I discovered Atomage and Atomage International about a year ago – and since then have been trying to build up as complete a collection of back numbers as is now possible, as well as keeping up to date with the current issues. It came as a great relief to me to find that there are so many other people who are interested in dressing for pleasure, whatever form it may take. I knew that I was not alone in my interest, but my upbringing had conditioned me to believe that such interests were not normal, and so were not discussed. Anyway, I think Atomage is a splendid production which treads a very difficult path in covering the differing aspects within a diverse group. I find interest in and enjoy all the aspects of dressing for pleasure which it illustrates, including bondage. And I don’t think you’ll object if I say that I agree with the commonsense and sympathetic attitude of your columnist Helen.

I find it hard to be objective about my own feelings, but I know that my interest in rubber goes back to my early teens at least: we had a young maid who had a green rubberised mackintosh cape which I used to borrow and which, with a gasmask left over from the war, made up an outfit in which I used to masturbate, loving the cool feel of the rubber on my skin. Why I should have been so attracted to this garment I really cannot say. I have no conscious childhood recollections of rubber bed sheets (although I am sure they would have been there in my cot when I was an infant), nor did any of us possess rubber or rubberised mackintoshes. All that I can recall is that another boy at my kindergarten had a rubber mackintosh which fact must have been, in some way, remarkable, or of significance, or I would not have remembered it through the years.

My predilection for rubber was reinforced when I was a diver in the Navy, though the original one piece swimmers’ suits were known., with reason, as ‘Clammy Deaths’ – but I enjoyed the freedom of swimming (a three-dimensional freedom) in an Avon rubber ‘Dry Suit’ but its texture appealed by its protective nature rather than its tactile quality.

I do know now that for me the pleasure of such dressing comes in being totally enclosed and insulated from the outside world. I ride a motor cycle and so I have a full set of leathers which I wear with close fitting gloves and a pair of well fitting rubber riding boots: with a full face helmet I feel completely protected, and although I have had the outfit for some years, I still get a thrill as I dress myself. I am now starting to collect some latex underwear to go with my leathers, as a means of getting the best of both worlds.

My sexual fantasies revolve round hoods and masks. I love the air of mystery given by a mask – the feeling that you can hide your personality behind it – the feeling that you can look out and see the world without the world seeing you. As one of your correspondents so aptly put it, the mask gives you anonymity. I have always had a wish to experiment with bondage and domination and would enjoy them but, I think, only as games. I have no desire to be kept in severe bondage, so as to cause discomfort, nor would I wish to inflict pain or discomfort on my partner. I can understand, however, the therapeutic relaxing effect of being cocooned and helpless: back in the womb as it were. Unfortunately for me, my wife has responded negatively to my tentative suggestions and, it seems to me, has no interest in such ideas.

So whilst we enjoy untrammelled, though infrequent, sex, I feel that I have been unable to release all my sexual desires, but I can sublimate my fantasies through the realities of your magazine, while enjoying my own dressing for pleasure.

There is one aspect of bondage/restriction on which I feel a note of caution should be sounded: this concerns bladders or something similar in the control of breathing. If you breathe in and out of the same vessel for too long and restrict the inflow of air, then there is a danger of building up a poisonous level of carbon dioxide in the bladder. The only uncomplicated solution is to breathe in through one tube, say, the nostril and out through another, say, from the mouth.

– ‘Alistair’