Tip Tuesday: Avoiding Makeshift Binding

Tip Tuesday: Avoiding Makeshift Binding

Hey guys, Elliott here!

One of the questions we often get asked by people who are newer to binding are why they should avoid things like ace bandages and masking/duct tape to bind.

The simple answer is: that’s not what those tools are meant for.  But let me get into the long answer so you know why.

When it comes to binding with tape, it’s a big issue in both the trans masculine community, but also in the cosplay community.  A lot of us want to achieve that shirtless look before we get top surgery done, and often we think that makeup and tape isn’t a bad choice.  Expect a lot of the time the kind of tape I see people using, and have used myself, isn’t really all that great to stick on your skin. If you go the tape route and you’re not careful about how long your wearing it or how you’re taking it off, you can end up with not only chafing, but sometimes it can take some of your skin off with it leaving open wounds.  I’ve got first hand experience with that kind of mess up.

And then there’s ace bandages.  For a lot of us it’s a first go to before we’re out to our families or can afford a proper chest binder.  To this day even though I always see people advocating against wearing them, but also a lot of younger people still taking the risk, so let’s lay down some knowledge.  Ace bandages aren’t really meant to flex with your body. When you’re wearing them over a flexible bone that’s continuously moving you run the risk of having that bandage hug tighter and tighter until you ended up with bruising or worse – a cracked rib.

Binding without the proper equipment can not only be dangerous for your health, but if you’re not careful it can lead to a future where you may not be able to get top surgery if that’s the route you want to go.

I know we love to respect each other’s Macgyvering skills in this day and age, but sometimes the danger outweighs the creativity.  So please, make sure to bind safely, with the tools designed to help you do so.