TransLash Guide to Trans Sex: T4T and Trans-Cis

This trans-affirming guide to sex with trans people references the wisdom of Mira Bellwether, Quinn Rhodes, Phoebe VanCleefe, Original Plumbing: Trans Male Quarterly 2009 – 2019), brazen: Trans Women’s Safer Sex Guide (2013), and more.

A Black transgender woman and her Black trans masc lover embrace each other.
A smiling Black trans masc person with short cropped hair and a triangle tattoo on his forehead embraces his Black trans woman lover. She smiles, revealing a row of braces, as her black and blue dyed long braids fall onto his arms. Both lovers are holding each other with their eyes closed.

While one document will never comprehensively cover all questions, we hope that TransLash Guide to Trans Sex: T4T and Trans-Cis will serve as a useful starting point for trans and cisgender people who plan to engage in sexual intimacy with trans and gender nonconforming folks.

By Zarina Crockett and Daniela “Dani” Capistrano

CONTENT DISCLOSURE: This guide is specific to sexual intimacy in committed and clandestine sexual encounters for people 18+ where compensation for sex is not involved.

For more information on how to respect and support trans sex workers, contact your local Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Chapter and Black/trans-led resources that serve trans sex workers such as Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in NYC. Watch the above video to learn about laws that specifically target Black and brown trans sex workers and how to fight back.

For age-appropriate sexual health education for minors of all genders, check out the book Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg.

If you are under 18 and are reading this sex guide on our website, please share the link with an adult you trust for further discussion. We love you and want you to feel informed and protected!


Whether you’re trans, cis, or gender nonconforming, you deserve sexual experiences that are pleasurable, consensual, and affirming (learn more about relationships in our T4T love guide).

Regardless of your gender, you likely already know that sexual experiences can be like snowflakes; not one is ever the same and can manifest in different ways. Most people, at the end of the day, want to be seen and appreciated for who they really are: in and out of the bedroom.

Unfortunately, when searching the web for “what is sex with trans people like” in the United States, most of the first few pages of results are confusing Reddit threads, a few medical journals, and lots of porn sites.


Pornography websites should NEVER be the first place someone goes to when seeking to learn about how to have enjoyable, consensual sex with trans people. Porn is fantasy and can involve problematic depictions of people of ALL genders, so while porn for consenting adults in general isn’t a bad thing, it can be a terrible teacher for real-world bedroom dynamics.

As Lux Alptraum reported for them in 2018, another significant factor in sex as a trans person is the experience of sex before and after transitioning, which is rarely addressed in porn.

While we could devote several guides specifically to pre- and post-transition sex, what we’ll share here is an excerpt of Alptraum’s interview with Rebecca Hammond, a trans woman:

  • ❤️ Transition can alter the experience of sex in physical, mental, and emotional ways.
  • ❤️ Bottom surgery can create a dramatic demarcation between sex pre- and post-transition, with the creation of an entirely new intimate body part that offers access to a radically different landscape of sexual experiences.
  • ❤️ Even without a surgical procedure, transition can alter the experience of sex in physical, mental, and emotional ways.
  • ❤️ Exploring sex as transition changes your sense of who you are can be a fraught experience — one as terrifying as it is exciting. Learn more here.

Do you know where your trans sex partner is on their gender journey? Asking questions (in appropriate ways) is key to a mutually pleasurable experience.


Some trans people do not feel safe to initially disclose they are trans before, during, or after sex. If you are cisgender, we encourage you to hold space for their justified fears and to refrain from perpetuating anti-trans violence under the guise of the “gay/trans panic” defense.

Trans people don’t owe you their life story and don’t have to disclose from jump that they are trans, in the same way that a person you just met doesn’t have to immediately tell you they are bisexual, vegetarian, or Catholic.

But once you discover someone you had sex with is trans, you do have a right to respectfully ask questions and gain clarity on how you both want to move forward.


Doing anything for the first time can inspire the full spectrum of human emotions, especially when it comes to sex. Here are just a few reasons why people of all genders might initially feel nervous about engaging in sex with a trans person:

  • ❤️ Not wanting to unintentionally misgender someone during sex;
  • ❤️ Not wanting to touch a trans person’s body in ways that make the trans person feel like they are being misgendered or dehumanized without consent;
  • ❤️ Being uninformed about what is pleasurable for trans people who had top or bottom surgery (or who are pre-op);
  • ❤️ Not understanding that sexual positions aren’t gender-specific and feeling trapped in a binary understanding of sexual power dynamics and roles;
  • ❤️ Struggling with internalized/unresolved transphobia that prevents you from enjoying sex with trans people.

All of these concerns and fears could be getting in the way of you engaging in joyful, pleasurable, consensual sex with your trans boo, and that is unfortunate! We hope that this guide helps you get to a place of clarity and confidence.

STEP 1: Share this TransLashGuide to T4T and Trans-Cis Sex with your lover/hookup as part of an initial and ongoing conversation about both of your desires, boundaries, concerns, and needs.

You don’t need to both be trans to get something out of this guide! People of all genders make mistakes before/during/after sex. Additionally, compounding factors such as religious and sexual trauma can make even talking about sex really hard for people of all genders.

“Why do I have to do so much planning before sex? Why can’t I just go with the flow?”

While learning things organically about your lover through the actual act of sex can be a beautiful thing, it can also be useful (and prevent harm while maximizing mutual pleasure) to gather some information before sex.

STEP 2: Here’s a trans-affirming checklist to inform your clarifying conversation with any sexual partner of any gender:

  • ❤️ What are your physical boundaries? EX: Where do you like to be touched/don’t want to be touched?
  • ❤️ What are you open to exploring and what are you absolutely not interested in?
  • ❤️ What are your access needs before/during/after sex so that I don’t perpetuate ableism with you?
  • ❤️ What pronouns do you prefer in the bedroom (sometimes they are different)?
  • ❤️ What are some specific triggers for you that I should avoid?
  • ❤️ Are there body parts that you prefer to be identified in specific terms that I may not automatically know?
  • ❤️ What are some go-to sexual acts that you really enjoy and that help you achieve orgasm?
  • ❤️ Is orgasm always (or ever) an end goal with you, and if not, how do you prefer to pleasurably end a sex act with someone?
  • ❤️ If you are unable to orgasm or aren’t interested in having an orgasm, what make sex a fulfilling experience for you and how can I support that?
  • ❤️ Do you like to to role play, and if so, what’s your ideal role play scenario?
  • ❤️ Do you like to give or receive oral sex, and if so, in what ways?
  • ❤️ Do you like to to be penetrated or to penetrate others, and if so, in what ways?
  • ❤️ How do you practice safe sex and what is your preference for how we practice safe sex together?
  • ❤️ Have you recently been tested for HIV/AIDS and STDs? What were the results of those tests?
  • ❤️ If you do have HIV/AIDS, what are ways that we can engage in safe sex together, and how I can support you in accessing what you need?
  • ❤️ What are your safe words when it comes to sex, BDSM, and other forms of kink?
  • ❤️ What is your preferred form of aftercare and what can I do to make sure you feel comfortable and safe after sex?
  • ❤️ Do you have a safe place to go after we are done being intimate, such as your home or another location, and a way to get there? If not, how can I support you?

REAL TALK: asking questions before sex can feel awkward for some folks. That’s valid!

You don’t need to ask all these questions immediately over one meal, in one phone conversation, or in one long text. It’s okay to take your time to get to know someone. In fact, you might overwhelm the other person if you initially approach this conversation with an entire checklist. It’s not a job interview, it’s sex!

Use discernment and go at your own pace. There isn’t one right way to get to know somebody or their sexual preferences, whether they are cis or trans. But if you’re willing to be vulnerable with the person you care about and desire, to make clear that you are asking questions out of wanting to support mutually enjoyable experiences, you’re already off to a great start.

Additionally, there are some clarifying questions you should consider asking a one-night stand in advance of sex, to minimize harm and maximize pleasure for all parties involved.

For hookups, take the time to consider from the above list which questions you need to know the answer to before letting a stranger do anything to your body.

Your vetting questions may prevent you from having a terrible experience or unintentionally causing harm to someone else. Protect yourself!

Here’s a very helpful guide to sex with trans women in the form of a zine, thanks to Mira Bellwether. She passed away on December 25, 2022:

[Mira_Bellwether]_Fucking_T… by Mario

As reported by them, Bellwether considered Fucking Trans Women, first published in 2010, a “how-to manual.” Centered on embodiment, creativity, and collaboration, the zine is a rallying cry, championing all the incredible possibilities contained within trans women’s bodies and their lives. 

STEP 3: Before you try to get in a trans person’s pants, be a part of a trans person’s peace; not part of their struggle.

HARM REDUCTION TIP: We do not recommend that cisgender people use dating and hookup apps to approach trans people for any forms of casual sex before making any attempt to educate themselves about the multiple forms of oppression that trans people face in this world.

If you truly care about mutually enjoyable and consensual, trans-affirming sex with trans people, take the time to learn about our lives. Don’t count on trans people to let you use their bodies for free emotional and intellectual labor through sex.

One important form of allyship is taking time to educate yourself.

Additionally, cultivate authentic friendships with trans people online and offline in your area to avoid viewing them as objects who only exist to fulfill your fantasies.

Trans people are prismatic beings, just like you, who deserve a world that is safe and equitable.

STEP 4: Keep these affirmations in the back of your mind, regardless of your gender:

  • ❤️ It’s okay if I don’t want to participate in a sexual act, or to not have sex at all. My consent is equally important.
  • ❤️ I can wait to have sex with someone until I have more information about their preferences and boundaries (and until they learn more about me).
  • ❤️ Sex can still be sexy and exciting if I have a clarifying conversation with my lover/hookup before we have sex. In fact, the actual experience can be far more pleasurable if I gather information in advance, versus going in with zero knowledge or preparation around my partner’s boundaries and desires.
  • ❤️ It is okay to stop during sex to re-establish a boundary or to ask a clarifying question. Anyone who has a problem with me checking in during sex likely isn’t a safe person to be sexual with at this time, or at any time.

STEP 5: NEVER FORGET that being trans doesn’t automatically make you an expert on sex with all trans people.

Trans folks may share certain experiences of oppression and erasure, but even within trans communities you will find many examples of unjust privilege, bias, and discrimination, including anti-Blackness, classism, and ableism.

If you as a trans person enter into a sexual encounter/dynamic with someone who has less institutional power or class privilege than you, be self-aware about how you take up space. You may be unintentionally centering your own desires at the expense of your trans lover’s needs and concerns.

Intentionally or not, upholding oppression in and out of the bedroom isn’t hot.

Sex is both a physical and mental experience. Power dynamics (both institutional and kink-based) play a huge role in someone’s experience of sex.

If you as a trans person feel that you are being heard, and your boundaries respected, that will likely open you up to more pleasure and interest in trying new things with your lovers of all genders.

Conversely, if you feel dehumanized and disrespected during sex as a trans person and that things are being done to you without your consent, then your experience of sex regardless of your gender is likely going to feel disempowering and traumatizing.

You have a right to experience sex that is gender-affirming, enjoyable, transformative, and yes; even healing.

TransLash Podcast with Imara Jones invited BDSM educator and sex worker advocate Ze R to talk about kink, gender, and what it looks like to embrace your kinky side as a trans person. Access the transcript here.

As Imara Jones wrote for TransLash Zine, “when we talk about trans liberation, we can’t forget that a key ingredient is the total freedom to control our bodies, explore our desires, and find pleasure through sexual expression on our own terms. That’s because there is no greater sign of self-determination than body autonomy.”

Asking questions in advance of a sexual act with a person of any gender can prevent many misunderstandings, confusion, disappointments and forms of harm, such as ableism.

No one is an expert on all forms of sex, but we can always learn more and do better as sexual partners through remaining curious, respectful, and making sure consent is always at the forefront.

For even more trans sex tips read on; navigating intimacy in T4T (Transgender for Transgender) and transgender-cisgender relationships can be a deeply enriching experience.

The rest of this guide aims to provide more insights into respectful, consensual, and fulfilling intimate relationships, emphasizing the importance of communication, understanding, and individual preferences.

🏳️‍⚧️Pronouns in Relationships🏳️‍⚧️

@memphis901_pride Follow my new page ➡️ for more. #lgbt #genderpronouns #gender #pronouns #lgbtq #shethey #theythem #hethey ♬ original sound – Nelson
  • 💖 Affirmation: Pronouns are not just words; they are integral to a person’s identity. Using someone’s correct pronouns affirms and respects their gender identity.
  • 💖 Best Practices: If unsure about someone’s pronouns, respectfully ask and consistently use them in interactions. This practice helps create a supportive and affirming environment for all parties involved!

🧭Discussing and Respecting Bodies🧭

  • 💙 Recognize Individual Relationships with Bodies: Every person has a unique relationship with their body. Acknowledge and honor this individuality, understanding that experiences and comfort levels vary widely.
  • 💙 Practice Empathy: Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Understanding their perspective can guide you to be more sensitive and respectful in your conversations about bodies.
  • 💙 Use Affirming and Consensual Language: Opt for language that both partners feel comfortable with. This might mean using non-traditional terms for body parts or sexual acts, tailored to each individual’s preferences.
  • 💙 Avoid Assumptions: Never assume how someone refers to their body parts. What might be comfortable for one person could be distressing for another.
  • 💚 Consent is dynamic and ongoing in any intimate relationship: It’s essential to regularly Check In: It’s not only okay but crucial to check in with your partner frequently for consent. This can be as simple as asking, “Is this okay?” or “Do you like this?”
  • 💚 Respect Boundaries: Understand that previously discussed boundaries in a play scene can change. Always be prepared to adapt and respect new boundaries.
  • 💚 Be Open to Change: Remember that what was planned or desired might change in the moment. Be open and responsive to these shifts, ensuring both partners feel safe and comfortable.

💋Intimacy and Sexual Activities💋

@thatguygatteo hope this helps!! #fyp #foryou #trans #transgender #transperson #transdating #transman #transgirl #ftm #mtf #nonbinary #lgbtq #lgbt #gay #bi #bisexual #lesbian #pansexual #cispeople #gaytiktok #transtiktok #pride #mlm #wlw #🏳️‍🌈 #🏳️‍⚧️ #queer #dating #queerdating #relationships #datingadvice #datingtips ♬ original sound – GATTEO 🍉🏳️‍⚧️

When it comes to intimacy, communication and consent is key. T4T couples, as well as cisgender and transgender couples, can explore a variety of sexual activities that are comfortable and enjoyable for both partners.

It’s important to have open conversations about what each person enjoys, their boundaries, and how to navigate any gender dysphoria that might arise during intimacy.

📌Suggested Sexual Positions and Activities📌

The Transmasc Couple’s Guide To The Liberator Wedge
The Transmasc Couple’s Guide To The Liberator Wedge
  • 💜 Mutual Masturbation: This can be a comfortable starting point, as it allows partners to show each other what they enjoy.
  • 💜 Oral Sex: Can be tailored to each partner’s comfort level and preferences.
  • 💜 Penetrative Sex: If comfortable, use strap-ons, dilators, or fingers. Always prioritize consent and comfort.
  • 💜 Non-Penetrative Touch: Activities such as erotic massaging, kissing, and cuddling can be deeply intimate and affirming.

🧷Safe Sex Practices for Transgender Individuals🧷

  • 💛 STI Prevention: The use of barrier methods like external condoms, internal condoms, or dental dams is crucial for preventing STIs. It’s important for transgender individuals to feel empowered to make safe sex decisions.
  • 💛 Condomless sSx: For T4T relationships, understanding and implementing a range of safe sex practices is critical for health and well-being.

💊PrEP and PEP💊

  • 🧡 Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP): This is a preventive medication for HIV-negative individuals to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Which is very effective when taken regularly as prescribed.
  • 🧡 Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP): PEP involves taking HIV medicines very soon after a possible exposure to HIV occurs to prevent the virus from taking hold in your body. It’s an emergency measure and must be started within 72 hours after potential exposure to HIV.

🗣️Partner Communication and Sexual History🗣️

@rosemontoya ♬ original sound – Rose Montoya

Openly talking about past sexual experiences, STI testing history, and current health status is vital. These discussions should be respectful, consensual, and non-judgmental.

📚Barrier Methods and Other Considerations📚

@drsloane1 ♬ original sound – Dr. Sloane
  • 💚 Condom Use: Despite the availability of PrEP, PEP, and Doxy-PEP, using barrier methods like condoms and dental dams is essential to prevent other STIs.
  • 💚 Regular Testing: Regular testing for STIs, including HIV, is recommended. For those at risk of HIV infection, discussing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with a healthcare provider is advised.
  • 💚 Gender-Affirming Hormones STIs and pregnancy: It’s important to note that gender-affirming hormone treatment does not reduce the risk of acquiring STIs or prevent pregnancy. 
  • 💚 Navigating Gender Dysphoria: If gender dysphoria arises during sex, having a plan like a safe word or specific actions that can provide comfort is beneficial.
  • 💚 Considerations Post-Surgery: For individuals who have had gender-affirming surgery, being mindful of unhealed skin and using plenty of lube during sex can reduce the risk of STI transmission.


T4T and Trans-Cis Sex and Relationships Articles

Mental and Physical Health Resources

Health Care Provider Directories

  • 📖 RAD Remedy: Dedicated to connecting trans, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer folks to accurate, safe, respectful, and comprehensive care.
  • 📖 WPATH Global Provider Directory: Lists healthcare professionals worldwide who specialize in transgender care.

Advocacy Groups

  • 📖 Transgender Law Center (TLC): Offers legal resources and advocacy for transgender rights, including health care access and discrimination.
  • 📖 Lambda Legal: Fights for the civil rights of LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV through litigation, education, and policy work.
  • 📖 GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network): Works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.
  • 📖 PFLAG: Offers support, education, and advocacy for LGBTQ people, their families, friends, and allies.

Research and Policy Institutes

Online Communities and Forums

  • 📖 Susan’s Place Transgender Resources: Offers a supportive space for transgender individuals, including forums and articles on a variety of topics related to transition and health.
  • 📖 MyTransHealth: Designed to connect transgender individuals with qualified, safe healthcare providers.

More Educational Resources

  • 📖 Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER): Provides resources for transgender students, including information on navigating the education system.
  • 📖 Point of Pride: Offers support and resources including annual transgender surgery funds, a free chest binder donation program, and a free femme shapewear program.
  • 📖 Gender Spectrum: Provides education, training, and support to help create gender-sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.

Did you find this trans sex resource helpful? Consider supporting TransLash today with a tax-deductible donation. Did we miss anything? Let us know and we’ll update the guide with your suggestion, crediting you as the contributor.

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TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.



TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.


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At TransLash, change is constant. We embrace our own process of collective transformation, and we honor every step of the journey. We’re getting ready to celebrate a pivotal point in our story, and we’re inviting you to be a part of it! 

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We’ve been working behind the scenes to launch a new brand for TransLash—one that honors our roots, reflects our growth, and leaves room for what’s to come. Over the next few months, you’ll notice fresh visuals and content as we bring our “glow up” to life across our digital channels. This summer, we’ll celebrate the culmination of that work: our brand new website! We’re building a new home for the journalism you love and trust, grounded in our deep commitment to the trans community.

We’re stepping into our own transition, and we want to share it with you. Join us!

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