An account from a reader who asks to remain anonymous.

Perhaps your readers would like to read an account of a rubber evening.

My wife and I dress up in rubber, with or without gas masks, on certain evenings of the month. On one particular evening I was wearing a black latex hooded mac and my wife was wearing a one-piece black latex suit, high heeled black boots, and black rubber gloves. I noticed that she had brought her gas mask downstairs with her into the lounge, but paid little attention as I had switched on the TV in time for an Anglia Television ‘Survival’ programme. (Little did I know then what a coincidence that was going to be!)

My wife usually reads or listens to records on the stereo headphones while I watch programmes she has no interest in. Before I settled in to the programme proper, I wondered for a moment why my wife had not brought my gas mask down. I glanced across at her but saw that she already had her headphones on. ‘Never mind’ I thought, ‘I’ll go up and get it after this programme’s finished’.

During the commercial break I stayed in my chair, my wife had her eyes shut, the pick-up I noticed was somewhere near the last track. The programme continued. It was particularly interesting and there was another half-hour of the programme still to see. I pulled my legs up on to the chair, and draped the loose folds of my latex mac over my legs and bare feet and tried hard to concentrate on the programme.

The latex warmed up, and the television still had my full attention. It must have been about 15 minutes later when I sensed my wife getting up and going out into the kitchen. She came back carrying something. It must be a cup of coffee – where’s mine? I kept my eyes on the screen. What a fascinating programme this is! My eyes are watering a bit tonight, I must need glasses for watching the television, no that can’t be right – it must be my head cold. Concentrate – you’re missing something interesting – I can’t! I can smell ammonia. I rub my eyes – ammonia!

Looking across at where my wife had been sitting, I saw that she had stood up and I was just in time to see a superior smile on her face as she quickly put on her ex-Civilian Duty gas mask, with darkened eyepieces. I quickly got up and tried to snatch the gas mask off her. There was only one gas mask in the room and she was wearing it! But I still fell foul of my own liking for being tucked into latex. I could not get my legs free from the moist folds of black latex. By the time I got free, she had padlocked a metal band across the lower head bands to make sure I would not be able to rip it off her in any scuffle. No use looking for the key – it will be upstairs.

Blast this ammonia, my eyes are stinging now – my wife pulled the attached hood up over her head and strapped it into place. Then she stood there with hands on hips, with the low-level soft lighting from the table lamp by her side, highlighting the black latex down one side, making her a very menacing figure, especially as the gas mask had darkened eye pieces.

I see the changing colours of the television screen reflecting off the polished latex on her thighs and think ‘Damn, the programme, it only had about five minutes to run – why couldn’t she have waited until it had finished?’.

(She told me afterward that she had poured the ammonia into a large dish, because I was giving more attention to the television that. I was to her, even though she had at one time stood up and swung her gas mask backwards and forwards to attract my attention – I did not see her because, as she said, I was too engrossed in the programme).

As she stood there I thought how beautiful and how superior she looked, and how so utterly protected from the ammonia gas she was, and how defenceless I was. Hell, where’s my gas mask? At that moment, I loved my wife and hated her at the same time. I dashed to the lounge door and found it to be locked.

I should think that no more than a minute and a half had gone by but already it was getting difficult to keep my eyes open. On the other side of the Flemish glass door I could see, in between painful stings, my much desired gas mask, also ex Civilian Duty. I mean, I like to wear it at any time, but it was absolutely essential that I wore it now. I knew that relief would only come when I switched the TV off.

I am often accused of having ‘square eyes’. As I said before, it was useless trying to remove my wife’s gas mask, and anyway you just do not do that sort of thing to someone so obviously in a position of great authority.

By now I was tingling with excitement, seeing my wife in her full protective gear and seeing her make use of the protection it afforded in a real way – wow! It was out of this world seeing her in a dominant role, and all these feelings were heightened by the sensation of the loose, cool folds of the latex mac as I moved about.

Strong ammonia can be dangerous. You cannot stay in the fumes unprotected for too long, which is a pity because it is the finest experience I’ve had in a pseudo-desperate situation at the hands of this gas-masked lady in black latex. ‘I must get back to the television set, – who’s moved the coffee table? I crawl over in the direction of coloured blur; find the button and switch the set off. I look at my wife as she towers above me looking fantastically menacing and all-powerful. I feel so vulnerable and helpless as I search in vain for a hint of an expression in the darkened eyepieces of her gas mask.

She strides towards me. What now? I’ve switched the TV off what more does she want? I see a hand extended towards me – I rub my eyes yet again – the hand is still there, she is saying something but I cannot distinguish what it is because the mask muffes the words. Oh, she wants me to get up, she’s offering me her hand to help me – the roles have changed; she is no longer adopting the dominant role.

She is now adopting the role of protection. I hear her unlocking the lounge door. I cannot open my eyes now – in a moment she has retrieved my gas mask. She is behind me. I feel my chin being introduced into the gas mask facepiece. I take over the head bands from her and fit it properly. Slowly at first, then more quickly; as I breathe deeply my eyes stop watering and I can see clearly again. I am tingling all over with being subjected to such punishment, with the movements of the folds of the latex mac against my body, with the relief at putting the gas mask on, the thrill of wearing a gas mask and realising to the full it’s protective qualities, and with the sensation of seeing clearly and so close to my, now, loving wife in her stunning protective gear. She now looks like a guardian angel. She comes closer and we embrace, then … but then, you can guess the rest of the story!

At other times, she has hidden, or locked the cupboard we use for storing our gas masks and rubber gear and I have to stay out of the lounge until the programme I was watching has finished, or again, when caught on the hop with this strong ammonia business (it is not something she uses often because that would spoil the effect we both like to experience), I dash upstairs to get my gas mask, find it, put it on and dash downstairs again only to find the lounge door locked, and again I have to miss the programme, while my wife sits there listening to her records through the headphones – what a bizarre picture this must make – a gas masked rubber suited goddess, with stereo headphones on, listening to records all on her own!

All this is doubly frustrating because, in addition to not being able to see the TV programme, I cannot see my loved one dressed in the manner that gives me the greatest kick, either. All I can see is a distorted image, in subdued light, through the Flemish glass door.

Her greatest tease on these occasions is to remove her gas mask just before she opens the door, robbing me of the sight that I have been longing to see – which she knows all too well, and go past jauntily with her gas mask dangling over her shoulder from one finger of a rubber gloved hand. She knows I must have been going mad wanting to see her. I was – and how I was – just thinking about her on her own in that ‘room for about three quarters of an hour, dressed in full protective gear and not being able to see her. Words cannot describe the variety of emotions I felt on such occasions. What made it worse was that when she was in that sort of mood, I knew I would not see her wearing her gas mask that evening – no matter how much I tried to get her to change her mind. Sometimes she would get straight out of her rubber suit as well. She certainly knew how to tease – but, thank goodness, she also knew how to please!