Packing 101: The Best Packers for Transgender Men and Trans Masculine Folks
What is a transgender packer?
The term “packing” refers to the process of adding a packer to one’s crotch to create a bulge and achieve the look and feel of having a penis. Some cisgender men might also pack to create a bigger bulge, but packers are most often worn by transgender men, nonbinary people, and other gender variant people. Packers come in all different shapes and sizes; they can range from anything homemade, such as a pair of rolled-up socks to medical or aesthetic prosthetics worn inside packing underwear.
Transgender people pack for all sorts of different reasons. It’s important to know that some transgender men don’t pack at all—some find it uncomfortable, inconvenient, or unnecessary. Some trans people pack to create a bulge for safety reasons while others may pack for aesthetics. Some people pack only when wearing tight-fitting pants. Some people pack while swimming or in the locker room, when wearing jockstraps, swimsuits, or just underwear, while others have realistic medical prosthetics that can be affixed to the skin for both day-to-day wear and while sleeping. Some transgender men may feel compelled to pack due to dysphoria or just to feel more at home in their bodies. Packing can help create gender euphoria in these situations similar to chest binding.
For some transgender and/or nonbinary people, their packer isn’t just a thing to take on and off, but rather an extension of their own body. No matter the reason or the occasions when you pack, packing is a personal choice and whether or not you decide to do it, is entirely up to you and has no impact on the validity of your gender identity.
What are the different types of transgender packers?
Anything can be used as a packer. Packers can come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors to match your skin tone. The most common styles of packers are soft packers, hard packers (or pack-and-play prosthetics), STPs (stand-to-pee devices), and 3-in-1 packers. Packers can range anywhere from $10 to over $100. Packers can come circumcised or uncircumcised, depending on your preference.
You can also use a homemade packer, such as a pair of rolled-up socks, to create a bulge. If you’re using this DIY method, you might try using a jockstrap or packing boxers to keep the socks in place or fixing them inside regular boxer briefs with pins. The downside with using socks as a packer is that they may not feel realistic or the extra material/fabric may become uncomfortable against your crotch. To find out more about the other types of packers available, read on.
Soft packers are the type of packer most commonly used for the purpose of creating a realistic bulge. These are called “soft packers” because they’re flaccid and limp, mimicking the anatomy of a penis (and/or scrotum) when not erect. Most people use a soft packer or a stand-to-pee/STP packer for general day-to-day packing. These packers are typically made out of porous materials like soft skin, thermal gel, elastomer, while others are made out of soft silicone.
Soft-silicone packers also tend to be less flexible and firmer than softskin/elastomer packers due to differences in the materials. This means that they can also feel denser and heavier in your pants. The pros of silicone packers are that they can be sterilized and are much easier to keep clean than soft skin. If you find that you have sensitive skin or that soft skin irritates your body, silicone packers might be a good fit for you.
STP (stand-to-pee) packers are devices that allow you to pack and also urinate through the packer when standing up. These are often used by those who haven’t had bottom surgery, but who want to pee while standing up. Many STP packers take a lot of practice to work properly, as they have a funnel built into them that allows the pee stream to be redirected through the tip of the packer. If STP packers aren’t for you, there are also some plastic STP devices that simply allow you to pee standing up like the pStyle STP. These can be used by anyone who might want to pee standing up while camping or for convenience. These devices can be a great option if you want to maintain your privacy and safety in the stalls of the men’s bathroom, but don’t wish to pack or haven’t quite gotten the technique of the packer down yet.
3-in-1 (pack, play, pee)
There are some multipurpose prosthetic packers that allow you to have full functionality of your packer for packing, peeing, and sexual penetration. These packers can be useful if you’re packing with the intention of having sex later. We don’t recommend using dildos or dual-use packers for general packing as they might not feel as comfortable or look very realistic. After all, most cisgender men aren’t walking around with a semi-erection during their day-to-day activities, and even if they did…it’s not necessarily a great look!
Where can I buy a packer?
Transguy Supply is one of our favorite online retailers for transmasculine gear and apparel. TGS is a trans-owned business that provides high-quality products for transgender men and transmasculine folks from STPs to packers to clothing to personal grooming products.
They created a signature STP device, the STP Freely. These STP packers are made from high-quality body-safe silicone that isn’t sticky and feels ultra-soft in your hands. The STP Freely has a functional funnel that allows for easy peeing while standing up, although it may take some practice in the shower! These STP packers come in both regular size and XL size. Each packer can be bought as cut or uncut and in five different skin tones. You also have the option of buying an insertable rod that can convert your STP Freely into a pack-and-play device.
Transguy Supply also stocks a number of other high-quality packers. The #1 Trans Packer is a super realistic packer that feels good in your hand and in your pants. There are a number of other packers available to buy through TGS including Mr. Limpy, Packer Gear, Mr. Right, and New York Toy Collective’s Pierre and Archer, which comes in both adult and youth sizes. If you still can’t make up your mind, there are super helpful reviews on their site that can outline the pros and cons of each packer. They also sell packing underwear, jockstraps, packing swim briefs, and harnesses that allow you to pack safely no matter the occasion. Whether you’re a seasoned packing veteran or if it’s your first time buying a packer, TransGuy Supply has you covered.
No matter where you are in your packing journey, there isn’t a right or wrong way to pack. Some trans guys never feel the need to pack while others may pack every day. Packing doesn’t make you more or less of a man, nor more or less trans. Some people might find that packing is mentally or emotionally exhausting while it might give others that special burst of gender euphoria. Remember to have compassion for yourself and know that there are other people out there that feel the exact same way that you do.
For those ready to get started at FOLX for testosterone, the process begins here. For existing FOLX members with questions about their dosage, don't hesitate to message or schedule time with a clinician. And for those who’ve just got some more questions related to LGBTQ health and beyond, read up on testosterone here. Feel free to reach out with questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.