1. Form vs. fashion. Corsets came into vogue as items which trained the figure into an “ideal” shape through continued, almost constant usage. While corset training continues today and does occur within the BDSM community, corsetry in BDSM is commonly used more as a fashion statement than to permanently alter body shape.
2. Corsets are for all genders. Although modern media would have you think differently, men have used corsets from the very beginning. Historically, men used corsets to encourage a “straighter” figure; today, in the BDSM community, this is sometimes still the case, but corsetry is also frequently used to enhance feminization.
3. Quality counts. Because a truly high-quality corset can easily run hundreds of dollars and involves custom fitting, many companies produce cheaper, lesser-quality corsets for those seeking to buy one “just” for play. However, this is one piece where it pays to invest. Cheaper versions quickly buckle or otherwise wear out, sometimes within just a few wearings. It's crucial to either purchase your corset from a shop where you can try it on or to work with an online retailer who can help you select your size (your corset size will not be the same as any other size you may have). Selecting a good mid-range corset is often worth the extra money and effort if you plan on using it more than once or twice.
4. Who's wearing the corset in this household, anyway? The common BDSM depiction of corsetry during play is the laced-up objet d'arte dominatrix, but there's no reason why a submissive can't be laced into a nice corset for the purposes of beauty and discomfort. As with most things kinky, this too works from any angle you wish to play.
5. Corsets can be serious toys! Corsets didn't make their way into the BDSM scene just for looks. A top with a bad back can benefit hugely from corsetry while beating someone. A submissive can be laced up tight and then made to perform a physically demanding (and now nearly impossible) task as a challenge. Those who have worn corsets know that sometimes just breathing in one is challenge enough – calling all breathplay enthusiasts! Or maybe you just want to remind your submissive of their position while at work or at a workplace party; many corsets are undetectable under clothing. (Google “rope corsetry” if you'd like to get even more stealthy with some under-the-clothes Shibari.)