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How To: Navigating Products For Trans Folk

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How To: Navigating Products For Trans Folk

While all toys are for trans folks (because anyone can use any toy with themselves and others), there are some toys that are specifically great for trans folks: specifically, toys that are gender-affirming, both in everyday use and in play. Unfortunately, there are not a huge array of toys specifically for trans folks, but many find ways to “hack” toys for their own needs and bodies. Since trans folks experience transness in ways that are as unique as the individual, each trans person is going to have different needs and desires of their sex toys. Some folks who have gone through genital reconstruction surgery for example will need the support of dilators. Others don’t go through surgery at all, but hormones mean that our parts function differently and with them, our needs and desires. Some trans folks don’t like the “built in” genitals they have, but others are ambivalent to, or even like what they came with. Trans experience is varied, and that’s part of what makes it beautiful!

This is a very basic guide of products that will be supportive for certain needs many trans folks have, but it definitely will not encompass every need by every trans person–there’s no way to do that! I have linked some trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming sex bloggers and sex writers down at the end of this guide. Their experiences, their “hacks”, and their words will bring more variety and ideas into your repertoire. Whether you yourself are trans or a family member or sweetie is trans and you’re looking for ways to support them, this is intended as a starting point.

A note on language: different people use different words for parts of their bodies and their gender experience, even cisgender folks. For this reason, I try to use words like “factory installed” and “modified” to refer to pre- and post- surgery genitals, “entertainment center” when I can be vague, and when I must refer to a specific part I will use the medical term, i.e. “vulva” or “penis” for the sake of clarity. I recognize that some of these words may be uncomfortable for certain trans folks, but it’s the only way to make sure everyone understands what I’m saying! I will do my best not to make assumptions about your body or gender in my writing of this guide, but if you come across anything always feel free to contact me directly. Some words and terms I’ll be using:

  • Cisgender is essentially, someone who accepts or embraces the gender they were assigned at birth. Someone who is not trans.
  • AFAB/AMAB is a quick and easy way to establish how someone was assigned: Assigned Female at Birth or Assigned Male at Birth. This is a quick way to note something about someone’s perceived body type or gender experience.
  • Factory Installed and Modified are ways to talk about the genitals we have if we’re before or not intending to undergo surgery and the genitals people have post-surgery. Not everyone wants surgery, so I shy away from referring to people as “pre-op” or “post-op”

A note on the author: I myself identify as a non-binary trans person, I’m AFAB, and I have not/do not currently intend to access hormone therapy/gender affirming surgery. For these reasons, I can only personally speak to that experience of transness; I would be happy to recommend you people to talk to if you’re looking to read the work of or speak with someone who’s experience of gender more closely resembles your own, and you can always feel free to contact me with any questions.

Dilators

The fact of the matter is that most gender-affirming and gender support products available for trans folks are most suitable for trans men, masculine-of-center trans folks, and non-binary or fluid folks who want to play with masculinity. That said, folks who have had genital reconstructive surgery to build a vulva will need dilators as part of post-operative therapy and maintenance. People who have had this kind of genital reconstructive surgery often frequently have issues self-lubricating, so here are some recommendations for dilators and everyday lubrication:

  • The CalExotics Inspire Silicone Dilator Set features a lightly curved and tapered shape for easy use and ring-pulls at the base, which some might find more comfortable to hold. This package option features a set of 5. If you’re looking to be able to use your dilators anally as well, these are not for you: the ring base is not anal safe.
  • The Sinclair Institute Deluxe Silicone Dilator Set also features five sizes, but comes in a straighter design with a typical anal-safe flared base.
  • Not wanting to buy a set? Fuze makes a series of dilators in five sizes that can be bought separately. Like the Sinclair Institute set, these feature a straight shaft and rounded tip for easy insertion as well as an anal safe flared base. Fuze Silicone Dilators come in Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, and Step 5. Mix and match based on your needs!
  • Looking for a moisturizing lubricant for everyday use? My recommendations for water-based lubes are Blossom Organics, Good Clean Love Restore, and Sliquid Satin. Silicone lubes are another great and even longer-lasting option, but not all silicone lubes and silicone toys play nice. Spot test on any dilators or silicone toys before mixing the two but I highly recommend Uberlube, which also comes in a convenient travel size!

FTM Strokers 

Not just for “FTM” or AFAB trans folks, some people with clitorises or penises on the smaller end of the spectrum may be looking for something like a masturbation stroker (and some people just really like that sensation!). If you’re going through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), been pumping (more on that below), or had genital reconstructive surgery to install a phallus, these might be what you’re looking for–it depends on your specific needs, desires, and physical configuration!

The Buck Off Official FTM Stroker is one of the only toys made specifically for FTM trans folks, though non-binary folks and others may find it pertinent to their interests! The gentle suction and stroking sensation created by this toy can create an entirely unique sensation. Since it’s made from porous TPR you don’t want to share your Buck Off; best care practices include cleaning with warm soapy water and allowing to dry completely before storing in a Ziploc bag in corn starch. This helps extend the life of your toy!

Though it won’t suit everyone’s needs, the Fleshlight Quickshot is another option that may work for some folks who have had a phallus installed or have experienced a lot of growth during HRT/pumping.

Pumps

Some masculine-of-center trans folks, especially those utilizing testosterone HRT, want to experience clitoral growth. Though everyone’s body will react differently–we all have different factory-installed systems we’re working with–some really enjoy the benefits of regular pumping. I’d recommend looking up guides and checking out various forums online before you try to do this yourself, but one place to start is with the Temptasia Clitoris & Nipple Pleasure System. Seriously, though: research best practices before giving this a try and investigate different options and sizes of pump before you give this a try.

Harnesses and Cocks 

Whether you’re looking for an erect penis, pack’n’play, or a packer, the phallic needs of trans, gender-non-conforming, and non-binary folks are well served in this arena. I’ll give my top recommendations for harnesses you and your gender may enjoy, my top recommendations for “realistic” dildos, pack’n’plays, and packers. Let’s dig in.

Harnesses 

  • The Spareparts Tomboii is the creme de la creme of masc boxer brief harnesses available: machine washable, it comes in sizes XS to 3X, has two o-rings for different positions of your cock or packer, spots to put three bullet vibes for your pleasure (or the pleasure of your partner), and even a small pocket on the inside if you want to store a condom, lube sachet, or other small goodie if you’re cruising at a play party.
  • Looking for something specifically for packing but also usable for play? The Packer Gear Boxer Brief and Brief are an affordable place to start, but only offer sizes from XS/S to L/XL.
  • Mid-range price options abound, like the RodeoH Boxer Briefs. You can check out all of the panty-style harnesses here, including more femme styles if that’s your preference!

Realistic Dildos

The top of the line for realistic dils are those made by Vixen, in their “Vixskin” dual-density silicone: the core and base are firm, while the outside is soft and squishy. They have a variety of shape, size, and color options that you can check out here, among their other awesome products!

New York Toy Collective also makes a few amazing–uncut! –dual-density realistic dildos. The Ellis comes in Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla, and the Leroy also comes in Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla.

Pack-n-Plays

Just what they sound like: a pack and play is a toy that’s suitable both for packing (though it may look a bit like you have a hard-on, some people like that look!), and playing. The best options hail from the wonderful folks at New York Toy Collective, and you can view all of their models and colors here.

Packers

Phallic toys that are meant to give the look and feel of a bulge in your pants. I personally recommend long-lasting and easily sterilized silicone options like the Vixen Mr. Right, which comes in Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla. There is also the Archer by New York Toy Collective. If you’re on a budget, there are a huge array of options made from porous materials. I’d recommend wearing them with a harness that keeps them away from the moisture of your skin to extend the life of your toy, along with a nice warm soapy wash, thorough dry, and storage in corn starch when you want to put your packer away. This will help stave off degradation of the material and inevitable stickiness, but it will eventually need replacing.

Stand-To-Pee

The stand-to-pee, or STP, is exactly what it sounds like: a sometimes-phallic device that can be used to pee while standing. The realistic-looking soft silicone Sam from New York Toy Collective is wonderful because it’s easily sterilized and can look just like a factory-installed penis once you get the hang of using it. It comes in three skin tones: Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla.  

Are there gender-affirming products you as a trans, non-binary, or gender non-conforming person want in your life? Get in touch with us. Have recommendations you don’t see on this list? Feel free to reach out! In the meantime, give a gander to these awesome trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks who are writing about sexuality:

You can see the tweet originally calling for trans, gender-non-conforming, and non-binary sex writers and bloggers here

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