There should be little mystery that my female aesthetic focus has magnetically pulled towards the looks and attitudes of the 1940's and 50's. From the hairdos, the bright red lipstick, and the seamed stockings to the corseted waists, lack of pants and - yes - their fetish for bondage.
I adore cartoons. I watched them non-stop as a child, citing many of them as the provider for life's lessons. I can say without any doubt that the damsel-in-distress so often portrayed in hand-drawn animation struck a tuning fork deep in my chest. I also developed many crushes on the cartoon girls that pranced across the screen. From Disney's library of screen heroine's, the first of which i fancied was the sleeping beauty Aurora, to the big, doe-eyed fanciful creatures of Tex Avery.
I'll never forget the particular marvelous Saturday afternoon that introduced me to and the imprint it delivered through this playful update of a classic story.
Almost as if my burgeoning sexuality had been sent on a once-in-a-lifetime shopping spree, all the things that would eventually serve as the foundations for my fetishes could be found in this illustrated play. I was sold on the sharp, heavy outlines of the 40's and 50's, the long fairy-like eyelashes that fluttered an awfully enticing code, and the wicked, accentuated curves.
When i finally arrived on the complete ordnance of objects that would - revolving around in my head - bring about sexual satisfaction, i looked to this era for real life examples. To my young eyes, it appeared to be the last time period these sort of female accoutrements were seriously deployed. Women truly enjoyed the exclusive statement on femininity their hair, makeup, footwear, and, most importantly, undergarments declared.
I pushed myself to explore as much material that existed on this period of feminine constraint, and in tune pushed the range of my own desire further. My search brought me to the darker recesses of the quaint 1950's attitude. It was here i first encountered the artwork of Eric Stanton.
Very quickly, i swam in an ocean of wickedness, male chauvinism, aggressive pursuit, and hunger - pure, unmitigated hunger. In the privacy of my chamber, i enjoyed what my eyes flowed over, but were anyone to ask me in public if i endorsed this material, i would have abdicated. Gone were the peppy housewives of the 40's and 50's, replaced by the extricated female objects whose limbs were contorted and abducted, only to be corralled for the pleasure of their male master.
Among these shockingly arousing panels of the works of Stanton and others of his time, i encountered the device known as the Venus corset:
The one just above and to the left does the best to exhibit why this corset is called the "Venus". Quite literally, it was imagined to also constrict the wearer's arms behind her back with the same lacing that cinched in her waist. The effect had the subject resembling the very famous Aphrodite sculpture from the ancient Greek town of Milo. Illustration after illustration demonstrated this innovative contraption. To my eye, every single female above is striking and beautiful in this pose, and seeing this, i was sold. I knew i wanted one.
And thus began the great myth. Over a decade of searching, i've never found one. Corset site after corset site, and no one, from what i've seen, has offered their own prototype. The closest i came was a corset that had an attached single-glove armbinder with integrated back lacing. But, alas, i have never discovered an actual arm-encapsulating device.
Perhaps someone could felicitously prove me wrong.