The following article was published in N-SPHERE August 2011 issue.


By the time the world has seen its first elastomer, a long lasting entity has been centrifuged in the midsts of sensuality and depravity. The skin, as personal as it gets, is and will always be the last layer between two bodies, the most unattainable and desired object to be touched, the one thing that is protected by garment. The freedom of looking, however, is infinitely vast, as skin becomes not a tactile goal anymore, but a visual stimulus for ages to come.

On a biological level, skin is what separates a living, breathing body from the exterior, it carries over sensations, it shapes the feel of object touched. On an abstract level, skin is to be shown, to be used as a defence mechanism, to be transformed into the erotic symbol that it needs to be. The more one steps into the depths of s[k]een (seen skin), the more meanings and shapes and fantasies are possible.

What patch of skin would you like to touch? Where does your mind go when you embrace your lover, seeing your hand moving lower and lower? It’s not, ahem, you know, that place. It’s the upper leg, the inner skin of which is always sought, always elusive and so hard to come by. That part of the leg is the one embracing hips, the one that is most felt, the one that can be shown outside carnal circumstances and the only one that can provoke these images without even a hint of depravity.

Along the ages, that visible portion of the leg has moved higher and higher until reaching the inner thighs. Starting from simple bows tied to the leg, and reaching towards today’s intricate designs, the garter has been the instruments of s[k]een, the voice of hidden thoughts, the gateway to unnamed fantasies.

A means to purely hold up the stockings, for both men and women, garters have evolved into an attractor of gazes, a symbol of the upper thighs, a mark of femininity in all its glory. Pointing to the cold, grizzly facts, the garter, and later on the garter belt, are mere articles of clothing. Once useful, nowadays they carry a mirage, a world within itself. With origins well into the deep forgotten past, garters were usually made of a heavy material and tied below the knee in order to keep stockings form falling. Up until the roaring twenties, when garters became an object of subterfuge, a weapon of the new-woman, a place to hide contraband flasks or an entity of emancipation. Together with the invention of artificial silk, stockings became more accessible, and so did the girdle and the garter belt, halfway through the 20th century. Not different in purpose, the girdle is constrictive in nature while the belt allows freedom of movement.

In a way, the garter closes a circle, captures the leg adding undefined sensuality to it. The garter enslaves, possesses, transforms and regenerates towards s[k]een. But what about the garter belt? What is so enticing about it? The road: the road to nowhere, the road to perdition, the path of no return, the stairway into the light. Ask your partner to wear a garter belt, watch it closely strung on the edge of the stocking, pulling slightly, vibrating at each move. Watch it draw the contour of the hips, creating ripples in it’s path, both wave and particle, much like light. Take a deep breath, a very deep breath.

Garters and garter belts alike are visual entities. They breathe in gazes and breathe out fantasies. They draw in glances and generate those minute electrical impulses that feed hungry minds. The seen, the sin, the skin, the s[k]een, the malleability of senses becomes pregnant, like suddenly having one’s retina caressed. Some psychotropic drugs, like LSD or psilocybin mushrooms, are able to mix up external stimuli, making one smell sounds and hear colors and whatnot. However, the hallucinations pass quickly. Unlike s[k]een, invasive substances that are unnatural to the body are more of a temperamental tomcat that is being taken to the vet for castration, than a comforting long lasting apperitive of perception. Once skin is meant to be revealed, yet lavishly concealed, the sky is the limit.

There is a fine art in wearing a garter. There is an acquired talent in showing skin. There is a subtle sensuality in seeing skin. There is a symbiotic union between the garter and the leg. Lift your skirt, let my eyes touch you…

Photo | Anonymous author. Originally published in LIFE

by Vel Thora

Full article here.