For the past couple of months, Charles from KTLIT, Andy from Seoul Art Fiend/Concrete Experience Magazine and myself have been gathering together every couple of months, sitting on the floor next to a computer and babbling about all sorts of topics for the Korean Culture Report podcast.
We'll be recording the next one sometime very soon and will be discussing Daehangno's Lock Museum among other things. I toddled down there yesterday for a quick gander at their superb selection of locks, latches and other antiquated key based oddities and encountered the above specimen. An honest to goodness real-life Chastity Belt, this vicious looking thing is known as a 정조대 in Korean. I'm not sure if they were ever used in Korean society or whether this one has been brought in from foreign climes, however a brief search on the internet revealed a rather surprising piece of (possibly incorrect?) information:
"In August, 2002, Korean clothing manufacturer Intarsia briefly offered a line of lockable womens' panties, ostensibly to prevent spur-of-the-moment sexual assaults."(Source)
The world we live in truly is an odd sort of place. I'll be sure to lock my door tonight.