Binders offer a great deal of relief from dysphoria for many trans men. In contrast, they are not the only option. Here, one trans man shares his top tips on how to use Transtape as an alternative.
Tape for binding, sold under the branded name: Transtape. I ordered standard KT Tape from a company called #Doyourfitness. Above all, It is worth checking their shop on Amazon. Without a doubt, I would order TransTape. As a company, they’re run for trans people by trans people.
“With transtape application there are a couple of tricks we can use. These will make it stay in place and to make it easier to change.”
How to Use Transtape:
- Start with clear and clean skin. That’s free of lotions and oils. Clean skin will give it the best adhesive properties.
- Before applying transtape, cover your nipples with something first.
- You’ll need both surgical tape and little bits of bandages. Cut the applications to your nipple size. Then, use surgical tape to hold them in place.
- Keep both edges of the transtape slack when applying.
- Stretch the middle part of the tape over the skin. Do this whilst keeping the edges loose. Stretching will prevent straining the skin.
- Ensure that the ends of the transtape have about 5mm of skin contact
- The transtape only sticks well to the skin, and not to itself.
- To remove the transtape, cover it with oil. The tape should peel off in a gentle way.
- Any oil will work. I recommend almond oil – and leave it for a while. The tape should come off with natural ease. If it doesn’t, then apply more oil. You might find sore patches. Follow the advice above and practice, and you’ll be sure to get better at it.
At this time, the company I use supplies rolls of transtape that are wider than average. The larger the tape, the better the bind! Most transtape companies only stock—5 cm tape.
When it comes to placement, it’s a matter of trial and error. It would help if you worked out what’s best for you. It’s essential to by no means put the transtape all the way around your body. Unquestionably, this could restrict your breathing.
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Dealing with Sore Patches
When sore patches emerge, you can use a combination of:
- Witch Hazel
- E45 Cream
Indeed, E45 cream will help heal it up in a swift fashion. With the worst cases I’ve experienced, the sore patches healed up in 48 hours. Beware, whilst these creams are effective, they do sting! Consult your doctor or physician before applying. Some people like to round the corners off to try and prevent them from lifting up. Firstly, I don’t do this. You might like to try this technique if you have issues with corners lifting. Secondly, it can be too much time.
So, how long does it last? The transtape can stay on for around a week. It remains firm and stays on fine when I shower and go swimming. I take it off when it starts to slip. This is the stage at which the glue becomes less effective. Which makes taking it off much much more straightforward. In like manner, I would use oil to help with removal. Tape is more flexible than a traditional binder. It is much more able and less restrictive. As a result, I don’t have to take it off at night. In addition, this works wonders for my dysphoria.
3 Things to Avoid with Tape:
- Be sure to avoid putting the transtape all the way around your back and your chest. This can cause breathing difficulties & skin compression
- Don’t stretch your skin or the Transtape to the point that it’s flat. Indeed, you might want to give off the appearance of muscles. A tight transtape covering can make your chest muscles appear dull.
- Avoid touching the sticky part. Touching it can lessen its adhesive properties.
Besides, wearing binders brings with it its own set of issues. Importantly, these include muscular damage, which you don’t get with tape. As a solution, transtape is worth exploring.
3 Cons of Using Tape
- Transtape can damage the skin, causing blisters if the skin gets pulls and breaks. Be careful when taking it off.
- Transtape can be itchy until you get used to it.
- The transtape can pull out chest hair. Shaving your chest hair, or cutting the hairs, eliminates the problem.
Want to know more? The brilliant Aaron Capener of www.officiallyaaron.com shows how he applies TransTape below.
Image courtesy of @capener44 on Instagram