Safe Binding Advice
The most important part of binding safely is wearing the right size binder and doing it properly. If worn incorrectly or compressing your soft tissue to a certain point, you can cause damage to your ribs and chest. The intention of binding is to compress the soft tissue safely without compressing directly the ribs. Wearing a binder that is too small for you – will cause you discomfort, you will not be able to wear it for long periods of time and it might cause damage. Getting the sizing right for your binder is essential – here is a helpful guide and video on how to take your measurements for a binder.
Tips for wearing a binder
- How long can you wear it? You should avoid wearing a binder for more than 8 hours. For people under 18, we recommend taking it off after 6 hours. If you have to wear it for longer than this, we suggest going to the bathroom or another private space and removing your binder for 5 – 10 minutes to stretch out your muscles and chest.
- Buy from reputable companies – Purchase your binder from a specialist business or apply to the binder fund. Please don’t double-bind yourself or use duct/gaffa or bandages. These items are not designed for this practice, plasters or items with stickiness can cause pain or irritation on the skin.
- Can I wear it during the summer? – Binders will create more heat around your body and during the warmer months – it can get hot and sweaty! Remember to wear breathable fabrics over the binder – regularly check your hydration and comfort levels.
- Can I wear a binder while exercising? If you are going to exercise while wearing a binder we recommend you wear a size larger than usual. This goes for swimming and other cardio exercises. If you are going to be lifting weights it would be preferable to wear a sports bra or similar as your body will be under more physical pressure.
- Skin irritation and appearance of the chest – Binding for a long time could change the overall appearance of your chest, it can cause tissue to become flattered and the impact of hormones can also affect it. Also wearing a binder can cause irritation or you may get rubbed or chafed in some areas, so it’s important to look after your skin and wear an additional barrier if you need to. If you develop any irritation or soreness, we would recommend that your remove the binder allow the skin to recover.
Any issues when wearing binders such as experiencing pain in the chest, shoulders, back abdominal areas or periods of light-headedness, heartburn or shortness of breath. Then we recommend stopping wearing the binder immediately and allowing the body to stretch and relax without it. If you are experiencing ongoing issues then make sure you are accurately sized in a binder or speak with a doctor.
Other information on binder safety or where to purchase can be found on these websites:
What is Packing, and how do you do it?
Packers are penis-shaped products designed to help trans men and gender non-conforming individuals “fill in” their crotch area while wearing clothes. Some trans folks make their own packers by stuffing their underwear with socks or foam, while others use high-quality realistic prosthetic penises from speciality retailers.
Most people that are new to packing don’t immediately buy a packer but opt for DIY options like socks or gel-filled condoms. For some guys, this might suffice. If it doesn’t, there are a number of options you can consider which include:
Soft packers – These are made in silicone and have the look/feel of a penis. They’re often a bit more expensive and could be an investment into the correct item and size you want. They can be easily cleaned and stored. With proper care, these packers can last you a lifetime. Some soft packers have the functionality of allowing you to pee, these are known as Stand-to-Pee (STP) devices. These packers are hollow on the inside and have a bowl at the base in which to pee. Also, some packers have the capacity to allow the wearer to engage in sexual activity without having to remove the item.
Other people will not enjoy the wearing of prosthetics and would prefer the freedom or comfort whilst having a visible pack. There are companies that provide all in one packing boxers. These boxers include a sturdy foam packer that is secured in a pouch inside the boxers, so it stays in place no matter what you’re doing. You can go out to dance, go for a run, or even take a dip in the water. You can easily remove the foam insert and hand-wash it or chuck it in the washing machine.
Packers come in various different shapes, sizes, and colours depending on the purpose of packing, and your personal needs and preferences. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out what works for you!