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Chastity Belts–Victorian Creation

I heard this from television the other night on The History of Sex. While many of us consider chastity belts something from the middle ages, they turn out to be mostly Victorian in nature. In fact, no one has ever found a chastity belt dating back to the middle ages. They were written about in the poetry of the times, but the first ones made were made in the 19th century. And they weren’t made for purposes of chastity, but to deny people the dangerous practice of “self-pleasure”, which of course could lead to insanity. Actually too much of any sexual pleasure could lead to illness or insanity, according to my 19th century medical book The People’s Common Sense Medical Adviser by R. V. Pierce. I could have sworn there were actual pictures of chastity belts in this book, but I have yet to find them. If anyone wants more information here’s a link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2430118

and here’s a link to a book:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2430118

Anyone have any interesting ideas on how to incorporate this tid-bit in a book?

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9 Comments

  1. Christine Koehler says:

    And blindness, don’t forget blindness. Too much self-pleasure could lead to insanity, blindness, changes in one’s appearance (I’m nearly positive on that one) and most horrifying of all…people would know!

    However, I, too, believed it was a medieval thing. Huh.

  2. Susan Macatee says:

    I didn’t know this either, Dee!

    I always associated them with knights and the ladies during the Crusades.

  3. Denise Eagan says:

    I keep wondering how to use it though. I mean, we should be able to at least mention it in a book. “Now that he’d removed the chastity belt, which he used to prevent nocturnal emissions, he could perform. . . .”

    Nope, that doesn’t work. Only other thing I could think of was some sort of nasty abuse from a mother leaving the hero psychologically damaged, but again, yuck.

    Darn it.

  4. Barbara Tanner Wallace says:

    Were the chastity belts only for women? That’s wholly unfair. I can see one of a more liberated heroine being appalled at the inequity. Or perhaps, the hero and heroine could come across one somewhere, the hero explaining what it is, and somehow the ensuing discussion of self-pleasure…..

    Then there’s always the mental chastity belt…..

    Somewhere Dee’s sorry I posted…

  5. Denise Eagan says:

    Barb, you are so funny. No I’m not sorry you posted. I dont know if they were just for woman, I think they may have been for men too. I’m going to have to find that out. You’re right, it’s totally unfair and I see my heroine getting ticked off over that.

  6. Paul says:

    During Victorian times chastity belts were made for both females and males. While the female belts were made for both young girls and women male belts were primarily intended for use on adolescent males. They were primarily used on adolescent males to prevent them from masturbating. There were some apparent exceptions where women would talk their man into wearing some type of chastity device. Chastity belts were also made and used on both sexes in mental hospitals.

    At this time and into the 1930s it was though that male nocturnal emissions were harmful to the male. Device were made that would waken a sleeping man so that this would not happen. The man would actually want to wear the device at night.

    Going back further in history rich Roman women would have a favorite male slave fitted with some type of chastity device. These were usually a Fibula or type of pin device fitted on the end of his penis. It could not be removed and put back on with out his owner knowing.

  7. Sydney says:

    Thanks for your beautiful blog!
    Perhaps it is my love of all things Victorian that has caused me to venture into modern day chastity belts.
    See more at http://bnd2plz.wordpress.com

    -Sydney

  8. Sydney says:

    Sorry for making another comment but I was thinking about your question on how to incorporate the tid-bit about chastity belts into a story… I have many actual real stories about the use of chastity belts (or devices). I would love to read a book that incorporates some of these ideas. Thanks again.
    -Sydney http://bnd2plz.wordpress.com

  9. […] The Middle Ages Produced Chastity Belts It is common to hear that chastity belts were made in the middle ages to keep women from being raped or fooling around with another man when the husband was away. The truth is that the known chastity belt was made in Victorian times and they were not invented to stop women from being naughty with another man, but they were made to stop women from being naughty with themselves. The chastity belt was used as an anti-masturbatory device. […]

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