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Packing the Goods: A Guide to Gender Play

Halie Johnson

Packing – creating a crotch bulge where the anatomy may be lacking – has come a long way since the days we used to shove a sock down our pants. There’s straps, CyberSkin and silicone that warms to body temperature. With so many choices, finding the right equipment may seem like an overwhelming task.

First, you need to figure out how you’re going to keep your pecker in place. Briefs work perfectly fine (hey, millions of born-men use them) and can be purchased at places such as Target or CostCo for the budget-conscious. If you’re boxers-only, you can buy a packing strap that goes around your waist and keeps your package anchored low in front. Some straps are designed for use with certain packers, so be sure to ask. Or, as senior Tee suggested, you can cut off the elastic band from a pair of men’s briefs, snip it and sew a small cockring onto the front: voila, instant harness!

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Now, on to the packers! There are two types: soft and hard. Soft packers are pretty much what they sound like: packers that are designed to emulate a flaccid penis and aren’t really, well, functional. Hard packers are meant to simulate an erect penis. You can guess which one fits in your pants better than the other.

When choosing your packer, remember that bigger isn’t always better! While it may be tempting to pack a monster, you may not be comfortable walking, dancing, sitting or doing much of anything. Besides, remember that most people aren’t that big when flaccid (unless they’re porn stars).

Of soft packers, Mr. Right by Vixen is probably the most realistic-looking. The surface of the penis is well-textured, with a vein running up the underside of the shaft, and one wrinkly testicle hangs lower than the other. This silicone-constructed packer warms nicely to body temperature. Mr. Right comes in two colors, Cream Soda and Root Beer, and only one size: 5.5 inches long, which may be a little too big for the small-statured. Size aside, Mr. Right is a pretty firm squeeze, so you might need frequent adjusting. Mr. Right also comes at a hefty price ($50), so students might opt for the more economically-priced Soft Pack.

The Soft Pack is a good, basic packer made with velvety “softskin,” a synthetic material made to look and feel like human skin. It comes in small, medium and large and vanilla, mocha and chocolate. The small model is a little more realistic; it features a smaller shaft and larger testicles than the other models, while medium and large have disproportionately small balls. Unlike Mr. Right, the Soft Pack is more soft and malleable. However, since the softskin is porous, sex-positive education and toy store Good Vibrations recommends that you wear it with a condom. The surface can rapidly become sticky or tacky, picking up lint and dust like tape, and requires more maintenance. Soft Pack is available at Good Vibrations for under $20, depending on the model.

Want a packer? E-mail your thoughts about gender at Mills to If we publish it, you’ll win one! The Weekly thanks Good Vibrations for supplying reviewed packers.

But what’s the fun of having a penis if you can’t use it? That’s why Vixen brought you Tex, another of their silicone creations covered with not-as-soft VixSkin. Tex has a solid inner core for functional use and is supposedly flexible enough to also fit in your pants. Unfortunately, Tex only comes in one size: five inches long and nearly two inches in diameter, which seems a little disproportionate if you’re, say, 5’2″. Tex also cannot actually be used as a soft pack; flexible it may be, but this one will strain at your zipper all night – assuming you can fit it in your pants! Tex’s flared base is made for use with a harness.

The Mango Packer is functional in a wholly different way. Designed for pre-surgery FTMs, the Mango Packer has a patent pending receptacle cup made of medical plastic at one end that narrows into a urinary tube running through the shaft and is designed specifically for FTM anatomy. The tube can get painful after a while, so this one may not be good for extended use. It definitely requires practice at home before you try it in public! Mango recommends the 3.5″ model, as the 5.5″ model is too big for everyday packing.

Now that you’ve chosen your packer, be sure to take care of it as though it were your own. Clean after every use in order to keep your packer bacteria-free; your packer should come with an instruction manual telling you how to do so. Some can be boiled for sterilization, but models like the Soft Pack and the Mango Packer require mild soap and warm water. After cleaning, dry your packer thoroughly and dust with cornstarch to get rid of that sticky feeling. Do not dust your packer with talc, as it has been linked to cervical cancer. Then store your packer somewhere safe and cool; some of them may need to be stored upright to maintain their shape (and will come with reusable containers, if that’s the case).

There are many more packers, soft and hard, than the ones mentioned here. Check out for more or head down to one of their store locations to see them in person.

Playing with gender can be serious business, and for many it is an identity. The Weekly doesn’t consider gender “play” a frivolous process. This article is a fun and gentle guide for those beginning to think about their own gender performance.