"I was shocked": Here's what it's like dating as a trans-woman.

From the moment I placed myself into the dating world as a trans-woman I was shocked. Having previously lived as a gay man, I understood that a lot of men are hyper sexual beings especially in the superficial gay community.

It was strange, as previous to my transition I had many views of how dating as a woman would be. In my preconceived notions, I was right in many aspects and wrong in many others. Because of the social stigma attached to dating trans-women, I was taught that I should appreciate any attention that I got. I was always a little promiscuous in my early life, but transitioning at that time and having this search for acceptance amplified my sex addiction.

Being naive in my early transition, I didn’t really understand what being heavily objectified and fetishised felt like, but you start to notice patterns when a guy can only focus on your genitals in a conversation, you definitely know he doesn’t have the best intentions.

Typically, a conversation on any dating app would start off with stereotypical greetings followed by questions of my genitalia.

That needs to stop, and honestly, it’s very disheartening.

Alexandra Tanygina. Image supplied.

I understand that some people need to know what they're working with, but that in itself is an assumption that I would even be willing to sleep with that person.

The majority of the time "tranny-chasers" (and no if you're not trans you cannot use that word), who are usually men, fetishise pre-op trans-women (pre-SRS, Sex Reassignment Surgery) and girls (chicks with dicks). These guys spend way too much time on the internet jacking off to unrealistic porn. They will never date a trans-woman, they will never take us out, they will simply hide us in their rooms and use our bodies for their fantasies. I am glad that a lot of my sisters are waking up to this and no longer allow this kind of disgusting behaviour.

I truly believe fetishisation comes from insecurity and a search for escapism to live in a fantasy land for a few short hours. After all, we are all addicts we will do anything to ensure we don't spend time with ourselves.

Everyone just wants to be loved and accepted for who they are. No one wants to be used or feel used and that's the sad reality of dating as a trans-woman. Even going out on a date, you still have that thought in the back of your head, wondering if they're here for you or here for their fantasy, usually it's the latter. It's always hard to tell someone's intentions.

But regardless, I still have hope that there are men with good intentions out there, who do want to understand my personality and get to know my soul, even though they may only be one per cent of the population. I'm okay with that. My time will come.

Trans people as a whole have a lot more to offer other than their trans-ness, especially in 2018 when there is so much information out there for people to educate themselves with. We are tired of talking about it. Google was made for a reason.

Talk to me like a person and not some great science experiment, because at the end of the day I am a person, with real feelings and a real life.

Me being transgender does not define me.

It is only a small part of me.

Alexandra Tanygina is a writer/photographer/model, and you can follow her on Instagram, here