BOUND TO PLEASE: MOVING BEYOND CONTROVERSY INTO THE PLEASURE OF CORSETS (c)
Vilified and celebrated, no single garment has created such intense and
long-lived controversy nor engendered such devoted followers as the corset.
Hardly anyone is neutral about corsets. On the topic, someone in every
discussion finds a way to inject humor or derision, gentle or disguised as it
may be, concerning those who corset and their love affair with the garment. Yet
those who deride sometimes barely veil their own begrudging admiration, even
jealousy toward the wearer.
Others circle warily around opportunities to try on or actually purchase a
corset, fingering ready-to-wear boned bustiers or paging through volumes of
details on custom-ordered long-lines and cinchers. They hesitate, blaming
imperfect bodies that "need first to be in shape" (yet the corset
assists with permanent waist reduction and good posture programs). They bemoan
generous bodies (yet the corset looks bet when curves are voluptuous and
visible). Men steadfastly reject internal desires to corset which they
mistakenly believe appropriate only for women (yet local corsetiers sell 40% or
more of their custom orders to men!)
It is these very facts of controversy, indecision and conflict that render
corsets so compelling a subject of debate and desire. After all, differences
create tension, and tension creates excitement.
Corsets both symbolize tension and make it real: the natural push of the waist
outward into the resistance and inward pull of steel stays and stretched satin.
Early on, the novice corset wearer may suffer a great deal from this conflict,
even give up, because he or she does not understand the most effective
psychological and logistical ways to approach the garment and convert its
threat into exquisite pleasure.
From over ten years of personal experience with my 50-plus different corsets,
and following many discussions with other corset wearers, I've concluded that
there is a zen to the art of corset wearing and enjoyment. It requires both
positive attitude and physical preparation.
I insure that my attitude is a positive one primarily by never corseting to
excess. That is, I try never to dress faster, lace tighter or keep my corset on
for a longer time than brings me actual feelings of pleasure. Approaching a
corset with moderation and self-imposed restraint in some way internalizes the
physical restraint that is to come, and thereby integrates it more fully into
one's being. I want to live long, corset well, and prosper...not go out in a
five-minute blaze of 14" glory!
Successful corseting be it daily or monthly, starts when the wearer establishes
and maintains a personalized ritual before corseting. it matters little how
simple or elaborate that ritual may be, merely that the ritual is consistently
followed, and appropriate to enhance individual pleasure. Some agree that on
the morning or even day before you intend to corset, the wearer should
carefully chose the corset, accessories and outfit to be worn. I arrange my
entire outfit on the bed, then enjoy looking at it several times before I leave
for my day's work. During the day, I like to visualize in detail how good I
will look and feel once I am dressed.
The second step occurs closer to the actual time of corseting. The mind must be
cleared of the day's clutter and one's thoughts should be focused on the
exquisite feelings that are possible in both body and soul as one corsets. To
clear and focus, I usually plan time to luxuriate in a candle-lit bubble bath,
attending carefully to each minor detail of preparation as for any special
event. Even if I am dressing for and attending an event by myself, I approach
wearing my corset with the care I use in planning for a rendezvous with a
lower. Indeed, I do feel a bit as if the corset is my lover: warm hands
pressing inwards, enveloping me in a tender, firm embrace, bidding my body to
change, wooing and coaxing into view the curves that lie surprisingly close to
the surface of my rather uninspiringly slender physique. One European corset
model, Pandora, claims that the embrace of fabric and steel is even more
intimate than that of a lover. It can certainly be more constant and available!
As part of the evening's final preparation, I insure that my appetite is curbed
and my body feels svelt by munching lightly on fruits and juices, never
imbibing carbonation or heavy protein or fatty foods. I snap the corset in
front and initially do not tighten it, then wear it while I complete my makeup.
During preparation for going out, I gradually pull the laces tighter in
half-inch increments over the longest possible time.
Two hours is not an unreasonable period to comfortably and safely reach one's
minimum waist size, which may well differ from day to day, depending on mood,
stress or contentment level, or even phase of the moon. It is of utmost
importance during this process of lacing down to not resist the stays, but to
let them envelop the body easily and do all the work. Resistance or stiffening
of the body will only make the process more difficult and unsatisfying. Of
course, willing assistance from an appreciative lover who encourages gentle
progress, never hurts!
For the curious reader, ten years is a desirable period to reach the outer
extreme possible for most people--a 10-inch waist reduction.
Whether one chooses to pursue extreme and permanent torso sculpting in a
24-hour a day life style, or take a more casual, exploratory and sensual
approach to corseting, moderation and focus seem to be two keys to experiencing
abiding comfort and pleasure.