Posts Tagged ‘binders’

Winner! Double Panel Compression Shirt

August 9, 2011  |  journal entries  |  5 Comments

Thanks to Random.org, the random winner of the double panel compression shirt is … Barrett!

Ice cream sounds like a great idea for this heat wave.

I had a couple of questions about the compression shirt in the comments & via Twitter, so I’ll try to answer ‘em here. Seems like that review was kind of vague (sorry about that)—to be honest, I’m not an expert in compression shirts, so I might not be the best person to answer these. This is my first experience with one and I haven’t been wearing it much this summer, so that’s about all I know. But I’ll do my best to answer these with what I know!

This looks like something my butch partner would really like in her size. What I can’t figure out is, if you purchase this in your size and you are someone with large breasts — does this cover the breasts completely or does the shirt still show the top of your breasts? Either way, I’m sure it’s fine under a button down—but I’ve been searching for something that covers the butch rack completely (cause cleavage isn’t what she’s going for).

Basically, it covers your breasts completely. If you have larger breasts (like I do) it does give you a little bit of cleavage at the top, because in order to flatten it has to spread ‘em out as much as possible. It is definitely fine under a button down. I’m not sure I would wear it by itself, but it is very easy to wear under a tank top or tee shirt and won’t give you cleavage.

I got a question about the compression shirt. Should I buy one in my size or a size smaller??—@C_Rod224 on Twitter

I bought a size M because that’s the size of men’s tee shirt I wear, but it did NOT fit. The XL is still quite small and for a minute, I thought maybe it wasn’t going to be big enough to fit, but it does—it’s just a challenge to get on and off. So I would try one size larger.

I’m not an expert at this, though—other folks who have binders: do you generally buy your same tee shirt size, a size larger, a size smaller? What’s the rule for this?

One more question … I wanted to buy her the frog bra you had mentioned before and apparently it’s been discontinued… Do you or any of your readers know of a place that still sells them or of something with a different name that achieves the same effect? thank you thank you!

Yeah, it’s discontinued. From my understanding, it’s pretty good if you’re a C-D cup, but it’s not great if you’re bigger than that. I’ve tried a LOT of athletic bras, aka binders, and the best thing that I’ve found that works for me is my favorite, the Enell bra. I’ve got about four of these now, and while the elastic does wear down, when they are fresh, for me, they are nearly as effective as the compression shirt.

Anybody else out there have opinions about bras/binders that work well for larger-breasted folks?

The double panel compression shirt was sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

on butch breasts

June 24, 2008  |  on butches  |  16 Comments

I’ve returned to earth – mostly – from the altered state of consciousness of the Power, Surrender, & Intimacy workshop by Body Electric that happened here in New York City over the weekend. I have so very much to say about it, but that’ll have to wait for now, I need more time.

What I do want to write about is breasts. Specifically, mine – more generally, butch breasts.

Last week, I went for one day without my binder, which is really just a tight sports bra that clasps in the back rather than being a solid over-the-head slip-on. I wanted it laundered for the workshop, since I’ve been wearing it practically every day since I bought it.

I wore a backup bra that day, and all day long I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror, in storefront reflections, in my button-down work clothes, or when I looked down. I remembered how I used to hate the uniboob problem, which many of my friends and lovers deemed unsexy or mannish, and it’s not that I like the uniboob look particularly, but as my gender has changed and grown and dropped into itself, the uniboob doesn’t look like a uniboob anymore: it looks like a chest.

It is not that I want to do away with my breasts. Don’t misunderstand me here: I think breasts are butch, just as I think the menstrual cycle is butch and pregnancy is butch and cunnilingus is butch – everything the female body does can be butch, because butch (in my use of the word*) has to do with masculinity on a female body.

And because I believe that the things a female body does are butch, and because my gender philosophies are deeply rooted in love and acceptance of my body as it is and in not classifying human experiences as owned by one gender or another, I have been holding back my desire to delve farther into my own masculinity. I’m afraid of it. I’m afraid it means I’ll be leaving my roots in female-ness behind, I’m afraid of being seen as reproducing the heteronormative paradigm or embodying penis envy. I’m afraid of being rejected by feminist and lesbian communities for being too masculine, for becoming the ‘enemy,’ for rejecting femininity instead of reclaiming it.

Breasts are a big piece of this fear for me. Mine are not so small – part of why I rarely pass: a 36DD, and have been since middle school. I’ve said since I was a teenager that a breast reduction is the only surgery I would consider. I read about Jess’s surgery – or others’ surgeries and body alterations – and I’m jealous.

But I’m afraid of what it means to want that alteration, to want to physically change my body to better fit a gendered idea.

After that day last week of wearing a regular bra, I started wondering: why do I even have this in my closet anymore? Why do I own this? My exploration of my own masculine/butch/boy/male embodiment is young – I’ve been calling myself butch since 2001, but only in the last three years have I really embraced it and actively, consciously developed it. And now, the farther I get into my explorations of gender, the farther I want to go.

It takes time to cycle through a wardrobe, and I don’t quite have the disposable income to go purchase all new bras – but I certainly won’t be buying any regular ones anytime soon. I’ve gone through this with my underwear already, years ago now, have cycled through all the old girl undies and haven’t owned any of those in years, only have boxers and briefs now. But that feels less obvious than binders and sports bras – no one can tell I wear only briefs except my lovers, I guess, but everyone can tell I bind my chest.

And see, what’s what it is now: my chest. Very different than boobs, breasts, tits. I have those, sure, but they’re underneath, they’re the other layer, the inner ring, something that now gets protected and covered, not out of shame or denial but simply out of layering, complexities, performance, a rich inner life, a duality, a whole person – me.

* Some say men can be butch, that “butch” is a term for a queer masculinity, or a non-traditional, progressive masculinity. I’m not certain I agree, but we definitely lack language to discuss different types of masculinity, and I have definitely observed some men who have a sense of butch energy.