Trans activist and performer Buck Angel makes waves with innovative sex tech.
It is always amazing when someone comes along and creates something and it takes off. Catching lightning in a bottle is such a rare instance, it deserves to be lauded and celebrated. But the individuals who strive and struggle, scratch and claw to get their creations noticed, they deserve a big round of applause as well. Especially when their work is not only a great product but also a cultural touchstone.
Sex products have made significant headway into mainstream culture and are now much more accepted and understood. But, a clarification is needed. Sex products that are geared toward cis-bodied people are more accepted in particular. Unfortunately, until just recently, there have been no sex toys specifically designed for the trans community.
Fortunately, this is changing. Ignored for far too long, it is now being acknowledged that trans folk want sexual pleasure, too. They want great sex. This desire has always been there, but it has been clouded by ignorance from cis folks and by trauma from within trans circles.
However, there is both huge opportunity and significant, untapped potential in the transgender community. The moment is now to not only recognize, but also aid a trans sexual revolution. And the fella leading the charge is the inimitable Buck Angel.
In his role as advocate, activist, and porn producer, the always affable Angel has kept his eye on the needs of the trans community for countless years. He has been at the forefront of increasing trans visibility on general societal issues, as well as reminding everyone that transgender people are both sexy and sexual.
Angel’s desire to both service and showcase the sexual desires of transmen set him on a journey to help them realize their pleasure potential. Finally, after years of hard work and hard selling, he’s realized his dream by producing the Buck Off—the world’s first mass-produced sex toy for transmen.
Like many of the current crop of sex devices, you’d be forgiven if you looked at the Buck Off and wondered just what it is and how it works. It just might be one of the most unassuming sex toys on the market.
But don’t let the look deceive you. This seemingly simple toy is both a powerhouse of sexual pleasure and gender affirmation. This significant design provides a deeper understanding of the types of sexual stimulation some trans men seek. The Buck Off is also a game changer in providing trans men with the sexy feelings they desire, while at the same time raising the profile of the transgender community to the sex toy industry.
Dual purpose design
The Buck Off works through both a direct sucking action as well as potentially significant psychological assurances. Designed specifically for trans men who have taken testosterone, the device works in tandem with the resulting bodily changes. An increase in testosterone enlarges the genitals, specifically the clitoris. The Buck Off envelopes the clit and the user determines how best to manipulate the toy for maximum feeling.
From a pure pleasure standpoint, the Buck Off is a winner, but Angel ensured that the shape of the toy also provides a different level of sensation that makes it significant to both the user and the trans community at large.
The toy is shaped like, and has the feel of, the user’s penis in their hand, and the motion used to stimulate the clit is very similar to the stroking motion used by folks with penises. Having a toy on the market that establishes that link—in a completely sexy way—brings transmen’s sexuality to the front of the line, right up where everybody else is.
“I talk about sex and I can hear what the community wants and needs,” Buck told Future of Sex. “Introducing a toy is not like porn, it is not as intense. [The Buck Off] is helping people to learn how to enjoy their bodies.”
The challenges of change
It wasn’t easy getting to this point with the Buck Off. When asked if in the past he’d ever thought there would be a time when trans men would have a mass-produced, readily available sex toy, he laughed and assured me he did think it would happen—but it has taken over 15 years. During this period, Angel shopped the idea around to various adult product companies to make his dream come true. He was met with rejection time and again.
After all that work, all that hustle, the breakthrough came when Angel met with Steve Callow of the XBIZ award-winning company Perfect Fit. Everything finally fell into place. Callow was quickly onboard in understanding the importance of this revolutionary product as well as understanding the emerging marketplace and the potential of appealing to trans men.
“Trans issues are huge now,” Angel said. “I’ve been speaking with companies for years, giving the same spiel. However, it only took five minutes with Perfect Fit. They got it. But I am still surprised it took until 2016 to get this done.”
Both Angel and Perfect Fit have brought a community-focused approach to realizing the Buck Off by keeping its price point lower than most high profile sex products. Many trans men live without the privilege of financial wealth or security, so having a pleasure product that is only $29.95 is a significant nod to understanding the folks who are being appealed to.
Buck has taken a personal move—he is keeping his share of profits lower to ensure the price remains affordable. He is also happy to note that Perfect Fit is a gay-owned company with trans employees.
It may have been a long road to get to this point, but the Buck Off is already raising awareness about transsexuality. The toy has been featured on Cosmopolitan.com and Forbes.com—a media reach that would have been unthinkable for transgender sex products just a few years ago.
This is a testament to Angel’s tenacity and Perfect Fit’s vision. Together they have positioned the Buck Off as a gateway to future development and even greater transgender awareness. When asked if more trans sex toys are in the works, Angel replied as coyly as the gregarious “tranpa” can—”Wait and see!”
Images sources: Buck Angel