I have questioned my wife about her dislike of mackintoshes and all I obtained were the stock answers: she does not like the smell, she likes even less the fact that the smell clings to her other clothes, they are sweaty and spoil her other clothes, in cold weather macks do not keep her warm, and in warm weather make her feel extremely hot. Also she feels like a change after 20 years of rubberised rainwear. Well, I will not bore you with the counter arguments I could put to these criticisms, but at the end she summed it all up by saying she feels conspicuous when wearing rubber macks.

I am sure this is what it is all about – feeling conspicuous. Whenever one reads rubber magazines the love of rubber usually started with the dread of it. Childhood memories of being bought a mackintosh often bear out a dread of such a garment before the person had ever even worn one to experience the smell, feel and clamminess that are given as reasons for disliking them. I remember the late 50s when women’s fashion magazines were killing off the mackintosh by citing the disadvantages and yet praising vinyls and plastics with the exception of the smell are very similar. No, in my opinion, there is an indefinable something about a mackintosh which no other material has. A lot of people just feel awkward or ill at ease when wearing one, particularly if it is not pouring cats and dogs. They do not think twice about wearing a poplin or cire or even plasticised rainwear every day of the week – it is just a top coat – but a mackintosh well, that’s different, that’s only worn when raining. It is crazy but I am sure it is true.

During one of our heart to heart chats about rubber I suggested to my wife that she read the articles in Atomage or allowed me to mark excerpts which were relevant to us in the magazine, but she did not want to read them. Even stranger. the other evening she had agreed to a rubber session and there she was in her rubber suit, gloves, boots, ankle and waist straps on, mask waiting to be put on, when I decided to show her some photos of another couple depicting the wife very heavily rubbered, strapped to a pillory wearing a most complex mask and breathing equipment. My wife took one look and said they were revolting and threw them at me. I thought that rather odd in her situation.

She did not like attending Mackintosh Society evenings (even though there have been some superb dinner dances) because she felt that men were almost ‘pawing’ her even though they did not touch her, but they looked and looked and looked and asked the most naive questions rather than just treating her as a woman. Then we started going to some parties (social evenings not orgies) which arose as an off-shoot of the Mackintosh Society and she said she felt she was a fraud at these. Everyone was so keen on rubber, and there was she wearing a rubber outfit for my sake and not because she liked it.

We also had another experience where we met up with a couple and visited them. They were like us only the wife wore rubber and I had great hopes they would give my wife whatever it was that she needed to be at ease with the rubber scene. They were terribly enthusiastic. The wife often either slept in her catsuit or wore it all day even when doing the housework and they had a pillory for bondage sessions. I had heard from a mutual acquaintance that she had even agreed to be caned to the limit of her endurance. The husband was a great talker, had studied and was a bit of an amateur psychiatrist.

Well, the evening seemed to be a great success. The next day, however, my wife said she felt she had failed me and it appeared likely she was about to become actively interested in rubber. Instead she became more and more depressed and started saying we should split up to enable me to find someone more able to service my desires than she was. It took a long time to re-assure her that she was the girl for me whatever the level of rubber involvement she could tolerate.

– T.C.