If you've not read it yet, there's an interesting new post from Rubber Canuck discussing a thread on Fetlife: where a straight male fetishist commentated that when he wore rubber everyone assumed he was gay. ('Rubber = gay?').
In the thread that ensued, several people continued the guy's assumption: stating that whilst you often see media and online representations of women in rubber, you rarely see men - and those that you do see are almost always gay (e.g. Matt Lucas' 'Only gay in the village' and the very sexy Jake Shears). For most 'normals' this means that the only male fetish they regularly see is through news coverage of Pride events or the windows of gay fetish shops. So in the public mind, 'male rubber' *does* equal 'gay'.
Several people also made the connection between rubber's way of sexualising of the body, and the subsequent implied sexual submission of its wearer; such sexualised submissiveness is anathema to most straight men, and so any straight male rubber fetishism is kept very private: "For straight men, any perception of their masculinity being soiled by submissiveness is a BIG no-no."
The thread raised some interesting thoughts.
My own experience is mostly the same as speedoguru's: there does seem to be a much higher incidence of women in latex rather than men - at least online, and certainly in porn (there's only 4 or 5 male rubber titles that i can think of - and almost all of those are gay anyway). i've also noticed that at mixed fetish events, markets etc, it is predominantly the women and the gay men who ever dress in rubber. In fact, it is almost always only the women and the gay men who dress in fetish gear at all (my Handler has often commented on how sad and odd it is to see these spectacularly dressed het women in basques and corsets, heels and make-up - and then notice their shuffling male partners, wearing the same old shabby 'street' clothes they might go to the pub in...).
So why is this?
i think several of the commentators got it right about rubber being seen as a predominantly sexual and submissive material. For the wearer, being dressed in rubber is an incredibly sensual experience: as it amplifies any sensation of touch, warmth or movement; for the viewer the visual tighness of rubber and the way its glossy, water-like texture clings to the body is extremely revealing and deeply sexualising. On a subconsious level there is also the connection between rubber and 'protection' / 'containment': from the squeeky rubber undersheets of childhood to the slinky tightness of first condom they wanked into. It's also possible that all that tight wet-looking skin might subconsiouly suggest the wet inner folds of aroused flesh, and the spit-wet smooth skin of their own hard-on....
Encasing a body in rubber simply turns the wearer into a sexual object ready for play.
In our judeo-christian culture, women have always been seen as sexual objects (even when they are dominant), so seem to have fewer problems with the idea of dressing-for-sex; likewise gay men. Both are also much more ready to explore the reinvention of the Self through dressing up, and to be prepared to let go of themselves in the 'let's pretend' of fantasy. This is particualarly so for gay men perhaps: because we have undergone a process of coming out and self-reinvention; we already understand that all identity is fluid, and every persona an invention - we are therefore more ready to empower ourselves by dressing as, and therefore *becoming*, the archetypes we desire.
For both women and gay men, there is also the long established practice of dressing up to attract a mate - and of wearing your sexual desire and availability openly...
But by the same token, straight men are the alpha male: they need to assert their masculinity, and for them, that means dominance. Up until very recently, a man would barely consider putting on aftershave before going 'out on the pull', never mind dressing up in best bib-and-tucker just to get a girl into bed. There is a cultural discomfort to the idea of the peacock male strutting his sexual availabilty - as if this somehow makes him less of a man because it admits that every women will not automatically fall at his feet when he enters a room.
Given this, is it surprising that most straight men are deeply nervous of embracing the sexualising objectification of rubber - or that if they are, then they want to keep it private?
There was one more really interesting point that i wanted to comment on: as to 'why so many gay men might be fetishists in the first place?' to which speedoguru made the interesting observation that: "in our formative years a lot of us had to project our sexual urges onto objects rather than people because we couldn't be honest and open about who we really are/were"
i think that's a really interesting observation.
i certainly know that i channeled my own early sexual urges into objects and gear - and that probably was because i felt an inbuilt shame and inherent perversity in those urges which i did not feel able to share with other people.
i knew that it was 'not normal' to feel excited when i saw my mustached PE teacher in his tight shorts (thick chest hair poking over the top of his bulging T shirt), or to feel 'funny' when watching Magnum PI; i also knew there was something 'wrong' in the way i would guiltily watch in fascination as my brother and his buddies pumped their bodies lifting weights in nothing more than a tight pair of nylon shorts - or sneaked into his wardrobe to stroke and smell his bike leathers and waterproofs...
i also used to sometimes slip into my brother's bike gear - and then stand in front of the mirror and imagine that i was him: big and strong and masculine (and no longer the wimpy, bookish 'mummy's boy' my Dad called me). i guess that extended into imagining myself wearing the same gear as the other Masculine Men whom i idolised: fighter pilots, astronauts, scuba-divers, bike-racers - seeing myself dressed like them, and somehow therefore also become like them too: brave, strong, masculine... Except - dressing and imagining like that made me feel 'funny' too...
Most all though: being a good Catholic lad, i knew that it was very bad that i sometimes woke up all sticky and wet from dreams where big muscular men dressed me up in their gear and then played strangely physical games with me...
As i got older, i realised that these 'funny' feelings were sexual - and slowly realised that these Men that i fantasised about where all 'normal'. i 'knew' that these MEN would treat me with disdain - and that they would be likely to react angrily if they ever discovered my queer fantasies concerning them.
At times, i even imagined that they might punish me in some way: tying me down to beat the perversity out of me - or forcing me serve them as they tried to 'butch me up'. Occassionally i imagined that they might make me eat Their cum so that their extra testosterone would make me more manly - or that they would try to forcefully milk out the gayness from me. A few times i even imagined that they would prove their dominance by using me as their sexual play thing...
Interestingly, such imagined Alpha Male Dominance only seemed to make me feel even more 'funny' - and therefore guilty...
i am sure that such early fantasies fed my submissive tendencies - and so i guess it really was a dead-cert on me turning into the perverted little puppy that i am today ;)
My Handler just emailed to say 'What a nice insight into where my dog has **cum** from!'
i had to reply that i was only sorry that i didn't go on to write about how i later grew up and realised that not only were there *lots* of Men who liked short-arsed submissive guys, but that being a happy well-adjusted pervert is much more fun than being a guilt-ridden, self-hating misery.
Or how He has taught me that rather than 'punishing' you, it is a great deal more pleasant for you both if your Dominant Alpha Male *rewards* you with His cum and His cock for being such a perverted little randy fuck-pup :D
WUUUFF!! i *love* my Man!! :))