For many trans women, being able to wear the clothes you want without the ‘bulge’ is an important part of feeling normal. Whether you are wearing a dress, exercising, or even going swimming, there are many good tucking options that can be comfortable and give you the look you want.
How to Tuck
There are a few different ways to tuck, but generally it involves hiding the penis by folding it back between the legs. Most methods push the testes up into the inguinal canal in the lower abdomen above and to the sides of the base of the penis.
WikiHow has a great tutorial on tucking (with images!).
Though it can be a little uncomfortable to start, tucking should never be painful. If your testes or penis hurt, you’ve probably got things in the wrong place or too tight.
Once folded, the penis is kept in place using a few different methods.
Option 1: Tight Underwear
The easiest, and generally most comfortable way to keep things in place is using tight underwear. You need to use pretty sturdy underwear in order for everything to stay in place. Full-coverage, athletic underwear works best as it has a lot of stretch and material to keep things where they need to be. I’ve had good luck with the Balance Tech brand.
Avoid lacy panties and thongs. Though they look nice, these don’t have enough stretch or material to really hold things in place all day.
Though not as well known, there are a number of different kinds of trans-specific underwear available on online shops like Etsy. These are designed specifically for tucking, and made out of more sturdy fabric. These designs will often include padding up front to give you more flexibility in how you tuck. A good brand to start with is LeoLines; they’re great quality but custom made, so can take a while to ship. TomBoyX also sells a tucking specific bikini panty that is pretty good, especially for exercise.
Though easy, wearing underwear will also be the least secure way to tuck; you’ll risk of things getting out of place, so its often not the best choice for more revealing clothing.
Option 2: Gaffs
The second option are gaffs. These are kind of like very sturdy underwear designed specifically for tucking, and also usually include padding up front. The good thing about gaffs is that they give you a lot more room to work with; if your penis is on the smaller side, you may not even have to fully tuck in order to get a flat look.
Because the hold is more secure and there is more room for things to move around, many trans-women find gaffs much more comfortable to wear everyday.
The downside of gaffs is they can look pretty bulky (think Depends), especially if you have a slimmer body shape or like to wear tighter clothes.
I have found are a couple of good gaff options that aren’t too bulky, and give you a nice contour for tighter fitting clothes.
Option 3: Tape
The most secure way to tuck is to tape everything in place. Generally, you’ll use a medical tape designed for use on skin, and run the tape down, under and up your behind to hold things where they need to be.
If you want to wear really tight dresses or even a swim suit, taping is your best option. Plus, you can wear whatever underwear (or no underwear) that suits your fancy.
There are a few downsides to taping:
- Its hard to go to the bathroom. You need to untape everything before you go, and then reapply the tape after you are done. During the day, you can usually only do this a few times before the tape doesn’t adhere as well as it needs to.
- It takes practice. Getting the tape in place while holding everything where it needs to be can feel a little like juggling. It will take some practice to get things in the right place and secured.
- It can be less comfortable. Taping gives you a pretty tight fit without a lot of room to move, so it can be more constricting and uncomfortable, especially for all-day wear.
- It can be messy. The glue used in tape usually leaves a residue on your skin you’ll need to clean off. Not a big deal, but one extra annoyance.
One neat product I found recently is the Tuck Tape from Unclockable. It’s a single use product, but makes taping a lot easier, and is waterproof so you can use it to swim. It’ll usually last for 3 bathroom breaks, so also is a better option for all day use than regular tape. It is a bit expensive to use everyday, but perfect for the occasions where you want security and reusability.
Can I Exercise While Tucked?
Sure you can! You may need to keep things a little looser than you would otherwise, but there is no reason you can’t tuck and exercise. Depending on what I’m doing, I’ll use either athletic underwear or the UnClockable Tuck Tape.
The best way to avoid wardrobe malfunctions is to plan ahead based on what your day looks like and what kinds of clothes you want to wear. If you won’t be able to change clothes or refresh your tuck for a long period of time, you’ll likely want to go with something more comfortable like tucking underwear. On the other hand, if you need total security for a short period of time, taping is your best bet.
Dealing with Erections
It happens. It is also pretty uncomfortable. Though the tighter the tuck, the more difficult it is to get an erection. That said, its not usually visible and likely will go away quickly. If you’re really uncomfortable, it can be a good time for a strategic bathroom break to adjust and get things re-situated.