Love, marriage, and identity with a transitioning partner

with Sarah Scales

In hopes of helping other couples publicly transition easier, Sarah Scales, a licensed master social worker with The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health in Royal Oak, Michigan, shares her story as a pansexual woman married to a trans female.“I came into the relationship knowing my partner was gender fluid,” she begins in this Smart Sex, Smart Love podcast.At first, the relationship was uncomfortable, not because of her partner’s gender fluidity, but because they didn’t know how to identify themselves publicly. Words like “we” became common descriptors as they tried to avoid he/she pronouns. This growing discovery of gender fluidity impacted both partners.“We had a lot of long, intense conversations on how to publicly transition,” Sarah says. “We both were closeted; it was a transition for me, too.”

This was a huge challenge for the couple; when do they come out, how do they come out, and when do they stand up and speak and stand down and support? They had many talks about the transitioning process as well as their relationship. Trans partners also have to be mindful there are challenges for cis partners, too, Sarah points out.

What is most important, she emphasizes, is to be true to who you are. “Gender wasn’t part of it for me. It was the attraction. Focus less on gender and more on who that person is whom you love,” she believes.

“The person in private I fell in love with initially wouldn’t show that side to the world. I loved that person in private, but not so much the person who masked in public. It was stressful for both of us to live the masked life. I saw who she truly was and who she truly could be, but she was afraid to unmask.

“For me, it was really powerful when my partner came out. I loved her even more.”

Keep your label, Sarah emphasizes. Respect what a person chooses as their label. People choose a label that fits them.

“I chose pansexual; I can be attracted to someone regardless of their gender and assigned sex at birth.”

And do not out your partner if your partner isn’t ready. Always defer to what the trans person wants.

00:00

Here’s the audio encoder again. And you’re good. Welcome to smart sex smart love. We’re talking about sex goes beyond the taboo and talking about love goes beyond the honeymoon. today’s podcast is future method and innovative sex care brand. Today my returning guest is Dr. Evan Goldstein, a nationally renowned Angel surgeon and the founder of CEO of bespoke surgical, the leading private practice in New York City specializing in an elite standard of sexual health and wellness care. His practice caters to a wide range of clientele, but the majority of his patients are LGBTQ plus, Dr. Goldstein is also the co founder of future method and innovative sex care brand. That is the result of Dr. Goldstein’s years of experience working with his clients and understanding their sexual needs. He’s considered a preeminent expert and thought leader in the field, committed to education and awareness, not only bringing the important issues surrounding sexual health to the forefront, but also eliminating the stigma attached to anal engagement. In order to relate to a wider audience, Dr. Goldstein leaves the medical jargon behind and communicates in a straightforward, direct manner, breaking down taboos, and allowing for more conversational and open discussions. He’s been published in many media outlets, including nbc.com, GQ, Men’s Health, cosmopolitan, Forbes, and many others. He was named New York City’s top LGBTQ plus business leader by Crain’s New York in 2020. Welcome, Dr. Goldstein. Thank you, thank you. It’s good having you back. And it’s good having you talk about your product. So why don’t we start with what is what is future method?

01:44

Yeah, sure. So future method was a labor of love out of my surgical practice of bespoke surgical. I kept seeing people coming to me over and over with injury after injury. And, you know, I see about 25 people a day, I do 15 surgeries a week. And so over time, you know, the AST is not overly complicated. And we spoke about that before, there’s certain things that are going to be repetitive. And when you take a step back, and you look at this, I started to kind of categorize How do people prepare for sex? How do people actually engage sexually? And then is there any aftercare? And that was kind of like the three pillars of how I analyze sexual practices. Now, with that said, I started to ask questions. And I started to say, Well, what are you doing for preparation? They’re like, Oh, nothing, I just stick a hose up my ass and wash it out for an hour. And then I’m like, No, interesting. And then when I take a look inside, I’m able to see the ramifications of the way people are preparing. And then you start to realize, well, wait a second, there’s no sexual education. nobody’s talking about this in the right way. Yeah, no credibility as it relates to the scientific principles of anal sex and community based sex. And then you say, Well, wait a second, there’s no products to support this. So well, why not? And then you start to say, Well, wait a second, there’s a huge market in sexual wellness, but yet, we’re missing the innovation, we’re missing the science. And that was the birth of future method. And I started about three years ago, always wanting to look at those defined categories and create products to support communities first took everything that I could from the gay community to really say, hey, let’s put products out there that support this. And then we learn so much from that. We said, Okay, now we can transition into kind of be anal community, anybody? gay man, trans, all that stuff, right straight. Then we started Okay, well, how do we now pivot and even look at just the broader audience of sex, to make sure that we’re doing all the right things, and our first product is an appropriate, anal douche solution. And it’s not only the solution, it’s the methodology behind it. When you look at what people are doing, they’re using water, or they’re using enemas. And both of those are on the wrong sides of the spectrum. They actually cause so much irritation. There’s a protective lining in our ass. And that protection has good and bad bacteria. That itself is in an equilibrium, it’s in homeostasis, and it works well. When you use water enemas, or you’re overdoing or you’re using a shower hose. What happens is it washes away that protective lining and it creates a significant alteration in the bacteria that now you have a higher chance of HIV, a higher chance of STDs and anal injury. And the toughest about this is that it’s insensate to most people. So the reason why people don’t like, Oh, I’m totally fine. No, well, if I look up there, I can tell you who’s overdoing or not, because you can see it, but yet people don’t feel it. And so the key for me was, Well, wait a second, why don’t we create a solution that’s not toxic, that doesn’t cause all of these issues that we’re talking about. And it’s protective. And I and that wound up being our first product, which was, we want a solution that’s pH balanced, that’s isotonic, that’s an in all the ranges that it needs to be. We want it to clean, but we don’t want it to irritate the cell. And so that was our Hallmark product that follows with appropriate methodology. And we spoke in our prior podcasts of using fiber and diet and exercise and thinking about anal health as more gut health, whole body health, how do I make sure that you’re eating correctly, doing the right fiber shitting the right way, so that the Dushan routine can actually be less, because that we know, is the impetus of causing more and more issues locally.

06:24

I feel like this is so mind blowing, and so important. Why don’t we see more of this information around? or Why don’t I see more? I mean, maybe I’m not looking for it, but I wouldn’t I shouldn’t be in magazines. And

06:35

I know you know, it’s it’s, it’s so interesting for us because like we’ve been pushing this narrative for a while and and we have so much of a better receivership with women, and public and publications that are more towards women focus, because at the end of the day, they’re talking about it, they’re writing about it, they’re accepting it, and they’re kind of saying, Okay, well, this is what you do. This is how we get rid of the problem or prevent the problem. Yes, in gay men, it’s there. It’s just an interesting breed. Everybody thinks that they know the right way. Or this is the way that it’s worked for me, even if it’s detrimental, they don’t seem to care. So the goal for us is like, this is the reason why I’m doing podcasts and, and working so hard to push this narrative out there because it’s bullshit. It should be like so readily available. Yes,

07:32

everybody. So it makes me think I’ve never thought about this before gay guys talk about fantasies and eroticism, topping and bottoming but we’re not talking about sexual functioning. We’re talking about everything but sexual functioning.

07:46

Would you say that’s true? 100%. And I think that, you know, again, we speak about people still feeling like anal is taboo. Yes. Like, and also like, you know, if you’re taking it up the Yes, you must be submissive, or you must be a wuss and this masculinity issue, right, right. But also, like, you know, our age brackets of like, internalized homophobia. And like, when we all live through the AIDS crisis, and seeing, well, wait a second, if you take it up the ass, you’re gonna die, right. And so it winds up being all of these stigmas that have played a lot of us. And yet, now, with the advent of prep, this anti HIV holy grail, now you’d see the 18 to 30 year old kid think that they’re invincible? Yes. As it relates to any type of anal or gay sex. And with that, is, that’s why we a future method, or like, well, I don’t, of course, I want people to buy product. But my main focus was, how do I just change culture? How do we create narratives to educate people? I’m not going to get into high schools, right? There’s no way that bumblefuck Texas is gonna let me talk about pegwell gonna happen now, maybe, you know, Harvard just started an appropriate sexual education course and into kind of D stigmatizing sex. We’re starting to see much more colleges kind of bring this into their campus life, which is how do we educate people with the right narratives and the right tones? If you need to be cheesy? It doesn’t need to be it could just be like we’re having a conversation now. Yeah. Have you heard of Pornhub? wellness? Yeah, I will briefly with that. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, so we’ve done a lot of stuff with them. Also a couple of the porn stars I’ve worked with and we’ve tried to look at their routines and analyze them. And that’s been quite, you know, a really great success story for them also, just because I think people are looking to porn and and a lot of what you see is not representative of the everyday run of the mill sex and right preparation and so having the the discussions with a lot of the porn stars and using their kind of hub allows for really great conversations and narratives that people should be getting. But it just doesn’t happen like that.

10:11

No, no. And it’s it is a little surprising, even though it shouldn’t be that in the gay male community, we’re not more aware of this, because we take pride in knowing this stuff and talking about it. But we’re not.

10:23

Yeah, no, 100% I think that, and that was the impetus. And we we started with the first Hallmark product being able to system, our bulbs that are there are so much smaller than the average, for certain reasons, we want people to do shoot less, we want people to understand that if you do use other things, you can help minimize as much trauma as possible. Our second product that we came out with was an exfoliating after care of butter and body scrub, I noticed that, you know, we have lube, we have come and excrement and all of this, and every scrub that I ever used would get washed away, you know, not that my ass is so big, but by the time they go like this, so so we really had to say, Okay, well, how do we dispense it the right way? How do we make sure that there are appropriate sized particles to get rid of our stuff? Right, yeah. And then also make you feel sexy and smell sexy and kind of make it appetizing. And so that was the second product that we launched with, which is awesome. We sold out within four hours of our launch, which was awesome. And then we just launched not too long ago, a soothing cream, body soothing cream, we all poop sometimes with some irritation. This is an easy on easy off kind of first aid component. Also post sex. We talked about like, well, should you do shafter sex? Should you put a suppository in to help comment? What about lotions? So all of this kind of aftercare, which I think is so important, and so underserved, allows us to kind of come up with really great products to support it in a way that I think is, you know, is beyond innovative. We’re talking about scientific change. Yeah, tell people, when you look at the sex market, every single company that’s out there is just reinventing what they already have nicer packaging, or easier dispensing. But the loop is the loop. And that loop is actually detrimental. Internally, there’s a lot of things that people have, when you look at Trojan, they have not gone away from condoms. Well, 75% of gay men don’t use condoms. What else are you offering for risk prevention? Answers nothing. You say, Well, that’s fucking bullshit. You know, like, here we are. This is 2021 we have so much science, why are we applying it to the sex market in a way that is going to create improvement in everyone’s lives. And that is all about future method and our innovation, we have new products coming out every three months. With that is just thinking differently, thinking change in a way that allows people to live their lives the way that they want to, but have a support system to make sure that they’re doing it the best possible way.

13:32

Well, speaking of statistics, I wanted to ask you, I’ve read various research articles over the years that there are more bottoms than tops in the gay male community. Is that true? Or do you know their percentage? Totally,

13:42

oh, my God, it’s crazy. If and I mean, there was bottoms everywhere now not enough tops. It’s ridiculous. I think that that is true. And and we’ve done some stuff with with our group at go fish and some of the people looking at locations and more bottoms rows. And there there is in a lot of strategic cities, especially my city is a lot more bottoms than tops. But I think that you have to look at the reasoning why. I think that once you start getting prostate play, once you start realizing the heightened amazingness of anal play, it starts to become much more addicting. And it’s literally because at the end of the day, it just feels better. And again, I think we speak about it all the time. Like how do you d stigmatize that you don’t need to be submissive as a bottom right? The goal for us is does it feel good? Yes. Great. Keep doing it. It doesn’t matter. All the other crap that society puts at it. And I think that’s Yeah, so when you’re thinking about moving from city to city, check out I think on our website and some others is different locations that have and so if you say hey, I am a top and you want to choose choose wisely to some good cities where you’re like, you know, the best thing since sliced bread. And it’s amazing.

15:07

You know what I love about your, the way you talk about this, as I noticed it in the last podcast, too. You’re just you’re so comfortable and so unashamed about talking about stuff, but not just talking about being about it. I mean, you’re just like out there.

15:19

Yeah, no, I think that, you know, there are definitely times where I get, you know, you’re like, holy shit, I think I’ve seen it all. But I have seen and heard it all. And the reality is, is that there should be no stigma, no judgement at all. And my goal on earth is to work with, you know, all these really great companies and all these like CNN like, like, why aren’t we talking about what’s really happening, and you could be professional, but personable at the same time. And we could talk about things in a way that draws people in, where you forget that we’re actually talking about anal sex, we’re talking about things that matter. And it’s, it’s, it’s super cool. It’s fun to be on this kind of push forward. And I applaud you know, and what you’re doing to constantly be talking about these different narratives and putting it out there and, and making sure that people know that there are people like us, and that we have to just keep honing that in so that people have access to it.

16:25

Yeah, and I don’t know that straight men or even women will listen to this podcast, but I do my, my specialty is of straight men who have sex with men, and they deserve language around this and ability to go talk to someone about it, rather than putting themselves at risk all the time. You know, like, like people do, as you’ve been describing,

16:42

oh, my God, you know, I see so many communities, whether it’s they’re married, I was married to one before, so I understand where that is. But again, I think I like that you don’t label yourself because at the end of the day, the labels do create so much more of an issue because if you’re not this, you have to be this and the fluidity of what now what we know that you could completely be straight but love a cock up your ass. Well, how is that? Well, yeah, you there’s every iteration. And so the key component is to have someone like you doing some appropriate at, you know, at a little bit to figure out well, okay, Is that real? Should we should we categorize this? Is it? Are you really thinking, hey, maybe I am transitioning into that side of me, there’s so many different ways. But the key is to just I feel, own it, know what you want sexually. Don’t label it, own it. And then once you own it, now you can say, Okay, great. This is what gets me off. How do I now make sure that I’m doing it the right way? How do I make sure that I’m minimizing risk? And how do I allow myself the longevity? Because now, you know, look, when we were all growing up, most gay men didn’t make it past 25. Now you look at and say, you know, you and I are actually the first aging gay male population ever. Yeah. out and talking in this way. And we’re all going through stuff of like, well, what happens when we retire? Where do we go? Is there going to be a gay care? What type of communities do we do do we put ourselves into, and it winds up being? There’s a lot that I think is not talked about, as it relates to all of us even separate from a sex perspective. Yeah. And it’s an innovative time. It’s fun. And and as long as we keep talking about it, in a positive narrative based setting, I think that the sky’s the limit, or the ask is the limit, you never know.

18:47

But I’m still processing what you just said, because it’s so true. We’re the first openly gay or we can’t even say openly gay anymore. Do you know that? Yeah, I just heard it’s not right. Whatever the fuck, you know, I we’re out and we’re proud and we’re aging. And then the other generations weren’t. And we can have these conversations, which are so important. And I’m hoping that younger generations are listening to you and me. Yeah,

19:10

no, 100%. And I think that the key is first to make sure people are aware that there are people like us, and then I think it’s all of us working in tandem with with really great kind of companies that can take these messages and allow us to push it to the masses, because let me tell you something. If I see six new patients a day, maybe three of them are from other countries. And you start to look at think about what how much access to care that we have here. When you think about out there and people talking about gay sex and or you know, and I say to some people all the time when you take a dick away or you take your ass away, if you’re a bottom it is catastrophic. And why shouldn’t you have access to care? That’s going to take care of it, and allow you to do what you want with it. And hopefully in our, in my lifetime, we’ll start to see more and more of me and other people and people putting together a really great group of educators and practitioners that can provide standardized care across the world, because it’s not not even close to being there right now. I’m just wondering, have you had any pushback on any of this? all the time? It’s awesome. All man, right? Um, all I mean, I think that, you know, I, you see, now, like I said to you before, that many popular presses are finally talking about sex, specifically anal sex. And and, you know, it’s the new frontier, you know, people really love it, they understand that it is pleasurable, and they know that people are engaging, and it’s and people were turned on to that, like, when they see that tagline, like, Oh, my God, this is about anal. Yeah, I think in due time, from what I’ve seen in the last seven years of being in the press, people are talking about it, they’re willing to take on the narratives. And I think we’re starting to see it much more in TV, and much more as it relates to kind of like CBS, and NBC and CNN and people are finally starting. gay sex is still hard. People don’t want to talk about gay sex. They don’t want to admit that this is happening. I know. It’s, it’s still an interesting world. You know,

21:31

I really think it challenges the patriarchy, whether we’re gay or bi, it’s much more tolerable for people to think about it, but just the whole idea of a man submitting is how they see it. You know what I mean? It’s just, it’s so that’s a whole podcast in and of itself. Totally. Yeah.

21:44

And, you know, and I don’t know if that’s ever going to change, you know, you know, until we really work. I mean, you look at it, I mean, if you know, how the country is so divided from from a political perspective, think about it from everything as it relates to gay sex. Oh, yeah. It becomes this ridiculous thing. And, and and why should that be? Well, it is. But I think the key for me and future method and what we’re doing is keep pounding on the pavement and pushing the narratives. And I think that the nice thing of what we did it future method was we learned from the gay population, and we now are kind of sprouting to everyone. Yeah, we know that. Like if the, if it works for the gays, the rest of the world is going to kind of catch on to that. And they like that. And so the key for us is, if we’re pivoting to straight men and women that have anal, then we start to see everything start to be like, Oh, well, we can talk about it, then I could start sprinkling in a little bit of gayness to kind of bring everybody into what we need, you know,

22:51

this a little fairy dust. That’s, you know, what I liked about the last podcast, and this one is helping people get informed and information. Like you said, there are a lot of popular people talking about this in ways that are, they’re not known. They don’t have the information. So I’m hoping that this will help people get sift through that, to know that this isn’t really a person who’s giving me the right information. How can people tell?

23:16

Yeah, you’re right, it’s very difficult to tell. I think that we have to start looking at credibility. And over time, the goal for me is to find like minded physicians that can pull together and kind of form a little bit more of a consortium of standard practices. And that goes to how do we educate in high schools? How do we educate in colleges? How do we make sure that there’s a standard set of products that would be endorsed in a certain way to make sure that if you’re going to use something that it’s safe for you, and it winds up being a lifelong mission to try to achieve that it’s not easy. But we are seeing that just through having these narratives where the stigmas and the stereotypes are really starting to be kind of pushed to the wayside? And you’re saying, Well, now with Google, you could search anything and if you search, I broke my ass, my picture comes up and you say great, and now it’s like, Okay, perfect, how do we make sure that it gets healthy and gets you better and gets going? So the positives for us has been we’re really able to create the narratives that we want and put it out there and now I think the the rest of it is to really make sure that it’s it’s as scientific as it should be and people know the right places to go to get the information that is wholehearted.

24:40

I’m imagining we’re not going to be anytime soon finding your products at CVS or Walmart soon enough, soon

24:46

enough where we are in talks with with mass retail, really, it’s it’s it’s going to be I can only keep I can’t say a tremendous amount yet, but I can say that the world world is going places. And when you look at, you know, first of all, if you look at all the CEOs of most major companies nowadays, so many of them are fucking homosexuals, it’s Yes, yes. And so I, it’s great. So what you’re starting to see is, well wait a second, there is a huge population worldwide, of underserved people and communities where you’re not even prophesizing at all, when you look at big box retail, because you’re not targeting to them. And so the goal for us is, is is really, really taking that and, and pioneering this into a way that makes it easy to talk about, but also easy to put on the shelves and make it accessible because once we start doing that, now, it it really puts education into the forefront. And I think all of these companies are looking for that they want to draw people in, in a in a way that is going to be informative, that is going to be changing and and also going to be accessible.

26:08

guy was totally joking, but I’m so happy to hear this that it could be at some point in the mass market,

26:13

you’re going to see it it’s going to be great. And I think that, again, there’s certain ways that we have to finagle to get we may not necessarily be the anal douchey solution to go, but pulling in other things that we know is going to be to be an issue. And again, you know, you look at like fleets, fleets. They sell so many to gay men, and it’s detrimental. Why aren’t they being held accountable? Yeah, and CVS and target and all these places, making sure that that they’re being used for constipation, and not for gay sex? Well, why? Because they’re making shitloads of money often, that is toxic. And so the key for us is pointing that out so that people understand and then figuring out a substitute that is going to be geared the right way and safe. So it’s it’s fun. It’s fun times to be an animal surgeon. Again, no surgeon in these times, that’s for sure.

27:10

Well, how can people find you and your products? Sure. So

27:12

bespoke surgical is my practice in New York. All through all the different socials. For me, my family all about ass and twin boys and a partner that drives me nuts is Dr. Evan Goldstein. And then future method is the future method on Instagram. And then all the others his future method.com

27:35

This is awesome. Thank you so much again for returning to my show, Dr. Goldstein, and joining me on smart sex smart love. And for those of you that want to hear more on my podcast, you can go to smart sex smart, love calm, and you can also follow me on Twitter, tik tok, Instagram and Facebook at Dr. Joe court. That’s JOEK rT thanks for listening and stay healthy.

28:00

Awesome.