Every Monday, the Center features a Word Of The Week (WOTW) to educate and promote an understanding of terms used regarding sex, sexuality, and gender—as well as to share some saucy and helpful tips about how to enhance and explore your sexual life!
This week’s word is: muffing! And no, it has nothing to do with going down on a vagina at all. I know, right!?
Nope, while it might sound like it is somehow related to any number of the many slang term combinations surrounding “muffs” and “diving”, “muffing” is actually a sex act in which the inguinal canals, the body cavities where testes descend from, are penetrated.
Mind = blown.
Mira Bellwether first used “Muffing” in issue #0 of her revolutionary zine, Fucking Trans Women.
In a powerful interview with Autostraddle, she described her discovery of the act as being quite eye-opening: “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.”
Of course, muffing isn’t entirely unique to trans women. Assigned-male-at-birth (AMAB) folk with penises have enjoyed fingering their canals regardless of their gender identities for quite some time now. However, it was Bellwether who put actual terminology to the act, while also bringing it more into public discourse and presenting it as a potentially helpful and pleasurable practice for queer and/or trans identified folk specifically.
Where are the inguinal canals?
Like with any of the other pleasure zones in your body; finding the inguinal canals may need a little extra love and patience.
Most instructions floating around out there recommend pushing aside your testicles and searching for two separate canal openings somewhere behind the scrotum on either side of the penis. These are small, yet soft, holes (about 3 inches deep) that tend to be the width of a pinky finger, though they can be stretched further over time from frequent play.
Some trans individuals, as well as cross dressers and drag performers, may be quite familiar with the inguinal canals even outside of sexual situations as they are sometimes used to aid in “tucking”; the act of pushing the penis and testes back up into the scrotum so that they are not visible in panties or tight clothing.
But, if you are feeling frustrated about where to look, some suggest that you just wait until the next time that you get cold. Like, physically cold. As in: “Brrrr! Oh! Yep, my scrotum is now inside me…” levels of cold.
Now hang on, hear me out! When it’s very cold out and your scrotum feels like it’s getting “tight” that’s because your testes have actually ascended back up into the opening of the inguinal canals to gain body warmth. So, the next time it’s chilly at home, like when you get out of the shower on a cool day, or you forget to close your bedroom windows in mid-December, and you feel your scrotum constrict like it’s “tucking” itself, take a moment to note where your testes have lodged themselves up in your groin.
That is approximately where you can expect to find your inguinal canals.
Of course, bodies are very complex and differ greatly from individual to individual. Though quite rare, some assigned-male-at-birth individuals are born with cryptorchidism; a condition in which their testicles never descend. In this case, while muffing you may actually be able to feel the undescended testes within the inguinal canals. Take care not to play TOO rough in that case.
Alternatively, some individuals can also have testicular agenesis, where an AMAB person is born without gonads so never develops testes at all. In this case, the canals may still be present but could require a great deal more care and patience in exploring as they have likely don’t see a lot of activity and may be extra sensitive or tight.
Why play with them?
Because, sexy nerves! Okay, more specifically, running through the inguinal canal is the ilioinguinal nerve (the I-nerve); which happens to be in close proximity to the genitofemoral nerve (the G-nerve). Therefore, giving some sweet lovin’ to the “I-nerve can in turn also stimulate the G-nerve, producing very pleasurable and arousing sensations in your lower body.
In other words, it can feel good!