My wife is not interested in wearing rubber or vinyl or, indeed, in anything but the plainest and simplest fashions. Her reasons – to me – are that she hasn’t got the figure, the looks, the time, the inclination or the money and at least she is not like some women who demand a monthly clothing allowance. She is not a frigid person, far from it, and has a very happy lovable disposition (for which I married her) but doesn’t like clothes. So I have tried giving her things at birthdays and Christmas – a long chill-on rubber kaftan, a rather exotic black rubber boudoir outfit – and if I can get her in the right mood and if I make a special effort she will put them on for me. But it is all so lack-lustre that it ends with my being put right off rather than right on. So is there a rubber aphrodisiac, Mr. Sutcliffe, that you sell or something that might inspire same semblance of excitement, eroticism, rubberism and what all, or do I just decline into black despair?

– T. P. (Hants)

Don’t give up. To quote a rather extreme case I had a customer whose wife began by destroying garments he gave her and things got so had that divorce was a likely end to the matter. A marriage councillor helped her to see the light and he (the husband) returned home one day to see what he describes as ‘a vision in latex standing in the hall’. The results were, we understand, ‘spectacular and now five years later they are very happy and she is a convert not just to rubber but to leather which she prefers. The key is ‘patience, understanding and frank discussion’.

Another woman we know, not particularly attractive or young, met her husband through a matrimonial agency. He confessed at their second meeting his interest in rubber rainwear and latex. She was a first shocked but being attracted at the first meeting agreed to wear an outfit of his choosing. She said she suddenly realised, and then revelled in, his desire to protect her against the elements. From this simple fact came love. All, she said she had to do to find this happiness and companionship was, to quote her own words, ‘shed a lot of preconceptions and inhibitions’. In her view, her husband’s penchant has added a dimension to their marriage – “it is so lovely to know he wants to protect me . . . it just takes a little understanding.” – Ed.