But she swam too far against the tide

Going swimming is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. And I know a lot of others who feel similarly -except for one horrible thing, which is putting on a bathing suit. Swimwear is one of those things that very few feel really comfy in, so if you’re not Michael Phelps, the odds are good that you feel exposed and uncomfortable in a bathing suit. For some butches, who already have issues with their bodies and how others see them, this is a horrible no good thing – and some of us skip the beach/pool/lake/river all together just because of the whole bathing suit issue.

As spring/summer swim weather is starting to roll in to most parts of North America, I thought I’d do a post on bathing suits so you could get a good swim outfit together and not be caught unprepared when your buds ask you to go jump in a river/lake/stream/pool….etc.

Over the years I’ve done the cut offs/tee shirt thing, which is ok, but um, kind of chaff-ey, and you end up with wet underwear and it’s not comfy to dry in. More recently, I’d wear a speedo one piece (which, of all the “girl” suits are the most…I don’t know, gender neutral, in my opinion) and then throw on a pair of guy’s board shorts. This is okay, but it takes a long time for the bottom part of a girls suit to dry, and even longer when under wet shorts – even if they dry fast. Not comfy either.

As I am about as pale as a white person gets (seriously, sometimes my legs glow kinda green) and because skin-cancer runs rampant in my family, and because I can be forgetful with the sunscreen, AND because I’ve spent a lot of money putting ink on my flesh, I think I’ve come up with the best and most comfy and fashionable swimwear solution for butches, gender-queers, transmen, etc….

I give you the Rash Guard/ Board Short combo.

I got this Cryp rashguard at their E-bay store and last time I checked they’re about $14-20 bucks. They offer incredible UV protection, so I only need to remember to put sunscreen on my face, ears, and forearms (unless I want to nap, then I have to do the backs of my knees) and my tattoos are fully protected all day long.  There are TONS of surf companies who make these, all at different prices, but this guard was the most cost effective and gets the job done.

Additionally, you can bind underneath the guard, or wear a tight sports bra – I usually wear a lightweight sportsbra under because the guard dries pretty fast, and I like my bra to as well.  I don’t have a large chest at all, but I live where the beaches are such that the ocean only gets up to like 60 degrees on really really hot days.  I’d rather not appear so visibly cold to all of the other beach dwellers. I thought I had a photo from last summer but I can’t find it so…you’ll just have to imagine how it looks on.

You can get good fitting board shorts almost anywhere, I think these are from Old Navy. I wear the shorts tight enough so that I can go commando if I wish (I usually do) and one more tip, it helps to cut out any “netting” that may be in the shorts – more comfy for us with girlparts.

Any other butch comfort hints for summer days and swimwear?


10 Responses to “But she swam too far against the tide”

  1. M in Nash Says:

    Thanks for bringing it up!

    I prefer a Speedo two piece suit with short board shorts or something like them. I like the sun/water on skin feeling too much to want to wear a rashguard if I don’t need one. But I’m less pink more olive.

  2. I have a lot of friends who wear fancy sports bra or speedo tankini tops with board shorts with the netting cut out. If you look hard enough you can find combinations that look like 30s style men’s beachwear, which is a really cool retro look.

    I like the idea of the surfing gear, though!

    Now I feel inspired to do a bathing suit post…

  3. I tend to go with the sports bra/workout top with a pair of board shorts without the liner. I match it up with a sleeveless top until I’m relaxing in the sun or ready to jump in the water.
    I’m not so much a fan of a farmers tan, so I try to stay away from sleeves when possible.

  4. butch swim wear may just be a open market, I tend to go with a short sleeve rash guard on top too…but would prefer less coverage, just cant pull off the bikini tops

    what about tops for top-heavy butches…these large tits are the bane of my existance and a bitch to cover in the summer…

  5. The tomboy usually sports a wifebeater / sport bra combo with board shorts or – my personal favorite and I get SO excited whenever she does this – vintage or new pool boy shorts, like so: http://fitforafemme.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/lake1.jpg

    (Dude, that picture is like 4 years old!)

  6. i swim laps several times a week. I swear by men’s jammers– they are basically form-fitting long shorts for the pool that look like bike shorts. i was terribly afraid to wear these in public but now i am so used to it and frankly at some pint you just have to decide to commit to your fun and f***-all what people think. you can order short-leg ones that looks like old-school men’s swim wear that are super cool. on the top i wear a triathlon top (built in support) and a UV rash guard over that. i seriously do not suggest binding under a rash guard = you could get chafed like my ass after the AIDS ride. O

  7. Thanks for the tips! I’m going on a Hawaii trip with my school and of course that requires quite a bit of swimming.. I don’t think I could pull off a bikini.

    I am a butch dyke, but i’m fat and have huge tits(as in, they don’t make sports bras in my size), what the hell am I supposed to do?

  9. Renegade Says:

    I favor running gear – running vest, sports bra, running shorts.

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