Corseting and waist training are most typically associated with privacy needs and concerns of my clients, despite the ubiquity in the media of images of movie stars in corset gowns, sexy burlesque stars, or lingerie models. There are many reasons for that, not the least of which is the negative stereotype that still abounds in the unthinking public mind.
Even when corseting is pursued for the most admirable of purposes of improving one’s health and posture, clients often hesitate to discuss their adventure with anyone else, fearing disapproval — especially by the media who more times than not, reflects the general uneducated popular opinion at best, or at worst, fans the flames of prejudice and inaccuracy about corsets.
Hesitancy to ‘go public ‘ sometimes renders corset waist training a lonely pursuit until the client finds an inroad into the friendly corset enthusiast community, something I try to help my clients achieve.
I was disappointed yet again by a media approach when a reporter for a press agency sent me the following very brief email request:
“I’m a journalist from an international press agency based in ______ England. We write news and feature stories for newspapers, magazines and broadcasters in the UK and around the world. I am looking for a case study fro a new feature and was wondering if you could help.I am looking for a man who regularly wears a corset for a feature piece and I was wondering if you knew anybody who would be willing to talk to me about this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.”
I was first taken aback at the lack of focus of her inquiry, and I continued taken aback at the absence of information she provided about her own credentials, information that generally establishes a platform of credibility on which to base a request. Most notable however, was her apparent lack of understanding that corseting is not only a private pursuit for most, but moreso a highly individually-differentiated kind of adventure, especially for the male or transwoman corset enthusiast.
As part of my response to her, I said:
“Please understand that but for a few people, men in general be they transsexual, transgendered, or manly men, are very private and don’t like to be identified with corseting or men’s stays. Can you guarantee anonymity? Do you need pictures? Are the interviews in person somewhere, or by Skype or phone?
“Media credibility has not generally been good as you may imagine, regarding presenting accurate information and a non-sensational approach to corseting by men or women.
“Witness for example, the producer of a ’20/20′ fall 2012 tv show, who could not bring herself to answer three questions from me as to what the title of the upcoming corseting segment in an hour-long show would be, in which I had a small interview (which by the way, took about 8 hrs. of my time gratis, for a 1/2-minute quote by me which was almost, but not quite, presented in a correct context). The title of the show (I finally learned it in a magazine two days before the program aired), was outrageous, suggesting that corseting for health purposes is “extreme.” The corset segment was coupled with segments on a woman who had had 20 breast augmentations, a man who had had 200 surgeries to look like the Ken Doll, and a father who offered $200,000 for the man who could “turn his gay daughter straight.”
“Please know that there are myriad reasons that a man — or woman for that matter — chooses to corset. I would need to know what you mean by “corsets regularly,” and also of the below 15 categories of men or transwomen to interview, which do you prefer? These categories are representative but perhaps not exhaustive and of course, some men corset for multiple reasons:
–manly man who loves to maintain his good posture and low body fat, and who adores the physical challenge akin to running the Iron Man competition (physical motivation)
–older man who wants to fit into his business clothes and is having a hard time because of expanding girth (may love our “CorVest” pictured above and right, from a back view)
–young man who loves it for the fashion/popularity image, motivated by style and ego
–fetish man who loves the power it gives and is into the S&M lifestyle
–crossdresser (straight, might be married, wife does or does not know) who is most sincere in presenting an acceptable, moderate female image and who might go out crossdressed or not
–crossdresser who has a sexual fetish for lingerie and all things frilly and stereotypically feminine, never goes out in public as a woman, wears lingerie stealth style
–man who has a frotage or pressure need or fetish; wears it for the feeling of compression
–man who has worn it every day each week in the past, but stopped for some reason
–man who wears it now every day or week
–man who has back problems and wears it to correct posture and provide pain relief
–man who needs it to support some physical performance such as required of his job, or recreation (playing golf, for example)
–transsexual man who performs on stage (regularly) in “drag” and wants a ‘costume’ corset (not necessarily for tight lacing or of good quality)
–transsexual man who does not perform but wants it to create an authentic female shape and perhaps, move ribs inward over time and lose waistline so she passes more easily into a female role
–man who wants to lose weight primarily (has high blood pressure and health issues)
–submissive man who wears it to please his dominatrix wife or professional mistress
–man into the Goth style such as Tim Curry in the famed movie ‘Rocky Horror Show’
The above very quickly summarizes at least some of the types or motivations of men and transwomen corset enthusiast clients I have served, and whom I find it a pleasure to serve, over my past 24 yrs. in this specialty business of custom corsetry.
Whether or not I will hear from this reporter again remains to be seen, as does the open question of whether or not I can be or will be willing to be, the proper resource for her eventual purposes.