For the first time packer wearer, finding the right prosthetic can feel daunting. The sheer volume of choice out there is enough to make your head spin. Add that to the fact that there are all sorts of packing accessories one might want or need for a comfortable and confident packing experience. If you're looking for info on all the various types of packers out there, check out our blog post detailing the differences between soft packers, STPs, and pack n plays. However, once you’ve decided what kind of packer you want, here are 3 things you should know before making the final plunge.
1. Bigger is Not Necessarily Better
Forgive the pun here, but this first point is pretty huge. Packers are items of a “sensitive nature,” and as such, they generally cannot be returned once purchased. You want to make sure that you’re getting a packer that fits your needs. That you're not wasting your hard earned cash on something that doesn’t work for you.
Finding the right sized packer is complicated by the fact that the names of the products themselves can be misleading. Take Fleshlight’s Extra Small Mr. Limpy for example - as one of the smaller packers on the market the “Extra Small” measures in at about 3.75 inches. It’s easy to imagine someone coming across this product and thinking to themselves, “I don’t want an extra small dick! I'd better get a bigger one…”
However on average, cis guys’ penises, when soft, are smaller than every single soft packer on the market. According to Medical News today, the average size flaccid penis is 3.5 inches — a quarter inch smaller than “Extra Small.”
If one of your packing goals is to blend in with the crowd, a larger packer is not going to help you do so. Trust me, I had 6+ years of gay gym locker room experience to confirm the attention your Medium Mr. Limpy will garnish. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that attention when it’s wanted and there’s also nothing wrong with packing big. One of the benefits of being trans is that we get to choose.
What’s more, there are situations in which, a larger packer actually is the best option. For example, guys who are considering or planning on having phalloplasty are often advised to pack big. Why? Many cis guys are “growers.” This means that their erect penises are significantly larger than when soft. On the other hand, post-phallo transguys will always be show-ers. In other words, the size of your dick will be the same whether soft or hard. As it stands today, the average post-phallo penis length is between 5–8 inches. To get comfortable with having such a large package, it’s generally recommended you pack with something in that size range.
Who else might want a larger packer? For guys on the bigger side, buying a larger packer might help you feel like your junk is more in proportion with the rest of your body. All in all, packing huge may be exactly what you’re looking for. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into before throwing down. And don’t let words like “extra small” or “small” fool you into buying something too big for your needs.
2. Some Packers May Not Be Safe for Prolonged Skin Contact
I first became aware of the potential hazards of the soft packers when I received an email asking if it was safe to put a Mr. Limpy against your skin. The sender had read reviews by other users saying that their packer had caused them to break out.
Concerned, I took to the internet. I found that a small percentage of people do indeed report negative side-effects from wearing elastomer packers. This list includes the Masho, any of the Pack-It packers, Packer Gear packers, and Pleasure Works’ Sailor soft pack, among others. If your packer costs less than $20, chances are it was made of some sort of elastomer/thermal gel. The negative side-effects people report? Mostly rashes, pimples, and whiteheads.
Armed with this information, I reached out to a manufacturer to find out to more. A rep at Fleshlight — the company responsible for the Mr. Limpy line — assured me that Mr. Limpy is safe for skin-to-skin contact. However, they do not recommend prolonged exposure. Apparently, the “Super Skin” material they use to make their products contains a small amount of mineral oil, which may cause breakouts in guys with sensitive skin.
Unfortunately, pimples may only be the tip of the iceberg — mineral oil's safety is an issue hotly debated on health blogs across the internet. I should note that there are several types of mineral oil out there. And while un-treated or mildly treated mineral oils are known carcinogens, Fleshlight only uses highly-refined, high-quality cosmetic mineral oil. Many dermatologists have deemed cosmetic mineral oil to be safe, but some scientists still express concern. Knowing that many guys pack for hours on end, I strongly recommend packing with a cloth barrier between your body and your packer. It never hurts to err on the side of caution.
Of course, there are plenty of packers out there that are not made with mineral oil. Most high-quality packers out there are made from 100% silicone. However, silicone packers tend to be much pricier than their elastomer counterparts. In fact, some higher-end silicone packers can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars. The cheapest silicone packers on the market I’ve found are New York Toy Collective’s Archer and Pierre. However, they are still quite a bit more than your average Mr. Limpy.
One potential solution for the price-sensitive shopper is to only wear your Mr. Limpy with packing underwear with a cloth barrier. From Rodeoh to FTM Downunder to Jockmail, there are now a handful of quality options on the market. However, having a full drawer of packing underwear can also cost a pretty penny.
3. Cornstarch is Your Friend
There’s no way to put it lightly — after living in your pants all day, packers can get quite nasty. Washing your packer daily is a great start. However, the best way to keep your packer from getting swampy to moisture-absorbing cornstarch. I recommend daily warm water rinses followed by a pat dry and light dusting of cornstarch.
For those that wear their silicone packers directly against their skin, cornstarch can also help with chaffing.
Have questions or concerns about packing? Drop us a line in the comments below.