Pewter metallic poly mesh summertime male underbust corset with medium blue accents. - 2012

The Cycle Method for Beginning Tightlacers

by Fran of Contour Corsets
(Nov. 2010)

Copyrighted and used by permission of the author 

One of the most useful techniques that I have developed in my years as a tightlacer is something I call The Cycle Method. Basically it has to do with self monitoring and regulation of where you set the corset over the course of a day. Most people make the mistake of thinking that in order to reduce that you have to ‘set it and forget it’, but this is not a good idea.

It is very important that you listen to your body, especially when you are wearing a corset. If you have cramping, or indigestion, or soreness, or pain, then you have to let it out. Reduction is gained over time, and over the course of any day you should get used to the habit tightening when you feel you can, and letting it out when you feel pressures or strains. If you get that ‘bloated’ feeling, where your sense of pressure in the corset in increasing, or you are feeling agitated, then let the corset out an inch or two. The female body goes through cycles of course, and when your body is retaining fluids you need to be mindful and let out the corset when this happens. Get used to how ‘normal’ feels in the corset and do your best to maintain that level of pressure. If it feels too tight, regardless of where it is actually set, then let it out. You will find that when cycling the laces like this that over weeks and months your average waist size will still steadily reduce. I would make the analogy that it is like the weather; some days in the week are hotter, some colder, but the seasons come and go just the same. This is what The Cycle Method is all about.

The heart of The Cycle Method is to wear the corset very tight during the times of day that you can, and then taking a rest by letting it out when you need to. I find that for myself I lace the tightest in the morning through early afternoon, then loosen as the day goes on. I usually wear it medium to tighter in bed because I find that when I am at rest by body accepts the higher pressures better. The rest of the cycling revolves around my eating and toilet schedules – more on that in a different essay. You need to have this same relationship with your own body, and listen to what it tells you. It will let you know when you can keep it tight and when to give it break.

Another reason for The Cycle Method is to assure the easy transition of your digestive tract to the new position. If you wear a corset every day and are trying to achieve high waist reduction then it is very important to employ techniques that prevent you from trapping your bowel in the waistline. The colon’s natural shape is that of a cursive ‘r’, or sort of a bowed square. The position of the upper part of the colon rests its right and left corners near the ribcage, and the top section of the colon transverses the abdomen, dipping down in the middle. In a person who tightlaces the colon is entirely below the waist and has a more rounded shape overall. If you tighten the corset too much and try to reduce too fast, you tend to pinch the colon in the middle so that the bowel is actually running up through the waist on one side and down through the waist on the other. This makes reducing difficult and will most likely cause cramping, as your colon will not like having to do it’s job this way. Cycling the pressures helps to gradually work the colon down below the waist completely and you will avoid all of the issues associated with trapping your bowel in your corseted waistline.

Remember that if you take the corset off for any reason you can always get back in it later, and keep in mind that reduction is gradual over time. Your desired waist size is the goal, the corset is the enforcer, and you are the diplomat and negotiator. You win your goals with waist size over weeks, months, and years. Daily or weekly fluctuations in your lacing are all part of your listening and responding to your body’s fluctuations, and with constant attention you will reach your goals in a healthy manner. Your body will be as happy as your mind when you achieve your shape in this way.

Pewter metallic poly mesh summertime male underbust corset with medium blue accents.  - 2012

Pewter metallic poly mesh summertime male underbust corset with medium blue accents. – 2012

Please be sure to check out Fran’s custom corsets at

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