This week our very own Sandy Glaze, founder and proprietor of Sin in Linen, is venturing to New York City for business. In honor of her upcoming adventure, let’s go back to the time when Manhattan — and the nearby entertainment mecca of Coney Island — ruled the world of sin. Step right up and travel to New York with Sandy and Sin in Linen!
Overheated New Yorkers would escape the city of Manhattan in the early 1900s and flood the sandy boardwalks of Coney Island. Hunting entertainment and the cool respite of the ocean waves, crowds sought the carefree lifestyle the coast was able to offer. Amidst the thrilled screams of riders on The Cyclone and skeeball champions were the vaudeville performers of comedy and sexuality, their talents delighting the country during that time. The United States was overrun with traveling vaudeville and sideshow acts. Audiences rushed to laugh along with the comedians, marvel at the acrobatic antics, and above all gaze at the showgirls.
The rise in vaudeville also saw the rise in the female body being seen as a sexual object of entertainment. Imagine a world without the internet or readily available printed magazines with images of the female body — for some audiences the vaudeville showgirls were their first exposure to a sexual scene.
These showgirls flirted with crowds with the assistance of feathers, sequins, and a well-timed wink. During a time when female swimming garments more resembled potato sacks it was mesmerizing to see the legs or waistline of a woman dancing on stage.
For those who couldn’t make it to a live performance, peep show machines allowed a quick glimpse at a tantalizing black and white strip of film. From bathing scenes, to dancing, to maybe even a flirty pillow fight, peep show machines provided viewers with a naughty peek into an otherwise forbidden world.
To get an idea of what someone might have watched way back when, check out our very own video of The Shanghai Pearl teaching us how to make a bed like a showgirl. And if you’re wanting a chance to feel like you’re under the striped big top yourself, check out our black and white striped duvets.
Today’s Fresh Fantasy
As you sit in the dark room of the sideshow tent, the large striped tent fluttering lightly in the evening wind, you wait for more customers to wander aimlessly through. The dirt floor smells of freedom and the wild west, two things you felt your heart pulling you towards over the past few months. After running away from home you begged the circus that was traveling through town to give you a job. Any job. And so here you find yourself, with a fake mermaid tail attached uncomfortably to your waist. The stiff rubber and cheap sequins cascade towards the mulchy ground below and only children believe you might actually be a real mermaid who was plucked from the depths of the ocean. Just then, a young man steps into the room. A dusty military uniform hangs from his tall frame. His eyes trail slowly from the bottom of your tail, up over your exposed navel, across your shell-covered breasts, and finally to your face. There seems to be some kind of sadness in his tired eyes. “Want to see me flick my tail?” You ask, a twinkle in your eye. He slowly smiles and you suddenly find yourself wanting to do more than simply flicking your tail.