Gender is fluid. There are cisgender people, transgender people, gender nonconforming people, genderqueer people, agender people...the possibilities are endless. You can find a helpful primer on gender terminology on GLAAD’s website. All of these gender identities are normal and should be celebrated, not scorned or shamed.
As Scarleteen, a sexuality resource for teens, explains, “Gender – both how we identify with it and how others identify us through the lens of gender – can also play a part in the way we’ll have any sort of sex, how we present our sexuality to others, how we feel comfortable or uncomfortable in our sexual behaviour and attitudes, and how we might expect the dynamics of our sexual relationships with others to be.”
With that in mind, I sat down with acclaimed adult performer, director, and LGBT/human rights activist Buck Angel to talk about sex for trans men and how cannabis can be helpful.
Ashley Manta: How do you identify and what does that mean?
Buck Angel: I identify as a man. That might be obvious to some but the ones who do not know about my work I guess I should explain a little more. I am a transsexual man. Assigned female at birth and had a "gender reassignment surgery" to become male. One of the important parts to this story is that I am a man with a vagina. I chose not to get the penis surgery and now live my life as a man with a vagina.
Ashley: Has cannabis impacted your relationship with your body or had any effect on your mood when you experiencing intense emotions?
Buck: Well for me it has helped tremendously with my sleeping disorder. The cannabis has helped me to learn to relax. I started using cannabis later in my transition so I have already dealt with much of my anxiety around transitioning. That said, I have many trans friends who do use cannabis to help with anxiety of being trans. It's difficult for many trans people to just walk the world. Non-trans people have the privilege of not dealing with many things that trans people deal with just being trans, such as thinking that everyone knows you are transgender when maybe you just want to identify as male or female. Cannabis has helped to relax these fears and also just to give your brain some off time.
Ashley: What are some considerations specific to trans men when navigating sexual activities before, during, and after transitioning?
Buck: Many trans men have major body dysphoria [that] impacts us in just everyday life. Sexually I have not really been shut down but the cannabis has really heightened my orgasms and let me feel my body more.
What I am doing now is research on how cannabis can help the transgender community. What I know is that many transgender people have anxiety, sleeping disorders, PTSD, body dysphoria, and many do not have the pleasure of enjoying sex because of this. I think cannabis can really help to let more transgender people feel more sexual in their new bodies.
Cannabis is great at letting you just be you. I would like more research to be done in this area. I think we tend to prescribe way too many anti-depressants, and I am not a big fan of these as the side effects are horrible and long-term use can lead to many unhealthy things.
Another project I am working on is the use of cannabis as a lube and how that can help with atrophy of the vaginal tissue because of the use of testosterone. I think that using natural products like cannabis creates a much healthier body.
Ashley: Have any particular cannabis products been especially helpful to you in regards to sex?
Buck: Like I said, I have been lucky in that I don't have any body dysmorphia, but I do have trans friends and non-trans friends who specifically use cannabis to heighten sexual arousal and they swear by it. For me that's good enough in that I want to promote the use of cannabis to the trans community in hopes of getting more people to start feeling comfortable around sex with their new bodies. This can be such a huge game changer for many who never felt sexually comfortable in their bodies.
The one product I have recently been introduced to is Foria. It was pretty amazing and very much enhanced my orgasm.
Ashley: Thank you so much for all the good you’re doing in the world and for taking the time to chat with me. How can people find and support your work?
Buck: Everyone can find me on my websites, social media, and just by "googling” me! I am working on some sexual health projects focused on the transgender community and hopefully will have more information soon. Thanks so much for letting me speak about trans sex and cannabis, as I think this conversation needs to be started.
If you, or someone you know, is a trans or gender nonconforming person experiencing crisis or overwhelming thoughts, please reach out to the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860.
This article was originally published on Leafly.com in April 2016. Read the original post here.