Q: Safe sex for transgender men?

Q: I have a very particular question regarding safe sex between two trans men who have not had lower surgery.

I am a trans man (or some would describe as FTM/female to male) who has not had surgery down below, but thankfully had substantial growth due to hormones (testosterone).

I recently hooked up with a trans guy, but found problems in trying to figure out how to have safer sex with the types of genitals we have. We tried something between frotting and tribadism, but couldn’t really figure out how to not swap fluids. We also tried to figure out ways where penetration or something that could feel similar to penetrating could happen, but the way our genitals are placed makes it difficult. Thighs get in the way, it’s a big ol’ mess.

So…any suggestions on safer sex between two trans men in that sort of a situation?


A: Thank you for asking this question! We’re so glad that you and your partner have made a commitment to safety. We can understand why you would ask– it’s difficult to find information out there about safe sex for transgender folks, especially trans men! We had to do quite a bit of digging to get our information and even polled some of our trans friends about their experiences. Here’s what we were able to come up with.

Safe Sex for Transgender Men

Unfortunately, there is currently not a market for condoms for transmen who are in the middle of transitioning. But there are other options to stay safe so you can use your body instead of an adult toy.

Using a finger cot as a condom may be a good option, but the problem is that you still have mucous membranes exposed on the outside of the clitoris that excrete lubrication. If you can’t cover them with a finger cot (or by using the cut-off thumb of a latex or nitrile glove), finger cots may not be a good way to go.

A lot of people recommend using a dental dam. While that may seem a little ungainly and impractical for stuff that isn’t oral sex, there’s been a recent trend in using garter belts (or other belts with clips on them) to hold them in place for frotting and tribadism. There are harnesses made with this explicit purpose, but they can be difficult to find or expensive. If you want a dental dam, but can’t find one that isn’t flavored, you can always take a regular condom (latex or otherwise; just avoid lambskin condoms because they don’t prevent the spread of STDs) and cut both ends off, then cut it length wise for form a triangle of latex. Here’s our guide to dental dams.

Another option is the female condom, also called the internal condom. While the name is unfortunate, this condom can be used by anyone of any gender. Here’s a guide to wearing an internal condom. Having the partner who is being penetrated wear one might one of the best options out there. The condom actually spreads out to cover the vulva, which will protect you both from exchanging fluids on the outside. The only problem with doing this would be keeping the outside sheath of the condom in place.

Instead of the female condom, many sites we read also talked about just using good, old-fashioned plastic wrap. You’ll have to make sure that it’s NOT the microwavable kind (they are full of holes to let the steam escape and can also let bacteria and viruses get through!), but other than that, you’ll just have to wrap it securely  around your genitals. A belt may help here as well.

The best defense against the spread of STDs, including HIV/AIDs, is vigilance. Before having sex, check to make sure that your partner doesn’t have any open sores, that they haven’t been feeling sick lately and that they’ve been tested recently. If you’re nervous about getting tested, these places are known trans-affirmative health organizations who can either test you or help you find a safe clinic that will do so:

If none of these options work, many LGBTQ centers and universities offer testing days.

For a long time, the myth has been that two people who were born with vulvas can’t spread the HIV/AIDs virus via sexual contact. Just this week, however, a woman who was in a monogamous relationship with a positive woman tested positive for HIV. Even if your partner doesn’t have HIV/AIDs, many STDs are asymptomatic, meaning you could have one and not even know if you haven’t been recently tested. Safe sex is always the best option.

If you would like to do more research on your own, I found a guide that seems to have great information. Readers, do you have any suggestions? What’s worked for you? Hit us up on TumblrFacebook, or Twitter. We can publish your suggestions anonymously.


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