Lace Up Corsetry
Two Witches
The Cramps
The Midnight Configuration
Elvira - Mistress of the Dark
The House of Gord
The Hellfire Club
Gitane Demone
Carnival of Souls
Carnival of Desire
Marquis Masquerade

An interesting quotation from Nicholas de Mandville. Fashion Designer. Painter and Mural Decorator. 1962 “The days of supreme style in women’s dress were also the days of the corset. The “Noble Corset.” for it alone was responsible for the superb fashions that gave a woman a figure and femininity never equalled before or since.”

The earliest record of the corset was a series of heavy rings worn by women in Crete circa 2500 BC. The first modern corsets were made of linen stiffened by starch or paste. Even iron was used at one time. during the 1800s. material corsets boned with stays created the fashionable small waist, the hourglass look. Initially they were “Monobosomed” i.e. the breasts were not obviously separated but in 1811 came the “Divorce Corset”, which separated the breasts by means of triangular piece of steel.

In about 1830 metal eyelets and metal busks for front fastening were introduced. and suspenders were attached from about 1901.

Corsets are often laughed at as the attire of old ladies and not for the young sexually liberated woman. It is also true that stockings and suspenders were laughed at in the seventies and early eighties. being seen as the sole domain of thrush sufferers. old ladies and whores (politically incorrect) ! A bizarre combination of almost polar opposites. now women can freely admit to enjoying wearing stockings and all the finery associated with wearing stockings can now be found in any women’s clothing shop. The change in attitude starting with the punks. This trend is the beginning of a second sexual revolution, the first was the seventies with “bra burning” and now the reawakening of sexuality i.e. being free and being ultra feminine. Serious ladies underwear serves to enhance and magnify female sexuality. far more exciting than white cotton knickers and bras hidden beneath baggy jumpers and jeans. the epitome of seventies sexuality.
Using clothing to express sexuality is an art form fundamental in even the primitive drives of man i.e. the libido, the need for aestheticism. Possibly even the need for safety is nourished by the human primary experience of encasement i.e. to be tightly entwined in a corset or restrictive underwear is comparable to the encasement of the womb. I think the recent Desmond Morris program showing Russian babies being wrapped with linen just like a Russian doll was interesting. be this process good or bad I am not sure but no one could deny that the babies were settled and contented. The adult can enjoy using whatever sensual fabric they choose and as a result feel safe and powerful. Who knows? I would like to know what ladies who wear corsets think about them. Well, one thing’s for sure is, don’t knock it till you have tried it. Put simply, corset wearing is fun. What better reason? It would not be fun to wear one all day and every day but merely for a period. a period of heightened sexual awareness not necessarily sex per se, but to enjoy this “trip” into extravagant visual and tactile sensuality and sexuality by a process of sensual embodiment in an erotic garment such as the corset.
The materials of corsets includes satin. lycra. leather and rubber, all well recognised for their erotic powers. I particularly like the brocade versions. They are always boned (usually steel wire these days and better than their whaleboned counter parts) and this is necessary for the rigidity of the structure. They do not have to be painful or uncomfortable. a good one worn correctly should feel tightly embracing, and that can be a very pleasant feeling. The waist is compressed and the flesh is pushed out towards the hips and bust. This enlargement is exaggerated by the narrowing of the waist. In fact both changes accentuate each other ! With use the garment is able to be tightened until the desired shape is produced. Like anything else, there are sensible limits to most practices. a corset is one of them. The dangers of corsets came from over zealous tightening (the kind of tightening that took three years training) and continued diurnal use. This led to shallow breathing with consequently poor oxygenation, pulmonary gaseous exchange and a propensity to hypostatic pneumonia. It is thought that this hypo-oxygenation exacerbated a tendency to panic attacks and fainting in Victorian women. Such images were compatible with Victorian aspects of sexuality, such as the woman being a delicate butterfly ready to pass out at the slightest shock. Worn for fun and when you want to wear them, corsets are good news.
They come in a wide variety of lengths and styles from waspies or waist clinchers, which start above the hip and below the breast bone. they are laced at the back and look great under or over a dress. Like all corsets you lace from two ends towards the middle, many corsets come with loose laces and most people tend to think you lace each end, both uncomfortable and counter productive. Then come the boned. real corsets. longer garments travelling from the hips to the bust in various degrees. They accentuate the shape of a woman incredibly. you will find it hard to believe its you in the mirror. To feel the laces being tightened behind you can be exquisite and the erect and armoured feeling can continue to exhilarate either subtly under a skirt and blouse, or worn blatantly at such a venue as Masquerade, where the only limits of dress are controlled by human imagination and constraints of materials. Suspenders are usually optional and when fitted there are usually six and sometimes eight. Why? Well, unlike their floppy counter parts in large rows in department stores which usually consist of suspender belts made from a flimsy band of elastic round the waist with four flimsy pieces of elastic dangling down with suspenders on, these are serious instruments of control. The suspender straps are always adjustable with proper clasps that don’t slacken off. The actual suspender fastenings are invariably metal. The net result is stockings that are really taught and controlled. It is wonderful to see a woman in a corset walking with stocking tops heaving under the strain of taught suspenders pinnacling up to the cams with that distinctive moiré pattern dancing furtively in the tightly stretched nylon, changing with each sway of the hip as the tension is transferred to other suspender straps with the sound of scraping nylons rubbing between the thighs and the clipping of stiletto heels. Wearing seamed stockings is a new experience. You will no longer be troubled with twisting seams. they will be in perfect control, and control you have got ! Six suspenders are necessary for good control, but eight looks good too. I am not sure which I prefer. The concept of sexual power (or prowess) and control are sometimes not readily admitted to, but the two are very connected and I think that wall poster advertising something I did not even notice illustrates this idea well. the advert showing an athletic looking man about to sprint but instead of running shoes he is wearing 6” red stilettos!
They certainly look great as part of the “Gothic” look and are in themselves a serious fashion garment, but are probably just to sexy to be seen in the high street. Like rubber, its very potent appeal drives it out of normal life, but those who want sensual extravagance are not deterred !