Thursday, January 31, 2013

A novice pervert's guide to #Rubber

You've probably noticed that there's a definite 'Rubber" theme that runs through the posts here. I guess that makes me seem some kind of rubber-expert, cos I've had several guys asking for my advice - saying that they'd love to get into rubber, but haven't a clue what to look out for or how to look after it. 

So - here's a little bit of what I've learned over the years of blissful perversity:

Buying rubber

The first thing I'd advise is to buy the best rubber gear that you can: cheap rubber never fits properly, looks terrible, and falls apart quickly. 

There's lots of high-profile companies on the 'net making good rubber, but most of my own gear has come from Invincible here in the UK. I have been buying gear from them for nearly 20 years, and I know that their quality is the best. If you're in the US you can buy direct from Invincible's website, but Mr.S stocks their full range too, if you want to avoid shipping costs. 

That said, there are loads of other good rubber makers out there for you to try. I would always prefer to go by recommendation though, so try asking guys who have gear that you like and see which Makers they would recommend (it's also a nice way to break the ice :) ).

Most rubber looks best when it's body-hugging

Only the lucky few can get a perfect fit off-the-peg, so try to get your gear made to measure. Sure it can cost 20% more, but it really is worth it for that all-over look and feel of slick, sleek blackness. I'm a short arse, so I have all my gear made-to-measure; I even visited Invincible to be professionally measured by their tailors - so now I know that everything I order from them will be a perfect fit. 

Rubber also comes in different thickness's (or 'Gauge'). 

The thinner the rubber is, the more it stretches and conforms to the body - just like a condom. Thin gauge rubber also allows the wearer to have a greater 'feel' for their environment: transmitting the touch of their partner or the temperature of the room. It can look and feel amazing, but the flip side is that its membranous delicacy also makes it more vulnerable to damage and tearing. 

Thicker grade rubber is more resilient and less flexible (and therefore also more restrictive...). Thicker rubber can also be a bit more 'forgiving' if you don't have that 'perfect' figure - but be warned: if it's too tight it can tear at the seams. 

Form-fitting Gear that is designed to stretch (say a wrestle-suit or underwear) will need to be in thinner rubber, more 'industrial' styles (such as jeans, a uniform or a shoulder-entry suit) might want to be in heavier grade. Bondage gear will always need to be in the heaviest grade available - so that you get the truly inescapable feeling of being helplessly encased.

Personally, I like to have most of my gear made in a mid-grade gauge: thin enough to stretch, but thick enough to really feel it hugging my body.

Colour is an additional consideration. 

Basic-black is always good, but coloured panels, highlights or piping can look incredibly sexy - especially if used sparingly and well. Wearing a brightly coloured suit can also be a nice way to help you stand out from the crowd. 

Most of my own gear is black, but I admit to loving transparent and smoky rubber too. Smoky rubber is great for the way that you can just see the body through the glossy coating - especially if the body beneath is tattooed. 'Natural' or transparent rubber is much more revealing - and to my mind, incredibly sleazy: there's something deeply perverted about seeing a guy's body totally encased and contained and yet completely on display - it's almost as if he's been shrink-wrapped for consumption...

Dressing (getting your rubber on...)

Getting your rubber on and off depends on the gear and its tightness: thicker, looser gear like jeans will probably be relatively easy, but anything form-fitting is going to need to be eased on slowly and carefully - and will often need a dressing-aid.

Most new gear arrives from the maker covered in a thin dusting of talc to stop the rubber from sticking to itself in transport. Many guys use this method to get their gear on too: and lightly dust the inside of the rubber with an unscented mineral talc before pulling it on (NB: avoid baby talc and those scented with essential oils, since the oils they contain will eventually rot the rubber). 

If you want to use this traditional method, be careful not to overdo it: you only need just enough talc to help stop the rubber from sticking to your body; too much and you'll look like the top of a Victoria Sponge... 

Talc also has a downside, in that it mixes with your sweat to create a chalky soup that looks horrible, irritates your skin, blocks your pores and gives you spots; when you play, it also tends to leak out from wrist and ankle seams in a white fluid that stains and marks everything...

A more interesting (and truly perverse) alternative is to use powdered j-lube instead. 

You simply dust the inside of your gear with the dry j-lube powder as you would talc. The dry powder initially helps you to pull on the rubber, but then your sweat activates the j-lube as you play: turning it into a super-slick slime that coats the inside of the rubber and feels incredible

Be warned though - it is a nightmare to clean up afterwards...!!

Personally, I find that massaging a little rubber-safe silicone lube into my skin before pulling on my gear is the best.

I normally use Pjur Bodyglide; the slick lube makes it easier to get the gear on, but also improves the feel of the rubber once its on, since it helps it to glide over every sensitive part of your encased body... ;) It can also be used to bring a gloss to the outside of the rubber - and even acts as a moisturiser, so that your skin feels amazing afterwards too. 

(A word of caution: there has been some recent disagreement on the forums as to whether silicone lubes might damage rubber over time - however, I've been using a high grade lube for many years, and none of my gear has ever shown signs of deterioration.)

Finally, you can permanently improve the process of dressing by having your rubber chlorinated.

Chlorination is a chemical process applied to the rubber before construction, or after the gear has been made up. 'Normal' rubber feels slightly tacky to the touch - a result of its molecular construction of matted strands; chlorination fills in all of these microscopic holes, making the surface of the rubber feel satin smooth and look super glossy. It is infinitely easier to get chlorinated rubber on and off, because the rubber surface is no longer 'tacky' - it is also a lot easier to wear long-term, since it does not constantly snag and pull at the skin (this is especially so if you are hairy, like my Man...!). 

As a bonus, the chlorination process is also supposed to make the rubber less susceptible to damage from oils and sweat (although it can damage metal attachments and discolour transparent and smoky latex). 

You can find guides online to how you can do the process at home, but it can be extremely dangerous (you're working with the ingredients for the same chlorine gas that killed thousands in the trenches of WW1!) and so I prefer to leave it to the professionals and use a commercial cholorination service instead.

Whatever dressing aid you use, the most important thing is to be gentle and to take your time. Don't just tug: ease it on, inch by inch. Bunch up leggings or sleeves, and roll them on - the way a woman would a stocking. If your rubber isn't chlorinated, lube will help, so too will a little bit of manscaping if you are particularly hairy...

Watch out for long finger nails and jewellery too. You will also need to be careful of sharp objects that could snag or tear (which can include buckles and studs on your playmate's gear). The tighter the rubber and the bigger the stretch, the more vulnerable it is to tearing.

Cleaning and storing your rubber

The final thing with rubber is that it does need to be protected a little: keep it out of strong sun and sources of heat and away from salts and oils - because all of these will slowly break down the rubber and damage your gear over time.

It's also a good idea to clean your gear if you want it to last.

You don't need to clean rubber using harsh chemicals: I give my gear a quick wash after every play-session by simply getting into the shower or bath whilst I am still wearing it all. I then let myself (and my gear) soak for a while, taking care to let the water flow between my body and the gear itself so that it can wash away any remaining lube together with my oily sweat (and any other fluids...). Once I'm fully soaked, I then use all that free-flowing water to help slowly ease the rubber from my body.

It's an incredibly nice feeling, and an excellent way to unwind after a heavy play-session - a bit like having a personal Jacuzzi. If you've got a partner to help rub down, that's even nicer ;)

Once a month or so I then also give everything a proper wash. 

You can purchase special latex detergent - but I normally just fill the bath with warm (not hot!) water and a few drops of baby-shampoo or very mild washing-up liquid - then soak and gently agitate the rubber within it for 5-10 minutes. Whatever detergent you use, make sure to thoroughly rinse everything several times though, to make sure there are no chemicals left. 

I then gently pat-dry everything (inside and out), then hang it up on padded hangers to air dry for a good 12 hours (out of the sun and away from heat) - turning it inside out a few times through the day.

All of my gear is then stored in a separate wardrobe, on lightly padded hangers, and with plenty space between each item to prevent them sticking together.

All of which may seem like hard work, but rubber gear can be expensive, so it's worth taking care of!

Follow these few hints and tips, and your introduction to rubber should be both relatively inexpensive and deeply enjoyable. Taken care of properly, rubber can last for a very long time.

That said - the one and only reason for having rubber gear is to wear it and play in it, so don't get too precious over it! Enjoy it, love it - and when it finally dies just see it as a chance to go get some more.

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