Definition and Psychology
A breast drape is a species of soutien-gorge in which a loose draping of fabric or other material--sometimes hair, fur, or plant life--is permitted to drape around the neck and hang freely in front of the breasts (RV7928). An example is a towel of scarf hung around the neck which is allowed to obscure the breasts and/or nipples.
Breast drapes are found both in cultures where breast exposures are not permitted as well as in cultures where they are. For example in pinup media where nudity is alluded to but not permitted to be shown they provide a covering, but one which suggests a transient situation. Conversely, drapes also evolve in cultures where breast exposures are permitted, for examples a way to casually cover breasts on a topless beach, especially in the early 2000s .
The most common form of the breast drape is the simple hanging cloth, suspended only from the back of the neck (fig. 35-4a). Organic motifs are also common, especially in classical literature and sculpture (). A variation is to incorporate a full collar, but in order to actually be a breast drape it is critical that the cloth have no sides or is otherwise encumbered around the chest.
Alternate materials throughout history have include long flowing hair (usually that of the subject, e.g., MPA2N1), but also plant life and occasionally draped animals, including fish and furs (EB3110-20).
Underside, center and side cleavage are all very much in play with this species and there exists a tacit assumption that the drape is always free to fall away from the body should the bikiniite lean over, move suddenly, or simply not pay enough attention to herself. Thus arises an erotic tension between the controlled posture and the unexpected or casual event. One poet has called this "the joy of coy."
Although standing and seated bikiniites are all able to play with drapes they are frequently put into play when a bikiniite lies on her back with only a loose towel (CP8702) or completely unfastened bikini top lying across her breasts. Again, much of the eroticism of these activities is not the exposure per se, but the inherent risk into which the subject is placing herself.
Some Bikini Scientists have argued that breast drapes should be classified as wilds, since wilds sometimes involve covering the breast with loose cloth. Other debate has also emerged when a breast drape is fastened to the briefs, with scholars arguing that such a garment is in fact a maillot (fig. 35-4b).