Posted on 1 Comment

(Newly Updated and Improved) Solaced Book in Paperback is finally here!

I’m thrilled to announce that, 5.5 years after the release of my ebook, Solaced: 101 True Stories About Corsets, Well-Being, and Hope is finally available in Paperback! Here are the links to where you can find the paperback depending on where you live:

Here are some quick stats:

  • 418 pages in total
  • in reality 110 stories (if you count my own “origin story” and the Victorian newspaper clippings!)
  • 21 chapters and themes
  • new graphics and photos
  • a few story updates from contributors in the past 5 years, and two brand new stories
  • painstakingly polished by two editors and five proofreaders, for a final product that the corset community can be proud of!

The book is print-on-demand on Amazon, which means wherever you are in the world, you can have the book printed (relatively) locally and shipped as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

We pushed hard to get the book out in time to be delivered before Christmas, and it might make an ideal stocking stuffer for the corset enthusiast in your life. 💖

What’s changed & improved from the original 2016 ebook?

  • Two new stories have been swapped out: the new stories include “Stealthlacing VS Cancer” (using corsets to reduce scar pain after cancer removal, and restoring symmetry to the ribcage after the surgery) as well as “Chagas and Corsets” (using corsets to help with symptoms of mega-colon, as well as related hernia and blood flow issues due to long-term Chagas’ Disease caused by a chronic protozoa infection).
  • All stories have been re-edited by multiple copy-editors, proofreaders, beta-readers, and sensitivity readers. In addition to typos and misspellings being corrected, some passages have been edited for clarity (to avoid ambiguity) and outdated terms have been updated according to today’s standards on gender, disability, ethnicity, medical terminology, etc.
  • Names, pronouns, business names / job descriptions, etc. of some writers (and mentioned colleagues) have been updated to match their current identity.
  • Some stories have been updated with new information since their relationship with corsetry has developed over the past 5-6 years.
  • New vector graphics for every chapter, and new photos included for select stories.

What has stayed the same?

Overall, 95% of the stories have remained the same apart from some very light editing for punctuation, typos, grammar and clarity. I’ve strived as much as possible to keep every story in the contributor’s original voice, with no embellishments or hyperbole, and no pressure to make stories more emotional or punchier. It was (and still is) extremely important to me that each writer is portrayed exactly as they want to be, and were not censored from expressing their thoughts and views (even when some views contradict the views of other contributors).

You can also get a free Kindle sample if you’d like to read most of the first chapter, or use the “Look Inside” feature if you’d like to know more about the paperback book – here are the links once more (so you don’t have to scroll to the top):

United States
Canada
UK
Germany
France
Italy
Spain
Australia
Japan

Want to know even more details about each chapter?

(I like your style!)

  1. Back Injuries ~ corsets used to temporarily aid in recovery from injuries, or used as long-term support for chronic injuries (8 testimonies)
  2. Spinal Curve ~ corsets used in correction and/or support for scoliosis, lumbar lordosis [swayback], or kyphosis, with related structural considerations like uneven pelvis / turned foot (6 testimonies)
  3. Breast Support ~ corsets replacing bras for bust support; helping with thoracic outlet syndrome, migraines, pulled muscles, costochondritis, and other problems caused by a heavier bust (3 testimonies)
  4. Weight Loss & Lifestyle ~ corsets used in appetite control, with or without bariatric surgery; improving quality of nutrition through promotion of good digestion while waist training (3 testimonies)
  5. Hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) ~ corsets used to support loose joints, prevent dislocations & subluxations, help improve low blood pressure, and prevent injuries (5 testimonies)
  6. Other Physiological Disorders Lucy’s note: this is one of my favorite chapters! ~ corsets used for asthma and low blood pressure, correcting an out-turned foot, providing a “barrier” for sensory processing disorder and improving apraxia, helping with bodily asymmetries caused by PFFD (one leg significantly shorter than the other), support during stroke rehabilitation and for spina bifida, Polio, and cerebral palsy (8 testimonies)
  7. Fibromyalgia ~ corsets used to soothe chronic pain and chronic fatigue, and relaxing trigger points through traction and acupressure (5 testimonies)
  8. Gastrointestinal Disorders ~ corsets used to prevent blockages from mega-colon, as well as preventing constipation, and relieving pain from IBS and ulcerative colitis (5 testimonies)
  9. Dysmenorrhea & Endometriosis ~ corsets used for pain relief during menstruation (periods), reducing cramping, lightening or shortening the duration of periods, or providing post-surgical compression after endometriosis surgery (4 testimonies )
  10. Post-Surgical Recovery ~ corsets used to restore symmetry after abdominal muscle grafts or cancer removal, reducing hypersensitivity/ scar pain, providing support after abdominal muscles have been destroyed from multiple injuries/surgeries, and concealing ileostomy bags (5 testimonies)
  11. Armor ~ corsets protecting against injury during car collisions and against violent aggressors / muggers (4 testimonies)
  12. Body Positivity ~ use of corsets to combat body dysmorphia, improve relationship with the body, promote self-love and acceptance, and as a tool / part of a structured regimen in recovering from disordered eating (8 testimonies)
  13. Pregnancy & Postpartum ~ corsets for SPD (pelvic girdle pain) recovery, soothing postpartum depression, as part of diastasis recti correction, and regaining sense of self / defining identity in motherhood (4 testimonies)
  14. Gender Identity ~ the use of corsets for reducing gender dysphoria; shaping the figure to exhibit more (or less) stereotypically feminine traits, enhancing or binding the bust; transitioning and gender confirmation (3 testimonies)
  15. Mental Health (Anxiety & Depression) ~ corsets as deep pressure therapy for calming anxiety, stopping and preventing panic attacks, providing a comforting hug during depression; acting as a “barrier” to the outside world to dampen agoraphobia triggers; grounding to keep the mind present during fugue / dissociation (7 testimonies)
  16. Autism Spectrum ~ corsets as deep pressure therapy specifically in context of those with ASD; especially managing anxiety, overwhelm and overstimulation (2 testimonies)
  17. PTSD & Coping with Adversity ~ corsets as deep pressure therapy specifically in context of past trauma and hardships; improving confidence, self-advocacy; escaping abusive relationships & domestic violence; and living one’s truth (8 testimonies)
  18. Mature Corseting ~ corsets to maintain a youthful posture, figure & gait; manage menopause symptoms; protect osteoporotic spine, hips and ribs from fractures; assist in heavy lifting; and provide support after breast cancer recovery (3 testimonies)
  19. Corsets & Metaphysics ~ corsets & new age spirituality; corsets as acupressure and steel bones as conductive rods in Reiki practice; activation of the solar plexus chakra during meditation (2 testimonies)
  20. Noteworthy Newspaper Clippings ~ corsets saving the lives of Victorian women who were stabbed, slashed, or shot; woman thrown from a horse onto barbed wire; woman suspended from a bridge /overpass by her laces, preventing a fatal fall (8 newspaper articles)
  21. Potpourri Lucy’s note: this is another one of my favorite chapters! ~ corsets used as a tool in stage performance; improving public speaking; balancing on motorcycles; managing intracranial hypertension (IIH) treatment; smoothing hip-dips (violin hips) caused by poorly-fitted low-rise jeans; as well as thoughts on societal views, corset stigma, bodily autonomy, feminism, and the corset community (8 testimonies)

Are there any other changes, new formats, or improvements happening in the future?

I’ve received several questions on whether Solaced is likely to be published in hardback, as an audiobook, or other formats – the answer is likely no, unfortunately. This has been a costly passion project which has yet to break even in book sales (I honestly doubt it ever will), and the only way that it was possible to release the book in paperback 5 years later has been thanks to the generous support of my patrons.

However, if this book proves to be successful and the mission of the Solaced project inspires others to continue to write in with their own true stories of how corsets have helped them therapeutically, I would be thrilled for the opportunity to make a second volume!

Where can I learn more about the history of the Corset Benefits List and Solaced Project?

Click here if you’d like to watch my YouTube playlist going back all the way to 2011 on Corset Benefits (previously called “How Corsets Heal” but I changed it for obvious reasons).

Click here if you would like to read previous posts about the Solaced project from back in 2015-2016 when the ebook was being compiled.

Click here for the official Corset Benefits list (organized by physical benefits, emotional/psychological benefits, and societal impact of corsets).

And finally, Click here for the original About Solaced page!

Click here if you would like to follow the development of the paperback on Patreon this past year.

If you have any other questions about the book, or if you want to share your own experience with corsets, or if you’ve found a wayward typo in the book and want to submit a correction, you are more than welcome to email me at any time!

Ready for more? Find the book on Amazon here:

Posted on 2 Comments

Corsets and Riding a Bike / Motorcycle

Welcome to another Fast Foundation Friday! Today we will explore the question of whether you’re able to ride a bicycle / motorcycle while wearing a corset.

While I don’t own a motorcycle or a bike (so I can’t give you a live demo unfortunately), I do however know a few corset wearers who do ride bikes or motorcycles. The have informed me that the corset works on a bike similarly to how corsets helped cavaliers on their horses in the 19th century: the corset helps correct posture while on the motorbike, it can act like a kidney belt to prevent organ jiggling especially over gravel, and it can provide another layer of proprioceptive feedback (telling you when you’re leaning and when you’re straight).

One acquaintance who rides motorcycles, Deanna, contributed to my Solaced book. Hers is the first story of the Back Injuries chapter, you can read her story for free if you go to Amazon and read the kindle sample. In her testimony, she mentioned that she had wiped out on her motorcycle twice – once before discovering corsets (and wearing a corset helped in back recovery) and quite a bit later, she had an accident again – this time while wearing her corset. The second time she had an accident, she said she had injured almost every part of her body except where her corset covered (armor indeed!).

“Love Will Find a Wheel” by Sarah Chrisman – a story about Victorian Biking Clubs. Image courtesy of Amazon.

Regarding bicycles, there are many accounts of corset wearers biking while in a corset. The first person that comes to mind is Sarah Chrisman, author of Victorian Secrets. She is a lifestyle corset wearer and has many pictures of herself on a bike as well as many resources from the Victorian era regarding bicycling.

For those who are looking for some advice regarding how to start riding your bike while in a corset – some common sense tips include getting used to riding your bike without the corset, and getting accustomed to wearing your corset before jumping on a bike. Learn how to breathe, bend and move in a corset before your first bike trip, and learn your bike paths and figure out how much you’ll be exerting yourself.

While on your bike, in your corset, pace yourself so you don’t get too winded e.g. when going up hills, and don’t be afraid to stop and loosen the corset if you feel the need to. I will always say safety first on the road, so if a corset prevents you from turning properly to check any blind spots behind you (regardless of the vehicle) then you may want to consider going without the corset – take it in your bag and put the corset on when you get to your destination.

Do you have any other ideas or questions you want answered in future Fast Foundation videos? Leave a comment below!

Posted on 2 Comments

Lucy’s Personal Corset Journey – A Reading

When better-known authors release a book and go on tour, they sometimes read the first chapter to a live audience at a book store or library. As my new book Solaced is only released on Kindle at the moment, I thought I would read my personal corset journey to you via Youtube. I know that it’s not quite the same, but hopefully many of you will appreciate it nonetheless. Fair warning, I do end up crying a little bit. :p

The story starts 1:37 into the video. If you like, you can click over to the Amazon listing and click “look inside”. My story is right at the beginning (in the introduction), and you can use Amazon’s free Kindle preview to read along with me on any platform.

Enjoy the reading… and thank you for being a part of this journey. ♡

 

Posted on 3 Comments

Why Anthologies Are Important (Solaced Ebook Rant)

This is a summary/ transcript of last Friday’s rant. You can watch the video, or read the abridged version below.

Sonder: n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you…

This is a term in John Koenig’s Dictionary of Sorrows, and while it may not be in the OED (yet), it’s important nonetheless. Sonder is an important part of empathy, and it’s what I hope to share through my book.

It is so easy to take a person, their experiences, and their whole lived existence, and condense them down into a hard statistic: cause and effect. Before and after.

Don’t get me wrong: as a biochemist who dabbled in research and academia (before my creative side pulled me away) I still think quantitative studies are awesome because they can definitively show a correlation between two events (causation, however, is a different monster).

Coincidentally, Derek of Veritasium uploaded a vlog last week called Why Anecdotes Trump Data and showed that while (scientifically speaking) a longitudinal quantitative study with a large cohort is always more credible — sometimes personal experiences and strong, relatable narratives are more memorable, and carry more weight (emotionally speaking), even when the scientific evidence is not so strong.

While I would LOVE to do a longitudinal study on the long term physiological effects of corset wear (I’ve been saying this for a good 3-4 years now), I do not yet have the resources to do so. But every study starts with a proposal. And Solaced (the Corset Benefits book), while full of “anecdata” that may very well be pooh-pooh’d by some, will inevitably start a conversation.

The Importance of Empathy and Stories of Adversity

Through this anthology, over 100 writers have poured out their hearts and opened themselves up. Some have recounted past horrors and made themselves vulnerable to let you to step inside their heads and live vicariously through them for a few minutes.

Now, I know that normally “vicarious” is associated with something positive. A lot of the stories in this book are about adversity, and I would even warn that some stories may be considered triggering to some readers. But in many ways, stories of overcoming adversity is important too.

Not all of the testimonials in this book will necessarily have “happy endings” because:

  1. In a true first-person narrative, the end of the story is the writer’s true lived experience up to that moment. Therefore it’s not really an ending.
  2. “Happy Endings” imply perfection, and no life is perfect. The stories you will read in this anthology are far from a perfect outcome — but you will see where the writers have come from and where they are now. For some people, it’s not about perfection. It’s about a journey towards recovery, improved health, a highER quality of life than they once had. It’s inspiration and motivation to use the tools you’ve got (even if that tool is a simple corset) to get yourself to a better place.

The real question: why didn’t I write this entire book myself?

Well, gosh. That question sounds like I didn’t even do any work for this book. Even though there are over 100 writers who contributed to this book, I still put in a considerable amount of time and effort as the organizer, compiler, main editor, interviewer, and transcriber (for people who were too ill to write and sent in their stories through phone or Skype). I also consulted lawyers, made sure the writers were compensated (out of my own pocket), followed up on contracts, etc. — so it’s not like I had NO role in this book.

(On another note, I did write material and introductions to nearly every chapter, and soon realized that this book might be 2000 pages long — so, much of it was scrapped or stored for later for several future mini ebooks… One project at a time.)

Who cares about a book filled with the testimonials of strangers?

Click here to purchase Solaced (the official Corset Benefits book)
Update: Solaced is now available exclusively on Amazon! Click here to learn more.

Please refer to the above statements on empathy. Also, there’s nothing quite like a true, first-person testimonial straight from the source — even though a quantitative study is strongest form of research, the sworn testimonies in this anthology will always be stronger than me referring to a “friend-of-a-friend-who-claimed-blah-blah-blah.” It is more credible and more “clean” than a game of broken telephone.

I’m flattered that some people care so much about the content I write that they prefer to exclusively read my work, and are less excited about reading the experiences of others. But I feel it’s important to remind you that I do not pull knowledge out of the ether! I have useful research skills and have done my own footwork, yes — but a lot of what I know is because of people in the community just like these writers — because of YOU.

I am indebted to others for freely sharing what they know, because that is how we collectively grow. Knowledge is power, and it is meant to be shared — and everyone deserves a voice, not just myself.

So for those who object to this anthology, I think we’re focusing on the wrong question. Instead of asking “who cares about the stories of strangers,” the question should be: “Given that these ‘strangers’ granted me this platform in the first place, what good is my platform if not to give leverage to those voices that would not otherwise heard?”

Posted on 10 Comments

Corset Benefits Book (Chapter Preview!) + Your Thoughts Wanted!

Photo [Right]: Juno Lucina is one of the writers for Solaced – you’ll read her story of her personal transformation, The Art of Aging, in the Mature Corseting chapter.

As we take the next few weeks to put the finishing touches on the Solaced Corset Anthology, I’d like to make sure that we’re on the right track. Since the corset community has made this book possible in the first place (first by helping to build the list of corset benefits on this page, and then by submitting more in-depth experience for the book), it’s only fair that you, the community, also have a say in what stories end up in the final book.

I was initially worried about not having enough stories for the book, but after over 150 prospective writers (about 120 of whom submitted stories) as it turns out, I have too many stories now, and my editor has told me to cull. I’m very bad at this and need your help.

This book will have more of a focus on the therapeutic (physical and emotional) benefits of corsets, and there may be an opportunity to make another volume focused around the corset community and industry in general, as well as other “softer” stories (so whatever stories will be cut from this book, will likely make it into the next one!). Below you’ll find the list of topics/ chapters: you get a say in which topics interest you most, and which ones you would probably skip.

You can also let me know in your comment whether you prefer Kindle, Paperback, Audio, or another book format! Kindle will be the first to be released, but I will almost definitely bring the book to print a bit later on. Other formats I will consider if the demand is high enough.

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Solaced: 99 Uplifting Narratives about Corsets, Well-Being, and Hope

Chapter list (NOTE: This has been edited to reflect the final version of the book)

Click here to purchase Solaced (the official Corset Benefits book)
UPDATE: The book is now available! Click here to see it on Amazon!

  1. Back Injuries – structural support after physical trauma
  2. Spinal Curve – support or correction of scoliosis, kyphosis, or lordosis
  3. Breast support – including treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome
  4. Weight Loss & Lifestyle – using the corset as a kickstarter or external lap-band
  5. Hypermobility & EDS – preventing subluxation
  6. Disability – seven stories of how corsets help with various physiological disorders
  7. Fibromyalgia – promoting muscle relaxation and drug-free pain relief
  8. Gastrointestinal Disorders – helping with the symptoms of IBS, chronic constipation, and ulcerative colitis
  9. Dysmenorrhea & Endometriosis – using compression to reduce period cramping
  10. Post-Surgical Abdominal Weakness – support of the abdominal muscles following surgery
  11. Armor – the corset’s protective role during car accidents or against violent aggressors
  12. Body Positive – recovery from eating disorders and body dysmorphia
  13. Post Partum – treatment of diastasis recti, symphysis pubic dysfunction, and post partum depression
  14. Gender Identity – overcoming gender/body dysphoria, assisting in expression
  15. Anxiety & Depression – using deep pressure therapy to improve mental well-being
  16. Autism Spectrum – using deep pressure therapy for those with ASD
  17. PTSD & Coping with Adversity – pressure therapy following traumatic or difficult events
  18. Mature Corseting – wearing corsets from middle age and onward, commentary on aging
  19. Corsets & Metaphysics – essays on Reiki and the chakras
  20. Newspaper Clippings – a small collection of Victorian newspaper articles on corsets saving the lives of wearers
  21. Potpourri – stories that don’t quite fit in with the others

Which topics do you look forward to reading the most? Leave a comment below!