Roche, Juno. “Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships”, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.
Sex, Desire and Dating, Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships
Transgender activist Juno Roche discusses sex, desire and dating with leading figures from the trans and non-binary community in her new book, “Queer Sex”. She calls out prejudices and inspires readers to explore their own concepts of intimacy and sexuality through first-hand accounts that celebrate the wonder and potential of trans bodies and push at the boundaries of how society sees gender, sexuality and relationships.
Juno Roche is liberated by her ‘QueerAF’ vagina (I will explain) and bares all in this book— a series of interviews with trans and non-binary people, prefaced by Roche bravely sharing her own journey to getting her “Queer as fuck vagina.” In her own words she says, “I literally thought I’d have the surgery, wait six weeks, find someone with a big dick – and let them fuck away” and by that statement we see that Roche has no boundaries.
She says that she wrote the book because she was sick of the “heteronormative and classist narrative” that is about trans people chasing a perfect ‘cis’ or ‘passing’ body. However the motive was even more intimate than that.
For years Roche was chasing a vagina, but on the way to surgery, with a throwaway comment about making her a “real woman” from a doctor, she began a new journey. “After surgery, I realized I didn’t actually have a vagina. I had this thing between my legs, that I imagined would be a vagina but it wasn’t, it was this cave. It had a back wall, and it didn’t go anywhere. As trans people, we are taught that we should move through trans as quickly as possible, so we pass and blend. And after my surgery, politically something kicked in. I didn’t want to pass. My vagina is queer as fuck – it is about change and fluidity.”
Roche was diagnosed with HIV 20 years ago and was told that she six months to live. She was even offered ‘death benefits’ but turned them down. In the years since, her activism and advocacy work have skyrocketed. By her own estimates, she understands that a huge majority of people will never be able to achieve their ‘ideal body.’ The message of ‘Queer Sex’ is all about giving up that chase of the ideal cis body and learning to accept the trans body as Roche has done:
“Around the world, there will be trans women that will always have a dick, and there will be a lot of trans men who always have a vagina. I won’t demonize them. But in recent years, I have come to understand and know, that I’m trans and that’s my identity. Being trans is about having the courage to change, and ignore the gender binaries” and this is the lesson she wants everyone to understand from her book.
“If you can’t accept a trans woman with a dick, then you don’t accept us. Don’t tell me you are a trans ally, and then ask me if I’ve had surgery”. So I said I would explain and there it is.
This book will encourage and inspire a whole lot of trans and gender nonconforming family and their lovers. The challenge that it presents is both audacious and inspiring in a system that shames trans bodies and desires. The interviews in Queer Sex are captivating and present a real and often warm-hearted look at how we are constantly evolving in the way that we think about intimacy and sex. We learn about elements of transitioning that many are unaware ignites an interesting discussion on gender, genitalia and sex.