Of course I have thrown in a bit of historical background as to the usage of nipple tassels in vintage striptease - really fascinating trivia!
These nipple masks actually came to be regarded by some as more aesthetic and erotic than the natural nipple, probably due to the irony of concealing something that is revealed tastefully in the canon of fine art nude oil paintings (which hardly loin stirring images) and covered by respectable women, perhaps even in their matrimonial beds!. The double irony comes in when the "offending areolae" are covered by garish items and concealed, briefly, under layers which are removed during a strip tease - ultimately revealing the staple burlesque act punchline of adorned nipple garments on display to a beguiled audience. As burlesque is emphatically a TEASE, what is unseen is always the implied focus - what is concealed rather than what is revealed - hence making the pastie the very symbol of opulent erotica!
Pasties were worn in cabarets such as the Folies Bergère (where I performed in a past life) and Le Lido. Burlesque performer Carrie Finnell (do read up on her, her legacy is pivotal to the craft) is attributed with adding tassels which hang from the center and incorporating tassel twirling as part of a performance. Cabaret Magazine, in 1957, reported her saying with reference to her metronomic breasts "We've all got 'em, but I make mine work for me. What do you do with yours?" - to the proverbial point m'dame (no pun intended).
So what do YOU do with yours? Well, I'm hoping that it is something delectable and if it involves pasties, then allow me to give you some tips:
We'll start with adhesives and then move on to application, storage and... damage control.
Adhesives: Double-sided tape, Mastix Spirit Gum, liquid latex, eyelash glue.
Which you chose is dependent on the material of your nipple cap. For paper-based pasties, only use the tape as the liquid glues WILL warp the items which in turn adhere to your breast like a shriveled tick – NOT attractive. Tape is the least expensive and is the best option when considering multiple pastie changes during a show. If the backing of the tassel is made of plastic then the use of glue is a joy! I prefer Mastix but either liquid latex or eyelash glue could work too. The latter is the least desirable medium as it tends to be a bit rough on the soft bits when it comes to removal. As yet I am unsure of how these adhesives react with metal caps but the Mastix is fine for working with rhinestones for body jewelry. I have very sensitive ears and can’t wear anything in my piercings aside from titanium and surgical steel. So I can still achieve a more glamorous look by merely attaching rhinestones to my lobes! Mastix is also my favourite for attaching eyelash glue.
Tips for application: Apply Mastix or tape BEFORE any moisturizing lotion. The creams tend to erode the glue’s ability to adhere to the nipple. I have witnessed incidents where caps have come off unintentionally - not the worst thing to happen if recovered by humour and feigned demure but certainly cringe-worthy if the artist was attempting to display tassel twirling skill!
Storage: Store pasties in little fabric bags or plastic boxes. I do get a tad lazy and allow glue to accumulate somewhat in the cones – who wants to be scrubbing nipple caps in the wee hours after a performance? The great thing about the Mastix remover is that it will still remove the glue from your adornment should you leave the cleaning process for a few wears.
Nipple aftercare: always use the Mastix remover (which smells suspiciously like surgical spirits which would be a much cheaper alternative). Yes, it may seer into hairline cracks in the skin’s surface but remininet glue still in contact with the skin of that oh-so-sensitive area will do worse! If you wrench the pasties off like plasters and fail to use the Mastix remover, your areolae will glare out like victims of an attack by a large squid, or at least very unwelcome hickies!
If you find yourself in such circumstances, measures may be taken to provide relief and speed up the recovery of the glue-injured bits.
Damage control: I swear by SBR (skin barrier repair lipocream) and Aloe Vera Gel. Apply the latter before bedtime and ensure that you sleep without clothes (c’mon you do anyway`). Alternatively you can wait for the Aloe gel to dry – DO NOT adorn your girls with a bra in the case of wet gel as it will form a glue-ish effect. Presto, literal insult to injury.
I hope that this has proved useful or at least somewhat entertaining :*