Tag Archives: Corsets

Corset Waist Training: A new benefit — focus and experimentation

Melinda before and afterThere are 101 reasons that corsets (and corset waist training) provide benefits, including solace, according to Lucy Williams in her new book Solaced: 101 uplifting narratives about corsets, well-being, and hope.

In reading the amazing stories, I learned about quite a number of benefits of corseting that I did not know about. We’ve heard recently a lot about using corsets to waist train and lose weight; pictured here is Melinda, an early student in our coaching program . She lost 13 lbs and 3″ off her waistline after three months.

Another benefit is that corsets can diminish distraction and increase focus.  That’s important to some of us who also live in, and sometimes rue, a world that a New York Times writer called “the end of reflection” (Sunday, June 12, 2016, Styles section).

But there’s another benefit of corseting — and that has to do with reflection, and experimentation. I also think corsets also have to do with teaching, and requiring patience, a virtue that is well nigh lost in today’s IT world.

After all, you can’t just point the corset at your body and it flies around your waist and locks into place much like Iron Man’s red metal uniform does. You have to work at learning to lace a corset on, and lace properly for comfort and endurance in waist training, not to mention that you  have to learn to slow down to season your corset, prepare for waist training, take care of your corset after you wear it, and more.

These are all benefits of corseting — if you define “benefit” that way. And perhaps, there’s the rub. But let’s say that we still believe there is some merit to introspection and deep thinking, at least from time to  time. What do we face?

“Finding moments to engage in contemplative thinking has always been a challenge, since we’re distractible” said Nicolas Carr (author of The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brain). One writer summarized the points Carr makes:

– Greater access to knowledge is not the same as greater knowledge.
– An ever-increasing plethora of facts & data is not the same as wisdom.
– Breadth of knowledge is not the same as depth of knowledge.
– Multitasking is not the same as complexity.

Most of us use our iPhones more than we think. In one study participants estimated an average of 37 uses in a day, but the actual number was around 85! That’s stunning to me.

About ten years ago I noted a rise in impatience. I noted it in email inquiries and in orders. If my business has been criticized to my knowledge, it has been so because of timing. My webperson and I still chuckle that we met in November of 2003 shortly after I published the first complete version of my book, Corset Magic. She was pretty upset when the book didn’t download immediately as it does if you purchase thru amazon.com, and she let me know about her pique in no uncertain terms!  I had to tactfully explain that I hand-process orders at my office location, it can take up to five days or more, to receive the ebook link, and (to this day since 1999) I employ no secretary or office assistant. It simply takes time to do business with ROMANTASY, as she quickly understood. We ended up great friends, and she’s my main web adviser today, some 12 years later!

Of course, I try hard to make it worth a client’s while to have some patience, by offering personal assistance,  pre-education, real design options (we are not a one-click corset shop), attentive followup, and individual review of all orders. That’s something you can’t get at Walmart or Macys; call ROMANTASY and you’ll get — me, and it’s been that way since I closed my retail shop in 1999.

If you expect a corset to appear like most expect a book, or a website to appear–in 2/5 of a second or less then we move on (per what engineers at Google found in 2012)–then you won’t enjoy corsetry or waist training. That’s especially true if you choose a corset business that has a sole owner who is hands-on.

We are not the only ones with a “low tech-high touch” approach to corsets. To this day some 25 or more years later, a world-class corsetier, Jerone van der Klis of Bizaare Corsetry in Amsterdam, does not employ corsetiers in his atalier; he does all his own corset design and construction work by hand. In fact, he told me not long ago that he no longer announces an expected production time. He only guarantees delivery for special occasions like a wedding.

So what does wearing a corset do, that counters our expectations of instantaneous gratification and diminishes our angst if we don’t have constant new notifications and alerts and downloads?  What does it benefit us to waist train — if we still see any benefit in contemplation, meandering thoughts, day dreaming, and not jumping to conclusions and moving on?

Lucy’s book tells the story of several corset enthusiasts who like Temple Grandin, the famed autistic animal expert, enjoy the squeeze of a corset. It calms them down and helps them focus. It reduces their anxiety.

I think wearing corsets and waist training also encourages one (1) to experiment, (2) to keep an open mind, and (3) to understand the fact that corset waist training is highly individualistic.

When my present waist-training coaching program student Ms. T, encountered some right-rib tenderness from time to time when she got to the point of lacing down from a 27″ waist to 25.5″ (over the corset, or 24.5″ under the corset), she initially asked me for a solution. We discussed several, but what I overall advised her to do was to experiment to find what worked best for her, within the general principle of moving toward longer and longer hours of corset wear, no matter the level of waist restriction.

She did just that and is  now about to conclude her last two weeks of training. She’s moving into longer hours of daily wear varying between 25.25 and 25.5″ as that level for 6 to 10 hrs turns out to be tolerable.

This is not an inefficient approach to corseting, even if it is not an instantaneous solution to some problem you may encounter in waist training.  It is, however, required as an approach to effectiveness.

You need to remain open to solutions and adventurous and inquisitive in your approach. “Know it alls” don’t work in waist training either; you have to be willing to seek advice and asked what has worked for others, so that you have options to test out on your end of training.

Perhaps that is the best use of social media conversations, chats, searches, and posts that last  2/5 of a second, or 140 characters, or perhaps a bit more. Your online friends might just quickly provide myriad ideas of what has worked for them, so that you can sort thru the ideas to see what fits for you, and then experiment gently.

But as the NYT writer said, in general, deep thinkers “need time and don’t fidget.” So too, do waist trainees need time to devote to corseting and need to stay the course and not fidget too soon and off the program to try something new. Don’t lose this ability to take your time, and don’t ignore the above observations,  as you enter into and pursue waist training.

The choice is yours to make: MAKE IT HARD–OR MAKE IT WORK!




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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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