How To Bind With Tape | FTM Binding
BY AARON CAPENER
Before there were safe and accessible products for trans* people, many used unsafe alternatives like ace bandages or duct tape to bind their chest to have the tissue appear flat. FTM Binding with these materials can restrict your ability to breathe and move properly. Ace bandages, in particular, are designed to constrict, so as you breathe, they get tighter and tighter and can really hurt you. Sometimes people group TransTape or KT Tape in the same category as duct tape (which you should never use to bind your chest) when, in fact, it isn’t the same. TransTape was made for the body and in some cases better than a traditional binder. Let’s break down how to bind with tape and how to be safe while female-to-male (FTM) binding!
But Is Binding With Tape Safe?
Taping is very safe if done properly and with the correct type of tape. With all binding methods, there are precautions to take to ensure the best result and to lessen the chance of damage. Always use TransTape that was intended for the body, and NEVER use duct tape or Ace bandages to bind your chest.
Taping can be better than a traditional binder as it does not restrict, constrict, or compress your body or organs at all. Taping allows for the full range of motion, mobility, and breathing. It is more discreet than binding as it does not cover the back, chest, or shoulders and is not visible under your garments.
How To Bind With Tape:
- Use a Test Strip On Your Chest
Before applying for the first time, I recommend using putting the small 2” x 2” square on your side under your arm. Monitor the area for 24 hours. Slight itching is normal as your skin gets used to having a foreign substance adhering to it. Pain and burning are not normal and you should discontinue use. Use oil to remove even a small strip.
- Clean & Dry Your Chest
The best time to apply your tape is fresh out of the shower. Don’t apply deodorant or lotions to the area before applying to be sure you get a strong bond.
- Cut To Length Your Strips
If you’re using TransTape, you’ll be able to choose the length you’d like by using the blue lines on the back. Start with three sections and adjust from there. Once you have your two three-section long strips, use sharp scissors and round the edges of your tape to allow for an even distribution of tension.
- Apply Anchor In The Center Of Your Chest
Peel back the first 2 inches of the backing and apply two inches to the left (and later right) side of your chest. Check out this video below for a walkthrough!
How To Remove Tape For FTM Binding
So you’re ready to take off your test strip or you’ve had it on for three to five days or you’re ready to take off your test strip, it’s time to soak the tape entirely. Use either the TransTape Removal Oil (or your cooking oil) and drench the tape. I usually prefer to do this in the hot, steamy shower for 3-5 minutes. Usually, I apply it as soon as I get in and by the time I’m done washing my hair and my face, it can easily be peeled back in the same direction as you applied it.
It’s imperative to use oil to remove the tape because usually the problem, when people hurt their skin, is that they’re either overstretching the tape or they are tearing it off their skin without oil. This adhesive is meant to hold through hell or high water so if you pull it off without releasing that bond, your skin will go with it. This is the most important part to remember because we need to respect our bodies
Hit Your Dysphoria With A Combo Pack
Packers can also be adhered to the body using TransTape allowing for a free feeling of natural movement. You can pack with different size packers to your body using TransTape.
In a nutshell, you use any size o-ring, and you cut a shape for it to apply to your body. After folding the shape in half, you cut slits in the center and wrap the o-ring in the slits you made. Check this video for a specific tutorial on how to use TransTape to pack! Between FTM binding and FTM packing with tape, this solution is the go-to for many people to beat their dysphoria.
As a daily user of TransTape for FTM Binding, I genuinely care about sharing this solution because if used correctly, I believe it’s a safer and more freeing option than traditional binders. It changed my life and I’m thankful to be able to help others on their own journey to authenticity.
As always, sending you love and light,