This is a guide to packers transmen and FTMs. What should we look for when we buy a packer? There are a whole lot of very affordable options out there! A good packer can make your life as a transman or FTM easier, by ensuring you feel more comfortable about passing. This post also has some tips on packing underwear.
What is a Packer?
A packer is a phallic object worn in the underwear to give the appearance of having a penis. Packers are most often used by transmen/FTMs. They are also sometimes used by cis men to create a more impressive bulge.
Packers can range from a rolled-up sock stuffed down your underpants, to a very expensive medical prosthesis that is attached to the body with surgical glue. And then there are a whole lot of packers in-between. There are many choices of packer in the under-one-hundred-dollars zone.
Read on for our guide to picking out the perfect packer (try saying that six times fast!).
Choosing the Best Packer for You
Your choice of packer is always going to come down to your personal priorities. Some transmen are more concerned with a soft, realistic feel. Others focus on what the packer looks like. Or how hot it will be to wear, or how long it will last. Some guys want a packer that can double as a sex toy. And of course, many of us have to consider the price as a primary factor.
Packers can be very cheap, such as this California Exotic Novelties packer from Amazon, for just $10. It is available in brown and ivory. This one is so affordable that it could be a good “starter” packer if you want to give it a try and see if packers work for you. There are probably people who decide they don’t like wearing a prosthetic penis all day long. Personally, I find I feel under-dressed without mine. So, on the rare occasion I forget it, I will usually come back home for it.
Other packers can be very expensive, such as the most expensive version of the Reel Magik, which is more a medical prosthesis than a packer. Try to find a packer that is both affordable for you, and meets your needs. For most guys, that is going to mean finding a packer that looks realistic in your clothes, and is comfortable enough to wear all day, every day. And, of course, that they can afford.
To Pack or Not to Pack? How to Decide Whether a Packer is Right for You
Whether or not to pack is an issue every transman has to decide for himself. In talking to transmen over the years, I have heard some very different opinions on the matter. While I think it’s true that most people don’t look hard at other people’s crotches, there are situations in which the lack of a bulge could be a dead giveaway.
Packers May Help You to Pass
For example, men in cycling pants have very obvious bulges. A man who lacked this bulge would stand out (or fail to stand out!)
Similarly the lack of a bulge could be very obvious in swimming trunks, unless they are very baggy. I also think it’s extremely obvious in wet suits. It can also be fairly obvious in tighter dress pants and jeans, as well as sweat pants. For example, when you’re lying on your back on a bench in the gym, doing bench presses. One time I was doing that, and my new boss happened to come by and talk to me. I was so glad I did not have an embarrassing absence of bulge, as I was totally stealth at that job.
So on the one hand, it seems to be essential for transmen to pack if we want to pass. On the other hand, I have met transmen who have never packed, and who insist that it does not detract from their ability to pass as men. According to them, no one has ever noticed their lack of a crotch bulge. This is an issue each transman must decide for himself.
Size of Packer
It’s kind of a no-brainer that most guys, given the choice, would want to go big! But bear in mind, you do want to look natural and normal. If your packer is too big, you could look like you have a hard-on. Not a good idea, especially in the wrong environment – say, a meeting with your boss, or during a workout in the weights room!
These products are usually non-returnable, so try to get it right when you order. When in doubt, go for medium. In my experience, small is usually too small, and large is usually too big. Keep in mind your own size too – a man who is five feet three would be unlikely to have a ten-inch penis!
The two packers above are size small and large. Notice the extreme difference in size. I certainly found the small too small and the large impossibly big. Both of these products double as sex toys, but even in that department, the large is going to be too big for most people.
Packers that Depress
Some transmen choose not to pack for psychological reasons. For example, I remember one transman who said that putting a packer in his pants every morning would only serve to remind him, every morning, that he did not have a penis … and that would depress him. So he did not pack at all, and he said that no one had ever noticed.
I respect his point of view, but I could not help wondering if people did notice, but were just too polite to say. Those are the kinds of stupid worries that used to keep me up at night, and even give me bad dreams. I have to say, the older I get, the more I realize that almost all of the time, these worries are unwarranted. The reality is that most people are way to busy thinking about themselves, to have any time to think about me!
Packers Can Make a Man Feel Complete
Many transmen say that they don’t feel complete without their packers. They say they would not be seen in public without their packers. Their packer makes them feel more complete, and makes them feel more secure about passing. I tend to agree with that. Certainly when I am out cycling with friends, I feel they would notice if I was not packing. After all, every other male cyclist has a conspicuous crotch bulge, so why wouldn’t I have one? (I do have a cover story ready for that – it involves an unfortunate encounter with a landmine – but I am happy to say I have never had to tell that story!)
I remember one transman who said that the weight of his Mr. Right packer gives him a solid reminder of who he is. I’ve got a Mr. Right packer, and on days when I wear it, I have to agree with him. It’s got a wonderfully heavy, solid feeling. It makes me feel more solidly centered in my masculinity when I wear it. However, the Mr. Right packer is kind of heavy for everyday wear. For me at least.
Stand to Pee Packers
Some packers double as STP (stand to pee) devices. These have ingenious ways of enabling you to use them as a funnel for peeing while standing up. These are mainly for transmen who have not had bottom surgery, but are also used by some guys who have had metoidioplasty. This surgery turns the clitoris into a small penis, which may or may not be long enough to pee standing up. If it is not long enough, placing an STP device over top of it can do the trick.
Personally I have never succeeded with these. This was a major disappointment for me for many years, but I have finally gotten over it. However, I know that many transmen do manage just fine to get these to work for them. You will need to be willing to follow instructions and practice a lot. And you should preferably start off in the shower, where accidents will not be a problem!
Also, you will need packing underwear with a fly, so that you can get your packer out to pee. An example is below. And there’s more about packing underwear below in this post.
Devices to Help You to Stand to Pee
If you cannot master an STP packer, there is another option. These are devices intended for women to use to pee standing up in certain circumstances. For example, if they are traveling and have to use a dirty toilet. Or if they are on long hikes. One of the most popular of these is the Freshette.
You might be wondering: what would I do with that? Well, shortly after I transitioned I started a new job. I was totally stealth. The washroom was very small, with two stalls. If I went in to pee, it was fine if I was alone. But if someone was in the stall next to me, I was overcome with pee shyness. I knew the other guy would see my feet, so he would know I was seated. So, what would he think if he heard I was peeing?
I was so worried about this that I would usually hold it in, and then climb up and down the stairs looking for an empty washroom. Luckily, I was not arrested for lurking near washrooms! I wish I had thought of carrying a product like this back then.
As with most aspects of being a transman, I really do not worry about this kind of thing any more. The hell with it. If someone has nothing better to do than watch my feet, that is his problem, not mine. These days I just pee away, and really don’t care what anyone thinks.
Related Content: Complete Guide to Chest Binding for Transmen
Packers that Double as Sex Toys
Some packers come with optional hard shafts that turn them into penetrative sex toys. These can be a whole lot of fun.
There are also packers that are designed with a firm core to be used for penetrative play without any kind of inserts. This TRUSKYN model uses the latest ultra premium silicone and is said to provide a super realistic sexual experience. If you are the Boy Scout type who likes to be always ready for any situation, this might be for you. Bear in mind that a firm packer is going to appear large, and may not be comfortable for many hours of wear.
For me the primary purpose of my packer is passing, so I usually wear just a basic, standard packer that does the job of giving me a realistic bulge. However, on on one of the few occasions that I wore a firm core model on a date, the situation did turn out extremely well. I have very happy memories of that night! (That was back in my single days.)
Packers for Transmen while Swimming
Now that I’ve had my top surgery and I can swim in just swim trunks, I usually pack while swimming. I think it’s useful for passing. The other day I was in a public swimming pool and I overheard a group of women discussing some man. One woman said, “He was in a Speedo, and there was nothing there!” That reminded me that some women are looking, and that you will be noticed if you are not packing while swimming. That’s not going to happen to me.
So in order to pass, I always wear a packer when swimming. Of course you have to be sure that you don’t drop your packer while swimming. I find I can dive and swim vigorously with my packer simply tucked into my Speedo. However, I usually prefer to be safer than that. What I have done is purchase a swim bikini. It has an adjustable and detachable ring built in to hold your packer. The ring is great – it has Velcro on it, which you tie around the top of your packer. Once you have that in place, your packer is secure, no matter what you do in the water. For this reason it is also useful for other times when you are packing.
However, the point about this swim bikini is that it is designed to go in the water, so it stands up to water pretty well, dries quickly, and of course, holds your packer safely. As I don’t have the body to pull off wearing just a speedo-type swim suit, I always wear swim trunks over top. But I do have the peace of mind of knowing that when my swim trunks get wet and cling to me, no one is going to look at me and think about what’s missing from me.
Related Post: A Guide to Packing Underwear for Trans Men
How to Wear Your Packer
It’s really important to get the position of your packer right. It should not be worn too low or too high. Take a good look at other men’s bulges (without being obvious about it!). Also, it helps to remember that anatomically, a penis is really just a very large clit. Although it is positioned slightly more forward than a clit. If you line up the base of your packer with the base of your clit, you will have it in the correct position.
By the way, I recently discovered that Amazon sells a Clitoris Enhancement Kit – who knew! It’s actually a clitoris pump kit, which many surgeons recommend for transmen prior to meta surgery, and which are also useful if you just want to enlarge your size.
Of course, the next challenge is to keep your packet in the correct position – and that’s where underwear for packing comes in.
Underwear for Packing for Transmen
If you wear a packer, you really need to think about how you are going to keep it in place. Trust me, you do not want your packer falling out. It did happen to me once, when changing in a locker room at a pool. I grabbed it so fast my arm was a blur, and I don’t think anyone had time to see it. However, I die find that extremely unnerving. Consequently, I have spent many hours of my life fussing about what kind of underwear to wear to keep my packer firmly in place.
Regular or Custom Underwear for Your Packer?
Basically, you can choose between regular underwear, or underwear specifically designed for packing. With regular underwear, you just want something that is going to fit tightly enough that the packer will not fall out. If the design also lends itself to working well with a packer, so much the better. For example, a lot of people like these Scrotum Separation Cool Performance Stretch Short Boxer Briefs.
These are not designed as packing underwear, but will obviously do the job just fine. Many of the customer comments attest that they do a great job of supporting a packer. Quite hilariously, the advertising copy on this product refers to the penis as a “todger”!
Enhancing Underwear to Hold Your Packer
Enhancing underwear is underwear intended to enhance the bulge of cis men. This is usually achieved by equipping the underwear with an especially designed pouch. Of course, this pouch can just as well be used to position your packer, as you can see for yourself in the picture below. This works really well, in my experience.
Underwear that is Custom Designed to Hold Your Packer
The problem with regular underwear is that sooner or later, you are likely to pull down your pants in a stall in a public washroom, forgetting about your packer. An then it will tumble out onto the floor. Which is not at all hygienic! If this happens while you are quietly changing in a corner of a gym change room, it is also potentially embarrassing. I have had both of these things happen to me.
Underwear with Pouches
That’s where underwear that is especially designed for packing is so great. This kind of underwear uses various designs to ensure that the packer stays in the correct position, and also cannot fall out. The simplest kind simply has a pouch at the front. The problem with this is that you may potentially wear your packer too high up. I have a couple of pairs of underwear that work like that. Basically, I never wear them, as they must be worn very low on the hips in order for the packer to be in the correct position.
A better option is the kind of underwear that uses sewn-in extras to hold your packer. Some of them have a ring of some kind to hold the penis part of the packer in place, and some also have a cloth cage to hold the balls in place as well. In the video above, this kind of underwear is shown at minute 2:35. I have had much more success with this kind. First, they keep the packer in the correct anatomical position as you move around, and second, they never let the packer get away. I have found that with the penis-hold-only underwear, my packer can work its way loose.
Some packing underwear is designed to be strong enough to double as a harness, in case you are the boy scout type who likes to be ready for anything! This dedicated packer harness is well rated by many.
Stand to Pee Underwear for Packing
Also called STP packing underwear, Stand to Pee packing underwear is designed to not only keep your packer safe, but also to enable you to pee while standing, assuming you have a packer that is designed to do this. So it holds your packer securely, yet has a front opening that you can use at a urinal. PETE UnderWear is a made-in-the-USA brand that is designed to do all this, plus be comfortable, lightweight and breathable. With this pair, you can choose to wear your packer directly against your skin, or not.
Transman-run Company for Personalized Packing Underwear
A few years ago I discovered an online supplier of underwear designed specifically for FTMs – TranZwear. This company is run by a transman, and they customize products to order. For example, you could get yourself several pairs of Dockers boxer briefs, with sewn-in cloth rings to hold your packer, and (if you wanted) sewn-in cloth loops (called ball cages) to hold your balls in place. They also have a range of brands, including Calvin Klein. Plus, they also sell packers.
I find this company very personal to deal with, and very professional too. I do not earn a commission from them – I just admire their work, and have been a repeat customer for more than a decade now. I actually recommend them to my own detriment, because I earn a small commission if you choose to buy from Amazon. However, I would be doing you a disservice if I did not tell you about TranZwear.
Bottom Line on Packers for Transmen
You can pick up a packer for a fairly low price, and they tend to last a long time. A good packer can be the final piece in making you feel comfortable passing as a man in daily life. If this works for you, then get yourself a decent packer, plus underwear that makes it easy to wear it.
Related Post: A Cheap Hack for Packing for Trans Men
Related Post: A Guide to Packing Underwear for Trans Men
Much of this post is excerpted from my book, How I Changed my Gender from Female to Male. You can look inside this book and see the table of contents by clicking on the Amazon link below.
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