The Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence: Soft Packing (Part 2)

Mr. Softy packer comes in four sizes: mini: 3-1/2", small: 5-3/4", medium: 6-3/4", large: 7-3/4"
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Before we get too much into the products, I want to make it clear that this is by no means an exhaustive list of packing products. I wish I could keep up with them all, but there are many! Please leave links or your suggestions or recommendations or your experiences with different types in the comments.

What do I pack with?

Just about anything can be packed into your briefs and worn as a packer, but fear not! Plenty of queer genderfuckers have already done hours of research about what kind of DIY options work really well, and there are plenty great (and pretty affordable!) options out on the market, too.

If you’re looking for a packer, the first thing I recommend is to go check out your local feminist queer-friendly sex-positive sex toy store. There are dozens around the country, and more and more each year, so I hope you have a good one near you. The folks who work there are often sex educators themselves, with tons of knowledge on the particular materials of what they carry. They can recommend one based on your skin sensitivities or what other toys you want it to go with.

The Mr. Right soft packer made by Vixen Creations is silicone and beautiful. Pair it with the Aslan Packing Strap!
The Mr. Right soft packer made by Vixen Creations is silicone and beautiful. Pair it with the Aslan Packing Strap!

Generally, packers are made out of a composite elastomer plastic. These aren’t bad for you—most of the time, they don’t have the dreaded phthalates in them—but what it does mean is that you can’t boil the shit outta them to sanitize them. If you want to share a packer with a partner, if you have STIs, or if you have sensitive skin, I would recommend silicone.

Silicone is, when it comes to sex toys, pretty much always a better choice for ingredient: it’s hypoallergenic and good for those with sensitive skin, as often it’s medical grade silicone. But it’s more expensive and way less squishy, so it feels less like a soft penis and more like … a sculpture of a penis. What kind of material you choose just depends on your personal preference.

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Silicone Elastomer
ProsEasily disinfected
Sharable
Long lasting
More realistic
Squishsy and fun to touch
ConsNot as realistic
harder texture
Can’t be disinfected
Material will more easily tear
Won’t last as long

What size should I get?

Mr. Softy packer comes in four sizes: mini: 3-1/2", small: 5-3/4", medium: 6-3/4", large: 7-3/4"
Mr. Softy packer comes in four sizes: mini: 3-1/2″, small: 5-3/4″, medium: 6-3/4″, large: 7-3/4″

One of the most common versions of packers found at feminist queer-friendly sex-positive sex toy stores is often called Mr. Softy (also known as the Classic Packy or Mr. Limpy). They tend to come in mini, small, medium, and large sizes.

The Mr. Softy soft pack is the one I recommend most. Because it’s usually a fairly personal toy, the silicone material isn’t that important to me, and I’d rather have the more pliable material. It won’t last as long as silicone, but if you take good care of it, it will stick around a while—I’ve had mine at least ten years now and it’s still in pretty good shape.

Having a large packer is not important when it comes to packing—in fact, it can make your packer a little bit harder to pack, as it can be unwieldy in your undies. If you want the most realistic packer—by which I mean, if you want a packer that looks the most like a cis guy’s flaccid cock—go for the mini size.

If you want to make an impression, by all means, go for the medium or large sizes! I have found personally that I really like the weight and feel of the small sized packers.

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A note about color

Most of the packers come in colors like “vanilla, caramel, chocolate.” This vastly under represents the huge range of skin tone that exists. That sucks. I hope product manufacturers will continue to expand the colors they offer and stop centering whiteness as the norm.

Many of the packers that don’t come in multiple sizes are approximately the small size, 4-5” in length. This is plenty!

GoodVibes makes two different packers: Sailor (which comes in 2 sizes, or with a hard core), shown above
GoodVibes makes two different packers: Sailor (which comes in 2 sizes, or with a hard core) or Private (silicone)
Good Vibes silicone packer Private
…. or Private, the Good Vibes silicone packer, which comes in vanilla, caramel, and chocolate (photo from Early2Bed)

The other good thing about packers, however, is that because they are often elastomer, they are frequently $20-40, so even if you go for one particular size now, you can always save up or allot a bit more to try out the other size.

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What if it looks like I have an erection?

Or, oh hey, I want a big ol’ bulge!

If you’re trying to be read as a cis man, keep in mind that cis guy’s penises hang at different angles depending on what’s comfortable for the guy. If having it straight down isn’t comfortable for you, try it off to the side or slightly up.

If you want a big ol’ juicy package, and your packer just isn’t having the effect you are seeking, consider: a) tighter pants, b) stuffing your pants with extra bulge, or c) upgrading your packer to something bigger. You can always go for a hard pack, if you really want that very obvious bulge!

But if you’re more of a DIY kind of person, it’s pretty simple to make your own packer

Socks are sometimes so much hotter than anything else. Packing with socks and a having a black unbreakable comb in your pocket. For me, it’s the heightened artifice [of masculinity]. That teenage feeling. Having to roll up that pair of socks just so. Butch. And maybe it’s also an homage to the past. I’m old fashioned.” [email protected]

There are a variety of methods of making your own packers, particularly by filling condoms with hair gel, or through rolled-up socks. But just about anything can be made into a packer—I’ve heard of folks using beans for added weight, or building a custom shape with three ankle socks (for balls).

I made clay packer last year, wrapped it in a small sock and stitched it to a waist band I cut off a pair of boxers. Custom!” [email protected]

Personally, I am not extra experienced at making my own (aside from the occasional rolled-up sock), so I’m not going to go into the DIY methods here. Be creative—I’m sure you’ve already got some extra something lying around that would be perfect to use to try it out.

What about Extra Special Packers?

There are a few packers on the market that do more than just sit in your pants—they could also be STP (stand to pee) devices, for example. Check out a few of the options for specialty packers.

I highly recommend all the toys from New York Toy Collective, but in particular I am very attached to my little Pierre. I never really thought about it much, but an uncircumcised packer fits me really well, and I really like how it feels to the touch. (Photo by Early2Bed)
I highly recommend all the toys from New York Toy Collective, but in particular I am very attached to my little Pierre. I never really thought about it much, but an uncircumcised packer fits me really well, and I really like how it feels to the touch. (Photo by Early2Bed)
Number One Models A & D
Number One makes some of the best STP packers (I tend to call them “pissers”) that I know of. They’re really comfortable, and I get a frequent secret thrill of being able to piss through it, even if I’m still sitting.

I also really love that Number One has their own packing strap built just for the Model A or D.

Speaking of packing straps …

Keeping your packer in place

I would love if my partner did this outside the home, but she is always worried it might fall out.” [email protected]

One of the most common fears about packing and packing-gone-wrong stories that I hear is about packing falling out of one’s underwear. And yes: this can and does happen to the best of us. It just does! The more room we have in our underwear or jeans, and the more active we are, the most likely it is for the packer to snake its way out of the careful place in which you nestled it, and the more likely it is to fall down your pants or shorts or skirt.

But there is a super easy, pretty much failsafe fix for this: A packing strap or packing pouch.

You can very easily make your own with a sock or little pouch and a safety pin, or, if you want to step it up a bit, affix a piece of velcro. But if you’re not the DIY type, there are lots of products out there to keep your packer in place, too.

TranZwear has all sorts of trans gear, but their collection of packers and packing straps and STP devices is fantastic. (You just have to ignore the ugly interface of the site.) Their modified boxers and briefs are excellent—they have basically sewn the Y-front shut so that the packer won’t fall out, and it works great.
TranZwear has all sorts of trans gear, but their collection of packers and packing straps and STP devices is fantastic. (You just have to ignore the ugly interface of the site.) Their modified boxers and briefs are excellent—they have basically sewn the Y-front shut so that the packer won’t fall out, and it works great.
Velcro Top Packy Sac
Velcro Top Packy Sac: A DIY product by a discreet trans guy who saw a need for somewhere to put his packer and made a product happen. I bought my first one at Babeland in 2002 and only recently lost it, and was very glad to see he was still around and making straps, so promptly ordered two more. I don’t love that my packer is affixed to my underwear rather than my body, but I prefer it to having an elastic strap around my waist all day. I use it often.
SpareParts Pete
SpareParts makes some of the best harnesses available right now (everybody raves about the Joque), and they have a line of packing underwear, too. These are particularly made to hold packers in a secret little pouch inside of the fly of the undies. Very cute, good material, good sizes. They are mostly spandex, so they feel a bit more like swim trunks than underwear. Very comfortable, machine washable.
DIY brief harness
You’ve probably seen the brief style harnesses around—you can easily make your own and use them as a packing holder! Very comfy, pretty cheap, quite easy to do. The only negative is that in this particular style, the packer would hang outside of your briefs, so there is extra risk of getting your packer caught in your zipper. Just be careful and you’ll be fine! Get an extra small O-ring if you want to particularly use it as a packer and that will help it stay in better.

The straps are mostly elastic and cotton, so they can easily be machine washed or washed by hand.

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A note about keeping your packer clean!

Silicone packers should be cared for like other silicone strap-on products: use soap and water to wash it down before and after use, and disinfect it on occasion (I usually do a big batch of cock soup and disinfect silicone toys I’ve used about once a month). You can immerse them in boiling water for 5 minutes, or you can put them on the top rack of the dishwasher (no soap!), or wash them in a 10% bleach/90% water solution—all of those will disinfect silicone.

You can’t disinfect elastomer, soft skin, and other composite plastic packers, however, so please don’t boil your packy … you’ll melt it. They need a simple washing of soap and water before and after use, and regular corn starch dustings. After they are dry completely, put them in a plastic bag or your storage bag with a tablespoon or so of corn starch and make sure the corn starch covers the whole thing. Corn starch will help it stay feeling velvety, and not be sticky to the touch.

From soft to hard packing

If you want to go out packing soft and then switch to something hard in order to get your play on, well, I salute you! Is there an easy way to do that, aside from taking off your pants, taking off your packer and strap, pulling on your harness and strap-on, and putting your pants back on?

Not exactly. While there are some really excellent pack and play strap-on cocks out there, none of them are universally loved, and none are as comfortable as soft packers like these.

Honestly, hard packing is a whooooole other subject, and one that I willingly and eagerly tackle. (You know. For science. For you.) Stay tuned for the next installation of Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence all about hard packing.

P.S.– This post is brought to you by readers like you, and sponsored by tranzwear.com, who have generously offered to give away cocks to three lucky commenters. You get your pick of size and color for the Mr. Limpy, Masho, or PackIT soft packers. Just comment with your favorite packing advice or product or story to enter. Winners will be drawn at random one week from today (Aug 14th).Good luck! The contest is over! Thanks to Tranzwear for providing the excellent packers.

pornparty-logo P.P.S. – If service and/or gangbangs are your thing, make sure you don’t miss the #pornparty AUGUST 13th at 6pm PST. It’s a free way to enjoy some sexy, feminist porn with your favorite internet friends. Learn more here, and I’ll see you on Twitter!

The Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence: Soft Packing (Part 1)

I don’t pack, but I love when my girlfriend wears her packer. It makes her stand a little taller and it really turns me on when there’s a little something extra to squeeze. Mmm.” [email protected]
“Packing” is short hand for stuffing something in one’s pants or underwear to make it feel or look as though the wearer has a factory-installed dick. As the trans movement and awareness has grown in recent years, there are significantly more commercially available products one can buy for that experience of packing, but there are plenty of easy and affordable ways to do it yourself.

But why do you want to do it?

There are plenty of different reasons to explore packing. It can be a turn-on! Or it can be something only you know about, that affirms your gender identity and expression. Or perhaps your dominant shoves your packer into your briefs before you’re going out and then you both know that your dick is right there. Or perhaps you can use it as a tool for passing as male, or for gender validation from others.

Trans and/or masculine-identified folks aren’t the only people who are experimenting with packing. You can be feminine or trans or butch or diesel femme or queer or sugar butch or defy labels or girly or all of the above or none of the above and still explore packing. I know plenty of femmes who pack, sometimes or all the time—one particular leather girl told me recently that she likes to use a Hello Kitty knee sock in a jock strap. Hot! I don’t know about you, but that gives me a very unique impression of her gender and sexual expression.

For folks who were assigned female at birth, we don’t have the experience of that weight pulling down between our legs unless we add something extra there. Particularly for trans and masculine-identified folks, having some sort of weight or bulge between our legs can be incredibly validating, both internally within ourselves and externally through how we are perceived. But it can be validating and useful for anyone of any gender, and can be a really interesting tool for self-awareness and expression for any body.

As someone who often fucks those who pack, it turns me on knowing what’s coming.. I love the swagger, the forcefulness it brings.” [email protected]

I know for me, when I started playing around with packing around 2000, I found it kind of indescribably … Comfortable, and comforting. There was something about it that just fit, like a really cozy sweatshirt. The way it shifted when I did, the way my legs stayed a little more apart, how I led more with my hips than my shoulders … it just felt like me. I’m very internally motivated about most things related to my gender and sexuality, so feeling that internal click for me was more than enough to interest me into exploring it further.

While I am masculine and butch identified, I’m not male identified, so packing for me personally has nothing to do with passing as cis male. However, it’s a frequent reason that trans guys pack, and in circumstances where dicks are supposed to be or accidentally on display—like at a gay boy dance club, or at the beach or swimming pool—having one to actually display can be thrilling and validating. I’ve also heard trans guys say that it helps support them in walking, sitting, or holding themselves in more male ways, particularly since cis guys often walk and sit such that they don’t squash their penis.

Packing can assist with the feeling of dysphoria, of feeling disconnected from one’s body in part due to gender identity (or presentation or perception). But for other people, packing actually increases the feeling of dysphoria. Your milage may vary—and however it feels for you is just fine.

Let’s not forget: Even though it can be externally and internally validating and empowering, it can also often be very vulnerable to pack. It is a way to experience our genitals outside of our bodies … and those of us with most of our genitalia on the inside tend not to feel that very often. There’s a reason kneeing a guy in the groin is effective: those soft tissues are soft, and sweet, and vulnerable.

And if you’re like me, and you have a bit of a vulnerability fetish, you might love it even more because of that.

So wait: Is it about sex or gender?

Yes.

For me hard packing is about sex but soft is about swagger, how I relate to myself.” [email protected]

Both, of course. But which it stimulates in you totally depends on you and how you relate to it. I have heard people talk about how they see their packy as completely platonic, not sexualized really at all, but more of a cross between a masculinizing accessory and a prosthetic. And I know some folks for whom packing is inherently sexual, all the time, and they immediately get turned on by it.

It just depends on you, your circumstances, your body, your relationship to your sexual and gender expressions.

I loved my ex’s. When he wore it he obviously was more confident. It also gave me something even bigger to squeeze and tease.”
[email protected]

It’s kind of like wearing a tie. When I was transitioning to and exploring my own butch identity around 2000, I started wearing ties when I dressed up. At first it was awkward and uncomfortable, but as I got more used to them, I made little rules for myself about where was “appropriate” to wear a tie. I wore them when I went on dates, and I wore them when I was doing a performance (usually reading dirty smut or poems in a dyke bar, so that was a particular association). I got really used to ties (and, later, suits) being an incredibly hyper-sexualized, externally validated, amplified masculine experience.

So when I was working at a finance firm in midtown Manhattan and we had a black tie holiday party, it was a given that I would wear a suit. The first time I went, I felt super uncomfortable because I had only worn a suit and tie in the context of, well, SEX and queers and gender-radicalism. Wearing it in this totally heteronormative environment (with coworkers looking at me just a little more sideways) was not sexual, but my association with the suit and tie was absolutely.

It’s a personal confidence thing for me, I don’t feel comfortable without it.” [email protected]

When your only context for a thing is sex and erotics, then it begins to perpetuate itself, like Pavlov’s dog. If the pack is only for going on dates and then getting it on, your system will start to associate it with getting it on. If it’s worn day-to-day like a special watch or favorite pair of shoes, it will be a slightly precious object for love and care. If it’s an every single day practice, it’ll become weird to not have it, and it’ll fade into the background, like brushing your teeth or putting on socks. I betcha those things happen most days, but can you really remember the details of teeth brushing or sock-putting-on-ing? Probably not—because it’s automatic, an ingrained habit.

Packing could be about your own private gender expression, or about others seeing you as male, or it could be about turning yourself and your lover on.

Let’s not forget: It’s hot!

[When my partner packs,] it’s one of my favorite things. it turns me on all day thinking about it, knowing what it’s doing to them to watch my reaction.” — @rexicon

Maybe your lover knows that you have a soft packer in your pants (because you revealed it as you were getting dressed), so they get to fantasize and squeeze and touch it while you’re going about your day. Or maybe you press up against them hard and take their hand and press their palm to your bulge. Maybe they don’t ever know that you have had a packer on all day, or maybe they find out. Maybe they don’t even have to know—maybe you knowing is enough.

I often pack when I want a little extra swagger or confidence, particularly to social events, parties, kink events, queer community stuff, or anywhere that I want to have a little more oomph to me. I often request my boy to pack if I want to work him up for a little while, if I want to have him squirming by the time I get him home and stripped. I try to always remember throughout the time I’ve asked him to pack for me and to touch it, reference it, and tease him about it—mostly because he likes that, but also because if I make a request, I don’t want to forget that I’ve made it.

Soft packing is mostly, for me, about turning me on and building up for later.” — @rexicon

So now that you know all about why you might want to pack … What kinds of products are out there? Can you make your own? How do you keep it in place? What if you’re a femme and you want to pack?

Such good questions! I’ll explore those all in next week’s post, part 2 of the Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence for soft packing.

Read it! The Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence: Soft Packing Part Two


It’s Valentine’s Day, so here’s some Desert Island Toys

It’s Valentine’s Day this week! You didn’t forget it, did you? Well, you’re lucky—if you place an order before noon on Wednesday, they’ll upgrade your shipping to next day air, with some other goodies thrown in too.

Whether you’re single, or have one or two or more hotties you want to share some sexytimes with this V-day, I’m sure you can find a way to … work this to your advantage.

Here’s some of my very favorite desert island toys. Maybe it’s time to add them to your toy box!

Vixskin Maverick shilo tristan

jaguarg SpareParts Joque Harness tomboi

1-1-AB-BE01-2 Liberator Throe Njoy Pure Wand

underbed Crash Pad Series queerpornrevolution

What’s that? You still want more?

Well, okay then. Here’s even more of my favorite products of all time over at Good Vibrations. ‘Cause you’re gonna need some condoms, gloves, and lube to go with those toys, aren’tcha?

Order by noon today (Wednesday) & get free next day shipping, free vibrator, free gift card, & other goodies!

Review (& Photos!): Aslan Leather TG Chest Harness

Last year, Carrie Grey, creator and owner of Aslan Leather, custom built me one of his leather TG Chest Harnesses. I’ve worn it a few times over the past year, like at IMsL and to a couple of smaller play parties, but just this month I wore it to Folsom Street Fair—and whoa that was quite the experience!—with rife and his dog.

aslan2

I really don’t like crowds, or hot weather, so being in an extremely crowded blocked-in couple city blocks on a sunny day was not my ideal situation. But it was really fun to see so many kinky people in one place. Fascinating, really. (I particularly liked Vivian Fu’s photo essay of this year’s Folsom.) We eventually made it to the women-and-trans area, and then promptly camped out and didn’t leave that space until we were ready to head back to Oakland. I liked their gender policy: the women-and-trans tent included anybody who does identify as a woman, has identified as a woman in the past, or will identify as a woman in the future. Clever, I thought.

I got a lot of compliments on the Aslan Leather chest harness. It’s hot and comfortable and unique for someone with a chest like mine (36DD) to be wearing something like that. I left it over my binder and tee shirt all day, but had it as a possible option to wear it bare chested.

Here’s the Aslan description:

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Ever wish you could wear a chest harness out to a party or event without a T shirt underneath? ASLAN’s new TG chest harnesss is designed to function like a binder and a chest harness. The 3- 4″ wide leather chest strap can effectively flatten up to a C cup chest. The harness pictured has a 4″ wide strap. This harness is made with comfortable heavy weight glove leather, wich allows you freedom of movement for all types of play situations, and because it’s an ASLAN you can be sure it is guaranteed for life!

To order please provide the following measurements: Chest, cup size (if applicable), height. This is a custom piece made to order so please remember to include your measurements.

Please note! The measurements part is important. When I wrote to Carrie requesting this piece, I gave him my measurements, but I was wrong. Very wrong. I gave him old measurements that I thought were accurate, but did not account for the weight I have recently gained (lots of which, let’s be honest, ends up in my chest). That sucked—the first binder he built for me didn’t fit, and he had to go back and basically remake the whole thing.

Don’t send the wrong measurements. Get someone who knows how to measure bodies for outfitting well to measure you, and get a current measurement.

Carrie snapped a few photos when I tried it on in the Aslan studio in Toronto last fall:


aslan2 aslan aslan1

I kept hoping to wear it during a photo shoot and get more better photos of it, but I haven’t had many (any?) photo shoots since I picked it up (oh except for that one with Meg Allen, but we were taking professional shots and not really kinky ones, which is why I didn’t wear it then). I’d still like more better photos of me in it, but I don’t want not having the perfect photo to hold me up in telling you about how awesome this is. And hey, the holidays are coming up, right? Don’t you need a great present for somebody in your life, or yourself?

I like the way it looks! And it feels really good and fun to wear. I even like the way my chest looks naked underneath it. I wouldn’t have expected that.

Thank you, Aslan Leather & Carrie Grey! Pick up your very own Aslan Leather TG Chest Harness over on Aslanleather.com.

Unholy Harvest, Say Please Reading (Readers Needed!), & Bad Boys in Toronto

I’m going to Toronto!

I’m still working out the exact dates, but it looks like Kristen and I will be there October 5-10. I’ll be doing a few exciting things, including attending and presenting at Unholy Harvest, and hopefully getting a little tour of Aslan Leather, and seeing some friends.

Come see me! Here’s the details.

First of all, I still need readers for the Dirty Queer Sex night at Glad Day books! So, hey Toronto! I edited a dirty smutty queer book called Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, and I’m doing a book launch in Toronto on October 9th at Glad Day Books. I’m looking for queers of any stripes to read kinky queer stories—preferably stories they have penned. The dirtier the better! Readings should be 7-10 minutes. Email [email protected] with a sample of your writing ASAP. More details about the book: http://saypleasebook.wordpress.com

Where I’ll Be

Unholy Harvest
Saturday, October 6th, 10-11:30am

Cock Confidence
Many of us have experience with strapping on, packing, and playing, but there are lots of new products out there on the market that might be exciting and that you haven’t encountered yet. Writer and sex educator Sinclair Sexsmith talk about what cocks are good for packing, what options are out there for pack-and-play, which harnesses are the most loved, and which to avoid. Plus, she’ll delve into some cock confidence, getting into the psychology of penetration, and discussing what it’s like to shoot from the hip. Come get the nuts and bolts of strapping it on and fucking. You’ll learn about positions and lube, how different products work, what “cock confidence” means, and the psychology behind strapping on and playing with a cock with a partner, or with oneself.

Glad Day Bookshop
Tuesday, October 9th, 8pm
RSVP on Facebook

A night of DIRTY QUEER SEX!

Featuring readers from the SAY PLEASE: LESBIAN BDSM EROTICA, and many special guests! Performers include Andrea Zanin and other sexy queers TBA. Hosted by Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.

In Say Please, Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of queer kink—tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place—and held there firmly. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want! Come hear authors from the book read their stories and celebrate the release of this kinky queer collection.

Bad Boys: Masculinity & Dominance workshop
at Come As You Are
Wednesday, October 10th, 8pm
RSVP on Facebook

Everyone loves a bad boy: they know what they want, and they take it … and probably ride away on a motorcycle afterwards. But how can you be a bad boy without being an asshole? How do you practice that potent combination of masculinity and dominance without misogyny or internalized homophobia and with respect for women? How can you enhance your dominance in consensual, loving ways? On the flip side, how can you bring that dominant side out of someone who may be nervous to let it emerge? How do you become – or find – the bad boy of your dreams? Learn from a pro: Sinclair Sexsmith, kinky queer butch top who’s been writing about dominance since 2006, will teach you how to get what you want.

I’m starting to work out my fall schedule … more details about that soon, I hope. You can always follow the newest news about my travel schedule at mrsexsmith.com/appearances.

Review: Aslan Leather Pleasure Harness (Customized) & Jaguar G

I’ve been searching for The Perfect Harness for a long time.

I think at a certain point I gave up, and gave in to the fact that there’s no one singular perfect harness, and that I’ll just have different ones for different things or for different cocks. I haven’t been reviewing harnesses as much lately (though I do still try to keep up with what’s new out there).

Recently, though, my beloved Jaguar G harness reached its last days, and I replaced it with two other harnesses from Aslan Leather. I know some folks really don’t like leather because it is an animal product, and as a former vegan I understand that, but as someone obsessed with the best possible materials I can find, I just haven’t found anything better—or even comparable. There are quite a few vegan options for Aslan harnesses, for the record, and I do really like the Slick G.

And while I love Outlaw Leather and many of the other companies who make great harnesses, I think Aslan is the best, hands down. Their leather is buttery and feels already broken in, and so easily becomes a second skin, conforming to the heat of my body and wrapping me in it so I can barely tell I’m wearing anything at all.


The Jaguar G

The Jaguar is one of their most popular harnesses, and I would say is one of the most popular harnesses period, based on the dozens of Cock Confidence workshops I’ve conducted and based on a totally informal survey of everyone I meet who partakes in strap-on sex. It comes in various colors—like white, black, and cherry.

I prefer the Jaguar G, the g-string one-strap version (because of the way the one strap hits my clit while I’m fucking). But there are many variations to the Jaguar, and I bet you can find one that is perfect for you.

I frequently go back to my Leather Pleasure Harness, which I also frequently recommend to folks who are starting out with strap-on play because it easily converts from a one-strap to a two-strap and back, so you can experiment with both and see which one you prefer, and because it’s relatively affordable, much cheaper than a lot of the other fancier leather harnesses anyway.


The Leather Pleasure Harness

I’m not sure how many of these harnesses I have basically worn through in the last five years or so. Three, four, maybe? Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to take good enough care of my leather—but I clean it with saddle soap, have experimented with mink oil, and nothing I do can quite make it waterproof enough that eventually, it doesn’t end up soaking into the leather and unable to come clean. I’m the kind of person who will use a thing until it is pretty much unusable, I wasn’t exactly raised middle class, maybe more like upper-working-class or lower-middle-class or with middle class aspirations, so it sometimes pains me to retire one of these harnesses, but I care a little bit more that my sex toys are attractive and safe to share, and after a certain point, my leather harnesses are neither.

So this time, when I asked Aslan to send me a new Jaguar G, I also asked for a new Leather Pleasure Harness, but this time with the leg straps in rubber instead of leather. Because that’s the piece that gets all … beautifully juiced up, anyway, that’s the piece that becomes uncleanable after a while.

And I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love this new harness, and it is so much easier to keep clean. I’ve reviewed the Leather Pleasure Harness before, so check that out if you want more details about the harness specs.

Between the Jaguar G and the Leather Pleasure Harness, I think my search for The Perfect Harness might be over. If nothing else, any other harness definitely has a lot to live up to. Thank you, Aslan!

Aslan Leather sent me the Leather Pleasure Harness and Jaguar G for review. Pick it up over on Aslan’s site, or at your local independent feminist queer sex toy store.

Ask Me Anything: What to Wear to a BDSM Weekend?

Via email, Katy asks:

I will be going to my first BDSM convention next weekend … I have a question. I’m not particularly a fetishwear kinda guy… What would you wear? I feel like you and I have similar style and kinks.

I would probably wear jeans, a button down shirt, a tie, and nice shoes, because that tends to be what I wear. Definitely a belt, I never wear a button down shirt without a belt, I always think you need a belt if you’re going to be tucking in a shirt, and these days I wear a belt with everything, it makes the outfit seem much more pulled together.

Sometimes I fetish that up by wearing a bondage belt or wrist cuff, but generally a tie is enough. Oh, but if it were me, I would definitely get the right color hanky and flag according to the hanky code.

I’d say that you should wear what makes you feel most sexy and hot, not necessarily something fetish-y but something that makes you feel attractive and confident.

(If I was fancy, I’d do up an image for this outfit dooce-style, but I have to get some workshop prep done. Next time!)

Extra Sexy Valentine’s Day

So Babeland did this sweet Valentine’s Day gift guide, and it got me thinking about what sexy toys and gifts I would highly, highly recommend, above all others, for you to pick up for your sweetheart (and, uh, yourself) for this Valentine’s Day.

I’ve been reviewing products for more than two years, and these are some of my personal favorites. The queer porn is especially good as a Valentine’s Day gift I think … plus, if you get a year-long membership, or even a month-long, that will be an ongoing present, one you can enjoy together and that might help take your sex life to a new level. It’s much easier to point to some sex act or product on screen and say, “So what do you think of that?” in order to open up conversation than it is to say, “Hey, I want to try …”

Hope you find something you like, and that the day is fun, regardless of how you celebrate.

You can also check out more of my favorite toys over at Good Vibrations, where they have various celebrity picks.

So let’s hear it: what are you getting your sweetheart, or yourself, this year? How, if at all, are you celebrating? What are your very favorite toys that I might have left off this list?

The Butch Voices NYC Conference Starts Today!

The Butch Voices NYC Regional Conference is almost here!

The conference itself is tomorrow, Saturday the 25th, with registration opening up at 9am and workshops beginning at 10am. I’m doing a Cock Confidence workshop at 1:30pm tomorrow, and I have two Aslan Leather harnesses, three Vixen Creations cocks, and another Tantus cock to give away. I’ll also be showing off the brand new hot-off-the-presses VIP Super Soft pack-and-play cock that is barely even released.

I’m also modering a panel called “In the Public Eye: Visibility in Media” with some fabulous folks: Denise Madison from GirlzParty, Grace Moon from Velvet Park Media, Gina Mamone from Riot Grrrl Ink, and Dasha Snyder of The D Word fame who writes at Digital Goddess.

But aside from my own involvement in the panel, there are many more things going on! Tonight is a social event to meet & greet conference attendees at Speed Friending/Dating at Dixon Place, tomorrow is a special Queer Memoir/Sideshow Reading Series Mash-Up at Bluestockings Bookstore, and there’s a special Butch Voices Submit play party in Brooklyn late tomorrow night.

I don’t know if I’ll make it out to play, but I’m really looking forward to meeting people, hanging out, and talking about butch things all weekend. Kristen is baking her “face off,” as she is prone to saying, making her famous rosemary sea salt chocolate chip cookies, savory corn and cheddar muffins, and a special treat for someone’s birthday tomorrow.

If you miss these events, there’s another Butch Brunch on Saturday, October 16th which will be a nice follow up to the conference for those who miss the company of other butches.

To tie up this nice countdown, I’m featuring a recent novel from 2004 called Crybaby Butch by Judith Frank, published by Firebrand Books. It won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction in 2005. My (lesbian) book group read it about a year and a half ago, and we all liked it quite a bit—which is hard, usually novels especially are hotly contested. I remember there being some disapproval of how the femme partners were depicted (as controlling, fairly stereotypical “women”, perhaps with not enough depth) but we liked the butches.

Here’s the premise, from the publisher’s website:

Drawing on her experience as an adult literacy tutor, Judith Frank’s first novel traces the difficult and sometimes hilarious connection between two butches of different generations – a middle-class, thirty-something adult literacy teacher and her older, working-class student. With a disparate group of adult learners as the backdrop, Frank examines, with warmth and wit, the relationship between education and gender, class, and racial identity. Judith Frank is a winner of the Astraea Foundation’s Emerging Lesbian Writer’s Fund prize in fiction. A professor of English at Amherst College, she lives and writes in western Massachusetts.

There are not very many books out there with “butch” in the title, and even fewer of them published in the last ten years. It’s a good read that is complex and interesting, engaging and emotionally enthralling. A few folks mentioned Crybaby Butch in the comments when I featured Stone Butch Blues two weeks ago, all of them with praise for the book.

Buy it directly from Firebrand Books, from your local independent bookstore, or, if you must, from Amazon.

So now that I’ve gone through some of the major butch books, tell me, which ones did I leave out? Are there others I should have featured?

Review: Leather Pleasure Harness by Aslan Leather

So when Carrie at Aslan Leather sent me the Rubber G, I also got the Leather Pleasure Harness, one of Aslan’s signature harnesses, and to me the most versatile. It has various configurations: two-strap, one-strap, driver pad or not, variable sizes of O-ring. The straps are thin and high quality leather, the craftsmanship, as I’d expect from Aslan, is lovely and detailed.

It has become my current go-to harness. It’s what I pull out when I want to play, it’s what I use.

1. Materials

This harness is leather. Beautiful leather. Buttery soft, well-treated leather. There’s nothing wrong with this leather whatsoever. Oh wait—yes there is: it’s porous, and absorbs liquid. For that reason, as with many other leather harnesses I have known and loved, I do not expect this harness to last.

2. Metal (Buckles & O-Rings)

I continually stress the quality of construction in Aslan products, and of course this is no exception. It’s lovely: there are buckles on both hips around the waist and sliding O-rings on the other two (or one) straps.

3. Style, Shape, Padding

This harness comes with a “driver pad,” the bit of padding that would sit behind the base of the dildo against the wearer, but I’ve removed it so there isn’t as much separating me from my cock and my girl. The straps are a little thin, which personally I like, but you may not—I do find they can dig in a little bit. I love the convertible strap style, and if you for example aren’t sure whether you prefer one style or the other yet, this is a great one to buy because it’s easy to change for one to the other as desired. It’s very adjustable and fits hips from 26″-44″ (and the larger version fits up 56″) comfortably.

I’m still in search of a harness this simple that is not leather, or perhaps just a harness with a replaceable or removable center strap that is not leather (probably rubber). But this is getting closer!

I’ve got a slightly customized Rubber G that I still need to report about … the center strap is a bit thinner, and I do like that better, and oh the rubber is growing on me. I love how easily it cleans up.

PS … Did I mention that Aslan Leather sent me a harness to give away at my Cock Confidence & Strapping It On workshop at Butch Voices NYC this weekend? Hope you got a ticket, because registration is sold out. I hear if you come early with a lot of patience you might (might) be able to get in. Thanks Aslan—can’t wait to draw a name and send someone home with a new toy.

Aslan Leather sent me the Leather Pleasure Harness for review. Pick it up over on Aslan’s site, or at your local independent feminist queer sex toy store.

Review: Slick G Harness by Aslan Leather

Thank heavens, someone finally answered my prayers: I’ve been in search of The Harness for quite many years now, with some successes, but no amazing clouds-parting-rays-of-sunlight perfection. The Aslan Leather Jaguar G is my current favorite—or has been, up until now.

Aslan sent me two different harnesses to review: the Leather Pleasure Harness and the Slick G.

I jumped into the Slick G immediately. Couldn’t wait to try something other than leather or faux-leather or vinyl, which is all I’ve really ever tried. It just feels like leather never really comes clean, because, well, it doesn’t, it’s absorbent, and the kind of sex I have tends to be messy. Seems like my leather harnesses only last six months or so before I’m turned off by their … obvious wear.

So, rubber. I was a bit skeptical. But Carrie over at Aslan told me this the go-to favorite, so I wanted to try it out for myself. Would it be too thick? Too sharp around the edges? Not melding-with-my-skin enough?

And most importantly: would the shape and tension be enough to get me off?

Short answer: not quite. But I haven’t yet given up hope on the Slick G.

Here’s the harness breakdown factors:

1. Materials
Obviously, Aslan Leather uses really high-quality stuff. They make arguably the best harness available, and most people’s #1 choice, the Jaguar. (It’s not quite my favorite—mostly because I prefer 1-strap to the 2-strap style, but I do like the Jaguar G, as I mentioned.)

So: The Slick G is made of rubber. How does that work? Quite well, really. It’s a little bit stiff, not the pliable leather I’m used to, but it is such a relief to scrub it clean. It is pretty thick, it doesn’t really warm up and mold to my body like I’m used to with leather, but it doesn’t feel like a huge barrier. I am really fond of barely-there kind of harnesses, just three little straps and an o-ring (which is basically what the other harness, the Leather Pleasure Harness, can turn into), so this definitely feels like something there, but how could it not? It’s a slab of rubber. It does kind of cut into my skin around the edges, but not enough that I’m not into it. For the clean-up factor alone, I’m game.

2. Metal: the buckles + O rings
There is no O ring, so in theory some cocks would fit better than others through the opening, but it fits my favorite (the Vixskin Maverick, which is 2″ in diameter) quite well, so that’s all that really matters.

It’s beautiful, of course. Really nice work. The buckles on the waist strap are locking, and easily tighten. This is the ‘average’ size version, for hips from 25″-44″, and Aslan makes a slightly larger version too, for hips 36″-56″.

The strap that goes between the legs has three snaps for a choice of large-medium-small fit. At the smallest, it doesn’t quite go as tight as I like it (what can I say, I like it tight). This is the only problem I have with the harness, and I like it so much that I think I might actually try to get another snap installed, or move one of the snaps (I’m sure I don’t have the tools for it, but I think one of the local leather shops might).

I think because the center strap wasn’t really tight enough, I have yet to get off while fucking with it. Could it have been me, just a fluke, just need more times trying it? Yeah, maybe. But some other harnesses (like the Jaguar G) I can get off while using pretty much every time. Sometimes I know there are times when I just can’t do it, but times when I think it can happen, usually it can. And I thought it could happen, and couldn’t get the friction or positioning or feeling right enough, and I think that’s because it just wasn’t hitting at the right place. Everything else was so perfect! Perfect girl, perfect dirty words, perfect calmness and openness and sweet kisses and skin-to-skin and all of those lovely luscious things that happen when K & I are just in it, but: no go.

3. Style, shape, & padding
I like how the cock rides, I like how it drives, I like how low it rides. I like the shape of the harness. It doesn’t have much padding behind the base of the dildo, but I don’t mind that. It’s not very “padded” in general, since it’s rubber, but I’m not minding so much. I do wish the between-the-legs strap was a bit more narrow, though; especially in the ass cheeks area, it gets just a little bit pokey.

A slightly thinner center strap, and more options for the snaps in the center strap so it can sit tighter, and I think that’d be a winner.

Here’s how Aslan describes the Slick G harness:

This one strap harness made with sexy strong 100% water resistant rubber delivers the ultimate dildo control. Tough rubber stays in place when the fun get’s heavy let’s you play in the shower, tub wherever you choose! No “o” ring for greater intimacy.

ASLAN Rear Strap adjustment system ensures a comfortable fit for all body types! Low rider dildo placement provides excellent control and lovely clitoral stimulation. Discreet one strap design can double as a ANAL plug holder. No “o” ring for greater intimacy and less chance of bruising your partner from heavy thrusting.

The folks at Aslan know what’s up, know the kind of sex I’m having and even (I suspect) have some of that kind of sex themselves, and build wonderful tools that are some of the highest quality sex toys available. I’m thrilled to be reviewing some things for them. This isn’t quite The Harness, but it’s close. It’s damn close. And I am almost totally sold on the rubber, I would definitely try another one, or slightly modify this one, to try to get it closer to perfect.

Maybe The Perfect Harness doesn’t actually exist out there, I know, I might be kidding myself. But I have found pretty much The Perfect Cock, and The Perfect Leather Wrist & Ankle Restraints, and The Perfect Butt Plug—can’t I have a perfect harness, too? If there’s one to be found, I think it’s probably made by Aslan. Can’t wait to review more for them, I’ll let you know what I think of the Leather Pleasure Harness as soon as I have a chance to adequately review it.

Aslan Leather sent me the Slick G harness for review. Pick it up over on Aslan’s site, or at your local independent feminist queer sex toy store.

Review: Black Cat G (Harness)

blackcatAre you getting sick of harness reviews yet? I hope not, because I still haven’t found The Perfect Harness (which may or may not actually exist).

This is the Black Cat G harness by Aslan Leather, sent to me from Eden Fantasys. Let’s break it down by the basic harness features:

Material
The Black Cat G is vinyl, which is why I picked it up, actually. Seems like most harnesses – the really nice ones, anyway – are leather, but I’ve been having trouble keeping my leather harnesses clean, so I thought I might try a waterproof material instead. It’s alright – definitely easier to clean, and I’m less worried about it, but the straps are pretty wide and the material is not very pliable. I recently reviewed the new one-strap version of the Jaguar harness, called the Jaguar G, also from Aslan Leather, and the leather is just so buttery and soft and beautiful, something this thick and dense and kind of, well, hard, is fairly unpleasant, especially when it’s between my legs and pressed up against my, ahem, slightly more delicate places.

Shape
The front panel of this harness is pretty big. I much prefer minimalistic harnesses (like the Bare as you Dare, though the buckles are weak and it slips a LOT) and the excessive material gets in the way of being pressed skin-to-skin, which I don’t like. I want the harness and cock to feel like part of me, I don’t want it to cover up my skin and make me less sensitive and less feeling of the experience.

This is especially a problem in the triangle front panel part, where the O-ring resides, but it’s also a problem with the straps. It’s kind of nice to have wide straps around my hips, they don’t dig in as much, but the wide strap between my legs pinches and is rather uncomfortable. It’s not so bad in the front, but especially in the back, it’s way too wide.

Buckles & O-Rings
The buckles are standard, locking, and very decent; it doesn’t slip around and since it isn’t leather, it doesn’t stretch with body heat, and stays tight. I like that.

The center strap, that goes through the legs, is connected with snaps instead of buckles, which means that there are only a few options for how tight it can get – I tend to wear harnesses very low on my hips and very tight between my legs, and that’s not possible with this one, because in order for the center strap to be taut it has to be much longer, and the tautness is ultimately most important. So, I don’t like that it snaps instead of buckles (or instead of having D-rings to make the length more variable).

The O-ring is rather difficult … it has two snaps, at the top and bottom, so the ring itself is interchangeable, so you can use any size O-ring (and thus any size cock), but there is also a hole in the front panel behind the O-ring. So you can either put the cock through the panel AND the O-ring, or just put it through the O-ring. The hole in the panel is only 1 3/4″ (and thus not big enough for my favorite go-to cock, the Maverick by Vixskin), and if trying to get a rather big cock into the O-ring without putting it through the panel, it’s hard to get the snaps closed. It’s not really made to use with a cock that is outside of the back panel – but again, Maverick, the cock I use 95% of the time, is too big for the panel, so I this harness isn’t The Perfect Harness.

One Last Thing …

I do like the vinyl material though – I expected it to be kind of squeaky and weird, but I would try another harness that is not leather in my quest.

In going over the Sugarbutch tag for “harness”, I noticed there are some harnesses I’ve reviewed but haven’t posted about here yet, like these two:

joque jaguar G

Buy the Black Cat G harness from Aslan Leather at Eden Fantasys or your local independent feminist queer-friendly sex-positive sex toy shop. Thanks to Eden for providing me with one to review.

Jaguar G - G-string | Review by Sinclair Sexsmith

Cocks & Harnesses Recommendations

This arrived in my inbox recently:

Dear Sinclair,

I’m transgendered so when I strap although some of the cocks are tempting to buy, I’m not very comfortable with unnatural colors and shapes. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of a good sized, nice material, and realistic looking cock and a nice and masculine harness. I’ve seen some on your blogs that sound good but i wanted a more personal opinion from someone that actually knows what they’re talking about.

– J

And this isn’t the first time someone has asked me this kind of thing. I write about cocks & harnesses all the time here, but sometimes I think it’s probably a challenge to figure out what it is I’m really using, and what I use often.

So here’s what I wrote back:

I’m glad to throw some ideas your way. Sorry to say, you’re going to have to invest some money in a really nice cock. The ones that are realistic and high-quality are freakin’ expensive. But, the good news is, there are some really good ones available. I totally know what you mean about unnatural colors and shapes, they make me uncomfortable too.

The #1 absolute best realistic cocks out there are by Vixen Creations, their line called Vixskin. The material is some sort of silicone (so it is completely 100% sterilizable) that is made to feel like “cyberskin,” which is the most realistic material on the market. It’s a little bit squishy but still hard. Feels *great*, I highly recommend it. They have lots of different sizes (my #1 very favorite is the Maverick (Babeland calls it the Rodeo Rick) that is 7″x2″) and they all come in chocolate, caramel, or vanilla colors, depending on how light or dark you want the flesh tone to be.

The other great thing about Vixen is that they have a lifetime guarantee. That doesn’t cover “misuse” but if it does break down, they’ll replace it. They’re all in the $100 range, so you might have to save up a bit, but they’ll literally last you a lifetime and they are so worth it.

Most of the sex positive, feminist, queer sex toy shops carry Vixskin, like Good Vibes, Babeland, Blowfish, etc. You might want to actually go to one of those places and check out their sizes, hold them in your hands, all that, to feel what feels most like *yours*.

Harnesses … there are two that seem to be the most popular & famous: the Jaguar (leather, though they also have a vegan one, by Aslan) and the Joque Spare Parts

The Joque & the Jaguar are not *my* personal favorites, actually, mostly because I really prefer the one-strap harnesses, though it seems like most people don’t. I like the commando, and also the Jaguar G, which is the G-string version of the same Jaguar. the leather is SO beautiful and soft and buttery and I just love the design, super comfortable and incredibly hot. Same as with the cocks, it’ll be about a $100 investment, but Aslan Leather (and some of the other nice harness makers too) come with a lifetime guarantee, like Vixen does, so the investment is totally worth it.

– Sinclair

Got a question for me about cocks, harnesses, strapping it on, or something else? Email me – aspiringstud [at] gmail.com – or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as well as I can.

Review: Jaguar Harness

jaguarEveryone rants and raves about the Jaguar harness by Aslan Leather – and I get it, I do: the leather is beautiful, it’s incredibly well-made, it feels like a buttery second skin. It’s snug, it adjusts well and easily, stays in place, it feels pretty good to wear – I could keep going with the general praise. You might just love this harness, many people do.

Personally, though, I just prefer one-strap harnesses, so I’m not crazy about this one.

Here’s the thing: I don’t really like my harness to feel like I’m wearing underwear. Maybe it’s because I came across the Barely There harness when I started packing and it feels practically like wearing nothing (except a cock), but I just don’t like the feel of that much material between me and my cock (and a girl). I start feeling frustrated that I can’t get closer.

Here’s the other thing: I can (sometimes – rarely, it seems, these days) get off myself while strapped on and fucking. But the key to this – for me – is pressure against my clit, and a one-strap harness that runs right between my legs is the way to get it. Even if I don’t come (which seems these days I don’t, but that’s another post) I still love the sensation, the pressure and stimulation right at the right spot. Two-strap harnesses don’t do this for me, so I feel all the more disconnected from the fuck.

I adore Aslan Leather in general and I recommend this harness often to folks who ask for help picking one out. It is gorgeous, so well-crafted. If only Aslan made a one-strap version (with thinner straps!) I’d snatch it up quicker than you could say “Jameson rocks.”

Do you have this harness? What do you think?