What is binding?

Binding is the act of compressing the breasts against the chest.

There are intentionally designed garments called binders that help people do this safely, but sometimes other things are used including ace bandages, Saran wrap, duct tape, or even several layers of clothing such as tight tank tops or sports bras.

What is the purpose of binding?

The purpose of binding is to create the appearance of a flat chest.

People who bind are trying to minimize the presence of their breasts and smooth over the curve that is created by breasts. For many, thought not all, the goal is to create a less feminine chest and a more masculine body.

Who binds?

Anyone who wants to flatten their chest, though binding is most common in transgender men or non-binary people.

Breasts can cause gender dysphoria for many people. Gender dysphoria is the distress caused by a mismatch between a person’s physical body and their gender identity.

If someone is experiencing gender dysphoria because of their breasts, binding could be a way to help reduce it and make them more comfortable in their body.

Binding needs to be done as safe as possible though because it can cause injury if done incorrectly.

What are some ways to make binding safer?

Below are a few things to be aware of about how to make binding safer, but these tips should not be taken as medical advice.

If you have questions or concerns about binding, or you’ve been injured from binding, please reach out to a professional.

  • Only bind with materials that are meant for binding. Do not use duct tape, ace bandages, plastic wraps, or clothing that is not designed for binding.
  • Don’t wear a binder that is too small, or wear multiple binders, or combine a binder with non-binder materials like those above.
  • Don’t bind 24/7. Don’t sleep in your binder. Don’t bind every day.
  • Bind for the least amount of time possible, but definitely never more than 8-12 hours at a time.
  • Don’t bind when working-out. Try to avoid binding anytime you’ll be particularly active, get sweaty, or need to breathe deeply.
  • Your binder and your skin will get dirty. Make sure to regularly clean your binder and take care of the skin that comes in contact with your binder when there is irritation or damage.
  • Though it may not be particularly comfortable, binding should not make you feel like you cannot breathe, make you lightheaded, or cause significant pain. If you feel this way, please seek out help before continuing to bind as you may injure yourself.
  • Listen to your body and don’t try to push your limits.