I’m Genderqueer And Want A Dildo That Feels Like Me
By Ekundayo Afolayan
My search for a strap-on is not only a display of freedom. It is part of a multi-step series of self-discovery.
Finding the perfect detachable penis is harder than you might think. No pun intended.
As a bigender person, I could really use a temporary, removable dick. I sometimes identify as a man and sometimes as a woman, sometimes neither, and sometimes both. A realistic strap-on would help me express my gender during the times when I feel more comfortable with a cock. But I don’t want just any run-of-the-mill genitals. I want a dildo that feels like me.
If I were just looking for a sex toy, I would have my pick of silicone dicks in every size and every color of the rainbow. But I’m looking for something that will help me express myself, my gender, and my sexuality, and that means no sparkly purple monster wangs. I want it to be be brown, like me. I want my dildo at a size that won’t absolutely obliterate my partner’s parts (like the Cannon). I need something that feels as real as it can get — something that can be worn flaccid or erect, something I can use to pee, something that lets me ejaculate.
I don’t want just any run-of-the-mill genitals.
I’m not the only genderqueer person with this quest, and there are companies out there that cater to us. Custom strap-on manufacturers let you build your own penis. You can specify your preferred texture, foreskin, testicle size, and color; they have dick-making down to a science. The catch, however, is that these realistic strap-ons can cost $500 or more. It’s a fair price for a custom-made dick, but it isn’t accessible for me at this time. This means that I have to do research — and it’s going to be hard. No pun intended, again.
The difficulties aren’t just financial. There’s an entire struggle with my identity, as a person assigned female at birth. From childhood into my teens, I learned that I had to be “feminine” — meaning big-breasted, with a flat belly, straight hair, and light skin. I kept myself clean-shaven, and stayed out of the sun so my brown skin wouldn’t get darker. I feared being seen as “butch,” or even expressing my interest in girls. I tied myself down with misogyny, and my sexual freedom went with it.
Being Black made my feelings about femininity even more complex. Viewed as a fat Black woman, I was both hypersexualized and desexualized by my peers. I was also keenly aware that my recent ancestors were never granted the right to be seen as feminine, so avoiding femininity made me feel guilty. I felt like I was throwing away something precious.
When I turned 14, my hold on gender norms broke. I developed chronic hirsutism. That meant thick tufts of hair all over my chin, a full mustache and thick sideburns, and hard-to-lose weight. Not Western society’s ideal of “ladylike.” I felt ashamed. It wasn’t until I was in my last year of high school that I started to accept who I was. I was never completely a woman — I felt like a man, too, sometimes. Accepting myself as multi-gendered meant that my relationship with femininity became simpler. Still, my complicated relationship with detachable dicks was only beginning.
Viewed as a fat Black woman, I was both hypersexualized and desexualized by my peers.
When I was 18, I used my first paycheck to buy my first sex toy. It was a pink rabbit vibrator. I bought it so I could practice for having penetrative sex with my partner, a trans woman. Our relationship was long-distance, so I learned my likes and dislikes with the vibrator first. I began to understand where all of my hotspots were and that I actually enjoyed it! For the first time in my life, I fully embraced my Blackness, my fatness, and my gender thanks to that that pink vibrator.
In fact, that partner and I never ended up having sex, but she was another important first for me: she helped me open up to discussions about sex and gender. For months, my partner and I talked about her gender identity. I wanted to chime in about me, but the relationship wasn’t safe enough to expose myself. Still, those in-depth conversations about gender identity opened up whole new areas of investigation for me. All I had ever known were binary trans people, and I had just begun to learn about other genders. My partner and I later broke up, but I was invigorated. Soon, with the discovery of Tumblr and my move to college, I was able to name who I was: bigender. I felt free!
Still, something was missing. I struggled with dysphoria, the sense that my body is fundamentally “wrong.” I’ve been taught all my life that I have to be soft and hairless, “feminine” in all the obvious physical ways. Men are supposed to be tall, muscular, with penises, flat chests and full of machismo. I didn’t know how I could break free of those norms. How could I, a person with wide hips, big breasts, and long, flowing hair, ever been seen as a man?
I tried to hide. I tried costuming myself in ultra-femme clothes, cat-like nail tips and rouge lipstick, but it made me feel like people saw me as a joke: a “man” with not only a pussy, but also long nails and meticulous eyeliner. Sometimes I layered my clothes to hide my curves, but I couldn’t perform enough to convince people I wasn’t a woman. Finally, I realized that I needed to stop costuming and performing for cis-het folks, seeking their validation, trying to conform to their rules. I decided only I could validate myself. I don’t have to be anything for anyone but myself.
Some days I feel like my breasts don’t “fit” me, and other days they’re the perfect accessory; maybe I want to wear a binder one day and a push-up bra the next. Now that I know who I am, that doesn’t feel like a contradiction. These are all parts of my self-definition, which comes from within. I’m more than a man, and I’m more than a woman: I’m a singular experience. Some days I want be penetrated, and other days I want to top with the perfect dick. Which is why I now know that I have to push forward and find the perfect dick for me.
I don’t have to be anything for anyone but myself.
It feels like an act of rebellion to even search for the perfect dick — to know that one day, I will earn it. I will hand-select every single part of that dick and treat it right. I don’t need to show that I have a penis in order to be validated as a man, but I want one, for myself, in order to feel whole.
But what is the perfect penis for me, and how do I find it? I want realism, the ability to pee through the dildo, the ability to wear it while flaccid and the ability to wear it erect without much fuss. Another plus is a convincing ball-sack and a pump of some kind for fake seminal fluid. Others may have different needs, but these are the dicks I’m craving. (And just to be clear, I wasn’t paid to promote any of these stores! I’ve just been doing strenuous research, and hopefully you can benefit.)
Shop FTM is a curated sex toy collection for all folks assigned female at birth. They carry a range of different brands of dildos and packers, at prices ranging from $65-$200. There’s a good range of penises here, but none is perfect. The packers come in a range of skin tones and look realistic, but don’t get hard. The Tantus brand “pack and play” cocks are hard enough for sex, but only come in one color. And for the most part, even the “realistic” dildos don’t look realistic enough for me. If you want to be able to ejaculate, Shop FTM has some “semenettes” with a small pump for fake seminal fluid, but they are the least realistic of the bunch, serving only as an ejaculation device.
If you’re looking for a little more realism, I suggest checking out Sinthetics, though the site can be a little alarming to use; the company specializes in sex dolls, and only later started catering to the trans community by offering their handcrafted penises separately. Sinthetics offers three types of dildos/strap-ons: flaccid attachments for packing, single-density erect penises for sex, and upgraded erect penises with a soft outer “skin” layer and a scrotum filled with gel testicles. Even more perfect is that you can get silicone samples to more adequately match your skin tone and they’re all made by hand. There are some setbacks with harnesses on bigger strap-ons, but I’m betting they can be remedied with tape (if you’re shaved) or a good pair of briefs.
Probably my favorite dick source is FreeToM, a trans-positive manufacturer of realistic penis prosthetics (they also sell binders, harnesses, and underwear). FreeToM’s strap-ons are very realistic and highly customizable; you can literally see the texture on the testicles, sizes vary from 4.5 inches to about 8.5 inches, and you can have a foreskin in either uncut or any other variety. What I like best about FreeToM, though, are their choices for what they call 4-in-1s or “pack, pee, play, and pleasure prosthetics.” These are handmade realistic strap-ons that come in more than a dozen colors and can also be realistically hand-painted for an extra fee. The 4-in-1s contain a bendable hollow rod that can be used for urination, or reshaped to make the penis erect. Basically, the whole package (ha) is really neat. They’re definitely not cheap, but consider them investment dicks — you can buy fix-it-yourself kits if any damage happens to your precious wang and/or get an upgrade, which is great! And because FreeToM caters to people who were assigned female at birth, it feels welcoming — although to be honest, I would never have even looked for sites like this if I hadn’t struggled to learn how to fully accept myself.
My search for a strap-on is not only a display of freedom. It is part of a multi-step series of self-discovery. I locked away bits and pieces of myself so that I could appear “normal,” but there is no such thing. It’s never too late to discover, as I did, that you don’t have to destroy yourself to fit into any box. I’m glad for my journey out of fear into proud dick ownership — and it all started with a little pink vibrator.