Our ineffable, irrepressible columnist, seen opposite “dressed for an English summer’s day in the country”, demanded extra space in this issue to publish some of the interesting letters from her post bag, many from her own sex. Goodness knows what would have happened to our typing if we had said no!

It hardly seems possible that on Midsummer day I was wearing overknee boots and my black vinyl overcoat and a week later was glad of the outfit shown opposite. Our climate is thoroughly depressing except, of course, one doesn’t have to bother to think of summer clothes – just wear boots, leather, rubber and vinyl all the year round. Mind you, having to struggle against the elements all the year round is a bit much.

And on the subject of struggling, I have been doing quite a bit recently in i he way of trying out items that have come into Atomage – some for resale. For those many readers who wanted to see me wearing those rubber riding hreeches again (no accounting for taste) and to prove to Mr. Sutcliffe and to other readers eager to purchse that they are NOT a size 12 waist (my waist is around 23in – 24in depending on the time of day and whether I have stuffed myself to the gills at lunchtime or not). Turn to page 62 if you want to see correct detailed measurements because both the reader in America and in Germany found, as I thought, that they would not fit.

My next struggle was with a very lovely, soft red leather Atomage 2-piece suit that is still almost new and has come in for sale. I was told it was a Size 12 – my size – actually it is a very small size 10. Had it been my size it would not have appeared in the ‘For Sale’ items.

Then there was the heavy red rubber laced up riding breeches. I like riding breeches (I fancy that pair on page 29 – in my size) but I had to give this pair up after a wrestling match that lasted around an hour, plus another hour lacing 192 eyelet holes! The picture of this garment without me in it is on page 62. And please do note that the measurements I have given are accurate, and it is no use trying to squash a 28in waist 44in. hip into any of’ them. Page 62 also shows a pair of rubber boots I am selling to give me a little more room in my wardrobe.

Apart from more room I have recently acquired a pair of the fabulous new rubber boots from Aquo who, this autumn, are introducing a whole range of rubber boots as first described in Atomage 17.

The overknee pair I am wearing here have a beautiful gloss and fit just like a pair of gloves or a soft pair of slippers with heavy stockings attached. Completely waterproof (yes, I have tested them), they are the first pair of rubber boots I have ever really liked.

Selina Simpson hopes shortly to be selling them through various stockists in the U.K. (more news soon) as well as by mail order. She tells me that Aquo hope by the Autumn (I am writing this in August) to have an illustrated catalogue not only showing the waders, overknee and underknee boots, but a range of raincoats and possible other items. They will all be made of a very good quality rubber so will not be cheap. My boots cost £37 (and may be more by the time the winter rains take over from the autumn rains) but they are well worth every penny.

I was very pleased that among my correspondents – six of their letters printed here – I have members of my own sex whose views I find in close accord with mine. Mrs. ‘M’ impressed me not only by her sincerity, but also by the fact that it took her ten years to get used to hoods and masks. Also what a sensible and intelligent lady. Mr. M. is, indeed, very fortunate. The letter from ‘Goggles’ was very interesting because it gives the lie to those that believe the obsession theory. ‘Goggles’ and her husband practice ‘conventional and alternate sex’, their relationship is not dependent on dressing up, which is as it should be – an extension to their lovemaking. I like the realisation that ‘the end justifies the means’. I think I am almost beginning to feel that I am the one that is unusual in my views on head covering.

I must say after six years I tolerate some gas masks – those which don’t pull in against my face when I breathe – still dislikes hoods that close in tight around my face, but since receiving these encouraging letters I will persevere. I an thou’ most intrigued that ‘blind-foIding’ increases excitement and response. Yes, I think it would. Like making love silently in total darkness as an unusual variation.

Interesting, isn’t it, that where a woman is willing to co-operate, even encourage, and adapt herself she can gain rewards in terms of both physical satisfaction and emotional security, as well as, in a subtle way, bringing the M.C.P. to heel. What is so depressing about my sex is that they seem so incapable of simple understanding; so intolerant, so unimaginative; so depressingly ordinary both in thinking, dress and their approach to lovemaking In fact, I have always said that the average English woman’s national dress is a row of seed pearls, a twin set (hand knitted, of course) plus a nice, stretchy tweed skirt. In summer, a cotton dress, plus a lightweight cardigan to combat the chilly days of June etc. etc. If she is ‘respectable’ that is. How true that a man wants a chef in the kitchen, a lady in the drawing room, and a whore in the bedroom – what a pity so many women get their roles mixed. Of course, what is even more depressing is that the same accusations can be levelled at the male sex. How often a man will go to a whore because ‘I couldn’t ask my wife to do that’. Why couldn’t he? And of course, the male uniform is usually a battered old sports coat and baggy trousers, or an impressed, shiny business suit, In fact, I remember the occasions I have seen our Mr. Sutcliffe in his ‘gear’ and I, for one, thought he looked 100% more ‘dishy’ than in his conventional garb. In fact, I was able to persuade him to produce a photograph for Atomage 18. Yes, thinking it all over, there must be a basic flaw in our education system.

Thank you AS of Surrey and ACS 227 (who I see from his postmark lives in France) for reassuring me that I am not a freak or unique in feeling cold in rubber. As to the training, I am not entirely sure I would need it as I certainly do not want to lose weight at only 8 stone 5lbs (53 kilos). I do, however, like to be dry which is why I don’t need much if any, persuasion to dress as on pages 16 and 19. 1 take his point though about the use of creams.

It does intrigue me about the mechanism of the human body that whereas Robert emptied about a pint of liquid out of his latex suit after wearing it for a couple of hours recently, I emptied out – nothing!

Which reminds me to mention that I do wish the (male?) designers of latex suits would consider the female anatomy a little more carefully. I wish someone would design a crotch zip so that it opens to a fairly wide gap. I am fed up with wriggling, struggling and pulling apart at a rather important juncture of the proceedings simply because a tight-fitting latex suit tends to remain close and tight fitting even when a zip is opened. Really quite undignified. I am sure there are many of my gender who will know exactly what I mean! It’s really quite off-putting for both parties. Note to the male sex: if you want us to wear these suits then for heavens sake design them properly.

Imagination – and reality – is needed in latex design. Where many of our readers have designed some lovely outfits for the ladies (some I spotted in this issue) the maker’s catalogues continue to me to appear to be desperately depressing. I am still looking for a really de luxe chiffon latex kaftan, and a comfortable – repeat comfortable – catsuit. Still in my complaining mood, I promised to report on the green waders from France – well, here they are but although sent in to fit my size 4 feet, they are, in fact, 6’/2 (38 continental) and so uncomfortably loose. They are certainly waterproof but not rubber – a sort of plastic composition I think. So up to now it is the Atomage pair, shown on pages 16 and 19 that remain my favourites.

But for my part, you can keep your waders, your baggy boots, even the beautiful Selina rubber boots, because there is nothing, repeat nothing, to compare with the beautiful black pa2ent, slim fitting, over the knee pair that Atomage have just made for me. (Watch this space next time for a view of the new pair). The Atomage bootmaker admittedly is not cheap but when you get a pair of boots that fit so perfectly you hardly know they are on your feet, that feel so soft, that are far more comfortable than shoes or sandals, when you know you are wearing a style specially created for you and not anonymously made in a soulless factory – then you get a satisfaction that counts more than the cost. My last patent pair lost their lustre slightly after three seasons of heavy wear. In that time a friend of mind has had three paids of so-called fashion boots that she was advised not to wear in the rain: total cost came to a couple of pounds more than my pair cost.

Incidentally, you might be interested to know that when I put the new boots on in the Atomage showroom, they seemed to have an instant affect on my personality. I feel sure boots and leather do something for the female confidence – and disposition. I am not nearly so assertive in sandals. Quite the shy, shrinking violet in fact, as both John Sutcliffe and Robert Henley will agree. (Rubbish! – J. S. & R. H)

One of the advantages of my job is that I get to see the magazine first (aren’t I lucky, I say to myself, as I look with disgust at the piles of paper awaiting typing!) and so I get a chance to comment on the contents before you. I was interested in the article on taking photographs. It started me thinking about private pictures that many people take of their lovemaking. One otherwise very uninhibited friend told me that looking at pictures taken of intimate moments in the bedroom (masked or unmasked) was a total ‘turn off’. Now for me they can be a ‘turn on’ since one is usually too busy at the time to admire the communion in what you might like to describe as ‘sculptural terms’. What do you think? Of course, leaping in and out of bed to adjust the camera and light is a bit awkward but perhaps the writer of the article can tell us something about automatic cameras.

A pity we could not publish some of these pictures where ‘total enclosure’ is being used. If we published them in a book entitled ‘Cultural and ritual significance of fornication postures in Western Society” it would be acclaimed and reviewed in New Society, but in Atomage it would bring the heavy feet of the law tramping up the stairs. Anyway, I think I have gone on long enough and I’d better leave some space for the other contributors.