Wearing a latex bodysuit and gas mask to the grocery store has never seemed more normal. But if coronavirus is teaching us anything right now, it’s that normal no longer exists and probably never existed in the first place. If you’re a latex fetishist, not shackled by the bondage of normativity, you’ve known this secret truth for a long time.
The sterile look and feel of latex combined with the very current functionality of gas masks and rubber gloves have made the exaggerated aesthetic of this subculture something we can all relate to on some level—a shiny reflection of our own heightened vigilance and individual isolation during a global pandemic.
Jared is the creator of Latex Bordello. He has been into latex for as long as he can remember. He not only makes his own gear at home, but documents it for social media and the latex fetish community at large. With plenty of time on his hands, Jared has decided to take pictures of himself in isolation, doing menial housework and domestic chores in full garb.
We spoke to Jared, who did not want to share his full name to protect his privacy, about how the doomsday aesthetic of gas masks has never been more relevant and why the warm embrace of latex is making him feel less alone in isolation.
I was into latex before I was even into sexuality. I was really young and thinking about it, but hadn’t even sexualized anything yet, it was completely texture-driven. The fetish itself is encasement, like sensory deprivation or restriction.
I make everything you see at home, except for the mask and gloves, which are molded. I borrow a lot of patterns from stretch fit fabric production and I glue them together using rubber cement. It’s cheaper and I have the body composition of a chimpanzee, so everything I did purchase wouldn’t fit.
Right before the pandemic went full throttle, I received a large shipment of latex sheets and I’ve had the good fortune of spending a lot of my free time making new things like body suits, shirts, pants, and tops. Now’s the time to make all of the things that were on my wishlist but that I didn’t have time to make.
Latex fetishists have been prepping in their own way a long time. It’s basically PPE, personal protective equipment like masks and gloves and I think that’s what makes it relevant right now to the masses. A lot of latex fetishists are fully aware of that and are having fun watching people respond to it. Seeing a gas mask on someone who’s having fun with it as opposed to someone who’s afraid definitely causes people to smile.
I saw a friend of mine take really cool pictures at a grocery store recently and seeing the huge reaction she got definitely inspired me to do something instead of sitting at home doing nothing. By doing hyper domestic and non-servitude-based stuff in the pictures, it makes it accessible. You’re replacing the servitude with boredom, which everyone can relate to right now. It’s an excuse to get into rubber and do something creative and share with your friends.
Latex fetishists are a very active community. Dealing with social distancing definitely doesn’t mesh all that well with a group like that, but any way to connect by doing something you love makes the experience of quarantine a lot more bearable. We’re doing weekly Zoom meetings, catching up with each other and we have rules like not talking about COVID, even though it’s hard not to.
I’ve been posting some of these pictures on my Instagram and hopefully it can engage other people in the community to do something for themselves and share it with us. Just because you’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. There are only so many times you can mop the floor.
This has been helping me so far, it’s definitely made quarantine more bearable. When your routine becomes extremely restrictive, you start to understand what freedom is.
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