by Thomas B. Lierse 

Copyright 2002 LISA

Some people choose to reduce their waist with a training belt before getting their first corset.  The reason given is usually that the person wishes to determine whether tightlacing is for him or her before springing for a quality-made custom corset for the long haul.  Or, sometimes, due to the fact that there is usually a five or six week turnaround time in ordering a custom corset, some people are eager to start with SOMETHING. (Keep this in mind toward the end of this initial belt-training.)  While it is not the BEST route to travel, any more than using an off-the-rack corset for this purpose (which will fall apart under the stress anyway), I understand that some people venture in this direction.  So, rather than have them hurt themselves, here is some perspective:

A most important concept to keep in mind is that this is TEMPORARY, for a month or two at the most!  There is good reason for this admonition.  In general, to conduct tightlace training in good health and maximum comfort, a custom corset it is MANDATORY.  Anything else can be both painful and harmful to your health.

That is why it is recommended to START with a custom corset.  But using a belt initially CAN be done safely and effectively as long as one realizes that "GRADUAL" and "CONSTANT" are the key words, just as when you finally get your nice, new custom corset. 

The primary factor in tightlace training is transit of organs and tissue realignment.  "Squeezing" is not the operative word.  The body can readily accommodate a gentle relocation of the organs.  Think of pregnancy!  Oddly enough though, science tells us that males, rather than females are better predisposed toward this transit.  When one is using a corset, employing the use of a belt at night is primarily for that reason: To keep the organs in position.  (Of course, wearing another corset at night achieves the same goal.  Many use their PREVIOUS corset, which is larger, at night.)

The most widely used training belt is usually made of a medium-soft leather that closes on the outside so that the waist does not get irritated by the grommets or the buckle itself.  Most belts are graduated to as many as a ten-inch reduction, but of course the novice should start at two inches.  It is important to wear the belt as long as possible until it begins to feel comfortable -- I recommend at least 12 hours to start.  Wear this at two inches for about a month, then three inches, but do not exceed that -- rather, go out and buy that corset!  Do not jeopardize your health!  If you feel that corsetting is not for you, well, then you've given it your best shot.  However, if you want to proceed, well, a custom corset is the ONLY way to go! Use your belt at night.

Of course during this initial belt-wearing period, one should still, adhere to corsetting requirements such as eating six small meals per day.

In any case, read my articles, Embracing a Labour of Love; and Corset Comfortry, before proceeding.  Good luck!

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