A Treatise on the Maiden
As Halloween approaches, minds turn to the more traditional forms of securing a loved one. While those of a nautical bent tend to favour irons and there’s always that section of the community that enjoy stocks or even a pillory, many people will instead recommend a shrew’s fiddle. Requiring less space than a yoke yet imposing greater vulnerability than shackles this option is portable and draws the arms well clear of the diaper being used or changed.
Seldom considered is a rare and marvellous option that, while in no way portable, imposes a complete and inescapable level of restraint that also provides a superb topic of conversation for visitors, whether in use or not. Indeed, far more than any other device mentioned, visitors will often demand the opportunity to experience the delights of this device in person, a terrible but welcome mistake.
The historic name for this superior option is of course the Iron Maiden. Although the use of these fiendish torture devices has never been entirely confirmed examples exist from medieval and Victorian times, with more modern replicas easier to acquire. Staunch traditionalists insist of course that one must use a genuine medieval iron maiden, stating with certainty that modern replicas lack authenticity, greatly devaluing their ability to impose dread.
This is a strong argument, the old school iron aesthetic a powerful visual aid to the underlying function, albeit somewhat undermined by the elegance and beauty of a unique Italian steel specimen converted for diaper use.
That conversion is very necessary: the medieval era devices (whether iron or steel) included sharp spikes that would damage anybody inside, and would also puncture a diaper and its cover, causing unwanted leakage. It would be unfortunate to lose so divine a device to rust!
Instead the spikes should be cut out, or filed down. Retaining small nubs is optional, depending whether the intended use is uncomfortable punishment or to merely silence and restrain, but if kept they should be softly rounded to avoid damage. Now take a large hammer and beat the metal from the inside at waist height. The objective is to create enough space inside to accommodate a well used diaper so the larger the bulge the better, as this allows use of thicker and more effective diapers.
Note that this precludes the use of cast iron Victorian maidens, as they will respond poorly to beating.
A well made iron maiden will include very little space at its closure for the ingress of fresh air; the purported use was not historically concerned with the survival of the person within. For this reason a breathing hole must be drilled. Measure and correctly position this at mouth height, as that allows use for feeding too. To prevent unwanted noise from this new orifice take inspiration from the sadly underused medieval brank, and attach at the base of the hole a metal bit that can hold in place the tongue of the wearer, keeping them suitably quiet.
Use of the feeding hole can be achieved through insertion of a traditional bottle nipple, a simple feeding hose or use of a small spoon. While the brank plate will complicate swallowing, lucky recipients of a carer’s tasty nutrition rapidly learn the needed technique. One need not be concerned with overfeeding as the beneficiary of such generous care will of course be well equipped to appropriately handle any subsequent consequences.
Sadly the bona fide pieces are too rare, very expensive and lose their authenticity when adapted for diaper use - assuming one can be found of a size appropriate to the modern frame, boosted as it is by nutrition. Instead the superior option is a pre-made or hand crafted modern replica. Avoid the ones in plastic; a suitcase would be as elegant and last longer. Instead look for manufacturers offering designs in cast or worked metal. Modern iron has a certain look but as steel is easier to work it is often cheaper, while retaining necessary strength and rigidity. The occasional brass piece comes available, a distinct and interesting look but more suited to a steampunk setting than a historic medieval scene.
Inside the device the metal can be polished smooth, avoiding irritation and anything that might snag skin or waterproof coverings. Most modern designs come lined, with the expense of the device reflected through properly treated wool fleece or even a natural fur to offer a luxurious interior. As these can lead to overheating, instead consider a very thin layer of velvet covered padding that assures the comfort of the unfortunate internee while demonstrating to admirers the taste and pragmatism of the designer.
A common fear is that the hands, forced down to waist level by the design of the device, may naughtily wander. Internal straps can be fitted but a far more amusing option is to fit an oversized diaper, completely filling the cavity in the device and forcing fingers immobile at the sides. Any expansion resulting from diaper use merely adds to the discomfort of the wearer, a pleasing outcome.
For the connoisseur a custom design in cast iron requires planning, substantial funds and access to fine craft workers, but allows the correct size and shape from the outset with the finished product delivering the perfect brooding aesthetic. Achieving the optimal size is easier if intended to contain only ever the same individual but more flexible designs are possible and invariably superior.
The historic design of the iron maiden constrains the spread of the legs, preventing use of the optimal levels of posterior padding. A custom design can adopt a flared base, allowing the legs to be held further apart. This also provides the space to fit a small height adjustable bench, allowing extended use without debilitating cramps.
Use is then simple. Diaper the unwilling victim and stand them inside the main unit, astride the internal bench. Raise this until it lifts their mouth level with the metal brank plate, and close the device. A well designed modern maiden will allow the internal bench to be raised while closed, so raise further until the metal plate pushing down on the tongue forces the mouth open, preventing lips or teeth from impeding the feeding hole. While this will leave feet dangling within this just adds to the sense of helplessness, precisely the effect desired.
Mount in a suitable room for the admiration of visitors, or place in the bedroom to enjoy during sleep.
Now, who’s going to put me in theirs…