Posts Tagged ‘gender expression’

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.

Review & Giveaway: Double Panel Compression Shirt

August 5, 2011  |  reviews  |  48 Comments

I’ve been putting off this review because just about as soon as I received this double panel compression shirt, New York City started that little heat wave called SUMMER, and I have barely worn it since. In fact, while I’ve been working at home the last few days I’ve been topless, and when the time comes to go out in an actual shirt I can barely stand the fabric of a tank top on my skin, so there’s NO WAY I would wear this right now.

But I would gladly wear it, in general. I didn’t connect that it’d be 60-80 degrees while I was just visiting the Pacific Northwest, or I would’ve definitely brought it on that trip. There were a few times I wished I had.

I bought a compression shirt a few years back, the same brand—which seems from my knowledge to be the most famous and common brand—and while I thought I was getting the right size, I could not get it on. It did not fit.

So it is still basically brand new, in a box, where it’s been since I got it.

Would you like to have it? It’s size M, black. Leave a comment about one fun thing you’ve done this summer (or something else, just leave a comment) and I’ll pick one comment at random and mail it to you—if you’re in the US I’ll pay postage, if you’re outside of the US you pay postage. I’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, August 9.

This new one, though, I ordered a bit too large, in size XL, and it fits.

It helps tremendously with button down shirts and vests and flattening out my torso in general. I find it hard to breathe in, just a little, which is also why it’s been hard to wear in the last few months, because I’ve been thinking about and witnessing lots of things related to breathing and breath. I have to be a bit strategic about wearing it; I wouldn’t want to put it on for a hike or even a day when I was doing a whole lot of walking around New York City. I can definitely tell when I eat a large meal while wearing it, too.

I am pretty large chested—usually I wear a 34DD, though lately it’s been a 36DD—so I didn’t know if I could wear one of these at all. Glad to discover that it turns out, I can.

And you can bet I’ll be wearing it frequently once it cools down a bit more.

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.

Review: A Couple STP (Stand to Pee) Devices

July 21, 2011  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

So I mentioned that Babeland has a new Gender Expression category, and I’ve been going through many of the products, trying ‘em out. In fact, I’m behind. Mostly because of the event on Saturday and the last month of events, but also because I’ve been so busy USING these things that I haven’t made time to write about ‘em!

I still have to tell you about the double panel compression shirt and the pump & cylinder kit. Those will be next.

But for now, Babeland sent me two different stand to pee (STP) devices that I’ve been playing with.

These can be for “gender play,” but they can also just be something useful for many of us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a public restroom in NYC or out in the woods camping or in some port-a-potty somewhere thinking, why don’t I have one of those STP thingers?

Now, of course, I have to remember to bring them with me AND have them on me when I head to a bathroom, but it’s a step.

Here are the two that Babeland carries. There are a few others, but these seem to be the best of the best that are available—the others are more bulky, awkward, or of questionable materials.

1. The Go Girl

Go Girl comes in pink and camelflage. (Really? Gender a product much?) And it’s called “Go Girl.” Is that necessary? Seems like they are kind of cutting out a potential part of their audience—us genderqueers and masculine of center folks—and aiming for the ladies.

Whatever, I can kind of overlook that, it doesn’t really matter if “Go Girl” is etched into the silicone plastic through which I pee.

Plus: Made out of silicone, so it’s easy to clean. Very flexible and thin, so it rolls up into a tiny little carrying case, which makes it easy to carry around.

Minus: It’s kind of hard to get a good seal, and not so intuitive to use. Definitely takes a lot of practice, though it’s possible.

Go Girl is $12 at Babeland.

2. The P-Style

Mine’s green, but I dig the orange one too. The packaging is a lot less gendered, which I like, and it comes in a bunch of colors, like white, blue, and lavender.

Plus: Easy to use. It might take a few tries (I suggest getting used to it in the shower), but eventually the seal feels secure and that’s what has been the biggest difficulty for me, in getting used to these.

Minus: It doesn’t fold up, so it’s a little bit bulky, and doesn’t really have a carrying case, so you might want to come up with something to carry it in so it doesn’t accidentally get lipstick or pen marks or something on it while it’s tossed into your bag. It’s not very easy to slip subtly into your pocket, which is too bad, but I still much prefer the way it works.

This was the clear winner, for me, of the two.

P-Style is also $12 at Babeland.

I actually have one other that is basically a medicine spoon with a hole in the end that I purchased at some wimmin’s event in the late 90s … I don’t necessarily recommend that style, it’s pretty hard to get the placement right and since the medicine spoon is a pretty small volume in the container, sometimes it can get full really quickly.

I have seen a couple of STP packers, also, and I actually purchased one when I was in the midwest this past spring. I’ll have some notes for you on that in another post, eventually. (Basically: it’s pretty rad.)

Have you used an STP of some sort? What’d you think? Is it something you carry around all the time, or use rarely? Any suggestions for other products I should try out? Which one is your favorite?

The P-Style and Go Girl STP devicees were sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

When “Gender Expression” Means “Masculine”

June 9, 2011  |  essays  |  6 Comments

So you’ve heard about Babeland’s new “Gender Expression” category, which I for one thing is awesome. But I want to call your attention to a couple comments on that post, because I think it’s important, and it crossed my mind as well:

Perry wrote:

Not to be rubbish, but shouldn’t it be called “female-assigned or potentially mtf-post-op-folks-i-suppose expression” instead?

And Krista from Babeland responded:

It is our intention to make this category a place to find products for expressing any and all gender possibilities. We welcome suggestions of other products that you think might fall into this category. I hope that helps. Feel free to contact us with any other questions.

To which perry replied:

thanks for your comment, Krista. I don’t really have any suggestions per se, I’ve just been noticing that often when female-assigned queers talk about “genderqueer” and “transgender” they often seem to be talking about female-assigned folks who express a certain masculinity via clothes, hair, and yes, toys. I rarely meet male-assigned folks id’ing as genderqueer. 20-30 something college educated white female assigned people who have sex with the same seem to be “the” face of trans/gender and genderqueer movements in a way (if you look at profiles on genderfork and on lots of tumblrs you’ll see what i mean), and i think it’s important to make other identities visible. Thanks for selling great stuff babeland, this is not a dig at you.

And I really see perry’s point here. I don’t really mean to drag Babeland into this, because really this is just something to point to indicative of a larger issue, and, well, I like to link to the gender expression category, which is why I’m using this conversation as an example.

Thanks, by the way, to perry and to Krista for this conversation. I don’t have a lot to add, but I want to highlight this issue because I’ve thought about it frequently myself, and I’m interested what we can do about it. I guess this is the part where I ask for your opinions on the subject. Thoughts?

I do want to say, in Babeland’s defense and in defense of many other sex toy stores which have “gender expression” type of categories, that I think there are just a lot fewer sex products for trans men and masculine of center folks than there are for trans women. Maybe I’m wrong about that and I just don’t know as much about it—correct me if I’m wrong—but my understanding is that a lot of the products for (feminine) trans women are things found in traditional feminine departments, like bras and lingerie. I suppose there could be binding underwear or stuffed bras? I don’t know much about those products, and I certainly don’t see a lot of that—hey Babeland, maybe you should look into those.

I have met some men who identify as genderqueer, though not many. I’ve often mused about this subject, mostly in terms of the myriad words we have for masculine of center identities, and how frequently it seems that people who identify as genderqueer or androgynous are people who were assigned female at birth, who would not express traditionally feminine markers like make-up and dresses—folks who “express a certain masculinity via clothes, hair, and yes, toys,” as perry put it.

I think there might be some misandry in that, to be honest. Or, at the very least, some feminist and queer skepticism about masculinity and maleness in general. And probably some internalized misogyny, as a commenter pointed out.

Let me state for the record that I think people should identify however they feel most comfortable, and I’m not trying to change that, for anybody. But I have noticed it as a trend and I’m curious how we, as people who are doing work on expanding gender categories, can support the widening of these identities, and to continue to build movements that include ALL gender identities and expressions, and not just masculine of center queer folks assigned female at birth.

So, what other products should Babeland add to their gender expression category that are not aimed at masculine of center folks? Any ideas for what they can add to their category?

Babeland’s New Gender Expression Category

May 18, 2011  |  reviews  |  3 Comments

Babeland has launched a Gender Expression category! Which includes products for packing, dildos for strapping on, harnesses, accessories like chest binders and stand-to-pee devices, and more.

I’ve got a couple of these products lined up to review, including the clit pump and the new Tantus Realdoe, and hopefully a STP (stand to pee) review roundup … and maybe a few others. I’m excited this is being offered and I look forward to the rest of the new things that get added to this category!