Your outfit is a big part of a person’s first impression when visiting your room. The cut of your dress, the drape of your blouse and the rise of your jeans (if you’re even wearing jeans!) can say so much.
What a garment is made of can be just as significant as the apparel itself, and few materials stand out as much or are as tempting visually as latex.
What’s the big deal about latex?
Jamie Feldman, HuffPo’s Fashion & Lifestyle Editor, recently tried a celebrities are just like us-type experiment. After seeing Nicki Minaj wear a bubblegum pink latex catsuit – only sexier – at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, Feldman decided she too would wear latex to work.
Through the course of her experiment, which had mixed results, she spoke to LA-based dominatrix Snow Mercy about the history of latex. Mercy explained that latex in BDSM has its roots in the 1950s, when photos in fetish magazines started to depict it.
“Latex enthusiasts enjoy the look and feel of this material,” Mercy told Feldman. “Some refer to it as a ‘second skin.’ It shows off curves but also acts as a barrier. So it can be effective for tease and denial scenes. A sub can ‘worship’ a Dominant’s body but never actually touch skin. The reverse is also true, if a sub is in latex, the Dominant can touch the sub without ever making skin contact.”
Mercy also called it a sensuous material that is “stunning to wear” and “feels taboo and exotic.”
— My Promo Page (@janet_millerr) August 28, 2017
Latex for all!
Though there is much love for latex out there, one common misconception is that it can only be worn by petite figures. This is completely wrong. Latex is very flattering for all figures providing you select the right design. It can be like a second skin, as Mercy described; or, it can be swishy and girly, bordering on modest.
Almost all latex designs cling somewhere, usually around the bust. This can make getting into them a little tricky. You can buy latex that is chlorinated. This gives it a smooth non-sticky finish, so you shouldn’t have to talc up to get into it. If you haven’t the money for treated latex, you can buy specific dressing aid lubes and powders, which make wriggling into your latex garments easier.
One note though: You can’t wear underwear beneath latex as it spoils the lines.
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Styles matter – colors and cuts
When you mention latex, people used to think black rubber inner tube-style items only. Though this may have been the majority of what we saw in terms of latex at some point, this is no longer the case.
When polished up, latex reflects the light to look like liquid. There are a rainbow of colors and finishes available in modern latex, from pretty pastels to bright and beautiful neons. Metallic vibes your thing? There’s a host of steampunk-inspired metallic finishes including gunmetal silvers, bronzes and rose golds. Like a little glitter in your shows? Glitter latex is fabulous thing that also exists!
Transparent latex is another interesting way to get creative on cam. The semi-opaque fabric allows more of a tease, letting your body peek through the tinted material. You’re no longer even limited to one color, with companies like Yummy Gummy introducing latex that changes color under light and marbled latex.
The designs on latex offered are also no less varied. Companies like Black Sheep Latex, Catalyst Latex and Yummy Gummy all specialize in a range of highly customisable handmade pieces, ensuring your outfit stands out from the crowds – and yes, that means the crowds of other models online too.
You can opt for separates like body suits, crop tops, classic pencil skirts or skater skirts. Latex bodycon dresses and full-length ballgowns are also special items that can make a huge impact. There are even pedal pushers for a retro look!
And if you don’t want a full outfit, you can always opt for something small and flirty, like frilly panties and a bra.
But isn’t latex kind of… niche?
Full outfits made from latex are extremely common now — and not just in the fetish scene. Avant-garde pieces made by companies like those mentioned above are featured regularly in mainstream publications and worn by celebrities. This explodes the relatively narrow image latex had back in the day, but to what end? Is this a form of appropriation?
Feldman also wondered how the increasingly popular trend of celebrities wearing latex made people inside kink and BDSM communities feel. She asked Mercy, as well as Mistress Trinity, a New York-based dominatrix, about this.
Both told her they don’t find it disrespectful; Trinity, however, elaborated and said there is some discussion over people wearing latex outside the kink and BDSM communities
“There is debate within the kink community about non-kinksters appropriating fetish fashion,” Trinity told Feldman. “I’m not so much a control top on the issue. I enjoy latex fashion for all the reasons people choose to wear it, and I see potential for BDSM in the mainstream.”
The highly visual aspects of latex can make it exciting for viewers, as well as for you. It feels naughty, teasing – and it makes them want to touch.
Read more about caring for your latex here. There are steps you need to take to make sure your garments stay in shape.
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Katy Seymour is a super-sex-positive writer in the U.K. who believes kink is life. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Adrian van Leen.