WITHER THE MAN?
MALE TIGHTLACING CONSIDERATIONS
Tes Staylace © 2002, 2005, 2010
The male physiology, being different from that of the female, makes taking the following considerations seriously essential, when buying a custom corset, not only for your comfort, but for your health. Furthermore, if you are a cross dresser, other factors must be taken into account as well. I shall deal specifically with these last.
The Male Chest
The first issue to look at is the fact that, generally, the male chest is less tapered and more box-like than his female counterpart. Combined with the knowledge that the male’s lower floating ribs are less flexible than the female’s, one must attend to the measuring of the upper part of the corset with care, allowing more room for the male ribcage. It is true that even in men the ribs tend to comply to the corset over period of time; however, one must practice tightlacing diligently for some time for this to occur, and it must be done gradually.
As a result, successive corset purchases and fittings should take that issue into account, the corset gradually becoming more constrictive in the upper torso as time goes on. Of course, the degree of compression is a personal decision (or the decision of one’s dominant); there is also the dynamic of whether the wearer wishes a more feminine figure or is wearing the corset only as a man.
The Male Hip Area
Of similar importance is the male hip area. Male physiology shows that there exists far less fatty tissue covering hipbone than on females. As a result, in some men, tight constriction over the hip will, cause abrasions. To combat this, the corset should either stop at the hipbone, or be fitted so to provide less constriction than on a female. In crossdressers, this is of little concern because they will want to emphasis the hipbone anyway for a more feminine figure.
It is interesting to note that, contrary to what one would expect, male organs transit much more easily than female organs. Since organ transit is the most prominent feature of tightlacing (along with compression), this gives males an advantage. It appears that Mother Nature did not feel that females require more organ movement due to their childbearing ability and the attractiveness of making room a baby.
Overbust versus Underbust
While there are other considerations in purchasing an overbust versus an underbust model (See my article "Embracing a Labour of Love") for males, there is a special one:
Obviously, males do not have breasts, and, furthermore, their chests tend to curve inward as they go above the nipples. As a result, if a corset in made to extend too high, there will be gap in between the skin and corset. Of course, this is less of a problem for crossdressers (who wear forms with their brassieres), but some custom corset manufactures will not fill an order for males that is over a certain length in front in order to protect their reputations, in view of the fact that the corset will not fit right no matter what.
Furthermore, the actual torso of males tends to be a bit concave (versus females, who are a bit convex). This is also a large consideration in fitting overbust styles, and this fitting are best done in person.
Bottom of Corset
Men and women BOTH must make sure that the corset is not so long as to prevent ease of sitting. The corset should be low enough to cover any fatty tissue protrusion (when necessary), but high enough not to bind when sitting. In men, the genitals must also be taken into consideration, so that sitting is not cause for a "scrunching" encounter. Keep the crushing for the waist!
Many men are reluctant to advertise the fact that they wear corsets. Therefore, it is imperative that the colors of the corset accommodate this desire by hiding the corset's existence as much possible. Ivory, off-white, and especially a light tan or beige, does this nicely. And, of course, as most Caucasian women will tell you, under a white dress shirt, beige is preferable to white when it comes to hiding what's underneath. In that case, stay away from patterns as well.
Other Crossdressing Thoughts
As a general rule, women's navels are about one inch above their male counterparts. As a result, a male measuring for a corset, and defining the waist at his (her) navel, generally will not totally achieve the desired result of a feminine figure. Crossdressers should locate their waist as being about one inch above their normal navel; that will produce the illusion of a female waist. Another way of handling this is to put the waist at the elbow, and no more than 1½ " below.
Crossdressers who normally do not wear a corset should consider such in order to keep things in place. A low waist is a dead giveaway.
Some crossdressers eschew corsets because they consider them too constrictive (but doesn't a girl have to suffer to be beautiful?). Well, the fact is, corsets are VERY comfortable when properly fitted, but don’t expect too much from an off-the-rack model. For those who will not try a standard-weight corset, using a lightweight model will give you waist definition, as well as waist height, and smooth the lines of your clothing.
Men have worn corsets for centuries, and you'll be in the best tradition by heeding the above.
Related thoughts from Dr. Beaumont
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