We Have a Responsibility

Submitted by: Anonymous

More people today, men as well as women, are wearing chastity belts than ever before in human history. This is a presumption, and cannot be verified or disproved. The idea of the chastity belt, for women, may have been more prevalent in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and there are some probably authentic examples in museums along with fakes. The scholarly consensus, however, is that chastity belts were better known through jokes and stories than from actual use.

Visitors to this website understand better than a scholar whose interest is purely academic why chastity belts never were commonly used. We know about the technical obstacles to making a chastity belt practical to wear on a long term basis. This is something we have wanted for ourselves or for a conjugal partner, and we learn from Altairboy that the difficulties we have experienced in our workshops or with commercial manufacturers are inherent. But now, for the first time, there is a community of minds addressing the problem, and the has been more progress in recent years than at any time since the Renaissance, with more in prospect.

Our problem is not only technological. What sort of experience will you have in a hospital emergency room after a car crash? (You or the person for whom you act as keyholder) Not good! How, on the other hand, would you want to be received in the emergecy room? Or, in a broader sense, what sort of a world would you want to live in? The emergency room situation is just a vivid example of possibly embarassinbg situations. Also, it is a case where we want not only tolerance and understanding (maybe even approval) but a knowledge of what is in the patient's best interest: not to tamper with the belt unless necessary. And if removal is required, how to do it safely, and most important, documentation that the belt was intact and not tampered with before removal.

In centuries to come people will look back to our era as the time when the chastity belt became a practical reality. We collectively are responsible for that development. We cannot reliably predict the social environment in which chastity belts will be worn. But we have a responsibility to do what we can to make that world one in which we would want to live. I propose that we dovote attention to imagining that world and thinking about what we can do to move in the right direction. Here are some themes that occur to me.

Ladies First

This is the order in which I think emergency room personnel (society) first should be exposed to persons who are wearing chastity belts.

1. Women who, having learned of the availability of a practical chastity belt, wear one occasionally, for instance: to and from work on the late shift, on dates and some other social occasions, and at home where there is concern about an intruder or even a family member.

2. Women who choose to wear one on a longer term basis in the context of marriage. (Problem: If a woman says "My husband locked me in it," she may be freed from the belt, but there probably will be trouble with her domestic life. If she says "I wear it to please my husband" can the authorities be sure she was not in fact coerced?)

3. Women who don't want to make decisions about sexual activity, alone or with a partner, on the spur of the moment - who would rather be obliged to wait, for instance, until they could get to the safe deposit box at the bank for a key.

4. Younger or unattached women who think eligibility for a good marriage and other social benefits will be enhanced by a good, verifiable record of chastity.

5. Men who feel that the committments of marriage should be mutual.

This is not the world we live in now, but if I somehow were to wind up in the emergency room, I would wish that society already had advanced through these stages. What kind of a world would you feel comfortable in? What problems do you see in the sequence I have listed above? What other sequences might seem preferable to you - or more possible? When you think through these and related questions all sorts of complications and problems will occur to you. I think contributors to this web site should explore them.

For instance, we need feminists to be on our side and not against us, and the term chastity belt brings to mind a history of patriarchal oppression of women. I suggest that another term, perhaps "security shield," be used instead. Maybe "secure shield" would be better. Of course, not all chastity devices are shields. But then, neither are they all belts.

A secure shield is a form of body armour. We can say that a medieval knight was protected by his armour, but we don't think of him as a helpless individual of a potential victim. The armour was an instrument of empowerment. An armoured knight was formidable. So were Victorian women in their straight laced corsets. Think of pictures you have seen of suffragetts, members of the Women's Christian Temperence Union, Florence Nightengale, and other early pioneers of women's empowerment. ("Corset" and "bodice" are derived from the French and English terms for a knight's breast plates.) A woman without a corset was a "loose woman." Twentieth century women perceived themselves as liberated from the corset. But their predecessor, the armoured, the "respectable" woman, was the first to emerge unchaperoned from the home into the world of men.

The armoured knight usually didn't have to fight to protect himself. Typically the armour protected him from assault, as did the "respectability" of the corseted Victorian lady. Hopefully, a woman' secure shield will protect her in a similar way, through the empowered sense of herself that she projects, even if the armour is not visible. Still, the idea that a woman needs to lock herself in a secure shield to protect herself will be accepted only grudingly, if at all, by feminists. But suppose women increasingly occupy positions of responsibility and authority in public life and achieve more in the arts and sciences? And if it is perceived, correctly, that most of the achievers wear secure shields?

Here is a rather convoluted argument to support my supposition: Some aspects of Freudian psychology have been discredited, but not the insight that some of our natural instincts or impulses are difficult to reconcile with existing social structures. Specifically, women's sexuality was incompatible with patriarchal society, and the mechanism for dealing with the problem was denial. This, in Freudian terms, is repression, and the consequence is neurosis. The great achievement of the sexual revolution of the late sixties and early seventies was acknowledgement of women's sexuality and of their right to act as sexual persons. Consequently, women became increasingly willing to acknowledge sexual arousal and also to indulge it. So now a woman may from time to time become consiously aware of sexual arousal. But if she is locked in a secure shield, indulgece of the impulse may be more problematical. Indeed, awareness of an impulse she cannot gratify may cause arousal to be more frequent and acute. Denial of an acknowledged impulse is supression. Whereas repression (non acknowledgment) may result in neurosis, the Freudian outlet for supression is sublimation, redirection of the sexual energy. Humanknd's greatest achievements are attributed by Freudians to supression, redirection of sexual energies..

A personal perspective: I wish I were a moderately attractive young woman. But there are problems. I would enjoy being perceived as a sex object, but I wouldn't want to be afraid of walking the streets or in the woods or being home alone. And though I would like to experience a woman's sexual arousal, I have reservations concerning what to do about it. A secure shield that really worked and was socially respectable to wear would help solve my imagined problems. (I identify with #3 in the numbered list above.) This train of thought is the long ago origin of my interest in chastity belts. If my wishes could be realized, I would like, also, to erase from my mind all that I have learned about chastity belts. I would like to be able to consult a sympathetic woman advisor in a support and service organization who would recommend the type of shield suitable for me (wihout describing its sex related features), and help with fitting and acclimatization. And I would like to have to learn for myslf that the shield in fact icorporates the following magical features. I would at all times feel, be aware of its presence, especially as a locked waist or hip band. I'd have to pay attention and even touch the shield in dressing, bathing and management of sanitary matters. But any unnecessary looking or touching (by myself or another) would cause a phobic reaction, a desperate compulsion to attempt to push or pull it off. So I never could learn whether or not the prescribed shield was an effective physical barrier to sexual stimulation. And I'd have to learn to live with a strict hands off policy for myself and a stand offish stance towards others who might be interested in intimicy with me. This, of course, is just fantasy, as is the idea of becoming an attractive young woman. Still, I would like to do what I can to bring about my imagined world. Since I believe that it is women, and not men, who must be the pioneers, the best I can do is to try to look at the goal and the means to achieve it from the perspective of a (moderately) attractive young woman.

Is looking at the world from this perspective abnormal? Certainly it is not uncommon. Most women (and some men) wish they were attractive young women. But they aren't. An enormous cosmetics industry caters to their desire, in addition to plastic surgery, exercise and dieting regimens, etc. They dream of what it would be like to be what they want to be and cannot become. They read romance novels and project themselves into the role of the heroines. Incidentally, some of these older women may be our natural allies out of spite. They might enjoy a world in which the women they envy are locked in secure shields.

Here is a passing note which you may consider frivolous. Among those who wish they were attractive young women are younger girls, who dream of it now and who have a chance to realize their dream. The Barbie doll is the single most universal representation of what they hope to become, more than Julia Roberts or, for an earlier generation, Marilyn Monroe. That Barbie is vapid and plastic has a positive side. The girl can by projection fill Barbie up with her own developing personality. She experiments with making Barbie over into various versions of what she would like to become by changing her hairdo and clothes. Except the underpants. Girls who play with Barbie have a better conception of an ideal secure shield than ay other segment of our society. Whatever transformations Barbie undergoes, the underpants stay on. We recall centuries of Western art in which nude female figures display a smooth, featureless crotch. These are themes that deserves further elaboration.

A Few Notes on Technology

Here is a speculation about the Middle Ages which illustrates the importance of planning for future generations. The medieval craftsmen and the lords, their clients, spoiled it for us, centuries later, by overreaching. The lord's first thought, probably, was to assure that the children he raised were his own. A securely locked Vaginal Access Shield (VAS), practical for long term wear, should have been within the competence of an artisan from one of the Italian cities, and perhaps even that of the castle armourer, if he had been instructed by his more cosmopolitan colleague. But many of the surviving chastity belts also incorporate an Anal Access Shield (AAS). And in every case I know of, the front is a Genital Access Shield (GAS) to provide more comprehensive coverage than a simple VAS.

Now, we may endorse the goal of protecting a woman from buggery. And what does an intact chastity belt tell the lord if in fact his lady has been able to indulge in gratification of the sexual impulse, autonomously or with a non-conjugal partner, while wearing it? So we cannot condem the medieval lords and craftsmen for wishing to provide comprehensive protection. But we know, from reading submissions to this website, that there is a trade off between comprehensiveness and practicality. If the lords, ladies and craftsmen of earlier ages had been willing to sacrifice comprehensiveness for practicality, there might have been a continuous tradition of secure shield use over the centuries. And there might today be a very different social environment into which to introduce the more technologically challenging GAS for women (as well as a secure shield for men.)

The technological breakthroughs I foresee have less to do with strict security than with verification, a principle already emerging with the "seal." The emphasis shifts from security of the shield, preventing its removal, to revealing if it has been removed and then reinstalled. The next step I foresee beyond the one time seal is a built in monitor, which records the time and dates when the shield was removed and reinstalled. Here is my idea for the social context for a secure shield with built in monitor. It takes two keys to unlock the shield, and the wearer starts with both in her possession, one of which she never relinquishes and the other which she may or may not entrust to a custodian or conjugal partner. She can, if she wishes, change the lock and get a new key for it, but the change will be recorded on the monitor. It will be a principle of law and social convention that only she has access to the monitor's information, though she can share it if she wishes. Ideally, emergency room, pregnancy and other relevant information also can be entered into the monitor by authorized person, including, of course, a second keyholder.

Now, back to the question of genital access and stimulation while the shield remains securely locked. It is my opinion that the conflict between practicality and comprehensive shielding never will be fully resolved. (Consider the vibraator.) I propose that we aim at creating an improved monitor which also records information on sexual arousal and on orgasm, with sensors detecting electrical impulses, chemical secretions, muscular contractions and the like. This is a tall order, given the unreliability of today's lie detector polygraphs. How do we interpret the monitor's raw data? Might a 100 yard dash produce readings that might be mistaken for orgasm? And how about tampering with the shield or monitor? We will need a standard setting organization, some sort of National Bureau of Security Enforcement and Verification. But who will that be? An absolutely reliable accounting firm like Arthur Anderson?

And there are so many other questions. How about a minor who does not want to wear a secure shield? And if she does, of her own will or not, how would we feel about a father claiming a right to access the monitor for information about arousal and orgasm? Suppose Teresa of Avila or some other saint and mystic had been wearing a secure shield during an ecstatic experience of union with the divine? What would the monitor report? Perhaps our monitor could distinguish between a event caused by physical stimulation and one which is truely autonomous. Could a long term and strictly observant wearer of a secure shield eventually develop a capacity, spontaneous or by an act of will, for arousal heightened to the point of ecstatic release with no physical intervention?

Our Responsibility

If you agree about the principle of Ladies First, should we shut up and let them get on with it, forming support groups and experimenting with shield design for security? We, of all people, should be capable of deferring present satisfaction in a longer term interest. But if we locked our lips, I don't think anything would happen.

Should we start a conspiracy? Altairboy and others to shut down their present web sites and open others with names more acceptable to serious women, and have us make submissions, pretending to be women, hoping to rope in women not focussed on sexual titilation? I don't think we could get away with it. Men have about as much luck pretending to be women in writing as they do dressing up.

But the idea of additional websites for serious women is worth considering. Some of us know women who, though they may be turned off or just amused by the focus of our interest, still might want to explore developing technological possibilities for enhancing the lives of women who feel they are at risk. We could put them in touch with appropriate websites, which could have links to existing manufacturers, but at sites which would not feature titilating photos or inuendos. Submissions which are not deemed suitable could be forwarded to Altairboy or another of the existing chastity belt sites.

And we could continue to share our ideas as we do now.

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Page last updated 02-May-16 by: Altairboy@aol.com