10499483_1445182759120038_5699276544098802227_oI’ve written on this subject on a Portuguese crossdressing forum, but I don’t think I’ve written it on my own blog yet: I’m growing boobs. Seriously 🙂

Now, before you ask, let me say that I’m not taking any kind of hormones (plant-based, synthetic or natural) and I’m not having surgery. That might become an option in the future, and I’m not saying I won’t do it, but right now, I’m not doing anything of the kind.

This all started some months ago, when a friend of mine showed me her boobs. I was really impressed, since she’s 60+ and ‘grew’ them without surgery or hormones, in about a year or so. She has something around a C cup or so, which looks delightful inside a push-up bra — because she has actually something for the bra to push against (unlike rolled-up socks or even silicone prosthetics), she achieves a very convincing effect, which would get genetic women green with envy (as well as most crossdressers!).

How did she do it? Well, she used the well-established scientific principle of using negative pressure for expanding soft tissue (which has been awarded at least one patent). Translating into plain English: if you use a vacuum pump to ‘suck in’ the breast tissue, it will expand, eventually promoting actual skin growth and breast enlargement which becomes permanent.

Methods of promoting breath enlargement

In this day and age, the media put a lot of pressure upon women regarding their breasts. Having adequately-sized breasts — which almost always means ‘bigger than what you have born with’ — is promoted as being ‘desirable’ according to the current fashion trends.
The simplest procedure to achieve that is, of course, inserting implants. Breast augmentation surgery is the most popular type of cosmetic surgery. It’s relatively simple to do, the procedure is well-known, the effects last a long time (at the very least, ten years), and the results are, in general, very good.

It’s also expensive, and, of course, all kinds of surgery, even the most common ones, carry a certain amount of risk.

An alternative to silicone or saline-based implants is ‘autologous fat implants’, a fancy name to explain a two-step procedure. First, a liposuction is made (usually at the belly or similar area where too much fat has accumulated). The extracted fat gets purified and centrifuged, and injected in the breast area. The results are usually quite good, and since it’s fat that has been produced by that person, there is no risk of rejection or of any other complications — one’s fat is one’s fat. Even if the fat somehow dissolves or leaves the breast area, well, it’s just fat — it will be processed naturally by the body (it will only mean that a new surgery will be required…). The resulting breast augmentation will also look much more natural — after all, they will be augmented with plain, normal fat, and not any kind of device or unnatural substance. As an added bonus, of course, the liposuction will also mean a flat belly 🙂 For some reason, this sort of breast augmentation is not as popular as using silicone or saline implants. I guess that the technique might be more complicated, not mastered by as many surgeons, and therefore more expensive.

For transgendered people, there is a further alternative: hormone therapy. By reducing male hormones (chemical castration) and increasing female hormones, the body will enter a state similar to a female puberty, and it will naturally develop breasts. This, of course, takes time; about the same time that it takes for a genetic woman to develop breasts in their puberty. And the results are not predictable: they depend mostly on genetics. If all the women in your family are flat-chested, it’s highly likely you will be flat-chested too, no matter how intense the hormone replacement therapy is. Some people, however, might have ‘good genes’ and develop rather large breasts after 2-3 years.

A much slower method is using phytohormones — a generic term describing a lot of plant-based substances which have similar properties than human hormones. ‘Similar’ in this case means that they can actually bind to the same components that human hormones can, and produce similar effects. There are quite a lot of plants which have such substances, probably the most common being isoflavones in soy (which actually has been shown to produce some unwanted effects in genetic females, like messing up with their menstruation cycles). Popular herbs that contain phytohormones are fenugreek, fennel, red clover, and a few more. The advantage of those herbs is that they can be combined to produce an extra effect. And there is the ‘queen of phytohormones’ — pueraria mirifica, a herb that is so rich in phytohormones that it should be taken on its own and not combined with other herbs.

Herbs are usually taken either in capsules, or creams to rub in your breasts. Infusions might also work, and there are also some skin patches (not unlike nicotine patches) which release a constant stream of phytohormones through the skin.

Herbs are wrongly promoted by the cosmetic industry as being ‘100% natural and 100% safe’. Neither claim is true. In almost all cases, the herbs have undergone a manufacturing process of refinement, sometimes extracting the relevant phytohormones or the active principle in the herb. The only ‘natural’ part of the process is that those phytohormones are not synthesized. In clinical HRT, it’s not unusual to use synthetic hormones: they also bind to the same places as natural hormones, but are hundreds or thousand times more effective than phytohormones; and because those molecules are synthesized, they can be engineered to have less undesirable side-effects than natural hormones. Herbs, by contrast, have ‘natural’ phytohormones, with all positive and negative aspects.

The claim of being ‘100% safe’ is also untrue. This claim is mostly based on the premise that the concentration of the active principles — phytohormones — is so low that it won’t have much effect on one’s overall health. But also because the effect is so low, it’s very likely that it won’t have any desirable effects at all. It just means that the harmful effects are diminished because of the low concentration.

The implication that ‘what is natural is safe’ is also a typical fallacy of the industry. In fact, most drugs available from pharmaceutical labs have a ‘natural’ origin — the active principle just gets refined and isolated, while all other harmful effects from a ‘natural’ product are eliminated in the procedure. Also, by contrast, tobacco is a natural plant, containing a natural substance, nicotine (which is present in everyone’s nervous system — it’s the basis for one of the three major neurotransmitters). And we all know how harmful that particular plant is. Nicotine is highly toxic and a poison even at low concentrations: so, just because nicotine is ‘natural’, it hardly qualifies as being ‘harmless’ or ‘safe’. It’s neither!

Nevertheless, herb-induced breast growth is very popular, because the industry has persuaded that this is a ‘safe’ procedure. But it also has risks — the same risks, in fact, as natural hormones or synthetic ones. The main difference is that because they will have such a low effect, things will take much longer to work in a desired way, but also the harmful effects may take much longer to manifest themselves.

Because everybody is different and reacts to phytohormones differently, sometimes you can achieve the same effects as with using natural human hormones in about the same period of time. A few friends of mine have noticed some considerable effects after a few months (usually 4-6), growing one or two cup sizes in that period. Some people have written good handbooks on the dosages and eventual health risks, so it’s worth reading a bit about the subject before blindingly rushing over to the Internet and ordering some product.

Hormone-induced breath growth is permanent, even if you stop the treatment. You will only be able to get rid of your breasts through surgery. That’s worth having in mind before you start such a procedure!

Move in the direction shown by the arrows. Repeat 360 times, at least once per day.

If hormones are not your thing, and surgery is too expensive (or the risk is too high), there are still two alternatives left. The first is the so-called ‘chi breast massage‘. It’s very easy to do, and allegedly it’s inspired by traditional massages done in the Far East to promote breast growth. Even if such a massage, by itself, might not make a huge difference, it won’t hurt to do it combined with other methods (I’ll expound on the theory why this might help the process later on).

And finally, last but by no means least, there is ‘negative pressure for expanding soft tissue’, or, more popularly, vacuum pumps. Let’s take a closer look at that.

The theory behind vacuum pumps

Since the dawn of the Internet, vacuum pumps have been offered by all sorts of spammers and scammers as a means to ‘enlarge your penis’ (and, once women started using the Internet as well, to ‘enlarge your breast’). Many people have discounted such claims as being pure quackery. By the mid-1990s, however, doctors and medical researchers have started to look more closely into this field of study.

We know that skin is not only flexible, but that it can be pushed and pulled to a reasonable degree, and its growth can be promoted — within limits. With young skin, or at least skin that is well hydrated and in good shape, the results are reasonably good. As we age, or neglect our skin care, the skin loses much of its flexibility (and gets wrinkled!). In general, however, most breast augmentation surgeries will not add dramatic changes in size. The skin will be stretched for a while over the silicone capsule, but it will adapt to the new size, and become smooth as before.

Complications started to arise with the constant demand made by women on larger and larger sizes. Also, transgendered people demanded to go from basically a flat chest to C or D cups. Especially with late-set transexuals, this might be a problem — adult males have, on average, a far larger chest area, and a D cup, or even a C cup, requires a huge amount of skin to be stretched to accommodate for the large implants (just a parenthesis: look up what bra cup size actually means — it’s not really ‘volume’, but the difference between the measurement of the rib cage and the measurement made at the nipple level. A large woman with a C cup will have a vastly larger breast volume than a skinny woman with a C cup).

Surgeons specialising in transexual breast augmentation surgery have therefore developed a few tricks. In my country, one of the pioneers in that area has invented the following procedure. First, the breast skin gets expanded, before the implant is inserted. He does that by doing a preliminary surgery, where just a ‘skin expander’ is inserted. Six months later, the skin has been successfully stretched, the expander is removed, and the final silicone implant is inserted. This allows even for flat-chested males to become fully bosomed women with breasts that look natural (taking into account their much larger rib cage).

In other parts of the world, other techniques have been developed, based on the same principle. The problem with this doctor’s approach is that it requires two surgeries, and, as said, surgery always entails a certain degree of risk. Wouldn’t it be possible to expand the breast skin tissue without surgery, and only afterwards insert the implant?

This was particularly important in the case of autologous fat implants. In surgeries with a silicone implant, the capsule is sufficiently strong to ‘push’ the skin out and force it to adapt to the new shape. With fat, things are not so easy, especially if someone wished to achieve a huge increase in size. Fat tends to ‘lose’ its shape and get distributed all over the chest area (and later, naturally eliminated by the organism) due to the pressure of the skin. So small improvements were easy enough to do, but huge augmentation was not.

In 1995, a company tried to develop a solution for this particular issue. They thought that they could ‘push’ the skin to conform to its new, stretched size first, and, once it gained its new shape, then the surgery to insert the fat could be completed. Therefore, the fat would nicely fill the space created and not ‘move around’ or lose its shape due to compression. This is the theory behind the BRAVA device.

To induce the skin to grow, they applied unbreakable plastic domes on top of the breast area to be enlarged, and applied a vacuum to it (basically, having an electrical pump sucking the air out of the domes). Vaccuum creates negative pressure on the skin: it pulls it to fill the plastic dome. After much careful research, they figured out the necessary amount of ‘pull’ to apply safely to the skin tissue, and have a computer built into their device that maintains the correct amount of vacuum. This computer monitors everything and it can even send the data automatically to the doctors following the procedure.

The BRAVA device is a clinical device; it has been tested under lab conditions, and its effects are well known, and approved by doctors as a preliminary step for breast enlargement procedures. It is a very expensive device — over €1000 — and usually clinics will buy a few and have their patients borrow it until they are ready for surgery. It is designed to be used all the time — about 16 hours per day — and worn under regular clothes. Under these conditions, breast enlargement is produced in about 4 months. After that period, the patient can opt for surgery (either with fat transplants or by using silicone implants) if they wish even bigger sizes — the breast skin tissue has now expanded and can accommodate much larger sizes safely.

By itself, the BRAVA system also promotes definitive breast growth. In many cases, patients can forget about surgery altogether, because the BRAVA system will allow them to gain one or two cup sizes on its own. It will also act as a form of breast lifting, and reshapes the breasts to make them look more regular, more plump, more round, etc. and this, by itself, might suffice in a lot of cases. The BRAVA system is rarely acquired by the patient on their own, but usually it’s bought through a doctor or a clinic that supervises the procedure, to ensure it’s used properly, safely, and achieving the desired results. As a consequence, its results are guaranteed by the manufacturer.

So that’s the scientific and technological background!

Obviously I haven’t given the BRAVA a try – that would be really out of bounds. Instead, I started with the tip of my friend: use two plungers, those types that you use to unclog the plumbing!

Plunging breasts

Bellows plunger

Plungers are cheap, but you need the type that is extendable, i.e. looks like a bellows. This is important. You buy two of those, the largest size you can get (they aren’t very large), and unscrew the handling stick.

Then use some kind of hydrating cream to gently massage your breast area. The cream serves two purposes: because we’re going to subject the skin to some stress, it’s good to keep it properly hydrated. And the cream will also help in maintaining the vacuum (sealing off the plunger).

Apply the plunger on top of the breast, and press it down so that all air escapes. Sometimes it helps to place one of the fingers over one border – for the air to escape – and then remove the finger once all air is out of the plunger.

That’s pretty much it. The vacuum created by the plunger is not perfect, but it will pull nicely at the breast tissue. It shouldn’t be too uncomfortable – the pull is steady but slight.

Just do it one hour per day or so. Some people do it once in the morning, and once in the evening. The good thing is that you can do other chores while having the plungers on – type on your computer, for instance – except perhaps for more violent exercise.

And you should see results after a few months!

Now this method has a few drawbacks. First, it’s highly likely that you won’t find a plunger big enough to fill the whole breast area. So this means that you have to start at some point and slightly displace the plungers a bit to cover a different area. After some weeks, as you see some of the growth becoming more permanent, you have to pay attention to see if all areas are growing at the same  speed, and that everything is symmetrical. That might mean just using the plunger on one breast for a while, for instance, until it becomes symmetrical again.

The other disadvantage is that the bellows part of the plunger will leave some marks, as concentric circles, which look rather odd. These will disappear after a few hours, and most likely after a good night’s sleep, but this is something you cannot do if you plan to go to the beach afterwards 🙂

And finally, you have no control about the amount of vacuum that gets generated. It’s all-or-nothing. The best you can do is to try with different brands to see if there is any difference.

But for the incredible low price of those plungers, it’s worth a try!

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, you can improve the technique. Get some cream for breast volume/lift – not one of those with herbs and phytohormones, but a ‘normal’ breast cream, which some women use every day to keep their breast skin firm and healthy.

Do some ‘chi breast massage’ at the beginning of your pumping session. No matter if the technique is worth a try or if it’s just quackery, the point is that the massage will do three things for your breasts:

  • it will help the cream to be better absorbed
  • it warms up the breast area, which allegedly turns the skin more flexible and more suitable to be ‘vacuumed’
  • and it increases blood circulation in the breast area

The last point is perhaps the most important one. One of the explanations for the success of the vacuum pumping technique – ‘negative presssure’ – is that it tends to enlarge temporarily the blood vessels in the area, leading to better irrigation of the skin tissue and promoting its healthy growth. To grow, the skin needs a supply of nutrients, and it sounds logical that more blood means more nutrients.

At the end of the session, the breast area under the plunger dome might be reddish and sensitive. It’s time to apply some more cream (either the same one or just simply a moisturising cream), this time with a more softer massage (the breast area will be slightly tender and sore from the vacuum pumping area).

I have no idea if any of the above actually makes sense, but I definitely use that as my routine. I have two breast creams, actually, one for ‘volume’, the other for ‘firmness’. I start with the ‘volume’, chi breast massage, vacuum pumping, and then I apply the ‘firmness’ cream. Most probably, neither the massage nor the creams are seriously having an effect; but at least the skin on the breast area is baby smooth and looks very healthy, which is good!

Going up a notch

I started with the plungers because they are so cheap that if I got no results whatsoever, I wouldn’t be disappointed. And, indeed, after a few weeks I didn’t notice a huge difference (I took some pictures regularly to check on progress).

But one day, when fully crossdressing, I suddenly noticed something curious. My breastforms are tacky, having their own adhesive, to stick to the skin – it’s not strong enough to sustain their weight (each form weights 750 grams), but more than enough to keep them in place.

To get that nice cleavage line, therefore, I use the old trick of taping the breast area together, and stick the forms on top of the taped breasts.

But if my current outfit doesn’t have a low cut, then I forfeit the tape completely. And one day I noticed that I could actually bring the breast tissue together, even without tape, and, when sticking the breastforms on top of everything and holding them in place with the bra, the cleavage produced was as good as if I had used a tape. Wow! Suddenly, there seemed to be a lot more breast tissue than before. Not all bras work in the same way, but one of them created fantastic cleavage without any tape. I was impressed. Where did all that breast tissue come from? I hadn’t gained that much weight lately, so it must have come from the plungers.

And, indeed, when comparing pictures from a few months back, there was a slight difference. In terms of projection, there was no change. But in terms of volume, now I had more breast tissue to ‘play’ with. So clearly that had to come from the plungers!

Encouraged that vacuum pumping seemed to actually have some effect on my breasts (because some people report absolutely no change whatsoever), I started thinking of stepping up to the next level, and buy some real vacuum pumps.

Of course the BRAVA system was out of the question. Where would I place it, anyway? Also, the BRAVA is supposed to be worn 16 hours a day or so; I just have a few hours to do the pumping at the office, since, at this stage, I don’t even want my wife to know what I’m doing. But I certainly enjoy the nicer cleavage 🙂

Noogleberry System with small cups. The actual bag doesn't show the logo.
Noogleberry System with small cups. The actual bag doesn’t show the logo.

A long time ago, I had come across the Noogleberry system. Noogleberry is manufactured in the UK, and it’s a manual pumping system (unlike the BRAVA, which has an electric pump). It’s very simple: a hand pump connected to a Y-shaped tube, which connects to two weirdly shaped plastic domes. It’s small enough to fit in a simple, non-descript bag (it looks like one of those bags to carry makeup), and is quickly assembled and disassembled.

What actually caught my attention was not the device itself, since it is actually pretty much similar to hundreds of similar devices. It was the community. It has a huge forum with thousands of Noogleberry users supporting each other with lots of tips and techniques. The company obviously encourages this vast exchange of information, which replaces technical support (although I’ve been told that their technical support is also extraordinary). So at least you’re not stuck with a company in China doing a cheap system with no support and having no clue how it works.

I thought a lot about this. It’s clear that almost all of those thousands of users did have good results with the Noogleberry; it’s impossible to believe that all of them have been paid to do raving reviews on a public forum!

aAnd the company neither hides the complaints from those for which the system didn’t work. Most actually just complain on the forums once and leave – and never have a chance to read some practical advice to get some results.

Results, of course, vary wildly, mostly because not everybody is very diligent with the ‘exercise’. The key to success is to be very regular. Unlike some forms of exercise, where you start seeing some results very quickly, and then it takes more and more effort to achieve a bit more, vacuum pumping means weeks or even months without seeing anything worthwhile happening, and then suddenly things might start to work. Then there might be some visible progress for a while, and it plateaux again, with no growth for a while. The key is not to give up too soon. Allegedly this mimics how breasts grow to most women during puberty as well (I have no idea); sometimes the growth might be minimal, and then, after a summer holiday, they grow like crazy, only to stop growing for several months again.

Because I saw some improvement from the plungers, at least I knew that I should expect some growth from using the Noogleberry, and maybe this growth would also be a bit faster and more noticeable. I had not too high expectations, but my expectations weren’t exactly zero, either. My only concern was to be able to be regular in the pumping: because my personal schedule is so dependent on others, I might not be able to be very regular. But I hoped that 3-4 times a week should have some effect.

Noogleberries can be bought from a few different sources, but in my case, I choose to buy them from Noogleberry’s account on eBay – they do a slight discount that way, and, depending on the location, you might get free shipping, thanks to eBay’s many agreements. I believe I paid something like €55 for it. Since thankfully both the UK and Portugal are part of the European Union, there are no more hidden costs 🙂

How it works

My first issue with the Noogleberry was: what size should I buy? There are at least four different sizes, from small domes to extra-large domes, and the problem is that they have been designed for genetic women, not flat-chested transgendered people. There is an online calculator/chart that teaches you how to buy the right size (not unlike buying a new bra!). Theoretically, one should buy a size that is just slightly bigger than one’s current breast size, so that the plastic domes get almost completely filled. As the vacuum pump start growing the breast tissue permanently, one moves from one size to the next.

The problem is that the domes are not only larger in terms of length/depth, but also in terms of circumference. Now flat-chested transgendered males have one problem here. Our chest size and rib cage is, comparatively with females, on average, much larger and wider. That means that even though we might have little breast tissue, the smallest domes will barely fit our nipples (that’s a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean), since their circumference is so small.

On the other hand, getting a larger dome size means that not enough tissue will be ‘pulled’, and, allegedly, this means that the Noogleberry will not be working at the maximum efficiency.

I worked on a compromise. Unlike many genetic women and some transgendered individuals in transition, for whom having the perfect breast size in the least amount of time is essential, in my case I’m mostly ‘playing around’, not being overly too serious, and not expecting many results (and most definitely not fast).

So I bought the large size, because the circumference of those domes is pretty much the circumference of my own breast forms, and visually correspond to where my hypothetical breasts would be, if I actually had them. If that means that the Noogleberry will take much longer to work for me, so be it. At least the breasts will grow, from the beginning, at the appropriate size.

Needless to say, those domes are gigantic! I haven’t made the calculations yet, but I believe that each will easily take a liter of water. That’s huge! If I had breasts that large, they would be bigger than Pamela Anderson’s. I certainly don’t want them that big!

But here is the catch. One of the scientific papers quoted above shows that, in order to achieve a desired size, the vacuum pump must pull and stretch the breast tissue at around three times that size.

Why? Here is how apparently this device works. By pulling the breast tissue with negative pressure due to the vacuum, not only the tissue gets stretched, but it also swells — pretty much like you get some swelling when you get a beating (yes, you might get bruises just like if you have gotten a beating). The ‘swelling’ is a natural process by the body to deal with trauma, pulling more blood to the affected tissue.

Over time, repeating the process over and over again, the swelling becomes permanent, as the skin (and the underlying tissue) grows. Because skin is so flexible, for that growth to become permanently, apparently the skin has to be stretched to three times the desired size — because it will ‘contract’ naturally after each session.

That’s why the Noogleberry’s domes seem completely out of scale. To achieve, say, a C or D cup, the large domes actually allow the skin and breast tissue to be stretched to three times that size during each session.

Of course, after a session is finished, even with the swelling, the breast tissue will contract to a much smaller size. And over the weeks that swelling becomes permanent. But with ongoing pumping, the tissue will expand and expand, a little every bit, and what became permanent will not disappear any more.

At some point in time, even the large cups will be completely filled with the stretched tissue; when the nipples start to get crunched into the area where the valve fits, then it’s time to move to the next size.

By the way, the pump is manually operated with a single hand (it looks like the handle of some common bicycle pumps) and it has a round button which will release the vacuum, letting air in. The Y-tube will connect to a small airlock/valve on each dome: you can actually release the tube, and the domes will contain the vacuum. This allows for pumping more on one breast than the other if they are asymmetrical.

Trying it out — two techniques

When the package with the Noogleberry arrived, after unpacking it, I think that the first thing that worried me was — how do I actually hold the cups to my breasts? After all, you need three hands — two to hold the cups in place, one to grab the hand pump. Ironically, the small instruction flyer didn’t say anything about that subject, and searching on the forums did not provide any insights!

The cup’s edges are not symmetrical; instead, they are designed to follow the chest’s contouring. So the first thing I did is to recline on my chair, and twist each cup around until I found the perfect fit. Then I tried to hold both together with a single arm, and use the other hand to grab the pump. After a few false starts, a few times pumping will make the cups stick to your chest. Whew. It wasn’t easy on the first time!

Now there are basically two different techniques that can be used with the Noogleberry (or other manual vacuum pumping system): pump-and-hold or pump-and-release. Some people prefer one of the techniques over the other and get different results; others combine both.

Pump-and-hold is simply to pump, pulling the breasts into the cups until it becomes painful; then you slightly release the vacuum, and remain like that for the remainder of the session — say, half an hour or a full hour. It’s the best option if you wish to entertain yourself doing something else while pumping, like, say, working on your computer (which requires hands to be free) or doing some other kind of manual, light exercise (cooking and ironing should be fine; doing other more physical house chores will be difficult!).

Pump-and-release requires a bit more attention and a stopwatch. First you pump, again, until it starts to hurt, releasing slightly at the end. Remain like that for seven minutes. Then you release the vacuum — without taking the domes off — and wait another three minutes. Repeat again for the remainder of your session (so, for a half-hour session, you will go through this routine three times). With each subsequent pumping, it will probably pull more tissue than before.

Which system works better is a matter of speculation. Some claim that the pump-and-release method works slightly faster, because during the ‘release’ period, the engorged blood vessels during the ‘pumping’ period will be allowed to irrigate the breast tissue better, so with each new cycle, the actual skin being stretched will be more and more. Others claim that the pump-and-hold method works faster and doesn’t bruise the skin so much.

A combination of both techniques is also possible, for those who are undecided. Allegedly the best results are obtained during a 90-minute session. One starts with 3 cycles of pump-and-release, for half an hour. Then another half hour of pump-and-hold. Finish it off with 3 cycles of pump-and-release. To be honest, for me, that method is the one that definitely gives much more swelling. It also bruises the skin a lot, because I tend to overpump… and this leads me to the next point.

Risks, short-term and long-term

Using those bellow plungers is relatively safe, because they have just a fixed amount of suction, or, if you prefer, of negative pressure. All you can do is use them for longer periods, or more times per day. There is nothing else that you can do to ‘improve’ the technique.

With the Noogleberry, you have a relatively fine control over the amount of negative pressure you apply. If you apply too little, the domes will not even remain attached to your chest. But if you apply too much, the breasts will turn purple, and that means they’re starving from lack of blood — that’s an extreme case of overpumping and you have to be careful not to overdo it!

Regulating the amount of pressure is not that easy. Remember, with the BRAVA system, it’s a computer-controlled electrical pump that applies the pressure, and the settings are calibrated by a doctor. With the Noogleberry, you’re on your own.

At the beginning, it’s normal for the breasts to turn red (if they never turn red, it means you’re not applying enough negative pressure…). This redness is only temporary, and, especially with the pump-and-release technique, it’s usual that on the second or third cycle, the breasts won’t turn red any more.

But it’s also typical for us to become impatient and think, ‘if I apply just a little more negative pressure, maybe this whole process of swelling and growing will go faster…’ That’s true to a degree — but it’s very, very easy to overpump, and that means that the whole chest area will really look black and blue (or at least purple/yellow…) as if you have taken a beating. Seriously! It’s not a pretty sight. And I’m sure it cannot be healthy, either!

Because finding the right balance is not so easy, I’ve been told that beginners like me tend to overpump very easily, and get frustrated by the bruising. The best way to deal with the bruises, of course, is to stop pumping for a while, until they heal. But that means spending days or even weeks without doing your regular pumping, and pretty much wasting time which could have been put into productive pumping instead. So ‘veteran’ nooglers (does that word exist?) will know how to apply the exact amount of negative pressure, to avoid bruises, but to achieve the best and fastest result. That takes some experience!

Some nooglers tend to say that it’s possible to overpump a bit if you use the push-and-release technique; by contrast, you should be more careful using the pump-and-hold method. Also note that even though during the pump-and-hold method you technically should not need to worry about more pumping, in practice, that’s not the case. The vacuum created by the domes is good enough, but not perfect: as you move around, even doing simple things like typing at a computer keyboard, sooner or later some air will enter the domes, so once in a while you need to give the hand pump a squirt. According to some studies, it’s the constant vacuum that makes the difference.

Also, the skin gets more ‘stretchy’ over time, as it adapts to the negative pressure. This means that at the very beginning you might not be able to stretch the breast tissue more, but, after an hour or so of pump-and-hold, the tissue is more stretchy, and you can pull it in by applying a few more squirts on the pump.

To give you an idea… on my first day with the Noogleberry, at the pain threshold level (which would be the equivalent of overpumping if I let it stay that way), my own breast tissue would fill, at most, 1/3 of the dome. My domes have no markings on it (the Noogleberry site sells some domes that have a small scale, for you to figure out your ongoing growth), so I cannot be very precise with the measurements. After a bit over a month of pumping, now the breast tissue fills around 60%, or a little less than 2/3 of the whole dome. That’s how stretchy skin can be! But actually when I start a pumping session, I usually cannot go further than 1/3. It’s only after some time, at least an hour or so, that the tissue ‘gives way’ and allows itself to be stretched further. And of course it becomes harder to gain more volume — probably it will take a whole year to fill the whole dome.

Short-term side-effects are not only the swelling itself (which is a desired effect!) but mostly the redness, bruising, and irritated skin. That’s why it’s really fundamental to have the breast skin very well moisturised, before and after each session. The skin will really be subject to torture. After my first day, I was really shocked, because I feared I had ruptured all capillary blood vessels on the breast area! (I have fragile capillary blood vessels on some areas of my body…) This took a few days to subside, until I felt bold enough to try again, this time applying much less negative pressure, but doing it for extended periods of time.

The standard domes don’t have a sharp edge, but it’s still an edge, which means that after the session is over, there will almost certainly some red ‘rings’ around the breast area. Unlike the plunger, at least they will not be concentric circles! And depending on how well-treated your skin is, this will either get away after a few hours or during the night; it’s rare that they will remain longer than that. Noogleberry also apparently sells some ‘edge protectors’, made of silicone or some soft tissue, which avoids the red rings or at least limits them (the BRAVA system, for instance, is very well cushioned at the edges).

It’s also normal if the breast tissue, even if it wasn’t overpumped, to be slightly pinkish after a session, while it is swollen. The skin will also feel very soft and tender, and the whole swollen area will have a strange but nice feeling to it — more on that later!

How long does the swelling remain? This is also a matter of debate which depends from person to person and on the technique used. Some genetic women report that the swelling lasts for ‘several hours’. What this means is that they use the Noogleberry just before they go out clubbing, which turns their breasts larger and plumpier, and that situation remains for the whole night. If they can avoid the red rings and the pinkiness, that means ‘growing’ one or sometimes even two cups — while the swelling lasts! — and becoming the centre of attention during the night 🙂 And, at the same time, of course, they are contributing to making the swelling permanent. But even the temporary swelling is useful on its own!

Is that claim hard to believe? Well, I, for myself, can very well believe such claims. I would say that my chest is not totally flat — the Noogleberry works better with people that have some body fat (that doesn’t mean being overweight! Just not cadaverously skinny…) — but is perhaps an AA cup or thereabouts. After a session of noogling, the swelling allows me to fill a (padded) D cup bra almost completely:

D cup bra

You can see on that picture the pinkiness of the swelling as well as the red rings quite distinctly. The bra is not padded with socks or anything like that; it just has some embedded foam to create a full form.

And how long does it last? In my case, I would say at least 4 hours, at least. On the following morning I still see a substantial difference in size (although the skin returned to its usual colour, and the red rings have disappeared completely); but after 24 hours, of course, they are exactly as the day before. Well, not ‘exactly’. Over weeks and weeks, there is some slight change. As said, even though the unswollen breast tissue does not ‘protrude’ like a real woman’s breast, it already has so much new breast tissue (even if spread among a vast area, therefore not really noticeable) that I can do awesome cleavage with it, even without using a tape. Here is a recent picture where I’m just using my Amoena breastforms inside a D cup bra, but no tape whatsoever:


You can see the cleavage line quite well, and no, it’s not ‘enhanced’ with makeup or Photoshop; it really looks like that — and it’s very soft to the touch, too 🙂

Will my ‘swelling’ become ‘permanent’? It’s possible, and, if that’s the case, I could easily use a push-up bra and forfeit the breastforms altogether. That would be fantastic — but it will probably require many, many months of pumping, and I’m taking a break during the summer (not because I’m planning to go to the beach — I’m not a ‘beach person’ — but because I still don’t want to do the pumping at home in front of my wife). Maybe next year!

There are other pitfalls, too. One of the things that will also grow are the nipples — not necessarily the aureola (that might happen much later, as the whole breast grows), but just the nipple, and it will project much farther. This can actually cause some discomfort, especially for us genetic males who are wearing our daily clothes braless, and will get our usual male constantly rubbing on the nipples.

Noogleberry, again, sells something they call ‘nipple protectors’. This is a small cap made of silicone that sticks to the nipples and prevent them from being expanded. A cheaper alternative is just to tape the nipples:

Taped nipples

That way, as the breast tissue gets expanded, the nipples are firmly kept in place and prevented from expanding at the same time. Of course, some people will also want larger nipples and enjoy the feeling from having them rubbing on one’s clothes 🙂

Long-term issues, I’m afraid to say, is pretty much what every women will also be subject to. ‘New’ breasts from recently grown expanded tissue will look soft, plump, and firm, in the sense that they might project well and feel round and full. But over time, gravity will take its toll, and they will naturally become droopy — like it happens with genetic women as well. Keeping up with a maintenance routine with the vacuum pump can actually help against droopiness — say, doing a few sessions once or twice a year to keep the firmness. And, of course, special breast creams for firmness will help as well.

Then there is obviously a higher risk of breast cancer. This means doing regular mammographies just like women do, and learning how to do frequent breast self-exams. Yes, don’t laugh: males can develop breast cancer as well, and, because using these breast enlargement techniques will expand the breast tissue several times, it means a higher probability of developing breast cancer as well.

And, of course, there is another aspect: how to hide those breasts once they have grown to become noticeable?

A few of my male crossdresser friends have no real problem in having large male boobs, because they also have a lot of body fat on other places of their bodies. We are conditioned to imagine fat males having also some breast tissue, so that means it won’t be much noticeable for most people.

But if you have a good figure, and have grown your breasts by a considerable amount, than it means forgetting about going bare-chested in public places — unless, of course, you’re prepared to shock everybody. In many cases the vacuum-grown breasts will really look like ‘real’ female breasts and will be hard to explain; others might just have a growth that is not immediately noticeable as ‘female breasts’ (not without a bra, at least).

The bouncing at every step will be thrilling at first, and very exciting — or even erotic! — but depending on the size you’ve grown them, they might actually become annoying — as it happens to genetic females. That truly means getting used to wear a bra every day. If you are still presenting as a male every day, then it means avoiding tight clothes or see-through clothes. Shirts (if not too tight) actually work very well to disguise the breasts, and they don’t look as sloppy as oversized T-shirts or polos. But you will have to avoid white shirts or very light colours, especially in summer, since even a nude-coloured bra will be visible under the shirt.

Thrilling experience!

I remember writing some years ago that if I had breasts, I would go crazy by feeling the urge to be constantly fondling them; I’m truly a ‘breast person’ in the sense that I find breasts very attractive.

Of course, back then, it was only a hypothetical scenario! Now I have a tiny little more breast tissue — not really visible enough to be considered ‘breasts’, to be honest, and most people seeing me bare-chested wouldn’t really see anything different. But they already feel different to me. The extra tissue is already a bit noticeable. With a bra with elastic bands, they do jiggle a bit when walking — not much, but enough to be perceptible! When sleeping on my side, I can feel the breast tissue from one breast touching and covering the other. So yes, all those slight changes in my body are quite noticeable to me, even if nobody else will notice the difference!

And it’s true that during the few hours after a session I’m constantly fondling and rubbing them 🙂 They’re incredibly soft, and rubbery to the touch, in a way that silicone isn’t; they feel great, like breasts from a young woman — which, in a sense, that’s what they are — and that naturally triggers in me the desire to rub and touch them. I feel especially gratified for holding a cupful of them in each hand — and noticing that they actually cannot be wholly cupped by my hand (and I have large hands), even days after the swelling have subsided. Some bra size calculators, based on my over-the-nipple and under-the-breast measurements, calculate my bra size to be 42D (95D in Europe), which seems absolutely unlikely, if you actually see them:

Picture just after 3 hours of pumping
Picture just after 3 hours of pumping, still very swollen

These don’t look like D-sized breasts! And, of course, once the swelling subsides, they will shrink a lot.

Here is the catch — and even genetic women do get that wrong. When we see D-cupped beauties, they usually have small chest areas. The letters don’t really mean ‘volume’, but merely the ration between two measurements. If you have a very small chest area, a D cup seems huge, because the difference in those measurements — 4 inches in the US sizing system — means that a huge volume is necessary for that. By contrast, if you have a very large chest area, then a difference of merely 4 inches is not really much and requires little volume. Also, the larger the chest size, the flatter a breast with the same volume will be — since the breast tissue will be spread around a much vaster surface area.

To make a difference that is really noticeable, then you need a huge volume. The D cup bra I showed on the other picture is really not very noticeable under a shirt — honest! Of course, if I wear a very tight T-shirt, and add my corset beneath that, then it will attract attention, even now! But I don’t do that — unless I’m wearing a jacket on top of everything — and I estimate that my current breasts will need to have a permanent growth of at least three times their current size to really become noticeable. And only then I will be able to forget about my prosthetic breastforms altogether 🙂

But they still feels great, even now 🙂 They are much more sensitive than before, and the nipples are larger and more projected — they will show quite clearly under relatively tight shirts. If I bump into things with my breasts, then it also hurts much more than before, because they are so much more sensitive. And that’s just with a couple of months of pumping.

I cannot wait to see the results after a year or two 🙂