You can tell I'm based in the UK from the use of the word bum as opposed to the more American "butt".
Something that I have realised that is that since I've started cross-dressing, I look at women not so much in a different way - more there's another level added. If I see an attractive woman, all sorts of questions arise in my mind along the lines of what is it about her body shape that makes her feminine?
Part of the answer is the hip to waist ratio. Mine is currently 0.9. Waist reduction can only get me so far so.
The bum certainly is one aspect - the side view, if you like. One thing I certainly don't have is feminine bottom. Skinny bum. This is a different class of problem from the waist - this is about adding rather than reducing. Arguably, adding is a hell of a lot easier that reducing but the reality is that there are no ideal solution. There's also a realistic movement problem - which I'll deal with later.
Pragmatically, this is only an issue with certain types of clothing. Anything tight but also looser clothing can reveal the underlying shape when it clings.
Choosing a Size
Because I am adding, in theory, I can choose what size bum I want. Currently, my hip measurement is 40". I'd like to be a 42". Not all of this is going to be on the bum - I'll deal with hips and thighs in another post.
The choice isn't entirely arbitary. It's about being able to wear same size top and bottom. This also informs the bra size I've chosen.
Yes, padded knickers of various types exist. I own a couple of types.
I have something like these - I got them from Debenhams but they seem to have discontinued them (an increasingly familiar story). They give a modest boost and the shape isn't bad. The padding is foam. The back is ruched in such a way to give a greater impression of two separate buttocks. What I don't know is what they look like when I walk. To a degree, the action of the bum during walking is due to the walk itself. Men do walk in a different way from women. There are various instructions on the internet for crossdressers in terms of how to walk like a woman. On the other hand, it is also due to the distribution of soft tissue.
Now there are knickers of this type that supposedly give more of a boost but if you read reviews, there are complaints that they don't look natural, have very visible VPL and are stiff. Photos of various different ones (e.g. this) seem to indicate that can be less of an impression of separate buttocks, meaning that they will look bad in certain clothes. I am reluctant to try these. I also suspect that the more padding involved the less naturalistic bum action.
I also have these. They have pockets that can accommodate either foam or silicone gel pads. Gel pads can't be put in the washing machine - hence they need to removable.
They are disappointing. The leg holes are too small and cut into my thighs slightly. It's irritating rather than painful. The fabric is somewhat flimsy and has little elasticity. The extra gel pads I've bought are heavy enough to cause them to sag a bit.
Again, what I don't know is how realistic they look when I walk. The shape isn't quite right but they do feel more natural than foam pads. Yes, if you touched my bum you'd think something wasn't quite right.
Supportive clothing overcomes this and also smooths but I don't always want to wear it. There's also not much of a sense of separate buttocks. Looking on the internet I'm sure that any other product is any better. It's very clear that a lot of vendors are offering identical products with different names that come from the same factory in China although that could also be the result of a single vendor appearing in multiple guises.
I'm sure I could design a better pocketed knicker. Shame I can't sew.
I'll talk about the hip element in a later post. That's also disappointing.
Not for crossdressers
Despite seeing claims that padded knickers were initially created for cross-dressers, I suspect that the majority of purchasers are women looking for a modest bum-boost. A double gusset is a give away. My understanding is that historically, Japan has been a strong market for padded knickers. In Western countries there does seem to be a fashion for larger bums. In certain Latin American countries, even more so. The horror stories you read about harmful substances being implanted or injected into the buttocks make one shudder.
Women have neither a penis or testicles. I will write in another post about concealment but for now the most important thing to realise is that knickers, padded or not, are made with the lack of a "package" in mind.
My experience is that anything with a high cut leg will not work for me. One or both of my testicles will sneak out over time and I have small testicles. Thongs tend to be a no-no. The styles that work for me are boy shorts, bikini style and fuller briefs. There are some padded knickers that will give me problems in terms of fit straight off before the question of whether the padding works.
Stand alone pads
It is possible to get stick on pads, both foam and silicone. I'm not sure how well they'd stay on. Unlike stick on breast forms, they are subject to considerable mechanical forces. You need to wear something supportive to help them stay in place.
There are a type of bum boost knickers that probably would not work for me. Skinny bum. But they may work for others. Having worn shapewear that does lift the bum, it can give a more youthful appearance even if it does not make the bum look bigger. I also think there are some lessons to be learned.
There is a world of prosthetics that doesn't really interest me in itself and the products are ferociously expensive. Even so, the approach of something moulded from a female body has potential but, to be frank, shape and realistic movement is what I'm interested in and I do not care about the outward appearance other than it gives a reasonably seam-free. I would wear under clothes.