Category Archives: Announcements

Waxing philosophical: The heart is slow to learn

“Pity me that the heart is slow to learn, What the swift mind beholds at every turn.” Emily Dickenson seems to state profound truths in a few short words. I wish I could do the same!

On days when I get out of my own way (what a lovely concept!), the world seems to permit serendipitous insights and I see truths that exist around me all the time. Today is just such a day.

Paying attention to the role of the unconscious in personal motivations, is a current interest, particularly how it applies to the corset waist-training students whom I coach from time to time. As much as I try to flesh out a solid picture of the personality, personal motivations and disposition, history, and genetic background of someone who wants to enter my waist-training program, I cannot predict with certainly how the student will fare. Sometimes I can’t predict accurately if they will complete the program. More surprising to me, some pay their registration fee then choose not to even begin the program! Often I suspect those actions have to do with unresolved childhood experiences including fear and anger, but not much with anything that can be rationally identified or understood on my part or theirs. Because of that understanding and before any student begins a program, I advise that sometime during training they may want to quit, and suggest they be ready to overcome that natural tendency, even if it is irrational. I advise that both corset construction and waist training are not matters of perfect predictability, much less “perfection.” See also this page.

I’ve learned a lot about the unconscious in Dr. John Sarno’s excellent book, The Divided Mind. Last weekend I learned even more in an SF Chronicle’s Sunday book review of Prof. Martha Nussbaum’s new book, The Monarchy of Fear.

Dr. Sarno says that patients can develop new health-related symptoms and experience chronic pain due to the unconscious, and suppressed anger (to which I would add, fear). Prof. Nussbaum says that infantile helplessness and vulnerability can predispose us to various ways of coping. She says that childhood is an inherently terrifying time with a steep ascent toward maturity and its glimmer of social hope. Frightened citizens can become “indifferent to truth” she says.

I note that students who fail to pursue waist training, seem indifferent to truth. Some even stop communicating entirely, preventing their further learning, and heading off their potential success. In that case, failure in waist training becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Thus, I have had to recognize that when I respond to perceived student hesitancy with facts, I may be only partially successful. Even when I present many facts and figures, actual student, corsetiere, and my experiences and statistics, the student must first conquer his or her fears both conscious and unconscious, in order to proceed. They need to accept advice, and understand that corseting and waist training are not sciences. They must accept that generally (but not always) waist training has the best results with three prongs of effort: long hours of snug corset wear (not short periods of extreme tightness), plus corset-friendly specific nutrition practices, and waist-targeted exercising.

Sometimes corset wear is not even the key element. Some students have an excellent nutrition program in place but need to focus on specific exercises.  Some need nutrition help.

In the end, those students who have been able to embrace flexibility, anxiety, and ambiguity, plus not demand certainty and perfection in corset fit, construction, or tightness, have demonstrated the most waist training success.

But in today’s anxious world of striving and suffering (see prior blogs), certitude is often demanded to reduce internal conflict. Nussbaum says many today prefer “the comfort of a leader who gives them a womb-like feeling of safety,” and they may “become aggressive against others, blaming them for the pain of fear.” I wonder if she has put her finger on a key reason for the widespread snarkiness on social media today? Anger seems pervasive.

We live in a world of so-called experts who thrive on giving us pat answers so that we don’t have to do the hard work of tolerating anxiety and not knowing. Some don’t want to learn along the way from experience and they don’t respect fact-based experience.

For anyone considering waist training, it behooves them to consider the possibility that their unconscious might try to defeat the pursuit. It might throw up hidden resistance to proceeding, even if they have thoroughly researched the topic and chosen a highly experienced guide or partner, one who generally can be trusted.

Moving forward despite one’s imagined disappointments, fears, and doubts, can help not only achieve successful waist training, but also be successful in future pursuits in many arenas where ambiguity inheres, and where individual endeavor dictates uncertainty in the process and the results.

 

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Hollywood Starlet Emma Watson Misses the Magic of Custom corsets (sigh…)

dancing-lynnIsn’t it just precious how the new media and Hollywood starlettes refuse to know the facts and mindlessly repeat antiquated prejudice against the corset?

Yawn…

Emma Watson to be featured in a remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 2017, gave up on corsets so she could remain mobile for her movie role.

Mobility?dancin

How can she NOT know (or for that matter, fashion reporters not know) YET IN 2016, THAT CUSTOM CORSETS, well seasoned and properly fit — permit almost perfect torso mobility. One would not want to precipitously bend and bend again at the precise waistline: that will tend to weaken the busk and snap it. Other than that there is almost no limit to torso mobility.

For best mobility, choose spiral steels for your boning, get the right fit, take your time in getting used to wearing it and lace down slowly, and lo! You like many of our clients and me, can go dancing the night away from ballroom to hip hop, wearing your corset — with nary a rip in sight and nary a cramp in torso.

There are even times that you might get the perfectly mobile corset by choosed wisely and well from pre-made corsets. CHECK OUT OUR HUGE WINTER INVENTORY SALE TO SEE IF SOMETHING MIGHT WORK FOR YOU (AMAZING PRICES!)

It’s clear that mobility while corseted is fact–and has been for eons. See the description of author Sarah Chrisman who rides a Victorian bicycle miles while snugly corseted, in Victorian Secrets (published 2013).

Who can answer why folks continue to spout such nonsense about the corset?

Best I can come up with, is our Puritanical reversion against sex and sexuality, plus woman’s body revealed (not to mention self determination when she chooses to wear a corset and how tightly she chooses to lace; no one is in charge of that other than herself!).

HAPPY WARM CORSETED SEASON TO ALL!

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WAIST-TO-HIP RATIO HELPS MEN REMEMBER MORE ABOUT WOMEN!

YET ONE MORE REASON TO WEAR CORSETS!!Jessie in Jill for ROMANTASY 

Writing in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, Dr. Carey Fitzgerald, a psychologist at the University of South Carolina in Beaufort, and her colleagues said the men appeared to remember more details about those they find attractive as it could help them when it comes to wooing them.

Dr. Devindra Singh, an evolutionary biologist at the U of Texas, years ago (maybe 20?)  discovered that a .7 waist-to-hip (“hip spring”) ratio attracts favorable male attention of men from pre-pubescent to 90 yrs. of age. The new research extends the benefits of a curvy figure yet one more step regarding waist-to-hip ratio (aka “hip spring”), and angle of the waist to derriere!
Men students in the study could remember biographical and physical information about women better, if they had that .7 waist to hip ratio and 45 degree angle of buttocks to waist.
If only this research had but proved that men would FIRST (but I’ll take “also”) remember how smart and talented we seemed, from just observing the curves of our torso. (smile)
Strangely, the writer in the Self magazine article where I read about the new study, concludes by recommending that you NOT pursue corset waist training! She doesn’t provide any reasoning behind this puzzling conclusion, but does say her own attraction to an hourglass figure is a “gross” admission on her part. “Gross”?
We recommend that she read Lucy William’s new book, Solaced, to find 101 personal stories of reasons why she should or could love corsets–if they fill a personal need she may have. Or read our new book in progress (fall publication), Corset Waist Training: A primer on easy, fun and fashionable waist reduction, to see how men and women of many sizes and shapes–including one trainee who started at 325 lbs with multiple health issues and lost 50 lbs and 5″ waistline inches–have improved their health as well as their shape in three short months of sound nutrition, exercise, and moderate custom corset-wearing practices.
The bottom line is that attracting male attention, or public attention, is not the real reason we should be attending to our figures, corseting, waist training,or pursuing the hourglass shape. The bottom line benefit of waist training deals with improving our health first and foremost!
Corseting for  fashion, entertainment, fantasy, wedding gown splendor,  BDSM play (perhaps), being trendy — all is just fine, but the true Corset Magic is in our enhanced personal sense of well-being, energy for life, joie-du-vivre, improved posture, and keeping our waistline well “in hand-in corset” so that risk to our health as we age does not move up, but down with our waistlines.
Corset pictured by Jill for ROMANTASY, modeled by Jessie, with 16″ hip spring; derriere 36″,  natural waist 24″, corseted to 20″ over corset or 19″ under corset, an actual five-inch waist reduction. This is about a .52 – .53 ratio.

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If you need help lacing your corset, try our “LACISSTANT”

CWT.C.4.26lacisstantSometimes technical things get in the way of beginning to waist train, especially if you are new to corsetry. Don’t worry: ROMANTASY has “the LACISSTANT” to rescue you and make your job easy!

Place the loop on one end of the device over a closet door handle, push up the white bar to secure the device against the door handle, then stretch out the cord.

Next, place the ends of both waist pulls of your corset over the hook on the other end of the Lacisstant. Note that the waist pulls must be even.

Then step forward to take up the slack of the cord as the client did, pictured in the bottom image.

The Lacisstant frees up both hands to reach around back and tighten each crisscross of the lacing cords, one by one. As you lace tighter, the lacing cords become slack.

Simply lean forward a bit, gently jiggle your feet a few more inches forward, and continue the process.

When you reach your desired level of tightness, remove the waist pulls from the hook of the device and tie a bow at your waist in back.

It’s easy to lace up a corset, and useful until you get the “hang” of it. once you do, you can use “feel” to find each criss-cross lacing cord in back and pull up from the bottom and down from the top toward the waistline, creating excess lacing cord at the waist pulls at your waist.

Why start from the bottom? Because you want to lift your body, not push it downward.

Once you repeat this lacing process several times using either our Lacisstant ($12 with corset purchase, or $15 without plus $5. shipping) or just the “feel,” tie a secure bow at your waistline, and even out the excess cording. Once you are an old hand at this, you can don your corset in a matter of minutes and be out of the door!

 

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I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore: “I don’t have TIME to shop, eat well, cook, waist train (you name it!)”

“The Lies Busy People Tell Themselves” said it all to me: we waste a lot of time worrying that we “don” have time” to do what we know we must: primarily take care of ourselves, and then take care of our families and loved ones–or corset waist train! I’ll never say that again after readying Laura Vanderkams’s article in the NYT Style section this Sunday! I recommend it to you.

The writer did a lot of time-keeping on herself and checked with others. She found she, and they, had a lot of time to do things she valued, despite being a very busy mother and professional. So …

Why do we lie to ourselves about not having enough time to do the things we find important in life and value?

           o    She says it’s because negative experiences (of being stressed out, late for an important project, working 90 hrs per week occasionally) stick in our minds. The good times are easily forgotten .

          o    We all like to see ourselves as hard working, not laggards. Thus, we tend to believe and repeat to others, that we are “over worked” and out of time.

         o   Professionals tend to overestimate the hours spent on work.

          o   We choose a high number of hours to say we’ve worked (and think we have) to justify our periodic stressed-out state and feeling, which is not all the time no matter what we imagine.

It’s not an unchangeable foible of us human beings. We can acknowledge this tendency now we know about it — and choose not to feel guilty that we “may” be neglecting our families, our health, and things that make life worth living! Most likely we are not and most likely we can find a little time. There’s no more excuse that you “don’t have time to corset waist train” and don’t have time on Sunday to shop for veggies and fruits and healthy light meats and “don’t have time to cook and prepare big pot of soup or lean roast and grilled veggies” which will last a few days during your busy work week.

You clearly DO HAVE TIME. If you value and have set corset waist training as a major priority in your life — and if you are focused on  improving your health first, your figure second, and your waistline size third (forget about dieting and the BMI or weight!), you have no supporter in me.

But you have a great supporter for moving forward in common sense ways toward health. I’ll encourage you to the max to try this fun and fascinating step toward health first: corset waist training.  Nearly everyone can do it!Snatch's corset

Chablis with plaqueCorsets are not just for Hollywood starlets who have just had a baby and want their figures back, and not just for social media stars who have impossibly curvy in-shape bodies already. Corsets and waist training are for us local, normal folks of any age and stage of life, any waistline size even up to 60″ waistlines and above, men, women, transwomen, lesbians, portly businessmen, classy socialites, club kids (as they say in England), Goth and steampunk devotees, tattoo artists, entertainers, drag queens, cross dressers and more–those of us who want to live long and prosper!

Here on the right is our drag queen corset client Snatch, from a few years back. Lovely white satin Victorian corset! She be styling on stage for sure! Left is our long-time lovely female impersonater/model and corseted client Chablis, looking fine. Check out Cheryl Shepard (crossdresser) modeling her BR Creations brown brocade classic hourglass corset for ROMANTASY, making a lovely hourgalss shape. Note Ms. Ana, our superb body builder tatooed corset lover from Arizona, in a dripping-lace black 1901 corset by True Grace (a treasure and non-duplicatable now since Mr. Garrod has passed)–she’s our adviser on all things physical and exercise in her realm.FCM - Men  Cheryl in BR05100

Burlesque cincherHere’s our Goth girl in a corset by Sheri, and young fetish model Somi Vichi in a leather corset by Sharon for ROMANTASY.  And below is Brian, one of our favorite men models in his amazingly tight-laced hot pink silk  corset by Sheri, one that has lasted him since 2005 for routine almost daily tight-lacing altho it’s about on its last leg now, some 11 years later. Talk about quality!Chinese silk Underbust by SheriCorsets and waist training are for anyone who has patience, and respect for the talents required by competent corsetmakers to create durable, comfortable, structured garments that will hold up to 60 to 90 pounds of waistline pressure and not rip, bend over, squench up, push up, dig in, wrinkle, and otherwise self-destruct in a few months of wear.

At ROMANTASY Somi BOB.3we welcome everyone! We’ll give you great advice on how to choose between real options we offer in terms of figure silhouettes created, corset styles, corsetmakers on our team of three, fabric and design options and more. It’s simple to order.

And we operate in old fashioned, personalized way. Give me a call: 415 587-3863 from 9 am to 6 pm PST and leave a message if I don’t pick up the phone. Consider ROMANTASY’s awesome 26 years plus experience comparing and contrasting various corsets, field testing each one, and educating about the differences. Opt for education first if you aren’t quite sure, and send me email: inquiry@romantasy.com for my personal attention!

 

 

 

 

 

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Survey on best of three book covers for “A Primer on Easy, Fun and Fashionable Waist Reduction” due out this fall from ROMANTASY!

Would you like to send  us your ranking for three possible book covers for our new book-in-progress on corset waist training? We’d love your participation and opinion! Email us: inquiry@romantasy.comCollage three Primer Book covers by ROMANTASY

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SOLACED: A compendium of happy stories by corset enthusiasts, edited by Lucy Williams–JUST RELEASED ON KINDLE!

ANTIQUATED NOTIONS PERSIST TODAY solaced-small-cover-pic_188.150ABOUT MODERN CORSETS and those of us who choose to wear them.

In late 2012  I was interviewed by ABC-TV reporter Deborah Roberts for a small “20/20” corset segment. The first words out of her mouth when I placed a custom-made, loosened corset around her back and pulled it forward to hook the busks, were: “I won’t get the vapors, will I?”

Of course she did not—and went on to write a favorable and amusing blog about her short 2-week experiment in waist training.

“Solaced: 101 uplifting narratives about corsets, well-being, and hope,” corsetiere and educator Lucy William has just released on Kindle her first of what we hope will be many books: an amazing collection of personal stories of corset enthusiasts who have experienced positive benefits. It’s available today on amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/jcu9zne

I believe the new book will surely strike one significant—if not “the”—death blow to the age-old question about getting the vapors, known generally, as the “Corset Question”

“Don’t corsets hurt?”

Anyone who bothers to scan the multitude of heart-warming and inspiring personal stories of corset wearers included in Lucy’s new book, will be convinced in general about the efficacy of corsets. They will be amazed, specifically, to read the stunning  variety of ways corsets have benefited many:

–to treat severe pain, –to correct dramatic medical conditions such as severe scoliosis, –to cure  medical conditions from mild IBS to severe dysmenoria, –to disappear disabling anxiety and depression, –to help the transgender person to more fully realize their dream of feminizing a male figure, or masculinizing female curves with a binder corset, and more!

Of course, I’m delighted with stories–but there are not enough of these–that discuss posture improvement, waistline reduction, and weight loss–a summary of three important beneficial results of corset waist training. I would have liked more factual details including statistics, and pictures. I missed seeing pictures of the changes.

Waist training, of course, is a technique that is realistic and safe for those having common sense, who move slowly and deliberately in getting used to, and lacing down, the corset, and who attend not only to medical advice, but to important messages from their own bodies and spirits–a technique that addresses what Professor David Kunzle calls the “scourge of modern society”: obesity.

IT’S A WELL-ORGANIZED BOOK AND AN EASY READ: Overall, Solaced is a well-organized book, with stories collected by about 20 subject matters. The book seems a heavily weighted toward corsets used to address medical conditions that might be obscure to many, such as hypermobilty and genetic conditions such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and fibromyalgia.  Still, a reader can select the particular subject of most interest to them, and read that chapter.  Anyone will find some story included with which they can relate, from the trans community, from the senior community, from a fashion perspective, or from a survivor or accident victim’s viewpoint. Surprises abound, such as stories by those wearing corsets who survived physical knife attacks and other muggings, because steel boning of their corsets deflected otherwise fatal blows.

I might have preferred more pictures, especially of the before and after corset waist training informants, as well as other informants, and also pictures of Lucy. Women tend to relate well to faces, and draw near to that person emotionally. I hope the Kindle version which I have not yet seen, will include those.

I WAS MOST DRAWN TO stories showing how wearing a corset can comfort in more subtle, spiritual ways. Corsets can deliver peace and great joy to those of us, especially women and transwomen or transmen, who have suffered body dysmorphia at one time or another or perhaps throughout our lives. As a result,  some fall prey to life-threatening diseases such as anorexia nervosa or disabling anxiety and depression when we don’t meet social and sexist standards of how we “should” look and act, or when  our gender and our bodies don’t match. Those standards and “the norm” damage our spirits just as much as car accidents or physical battery damages our bodies. Spiritual damage harms not only the individual, important enough to be sure, but it harms society in general because it diminishes our zest for life, our creativity, our participation in community, our contribution in the work place, and our compassion for others.

IF LUCY DOESN’T …  If Lucy doesn’t, I’m going to gift a copy to Dr. Oz, the TV personality introduced some years ago by Oprah, and who zoomed to almost instant fame in the United States. Over the past year or so, he has railed against obesity, urged common sense, and introduced many low-cost, low-risk alternatives to prescription medicines and surgery. In a 2015 San Francisco Examiner column, he said that bariatric surgeries are the “last things” he would recommend to get control of extreme obesity. I used to admire him and see him as an enlightened doctor—but no more.

Today he seems to equate common-sense, non-surgical, fashionable, and fun corset waist training  as one of those “last things” he would recommend to improve our health. He focused a TV show last week on “corset waist training disasters.” Among them was  one young woman who had to take two full breathes to blow out her 20 birthday candles. What a “disaster,” right?

It could be considered benign laughable stuff, but I think it’s more than that. It’s clearly designed to stir up the passions of some of his TV show’s ill-informed, unthinking viewers who blindly trust him.  It’s worse than perverse; it’s no less than nefarious, considering the huge platform Oz enjoys, and how he has marketed himself as the go-to alternate medical and health guru. It leads one to ask, why is he doing this?

He can’t be fearful of litigation (as my conciliatory attorney classmate posited recently) for supporting non-medical corsets, because surely his television sponsors and station have sufficient liability insurance to cover any jury verdict. Only one answer keeps coming to mind: ratings—and lining Oz’s pockets with even more money, if not more public attention to salve what seems to be his massive ego.

Yet modern-day corsets discussed by Solaced contributors, clearly provide a fashionable and comfortable  alternative to uncomfortable medical braces that some used before they knew about corsets. Boned braces have been used by Oz’s doctor colleagues  for centuries to control pain and provide relief for many conditions. Custom, fashionable corset wearing for health and figure-maintenance purposes has been going on safely and sanely for how many centuries? My first book on the process, Corset Magic, was released in 2003 — some 13 years ago!

A MASSIVELY DIFFICULT PROJECT, WELL DONE! Lucy is to be heartily congratulated for doing the massively difficult work of publishing her first book. I know because I am in the middle of a similar venture into publishing, a new, updated primer on how to waist train. While I will focus on lessons learned from personal histories of those who use corsets to maintain or improve their figure, waistline and even weight, Lucy’s book uses multiple first-person stories of a wider, richer variety. Those stories permanently align the writers, as well as Lucy, with the responsible corset enthusiast community who stresses common sense, fact-based advice.

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