In 2010, Mira Bellwether wrote "Fucking Trans Women," the first piece of its kind that outlined the sex lives of trans women as an educational and instructional piece of text. In the zine, Bellwether discusses "muffing," a term that describes the act of pushing the testicle back inside of a male-bodied person's inguinal canal or penetrating the inguinal canals with another object or finger. Before "Fucking Trans Women," there was no term for "muffing" - her zine was and is literally revolutionary. Bellwether expands on several sexual practices, but muffing is so unique and interesting because it is an act that involves penetrating an orifice that most people, even people with a penis, don't know exists.
For those of you thinking, "Wait what?! There are holes above testicles?" Think of it like this: it's the place where balls go when you jump into a cold lake. While we can't see the area with the naked eye, they are located above and behind the scrotum and testicles and covered by flesh.
Whether this is something you think you might be into - or you're just curious about how the heck it works - here are some key things to know about muffing.
How to Locate and Penetrate the Inguinal Canals
The easiest way to penetrate your inguinal canals is to first figure out where in the hell they are. If you take your hands, move a testicle to the side, and move your hands in an upwards motion behind the penis, you can find two soft and small entrances. The size of these entrances can stretch but it's important to move slowly.
For many people, this can be challenging at first for several reasons. Locating the canals can take some practice and penetrating can be painful and unfamiliar in the beginning. There is an exterior area of the canal and an interior area which is deeper inside of the body. When fingering the inguinal canals, someone inserts a finger into the superficial, or exterior area, and the genitals feel a sensation. If the finger could continue, which it can't because of the layer of skin, it would continue to the interior canal which goes to the intra-abdominal area.
Similar to anal sex, fingering the inguinal canals is best when done slowly and carefully.
Muffing for Beginners: Tips!
The inguinal canals don't require lubrication and do not secrete any lubrication which makes muffing and easy and clean process. Here's how to do it:
- Use your pinky finger
- Trim your finger nail on your pinky finger
- Massage the area and put a bit of pressure on the hole
- After your body is used to the sensation of one finger, work up to larger fingers, and eventually toys (over time).
- Try playing with the canal with tongue during oral or foreplay.
Of course, as with any practice, if you're doing this with a partner, you need to communicate as you go to make sure things are feeling good and everyone is on board. You can also combine this with other types of stimulation and play.
Why do people practice muffing?
In an interview on Autostraddle, Bellwether says, "I’ve heard from more than a few trans women who say it’s [muffing] just not their cup of tea, and that’s totally understandable and fine. I’m not invested in every one of us muffing, but I am excited when I hear from other trans women who have gotten a lot out of it."
For many trans women, penis stimulation doesn't accomplish much satisfaction; muffing, therefore, provides the ideal sexual sensation.
Muffing is typically used as a way to masturbate as it's typically discovered by self-exploration, rather than something that is shared between partners.
Bellwether says, "It is a delicate and sensitive area, and the act of muffing comes more naturally to some than others. In my own sex life it was something of a revelation: that I could be penetrated in a way that is (mostly) unique to trans women’s bodies is a pretty exciting thing, and makes me feel proud of my body’s differences."
The Anatomy of Muffing
Dr. Curtis Crane, a urologist, told Broadly, "Anatomically, the ilioinguinal and genitofemoral nerves - which both give sensation to the genital area - are right there in that canal, so that would feel good."
Here's the lowdown: there are four impactful nerves in the groin area and the ilioinguinal nerve runs through the canals. By massaging or stroking this nerve, it can also affect the genitofemoral nerve which generally arouses someone.
Of course, like any sexual situation, every body is different. Some people love muffing while others couldn't be less interested. Everyone has and enjoys sex in different ways, after all. But muffing kind of makes you think there may be a lot more ways than we'd even imagined. The lesson here? Go ahead and experiment with the various paths our bodies (whether trans/straight/bisexual/gay) can take to pleasure and orgasm.