Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 561–572 | Cite as

The Sexual Relationships of Sexual-Minority Women Partnered with Trans Men: A Qualitative Study

  • Nicola R. BrownEmail author
Original Paper


This qualitative research study examined the experiences of sexual-minority women in romantic and sexual relationships with female-to-male transsexuals (N = 20) using grounded theory analysis. This article reports data on issues related to sexual desire and practice in the context of a partner’s transition, which participants said often compelled a process of renegotiating bodies and sexual connection. Participant reports on the influence of transition on the couple’s sex life were mixed. Many participants discussed changes in sex which were negatively affected in the course of transition by a lesbian sexual orientation and a personal trauma history, and positively affected by a more embodied partner and a partner with increased libido. More general changes to the nature of their sexual life are detailed, including a greater dependence on heteronormative gendered sexual scripts as transition began.


Sexual relationships Sexual orientation Female-to-male transsexuals Transsexualism 



This author wishes to gratefully acknowledge Dr. Sandra Pyke as her past advisor and to thank Dr. Aaron Devor and the reviewers and the Editor for their helpful feedback on the article. This research was generously supported, in part, by a doctoral SSHRC grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Central Toronto Youth ServiceTorontoCanada

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