Harnesses have long been equated with bondage and I understand why. Straps wrapped around the body evoke images of a woman restrained with a (generally) male figure dominating her now powerless body. The assumption is she actually wants this… she enjoys this. For some women that is true. I do not think they should be judged harshly for enjoying such fantasies of domination and submission. If that is what makes them happy (and it causes no harm), then far be it from the us to look down upon them like puritans.
I too enjoy the eroticism of straps, the suggestion of bondage, the daring world of the taboo and the forbidden. What are fantasy worlds for if they must be grounded in domestic reality? However, I think of straps, body harnesses, and the world of lingerie that borders on BDSM in a slightly different way. As I mentioned to the owner of thatjenesaisquoi: “it feels secure.”
I like the shift in focus and yet the mixing of opposites at the same time. Straps, in a bondage frame of reference, present the female as vulnerable and powerless. Yet straps are also used in the opposite affect: to create safety. Tethers while climbing, seat belts while driving, and safety harnesses while working all create an atmosphere of increased security.
The feeling of straps running across my body evokes elements of both and it is the interplay between vulnerability and safety in the garment that so fascinates me. So last week when Kiss Me Deadly was offering free international shipping, I finally purchased my very own harness. Their Retro Harness (update 05/14: no longer sold) I thought, would be a very good starting point for my foray into the world of the lingerie accessory. The price point was quite manageable too: regularly priced at £25 and I bought it for £20 with a coupon I had. That translates to roughly $34 CAN.
The package arrived in one week which is pretty amazing for post coming from the UK to Canada. I picked it up yesterday and started experimenting. Just a note: this thing does not come with instructions and that can be somewhat frustrating! It is SO confusing to get the harness properly organized to be put on. I highly suggest harnesses like this come with diagram booklets.
So I figured it out. I put it on. And I hated it. I didn’t actually hate the harness itself, but I hated how it looked on me. I quickly assessed why I thought it looked bad on me and came to the conclusion that the shape of the bra I was currently wearing (Claudette) and the harness were not a brilliant match. Off came the Claudette, and on went the Mimi Holliday plunge. Then back on went the harness. The change in bra made a massive difference! I suddenly really enjoyed the way the harness worked with the bra and accentuated my chest. With the bra being one cup size too small, the harness actually pinned the gore to my chest and really gave me a full and slightly over-pouring look with the cup. It looks fantastic under tops! I will never wear this harness on the outside of my clothing but I LOVE the way it looks underneath a top that allows for exposure of the straps.
The quality of the harness is good, with the elastic straps being very nice and thick. The scalloped edge was one of the selling features for me. The clasps to fasten the harness are really strong and they should last a long time. I like the adjustable neck strap but if I could make one recommendation it would be to have the harness extend to the back. Perhaps have the shoulder straps cross over and connect to the lower bottom bands on the back. I have some really low back shirts that I like wearing but you really cannot see the harness when I wear them (unless you wear the harness backwards, which I tried).
This harness is fabulous value and if you have ever considered experimenting with a harness I really recommend it.