@Sgt. Exposition @hedgehogerie
I think everyone has some good points, but I'm on the side of completely cutting off the relationship as being too harsh. I think there's a middle ground of limit-setting that has to come before the complete shut-down, lest the afore-mentioned festering. That said, it's not up to me to determine what the timeline for all of this is.
And I think Queer Chick's advice about how acceptance doesn't come magically out of the clouds, it has to be worked towards is very, very good.
By 279th District Court on Befriending Your Best Friend's Girlfriend and Resisting the "One True Sex Act"
Your letter sounds a lot like my experience coming out (bisexual) to my mother -- including the hint of "here's hoping it goes away!" with her not acknowledging my comments about potentially ending up with a woman instead of a man or rolling her eyes at my use of gender neutral words like "future spouse". She knew she was supposed to say she was okay with it, so she did, but we both knew it wasn't true.
We even had the "telling the extended family" fight/cry when I wanted to come out to my father's extended family (my father died a few years back) and she didn't want me to. There was a lot of "if you come out, you're stuck with this, and you can't ever take it back when you realize you're just straight!" mixed up in it which I'm guessing is related to what you're dealing with -- "When this relationship finally ENDS she will be stuck in this ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE BOX!" panic.
The good news!
My mother proceeded to get her act together and do all of the things that A Queer Chick lists. We had endless talks about it, she stopped blanching at gender neutral pronouns (although she still forgets to use them), and she basically faked being okay with it long and hard enough that she is deeply ashamed of her early reactions. But we've talked that through too!
So, yes, all the people saying you may have to cut them out may be right, no two situations (and especially not ours) are the same, but it CAN have a happy ending. The tough part is that the next step is on THEM, not YOU. I couldn't help my mom through the transition to bi-supporting parent until she wanted to do so. I had to make her see that it hurt me, I had to insist again and again that this wasn't going away, and I had to make it clear that this was putting distance between us.
I agree with some of the above comments -- set distinct, immediate consequences because they are not realizing (or caring) what the long-term consequences of their actions would be.
I hope this doesn't come out condescending, but I am a middle school teacher, and that's the way we stress discipline - we're providing immediate consequences for people who don't yet realize what the potential long-term consequences of their actions will be.
By Sgt. Exposition on Befriending Your Best Friend's Girlfriend and Resisting the "One True Sex Act"
@hedgehogerie I'm going to disagree (somewhat) with your disagreement. While I think such conversations can be helpful and are important, they are premised (at a certain level) on the person who initiates them to be infinitely giving, patient, and understanding--which can then just encourage LW3's parents to up the pressure. As a trans person with parents who use some of the behaviors described on me, not laying out boundaries and limiting contact instead encouraged people (my mother in particular) to use me as a dumping ground for her feelings about my transition. Without clear boundaries, including not talking about certain things, she felt is was okay to wrap me up in a blanket of guilt and acrimony and hope (in vain) that it would smother my desire to transition.
Like I said, I don't disagree entirely, but I do think in some cases action up to ceasing/limiting contact can be called for when it seems like nothing else works.
LW1, this is sort of just brekaup common sense, so sorry if it sounds elementary, but one other piece of advice: do not bad mouth the ex. It may be tempting to agree with any vitriol your sweetie needs to get over the rbeakup, but if that comes up, just be a listening ear. Agreeing with negative things about the ex could backfire.
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Yeah, I think there's a difference between "activities for women" like baby showers, which, sure, invite both female partners, and "ladyfriend group activities" which are no-SO-zones. Right? You still might have stuff to work out with your actual partner about the first category of things, but it doesn't seem that hard to invite just one partner to the second kind.
Re: pain after PIV sex - this chart might help: http://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/causes-of-painful-sex-dyspareunia-simplified-in-one-image/
I very occasionally get cramps after sex, but they're mild and settle down after a few minutes - they're just my uterus going back to normal after being, um, poked a little bit (I didn't know uteruses *move around* when we're aroused until I googled this. The wonders of the interweb).
Any actual pain, though, is probably not normal and worth checking out if you're in a position to - even if you never have PIV sex again.
Woah-ho there, part of the answer to LW3 is kind of harsh: "Frankly, I'm not sure you maintaining a relationship with your parents is actually for the best right now, because it tells them that you're willing to put up with their transphobia and misgendering of your partner, and thus that their hurtful words and actions have no real consequences."
Why not recommend that LW3 send over some articles and have some open conversations with them? The parents are clearly uncomfortable and need a lot of guidance. I'm assuming they would even be too uncomfortable to Google this topic, and to be honest, I doubt they'd know what to look for.
I wholeheartedly disagree with forfeiting (even temporarily) one's relationship with their parents. It's not like one day they'll wake up and say "okay okay we love you both, come back!" Instead they'll think the worst, and it'll fester, they'll blame your S.O. and hate them MORE, and your negative energy will fester, and it'll be 10x worse in a year. I'm obvs not a therapist, but I would think the best thing to do would be to be honest, and say things like "your words and actions are hurtful because it makes me feel X; here is how you should refer to X" etc.
Even by trying to hash it out with them, it should at least show that you are an adult capable of caring for yourself and having responsible relationships, which will in turn allow them to trust you and trust your choice in people.
LW3: If you want to maintain a relationship with your parents (and that's a big if) I think you need to lay down the law. Have a conversation with your them where you tell them flat out "I am straight. Boyfriend is a man. We have a healthy relationship that makes us both happy. We would like your support but we don't require it." Then lay out rules and consequences. For example: "You must refer to Boyfriend by his correct name and pronoun. You must not call our relationship alternative. If you do so I will immediately leave/hang up/ etc." Then you actually have to follow through. This is hard! We're not supposed to give our parents rules! It will feel super rude to hang up on them! But if they really want to do better this gives them concrete things to do. And if they don't really want to do better it's completely on them and you will have tried your best.
@Jen@twitter Not going to lie, that actually prompted me to make an appointment with my doctor. I've been having pain regardless of the type of sex I have, and I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me that that's not "normal"...
Ask a Queer Chick is my faaaaaaaaaaavorite and I wish it happened every week, nay, every day!
LW3: I'm a cis lady and my partner is a cis guy. We have sex all the time, and only rarely is it p-in-v! Granted, as you alluded to in your letter...we met due to a shared kink. *shrugs* I think because we met specifically talking about sex (are you in Seattle or Portland? try the stranger's lustlab profiles!) it made it easier to have it out on front street as it were and to discuss what we like. Due to medical reasons, my partner rarely ejaculates/experiences orgasm and one of the first things he told me when we started out was that he appreciated that I didn't place pressure on him to orgasm. We've really gotten in to tantric massage (don't laugh! it feels great!) and more often than not it's digital penetration that gets me off. Sure, lots of guys do associate p-in-v as the be all end all, but not everyone does. My last partner (and current bestie/roomie) was also much more confident using his hands, and we had great sex.
So they exist! really! Just be open and up front about it and your chances of finding a compatible partner expands. Good luck!