My wife and I are planning on engaging in corsetry and I have
some questions regarding the male.
We are both planning on long-term wear of our corsets, possibly 23/7. We are both 25 years old and still rather young. I am a rather slim individual without the corset, and have about a 32" rib cage under the breast line, 29" waist at 135 pounds. While I am thin, I don't really have a muscular build, however. I am mainly wearing this for our private enjoyment and support. This will be a custom corset designed for my body.--Phil (2/16/01)
Q1: What would be the permanent effects of wearing a corset on my male body 23X7 with up to a 4" reduction? I will work progressively to reach that limit. Will the male ribs move inwards on a permanent basis, even though they move less than a female?
Q2: How long will it take with 23X7 wear of the corset to cause permanent effects if there are any?
A1,2: I assume you have read the "Permanency" section of Corseting the Human Body. Besides the gradual effects of training, as you point out correctly, the male ribcage is less pliable compared to the female ribcage. To achieve the same effect on the male ribcage, more force will be needed. There is also more bone mineral to deposit and move; thus the process will take longer, depending on your specific bone structure. I would expect some visible permanency within a few weeks on a female body and perhaps twice as long for a male. This would have to be observed by being out of the corset for at least a full day. Directly after the removal of a corset that has been tight on the body for 8+ hours, there will be some temporary effects that could be mistaken for permanent.
However, depending on the corset style, the waist can be reduced by the same 4" target, yet the ribcage maybe less constricted in the male than for the female, simply because it takes more effort and is likely to be more irksome for a male. The more flexible female ribcage accommodates the upward displacement of breathing more easily than the male.
Q3: Assuming I were to wear my custom corset 23X7 with up to a 4" reduction for a longer period of time, what will my body look like if I were to remove the corset, like when going out on the beach, etc? Will I have female-looking body or will my stomach "unadapt" to the corset in that small time frame to balance my body to still look somewhat masculine?
A3: Permanent tightlacing causes muscle tone to be reduced, so daily exercise is necessary to avoid abdominal sagging and back aches. As far as visible effects, if there is minimal body fat, some of the tapering of the ribs may eventually become visible, but keep in mind that the lower ribs are covered my several muscle layers, which determine the actual silhouette, so again, training of the waist musculature will hide most of the effects, but will also make it slightly more difficult to tightlace.
Q4: As stated in the articles on this site, the diaphragm will become immobilized and unable to function from, I assume, long term corsetry. Is this only when wearing the corset, or is this after the organs and ribs move around? I assume the diaphragm will also become weak. As breathing will primarily be done with thoracic rib muscles, how permanent is this? Does it only become a permanent factor when the rib cage shrinks?
A4: The diaphragm is an extremely tough layer of muscle and tendon material. As with any muscle that is not used, its strength will diminish when not used. But, it is not as drastically affected as the abdominal muscles, since the corset does not directly compress it. It can be retrained within weeks, and return eventually to full strength when the corset would be removed. A 4" reduction is not likely to have much effect on the diaphragm. To do so requires a level of lacing that would make the waist almost solid to the touch, which is a result of immobilized abdominal content, and, with that, the diaphragm. With a 4" reduction, this will certainly not be the case.
Q5: Let's say I wore my corset 23X7 with a 4" reduction for 5 years and stopped wearing it. Assuming my body was "permanently" modified, will it ever return to normal? If so, how long would it take?
Q6: What is the point of no return if wearing a corset 23X7 for when the back weakens and you feel comfortable only when wearing the corset? Does this take weeks/months/years? I assume you would perhaps have some minor back pains at times when supporting yourself without the corset? I understand that this will go away after a matter of time if you were to no longer wear the corset.
A5,6: It would gradually return to it's "normal" state within less than half a year. However, muscle tone is the question. If a level of daily exercise is maintained, the effects remain limited and the return process would take a limited time as well. There is no point of no return. It's a function of exercise. After a few weeks of 23x7 usage, the corseted state will have become the natural state, and, assuming some regular muscle activity is maintained, the situation should be stable. Then, no atrophy will occur and reversibility should not be an issue.
For 19th century women, there was no interest in being without a corset, and having reduced muscle function without a corset was not much of a concern. However, most modern day tightlacers are interested in avoiding this situation and can do so as mentioned, by daily exercise. Some level of exercise can be safely conducted in the corset, provided it is not extremely tight, e.g., the Austrian Empress Sissi was a habitual tightlacer and exercised daily while corseted.
Q7: Would you recommend that at my size and weight that I wore my corset 23X7 with a 4 inch reduction like I am planning, as if I still want to keep somewhat of a man figure when not wearing the corset for the rare times that I would go out of the beach or in public without a shirt and corset? What would be your advice? If you feel 4" is fine, would you advice me trying to achieve a smaller waist (I would also follow recommended practices to compress my waist as my body adapts to the corset). What would you think should be the goal reduction goal for a male my size which isn't planning on totally looking like a female without a shirt?
A7: I would think that the shape of the corset for a male who wishes to retain a masculine shape is a primary consideration, rather than the actual waist dimension. The corset shape should be specified accordingly. Consider that male proportions have a broader shoulder line, with moderate to slim hips. The reduction of the waist on a slender figure is not necessarily feminine, as there is no hip development. A distinct hourglass shape is always feminine. I would suggest a simple longer underbust style with concave sides, avoiding waist pinching. With a male physique, this type will be quite constrictive with a 4" waist reduction, because the constriction will or can be over a longer region (4..5"), than in an hourglass (1..2").
I would also recommend abdominal exercises to prevent weakening and sagging. The modified lower ribcage, will emphasize the upper ribcage, which enhances the masculine profile. I would think that a longer concave corset with less hipspring would produce the "corset" feeling that wearers enjoy without overemphasis of a feminine outline. Short corsets exert all their pressure over a smaller region and tend to be more suitable for localized waist reductions without involving the ribcage, other than the lower few ribs.
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