Is That A CodPiece Or Are You Just Happy To See Me
While some ladies stuff their bras in hopes of attracting lovers, this isn’t a new method of enhancing your body! It’s also not exclusive to just women. Something that makes a lot of us giggle when we see them in museums and in art from the Middle Ages – the codpiece – was one of the first methods used by men to add to their appearance!
A codpiece was a pocket, usually made from fabric, was attached the crotch area of men’s pants. Typically, it was just an over exaggerated roundness, while other times it resembled an erect penis. Since the whole idea was to accentuate what you already have, codpieces were stuffed with pieces or cloth, or even sawdust, to hold their shape. The name codpiece was derived from the Middle English word for scrotum – ‘cod’.
One of the most famous English kings – Henry VIII – was a big fan of the codpiece. Most of the artwork depicting him of the day shows his package enhancements in all their glory. If you ever get a chance to go to the Tower of London in England, you can have a look yourself at the suits of armor made for Henry – huge metal codpieces and all. While codpieces may have been all the rage with the Middle Ages upper class, there was one group that took a strong stance against it. The Catholic Church went so far as to call them “fashions of Satan” and associated the crotch bumps with sin.
Codpieces didn’t start in the Middle Ages. Archaelogical dig sites in Crete have contained small statues of men wearing this fashion accessory. While they fell out of mainstream fashion sometime in the 1590s, some cultures still embrace the codpiece today. The jock strap is derived from the codpiece’s roots as a coverup for male genitalia. Some fetish subcultures like leathermen have codpieces as part of their typical attire. Even some heavy metal bands sport them in their stage shows.
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