FTM Adhesive Guide – A Comprehensive Overview for Transmasculine Individuals

FTM Adhesive Guide – A Comprehensive Overview for Transmasculine Individuals

Many exciting changes occur during the FtM transition journey. Adjusting to a more masculine appearance is often among the most exciting steps in the journey. To create your masculine look, you’ll use a variety of items like packers, binders, facial hair, and penis sleeves, all of which are held in place using adhesives.

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Overview of Adhesive Use in the Context of FtM Transition

Adhesives hold your masculine items comfortably in place, although not all are created the same. Select your adhesive after carefully considering your adhesion needs and skin sensitivity. In this guide, we’ll help you become better acquainted with adhesives and how to pick the right product for your needs.

Discover the key to comfort and confidence in your FtM transition

Types of Adhesives

Adhesives are necessary in your FtM journey. Luckily, several types of adhesives are available.

Adhesive types include:

  • Water-based adhesives
  • Silicone adhesives
  • Medical-grade adhesive
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive
  • Binderadhesives
  • Adhesive Sheets/Tape

Medical Grade Adhesives

Safety first.

Medical-grade adhesives put your safety at the forefront. The adhesives provide a safe, gentle adhesion that’s strong enough to hold prosthetics or packers firmly in place for long periods. Packers look more realistic when held securely in place.

Pack with safety and comfort using medical-grade adhesives

Overview of Safe, Skin-Friendly Options

The safest, skin-friendly adhesives include silicone, water-based, and prosthetic-specific adhesives. Each adhesive is gentle on the skin, hypoallergenic, and allows your skin to breathe. When your skin can breathe, you are more comfortable, and sweat and odor are not so bothersome.

Application Techniques for Medical-Grade Adhesives

Correctly applying adhesive is important regardless of the adhesive you choose, Applying it improperly can irritate the skin or damage your prosthetics or packers.

 Non-Medical Adhesives

Although medical-grade adhesives are safer and recommended for most FtM application needs, non-medical adhesives are more affordable and suitable for some needs.

Stick to success with precise application techniques for medical-grade adhesives

Informal Options Available

Informal adhesive options allow guys to get creative and design their own adhesives. Fashion tape, adhesive sheets, and strips are a few medical-grade adhesive alternatives.

Cautionary Notes on Potential Risks

Do not put your health or safety at risk for the sake of transitioning, especially when taking precautions will keep you safe.

  • Read and follow all instructions accompanying the adhesive
  • Understand the signs of an allergic reaction
  • Seek professional help if your skin becomes irritated or a rash develops

Listen to your skin and prioritize safety

Choosing the Right Adhesive

The right adhesive does not irritate the skin and aligns with your physical activity level and lifestyle. It should also provide adhesion strong enough for the items you need to secure.

Skin Sensitivity

Skin sensitivity plays a big role in the adhesive right for your FtM transition needs. Although you want a secure hold, you want to avoid adverse reactions that can harm your skin. Learn your skin sensitivity level before purchasing adhesives.

Understanding Individual Skin Types

Every individual has a unique skin type based on genetics, so thank your parents if issues like acne plague you. Most people understand their skin type well before transitioning. If you’re unsure, talk to a dermatologist or observe your skin and how it feels. When you understand your skin type, you can easily choose adhesives that address those concerns.

Understanding your skin type is key to choosing the right adhesives

Recommendations for Sensitive Skin

Choose hypoallergenic, water-based, or silicone-based adhesives to combat issues with sensitive skin. If your skin is especially sensitive, it may take a bit of trial and error to find a suitable adhesive.

Packer material also affects your comfort while wearing the product. It takes time to acclimate to a packer.  Start with the 3.1” silicone-based packer to give yourself adjustment time. It is perfect for sensitive skin since it is made from a three-layer silicone material.

Activity Level

Activity level is another factor important in choosing the adhesive you will use. Guys who play sports or enjoy other physical activities, such as cosplay dress-ups and events, need an adhesive strong enough to keep up with constant movement without compromising comfort.

Selecting Adhesives Based on Your Lifestyle

Adhesives should align with your lifestyle. It should provide flexibility so you can move around as needed and offer durability that doesn’t let you down in the middle of your most important activities.

For active lifestyles, choose adhesives that match your pace

Considerations for Athletic or High-Activity Individuals

Athletic guys or those who participate in other levels of high activity need adhesives that can stand up to the extra challenges it creates from prolonged wear, such as extra movement and  sweat.

Research adhesives designed specifically for guys who participate in such activity. These adhesives feature advanced binding technologies designed to withstand such activities’ impact.

Duration of Wear

The length of time you plan on wearing prosthetics, binders, or other items requiring adhesives should affect the product you select. Options for both short-term and long-term use are available.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Wear Considerations

Short-term adhesives are designed for temporary use, often for two or three hours at a time. Long-term adhesives are designed to secure your FtM transition items for lengthier periods, such as an entire day.

The strength of the adhesive is the biggest difference between short-term and long-term adhesives. Choosing the right adhesive reduces the risk of skin irritation.

Adhesive Options Suitable for Various Durations

Do you need adhesives for packers for brief periods, like when you want to attend a party or go in for a job interview? Or, will you wear prosthetics and other FtM transition items for extended periods? Choose an adhesive matching your timeframe to maximize performance and comfort.

Whether a brief outing or extended wear, choose the right adhesive for your duration

Application Techniques: Step-by-Step Guide for Applying Adhesives

Applying adhesives starts with skin prepping and cleaning. Cleanse your skin with water and a mild cleaner to remove oils and other impurities. Pat your face dry with a towel.

Proper Placement of Prosthetics or Packers

Proper placement of prosthetics or packers is important to pull off a realistic masculine appearance. Always take time to position it correctly and apply the adhesive evenly to the skin and packer or prosthetic. Hold the prosthetic or packer firmly in place to secure the hold.

Expect to use more adhesive on larger packers, like the 4.6” packer product.

Always apply adhesive to the entire surface area of the packer for a secure hold and added confidence throughout its wear.

pamper your skin post-removal for a seamless experience

Removal Tips

What goes on must come off. But, improperly removing your packer or other FtM transition items can damage them or irritate your skin. Follow the tips below to safely remove your packers and adhesive.

  • Use an adhesive remover to ease the prosthetic removal process
  • Loosen the edges of the packer, slowly peeling it from the skin piece by piece
  • Do not force the prosthetic from the skin
  • Clean your skin using water and a mild soap after removal
  • Apply lotion to your skin to reduce skin irritation

Addressing Potential Skin Irritation Post-Removal

Skin irritation can occur post-removal, especially during early use of your prosthetics and packers. If you notice skin irritation, give it time to heal before using your packers again. Consider switching to a milder adhesive to reduce future irritation. Talk to a dermatologist if the irritation does not clear on its own.

Tips for Adhesive Success

We offer a few additional tips that may help you successfully choose and use the right adhesive.

Tips for Adhesive Success

Follow Product Instructions Diligently

Read and follow the instructions included with your adhesive product. The instructions contain information specific to your product designed to help you avoid problems like skin irritation that can sometimes occur.

Experimenting With Different Brands and Types for Individual Comfort

Experiment with different brands and types of adhesives. Experimenting provides an opportunity to explore your options to find a product suited to your preferences.

Seeking Professional Advice When Uncertain

If you find choosing an adhesive that works for your skin type and needs difficult, seek professional advice and support. Experts can provide personalized recommendations and tips based on your requirements and needs. Speaking to a professional allows you to make informed decisions when selecting adhesives for your FtM transition process.

Maintenance and Care

Prolong the lifetime of your prosthetics and packers and safeguard your skin by maintaining and caring for your products.

Extend the life of your essentials with care and maintenance

Cleaning Prosthetics and Packers

Prosthetics and packers accumulate sweat, dirt, and adhesive that can make using them unsanitary, increase risks of skin irritation, and deplete the lifetime of your items.

Clean prosthetics and packers using mild soap and water to remove dirt, sweat, odors, and adhesive glue residue. Dry your prosthetics or packers after cleaning them to help prevent mold and bacteria.

Storing Adhesives Properly to Maintain Effectiveness

Properly storing adhesives in a cool, dry place away from direct heat and sunlight prevents product damage, such as drying out. Ensure the container lids are closed completely to prevent air exposure and product dry out or evaporation.

Community Recommendations

Find tips, advice, and recommendations from supportive communities.

Platforms for Sharing Experiences and Tips

Looking for a safe space to share experiences, get tips, and make friends? Visit the following social platforms.

  • Trevor Space: A safe zone created by The Trevor Project, Trevor Space is a fun place for FtM and other trans individuals where you get a sense of community and support. The site is available 24/7.
  • Facebook Transgender Alliance: This support group for non-conforming individuals provides a safe place to pose questions and discuss, connect with others, and find support.
  • Reddit Subreddits: Reddit Subreddits are extremely popular in the trans community, although finding supportive groups can be tricky. We have found r/transgender and r/asktransgender to be among the best Subreddits.

Join platforms where experiences are shared

Online Communities for Advice and Support

Online communities for advice and support enable you to share your transition journey or other experiences within your FtM transition with like-minded, understanding people readily offering their support.

  • Susan’s Place: This forum has bountiful information for individuals within the trans community.With more than 2 million posts, you can find plenty of information to guide you through your transition journey.
  • They 2ze: Designed for transgender youth, this mobile app offers a large database of resources and information, connections to services and care, referrals, and links to supportive assessments and education.
  • Trace: Another must-have app for trans guys, Trace helps track your transition from start to finish, and connects you with allies and support groups.
  • TransPulse Forums: The TransPulse Forums is another wealth of information addressing FtM topics. The active community covers a variety of topics, and you can post your questions.

Adhesive FAQs

Adhesive FAQs

How often should adhesive be replaced?

Check the package for an expiration date. Toss the adhesive if the product passes this date or if it loses effectiveness before then.

Can adhesives be used with all types of packers?

Adhesives work with most packers currently available, although work better on some materials than others.

Are there specific products for swimming or water activities?

Adhesives specifically designed to be used in water are formulated to stay in place when swimming, showering, or enjoying other water-related activities. Water-resistant adhesives hold securely in water, whereas some adhesives may lose their adhesion abilities when wet.

What should be done in case of skin irritation or allergic reactions?

First and most importantly, discontinue using the adhesive if skin irritation or an allergic reaction occurs. Clean the area with water and mild cleaners, and apply moisturizing cream to the irritated skin. If the problem persists, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.


Understanding adhesives, how to use them safely, and how to find the products suited to your needs is an essential part of your FtM journey. Use this guide as your go-to information source for adhesive information.

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