[ALSO check out the blast of new posts I uploaded yesterday]
What is it like to be a rubberman in public, in daily life? A friend suggested I blog on this topic, so here is an attempt to answer that question in terms of how to do it wisely (next time I think I will look at more practical or emotional aspects). Some rubbermen are probably curious about public wearing but are intimidated by the idea. It is one thing to wear rubber in Boystown or Castro, quite another to wear it on Main Street, and completely different from packing up the car for a nite at the club. We are talking about going out and mingling with the "raggedy-ass masses," doing routine activities outside the house except in latex clothing.
Rubber in Public is a lot like Defenzive Driving. You want your "car" to look its best and don't want it damaged, so you learn to be careful how and where you "drive" it. So here are some of my own Rules for the Rubber Road:
1: Dress Well, but Dress Appropriately.
In other words "Know your audience." This is perhaps the key to a safe excursion. You want to look your best, never a smudge or a bit of gear out of line: the "line" is key or you look sloppy. But also be aware of where you will be going that day. Certain parts of town (indeed some towns in some regions [think red]) are less likely to understand what you are trying to do. Don't wear rubber in places where you might be uncomfortable in any way. If it is a neighborhood or street you are unfamiliar with, it might be prudent to cover up. Indeed, a backpack with loose-fitting clothes might be useful in case the need to cover up presents itself. The flip side is feeling free to indulge when you know there will be a receptive audience. COVER UP those naughty bits where ever it is the law.
To the market, to the barber or to the night club later that night, you are likely to meet people you don't know. Tight pants with a big bulge are likely to get a different response than simple jeans, tho I have done both. If you are new to this, try wearing it at your favorite hangouts first and get used to the feeling of being in public while in a familiar place. Then venture out.
Will your destinations be crowded with teenagers? Teenagers in large gaggles develop a mob mentality and can heckle or just plain be very annoying. I avoid them or move quickly. Teenagers in much smaller groups are usually more inquisitive and natural, so should not be feared so much.
2: Leave Yourself an Out.
Try to always be aware of what is going on around you, just in case someone tries to be stupid. In 10 years of rubber-excursions, we have had a "situation" arise maybe only 4 times. It is extremely rare (mostly because we obey rule 1) but every so often it can happen. There may be the occasional heckler. Don't get yourself involved. Unless you are prepared, find a way to disengage rather than having to stand your ground. If you can handle to rough types, then perhaps you can explain yourself and defuse a situation but otherwise don't try. Deflate a potential situation with humor if possible. Body language can often tell you in advance if someone is agitated by what you are doing. Move away if you sense something. Be very wary around drinking, as it can influence people it two ways. They can get veeerrry friendly, or (much more rarely) very aggressive. Same rules in normal life apply but are doubled due to the latex.
3: Mind the Weather.
If you expect to be out in the heat all day, dress lightly. Rubber does not breathe. If it is colder than say 50 or 60, layer up. Either way, make sure you carry or have access to water and hydrating solutions. Prolonged sunlight will damage the rubber and it gets very hot very quickly in direct Sun. Stay in the shadows. While it is fun to go out in 32 degree weather in nothing but rubber (giving a sense of 1000 needles poking you all over), it is hazardous to be so out for more than 15 minutes. Be realistic.
Two are usually safer than one, tho I frequently travel solo. You can't always go with someone. In either case it helps if you have (or can present) an air of confidence as you travel about. If you look nervous or tense people sense that. I have a suspicion that if you are physically imposing in some way that people tend to not give you as much trouble, but you can't always count on that. As I say above, the vast majority of folks are either bemused or fascinated. Just be aware of where you are and where you are going.
5: Prepare to be Photographed!
With the advent of smart phones, everyone is paparatzi. You will be imaged. If you do not want or cannot afford to have your rubberized-self up on FB or other social media, you have only two choices: camouflage the face (dark glasses or goggles may be enough), or stay at home. A camo mouth mask may be enough but could make some nervous. Face paint works too!
Finally, always remember that rubber is new and unfamiliar to most people. They can be startled, stunned, perhaps even intimidated by a man in full latex. So be friendly and smile! Be forthright and open about your fetish, not curt or rude. You can disarm almost any situation with humor or self-deprecation. Probably best to not be vulgar about your rubber activities unless they ask for that kind of information. You might be surprised that many are quite fascinated. Some will even wish they had the balls to do that. So I have been so told on a few occasions!
People will ask all sorts of questions. "Can I feel it?" "What is that?" "Why do you wear that?"
The only proper reply to the inevitable "Is that hot?" is "I think so!" or "What do you think?" Remember a smile and a pleasant reply go a long way, and can sometimes bring others into the conversation. Rubber is fun. Let others share in it!
I will be editing this in the future as I think of / remember more things. Comments welcome on your experiences!