A chastity belt is a locking item of clothing that prevents the wearer from engaging in sexual intercourse and (sometimes) masturbation as well. Versions exist for both males and females.
Modern jokes sometimes depict Crusaders using chastity belts to control their wives when fighting abroad, but the first historical evidence for chastity belts actually belongs to the Renaissance period (early 15th-century northern Italy). Belts for women existed in 15th- and 16th-century Italy and Germany, at least, and were generally imposed by a few wealthy men on their much younger wives to enforce fidelity. Renaissance female chastity belt designs were not suitable for long-term continuous wear (the belts had to be removed at least once a month, or even more often), and the belts were padded to avoid exposing the skin directly to metals. Note that none of the chastity belt specimens in European museums can be shown to be medieval (they either date from the 16th and 17th centuries, or in some cases are outright 19th-century forgeries).
After the Renaissance, chastity belts disappeared for a time as any kind of regular commercial product or minority cultural practice, but then Victorian prudery and obsession with preventing masturbation led to the reintroduction on a small scale of a kind of chastity belt in the nineteenth century (but for males, not females). There were a variety of designs (as detailed in patent applications etc.), but the goal was to prevent masturbation and "nocturnal emissions" by adolescent boys or young unmarried men. Most designs were not suitable for wearing under ordinary clothes, but only at night, and were intended as much or more to be aids to help the weak-willed from succumbing to temptation, as to allow external coercive control of a male's sexuality.
When medical views changed and masturbation was no longer seen as a mental health problem, belts disappeared again, to give way — after an interval — to modern real chastity belts used for what would now be called BDSM purposes. Apparently the first belt of this kind and for this purpose was produced 1956 by Hal Higginbottom, the so-called Tollyboy model for women. Nowadays there exist a few dozen firms producing chastity belts, or individual belt-makers, mostly located in the United States, Britain and Germany.
Use of chastity belts
Chastity belts are sometimes used as an element of consensual BDSM practices. From the viewpoint of the keyholder they may be used for four different main purposes (which of course don't exclude each other):
- to keep the wearer really chaste for some period.
- to prevent the wearer from having sex with anybody else.
- to mark the genital zone of the wearer as his/her sexual property.
- to make the wearer, through enforced sexual denial, more obedient.
Chastity belts thus are often not only applied to control the victim for the time being, but also to manage his/her behaviour for the future, i.e. to make him/her more manageable for the keyholder, with the intention that the wearer will fulfill his/her sexual desires better. For that reason, in contrast to most other BDSM toys they can also play an important, or even crucial role in a BDSM relationship outside the bedroom. Because enforced chastity will have its greatest effects on the mind only in the long-term, the psychological aspect of being belted is as important as the physical aspect of it. With time passing, she/he may get more and more used to the unusual feeling of the (sometimes rather heavy) chastity device, but on the other hand may get irritated more and more by the fact of being locked up in it, as the desire for sexual release will grow. Women kept in chastity belts for a long period sometimes report losing interest in sex.
In practice, chastity devices are usually only worn for limited periods. The investigation of Chastity.UK revealed that most wearers were usually locked up for just a week, which will mean that the belt is only used for temporary orgasm denial to have better sex afterwards. More than 50% never wore the belt for more than a month; regular cleaning apart, a third of the respondents were secured for more than two months without having any sexual release, which means that they are not locked up to enhance the pleasure of sexual play in the immediate future for the wearer too, but were kept in real chastity for a substantial period, which for a small minority ranged up to over a year.
Although no reliable statistics are available on the use of chastity belts, reports from manufacturers suggest that three quarter of the belts sold in Europe and the US are worn by men - half of them in a heterosexual, half of them in a homosexual relationship - and only a quarter by women.
Types of chastity belts
Chastity belts tend to be of two types — a real lockable "belt" which is worn around the pelvis, or (only for males) a "cage" type device which locks around the genitals (called a chastity cage). Male chastity belts prevent stimulation and erection of the genitals as well as orgasm. The majority of the male devices are of the less expensive (but also more often less effective) cage-type.
Modern 'real' chastity belt designs generally follow the basic "Florentine" pattern (named after the Bellifortis reference), with a band around the waist or hips and an annexed "shield" running between the legs to cover the genitals. Both belts and cages include models which can be worn for some weeks or even semi-permanently, and some are made from strong plastics which are intended to be 'metal detector safe'.
Risks of wearing a chastity belt
Medically, modern chastity belts can be worn long-term. However, they require careful fitting and adjustment, and if maladjusted can rub or (especially 'cage' types) compress the genitals of males in a very uncomfortable or potentially harmful manner. For this reason, it is important to test them carefully for wearability before relying on them, and regularly thereafter check for signs of physical injury (bruising, oedema, rubbing and chaffing, etc). In addition, when buying a belt, some designs of belt may be more suitable than others (particularly for well-endowed men), depending on physical size, body shape, and reason for buying.
Important points to look at when planning to buy a chastity belt
As a good 'real' chastity belt of the Florentine type mostly has to be made to measure, and therefore is rather expensive (costing up to £500), choosing the most appropriate model is important. As being tight fitting (for safety reasons) and at the same time avoiding too much discomfort is crucial, it is advisable to visit the belt-maker in person to be measured exactly before manufacture, since it it is very difficult to do that for yourself.
As for serious chastity control, if the device is intended for long-term wear, a really effective chastity belt has to be safe in five respects:
1. No risk of sexual intercourse and no risk of unauthorised orgasms. Therefore: the more the genitals are inaccessible, the better the guarantee of total chastity.
- For females, the shield is commonly a flat band with a slot through which the labia can protrude and through which urine can pass. Some manufacturers fit a perforated cover (sometimes called the "secondary shield") over this slot to prevent the wearer from being pinched when sitting. The cover may also prevent direct masturbation by stopping the labia from being touched.
- For males, the shield usually covers a tube in which the penis is held facing downward, with perforations at the bottom of the shield to allow urine to escape. The testicles are mostly left exposed on both sides of the tube. Some designs feature a tube curved tightly to discourage erections, or at least make them painful; chastity cages are devices in which similar tubes are used on their own, without a supporting belt. To make stimulation of the penis more difficult, some chastity belts also cover the testicles.
- Belts with a "thong" arrangement have a single strap running up between the buttocks to the waistband. On some, this is a plastic-coated cable or a thin, curved metal rod. This strap may or may not be loose enough to pull aside, depending on whether the belt is designed to protect against anal penetration. On other designs, the rear strap is solid with an aperture over the anus to allow passage of faeces.
- Belts with a "V"-arrangement have a pair of chains attached together at the bottom of the shield and apart towards the back of waistband in a "V" to leave the rear open.
- On both male and female belts, the shield can be designed to work with genital piercings for greater security.
However, as most males will ejaculate spontaneously after some period of sexual denial (through nocturnal wet dreams), because for physical health reasons a man's body regularly renews the sperm, and no chastity belt will be able to prevent this natural process, regular prostatic milking is advisable to stop a belted male from having any nocturnal orgasm, by draining him in due time to deny him that sexual pleasure, and thus keeping his own feelings chaste.
2. No risk of unauthorised escape. A good chastity belt therefore has to be made to measure to fit exactly to the body of the wearer, to make it impossible to take it off by pushing it over the hips without opening the lock. Some belts can be adjusted to changes in circumference of the wearer's belly rather simply, as it is possible to lock them in several positions. Of course, the thicker the metal of the belt, the less the chance that the wearer can break it. Most modern belts fasten with padlocks. Some high-security designs nest the lock within a special case of steel to make it more difficult to attack with bolt cutters. A handful of manufacturers, however, do offer higher-priced models with integral locks for a sleeker profile. The best high-security belts are mostly rather heavy too, weighing up to 2 kilos, and because the steel will not yield to the body, the body must yield to the steel, and therefore the person put in chastity in this way will have to 'learn' to wear a chastity belt by gradually extending the wearing period.
3. No risk of hygienic complications. A good chastity belt should not only make it possible for the wearer to urinate and defecate without problems, but also to clean the belt and his/her body while wearing it. Therefore, most modern belts are made of stainless steel, so the wearer can have a shower. Leather belts are for that reason not useful for long-term chastity. To improve hygiene it might be advisable to shave the pubic hair of a person who has to stay belted for extended periods.
4. No risk of inconvenience. Although the body of the wearer will need some time to adapt itself to being locked up, a good chastity belt shouldn't be too uncomfortable. It should not chafe the skin of the wearer; for that reason, most belts are lined with some kind of rubber. Also, the belt should not hinder the wearer in daily life too much, when sitting, standing, sleeping, walking, bowing etc. To make the belt more flexible and movements more easy, some belts have hinges in several places.
5. No risk of discovery. Especially when long-term wear is intended, i.e. when the wearer will have 'to live' continually in the chastitydevice and thus also will have to go belted to his/her work etcetera., it is important to look for a belt that doesn't show under clothes. A good belt will follow the form of the body as closely as possible (see 2.), and thus - apart from metal-detectors - not easily be discovered, as long as one doesn't wear very tight clothes. When choosing a belt, it may be important to ensure that for instance the locks or other parts are not making bulges in unusual places.
Advice for wearing a male chastity belt
- Take some time to figure out the correct sizing and spacing before sending the keys off to your partner for months.
- If using plastic or metal tube/cuff devices, experiment with different types of underwear. Some find that the support provided by jockstraps or briefs enable one to wear a chastity belt much more conveniently than wearing boxer shorts.
Getting used to wearing a chastity belt
- Staying chaste with help of a chastity belt in the beginning is not so easy as it may seem. In a way, a new belt-wearer has to 'learn' to wear a chastity belt, especially when he/she is supposed to be locked up for longer periods in a 'real' chastity belt, i.e. of the Florentine type, as the belt will mostly feel not very comfortable when it's new and the wearer, because of the pressure of the tempered steel, will constantly be reminded of the device around his/her waist.
- Especially male wearers at the start will be forced to concern themselves with their chastity nearly the whole time, very awkward moments included, and to develop a lot of self-control. They will have to train themselves very quickly to avoid all spontaneous erections, as they will be punished immediately by the belt itself because they are rather painful in curved tubes and, if happening often, may do harm to the skin of the penis. Only after some time of habituation will the genitals 'know' their limits in space and adapt to it; the male belt-wearer may then relax.
- Further, the wearer might need to look for other positions for defecation and urination. Belted men of course will have to urinate in a sitting position too and to do that very slowly to avoid a mess.
- After the belt is delivered and locked on for the first time, it must be bent by hand for fit and comfort. Then a period is usually also required for the wearer and the belt simply to adjust to each other; the better - i.e. safer and thus stronger - the belt is, the more time this will take. Especially real high-security chastity belts, meant for serious long-term wear, are rather heavy and thus heavy to wear in the beginning both physically and psychologically, as the wearer will be aware of them and his/her enforced chastity the whole time.
- For all those reasons, usually it will take one month or longer for them until a new good belt is felt in both ways as a 'normal' part of the body and thus can be worn without discomfort continuously for permanent chastity.
- The wearer therefore should wear the new belt just for 1-2 hours on the first day, then gradually lengthen the amount of time spent in the belt. As the belt has to be applied very tight to the body of the wearer like a second skin of steel to make self-stimulation or even escape absolutely impossible, and thus to guarantee his/her absolute chastity, the wearer especially has to get used to the uninterrupted and unescapable very firm grip of the belt at the hips, the genitals and the perineum, which, when the belt is locked in place the first time, after half an hour may seem unbearable.
- For that reason a belt that can be adjusted to allow for weight gain is advisable, as this makes it possible to apply the belt each time a little tighter, till it fits as it should (to exclude any possibility that the wearer may free him/herself by pushing the waist-band of the belt over the hips), which would seem much too tight at first.
- CB2000 a male chastity device
- Chastity belt - Personal Experiences
- Chastity piercing
- Chastity shorts
- Cock cage
- Erotic sexual denial
- List of Chastity Belts - Male
- List of Chastity Belts - Female
- Kali's teeth bracelet
- Altairboy Lots of info about chastity devices, non commercial.
- http://www.cb-2000.com/ A popular and effective male chastity device made from polycarbonate.
- http://tollyboy.com/ a UK manufacturer of male and female chastity belts
- http://www.lockedinsteel.com/ US manufacturer of Chastity belts and accessories
- http://lockedinsteel.com/?Cat=117&CatName=Chastity%20Chat%20-%20Internet%20Radio/ A popular weekly Podcast/Internet Radio program all about chastity.
- http://www.neosteel.de/ another manufacturer
- http://www.carrara-designs.be/ yet another!