Methods for smoothing the genital area/“tucking”

For many assigned-male-at-birth (AMAB) people (including trans women, crossdressers, drag performers, or other folks exploring feminine gender expression) trying to achieve a flat/smooth looking genital area can be a challenge. Though it initially takes a little exploration and getting used to, the art of “tucking” is how many AMAB people achieve this look.

“Tucking” refers to arranging the penis and testicles to create a smooth/flat genital area silhouette. There is more than one way to tuck, but before outlining how it is done, it may help to begin with a quick anatomy lesson. If you are a person born with testicles, you may have noticed that when you get cold, your testes rise up. The direction that cold testes are headed is toward the inguinal canals—two passages on the inside of the body that are positioned behind and on either side of of the penis. Shortly before or just after birth, the testes descend from inside the body via the inguinal canals into the scrotum. With some gentle manipulation and practice, many people can press their testes back inside their body into these canals.

When people talk about tucking, they are often referring to the act of pressing each testicle inside its own inguinal canal (left testicle in the canal to the left side of the penis, right testicle to the right side canal), and then tucking the scrotal sac and penis down and back between the legs, toward the anus.

The scrotal sac/penis is usually held in place via a tight-fitting undergarment called a gaff, or via combinations of underwear/leotards/tights, or sometimes by using careful wrapping and taping methods (taping requires additional preparation to avoid skin irritation/injury).

Tucking exploration should be done carefully. It will likely feel unusual or uncomfortable at first as you find the inguinal canals, but it shouldn’t be too painful. If it is painful, slow down and try again. Likewise, positioning the penis and scrotal sac should be done in the most comfortable manner possible—be mindful of your body’s needs in addition to your desire for an effective tuck! There are some folks out there for whom tucking will be too painful or other- wise be too difficult to achieve. Listen to your body, and remember that pain or numbness are your body’s warning signals that something needs to be adjusted!

Here are a few resources where you can learn more about tucking:

• YouTube videos: Stacy Fatemi’s “The American Trans Survival Guide #5: How To Tuck” and Alayna June’s “The Most Comfortable Way to Tuck

fuckingtranswomen.tumblr.com (zine has drawings of inguinal canals)