Into the Rubber World: What is a Latex Fetish?

Posted by Katelyn Mitchell on

You are enclosed.

The material covers every inch of your body, embracing you firmly, binding you, holding you close. Your partner is similarly clothed. When the two of you move against one another, there is no catch, no painful rub, only a smooth, slick slide.

With each stroke of their clothed finger, each touch of their rubber-bound lips, your excitement grows. You feel each touch magnified a thousand times, until the sensation is nearly unbearable.

When you finally, finally give yourself over to the ultimate pleasure, you know that the musky sweat of your passion will mix perfectly with the sharp odor of your latex garment. And you will finish, soon, so soon, you and your partner’s skintight latex outfits intensifying the pleasure as it always manages to do.

To you and your partner, this is not only good sex, it is the best sex, the truest and most passionate form of sex. It makes you feel warm and safe and held and loved and aroused but most of all fulfilled, complete, so perfectly and intensely you

If you find this relatable, arousing, or even a little bit intriguing, you might just have a latex fetish.

Wait, wait, you ask. Hold on a minute. I might have a what?

Why, a latex fetish, of course! Although it may sound extremely unique and even a little bit strange if you’ve never heard of it before, a latex or rubber fetish is actually one of the most common sexual interests experienced by the human population. Latex fetishes are young, old, gay, straight, bisexual, male, female, genderqueer, transgender, and can be found in every country in the world. They range from those just discovering their sexuality and exploring their likes for the first time to experienced kinksters who love to share their passion in clubs or at meetups for like-minded individuals.

Not to mention, the latex fetish – also called rubberist – community has a reputation of being extremely open, friendly and welcoming to those who share their interests. From magazines to parties to Internet forums and social media groups, there are practically infinite ways to meet and connect with your fellow fetishists.

However, despite its popularity and widespread nature, sources of straightforward, factual information about the fetish and its accompanying latex are surprisingly few and far between. But don’t worry – your fellow rubber lovers here at LaidTex have compiled this informational guide to help you understand everything from the history of the fetish to just what makes latex lovers tick.

So read on, and join us on a fascinating journey through the diverse, widespread world of latex fetishism. And once you’re done, head over here to pick out one of our high-quality, sensual latex outfits or accessories. There’s a whole world of latex-coated love out there waiting for you, so why wait one moment longer?

What is a Fetish?

A fetish is defined as “a form of sexual desire in which pleasure and gratification are derived from a particular object or part of the human body.” While many fetishists are capable of having sexual encounters which do not incorporate the object of their fetish in any way, most prefer for it to be a frequent part of their sex life or even their day-to-day routine. Sometimes, the term “fetish” will be used interchangeably with “kink,” although a kink is typically considered to be a less intense or all-consuming sexual interest than that which “fetish” implies.

Some examples of common fetishes include attraction to feet, undergarments, spanking, or particularly large or particularly small breasts. Fetishes range from those from those with large, established communities or subculture, such as bondage or S&M (sadism and masochism, or pain-focused) relationships, to more niche interests from wearing adult diapers to having sex while in animal-themed outfits to keeping your genitals in a cage.

Defining the Latex Fetish

While not as widely known as the bondage or foot fetishes, having an interest in latex is a relatively common fetish which has had an active community for many decades. Typically, a latex fetish manifests itself in one of two ways:
  • You enjoy wearing latex clothing yourself. You may prefer smaller garments such as underwear, gloves or masks, or you may desire to be completely covered in a full-body catsuit. It is likely that you enjoy the feeling of latex against your skin and enjoy the feelings of being “bound” or “enveloped”
  • You are aroused by the sight of others, particularly your sexual partners, wearing latex. It is probable that you have an attraction to the aesthetic appeal of latex, and enjoy how others look in form-fitting, curve-hugging garments such as catsuits.

Of course, these two elements of the fetish are not mutually exclusive – many people with an interest in latex both like wearing rubber suits and seeing their partners in outfits of their own. It is also commonly – and incorrectly – assumed that liking to wear latex yourself means that you are sexually submissive, while enjoying it on others indicates that your nature is dominant. There is not necessarily a correlation between how you enjoy latex and your role in sexual encounters.


Linked Fetishes?

While some individuals identify latex as their only fetish, an attraction to latex or rubber is often found to overlap with a number of other sexual interests. Many latex fetishists also practice D&s (dominant and submissive) or S&M (sadist and masochist) relationships, possibly due to the fact that latex is a common material used to make gear for these fetishes such as dominatrix outfits or gimp suits

. Some folks with an interest in rubber also find that they are aroused by exhibitionism – particularly wearing latex outfits in public. For example, a latex-loving exhibitionist might wear a sleeveless latex top under a more standard shirt, and occasionally “slip up” throughout the day by stretching or standing up too fast, allowing their latex undergarments to briefly come into view. Others prefer to wear latex fashioned into the appearance of “normal” clothing, such as jeans or T-shirts, so they can wear it without attracting undue attention.

Lastly, latex fetishists might also find that they enjoy bondage, due to the tight, snug feeling of full-body latex garments, erotic asphyxiation, due to the difficulty breathing in latex masks or headgear, or medical play, due to latex being used as a material in tools such as gloves, sheets, underwear or catheters. Those with attractions to specific parts of the body, such as breasts or feet, may also find themselves appreciating latex garments as they emphasize or “show off” these particular parts by being so tight and form-fitting.

Of course, having an interest in latex does not mean that you necessarily like or have to like any of the examples mentioned above. Latex fetishism can co-exist with any existing kink or sexual desire; there are also those who do not feel they have any particular other fetishes besides their enjoyment of latex.

A Note on Wording

“Latex fetish” and “rubber fetish” are used interchangeably. Members of the community also often refer to themselves as rubberists and self-describe as practitioners of the latex lifestyle. In particular, gay men who are interested in latex will sometimes call themselves rubbermen.


Why Latex and Rubber?

So we’ve explained what the latex fetish is and how it tends to manifest itself in individuals. However, you’ve probably still got one big question you’re practically burning to ask – why latex?

Unfortunately, the science and psychology of fetishes are still very new and somewhat slowly developing fields of study. For decades, research into fetishes was held back due to widespread sex-negative attitudes and the significant amount of misinformation spread within the larger medical and scientific communities. Until as recently as the early 2010s, fetishes (referred to under the scientific term paraphilia) were classified as mental illnesses according to the official Diagnostic & Statistic Manual of Medical Disorders (DSM)

Although in recent years a few studies on the topic of fetishes have been conducted, the amount of information we have on exactly what causes fetishes and why particular ones are so widespread is still extremely little. So, at least as of right now, there is no one conclusive answer to the question of “why latex” – and, in fact, the truest answer we have so far might honestly be “the reasons are different for every single person who has any kind of fetish.”

However, the theories which have currently been put forward are extremely fascinating, and can potentially give some insight into exactly what about latex is so compelling.

A Second Skin

One prominent theory, put forward by Dr. Michael J. Bader in his authoritative text, Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies, centers around the idea that fetishes regarding nonliving objects develop when the brain establishes a connection between the object and a part of the human body. For example, a garter or stocking fetish would arise due to their close association with the leg, while a general interest in eyes might gradually shift into a fetish for glasses.

According to Bader’s theory, then, where would a latex fetish come from? To what part of the human body does latex correlate?

The answer, it seems, is skin.

Wearing tight, flexible latex has been likened by many fetishists to “having a second skin”. The similarities between latex and skin are many – smooth texture, elasticity, and, at least to some fetishes, pleasing or attractive color and scent.

In particular, scientists suggest, the fetishist’s brain notices the similarities between latex clothing or accessories and healthy, strong and youthful skin. Latex is taut and smooth. It is shiny. It is strong. In short, latex, to the mind of a fetishist, may represent the ideal of the perfect skin, and thus be seen as attractive and desirable.

Those who enjoy wearing latex themselves might experience feelings of youth and strength, and be able to imagine themselves as their healthiest, best and most perfect self. Those who enjoy seeing others wearing latex can recognize and experience those qualities in their partner, intensifying their sexual desire for them.

Of course, its resemblance to skin is not the only reason which might lead people all around the world to choose to add latex to their sexual play.

A Feeling of Protection

  Wearing latex can also make fetishists feel particularly strong and protected, perhaps even invulnerable. The soft, “squishy” human form is partially or completely covered by a strong layer of practically impenetrable latex. (These feelings are theorized to also be a potential source of the fetishes for wearing leather or padded winter garments such as coats or hats.)

Aesthetically, all blemishes or disfigurements are covered up. Physically, the enclosed individual is reminded that the latex is tougher than skin and thus sees it as being able to protect them from any harm. Being totally covered in head to toe, for example by a full-body catsuit or gimp suit, can further intensity this feeling.

In addition to security and protection, latex can also give rise to feelings of mystery and anonymity. A person in a full-body latex suit is totally unrecognizable, their identity hidden as even their face is covered and kept from view. This can add elements of adventure and added romance to sexual encounters, as even participants who have been partners for years can pretend that they are playing with a mysterious and seductive stranger.

A Focus on Sensation

  Lastly, many individuals who enjoy wearing latex have described it as intensifying the sensations that they experience during foreplay and sex. They feel that they are more sensitive to touch when they are covered in their favorite latex garments. A gentle brush of their partner’s fingers becomes an exquisite, shiver-inducing tease. A stinging slap sends delicious needles of pleasure-pain racing up and down their body. Drawn-out foreplay feels even more torturous than usual, leaving them needy and desperate for long minutes or even hours as they build up towards eventual climax.

Touch is not the only feeling which can be intensified by wearing latex. Fetishists have also reported that their sensitivity to variations in temperature increases. Many latex-loving couples and groups have chosen to add heat or cold play to their encounter with successful results for all involved.

Wearing latex or playing with a rubber-encased partner is a treat for nearly all of the five senses. To the eyes, latex is extremely appealing, with its smooth, shiny appearance and intense solid colors such as deep black or tempting red. The nose is teased with the distinct scent of the material, described by fetishists as “clean” and “sharp”. The ears are treated to the “slick” or “shivery” or perhaps “squeaking” sounds of latex rubbing against skin – or itself, if both partners choose to wear it.

And of course, the highlight of this banquet for the senses is touch. Skin brushes against something which is not quite skin, and the body beneath shivers in pure pleasure. Flesh touches something impossibly smooth and strong and perfect-feeling, causing ecstasy to intensify to previously unknown levels. The senses are overwhelmed with pleasurable input until all that can be felt is pure, unadulterated sensation…

is it any wonder why the latex fetish has become so popular? We’re shivering with pleasure just writing this!

Alright, you’re probably thinking. I get why people like latex now. But how did it get started? Did this fetish always exist, or did it have a distinct starting point? And these questions bring us to the next step in our journey: a look into the very beginnings of this unique and wonderful fetish.

The History of the Latex Fetish

Early Days

Humans have been finding uses for rubber and latex for many centuries. The ancient Maya and Olmec people of South America developed the earliest known techniques of harvesting the sticky sap from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis; the resulting rubber played many roles in their daily lives. In fact, the name “Olmec” can even be translated as “people of the rubber”!

In particular, it is believed that these South American peoples associated rubber with cleanliness and purity, as it was sometimes used to decorate the bodies of human sacrifice. They even played a game with a rubber ball, a precursor to many modern sports – although, unlike today, the defeated team often lost their lives as well as the game!

However, it was not until the 19th century that rubber began to see widespread use around the world. The spread of latex began with the invention of vulcanization, a process which solidified and hardened the Hevea brasiliensis sap via the addition of chemicals such as sulfur. Vulcanization – named for Vulcan, the Roman god of crafting and the forge – turned latex into a sturdy material with protective properties which were quickly recognized and put to good use.

Some of the first uses for latex included medical clothing and tools, raincoats and boots. With these products came the first recorded instance of people developing a sexual interest in latex. A few copies have been produced of very distinctive magazines, which featured models, usually women, posing seductively while wearing nothing but raincoats and/or boots produced by the Mackintosh company.

While the fetish may very well have existed prior to this, such magazines represent its emergence in the public consciousness.

Creating a Community

  At first, the latex fetish was primarily connected to pre-existing garments not initially developed for sexual purposes. In addition to the previously mentioned raincoats and boots, fetishists displayed attraction towards wetsuits and surfing gear, Hazmat suits, and medical gloves and gowns. The increased appearance of gas masks during the two World Wars in propaganda, advertisements, and informational pamphlets caused them to become particularly prominent within the rubberist community.

Latex clothing developed for specifically sexual purposes first appeared in the year 1957. The British fashion company AtomAge premiered a line of clothing aimed at latex, leather and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fetishists. In the following decades, the company also published magazines featuring models posing in various latex outfits and accessories.

The 1970s and 1980s in particular saw a rise in the fetish’s popularity, as latex began to be associated with the punk scene and rock and roll musical groups such as the Sex Pistols. Other companies followed in AtomAge’s footsteps and developed clothing lines specifically targeted at rubberists. Magazines and mailing lists were the primary method of communication between fetishists, as the AtomAge publication was joined by Smooth, Rubber Life, Accord and many more.

These decades also saw the growing prominence of latex in the kink and fetish community, as it became associated with dominatrix outfits, the costumes of burlesque performers, and the fully covering gimp suits often worn by submissive males. The term rubbermen was also coined during this time as gay male latex lovers began to reach out to one another and carve out their own niche within the larger fetish community.

The 1990s allowed the community to make further strides. The mass-production of video pornography brought with it such classics as 1999’s Imprisoned in Rubber and many more. The rise of the Internet led to the establishment of online circles and groups of those who loved latex, and e-mail made communication between fetishists easier than ever. Public events including parties, dances, festivals and fashion shows occurred around the world, offering a place for fetishists who had met online to encounter one another in person.

This decade even resulted in the development of the rubber pride flag, an empowering design inspired by similar flags created to represent the gay, lesbian, transgender and other communities. It features bold colors – black, red and yellow – and a chevron design common among many kink community flags

The Latex Fetish Today

The latex fetish continued to go strong into the 21st century and prospers and flourishes today. A number of Web sites and online communities exist where rubberists can meet one another, discuss their interests and share favorite pieces of media. Meetups and parties are held worldwide throughout the year. Latex clothing, sleep sacks, beds and more can be purchased on the Internet as well – for example, right here at Laidtex!!

So why wait another moment? Dive right into the exciting world of latex fetishism! The community is growing every single day. So don’t be afraid to join right in! Go here to browse our extensive catalog of latex clothing, furniture and accessories. Contact us any time if you need help picking out the perfect outfit or bed to fill your life with even more sensual, wonderful latex!

Read More:
Into the Rubber World: What is a Latex Fetish?
Eco-Friendly, Sustainable AND Sexy! The Origins of Latex
Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Your First Latex Suit
Keeping it Fresh: Cleaning, Storing and Maintaining Latex
/r/Latexadvice Why do people like latex?
What are the origins of rubber and latex fetish?

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