trends

Manufacturers Empower Trans Community With Pleasure Products

Manufacturers Empower Trans Community With Pleasure Products

It's not often that the pleasure industry sees a true first-of-its-kind sex toy. It's even less likely that a new pleasure device has the power to change lives. Then again, the adult film business seems even lower on the totem pole of potentially pioneering a life-changing movement. Buck Angel has managed to hit all three achievements throughout his head-turning career, and he intends to take the entire pleasure industry with him for the ride.

The Buck-Off, a product created by Angel, a trans activist, and launched by LGBTQ-focused Perfect Fit Brand, is a masturbation sleeve with a higher purpose. Angel's debut product was designed to give female-to-male transgender individuals a more macho approach to self-pleasure. “Lots of trans guys feel uncomfortable touching themselves and the Buck-Off gives them a way to jack-off in a more masculine way,” says Angel.

As a previously unserved and even ignored market, female-to-male transgender people had to awkwardly alter existing toys.

Angel's road to production was a bumpy journey. Appropriately enough, Perfect Fit lived up to its name and matched Angel's entrepreneurial attitude. “Buck had approached many companies before us to pitch his idea, and no one showed interest,” says Perfect Fit CEO Steve Callow. “I think maybe they couldn’t see past their concerns about profitability to see the importance of sexual wellness for FTM people.” Callow and Angel still harbored a bit of nervous energy over the product's release, but were quickly justified in their cause. “Of course Buck and I were nervous about the response we would get from the trans community, given that we were breaking new ground,” recalls Callow. “It was humbling to receive so much positive, constructive feedback.”

Transitioning encompasses a person's entire state of being. The sex organs may seem only a fraction of the process, but they play a large role in the mental health of trans individuals. The hormones involved in physically transitioning alter the genitals, which is already a challenge for trans people as they adjust to their changing bodies. The mental aspect of the change is a beast in and of itself. Buying sex toys is essentially a combination of all the struggles trans people face on a daily basis, and can turn the search for simple pleasure into a nightmare. “The Buck-Off was created specifically for transgender men who have growth in the genitals from the use of testosterone,” says Angel. “There was nothing like the Buck-Off on the market, in shops or anywhere you bought sex toys. It was upsetting for me to see this.”

As a previously unserved and even ignored market, female-to-male transgender people had to awkwardly alter existing toys. Already at odds with their bodies, buying cisgender sex toys is an uncomfortable, disassociating experience. “There is no validation of your own identity if you have to buy products that were designed for another gender identity to fulfill your needs,” says Callow. “Even without this sense of validation, at least gay men could buy products off the shelf that worked just fine. This was not case for the FTM community.”

The difficulties trans individuals face have only recently become visible, and like anyone struggling for acceptance, trans people haven't always been heard. The trans community has always existed, albeit in the background. Activists like Angel have reminded us that there is indeed a “T” in LGBTQ. Buck's prominence as an adult performer, educator and product developer has helped create a space for transgender persons, especially trans men, to address their unique sexual needs. “From conversations with Buck, I began to understand that the trans community now was much like the gay male community 30 years ago,”remarks Callow. “That was when I’d begun experimenting with sex toys. The products were marketed for straight people and I felt nervous, embarrassed, even ‘freakish,’ buying them.” What Callow and Angel have created is more than a sex toy. The Buck-Off is the answer to the body disphoria faced by transgender people when confronting their new sexual identity. “Maybe this sounds obvious now, but it really makes a difference when you know that products are made for you, and available to you with no stigma attached,” says Callow.

Angel and Callow won't be alone for long in the trans-positive manufacturing space. LA Pump co-owner Chris Kalev regularly encountered frustrated trans customers in the retail space. “We heard from a few retailers that they were selling our clitoris cylinders to trans men. Our clitoris cylinders differ from our penis cylinders,” remarks Kalev. “We felt we needed to create a product for trans men that was for them.” Kalev, as a cisgender male, was unique in immediately spotting the emotions involved for trans consumers. “It seemed odd to me for a trans man to go into a store, say they are looking for a penis cylinder, and get offered a clitoris cylinder,” says Kalev. “How emasculating is that? So we made a cylinder that was appropriate for their size.”

Contrary to media portrayal, undergoing genital surgery isn't always a part of the transition process. Angel's mission for the Buck-Off was to reach this common but often inaccurately represented portion of the trans community. “I get so many positive emails from trans men telling me, ‘Thank you for helping me understand that if my choice is not to get bottom surgery that is OK, and if I choose to that is OK too,’” says Angel.

The pleasure product industry seems the perfect place to spotlight transgender visibility. Though being transgender is so much more than what's between your legs, it's often the least comfortable and most uncertain part of a person's transition. “The Buck-Off and Perfect Fit Brand are a part of creating this space of talking about our bodies and our sexual desires just like everyone else,” says Angel. Buck's efforts are beginning to normalize not only trans people, but the choices they make in changing their bodies and establishing their new identities. “It has been such a long road, but I finally see trans men feeling confident to be out about their sexuality,” remarks Angel. “I see them on apps like Scruff looking to hook up. I see guys talking about their vaginas and that is mind-blowing for me, too.”

The achievements of the Buck-Off have proven what Angel already knew to be true: the trans market is out there, and though they may be shy at first, Buck is giving them the courage to come out. “With the success of the Buck-Off we are producing a line of Buck Angel Toys,” says Angel. “I believe that with the creation of our toy line we are really giving guys permission to explore, play and learn self-love in a way they never have before. I am so grateful for the future!”

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More Articles

opinion

How Sex-Ed Lays the Groundwork for Well-Informed Shopping

We often do some research before making purchases, whether by delving into a company’s background, exploring specific products or simply making sure we understand how to use something before we buy it.

Nathan Hammerle ·
opinion

A Look at How Customer Demographics of Full-Size Sex Dolls Have Evolved

For a long time, sex dolls were dismissed as cheap novelties used by lonely heterosexual men. This was especially true of early, inflatable versions, which became the butt of jokes in pop culture. However, things have changed dramatically.

Rebecca Weinberg ·
opinion

Why Getting Back to In-Person Events Is Imperative for Pleasure Biz

Even before COVID-19, consumers were already increasingly shopping online. During the pandemic, that trend naturally skyrocketed, and many of us store owners and suppliers became accustomed to leaning back and managing nearly all of our business from behind a screen.

Sean Quinn ·
opinion

What Pleasure Brands Need to Know About Celebrity Endorsements

The right celebrity endorsement could skyrocket your brand into profitable relevance. The wrong one could send your brand crashing down into obscurity. While the allure of celebrity endorsements is obvious, less obvious are the risks that come with handing over the responsibility for your brand’s reputation to a third party.

Kathryn Byberg ·
trends

The Next Wave: Pleasure Industry Execs Forecast 2024

The dawn of 2024 is upon us and the adult retail biz is buzzing with anticipation, looking forward to seeing what new, innovative pleasure products, lubricants and sensual cosmetic lines will hit the market in the coming year.

profile

WIA Profile: April Hoopes

When you do what you love, they say, you’ll never work a day in your life — and when your job involves educating the masses about sex toys, it’s hard not to love what you do. As director of sales for pleasure brand Edonista, April Hoopes would surely agree.

Women In Adult ·
profile

Bathmate's Tim Brown Talks Legal Standards of Penis Pump Production

Since the company’s inception in 2006, Bathmate has delivered myriad iterations of the brand’s namesake: a hydrotherapy pump utilizing warm water and suction to take advantage of the penis’s naturally hydraulic erectile function.

Colleen Godin ·
profile

Nasstoys Marks 45 Years of Pioneering in the Pleasure Industry

Longtime pleasure products manufacturer Nasstoys, known for its vast variety of adult products and supplements, is commemorating 45 years in the business of making people happy.

Kim Airs ·
opinion

Selling Tactile Stimulation With Textured Toys

Tactile stimulation plays a pivotal role in elevating intimate encounters. As consumers recognize and explore the link between diverse, expansive sensory engagement and enhanced pleasure, we are seeing a shift toward products that go beyond basic functionality.

Carly S. ·
opinion

How Mainstream Can Show Respect in Its Appropriation of Fetish Wear

Once upon a time, fetish wear was strictly confined to kink communities and subcultures. However, it has now made its way onto the catwalk and even mainstream Instagram and TikTok. This visibility of fetish clothing raises important questions about respect for its origins and the cultural significance of fetish wear.

Countess Diamond ·
Show More