Thursday, February 07, 2008

Vintage Paperback: The Sexual Fetish (Part 1 of 2)

I forgot I had this vintage gem in my rubber history archive. "The Sexual Fetish in Today's Society" is one of those pulp paperbacks published in the 60's. I have a bunch of them that I've collected over the years. They're basically sensational "jerk-off" books masqarading as psychological tomes. What my generation may not be aware of is that censorship was a big thing way back in the day--much more than it is today. I'm guessing this was one way to kind of get around the censors.
Although this book isn't directed towards rubber people, it does have a chapter on rubber fetishism--sorta, kinda. You can get a sense of what the book is about and its overal attitude from the front and back covers. Don't expect grand prose or pyschological discoveries. Enjoy it for what it is: a little piece of rubber history and a little piece of glorious pulp trash. The chapter in question is partially reproduced below in light blue, non-italicized text.
Random Question: When did the word "latex" become common usage instead of the word "rubber" to refer to natural latex rubber sheeting and/or the garments made from said sheeting? I'm asking this because, in all of my readings of vintage fetish magazines and books, latex is almost exclusively called rubber. Did the common usage of the word latex start catching on the the late 80's/early 90's?


Chapter XII

Rubber As a Fetish Symbol

Inevitably, comparisons are drawn between rubber and leather as fetish symbols. This is probably because these two materials are used in virtually all exotic fetish clothing. However, the attraction that leather has for many people may include areas other than that of clothing. The bondage and flagellation fetishes are manifested in leather straps and paddles. But rubber seems to hold no fetish obsessions except in the form of clothing.

Statistically speaking, the rubber devotees are much fewer than the leather fetishists. Rubber devotees claim the skintight clinging effect of their favorite material is the main source of their devotion. They feel that it is designed to be worn next to the skin, without anything underneath and, as such, functions both as outer and inner clothing at the same time.

As leather clothing touches both the exotic and the real, so does rubber clothing. But in a different manner. [sic] Such items as high-heeled boots or leather pants hover between the two fields. Not completely accepted items for street dress (they draw stares even in the most sophisticated of cities) yet not so completely bizarre that they are solely the property of the exotics. [sic]

With rubber clothing either the item functions as street apparel, such as a rubber raincoat, or as an exotic fetish item such as rubber pants. An exception to this is the rubber diving suit. This appears most often in its primary use as a protection against the ocean's cold. But it is also a favorite costume of the rubber fetishist who would not dream of going near the water.

In checking with psychiatrists to inquire as to the personality make-up of the rubber fetishist, we find them frankly baffled. Not many rubber devotees bring their deviation to the psychiatrist, nor do they steal rubber items and thus are never referred by the courts to psychiatric help.

Almost any deviation or aberration can be linked to a defect in the psyche, including that of the leather clothing addict. But the sexual attraction of rubber clothing leaves psychiatrists and psychologists merely theorizing as to the probability that it is actually an anatomy fetish. The rubber simply clings and outlines the human form and the various sexually-orientated parts. There are few case histories of rubber fetishism in their files and we have had to turn to the literature of the specialist in fetish attractions to find first-person accounts.

Incidentally, the aforementioned attraction to rubber rainwear such as coats, caps, and galoshes is outside the realm of this book. We are concerned primarily with sexual fetishes, and attachments for rubber street-wear appear to be non-sexual in nature. Descriptions of this type of dress that appear in the fetish magazines dwell more on the bright and gay colors than on sexual connotations.

Of greater interest, however, are the rubber pants, shirts, shorts, and panties. The pants, in particular, come under the name of "rolled" clothing. These pants are applied to the leg and buttocks much as a rubber contraceptive is applied to the male reproductive organ. They are lined with a soft material which is not at all harsh to the skin.

The wearer "prepares" the pants by stretchin them out and then rolling them inside out, very tightly, down to the bottom of the pants legs. Rarely are the rubber feet, so common to the diving suit, included in the fetish version. The feet are inserted into the legholes, and the pants are rolled up the body. Naturally, the rubber clings tightly to the skin, so much so that a special pouch is included in the male garment for the genitals. An elastic waist band prevents any sagging.


The second half of this chapter can be read in this post. I appreciate, and look forward to, all of your comments.


SanderO said...

I recall the cross over from rubber to latex came as a result of the AIDS epidemic when condoms and protection was pushed and they were referred to as latex, which they are, of course.

At the same time the latex exam gloves started to become more common outside the surgeon's operating theatre.

All these protective uses referred to them as latex and not rubber.

Platex made rubberized body shapers and incorporated the word latex into their brand name and they went on to do household work gloves which were called latex more and more and not rubber gloves.

Rubber seemed to be used for "industrial" stength protection.

The la-"tex" has a reference to "tex"tiles which makes it seem more like a material for constructing clothing. I think fetish gear makers started using the proper term and it stuck in the mid to late 80s.

My guess / memory

Betty LaBamba said...

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for your input.

It's fascinating how and why language changes from decade to decade.

Rubber Fetish said...

Its a great post..well done..i really like it..

Anonymous said...

I think rainwear and specifically raincapes such as rubberized cotton, SBR and klepper can be a real fetish in the true sence of the word!