Our guide to Sex Toys for Trans People was written by the wonderful Kelvin Sparks. Kelvin is an intersex trans man who blogs at kelvinsparks.com.
Transgender people may want to use sex toys for a huge variety of reasons, many of which we share with cisgender people. While trans people can and do use sex toys of every variety, we often navigate sex in different ways to cisgender people. For example, trans people may seek out gender affirming medical interventions, such as hormone replacement therapy, phalloplasty, vaginoplasty, or metoidioplasty*, that impact how we interact with sex. Trans people may also have different relationships with dysphoria and their bodies than cisgender people do. These factors mean that some sex toys and products may suit trans consumers for different reasons and in different ways than they do cisgender consumers.
That said, trans people are different, and may want to navigate their sexuality in any number of different ways. Some of the body parts, suggestions, issues, and experiences touched on in this article may be the same as yours, and some may not. Every person is unique and we all experience sexuality differently, and trans status doesn’t change this.
For transmasculine people who haven’t had bottom surgery and want to penetrate their partners, strap-ons offer a way to do so. Some people prefer strapping on dildos that match their skin tones, as this makes them feel like their strap-on cock is an extension of their body, while others may find that dildos in non-skin tones suit them and their dysphoria better. Underwear style harness may suit transmasculine people especially, as they’re usable for soft packing as well as strap-on sex. Some transmasculine people who prefer to be penetrated may still like to wear strap-ons during sex as it eases their genital dysphoria, and people who have had metoidioplasty or chosen not to have an erectile device implanted during phalloplasty may also want to use a strap-on.
Transfeminine people may also be interested in a strap-on. Estrogen therapy can make it hard to get and maintain an erection, and some people may not want to use their genitals for penetrative sex because of dysphoria. Both of these reasons can make strap-on sex a great alternative way to have sex, as it allows a person to top without needing an erection, or for their genitals to be touched at all. And, of course, transfeminine people may have vaginas, and use a strap-on for the same reasons that cisgender women do.
- Spare Parts HardWare Deuce– While many strap-on harnesses are completely usable by a person with a penis, this harness is specifically designed for people with a penis, and allows access to the wearer’s penis during strap-on sex.
- SpareParts HardWare Joque– This harness allows the wearer’s anus and vulva to be accessed and/or penetrated while they’re wearing it. It is wearable by people who have penises, but doesn’t allow direct access to their penis when they wear it.
- SpareParts HardWare Tomboi– This underwear style harness can be used for both soft packing and for strap-on sex. The boxer brief style may appeal to those who want a smooth transition between daily wear and sex. While this harness doesn’t leave the wearer’s vulva or anus exposed, it can be used with a double dildo.
While packing- the act of placing padding or a phallic object into underwear, to create a bulge- can be carried out by people of any gender, it’s most associated with transmasculine people. While not all transmasculine people pack or want to, packing can be a necessary tool for navigating dysphoria for some people. While you can ‘free-pack’- pack just by placing a packer in your underwear- specific underwear designed for packing can make the process easier. Packing underwear will hold a packer in place, alleviating fear of it shifting or moving during the day, and making sure the packer is in the right place for a natural-looking bulge.
- SpareParts HardWare Pete Commando– This packing underwear can be used for stand-to-pee devices as well as for soft packers. It’s light and minimal, and can be worn on its own, or beneath additional underwear.
Many external vibrators are usable on all kinds of anatomies. Powerful wand vibrators are especially great, as their broad heads mean they’re usable on different sized genitals. They don’t require the person using them to have an erection, making them useful for people who are on estrogen. Because of their power and rumbly-ness wand vibrators can even be used over clothes,
making them a great choice for those who don’t want their genitals to be exposed or directly touched due to dysphoria.
Smaller bullet vibrators are also usable on all anatomies, although they lack the broad size of wand vibrators. Bullet vibrators can be used on nipples or against the perineum as well as directly against the genitals. Because bullet vibrators tend to be small, they can also be used for muffing – a sex act first described in the zine Fucking Trans Women that involves penetrating the inguinal canals.
Some vibrators are intended for penises specifically. Penis vibrators usable on non-erect penises may be useful for people on estrogen, as well as for post-phalloplasty individuals who have chosen not to have an erectile device implanted.
- Doxy Massager– An incredibly powerful and rumbly wand vibrator, the Doxy has a large rounded head, which distributes sensation very evenly. This mains powered wand can be used over clothes due to its strength, with the highest setting being 9000 RPM.
- We-Vibe Tango– This rechargeable bullet vibrator is incredibly rumbly. It has a shape a little different to a lot of bullet vibrators, with the flat areas fitting neatly against testosterone growth. The Tango is also longer than a lot of other bullet vibrators, making it easier to manoeuvre during muffing.
- Hot Octopuss Pulse III Solo– This toy has been designed so that the wearer does not need to have an erection to achieve orgasm, making it a great choice both for people on estrogen, and for post-phalloplasty people who have chosen not to have an erectile device.
Air Pulsation Toys
Air pulsation toys use small pulses of air to create a feeling akin to suction. Because these type of toys don’t involve the rest of the vulva or vagina, transmasculine people may enjoy using them more than toys that involve other parts of the vulva.
- Satisfyer 1– The battery powered Satisfyer 1 is the cheapest way to try out air pulsation toys if you’re on a budget or unsure about them.
- Satisfyer Pro Traveler– While many air pulsation toys work similarly, there is variation in the size and shape of their nozzles. Because the Satisfyer Pro Traveler lacks a taper and is a little larger, it suits the anatomy of people who’ve had genital growth on testosterone more than some other models.
While most masturbation sleeves are intended for cisgender men, there are sleeves that are designed for non or pre-phalloplasty transmasculine people, particularly those who are on testosterone. These sleeves are smaller than those designed for cisgender men, and will work for most post-metoidioplasty people too. Post-phalloplasty people can use sleeves intended for cisgender men, but because there are differences in which parts of the penis are more sensitive between post-phalloplasty people and cisgender men, not all sleeve textures may be ideal.
- Buck Off FTM Stroker– This sleeve is specifically designed for transmasculine people on testosterone. While it likely won’t suit those who aren’t on testosterone, it can also be used by people who are post-metoidioplasty.
- Fleshlight Quickshot– While intended as a toy for oral sex on cisgender men, the fact that the Quickshot concentrates stimulation towards the base of the penis means it will suit post-phalloplasty penises, which have more intense erotic sensation towards the base.
Pumps and Suction Toys
Pumps are a type of sex toy that increase blood flow to particular areas of the body. Pumps may be genital specific, such as clit pumps or penis pumps, or may be usable on different areas of the body, like on the nipples. Some transmasculine people enjoy using pumps on their genitals, as increased blood flow can make genitals look larger and plumper, reducing their dysphoria. While there’s no conclusive scientific evidence that long term regular use of pumps increases size, some surgeons who perform metoidioplasty suggest pumping for a period prior to surgery.
As estrogen HRT leads to changes in the nipples (including gained sensitivity), some people on estrogen may enjoy nipple play more than they did prior. While care should be taken when engaging in nipple play early on estrogen, as heightened nipple sensation may be painful, nipple play can be really enjoyable, and a fun, new sensation for people on estrogen.
- FSOG Nothing but Sensation Nipple Teasers– These teasers create gentle suction without the use of a pump system. While they’re intended for the nipples, they can also be used on genitals.
Cock Rings and Vibrators
Cock rings and cock vibrators can be useful toys for both transmasculine and transfeminine people, for different reasons. One of the impacts that estrogen HRT has on the body is that it makes it difficult to maintain an erection. Cock rings, when worn around the base of a penis, restrict blood flow. While they don’t help to achieve an erection, they can help to maintain one for a longer period of time. If you’d like to engage in penetrative sex with your own anatomy, but struggle with erectile dysfunction, cock rings may be helpful for you.
Depending on individual size, some post-metodioplasty penises or even some pre/non-bottom surgery may be able to use cock rings. Look for rings that are smaller, or are adjustable. While blood flow isn’t an issue in post-phalloplasty penises, as erections are achieved using an implanted device, vibrating cock rings may still be of interest to post-phalloplasty people. The base of post-phalloplasty penises tends to be most sensitive, as this is where the original anatomy is buried. As vibrating cock rings provide stimulation to the base of the penis, they can be really good at adding sensation for post-phalloplasty people.
- Tantus Super Soft C-Ring– this ring is perfect for those who are new to cock rings. It’s incredibly easy to put on due to the fact it’s broader and stretchier than many cock rings. It can be worn around both the penis and testicles for maximum intensity.
- FSOG Again and Again– this ring is fully adjustable, making it suitable for a large variety of different genital shapes and sizes. Depending on individual size, this can include the genitals of people who are post-metoidioplasty, or even people who have gained growth on testosterone, but not had any kind of bottom surgery.
- We-Vibe Pivot– the super rumbly vibrations in this vibrating cock rings will stimulate both the wearer and potentially their partner.
Dilators are used after vaginoplasty to maintain the depth of the new vagina, and improve the elasticity of the vaginal wall. Your surgeon will provide you with dilators for the immediate post- operative period, but later on, silicone dilators may be more comfortable.
- Inspire Silicone Dilator Set– This set of dilators includes a total of 5 dilators. They have gentle curves, range from 1.25 cm to 3.25 cm wide, and are made of silicone, which can be easily sanitised.
- BS Atelier Oben– These brightly coloured dildos are intended for vaginal training and can be used for dilation. Because they have a flared base, they can also be safely used for anal play.
Testosterone HRT can lead to vaginal dryness, so if you’re on testosterone and want to engage in vaginal penetration, lube can be incredibly useful. Lube may also be useful for people whose post- op vaginas do not self-lubricate as much as desired, as well as for anyone of any gender and anatomy who wants to engage in anal sex.
Remember that while silicone based lubes are often thicker and longer-lasting than water based lubes, they can damage silicone toys.
- Sliquid Naturals H2O– A simple, glycerin and paraben free water based lube, compatible with all sex toy materials. It’s pH balanced for vaginal sex, is vegan, and is flavour and scent free.
- Yes But Anal Lubricant– A water based anal lube. This lube is thick, pH balanced for anal use, and compatible with all sex toys.
- Sliquid Silver- A high quality silicone lubricant that is glycerin and paraben free. Remember that this lube may damage your silicone toys.
Definitions and Links
*Phalloplasty, vaginoplasty, or metoidioplasty are all forms of gender affirming ‘lower’ or ‘bottom’ surgery which trans people may choose to undergo. These surgeries involve restructuring the persons genitalia to fit with their gender identity.