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Thread: Binding vs. Wearing a Bra

  1. #1
    OCD Cartoonist Whackadoo hiro's Avatar
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    Binding vs. Wearing a Bra

    So first, I just wanna say I'm not a trans man. I'm female agender. I figured trans men would be the best people to ask about this, so that's why I'm posting here.

    I wear mostly T-shirts (and big ones,) so I feel like I dress pretty gender neutrally. But I've always worn bras. More out of pressure and expectation than of my own volition... I recently broke two of my bras, so it's about time I bought some new ones. However, I've also gotten more fed up with them recently. I have some issues with bras that I think would probably be about the same even if I bound (the pain, the cost, etc.)

    The thing that bothers me most, though, is that I have to deal with this thing that I don't even want to. Not just that, but it's sort of been causing me some emotional distress as well. I may not be trans, but I'm not cis, either. I've always felt embarrassed about my chest. Even as a young teen, I always bought baggier shirts to cover it up cuz I was so embarrassed by it. Now, though, it's even bigger, so bigger problem. I don't feel like I need to make myself look flat as a board or anything. But that they stick out so far and draw so much attention, despite the fact that I never even wear anything to draw attention to them in any way (other than bras,) its really distressing.

    So, at this time when I need to get some new undergarments, I had the idea to try binding. However, I'm wondering about how good of an idea it is. Does it sound totally ridiculous to bind not being a trans guy? Moreover, is it a practical option? At the moment, binding sounds more emotionally comfortable, but I was wondering about physical comfort. For me, bras have always been very uncomfortable, physically speaking. The wire is so friggin uncomfortable. Worse, you get only so many washes before it starts to warp and become even more uncomfortable. But is binding any worse? Better? About the same? Like I said, I don't need to be super-flat, so I might not require as much compression as a trans guy. So that might be less uncomfortable. Also, bras don't tend to have a very long lifespan. How about binders?

    The other thing I was kinda wondering about was nipples. This is actually one of the main reasons I even still wear bras. I feel like I'd be way more comfortable going braless if I didn't have to worry about that. Which is what brought me to the idea of binding in the first place. Does binding reduce or eliminate that problem? Or is it still an issue? If so, how is it resolved?

    I was specifically looking at this website: http://www.underworks.com/. Has anyone ever ordered from them? How are their products? I was thinking about getting a tank, but I was wondering about my stomach. I'm a bit overweight, and I don't know how a tank like that would work with a larger stomach. Does it also compress the stomach? If so, is it uncomfortable? I was also considering the "binding bra" available on this site. I know it might not be likely, but has anyone tried that one? How does it compare to a men's tank if you've tried both?

    The other part is that these products are all in the $30 range. This is part of why I'm asking. I don't wanna get something only to find out that there's a problem that I didn't foresee but someone else could easily have told me. Anyway, with the issue of price, whether I go back to the bras that I was buying or get binders, I can only really justify purchasing two items at this point in time. The bras I was getting were also around $30, as are the specific products I'm considering, so I'm looking to spend around $60, but not a whole lot more. The options I'm contemplating:
    -Just stick with what I know, get two of my old bras
    -Buy one of my old bras and a binder tank
    -Buy both a binder tank and the binding bra from the above website.

    I know I'm probably asking a lot of noobish questions, and I apologize. This is just something I'd never really gotten into before, so I just don't know. And, again, don't wanna spend a ton of money on something I'm gonna hate. Also, I do realize that there are websites out there that explain binding. However, comparing to wearing a bra, not so much. That's why I'm asking. What are your opinions on this? Any opinions or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    I told you never to interrupt me while I'm rich!

  2. #2
    Transman Andy66's Avatar
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    Hi, Hiro. I completely understand feeling embarrassed about having boobs. I dont bind though because Ive had trouble when the underboobs get sweaty. It can cause a nasty, itchy rash thats hard to get rid of. That was from not wearing a bra, but I think a binder would cause the same issues. Plus it sounds uncomfortable. I would rather wear something than nothing though, because I hate the way mine look when they bounce around with nothing to control them. Sounds like maybe you have alot of boobage, which ironically seems to be the case for alot of us, not necessarily transmen, but people who would be fine with not having boobs.

    I usually get bras at Walmart and have never paid close to 30 bucks. My last few were around 10 to 15 bucks. I look for the NO underwire ones. Worth hunting for. With light padding to camoflage the nipples, but not too much padding so it doesnt add unnecessary bulk and make the boobs look even bigger.

    Alot of places will let you try bras on in the fittting rooms. I suggest you grab a bunch of different styles and try them on. Sports bras, minimizing bras, stretchy ones, lightly padded, non-padded, underwire free, everything you can find. Hope you find some good ones. Happy hunting.
    Last edited by Andy66; 09-26-2014 at 08:07 PM.

  3. #3
    OCD Cartoonist Whackadoo hiro's Avatar
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    Hi, Andy. Thanks for your reply. The other problem I have, though, is even -finding- bras in the first place. Yes, you're right, I do have a considerable amount of chest (though not, like, gigantic or anything.) However, I'm also quite petite. They make big bras and they make petite bras. However, hardly anyone makes big bras for petite people. Merely even finding a bra is like a nightmare. Not even from the emotional side. Just that, like, I can look for hours and still go home empty-handed. My size is virtually non-existent, and even when I do find my size, most bras don't have full adjustment on the straps. It's just this little section that can be adjusted. So 95% of the bras I find in my size, I can't even buy because the straps would be flopping all over the place. That was another reason that I wanted to try binding. It seems a lot more one-size-fits-all.

    Basically, if I buy more bras, I'm stuck with the ones I've been buying cuz those are the only ones that work for me :\

    About the rash, would putting a cloth underneath the breasts prevent that? Like a small towel or even just a handkerchief?
    I told you never to interrupt me while I'm rich!

  4. #4
    Transman Andy66's Avatar
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    You wear an unusual size, that sucks for you. My size is not that common (pretty big) but Im still able to hunt a few bras down in regular stores. You might still try on a few styles of sports bras just for the heck of it because they have somewhat different sizing than regular bras. Seems like the cups have more stretch to them. Maybe you can sew the straps to take them in a bit too.

    I hope you can find a brick and mortar (not mail order) store where you can try on a compression shirt or something. Maybe a sporting goods store sells them? A piece of cloth under the boobs sounds like it would be worth trying.

    I hope a few more of our guys show up and pitch in with their experience.
    Last edited by Andy66; 09-27-2014 at 03:28 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Raychel's Avatar
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    Not my place to butt in, but ladygrace.com may help, they have all the sizes, and you can search by size.
    maybe they can help you out, they also have brick and mortar stores, but only in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
    Everyone has there thing, all that matters is that you are happy, love what you do and who you do it with

  6. #6
    Aspiring Member
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    I just want to toss in an idea here. I'm sure large breasts can be uncomfortable on a petite frame. How are you set for health insurance? I ask because if this is a problem that causes psychological stress or even physical back pain you might even qualify for breast reduction surgery. I know any surgery has risks. A close friend who knows all about me has very large breasts she'd love to reduce and she's only about 5' tall. (We've joked that she'd give me some of hers.) Maybe that could be an option for you.

    Cheryl

  7. #7
    Transman Andy66's Avatar
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    Thanks for your suggestions, ladies.

    ...Hiro, where are you?
    ...Gentlemen, where are you?
    Suddenly I feel like the one guy who took Home Ec to meet girls.

  8. #8
    Junior Member RoryKitrick's Avatar
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    I wouldn't suggest getting into the habit of binding simply because it can cause tissue damage over time. Personally I never have problem with underboob sweat- remember that though it may seem counter intuitive, you should be pushing them /up/, not down, when you bind, or you're going to risk some serious damage. I'm a D cup and I can bind completely flat this way. Tissue damage isn't really as much of a problem if you're considering top surgery sometime in the future, but since you're agender I'd guess you probably aren't.

    Sports bras can also actually flatten things quite a bit. Some people use two, or use sports bras in combination with other binding methods.

    Also if this is any help to you, here is a really quick cheap and easy binding method I sometimes use. It's not a long term solution as the hose break down over time, but you can try it out and see what it's like having binding as part of your everyday routine before investing in a binder top.

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