“Secret (not) Love”


The following article has been making its way around the blogs and mentioned here and there. I haven’t really seen anyone actually comment on the content of the article. I’m going to try this here.

“Man’s ‘secret love’ of transsexual women: Do new trends predict a second sexual revolution?”
This establishes the center of the article – cis men lusting after TG bodies (chasers). The way this attraction manifests (secret). Then some bit about a “revolution”. I’m missing some connection here – how is a “secret love” anything close to a “revolution”? Are hordes of men furiously masturbating to trans porn and then guiltily weeping after doing so  making my life better?

I don’t like the article – actually I got pissed off reading it, because they didn’t actually speak to a trans woman. Plenty of industry types and gay porn shop owners – no trans women. That aside, here is what the enlightening gents have determined about the revolutionary act of fetishizing  trans bodies:

“The Internet really has made the whole thing more popular in the last few years,” says Steven Gallon, owner of Grooby Productions, one of the first transsexual sites launched a decade ago. “You’re now seeing [transsexuals] in mainstream advertising and on TV shows. That and the Internet have made it [socially acceptable for transsexuals] to be out there on display.”

No it hasn’t! Cis men paying other cis men to look at naked trans bodies would be like saying interracial porn led to the Cosby Show. The talent, drive, and perseverance for actual trans women didn’t have anything to do with this? It’s all about the “secret love” manifesting as spots on Reality TV or one-shot hookers on crime dramas – umm thanks guys. Candice Cane is the first openly trans women to play a trans character on TV. I don’t think porn had anything to do with the years of hard work she went through to land that job.

According to Ladd, transsexual content has become a “really hip and viable source of income over the last two to three years. … Major production companies have jumped on the [transsexual] bandwagon, including Vivid, Anabolic, Caballero, Metro Interactive and Red Light District, to name a few.

– Who knew I’m a “hip and viable source of income”? Lets work on actual sustainable sources of income FOR TRANS WOMEN. It’s swell that Vivid can increase their profit margins, but plenty of gals simply can’t get mainstream work.

Lets look at the upside of the article:

Google Analytics reveals that, of the nearly 30,000 transsexual-related news stories published in the mainstream media over the past 45 years, more than half (15,100) have surfaced in the past five years alone.

An August 2009 Alexa survey of the top 10 transsexual dating sites reveals that 44 million men aged 35–65 now patron trans-only dating sites – an impressive figure, considering a decade ago the market didn’t even exist. Next year, it’s expected to grow larger still.

The article ends with:

If there’s a silver lining to this story, perhaps it’s that increased coverage and awareness of the transsexual condition may eventually lead to increased acceptance of transsexual women as equal members of female society. So far, anything approaching real compassion has proved remarkably – and some might argue, rather hypocritically – elusive.

Well, as long as this is a “secret love” – and I’m pretty pissed at the use of “love” through the article – what change can be expected? Our position as a “dirty secret” benefits the cis men who desire us. Do you have any idea how often men on trans porn forums complain about how “feminists ruined women” and trans women “know how to treat a man” or “try harder”? These guys have no intention of seeing us as actual people with legal protections.

The article went to great length to assure the chasers that they are not gay. The fact that trans women’s voices were totally absent in an article about desire of trans women’s bodies is telling. I’m not by any means anti-porn. I’m quite comfortable with it actually and as a meand to a paycheck, very supportive of anyone who works in the industry. I have Issues with trans porn, that I’ll get into later – but that isn’t the point here.

The point is that the fear that chasers have of being “fags” is more important than discussing the impact that a “secret love” has on actual trans women. To the point where actual trans women are not important enough to include in the conversation. Only our images, not our voices, are present in the article.

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~ by laughriotgirl on October 2, 2009.

9 Responses to ““Secret (not) Love””

  1. Yeah, it’s a pretty terrible – and extremely telling they couldn’t find a single trans woman to talk to.

    And yeah, why use “transsexual women” when just “transsexual” will do. Fail.

    Helen G did post about this awhile at Harlot’s Parlor, she had a similar take..

    http://www.harlots-parlour.com/2009/09/mans-secret-love-of-transsexual-women.html

  2. I do find it very telling that they didn’t even interview any trans women porn stars. No revolution is possible as long as trans women remain images captured by cis men for cis men who suffer from anxious masculinity and keep their supposed “love” a secret.

    As an aside, can we stop calling lust “love”? They’re not the same thing and it is horribly misleading to refer to lust as love as they do in this article. These men do not love trans women, they lust after trans women. It’s different. While I may find that lust disturbing (in the same way that I find racial porn disturbing), it’s even more disturbing to mistake it for love. Lusting after a sexual image of a trans woman is not the same thing as loving a trans women.

    Wake me when cis men stop being so ashamed and afraid and when trans voices are allowed to be heard in conversations about us being in porn.

  3. I love both of these. Thanks for the link EM

  4. The porn industry has been very successful at portraying transsexuals as extremely sexy shemales. Thus providing sexually frustrated or bored males a new erotic fantasy. Exploitation of male sexual arousal is nothing new. The internet has opened up a whole new way to exploit sex. Unfortunatly, I don’t think the sexy “shemale” image is going to help the transsexual trying to live a normal life in this society.

  5. Gus, I’m not sure I have ever heard of porn exploiting male sexual arousal. It is a medium of entertainment largely by and for men, with any other groups involved simply a bonus. I’m not clear how MEN (apart from individual men) as a group are particularly exploited by the industry. I mean I don’t see women working in the industry as always being exploited – quite the contrary.

    Considering that people often assume that a trans woman is working in that industry, or has done sex work, yeah I don’t see porn as being particularly helpful and hardly revolutionary.

  6. I guess my comment was not clear. I meant that the porn business makes money by getting men to pay for sexual arousal. Porn pictures, movies, cam girls, etc. They all take advantage of mens attraction to and desire for sexual excitement.

  7. I read the article. Thanks for linking it. It was okay, and I share many of her observations. Early transitioning is hard emotionally for the very reasons she states – it was for me at least.

    I have some trouble with some spots where she is loading on lots of blame on the trans gals, and holding guys largely innocent and unaccountable for any part of it. Given that she is the same author of the article linked above, it is clear that her position is to assure men who have a thing for trans women.

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