Fetishes

Fashion Fetishism: Latex, Rubber, and PVC

Dominatrix in Black Latex

It’s no surprise that people find particular clothing sexy. As utilitarian as clothes are, providing cover or warmth for our bodies, all cultures past and present also wear garments that they find beautiful. We amp this up when we dress for a date, tailoring our threads to accentuate our best features and draw attention to them.

Just about everyone has a selection of clothing they find most attractive. These ideas may come and go culturally or historically, but we all have some. For me, nothing beats a man in denim jeans or a full-figured woman in fishnet stockings under a curve-hugging dress that shows off her cleavage line.

For men, it might be a fuzzy sweater over swelling breasts, yoga pants, a little black dress, high heels, crushed sneakers, or a sheer camisole that does them in. Some women find a guy in a suit and tie super hot while others prefer a man in uniform, or shirtless with work boots.

For many kinksters, men and women, it’s head-to-toe rubber, latex, or PVC. It’s the look, the texture, and so much more.

The Thrill of Latex, Rubber, and PVC Fetish

Latex, rubber, and PVC fetishism is very common, but it is relatively new historically as these synthetic materials have only been used for decades up to less than two centuries to make fabrics or implements. Leather is the predecessor, and latex fetishists may also love leather, which we have been wearing and sexualizing since prehistory.

Read: Leather Fetish Explained

While the look and feel of leather has some commonality with latex and rubber love, the major difference is an important aspect of the kink—leather is all natural, and latex/PVC/rubber is totally synthetic. For many latex fetishists, the artificial quality is an essential trigger for their arousal. Latex clothing can be a second skin just like leather, yes, but it is also all new, even futuristic. The contrast of natural and constructed, or invented, is part of the attraction.

Rubber is a natural compound that grows on trees, but it wasn’t manufactured industrially until the 1800s. Latex is rubber. Latex lovers may be separate from people who find polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU) attractive, or they may be interchangeable. PVC and PU are plastics that can be made into fabrics. Some of these fabrics are made to look like leather (pleather) and some are shiny (patent).

Rubberists is the general name for the community of kinksters who are excited by clothing made of these materials, or by the material itself. Gay men who love latex are called Rubbermen and have their own rubber pride flag!

As with so many kinks and fetishes, the latex kink is a broad umbrella and is sometimes part of other kinks like BDSM and sometimes stands on its own, with an incredible range of specificity. For example, the appeal can be the intimidating authority that a rubber outfit gives a dominatrix, or the latex itself, possibly just latex medical gloves or balloons.

Fashion as Kink

Rubber and PVC figure prominently in BDSM couture. Skin-tight catsuits, rubber dresses, thigh-high PVC boots, latex face masks, rubber pants—you name it. The aesthetic can be a very powerful part of the pleasure by both master and slave.

Latex fashion isn’t limited to S and M! What screams siren stripper better than red rubber boots? There are latex nurse outfits, PVC geisha costumes, and much much more.

Some men and women get off on patent-leather shoes of the school-girl Mary Jane variety.

A flash of latex in an otherwise everyday outfit can send temperatures soaring.

Foot Fetish

Shoe or foot fetishists might thrill at hip-hop sneakers, strappy sandals, or black pumps. But many have a specific attraction to latex or patent leather. Think of those black stilettos that exotic dancers wear, or slinky nightclub dancing shoes in shiny PVC.

BDSM

It’s not just scorching hot couture when it comes to latex and BDSM. For some kink lovers, it has nothing to do with what their eye takes in. It’s all about the sensation and purpose of the prop.

Rubber is used for many implements of bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism. Rubber restraints include everything from hand ties to body bags for those who want to be surrounded by latex. Whips come in rubber, and blindfolds in PVC.

Be very cautious about latex mummification or hoods. Synthetic fabrics do not breathe. They can be dangerous if they cover the mouth and nose, or too much skin.

Read: BDSM Play: The BIG List of BDSM Activities

Voyeurism

Of course, “watching” is a kink that can cover just about everything from panty upshots to live-sex shows. But latex wear has such an incredible range of design that it has inspired a whole secondary art form to capture it—photography. Whether technically fashion photography or erotic/fetish images, models and ordinary people in latex and rubber are a vast subject matter that gives endless affirmation to those who appreciate the aesthetic, including voyeurs.

Corsets

Corsets are a great example of a fashion that became a fetish. A corset or girdle is a device worn to emphasize the waist-hip ratio. It involved elaborate lacing in order to control the fit. Waist training became a kink through corsetry as well, which involves the dangerous practice of reducing the waist past its natural limits and can damage and deform the muscles and even internal organs.

Most corsets today are more flexible with stretchy fabrics, lacing or buckling up at a more natural intensity. Latex or rubber corsets are extremely popular, with some folks having preference for the aesthetic of numerous buckles.

Gloves

I confess that I find gloves gorgeous, especially opera length gloves, and black latex gloves have a sheen and artifice that is so mysterious and alluring.

I don’t get the medical latex glove thing at all—to me, it is not aesthetically pleasing. However, medical fetish is extremely popular. You know, those latex gloves your doctor wears or that some of us have stockpiled—the feel of them, or the sound of the snap, is very arousing to many. And it’s a thrill that won’t break the bank!

Read: Medical Fetish Role Play Ideas

Does latex, rubber, or PVC turn your crank? Tell us about your fetish in the comments.

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