I need binding and packing advice

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BishoneninBloom
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I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby BishoneninBloom » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:12 pm

I'm new to these boards, so I guess this could fall under 'gender' or 'bodies' but I was 100% so worst case scenario this just gets moved.
(This could also be two different posts, but they're linked I guess, so convenience wins out)

I'm not in a position right now where I can own a binder or packer, but I really want to get them as soon as I can.
I don't need any links to websites where I can buy them or anything, but I do want to know any safety tips/generally how to use them.

First: Binders
I know you wear them like a bra/vest, in order to hide breasts and you need to wear them in slowly, over several increasingly long sessions (and not while sleeping or exercising), as to not break your ribs or something. But how do you know what size to get? I don't really know much about sizing clothes. Also is material important? On a similar note, I've heard you shouldn't bind with 'ace tape' or bandages, I'm not sure what the first one is though or if its true.

Secondly: Packers
I hope it isn't too inappropriate to discuss packers here, as I've seen them classified as 'prosthetic penises' and sometimes get sold on adult sites as well as specifically trans-oriented shops.
I don't know as much about packing as I do binding.
I tried packing with a sock once, as I heard other people try that, but it was only for a minute because I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly or how you're meant to do it at all with a sock or 'proper' packer. I've also heard st

I hope this isn't too many questions for one post

Mo
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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby Mo » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:18 pm

Hi there, BishoneninBloom!
We have a pretty great guide to sizing & using a lot of gender expression items, including packers and binders, as part of our Trans Summer School series; you can find that article here: Trans Summer School: Gender Expression Gear. I think this will answer a lot of your questions, but we can absolutely answer any you still have after reading it!

BishoneninBloom
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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby BishoneninBloom » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:13 am

Oh! I think I read that ages ago and just forgot everything... oops
Thank you anyway!

Now if only I could actually order that kind of stuff and try it, its so frustrating

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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby Heather » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:30 am

Is having one donated for you an option? It'd still need to be sent to you, obviously, which is why I ask. There are some programs that donate binders to young people!
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

BishoneninBloom
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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby BishoneninBloom » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:35 pm

Oh, I appreciate the concern/offer
Unfortunately, its not as simple as a money issue.
I'm not out to family, and I don't really want to be right now, and I don't have anywhere I could store a binder (or god forbid, a packer), let alone wash it without it being seen.
At the very least, my frustration is less about any kind of really painful dysphoria (most of mine manifests more as occasional discomfort and bursts of euphoria in masculine expression) and more to do with really wanting to start experimenting with my appearance.
Like, today I was looking for new glasses because my old ones broke, and I was looking for thicker, more square frames, but I couldn't openly tell my mum "I want ones that make me look like a boy" or go to the men's section.
I don't know if its a good plan, but currently I plan to cosplay as a male character from an anime (I made this plan pre-COVID, in case you couldn't tell, lol) (also its gonna be Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho, if anyone's interested) and buy a binder as a 'cosplay aid' that pros use (especially because this character wears a school blazer, so if I end up not being able to wear it or had to take it off at some point, it wouldn't really matter)
I'm just impatient.

BishoneninBloom
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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby BishoneninBloom » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:39 pm

(Also, if it wasn't obvious, I'd keep the binder for non cosplay wear and say it was a comfort/fashion thing that I might as well use since I go to at most, one con a year)
I also wear a lot of baggy clothes and hoodies/sweatshirts in general, for what its worth.

Heather
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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby Heather » Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:19 pm

That's what I thought, but I wanted to make sure.

The cosplay idea sounds like a good one! Can you make use, too, perhaps, of Halloween coming up as a way to get and wear some of these things?
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

BishoneninBloom
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Location: My desk at home

Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby BishoneninBloom » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:24 am

That's a good idea, but I'm afraid not, Halloween isn't really a big 'thing' in my area if you're above trick or treating age. Even without a pandemic.
Besides, I wouldn't have much time to order anything (I usually have to go through a parent's account, but I am legally old enough to order things for myself). If its part of cosplay, it makes more sense why I'd be buying something in advance (since I also want to try ordering the blazer from someone who specifically makes cosplay stuff, and those services are usually less expensive if you give them a lot of time to make it)

I also want to give myself time to order a binder, so if it doesn't fit, I can send it back and get a different one, if I rushed to get it for halloween then got the wrong size, I might look like I was worrying too much about an out of season costume prop. Especially since binders need to be worn in, so I need time to wear it in short bursts pre-convention (I'm sorry, this plan is unnecessarily detailed in my head because planning is all I can do at the moment)

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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:13 am

Detailed plans are a great idea! It seems like using the cosplay for cover will help with the binder, do you also think it would help with the packer?

As far as being frustrated and wanting to experiment, are there any low-key things you've tried, like scents (think deodorant or perfume) or underwear, that have give you some room to explore? If not, are you looking for ways to explore your gender identity and expression that won't alert your family to what's going on?

BishoneninBloom
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Location: My desk at home

Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby BishoneninBloom » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:33 am

I don't think I could get away with a packer for cosplay, binding for cosplay is a bit of a stretch to begin with (wearing this sports bra/vest style thing to be more professional!) but a packer kinda looks like a penis, so I feel like that's not something I want lying around (I feel it'd be very easy to dismiss as unnecessary).
As for scents... I don't really have any interest in trying, my deodorant is scentless to begin with and strong smells don't mix with me well (sensory issues) in general, I also don't really associate smells with femininity or masculinity so it isn't something I've been thinking about.
My mum is the only one who gets me underwear and outside of cosplay I've never shown an interest in clothing.
Similar to a binder, ordering masc underwear via a friend then bringing it home wouldn't work because I'd have no where to hide or wash it.
I guess I'm on a trans masc discord server, so I've been able to explore names and things (and there's people at different stages of transition as well as other non binary people so its cool to see different options for the future) but its also what's contributed a bit to the frustration, because I get to see other people trying new stuff/making big steps, whilst I'm still at square one-ish.
So really, all of my eggs are in the binder basket.

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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby Sofi » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:36 pm

Ah, I hear you and that makes sense. No worries about the scents, it's not something everyone has an attachment to, but maybe there's something else - and no pressure to figure it out right now and/or tell us, it's just for you to think about if you feel it might be helpful. As for the discord server, I'm sorry you're having that experience, that does sound frustrating. Could we help you find new spaces, or do you think you'd feel the same way in any trans masc space?

BishoneninBloom
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Location: My desk at home

Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby BishoneninBloom » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:08 am

I think this is just an unfortunate thing that'd happen anywhere.
Besides, aside from this issue, its an otherwise great server, not completely empty or always full, a lack of transmedicalism/truscums etc.
Its just, my parents aren't the best with trans stuff (especially the concept of non binary) so I wouldn't want to come out until I was really sure of what I wanted, but I don't know how I'll be able to find that out without irl experimentation.
My big plan for a while was moving to some far off University and trying out stuff there, but now it seems more like I'll be taking an apprenticeship/local university instead and just travelling from home.
Still, that could offer some new opportunities I'm not even aware of yet.

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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby Siân » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:13 am

Hi BishoneninBloom,

Sounds like you've found some pretty good community online. I think you're right that university - even if you're living at home - could provide opportunities you haven't even thought of yet. Things like finding community and meeting with new people can open all kinds of doors - even simple things like a more varied schedule and it being normal to be out more can give you opportunities to spend time at friends houses and experiment with your expression there away from family pressures.

You started off here with questions about binding and packing, has the article Mo linked answered those or do you have more? Are there other ways of exploring your gender expression you'd like to talk about/experiment with?

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Re: I need binding and packing advice

Unread postby cthuwu » Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:26 am

hi yes i know this is old but !! wanted to answer specific questions
- if you've ever sized yourself with fabric measuring tape, it's just measuring tape that bends and is in a roll.
https://rb.gy/12zft9 - an example. GC2B (probably the best binder company out there tbh) has great instructions for how to measure on their website ( https://www.gc2b.co/pages/sizing ) here. the material should be breathable and stretchy.
- ace bandages are just compression wraps to provide support to an injury. i had a nasty fall and hurt my ankle and used them for that. you don't want to use them for binding because they do not stretch, they get tighter as you move and can be severely damaging
- packing is one of those things where you should probably try it out on a small scale first, not everyone likes it. try rolling up a sock, stuffing it in your pants, see how that feels?
- visa gift cards work for ordering binder online without parents knowing. if you have a closet, hanging it up and putting a shirt over it, washing it while you take a shower could work. if there are trans/lgbt groups near you, they may have clothing exchanges that you'd be able to get a binder from too
hope this helps !


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