I know a third: in the thick of battle,
If my need be great enough,
It will blunt the edges of enemy swords,
Their weapons will make no wounds.
Hamaval -- WH Auden and P.B Taylor.
Maybe I had been born for a corset. I was definitely born in the wrong time. Hundreds of years had gone by and a corset had been reduced from expected item of function to a frivolous fashion and into forbidden fetish. I was too late for the punks. I was even too late for the Goths. But I was born into a world where my body was no longer my own. In the modern society I grew into I soon found that my female form was a product to be consumed. If I groomed it and subdued it then a man might find it attractive enough to critique it. If I were a lucky girl, perhaps he would appreciate it. Until then, my job was to be centerfold ready and learn how to market what I had.
I guess I am fortunate with what I am born with. No, it is false modesty to pretend, I know that I am fortunate. What scandalizes me is not that my body is so in demand but that it is judged so harshly when it is nothing short of miraculous. In the worst years of my life, I have been slender hipped and soft skinned and completely unaware of what my body could do. In my best years; I have embodied the curve completely, cupids bow, a big smile, full breasts and peachy arse. I have circled back to remember my innocence and then I have rolled right back to my own inevitable ruin.
Freely giving sex to men who can't merit it is dull. Sex with men who consider themselves entitled to seduce me with their status is duller still. As my teenage years came and went and my twenties were tossed away on promises, I came to realize that there was somewhere in between permission and persuasion. And it is right between the clasps on the busk of a corset.
I was shy about wearing a corset at first, although no one who knows me would believe shyness of me. A friend had a black satin Vollers corset. It was falling apart at the seams because she had worn it so much. But she took me into the nightclub toilets and I reticently removed my top as she discreetly turned her face and instructed me on how to put it on. How did it feel? It felt strange. I hadn't really known what to hope for yet I felt like I might have been given it anyway. The whole garment felt at odds with my whole life up until now. It felt uncomfortable, it drew attention to all the places I had always skimmed over and it screamed a statement I knew I would have never dared make in any other dress. The cotton lining felt so ordinary but the steel bones were brutal and the satin had a dull gleam that caught the light if I looked close enough. And my waist was now such that to look close enough was an irresistible prospect. Just eighteen inches of irresistible to survey, with my hair skimming the top of the laced up panel between my shoulder blades. My breasts were held hostage at such an obscene height, I felt mortified. She watched for my reaction and enjoyed my discomfort and taking forty pounds from me in cash.
'It's yours' she said, as I burned with embarrassment.
This was nothing, of course, compared to later. I had emerged; nonchalant of my unnecessary and uncharacteristic costume change. My friend had followed with a smirk that implied far more than I could deny out loud. We drank and danced and talked until I began to relax. My lungs between to liquefy against the sharp angles of the steel as it warmed against the cotton. It began to feel like my own skin, this was the shape of my own flesh all along. The harshness of the costume only served to offer up so much more pale and blooming skin. There was so much flesh on show; it exposed itself where it should have been clothed. So I drank and danced and talked like this unremarkable corset was something I had been born for.
Until, that was, she grabbed my laces and led me to the wall. She nodded towards it and I spread my arms and placed my palms against the wall without thinking about why I had done so without as much as a word of encouragement. She put her knee in my back and the loosening of the laces let me take one glorious unimpeded inhalation. As everyone turned to watch she pulled the laces with such force that my neck snapped back. A cheer erupted from men who laughed and toasted like they were in on this all along. With her usual good natured laugh and smile, she announced that I was sufficiently taken in and I was released to drink and dance and talk some more.
It will be no surprise that the Vollers corset was not my only corset nor did the seams hold for long. I started with an off the peg fit but soon I wanted to be in something made just for me. Once I realized the sensuality of owning one, I wanted more. I enjoyed them as much kept proudly in a drawer and worn in stolen moments at home, as I did strapping a friend into one for the first time and seeing her put her hands on her new waist. 'I've never been so thin. God, it's weird. I can't sit down. You are going to let me out of it, aren't you? The doubt in that question mark, it always feels that good
The most gratification lay in leaving the house, my long coat falling open at times and inspiring the curious mix of fearful lust in men and envious scorn in women. If you see a woman wearing a corset, suspect that she knows exactly what she is inspiring in you as she walks casually by, like it is a pair of jeans. I certainly knew and I certainly enjoyed the lust I received. Corsets are controversial but undeniably beautiful. They are anachronistic, true. But when I wear one it makes me feel like I am a new breed of woman. My body is for me, I encase it and the lacing is mine to tie and untie. I am for being looked at, yes, but I am off limits. Lingerie has been a weapon of mine but corset was the entire armoury I have ever needed for the combat I seek.
So I had a few made, satin, velvet, overbust, waspie, brocade, all with cotton laces from the top to bottom and back up, always steel bones to finish. In terms of order of appearance, the men tend to follow the corset. Some are fascinated, my best friend who had never held a set of corset laces before spent fifteen minutes lacing me up next to a mirror. He has never so much as kissed me, so we stood and he fiddled and told me he was terrified of making a knot that couldn't be undone. Pull, I urged him, pull and once the fear had flashed by, he did in a way that made me breathlessly proud.
Years ago, my true love, oh, he tight laced with no fear at all. He would unlace me at the end of the night with all the ease of he took untangling rubber bands at his desk whilst talking on the phone. He would slow it right down for my pleasure, each lace running a line of friction against my skin as he unthreaded it. One by one from the waist to the shoulder blades, then one by one from the waist to the hips till ahh, I would sigh as he slipped off my gloves and inched the catches on my suspenders so my stockings rolled down. Ahhh, eyelet marked and at ease, I would relax as he tied me to the bed. After all, total lack of restriction can be so overrated!
Some men will make the mistake of toying with the clasps at the front and they have to be taught to take the time with the laces. Some need incentive and some need fear to motivate them. Some men will brag about knives and bold strokes but they too find that they will have to take time with the laces. Corsets are so beautiful and expensive that I never met a man worth destroying one for. I live in hope.
Some men are so wicked that the corset never comes off at all and I struggle for oxygen while we fuck. Some men are wicked but even more masterful that they will stop this wickedness to release me as we finish making love. These men are the ones I will always remember, as my rib cage expanded and I came loudly and freely and my back arched in ecstasy.
Corsets are not for any of those men, though. A corset is for my pleasure. It takes my body and it holds me all night long until I climb into bed. Whether I climb in alone, or with company, I climb in having been all my own that night. That night I have been so many guesses for everyone else; dominatrix, slave, slut, attention seeker, mean, tease, wench, tits and ass and a form that isn't real. It's not real but it's irresistible. A corset keeps you out and me in and yet you run your hands down the velvet anyway because that is the thrill.
I'm not here to be flattered, purchased, wooed or commanded. I am here for combat.