Rubber

Like most kinksters I have a fetish for tight fitting clothing and whether it be lycra, rubber, neoprene or leather, that restrictive feeling and knowing you’re showing yourself off is fantastic. I was first attracted to lycra as a 14 year old not only because it was relatively cheap and accessible (the experience of wearing my first pair of lycra shorts is indelibly etched into my memory) but I found my eye drawn to good looking cyclists and athletes poured into it.

As time progressed and money allowed, I bought my first pieces of latex gear and eventually the first of many custom suits, a lovely shorty suit with white strips made by RoB London (back when they still had a rubber workshop).

These days there are plenty of places selling rubber gear but if you’re an unusual size like me it is well worth getting gear tailored; without it fitting like a second skin there really is very little point in buying latex. If you’re lucky enough to find off-the-peg sizes that fit well then even better – a lot of vendor’s patterns do vary quite markedly so shop about if you don’t find something that doesn’t fit quite right (and if it isn’t custom then you can always send it back or swap it).

Suppliers

» STR
Probably the best looking and fitting rubber gear I’ve owned and pretty decently priced, as long as you don’t want any “extras”.

» Blackstyle
Sell a huge range of moulded and tailored latex gear and well worth dropping by their store if you’re in Berlin.

» Regulation*
Made in-house in London, they do a great range of basic and not-so-basic gear and if you pop by their store they’ll measure you up for custom gear too.

» Mr S*
Whilst the US has never had as big a rubbery fan base as Europe, Mr S is now making some pretty decent latex gear too.

» RubAddiction*
Whilst this German company makes some really unusual patterns (non just your normal black all over!) be prepared to wait a while.

» Libidex
Splendid range of off-the-peg gear and a great shop to mooch around when you’re in Central London.

Latex Care

Rubber is sensitive stuff and when you’ve spent a reasonable amount of money on a great-fitting suit you’ll want to make sure it lasts as long as possible (my first suit lived for 13 years!). Latex degrades on exposure to sunlight and to oils, so go easy on the moisturisers and keep your gear away when not in use.

Here’s how I clean and look after my stuff:

Firstly you don’t need to be washing your latex every single time, as long as it’s not really gross. Once you’ve finished with it, hang it up somewhere nice and airy (out of direct light) for a while to let any moisture evaporate. When it really needs a good clean, strip off in the shower or bath and wash with some really, really mild liquid soap. I then like to give it a dip in Vivishine*, which is this fantastic latex polish that you use by putting a tiny amount in a bath-tub of water and swirling the latex around, then just leave to drip dry. Easy!

I’ve sometimes found that getting latex wet will leave a patchy bloom on it, especially if it’s transparent or coloured latex, but this goes if you leave your gear hanging up to dry with lots of airflow and avoiding the latex touching itself where possible.

For long-term storage I tend to keep my gear in a drawer with each piece wrapped in tissue paper so it can breathe but you could also store it in a nice opaque cotton bag. It’s important to try and keep different gear from touching, especially if you have light-coloured latex, as the dyes can run and stain.

Enjoy your rubbery adventures!