What effects does it have?
- Lower body
Less visible genitals
What is it?
Reducing the visibility of the penis and testes by 'tucking' them into a less visible position.
How long does it last?
The effects last only while the genitals are tucked. Physical exertion may cause the genitals to come out of position and become more visible.
There is no published medical research into the risks of tucking we are aware of. Perform tucking at your own risk.
Tucking involves pulling the penis backwards between your legs. Usually, the testes (testicles) are also moved forwards. Many people are able to partly or completely insert the testes into the entrances to the inguinal canals to further hide them.
To keep the genitals held in this position, one or both of the following are normally used:
- tight underwear or shorts: look for stretchy fabric containing elastane, which is sometimes known as Lycra. You should be able to find this kind of clothing described as “shapewear”, “control pants” or “control knickers” in most shops that sell underwear, or you can try using cycling shorts or swimwear.
- medical tape: this usually requires shaving the area to be comfortable.
If you have difficulty with this, you can also purchase a specialised item of clothing called a “gaff”, designed specifically to hold the penis in place.
Possible side effects of tucking are:
- skin irritation and fungal infections, particularly if tape is being used 1
- defects or hernias at the external inguinal ring 2
- infections such as epididymoorchitis, prostatitis, or cystitis 3
- chronic testicular pain 3
We are not aware of any research into how common these side effects are.
- 1 Conard, LAE (2017) “Supporting and caring for transgender and gender nonconforming youth in the urology practice.” Journal of Pediatric Urology, 13(3), pp. 300–304.
- 2 Feldman, Jamie L and Goldberg, Joshua (2006) Transgender primary medical care: Suggested guidelines for clinicians in British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- 3 Deutsch, Madeline B (ed.) (2016) “Guidelines for the primary and gender-affirming care of transgender and gender nonbinary people.” [online] Available from: http://transhealth.ucsf.edu/pdf/Transgender-PGACG-6-17-16.pdf
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Page last updated: September 2017