People with gender dysphoria are often caught in the predicament of wanting to feel pleasure while also feeling comfortable and empowered. Different toys have the capacity to either help or hinder the affirmation of someone’s gender identity.
Trans Men & Trans Masculine People
For transmasculine people, masturbation sleeves are great whether alone or with a partner. While a traditional “fleshlight” might not be suitable for a smaller penis or vulva, there other, totally viable options. For example, Tenga Eggs are a stretchy, textured masturbator made of a latex-free elastomer. Its flexible material allows the egg mold to a variety of shapes, as well as flip the textured side outwards to massage your genitals.
A lot of trans men who have penises from testosterone also enjoy masturbators with smaller holes. Doc Johnson puts out the Bro Sleeve which is specified by some retailers as a great option of trans guys in particular. Just be aware that many stroking toys are made of TPR (thermoplastic rubber is a porous material) or Elastomer, so they cannot be sterilized.
While strap-on dildos might feel like an inherent choice for trans masculine sex toys, there’s generally little stimulation for the wearer. Tantus’ RealDoe or the Fun Factory Share strapless double dildo is an option that aims to pleasure both partners, and has a high-quality silicone that is flesh-toned (although only in a lighter tone). It’s compatible with both harnesses and bullet vibrators, so it becomes a dynamic product for partnered sex.
Trans Women & Trans Feminine People
Stimulating a clitoris or head the penis with vibration can be a great way to pleasure a trans feminine person. There’s a lot of options for shapes and vibration strength, and it might take a little time for a person to figure out what product works best for them. There are different ways to experiment with vibration that doesn’t require direct touch. Experimenting with vibration on the shaft, taint, or asshole first might ease someone into using the toy directly on the head or clit.
Bullet vibrators can be great for someone who hasn’t played with vibration before, just to get a feel for it. "Rabbit-eared” vibrators designed with a more feminine feel, like the JimmyJane Form 2. This product is waterproof, silicone, and features a LED light up face.
For trans women who are lesbians, strap-on sex is still an option. It might take a little digging to find a harness that rests comfortably, so looking for a cushier option might be key. The Velvet Harness from Sportsheets is made out of soft fabric and is specifically targeted for beginners. SpareParts also makes the Deuce harness which is specifically geared toward people with a penis, so it won’t bunch or chafe the wearer.
The anus is the great equalizer.
Regardless of gender, everyone has an anus. Toys aren’t the only way to enjoy anal play, but they certainly help. Using gloved, lubricated fingers is a great way to explore before committing to a toy. A cushier, gel lubricant like Good Clean Love or Sliquid Sassy might be ideal. Lubrication is essential for anal play, because unlike vaginas the anus doesn’t self-lubricate.
Butt plugs and anal beads are a great toy for any body, and the best materials are ABS plastic, tempered glass, or metal. If porous materials are being used, just make sure to use them in combination with a condom.
The thing that separates anal toys from the rest of the crowd is a solid base, mostly because the anus has a habit of vacuuming up anything else. Make sure before anything goes into the body, it has a good chance of coming back out.
For a toy that’s stationary throughout all kinds of play, butt plugs are a great choice because they give the sensation of “fullness” while creating pressure on the rectum. Crystal Delights is a great company that makes high-end tempered glass plugs with removable tails.
Anal beads, on the other hand, play as a kind of a ripcord before orgasm. If they’re removed slowly right before climax, they can stimulate the sphincter muscles and increase the pleasure for the wearer.
Remember in any kind of play, communication with a partner is the most important part. Gender affirmation can be tricky, but a mutual feeling of respect and safety is crucial in sexual relationships. Knowing a partner’s terminology for their genitalia, their likes and dislikes, and their triggers can be ways to assure that sex is fun for all parties involved. Thinking critically about which toys work best for your sex life could be a game changer in the pleasure you give or receive.