“Rediscovering what I need to do to give myself pleasure”. Trans women’s experiences of their sexualities during gender transition: An interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Luke Ward*, Alastair Pipkin, Gianni Frary, Claudia Kempinska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous research highlights mixed findings regarding how trans people experience sexual satisfaction during and after transition. Qualitative research in particular reflects a process of psychosocial adjustment during and after transition which reciprocally impacts sex and pleasure. However, no previous studies have specifically explored trans women’s experiences of sexuality during transition. The current research explores trans women’s experiences of their sexualities during gender transition. A phenomenological qualitative methodology was used and 12 trans women aged 22-67 years old were individually interviewed about their experiences of their sexualities in 2023. Participants had varied sexualities, disabilities, and employment statuses, were mostly White and had started hormone replacement therapy. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse the data. Two group experiential themes were developed, each with two sub-themes: transition affords me with the confidence and comfort to explore my sexuality; and doing sexuality different as a result of transitioning. The results have implications for supporting trans women navigating their identities during transition by highlighting the psychosocial process of re-learning and/or re-discovering their sexualities. Recommendations for future research and practitioners are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2024

Data Access Statement

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Luke Ward, Department of Psychology and Sociology, University of Northampton, Waterside Campus, University Drive, Northampton, NN1 5PH, United Kingdom.
Email: luke.ward2@northampton.ac.uk

Keywords

  • transgender
  • trans woman
  • sexuality
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • trans
  • gender transition

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