Skip to main content
Packing while swimming

May 2, 2024

FTM packer: packing while swimming for trans guys

Finnegan Shepard

Packing is a simple concept that is carried out in a variety of ways. In essence, packing is when you use something–a packer, a pair of socks balled up, etc.—to create a bulge around the groin. Some trans men pack all the time, some never pack, some pack in certain contexts. There are also a wide variety of packers, for different uses. Some are only aesthetic, some are STP (stand to pee devices) that enable you to pee while standing up while using them, and some can be used in sex.

Swimming is probably the space in which most trans guys think about packing, whether they do or don’t on a day to day basis, because due to the water and the way fabric clings, it’s a space that we can feel particularly exposed in. (Another frequently cited space that trans guys list are locker rooms or gyms. These are spaces where packing can add another layer of comfort and confidence for some folks).

In this short essay, we are going to cover the main challenges and options for packing while swimming.


Why Pack While Swimming?

First off, let’s start at the top with why gender queer folk like to pack while swimming. It’s also important to note that while this is most common amongst trans men, there are also plenty of people who identify as transmasc, enby, or gender queer who pack as well.

As mentioned above, the primary reason that people who don’t normally pack want to pack while swimming is because in day to day life, they may not feel as exposed as they do when they swim. Particularly for folks who are wanting to minimize attention drawn to them in predominantly cis spaces, packing can impact their sense of safety and comfort.

The other reason to pack is simply because it can be fun and gender affirming. Many folks feel a little shy or embarrassed when they first start packing, but then grow to love it as another way they get to engage with/play with/construct a presentation of gender that feels good to them.


What Are The Challenges To Packing While Swimming?

The biggest challenge with packing while swimming is the relationship between materials–that is, the material your packer is made of, the water, and the fabric and construction of your swim trunks.

Historically, most packers have been made out of silicone. There are two problems with this when it comes to swimming:

  1. Silicone gets damaged by being in contact with chlorine and salt water.
  2. Silicone is heavy. That means that it has a lot of drag in the water. Especially if it is attached to a pocket in your swim trunks, then you will need to have a very tight waistband to keep your trunks up, and a tight waistband is often dysphoric for folks in the community.
  3. If the packer isn’t secured in place, it can actually fall out while swimming.
  4. Most packers are quite large, and when they are silhouetted by water can be a bigger bulge than folks want.


What Are The Best Packing Options For Swimming?

At Both&, we gathered feedback around the swimming experience for our community for years, and created a swim trunk + packer that addresses all of the major concerns.

The swim trunks are made in a vintage style, super stretchy material, with a forgiving waistband and a drawstring. That means no pinching around the hips, and maximum control around where the trunks sit on your body.

Elliot swim trunks in green

We also sewed a small pouch into the inside netting of the shorts, so that there’s room for you to pack (if you want).

Emmett packer

Finally, we worked with a talented trans creator from Etsy named Emmett to develop the ideal, subtle packer. The shaft is only 2 inches in length, and it is sewed to the sack so that the shape holds. The inside of the packer is made out of small plastic beads that don’t absorb water, and the outside material is a strong, water resistant fabric. The Emmett packer fits perfectly into the Elliot swim trunks, stays put, adds no drag or weight to the shorts, and creates a subtle bulge while swimming.

Here’s a picture of one of our community members using the Emmett packer while wearing the Elliot trunks:

Community member Yuri in Elliot swimtrunks, with packer


Packing While Swimming: Final Thoughts

Packing is a personal preference, and everyone has a different relationship to it. Think of it as an option–but not a necessity–to continue exploring what feels right for you on your gender journey. As always, if you have any questions, shoot us an email or better yet, join our Discord. There was recently a whole in depth convo around packing there, and you can join a large community of welcoming folks discussing these topics and more.

Get involved with that conversation here.

our collection

  • Romeo Swim Romeo Swim

    Romeo Swim


    Stylish, versatile, and intentional coverage

  • Elliot Elliot



    The ultimate transmasc swim trunk

  • Emmett



    lightweight swim friendly packer