(A short guide to tightlace training)

Copyright 1992 (rev. 2000 rev. 2003) LISA

Corset training is, by its nature and intended outcome, a "labour of love." Without commitment, all efforts will fail.

One must remember the three components of successful figure training: Diet, exercise, and the proper selection and use of the garment. The diet component is interpretive: Other than the fact that special attention should be paid to the waist area muscles, any regimen that reduces body fat is satisfactory. It is important to remember that fat exists on the inside of your body, as well as the outside, and hinders the proper transit and relocation of internal organs during tightlacing. (It also simply takes up space, and the goal of corset training is to reduce mass.) Six meals per day, rather than the customary two, is suggested.  Obviously, these meals should be small, and consistent with contemporary healthy diet recommendations. Carbohydrates, in moderate quantity, are helpful because they allow the intestines to maintain bulk, thus helping to thwart the possibility of the inner sides sticking together from the corset’s pressure.

Your first corset should be purchased in a size that is four inches less than your measured girth; that is, CLOSED. The importance of having your corsets professionally fitted, especially for training purposes, cannot be overemphasized. Your comfort and health, to say nothing of proper visual impact, DEPEND upon an exact fitting. In addition, most chafing can be avoided by wearing a properly sized garment.  For a medical perspective regarding the use of non-custom-fitted corsets for tightlacing, see Dr. Beaumont's advice.

The key word in garment-size progression is "gradual." One wants to treat oneself with love, and it takes TIME for a body to acclimate itself to the strictures of tightlacing. These four inches should be taken in slowly, day by day, or week by week if necessary. Once this has happened, and one is comfortable, the next progression should be to a garment a further four inches smaller--This may take two months or six, depending on the trainee. The older corset should be used for night confinement: One should almost ALWAYS be corsetted, except for toilette activities. Never be without a corset for more than an hour. If this is impossible, a wide training belt should be purchased--organ and lower rib displacement is the goal and the body reacts well to consistency. However, one must NEVER be uncomfortable, especially when sitting (in a straight-backed chair, of course!).

You must pay special attention to your skin: The wearing of a corset will of, course, deprive healthy skin of proper exposure to air (oxygen). This will tend to dry it or, at times (depending on the wearer) cause chafing, especially if perspiration is present. Thus, it is important to apply moisturizing oils or lotions to the skin at every possible opportunity, followed by corn starch powder, especially if one has a tendency to perspire excessively.

Care must also be paid to keeping the garment clean, as oil and chemicals will tend to shorten its life. One of the more popular devices used for such purpose is an elastic sheath; an excellent source for these is my Website, which offers the LISATube . Of course, you must have a clean one for every new corsetted day! While many like the idea of pretty lingerie underneath, be aware that corset pressure will tend to stretch and/or rip delicate fabrics (the tube, however, will shrink to accommodate your ever-smaller stays!).

Efficient ways for donning your stays include the lacing bar, and lying prone on the floor. Both these methods allow the waist to contract to its smallest circumference, permitting easier application of the garment. Wriggling with your hands up high after each successive tighter step is helpful as well (Victorians laced in a bit, and did other chores while their body adjusted, then laced in some more). Also bear in mind that it is possible for you (with practice) to put on your own corset, without assistance, after you are down to your desired girth. However, it is recommended that you employ a SENSITIVE partner to help you during training, as the rigor can be demanding. Remember that only the person inside a corset truly knows, from moment-to-moment, the effects of the lacing.

A well-made corset will be sold with an insert, generally made of the same material as the garment itself, which will fit under the lacing, to prevent binding of the skin as the laces are pulled closed.

So far as choice of materials for a corset, one will find that various types fulfill various requirements. For instance, a leather corset will mold easily to the body and breathe, while a latex or hard rubber garment will induce perspiration, which, for some, provides an excellent way to spur on weight loss. However, the average person will find a cotton or coutil garment (perhaps with an overlay of brocade or silk to add spice and sexiness) to be quite satisfactory. The most ideal material, in terms of "breathing" to minimize perspiration, is 100% cotton, with no other backing. One should just keep in mind that most garments, regardless of material, require a "breaking-in" period of several wearings. Note that even the best-made corsets will stretch to a degree after a while.

Most corsets come with cotton lacings. I recommend they be replaced with the stronger (and less bulky) nylon version.

A well-constructed garment, notably one made for training, will have double-stays (the sprung-metal rods sewn into the corset vertically at regular intervals all round). In addition, a strong cloth "tape," usually sewn into the interior, should circle the corset horizontally from the lacing stay to the front busk (a busk being a much wider stay which anchors the front hook-and-eye closure). This feature strengthens the corset and aids in the prevention of tearing.

Those who value posture training while preparing for a small waist might also consider optional shoulder straps. These will hold the shoulders back and, thus, the head erect. Of course, a matching laced "neck-corset" achieves the same end more aesthetically.

The effect of a tightly laced corset is enhanced by the wearing of high-heeled shoes, even while training. These tend to thrust the body forward, providing a visually pleasing balance to the picture of loveliness.

A tiny waist is a wonder to behold--exotic artistry of the female form; the end-result of such diligent training is highly satisfying. But the pride of knowing that one is capable of the self-discipline to accomplish such a feat is reward in itself!

--Tes Staylace 

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