From a historian's perspective, chastity devices are fascinating. And really, what is sexier than a historian's perspective? (Really? Literally everything?) I've picked up some fun facts about these bad boys while researching my soon-to-be-released novel, "Not Quite Darcy."
For one - chastity belts for females in the Middle Ages weren't much of a thing. Women didn't really begin using them until after the Industrial Revolution - and even then, they were primarily used as a method to thwart rape.
But male chastity devices? That's a whole different bear trap (and my words may be more literal than you would hope). These babies absolutely flourished during the Victorian Era. Why? No less than the looming threat of madness, moral degeneration and death. Not necessarily in that order.
And how could a metal device strapped around a man's nether regions stop such disasters, you ask? By preventing a young man from 'self abuse.' To Victorians, masturbation wasn't a minor moral failing, but the key to sanity itself. For instance, Sir Robert Anderson, (the head of Scotland Yard in the late 1800s) told a social purity meeting ‘the harrowing story of an Eton boy, son of a colonel in the army, a brilliant lad, always head of his class, …who had been reduced to driveling imbecility as the result of his secret sin, induced by the sight of an obscene photograph exhibited by a scoundrel whom he met in a railway train.’
Imagine such a world. Where a quick glance at a dirty postcard at Charring Cross might reduce you to drooling idiocy. Why only a fool wouldn't take strict precautions to avoid such a fate. Thus, the ultimate cock-blocking devices came into being.
Let's take a quick tour through some of the ingenious designs.
The Self Protector was invented in 1870. A band encircled the body just above the hips. It was locked together by a small padlock, the key to which was carried by 'the person in charge of the masturbator.' Imagine how well that would look on a resume or in a job interview. "Do you have supervisory experience?" they ask. You grin. "I sure do! Let me tell you allllll about it!"
This is called the Jugum Penis, but let's be honest and call the thing what it is: a wang bear trap. When I first saw this, I sprained something trying to close my browser down. The Victorians were not messing around when it came to erections. Upon the slightest indication of an erection, this baby would remind Mr. Happy of several pointed reasons why he should remain Mr. Sad.
The Bowen Device was a top seller and doesn't seem so bad (especially compared with the last one). Thing is, this contraption clips directly to your pubes. So if your little fella becomes aroused, the Bowen Device would begin to yank out all the surrounding pubic hair. Might put a whole new spin on 'Wuthering Heights.' "Why are you weeping, Heathcliff?" Cathy asked. He only adjusted his crotch, then continued openly sobbing into his hands.
I know what you're thinking! With all this attention to the men, where's something for the females? How about this little number? It might look like the scariest b-ball outfit you've ever seen, but it's really unisex jammies called Sexual Armor. It was even designed by a woman, Miss Ellen Perkins, of the aptly named Beaver Bay, MN. As Ellen puts it "It is a deplorable but well known fact that one of 'the most common causes of insanity, imbecility and feeble mindedness, especially in youth, is due to masturbation or self abuse. This is about equally true of both sexes." You're welcome, ladies!
Okay, the Chastity Apron shouldn't count because it was invented in 1977. But I couldn't resist. First of all, they're still designing these things? And secondly, you have to love the subtlety of it. And although you couldn't exactly wear this thing, well, anywhere - it would look right at home in the SNL sketch for "Dick in a Box."
Although "Not Quite Darcy" explores this issue, I surely couldn't be so cruel as to force my sweet protagonist into such a torture device. Could I?
How to woo a gentleman—and weaponize dessert.
Romance novel junkie Eliza Pepper always thought she was born too late, but now she really is stuck in the wrong time. Tasked with mending a tear in the timeline, she’s trying desperately to fit into 1873 London. But dang it, mucking out a fireplace while looking like the lunch lady from hell is hard.
If she can just keep from setting the floor on fire and somehow resist her growing attraction to the master of the house, she’ll be fine. All she has to do is repeat her mantra: “He’s nothing like Darcy. He’s nothing like Darcy.”
William Brown has always taken pride in his mastery of English decorum, but his new maid is a complete disaster, has thrown his household into chaos…and he finds her utterly captivating.
Though he’s willing to endure extreme physical discomfort to keep their relationship in proper perspective, her arrival has brought out a side of him he never knew existed. And Eliza has an innocently erotic knack for coaxing that decidedly ungentlemanly facet of himself out to play…
A modern girl who knows bupkis about nursing and maiding in the 19th century, a gentleman poet with a repressed wild side, and inappropriate use of a pair of pantaloons.
Terri Meeker is supposed to write her author blurb in the third person. It’s just how things are done. She shouldn’t question it, but then she’s always been difficult. Even in high school, her best friend’s mother described her as ‘eccentric’ before urging her daughter to make friends with a nice, normal girl.
She was born in Wyoming but has made her home on Fidalgo Island in Washington state. She’s loved history since childhood and has been fortunate to live in lots of places with fascinating pasts, including: Washington DC, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, Albuquerque, Missouri and Mons, Belgium. She’s an ex-history teacher, a mom a Whedonite, a gamer and a ginormous nerd. She also loves to write.
Terri is really getting into this third person thing and thinks it will give her a lot of gravitas during future dinner conversations. She thinks you should probably start doing it as well.
Her website is at terrimeeker.com. Check it out and you’ll be able to find her on twitter, fb and all that social stuff. She’d love to hear from you. Trust me.