Paying Transgender Women for Sex

Dear Jamie,

I’m a man attracted to transexuals and am acquaintances with other men who are also transgender admirers. I was having drinks last week lamenting how long it has been since I’ve been laid, since I haven’t met a T-girl who is attracted to me for awhile. That’s when Gary said he routinely hires transgender sex workers and suggested the rest of us do the same.

I know a lot of trans women have a tough time finding work that doesn’t discriminate, so they turn to sex work. I don’t want to perpetuate harm or stereotypes. Gary said supporting transgender business women is more honest than just sleeping with trans girls we don’t love. I’ve tossed and turned since then—the thought of being embraced by a woman and exchanging pleasure instead of waiting who knows how long is appealing. Is it okay to pay for sex?” – Keven

Hi Keven! What do you want me to say? My opinion hardly matters. I can’t give you the permission you want, or the firm and final declaration that it’s wrong. The issue is far more personal and more complex than that, and you need to decide for yourself what is right.

That said, I can say a few things that might give you some insight into what’s right for you.

First, remember, paying for sex with transgender women or others is against the law in many places, or there are laws about communication and other practical aspects that need to be circumvented to keep everyone safe and above board legally. Make sure you look at all of that before proceeding, if you do.

Second, I support sex workers and sex work, always, and won’t contribute to the demonizing or shaming of the women who choose to sell sex, or the men who are respectful clients. The transaction between a sex worker and client can be the most straightforward, mutually beneficial, power-neutral exchange. A man doesn’t have to wheedle, beg, complain and manipulate, and a woman doesn’t have to worry about misreading signals. It can be a discreet way to take care of genuine human needs in an agreed upon way.

I don’t believe in denigrating men’s sexual needs, and there are men who are too shy or too busy to date or would rather simply form an agreement with a willing woman than blunder through a pile of dates misleading partners about their intentions.

On the other hand, sex workers face tremendous challenges, violence, and discrimination. And while many women choose sex work, many choose it because there are few reasonable alternatives. Some don’t choose it at all, but say they do, because someone else is pulling the strings and purse strings behind the scenes.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for dating, friendship, companionship, or love as well as sex, you may lose some of the motivation to keep facing rejection or dates that don’t click for you, if your sexual needs are being taken care of. This can rob you in the long run of meeting the right person.

While you are considering all of these things, why not refresh your online dating profile and maybe think about new places to meet transgender women, such as in neighboring towns that aren’t too far away? There are lots of transgender women waiting to meet nice men like yourself. It’s difficult to get the chemistry and companionship right for any one, but persistence pays off in the end.

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