TW for trans slurs
Providers have worked hard to develop the skills to be a great companion. We’ll have a better time if you do some complimentary work thinking about what goes into being a good client. If you have general questions or are completely new to seeing a provider, check out “A First-time Client’s Guide to Escort Booking Etiquette.” It’s a good primer. Also, click around on the Good Client Guide website in general. This article focuses on trans women exclusively. Some information about seeing trans men can be found here.
To get started, let’s look around at the chaotic states of the internet and real world regarding trans women.
The Lay of The Land
What term was used most when you first saw a trans woman online? How many different terms have you seen on your journey that brought you here, to this piece? Certainly, they have ranged from the innocuous, like ‘trans woman’, to overt slurs, such as ‘tranny’—a word that, if said to me, will result in a date ending and you being blocked. In the parts of the internet that trade in sexual capital, the terms used to describe trans women err on the hypersexual and dehumanizing. Consider ‘TS’, a popular abbreviation for transsexual or trans, that functions less as an adjective, but more a hollow noun that completely erases the personhood of the woman it is describing. Titles like, ‘Hot TS Gets Railed’ or ‘Shemale Strokes’ further exemplify the problems marring pornographic depictions of trans women. Trans women are frequently rendered as sexual objects that exist at an imagined intersection of masculinity and femininity. The tasteless phrase, ‘best of both worlds’ comes to mind. While these may not always be the same words providers are advertising under, their use within the realm of sex work has them constantly floating over us.
Offline, trans rights across the country are under attack. The ability for trans people to exist in public is being questioned. Violence continues to be an issue for the community, especially for black and brown trans women. Access to healthcare, already shaky for many folks, continues to worsen for trans people. In sum, trans women are between a rock and a hard place where the dehumanizing rhetoric we face in our daily lives is only further mirrored back at us, by the often degrading vernacular used to express desire for us online.
I have no intention of calling into question your desire to see a trans woman or to make you feel guilty for wanting to see one. Instead, I impress upon you the importance of understanding the stressors we – as trans women providers, face – and why taking the time to better engage with us is important.
What to Say?
Hopefully with some better understanding of what some of your favorite women are experiencing, you will want to make their lives easier. Updating your vocabulary is easy, and second only to being a great tipper.
Some women may use the terms I have in the ‘Do Not Say’ column, in their ads or profiles. Unless she directs you otherwise, it’s a safe bet to leave those words in the advertisement. Think back to what I described earlier. It’s not surprising someone would use popular, if demeaning, terms to advertise. SEO is what it is. You can help change that by removing those words from your vocabulary and general conception of trans women. Also, just because one provider says yes, doesn’t give you carte blanche to say it to others. That said, here’s a handy, non-exhaustive list to help guide you on your journey:
- Trans woman
- Transgender woman
- [Whatever terms she uses in her profile to describe herself]
- Trans person
- Trans femme/feminine
- Bottom Surgery
- Top Surgery
Do Not Say:
- Trans as a noun (ex. Are you a trans?)
- Crossdresser/CD/Sissy (These are kink and fetish terms, not words to describe a gender identity)
The Surgery (ex. Have you had the surgery?)
*Some trans women use this term, often to denote they are pursuing medical transition (i.e. taking hormones, seeking and having surgery). This is an ongoing, inter-community discussion and generally not something you need to be saying.
Anatomy 102: Trans Women
First, there is no universal descriptor of what a trans woman’s anatomical characteristics may be. Something obvious could be that some trans women have had bottom surgery (and maybe more) and some don’t. There are also plenty of other, maybe less obvious, details about trans women’s anatomy that clients should know about. This will probably save you time, confusion, and spare your provider answering repetitive and perhaps invasive, questions.
Many trans women are using some form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). These medications can elicit a variety of changes that vary from person to person. Here are some notable effects of a common regimen, where a trans woman’s testosterone has been suppressed and estrogen supplemented:
- Softer skin
- Erectile dysfunction
- Change in semen/little to no ejaculate
- Mood changes
- Changes in muscle and fat distribution
- Changes in erogenous zones and sensitivity
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and these effects set in over the course of months and years. The key takeaway from this brief anatomy lesson is that there is no default trans woman, just like any person’s biological makeup, it’s individual. For more information, check out the Mayo Clinic’s “Feminizing Hormone Therapy” overview.
For a lot of clients, they probably want to see a trans woman for a simple reason; she is a woman with a penis. That’s a reasonable desire for numerous reasons that cannot be contained within this article. Most trans women providers are aware that both presenting as a woman and having a penis is a big reason a client is looking to book with them. To make sure your desires are being addressed; follow the provider’s booking protocol, and respectfully ask any questions that arise. Keep in mind some of the points above when phrasing your questions.
A bad example, in my experience, would be something along the lines: “Please make sure you cum down my throat?” Aside from being crass, the technical answer is ‘no’. I take estrogen, and for me this means my orgasms don’t necessarily correlate with any set amount of ejaculate. A better question may be, “Can you dominate me orally?” That answer would be yes. Moreover, this open-ended style of inquiry allows my personality as a provider to shine through. There’s a myriad of ways to orally dominate someone, and my assistance in exploring that is part of the joy of booking with me.
I hope this short guide has been helpful in building your confidence as a client. Remember to be kind and considerate with the women you reach out to, especially us trans ones. Things are tough, and it goes a long way in building a good relationship with your chosen provider, by simply remembering who they are and how they like to be treated, like you would with any other person. Please continue to educate yourself beyond this article and do not leave that knowledge in your bookings. If you love us in private, defend us in public.
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The Good Client Guide destigmatizes sex work while providing guidance on how to be a better client and ally. Better experiences for workers mean better experiences for clients! To make this happen, we’re welcoming submissions from both providers and their customers.