To the content  To the main menu

Chastity Belt Was Meant for Protection, but it Became a Tool for Torture

Pás cudnosti

An uncomfortable piece of metal which kept women awake at night. It was a tool protect them from the external danger as well as an anti-temptation device. Mentioning the chastity belt today makes most people giggle nervously or look away. However, some people still use this historical item today, but we classify it as a tool of torture. What do they use it for them and what is its history?

Let's start at the beginning. The prevailing opinion among people is that the chastity belt was created by knights to preserve the faithfulness their wives while they were away. This is reportedly true for the Crusaders, who used chastity belts before they left for a Crusade in the Holy Lands. However, there is no credible evidence that chastity belts were used like this. The words “chastity belt”, however, do appear in literature, but that does not prove the existence of this metal device as we know it from the Museum of History. It could just as well be a metaphorical promise from his wife that she would remain faithful to her husband during his absence.

Where chastity belts do appear regularly are exhibitions dedicated to torture practices. Some of the belts were lined with sharp points and they might look very scary. But the reality is completely different from what is seems to be. Most of such pieces were forged in the 19th and 20th centuries. Despite all this, this topic remains captivating.

Did Chastity Belts Even Exist the Middle Ages?

We would expect chastity belts under the skirts of princesses. And there are a lot of jokes about them. You will probably be familiar with the story of the king leaving for battlefield and entrusting the key to his wife's innocence to his most loyal squire. Before he vanishes behind the corner, the squire comes running after him, saying that the key does not fit into the lock. Jokes aside. According to historians, something like that could not have happened. Simply because chastity belts did not exist in the Middle Ages. So when did they appear?

We imagine the belt as leather or metal harness, which the woman had to put on, and it was locked, so the woman was not able to take it off. The first mention along with a drawing of such a belt can be found in a manuscript from the 15th century, but no chastity belt like we see on the picture has ever been found. Historians believe that it was a joke by the author, because in the rest of the manuscript, he discusses military tactics. The drawing thus does not look credible, as if the author wanted to make sure that nobody takes it seriously. We know a few jokes about chastity belts from that time, so it is possible they existed, there is just no evidence to back it up.

The First Chastity Belt Was Found by an Antique Collector

One of the first discoveries of a controversial tool occurred in the 19th century in Linz. The man called Pachinger, a local antique dealer, discovered the grave of a 16th century woman wearing a chastity belt. It is rather curious that someone would put a chastity belt on a dead woman. Another curious fact is that this item went missing later, just as most of Pachinger’s antique items. There is also not a single mention of the deceased woman in the city archives.

Many other discovered chastity belts had the same fate. The topic of sex is still rather controversial, and, in the past, it was considered a taboo. Many chastity belts that belonged to famous historical characters, such as Anne of Austria or Catherine de' Medici, have been removed from museums and stored away, in order to avoid the scandal that exhibiting chastity belts usually brings. Moreover, it is still unclear whether these artifacts are historically authentic.

It would seem that the stories around the chastity belts are mere fairy tales, but this is not entirely true. Reliable evidence of their existence comes from no sooner than the Renaissance period, which is several centuries later than people normally date them. It is therefore clear that these instruments must have been very rare.

What Were They Really Used for?

The chastity belt, as the name suggests, was not designed to protect women from abuse or infidelity. Instead, they were meant as a prevention of masturbation. This is backed up by a number of patented belts against masturbation from the USA. In times of industrial revolution, it is also highly likely that women used belts as a protection against rape, because working in a factory often involved sexual assaults on female workers.

Male Chastity Belts

Do you think that similar instruments are a matter of the past, slowly falling into oblivion? Then you are wrong. The unorthodox toy has become a part of the sexual practices of BDSM lovers, which, loosely translated, means role-playing, requiring discipline, domination, slavery and submission of one partner over the other. Chastity belts are therefore the ideal means of controlling the pleasure of a partner.

Certain stereotypes are a matter of the past. Not only women use chastity belts for fun and pleasure today. Male chastity belts were created and it used by a certain subculture perhaps even more often than the female belts. It is smaller, in many ways more practical. In contrast to female belts, which runs around the waist and lap, the male variant of the belt looks like a cage for male genitals. It does not allow the man to satisfy himself without pain. There is also a variant of the Florentine type, which is made to measure for the wearer. It looks like a kind of shield around the waist, which runs between the legs and covers the genitals.

Forget the Middle Ages

It is perhaps pointless to delve into more details, so let us end by summarizing a few facts. In addition to chastity belts for women, there is also a male variant. The tool does not come from the Middle Ages, it did not only serve as protection against rape, and it is still used today!

Periods: Armor

Like this article? Share

Comments (0)

Recommended products

Similar articles

  • Historické štíty A Robust Shield Can Deflect the Strongest Blows and Protect Your Life

    Brave knights, to arms! Helmet, armour, iron gloves, sharp sword... got everything you need? Not quite. Without a robust shield, you can't deflect powerful blows nor flying arrows. Whether you've pledged your allegiance to Julius Caesar, King Arthur or Wenceslas IV, you can defend yourself against any foe if you have a good shield and a good commander.

  • Lorica segmentata Lorica segmentata

    Roman soldiers of the imperial era were known for wearing protective armours which consisted of several steel segments fastened usually with leather straps and therefore they called it Lorica segmentata – segmented cuirass. Provided excellent protection this simple construction could be made fast and easily and it also enabled considerable flexibility and freedom of the user’s moves. The archaeologists found that more versions of this armour existed.

  • 01-development-armor.jpg Development of European Arms and Armor

    Educational charts of arms and armor, prepared by Bashford Dean, ill. by S.J. Rowland and Hashime Murayama. European armor, helmets, breastplates, gauntlets, shields, swords, pole arms, spurs, crossbows and bows and guns - the development of their common forms during the centuries.

  • Stity Medieval Shields

    Before the firearms widely spread on the battlefields and revolutionized the world of warfare, the shields made from various materials such as wood or wicker (sometimes iron) had been serving well to their owners for long centuries. The combatants usually held them in left hands or had them strapped onto their left shoulders. Do you know that different shapes were used in different times so basically you can recognize the historical period by looking at the shape of the shield?

Comments (0)

Write your own comment

We take care of our customers, their questions of all kinds are answered

Your questions help us to improve. What is as clear as a day for someone, can be for another an interesting novelty. Do not be afraid to ask questions. We are here for you! What we do not know ourselves, we discuss with experts with whom we work closely. The most frequent questions are published here. Your curiosity is appreciated!

  • Do you like shopping with free shipping? If you purchased for at least € 900, you will receive a free delivery to France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Poland!

    Free delivery on orders over 900€

  • Is it necessary to deliver the goods quickly? If you manage to place your order of in-stock items by 11.00 am and pay, it will be despatched on the same day. Delivery time within Europe take about 2-5 business days.

    Fast delivery for orders by 11:00 AM

  • Does the delivered size not fit? We exchange the goods within 14 days for another size free of charge. You pay only the shipping.

    Exchange of size within 14 days for free

  • Many of our products are not available anywhere else. These are unique replicas of museum exemplars, designs of ours or our customers.

    Unique items exclusive production

  • On an approx. 800m2 we store items worth about 600 thousand EURO. Choose any item from stock today and it will be despatched immediately. Personal pickup in Kadan can be organized within a few minutes!

    Huge range of products Bestsellers always in stock

Choose a language

Choose a currency