Before his bottom surgery, OnlyFans creator Kaleb Bleu never used sex toys. “Personally, they always felt ‘too female’ to me,” he explains. “I’d only ever been told about vibrators and generic dildos, but I was never told about any sex toys that would make me feel validated as a man.”
For trans guys like him, sex-toy branding doesn’t help, either. There’s a plethora of hyper-girly, pink and purple vibrators with cutesy names out there, and when it comes to Fleshlights and sleeve masturbators, the vast majority are designed to look like tight, pink pussies, which are far from a universal taste. Trans sex-toy blogger Betty Butch has long campaigned for brands to cut the gendered bullshit and dive into the nitty-gritty of what makes sex toys feel good for trans bodies, but so far, only a few companies have done so.
In the meantime, trans folks are coming up with their own tips, tricks and hacks to maximize their pleasure from toys, whether the products being used were designed with them in mind or not.
The first sex toy Bleu tried after his metoidioplasty — a surgical procedure that involves constructing a dick out of the clitoral “bottom growth” caused by testosterone — was the Pumpworx HEAD trainer pump, a penis pump that’s more petite than the usual huge, hulking products on display. Metoidioplasty generally results in pretty small dicks, so Bleu knew he’d have to steer clear of anything too big. “I knew I would be able to pump my cock with it, but not necessarily to make it bigger,” he explains. “Instead, it increased my sensitivity and pleasure.” The packaging even came with a small, silicone cock ring — a perfect fit for his new dick. “That was really exciting, because it’s hard to find rings small enough to fit the results of metoidioplasty,” he recalls. For trans guys, the Satisfyer Pro II is pretty popular too — it’s a suction toy with a big enough hole to accommodate bottom growth.
In Butch’s eyes, sex toys can also alleviate dysphoria if you use them in unconventional ways. “A favorite trick of mine is to use sex toys to imitate positions, gestures or movements we might associate with sex acts we wish our bodies could do,” they tell me. “As someone with occasional bottom dysphoria, I love using vibrators with handles, because I can use them externally and have something phallic to grasp. I can even ‘jerk’ the handle.” In other words, instead of sliding the vibe inside, trans guys can press these vibrators against their dicks and then rub them up and down, as if they were stroking a cock — it’s these small details that can result in gender euphoria (and a seriously good time).
Meanwhile, writer Ana Valens is pretty much an expert when it comes to sex toys for trans women as she’s tried and tested dozens of options in the past. “Hormone therapy significantly changed the way I pleasure myself,” she tells me. Soon after starting estrogen, she found herself changing her jerk-off techniques — there was less tugging and stroking, and more “ongoing stimulation.” To nail the perfect sensation, she’s had to experiment with different combinations of sex toys — her best one so far has been the Hot Octopuss Pulse strokers with the Atom Plus cock ring. “Together, they give this full, broad sensation that turns into an incredibly erotic wave,” she explains.
In terms of marketing their product toward trans women, though, Valens says Hot Octopuss has work to do. “The company has gotten better over recent years, but there’s still a lot of ‘guybrator’ language in its marketing,” she clarifies. “They put the Pulse under their ‘male sex toys’ section, which is just another way of calling me, a fan of their products, a man.”
As for toys adored by pretty much all trans bodies, the Tenga Egg is a common favorite (importantly, its marketing is gender-neutral, too). It’s a small, squishy silicone egg with ridges on the inside and it comes with a handy sachet of lube. Trans women can straight-up fuck it and jerk off with it, whereas trans guys can either fuck it (depending on the size of their bottom growth) or flip it inside out, wrap it around their fingers and grind its soft, squidgy insides against their dicks. It also stretches easily over the head or body of a vibrator.
But companies with such gender-neutral marketing are otherwise rare. And so, Reddit’s trans communities — trans men in particular — have been experimenting with hacks of their own. One trans guy posted his experiment: He bought a cheap, hollow packer (prosthetic dicks, usually modeled flaccid or semi-flaccid) that was designed to help trans guys piss standing up (these are called “stand-to-pees”). He then wrapped a bullet vibrator in some fabric to hold it in place, and shoved it into the shaft of the packer so the whole thing vibrated — that way, he could feel the pleasure of the vibrations without looking down and seeing his own junk.
Another guy who was frustrated at the size of existing sleeves made his own with nothing more than a pill bottle, a rubber glove, cotton, a rubber band and some tape. As it turned out, it was a handy, smaller alternative custom-made for his own dick. Naturally, he documented the entire process.
Increasingly, there are trans-friendly products out there — Buck Angel’s “Buck Off” stroker is one, and Bleu recommends combining the “Fun Boy” harness with the “Zoro” strap-on for maximum pleasure in both solo and partnered sex (it’s double-ended, so it can be slid inside the wearer and used that way). According to Valens, the best way to track down other recommendations is through “word of mouth — it’s always your own community that gives you a heads up,” she says, adding that she also asks questions in “trans-affirming sex shops.” Valens writes guides of her own as well. “Way too many newly-out trans fems just don’t have the community needed to pull them aside and tell them how to masturbate,” she says. Bloggers like Butch and Kelvin Sparks are also full of recommendations.
As for Bleu, he writes openly about his horny toy escapades online and fucks his toys on OnlyFans — many of his clips show the literal ins-and-outs of using sex toys as a trans guy with metoidioplasty. “I can confidently say that a lot of people have approached me to thank me for putting my body out there,” he concludes.
Boys and their toys, right?