GIRDLES FOR THE MEN OF BOSTON

After I first posted this, it became one of my most-viewed blog posts. Perhaps googlers thought it would be titillating. It was especially popular in other countries.

 

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When I was a kid, one of the Boston newspapers had a section in the women’s pages called “Confidential Chat.” Women readers were supposed to ask questions and provide advice, all of which was published anonymously. I knew it was influential because my third-grade teacher followed directions she found there for turning a lump of coal into something that was supposed to look festive, using household ingredients like food coloring and ammonia. The result looked like a heap of pink and blue fungus.

Also, when our dog had some kind of mange, my mother read that it could be treated with an ointment made from sulfur from the drugstore and lard. I would guess that Crisco or any creamy substance would have worked, but she was sure it had to be lard. She sent me to the supermarket to buy some. I was afraid the entire Jewish population of our neighborhood was observing me as I found and paid for the forbidden substance.

I used to read Confidential Chat—after I read the comics and the weather report—because the readers, with the promise of anonymity, frequently discussed topics like pregnancy and the possibility that their daughters might be promiscuous. The campaign I remember best was the Chat women’s cure for their husbands’ aching backs. Several women recommended the cure, and many more endorsed it after they got their husbands to try it.

You’ll think I’m making this up—and if it had appeared only once or twice, I’d suspect it was a prank by the guys on the copy desk. But it went on for two or three years.

This was the cure—for all back pain, both upper and lower: you bought your husband a woman’s girdle to wear (I don’t know if they told the other Chat readers how to get the right size) and nylon stockings. This was necessary for the proper therapeutic alignment and support. The tops of the stockings were attached to the girdle by its garter clips. Then he put on his regular clothes. As with the lard-based ointment, no substitutions were suggested.

The results, according to dozens of readers over the years, were miraculous. One woman said that her husband, whose muscular back hurt because he drove a truck all day and moved heavy furniture, was pain free and happy now that he put on his girdle and stockings every morning. The Chat women assured one another that the men encountered no embarrassment in rest rooms. In those days, the 1950s, health clubs hadn’t been invented and grown men didn’t go to gyms, so locker-room humiliation wasn’t an issue.

Think of it: a whole generation of young husbands and middle-aged men who went around wearing, under their three-piece suits or their dungarees and flannel shirts, intimate ladies’ paraphernalia—priests, policemen, storekeepers, teachers. Could it have been ten percent or more of Boston’s male population?

I’ll assume that the practice ended when the placebo effect—this has to work because it’s so extreme!—wore off, and even men who faithfully put on their gear each morning found their backs still aching. Or the men may have rebelled against their spouses. Or maybe it was like your mother’s warnings about why you should always wear good, clean underwear—one too many heart-attack victims brought to the E.R., where their bizarre practice was exposed.

While it lasted, though, it must have been good for the newspaper’s circulation. Not to mention the girdle business.

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2 comments

  1. As a male who now wears a long legged high waisted boned and zippered panty girdle everyday Rago 6210 I found being in a vintage girdle is really great. I come from the Golden Age of Girdles, back during the 40ties – 50ties – 60ties where women all wore girdles and loved being girdled. In my family I lived with my parents, mother grandmother and aunt all were either daily in a girdle or corset. I use to over hear them chat about being girdle or corset dependent. I had always wondered could I also become as a male girdle dependent. During the Golden Age of Girdles contrary to false propaganda against girdles women love being in a girdle everyday and for good reason you did not just look great but you sure felt great with much more energy. Being in a girdle during that time was a women’s “Best Kept Secret”. Which men nowadays are starting to learn about this secret.

    As I become older I started to get a small belly with a mild case of scolosis. I decided to locate a professional corsetiere for both a fitting in a girdle and girdle training. I asked her if as a male could I also become girdle dependent, she YES, and she would work with me.

    I set up an appointment with her to find out. First thing I found she was very professional going to a corsetiere is very much like going to a doctor. She sat me down and asked me about my life style and what kind of work I do. I am very active, but for work like most of us I sit working on computers.
    This has a lot to do with the kind of girdle I needed to be in. I asked her if I should be corseted, she told me that a corset is way too resrictive considering that I am very active that I really needed to daily be in a long legged high waisted boned and zippered panty girdle like Rago 6210.

    I also found interesting enough there are some very serious health benefits to being girdled which most people have no idea about. What it has to do with as humans we stand erect, standing erect along with gravity and time has a very negative effect on our internal organs and our bodies, wearing a vintage girdle will counteract this negative effect and hold your internal organs in their normal natural position.

    Next the corsetiere has to teach me how to put on a girdle – you need to lie down on a bed, lean way back pull up your knees and pull up your girdle, hook up the hooks and eyes and pull up the zipper and stand up. I followed what she told me once I stood up I was completely amazed what it was like to experience the support and being held in, I felt great sitting standing and just getting around being well encased in a girdle, I found it truly amazing.

    The corsetiere also recommended I keep my stomach muscles well relaxed and just rely on the girdle to support me. She told me this can take a few weeks to get somewhat use to, which I found following she she told me I had much more energy and confidence I was amazed.

    Next the corsetiere told me to develop a daily routine, wake up clean up and put on a girdle and go on with my day.

    Yes what does happen over a period of time you become so accustom to the benefits of being in a girdle you do become quite dependent and need to be girdled every day, and you do find you love the benefits, they are truly amazing.

    If you want to learn a lot more I came up with this: https://toms0321.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/the-health-benefits-from-daily-wearing-a-vintage-girdle/

    Also you can post your girdle experience and ask questions on: http://www.voy.com/224381/ we would love hearing from you.

    Spread the word also “Vintage Girdles Are Really Great”.

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