Wearing a specially-designed undergarment can help to reduce dysphoria and help you be more comfortable. This is your guide for how to tuck safely and more comfortably, where to get femme shapewear, gaff alternatives, fertility considerations, and more.
This asterisk (*) is used to acknowledge the many different words that are used for this body part.
You can begin by tucking the testes.* The testes* will slip back up into the inguinal canals: use two or three fingers to guide them up to their corresponding canal. Don’t rush and listen to your body. If there’s any pain or discomfort at all – stop, take a short break, and try again.
Next, the penis* can be pulled back between your legs. Don’t force or pull hard. Everything can be held in place with a gaff, a pair of tight panties, or swimwear bottoms. The fit should be snug but not overly uncomfortable. If you ever feel pain, stop and take a break!
Where we tuck tends to be a place where we sweat a lot. You want to keep skin cool and dry. Take a break when you’re alone or wear loose clothing when it’s not as important to be tucked. To avoid chafing or prevent a skin infection, always check for any open or irritated skin before and after tucking.
Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider regarding any tucking questions you may have. Related reading: Gaffs 101: Tucking Safely and Comfortably
It's always a good idea to tuck and tuck back out slowly; listen to your body along the way. For your first few times, you may want to try it out when at home or somewhere where you can safely and easily take a break if you need to. It's okay if things feel a little weird at first; it's also totally okay and completely valid if you decide tucking isn't for you.
Where to Get a Gaff
Origami Customs is a trans-owned and operated underthings retailer specializing in gender-affirming products, including custom, made-to-measure shapewear items.
For folks who cannot afford or safely access these garments, Point of Pride operates a free femme shapewear donation program – to our knowledge, the first and only one of its kind – serving thousands of people in all 50+ states and around the world. Shipping is discrete and 100% free, and we have only two requirements in an effort to be as inclusive as possible: you identify as trans, and you cannot afford or safely obtain a garment.
Many folks also use regular underwear, panties, or Spanx as a substitute for a gaff. A swimsuit bottom also makes a good alternative for a gaff. We recommend avoiding "slippery" natural fibers such as silk fabrics, which can make things shift out of place and feel uncomfortable. Cotton is a great material for breathability and price, but has a tendency to stretch over time.
How to Measure Yourself
Choosing the right size of gaff is just like choosing the right size of regular underwear. Measure around your waist, just above the hips, then be sure to check the seller’s sizing guides to confirm the right size for you. (Don’t go down a size! Tighter is not better.)
Tucking and Fertility
Tucking may affect your fertility. For trans folks who may want to have biological children someday, it’s recommended you tuck sparingly or (if you’re able to afford it) consider banking sperm.
Speak to your healthcare provider about steps you can take if you’re interested in having biological children one day and are concerned about potential challenges due to tucking.
(If you don't have access to a gender-affirming provider, we recommend reaching out to local LGBTQ+ organizations in your area, if possible, for referrals to people you can speak with. CenterLink's Community Center Directory is a great tool to find organizations and trans groups near you.)
Caring for Your Garment
- We recommend you hand wash in cold water and hang to dry by air. Lather it with some dish soap or laundry detergent, then rinse thoroughly. If you wash it in the evening and leave it out to dry, it should ready to wear by morning.
- If you need to dry it using a machine, use a delicates bag to ensure your shapewear doesn’t get damaged or caught on other clothes.