By: Filip Sandström Beijer
Photos: Raf & Way
The first material that comes to one’s mind when talking about kink and fetish is probably latex. Playful met with one of the cities exhibitionists, Bloodshrimp, to find out more about the lust for latex and the community.
If you've seen a person from head to toe wearing latex in the streets of Friedrichshain, you've probably encountered Bloodshrimp.
“I’m just your average, run-of-the-mill, non-binary rubber fiend. I´m an exhibitionist, so you can usually find me crawling around the streets of Friedrichshain and sweating profusely at kinky parties. I love incorporating different things that inspire me creatively, such as music, fashion, architecture, sexuality and gender identity and expressing them visually through the latex pieces I wear. My goal as a creator is to explore objectification and to try to take out latex/fetish from the “taboo” box of topics and include it in a more mainstream conversation.”
For Bloodshrimp, the latex fetish started with competitive swimming and an interest and joy in collecting, and wearing, swimsuits that had been used for competitions.
“These suits were made of different blends of spandex, nylon and lycra, and you wore them to reduce friction against water. I’ve heard someone once say that the path from swimmer to latex wear is a straight line. And it makes total sense if you think about it: the enclosure these suits provide, the pressure, the sleek look… Latex catsuits and racing swimsuits intersect at so many points. Latex and water are also inextricably connected, inasmuch as they both provide a sensorial experience through sound deprivation and apnoea. Considering all of this, I think my venture into latex wear was inevitable.
In their early twenties, they got their first pair of latex stockings as a gift, but it wasn’t until an ex-partner introduced them to the whole rubber gear play scene that the latex journey really started.
“Within a year I was going for full enclosure, heavy rubber. I still love to research and collect racing swimsuits like I did as a teenager, except now I also like to include latex clothing, gasmasks, toys and bondage accessories.”
To get us into the suit, Bloodshrimp explains the thing with latex. And it’s getting passionate, even in text.
“Imagine you’re covered head to toe in latex. Catsuit, socks, gloves, hood, the whole works. You look at yourself in the mirror, unable to recognize any human part of you. Your insecurities, your past, your embarrassing memories (like that time you tripped in front of your crush). All gone. There’s just you, there, at that moment. An object. Just to feel, to react. You lie down, feeling the latex hug every surface of your body. You barely hear anything, except for the sound of your own breathing. The smell of latex overwhelming you. Someone who you trust ties your wrists and ankles with some nice thick cuffs, applying an extra amount of pressure into your joints. They start working on you with a Hitachi, teasing your inner thighs first, then moving upwards... I have to stop here because I’m getting myself worked up!”
For someone who’s not into the scene it’s easy to mix up latex, rubber and leather and put them into the same fetish box. For Bloodshrimp, latex is the primary thing.
As far as actual material goes, “latex” is referred to as the substance extracted from trees, and “rubber” is made using this substance. I think that in the fetish community, “latex” and “rubber” are terms often used interchangeably. From what I can tell, people more often use “latex” do describe all sorts of garments and accessories both in fashion and fetish wear. Heavy rubber is more often used to describe thicker, “industrial” garments and accessories, like gasmasks, that are used for kinky play. Leather is obviously in its own category production-wise, but there’s a reason why most fetish stores sell both rubber and leather items. Both have a certain look, smell and texture that immediately transports you to a sort of “playful” mindset. Latex is more my jam, though.
Having a look at Bloodshrimps Instagram, the majority of pictures are photographed outdoors in public. And describing themselves as an exhibitionist, we want to know more.
“I personally love wearing latex in public. When you’re a femme/ womxn/ AFAB person, you are often met with catcalling and street harassment for just using public space. I feel like I’m reclaiming some of that space when I go out in full gear because I am commanding that attention, on my own terms. People are not seeing my human body, something I was born with, but they’re seeing my expression, my choices, what I want them to look at.
Except from reclaiming the space, wearing latex in public is also something that goes hand in hand with being an introvert and finding a way blooming in a way that otherwise would be much more difficult. Bloodshrimp explains:
“There’s also something extremely cathartic about being a natural introvert and feeling daring in a latex head-to-toe look, just because people can’t possibly recognize you. You can’t even recognize yourself! And that gives you a lot of freedom to do things you normally wouldn’t. If you ever feel curious about going out and provoke people like that, however, prepare to either freeze your ass off or sweat like no one’s business.”
As latex fetishists, which clubs are the best?
“I think KitKatclub is the fetish club par excellence. There’s also Lab.oratory, although they’re only really open for all genders twice a year. In addition, there are regular and annual events that happen in most venues across town. However, I’m a big proponent of wearing what you most identify with at any event. If I feel like wearing latex (and don’t particularly feel like putting on a whole catsuit), I just pick a harness or a choker and go on my merry way. Sometimes it’s fun to go for a more subdued look and be incognito at regular techno parties.”
Getting under the second skin with Fetishboy93
“I am a normal professional and hide behind my civil façade while I live a pretty exciting double life”. Playful had a chat with Fetishboy93, another latex fetishist in Berlin.
How would you describe yourself?
"I am 27 years old and born in Leipzig. It's not easy to define who or what I am. I would say a person that is going through life and trying to enjoy it wherever it goes. Maybe even a little relaxed. I do not submit to any societal norms, but I set out on a journey according to my deepest innermost needs and live them out."
"I like to call myself dark black matter with a lot of self-confidence
and see myself as a kind of sex artist. Otherwise, I am a normal professional and hide behind my civil façade while I live a pretty exciting double life."
When did you first discover your love for rubber, and how did it turn into a fetish?
"I discovered my preference for this very accidentally. I was working in a full rubber suit with rubber boots and found it quite nice. The I was tested if I could wear the mask of an acquaintance on a date. From then on, I was aware that I had a latex fetish."
"Maybe a month or two later I went to Berlin and bought my first suit and was very happy with it. That is now approximately two and a half years ago. Since then, my latex collection has been growing steadily. And of course, I love the smell of rubber in the bedroom…"
I know it can be hard to describe kink, but if you'd try, how would you make us hot for rubber?
"I would say the material can give you a nice feeling of security, as it’s like a second skin.
Then add another mask, I slip into my role and I’m transformed. It's a lot of fun to completely disguise myself, because masking is unmasking."
"In these moments I embody my real self and it's a damn beautiful feeling to be able to be what one imagines. To share this preference with others is a great enrichment for me and in my life. It's shiny, it fits well, it squeaks and it's damn tight."
To me, the whole thing also has something very futuristic, artistic and a lot of aesthetics. Therefor, when you read these things, you should consider trying them out.
2Apart from latex, I actually like everything that has to do with leather and rubber. I do not dislike it. Even so, my focus is absolutely on latex. I think everyone has their preferences and decides individually what they enjoy wearing and what get’s them going. One likes this and the other likes that."
The pictures you are often taken in public, is there a public fetish as well?
"I find it that in Berlin it’s always fun to wear latex in public as well. People respect you for what you are and understand the meaning behind it, or just leave you alone. Maybe that also inspires one or the other to question who you are.To me, latex in public is definitely an enrichment."
Different fetishes fit different people, but would you say that there’s one thing that connects you with the other community members, besides being into rubber?
"Oh yes, I believe the respect for each other connects us most of all. And maybe a hedonistic attitude to life in general. Then there are the social networks à la Instagram, which nowadays makes it easier for us to meet like-minded people and to express ourselves artistically, even if we have to overcome setbacks over and over again. In my opinion, every individual is looking for ’the meaning of life’, but in different ways and forms."
For more latex content, follow @bloodshrimp on Instagram.