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J Sex Res. 2010 Jul;47(4):374-83. doi: 10.1080/00224490903050568.

Men sexually interested in transwomen (MSTW): gendered embodiment and the construction of sexual desire.

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Department of Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


This article extends research on transgenderism by providing a sociological study of men who are sexually interested in transwomen (MSTW; viz., genetic males who use estrogen to feminize their body but retain their penis). We conducted fieldwork in a bar catering to transwomen and the men who were sexually interested in them, and did on-the-spot interviews with the MSTW. We initially examined the nature of MSTW's sexual attraction to transwomen, followed by how this related to their sexual orientation identity. Using a sexual fields approach (Green, 2008), we first found how the ambience of the bar helped to create an erotic environment through a heightened sense of gender. Then, focusing on the theory of embodiment (Jackson & Scott, 2007), we saw how the MSTW constructed a unique sexual desire according to the sexual orientation identity they brought to the situation. Those who identified as "straight" tended to gloss that the transwoman had a penis, while the bisexually identified men were more likely to incorporate the transwoman's penis into the sexual experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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