In the first of three interviews with contestants for the 2021 Melbourne Rubberman title, meet Matt (he/him, they/them). I knew Matt from his time in Sydney before we lost him to the allure of Melbourne but it’s been great seeing him go from strength to strength in his new home.
How would you describe your gear fetish(es)?
I’m a diehard rubber and latex fetishist through and through. Whilst I do dabble in leather and other materials, I find it really hard to compare the feeling when I wear those types of gear, and with rubber. I feel invincible when I wear rubber. It’s still a hardcore fetish, but the lines of it being a fetish item and a fashion statement have become blurred. I enjoy wearing rubber whenever, however, and for whoever I can. Especially in the last year, where I have embraced my queer-self and now attend events (both kink and non-kink) wearing it. I feel it is such a small, amazing way to escape our reality and diving into something that makes everyone looks sexy, empowered, and positive! If you’ve never tried it before, I recommend finding the opportunity to do so!
Specifically, I love the smell, touch, and look of rubber on all bodies. I think it’s such a neat thing. Can you imagine a world without it? I especially love the tight fitting, full coverage look to it that you can get. If we were to get down to specific items, I’m a big fan of long-sleeved leotards, catsuits, jockstraps/thongs, and leggings. My favourite item of rubber is a transparent rubber singlet in yellow. I got it from Eagle Leather a few years back, originally from Libidex. It’s pretty fun to wear wherever I go. My new outfits for Slick 2021 have been made with care and with a lot of passion, so very excited to showcase them.
How did you discover your gear fetish?
It’s a pretty interesting story. But it has several origin points:
Firstly – My mother owned a pole dancing/burlesque business back in the mid-2000s, and a majority of the teachers and students who taught at the school came from a lot of backgrounds (including the fetish scene, sex-work industry, and cabaret). I’d spend a lot of time in the teacher’s staff room hiding out, so surprise surprise – a lot of rubber, leather, and exotic lingerie was lying about for me to look at and dream over. I’d say from there it is curiosity (and access to the internet) that help forged my fetish and gear identity.
Secondly – Chatting with and being exposed to kink and fetish people on Grindr when I first came out all those years ago. One of my first sexual experiences was in a playroom with a regular couple. I have to say, you learn quick when you engage regularly in things like that haha. I guess after I saw an image of a person in rubber at their place, I just became obsessed with the look. It didn’t take long. As soon as that happened, Mardi Gras came around and I bought my first outfit – a custom-made catsuit made locally in Sydney by Matt Black. Guess it was destiny after that to accumulate the wardrobe I have now.
And third? Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Need I say more?
Describe the feeling you get when you buy new gear.
It’s an intense rush of dopamine and an exhilaration of serotonin combined when I purchase new gear, especially rubber. Whether it’s physically in a fetish store like Eagle Leather (which have an amazing selection of all sorts of gear, so check them out!), online stores like Libidex or Kink Projects, or even by swapping and selling on private social media groups, or this website! Each new addition of gear to my collection builds my experience, confidence, and pleasure from loving such a fetish. The same can be said when parting with a cherished piece; I thank it for its years of service, and either sell it on or gift it to emerging rubberists in our community. Honestly, I find it sometimes indescribable how it is to be in your gear.
It took me quite a long time to acquire each piece of gear. Now I’m in a position where I have a lot of looks, but we all start somewhere. The best thing you can do, especially if you are wanting your first piece of anything is to try and acquire something second-hand. It can be very cost-affordable and unique in design, even if you are just trying it out for the very first time. That’s what I did. As my confidence grew in rubber, I started to branch out to the places and ways for purchasing gear that I previously mentioned. Take this advice with you; small, calculated steps reap large, limitless rewards.
Where do you see the fetish community headed in how we view gear as we progress into the future?
Honestly, it’s hard to answer. Everybody will always have their views on what gear means to them and how they wear it. Some, like me, wear it wherever and however we can. The lines between gear being a fetish or kink, and gear being a fashion statement follows us wherever we go. Others prefer to keep their gear only for special occasions in the community, like socials. And some prefer to keep it exclusively in private and behind closed doors. Truly there is no right or wrong answer here, it’s what makes you comfortable and that is totally alright! If someone out there calls you out and tells you that you are not allowed to wear your gear because X, Y, Z, tell them to jog on. How we express ourselves in gear should not be up for others to judge (except if it is illegal, morally wrong, or offensive, like Nazi uniforms – call that out if you see that) it’s what makes us feel good and we should embrace those positive feelings.
All over the world we are beginning to see fetish groups that cater and promote inclusion of kinksters who are all genders, sexualities, body shapes, and identities (like Melbourne Rubber, Chicago Rubber, and San Francisco Bay Area Rubber). Here, we are witnessing the emergence of the gear that we love being presented in many ways, fetish, fashion, lifestyle, fantasy. These new ways of viewing and engaging in wearing gear is beginning to transcend the taboo and the unspoken. It is becoming art. And I think that is absolutely beautiful.
Anything else you want to say Matt?
Do keep an eye out for some good gear on this website! If you see anything of mine pop up someday soon, snatch it if it’s what you’ve been looking for.
I am excited to meet you, the reader, at some point soon. If that’s in Melbourne, somewhere around Australia, or even the world,
I’d be keen to talk to you about my love for gear, and especially for rubber and latex.
Much shiny love,
The 2021 MRM contest is being streamed on Youtube Live this Friday from 10 September from 8pm AEST.
Register to get the link here