Binding Down: Obtaining a flat chest for gender playApr 9th, 2012 | By AidenRN | Category: Aiden, Columns, Contributors
There is nothing I appreciate more to see then a beautiful line of cleavage. It doesn’t matter how big a woman’s breasts are, or how much is exposed; just a nice elegant sampling, framed by a V-cut blouse or propped up by a corset can be enticing. Let’s admit it; boobies are wonderful.
But if you are female and trying to gender-bend or cross dress for an event, your cleavage might just be your biggest problem. Some can get away with loose clothing, but if you’re working with more than a C-cup, you have to employ other methods in order to get a flat and convincing chest. It’s always important to remember that practically no one has a truly “flat” chest, regardless of sex, so sometimes having a little bump that implies pec-muscles instead of breasts can be more appealing. Here are a few strategies, learned from my own experiences, for you to try.
The Sports Bra
If you’re between an A-cup and a medium B-cup, sometimes a tight sports bra is all you need to push down your breasts. However, this is certainly not a fail proof method. Because sports bras are measured by size (such as small, medium or large) instead of band/cup size (32-A, 34-B, etc), often times it is impossible to find a sports bra that will be tight across the chest without the band being very uncomfortable. If you’re not going to use the sports bra for actually playing sports, buy a smaller size and try cutting the elastic out of the bottom band. Even without adjustments, a well fitted sports bra can definitely de-emphasize your breasts, and are the most comfortable option if you are going to be bound down for a long period of time, or it’s hot out.
A typical sports bra can run you anywhere from $10 to $25, depending on where you buy it, but they’re available at most department stores and sports shops. However, always be careful you’re getting a true sports bra, and not just a ‘shape-less bra’. Shape-less bras are a new trend, where they don’t have underwire or padding of any type, but they won’t have the firm hold and support of a sports bra. The biggest way to tell the difference is to look for the elastic band at the bottom.
The Ace Bandage
Popularized by movies such as “Boys Don’t Cry”, the ace bandage is like a training bra for new transmen. By wrapping an ace bandage around your chest, you can pretty successfully push down breasts anywhere from small A-cups to well-rounded C-cups. But again, this isn’t a great method. It can be awkward to wrap the bandage around yourself, and you can get a lumpy silhouette if you aren’t careful. In addition, moving around can cause the bandage to slip, causing everything to pop out or have it become uncomfortable.
The best way to wear an Ace bandage for binding purposes is to wrap it and secure it tightly, and then wear a sports bra over it. The sports bra will help keep it from coming undone, and even if it does, keep everything bundled up. Plus, the sports bra will also smooth out any lumpy areas where the bandage had slipped. Note that even without wearing a sports bra over it, wearing an Ace bandage can be really warm and uncomfortable. You can probably get away with it for a few hours, but after more than four you’ll probably need to find a place to readjust. And if you’re move around a lot, such as dancing, it is more likely to slip. You will also sweat like crazy in it, so don’t expect to smell too sexy if someone ‘helps’ you take it off later.
Ace bandages can be bought at most pharmacies and super markets, and are about $3-$6 a pack.
Vet wrap is a self-adhering tape that’s commonly used to keep gauze against a wound, and is a stable of any barn’s first aid kit. If you’ve ever given blood or donated plasma, vet wrap is the bandaging they use after donation. It can also be used to bind down your chest if you’re between an A-cup and a C-cup.
Vet wrap is light and porous, making it much easier to breathe and move in than an ace bandage, and it won’t get nearly as hot. Plus vet wrap is very flexible, so even if you’re a little larger than a C-cup it can help flatten things down. It comes in a variety of colors, so it is easier to hide under clothing. However, since it is self-adhesive, it can get caught on itself and clump up, which makes it itchy and uncomfortable. If you are moving around a lot, plan for frequent trips to the bathroom to check it and possibly re-wrap it.
Vet Wrap can be purchased at most farm specialty and hardware stores, such as Farm and Fleet, for about $2 a roll. It is also great for wrapping up piercings you don’t want yanked out during rough play.
Before you ask, by ‘binders’ I don’t mean the three ring binders you put papers in. Binders are form-fitting, tight spandex shirts that you wear under clothes and flatten breast tissue. Think of them like girdles for your chest; in fact, their original purpose was to be girdles for men’s chests. If you are regularly gender bending, or in the process of transitioning, binders will quickly become your best friend. I have had a friend which nature cursed with G-cup breasts and when he put on a binder, he instantly had a very firm, flat, masculine chest. The difference is amazing.
That being said, Binders are not the most comfortable. They will often feel very tight across your chest; as someone who doesn’t bind regularly, when I put them on they often make me feel claustrophobic and like I am having a hard time breathing. They can also be very warm during the summer, and will dry out your skin if you wear them often. Chaffing around the sleeves and stomach are not uncommon. Plus, they are a pain to get off, so make sure you have a bed partner with a sense of humor if you decide to do a little strip tease for them.
Binders run anywhere from $25-$50 dollars, with Underworks (selling off of Amazon.com) being the most common brand. If you are thinking of transitioning, and want to bind down daily, plan to invest in at least three or four binders. They can be worn two or three times between washings, depending on how much you sweat, but they also will wear down fast from being worn so often.
Unfortunately, aside from having breast reduction surgery, there are not many other options for binding down one’s breasts. If you only want to gender bend for an event or for play, you’re probably best off investing in a good sports bra and some looser shirts that draw attention away from your chest. However, if you are thinking you might want to transition, try a binder for a few weeks and see how you feel. Either way, it will take a little adjusting and lot of patience to get comfortable, but the experience can be well worth it!