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Author Topic: Breast Binding
Audrizzle the third
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I'm ok with my boobs. I'm female, they belong on me. Yeah, they get in the way and stuff, but I am not transitioning, and I do identify as female.
My issue with them is the attention they draw to me, unfortunately, mostly in the workplace. I am a 36J (and unfortunately I think they may be getting bigger, or my band size is getting smaller). I am really tired of the men I work with behaving unprofessionally around me, and I am to the point of not caring about the impact an abrupt change in my physique would have on the people around me if it would just make it possible for me to avoid the drama and sexual harassment. I'm sorry, I just really have to vent; the last couple of years professionally have been rife with conflict, and I've been bullied and harassed because of my bust size ever since my breasts started coming in when I was 10.
The added challenge I face is that my current job requires me to be relatively physically active. I guide hikes, Hike around a lot on my own, and perform on stage. My uniform is very conservative, so it doesn't matter how much of me is covered, but I need to be able to breathe and move. If anyone could help me come up with a solution of some sort, or a combination of things to make me flat or significantly smaller I would be so grateful.

Yes, I know Sexual Harassment is illegal, and employers "try" to protect their employees so they won't sue, but I'm not interested in suing, and it seems that every time I've tried to go through the motions to protect myself from harassment it has resulted in more drama. I'm tired of trying it "their way". I'm ready to try something new. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and I ain't that crazy.

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What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?

Posts: 5 | From: California | Registered: Oct 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
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Hi, Audrizzle. I'm so sorry to hear this has been happening.

Would you feel ok telling us what action you've tried to take and how the company and/or harassers have responded? I ask because I reckon there's a number of folk around here who would want to do whatever we can to help you with that, and obviously, no-one wants to suggest anything you've already tried. I know you'll know this quite well enough already, as you're the person it's happening to, but harassment is very serious, and no-one should have to put up with it, and certainly not to the point where we feel we need to change our body because of it.

Sadly, it seems that young women commonly experience harassment from when we start showing secondary sex characteristics, like breasts [Frown] It makes me wonder what planet some people are on, because it's not like breasts are these notice-me-as-sex-being things we choose to put on in the morning; they kinda come with the body!

I'm afraid I don't know very much about binding, though I'm sure other folk here do. I realise that you probably grasped managing-large-breast techniques years ago, but just to make sure, I'll mention a few basics. Do you know what indicates that a bra is well-fitting or ill-fitting, and have you been professionally measured and fitted, and wear bras that fit correctly? Just checking, because especially with large breasts, the right bra can make them look "smaller" and the wrong bra "bigger" - not to mention the comfort issues, of course. There's a similar effect with clothes, too: for example, fitted shirts that are actually right for our body usually make breasts look smaller, while overly large, ill-fitting or unshaped tops usually make breasts seem bigger, even though that seems a bit counter-intuitive. I do know it's a devil and a half's job trying to find properly fitting tops.

Have you tried sports bras? Some of those have a kind of "squashing" or minimising effect. There are many different styles, and some work better for some people than others, and a few just seem to give a weird shape generally, so if you haven't tried them, it might be an idea to try on a whole range of them (or as many as exist in the larger sizes, all that jazz). I wonder if, if a sports bra did enough minimising for you, it might be a less major solution than binding and one that fit better with your gender identity and relationship with your own body, rather than what other people say about it.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Audrizzle the third
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I prefer not to get into the specifics, simply because I'm afraid someone could run across it in this forum and trace it back to me. To sum it up in a generic sort of way;
In two cases where I was harassed, I was once blackmailed not to report it by an individual, and then later was faced with accusations being turned around on me even though I didn't report it. In the second case, it was reported, and investigated and I don't have all the details but someone somewhere who was harassing me or passing the information of the harassment on to me lied. No one is getting penalized except for me since I've lost friends and look like a phoney and people are now talking even more shit about me.
The off the clock, unofficial drama that results from on the clock investigation can be worse than just putting up with the harassment in the first place. It's passive aggressive, indirect, and taking legal recourse would not only be challenging and expensive, but would also further damage relationships in the workplace, as it is nice to get along with ones co-workers. This has happened to me now at two different places of employment in a row. Everything from accusations of promiscuity with upper management to unwelcome sexual advances and comments about my body.
My breasts are abnormally large. I've thought about getting a reduction, but I've heard that can complicate breast feeding or make it so you have to get a second reduction after breast feeding. Then there's also the fact that it's expensive and i don't have any back problems so it's not like I can make it a health problem. I have only found one style of bra that fits me comfortably and comes in my style. I don't know how it is for other women, but not all styles fit me well, even in the right size because my waist is narrow and my cup size very large. A lot of larger cup sizes seem to b made for women with larger waists or...I dunno...fatter under arms? (No offense to anyone) I tend to only wear baggy clothing when working out, and I've tried to get uniform tops that fit me for my job, but unfortunately I either have to go with something baggy, or something slightly baggy that occasionally the button over my breasts pops off on. I Have taken to wearing an undershirt, and the better fitted shirts.
I've tried many, many sports bras. Very few come in my size, and only the most extreme (I can only think of one) offer any support. I wear three bras including two sports bras that are matched to my waist size instead of my cup size, and are as a result maybe 4 sizes too small, to work out usually, and there's still a good deal of bounce.

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What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?

Posts: 5 | From: California | Registered: Oct 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Audrizzle the third
Neophyte
Member # 97701

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The most frustrating part for me in all this is that every time I look up information on how to bind, I get tips from people several cup sizes smaller than me. I really just want something that works, and I don't have a whole lot of money to work with.

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What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I think, Audrizzle, the problem with that probably is simply that, as you likely know, you have a pretty uncommon breast size.

My guess is that with an actual binder, you could probably get down to looking something like a D cup, maybe a C. With something like a good minimizer bra, or two sports bras on top of each other, probably you'd still look a little larger than that.

I know that's probably not the news you want, but also sounds like you already know all of this anyway.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Audrizzle the third
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Member # 97701

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I was hoping someone out there knew something I didn't about it, but yeah, I had my suspicions [Frown]

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What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?

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Heather
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Because you're not the only person who's asked, I went ahead and checked in with my own network to see if anyone had any ideas we hadn't thought of.

Will report back if there's more, but so far (some of which you'll already know or have tried):
• Two frog bras one on top of the other from Title 9 (titlenine.com)
• A belly harness, bought in the M version, so it can be used to cover the breasts
• Sportsbra + ace bandage
• A back brace used as a binder

And of course, places that sell actual binders, which I don't recall if you've tried or not, like http://ftm.underworks.com/

One friend also gave me resources of donated binders, but for you, that's not workable, because those are only for folks who are transitioning.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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treetops
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Hi,

I just wanted to chip in here and say that it's really not a good idea to bind with ace bandages at all, as they are not breatheable and can damage your ribs.

cheers
treetops

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey, treetops, thanks for this.

If you know, are we sure this applies just as much, or at all, with very large breasts? I ask because many minimizer bras for large breasts sure don't feel any more breatheable than ace bandages, and tend to me made of materials that aren't, etc.

In other words, I'm just wondering if the same holds here with very large-breasted options, given that I suspect almost anything anyone uses for supporting or binding large breasts often isn't breatheable. (Not to mentiin the rib pressure that will already exist.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
treetops
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Hey,
I don't see why it wouldn't apply to large breasts. I don't think it's like bras, which are at least designed for the purpose, even if they are minimiser bras.
Bandages mean that you can have pressure, and therefore injuries, in weird places. Plus they're designed to tighten, which is potentially bad news for your ribs, muscles and lungs. Also it's pretty easy to bind too tightly with ace bandages.

I'm no expert but basically since it's known that ace bandages are bad news for binding, I seriously would not take the risk. I'd really recommend sticking to bras/binders that are designed for the purpose as it's pretty easy to hurt yourself otherwise.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That makes sense to me. Thanks for pitching in. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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WesLuck
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Sharing quality information and advice is good. [Smile]
Posts: 540 | From: Australia | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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