall). A word from the editor: Plain vanilla. Transgender Tapestry, 109, p. 5.






Plain Vanilla

By Dallas Denny


I was in the car with my new friend P., driving back to Atlanta after a visit to the Tennessee Vals group. P., newly single again, was wrestling with her newfound fascination with B&D lifestyles. “I’m not sure if I’m a top of a bottom,” she said. “Maybe I’m a switch. What are you?”

“Neither,” I said.

“Oh, come on!” she persisted. “You’re bound to be one or the other.”

“No,” I said. “I have no interest in dominating someone else…”

Yes you do!”

“…and I certainly don’t want anyone having power over me. It’s not that I think B&D is bad. I have friends in the lifestyle, and it’s fine by me, but I mulled it over, and it just doesn’t do a thing for me”

It was true, but she wasn’t buying it. “You don’t mean that! What would you do if I handcuffed you to a post and went away and left you until you were about to pee all over yourself?”

I thought for a moment. “I’d probably gnaw through my wrist and come after you with a gun, one I could work with one hand,” I said, and she finally began to believe me.

One of the inevitabilities of being transsexual is that nontranssexuals (that is, just about everyone!) will make assumptions about you—about whether you’re “really” a man or “really” a woman, about your mental health status, about your morals—and especially about your sexuality. And not only will they make assumptions, they usually won’t believe you when you tell them they’re wrong. It’s frustrating.

The deal with me is that aside from the simple fact that I changed my sex—and the questions that brings up about sexual attractions to others (Q: What is a “same sex” relationship when you are transsexual? A: When you’re transsexual, everyone is the opposite sex!)— is I’m plain vanilla.

It’s true. Consider it a failing, if you must, but I’m just not kinky.

During the times in my life in which I have been lucky enough to have a partner, I like to do it. I like to do it with them a lot. But I’m not interested in tickling them with a feather, or tying them up until they have to pee, or pretending we’re Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, or play-acting a rape scene, or imagining one of us is a Catholic schoolgirl. None of that for me, thank you very much. Nor am I kinky around issues of gender. I have a strictly utilitarian view of clothing, and I don’t get sexually excited over the fact of my own transseuxalism, or anyone else’s. Moreover, I’m monogamous. I have no desire whatsoever to do it with anyone other than my partner, in any form or fashion. No three-ways here! And no cheating. Sure, when partnered, I have occasionally seen someone to whom I was sexually attracted (not that often, I’m pretty picky), but I wasn’t interested in doing it with them. That’s because, strange as it might seem to some, it’s only when intellect, wit, appearance, history, and admiration fuse into that thing we call love that someone becomes, in my estimation, beddable. That doesn’t happen often, but when that old black magic has happened, it has been worth the wait.

Let me say it took me a while to accept my vanilla nature. I am a child of the sixties and a firm believer in personal sexual autonomy. In my twenties, I experimented sexually—but, as with my early experimentations with drugs, which led me to discover that my favorite altered state was to be nonaltered, my sexual explorations made me realize for me it was all about doing it with someone I loved, and who hopefully loved me, and that there was nothing wrong with that.

The transgender community is filled with kinky people. I just don’t happen to be one of them. And you know what? It took a while, but these days I’m happy being plain vanilla.