Editors' Note: Not Aiden is a gay man of trans* experience who prefers to remain anonymous because he's tired of being everyone's token tranny. He enjoys photography, yelling at Project Runway contestants, and the eternal search for a good gay film. For the moment you can catch him at Not Another Aiden.
Someone seriously asked me this question the other day. Honestly, I was kind of surprised. Partially because I haven't been randomly asked a trans question since my early coming out days and partially because I'd never really thought about it before. It's an interesting question though, and one that could be reassuring to guys who aren't sure they'll ever be able to find anyone so I asked a bunch of old dates. Left out casual sex partners for this one because I tend to think of hook ups in a different category from dating, but if anyone wants those answers there are a few close, but not romantically involved guys I could ask.
Note that this is an entirely unscientific survey. There's not nearly enough racial diversity to be comprehensive (I have a thing for blue eyed blonds) and I tend to have fairly long term relationships so there weren't that many guys. Most are guys I went out with a few times and then switched to being friends with either due to lack of personal chemistry or things like distance, work schedules, or existing partner(s) comfort. All are on the more effeminate end of the spectrum. All could be classed as poly, though not everyone would identify as such and only a handful were in active relationships at the time we started dating. All are openly gay (and most couldn't be closeted if they tried). All have dated both cis and trans men. For some I was the first trans guy they dated. There are no exclusive tops. It's definitely not a representative sample.
What it came down to were two major things, only one of which actually has to do with being trans.
- The same exact reasons they're attracted to cis men. This was overwhelmingly the most common response. Every single guy I asked said some variation of this. Issue is that it's entirely due to the selection. I don't date guys who think of trans guys as a separate category of men. If the guys asked were exclusively into trans guys I'm sure the answers would be different (and more varied).
- After a bit of insisting most guys came up with the ability to adjust dick size. I kind of half way wish I was kidding. It's a joke I've made more than a few times myself, but I was never serious. It was something I told myself when I was feeling crappy about that whole having a vagina thing, a sort of consolation prize. Hearing it from other people makes me slightly uncomfortable. Not because it's a bad point, it's actually rather positive. It's just a personal reaction to the reality of being trans. Of course, this is another one with selection issues. I don't really get much from bottoming so my dick (flesh or otherwise) becomes a bit more important than it would be if I dated guys who really liked to top.
One other thing that came up a couple of times was how a slightly lowered STD risk was a bit of an added perk. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with considering that a true advantage just because so much of it depends on sexual practices. I'm a bit of a safe sex nazi, had a bad HIV scare right when I was coming out so I keep my risk levels as low as possible without being celibate. Someone with different habits (both in terms of sexual activity and protection use) would have different risk levels. Sure, getting fucked by a condom covered dildo is less likely to result in STD transmission than a bare cock, but an ass is an ass and if you put your uncovered dick into one it doesn't matter if it belongs to a trans guy or a cis guy.
Exactly one guy said he loved that I'm short because he'd never dated a guy he could swap clothes with before. Seeing as how not all trans guys are as freakishly tiny as I am, I don't think this one is particularly helpful. Still, it's kind of nice to know that being small is sometimes a good thing.
So really the reasons to like a trans guy are the same as the reasons to like a cis guy: entirely individual. Personally, I like it that way. It means that guys who view their maleness as different from that of cis men can go hang with the cis guys who feel similarly while I can stay over in my space with the cis guys who think of me as one of them, just with a vaguely interesting medical condition.