Embarking on a journey of gender and identity is different for each of us. Many find that gender-affirming clothing items - such as gaffs - can play an important part of gender exploration, actualization, and affirmation.
Terminology While the words “penis,” “testes,” and “testicles” are being used here, we understand that not everyone who tucks identifies with these terms to refer to their body parts.
What is a Gaff?
Gaffs are a type of tight underwear that have been specially designed to be supportive when tucking. Tucking involves shifting the testes back into the inguinal canals and passing the penis between the legs towards the anus. A gaff may be worn to help comfortably support this configuration by holding the genitalia tight against the body and therefore creating a smoother profile in the front.
Health & Safety
There are health and safety concerns that should be noted for people who choose to tuck either frequently or every day.
While many guides available often describe tucking with some kind of body-safe medical or sports tape, we recommend not using tapes, or doing so sparingly. Even with medical or sports tapes that are not meant to damage the skin, everyday use can add up. Where you tuck tends to be a warm and moist area, and tape that doesn’t allow the skin to breathe on a regular basis may lead to skin rashes or infections. Although adhesive tapes can sometimes provide extra security under a gaff, the process itself makes it difficult to use the toilet and therefore increases the chances of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI), or even bladder/kidney damage in the long run. For those who avoid consuming fluids when tucking with tape, dehydration is a risk that can leave people prone to headaches and more tired overall.
Tucking can also adversely affect fertility by reducing sperm quality and quantity due to the testes being closer to the body and in a warmer, less hospitable environment. If you plan on having biological children someday consider banking your sperm or tuck as sparingly as possible.
How To Tuck with a Gaff
If it’s your first time tucking, you might want to find your inguinal canals first - the cavities through which the testes descend from the abdomen to the outside of the body. Start with one side, and with your finger, push behind your testicle while lifting the finger up toward your body. You should hit an area of skin where your finger can push into your body, this is the entrance to one of your inguinal canals. You might find it easier to lay on your back when popping the testicle up into place. Most importantly however, it should not be forced or become painful. You may initially experience some discomfort but that will ease the more often you do it. The penis and remaining loose skin can then be pulled back between the legs and a gaff worn to keep everything in place. If you prefer not to ‘tuck’ your testicles up, you can instead just pull them back with the penis and wear the gaff as is.
Choosing a Gaff
We offer several kinds of gaff styles and sizes. Some styles will better fit to certain body shapes. If you have a favourite style of underwear then we would recommend starting out with that shape and seeing if it provides the kind of coverage you’re looking for. If you’re completely unsure of where to start, then generally speaking, bigger bums and wider hips will look best in a cheeky or thong style while narrower hips and smaller bums are better suited to a more coverage hipster style. All bodies are very different however so it’s important to pick something that you’re comfortable with and will make you feel good when you wear it.
When finding your size we recommend taking a pelvic hip measurement to find your best fit. If you don’t have a soft measuring tape, you can use a piece of string and then measure that length with a ruler. A gaff will loosen slightly after the first few wears so it should feel a little too tight at first.
Care and Cleaning
Gaffs should always be hand-washed or machine washed in cold water and hung to dry. Heat will prematurely wear out the material.