The Game Show Network is rebroadcasting Gene Rayburn’s “Match Game” from the 70’s. I remember watching this show many years ago. Since these shows have come back, we record them with the DVR and play them just before going to sleep. In case you haven’t seen it, there are two contestants and six celebrity panelists. Gene Rayburn reads a question with a blank to fill in. The celebrities write their answers on cards. Then the contestant whose turn it is, gives an answer that hopefully matches as many members of the panel as possible.
On Thursday night on “Match Game” 1978, one of the questions was:
“Jimmy said, ‘My new wife has a strange idea of what’s fun. On our honeymoon, she made me wear a ____(blank).'”
The contestant was an elderly lady. I joked to Mrs. Lion that the answer was “A chastity device.” We chuckled.
Then the contestant answered:
Contestant “A Chastity Belt.”
Gene Rayburn: “Chastity belt!”
Contestant: “The male version.”
Gene Rayburn: “Do they make chastity belts for men?”
Contestant: “I don’t know. I didn’t do that.”
Panelist Dick Martin (from “Laugh In”): “Yes, they call them Jockey Shorts.”
(Big audience laugh)
Needless to say, none of the celebrities matched that answer. As far as I know, there were very few male, or for that matter, female chastity belts. Twenty years later in the early days of the World Wide Web, the concept of male chastity devices began to blossom. We both wondered where such a random answer came from. If we heard that answer in the new “Match Game” that’s been on ABC this past year, we would nod knowingly because there is every chance she might have heard of such a thing.
Fifteen years ago, I researched the subject of chastity devices. I learned that contrary to common belief, the first chastity belts didn’t emerge until the Victorian era. Interestingly, they were for males. The idea that knights of yore locked up their women in chastity belts before storming off for the Crusades is rubbish. Some museums had female chastity belts on display that were reputed to be from those times. When historians debunked that myth, curators scrambled to get the counterfeits off their displays.
The original devices were belts designed to prevent male masturbation. Victorians believed that jerking off caused feeble-mindedness and insanity. Male asylum inmates were locked in cruel devices in an attempt to prevent them from making things worse. Parents of pubescent boys purchased all manor of cruel devices to keep their progeny from masturbating away their intelligence. These beliefs persisted well into the twentieth century.
Recreational male chastity, what we practice today, didn’t catch on until the invention of the CB2000 in the mid 1990’s. Male chastity belts were available prior to that. But they had many drawbacks. One of the best was from Access Denied, a small company on New York’s Long Island. I had one of those belts made for me. It was offered for my review. At the time I lived 50 miles away in New York City. It took a measurement session and two fittings before it was right.
Movement at the waist was difficult. It had to be tight enough to prevent me from slipping down over my hips. Any change in weight made it unwearable. Aside from the high ($500 in 1997) price, it was simply too restrictive. There were and are other belts coming from Europe. The Tolly Boy is probably the most venerable. These devices are impractical for most of us.
So when the cock-ring based CB2000 was offered, recreational male chastity was launched. For a modest price, men could be locked up and unable to masturbate. I think the original CB2000 cost $175USD and, like it does today, came with a variety of base rings and spacers. The fit was never very good, but it worked if the male didn’t try too hard to get out.
Anyway, the “Match Game” contestant must have been a time traveler. I can’t figure out where in the world she got that answer. It’s certainly a question for the ages.