Davina Bookbinder is a 33-year-old, transgender woman who describes herself as white, Jewish, queer, polyamorous and actively dating.

Major themes in this episode include being transgender, discovering and navigating gender identity, and sex as a trans woman.

This episode is extra long because there’s just SOOOO much great material! 

Davina is a good friend and she and I have had long conversations about gender in general and her gender in particular.  It is because she and I have developed a foundation of trust that I’m able to ask questions that we wouldn’t normally ask.  PLEASE KNOW that many of the questions I ask in this interview are NOT questions that are appropriate to ask a trans person in regular conversation.  But that’s true of all the conversations on this show, right?!?  I ask deeply personal questions that you would never think to ask someone at a dinner party.  The problem for trans people is that there is such curiosity around their bodies and their genitals that people end up believing they’re allowed to ask those questions at the dinner party.

So consider this your opportunity to listen in on the questions you WISH you could ask – yes, we talk about having sex as a trans person and how it works.  Yes, we talk about the current state of her genitals and how she likes them to be interacted with.  And yes, we talk about the intersection of mental health and being transgender.

Many, many thanks to Davina for showing up and being willing to have this conversation.  I love you, girl!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)

LEAH: Hi, I’m Leah Carey and this is Good Girls Talk About Sex. This is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. Before we get started, I want to tell you this. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experience. I have faith in your ability to deal with the things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: In today’s episode, we’ll meet Davina, a 33 year old transgender woman who describes herself as white, Jewish, queer, polyamorous, and actively dating.

This is an extra-long episode because Davina and I got so involved in our conversations that we didn’t notice that two hours had passed. So I’ve packed a ton into this episode plus there’s even more extras than usual over at Patreon for this episode. And some of the extras are available to everyone including people who are not currently patrons. You can find all of that at patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. And I’ll give you more information at the break.

I’m so pleased to introduce Davina! Hello friends. I am so excited to introduce you to today to one of my dear friends, Davina. She has been one of the amazing people who has welcomed me to Portland and who has made my time here so warm and lovely and I love her.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And she is also someone who I have learned a lot from because prior to landing to Portland, I was not aware of knowing any trans folx and I have had the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and she has been incredibly generous with answering those questions.

So before we get started today, I want to make it clear that I am going to ask Davina some questions that we do not ask in general everyday life. I mean that’s true in all of our interviews but it’s really important to know that there are some things that it’s just not okay to ask trans people without their previous consent to having them. Just like we are not going to walk up to a cisgender woman and say, “Hey, what’s going on in your pants?” We don’t do that with transwomen either.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So Davina, thank you so much for being here for being willing to do this interview.

DAVINA: You’re very, very welcome. I’m very excited.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So let’s start at the beginning. And I’m going to use the word sex in this situation completely separate from gender, how did you first discover the idea of sex?

DAVINA: Probably around middle school. I remember having a “girlfriend” when I was 5 in kindergarten. That was technically my first kiss. But in terms of sexuality or sex or sexual desire, I would say around 11 and 12 and it was with both boys and girls at the time.

LEAH: Oh, interesting.

DAVINA: Yeah, very interesting, especially. My first real girlfriend was when I was 12 and when I first started to feel like making out with her and wanting to do things with her and around the same time, actually maybe a little before also, I would play or explore with some of my friends who were boys. And that was very shameful, I kept that a secret. No one knew until I think college was when I started to open up to people about it.

LEAH: Who instigated those explorations? Do you remember?

DAVINA: That is a great question. I have the memory of me instigating a couple times though I don’t remember who started it off. But at this point, I mean I had no concept of a gender identity or anything and so I just knew that as a young boy, doing that was gay but I didn’t really identify in that way. But I liked playing around with them, but I didn’t really think about it outside of those interactions.

LEAH: So when you started dating and fooling around with girls, did it feel different to you than when you were fooling around and exploring with boys?

DAVINA: Oh yeah, with girls there was an emotional component that was not present I did not feel at all with boys. Not only towards but from as well, so it really felt like it was just about we knew that touching each other in this way or using our mouths on each other in this way felt really good and we like feeling really good and that was it. And it didn’t go past maybe 13 or so, so really it was relegated to maybe 1 or 2 years.

LEAH: And how far did you go in those explorations?

DAVINA: It’s kind of interesting, I think about that now. I guess I gave my first blow job then and received as well. Not to orgasm but just like putting my mouth around a cock, which weird I never actually considered it until now.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: Yeah, so it went as far that and interesting, also some I’ll call it an attempt at anal penetrative sex. I don’t know. I can’t really remember if anything. We had no idea what we were doing.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: We just knew that putting things in places felt good. But I very much remember both at least attempting to penetrate and be penetrated anally.

LEAH: When you started fooling around with girls, did you go as far with them? What were those interactions?

DAVINA: No. I wanted to but I didn’t because she didn’t want to, with my kind of first girlfriend. And it was kind of good early lessons in learning consent and learning that just because you want something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen or should happen or has any right to happen.

So with girls, it actually happened much slower. And I think it was primarily just because of the girls that I was with who wanted to take things much slower. Because I knew I felt either I don’t know if I felt ready, but I felt like I wanted to move in that direction. So my interacting with a vagina for the first time wasn’t until I was 16 I guess. And I honestly cannot even remember when I first received my first blow job from a girl. I’m assuming it’s around the same time like 16-ish, 17.

LEAH: And did you get the same type of pleasure from that that you had gotten in your earlier explorations?

DAVINA: Yeah, I mean more just because I was starting to figure out how things worked and learned about this stuff. And around that same time, oh God, this makes me sound and feel so old the Internet was starting to really become a thing. Saying that sentence hurts so badly.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: So the Internet was becoming a thing and because humanity and patriarchy, but just humanity in general, as soon as some medium came into existence, oh, there’s a new way to have sex and sexy things.

So I remember very vividly my first time cumming while masturbating looking at the time, still images of porn online and being very confused of, “What is happening to my body and there are things shooting out and what?”

And I was learning stuff in school but Sex Ed in school is garbage especially L.A. public school where I grew up. So by the time I was 15, 16, 17, I was fooling around more, actually getting a handle of what things do and how things work. It definitely felt a whole lot better than when I was 11 and 12 and had no clue whatsoever.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: What kinds of porn images were you choosing to look at? DAVINA: That’s a good question. It was women for sure.

LEAH: Like girl on girl?

DAVINA: Not necessarily, sometimes just like essentially Playboy but online, so images of naked women. And I remember my dad actually had to sit me down and tell me that this was wrong and explain everything to me.

Because I wanted to find pictures of girls who were my age because I was a young teenager and it felt weird looking at pictures of women who are 20, 30 years older than I was. So I was like, “Oh, I want to see my age.” And my dad explains to me why that’s a terrible, terrible thing that existed in the world and to not find that and not use that, which was a really good lesson.

And it really just spoke to how relatively shame free my parents were around sex. It wasn’t, “Oh my God, you’re looking at naked women.” It was, “No, that’s fine and I understand that but not those naked women because those aren’t women and that’s not okay.”

And I would look at heterosexual sex but there was always something about it that I didn’t like about it which took me years to figure out what the hell that was all about.

LEAH: And we will get there. [LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But first I want to go back. You were mentioning masturbation and that first experience of ejaculating. Did you enjoy masturbation right from the beginning?

DAVINA: Oh yeah, yeah, definitely. It’s fun. It felt good. There was again something about it that kind of nod at me from the very back recesses of my mind but I had no idea what it was.

LEAH: Let’s go back and talk about your parents a little bit. You said that they were very open. DAVINA: They assumed my straightness as a young boy growing up but they never said anything if I

remember, which my memory has been shown to be false many times. [LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: At one point during the terribly awkward experiences of parents talking to you about sex, having them say to me, “Whoever you like is fine. It doesn’t matter.”

LEAH: And to be fair, if you’re looking at pictures of young women on the Internet, it would be realistic for them to assume that that’s what you’re into and you look like a boy.

DAVINA: Right. They had no reason really to “suspect” anything other than I was a cisgender heterosexual boy. Though it was never that I had to be a certain way, they never enforced any norms on me which was great and also I kind of have come to realize, not so great in other aspects.

LEAH: Like what?

DAVINA: In that I think me realizing my gender identity took far longer because there was nothing for

me to rebel against.

LEAH: Oh, that’s interesting.

DAVINA: So many of the stories that I have encountered in the Trans community, a lot of them have to do with the really shitty circumstances of having parents who were unsupportive and who were enforcing various gender norms and that enforcement pushes that at first unconscious knowledge of one’s gender into the conscious brain. When you are being told you have to wear a suit, you have to wear a dress, you have to look like this, something in you doesn’t want to. When you’re confronted with it, it fights back. It pushes back.

I never had that. My parents were always really open. My dad was someone who was not stereotypically masculine in a lot of ways. He was in some and very much not in others, loved shopping, loved fashion, shoes, jewelry. All these things that society says are feminine, which is garbage in another sense as well. His favorite color was purple. There was so much about him that was feminine so anything about me that was feminine, I just was like, “Oh, I’m like my dad.”

So even though it was wonderful being raised in that environment, I think that just kind of helped my brain suppress my identity further because I was able to find acceptable explanations for why I felt the way I did.

LEAH: Yeah, what was it like for something like gym class and having to be in the locker room with the other boys? What was that experience like for you?

DAVINA: I hated it. I hated the locker room so much. I hated changing in the locker room. I hated being in the locker room. I didn’t like talking with other boys in the locker room. I didn’t like being there. I didn’t like the smell. I didn’t like the feeling of just being around all these boys, being boys. And when you’re in the locker room with a whole bunch of boys in middle school and everyone’s at varying stages of puberty, there’s just testosterone flying around, at least that’s what it feels like. I don’t know about the science since I’m not a biologist.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: But it sort of feels like that and just being in that environment was so anathema to who I was and how I saw myself.

I had very close guy friends in elementary school and middle school but I far more related to and wanted to spend time with the girls. I just liked being around girls more than boys and it wasn’t a sexual thing or like wanting to date them thing, though that is a very confusing thing for transwomen who are attracted to women because most of us realize, look at women and go, “Do I want to fuck you or be you?”

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: And then you realize, “Oh, it’s both.” [LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: But I just liked being around girls better. I like the energy. It just felt more natural. It felt more in sync with me. Being at summer camp and being in the boys’ tent and just boys’ soccer teams, all those spaces, I felt varying levels of discomfort that I essentially just pushed away, just explained it as, “I was more sensitive, I was more emotional.”

LEAH: So let’s talk about your realizing that you were trans. And probably we need to make a quick pit stop at the fact that you were married to a woman at the time. So can you talk about that experience?

DAVINA: I can. So for a long time, feminine stuff was relegated to, “I’m like my dad or I’m just different.” In college, I started playing around with eyeliner, black eyeliner and nail polish. Not black nail polish, because I wasn’t Goth.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: But dark colors. Dark blues and greens and reds. And I was on the creative and performance arts floor of my dorm because I’m a theatre kid. So again, I chalked it up to, “Oh, I’m wearing eyeliner and nail polish because I’m a theatre kid, that’s what we do. We’re so dramatic.”

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: And I loved wearing nail polish and eyeliner. Again, I didn’t know why but I loved it and at some point, before I met my ex-wife, I stopped and I don’t remember why. Life kind of had a lot of bumps in college and perhaps it’s one of those bumps that kind of just put that stuff to the side but for whatever reason, when I met her, I was presenting 100% male, no eyeliner, no nail polish, nothing besides I had I think one or two earrings in my cartilage in one of my earlobes that I groomed myself.

Because I was called metro sexual in middle school and high school, which again is a weird, “Oh my God, you’re a guy and you’re like taking care of yourself, you must be weird.” I’m like, “No, it’s hygiene and I’m grooming. Why is this a weird thing, but whatever.” So we met, we fell in love really quick and really hard and things moved pretty rapidly. And life was good.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: To a point. I don’t remember when I started but at some point, I expressed the desire to wear nail polish again and she didn’t like it. I came to learn eventually while she is someone who is extremely open and inclusive and accepting and warm and loving and all those good things, her personal preferences are pretty normative. They’re very cis normative, very heteronormative. And so the idea of dating and then eventually being married to a guy who was wearing nail polish, it wasn’t someone that she was attracted to. And so I’d bring up the desire and we’d fight about it and then I would drop it.

LEAH: And this was before you were married?

DAVINA: Before I was married and also while we were married. And I just brought it up between somewhere every six and twelve months. Just it’d come up, especially during Halloween or the Jewish holiday of Purim which is in the springtime and you dress up during that holiday so I kind of used those as excuses to be able to wear nail polish.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: And then would ask, “What about if I did this when it wasn’t this holiday?” And then we’d fight and then I’d drop it. And it was to the point that we went into therapy twice during our relationship. We were together a little bit over 10 years. And both times, when we were in couples’ counseling and even before when I was just in therapy myself, I legitimately did not know why I kept bringing it up because I knew I didn’t want to hurt her. I didn’t want to pick fights with her. And yet this desire was so strong that every time I tried to push it away, it just kept coming back.

And so, finally, in 2016, summer of 2016, I was at some Jewish social justice thing as I’m wont to do, and we were with this group who was fighting for 15 dollar minimum wage. And this conference was in DC so we were going to go protest at the summit cafeteria, because, sure.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: One of the guys who was part of this group and I used “guy” because that’s what he looked like but I have no idea about his gender identity. All I knew was he was wearing blue nail polish. And I saw this man wearing blue nail polish and maybe he was gender queer, maybe he was gender fluid, maybe he was trans himself and he was starting to express himself. Maybe he just liked nail polish or maybe the fact that their organization all wore blue shirts had something to do with the fact he was wearing blue nail polish.

But whatever the reason was, I saw it and this yearning that I hadn’t felt before just came out. I can’t even think of an English word or a Hebrew word for that matter, strong enough to indicate the level of desire that I had. It was almost biological. It was almost like your body’s need for food, water, and oxygen like something about my existence needed to have that. And I realized, “Okay, this nail polish thing. It’s deep. It’s way deeper than I thought and I have to figure it out.” And I think at that point I knew but was not ready to admit it.

So I got home and there were other issues. We’d kind of just become platonic at that point. We were really more like best friends who loved each other and were living together. But that’s not really a marriage. And our sex life was not really great. That’s a whole thing too about my sexual exploration. And we went to couples’ counseling. I was able to finally say, “I’m not cis. I know that but I don’t know what I am.”

That plus the state of our marriage prompted me to ask for divorce, which she agreed to and agreed with and was happy that I said it because she told me, she never would have, but thought it was the right decision. And then I continued exploring with the couples’ counselor who just so happened to be a specialist in gender counseling as well. She was just the cheapest closest person to where we lived. And she was a queer woman who worked a lot with the LGBTQ specifically with the T community.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: It’s just like I don’t really believe in signs, but yeah. [LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: And so for months after being in therapy with her, finally her getting to the point of asking me. Okay, she saw me going back and forth with this googling “gender queer vs. trans” every day and the pain I was in. And she said, “We’re going to do an exercise. I want you to close your eyes and kind of

relax and I‘m going to ask you a question and I want you to say the first thing that comes to your mind. Don’t think about it, just answer.” I was like, “Okay.”

“If you can wake up tomorrow as anything, what would it be?” And without a second of hesitation, I said, “A woman.” And then I remember pausing, “Yeah, I don’t want to put on a wig or make up or jewelry or clothes to be something, I want to wake up in the morning and externally feel like a woman.” Followed by another pause, followed by, “Holy shit, I’m trans.”

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: Followed by the realization “Okay, my life is over and everything is going to change now.” And how life was going to proceed from then on out was gone. It was all new uncharted territory from that moment on.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who writes me private notes of appreciation about this show and those who post their reviews publicly at Apple Podcasts. MarathonMom25 wrote, “It’s so incredible to hear women feel courageous enough to share their stories and it’s because of Leah’s gentle and caring method of listening. To women who are looking to join an important dialogue, this is a must listen.”

Thanks MarathonMom. I’m so grateful for your support. There’s another way you can support me in creating this content. Consider becoming a community supporter at Patreon. For as little as 1 dollar a month, you can pitch in to help me cover the costs of producing this show, like paying my editor.

When I recorded the first season of Good Girls Talk About Sex, I planned to edit it myself. I owned the software and have basic editing skills. But 9 months later, the unedited interviews were still sitting untouched on my hard drive. Because even though I was technically capable of doing the work, it took me so long to edit an episode. I found every other thing in the world to do instead of that. 9 months, until I finally gave into reality and was blessed to find my amazing editor, Gretchen. And while she is worth every penny, it’s not cheap.

That’s why I’m so grateful when listeners pitch in to help. You can choose your level of support from 1 dollar a month up to whatever you think is fair. And don’t worry. The main show will always be free. I’m committed in keeping these conversations open and accessible for all, no matter your financial or life circumstances.

As for what you’ll find this week on Patreon, the extras for this episode are a special bonus that is open and available to everyone no financial support needed. Davina talks about gender dysphoria and about the intersection of the transgender community and mental health issues. This is an important

conversation, and I don’t want you to miss it, so I’ve made it available to everyone regardless of your patronage.

At the 1 dollar a month level, Davina talks about gender norms and her desire for things that are typically considered feminine when she was a child. At the 5 dollar a month level, Davina discusses the ins and outs of gender confirmation surgery, also known as top and bottom surgery. At the 7 dollar a month level, you get all that plus the extended Q and A which this week is really extended. And at the 10 dollar a month level, you get all of that plus a monthly ask me anything.

And as I’ve been telling you, for Season 2, 10% of all Patreon donations I receive are going to ARC- Southeast, an organization that provides financial and logistical support to people seeking reproductive health services in the Southeastern United States where safe services are being legislated out of existence. You can find all of this and become a community supporter at patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex and thanks!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: How long did it take you to actually begin interfacing with the medical community around this or in other words I think you went on hormones was the first thing you did, right?

DAVINA: Right. Yeah, so there’s a distinction to be made between transitioning and medically transitioning in that most trans people don’t medically transition for one reason or another. It could be that their body can’t. It could be that they just don’t want to. There are risks and things. For instance, when you go on hormones, it sterilizes you. So within 4 or 5 months starting hormone treatment, I was sterile.

LEAH: I want to pause here for a second to say that that is not the case going the other direction, that for female bodied people transitioning to male, they are still able to get pregnant after hormones.

DAVINA: Correct. For transwomen, the taking of estrogen or estradiol as the compound or the component of estrogen that we take is, within about 4 or 5 months, chemically sterile. Within 3 months, you’re sterile but you can stop and return your virility. Once it passes, I think it’s 5 months or some amount of time it passes, you are permanently sterile, which for me was fine. I didn’t care.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: It was about a month and a half of coming out, starting hormones, which I have friends who realized they were trans in their teens and didn’t start hormones until they were in their early 20s. Yeah, I did it within a month and a half.

[LAUHGTER]

LEAH: And so how quickly did you start feeling effects from the hormones?

DAVINA: A few months. 3 to 4 months. The first effect was my brain. The best way I could describe it is my brain felt right. I have no idea about the science of it but the way I understand it at least is basically my brain was finally getting the right fuel. And I just felt right. It felt right in my head even though there was nothing physically happening to me yet, that my skin hadn’t started to transform. My body hair hadn’t started to fall off, the body hair that does fall of at least. Breast growth hadn’t started. Nothing had started. It was 4 months in but my brain just felt right.

LEAH: I remember a scientific paper had been published sometime in the last year I think saying that when they studied the brains of transgender children, they saw that the brain structure matched the child’s preferred gender identity and so that makes total sense.

DAVINA: There are parts of the brain that are gendered and they’re not gendered based on abilities or anything. Scientists don’t actually even know why but parts of the gray matter just look different in men and women. No clue why, they are not parts of the brain that can have an effect, they just are.

So there are a couple of studies that they have done. There needs to be more studies because the sample sizes are small so it’s still hypothesis and theory not really confirmed yet, but seems to be getting that way. But yeah, a “trans brain” is unique. It doesn’t look like a cis brain. But it looks a whole lot more of the brain of the gender of the person.

So my brain if it were to be scanned, in theory at least if it’s correct, would look a whole lot more like your brain than it would a cis male brain. Even though there would still be differences between our brains in terms of what a cis female brain looks like typically, it still resembles a cis female brain more than a cis male brain even though I’m a transwoman, which when I learned that just lent credibility to that feeling of my brain being powered by the right stuff finally. Then the physical changes started to happens lowly and I was like, “Thank God.”

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: Because it is funny looking back at pictures of myself after I’ve transitioned, starting transitioning, starting going by a new name, I just still look like a boy.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So when you arrived here today, we marked the fact that tomorrow is the anniversary of your boob job.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Or in other words, your top surgery. How did it affect your life? How did it affect your brain to finally have breasts?

DAVINA: My confidence skyrocketed, just skyrocketed. Typically, a transwoman can expect to get an A cup, maybe a B cup if they’re very lucky.

LEAH: From the hormones?

DAVINA: From the hormones alone, yeah. I’ve seen I’m part of a thousand different transcripts at this point and I have seen transwomen say that they have C cups naturally just through the hormones alone, very rare though, very, very rare.

And I am a larger girl. I am 6 feet tall and broad shouldered. And even if my body could have gotten to a B cup, I was not about to wait that long and just stick with a B cup. I wanted to look “proportional.” I wanted to have a certain silhouette. I wanted to be able to put on clothes and feel womanly, which is again one of those “Okay, if you’re a cis woman and you have a double mastectomy because of cancer, are you any less of a woman?” There’s a whole thing that gets wrapped up in there. But for transwomen that grows up without breasts, period. Never goes through any of that. Yeah, there is something to be said about having tits.

And so I knew right away as soon as I started transitioning, I knew the stages. I knew I was going to get bottom surgery. I knew I was going to get top surgery. I still don’t know if I want to have any facial surgeries. I go back and forth on that. Transitioning takes a long time. The typical timeline they give us is five years from start to “finish”. Once your body has finally settled, the hormones have done their thing. Nothing’s going to be changing anymore. So it’s a very long process but this, I went to the hospital, I went to sleep, I woke up, I had tits.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: I mean for wanting to transition and you want things to move fast and they can only move so fast. Especially because you can take high levels of estrogen to make your transition go faster, you’re also basically asking for a blot clot to travel into your brain and give you a stroke or your heart and give you a heart attack. So you have to take a moderate amount of estrogen, which means that your transition is going to move at a moderate pace.

But to have it be so instant and just wake up and look, “Oh, I’ve got breasts now.” I can put on a bra. I was wearing bras with fillers in them and to not have to. If I didn’t want to wear a bra, and I just want to put on a shirt, especially until my hair started to really grow out more. If I just put on a shirt and a pair of jeans, I just look like a guy. Maybe slightly more feminine, but still like a guy. Now, if I just put on a t- shirt, I still look like a woman, whatever that means. I still have a certain outline to my body that I didn’t have before.

LEAH: So the next bit of medical surgery was you had an orchiectomy. A lot of people are not going to know what that word means. So can you explain what is? And also has that changed your experience of sex or sexuality now that your hormone producers have changed?

DAVINA: Oh yeah. So I didn’t know what an orchiectomy was either. [LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: An orchiectomy is the removal of testicles and it’s also a very simple procedure. I don’t know if it’s typical. I don’t even know what the statistics are but for a lot of transwomen who get full bottom surgery, which is vaginoplasty and labiaplasty, the orchiectomy is kind of included in that procedure.

I got separately because I wanted to stop taking testosterone blockers and I wanted to do something else medically that would advance my transition. I have a consult for bottom surgery currently scheduled for May 2020 which is a while from now.

LEAH: And it’s the earliest you could possibly get?

DAVINA: Yup and I scheduled that in December of 2017. That’s not right. No, yeah, December of 2017 or January of 2018, somewhere around there is where I scheduled this consult for May freaking 2020. And my confidence sexually skyrocketed because it was one more step where I look less like a boy, that when I take my pants off, there are not these other things hanging around there. And if I don’t get hard, which I hate, then it’s starting to look a lot more like a clit that’s just there, not a vulva yet, but a clit and then there’s this extra tissue that’s kind of just there. So it also just made me a lot more confident at being naked in front of other women.

LEAH: You just said that you hate getting hard. How often does that happen?

DAVINA: It’s a total crap shit. It can happen a bunch of times repeatedly. When I first get horny is when it would happen and even then, it’s not fully hard. It’s kind of a semi-erection and if I can manage to essentially get one orgasm out of the way quickly. That which is again a thing that changed in transitioning of “I’d have one orgasm and then be done” and now I can have a few, which is lovely.

LEAH: Oh, how interesting. [LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: So once I get the first orgasm out of the way, the erection goes away and the erectile tissue kind of just reverts to its pre-program, “Okay, we’ve had our orgasm, we’re done” and then the rest of my body goes, “Okay, you rest. We’re not done yet. We still have some few orgasms that we’d like to have. Thanks.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So what does orgasm look like for you now? Is there ejaculate still?

DAVINA: There’s like this kind of clear-ish sticky fluid that comes out and even then it’s not a lot. From what I’ve read, it’s a combination of something which I have now since forgotten and prostatic fluid from my at this point likely very shrunk prostate. So there is still some that comes out more the first time than other subsequent orgasms. Orgasms are so much better now.

LEAH: Really?

DAVINA: Oh, so much better, so much better. They tend to be more whole body but yeah, orgasms, they feel better. Also they’re not as draining because before I would have an orgasm and then my body would be done. Sex would be over. And now, I have an orgasm and, “That was great, let’s have some more please.”

Orgasms are not the end of sex anymore and they’re not as necessary. I needed orgasms before. Sex felt incomplete if I did not have an orgasm. And now, I can be just fine not having an orgasm. They’re great. I love them. Don’t need them, which has changed too. With partners, it can take a long time especially if they don’t have experience with transwomen because they have to learn how everything works too. And because I’m still learning and everyone is different, I’m not only learning what works for me but what works for me with this particular person.

So I think that’s one of the reasons why I don’t care so much about orgasms anymore. Well, why they aren’t as necessary because it can take a good amount of time and I don’t want this person to feel bad that they can’t get me off nor I don’t want them to focus on it because if it feels great, okay, great. But if they’re just doing something to me and we’re not doing something to each other, I want to pleasure them. So okay, I’m not orgasming, it’s fine. Can we get to the part where I pleasure you too?

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: This is lovely, but I’d like to do things to you.

LEAH: So you mentioned a moment ago what you like your genitalia to be called but it seems like it has changed over time from the time I’ve known you.

DAVINA: Yes. I went “lady penis” for a while and then I saw somewhere online someone said “girl dick” and I was like, “Oh, that just sounds better. I like girl dick.” So I go back and forth between “girl dick” and “clit” in that in some aspects, it does still function as a dick in terms of I can pee standing up still, which is literally the only benefit that I enjoy of having been born in this body.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: That I will miss, that’s about it. It’s still kind of gets hard-ish at first. But then it also functions a lot more like a clit.

In terms of the shaft of it, it just does nothing for me, which makes sex complicated when I start having sex with someone who has never had sex with a transwoman before. Because even if they’re bi or pan or polysexual or whatever word we’re going to use to describe attracted to more than one gender, if you haven’t had sex with a transwoman, it’s different because you might have experience with clits and vulvas and you might have experiences with penises, but what I have isn’t either and it’s also both. So yeah, the glands, the head of penis of my girl dick essentially functions much like a clit and likes being stimulated like a clit.

I have had PIV, penis and vagina sex once since transitioning in the last 5 or 6 months with someone I felt safe and comfortable with and I was like, “I’m really curious about this. Let’s try it.” And we did and there’s nerve endings there so it felt nice but I didn’t really like it all that much because it’s just not how my body likes to be stimulated anymore.

LEAH: How do you like your genitalia to be interacted with now? And with the huge disclaimer that you are a single person, you are not speaking for all transwomen.

DAVINA: Not all transwomen enjoy this.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: Well, frequently and often, definitely, with great vigor. [LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: So boy, it’s weird because I’m still figuring it out. And it’s also weird because I’ve had to re- learn how to sex since medically transitioning. And once I get my bottom surgery, I’m going to re-learn how to sex all freaking over again. So I had to learn how to sex three times in my life total by the time all is said and done.

So now, I like my girl dick to be played with basically like a clit that’s just really large. So just like a lot of cis women enjoy mouth and tongues hanging around their clit, I do as well. There is just more of me to go in someone’s mouth but I don’t like, oh, what’s the word for up and down movement? There’s like a word for it.

LEAH: Like thrusting?

DAVINA: Yeah. So for instance, I cannot receive a blow job anymore. It’s not what it’s called. It’s not a blow job because a blow job on a penis is usually at least an up and down motion. You’re stimulating

and stroking the shaft with either hand or mouth as well as licking and paying attention to the glands. That kind of movement doesn’t feel pleasurable to me and especially if I’m not hard anymore. I just physically can’t. So I enjoy mouths being on me but more in like how you would go down on someone with a vulva than someone with a penis.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Before we finish up, let’s do the Quick Five. Five quick questions we’d usually be too polite to ask any good girl.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Do you have sex during a partner’s period?

DAVINA: Yeah, I mean if they’re cool with it. Yeah, doesn’t bother me at all. LEAH: Have you ever felt a sexual urge that confused you?

DAVINA: Yes. Dating someone who identified as non-binary who was on testosterone confused the fuck out of me because until that point, I was calling myself a lesbian and I still like that term. I like the gender identity part of that term more than just saying gay or queer. I’m definitely, primarily attracted to women and especially just very femme women.

But this person, they had masculine traits and my brain short circuited and was like, “I want to have sex with them but what? “They’re being powered by testosterone but I want to have sex with them. So it very confused me and I am still trying to figure out some term that describes my sexuality as from the middle of the binary all the way to the end, extreme end of the female part of the binary, but I can lean over that middle part every so often, just like lean like, “Hey, what’s up?”

[LAUGHTER]

DAVINA: So whatever the word that is, I think is what I am, but I’m still kind of trying to figure out what the hell that is.

LEAH: Would you be interested in interacting with somebody who has a penis if they seem like they are powered with estrogen for instance?

DAVINA: Oh yeah. So funny enough, I have yet to have sex with another transwoman. I haven’t met anyone I have felt chemistry or clicked with. But yeah, if I met another transwoman who was powered with estrogen and didn’t have any bottom surgery or anything yet, I’d be totally cool with it.

The thing I ask myself is what if they were trans but not powered by estrogen for whatever reason, their gender identity is still valid but am I attracted to them? And if I’m not attracted to them, what does that say about women not being attracted to me and can I have any judgment on them? It’s a whole freaking can of worms that I still haven’t answered yet and also just trying to figure out if it’s just internalized transphobia because fuck society.

LEAH: What kind of touch do you enjoy the most?

DAVINA: Another good question because I tend to like everything. I guess the kind of touch would be alternating touch because I love really soft, tender sensual touch that’s very light but I also love really rough, hard, scratching, leaving marks, being thrown about kind of touch. What I don’t like is too much of either.

LEAH: Fascinating.

DAVINA: So my favorite kind of touch would be both and balanced essentially. LEAH: Are there sexual things you’ve tried that you never want to do again?

DAVINA: So at least until it’s a point in my bottom surgery, penetrative sex where I’m penetrating somebody with me. Tried it, did it for a lot of years in my boy days or the before times as I like to call them. Never want to do it again. Though, I do want to penetrate someone with a strap-on.

LEAH: That’s such an interesting distinction.

DAVINA: That would be super feminine. I do have interest in trying that. Who knows if that will trigger my dysphoria or not but I do want to try that. Essentially using my girl dick for anything penetrative or anything resembling treating it like a penis, never again.

LEAH: How often do you masturbate?

DAVINA: Far, far less than I ever used to.

LEAH: Is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you would like to share?

DAVINA: Just reiterating that for a lot of trans people, especially for us who are more in the hypersexual side of the spectrum as opposed to asexual, sex is really, really freaking complicated because we’re still learning how our bodies react to things.

We have to re-learn. We’re going through puberty again and so just like puberty the first time, you have to learn how to have sex except for a lot of us, we’re adults. And so it seems weird because we’ve been having sex for a good chunk of our lives, so what do you mean I have to re-learn how to have sex?

Once you have bottom surgery, to an extent you’re like, “Okay, these parts are now standards. They’re standard issue parts.” I still have to learn again but it’s really confusing and complicated because there are things that used to feel good that don’t, things that do feel good that never did, things that when I’m horny and I’m super attracted to you and we’re naked and it’s great and I get hard, you might be like, “Oh, this person’s attracted to me but I feel like shit.”

So for any cis people who have sex with trans people, to be patient and have patience. And for other trans people who are out there who might be listening too, that it is tough, but all of the best sex in my life and it’s all been since transition and all been with people who have never had sex with trans people before but were open to learning and did a great job.

And so even with all the complications and with all the stuff around my genitalia and my gender and sex, the orgasms that I have are better than they ever were. Sex feels better than it ever did, the confidence in my own body in being naked around other people, around groups of women better than it ever was. So even with all of that, still now that I’m finally living as me, sex is something that’s great and that I can enjoy and I can revel in.

LEAH: I’m so happy to hear that and I want to say thank you for being here. And even more than that, I want to say thank you for being my friend and for being such a wonderfully open loving person and I love you.

DAVINA: Aww, thank you. Thank you for being my friend and I love you too. [MUSIC]

LEAH: Thanks for joining me today on Good Girls Talk About Sex. If you have questions or comments about anything you’ve heard or if you’d like to be a guest on the show, please email me at leah@goodgirlstalkaboutsex.com.

I was only able to step outside my good girl box when someone I respected told me it was possible to do it. If you’d like to step outside your good girl box, I’m here to tell you it’s possible. And I can provide you with tools to name your desires and communicate them effectively to your partner or potential partners. If you’re interested in working with me, visit leahcarey.com/coaching.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at IamLeahCarey. You can find these links and any resources we’ve mentioned during the interview in the Show Notes.

I’m Leah Carey and I look forward to talking with you again next week. Here’s to your better sex life! [MUSIC]

You can find Davina at www.therebelliousjewess.com and on Instagram at @therebelliousjewess. Davina is also the Programming Director for Sex Positive Portland.

Here are some of the great moments she shared with us:

  • 4:30 – Davina’s early sexual experiences with both genders
  • 7:50 – The difference she felt between physical pleasure with boys, emotional connection with girls
  • 12:20 – Davina’s early experience with porn
  • 14:40 – How gender norms impacted Davina’s recognition of being trans
  • 18:20 – Davina’s feelings about being in male settings
  • 20:40 – The nail polish blow up
  • 24:50 – Discovering her gender identity and getting divorced
  • 26:30 – Diving into therapy around gender identity
  • 34:50 – Gender and the brain
  • 36:45 – Davina talks about having top surgery
  • 40:10 – Waiting for bottom surgery
  • 42:30 – Her body in gender transition and how it has affected her sexuality and orgasm
  • 46:00 – Terminology for genitalia in transition, function, sexual pleasure
  • 55:20 – Going through multiple puberties
  • 56:45 – The positive impact of transition in every area of Davina’s life

The Quick 5:

  • 50:17 – Do you have sex during a partner’s period?
  • 50:28 – Have you ever felt a sexual urge that confused you?
  • 52:57 – What kind of touch do you enjoy the most?
  • 53:37 – Are there sexual things you’ve tried that you never want to do again?
  • 54:25 – How often do you masturbate?

The Patreon extras for this episode are:

  • AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE – Davina talks about dysphoria and about the intersection of the transgender community and mental health issues
  • At the $1/month level, Davina talks about gender norms and her desire for things that are considered feminine when she was a child
  • At the $5/month level, Davina discusses the ins and outs of gender confirmation surgery (also known as top and bottom surgery)
  • At the $7/month level, all that PLUS the extended Q&A!
  • At the $10/month level, all that plus a monthly Ask Me Anything!

To become a Patreon supporter, visit www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex

Davina is also the Programming Director for Sex Positive Portland.

If you like this show, please leave a rating and review at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/good-girls-talk-about-sex/id1436501617?mt=2.

Want to be on the show? Visit www.leahcarey.com/guest and let me know that you’re interested. I’d love to talk with you!

To learn about Sexual Communication Coaching, visit www.leahcarey.com/coaching

Host – Leah Carey (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, email)

Editor – Gretchen Kilby

Music by – Nazar Rybak