Late 19th Century pregnancy corsets

Welcome to a new feature on my blog! Guest bloggers! Today I have Seven McBay talking about corsets. But not any corsets. Pregnancy corsets.

Here’s Seven!

First, I’d like to thank Keira Kohl for letting me visit with her and her readers on her blog. Great fun to be here! And now, without further ado:

Late-19th-Century Pregnancy Corsets

If there is one thing that men found sexy in the late 1800s, it was the female hourglass figure. By mid-century, gone were the Edwardian gowns that cinched in under the breasts and fell to the floor like shapeless nightgowns (think Jane Austen). By mid-century on, women strove to show their curves and to create them where they had none. Women’s fashion played around with corsets and bustles each decade, always trying to achieve that perfectly alluring figure. (Even the Edwardian women wore corsets, but they were designed to make the woman into a column from under the breasts straight down.)

By the 1860s, there were crinolines and hoopskirt cages along with the mandatory wasp-waist corset. By the 1880s, the hoopskirt gave way to a bustle, which still gave everything below the waist a generous roundness, especially the derriere. Yet despite the changes in dress shape that went on below the waist, the corset didn’t change much from 1776 to 1876.

Flaring hips, wasp-like waist, and thrusting breasts—the corset’s effectiveness rivaled that of any modern girdle and push-up bra. Not only did it make women look great in their clothes, the corset looked pretty darn sexy after the man removed all the other layers (sometimes up to 13 lbs. of layers). He could feast his eyes on his woman in nothing but pantaloons or drawers, stockings, and a corset. That usually led to amorous congress (that’s sexual relations to you and me).

At that point, the woman might find herself in a certain condition, enceinte, or with child. What to do about keeping that lovely figure? Naturally, women turned to the pregnancy corset. This wasn’t designed to offer support though they needed it. Their stomachs had been trussed from an early age in whale bone stays and leather (among other corset constructions), so their abdominal muscles were rather . . . well, non-existent. Stick a baby in there and that stomach was going to sag all over the place, and rather quickly.

Enter the pregnancy corset which, though it offered much-needed support, was mainly used to create the illusion of not being pregnant for as long as possible. In some cases, probably too long. It seemed to push the baby as low as possible to go into the section of the skirt that would be fullest, and, of course, it squeezed the infant into the smallest space imaginable. Poor mother, poor baby. But, hey, as long as the woman looked good!

Next week, the joys of chastity belts. Just kidding! But as for me, I’m happy to put on a corset for visual purposes only and I’ll keep doing crunches for the abdominals when the corset comes off.

Bio: Seven McBay

I’ve been writing for many years and have recently turned my attention to historical erotica. I need to use that B.A. in history and M.A. in English lit. for something, right? And who doesn’t want to write (or read) about a sexy lord unlacing his lady-love’s corset by candlelight before he . . . well, engages in amorous congress with her? I know I do.

The clothes were more beautiful, definitely sexier, and a lot more difficult to remove in the nineteenth century. What a fertile field for a writer of erotica. I also write historical romance under a different pen name. Shh! That’s a secret.

As for my own slightly unusual name, I was born on a lucky day, that’s all!

Cheers,

Seven McBay

My website, Eromantica is at http://sevenmcbay.wordpress.com/

Recently released:

One Lord to Go, Book 2 of The Erotic Lords series

 Short Historic Erotic Novella (approx. 14,000 words)

Lord James St. John has tired of London life, including its whores, until he picks up an unexpected female on the way to his country estate.

Stranded on the side of the road, Clarissa Belmont doesn’t expect her rescuer to be a powerful nobleman, one who asks her to marry him before he’ll give her a little sexual relief.

Just when he thinks he has her right where he wants her, in his bed, she disappears. Was she after his money or his body, or both? Will he bother to get her back or leave her to another’s devious plans?

Available for purchase:

At Smashwords, at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320964
At Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/One-Lord-Erotic-Lords-ebook/dp/B00CQAE152

 

Keira here again!

Thanks for being here, Seven. Very interesting information. I would like that hour glass figure again. Getting a corset would be a lot easier for me than going on a diet.

Sweet, sexy dreams.

 

Keira

 

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