FTM Pitstop is an online shop carrying hand-crafted silicone products designed for trans men and trans folk. We sat down with the company's founder Kyle to chat about FTM Pitstop's story, products, and goals for 2019.
When did you start FTM Pitstop?
FTM Pitstop was launched August 17th, 2016, but I had been working on it for about 2 years prior to the company's launch. We started off with both the Shotpocket and the Jimmy STP. At the time of launch, there were no other pleasure sleeves on the market that were designed specifically for trans men, and I wasn't satisfied with the STPs (Stand to Pee products) and other prosthetics that were currently available. This inspired me to set on a mission to design and create products that would work with and for trans bodies, using my background in art and design. Both products ended up really taking off, and since then we've grown the shop, improved our current products, and have been working on future prosthetics and toys that we are excited to introduce in 2019.
What the best part about running your business? What's the hardest part?
The best part about running our business has been creating products that can improve the lives of many trans and gender non-conforming people by helping to alleviate dysphoria and boost confidence. For example, a lot of trans men feel anxiety using the washroom in a public space, and some may avoid using public washrooms all together–I know I did for a while. The Jimmy STP can help with this by allowing trans men to use the urinal or stall more confidently. Both the Jimmy and the Shotpocket can help guys feel more connected and comfortable with their body. It is rewarding to hear feedback from folks who have benefited from our products, like someone using the urinal for the first time or being able to touch themselves using the Shotpocket in a way that makes more sense for them and allows them to connect more with their own body.
The hardest part has actually been keeping up with demand for the Jimmy. For the last 2 years we sold out of at least one of the skin tones each month. We spend all month making as many as we can, and then post them up for sale on our website, Instagram, and newsletter. We only restock what we have available as to not make our customers wait too long for their order. We currently ship out all orders within 7 business days. We are looking to expand our shop and we will have more help in the new year so we can provide more product.
Could you tell us a bit about the Shotpocket and who it might work for?
The Shotpocket is a pleasure sleeve, with the size and shape designed for trans men who have experienced some growth downstairs from the use of testosterone. It is made of 100% non-toxic platinum cure silicone, and has a nice squishy feel. It is important to us that our products are all made of body safe materials. One end is closed off to create a nice suction, and it also has a ribbed core that feels pretty amazing!
When I was designing this product, nothing like this existed for trans men, and a lot of us can have a hard time connecting to our bodies during sex or masturbation, especially if we have not had lower surgery. I wanted to make a product that would allow some trans men to touch themselves in a way that made sense for them and helped ease dysphoria. It is also great for couple play, and comes with a free packet of lubricant!
And the Jimmy (FTM Pitstop's STP or Stand To Pee)?
The Jimmy STP (Stand to Pee) is a penis prosthetic designed for trans men so that we can use the bathroom standing up. This can be very useful when using public washrooms like at a school, work, restaurant, bar, or mall. Especially when there is no stall, the bathroom is very messy, or when you feel unsure of your safety. It also packs downwards and doubles as a comfortable packer which can help alleviate dysphoria and create a nice sized bulge.
It is made out of soft and flexible platinum cure silicone and is hand painted in multiple layers and colors using medical prosthetic silicone paint. Hand painting allows the paint to lay on thicker and last a lot longer compared to airbrushing which most other companies offer. You also don't need to use a harness with the Jimmy, as it stays in place well with briefs!
What's next for FTM Pitstop?
Currently we are working on a few new products, including two packers which will be available in early 2019. We don't want to give too much away, but they will have multiple layers of skin with different density, and and realistic feeling testicles. I have spent a lot of time on the clay sculptures for each and on testing out different techniques for the final products, so that they will have a very realistic look and feel. They will also come hand painted, similar to our Jimmy STP, and we plan to offer some awesome accessories. Stay tuned!
And to be sure, how does everything arrive? Discreet packaging?
We understand how important it can be for our customers to receive their order with discreet packaging and shipping labels. Some folk are very private about this sort of thing, and depending on your living situation or when picking your parcel up at a post office, we know how important privacy can be, especially with this type of product. All of our packaging is very discrete, it will come in a small plain box or bubble envelope (stiffer products for play will come in a small box). We make sure to put that it is from just, "Pitstop", and for contents it will say, "silicone molding". We ship to many countries around the world and have not had issues labeling our products this way. We are also easy to reach if anyone has any questions about their order or our products, we are happy to help.