Up to the invention of plastics, rubber was the epitome of man’s creative genius in finding a substance which was impervious to moisture, was light, smooth and flexible and above all durable. It afforded him for the first time a means of combating the elements, meeting nature on its own terms.

All this nonsense about rubber being a ‘second skin’ is just that – nonsense. Rubber doesn’t breathe in the way skin can. In terms of thermal protection, skin does not compare with rubber.

To understand the relationship between man and rubber you have only to ‘understand the nature of man as the hunter and as the provider. In order to find a mate, early man had to be able to provide food and protection for the woman, who, in return, would give him children, who, as they grew up, would be able to assist him in the task of hunting and, in the case of the girls, housekeeping. (Or cave keeping!)

His only form of protection at that time was animal skins, and until the arts of tanning were perfected they proved very inadequate, of short life and usually very smelly. The coming of textiles solved part of the problem but not protection against wet and cold. The first material that did this efficiently was rubber. Man had been looking for a perfect material like this for many centuries and when he found it he attached to it all the psychology of sex which is the basic human drive, stronger than any of the others, even food.

If your readers wish to challenge this very simple statement I would be pleased to read their thesis. Personally, I think that the subject and the nature of the fetishism is as simple and as harmless as that.

To anticipate the question as to why then more men are not rubber ‘fetishists’, I would answer that men with strong sex drives usually are, but in many cases they don’t recognise it, or it is transferred to some other object.

– A.S. (South Africa).