More Than Virtue Saver: What Is a Chastity Belt?

You may have seen chastity belts in museums, historical texts, or historical television dramas. These metal undergarments are pretty widely accepted as a part of European history.

However, the story of the chastity belt for women may have much more to it than historians previously believed.

Keep reading, and we’ll tell you all about the misunderstood history of the chastity belt, as well as the role that chastity devices play in modern fetish culture.

Chastity Belts: The Popular Myth

First thing’s first: what is a chastity belt? Up until very recently, historians believed that chastity belts were metal undergarments designed to keep women faithful to their husbands during wartime.

There does seem to be art and literature from the 1500s depicting women in chastity belts. Historians have found more than a few drawings of women and their secret lovers, whom they’ve given copies of the keys to their chastity belts.

In literature, references to chastity belts are less literal. Most of the writing about these devices seems to be metaphorical rather than literal. For instance, some religious texts reference “keeping your purity under lock and key.”

The Truth About Historic Chastity Belts

When you think about it logically, it makes sense that chastity belts never really existed in the 1500s. After all, how could a device that keeps women from having sex allow them to take care of other essential bodily functions?

As it turns out, our conception of medieval chastity belts may be based on something as flimsy as a joke.

Though there are real chastity belts in museums, they were likely made around the 1800s. These chastity belts were not designed to keep women celibate, but to be used as props in crude jokes and theatric performances.

The few historic chastity belts that do exist today seem to be the result of a centuries-long game of telephone; somewhere along the way, these devices were distorted into existence.

Chastity Belts Today

This brings us to the modern chastity belt. Chastity devices actually have more of a place in modern sex than they ever did in ancient abstinence.

Chastity devices now exist for people of any gender; though you won’t exactly find a chastity belt for men. If you’re curious about male chastity devices, visit this chastity store.

Modern chastity devices are built to satisfy a variety of fantasies. Some fantasize about their partner being so insatiable that they must be locked up. Others enjoy being controlled by (or having control over) their partner.

Whatever the fantasy, chastity belts can be a great way for couples who enjoy power play to spice up their relationships.

Medieval Myth to Modern Fetish

The most fascinating thing about chastity belts is that, despite never really existing in the first place, they gave birth to an entire contemporary fetish subculture.

Perhaps our misreading of history was really wishful thinking all along.

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