To Bind or Not to Bind
Updated: Dec 10, 2022
In the Trans community, we have terms like tucking, binding, packing, etc. A lot of people have no idea what these things actually are, so me being the helpful handy dandy transman, I'm here to offer you some friendly knowledge about binding. In fact, I'm even going to share the best thing since sliced bread in this article. Get ready to learn!
If you don’t know what a binder is, it’s what many transmen and non-binary people use to make their chest appear more masculine. It’s similar to a compression shirt, but a little more confining and isn’t always full length. You can also get half-length binders but they have a sports-bra kind of look, in my opinion, which is not great for dysphoria.
Now let’s talk about how it makes you feel to wear one.
For some of you out there, it feels great and you love it and would recommend them in a heartbeat and that’s great. Do what makes you feel good.
But for the people like me out there, it’s horrible.
Not only can binders cause actual physical problems, such as rib damage and overheating, it still gave me that feeling of putting on a bra in the morning. Something I obviously never want to do again.
I would scrutinize myself in the mirror, check my t-shirt for binder lines, overheat in the summer, worry about how long it was on, never wear tank tops and none of that was anything I wanted to deal with. I didn’t feel like a man, I felt like a woman playing dress up.
That was the loudest my dysphoria ever got in my head and I knew there had to be a better way. And there is! Don’t worry.
At first I tried KT tape, which was pretty cool because it was tape and non constricting. It was made for athletes so moving around a lot wasn’t a huge concern either. The downside on the other hand though, was that it left terrible sores and irritation on my skin after it came off. I wish I could tell you I didn’t reapply and let my skin heal, but dysphoria makes you do wild things.
I really don’t like binders.
So I kept looking and there is this amazing brand called TransTape.
A real good friend of mine suggested I give it a shot, shout out to you Frankie (you're the man), and their price point wasn’t bad so I decided, what the hell why not. Cheaper than what I was using and another way to avoid *dundun* the binder.
So let’s talk about TransTape a little bit more before I tell you how great it is and how it changed my life though.
First of all, this company is run by an amazing Transman and that already makes this company awesome. But if you need more convincing, I can help with that.
TransTape is wonderful for many reasons. One of the coolest reasons is that it’s waterproof!
That means you can shower, swim in the ocean, go cliff jumping or do all three! It’s also meant to be worn for up to 5 days, so if you want a fun weekend full of cliff jumping and beach bumming look no further.
I’m personally a pretty active person and was worried about it peeling off. Between going to the gym, working a lot and playing with my pets. I thought for sure I would have some technical issues. But I can assure you, it doesn’t. I workout at least 3 times a week, shower after all of course, and TransTape has not failed me in two years.
So what’s it made out of? Is it safe? Does it hurt? 95% cotton/5% Spandex, yes and no. If you have sensitive skin it’s very important that you test a small strip on your skin for 24hrs to check for any irritation. For removal, TransTape even makes a removal oil and healing balm for irritated skin. All natural ingredients too! And since this tape is not like a binder and doesn’t restrict your breathing, no need to worry about that awful feeling.
To finish off this post, I will tell you how TransTape changed my life. It gave me a boost of confidence so great that I was able to stop caring so much about how I looked. I was free from thinking about how my chest is sticking out or being obvious and I even started taking better care of myself mentally and physically. I even had the confidence to go to the gym and use the men’s locker room and shower. I know you guys don’t know me well yet, but that was huge for me.
So to summarize, binders suck, go buy some TransTape. If you need a little money assistance, use the code FINALLYME10 for 10% off your purchase. And if you are unable to purchase, follow mine and TransTape’s IG’s for occasional giveaways: JamieAKAJames and Trans_Tape
Talk to you soon,