Back in 1937, a man named Allen Gilbert set out on a mission to save marriages from ending in divorce by pinpointing the exact reason relationships don’t work out: “a wife grows sloppy and careless in the bedroom” when taking off her clothes, and setting up a ‘School of Undressing’ to teach wives the proper way to disrobe in order to keep their husbands happy.
Before we continue, please feel free to roll your eyes, laugh out loud or gasp in disbelief; whichever one feels right for you. We did all three.
Back to this: The $30 course taught women the do’s and don’t’s of taking off their clothes to remain seductive and attractive to their men, according to Distractify.
Among the gems that were taught in class were to “keep the hands graceful at all times,” drop your “lingerie all in one magic motion,” and don’t ever, under any circumstance work “both sides at once” when taking off your dress.
Yes, this was a real thing that happened. And even though Time magazine, which profiled the business back in 1937, theorized that it was more of a marketing joke than anything else, there’s something to be said about the fact that women and men at the time at this stuff up, with dozens of women signing up for the six-week course. That, more than anything else, is a sad commentary on how things were back then (and to some degree is still around today, if you only look at all the ‘do’s and don’ts’ relationship articles today).
Check out the ‘proper’ and ‘improper’ ways to undress above, demonstrated by two burlesque dancers of the time.