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Archive-name: alt-sex/fetish-fashion/part2
Alt-sex-fetish-fashion-archive-name: FAQ-Part2
Version: 3.0
Last-modified: 23-Feb-96

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
These are the questions I've seen asked often on both this and other
newsgroups, or those I've asked myself when I first got into this wonderful
world. I've compiled the answers from all over, and put it all together -
this is the result.

  1. Questions and answers
     What is a fetish and what is fetishism?
          Well, according to Websters Unabridged Encyclopedic Dictionary,
          (1989 edition) the definitions are as follows:
                 1. An object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or
                    habitation of a potent spirit or ashaving magical
                 2. Any object, idea etc., eliciting unquestioning
                    reverence, respect, or devotion.
                 3. (Psychology). Any object, part of the body etc., that,
                    although not of a sexual nature, causes an erotic
                    response or fixation.
               Also spelled 'fetich'.
                 1. Belief in, or use of fetiches.
                 2. (Psychiatry). The compulsive use of some object or part
                    of the body as a stimulus in the course of attaining
                    sexual gratification.
                 3. Blind devotion.
               Also spelled 'fetichism'.
          For our use it is clearly the definitions 2 and 3 (for 'fetish')
          and 2 plus perhaps 3 (for 'fetishism') that is relevant, the
          object being some form of clothing, outfit or footwear.
     Who are wearing fetish fashion?
          All kinds of people! - There's secretaries, editors, presidents,
          housewives, students, workmen, politicians, models and even
          unemployed among those known to enjoy the fashions. Perhaps you're
     When do people wear their fetish fashions?
          Often to fetish parties or while engaging in a scene at home. Some
          wears something along with regular clothing on a daily basis, just
          to 'stay in touch' with their fetish.
     My site doesn't carry - How can I participate in
     the discussions?
          Check out the "How to Receive Banned Newsgroups" FAQ, avaliable in
          news.misc, alt.answers, and news.answers. It gives all sorts of
          ways you can access newsgroups not otherwise avaliable at your
     Is this document available on WWW as a true html-document?
          YES! - If you're reading this via WWW, you're reading it! - If
          you're reading this via Usenet, it's available as this URL:

     What is the WWW?
          The World-Wide Web, a hypertext-based multimedia information
          system. Please consult the newsgroup comp.infosystems.www or the
          FAQ for this newsgroup for any other or additional information.
     Are there any sites on the WWW that carry fetish fashion oriented
          Check out my fetish fashion page at URL:
     Is it true that high heels damage the foot?
          No, not when we're talking quality footwear and healthy feet. All
          footwear may cause damage to the feet if too small or too badly
          designed. High heels are no exception, but studies even show that
          it actually may be healthy (better) to wear heels in the range
          2"-3" than to wear flats!
          Lani Teshima-Miller <teshima@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> writes:
               The problem is not with feet--it's with your back and
               your posture. High heels throw your whole spine out of
               whack because of the way it makes you stand--makes it
               curve differently. I think it used to lead to sore backs
               for me.
     Why do some women (and men) enjoy (or even prefer) to wear high heels?
          Ask them! - No, seriously, it may be that they both find them
          comfortable and enjoy what they're doing to the posture. There can
          be no doubt that high heels enhance both the legs and the overall
          posture and this makes the appearance much more sexy. And sex is
     Do some women really find high heels to be comfortable?
          Yes! - Most prefer more ordinary heel heights like 3", but some
          find higher heels even more preferable, and some even find 5"
          heels to be comfortable! Some even wear 6" heels on a regular
          basis, although those are more often to be found in connection
          with a scene - worn in the bedroom.
          Even 7" heels exist, but these are rarely seen.
     Can excessive wearing of high heels in any way be damaging?
          Yes, but in no way permanent. Non-stop wear can cause a shortening
          of the tendons in the back of the legs, causing pain when wearing
          heels lower than usual. Ignoring this pain can damage the tendon
          permanently, but the condition can be cured by wearing slightly
          lower and lower heels for an extended period. Some of the people
          suffering from this problem chose to handle it by wearing high
          heels all the time, and the story of one of these, Jessica, a 24
          year old woman, can be found at the end of this section of the
          It is a die-hard myth that all high heels damage the foot. This is
          not true! - Badly designed (cheap) heels might cause corns or
          worse, but well-designed, well-fitting high heels DOES NOT damage
          anything when worn even on a daily basis, as long as the feet gets
          to rest at least during the sleep period or similar (the feet
          needs shoeless rest). Fanatic 24h wear is another story...
     Is there anything important to know when starting to wear high heels?
          Lani Teshima-Miller <teshima@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> writes:
               There is one very important thing to remember about high
               heels and starting to wear them, is that many people
               don't have trained ankles. You have to first learn how
               to walk in them, learn how not to wobble (by training
               your balance and ankles), and learn how to react when
               you happen to bend your ankle. I used to do this A LOT
               but never sprained it because I'd worn high heels all
               the time. But if your ankle's not used to it, watch out!
     How do I get my girlfriend to wear high heels (or boots or clogs) more
     often, particularly in the bedroom?
          Ms. Margo writes:
               First good thing to try is to ask her, but not when
               you're already in bed. Try some evening after dinner, "I
               really think you have beautiful legs and feet. I would
               love it if you would wear heels to bed some time." It's
               always easier if the other person feels that they are
               giving you a gift rather than being pressured into doing
               something that might make them uncomfortable. Buy her a
               really nice pair of heels. Well made, and unfortunately
               expensive, shoes will fit better and be much more
               comfortable than the $20 "all man made materials"
               throwaways that most shoe stores carry. I have a pair of
               extremely expensive thigh-high leather boots that fit
               perfectly. I can be on my feet all night, either at home
               or out at an event like ManRay, and my feet don't hurt.
               Shoe pads are good. The little Dr. Scholls (sp?) pads
               for the balls of the feet will make any high heels more
               comfortable. More comfortable = worn more often!
               Other good tricks are to rub the feet with hand lotion
               and go to bed with cotton socks on. Three nights in a
               row of this will make even my 6" heels comfortable for a
               full evening. Exercise will help to stretch the tendons
               in the ankles and calves. A good one is just to walk on
               your toes for a bit each day. Another good one is one
               skiers do - put your toes on the edge of a phonebook
               with your heels hanging off, raise and lower your heels
               stretching gently. If she is walking in high heels on a
               pile rug, offer your arm for support. Many women feel
               "unstable" in high heels and the extra support is
               To get her into bed with the shoes on, you might just
               try carrying her to the bed while she is dressed, and
               removing everything but the shoes. If all else fails,
               you could always go for the bondage shoe straps which
               lock the heels on, but I suspect this would freak her
               out worse than the shoes.
               Talk to her if she seems uncomfortable about your
               requests. Find out exactly what makes her feel
               uncomfortable and help her with those issues. Many women
               have been raised to see this kind of behavior as
               "kinky", "sick", or "slutty". Assure her that whatever
               makes two people happy is just fine. Assure her that you
               hold her in the highest respect and don't question her
               virtue. Assure her that you want to be perfectly honest
               with her, rather than hiding your desires from her.
               And last, but not least, compliment her if she does wear
               heels for you. Best of luck in your quest. A love for
               high heels is a wonderful, abet expensive, joy.
     My brand new patent leather high heels seem too tight in the toes and
     too wide in the heel - What do I do?
          Jeffrey Hurwit writes:
               Patent leather stretches a little eventually, as does
               any shoe material. Also, the material is of course new,
               so consequently a bit stiff. Once you put a few "miles"
               on them, they should soften up and have more give. If
               these were plain leather (not patent), I'd recommend
               neetsfoot oil to accelerate the softening process. But
               the patent finish would be impervious to it, and the oil
               (if applied from inside the vamp) could damage the
               finish. I would suggest (unless it's too late) that you
               spend several hours with them on carpeted floors to make
               sure that they'll work out, so that you can return them
               if they don't.
          Noire writes:
               I put double half-sole cushions in the bottom, right
               under the ball of the foot where the most pressure (and
               pain) builds. The pads take up enough space that the
               shoes fit fairly comfortably and they also keep my feet
               from sliding forward. I'd recommend using them for any
     I've comfortably worn shoes that were this tight in the toes, but never
     such high heels. Does that make a difference?
          Jeffrey Hurwit writes:
               In my experience it does-- the higher heels tend to
               shift your weight more to the balls of your feet. Your
               feet will also tend to slide forward, putting more
               pressure on your toes.
          Ms. Margo writes:
               Yes it does, since most of your weight will be on the
               balls of your feet and that's a lot of pressure on your
               toes. If all else fails, go to a dance shop and buy some
               lambswool (which they sell for toe shoes) to wrap around
               your toes to prevent blisters.
     Do you have any tips on learning how to walk in high heels?
          Jeffrey Hurwit writes:
               Ankle training and ankle strength are very important, or
               you could twist an ankle and seriously hurt yourself. I
               found that walking (and hiking), bicycle riding, and ice
               skating all helped. Balance is of course important.
               Think of a line, like the blade of an ice skate, under
               the mid- dle of your foot from heel to toe, and try to
               center your weight over it for each foot as you walk.
               Experiment with your posture to balance your weight
               between your heels and the balls of your feet, first
               while standing still, then while walking. You'll
               probably want something or someone handy to help steady
               yourself while you're getting the knack. When you do go
               out, always be conscious of where you walk. Finally,
               restrictive clothing probably isn't a good idea while
               you're trying to learn...
          Ms. Margo writes:
               Well, take an emory board or a small bit of sandpaper
               and rough up the bottoms so they're not so slick. That
               will help to keep the shoe from sliding out from under
               you if you get your balance wrong.
               Try not to do your first practice on shag carpet - the
               heels will catch.
               Try not to use your arms to balance you. Practice
               walking with your hands held in the small of your back.
               This will keep you from looking like a T-Rex in
               Take much smaller steps than you normally would. This
               will also help to keep your shoes underneath your center
               of gravity.
               Keep your ankles stong and firm by lifting up until
               you're standing on your tiptoes several times a day
               (best done without shoes). Or hang your heels off the
               edge of a phonebook and lower your heels as far as you
               can and then raise up on tiptoe. Don't pull the muscles,
               just gently strech.
               Take every opportunity to sit down and rest your feet.
               Take your escort's arm (even if they don't offer it) and
               use them to help balance when going down sidewlks, over
               uneven surfaces, or going down stairs.
               For three night's before the big occasion, go to bed
               with your feet slathered in hand cream and wearing
               cotton socks. This will soften up your feet and help
               prevent blisters. (Keep a band-aid or two in your bag
               just in case. They also come in handy for protecting
               against rough seams inside the shoes.)
               Throw a pair of flats or sneakers in your car, just so
               that if your feet are killing you by the end of the
               night, you don't have to climb three flights of stairs
               to your apartment in 5" spikes.
     How can a person stand in high heels and walk a long time? When I hear
     stories about people dancing all night in 6 inches heels I'm always
 (Rikki) writes:
               I have found that some people can wear heels "much"
               easier than others. I have been wearing heels since the
               second grade and never had a problem with heels and now
               wear exclusivly 5" or higher. If you are one of those
               who are "stilletolly chanllenged" then I suggest
               exercise the calf muscles, walk on the balls of your
               feet even when barefoot, and try a clunky heel to get
               used to the heigth of the heel.
               PS: boots might support your ankle a bit!
          Karen ( writes:
               The key here is that you have to work at it. It takes
               balance, and strength to wear heels consistently. I have
               worked myself up to a minimum height of 3.5 inch heels
               for everyday wear (boots for winter and shoes for the
               Exercise is a good idea to build up the calf muscles. My
               personal suggestion to ensure a pleasuable experience is
               correct sizing of the shoes. Do not be convinced that
               you can't find the write size...women's shoes can be
               found in many sizes and widths (which is usually the
               hard part). If you are a wide width, do not be satisfied
               with B width shoes...go for the D's, Es or whatever it
               takes. It will make your goal more obtainable.
               Ankle support at first will help. It may be wise to
               gradually move from boots to shoes. Pumps provide more
               stability than slings or sandals, so work towards pumps
     What is PVC?
          PVC is an acronym for PolyVinylChloride, a form of plastic. It is
          in many ways similar to rubber (latex) but is less stretchy and is
          usually sown together instead of being glued or molded. It comes
          in many colors, including transparant, but red and black are the
          most common.
     Isn't tight clothing uncomfortable?
          Nope. Correctly designed it's both supportive and shapeenhancing
          and doesn't need to be any more restrictive or uncomfortable than
          whatever you'd consider 'normal' clothing. Naturally it can be
          uncomfortable but then it's worn particularly for the
          uncomfortability or to achieve some special effects like a small
          waist or to show off the legs or the butt particularly well.
     Is it true that wearing rubber can cause the skin to rot?
          Yes and no. If you let the skin breathe now and then, and keep a
          good hygiene, there should be no problems whatsoever.
     Is corsets dangerous to wear?
          No more than a scarf or a tie - if it's too tight it may cause
          serious damage, but when worn correctly, it's just like any other
          One thing that is very important to remember is, that only very
          few people can wear off-the-rack corsets. Just about everyone else
          is much better off getting a custom made (and fitted) corset. If
          the corset doesn't fit perfectly it will cause problems and
          perhaps more or less serious damage.
     Do people still wear corsets today?
          Sure! - A lot fewer than in the Victorian Age, but there's still
          thousands all over the world that wouldn't be caught dead without
          the corset laced on, and I'm not talking about fat, old ladies
          that needs to keep the fat under control!
     How and with what do I polish leather?
 (Ms. Margo) writes:
               Get an old pair of your jeans. Put them on. Sit down on
               the floor. Polish the leather on your thigh until it
               feels like the jeans are going to catch on fire.
               Different types of leather polish differently. Some
               types of leather will polish minimally, others will take
               a good gloss.
     How do I treat black leather so it becomes soft, supple and maintains
     its fabulous gleam.
 (Ms. Margo) writes:
               Lexol is the stuff you want. Be careful using it on thin
               or garment leathers because while the item is still damp
               with Lexol it can be stretched very easily. I ruined a
               nice pair of gloves once by putting them on when they
               were still damp after being Lexoled. Allow them to dry
               well before use.
               If you have an item that's very dirty use saddle soap to
               clean it before you use the Lexol conditioner. To make
               things shine you really have to buff them. Old jeans or
               old socks and lots of elbow grease works well.
     What material was CatWomans outfit in the Batman II movie made of, who
     designed it and can I get one too?
          It was designed by Paul Barrett-Brown of The Rubber Mask and
          Costume Company... although Andy Wilkes of Syren manufactured all
          the suits used for filming. You can contact Syren (address in
          supplier list) for details on how to get your own CatWomans
          outfit. The material used was latex rubber, polished to a shine.
     Did Michelle Pfeiffer really wear high heeled boots in the Batman II
     movie, or was it a trick?
          No, it wasn't a trick. She did wear boots with no less than 5"
          stiletto heels for all her shots, but the stuntwoman doing the
          stunts for her wore considerably lower heels. Michelle handled
          herself very well indeed on those high heels, running, spinning
          and performing martial arts movements flawlessly - to the
          amazement of most of the crew. Way to go, Michelle!
          Source: Michael Singer "Batman Returns: The Official Movie Book",
          page 28.
          ISBN 0-553-37030-8
     How do I get my latex or PVC garment on?
          Rich Greenberg <> writes:
               Baby powder helps here, or if you look at SCUBA diving
               wet suit material, one version has smooth nylon on the
               inside and latex on the outside.
     How do I make my latex or PVC garment shiny?
 (Ms. Margo) writes:
               I firmly believe that one should use pure talc for latex
               rather than baby powder, which contains oils. However, I
               know that there are plenty of laissez-faire folks out
               there who use baby powder and have never had a problem.
               For the record, I use only pure talc on my latex. I'm a
               bit paranoid since I had a lovely hood that disolved a
               hole from being put away without being washed. I have
               learned my lesson; you can't cheat when it comes to
               caring for latex. I use Black Beauty polish when I want
               a serious shine. (Tip: Apply it with one of those large
               flat foam brushes that hardware stores sell for painting
               I do find that just plain water will remove excess
               powder and leave a nice shine. It's cheaper and has no
               chemical smell.
     What is the best care for latex garments?
          Kris Davidson writes:
               The following is from a piece of paper the guy at Body
               Worship gave me when I made my pur- chase. It is
               entirely a direct quote.
                    TAKING CARE OF YOUR LATEX
                         Before wearing, remove all jewelry as it
                         may catch and tear your rubber. Ensure
                         that your body is completely dry. Smooth
                         a small amount of powder onto your skin
                         and lightly dust the inside of the
                         garment. Take your time getting into your
                         garment. You will quickly learn the best
                         and easiest technique for dressing. On
                         sleeved garments that must be pulled on
                         over the head, we advise that you put one
                         arm in first then the head and lastly the
                         remaining arm. Ease the rubber onto your
                         body, being careful not to grab with
                         Follow these simple steps and your latex
                         will look flawless every time you wear
                         it. Wash in hand warm water with a drop
                         of liquid hand soap. Clean inside and out
                         and rinse well in clean water. Hang up to
                         dry away from direct sunlight and when
                         complataly dry, dust with a little powder
                         and store in a cool, dry place.
                         To bring out the deep glossy shine of the
                         latex. First wipe off any powder from the
                         outside with a soft lint free cloth.
                         Using either "Black Beauty" or
                         "Armorall", spray a light film onto the
                         surface and buff to an even shine.
                    DO'S & DONT'S
                            - DO USE WATER BASED LUBRICANTS IF
                            - DO STORE IN A COOL DARK PLACE.
                            - DO CLEAN YOUR LATEX AFTER USE.
                            - DO DRY AND POWDER YOUR LATEX FOR
                            - DON'T USE OIL OR GREASE PRODUCTS
                              (BABY OIL, VASELINE, ETC.)
                            - DON'T EXPOSE TO STRONG SUNLIGHT OR
                              U.V. LIGHT.
                            - DON'T EXPOSE TO HEATERS OR NAKED
                            - DON'T WASH YOUR LATEX IN ANY TYPE OF
                              WASHING MACHINE.
                            - DON'T DRY YOUR LATEX IN ANY TYPE OF
                            - DON'T USE HARSH ABRASIVES, STRONG
                              CLEANERS OR SOLVENTS ON YOUR LATEX.
     What is the difference between 'gluing' and 'cementing'?
 (Jeffrey Hurwit) writes:
               Glue sticks things together by adhesion. It more or less
               flows into the "rough" surface (of even something
               smooth, like glass) of whatever it is you want to join,
               creating a bond. Examples are using rubber contact
               cement to glue wood, paper, etc. (but not rubber), white
               glue on anything, superglue (believe it or not), and
               most adhesive tapes. The main point about glues is that
               the bond is only physical, based on its ability to grip
               the surface it's being used to join.
               Cement, however, bonds things together chemically. The
               simplest kind of cement consists of some material that
               is the same as what is to be joined, which has been
               dissolved in a solvent. When such a cement is applied to
               the surface that's to be joined, the solvent eats into
               the surface, dissolving or at least softening a small
               portion of it. (The action of the solvent is limited by
               the fact that it's already been saturated with the
               material dissolved in it.) When the surfaces to be
               joined are brought into contact, the softened or
               partially liquefied materials flow together, forming a
               chemical weld (when all the solvent has evaporated) that
               is indeed as strong or stronger than the material which
               is being joined. Examples are rubber contact cement when
               used on a rubber that has the same chemical base as the
               cement (so that the solvent will attack it), such as
               wetsuit cement (neoprene in a solvent), tire and
               innertube patch cement; also PVC pipe cement, airplane
               "glue" or model cement (effective on styrene plastics),
               and the specialized plastic cements (the correct one has
               to be used for the particular plastic involved)
               available at plastics supply houses.
               The main point about cements is that, if the right
               (chemically compatible) cement is not being used, you
               will have only a glue at best, and the bond probably
               won't be very strong at all. In order to find the right
               cement, the material to be joined must first be
               positively identified. Like someone already mentioned,
               you have to know if your rubber is in fact natural
               rubber (and what kind of rubber it is), or if it's a
               plastic synthetic. Whenever I need to cement something
               (frequently some plastic thingy that I need to repair),
               I usually just take it to a (plastics) shop, and let the
               experts tell me what kind of cement I need for it.
     Which glue is used to repair rubber?
          Jeffrey Hurwit writes:
               If you don't mind doing a little more research, and your
               own simple chemistry, you could possibly make your own
               (glue). Many rubber and plastic cements (eg. such as the
               neoprene cement surfers and divers use to patch
               wetsuits) are nothing more than some of the rubber or
               plastic dissolved in an appropriate solvent. When
               applied to the material to be bonded, the solvent eats
               into and softens the surface, allowing it to integrate
               with what's dissolved in the solvent. As the solvent
               evaporates, the whole thing becomes bonded together.
               So all you need to do is find out what is the solvent
               for latex. If a shop that sells plastics and/or rubber
               can't tell you, a chemistry prof at your local
               university possibly could. A science librarian at a
               college library could also possibly help you find out.
 (Tony Kidson) writes:
               As an ex-chemist, I believe that Xylene is a good
               solvent for this application.
          Bill Lemieux <> writes:
               Best-Test paper cement is a _latex_ based cement
               available at art stores. Any other cement you can find
               that contains latex as a binder, and heptane as the
               solvent, will also work. You will also need to buy some
               Bestine cement thinner. Thin the cement about 1:1- it
               contains too little solvent as it comes in the can.
               The basic operation is to clean both surfaces of your
               seam (allow about 1/2" overlap for seams in most
               material, perhaps 1/4" in only the thinnest latex), then
               apply cement to both surfaces, and allow it to dry for
               several minutes. Allow to dry in free air, without a
               fan. Seam is ready to join when cement no longer appears
               glossy, typically at_least five minutes. Do not attempt
               to join immediately.
               After joining the seam, use a narrow roller, such as a
               nylon or wooden ink brayer, also available at art
               stores, to roll the seam under high pressure. This is
               necessary for a good strong joint.
               Now the problems:
                 1. As soon as you put cement on the latex, the solvent
                    will swell the surface, causing a lot of curling.
                    This is impossible to prevent with any glue that
                    will make a decent joint. To make the latex
                    manageable, especially on curved seams, make a
                    clamping jig that is considerably longer than the
                    seams you'll want to glue. It can be made of wood,
                    or angle iron, so long as it will provide even and
                    complete compression, the length of the seam. Now,
                    clamp one end of the seam at one end, and stretch
                    the seam until it is straight, then close the jig
                    on it, holding it flat and stretched out. Too much
                    stretch will make the seam curl over. Now do the
                    same to the mating edge, and glue as above. I never
                    said it would be easy.
                 2. Heptane is incredibly bad for you, despite the fact
                    that it smell very nice, as solvents go. Use only
                    in a well ventilated area, and keep a fan (on slow)
                    at your back, to carry the fumes away from you.
                    Failing that, get and use a respirator mask that
                    will remove organic solvent vapors.
     How to actually perform the act of repairing rubber/latex?
 (Rubber Lover) writes:
               The real trick invovles holding the seam together while
               you glue the patch in and also in keeping the patch from
               curling after you apply the cement. Here's how I've done
               it repairs for over 25 years now...
               You'll need to get rubber cement (Elmer's, etc.), rubber
               cement thinner, acetone, drafting tape and pure talc.
               Place the torn spot face up on a flat surface and work
               the split area closed along its original lines. When the
               tear is aligned place a strip of drafting tape over the
               tear area to hold it togther.
                    *** NOTE ***
                    Use drafing tape instead of masking tape!!!
                    Drafting tape looks just like masking tape but
                    has a greatly reduced tack to it (it ain't as
               Now place a strip of tape over your patch material (on
               the shiny side) and you may now cut (with scissors) a
               patch that will exactly cover the area to be repaired (I
               always give about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch of coverage on
               either side of the tear).
               Next, lay the patch over the area to be glued and apply
               a very small piece of tape to keep it aligned (Like a
               hinge). Now lay the patch over to expose the gluing
               surface. It helps to put some waxed paper under the
               patch so that you don't slop glue onto areas not to be
               patched. Pour some of the acetone onto a cloth and clean
               the areas to be cemented. This includes the patch as
               well. Do this in a ventilated area.
               Thin a small quantity of the rubber cement by about half
               with the cement thinner and apply it to both surfaces
               (patch and patch area). Wait about two minutes or so
               until the glue has dried (maybe longer) and then gently
               roll the patch over the tear area.
               Wait a few minutes before removing the tape but DO
               remove the tape!
               Sprinkle the patched area with talcum powder to kill the
               tack of the remaining cement and voila'. Away you go.
     Does sweat damage latex?
          Yes and no. Sweat in itself contains body oil that like other oils
          slowly disintegrates the material. But it needs time to perform
          its corrosive deed and thus a simple rinsing with a mild dishwash
          soap will clean it enough. Left to itself, the oil with either eat
          through the material or cause it to harden and become fragile. But
          the sweat from a days wear will not even begin to do any damage
          before you remove the garment and rinse it, and thus may be
          considered 'harmless'.
     How do I measure the length of my feet to find the correct shoe size?
          Tina H. <> writes:
               Sitting on a chair, wearing your usual hosiery or socks,
               place your foot on a plain piece of cardboard. Have
               someone hold a different piece of cardboard vertically
               at the heel, then draw a line where the two cardboard
               pieces meet. Then hold the cardboard at the end of the
               longest toe. Draw a line here as well. Now remove your
               foot and measure the distance in centimeters or
               millimeters between the two lines. Now consult the shoe
               size conversion table in the next part of the FAQ.
     How do you measure the height of a heel?
 (JoAnn Roberts) writes:
               There are at least two different ways that manufacturers
               measure the height of a heel.
               The most common method is to measure from the base of
               the heel to the point where the heel first meets the
               sole, i.e. the inside edge of the heel. The height is
               measured in eighths of an inch.
               The other method used is to measure from the base
               straight up the centerline of the heel until it
               intersects the sole. This gives a slightly higher
               measurement than the first method.
               In either case, the actual increase in your height is
               greater because you get elevated by the amount at the
               back of the heel.
               Also, the larger the shoe size the easier it is to wear
               a higher heel. It's got to do with the triangle formed
               by the heel height and length of the shoe. A smaller
               size has a much steeper angle for the same heel height.
     These answers are not definite nor complete. If you've got a better
     answer (in your opinion), do send it to me along with your reason for
     it. This is a section where your input is needed, so if you feel you've
     got the answer or corrections/expansions to the answers to any of these
     questions - send them to me!
  2. Corsets 101.
          The following was written by Ms. Margo in response to a
          letter from dq861@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (R. Thomas Haden),
          both of whom has very kindly given me permission to publicise
          it. If you find any errors or omissions in this segment,
          please do post a follow-up. It will be appreciated.
     The corset is a very old garment. If we use the term to loosely
     describe a garment meant to constrict the waist of the wearer, then
     there are examples of corsets depicted on statuettes from Minoan Crete
     dating to approximately 1600 B.C. The corset as we know it today, with
     its stays, busk, and laces, came into general vogue in the mid 1700's
     and reached it's height of popularity at the turn of the century and
     began to decline in the 1920's with the invention of camiknickers, the
     forerunner of the modern teddy, and brassieres.
     At the height of its popularity the corset was available in many
     specialized forms. There were tennis corsets, swimming corsets, hip
     corsets, electrical corsets, abdominal strengthening corsets, men's
     corsets, training corsets (complete with crossing shoulder straps and
     attachable thigh-high boots, to prevent the young trainee from removing
     her corset), and amazingly, maternity corsets. There were several
     magazines exclusively devoted to corset culture. Most notably among
     them was "The Wasp", published in London. It was felt that corsets not
     only molded a Lady's body, but also her character. It compressed her
     waist, raised her bosom, flattened her stomach, rounded her hips,
     straightened her back, lifted her head, shortened her steps to an
     appropriate 12" gait, kept her from being wild and tomboyish in her
     behavior, and "instilled a properly submissive attitude."
     Where or whom would you recommend for custom work?
          B.R. Creations
          Post Office Box 4201
          Mountain View, California 94040
          B.R. Creations is run by Ruth Johnson. She is very dedicated to
          corsetry and makes the best corsets on American soil. (Actually,
          she produces some of the only ones, but who's quibbling.) Her
          corsets are meant for daily wear are very durable. She also
          produces a corsetry newsletter that comes out four times yearly.
          Her color catalog is $7.00 for the U.S. and Canada, $10 for
          overseas. The Corset Newsletter (6 issues/year) is $18.00 for the
          U.S. and Canada, $24.00 for overseas.
     Several months ago, my fiance' and I purchased a Vollers corset (Deep
     Waist Nipper). At the time, it was 4 inches smaller than her waist. She
     has, however, recently lost weight to the extent that when fully laced,
     the corset fits her normally. Rather, there is no body modification at
          You are correct about the 4" of reduction from the normal waist
          measurement for a first corset. But given that she has now lost
          enough weight that the corset no longer causes any body
          modification, I would recommend a new corset with a 2" decrease
          from her current laced waist.
     Where would I go for a custom-job, and would we have to appear in
     person, etc?
          While it's wonderful to be able to be hand fitted for a corset, a
          perfectly fitting corset can be made from measurements. B.R.
          supplies an order form that specifies the measurements necessary
          for the properly fitting corset. If you have a tape measure, you
          can get a well fitting corset.
     What are the customs for having a made-to-measure corset done?
          Choose the style that you like from the several that they offer in
          the catalog. Choose a fabric that suits your tastes and projected
          uses for the corset. On request B.R. will supply samples of the
          satins, brocades, cottons, leathers, and metallic leathers that
          they use for their corsets. Choose any trim options that you wish,
          such as satin or velvet edging, lace or ribbon overlay, rhinestone
          trim, satin lining, or extra garters. Depending on the style and
          fabrics you select, a custom made corset costs $150.00-$350.00
          U.S. Measure carefully, and order your corset. It will take about
          6-8 weeks to be made by hand and will be sent to you by post. If
          you have any questions, contact them by mail or phone. They are
          very knowledgeable and willing to help you.
     What should the reduction measurements on the corsets be? I know that
     4" for a first try is pretty standard from talking to makers, but how
     does one get into advanced work and how far can one go?
          Yes, a 4" reduction from the natural waist is recommended for your
          first corset. (Before you start serious corsetry training, it is
          recommended to lose excess weight.) When one trains down to the
          point that the corset no longer fits snugly, a new corset should
          be ordered with a reduction of 2" from the current laced waist.
          The first 6" will go fairly quickly, but as a rule, further
          reductions go much more slowly.
          As you go further into waist training, you find that adjustments
          have to be made in the lifestyle, especially in eating habits.
          Meals will have to be much smaller and more frequent. Since the
          corset compresses the intestines rather severely, a large heavy
          meal will cause discomfort at best and serious pain at worst. It
          is recommended to have 5-6 light meals, rather that the 3 large
          meals most people eat, and to let out the laces a few inches
          before eating - retightening an hour or so later. Since the
          success of the training depends on the amount of time that a
          corset is worn, rather than how tightly it is laced, sleeping will
          be altered to include sleeping in the corset. Eventually only a
          few hours a day for washing will be spent without the corset.
          Rapidly lacing to a very small waist will appear to have the
          quickest results, but it is the easiest way to actually harm your
          body. It is much better to lace the corset snugly, but not
          uncomfortably so, and wear it for a longer period of time.
     How far can you trim a waist over time?
          There are three schools of thought on how small a waist can be
          achieved with tightlacing. One school says to target a waist that
          is 10" smaller than the starting waist. So a woman with a 28"
          waist could aim for an ultimate goal of 18". The other school says
          that the waist should a fraction of the bust. The starting
          reduction should be 3/4 of the bust measurement, a moderate
          reduction should be 5/8 of the bust measurement, and the minimum
          reduction for a decent Lady should be no less than 1/2 of the bust
          measurement. So our woman with the 28" starting waist who has a
          36" bust (approximately a 34B bra size) would start by aiming for
          a waist of 27", train down to a waist of 22 1/2", and go no
          smaller than a waist of 18". This method has the advantage of
          working for a visually balanced figure. The final school says to
          target a waist that is at the same size, or slightly smaller than
          the measurement of the upper thigh. This method has the advantage
          of being sensitive to the person's body 0weight and percentage of
          body fat. If weight is gained or lost then the waist can be
          targeted relative to the thigh measure.
          The world's smallest waist belonged to Mrs. Ethel Granger
          (deceased). At her ultimate her waist measured just 13". This took
          a lifetime of work to achieve and she lived to the ripe old age of
          77. However, her figure was so modified, with her lower ribs
          collapsed, that few would find it attractive.
     I've heard about serious back problems that are associated with
     corsets, are there ways that these can be prevented that allow the fun
     of corsets to be enjoyed?
          If you have a properly fitting hourglass corset, then the amount
          of pressure that is put on the lower back is reduced. A wasp-waist
          or S- Curve corset will put more pressure on the spine and bend it
          at severe angles. An hourglass or pipe-stem corset is designed as
          a small hemisphere above a larger hemisphere, connected by a short
          stem. A wasp-waist corset is designed as a small cone over a large
          cone. An S-Curve, Gibson Girl, straightfront, or "ice cream cone"
          corset is designed like an ice cream cone with the ice cream stuck
          on the wrong end, with a small cone over a larger hemisphere.
          These types of corsets have had various periods of popularity. To
          properly wear a wasp-waist corset one must begin training in
          adolescence, to prevent the rib cage from growing normally.
          However, some tightlacers do wear them. But a properly fitting
          corset should not be painful to wear.
          My ASCII art skills are minimal, but I will attempt the drawings:
                 (             )
                 (             )
                  (           )
                   (         )
                      (   )
                      (   ) <-----Normal Waistline
                   (         )
                 (             )
                (               )
               (                 ) <-----Normal Hipline
               (                 )
               (                 )
                   \           /
                    \         /
                     \       /
                      \     / <-----Elevated Waistline
                      /     \
                     /       \<-----Normal Waistline
                    /         \
                   /           \
                  /             \
                 /               \ <-----Normal Hipline
                /                 \
               /                   \
                \               /
                 \             /
                  \           /
                   \         /
                    \       /
                     \     / <-----Normal Waistline
                   (         )
                 (             )
                (               )
               (                 ) <-----Normal Hipline
               (                 )
               (                 )
          To keep the pressure on the lower back to a minimum have a well
          fitting corset; this will help to support the body rather than
          crimp it. Do not overlace it; pull the laces snug and tight, but
          not uncomfortably so. If the compression is painful, unlace the
          corset and start again. Do not lace it too rapidly; lace it snugly
          and if necessary tighten the laces after the corset has been worn
          for a few hours. Do not try to lace the corset tight in one pass;
          tighten the laces in stages to allow your internal organs time to
          adjust to the compression. Lace from both ends to the middle
          pullers rather than from top to bottom; this will help to keep the
          laces from sliding and also help to keep from overlacing the
          bottom of the corset relative to the top. Do not try to force
          positions that the corset will not allow. Especially harmful to
          the back is bending forward from the waist. Instead, bend the
          knees and reach down. Keeping your body in good shape will also
          help to strengthen your back. You might want to start a regime of
          "crunches" (not straight leg sit-ups) or other exercises that
          strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and lower back. Eventually,
          you'll feel more comfortable in your corset than out of it.
     I can't find very much information on corsets. All help and any
     knowledge you wish to give to me are appreciated!
          I would recommend "Body Play" magazine to you. It is put out by
          Fakir Musafar and almost every issue contains something about
          corsetry or body modification. There is a nice series on corsets
          that begins with issue #3. The Fakir is sometimes too much into
          the Shamanism of body modification for my taste, but he is very
          knowledgeable and writes well. There is also a nice article on
          corsets in an S&M context in "Sandmutopia Guardian", issue #11.
               Body Play
               c/o Insight Books
               Post Office Box 2575
               Menlo Park, California 94026
          Subscriptions (4 issues/year) are $45.00 U.S. and Canada, $55.00
          overseas. Back issues are $12.00 U.S. and Canada, $14.00 overseas.
               Sandmutopia Guardian
               Desmodus, Inc.
               Post Office Box 410390
               San Francisco, California 94141
          Subscriptions (6 issues/year) are $24.00 U.S. and Canada, $35.00
          overseas. Order back issues from:
               RoB, Inc.
               24 Shotwell Street
               San Francisco, California 94103
  3. Corsets - Embracing a labour of love.
          The following was written by:
               THOMAS B. LIERSE <>
          Copyright (C) 1992 by Tes Staylace
     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 which
     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, rather than the customary two per day, is
     suggested. Obviously, these meals should be small, and consistent with
     comtemporary healthy diet recommended.
     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 chaffing can be avoided by wearing a properly sized
     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 ac- tivities. 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 chaffing, especially if perspiration is present. Thus, it
     is important to apply moisturizing oils or lotions to the skin at every
     possible opportunity, followed by talc, especially if one has a
     tendency to perspire excessively.
     Care must also be paid in 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 a sheath made of a material commonly
     referred to as "bathing suit" cloth; these spandex-like tubes can
     easily be fashioned and worn underneath the corset. 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 spandex tube, however, will
     shrink to accommodate your ever-smaller stays!).
     Efficient ways for donning your stays include the lacing bar, and
     laying prone on the floor. Both these methods allow the waist to
     contract to its smallest circumference, permitting easier application
     of the garment. 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. One should
     just keep in mind that most garments, regardless of material, require a
     "breaking-in" period of several wearings.
     Most corsets come with cotton lacings. I recommend they be replaced
     with the stronger (and less bulky) nylon version.
     A well-constructed garment, especially 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 "ribbon",
     usually sewn into the interior, should circle the corset horizontally
     from the lacingstay to the frontbusk (a busk being a much wider stay
     which anchors the front hook-and-eye clo- sure). 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 with more aesthetic quality.
     The effect of a tightly-laced corset is further 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 your 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 unto itself!
  4. Jessica - Wearing high heels for an extended period of time.
     Through a friend on the net I heard about this now 24 year old woman
     named Jessica who's been wearing 4"-5" heels for the past 10 years or
     so, more or less non-stop. I got in touch with her and she didn't mind
     sharing her footwear experiences with us. I've edited some of her
     replies to my queries into a whole which follows below - mostly in her
     own words:
          I started wearing them when I was about 15. I started and
          refused to wear anything else because I wanted to get used to
          them. After about a year it was difficult to flatten my foot
          so I just wore heels always instead. After about 3 years I
          couldn't wear anything lower than 4" or it would really
          really hurt. I've been in them since. I have tried to get
          help but nothing worked. Most doctors say to slowly wear
          lower heels. When I try anything lower than 4", my calves
          really hurt almost immediately and my calves will hurt for
          the next few days during which I have to wear 5" heels or so,
          or it will hurt.
          I guess I started wearing them when I was pretty young and
          still growing, and I grew into them, and can't change now.
          I used to really hate the heels because I was so limited, but
          I have accepted it ok. Yes, I have shoes, I think they're
          called mules, that I wear at night sometimes and in the
          shower. I can walk on my toes if I have to, but my calves get
          tired real fast.
          Mules are heels, like pumps, but with nothing covering the
          heel of my foot, so they sort of slip on like slippers.
          I don't sleep in them often but I have many times. Sometimes
          after I have been wearing them all day it hurts when I try to
          take them off. I guess my foot gets used to being in such a
          tight shoe all day that it can't handle being pulled out of
          the shoe too fast. So I just wear them to bed and usually the
          next day I can take them off, but sometimes it takes even
          longer. It usually just happens with my new shoes. I have a
          ton. I have about 50 pair of 4" and higher heels, and about 5
          or 6 pair of boots with 4"-5" heels. Most of them are black,
          because black goes with everything. I have about every color
          In the winter I wear my boots mostly. The beach? Well, I
          don't do that too much but I would just wear an old pair of
          pumps, but it's hard for me to walk on sand or anything like
          that because my heels tend to sink into the sand and that
          causes my foot to try to go flat, and it hurts when I let
          that happen. I work in a professional setting, so heels are
          almost required, so I'm ok thank goodness.
          I started wearing them because I liked how they looked and I
          really wanted to get used to them so that they wouldn't
          bother me when I wore them. I thought that if I just wore
          them all the time that I would get used to them and they
          would feel normal to me, so I wore them and did everything in
          them all day long.
          I am 24, 5'7" in my heels (that was another reason I started
          wearing them and wanted to get used to them. I was only
          5'2"). My problem doesn't seem to bother anyone really. I get
          foot massages all the time because I need them so much.
          I don't discourage women from wearing them. In fact, I think
          I almost encourage people since they see me wear them always
          and have no trouble with them.
          I have mixed responses from people. I usually don't really
          care what people think though. I just wear what I want to
          Yes.. I drive a lot, but if it's only a few blocks I'll walk.
          I probably walk just as much as everyone else does. I can
          handle it. The only problem with walking too much in heels is
          that the heels wear out fast.
          I only have a few pairs higher than 5". I have 4 or 5 pair
          that are 5 1/4 I think. My foot is already somewhat
          hyperextended when I wear those though. I only wear a size 7,
          so 5" are quite high already. I find 4 1/2" to be the most
     Used with full permission.

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