Listener response to GenderTalk Roundtable on MTF Sexuality

Dear Nancy,

Thanks to you and all the GenderTalkers for continuing to produce a quality show that performs a great service to the community.

This weeks round table discussion on sexuality was superb. This area of discussion is one that many of us avoid. There is much healing that needs to be done around sexuality as we attempt to move forward. I truly believe that, in many cases, shame and sexual frustration come out sideways and contribute to the infighting within the community.

I do feel the need to offer a couple of comments. First: It would seem that Zantui Rose shows a certain bias toward commitment, long term relationships and monogamy as an avenue to integrating spirituality and sexuality. While some individuals may need such a framework in order to overcome their trust issues, this may not be the only route.

Is it not possible that someone who may struggle in long term relationships could form a deep spiritual connection with someone who would seem to the outside world to be a stranger? I believe that Souls can open in a moment. Enlightenment, grace, and communion are all within us.

I believe that souls can touch in a single look or kiss in ways that many do not experience during sexual intimacy. Of course this does not preclude that type of connection during sex. Still, who says that this requires a long term relationship, commitment or monogamy. Could the walls not come down within a small loving circle, committed or not?

My second comment has to do with some of the discussion about those of us who are struggling with our sexual selves, may not have developed a comfortable or active sexuality or who have made the choice to be asexual. While there was some show of compassion and there were some constructive suggestions, there were also a few comments that seemed somewhat patronizing. There was one comment made that, in effect, someone who is asexual or struggling is only half alive or living only half a life. Since the show is not up in the archive yet, I am working from my memory here.

While many who are struggling may also see it that way, there are others who may feel that their lives are still quite fulfilling and that their sexual struggles are not quite such a major part of their lives. Also the idea that asexuality when it is a choice, diminishes a person or limits their spiritual potential runs counter to many spiritual traditions and many many examples in her/history.

Yes, those who want to develop their sexuality should be encouraged but we must take care not to diminish or shame those who are working toward that goal or those who choose celibacy as their path.

Susan Wolf