In the first article, The Guy-Guide: Troubleshooting Everyday FTM/FTX Gender Issues, we discussed the various everyday issues that transmasculine folks can encounter with things like presentation, preparing for HRT and packing.
Now let’s cover the fun stuff!
A little disclaimer before continuing:
I’ll be directly discussing parts of the anatomy and using terms for body parts that might make people uncomfortable, and dysphoric. I use them to be absolutely clear and make sure there are no uncertainties.
What kind of changes should I expect… down there?
Most people notice a lot of sensation within the first week of being on T. You might notice throbbing, or pulsating. It might even feel a little hot, sore, or swollen, all of which is very normal. (However, if you do have concerns, please contact your local health care professional!)
An absolutely unavoidable effect of testosterone on the body is that your clitoris will grow in size, and shape. Most people on testosterone will see growth of anywhere from 1-2 inches, with some people reporting sizes up to 4 inches. There are no real guarantees on how large someone will end up, as it’s mostly up to pesky genetics.
During this second puberty, your clit is going to be way too sensitive for a while. It’s easy to climax too quickly, or consistently overstimulate yourself and become frustrated. You’ll notice that climaxing will also cause your clit to basically twitch like a penis a lot more noticeably. Which is fun and dysphoria reducing!
As your body adjusts to the new hormone profile, people can become more sensitive to urinary tract infections, or yeast infections. I know… I know… and as dysphoria inducing as it can be, please do not ignore any potential infections, even if it means having to see a specialist. You are on an exciting journey right now, and that journey will be significantly less enjoyable if you have a UTI from hell!
Let’s talk about the actual vagina for a moment. An unfortunate consequence of testosterone is that vaginal atrophy will likely plague you. The tissues inside the vagina are incredibly sensitive to hormone changes, and will become a little more fragile. If you enjoy using that part of your body, initiate sex at a slower pace, and use enough lube to fill an Olympic swimming pool.
You know that popular saying, “no pain, no gain”? Write it on a cue card… good. Now... burn it. If you notice any pain, stop what you’re doing and take a moment! Sex isn’t a race, and pain is your body’s sign that an adjustment needs to be made. If you’re still experiencing pain despite the fact that your bed looks like a slip-n-slide from the quantity of lube used, no fret! Doctors are able to prescribe creams or vaginal suppositories to apply estrogen to these targeted areas only, and they’ve proven to be wonderfully effective.
My anatomy is changing! I’d like to buy a stroker for that. But how do I choose?
For a lot of trans men, being able to actually penetrate something with your own bits is the dream! While you might be excited at the prospect of newfound sensations, let’s discuss what you’re looking for in a stroker.
There are three main things to focus on: realism, suction, and texture.
Realism means making your anatomy look like a cis penis (with texture inside), or fucking something textured that looks like a realistic vagina/butt/mouth. Some toys aim at looking as life-like as possible, down to intricate veins and coloring!
Suction can be often overlooked, but greatly improves the experience, especially if you haven’t had much growth on HRT. It’ll help keep you in the toy while you’re pumping away like a regular ol’ Lord Byron (famed poet and pervert. Google him, it’s wild).
Texture is pretty straight forward! If you’re very sensitive, go with a toy with minimal texture and a softer density of silicone.
What is important for you in this experience? Do you want to have a realistic looking stroker that you can jerk off with enough enthusiasm to start a small forest fire? Or do you want to be able to simply explore different textures?
Check out established favorites like the Shot Pocket (realism -, texture +, suction ++), Gender Cat GenderExtender (realism ++, suction ++, texture +++), or Gender Cat’s Fascination Sleeve (realism -, suction ++, texture +++).
If you’re the type of person who gets a little hot and bothered by fantastical designs inspired from monsters of fiction, look no further than toys like Strange Bedfellas Egg Stroker (realism +, suction +, texture +++), or Frisky Beasts’ Pocket Snowbird (realism + I mean it’s a fantasy creature, suction ++, texture +++).
Pro tip: if you have a stroker that is open on both ends, you can insert a bullet vibrator into one end and find yourself in deliciously uncharted territory. Enjoy!
Are there stroker-like toys out there for folks who aren’t on testosterone?
There is one! Otherwise, prepare yourself for some dysphoria inducing names and feminine designs.
Buck Angel is one of the most well-known trans porn stars in the world and is now a sex educator. The only stroker that’s actually made for FTM/FTX people who aren’t on T is Buck Angel’s Kiss-X, which he and his team designed after hearing the Buck Off was too large for folks.
Otherwise: there are vibrator style toys that simulate the suction, and stimulate the user with puffs of air. The names are cringe-worthy (Womanizer, or the Satisfyer) but they do work alarmingly well for a lot of people. Just cover up the name of the product with a rad sticker, and rock on while getting your rocks off!
So… what’s pumping?
“I’m tellin’ you baby… that’s not mine!”
It was an iconic scene in the original Austin Powers movie: Austin Powers, international man of danger, embarrassingly attempts to explain away his penis pump (and memorabilia) while continuously exposed as a fan and advocate for them.
For those of us who grew up in the golden age of that film, the infamy of a penis pump still reigns supreme.
Honestly, it even took me a while to get sucked into using one!
Pumping for FTM/FTX people is the essentially the same process as pumping for any penis: you create intense suction in order to bring more blood into the member, which makes it bigger in the short term. In the long term, it can increase your size substantially over the long-term with consistent use.
Good pumps are expensive, but some inexpensive stroker toys can act as a mild pump. These might be better for folks who are worried about injury or simply can’t afford the larger ones with emergency pressure releases.
For clitoral pumps advertised towards cis women, there are more options at lower price points like those from Blush Novelties, which offer the Beginner Pumping System which is a simple ball pump or the Clitoris and Nipple Pleasure and Enhancement System which comes with a hand pump and an air pressure gauge.
Pro tip: use plenty of lube to prevent injuries and bruising! I hope you have a lifetime supply at this point because it is key to keeping yourself from getting hurt in most sexual activities!
I’d like to start dating, but don’t know how to tell people that I’m trans?
I wish there were more straightforward win/win answers to this question, but ultimately this is an incredibly personal choice.
If you’re public about being trans on dating sites, you risk inviting chasers or invasive questions (more about chasers later). If you disclose it discreetly, there is a concern that people might react poorly, or no longer respond if they have an issue with it.
Personally, I’ve chosen to tell people right away and to be as casual as possible. That way, if they have an issue, it’s up to them to turn the emotional dial up to 50.
Wait… what are chasers?
Gather around, friends and familiars, for a spooky story.
Have you heard that scary tale about the man with the hook hand? What about the murder clown that hides in your house and pretends to be a doll?
How about... the man who just wants to hook up with you because he has a fetish for trans people?
Chasers! They’re among us!
In all seriousness, chasers are people who exclusively seek out trans people to sleep with. They do not see trans people as complete human beings, and instead, view us as only a fuckable fantasy.
They’ll attempt to be very open and will enthusiastically ask questions about the “trans experience”. Before long though… the blitz of invasive and personal questions begins in an attempt to gain an entitled voyeuristic pleasure. They’ll pester you endlessly for nudes, dates or other personal intimate details that even your doctor might blush at.
They begin as charming and clumsy but listen to your gut: if someone wouldn’t ask a cis person this question, why is it okay to ask you about those intimate details?
Like the world’s worst candy, their sweet outer shell hides a shitty core. If you refuse them, they’ll explode and misgender you in an attempt to regain their lost pride.
Talk about a horror story!
I’d like to purchase a prosthetic penis. Please.
Your Johnson. Your little buddy. Your one-eyed monster. If you’re anything like me, you’ve anticipated the moment when your birthday wishes all came true and voila, you wake up with the perfect genitals of your dream! Unfortunately, neither science nor birthday candles have made a completely surgery-free option besides prosthetics.
In the first part of the article, we looked at the rule of thumb with an STP: pick your main desired function first!
You can go with a 4-in-1 or a 2-in-1 style prosthetic. There are many popular companies that offer these at various price points.
The most desired multipurpose, Swiss-army dick are the 4-in-1s. They include the ability to pack, play with partners, masturbate with special grooves or inserts, and also urinate! Out of these prosthetics, there is the Peecock, which is incredibly popular. They recently released their fourth generation, which now includes an insert to keep the penis stiff for play with partners, and a new reservoir at the tip of the shaft that simulates ejaculation!
There are prosthetics from brands like FreeTom, which include 14 different skin tones, and are modeled after cis penises. The company offers painted prosthetics as well, and various design options including foreskin.
The downside to these prosthetics is that they’re often more fragile than a realistic sex toy, and if you’re interested in more aggressive thrusting… a 2-in-1 might be what you need.
They offer the opportunity for the user to pack and play. There is the very popular Shilo by New York Toy Collective, which is a bendable prosthetic that can be positioned in a variety of angles to hit everyone’s favorite spot. It comes in four skin tones, and they have released some more magical colors as well.
There is also the Joystick from Transthetics, which ejaculates and has a rechargeable vibrator in the shaft to stimulate the wearer!
What other options are there other than prosthetics?
The possibilities of sex toys are only limited by your imagination! Well… that and the manufacturer’s. Luckily, sex toy designers and engineers are a creative bunch!
There are “harness-free” double-ended toys like the Realdoe or Feeldoe, or the Fuze Real Tango, Fun Factory Share. These are a perfect option if you’re someone who enjoys being penetrated, but would also like to penetrate your partner. However… they’re not really “harness free” unless you have pelvic muscles of steel.
If instead, you want a toy that stimulates you externally, there are toys like the Fuze Ultra or Velvet, which rub up against the wearer with texture!
Most silicone sex toys are “single density” which means the entire product is made from a single hardness of silicone. Dual-density dildos offer a luxurious option where the product has a single harder core of silicone and a softer more skin-like silicone over top of it. It allows for a certain amount of squish and feels incredibly realistic.
If you’re looking for a straight-forward, dual density dick, Vixskin is regarded as the “golden standard” of realistic dildos. There’s a wide variety of styles to choose from and they offer a lifetime warranty on toys sold through authorized sellers.
You can also buy something like the Sili Saddle, which is a little silicone disk that presses against the body of the person wearing the toy. It’s meant to stick on temporarily to the base of a dildo, and cushion the wearer against bumps and ouches from enthusiastic thrusting. It also enhances pleasure, and can even be used solo to grind up against if you’re looking for a new texture experience.
Okay! I got a prosthetic penis/dildo… now what?
Well, when two (or more) people love each other very much and they… Oh! You mean how to keep the penis to stay on your body… well, you’ve got some options!
There are luckily a wide variety of harnesses geared towards transmasculine or gender-nonconforming folks. You’re going to want a balance of control and comfort for you.
There are two main styles of harnesses: boxer brief harnesses and jock-strap harnesses.
The boxer brief or simple brief style looks and feels like regular underwear, but have an O-ring affixed to the front. They’re incredibly comfortable, and are definitely the most casual to wear, especially on a date night!
Rodeoh is by far the most recommended for their simplicity and comfort, just be careful to buy their play harnesses and not their packing harnesses, which only have a pouch. I also personally recommend the Tomboi Brief Harness by Spareparts. It’s made out of a bathing suit style material, so it’s absorbent and dries quickly but looks shiny and incredible. The fabric is tight enough to offer a full about of control in movements, while also feeling effortless. There are also little pockets to tuck away a bullet vibrator for use against your body! They’re like… incredibly sexy cargo shorts for your sex adventures.
The most recommended harness by far is the Joque by Spareparts and for good reason. It’s a jockstrap harness and can be seamlessly worn under your everyday boxers (or alone!). It has two pockets for vibrators and is made from the same moisture-wicking material. And like a good tool should, it balances being soft and sturdy enough to let yourself thrust with reckless abandon.
If you’re more into leather, there’s the Jaguar harness from Canadian company Aslan Leather! It is as fearsome as the name suggests, and the design alone would bring someone to their knees. Leather can allow for more control, but be aware that it needs to be carefully cleaned as leather can easily harbor moisture or bacteria.
I feel dysphoric when having sex by myself or with partners. What should I do?
Dysphoria can hit you like a slap in the face by a brick wall of anxiety and dread. When everything hits you in the face like that, it can be overwhelming, so try to narrow the exact emotions you’re experiencing and why.
Try to create a list of what thoughts make you feel dysphoric. What are you thinking, and why do you feel like this might be undermining your gender euphoria. Try to be kind, compassionate and slow with yourself. You’re experiencing an intense type of discomfort, and it’s okay if it takes some time to work through.
Some questions to think of: is there something that you feel is invalidating your gender? Do you enjoy having a partner finger you, but find that it makes you feel bad for enjoying it? Are you worried that your voice sounds too “girly” during those moments of passion? Is your partner using words for you or your anatomy that makes you uncomfortable?
Once you have the list, try to address each concern one by one. You might notice that your concerns are rooted more in how you or your gender is being perceived. For example, if you find that being penetrated makes you uncomfortable, but you enjoy it, maybe you have some limiting beliefs about what kind of pleasure men or masculine people are “supposed” to experience. There are plenty of cis men who enjoy being penetrated, why should your configuration matter?
Try to seek out trans men, or nonbinary folk in adult films or erotica. Are you able to relate to how they look or experience without judging yourself? If you struggle to work through any specific experiences, therapy or speaking to fellow trans people to express these issues can be enlightening.
My body changed… and now I can’t get myself off anymore. What gives?
Little adjustments have to be made, but we can overcome!
People tend to focus exclusively on the glans or visible head of the clitoris because it tends to be the most obvious pleasure button for folks. Unfortunately, that completely ignores the entire anatomy of the clitoris under the skin. There are two “legs” of erectile tissue that run down the sides of the vulva called the clitoral crura. You can try stimulating those two sides by slowly massaging the areas, and see if you can explore any spots that feel distinctly amazing.
Try and explore different toys and mix and match combinations like a mad scientist of sex. Change up your usual recipe, and try starting with a clitoral pump to increase sensation and then moving onto a stroker! Or maybe you could try anal plugs or toys; many trans men report a kind of “phantom prostate” experience after being on testosterone for a while and feel like there’s suddenly more enjoyment of anal play. Try toys that are advertised towards people with prostates, like an Aneros prostate massager.
As with most things…. take your time and don’t feel rushed to accomplish a “goal”. Your body is okay, and you’re going to be okay!
I used to like wearing lingerie, but since transitioning, I feel dysphoric about it. What can I do?
Presenting yourself in an erotic and sensual way can sometimes feel impossible if you’re trans or gender non-conforming. There’s a lot of dysphoria that comes with feeling comfortable in familiar “gendered” products, and that’s okay. Try to work through any internal criticisms you have compassionately.
Remember: plenty of cis men regularly love to “crossdress” and wear clothing usually reserved for women. There are folks who enjoy dressing in drag, despite being incredibly masculine cis men. One only needs to visit a Halloween party on a college campus to see that pretty obviously!
If you like wearing lingerie, wear it! If a partner makes you feel crummy for wearing lingerie, toss that jerk out of your bedroom (or kitchen, you naughty thing you!). Your sexual experience is a joy to be a part of, and if anyone shames you for wearing something… their price of admission is revoked and don’t deserve to share that pleasure with you.
Another thing to try is to collect and really examine what you find attractive. Do contrasting colors excite you? Harnesses, or ties? Create a folder on your phone or computer, and start saving pictures of people who ooze that kind of sensuality for you. Then try to apply that to your own sensuality, in a way that feels authentic to you.
It helps to recognize that we’re all seeking authenticity in our journey of transition in life or gender. Whether you’ve found peace in your body’s configuration or would like to change how you and others perceive your body… we’re all just searching for joy and genuine connection.
And if it takes a couple of vibrators and maybe a butt plug or two... you have my full blessing!
Zack is a freelance writer and illustrator from Canada. He’s a geeky trans man with a penchant for discussing LGBTQIA+ issues, graphic novels and comedy, and an evangelist for accessible sex education.
When he’s not fussing over his writing, Zack is usually hanging out with friends discussing the merits of icing on cupcakes and non-hierarchical relationship anarchism.
His favorite word is bean.
Illustration by Anouk.