Trans masculine tips and tricks
General rules for wearing binders:
- It is recommended to wear a binder no longer than 8-10 hours a day. Longer time could result in future health complications (back pain, issues with ribs or damage to the breast tissue, which could complicate the future top surgery).
- You should not exercise in a binder, but if you really want to, it is recommended to use a binder one size larger than you wear usually, for added space. The same applies for swimming.
- Binders should not be washed in a washing machine, only by hand in warm water mixed with the detergent (full sink suffices). How often it should be washed depends on how much you wear it. If you wear it the whole week, then wash it at least once a week.
- To wash the binder, wring it in the water and detergent mix, then let it soak for about ten minutes and finally rinse with cold water so the rest of the detergent washes out. After that let it dry out on air. (tip: if you're not out yet and you keep a binder in secret, you can hang it in a wardrobe between the rest of your clothes - for example overnight, it should dry well)
Choosing a binder
It is always important to choose the correct size, so you'll have to measure yourself according to the tables provided by the manufacturer. They are provided for instance by GC2B and Spectrum Outfitters also. An incorrect size could cause you serious harm. If you happen to fit in between sizes, it is recommended to choose the bigger one.
Experiences with brands:
- GC2B ($35 - 37 = 850 - 900 CZK + shipping) - started out binding well, but after about half a year the quality went down and generally a lot of people now complains that GC2B is not as good as it used to be. This applies mainly to people with larger chests, who have more troubles binding than the smaller ones. Recently, there have been complaints about the quality and safety of this brand. Please proceed with caution and research carefully before using it.
- Spectrum Outfitters (±1100 CZK + shipping) - so far binds well even after half a year and seems to be built better than GC2B. Also because it is made from a better material, which is more breathable and creates a flat effect even for bigger chests. Generally they have very good ratings and are recommended even by bigger chested people.
If you're looking for a cheaper variant and can't afford these more expensive ones, there are many other options, but it would be good to make a research first and especially be careful about binders that use the same clips that bras use. Those are not recommended due to their wrongly spread compression causing health problems.
Using tape is basically time unlimited. It can last even several days, because it doesn't wrap the whole chest around, but only partially, so it doesn't cause compression all around the chest and doesn't restrict your ribs and breathing. The only problem is that the effect is not as good as with a binder and you'll probably won't achieve the same result, especially if you have a larger chest. It's also not comfortable for everyone, but some prefer it.
Experiences with brands:
- KT tape (200 - 400 CZK, depends on where and what type) - cheaper and more affordable variant to trans tape, won't likely be the same quality, but many people prefer it - we personally don't, since it cannot achieve the same flatness as a binder.
- Trans Tape (350 - 450 CZK + shipping) - we don't have a direct experience, but it is the best quality and you can choose from different sizes. Unfortunately it is more expensive and not possible to buy in the Czech Republic.
It is good to watch some YouTube tutorials about how to use the tape correctly to prevent early peeling or scratches from taking it off, when it's sometimes necessary to use some kind of an oil and avoid doing it dry.
Tips: if you don't have the option to buy a binder or tapes, the best alternative are sport bras. You can take two of them and wear them over each other (sometimes it works better if the second one is reversed - front side on the back, makes for better compression). And for an even better effect, choose some tight shirt/tank top, which also helps with better compression.
Do not use bandages for binding. Those can be very dangerous and damage your ribs. Bind safely!