Rubberists: A beginner’s guide to the fetish for wearing rubber

src: https://metro.co.uk/2018/01/24/rubberists-a-beginners-guide-to-the-fetish-for-wearing-rubber-7237150/

Woman in latex fetish clothing
Does skin-tight rubber do it for you? (Picture: Getty)

I’ve always thought it might be a tricky prospect being a rubberist.

Just the thought of squeezing myself into something so figure-hugging is exhausting, and would soak up all the talc in Tesco.

That’s why I have a lot of respect for the people who throw themselves into this all-enveloping kink.

The term ‘Rubberist’ can actually apply to anyone who enjoys rubber or latex, whether that’s dressing up in it, or feeling another encased in an outfit as a ‘rubber partner’.

It’s no longer just a stereotypical ‘gimp’ outfit, you can find some wonderful uses for our favourite material.

Want to dress up like a plastic doll? Done.

How about lying down, and having latex sheets slowly encase you in a vacuum bed? Easy.

You can now find a wide range of rubber outfits, masks, shoes and boots in a variety of sizes and styles without any of them looking like you went to a fancy dress shop.

I’m jealous. I wish I could justify the cost of a custom made outfit or lie in a vacuum bed without feeling self conscious about myself.

I wish I didn’t feel like a space hopper shoved into a wellington boot.

It’s with this grim lack of self confidence that I spoke to ‘Latexmunky’, a self-professed lover of rubber who was more than happy to share his experiences with a nervous newbie like me.

Can I start with some vague details about yourself, and what started it all off?

‘I’m male, mid-thirties, UK-based but often in Continental Europe, office-based job.

‘Yes, I do sometimes wear rubber under a suit.

‘I am single. 

‘I’ve always liked the look of skintight materials, and it started with women in lycra swimsuits, but soon went to rubber.

‘I remember the first picture I saw of a man and woman together in shiny black catsuits. It was literally breathtaking.’

What’s your experience of the rubber scene? Are there specific events one can go to?

‘I have been in the scene since my early 20s, attending events throughout the UK and also in Germany, mostly London and Berlin.

‘There are the well-established fetish events like Torture Garden in London, Kitkat in Berlin and Wasteland in Amsterdam, while there are also more rubber-centric events like Rubber Cult in London.

‘Mind you, this is just the centralised rubber scene. You can wear rubber anywhere.’

Woman in latex fetish clothing
There are rubber events you can go to (Picture: Getty)

Have you told your dates you’re into wearing rubber?

‘I’d happily tell a person on a dating site that I’m a bit of a kinkster and turn up to the date wearing a smart latex shirt.

‘Its harmless, fun and gets people talking.

‘A few months ago I met a friend in a pub in Notting Hill and I was wearing a matte black rubber shirt underneath a smart suit jacket and a nice fella complimented me on it and said he likes rubber too.’

Do rubber outfits have to be custom made all the time because they’re so figure hugging? Are they hard to get into?

‘They don’t have to be custom made as there are plenty of choices off the peg.

‘Many shops stock a wide range of sizes and are very helpful in welcoming the new and the old in trying on and advising on what’s best.

‘In London, Libidex in Covent Garden and Breathless in King’s Cross are a very good start

‘Don’t be put off by the first item you try on as there are so many colours, styles and thicknesses to choose from.

‘Also, if anyone thinks they are too big or unshapely for rubber, then they would be surprised at how they can look in it.

‘Talcum powder is a must, especially when putting on the more skintight items.

‘Thinner rubber is stretchier but also easier to tear so you have to be careful re: sharp jewellery or finger/ toe nails etc.’

Woman in latex mask
Some people enjoy wearing rubber masks (Picture: Getty)

What is the turn on for you, and do you think it’s the same for other rubberists?

‘The feeling of contentment and freedom when wearing skintight rubber really does it for me.

‘The sweet aroma of good quality rubber is also pleasant.

‘Also, although I like the subtlety of matte rubber, the sight of a person in beautifully-polished rubber is very nice.

‘There are clear exhibitionistic and also voyeuristic elements to it.’

Are there particular activities you enjoy doing whilst dressed in rubber?

‘If I was at a private party, I might wear skintight clothing depending on the event, ie a catsuit maybe with a hood/mask.

‘I always welcome mutual rubber fun as it’s a massive thrill for me. Two people in bed in full head to toe skintight thin rubber is an ethereal experience.

‘That feeling of being safely cocooned in thin rubber whilst simultaneously feeling naked, the warmth, the feeling of the second skin on both bodies… it’s an extremely erotic, unique and beautiful sensation.’

What would be your advice to newbies to the rubber scene?

‘Have a go! I went to my first fetish party in my very early twenties and I’ve never looked back since.

‘It’s such a good feeling being around people in fabulous outfits, of all shapes and sizes, backgrounds and beliefs.

‘People are usually very chatty and friendly especially at the smaller events.

‘The larger events have more of a nightclub atmosphere, usually with themed areas, but you will also meet fun people there.

‘One important thing to clarify is that a fetish party is usually a safe haven for people to go to, to dress up and feel sexy without being harassed for it.’

What’s the best, and what’s the worst part of being a rubberist? 

‘The best part comprises the magical feeling of wearing rubber. Literally I’ve had headaches and when I put on rubber I just feel better.

‘Also, being kinky is naughty so there is nothing better than the feeling of doing something risqué.

‘The worst part would be the expense of the outfits.’

Swinger mum debunks myths and misconceptions about partner swapping

Swinger mum debunks myths and misconceptions about partner swapping and group sex - Vista Wife
The 29-year-old mum wants people to know swinging isn’t seedy (Picture: Vista Wife)

When you think of a swinger, who do you think of? Perhaps an older man, maybe someone who’s sex obsessed and ‘seedy’? Do you imagine Eyes Wide Shut-style parties with rituals and costumes?

According to statistics, 4% of adult Americans are into non-monogamy. It’s every 25th adult person you know! Just look at this statistics – such a big amount of swingers clubs in USA.

One Lincolnshire mum is determined to change these stereotypes, and help others who want to get into non-monogamy themselves

Vista Wife, who does not wish for her real name to be shared, juggles being a mum alongside swinging with her husband, who she’s been with since her teens.

Now married for 10 years and parents to two kids, the 29-year-old and her partner have been swinging for around three years.

The couple meet with others to have sex in hotels or when the children aren’t home, and Vista Wife is vocal on OnlyFans and TikTok about their lifestyle and how everything works.

As a swinger and a parent/partner, Vista Wife wants to dispel the myths around the community, removing the ‘underground’ or ‘sleazy’ connotations around it.

‘It’s always ok to want more,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Nothing seedy, nothing twisted, just the good old truth’

We asked her some of the most common misconceptions around swingers and swinging, so you could find out the truth from somebody who’s seen behind the curtain.

Check out her answers below:

Swinger mum debunks myths and misconceptions about partner swapping and group sex - Vista Wife
The couple mainly meet others in hotels or when the children are away (Picture: Vista Wife)

Swingers have pampas grass in their gardens

I think back in the day it was used as a sign for swingers, but it is such a wildly used plant for gardening it has now also become fashion in interior design.

I think swingers have moved on from this instead it’s the upside down pineapple – pictures in peoples houses, ornaments, door knockers, and discreet jewellery.

Swinging is mainly for older people

False. There is now, more than ever, younger swingers in the lifestyle. It is becoming widely more accepted to have threesomes, foursomes, orgies, and polyamorous relationships.

I feel that the younger generation are more open and excepting to experiencing new things. I have seen with my own eyes from ages 20 to 80, from all different backgrounds.

People swing because they’re unhappy with their partners

This is really not the case. It is purely for extra fun, excitement and kicks. You find most swinging couples are more stable and have more trust within their relationship and are concrete.

You also find most of the time that one of the party members is bicurious or bisexual and wanting to explore that side.

Swinger mum debunks myths and misconceptions about partner swapping and group sex - Vista Wife
It was around seven years into their marriage when her husband suggested swinging (Picture: Vista Wife)

Swinging is a male-dominated environment

Yes and no. There are a lot of men in the swinging lifestyle and on swinging websites.

I find men are more open to trying a lot of new things, and maybe don’t get the same reaction that couples and women do when you say that you’re in the swinging lifestyle.

You can’t be a parent and be involved in swinging

False. We are parents to two children and find time to swing on date nights, while we are away on hotel breaks, and during the day while the kids are at school we have a day off together through the week.

STDs are common in the swinging community

False. Swingers are savvy when it comes to protection. I believe swingers are probably Durex’s number one customer!

Everyone has the same mindset when it comes to using condoms – it’s better to be safe than sorry and always leave a meet with peace of mind.

Swinger mum debunks myths and misconceptions about partner swapping and group sex - Vista Wife
Vista Wife now has an OnlyFans where she shares pictures and videos (Picture: Vista Wife)

Swingers will sleep with anyone

This is totally not the case. Just like everyone else there has to be that initial attraction and chemistry. Just because you like threesome, foursomes, orgies, and kinks doesn’t mean that you will just sleep with anyone.

Experimenting with partner swapping is a way that couples ‘cheat’ on each other without recrimination

False. Being non-monogamous is not cheating as it’s consensual from both sides of the relationship.

The key is open and honest communication between the couple so each person knows what’s going on.

The desire to swing is often one-sided in a relationship

False. Each side of the couple needs to be comfortable, happy, and 100% that they want to jump into the lifestyle.

If this [one-sided desire] was the case it just wouldn’t work.

People who swing are obsessed with sex

False. Being a swinger is all about the new experiences and experimenting with different things. Feeling free to explore your sexual desires with like-minded people who don’t judge you for being you and wanting more.

Source: https://metro.co.uk/2021/09/24/swinger-mum-debunks-myths-about-partner-swapping-and-group-sex-15309513/


src: https://www.dazeddigital.com/beauty/body/article/42731/1/latex-fetish-second-skin




The first time somebody zips you into a latex body bag, you get this feeling of intense relief. It’s so acute most people cry. Designed like a human-sized sock with arms, part of the emotion comes from the fact you can’t move in it at all: you’re no longer responsible for making a success of your life – you’re free – and whatever happens next is in the hands of the person doing the unzipping.

Then there’s the nature of the material itself: latex on your body is the closest you can get to putting on a second human skin. It’s so tight you have to apply lube to get it on. It bruises like flesh. It cools and heats with the body. It clings in such an intimate way, the sensation of being inside it is like being hugged. A  rubber enthusiasts pamphlet from 1965 actually describes that soothing caress as a kind of rest-cure from political instability: “It feels nice, which is important to people living in an insecure world.” Latex allows its wearer to lose themselves in a peculiar way, and as someone who would quite like to escape – from my body, and inside my head – I find the thought of a latex body bag tempting. But even outside the world of hardcore BDSM, and inside the world of clothes, latex allows its wearer to lose themselves in a peculiar way. 

Clothes have always had the power to do this. Dressing up – historically written off as something shallow women do – allows us to access different selves. An outfit can act as a membrane: picturing it in your head and then putting it on involves a strange process of re-creation. Virginia Woolf, who was obsessed with clothes, called this ‘frock consciousness’. What’s interesting is that frocks seem to have a heightened ability to transport their wearer into new states of consciousnesses when they’re made out of latex. Putting on a catsuit, or even a latex glove can help you become a different self, because it feels, viscerally, like squeezing into a new skin. 

Edit 10

Couturier Atsuko Kudo, who has worked exclusively with latex since 2001, sees the material as an antidote to modern life in the sense that it demands that you be absolutely physically present in the moment. She explains the act of dressing in terms of spiritual submission: “Time must slow. Latex doesn’t slip on and off. It embraces the body with a breathless, suffocating beauty”. Kudo’s brand has moved latex out of the fetish world and into the mainstream in the sense that she dresses the Kardashians. But her approach to the fabric remains fetishistic in the sense that it’s passionate and absolutely purist. Speaking to me over the phone from her latex shop in Holloway, she describes her work as like that of a ‘plastic surgeon’: “You’re covering them with another piece of skin, and you’re cutting it with a scalpel. But it’s a skin you can shed when you want to. And a skin you can change the colour of, almost like a chameleon.”

Fitting into another skin requires acknowledging that the personality you present to the outside world day-to-day might not be the whole you. Monsieur Manu, a latex enthusiast I meet on Twitter, tells me that his catsuit allows him to access parts of himself – sexually and more cerebrally – that are normally very controlled. Once you’ve been honest about who you are and what you want it can make you sad to go back to the everyday. Manu tells me he sometimes sleeps in his catsuit to stay in persona. Taking it off is painful. “It’s a case of putting everything back in the box, literally. The physical things go back in the box. And then mentally, as well, that aspect is closed. It’s a reversion to normality.”

The latex wearing community have something to tell us about the nature of identity because they are liberatingly aware that who we are isn’t fixed. They know that by changing outfits, we can re-make our interior worlds. For some of the devotees I’ve spoken to, this gets more extreme: they live as more than one person because their different latex wardrobes constitute multiple identities. Sakura Strike, a dominatrix based in Central London, walks me around the extremely large, plush dungeon attached to her flat. When we go upstairs, we flick through her latex collection. She’s wearing a Harry Potter dressing gown, no make-up, and I’m here to watch her transform. “I’m always me,” she says, fingering a black latex basque, “I’ll just become different versions of me.”

Mistress Sakura

Sakura tells me that before she started Mistressing three years ago, she was so depressed she was planning to kill herself. At the time, she was working as a photo editor at a make-up transformation studio. She’d spend nine to ten hours every day airbrushing other women’s faces: “Smoothing is actually just blurring the model’s entire identity. I’d always suffered from body dysmorphia, but airbrushing every day, it got to the stage that I couldn’t go out in public because I was paranoid that everyone was looking at me and thinking I was disgusting. I had a complete breakdown.” Becoming a dominatrix put her back in control of her own image. “Latex makes me so open and vulnerable. It shows the parts of my body I’m ashamed of, but it lets me own those vulnerabilities and turn them into an ornament.”

I watch Sakura get ready, and we drink an expensive bottle of wine one of her submissives has given her as a present. The whole process takes about three hours, and at the end, she stands in front of the mirror in a shiny red latex mini-dress and takes selfies. Latex constricts movement, and her body and the way she holds herself has been changed. She shows me how to cross your legs and rest your fingers on your hip without actually touching it to get the right angle. It looks painstaking, but it’s strangely freeing. As women, we inherit an expectation of passivity; we don’t look, we’re looked at. But Sakura – aware that self-representation is an illusion and that there can be no one ‘true’ you – has, at least, become the author of that illusion.

Mistress Eva, a Hong Kong-based dominatrix Sakura puts me in touch with, talks about transforming herself into a living art piece. “You learn to become a canvas, which we’re told not to want to be anymore. But it’s an artistic expression, isn’t it? Becoming that piece of art is your decision and your investment: you have ownership over it.” Eva has over 11,000 followers on Twitter, and her feed is full of tactile images of her in latex catsuits and thigh-high spiked boots. Over the phone she’s very warm, and thoughtful about mental barriers she has to overcome in order to take on that hyper-femme, sexualised image: “Latex screams your outline, and we’re taught not to acknowledge desire for that outline anymore.” 


Latex, for Eva, involves a kind of mindful reclamation of the feminine aesthetic. She’s just bought a translucent purple outfit: a dress, with matching gloves, stockings and lingerie. Wearing it, she experiences her body as something new, and strange: “With translucent latex, it’s like looking through perspex. Whether it’s a glove and you can see the shape of the lines in your hand, or whether it’s a stocking and can just see the curve of your calf muscle.” Eva offers clients the chance to embody that aesthetic with her. At its purest, the client gets to become her doppelgänger: ”I am the fantasy and the latex allows them to become the thing that they desire“.

With a recent client in Singapore, she even brought a wig that matched her own hair for him to wear: ”I wore latex to pick him up downstairs. Then I stripped down to matching lingerie and told him to put on my dress. He had seen me in it, he knew that my body had been within it. He could almost feel me there.“ Sometimes she will go out with her client and they’ll spend the day together, dressed in matching outfits. Dressing and undressing each other in latex involves a swapping and merging of identity.

Edit 2

One of the last people I go to interview is Alessandro*. I first met him in the smoking area of a fetish party in Lewisham, where he had come dressed as a character, Maid Suzi. He was wearing a black dress with white frilly cap sleeves and a white apron, all intricately fashioned out of latex. On his head was a hood — a fitting black mask with eye and mouth holes and a white Victorian maid’s cap built in. A dog collar around his neck spelt out the words ‘Maid Suzi’, in diamantés. The next week we have a drink in a pub in Camden together. He arrives wearing a nondescript hoodie and jeans. He’s Italian, I hadn’t noticed his accent before, in his mid-fifties. When I ask him how long he’d been developing the character of Maid Suzi in his head, he laughs. “About 20 years?” The fetish party was one of the first times he’d fully embodied her, and he tells me the experience was overwhelming: “I had to go to the toilet to cry because I was getting too emotional. It was beautiful, it was crazy.”

Alessandro describes himself as a ‘player’: “Why be one person when you can be two? I can be three. I can do it, easy! And I love it.” In his day-to-day life he works in construction, and he says Maid Suzi allows him to express something about himself he can’t otherwise. “I’m a very shy person. I don’t ask for things. I always take what others give to me. Maid Suzi gave me the power to ask for things. She’s fun, small. One of the girls. Full of happiness and life.” He makes a lot of his own latex clothes, he shows me pictures of his creations on his phone: there are collars and cuffs and stockings and hoods. Alessandro likes the hoods especially because they are very thin, only 20 millimetres, and so they mould to the face: “My face isn’t as feminine as it should be. So I cover it up.” His home is his workshop, and he’s working on other characters now but he’s concerned there won’t be enough space for them: Suzi has so many clothes she’s taking over the wardrobe. Couldn’t he get a new wardrobe? He laughs again. “I’m actually thinking about getting a new flat.”

photographing moscow’s latex fetish scene

src: https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/3kxz35/photographing-moscow-latex-fetish-bdsm-dominatrix

After connecting on Instagram, Eugene Shishkin shot Moscow’s prolific latex dominatrixes, Mistress Tabu and Latex Angela, and their subs.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

Eugene Shishkin didn’t know anything about Moscow’s latex and BDSM community until very recently. Born and raised in Kazakhstan, he moved to London after leaving school to study photography at London College of Fashion, only moving to Moscow around three years ago to pursue a career as a fashion photographer. It’s within the last year that, intrigued by the tension between traditional Russian society and its far more liberated subcultures, Eugene began exploring the subcultures that lie beneath the city’s conservative surface.

“At first I was interested in latex, then it shifted towards fetish culture in general,” he says. “I think it comes back to two key childhood memories… porn and video games. It combines sexuality with a lack of detail on the body, leaving you only with shape. It reminds me of the old video games when computer graphics were poor and the characters were only shapes, yet the female characters were still overly sexualised.”

After researching what he could about the scene online, Eugene’s first challenge was to find real subjects willing to be shot in their outfits. The first, Latex Angela, had only got into latex around a year and a half ago, yet the outfits and the community have quickly become an integral part of their life, something they wanted to celebrate in the photos. Latex very pleasantly envelops the whole body, squeezing it a little,” Latex Angela says. “The BDSM scene here is quite diverse, parties are held almost like everywhere else. But it is not advertised, because the tolerance of ordinary citizens is low… ordinary citizens don’t like my female alter-ego.”

“It was very important to shoot real fetishists, not models in latex, because I wanted to keep documentary aspect of it,” Eugene says. “The other model, Mistress Tabu, I found on Instagram, but people here in the fetish community are very reserved and afraid to meet or collaborate with anybody. She was only the second person I found who was happy to work together. So I asked if we could shoot her with her ‘slaves’. She invited three of her friends and we shot at her house.”


Montrealer Grocery Shopping In Full Latex Fetish Gear Is Peak Quarantine Mood (Video)

src https://www.mtlblog.com/en-ca/people/montreal/montreal-grocery-store-visited-by-latex-clad-ai-from-the-future-video

Face masks may be discouraged, but no one said anything about rubber fetish gear. In a now-viral video, one Montrealer takes quarantine fashion to a new level. Donning head-to-toe black latex, the Elusive Rubber Creature casually enters a Montreal grocery store to do some shopping.

She wanders between aisles of Maxi in LaSalle, remarking at empty shelves and posing for photos for enthusiastic fellow shoppers before lining up to check out.

The Instagram video is captioned with “a message from the Elusive Rubber Creature for 21st-century earthlings.

“These are trying times that your society is going through. It is time to come together and start looking for the things that truly matter: family, friends, connection, social responsibility and accountability.

“Also keep in mind toilet paper is NOT one of these things. Please stop hoarding stuff.”

Vicky Devika, the artist, model, and DJ behind the Elusive Rubber Creature tells MTL Blog that she “knew the video would be well received and generate quite a bit of attention, but [she] wasn’t expecting it to go crazy viral like this.”

On Facebook, the video has received almost a thousand shares and reactions.

But this isn’t the first time the Rubber Creature made a daytime appearance.

“I started doing these ‘latex in public’ videos about a year ago actually. It all started with an art project for a friend who was doing a photo class at Dawson. She needed a latex model for a shoot in a restaurant.”

“I was just getting started with my own career as a fetish model then. One of the photos from that set actually went around Reddit and was used as a meme a few months ago, so it’s not the first time my stuff goes ‘viral,’ although nothing quite like what’s happening now.”

“So after the first restaurant shoot, I was inspired to do more. I shot in the metro, at Tim Hortons, Jazz Festival, and on the Mountain to name a few.”

The public, she says, has been largely receptive.

In the grocery store video, it’s clear patrons welcome the Rubber Creature’s playful disruption of the anxiety-inducing social distancing routine.

“I wanted to try and break the stigma around latex and fetishism. And frankly, it’s just loads of fun.”

What started as a joke eventually became a fully realized character.

“Over the months I started building a story and the fans started responding to it, commenting and engaging with the narrative. So the name stuck.”

“Turns out the Elusive Rubber Creature is an AI from the future, visiting 21st-century earth to experience love, culture, and fruits.”

“She’s actually on a mission to save humanity from a dystopian future, but that’s a secret.” 

“It’s a silly story that taps into my passions for sci-fi, artificial intelligence, and transhumanism, and I’ve essentially created and embodied my own superhero character.”

As the COVID-19 crisis escalated, Devika and her partner knew they “wanted to make something that would make people laugh, smile, and brighten their day during these difficult times.”

If the delighted faces of customers at the LaSalle Maxi are any indication, the Elusive Rubber Creature is one step closer to rescuing humanity from its dystopian state.

In addition to brightening dark days with the Elusive Rubber Creature, Devika will perform as a DJ for upcoming online quarantine parties.

Stay tuned to her Instagram and Facebook pages for forthcoming details

200 years of latex clothing, from secret fetish to high fashion

scr: https://qz.com/299633/200-years-of-latex-clothing-from-secret-fetish-to-high-fashion/

latex, fetish-wear, Pirelli, Gigi Hadid, Steven Meisel, fetish, rubber
Gigi Hadid poses for the 2015 Pirelli Calendar.

By Jenni Avins

senior lifestyle correspondentNovember 22, 2014This article is more than 2 years old.

Earlier this week, the Italian tire company Pirelli shared photographs from its racy 2015 calendar: the 51st in its annual series that features naked and nearly naked supermodels in seductive situations. This year, those supermodels wore skin-tight, high-shine latex, shot by fashion photographer Steven Meisel and styled by Carine Roitfeld in what many identified as a “fetish-themed” calendar.

“I’ve never worn latex before but everyone’s, like, telling me that it would suck because you get all sweaty and you can’t breathe,” calendar model Gigi Hadid told WWD. “But I really like it and now I want latex leggings.”

Joan Smalls, from the Pirelli Calendar.

“You’re just fascinated when you put it on,” model Candice Huffine said of the experience. “Latex and fishnets just really do something to a woman, you know?”

Indeed, the material seems to be having a moment in the mainstream. Marc by Marc Jacobs’ buzzy new design duo sent latex down their spring 2015 runway in the form of polka-dotted skirts, twisted bandeaus, and flesh-toned sleeves. Belgian designer Christian Wijnants fashioned it into translucent vests. This week Kim Kardashian coated her curves in not one but two latex looks by London-based latex couturier Atsuko Kudo for her appearances in Australia.

Hot rubber, circa 1891.

It may be fashion now, but as fetish-wear, latex is far from new. Nearly two hundred years ago, Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh made rubberized fabric to be manufactured into waterproof Mackintosh coats (whose name acquired a “k” along the way). The coats were stinky, sticky, and liable to melt if things got too hot—barely ideal for, well, things getting hot. But before long, Mackintosh coats found their way into the kinky realm previously reserved for fur, silk, and corsets, thanks in part to one of the world’s oldest fetishist organizations: England’s Mackintosh Society.

In her book Fetish: Fashion, Sex, and Power, Valerie Steele excerpts letters from the Mackintosh enthusiasts of the 1920s. One writer’s husband was keen on the “lovely rustling swish of rubber,” she wrote. “I could see how he enjoyed every movement I made, so you can guess that I was very happy, too, as long as I gave him so simple a pleasure.”

For fetishists, as I wrote for Vice in 2012, the preferred material has a power stronger than mere sex appeal, and a clothing item can elevate it from mere commodity into an object of hyper-sexualized worship. For some, the thrill is in wearing the garment themselves. For others, it’s in engaging with the person who wears it. For the most intense of fetishists, it doesn’t really matter who the wearer is; the power is in the object, whether a stiletto boot, tight-laced corset, or wet-shine catsuit.

The outbreak of World War II seems to have intensified rubber’s protective appeal; gas masks and gloves accessorized the photos that readers sent to London Life, along with letters that famously chronicled their fetishes between 1923 and 1940.

In the 1960s, The Avengers’ cat-suited Emma Peel and mod, glossy go-go boots paved the way for punk designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren to bring latex (and leather) fetishism into the full glare of fashion. Filmmaker John Samson captured not only McLaren and Westwood in his 1977 documentary, Dressing for Pleasure, but also caught up with the later generation of the Mackintosh Society. Grinning in their slickers in the rain, the society’s brand of fetishism seems unexpectedly well-lit and wholesome:https://www.youtube.com/embed/csK1bYMaBAA?autoplay=0&showinfo=0&modestbranding=1&playsinline=true

In 1985 Dianne Brill—Warhol muse, fashion designer, and New York’s “Queen of the Night”—stepped out regularly in rubber. (“She looks like Venus rising from the primeval slime,” offered The Official Preppy Handbook author Lisa Birnbach, at the time.)

A decade later, writer Candace Bushnell pulled on a series of latex outfits in the name of investigation for Vogue, and found herself flirtatious and brimming with confidence (however sweaty).“When I find myself telling a TV producer he should give me my own show, I decide it’s time to go home,” she wrote. Perhaps you remember her series, Sex and the City, which debuted a few years later.

It’s powerful stuff, to be sure.

A rubber dress fit for a queen.

Lady Gaga wore latex to meet the Queen. Anne Hathaway said her Catwoman suit for The Dark Knight Rises left her forever changed. “The suit, thoughts of my suit… It dominated my year,” the actress told Allure in 2012. That same year, refined designer Oscar de la Renta threw the fashion media for a loop when he included a red latex top and pencil skirt in his collection.

“A fetish is a story masquerading as an object,” wrote Robert Stoller in Observing the Erotic Imagination. It wasn’t so long ago that society saw those stories as threateningly subversive: In 1932, the Irish government banned London Life (pdf); some three decades later, the English government prosecuted several manufacturers of rubber and leather fetish-wear for their work.

We haven’t seen the last of fashion’s lust for latex. But getting into something as overtly sexual and widely publicized as the Pirelli Calendar marks a milestone of sorts—a stamp of approval that may signal the moment the material went mainstream.