Opus Dei used to be super underground until The Da Vinci Code blew up their spot in 2003 and made them all mainstream. Kind of like Kim Kardashian after the sex tape. The book portrays Opus Dei as a bunch of hooded, albino murderers with a fetish for self-harm. It’s true that many members practice corporal mortification—self-inflicted pain as a pathway to deeper spirituality. However, what most people don’t realize is that OD are actually very phashion, and the garments they wear to torture themselves are super conceptual and trendy, like sexy garters that cut your legs when you walk, and funky vintage shirts that give you a rash. Beauty is pain bitches!
Opus Dei, in case you don’t read Dan Brown, is an organization of the Catholic church, widely thought of as the church’s most controversial force. There are roughly 90,000 members worldwide, 30% of which are celibate and practice “mortification of the flesh.” This is done in penance for one’s sins, imitating Jesus who willingly suffered on the cross. The following are some fashion must-haves if you want to get the Opus Dei look!
I don’t know about you, but I could totally see one of these on the runways of Paris and Milan. Comme Des Garçons anyone? A hairshirt cilice is a super scratchy garment worn close to the body made of coarse cloth or animal hair, intended to constantly irritate and chafe the skin. Sounds like a recipe for some raw nipples—ouch alert! Note: To be worn with nothing underneath, to maximize pain-effectiveness and overall sex appeal.
A metal cilice is a sharp chain with inwardly pointed spikes worn around the thigh. They’re sort of like those choker tattoo necklaces that were big in the late 90s, except they hurt a lot more. The cilice is generally worn voluntarily for two hours a day, and is apparently not intended to break the skin or draw blood. It’s just meant to be really, really fucking painful and annoying. A big fan of the cilice was the ever fierce Mother Teresa.
This is a must-have accessory for those who really want to rock the full Opus Dei look. The “discipline” is a cattail whip of knotted cords, usually made of woven cotton string. It is used for the purpose of self-flagellation, being flung over the shoulders repeatedly during private prayer. Not hard enough to draw blood, though some tears are OK. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative with the “discipline”—dangle it from your belt loop, wrap it around your head like one of those faux-hippie forehead-band things—whatever!
This might look like any random rope you’d find lying on the floor of your sex dungeon, but do not be fooled. This cilice belt, made specially with coarse goatskin for added itchiness, will give you a rash worse than that time you shared a bed with your cousin with the ringworm arm.
Below are a couple samples from the user feedback on cilice.co.uk.
With the cilice belt pulled tightly between my legs in a double strand, it literally splits me open and in two. It literally rubs me raw and leaves me bleeding on occasion. Additionally, it sometimes catches and pinches when I move and that results in a sudden blinding white-hot pain, nowhere even near to arousing. Perhaps by chastising these private parts of our bodies, desire for pleasure turns to association with pain and the desire simply dies down. – Clare
I recently purchased the sackcloth hairshirt from cilice.co.uk. It is a more or less constant irritation to my skin and the points of itching change constantly. After wearing it for a couple of hours, I have not gotten used to it and it continues to irritate, itch, and sometimes chafe my skin especially over my shoulders but also all over my back and chest. It is a very good penance and reminds me of how Jesus suffered for me and that I have to always be aware of my sinful nature and fight temptation. – Scott