Pearl is a very rare example of a tightlacing man. Interviewed by the photographer, Housk Randall, for one of his books produced in collaboration with the social anthropologist, Ted Polhemus, Pearl revealed he used to help lace his grandmother into her corsets. He provides an insight into tightlacing:
It takes tremendous will and determination to live like this and it’s given me a focus that was previously absent. My waist has been reduced from 30” to 17” during the four years I’ve been training it but there are sacrifices. Because I can now only use the top half of my lungs I tend to only speak just above a whisper and my food intake needs to be little and often […] Sex is good too, the pressure creates an intensity that can make you swoon.
Photography by David Randall-Goddard working as Housk Randall. From: Housk Randall & Ted Polhemus, The Customized Body, London: Serpent’s Tail, 2000, p. 99. Images courtesy of Serpent’s Tail and David Randall-Goddard.