Rubber and PVC fetishism

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The rubber pride flag, also known as the latex pride flag, which is a symbol used by members of the rubber and latex fetish community. It was designed in 1994 by Peter Tolos and Scott Moats.[citation needed]

Rubber fetishism, or latex fetishism, is the fetishistic attraction to people wearing latex clothing or, in certain cases, to the garments themselves. PVC fetishism is closely related to rubber fetishism, with the former referring to shiny clothes made of the synthetic plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and the latter referring to clothes made of rubber, which is generally thicker, less shiny, and more matte than latex. PVC is sometimes confused with the similarly shiny patent leather, which is also a fetish material. Latex or rubber fetishists sometimes refer to themselves as "rubberists". Male rubberists tend to call themselves "rubbermen".

The terms "PVC", "vinyl" and "PU" tend to be used interchangeably by retailers for clothing (PVC clothing as a form of plastic clothing) made from shiny plastic-coated fabrics. These fabrics usually consist of a backing woven from polyester fibers with a surface coating of shiny plastic. The plastic layer itself is typically a blend of PVC and polyurethane (PU), with 100% PVC producing a stiff fabric with a glossy shine and 100% PU producing a stretchy fabric with a silky shine. A manufacturer's label may say, for example, 67% polyester, 33% polyurethane for a fabric that contains no PVC; or 80% polyvinyl chloride, 20% polyurethane with mention of the polyester backing omitted. The plastic layer is often textured to look like leather ("leatherlook", "pleather"), as opposed to smooth ("wetlook", "patent").


One reason why latex or other tight shiny fabrics may be fetishised is perhaps that the garment forms a "second skin" that acts as a fetishistic surrogate for the wearer's own skin. Thus, wearers of skin-tight latex or PVC garments may be perceived by the viewer as being naked, or simply coated in a shiny substance like paint. Latex and PVC can also be polished to be shiny and can also be produced in bright colours, adding further visual stimulus to add to the physical sensations produced by the material. The tightness of the garments may also be viewed as a kind of sexual bondage. The smell of latex rubber is also a turn-on for some rubber fetishists, and such garments are usually impregnated with chemicals to enhance the odour.[1] Some rubberists also enjoy the idea of exhibitionism, and some fantasise about going out in public wearing fetish attire. Some do this, especially in the more liberal areas (e.g., Berlin, New York, Montreal, San Francisco).[1]

A compelling reason that people are turned on by wearing rubber is its transformative abilities. As with any costume, a rubberist can imagine themselves having a new identity, especially one that permits a different code of behavior.[2]


Men in latex gear marching down Whitehall as part of Pride London 2011.
A man wearing a police cap, latex corset, gloves, and stockings

Latex fetishism sometimes involves dressing up in the material; looking at it worn by sexual partners; or fantasies sometimes wearers of skin-tight or other latex garments, such as divers and workers wearing industrial protective clothing. Another common stereotype is of the image of a dominatrix wearing a skin-tight, usually jet-black, latex or PVC catsuit.

Some latex enthusiasts are also turned on by the wearing of draped latex garments, such as cloaks. Other rubber paraphernalia, such as wet suits, gas masks, splash suits, Mackintoshes, galoshes, Wellington boots, rubber/plastic pants, and diapers are also often added to the scenario. Heavier fetishists often attempt duplicating all kinds of "everyday wear" into a rubber counterpart. Some PVC enthusiasts are turned on by PVC hazmat suits and other forms of industrial protective clothing.

For hygienic reasons, many sex toys such as dildos and butt plugs are made from rubber or similar materials, and this is also a factor in rubber fetishism. Some rubber fetishists are also medical fetishists or have an interest in klismaphilia; medical gloves and catheters are made from latex, as are condoms.

A substantial industry exists to produce specialist latex or rubber fetish clothing garments for rubber enthusiasts.

Many latex or rubber clothes appear on websites such as eBay, and in recent years clothes made in PVC have been prevalent in young people's fashions, particularly in jackets, skirts and trousers. Several mainstream designers have made latex clothing.

A number of fetish magazines have been published on the subject of rubber and PVC fetishism, including AtomAge, Dressing for Pleasure, Marquis, «O», Shiny International, and Skin Two.[3]

Latex look-alike materials[edit]

PVC/vinyl and metal are two other shiny materials used for clothing, from regular street wear (raincoats) to PVC hazmat suits and other forms of industrial protective clothing. As with latex, these materials became more noted as fetish material in the 1960s and early 1970s. During that era, boots and garments made of PVC and vinyl were made and worn in public areas to some degrees. British TV programme The Avengers showcased this.[4][5]

Numerous underground fetish production houses were started, which published magazines such as Shiny, Shiny's International, Rubberist, Dressing for Pleasure (both of these publications later merged with each other), and rubber fetish author Helen Henley and others of this time frame.[6]

Fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges have used PVC in their collections.[7] Since 2010, the PVC has been the target of fashion for both the male and female public.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Greigh, Julian (12 March 2011). "Latex Fetish". Julian Greigh's Dark Passions Blog. Archived from the original on 24 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ "The Top 6 in Fetish Wear". All Sydney Escorts. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  3. ^ "3 Legendary Fetish Magazines: Skin Two, Marquis, SECRET". 23 August 2017. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  4. ^ Chapman, James (2006). Inside the tardis : the worlds of Dr Who ; a cultural history. London: I. B. Tauris. p. 57. ISBN 9781845111625.
  5. ^ Adams, Guy Sangster. "Television Review: The Avengers – The Complete Series 4". The Cultural Pick. Archived from the original on 24 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  6. ^ Henley, Helen (2000). Enter with trumpets. Clemmons, NC: Renaissance E Books. ISBN 1929670311.
  7. ^ Wickstead, Emilia (22 February 2015). "Fetish wear is all the rage at London fashion week – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  8. ^ Turra, Alessandra (22 June 2015). "Z Zegna Men's RTW Spring 2016". Women's Wear Daily. Fairchild Publishing. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  9. ^ adithyasampath100 (12 April 2011). "Scooby Doo, Funny Velma". YouTube. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "The Dark Knight Rises: Catwoman Anne Hathaway banishes the dark side in dazzling white". Evening Standard. London. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Allen Jones". WRP Fine Art. Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  12. ^ Truhler, Kimberly (12 February 2013). "The Style Essentials--Audrey Hepburn Gets Modern in 1967's Two for the Road". GlamAmor. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  13. ^ 456dgs (19 April 2011). "Fran Drescher Latex Jacket And Dress". YouTube. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Hermanson, Tove (7 July 2009). "Who Inspired Michael Jackson's Fashion?". Worn Through. Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  15. ^ LiquidAngel. "Zoë Ball in vinyl trousers". You Tube. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2015.[dead link]
  16. ^ pvcvinyllatex (21 July 2009). "Erica Durance red pvc HD". YouTube. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  17. ^ Prunes, Mariano. "Ivete Sangalo - Multishow ao Vivo: No Maracanã". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  18. ^ Drozdowski, Christie (16 April 2015). "10 Times Jennifer Garner 'Alias' Fashion Was on Point – Girl Can Rock Any Makeover". Bustle. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Video and pictures: Britney Spears' PVC and sexy secretary comeback". Daily Mirror. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  20. ^ Thistlethwaite, Felicity (2 September 2014). "Lady Gaga flaunts her curves in PVC ranting about 'society's view of beauty' online". Daily Express. Northern and Shell Media Publications. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  21. ^ ThePVCfan (20 August 2014). "Thalía in vinyl leggings". You Tube. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  22. ^ Powell, Hannah Lyons (25 February 2014). "The new must-have wardrobe staple? That'll be PVC". Glamour UK. Condé Nast UK. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  23. ^ Pometsey, Olive (21 June 2018). "Gemma Chan is One of the Most Versatile Actress on Screens Now". Elle.
  24. ^ Jackson, Clementina (23 May 2022). "Models In Full Latex Suits Take Over The New York Stock Exchange For Balenciaga Show". ELLE. Retrieved 19 March 2023.

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