In the ancient, men had a lot of fear and did not believe that their wives could be faithful while their husbands went to war. Therefore, a solution had to be sort to enforce the loyalty of their wives. The Chastity Belts became the most suitable solution for that matter. But is the history of chastity belts reliable?
What Are Chastity Belts?
Ideally, a chastity belt was a belt designed to protect a woman’s loyalty. The belt was made up of a metal and could fit well at a woman’s waist, locked, and the key held by the husband. That means that no woman could engage in intimate matters without the husband’s permission.
Different chastity belts could take various designs depending on the husband’s intentions. Some of them had spikes that were designed to ward off potential suitors. Instead of metal straps, some people opted to use leather ones. The Science Museum in London exhibits a chastity belt with a flower design that looks attractive but is highly unlikely. This design is intended to allow the wearer to urinate.
When you visit Paris at Musée de Cluny, you find a chastity belt claimed to have belonged to Catherine de Medici. The belt looks like a simple velvet hoop with a small iron plate positioned at the front. There is also another chastity belt that is said to belong to Anne of Austria; the belt has a hinged pair of plates connected using a metal waistband.
However, all those chastity belts kept in the museums seem more modern than ancient. This makes the authenticity of the chastity belts questionable. In addition, a test was carried out on the metal contained in the belt said to belong to Catherine de Medici. It showed that the metal originated in the 19th century, hundreds of years after Catherine de Medici had died in 1589.
Therefore, there is little physical evidence that people used chastity belts. The vast majority of historians are skeptical regarding the chastity belt’s use. It appears in most cases chastity belts were built to make symbolic or comedic points.
What is the History of Chastity Belts?
Ancient Rome is where chastity belts were first mentioned. But then, they were simple knots and not metal devices.
In ancient Rome, brides used to put on white tunics with a herculean knot referred to as the love knot. The knot was used to simplify undying love between those engaged, showing that the bride is committed to purity. The husband could only untie the knot during their wedding night.
Therefore, more likely, the idea behind tying the knot might have originated from Roman culture.
Later, the concept of women’s chastity was strongly embraced in European culture. Unlike the Roman system, the European culture did not have a physical demonstration of chastity until the 15th century. Konrad Kyeser, a German military engineer, came up with work on military engineering named Bellifortis.
The chastity belt makes its first appearance in his illustrations, which also feature catapults, armor, and various instruments of torture. But Bellifortis also includes jokes about flatulence and a suggestion for making people invisible. In addition, Kyeser’s note makes it abundantly clear that he was not seriously considering putting women in a contraption that would restrict them from having intimate encounters.
There was something about the concept of a chastity belt that seemed to captivate people in Medieval Europe. Throughout the 16th century, there were numerous depictions of gadget drawings rather than actual items to handle and examine.
Even these graphics ridiculed chastity belts by treating them as a joke. One engraving depicts a woman acting modestly as she delivers her husband the key to her belt just as he is about to leave the house. Two men are waiting behind their bed, each with a spare key.
Are Chastity Belts Real or Myths?
It is more likely that Chastity belts existed only in jokes.
Albrecht Classen, a professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona who specializes in the study of the Middle Ages, thought to get into the field and research the facts surrounding the Chastity belts. Through the publication of his book titled “The Medieval Chastity Belt: A Myth-Making Process,” he set out to dispel the notion that such a contraption had ever been in use.
His book explains why the belts were such an implausible discovery in the first place. To begin with, there is a lack of evidence to support the claim that they did exist.
Second, the usage of these items almost certainly would have been hazardous. Finally, Classen observed that a lady would not even be able to tolerate the subsequent hygiene and health difficulties after a few days of using such a metal tool.
To put it another way, the very nature of a chastity belt, which is an iron undergarment, renders it uncomfortable, risky, and even potentially lethal.
Some other historians back up the message of Classen.
Lesley Smith, a 16th-century historian, says that even after moving across so many places had not seen any chastity belt that could be traced to the ancient ages. This means that belts kept in the museums are not coming from medieval times.
British museum says that many of the Chastity belts available now might have been designed in the 18th or 19th centuries for curiosity, fun, or jokes.
Why are Chastity Belts Well Known Today?
Once a concept has taken root in people’s brains, it might be challenging to dispel that notion. As a direct consequence, generations after generations have believed that males in medieval times were responsible for locking up their wives’ private parts. As a result, chastity belts continue to be popular despite presenting many logistical challenges.
According to Classen, people like digging into erotic stories. Even though people may say that they want to understand the history, the fact is that the story seems interesting because it talks about matters of intimacy. Therefore, it’s hard for this narrative to disappear from the minds of generations.
Many men view the story of chastity belts through the lens of Women’s carnal cravings, so the only solution to control them is by locking them up using metal. Women view the story through the lens of how nasty and controlling a man can be.
However, it is nothing more than a fantasy for many people. Even if the chastity belts that were worn to ensure faithfulness in medieval times were not real, the chastity belts that are worn now certainly are.
What Are the Modern Use of Chastity Belts?
In bondage activity, chastity belts are sometimes used in partnerships that are considered to be consensual. As a result, it is possible for the person who wears them to give up control of their intimate conduct, either to engage in erotic play or as a long-term strategy of suppressing infidelity or self-pleasure.
They range from straightforward leather or plastic toys typically sold in stores to pricey high-security stainless steel gadgets that a select group of specialized companies manufactures. These companies include My-Steel, Neosteel, and Latowski in Germany and Carrara Designs in Belgium.
The number of people who use chastity devices has greatly expanded due to the proliferation of the internet. Internet marketing and websites that host explicit amateur content are frequently educating and encouraging people to use these tools.
In a similar vein, consumers now can obtain products in an easier, quicker, and more anonymous manner from a greater choice of manufacturers and dealers. In addition, individuals who have interests in chastity can now link with one another, both on the web and in person. This is because the internet has provided a private avenue for subcultures dedicated to their usage.
According to reports, the global purchasing desire for male chastity belts is far bigger than the buying demand for female chastity gadgets. This is despite the fact that there is a historical connection between chastity belts and women. As a direct result of this, the business for male chastity equipment offers a greater variety of choices and possibilities than those that are now accessible for female chastity gadgets.
Despite the lack of enough evidence to prove the existence of the chastity belt in the ancient ages, the story keeps moving from one generation to another. The existence of modern chastity belts cannot be disputed as they are all over the internet for sale.