Most people imagine that veils are a way of hiding erotic potentials and alluring features but I know, after making this set, that veils can be ultimate fetish.
A veil is an article of clothing, worn almost exclusively by women. It is intended to cover some part of the head or face and it is intended to show honour to a specific object or space.
The first recorded instance of veiling for women is recorded in an Assyrian legal text from the 13th century, which restricted its use to noble women and forbade prostitutes and common women from adopting it. Ancient Greek texts have also spoken of veiling and seclusion of women being practiced among the Persian elite. Statues from Persepolis depict women both veiled and unveiled, and it seems to be regarded as an attribute of prostitution under their belief system.
Sometimes veils would have been used, as an alternative to a mask, as a simple method of hiding the identity of a woman who was traveling to meet a lover, or doing anything she didn’t want other people to find out about. More practically, veils were also sometimes worn to protect the complexion from sun and wind damage (when white skin was fashionable), or to keep dust out of a woman’s face.
In Judaism, Christianity and Islam the concept of covering the head is or was associated with propriety. All traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary , the mother of Christ , show her veiled. It was a common practice with church-going women until the 1960s, and a number of very traditional churches have retained the custom. The wearing of various forms of the Muslim veil has provoked controversy in the West.
An occasion on which a Western woman is likely to wear a veil is on her wedding day, if she follows the traditions of a white wedding. Brides used to wear their hair flowing down their back at their wedding to symbolise their virginity, now the white diaphanous veil is often said to represent this.The lifting of the veil was often a part of ancient wedding ritual, symbolising the groom taking possession of the wife, either as lover or as property, or the revelation of the bride by her parents to the groom for his approval.
In ancient Judaism the lifting of the veil took place just prior to the consummation of the marriage in sexual union. The uncovering or unveiling that takes place in the marriage ceremony is a symbol of what will take place in the marriage bed. Just as the two become one through their words spoken in wedding vows, so these words are a sign of the physical oneness that they will consummate later on. The lifting of the veil is a symbol and an anticipation of this
Veil fetishism is a sexual desire for women wearing veils over their faces. The causes of veil fetishism may include interests in mystery, bondage, and the preservation of virginity until the wedding night.Those with veil fetishes may be interested in niqabs, burkas, and harem-style veils. Some are attracted to women who wear all-covering Muslim style veils, while others are attracted to women wearing translucent veils. They may also be attracted to both.Women may become sexually aroused by veiling themselves. They may feel protected, or feel similar enjoyment as women with bondage fetishes.
When the photographer began taking pictures of me in the wedding dress and wearing my veil I felt a strange claustrophobia and lack of authority.Gradually, however, I started to experience that empowering feeling that comes from wearing sunglasses when speaking to other people. As you talk, you realise that you can read the truth of their feelings through their eyes when they can’t see yours. The veil was the same and I became more and more comfortable in expressing my creativity and eroticism through my body alone. My mouth and eyes were unreadable until I made a lipstick stain against the inside of the veil. My figure still spoke volumes.
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Photography by Victor Ag.