Tag Archives: Corset

Lingerie is not porn.

 

pink bra knickers

“I love this post as soon as I read it but I didn’t really think I had to repost it until I was told by my bank that they were reluctant to work with The Lingerie Company because we sell Underwears. As women, living outside the west especially, we have been lectured by mothers, fathers, aunties and sisters that the feminine things are unsightly and unbecoming of women to show off. These are all lies. Be proud to a women, feel gorgeous in your beautiful lingerie. We hope you enjoy this post as much as we did” Love, Whispers nigeria x

About a year ago, while trying to get some work done on the train from Seattle to Portland, I was startled to discover that a couple of my favorite shopping websites, namely Bare Necessities and HerRoom, were blocked for being “pornographic.” Now just to be clear, I both understand and am completely on board with restricting access to sexually explicit material in public spaces. There are no private seats on the train to Portland, and no one should be exposed to pornography without their consent (least of all children). But I don’t think it really hit me until that moment that many people view lingerie as something akin to porn, and that specifically, sites like Bare Necessities and HerRoom (which, let’s face it, are pretty boring as lingerie websites go) are equivalent with porn.“How absurd is it,” I thought, “that, for women, buying underwear is an ‘adult activity?’”

In the 12 months since, I’ve thought a lot about how lingerie is minmized in the fashion world. Yes you have your Victoria’s Secret and your Agent Provocateur, but generally speaking, the lingerie dialogue is limited to just 3 main topics: bra fit, shapewear, and how lingerie is ruining the lives of girls and making it impossible for them to become doctors. The rich, complex world of intimate apparel – the fashion of it, the history of it, the economics of it – is narrowed to less than a handful of “acceptable” topics, with everything else deemed “too sexual.” And I believe that stance has a profound effect on how women, both younger women and older women, see and relate to their bodies.

First of all though, let me just say that this article has nothing to do with being anti-porn or anti-sex. As a matter of fact, I don’t think the ethics of porn has anything to do with this particular discussion. And, of course, I have zero interest in vilifying sex; if lingerie makes your bedroom life better, more power to you. Rather, I want to talk about why lingerie is always assumed to be sexual, and what that means for women’s bodies. And yes, I’m aware that women are not the only consumers of lingerie, but I believe the specific kind of sexualization I’m talking about here happens almost exclusively to women.

As a lingerie blogger and, more importantly, as a consumer of lingerie, I firmly believe that intimate apparel, as the name implies, is a deeply personal form of attire.  It can be an entirely valid means to self-discovery and self-expression, and for some people, their underwear is the only place they get to truly be who they are and wear what they want. That is a powerful thing, and it makes me sad that the topic is almost always suppressed in favor of easier, more “socially appropriate” ways of discussing lingerie.

Of course, chances are that if you’re a regular Lingerie Addict reader, I’m preaching to the choir. TLA is a place to talk about the fashion of intimate apparel with a smattering of social commentary, but we’re constantly bumping up against the walls of censure and censorship. From the little things, like emails from readers who wonder what my family think of my “lifestyle,” to larger things, like being disinvited from programs or opportunities because the content of my blog is “offensive,” I am constantly reminded that lingerie is a special case. There’s room to talk about it terms of pure practicality (bras and Spanx) or pure sexuality (either as a bedroom aid or an assault upon our youth), but not much room for any nuance or subtlety between those positions. It’s as strange to me as if the conversation on shoes was limited to orthotic sandals and fetish heels. Obviously, there’s a lot more to choose from in the world of footwear than those two things!

Now I’m sure some will argue that lingerie is different because it’s worn directly on the body, right next to the skin. Specifically, it’s worn on a woman’s body, and even more specifically over areas like the breasts and genitals. And I can understand having a certain delicacy about private areas. But what I don’t understand is the titillation that’s automatically attached to women’s underwear in a way that’s not attached to men’s. Or rather, I should say I do understand it, but I don’t like it.

To assume that lingerie is always about sex ignores the role women have, the role womenshould have, in determining what their attire means to them. It reminds me of how, historically, “good” women had to avoid makeup, lest they be seen as “loose” women (a stigma I don’t believe has entirely gone away yet, though it is better) or how a woman in pants was seen as scandalous and shocking and “manlike.” It’s taken for granted now that cosmetics and trousers can have multiple meanings, but lingerie hasn’t achieved that status yet.

When intimate apparel is seen as something that exists primarily for sex, it becomes “vulgar,” and, by extension, the bodies wearing it become “vulgar” as well. All of a sudden, an exposed bra strap, a visible pantyline, or the slightest hint of a nipple becomes a disgrace. The body itself is stigmatized, and that stigma has huge consequences. I’ve had so many conversations with women who don’t even know the most basic things about their own breasts and genitals. And that kind of shameful ignorance results in damaging myths, from our idea of what a “normal” or “average” breast looks like to the myth that bras cause breast cancer. A climate where women’s bodies are seen as a problem is a climate that encourages women to be ignorant about their bodies.

Lingerie is not porn. Women should be able to talk about their bodies, to share photos of their bodies, to speak about their bodies, in editorial, artistic, or health-related contexts without being told that what they’re doing is equivalent to sex work. And again, there’s nothing wrong with sex or sex work, but self-determination matters. Women have the right to decide which communities they want to be a part of, and women should have the right to exert some say in how their bodies are perceived. We should feel comfortable talking about our bodies publicly without having to worry about being involuntarily turned into sex objects.

The solution here isn’t to resign ourselves to, “This is the way it’s always been and always going to be.” Rather it’s to discuss why. When someone says lingerie is “nasty,” what are they saying? When someone says I should be ashamed for running this site, what do they mean? When lingerie is seen as equivalent to porn and lingerie models to pornographic actresses, what’s the underlying context? Does lingerie always have to have erotic intent? Or is there the potential for something more? For a broader, deeper conversation? Let’s decouple the concept of “decency” from lingerie, and, in the process, let’s stop shaming the bodies of people who wear it.

What do you think about the lingerie is not porn question? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Reposted from The Lingerie Addict

The Difference Between Cinchers and Steel Boned Corsets

Shaping, Slimming, or Smoothing?

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Hello Whisperers! We get asked all the time “What’s the difference between a waist cincher and a corset?” The quick answer is “LOTS!” I am going to try an offer a little more detail today as to the differences of these products, and also how you might want them both to work together towards your goals.

Waist cinchers, which is a term used to define those shaping garments that target the abdomen specifically. That is where the similarity to corsets ends. A waist cincher will usually shave an inch or two from your waistline while you are wearing it and is designed to provide a slimming affect underneath your clothes. Most cinchers are made from a combination of nylon and latex or spandex, some with plastic boning. If you carry your weight in your tummy, they can help give you more of a waistline for sure-but not the hourglass curves a steel boned corset will give you.

Full-figure-corset

Steel boned corsets are designed to not only give you AMAZING curves, but will instantly take three, four even six-seven (or more) inches off instantly (depending on how much “fluff” you have). Corsets also will help you to re-shape your body overtime (like braces for your teeth or tapers to stretch earlobe piercings - I personally find corsets to be less invasive than either of those options-but you get the idea). Proper dedication and patience to waist training will give you a smaller waist even without your corset on, and a little corset maintenance will keep it that way.

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Many women find they want to waist train almost around the clock, but sleeping in a steel boned corset is not for everyone-and you certainly shouldn’t work out in one! That is where you might benefit from both products. Cinchers are more comfortable to sleep in and work out in, but still provide some support and shaping. Corsets are bulkier as well, and if you are looking to for some slimming help underneath a fitted top or dress, the cincher is easier to hide (as it is meant for that). As I said at the start of this blog, you will not achieve the same results with a cincher, but it will shave a little (and bring in your waist if you carry excess weight in your tummy).

Vedette-bodybriefer-shapewear-cropAnother coupling of these two products come from trying to reduce or eliminate that dreaded “back bulge” that can arise from wearing some styles of corsets. Long Corsets sit high on the back (which usually prevents any bulge), but not everyone can wear a longline underbust. For women with average to short torsos, short corsets work better, but can sometimes leave an unwanted back bulge between the corset and the bra line. Wearing a high-backed cincher or other bodybriefer form of shapewear under your corset will help.

So many products with so many different uses..it can make your head spin! I hope this clears up at least this one FAQ for many of you. We would love to hear your experiences and advice on cinchers and corsets below in the comments.

Great curves belong to everyone at Whispers nigeria!

10 Tips For Buying an Authentic Waist Training Steel Corset

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You’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a real waist training corset, but where do you begin? I’m sure you’ve already tried searching for a few and discovered the cheap sweat shop corset knock offs usually hailing from Asia with fake photos featuring what appears to be a well crafted garment for impossibly low bargain basement prices somewhere between $10-$50. Well, if it looks too good to be true then IT IS!

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Although most of these corset knock offs claim that they are steel boned, they are generally polyester bodices with plastic bones. The actual product often does not in any way shape or form resemble the quality of the photo in the advertisement once you receive it. Some of these knockoffs are even made with a steel busk and/or steel boning, but the spiral steel is so thin and flimsy it does not serve the purpose of waist reduction through reshaping and molding your body over time like a real waist training corset.
Ideally, one would want a custom made corset if you are serious about waist training. Custom corsets can take between 15 to 50 hours of labor and range in cost from around $400 up to $1,000. However, there are ready to wear corsets which can work just as well without the large price tag. Ready to wear corsets are a great way for a beginner to learn how their body behaves and reacts to being in a corset, before making the investment in a custom made garment.
The devil is in the details and we are going to separate the wheat from the chaff as it pertains to purchasing an off the rack or ready to wear waist training corset. Below is a list of tips to keep in mind while shopping. When researching anything always remember RIF, Reading is Fundamental!

10 THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING AN AUTHENTIC STEEL WAIST TRAINING CORSET
1. Multiple Photos of the Corset: You need to see as many views as possible including the front, side and back of the corset in order to determine the shape and curves of the garment and how it might fit you. Be wary of listings with only one or two photos, the corset construction is being hidden.
2. Photos Should be On a Model: Pictures of the corset on a mannequin or of only the garment against a background (see the picture of the black corset above) does not help you see the shape of the garment. Corsets are all about curves and their making. If we can’t see it actually shape a human body then what is the point? If we all had mannequin measurements we wouldn’t buy corsets.
3. Quality Fabric: The fabric should look sturdy and smooth, it should not appear flimsy with bumps or wrinkles in the panels and bulging or lumpy seams.
4. Detailed Descriptions of Garment Construction: If you read a listing which does not clearly provide you with important details like the number and type of steel bones, the content of the fabric lining, the presence of waist tape, etc. then you know you are dealing with a corset knock off.
5. Steel Busk – Look for a steel busk in the description of the corset, as they can stand up to the pressure created by drawing in your waist. Steel busks are stronger than zippers or hook and eye tape. They are metal hardware fasteners consisting of loops and knobs sewn inside the corset which open and close the center front of the garment (see the photo below).

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6. Steel Bones: Steel boning in a waist training corset is an absolute MUST, spiral and flat steel bones are the foundation and secret to a corset’s power to reshape and modify your body over a period of time. Spiral steel bones bend with the body. Plastic is simply unacceptable for anything except lingerie or a fashion corset top. Plastic bones will easily bend out of shape, break and render the garment useless in a relatively short period of time.

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7. Description Should List the Type and Number of Steel Bones: An authentic waist training corset will have 20 or more bones because it needs to be sturdy enough to withstand being worn consistently over a long period of time in order to achieve waist reducing body modification. Steel boning flattens the waist while holding up the torso.
8. Steel Boning Should be on Both Sides of the Grommets: A sign of a higher quality waist training corset are the grommets placed in the center between two parallel steel bones/stays at the back of the corset. Positioning the bones this way provides extra strength and stabilization when lacing the corset. (See in the photo below, one bone is to the left of the grommets and another is at the right).

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9. Waist Tape: Either twill or coutil waist tape helps the corset withstand the pressure of shaping and prevents seams from ripping easily. Waist tape can be hidden between two pieces of fabric or visible.

10. Cotton Inner Lining: 100% cotton is comfortable against your skin while allowing the corset to breathe. It also provides stabilization by adding an extra layer of strength which prevents the corset from stretching too much.

Published by signedcostumejewelrycom