L is for LOVE of LATEX (Happy Valentines Day from the road Dear Readers!)

people talk

about my image

like I come in two dimensions

like lipstick is the sign of my declining mind

like what I happen to be wearing

is my new statement for all of womankind

I wish they could see us now

in leather bras and rubber shorts

like some ridiculous new team uniform

for some ridiculous new sport

quick someone call the girl police

and file a report…

“little plastic castle” by Ani Difranco

Photo by Balzac

Photo by Balzac

You know it when you smell it, when you see it, and when you feel it.  One of the most sexualized and sensualized materials of our age:  Rubber Latex.  This material is famous for shaping bodies and dripping across the pages of fetish ball fliers…  It can be made into fetish clothing, accouterment, props; condoms, dental dams, and gloves turn this material into a safer sex barriers and orgy quick-cleaner-uppers, it is widely used as a cheaper alternative to silicone in your sex toys, you’ll find it in your mattress, and for your messier activities you can buy rubber sheets…

Latex fashion is one of the two iconic Ls in kink (I bet you can guess the other):  I cannot tell you how many times people have explained to me that the difference between kink and fetish events is the fashion quotient.

"Rubbers". Photo by Rept0n1x

“Rubbers”. Photo by Rept0n1x

By fashion I mean Rubber Balls and other events where people are dressed to the nines sporting exotic, imaginative, creative, other worldly, sexy, cartoonish, and wonderful costumes made from the stuff.  If you’re dressing in the stuff, don’t leave home without your cornstarch because getting into a skintight latex skirt/dress/shorts/anything is a feat in itself…  Oh, but when the material is finally pulled into place!  There is no compare to how your curves will look and feel.  Enjoy these pictures (I know I do)!

Sexy barrier use:  Clothing certainly fits in this category as well, as you can have someone rub up against you and get their juices all over it, you can dabble in water sports, or other fluid encouraging activities, and as long as the latex remains unpunctured or torn, it is a non-porous material which will keep the people on opposite sides of the material safe from one another’s wet works.  Not to mention it’s easy to clean.  Of course, when one thinks of rubber barriers, they usually think condoms, dams, and gloves: the objects responsible for most of the world’s current safer sex practices.  As latex can be made into a thin non-porous surface, when used properly it is an excellent material for guarding against pregnancy and/or STI transmission during various risky sexual activities.  May I add that barrier methods are also great for quick clean up in your sexual encounters:  imagine having a couple condoms on that toy you’d like to use during your threesome, or multiple gloves covering your hands while penetrating someone in the back and front – just strip off the top layer and you’re good to go again in seconds flat.  Even if you just opt to put a new layer on after each happy indiscretion, you’re not risking cooling down the action to the tune of multiple hand and toy washes…  think about the possibilities!

Lubes:  The number one thing you want to think about when playing with any kind of rubber latex is that it is going to dissolve when it comes in contact with oil.  Do not use olive oil, baby oil, or any other oils as lubricant when you’re using latex barriers or toys, or you’ll find you’ve just foiled (or ruined) your tools for the evening.  However, not all is lost, water and silicone based products are just fine with condoms, dams, gloves, toys, and other latex toybag and closet items.

Warnings:  Some people are very allergic to latex, and it is an allergy that can be developed over time.  If you are having sensitivities to latex at all, take them seriously and either self limit your exposure to the material, or get tested to positively affirm your allergy.  If you have a severe reaction when you come into contact with the stuff, discontinue use immediately and get to a hospital.  Latex allergies can be serious, they  can lead to anaphylactic shock and in some cases death.  As the number of people who are sensitive to this material rise, there are increasingly better and more accessible alternatives to it.  For condoms, the use of polyurethane has become more popular, and you can sometimes find “latex free” condoms at drugstores. Most sexuality stores should carry them too (my favorite are SKYN from Lifestyles).  Sheep skin can be substituted as well, though note that while sheep skin condoms are designed to help avoid pregnancy they are not designed to help avoid STIs, please consider that fact when opting to use them.  Nitrile gloves are a popular alternative to latex gloves, and come in several colors and styles.

My hand encased in latex

My hand encased in latex

What I got to do:  I was at a kink party one day a while back, and met someone who had created a version of a vacuform bed.  It looked like a rectangular box 5’ tall, 3’ wide, and about 2’ deep (by my guesstimate).  The box structure was made from PVC piping, and was covered completely in sheet latex.  To get inside you crawled through a tightly stretched opening flap in the bottom of the cube, and then, once you were standing inside, you stuck your head out through a slit in the top that stretched airtight around your neck.  At a corner of the cube was a vacuum hose attached to a shop vac that would suction the air out of the airtight cube, which then sucked the latex sheeting tight around your body, trapping/suspending you in the middle of the structure.  It was a really incredible feeling.  It felt like being hugged all over at once.  I loved it.  You kinda ended up looking like Han Solo frozen in carbonite…

What was really fun about this person sized toy was that then you could be tipped over in the structure, and you would just jiggle there, suspended in the center.  People slapped, spanked, and bounced my suspended body.  The sensations were really fun and I had no control whatsoever physically over what happened to me, as my arms and legs were trapped inside.  Latex transmits sensation and temperature pretty realistically; someone had brought a cup of ice water with them and poured it on my back as I was stuck in this contraption, and it felt as though someone had poured it directly on my skin.  The temperature, the wetness, the sliding around of the ice cubes, I could have sworn I was wet.  Pretty wild.

So, rubber latex!  It comes from a plant or can be synthetically derived and can be turned into a million useful, lifesaving, sexy, playful, and intriguing things!  If I could afford the fashion, you bet I’d sport it pretty regularly.  Let me know if you have an interest/opinion/tips/stories/pictures you’d like to share from your own brush with the sexy material.

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

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~Thank you.


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