Hey wonderful people. My name is Kenny Ethan Jones. I am a writer, advocate and consultant. Today I’m sharing my story as a trans man navigating both masculinity and sexual confidence, I hope you enjoy it!
Discovering my sexual self-meant leaving the norms behind
Growing up I had a love-hate relationship with gender norms. I was very grateful for them at one point because my deviation from them helped in diagnosing me as transgender. But I hate them for what they did to my autonomy and self-confidence as a man.
As a child gender didn’t really matter. My mum allowed me to wear whatever clothing I felt comfortable in, she embraced both my ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ behaviours but by the time I was 19, I found myself being overtly masculine. Not because it was who I was but rather, I was scared that if I strayed from masculinity people would see my transness as less valid.
I was 20 years old and I didn’t feel like I could act like me
For the most part I was trying to protect myself. For the majority of my life I had always been the odd-one-out, the trans one, the weird kid. Now as an adult, thanks to testosterone helping me grow a starter beard and a muscular chest, I started to fit into what a man ‘looked like’. Then something weird happened. The more masculine presenting I became, the less importance it held. I had tied so much of my personality, dress sense, and mannerisms in masculinity that I forgot about being Kenny. And all for what, so that society would see me as Kenny? Truth is. I was always Kenny, a man, regardless of their interpretation of my gender.
I was always enough; I had already arrived.
There was a sense of freeness that followed from that realisation. I felt like I had broken up with a part of me that no longer served me. A mindset that kept me insecure and small. It felt like welcoming who I truly was.
My relationship with masculinity and gender roles has had a big impact on my life in general. But most definitely with my sex life.
Later into my 20’s I came out as bisexual. It was fun exploring my newly found attraction to men, but it brought up some uncomfortable feelings I was forced to confront. Although I had unpacked a lot already, my version of masculinity was tied to heterosexuality. This time round I was ready to replace my old beliefs. Nevertheless, it wasn’t easier. During this process I found myself not wanting to do types of sexual acts or positions because my masculinity felt invaded, leaving me feeling less fulfilled (because I wasn’t following my sexual desires) and in judgement of myself. All these ties to masculinity and gender roles were stopping me from stepping into my sexual self.
I was carrying all these false beliefs and dropping them allowed me to become sexually confident.
For me sexual confidence is just that, dropping it all. Leaving my analytical, societal encouraged mind at the door and pulling all my focus into that chemical driven moment. It’s somewhat of a meditation for me (with the right person). All my attention drifts from worries and stress into desire and selfishness. My sexual fulfilment becomes my main priority and I expect my partner(s) to follow suit. Our bodies blend, consensual acts are exchanged and potentially, an orgasm is reached. It’s at that moment that I feel sexually confident.