Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Public life

You know, it's a tad ironic, I'm such a very shy person by nature and yet when I close my eyes I can imagine publicing like there was no tomorrow. Publicing by casting definition, is the act of wearing recreational casts in a public setting (in a sense I think that if you had friends round to your home and were wearing the cast there, that too would fall into the publicing category). Clearly this practice is not for everyone. Some people are amply content to wear their casts in the privacy and comfort of their own homes, while for others that desire to show the world (or at least your town) your casts is a powerfully strong allure.

Casting websites are strewn with pictures of people (usually models, sometimes recreational casters and other times shots of people in actual medically related casts, often taken without their knowledge) wearing casts in public. Popular themes of staged publicing shots include women out shopping and hanging around in parks or other outdoor venues, their casts stretched out on benches, swings and rocks. Quite often these photos are of women in all manner of leg casts, from long leg casts (llc) that graze the very top of the thigh to small short leg casts (slc) that just barely hug their lower calves. Arm casts, both short and long (sac & lacs) abound as well in these scripted settings. Occasionally you chance upon the good fortune of seeing a larger cast such as a shoulder spica or minerva. There are some extraordinarily gorgeous shots of people (usually women) publicing that be can be found on numerous casting fetish sites. These lovely ladies pose against backdrop scenery, and your eyes are instantly drawn to the cast(s) they're wearing. My favourite types of staged publicing shots are those in which the models are wearing either two really big llcs (not cylinder casts, for me the ankle/foot is best when casted as well) or any type of large cast, like a spica (spreader bars are a big fav as well).

When I envision a publicing scenario the cast tends to be a bit different from what you'll find in the galleries of most websites. Take for example, a long standing idea that I've had which involves big casts and props. To begin with either myself, or whomever you'd like to personally imagine in this situation, is wearing a full length body cast that reaches reaches their neck. Both legs and arms are fully encased, and she's (let's call this person a she, but again, it's whatever you like) been casted so that she's in a sitting position (or slightly reclining backwards).

This is a large cast, so colour is important, especially in public. The cast is like her clothing and must reflect who she is inside. I'd say that in this case I'd go with a very pale colour, perhaps a light pink or blue fiberglass, or just a simply creamy white fiberglass. The cast would reach just to her toes, which would be painted of course, providing that lovely juxtaposition between the fact that she looks so very injured and yet has the feminine charms of wearing painted toenails. I think that she needs a spacer bar between her legs in order to keep the cast stable, and well, because they look so amazing. The smooth coutures of the cast would lead you over the curves of her (now hidden) body. Both arms would be fully casted, and I think that on one hand (whichever hand is not her dominate one) all of the fingers and the thumb would be casted, but on the other hand her thumb and first finger would be exposed while the others were casted. Her arms would be bent at the elbows like the position when you place your forearms firmly upon the armrests of a chair. The cast would go up to the the base of her neck, a smooth round fiberglass collar that fit snugly against the skin. Instead of casting the neck in this case I think that a neck brace would be perfect, perhaps something like a Philadelphia collar (or whatever tickles your fancy).

Her hair would be swept up into a high, slightly messy bun with small little tendrils left astray so that they blow gently in the passing breeze. Her make-up is simple, and classic with lightly glossy lips (we can't let the "patient" have dry lips, now can we!). We place our lovely lady into a strong, well built reclining (tilting) wheelchair with a wide padded headrest and two long leg rests so that her casts can lean against them. As we are going out in public we'll cover tuck a towel or tiny, thin blanket under and around her so that we crotch area is covered. I'd forgo actually putting shorts or a skirt on, as we want to show as much of the cast as possible. Assuring that she is comfortable we'd head out into the world.

I think that for this expedition we would begin our day early, the pale golden morning sunshine hitting her barely exposed face as it peaks out above the rim of her neck brace like a sweet little rabbit scanning the horizon. The reason we left her finger and thumb exposed was so she would be able to drive her wheelchair (which would be electric, of course), but for this publicing day she will have someone with her to push the chair. The choice of whom that person will be is entirely up to you. I like to think that it's one of her attractive, kind and caring girlfriends.

First off we'd begin by going for a walk along the pathway that runs near the beach, a lot of people are out at this time of morning, some walking their dogs, others taking a jog or strolling leisurely. The breeze is beautiful as it sweeps in off the water and puts a gentle pink glow in her checks, which some may think is her actually blushing from embarrassment. But this is intentional publicing and such is not the case. From the first person that they pair pass on their walks the stares begin. People stop mid sentence, their jaws lowered and have to blink to make sure that they're seeing this correctly. As casters know, it's more likely that you'll see an elephant meandering down the street than you will a women out in public wearing a body cast.

Her friend stops periodically to brush the stray hairs from our caster's face and bring a water bottle to her lips. As the morning progresses they head to the local mall, always a very busy place on a Saturday afternoon. The crowd is thick today but people make room for the wheelchair, and they pass by the shop windows at a leisurely pace. A young girl, perhaps six years old spots them and while her mother is distracted runs up and beams a giant smile, “What happened to you?” She asks with the darling innocence that only the young can posses.

This opens up a whole Pandora's box of both questions and answers. By my very nature I like to think that I'm a deeply honest person. Lying makes me feel sick to my stomach, but recreational casting is somewhat like a game of a dress-up, a fictional situation that you are entirely in control of, And so if you wish to make up a cover story for your publicing adventures that is entirely up to you. I would suggest that you stick to either completely realistic answers (car accident, skiing accident) or things so incredibly far fetched that they sound plausible. If people pry and ask more questions than you'd like to answer simply say something such as, “I'm sorry, but I'm not in a place yet where I'm comfortable talking about that, it's too soon for me,” or (the really believable), “I'm sorry, I can't say more, my lawyer has advised me to not discuss the details of my accident until after the court case.” On the other hand, if your creative juices are flowing go to town with your answers, but remember that you never know when you might have to defend the things that you say or deny them entirely.

“My parachute didn't open in time, and I crashed into the ground,” she (you!) replies in a soft voice. “Ohhh, did it hurt?” the little girl asks, to which you just smile as if to say yes. “I think your cast is beautiful!” She exclaims as she brings her small hand up and touches a casted arm before smiling wildly and running back to her mother. Leaving you to wonder if she was simply a caring, inquisitive child or someone who may one day blossom in a casting enthusiast themselves.

They head over to the food court and order a light lunch, pulling the wheelchair up to the small table is a bit awkward, but they manage. Her friend cuts up the food into small pieces and brings them up to her mouth as she chews slowly and carefully, especially because the neck brace makes swallowing a bit difficult. They notice that a group of guys in their early twenties are watching them. Some stare at first at the sight of a fully casted woman and then go back to their lunches, a couple though leave their eyes lingering on her fiberglass encased body, but none of them quite work up the courage to come over. (What they didn't notice though, was that one guy snapped pics of her with his camera phone – images that he'll be enjoying again later at home!)

Afterwards they leave the mall and ponder where to go next in this adventure before deciding on a local outdoor jazz festival that they know is going on. The turn out is huge and tons of people end up diverting their gaze from the talented musicians to the skilled recreational caster. This time the pair does notice as many people take pictures - some even come up to them with their questions. Many offer sympathy and say that they'll keep her in their prayers. She smiles sweetly when someone asks her if she can move the two exposed fingers. She slowly raises them a few centimeters and pinches the wheelchair control between them to show that she can. To the on lookers this simple act of movement is enough to make some people applaud her. When asked how much longer she'll be in the cast, she replies at least six months (but the truth is that it'll only be until the end of the weekend), and has to bite her lip to keep from smiling at what an amazing dream come true six more months in this gorgeous rock hard body cast would be.

I think that when it comes to publicing you really have to go with what your heart tells you to do, be that a simple slc and a walking shoe or something as grand and elaborate as this fictitious story. Have as much fun as you possibly can, go to places where you'll be noticed by tons of people and have pictures of your experiences taken so that you can treasure the memories of your publicing long after the casts have come off.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

There are so few things like a secret

The psychology of casting is not an easy or mundane subject to tackle. It's vivid complexity is as deep as any other interest, any passion. Vast books have been written on the subject of human desire, of our fascinations that meld into sexual desires, lusts, and for some obsessions. For an adult (anyone that has hit puberty would probably be more like it) who is enthralled by recreational casting it is exceptionally hard not to find sexual arousal from the images we see, and the gorgeous, often complex, scenarios that we envision in our mind's eye.

Casting is a complex fascination. For the vast majority it does not stem from a wish to actually imagine yourself or someone else in real physical pain. The S&M of say bondage play is – in spite of the very nature of being restricted in some senses by a cast's material – an aspect which for most does not directly come into the picture. In fact many casters would never dream of actually (intentionally) breaking a bone, or wishing physical harm on another soul. A recreational cast itself than becomes something which is less about pain and restraint, and more like an extension of the wearer. Akin in certain respects to other things such as leather and latex that some people are so deeply interested in wearing.

Recreational casting has two distinct sides to its very nature. On the one hand your fascination with casting may draw from the longing to see someone else in cast (usually, but not always someone who you find sexually appealing). Thus you become a sort of casting voyeur, a watcher who seeks out plaster and crutches with their eyes continually, who may dream of laying in bed with a casted companion or watching them go about their daily route while casted. The second casting distinction is the group of people who wish (and fantasize) about being casted themselves. The perpetual yen to crawl beneath a cast and feel it's idyllic stiffness clutch to your skin. The restraint of an arm, your legs, your whole body perhaps. To dress in a cast and live out the fiberglass dreams that you've been so longing for. Naturally, of course, there are many people who belong to both groups. Who whether equally or not, wish to be casted and observe someone in a cast. I am of this group. Casting is an art which asks of us to be both the painter and the art lover.

I believe that virtually every element of our individual sexual desires can be traced back to events in our lives, whether we are aware that these events induced our wants, or not. Often what is sexually arousing is a result of our cultural environment. A prime example of this would be the practise of foot binding (the now illegal and outdated) that used to take place in China. A tiny, deformed foot was a highly sexual object to men of the time, yet very few men would so much as give a second glance to a bound for today, save perhaps for those with a foot fetish. In a way casts are a nearly universal part of our surrounding, slightly more common in some countries, but still a thing to be spotted in most parts of the globe. Be that as they may, unless you work in an environment such as a hospital where one would regularly encounter people in casts, actually spotting a cast can be a somewhat rare event. And scarcity in and of itself is enough to make the cast a thing of both fascination, and for a great many “casters” (people who are into the casting life style and culture), a sexual desire.

There is a bounty of potential reasons why someone would become interested in, and aroused by, casting. Perhaps as a young child you had a crush on a pretty girl who had a leg cast, or maybe you had a broken arm and relished the gentle care and attention that you received from the nurses in the hospital as a result of it. What if you like to see a woman (or man) who is limping or somehow appears to be vulnerable as the result of wearing a cast. Could it be that you enjoy thinking about caring for, and possibly making love to, a person who is casted. Is it the way that you would be susceptible to whatever a sexy doctor could do to you while you were casted. We each have our reasons, indeed we have our very secret, very personal reason why casting so appeals to us. Casters, like many people with a distinct preference for something that is less than ordinary are sometimes shy, coy or even rude when questioned about the reasons why they like casts. “I don't know,” or “I've always just liked casts,” are not uncommon answers. But I do think that whether they are aware of the reasons themselves or not, for everybody there are pathways that lead to our individual fixations with casts.

I know – I am absolutely positive – that my fascination, my adoration, my desire comes from years spent playing my favourite childhood game: hospital. Convinced as a child that I would become a nurse or a doctor, I spent countless hours being both the health care worker (the nurturer) and the patient (the nurtured). Dolls, stuffed animals, childhood friends and relatives all came under the tiny implements from my black toy doctor's bag, and the myriad of other props I used to create a realistic hospital scene. White linens and clothing, pliable cardboard and tension bandages (which were as good as gold to me at that tender age, so highly coveted that I kept them hidden when not in use) were spun into homemade casts. When I was not dressing up a favourite doll in double leg casts I was likely swaddling myself in a homemade body cast. It was innocent childhood fun, at the age of seven how could I possibly know that such acts would lead to a lifelong attraction to casting.

Time rolled on and so the games of my early youth fell to the side, but the enthrallment that came with thinking about being casted and seeing others in casts never vanished. In fact it's only grown stronger as the years past, a modern gravitation that came from an seemingly benign childhood game. Coming of age quickly saw to it that casting crossed over from simply a fun make-believe past time of white towels and plastic stethoscopes to a thing of great imaginative fantasy. The canvass (white, naturally) of my mind a place where I could envision any number of possible casting relating situations. But you see, as we grow up we somehow instinctively learn that society would not have us trouping about and proclaiming our love for those things which are not readily common and accepted. Women are to like things like men on white horses, not men in white arm casts. Fellows should like a smooth lean leg, not one encased up to the thigh in purple fiberglass. And so nearly everyone amongst us went into a medical supply closet without even realizing it. Keeping our inhibitions and yearnings a secret, a treasured gem that exists only in our minds.

I do not condemn those casters whose passion exists in the silence of their own souls', I know all to well what that is like. I commend those that try to share and explain (though I feel strongly that casting needs no justification) their passion with others, and truly wish them all the luck in the world, but I know that very few outside of the casting world are receptive to its allure and charm. We are each products of our desires, our wants and our needs, and every caster will find their interest in casting falls somewhere amongst those three words.