A friend just made that comment of these photos of me in latex.
I though The Matrix was a more apt description.
A friend just made that comment of these photos of me in latex.
I though The Matrix was a more apt description.
After my recent latex 101 article (which seems to be popular!) I thought I’d now do a “coming out shiny” article off the back of it as there are a lot of people out there who really really want to wear shiny clothing, be it leather, latex, PVC, but they’re absolutely terrified of what their friends and family might think.
Let’s get started with my story…
I was rather young when I first got leather trousers. I’d started working, got my own income, and even though I had wanted some all through my childhood my parents, rather wisely, had told me no. I look back now and agree with them – I was growing very fast and leather is expensive.
It all started at Laser Quest. A guy came in (looking rather cool for the time in full leather, bandana, cowboy boots). He was with a female who I thought might be his girlfriend and he certainly acted straight – being pretty much straight myself I felt a little lift!
My only previous experiences with leather, and trousers in particular, had been associated with gay culture and gay imagery; motorbikes; and rock bands. Yes I’d had a bike, but a 50cc FS1E might look a bit silly being straddled by a fully leathered up dude, and at that point my bass playing was strictly bedroom only.
This guy, though (I even remember his name was Marc) was a different look for me and I liked it. I felt slightly jealous of his confidence as at that time I was quite meek and quiet.
I plucked up courage, went and spoke to him, said “nice trousers, where from?” and I’m not sure whether he thought I was a bit weird or not, but he told me they were from Meadowhall – Street Leathers to be precise.
It was 6pm… Meadowhall closed at 8… I could get down there and get some and be like Marc in less than two hours!
So it happened. I went down to Meadowhall, paid a ridiculously high price for a pair of very average quality leather jeans; went home; and hid them in the wardrobe. Only to wear them when I was in the house on my own.
Confidence boost gone. Drat!
In 1996 I started a degree with the Open University. The first course (S101) had a summer school which was a week at Keele University.
I was learning bass and getting much better at it, I was wanting to join bands, but my image really didn’t say “Musician”. I looked a bit geeky!
I went away to summer school with a bit of stubble and blue jeans on, arrived at summer school, and the first evening after lectures I changed my image. I shaved my first goatee beard, put on the leather trousers that had been hiding in the wardrobe, gelled up my flat hair into some cool spikes, and gave myself an image makeover!
That night I went to the Union bar with my new image and it felt great. Nobody really knew me. Nobody really knew what I was about, and I could play at being whoever I wanted.
Do you know what happened?
Nothing. Nobody commented. Nobody said a thing. Nobody pointed and laughed.
And that, my friends, is the biggest step to going out in leather for the first time.
They’re not out there, they aren’t weird, and when you are seen for the first time in your new leather jeans nobody will actually care!
I thought I’d have people making village people jokes but nope. I didn’t end up running back to the room crying. I just sat in the union bar, talked with my fellow science group, and nobody said a thing about them.
Family and friends are the next big hurdle.
My next step was more distant friends (my prog rock music community).
I went to see a band in Bury. Traveled in blue jeans, changed in the car into leather jeans, went to see the band. Again… Nobody noticed. Nobody cared. My apprehension was going very rapidly.
So… On to closer friends. One of my biggest worries.
It was Christmas. We used to go down Swinton for a drink just before Christmas. I’ve never really done the alcohol thing though! I did it again. Headed out, changed trousers in the car, and looked rather nice in my fluffy sweater, leather jeans, black leather boots. When my friends saw me nobody mentioned the trousers… Until later 😲
We went to one of their houses after. One of the group, Mark, commented on my leather jeans – saying if he’d have known I was going to wear mine he’d have worn his! (Ironically, the year after he did wear his but I didn’t wear mine!).
All in all, positive responses all round and every single anxiety I had defused.
I also wore them to meet friends in Cornwall in the 90’s. It’s the first photo I have of me in them. I look very very different!
This was the most difficult of the lot for me, and it did involve a white lie… But it did coincide with me joining bands.
Rather than saying I’d bought them from Meadowhall a couple of years previous I said I’d only bought them there and then. They were to be stage wear, but actually, they ended up being regular wardrobe clothing.
First time my mum saw me in them she said “cool” and then bought some herself. She even wore them to one of my gigs!
Since then leather has become more and more a part of my wardrobe.
I’m now doing the same process with latex. I’m at the stage of close friends with that… Let’s see how that goes eh? After all latex is a bit more “out there”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
Most 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.
The end of the night comes and you need to get out of your latex. Is it difficult?
Well 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.
So yes, this may seem like more work than wearing leather or PVC, but the rewards are worth it.
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:
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!
Do 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!