An 80th Birthday

It might seem unusual to have a rock/pop band for an 80th Birthday, but the birthday boy has followed us for a number of years now so it seemed apt.

The hotel it was held at was a great place. Top end of Heckmondwike; a place called Healds Hall.

It was an early start as we had to be set up by 6. The load in was quite easy although I think the staff were very surprised when we kept loading more and more boxes into the place though.

Setup went well. It was the first full length gig for a while so we ran through a few of the songs we’d not played to just brush them up. Strangely, the last few gigs had all been around an hour performance time. We had to be silent at 6:45 as the special guest was arriving for a “meal in the restaurant” but he was then told the restaurant was very busy so they were in the back room…

Surprise!

The first set was a blue suit set. It felt a little tight on me and even though the scales show my weight hasn’t changed I need to keep an eye on that. It could be that my newest jeans all have stretch in them and I’m not used to a rigid waistband? After all the waistcoat and shirt felt fine.

In-between we had food. That, for me, wasn’t great. No detriment to the food, but as a vegetarian any mention of buffet or hot buffet fills me with dread. If it isn’t the mixed sandwiches cross contamination hell, or the “has it got meat in it” roulette with quiche, it’s the hot buffet “that’s your entire vegetarian choice” which contained aubergine. I don’t like aubergine.

The chips were nice though.

For the second set, after much threatening and teasing I wore the PVC suit. Dennis had been searching for one for himself and like many others who weren’t quick enough when I told them about it, he’d missed the boat. He then ribbed me about it onstage… Twat.

I combined with with the new shirt I got from River Island.

I looked good. Kinky good.

Sadly that’s where the good ends, as I’ll never wear that suit onstage with Face the Music again. 45 minutes in a plastic sauna suit under hot lights… Nope nope nope nope nope.

I suppose the one amusing thing was the stereotyping thing… Apparently shiny suits like that are usually worn by gay men.

Yeah whatever…

I’ve got thick skin. I don’t actually give a toss.

So, back to normality for a few weeks. And next time it’ll be back to normal jeans for the second set.

Latex 101

I’ve been asked loads about my latex (especially by people who wear leather and PVC already and are fascinated by latex), so I thought I’d write a 101 to help you guys and gals decided if latex clothing really is for you. It’s not cheap (mostly) and if you make a big mistake and find you hate it then you could end up out of pocket.

What is it?

Latex/rubber is the sap of a tree. Havae Brasiliensis. It’s poured into sheets of latex.

It tends to be called latex more by the fetish community because rubber is used as a term for the heavier gauge stuff. Latex is very thin, often less than 1mm thick. It’s very stretchy, returns to shape when stretched, and can be very revealing and figure hugging if worn tight.

It can be coloured, textured, pinstriped, sparked, glittered, and treated with many processes to make it attractive. It can also be chlorinated to make it slide on and off without dressing aids although it then doesn’t take on as high a shine and can be difficult to repair when chlorinated.

What’s the attraction?

Well latex, like leather and PVC is shiny; but unlike both the previous which have “specular” shine where the highlights light up, but you can’t actually see images reflected; polished latex can take on a “mirror” shine. With enough shine you will see shapes and images reflected in it; but believe me that takes a lot of getting and maintaining.

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As for the sensation of wearing latex; leather feels warm to the touch and to wear. Thick leather on a cold day is warm and insulating. PVC is not so but because it is simply a shiny coating sprayed onto a nylon material it’s not too clammy although it can be cold to wear. Both leather and PVC slide on and off easily, and in particular leather can be worn just like any other clothing. Leather jeans are just like denim jeans to wear – easy to get into, tough, comfortable. Same for PVC. No massive preparation routines, just pull them on and wear them.

Latex on the other hand, is cold to the touch when you first put it on. It can be chilly, and if you don’t use a dressing aid it can grab hairs as it slides on and off.

Wearing Latex

20170427_111951-768x10248240614086375157481.jpgThe preparation for latex wearing is quite important. If you buy latex you must buy at least a shining aid otherwise you WILL be disappointed when it arrives. It’s dull, powdery, and not remotely shiny. I’d recommend getting started with Vivishine as it is an easy process to simply wash your latex in cool water with a few drops in there but will give you a pleasant all over sheen which whilst not mirror shiny is certainly acceptable. As a bonus it also makes dressing a breeze!

If you’re going to be out and about in latex though, I would recommend you keep a spritzer bottle of a silicon based oil with you. Pjur, Vivishine and Radicalshine are all manufacturers of such products, although if you are canny you will find most industrial and janitorial chemical suppliers will do a suitable product – provided it is pure silicon based and has absolutely no mineral oils you will generally be fine and will save a lot of money, although it might be worthwhile checking the COSHH data sheet.

Applying the extra shine is best done with your hands. I just put a glob of oil into my hands and rub it on. It’s better than using a cloth, but you will need to wash them well with soap and water after.

Finally, I wouldn’t recommend underwear. Commando is the way. You will sweat in latex. Wear an untucked shirt too otherwise capillary effect will slowly soak the bottom inch above your waistband.

Out for the night?

I’ve been out and about a few times to parties, functions etc. in latex. Latex crosses the boundary into fetish wear very easily, although it is often best to just come out and say “I like shiny clothes” rather than try and hide it behind a barrel of excuses as to why you find latex attractive. It cuts the quizzing dead, and often the focus will then turn to how cool your latex looks, and the obvious “can I touch it” question.

20150509_2105315746928978382966106.jpgMost people are fascinated when they see it for the first time. They’ve never seen anything like it. It moves very differently to any other clothes. You could almost say it ripples. The sound it makes is also very different to leather or PVC. It slips and slides and slurps. It’s rather addictive actually! Forgive the masses, for they are curious.

Once out and about you’ll notice it’s not quite as comfortable to wear as leather or latex, and if you sit down on fabric you may brush away the high shine – hence keep a small bottle of silicon oil with you.

Pockets are a problem too. Latex jeans have pockets, but they’re not great. I often find it better to keep a small bag, or if it’s just car keys and money then wear an oxford shirt or coat to keep them in. Having a smartwatch with Google Pay really does come in so handy in these situations as you can skip the wallet and phone and it’s always around your wrist.

Avoid sharp corners as it will rip badly if caught. You can leave oily patches where you sit if you go a bit overboard with the shine agents. Generally though if you keep it under control you’ll be fine – if you’re going for uber shine though, perhaps best to sit on your coat if you’re on a white sofa!

Once you’ve had a night in latex you’ll find your limits and work within them. For me it’s about 4 hours comfortable, provided it’s not too hot or cold outside.

Get me out!!!

The end of the night comes and you need to get out of your latex. Is it difficult?

IMG_20150812_164350-01Well no, not really. You will have sweated in it and that helps to remove it. I suggest undressing on a towel to catch drips.

Once you’re out of it, shower, and whilst you’re in the shower wash your latex in there too. There are rules about what to use, but I’ve found shower gels are fine provided you thoroughly rinse it immediately whilst you’re still in the shower.

As for drying, there are two options – I usually hang mine over the shower screen or shower pole with a small towel over the top to protect the latex from sharp corners.

Turn it a couple of times whilst it’s drying – and be aware that coloured latex may look blotchy or patchy whilst it dries. That is perfectly normal.

Once dry, dust it lightly with pure talc (baby grade stuff), fold it, box it, store it. I hang mine on foam wrapped hangers or chunky plastic hanger and I’ve never had problems.

And your reward?

So yes, this may seem like more work than wearing leather or PVC, but the rewards are worth it.

Positives

  • Nobody else will be wearing any latex (unless it’s a fetish night).
  • The shine is absolutely unmatched by anything else.
  • The sensation if wearing a second skin which moves, stretches and ripples like nothing else is totally unique.
  • You will get attention and people who want go touch it.

Negatives

  • It’s not an easy solution *unless you have chlorinated latex but that puts in a whole new barrel of issues.
  • It’s very expensive for good quality gear; but it can be repaired.
  • It can be fragile if you are around sharp objects or cigarettes.
  • You have to wash it after each wearing to avoid sweat damaging it.

YES! I want latex!

It’s just a case of buy some (and some vivishine or similar too!). Ask latex wearers online, or leave a comment below and I’ll answer your questions.

Find a supplier who look reputable and visit or order.

Remember latex has some stretch, but don’t go overly tight if that’s not your thing. I’d say go for a basic item first to see if you like it. T-Shirt or jeans are a good start. 0.45 to 0.55 latex seems to be a good starter guide for thickness.

I’ve had good experiences with:

Libidex

Cathouse Clothing

Catalyst Latex (* Catalyst ONLY sell chlorinated latex which is somewhat different but easier to wear).

I won’t recommend Chinese manufacturers as they often counterfeit outfits by the major European latex manufacturers and make inferior copies with questionable latex although I have had friends buy from them with mixed results. Insultingly, they often use photos from the website of the original designer to sell their shoddy rip off!

Finally…

20180622_131608_3Do not be shy contacting a latex clothing manufacturer. They understand that they are on the fringe and that a lot of people have apprehension about wearing it. You can often visit them and try something on before you buy to see if it really is for you, and they can often help you with sizing too as latex tends to be sold as S / M / L / XL / XXL sizing.

Shine on you beautiful people! Keep calm. Wear latex!

Please feel free to comment and ask questions below. I will always try and answer or will probably know someone who does know the answer if not! 

 

A great wedding but a vegetarian nightmare.

As a vegetarian of over 20 years I can tell you that I am not the only vegetarian who gets struck down with fear and terror at the very word “buffet”.

That cavalcade of cross contamination. Where a vegetarian is pretty much guaranteed to only be able to eat salad, and perhaps the crisps or nuts.

10 years ago the buffet was much better. We didn’t generally struggle – you had a tray of egg mayo, a tray of ham, a tray of cheese. So what’s changed I hear you ask?

Pretentiousness has.

At one time we didn’t go to town on making it look like a technicolour rainbow of fillings (some of which do look like cat sick). I bring forth my first exhibit:

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Spot the egg sandwiches. Yes, they’re in there with the meat flapping all over them and the tuna sort of touching them.

Yum! Meaty vegetarian sandwiches. Just what I always wanted! Even the token rainbow salad buffer down the middle can’t possibly save this plate. If you are vegetarian, or indeed have a seafood allergy then this isn’t the plate you are looking for. Move along.

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Even supermarkets and bakeries have got into the act. The obligatory black tray with the plastic lid contains this explosion of colour. And again I see cat sick. Particularly chunky cat sick. I wonder if the cat had a mouse before shouting soup into this little number?

Yum. Cross contamination.

But what really really riles me is the lack of cheese and onion rolls. There are always enough sausage rolls to feed an army. Often, so I’m told, poor quality sausage rolls. Amazingly at the end of the night the sausage rolls seem to have increased in quantity. What was 3 plates is now 9 and that’s after half the family have taken away a few “in cling film” for later. I suspect the vomiting cat can also poop a perfect sausage roll.

I whine on, but I suspect that most buffet suppliers would mix the meaty and cheesy rolls. On the few occasions I have seen cheese rolls at a function they are usually all gone within 30 minutes. Surely that should tell caterers something?

Of the wedding itself

Other than the anti vegetarian statement made with the buffet I must say last night’s wedding was rather nice and in excellent company.

After much soul searching and deliberation earlier in the day I decided that leather was not the thing to be worn (I also briefly flirted with the idea of latex trousers and waistcoat but quickly cast that to the maybe pile – hmm….sweaty and clammy). I therefore decked myself up in my light grey stage suit (with a blue shirt and tie rather than my usual pink and purple combination).

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The wedding was for a couple of prog friends – Brian and Jackie – Brian in particular being a massive Whovian so you can probably imagine the theming…

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But that was only half of it… You can’t have a Doctor Who themed event without…

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Aaaaargh!!! My childhood fears. Daleks terrified me! Cybermen not quite so.

A prog band played for us (those non prog fans in the audience probably sat there yawning, not understanding the ramblings of Mr John Dexter Jones and his troubadours) but I enjoyed that bit… Although I did get plungered by a Dalek.

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It was nice to see the amazing Doctor Who theming though… Although I think the TARDIS should have been placed in front of the door to the toilets just for fun.

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All in all, fun was had! I’ll leave you with this.

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Nyaaaaaaarh