Tuesday, 25 April 2017

U = Uncomfortable underwear

"Could you pass the water, please?"
How would you feel if the person on the other side of the dinner table responded to your polite request by handing you this antique hand-decorated jug?
Look closely.
It's a picture of a guy giving another guy an enema with what looks to be one of those vintage pump-action fly-spray thingamyjigs, or perhaps only marginally less distressingly, one of those whatsits you use to blow up balloons.
Almost as uncomfortable as the poor bloke on the receiving end of the implement, who appears to be attempting to hang onto the tiniest thread of dignity by not baring his butt cheeks.
But it'd be hard to know where to put your fingers, wouldn't it? On the jug I mean. 
And let's not think even think about drinking the contents.

While we're at the dinner table, ladies, have you ever succumbed to the devil that is the wearing of Spanx to flatter and smooth your shape for that special function? You will no doubt have found yourself standing pretty much all night
French  illustration of the non-benefits of corset-wearing
because the moment you bend, the many squooshy bits being confined into a space that's way too small for them become unflatteringly unsmooth and either bulge out over the top or press uncomfortably on your wee-bag. 
Am I right? 
Plus, you have to pretend that you're not really hungry or have allergies that prevent you doing anything other than nibble on a single hors d'oeuvre because there just isn't enough space for anything else.

Well, spare a thought for oh-so-many of your sisters from yesteryear. 
How comfortable do you reckon a brass corset would have been?
Talk about pinch-in the waist!

Image credit: Wellcome Library
So now, what's this pinchy-looking thing, all neatly tied with a bow? 
A napkin ring perhaps? Or a ponytail keeper?
Think again.
This, my friend, is a 'Four-pointed urethral ring'.
Say what?
That's right, this device was designed to encircle a penis.
A human penis.
With the aim of discouraging the nasty undesirable habit of masturbation.
Are you fully uncomfortable now?

And here is a close-up of just such a device on display. Clearly a technological advance on the one in the illustration, this beastie is a clip-on version, with an expanding ring in the middle, which seems to allow a slightly more realistic space for... shall we say... swelling... before the organ makes contact with the spiky metal bits. (I can't bring myself to call them teeth.)
I imagine this model was readily adjustable, rather than one size fits all.
It's not as pretty as the one with the bow, though, is it?

During the month of April, I am participating in the Blogging from A–Z Challenge.

My posts will all feature images of and by the Wellcome Collection, Euston, London: the free destination for the incurably curious.


  1. one word - ouch! Interesting theme for the a to z challenge.

    Dropping by from the A to Z Challenge

    1. Not so much a theme as a new obsession! History, humans and humour. I love them all. Thanks for visiting.

  2. You always find such interesting items for your blog! The Wellcome Collection must love you. If it wasn't already free, you should be presented with life time admission!

    1. I'm off there again this afternoon, Jo. I cannot decide what to do for Y...Yikes

  3. Uncovering the unbelievable underthings, u really know how to do it! Thanks once more for your entertaining posts.

    1. You are more than welcome, Carmel.I'm glad you are still with me on this crazy journey through April.

  4. Some evil instruments of torture there, Wendy. 😲

    1. Aren't you glad you weren't born in Victorian England!?

    2. #WEll funnily enough i always rather fancied myself as a Victorian lady...not anymore!!!

  5. I am particularly dazzled by the fact that the incredibly painful looking, 4 pointed urethra ring ("Is that a urethra or are you just happy to see me"?) appears to be tied with a most fetching bow...
    Surely something that looks that awful should be fastened with, like, A Tragerian Death Buckle, or some such device.
    But no... a perky little bow will do us fine...

    1. It's cute isn't it. Maybe people should use a pretty ribbon to attach all instruments of torture.

  6. omg! what will you come up with next? Never used spanx and thank god I was born too late for corsets and girdles.
    This post seems very The Pit and the Pendulum. (shudder)

    1. Poe-esque, you think. Well, yes, I think he would have been fascinated by such objects.
      I tried Spanx once.
      Never again.

  7. Confession time, Wendy! The first ever sponsored post request I received was for a penis ring. Psychedelic glow-in-the-dark. I had to politely decline even though the guy tried to lure me with lucre and threw in a free product, too! Sigh.

    My skin crawls at the thought of someone wearing either of those contraptions!

    Wellcome exhibits are bizarre to say the least. But I am so glad I am seeing these through your words!

    About the jug--remind me to tell you something equally hilarious!

    And fancy seeing thingammajig here just after I commented on your V post!

  8. Psychedelic glow in the dark! Wow...
    Does it work???
    And yes please. Tell me about the jug.

  9. Wow, I did underwater for U, but it was nothing like this! Hate I missed your posts during April.
    The coffee is always on in Life & Faith in Caneyhead