Guest written by Rain Andersen (@wearenotfriends_), a marketing and e-commerce coordinator for Lovers. Rain is a retired sex worker, pleasure advocate, and sexual wellness expert. Rain has worked in the adult entertainment industry for eight years and in the adult retail industry for four years.
- What is Gender Affirmation?
- The Ultimate Guide to STP Devices
- The Ultimate Guide to Packing
Gender affirmation is an ongoing process, wherein a person receives recognition and support for their gender identity and the ways that they express it. Gender expression may be related to the type of clothing a person wears, the tenor in their voice, the actions they take, or the interests that they have. For some people, these forms of expression don’t always align with the gender identity that was ascribed to them at birth. Gender congruence is a term used to describe the harmonic balance between body and gender. It is when the parts on our body, the actions we take, and the people we meet accurately represent the way that we feel about ourselves, inside.
There are a number of ways that sex toy stores can help people to affirm their identity and feel at home in their bodies. Gender affirming products are one way that non-binary and trans people can experience feelings of gender euphoria, by being able to feel and visualize the appendages that they associate with their gender identity. Chest binding devices, prosthetic enhancements, and ejaculating sex toys are examples of different types of gender affirming products that have been popularized throughout history. In this article, we are placing focus on two styles of gender affirming products for trans men: the packer and the STP device.
The Sam STP Device by New York Toy Collective, $75
- AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY -
What is a STP Device?
STP is an acronym for Stand-to-Pee. This style of product is designed to assist people with vulvas so that they may urinate in a standing position. There are variety of different styles of STP Devices that range from disposable funnels to reusable, hollowed phalluses.
Why would I use a STP Device?
STP Devices are frequently used by trans men as a way of affirming their gender identity. They are also popular for extended outdoor excursions and festivals, where access to indoor plumbing is limited. They can offer people with vulvas a quick and discreet way to relieve themselves in non-traditional settings.
How do I use an STP Device?
The placement of your STP Device can help you to reduce the chances of backflow and overflow of urination. This can take several attempts to perfect, so we recommend starting out inside your shower to avoid unnecessary clean up. The body of an AFAB (assigned female at birth) individual has two entrances: the entrance to the vagina and the entrance to the urethra. Placing the STP Device beneath the entrance to the vagina can create an overflow of urination, as the urethra rests closer to the top lip of your funnel. Placing the STP Device over the clitoris (or the “T-Dick” as it is colloquially referred to in the trans community) can create a backflow of urination, as the urethra rests closer to the lower lip of the funnel. Your STP Device should be placed directly over the urethra in order to ensure that the urine funnels out of the phallus.
The Archer Packer by New York Toy Collective, $55
-AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY-
“Soft packing” is the process of packing with softer, more malleable materials that mimic the look of a flaccid penis. Others may prefer to “pack hard,” by using slightly firmer materials that create a more prominent bulge, and in some cases- can even be used to penetrate a partner. This style of packer is often referred to as a “pack and play” device.
How do I use a packer?
The position, size, and placement of your packer can influence the way that your packer sits against your body and looks underneath your clothes. Placing your packer higher up on your pelvic bone can create a more prominent bulge. The lower the packer rests against your body, the less attention you’ll draw to it.
Smaller and softer packers can be pointed downwards (also referred to as “packing down”) so that the phallus extends down over the testicles and creates a more noticeable bulge. Larger and firmer packers can be pointed upwards (“packing up”) so that the phallus crosses over the hip flexors. Thicker, firmer, and more realistic packers have a tendency to look like an erect or engorged penis if they are packed higher on the body, and pointed down towards the toes. Keep in mind that the average flaccid penis measures approximately 3.5 inches. Though people may initially want to get a larger sized packer, they are not always the most natural looking solution.
These are just a few techniques that can help you get started with your first packer. Give yourself some time to test out different sized packers and placements. Remember, there is no universal way to pick or place a packer. Allow yourself the grace of defining what packing means and feels like to you. You may acquire several styles of packers, just like you might acquire seasonal pieces of clothing. You might have a “day time” packer, a “special occasion” packer, or even a “sexy time” packer. You can change your packer just as easily as you can change your mood. Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help determine which style of packer might work for you:
- Do I want my packer to be proportionate with my body?
- Can the size of my packer prevent people from misgendering me?
- Does having a larger packer make me feel more secure?
- Is the material of this packer safe for prolonged contact with skin?
- How do I sanitize the material of this packer?
- Do I want my packer to double as an STP device?
- Do I want to have sex with my packer?
Packers with a flat and smooth backing are designed to sit snuggly against the skin to prevent any awkward shifting as you move through your daily routines. You can further secure your packer by using some type of supportive undergarment to keep the phallus in-place. Tight fitting boxers, or briefs with a built-in testicle pouch can often offer enough resistance to keep your packer firmly in place. Others may prefer to use a pegging harness or underwear style harness that the phallus can be guided through for additional support. If you’re feeling torn about investing in a few new sets of underwear, consider a packer pouch- a fabric sleeve that can be attached to the outside of your underwear with a layer of Velcro.