Binding is the process of compressing the breasts using a wrapping or tight piece of clothing in order to create a more masculine or androgynous chest shape. Binding is performed by many people who experience chest dysphoria due to the presence of breasts, as well as people who experience gynecomastia (The enlargement of breast gland tissue in males and are uncomfortable with the presence of breasts. People who bind regularly may desire top surgery in order to permanently remove the breasts.
Historically, binding was done using strips of cloth such as bandages. However, this method can dangerously compress the lungs, which affects breathing, and can permanently damage the breast tissue. People who wish to bind are now recommended to use specialist binding tops, or home-made equivalents such as sports bras and tightly-fitting shirts.