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Of Corsets Sexy

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Wait, when did Marge get a waist? And cleavage?!note 

"Now, a corset can do a lot for a lady
Especially when a lady's got a lot
And a lady can do a lot for that cor-set
By filling in the bottom and top."
— "A Corset Can Do a Lot For a Lady", The First Travelling Saleslady
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The corset, that most evocative of undergarments. Of course it's sexy. Designed to shape a woman's silhouette, it has captured the erotic imagination for centuries due to its ability to shrink the waist, define the hips, and to create heaving bosoms where once there were none. Even after the corset fell out of fashion in the early 20th centurynote , it has remained a feature in period films and fetish magazines. More recently, the wily corset has gone through a renaissance of sorts—now often worn as outerwear—thanks in part to the popularity of movies like Moulin Rouge! and the increased public interest in things like the Goth and steam/dieselpunk genre, not to mention the resurgence of the burlesque scene.

In older fiction, corsets were sometimes used to provide mild fanservice — yes, everything's covered, but a woman's corset is still part of her underwear. Newer works get a similar reaction because corsets today are fetish or specialty wear — a 21st-century woman in a corset has a certain exotic allure without showing too much skin.

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Can involve Impossibly-Low Neckline, Sexy Coat Flashing. See also Of Corset Hurts for another common use of the garment in fiction.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Slan, the only female member of the Godhand from Berserk pretty much wears one as her only article of clothing. And it's an underbust. To make it even kinkier, she wears a neck corset too.
  • A unique example, the Slime girl from Deadline Summonner wears one as her default outfit. Why? We don't know.
  • In a very unusual instance, the male Villain Protagonist of Death Note, Light Yagami, wears a corset under his shirt for a portion of the story... in order to hide his favorite murder weapon. Of course, in the anime version, he finds an equally awkward place to keep it.
  • Ghost Talkers Daydream: Seen in the anime's cover art, which shows Misaki in her S&M attire, which she almost always wears under her street clothes, since she's a dominatrix.
  • Einhart Stratos of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid wears an underbust corset as part of her standard outfit.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Asuna and Setsuna are forced into this, and despite the obviously awkward structure of the outfit itself (never mind the undergarment), they managed to fight at full strength.
    • Far later in the series, Yuuna is shown fighting in this as well as it is included with her pactio.
  • Maken-ki!: Himegami specializes in Ero Lolia fashion, particularly when it comes to her choice of lingerie. Almost all of it is dark silk trimmed with ribbons and lace, consisting of corsets, see-through teddies, garter belts, and nylons. Though her peers and under classmen usually don't get to see it since it's hidden under her school uniform.
  • One Piece has Team Mom Robin, wearing one of these, possibly a gift from her previous boss, Mr. O, since running around ruins in that and fishnets is hardly practical.
  • The Big Bad of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, appropriately named Corset, pretty much makes it a mission in life to avert the hell out of this trope as hard as he possibly can. Of Corset Hurts, though... but he wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Ruby in Rosario + Vampire wear one of these as a default outfit, when she's not in a costume for the lulz. She's quite aware of the sexiness factor, and quite often uses this to her advantage as well.
    • Moka's mother Akasha combines a fiery corset and a pair of short shorts under her dress, as revealed during her sacrificial attempt to go Medieval on Alucard's ass.
  • Shimoneta: Official manga scans and concept art show that Oboro Tsukimigusa wears white lingerie under his Prefect uniform; including a corset with garter belts and thonged panties.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: There's the resident Dark Action Girl Adiane the Elegant who combined a corset with her tail whip and eyepatch for maximum sexiness.
  • In the first episode of Texhnolyze a bizarre, bionically augmented woman wears a red one as she has sex with Ichise.
  • Male example: Loran Cehack from ∀ Gundam is ordered to show up at the party arranged by the Moon Race as the Turn A Gundam's pilot, though the Moon Race were told he was a female pilot named Laura. Kihel thought Loran was feminine enough and filled out a dress well, but added a corset just to make it more convincing.
  • While every woman in Victorian Romance Emma wears a corset, one scene in the manga stands out: Emma's employer Dorothea Meredith is being dressed for the day, when her husband Wilhelm enters the room and proceeds to lace his wife's corset, as a prelude for impromptu sexy-time.
    • The author's commentary for that particular scene enhances the sexy part, with the author musing about the sexual implications and intimacy brought by a male lacing his wife (or his French Maid)'s outfit.
  • Though she changes her outfit regularly, Mai Valentine of Yu-Gi-Oh! always keeps a basque/bustier as an accessory.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Attack of the Clones, Padme Amidala wears a black dress with a mermaid skirt, leather corset, and feather shawl in the fireside scene.
  • Clotilde and Madeleine wear corsets in several scenes in the 2012 version of Bel Ami; Madeleine has sex with Georges in one scene while wearing her pink satin corset, and Georges laces Clotilde into her powder-blue corset after a tryst.
  • Bunni: Lisa wears a black corset in the video of her torturing her husband for his infidelity, and as the killer.
  • One of the first shots in Curse of the Golden Flower is a line of lady servants getting their corsets cinched up. The empress also wears a corset-like garment. There are a lot of heaving bosoms in this movie. A lot.
  • Lina Cavalieri fights a sword duel while stripped down to her camisole and corset (with a pair of tight pants and cavalier-style boots) in one scene in La Donna Piu Bella Del Mondo ("Beautiful But Dangerous"), and is clearly tightly corseted in several other scenes under her Gorgeous Period Dress.
  • The page quote comes from the 1956 musical The First Traveling Saleslady, starring Ginger Rogers and Carol Channing. Paradoxically, Rogers spends most of the movie trying to hawk barbed wire in Texas (and eluding ranchers, including her love interest, deeply opposed to same) while disguising herself as what she originally was, a corset saleswoman!
  • In The Great Race Maggie DuBois spends a significant portion of the Carpania sequence dressed only in a corset. It gets even better when she is covered head to toe in whipped cream (she got in the middle of the biggest pie fight in movie history), which no one else even notices.
  • Miriam strips down to her corset (and then removes it, slipping under the sheets nude except for black silk drawers) during her first bedroom scene in The Great Train Robbery.
  • An early scene in the The Handmaiden involves Sook-hee helping Hideko out of her dress and corset, and then turning around for her to return the favor. Not much skin is shown, but it's one of the earliest moments of sexual tension between the two, with Sook-hee's inner monologue highlighting the inherent allure of the garments:
    Sook-Hee: Ladies truly are the dolls of maids. All these buttons are for my amusement. If I undo the buttons and pull out the cords, then, the sweet things within, those sweet and soft things… If I were still a pickpocket I’d slip my hand inside.
  • Maggie Cheung spends much of her screen time in Irma Vep wearing a fetish bodysuit with a built-in corset. At one point, her body double complains that the corset is too tight, but Maggie replies that she feels fine in hers.
  • One scene in the 1962 comedy It Happened in Athens features Eleni Costa stripping down to her underwear, revealing an impressively tight corset. It is in that state of undress that she first meets and tries to seduce a young man, Spiridon Loues, whom she finds taking a shower in her bathroom.
  • As if she needed any more help catching male viewers' attention, Lilah in Jonah Hex wears a couple of shockingly tight corsets.
  • In The Legend of Frenchie King, Maria Sarrazin is conveniently wearing one when her rival forces her into singing in front of the entire village.
  • Sophia Loren strips to a black corset and stockings for an examination by (and an unsuccessful attempt by her to seduce) doctor Peter Sellers in The Millionairess.
  • Jane Smith wears a corset as part of her dominatrix outfit (which she wears to get to a mark) in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Elizabeth is made to wear one in an early scene because it was "the latest fashion in London" and she was going to meet a suitor. In the audio commentary Keira Knightley says her cleavage was painted on. Quickly shifts into Of Corsets Painful because, being unaccustomed to corsets, she passes out from the sudden lack of oxygen less than ten minutes later.
  • Several of the characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show appear in corsets and fishnets for the final act, albeit under mind control.
  • Odette is shown donning a corset (with the help of her maid) in an early scene in Swann In Love.
  • The intense desire of Patti Robinson to be allowed to wear corsets as a mark of her transition to young womanhood is a key plot point in the early-1950's musical Two Weeks With Love. She wants to wear corsets so much, in fact, that she even has fantasies about them, set to the music of the aria from The Chocolate Soldier; she swans around wearing only a snug corset, long white gloves, fishnet tights, high heels and a picture hat, drawing the attention of every man around her like a lodestone!
  • Underworld (2003). Selene wears a corset over her black leather (pleather? latex? vinyl?) catsuit. The sequel implies that the corset has an actual function: being bullet-resistant, which comes in handy when the character gets buckshot straight to the chest. The corset comes away with only minor damage, and Selene just gets pissed off.
  • Marias I and II become stage sensations and inadvertently "invent" striptease by undressing down to their corsets and stockings in a key scene in Viva Maria!.
  • Rita Escobar, the love interest of both of the main characters from Wild Wild West, and several other gorgeous women in corsets are one of the film's better points.
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    Literature 
  • In the Discworld, veteran Assassin Lady T'Malia, a stately lady of deliberately uncertain age, strives for this look. Observers agree there is no doubt she is still beautiful, but note this is high-maintenance beauty that needs a lot of supporting scaffolding. Her presence is usually announced by alarming creaking reminiscent of a galleon in full sail in a high wind as heavy-duty corseting strives to do its job against structural stresses.
  • Gemma Doyle: The covers of the first and last novels of the trilogy both have the backs of corseted girls.
  • In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett's corset wearing skills are such that she has the smallest waist in the region, which is cited as one of the main reasons for her appeal. Later on (between and after pregnancies) she absolutely refuses to let go of that waist and demands her servants to lace her up as before.
  • Swedish writer Simona Ahrnstedt goes back and forth between this and Of Corset Hurts in her debut novel Överenskommelser. If a woman shapes her body as much as possible, men will, of course, find her more attractive. But we also get several allusions to how uncomfortable it can be to wear a corset, but a lady is expected to do it anyway.
  • The protagonist of John Varley's Steel Beach adopts corsets when she moves into a Victorian-era historical reenactment community (even though period underwear is not required) on the theory that anything worth doing is worth doing right. She freely admits the titillation factor played a significant role in her decision.
  • Tavin, in Witchell: A Symphony has a bit of a thing for corsets, but is aware that they take training, time and a great deal of effort. His older brother makes rude comments about tight-lacing (something polite young men aren't supposed to know about, let alone talk about!) The trope gets played with, however, because the main corset-wearer in the book is Ben, who is a Drag Queen.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Male example in 1000 Ways to Die. An overweight ballroom dancer ties a corset around his waist to make himself appear thinner. Unfortunately, he ties it so tight that it compresses his chest, causing one of his ribs to break and puncture his heart, killing him.
  • Alias: Considering her Femme Fatale Spy status, it is not too surprising that Sydney Bristow ended up in one on more than one occasion. One incident involved Sydney singing in a nightclub (it wasn't apparently that good), sidling her way over to The Dragon during it, with the objective being to get his biometric data for later use in cracking his security system.
  • Mrs. Peel wore one in the episode "A Touch of Brimstone" of The Avengers (1960s), which was about a resurrected Hellfire Club.
  • In one of the Babylon 5 TV Movies (River of Souls), a shady businessman runs a holo-brothel Down Below. One of his more popular models is Captain Elizabeth Lochley in a corset. It's especially popular with the female customers.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • Castle's Detective Kate Beckett dons a couple of corseted costumes in the episode "Once Upon a Time in the West" as she gets into the spirit of the cowboy-themed resort she and Castle are investigating, the first time leaving Castle tongue-tied upon initially seeing his new wife.
  • All three of the Halliwell sisters wear them in season 3 of Charmed, Phoebe in particular.
  • Community: The show takes every opportunity to put Annie in a corset. She's in one in her Little Red Riding Hood costume in the second Halloween episode, she spends the entire Western-themed paintball episode in a corset and little else (she had a skirt, but lost it when the game started), and in the third Halloween episode she's in a corset in her horror story.
  • In Coronation Street, Rosie Webster tries to seduce someone while wearing a basque. This got the "ban this filth" brigade at the Daily Mail hot and bothered, and they promptly printed a picture to accompany said article.
  • Edie Britt wears a lot of corsets in Desperate Housewives. Also, Susan when she resorts to cleaning in lingerie on the internet when Mike runs the family into debt.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Just about all the actresses, both lead and extra, in Dracula wear corsets under their gowns and dresses or visibly in some scenes.
  • Jool from Farscape is introduced wearing a black, leather corset which she keeps for her first few episodes. By the end of the season, she's switched to a version with strategic cut-outs that show off her abs.
  • Inspector George Gently: Wanda Lane dons a merry widow and fishnet stockings when she attempts to seduce Gently in "The Burning Man".
  • Lost Girl: Kenzi regularly wears corsets as outerwear, usually on top of her shirt. This is no small part of her Perky Goth image. In the first four seasons, she is rarely seen not wearing one, except when she's going undercover in a mundane role.
  • Abby on NCIS has a few; they go rather nicely with her tiny miniskirts and combat boots.
  • Aside from the 'corset-as-outer-wear' that the Queen wears as part of her costume, Queen of Swords (being set in 1817) also features the female cast wearing corsets as the more traditional undergarment. Naturally the writers never pass up an opportunity to show The Vamp Vera lounging around in her corset waiting for her lover.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race frequently has queens who showcase corseted looks (or at least waist cinching) but none so small as Violet Chachki.
  • The Smallville episode "Spell" has the witches in corsets, as mentioned in the commentary, and when Lana's boyfriend asks her why she's dressed like that she says it makes her feel sexy. At the end of the episode Clark says that the witch who had possessed Lana had been aggressively sexy so Lana calls her an evil slut.
  • This seems to extend to The Vampire Diaries, as sexy vampire Katherine wears one even when she's in bed. Sorta justified, as she lives in Civil War America. She seems to have ditched them in the present though.
  • In "Western Show", an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, not only does Theresa say she likes the corset she's wearing, but then Jerry asks why he doesn't have one.

    Music 

    Pinballs 
  • The backglass for Black Rose shows Captain Rose going into battle wearing a cape and a blood-red corset.
  • The dominatrix Rider of Bally's Centaur wears a tight black leather corset.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, Christine is shown near the bottom of the playfield wearing a corset and robe.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Standard part of Lady Ophelia's ring gear. She also wore them near the end of her time as Mona in WCW in 2000 (in place of the Minidress of Power + Cleavage Window) and late in her time in WWE, but she had already been branded as Hollywood Homely by that time.
  • Daffney wore corsets when hosting SHINE 3 and SHINE 5.
  • Downplayed by April Hunter in SHINE, who frequently wears her corset somewhat loose and on top of something else.
  • Averted a UCW Zero by Fella Twin Chip, who wore a Batman Corset as part of a Halloween event in 2014.
  • Becky Lynch started wearing one when she went to the main roster.

    Toys 

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • Bound Adventures: The world is dominatrix themed, so corsets are commonly worn as everyday wear (though not as common as a Spy Catsuit). Princess Irina prefers her corsets trimmed with ermine.
  • Robin in the Coga Nito Hallowe'en special mentions she's wearing one as part of her Vampira outfit.
  • Lucy, the Daiva of Lust, in DevilBear wears a corset as part of her standard wardrobe.
  • Agatha in Girl Genius is known to wear corsets over her clothes. They work very well for her.
  • Kimchi Cuddles: Nora is delighted to learn that her new girlfriend Crystal is wearing a corset under her clothes.
  • Pato from M9 Girls! wears a corset-like super-heroine costume. It fits perfectly her buxom looks.
  • An early arc in Queen of Wands involved Kestrel and Shannon shopping for corsets as a sexy-time thing for Shannon and Felix's anniversary.
  • Amber in Shortpacked! wore this during her sexy phase (while Robin filled in for her as the Meganekko).
  • Adding a corset is the only nod Sparkle from Sidekick Girl makes to an Evil Costume Switch.

    Web Videos 
  • Carmilla the Series: Carmilla Karnstein absolutely rocks one paired with her trademark leather pants, well and truly engaging a Duel of Seduction with Laura.
  • The Nostalgia Chick will wear a corset once in a while.
  • The host of Vampire Reviews, The Maven of the Eventide, loves wearing corsets. Her 10 Good Things About Twilight review features a corset so tight you can see her chest going up and down as she breathes, and it prevents her from staking herself to get out of the review.
  • Internet babe Vinyl Meow (also known as Amy Villainous) is almost never seen without a corset. This might be one reason why she looks nowhere near the 200 pounds her modelling profile lists (the other being her enormous breasts).

    Western Animation 
  • The The Simpsons picture above comes from the episode "Helter Shelter" where the family becomes the star of a 1900's House-style reality show. The scene in question shows Marge getting laced into a corset and initially being satisfied at its effects on her figure, before realizing that the stays had made her feet swell up to twice their normal size.
  • Gwen from Total Drama that wears a corset-like black top with blue and green sleeves.

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