HOUDINI CONNECTIONS

from the
TOPICS LIST

EIGHT INFORMATION SHEETS
first published by 'Fetters' 1980

4 = HOSPITAL RESTRAINTS

   



This is an area of fantasy enactment which quite a few people find appealing. The degree to which it can be put into practice mainly depends on convincing role-playing and availability of authentic-looking equipment. As far as we can discover, there are only two major suppliers of actual hospital 'restraints' in the USA and none in Britain. Of course, many useful materials related to 'medical' needs are available if you know where to look - and have the nerve to go in and ask for them.
Reproduced here are the actual 'restraint' sections of the HUMANE RESTRAINT and POSEY INC. catalogues. We would like to expand this list of sources and useful items which you have experienced or heard about.
Since around the 1920s actual restraint of hospital patients has been very much frowned upon - but more recently, the use of sedatives to make patients controllable and suppress out- ward signs of hysteria have also been criticised. The French, in particular, have returned to using the strait-jacket or "camisole" to allow certain categories of patient to work off surplus energy or anger without harm to themselves or others.
STRAIT-JACKETS:
These are dealt with in greater detail in our "Notes on Strait jackets" (Info Sheet 6). For people who want authenticity the HUMANE RESTRAINT and POSEY jackets are the ones sold to hundreds of hospitals and sanatoria in the USA. Sizes are generally large, and only if expertly applied are they totally escape-proof.

BED & TABLE RESTRAINTS:
The Humane Restraint leather restraints are of excellent quality material and finish (which is reflected in the prices). The various kinds of locks are of interest. The variety of uses they can be put to depends entirely on the imagination of the user.
Lightweight webbing straps with Velcro closings have a variety of uses and can be tamper-proof if strategically placed. Easy knots: The POSEY catalogue illustrates a range of easy knots which members of the 'nursing' profession are expected to know.
Special bed blankets, such as the SHERWOOD heavy canvas and the POSEY lightweight "Net" are combined restraints and covers which some people (having discovered them in Government Surplus stores) find useful in imaginative domestic Games.

SPLINTS & "SURGICAL BONDAGE":
This is an area where personal preference and fantasy may really run riot. Anyone who has been subjected to the rigorous efficiency of a surgical collar or corset may not be 'turned on' by this kind of authentic equipment - but there are many people who are. As it is very expensive and often custom-made, it is not easily available. However, there are sources of second-hand supplies. In these places other authentic pieces like hospital trolleys, dentists chairs may also be found - if you have the nerve to go ask. Also, First Aid and Safety supplies outlets now offer a range of inflatable splints which are highly efficient for preventing bending of elbows / wrists / knees without any real discomfort. This make them ideal (and safe) for extended periods of immobilisation.

BANDAGES:
This is an area for the "Do It Yourself" enthusiast. Know-how and experience are only gained from practical experience. The human body is not as easy to wrap as an inanimate parcel. Naturally, care must be taken not to interrupt blood circulation. It should also be remembered that the bandaged area does soon swell slightly, increasing the tightness of the wrapping. Any bandaging should be re-checked after about thirty minutes.
Types and widths of bandage give many different opportunities. Elastic bandage (even soft rubber strips) can be used. It's mainly a matter of visual effect and personal taste. All types of soft wrapping can be efficient if properly applied. The time it takes to release a mummification is a consideration if an emergency develops. A pair of blunt-ended scissors is a wise investment.

PLASTER BANDAGE:
For really extreme (and lengthy) Scenes this has been used to great psychological and physical effect. Know-how about using it should be sought in advance - and, like many other aspects of 'Bondage', an experiment to discover how it feels before subjecting someone else to it, is advisable. Knowing how to cut it off without causing damage is also essential before it has been put on! (add epoxy resin?)

SURGICAL GADGETS:
So far we have not been able to get an illustrated catalogue of surgical supplies which picture the existing range of clamps for penis, mouth. etc. They certainly exist, and have been used in erotic or at least provocative 'scenes' by people who have access to them through their work.
END.

"CLINICAL" STRAIT-JACKET.
The standard patterns of jackets as made by FETTERS incorporate the best design features of the ones in the two hospital catalogues.
Our 'Clinical' jacket is of 15oz natural (off-white) cotton duck with either leather or webbing straps. Laundering is easier if webbing straps are used.
Any number of extensions can make a strait-jacket match the visual image of a fantasy. Extra straps, padding, heavily overlapped seams, leather reinforcement can create the effect of high tech or Victorian Institutional brutality.

END 4-HOSPITAL