The process of gender reassignment is long, complicated, and expensive. There are many difficulties a transperson must endure as part of his or her transition, on top of the marginalization experienced from both heterosexual and LGBT communities. But attitudes are changing (albeit slowly) and thanks to the internet there are many options for products and information that can ease or assist the journey from biological gender discordance to personalized gender identity.
Femskin, rosesturn.net/femskin.html, is a company that makes silicon prosthetics for MTF transgender people. The products are advertised as being sturdy, durable, natural-like and comfortable. The various prosthetics can add a more feminine curve to the hips, legs, buttocks and waist. These are not inserts, but pieces of clothing worn as layers beneath one’s external wear. There is a bib for creating the illusion of breasts: It is worn around the neck, covers the chest, and accentuates one’s cleavage with either a C or D cup. There is also a vaginal thong, which has a carved out space in the back for those who are pre-operative, and allows for realistic penetration during intercourse. Samples of the “skin” can be bought, so as to test the illusion.
Most impressive of all is the step-in full body catsuit. At first glance I was disturbed by the company’s pictures of their own product, because the presentation was reminiscent of “The Silence of the Lambs.” If it were possible to suggest improvements to the website, one might propose that these suits in particular be marketed with this connection in mind so as to avoid it. But aside from this initial shock, I saw almost immediately how this catsuit could potentially help transgender people as they make their way toward reassignment.
First, the skin comes in three colors — fair, medium and deep. This allows MTF clients of various racial profiles to select a closer match. Another interesting feature is that the suit is anatomically correct, complimented by breasts with nipples and areolas, realistically curved waist line, voluptuous buttocks and legs and a vagina with correct external anatomy. Donning this suit does not render the user a sexless doll. The photos on the site show that the suit does not have arms. The most innovative feature of the catsuit is that the genitals are equipped with a urethra. A fluid receptacle inside the suit that is connected to the outside of the “body” by a metal tube allows the user to urinate without having to remove the full-body prosthesis. The site does not describe any such feature for allowing bowel movements (e.g. handle your business before you put it on!).
Given that at least a year (if not many years) is often required between beginning psychological analysis and undergoing surgery (so the individual has plenty of time to learn how to live as a person of their desired gender or to opt out of continuing), it seems a given that the products from Femskin would make this process much easier. A transperson could more fully experience the body he or she is going to have and will be able to acclimate with much greater ease while walking about amongst the masses. The cost of some of the products is steep, so many transgender people will not have access to them; however, for those who can find the money, it seems well worth the time and effort to investigate whether or not Femskin can provide a product that facilitates one’s transition.