I love wearing leather which I came to quite late in life, and I find that I never want to take it off. Now and again I even sleep in it. In contrast, I have more of a love-hate relationship with rubber. It’s very exciting when I am sexually aroused, but I usually find that when the means has fulfilled the end I want to get out of it, even if previously I’ve turned myself on by imagining I would be made to wear it all night.

Some of my penchant for breathing masks and the accountrement of hoses and breathing bags comes, I am sure, from an inverted trauma of having gas at the dentist, but even before that age I used to love wearing gasmasks, which even then had a pronounced erotic effect.

I liked the photograph on p.49 of 19. I would like to watch a couple like that from inside a mask, and chained in a rubber suit. (I’d need to be or I might join in.) The other thing I would enjoy would be a gasmask party, where all the guests arrived in masks, and kept them on the whole time. Unfortunately, I am unable to offer hospitality, otherwise I would try and set something up myself.

Last April, about twenty of us went to restaurant to celebrate a birthday, everyone in leather ranging from standard ‘rocker’ type bike gear to one piece racing suits, or flared leather jeans and leather T shirts. Nobody in the restaurant appeared to bat an eyelid as we all trooped in.

Sometimes I find the reaction or non-reaction of people to my leathers, coupled with observations that I ride a motorbike, provides a most useful insight into their characters. Remarks like ‘nice to see spacemen coming to church’ would guarantee an awful sermon. Others who simply say ‘Good evening’ can be relied on to say something interesting. Can’t they be more imaginative than spacemen or batman? But it seems that the mass of the populace is so drearily unimaginative.

As a final example, being aware of the adverse pressure of the conforming majority against the minority nonconformist motor cyclists, which results in pubs who won’t admit bikers albeit they be impeccably dressed, or camp sites who won’t take bikers or even young people, this anecdote pleases me. I was recently presenting a paper to a large Convention and a very pleasant perk was a champagne reception. How nice it was that the Chairman of the Convention kindly carried my crash-helmet for me as we walked into the Reception Lounge.