So you are wondering, what kind of men would be interested in wearing corsets? For what reasons? Well, there are a wide range of men from many different walks of life with as many different reasons. I cannot speak for them all, but I will tell you my story.....
Where did the interest come from?
When I was a young boy growing up in the 1970's, I was very interested in watching the old western movies. Apart from the shoot-outs, another thing that I always noticed was that the women in these movies usually had very small waists with seemingly perfect posture. Somewhere along the way, I learned that they used a garment called a corset to achieve this appearance. Being a pudgy (a kind way of saying fat) kid with a swayed back, I thought it would be cool if they made corsets for men. I thought it could solve my own personal problems. My father would have liked it if I lost the weight (he was never cruel about it), and my mother always reminded me to "stand straight up when you walk!". Unfortunately, I never saw any men wearing these garments, so thus, came to the conclusion that they were for women only. I didn't give the matter much thought after that.
What brought corsets back to the forefront of my thoughts?
In my twenties, I managed to get in tremendously good physical shape. I was very interested in body building, and was able to ultimately bench press more than 1 1/2 times my body weight (I weighed 190 LBS). Unfortunately, as I rolled into my thirties, the time I used to have for body building was slowly being taken up by other interests such as marriage, career, and other hobbies. Unfortunately, if one doesn't keep up with body building on a regular basis, all that hard work has the same effect as water in a sink. It goes down the drain! I started to lose the muscle mass in exchange for body fat. It didn't take long before I started feeling like that pudgy kid again. I also had the additional complication of developing a dull, throbbing pain in my lower back that was especially noticeable when I stood up for any length of time.
Having just recently acquired access to the internet, I started searching for information on lower back pain. In my travels, I stumbled onto a web site that advertised medical corsets for both men and women. I looked at the pictures of them very closely, and decided that since they had so many straps, I'd never be able to wear them undetected under normal clothing. I didn't want to exchange my back pain for the inevitable throat pain that would incur from explaining to everyone what I was wearing. There had to be a better way! I reasoned that since there were medical corsets for men, perhaps there might be "regular" corsets available for men also. A search here, a click there, and low and behold, I stumbled on web sites such as ROMANTASY, Axfords, and Wasp Creations. All of these sites offer corsets for men who want to wear them discretely. If only I had the internet as a resource in the 1970's! The first corset I bought was the D54 men's model offered by Axfords. When I received it, I hastily tried it on. It took a little getting used to, but the back support and improved posture were immediately noticeable. I wore it for one full week under my regular street clothes without telling anybody (including my wife). It was the first week without back pain in a long time! I finally told my wife about it. I explained to her that I was wearing a corset to help with my back problems. She accepted that, and even commented that she noticed an improvement in my posture, but couldn't pinpoint why during that week. Well, now she knows.
Wearing a corset has become part of my normal regime now. I currently own four 26" waisted corsets (3 D54 corsets from Axfords, and one Hoss corset from ROMANTASY). I'm 5' 6" tall, and before I started wearing a corset, my waistline was 36" and my weight was 190 LBS. After four short months of wearing a corset from morning until bedtime, I've reduced my natural waist to 33" (my corseted waist is now 29 1/2") and my weight to 165 LBS. I have received numerous compliments on my new look from friends, co-workers, and relatives. There is scarcely a day that goes by where I don't hear a comment on how great I look since I lost the weight. The one thing that all of these people have in common is that they do not know I'm wearing a corset! In the last four months, I have refined how I hide the use of a corset as a foundation garment. I currently wear a men's nylon/spandex body shirt (in the form of a tank top) over my corset. These body shirts have two distinct advantages. First, they almost completely hide the back lacing and lines of my corset. Second, since they are porous in nature, they breath well making for cooler corset wearing. In the realm of comfort, I have made simple corset liners for wearing under my corset out of undershirts cut where they would normally meet the top of the corset. In the not too distant future, I am looking at replacing these with corset tubes made out of swim suit material to better protect the corset from perspiration.
About the only aspect of wearing a corset in the beginning that I didn't care for was the restriction it imposed on my movement. I've since gotten used to the restriction, and would be less than honest if I didn't admit that I now miss it if it's not there. In fact, it is the restriction that has made my weight reduction possible. Simply put, when I'm wearing a corset, my appetite is controlled. I simply cannot eat large meals while corseted. I tend to eat smaller meals more frequently. This is now easy to do since I'm always wearing a corset these days. Hence, my recent weight loss will be permanent since the benefits derived from wearing a corset are too numerous to go back to the days when I didn't wear one. Besides, I just recently joined a pistol shooting team in a highly competitive bullseye shooting league. Competition pistol shooting requires standing straight up in one position for extended periods of time. This wouldn't be possible for me without the trusty corset! Kind of reminds me of the old westerns I watched as a kid, only now, with a new twist. I get to shoot pistols, and I get to do it with a small waist and a straight back!
Some parting comments on men's corsetry
It is my opinion that more men would get on the bandwagon of corset wearing if they could be assured of the legitimacy of such a practice. After all, I know quite a few guys that have lower back problems. Men in general may not realize it, but they are halfway there. This is evident by the accepted practice of wearing back supports in the more physically demanding jobs. These back supports are nothing more than a less effective back-lacing corset in my estimation. White collar men aren't exempt here either. Sit in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and you'll see what I mean.
Generally speaking, I think that the corset makers tend to do themselves a bit of a disservice by focusing the majority of their marketing of men's corsets primarily towards female waisted styles for the fetish community. I think that a huge, untapped market exists for male waisted styles. Perhaps if the depictions of non-crossdressing men wearing corsets were approached with the same zeal as the depictions of cross-dressing men (and women for that matter) wearing them, some progress might be made here. I personally would have been sold sooner on the idea of wearing a corset if I saw more before / after pictures of men wearing corsets under typical male clothes. I did much reading "between the lines" in order to assure myself that wearing a corset is a legitimate practice for men. Also, almost as singularly effective as pictures, are testimonials from men who wear male waisted corsets. Better yet, put the testimonials with the pictures!
|P.S. I'm wearing the new Hoss corset while typing this, and the support it gives me with the double reinforced boning is fantastic!! Perhaps in the fall I'll be talking to you about a custom version....|
I received the custom corsets today. HOLY #$%@^ -- I must humbly apologize. There is no comparison! These corsets are so comfortable, and yet, my corseted waistline is now 27" (I didn't even have to try to accomplish this). The best I could do with the off-the-peg was 28 ½" at a comfort level that doesn't even approach these corsets. Kudos to Ruth of BR Creations! Forget this silly nonsense about ordering anymore off-the-peg corsets. (I'll bet you knew/predicted this!). I am REALLY interested in the 3 week custom corset deal by Isabella. Less money too? Can't beat that. You know I'll be calling! You're the greatest!
(Ed. note: Sometime in late fall, 1999, ROMANTASY received a plaintive email inquiry from a somewhat depressed-sounding man who said he was a farrier in Lexington, Kentucky. He told us that about a year ago, he fell off his horse and broke his back. For one year he had been slowly rehabilitating himself, but his doctors plus chronic back pain, denied him the former pleasure of riding horses. This disheartening situation caused him to seek advice from ROMANTASY as to whether or not we could assist with his rehabilitation. Let Chris tell you the results in his own words. We wish him continuing success in his hard struggle to return to complete health, and congratulate him in risking a bit by trying a corset!)
I am so pleased with (my new corset), it is impossible to find words that describe how it feels to now be able to do things that I wasn't supposed to do any more in my life! I've had people come up to me and say, "I thought you broke your back? What are you doing on the track riding?" They can't believe I am back riding again, or working out or shoeing horses.
"I've been wearing the corset that Isabella made for me quite regularly and it is doing well. I haven't had a pain pill of any kind since I've been wearing it. Had a good ride today and feel fine--no back problems at all. The corset also makes you sit up straight and in a more balanced riding position. Therefore, the horse seems happier and responds more quickly.
"Thanks for making my life easier. If you ever need a reference as to what a corset will do, feel free to have customers contact me at my email address: WCRMRR2@aol.com I will be glad to help anyone get back to living and enjoying life again.
"After all, it's not how long you live, it's the challenges you face while you're here! Thank you for helping me."
Chris Rule 2/13/00
(Ed note: Chris has volunteered to answer questions about how he chose the style and maker he chose, how the corset works, and certain restrictions that go along with wearing a corset. Feel free to contact him!)