Tip #23: Swimming Tips for the Trans MalePosted: June 19, 2012
|Contributor: James Knapp|
Well, gentlemen, summer is here! Maybe being grill master or official purse guarder is your thing, but don’t let the fact that you just happen to be transgender interfere with your summer plans. If you want to go to the beach or the pool, do it; and don’t feel like you have to be stuck on the towel or dipping your toes in the shallow end.
Here are some tips on how to get into the water from my own personal experience:
- Packing is a very personal choice, and you may or may not pack daily. However, when you are wet, your swim trunks tend to cling to you, showing off your package (or lack thereof).
- Several websites that offer packing underwear also offer FTM swimwear. You can also make your own packer pouch and sew/safety pin it to the inside of your trunks
- When packing under swim trunks, make sure you pack tight. I recommend either jockstraps or UnderArmour compression shorts. There is a less likely chance that your packer will wiggle free in the water and float away. Stay away from cotton, as it doesn’t dry as quickly as nylon and tends to sag when wet.
- STP packers are generally best left at home. Water can sometimes get stuck in the tube and leak out later when you least expect it. This happened to me once. It may have been a freak occurrence, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- Remember to bring a change of underwear to change into after your swimming adventure. Follow regular packer care when you get home. Please note that some jockstraps will discolor your packer.
Post “Top” Surgery
- Always follow your surgeon’s post-op care instructions. This includes avoiding swimming for at least 6 weeks after your stitches/sutures/drains are removed and keeping your strokes light and to a 20-minute limit until you feel comfortable with longer time periods. Make sure you allow your chest to fully heal.
- Wear sunscreen. Apply generously, paying special attention to your scars and nipples. I suggest wearing high SPF, waterproof sticks. Reapply as often as possible, up to once an hour.
- Don’t worry about explaining your scars to people. I found that hardly anyone asks, and when they do “oh, I had surgery,” is a sufficient answer.
- If you’re uncomfortable walking around shirtless, invest in a rash guard. Rash guards may slightly irritate your nipples after a day’s use, so think about applying some Vaseline before you put it on.
Pre “Top” Surgery
- Invest in a rash guard. They cost about $40+. Most water parks allow them and they usually have UV protection built in.
- Some rash guards are made of a heavier material, so you don’t have to wear a binder underneath. Others are lighter, so you may feel more comfortable continuing to bind. Chlorine is not good for binders, so remember to wash it out as soon as you get home.