en English

 

Psychologist Dr Lori Beth Bisbey and psychotherapist DK Green join Dr Helen and Marianne to talk about the quest for sizzling sex when you are gender diverse and some of the barriers that can get in the way.

If you have been affected by any of the topics discussed in our podcast, and would like to get in touch, please contact us via the Help Centre. You can also contact us on social media where you will find us at @GenderGP on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We are always happy to accept ideas for future shows, so if there is something in particular you would like us to discuss, or a specific guest you would love to hear from, let us know. Your feedback is really important to us. If you could take a minute or two to leave us a review and rating for the podcast on your favourite podcast app, it will help others to discover us.

 

Links:

Follow DK Green and Dr Lori Beth Bisbey on Twitter: @DKLeather, @DrBisbey
DK Green Website: http://dkgreen.co.uk
Dr Lori Beth Bisbey Website: https://drloribethbisbey.com

 

The GenderGP Podcast

Sizzling Trans Sex – Dr Lori Beth Bisbey & DK Green

 

Hello, this is Dr Helen Webberley. Welcome to our GenderGP Podcast, where we will be discussing some of the issues affecting the trans and non-binary community in the world today, together with my co-host Marianne Oakes, a trans woman herself, and our head of therapy.

 

Dr Helen Webberley:
So we have Dr Lori Beth Bisbey. She’s a psychologist and the sex and intimacy coach. And we have DK Green of dkgreen.com. So Lori, can I hand over to you to just tell all our listeners who you are, what you are, what you do, and also who you brought with you today?

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Right. So I’m a psychologist who has 33 years experience now, working with people to help them create and maintain meaningful relationships that also contain sizzling sex. I have a specialty in, gender sex and relationship diversity and also in the treatment of trauma. And I’m here with DK green and DK, why don’t you introduce you, please?

DK Green:
Uh, we’ll do hi everybody. I’m DK green. I’m a psychotherapist private practice with a phenomenal number of clients. and it is solely GSRD so all of my clients are gender sex or relationship diversities. So they’re either LGBTQIA+ or poly or kinky a combination thereof. I work with a vast amount of trans folk and I, myself, am a trans man.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Well brilliant really, really, lovely to have you both, that’s exciting, Marianne isn’t it now? I can’t wait to, uh, uh, I can’t wait to get hearing a bit more about you.

Marianne Oakes:
I feel slightly intimidated. I’m not going to lie.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Yeah, we’ll let them do the talking, Marianne. Okay. Well, first obvious question that Lori Beth: sizzling sex, and you need to expand on that. Come on. That’s something that sounds so exciting.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
So for me, sizzling sex is whatever it is that really brings you pleasure. And, a lot of the people I see have a lot of shame. So I spend a lot of my time working around helping people get rid of shame and, helping people to recognize that they all have a right to pleasure, their identified desires and then move forward. So sizzling sex is whatever gets you off.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Okay. so just, just, just a couple of the sand words, came out, uh, when you were introducing yourselves and then just then, so there was the, the word trauma, which, you know, Marianne and I have talked a lot about in the past, and then there’s something that Marianne feels very, very strongly about. And then also shame. And, you know, it is a shame that those two words have had featured so prominently so early in our discussion. I mean, perhaps we could kind of get over that bit and then we can move on to the, to the, to the happy stuff, if you know what I mean? So, so why, why, why the trauma, why the shame.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
and so for me, my original specialty was trauma PTSD treatment. and I did a lot of sexual violence work. I experienced sexual violence myself. So I started working with people on getting over that and getting over the symptoms, but they were often left with no PTSD symptoms, but an inability to enjoy sex and an inability to get back into sex. And that was a separate piece. And there was a lot of shame around that. And, particularly with GSR D clients, anything that is non-heteronormative, that’s seen as out of the mainstream because of the amount of pressure and bombardment and othering people experienced trauma.

DK Green:
I’d like to chip in there if that’s okay. So obviously by the time people come to me as a psychotherapist, they’re struggling, they’re, they’re in a position where they’re having challenges and struggles and a lot of that relates to trauma as well. It’s very, very common. it’s the uppermost presenting issue when somebody comes into my room is any trauma that they have dealt with. the shame around sex since this episode is around trans folks specifically, it’s this deep, deep, deeply-rooted, as Lori was saying, the structural systemic, societal expectations that we are raised with around sex around heteronormative sex, leaves people, uh, the othered people, anyone of any kind of diversity, feeling deeply ashamed that they don’t fit into that nice, neat box, whether that’s because of their sexuality or because of their gender, which of course are two different things and often not related. so I think in the therapy room, it’s really important to work with A, the traumas that they’ve presented with an often that is for a trans person around their transition experience. Not actually, not necessarily because they’re trans, but because of society’s treatment of them as trans yeah, because of families, because of friends, because of society in general and, and that, that, discrimination and that othering, and that rejection. so those are the sorts of traumas that we deal with around around transitions. And the shame comes from not fitting into the gender normative box.

Dr Helen Webberley:
So I mean, the othering, the concept of othering, isn’t something that I’d come across very much, actually. So what I’m hearing you say is that society is society expects us to be like everybody else, like, just like this. And if you’re not like this, then you are an other. And therefore that causes difficulties. and the internal shame of not being that perfect person, but being an “other person” that’s made me feel quite sad.

DK Green:
It is, it’s a very sad experience. And to be frank, anyone of any diversity has that experience, anyone of any different race or color, anyone, if any different body, physicality, diversities, any neurodiversities, anyone have any kind of, other than, you know, cisnormative, heteronormative, et cetera, et cetera, has that lived experience of feeling other than others by society.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
And they have it that, often they have it from their families as well, which is the hard part because then they internalize it. And when they internalize it, they do it to themselves.

DK Green:
Yes.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Yeah. What do you mean I’m going to push you on that one what do you mean By that?

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Go for it. I mean, we, we learn about ourselves and about, how we should view ourselves from our caregivers and from the people in our closest environment when we’re growing up. And if they reflect negative things to us, if they tell us that we’re not normal and we’re different than we should be after a while, we begin to believe that. So it’s a form of gaslighting. We trust the only, the only kind of place we have to go to learn. And that starts from birth.

DK Green:
Yeah. A really good example, sticking with the topic that we’re with, which is trans folk, is that 99 out of 100 trans people have internalized transphobia. We don’t have a problem with being trans. We have problem with the rest of the world perceiving us as trans and that being othered and wrong. so I think the internalized transphobia is if you’re told from birth and shown in media and in everything kind of bombardment was a great word you used earlier, Lori, that being trans is somehow wrong, then on some level you will internalize that it’s like internalized homophobia, internalized transphobia. We have to live with that and constantly debate and argue and rationalize with ourselves that we know this is internalized transphobia. It isn’t truth. It isn’t reality, but it doesn’t change how you feel. And that’s often what brings the shame.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
And that’s something that you can work with in therapy. You first have to know that it’s there. You first have to realize that the information that you’ve taken in is not true for you. It’s not your truth. It’s the truth of the people around you.

Dr Helen Webberley:
So basically what you’re saying again is that the people who are supposed to care for you from the minute you were born, if they are perceiving that you are an other, a different something that’s not normal, or right, then it, it, you can’t help it, but comes across to you and you bring it in and either stop believing it yourself, or have to keep fighting that thing within you is that right?

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Absolutely, think about it this way, that by the age of two, most kids know that they have value. If they’re in a good family home, they know that they have value and then they know that they’re loved. And that’s the basis that you have as a person for knowing that you are worthy of love for the rest of your life. So, if you have poor parenting from birth or, early, early life trauma, you don’t learn that. And if you don’t learn that that’s something that follows you, this constant feeling of not being good enough, not being lovable and brings a lot of people into therapy. So it’s, early life parenting birth to age six is crucial, crucial, crucial, crucial.

DK Green:
Marianne. You were wanting to say something.

Marianne Oakes:
Yeah. I was just gonna jump in, uh, just to kind of expand that a little bit, the, uh, an experience. I get people really at the start of the journeys, you know, before they’re even thinking about talking about sex, although it’s always prevalent within the therapy room, but a lot of the, for example, the little, the trans boys were experienced, the mother trying to make them wear a dress. And the always talk about the anger and the atmosphere that it caused in the house, because the parents were trying to normalize that child because the parents didn’t want an other. And you know, and they’re not doing it. You know, the parents don’t even know they’re doing it wrong, but the problems that causes as they grow and that self-acceptance, and I hear it all the time more from the trans boys, cause it, it tends to be more prevalent with the trans boys in early childhood. Is that, the fight that they have to be heard?

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
I mean, I do see quite a lot of parents seeking help. And, for the young children, I hadn’t really realized that there were more trans boys than trans girls, actually quite a large percentage. And lots of them are actually coming in not having forced a child into the dress. Now this is now because there’s more publicity and coming in and saying, I don’t know what to do, but I don’t want to do the wrong thing.

DK Green:
If I can just add, there is an issue there that, uh, the underlying issue is that, those assigned male at birth are pretty much left to be themselves. Whereas those who are assigned female at birth are awfully sexualized, awfully stereotyped. You must have wear dresses. You must have your hair pretty. It must be pretty to be normalized. So actually the pressure on young trans men is to be conforming to this idea of the pretty girl. Whereas the pressure on young trans women is slightly less in that sexualized manner. It’s actually, you know, just boys, all will be boys just leave them to it. It’s only later when, trans women are starting to be forced into this masculinity bullshit, that that’s when their emotional stuff really starts to trouble them. Yeah. So I think that’s why it’s, it’s more prevalent in, in the trans boys as you use the term, because they’ve had that, you know, the socialization of being forced into pretty.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Yeah. And I don’t Think that’s changed all that drastically.

DK Green:
No. You only have to look at the toy shelves. Everything is still blue and pink. Yeah.

Dr Helen Webberley:
So that’s interesting. So it kind of, we’ve identified that early childhood and what I mean, being a parent is really hard is that to get it right. We just want our kids to be happy. We just want them to be—have a normal life and it’s maybe hard isn’t it. But even that, that what is normal? And Lori Beth, you know, that when you were saying earlier about, you know, the diversity that we have so much diversity, so much, so much, and it’s like, well, how can we in this society have this one white heterosexual cis-gender normal thing, but we can’t unpick that at the moment. But going back,, So, so really, really important that parents give their children’s space to breathe and we understand that we’ve got to, we’ve got to let them explore themselves, that identity, who they are and how they fit in really important. And then DK, you were talking about the, the transition experience, which I’m guessing is what make, where Marianne kind of comes in quite a long. So Marianne seeing people as they’re starting or, or progressing through their transition. And you mentioned the transition experience as being a problem, not a problem, an issue. So what, what was that?

DK Green:
Yeah, it’s a fight for anyone who’s otherness is invisible. So if you are physically visibly disabled, it’s easy for people to see that if your disability is invisible, it’s really different, you know, it’s a very different kettle fish. so transgender is initially a very invisible state to be in. so it takes, it takes a literal coming out in the same way as an invisible disability. You have to tell people I can’t do that because X, Y, Z. so that coming out process puts you in an incredibly vulnerable place because you’re literally telling people, yes, I’m other, I’m different to you. I’m not going to fit into your boxes. And that is scary. It’s vulnerable. uh, a good example of that is, uh, my youngest, I’ve got multiple kids and grandkids cause I’m a lot older than I look, but my youngest is the only gender variant, uh, among them. And, uh, they live in a completely queer household with a trans woman, a trans man and a nonbinary butch. Okay. That’s their life, that’s their, the way they were raised with whatever it’s okay by you, if you want to be a polka dot Martian and that’s okay by me, if you want to be, you know, Christian heterosexual, that’s also okay by me. They will raised literally in an open environment, but because of, I’m sorry, the sun’s blinding me, because of society’s expectations. and that constant media message from the word go, the socialization still had its effect. They were terrified to tell me, even when your parents get it right, it’s really hard.

Marianne Oakes:
Well, I was going to say, when the parents do get it right, we as children are still going to go out into the world. I’m not going to say it’s, you know, they are othered in the world. And when, and, and even if, uh, cause I’m sure it’s the same in other cultures where people feel othered, that when the children go out into the world, they worked hard to fit into that world. And it becomes almost habitual that actually stopping that process can be really difficult as well. So no matter what the parents do, it still what goes on beyond the family environment. DK Green: To add to that. Especially school kids are cruel and the drive and the pressure to fit in at school and not be othered it, you know, cause othered equals bullying. And so the drive to be, you know, fitting in at school, the pressure there is almost harder than from parental.

Dr Helen Webberley:
What I want to do is give some positivity as well to the people who’ll be listening because we are learning all the time, aren’t we? as professionals, we’re learning all the time as society, we’re learning all the time and children and adults and adolescents and parents are learning all the time. And so, yes, the school playground is a cruel place, but equally we are seeing, the young people being much more accepting than today’s adults. You know, they get it. They’re like, I don’t care what color your hair is. I don’t care what you’ve got down there. Or under that.

DK Green:
I think that transitioning itself happens, happens around sort of teenagehood. I think young children are very pressured because they’ve got the child development brain, which is just accepting fact and information and input. And it’s not until they hit cognitive faculty, somewhere between nine and 12, that they actually start to question and discern for themselves. So by the time they hit teenagehood, they’re like, right. I’ve got my questions about this societal script. It doesn’t fit me. Yeah.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Absolutely. So Marianne, you excited about the sizzling sex, but then, I mean, when I came onto this podcast, I was thinking, okay, so when I’m just contemplating trans people and, and what, what challenges or barriers or difficulties they might have. And I was just simply imagining the kind of physical difficulties or concerns or worries, but actually what you both taught me is that in order to have that sizzling sex that we will see and want, you’ve got to start loving yourself first and understanding that it’s something that yes, you can have it and yes, you deserve it. And yes, everyone can have it. Is that, am I right?

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Oh, absolutely. Me for me, the thing is that if you identify your desires, you love yourself. You get comfortable with yourself, you gain confidence and confidence is sexy as hell.

DK Green:
Absolutely. And it’s about giving yourself permission because if you’ve been othered and shamed, it’s really hard to give yourself permission and say, yes dammit, I can have this. I can enjoy this. I can choose what I want for pleasure in my life.

Dr Helen Webberley:
So if we, if we’ve got people listening, who haven’t, I just kind of, not quite there yet, or, you know, what could we help them? I mean, I know they’re not in the therapy room at the moment and that’s a different place, but can we help people who might be listening have kind of understanding what we mean here?

DK Green:
Yeah. I think I’d like to add, cause I see a lot of clients through transition. I think it’s really important that there’s no rush. There’s no hurry. And actually to do things as and when you feel ready to do them, and that does involve a lot of the early work around shame and around othering and, and so on. But actually, then you can start talking about, Oh, what do you like, what would you like? What’s your, what’s your fantasies about when you masturbate? What is it that you’re designing? Who is it that you’re designing? You know, what gender, what sexuality, you know, those are the questions that we can start to ask, but those things can be very fluid, especially through transition. You know, people have literally changed their sexuality during transition. So you know, that can be a whole journey all of its own. But I think the key thing that I want to say is absolutely give it time because you’ll find, you’ll rediscover because it is new. Especially if you go down the physical transition route, you know, I mean, hormonally, it has big effects as well on the (unclear 19:56) and all the rest of it. But actually the physical transition is it’s almost like starting all over again. Even if you had a super fantastic sex life beforehand, it’s kind of like rediscovering what your sexual ticks are.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
I mean, I would just reiterate the same thing and take your time. And I talk with people about masturbation as something that is usually something for many people that’s quick and it’s, it’s an effort to relieve pressure. It’s not even about pleasure for lots of people, but that one of the ways of figuring things out is to really take time with yourself. So, you know, look at erotica, listen to erotica, explore your body, take your time, go slowly, get comfortable and actually set time aside to do that as and when you’re ready. So, and treat it like a gift. It’s a new exploration you to do a lot of things all over again. You can just throw all your assumptions out the window and start over.

DK Green:
And also because of (unclear 20:55) there’s often, not always, but there’s this sometimes a real discomfort with sex when your body doesn’t fit who you are, it doesn’t map out the way it does in your brain. So there can be a discomfort with sex beforehand, but actually suddenly becomes this super exciting thing that’s full, full of possibility. But it can also be that you had a great sex life before and now you’ve got to figure it out all over again. And that can be quite challenging. So finding what you like is a journey and a process.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Marianne, I mean, you’re going to be an in your therapy room for the next few months. Do you think this is helpful?

Marianne Oakes:
I am obviously not a sex therapist, but the challenge I have, and I think what I have what I’ve learned through the trans community over the years is there’s a lot of people think that wanting sex, certainly for trans women wanting sex and enjoining the sex invalidates as, us, women, cause apparently somewhere they’d been taught that women don’t like sex. So getting them to realize I can see—

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
It’s bad enough having to do that with cis-gendered women, having to go through the process of saying actually you’re built, you’re built for pleasure.

Marianne Oakes:
Well, I was going to say, so I sat there with people and the way they talk about sex and the way they introduce it into the therapy room is awkward. It’s disturbing to hear, it’s disturbing for them. you know, it’s not unusual for me to hear people refer to masturbation as body abuse because they see it as a bad thing and they can’t, they can’t just enjoy it. And the that, that struggled to compute that in my own mind, but I have to sit with it if you know, I’m out, I’m not going to go and argue with them.

DK Green:
It’s the shame. And it’s the shame that needs to be worked on in that particular case.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
It’s so hard.

DK Green:
Oh, I also wanted to mention, I think really important in this particular conversation is language. Language is so important, so, so important for trans folk. and you’ll get as many different opinions of what language they need to be hear. as there are different people, quite literally, I’ve heard, you know, trans men talk about their front hole and their back hole. I’ve heard trans men talk about their dick. some talk about their clit dick. I’ve heard trans women talk about their girl penis. I’ve heard trans women who don’t want to talk about it at all. Like we’d rather it didn’t exist. so the language is so, so important. And if I’d like to give a bit of advice to anyone who’s listening, who wants to have sex with a trans person, their language is what matters. So you need to find out what language they want to speak.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Before you speak find out what language.

DK Green:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr Helen Webberley:
And also I’m guessing, I’m guessing, and I’m going to guess it because I don’t know, but I’m guessing kind of like if they, if, uh, if a trans feminine person wants to use their penis in sex, that is absolutely okay. No problem at all. That doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a woman. And, you know, I just, I kind of want to say that to anyone who might be listening, you know, use any part of your body that gives you pleasure.

DK Green:
I’m really happy to hear that. Really happy to hear that.

Marianne Oakes:
I, I, I just care to expand on that and I don’t know what everybody would feel, but it’s find ways to get pleasure from it. It doesn’t just have to be one dimensional, shall we say, explore your body. And the biggest concern I have as a trans woman, or as a trans person, is there are a lot of regrets around surgery, for example, is because they felt pressured to have that surgery because of the shame, not because it was right or an enhancement of their femininity. Does that make sense that they go through it because they think this is going to make me happy now because that’s what the community, the trans community expects, what the medical community expect to me? It’s what society expect, but it’s not necessarily what they’re expected of them.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
I think they go, and I’m not sure if that they always go through it with good information on what that means for pleasure afterwards.

DK Green:
Correct. I think there is, there is a lot of, of those conversations in my therapy room, there are a lots of those conversations. but I think equally there is, uh, you know, there probably are more conversations, about people who are fearful of having surgery for those very reasons, for loss of pleasure for the surgery itself, it’s a traumatic experience for the repercussions of the healing and the time off work and all the rest of it. A lot of people will put it off and put it off and put it off. So I think it’s not just the fact that some are feeling pressured by society to have the surgery to fit finally, into one box or another. but also it’s about working with those pressures to actually find out what that individual person feels, once needs for themselves irrespective of society’s pressures either way.

Dr Helen Webberley:
We had a question on the last podcast from somebody that I’m not sure we gave it justice because I don’t know the answer. And I guess we don’t know the answer because the answers lie within that person. But so somebody had to put a question into us that they’ve had, surgery. She was a trans feminine person who’d had lower surgery and had no feeling down below, afterwards, or less feeding than she was hoping to have bit which translated to her as, as no feeling. and I kind of, I felt quite impotent in helping her, if you know what I mean, which is obviously coming from her own feelings as well, but that must be horrible. And I’m going to give it to you because I didn’t know what to do with it.

DK Green:
There are a couple of things that I want to talk about there. One is the surgery has, I mean, I’ve had clients who transitioned sort of 20, 30 years ago. The surgery is much improved now and it’s getting better all the time, but I do have people whose surgeries were bad, were poor, who do have that struggle. So firstly for any, uh, anyone who’s newly transitioning, I would encourage them to do as much research as they can about the particular surgeon they want and the results that they’ve had, to ensure the best possible results. And for those who’ve already had surgeries and are feeling, diminished in their sexual pleasure. there are a million ways to have sex and that’s what I would be talking to them about. I’d be talking to them about tantra. I’d be talking to them about, you know, the, the sort of the goal set of, of, uh, sex. If you do this, you do this and tick boom, and it’s over. I wipe that off the table and look at all the different ways that you can have tremendous sexual pleasure that aren’t about, you know, (unclear 28:07) goes into sloppy and hey presto, you’re done. Yeah.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
For parts of your body and sensitivity on different parts of your body. And so looking at bringing out the sensuousness and the, and the erogenousness of various areas of your body, it’s, similar advice that you would give to somebody who’s had, spinal injury. So move the source of pleasure, and it’s gonna take time and it takes effort and discovery, but tremendous pleasure can be had.

Marianne Oakes:
I’ll just say, can I ask the thoughts? Because something that I’ve kind of learned through doing the podcasts with various people, but also talking to people that have gone through surgery is because of the nature of gatekeeping, we try to fit a particular narrative and we go all the way through this transition, trying to fit this narrative. If we’re hitting gatekeepers. And by the time we get to a surgeon that’s just about to do a vaginoplasty or a phalloplasty that we’re frightened to talk about sex, you know, the most important thing or not the most, but equally important thing. Somebody should be asking somebody about to go through that. What do you want to for how are you going to use it? How much? Yeah. Yeah. I don’t think my understanding is that conversation’s never hard. It’s all about, it’s gonna look great. It’s gonna, it’s gonna make you feel more like a man or a woman, but actually believe function.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Which misses to me misses one of the biggest points, because you want to be a functional man or woman, you don’t want to be doll. Right. And it’s sad that that conversation doesn’t happen, but it’s not surprising.

DK Green:
Yeah. It does happen with the top surgery, at least in my experience. so, you know, you essentially sign a disclaimer that if you’re going to have nipple grafts, then Hey, Presto, you’re not going to feel anything. Yeah, or you’re most likely not. Now, for example, I had two nipple grafts, obviously there are two. And one, I have really, really great sensation, which is bizarre and the other, I don’t have much, I know people who’ve had all sorts of top surgery who’ve had those conversations with their surgeon and yet when it comes to lower surgeries, uh, pleasure is, or function is talked about, do you need to be able to pee through it? Do you need to be able to penetrate blah, blah, blah, you know, function, but nobody talks about pleasure.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
But then that’s not just here. I mean, they don’t talk about pleasure. If you go to the gynecologist, you know, as, as a woman, nobody talks about pleasure there either, unless you bring it up. I mean, it’s, it’s the last thing on the menu.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Yeah. I mean, I think Marianne, it’s because of what you said earlier, wasn’t it, you know, when someone says something difficult, uh, the easiest thing to do is just to either pretend you didn’t hear it or get over that as quickly as possible. Marianne, you talked about the gatekeeping it again. And it really distresses me when, you know, the criteria for surgery of two letters to show that you are trans enough and to show that you’re not going to regret your surgery and to make sure you understand what that surgery is all about. I mean, you’re right. There’s nothing in there, is there, Marianne about it, about what you want? Why do you need it? Why do you want it? What do you want to achieve? And also, what are you going to miss after the surgery? Because they’re going to get to change some bits around. So what are you going to miss? What, you know, do you want to hang on to that bit? Because you might like that bit actually.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
That’s a conversation that absolutely should be had. I mean, it’s distressing that it isn’t had. more often.

Marianne Oakes:
That sort of what I talk about and this again is purely experience and nothing academic about this at all. But to me, libido, isn’t just about having sex. It can be the difference between having a fantastic social interaction, you know, uh, it can be energy in a room, in an office environment. It makes, it makes, it puts a tension in there that is exciting. That drives people yet helps ambition. And actually, if we ignore, if we see sex drive or libido as purely for gaining sex, energy has been lost out of the world, out of our lives.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
I talk about this all the time. I sometimes talk on business summits and things, and they talk about the fact that if you get your, you access your sexual energy and you integrate that and you’re authentic. So you know what your desires and you have no shame. And you’re feeling comfortable that, that in business, on a stage comes through and you come through as confident and there’s all sorts of energy and you’ve got the motivation to do the things you want to do. If you don’t, there’s a gap and a stop. It’s just like when somebody is in the middle of a divorce, for example, you can see that their concentration is off. You can see that something isn’t quite right. And it’s the same thing. So libido, I look at it in the old fashioned way, which is that energy is necessary for all of life. Not, not just sex. So absolutely agree with you.

DK Green:
Really liked to end with or recognize we’re running low on time, with something semi positive. So we talked to going back to what Marianne said earlier about these conversations that aren’t being had. So my experience, in, in my profession and with my clients and with my work that I do with the GICs. There are seven UK GICs. They vary massively. And some of them are absolutely stuck in their Dr. Mooney ways of you have to tick this box to this box and this box before we’ll allow. So that’s the gatekeeping stuff, but some of the GCs are actually waking up and they’re getting more clued in about gender. They’re exploring the fact that actually gender isn’t binary that has lots of fluidity in between. that some people might want this and this, but not that it needs to be a smorgasbord to fit the individual, not, you know, your tick boxes that you have to achieve. Yeah. So I think it’s really worth mentioning that some of the GICs are waking up and are listening and there’s an awful lot of advocacy and fighting going on to make that happen. So, you know, I don’t believe it’s great right now. I do believe it’s getting better. And my hope is that enough people are going to find enough voices going to be heard that actually they do change these things.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Yeah. And that’s, I mean, that’s a beautifully, positive thing, isn’t it, Marianne?

Marianne Oakes:
I was just kind of not wanting to bring the conversation now. I don’t know why this just came into my, i was it the doctors yesterday? he said to me, you know, how you getting on, I’m not. I come from injection and just check hours. Never once has anybody through the GIC or at the GP practice ever asked how my libido is and am I a happy—I think we had a small conversation when we were away the other week and didn’t we Helen and I said, you know, it will be nice to, to have some education around that. And you know, maybe be able talk to the doctors and maybe give me a little bit of testosterone, but the fact that he wouldn’t mention it, I think I mirrored it. If he’s going to be awkward, I’m going to be awkward. Sometimes we need the professional to bring this into the room.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
Absolutely. And unfortunately, this is semi universal. I had a hysterectomy in 2018 and they took my ovaries. and I’m educated. So I said to the gynecologist, I want testosterone, please, because with no testosterone, I would have no energy and no libido. So not only do I want estrogen, but can I please have the testosterone? And he said, fine, I’m going to give you a prescription. We’ll see if you can get it on the NHS, but it’s highly unlikely. And I discovered that unless you are under the age of 40 and have a hysterectomy in most places in the United Kingdom, or you’re transitioning, you cannot get testosterone if you are in a female body.

DK Green:
Because libido is not medically important.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
That’s right. after the age of 40, if you don’t have libido, it’s not a problem. So you have to pay for it yourself.

Dr Helen Webberley:
This is really, I think this is really important because what we haven’t really touched on it. So we’ve touched a lot, a lot on the psychology of sex and the brain. I always say, when I was working in the psychosexual field, that the brain is your biggest sexual organ, without that working properly, nothing can really go well. So, so brain really, really important finding your, your, where on your body feels good for you really, really important. But actually those hormones are really important too. So that is a kind of a very physical thing. The rest of the other is a very psychological way of thinking medically. And then we’ve got the physical thing hormones do matter and, you know, yes, a little, we all need a little bit of testosterone and, and that’s really important. And if it’s just for sex and I’ve got my fingers in inverted commas here, then that’s okay, that’s fine. But just for sex in inverted commas is absolutely fine. And then the other thing that we see a lot is, is transfeminine people, for example, so excited about switching their hormones feels so, so good. And they’re given medication to completely get rid of their testosterone, hooray, hooray, and hooray. And the estrogen feels amazing and lovely, really useful, but something’s missing that little tiny bit of testosterone that is missing because what medically we’ve done is get rid of all of it. And it’s a really important discussion, Marianne. You’re so right, that needs to be had with a doctor that understands woman’s and understands that sex is important.

Dr Lori Beth Bisbey:
And their recognition for the bedside manner. Part of it is that if they don’t bring it up, their patients are going to have trouble bringing it up. And they’re doing them a disservice. They have to be able to comfortable. It’s, uh, it’s the same when you go to see a therapist, you know, we talk about this. So the therapists who are not used to dealing with GSRD clients, who you can see on their face, how awkward they are and how uncomfortable they are, and every emotion that they’re having, the client’s not going to talk there.

DK Green:
But I also want to say that actually that’s what’s happening at the moment is people because the doctors aren’t talking about it, the GICs aren’t talking about it, the clinics aren’t talking about it, they come and see sex therapists. They’re coming to see psychologists, psychologists or therapists who are educated about sex, because they are desperate for someone to talk to saying, this is a problem. I need help with it.

Dr Helen Webberley:
I feel like we need to two posters in our, in our rooms. All people welcome here. So these lists of diversities of people welcome here, infinity diversities. And these are the things that you can talk to me about in here. And infinity number words, it’s kind of like, okay, so both lists have infinity on them. So we don’t really need the list because everybody welcome. And we can talk about anything that would be a really lovely position to be in. wouldn’t it. I think we could talk forever and I wish we could, but we have to, we have to like all good sizzling sex, it has to come to, it comes to time. Unfortunately, until the next time, but I have learned so much. I can’t wait to go out there with my libido into the world with my, confidence and energy and everything. You’ve really inspired me today, I don’t know about you, Marianne.

Marianne Oakes:
Yeah. I’ve just enjoyed this whole series, but actually this today has been really enlightening. And I felt really comfortable talking about sex.

Dr Helen Webberley:
Yay. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks very much.

DK Green:
Thank you. Thanks, Marianne.

 

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