Monday, November 5, 2007
Tighten Up, Part I
Without a doubt, the part of my physical appearance that draws the most attention is my corset. Sometimes the attention is positive, sometimes it isn't--comments run the gamut of, "Why on earth would you do that to yourself?", to "That's incredible. Sign me up." (Or something roughly equivalent.)
I've been lacing now for about three years. There were a couple of false starts due to corset craftsmanship, but once I got going, I was hooked. From the first time I stood in the fetish shop dressing room with my man looking on as I saw my body swathed in brocade and boning, I knew this was for me. Finally, I could cut the figure I always wanted, but which no number of sit-ups could achieve. I did my research--as a bookworm, I can't do anything without first consulting the written word--but no amount of reading could have prepared me for what lay ahead in my future of living corseted.
The first thing I learned was that as long as I was laced, I could not continue to eat the way I had been eating for years. As a member of the Clean Plate Club since childhood, my worst habit carried into adulthood has been my propensity to eat everything put in front of me, but since wearing a corset I've learned the art of moderation. I can still eat whatever I want, I just can't finish the mammoth bowl of tortellini placed in front of me at an Italian restaurant. I can't have too much salt (even sushi is too much), and I can't have too much beer, nor can I down too many beloved champagne cocktails. It's all about portions, really, and tightlacing taught me how to do it.
(Perhaps this would be a good time to point out to anyone who may be considering tightlacing that a corset is NOT a weight loss tool. When you take off the corset, your waistline will go back to being whatever size it was before you tied your laces. I can't stress enough how important it is to understand that one should not start tightlacing for the sole purpose of losing weight.)
Tightlacing has also taught me proper posture. My mother spent years trying to get me to sit up straight, but the corset has proved a far better teacher. I walk tall, with confidence, and like any proper lady I don't bend at the waist but instead fold at the knees if I need to reach the ground.
Wearing a corset also completely changed my wardrobe. I don't wear pants, as 1) they don't work with corsets, 2) I don't know any woman who looks better in pants than she does in a skirt or dress. My clothes fit smoothly on my body, giving the appearance in some outfits that my clothes have been tailored to me when in fact they've been purchased off the rack.
The benefits and complexities of tightlacing can scarcely be summed up in one post--I haven't even touched on the satisfaction of discipline and restraint enjoyed by both myself and my man--nor is one writing sufficient to discuss the reactions to my waist from my family, my coworkers, my friends, or random people on the street, not to mention my responses to their reactions. The issues of tightlacing in a modern world are many, especially in a world where corsets are widely perceived as devices of torture created ultimately for the viewing pleasure of the male public.
Know, though, that I will return to this subject. I've only barely pierced the surface of an abyss of satins, silks and stays.