Here’s a guide to what to look for when you buy a packer. There are a whole lot of very affordable options out there! A good packer can make your life as a trans man or FTM easier, by ensuring you feel more comfortable about passing. This post also has some tips on packing underwear, and video. To start with, here is an informative and fun video about the various kinds of packers for transmen:
Related Content: Complete Guide to Chest Binding for Transmen
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 (although occasionally used by cis men to give 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 in-between, and many choices of packer in the under-one-hundred-dollars zone. Here’s a 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. And of course, many of us have to consider the price as a primary factor.
After all, packers can be very cheap, such as this Transform packer from Amazon, for just $40. This one comes in white, caramel, and chocolate.
Or this one, which actually goes for just $10, and so could be a good “starter” packer if you want to give it a try and see if it works for you. I imagine there must be people who decide they don’t like wearing a prosthetic penis all day long. Personally, I find I feel naked and exposed without mine, so on the rare occasion I forget it, I will usually come back home for it.
Others 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, and is comfortable enough to wear all day, every day.
To Pack or Not to Pack?
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.
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 very 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 the time.
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.
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 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 dick!
These two packers 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.
Packers that 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 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.
Stand to Pee Packers
Some packers double as STP (stand to pee) devices, and have one or other 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, placing an STP device over top of it can do the trick.
Personally I have never succeeded with these, but I know that many men do. You will need to be willing to follow instructions and practice a lot – preferably starting 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.
Packers that Double as Sex Toys
Some packers come with optional hard shafts that turn them into penetrative sex toys. These can be a 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 cuse.
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 very well. Happy memories of that night! (Back in my single days.)
My Favorite Packer
Personally, my favorite packer is made by Reel Magik. This company sells a variety of prosthetics, and has an FTM Prosthesis Store. They advertise themselves as LGBT-owned. They do extremely realistic prosthetic penises, which can be made to order to match your hair and skin color. These can be attached to your body with surgical glue, which would for example make it possible to be naked in a locker room. However, these are extremely expensive, and therefore beyond the reach of most men.
However, Reel Magik also offers what they call their basic packer, which is about sixty dollars, and is pleasingly realistic as they use the same mold that they use for their medical prosthetic. It has 3-D testicles, and is in my opinion the most realistic and pleasing packer you can get for less than a hundred dollars. It straddles the line between packer and prosthetic. As a shorter guy, I found the 4.5 inch version a good fit.
This version of the Reel Magik packer is available in five different skin tones.
The Reel Magik packer also does not have to be powdered; the only maintenance it requires is an occasional wash. Many of the other packers have a naturally tacky kind of texture, which requires them to be washed and powdered frequently. This becomes very important over time. You really don’t want to be washing and powdering your packer every day – life is busy enough without that.
As for how long your packer will last – my current Reel Magik packer is three years old. After three years of daily use, it is now starting to show signs of wear – tiny tears along the folds. I will have to replace it in a few months time.
Packing while Swimming
Now that I’ve had my top surgery and I can swim in just swim trunks, I always 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 bikini, 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.
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
If you wear a packer, you really need to think about how you are going to keep it in place. I have heard of men who have actually had their packer fall out of their pants, and somehow survived that experience. However, I would find that extremely embarrassing. 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?
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 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 probably see for yourself in the ad for enhancing briefs below. This works pretty well, in my experience. Be warned however, that these are more for days when you want to go big! The pouch is sometimes so large and firm that you can wear it without a packer inserted!
Underwear that is custom designed for packing
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 – and have it 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. In the change room situation, I snatched my packer up with such lightning speed that I was spared embarrassment, but it was NOT a fun experience!
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, and I find I don’t wear them too often as they must be worn very low on the hips in order for the packer to be in the correct position. In the video below about packing underwear from (highly recommended) Tranzwear, this kind of underwear is shown at minute 1:41.
A better option is the kind 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.
Packing Underwear that Doubles as a Harness
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 Packing Underwear
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 do actually 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.
Open Front Thong
Now for something completely different … I learned about this interesting underwear from my readers. It’s called an open front thong, and has a well-placed hole. Obviously, you can use this underwear to position a packer in the correct place, anchoring it with the penis poked through the hole. The fact that this thong costs less than a dollar means it is probably worth experimenting with!
For more about packing, see my Guide to Packing for Transmen post, here.
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.
Most 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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