Pleasure-oriented Positive Sexuality

Pleasure Oriented Positive Sexuality (POPS) banner

When it comes to research and practice about TGNC sexual health, the focus is largely concerned with the negative potential outcomes instead of finding ways to integrate a sex positive approach. Because of this, GALA™ has made age appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions aimed at developing Pleasure Oriented Positive Sexuality (POPS).

One of the main ideas behind POPS is shifting the framework of sexual health to include pleasure, since empirical evidence in sexual experience, pleasure, and satisfaction with TGNC clients is practically non-existent. An example of this would be in a recent review of articles about transmasculine spectrum sexual health, where only thirty-three articles were found. Of these articles, only ten had anything to do with sexual functioning and satisfaction. And of those ten, most of them focused on sexual functioning post-medical interventions, and didn’t even explore factors like functioning and satisfaction pre-medical interventions.

Another key thought behind POPS is challenging cisnormativity and heteronormativity in sex therapy, psychology, and transgender health. Just like the information on our pages about Beyond the Binary and Gender Literacy, these gendered and heterocentric narratives have a damaging effect on the study and care of TGNC patients. These narratives tell us that anyone who does not fit into the molds of “male” or “female” and is not heterosexual, is not considered “normal” and thus will invalidate many experiences of TGNC patients. Because of the historical bias towards these gendered and sexual narratives, POPS strives to embrace an intersectional understanding of the discriminating impact these narratives have placed on TGNC people. Sexual health care needs to be an empowering experience for everyone, regardless of someone’s gender identity, gender expression, or sexuality.