Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Where did our chastity fetish come from? Where's it going? Male Chastity Devices before the 21st century and in the future

...it's also got an illustration of a working
male chastity belt!
Back in the early 1990s I'm perhaps 20-years old and I'm reading The Anxiety Makers: Some Curious Preoccupations of the Medical Profession by Alex Comfort of Joy of Sex fame, a lucky find in my college library.

It's an amazing if depressing book, all about the stupid things doctors foisted on mostly vulnerable people in times gone by.

It's also got an illustration of a working male chastity belt!

I remember just staring as, paradoxically, my penis lurched to attention.

"I have to have one of these! But how...!"

An example exists in the Prague sex
This was before Internet, and before I found out that there were professional makers of kinky toys out there such as Fetters UK. (Back then, it was all mail order catalogs and the route to finding the real stuff was something like find and get the courage to buy a Skin 2 magazine, then order a catalog and hope your roommates don't open the envelope by accident, then....)

However, that illustration was like a key turning in my head, unlocking a fetish I didn't know I had, a fetish I had no way of satisfying. I had two options, find one in some auction -- really unlikely! -- or make my own.

Making my own was also unlikely, but I did it eventually, progressing from hard cups good for an hour or so, to -- about ten years later -- a locking belt with a penis cage or prison I could pee out of. The final version was good for 48 hour wear, but not practical for daily living so once I embraced ball-trap devices, I threw it out.

Looking back recently, I started wondering what would have happen had I been more plugged in to the Fetish world?

Answer, practically nothing.

It turns out that pre the CB2000, there were a handful of boutique full belt makers. Otherwise it was all DIY enthusiasts crafting their own.

How did we get from there to here?

The Mysterious Flourising of Male Chastity

It's odd.

You have male chastity belts appearing in the 19th century as anti-masturbation devices forced on lunatics and young men... though one does wonder.

Nothing for nearly a century; no easily available devices as sex toys, no popular idea that they might function as sex toys... not like the popular stereotypes of whip wielding dominatrices and cringing bankers swapping their pinstriped suits for latex gimp-wear.

...or even the primitive CB2000
Then, at the very turn of the 20th century, an explosion of chastity devices and a flowering of chastity as a distinct kink.

What on earth is going on?

I encountered the idea in those naive pre-Internet days when Catwoman was pretty much the only Femdom image we had but my immediate and visceral reaction to that picture suggests that there's something innately attractive about male chastity.

I'd already discovered the joys of being edged, and had a strong urge to submit, and the device offers both experiences at a very intimate level. It traps you in open ended edging and at the same time prevents a proper erection, an erection of course being a primal signal of dominance. 
In other words, a male chastity is a perfect storm.

But what about the women? Why would they want -- tolerate -- having their male in chastity in bed?

Women who like Orgasms but not Penises

The student world is a small world. Back in the 1990s, I did not dare to wheel out my amateur designs to any of my girlfriends. However, what if I had had a nice Holy Trainer 2 to show off, or even the primitive CB2000?

In hindsight, it's amazing how many of the young women I felt a connection with were sensual and orgasmic, but didn't much care for penis-in-vagina sex. 

I can recall in detail ten girlfriends before Xena:
70% of my past girlfriends didn't really
 need my penis, and 40% didn't really want it.
  • Three really liked fucking and were easily orgasmic penis in vagina.
  • One was orgasmic with tongue, claimed to like fucking, but only got herself off through muscular action if she felt like it, which was never.
  • Two were sensual and orgasmic, but we never got around to sex so I deduce were in no rush.
  • Three were orgasmic with tongue or fingers, but for psychological reasons -- past bad experiences, religious hangups, fear of pregnancy -- didn't really feel comfortable with penetrative sex. (I only actually had sex with one of them, and it always came as a reward for services rendered.)
  • One was orgasmic with tongue, but found intercourse physically painful and though sexually confident, had not yet approached her doctor about this, suggesting that she didn't mind or that the pain was an excuse.
Yes, 70% of my past girlfriends didn't really need my penis, and 40% didn't really want it. 

To me, this pretty much answers the what-if question; had I had a practical male chastity device in the 1990s, I would have spent an awful lot of time locked into it (and left behind a string of kink-addicted young women!)

I don't think I was alone in this experience. For a start, most of these ladies had had previous relationships that had lasted around a year and felt significant, and most seem to have gone onto other long term relationships. You'd also hear on the grapevine about pregnancy-shy girls who made their boyfriends wear Speedos in bed, or who never took their jeans off! So I wasn't the only young man who had relationships with women who weren't into penetration.

Add some context. 75% of women can't reach orgasm by vagina alone. In very long term relationships many women go "off" penetrative sex, leading to the dreaded Dead Bedroom. And, since at least the 19th century and intensely since the 1970s, a strand of intellectual culture has always viewed penetrative sex with a kind of instinctive revulsion or distrust.

Generalizing wildly from all this, it seems that that the penis has an only insecure home in the vagina. After the initial flush of courtship, roughly:
  • A third of women really like penetration, are enthusiastic fuck-bunnies.
  • A third of women welcome penetration for (perfectly valid) emotional or psychological reasons.
  • A third of women may grudgingly tolerate penetration for the same reasons but ultimately find it too messy, too intrusive or two disquieting, e.g. due to ingrained fear of pregnancy or disease.
(We should not be too surprised if this is true. Natural selection only requires that a woman permit intercourse often enough to breed but not so often she can't raise her existing offspring.)

It follows that two thirds of men in relationships experience penetration as a gift, and half of those experience it as a grudging one. 

This adds three more motivations for men in chastity --  to sensuality (the edging) and submission, we can add guilt, vulnerability and least bad option. 

Many of us have a nagging sense of this female ambivalence. Orgasm can also make us feel exposed if our partner isn't similarly caught up in the throws of passion. Putting on a chastity device comes as a relief! Meanwhile, if vaginal sex is increasingly a disaster, then she may only be able to relate to him if he wears a male chastity device.

It also follows that there's a good chance that if a man wants to experiment with male chastity, his wife or girlfriend will enjoy it (assuming she can get over any qualms). 

If penetrative sex is really what matters to a man, then he works hard to pair up with one of those 33% enthusiasts. 

A potential chastity fetishist, however, is drawn to one of the other 66%. If she's in the middle third, a lot of her reasons for welcoming intercourse will be answered by indulging her man's fetish -- it's intimate, it's a gift, it makes him happy etc. If she's is in the bottom "grudging toleration" third, she'll embrace his device as a relief and so will he.

The future of male chastity devices

Given all this, I think I can make some predictions about what will happen next in male chastity:

1. Male Chastity is Going Mainstream. (see also)

Male chastity devices are already becoming decoupled from kink and drifting into the same add-some-spice category as vibrators, Chinese balls and butt plugs. This will continue because only one out of the four wearer benefits of male chastity is kinky ("submission"), and because the sensual benefits ("edging") loom large enough that couples can pretend that the other benefits don't exist. Of those other benefits, "least bad option" positions the device firmly as a kind of sex therapy tool.

2. Male Chastity will become a Youth Thing

Male chastity is going to become a youth thing in subcultures where men are encouraged to be sensitive, meaning primarily Geek, Goth and intellectual communities. Here's why:

Male chastity is already an acceptable option for younger men in the gay community -- we seem to get a lot of young gay wearers on the Reddit chastity forums -- presumably because it fits with the whole boi vibe. Fashions tend to cross over from the gay community. Add to that the mainstreaming of male chastity (above) and straight young people will soon be as aware of chastity devices as they are of vibrators and cock rings. Why, however, would they embrace it?

Put bluntly, I think communities of young people will adopt male chastity primarily because of the ambivalence of young women and the poor negotiating position of young men when it comes to sex. 

We've already seen that in the long term, two thirds of women don't get direct erotic benefit from sexual intercourse. Either side the age of 20, these women are still working out some accommodation with penetration. If they're at college and moving in intellectual circles, they're also part of a culture that on some level distrusts men and their nasty penises. How attractive, then, to demand that your partner wear a chastity device in bed, at least while "auditioning"? 

Meanwhile, if that's the only route to intimacy, then most desperate young men will just go along with it. Better to have an real experience to masturbate over later in private, than be a sticky-fingered loser surfing porn on your computer late at night, trying not to hear your roommate giving his girlfriend loud orgasms.

And that's ignoring the Femdom undercurrents at work, undermining the loudly proclaimed vanilla.

3. Male Chastity Devices will be Cheaper and Better

Oxballs recently produced a stretch-to-fit
rubber device for less than the price of
a good vibrator.
Mainstream male chastity devices can be optimized for the bedroom. They don't need to be secure or escape proof. They can be cheap and comfortable and -- and as long as you can't just pull them off when aroused -- they don't even need to be locking! 

Oxballs recently produced a stretch-to-fit rubber chastity device for less than the price of a good vibrator. I think this is just a start. The same companies like Tantus that nailed the strapless strap-on have the technology and experience to move into male chastity.

Cheap non-locking male chastity devices will in turn further mainstream male chastity because they will sit well next to other sex toys like cock rings and vibrators and won't of themselves look kinky or fetishistic. 

Meanwhile, for us real fetishists, I think we will see 100% secure male chastity devices by shifting from anti-pullout to pullout detection. They'll either have ingenious mechanical detectors devised by hobbyists with 3D printers, or else leverage miniature health monitoring systems to act as tell-tales.

* * *

All I can say is that it's going to be an interesting century...

Update: Tom Allen talks about another chastity device sighting on mainstream media

Don't resign yourself to just getting off on other people's adventures! When we started out, my wife was vanilla. Use my manuals to help you walk the same Femdom path! There's one for him, and one for her


  1. If there is enough of a market, I can imagine many devious technological advances. Imagine an embedded vibrator set to go off every ten minutes and stop as soon as the cage senses the victim is trying to get hard. Or a cage that shocks the balls whenever the wearer is getting excited. Using Bluetooth a cage could tweet "I am having naughty thoughts" every time the wearer is having naughty thoughts. An internal timed lock could add time whenever the victim tries to get hard or subtract time when the user voluntarily shocks themselves though a smartphone app. The cage could even use Bluetooth to announce its presence to people within range using a certain smartphone app and allow them to play with the vibrator; a game where they could try and figure out who is trapped. An owner could give a wearer "house arrest" by having the cage shock the wearer if the device leaves the vicinity of a certain WiFi network. All sorts of online activities could be mandated though an app connected to a cage. If certain actions are not taken (such as looking at certain porn) the wearer will not get the code to prevent a 3am vibration session.

    1. Basically Intelligent Chastity Devices - They'll come, I think!

  2. I have often wondered where my chastity fetish comes from, and for me Alex Comfort’s book was part of what fuelled the fantasy for me. I also found that in a university library in the early 90s, and I had gone looking for it after seeing it referred to in Brian Easlea’s ‘Science and Sexual Oppression’ and Reay Tannahill’s ‘Sex in History’. Both of those had shown illustrations of Victorian anti-masturbation devices which I had found arousing.

    But the roots of my own fascination go back further. I have enjoyed playing with my cock for as long as I remember, and I recall times when I was very young being told by my father and my grandfather to “stop playing with yourself”. Later on, when I was about 11, my father walked in on me as I was feeling myself in the bath. He didn’t say anything at the time, but a few days later, when I dropped something that we were lifting together, he made a comment that “all that wanking in the bath” was making me weak. He would also occasionally make comments about teenage boys needing to wear boxing gloves in bed, and make knowing remarks about “what you get up to”.

    I sometimes wonder if attempts to discourage me from masturbating began earlier. My mother once told me that I had rubbed my penis between my thighs as a baby, and also told me that the family doctor was very keen to get me circumcised. I don’t remember that doctor, as he was an old man who retired in the early 1970s when I was still a toddler. I do occasionally wonder if he was the last of that generation of doctors who thought that masturbation was something that needed to be cured, and circumcision was the way to cure it. My brothers, younger than me, were not circumcised as we had a different doctor by the time they were born.

    And so I spent my teens masturbating frequently, and sometimes compulsively, and feeling desperately guilty about it. Discovering the invention of devices to cure it fascinated and aroused me in equal measure.

    My recurring fantasy over the years has been about being caught masturbating by my father and punished and caged for it, and being let out occasionally for ‘practice sessions’ in which I simulate sex with a sex toy, as my father tries to turn me from a boy who masturbates into a man who has sex.

    Over the years, I have tried making my own devices. I once fashioned a spiked penis ring (in imitation of the Victorian ones illustrated in those books) using part of a cardboard tube, some ribbon and some drawing pins. Tying that round my cock made me very hard, and the pain caused by the pins was both agonising and wonderful! I’ve had a lot of fun with jockstraps with hard cups, and enjoy the feeling of my cock being held securely inside the cup.

    Whilst the fantasy of being locked is one I have carried around for years, I only discovered that modern devices were available when stumbling across something on the internet about 10 years ago. Since then I have looked at images of such things regularly, but have only recently dared to buy one. I bought a cheap steel one. The first time I locked it on I was trembling with anticipation, and got such a thrill from looking in the mirror and seeing my cock locked up. However, I can’t wear it for long, as it is rather visible under clothes, and at night it wakes me up as the ring pulls at my balls each time I begin to get an erection.

    All of my experimentation with chastity so far has been has been on my own. Part of me would love to try a full belt, if only to know what that feels like. But I’m not prepared to spend that sort of money, and I couldn’t try that without my wife knowing about my kinky fantasy. I’m too nervous to raise the subject with her. But it’s been fascinating to read of your journey with this.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this with me! You are, of course, very much not alone.
    I think it's a shame you don't feel comfortable telling your wife about your fantasy. You don't have to make a fuss about it, just suggest it as a bedroom spice. Life is short!


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