hey folks, here’s a quick review of transTape, a new way of binding designed by a trans man who applied several of the qualities found in elastic kinesio tape and adapted it to longterm wear to create something that’s light and comfortable and can be worn for days without comparable strain on the body like binders, and especially ace bandaging.
i bought a sample pack the other day and decided to give it a go! so i’ll just share a few quick things.
1. dysphoria relief that binders have never provided for me. my boobs don’t move much in this tape, they don’t sag either, they feel much lighter and i can forget that they’re there.
2. this is LESS constricting than a sports bra. i normally wear sports bras and this provides none of the back ache and none of the tension. also, with this, i don’t sweat the way i do in binders. it was 90 degrees today and this was a huge plus. i can actually breathe.
3. wider choice of what i can wear. low cut shirts are no problem, especially if they’re loose. i tried a crop top and a vest with this and both worked out fine. i can keep some buttons down.
4. the ‘tape’ is very thin and can easily be broken into pieces of the size you need with just a bit of pulling while they’re on the strips. i was able to correct my angle a few times before the tape ran out of adhesive and stopped sticking to my skin. it’s definitely not nearly sticky enough to rip your skin off if you do it slow and carefully.
5. it’s waterproof, which is handy for me. i can shower without even thinking about my boobs. for the first time, they really are out of mind.
6. it doesn’t feel like it’s going to have the same impact on my skin that binders did. binders warp a lot about your body over time, including your ribs and pretty much everything about your chest. the biggest pressure points of a binder are no longer problems with this on.
7. i can actually move. i worked out in this, i can stretch and run and lift things and i don’t feel it. not in the sense that it’s numb, but my boobs are both out of the way and not strapped to my chest like pillows.
8. it’s latex-free. “TransTape is made from a blend of 95% cotton and 5% spandex with a medical grade acrylic adhesive. It is latex-free and non-medicated, making it hypoallergenic for virtually everyone except those with allergies to any type of adhesive.
9. i’m normally a DD, for reference. yeah.
1. as you can probably see, this was a bit confusing to apply for a first time and i had to use a bit more ‘tape’ than i would if i knew what i was doing. next time, i’ll be able to do it just fine, and with less of the stuff.
2. not completely flat, though some of this may just be error on my part because, again, it was my first time using it. in most outfits, it looks like i have abs, but in very form-fitting things, it doesn’t look fantastic.
3. you have to buy rolls of it, and they don’t last forever. i honestly don’t think it’s that expensive considering how much you can get out of it once you learn how to use it with a small amount, i had to use the whole sample because it was my first time using it but i’m confident that i won’t need nearly that much next time, but it’s not a one-time purchase. i guess neither is a binder, but i’d have to do the math.
4. only comes in two colors right now, so depending on your skin color it could stick out like a sore thumb. so far as i know, more colors are planned.
there hasn’t been a long time to research every effect of this on our bodies, but the same can be said about most things to do with transitioning or just dysphoria-alleviators in general. i’ve seen a few fearmongering anecdotes from self-appointed experts who have nothing to stand on except they have thousands of followers who will believe them, who really don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to this stuff or just want to discourage any kind of hope, which really pisses me off, and it’s up to you to make the informed decision for yourself.
when it comes down to it, there’s really no perfectly 100% good way to do any of this. we know that binders are extremely unsafe even when worn correctly, especially through longterm use, and this is absolutely an option to check out and see IF it works for you.
but i can tell you with full confidence that i could immediately tell a difference between this, binding, and sports bras – for the better. my body doesn’t feel like it’s under strain, it doesn’t feel compressed, i don’t feel claustrophobic, and i don’t have to take this off in an hour or suffer through hot weather risking heat stroke. it also has several incredibly unique solutions to my dysphoria that i’ve never seen in any other form of binding.
i think this is definitely an option worth trying. it’s not a perfect solution, and i would HEAVILY suggest taking a break from it each time you replace it to make sure your body can adjust and recoup, the same way you would with any other kind of binding.