I've been wearing my corset for most of the last couple of days. Not at night, but through most of the day. I have been going for some waist reduction, although what constitutes "tightlacing" seems to be up for debate. Some say any more than 2" of the natural waist is tightlacing, others say 4", others seem to say that it's tightlacing if the intention is to alter the body over a period of time (actual physical changes that progress with extended wear, as opposed to just cinching the waist a while wearing it.) Elaina mentioned in chat one evening that she "technically" tightlaces, because she has a 5" reduction, but it sounded as though she doesn't actually feel as though she's a tightlacer. That makes sense, since she has been wearing them for a very long time, and started wearing them as an adolescent, specifically as an alternative to a back brace. Since my natural waist is quite undefined, the idea that I'd want to reduce it at least a bit seems like a foregone conclusion; if I'm going to be wearing a corset, why continue to have a waist measurement that's barely smaller than my bust measurement? Another part of that one is that wearing a corset without lacing it tightly seems like a half-measure. After all, anyone can make a fashion corset, the real test is whether you can make a functional corset. To say "this corset isn't meant for tightlacing," unless it's a corset from a time period in which corsets weren't intended for waist reduction at all, usually translates to "because it's not particularly well-made."
The last part of this particular equation is that it's gotta be fairly tight if it's going to be a back support. I have mild scoliosis that causes some back pain (I think that's what causes it, anyway, and it's not usually too much unless I sneeze while lying down, which tends to hurt a lot,) and so how would it straighten my back if it weren't tight? It actually does seem to be improving my back; I've not noticed my back hurting much during the past few days. Whether that's because of actual improvements, or because I'm distracted by soreness in my abdomen, I'm not completely sure. The soreness is mainly just in the area of my Xiphoid process, and feels quite distinctly like a sore muscle, so I'm 98% sure that it's just my body getting used to a new posture.
The fit of my corset isn't perfect, but it is pretty good. I've discovered that my actual waist isn't where I thought it was; the narrowest part of my torso is an inch or so above my actual, squishable waist. I think the front of my corset is also a tad too long. These are quite minor issues, and while I'll certainly correct for them on my next corset, they don't really cause significant discomfort with the current one.
I'd been reading about how a properly fitting corset, even tightly laced, should not restrict breathing, which became a bit confusing to me, as obviously in a corset, the abdomen can't expand as it can otherwise. However, after asking in the PR chat about how normal people breathe (granted, there aren't actually normal people in the PR chat, but being abnormal and breathing like a normal person are not mutually exclusive) it seems that most people breathe more from the chest than from the diaphragm. Having been a wind player, I was not in the habit of breathing like a normal person. As far as I can tell from online research, my corset as I've been wearing it causes no more breathing restrictions than the back braces/medical corsets that are actually designed for the treatment of scoliosis, so it's not actually problematic, it just takes a bit of getting used to.
I have had some trouble finding relevant information on modern tightlacing. Most of the information available is either Victorian or bondage-related, neither of which is overly detailed on comfort or mobility. I would really think there would be more blogs on the topic. As with most corset-related topics, it seems like almost all of the relevant information is in the CorsetMakers LiveJournal group. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising, as it does seem to be the place where corset enthusiasts congregate. (Besides the small group of us on PR, of course.)
I still do have to admit, though, that despite the benefits as a back brace.. the real reason I want to tightlace is just because making corsets not intended for tightlacing just doesn't seem obsessive enough for me. That's kinda silly, huh?