The most interesting part of working for Atomage is the people one meets. Almost without exception I have found them to be charming, courteous, cultivated and highly intelligent; far more so than most of the folk I meet in the course of my other daily work. And this remark applies to the ladies as well as the men. Of course, you will appreciate I have met more males than females, because of the male ‘penchant’ for our materials. I am inclined to think that their very sensitivity creates this very penchant for certain things and objects which are then related to their sexual drive.

Whereas some less sensitive people might find their sensitivity at the bottom of a glass, hooting noisily at a football match, or slumped in a chair watching TV with a glass at their elbow, the more sensitive types find it in a way that, after all, is not a lot more unusual than choosing a vintage wine.

For heavens sake don’t think I’m starting a philosophy or psychology column or even introducing a lonely hearts club – that I can well do without – but just making a point that a woman who finds herself a man with that kind of sensitivity is doing very well for herself – I speak with a certain amount of authority and experience of the matter. Which is. one of the reasons why I get really mad when I meet or talk with a reader who says that his wife used to tolerate his interest in rubber/leather/vinyl and would occasionally, if she was asked very nicely, dress up in the things he had bought for her, but now that she has the children she really hasn’t the time or interest for sex – or him. “Apart from that she is a marvellous person!”

Apart from that! Really, I despair of the short-sightedness of my sex.

When eventually he goes off or finds himself another woman on the side – these nice men rarely duck out of their responsibilities – she asks herself why, and she cries a lot – usually on the shoulders of sympathetic neighbours, who murmur that “men are such dirty beasts”. “I gave him one/two/three lovely children” she says, “cooked for him, washed his shirts, kept his house spotless. I know I wouldn’t wear all that stupid rubber stuff, which is such a waste of money anyway, but there is nothing in the marriage lines that says I should. Let him slave all day at home and see if he feels like sex”.

Having said that, I wish to commit the allegedly common trick of contradicting myself. Some of you men do tend to do all the taking and not the giving. Don’t demand leather/rubber/vinyl all the time. See what mood she is in, and if you gauge it to be the right one, then press on – but please don’t ever press on regardless.

But I am surprised that so many women refuse to ‘give’ at all, particularly after a couple of years of marriage when the excuses have been honed to a fine edge: headache, pre-menstrual tension, aftermenstrual tension, ovulating, tired, backache and last but not least the classic “the children might wake up.” Again I speak with experience. Apart from the last one I’ve used them all myself … but that was a long time ago. … when I was very young and with a different man. I can remember the occasion I lost my virginity: the next day I walked all alone down Richmond Hill thinking to myself that if this was sex then I’m opting out.

I have learned a lot since – and with a difference. So much have I learned, and so much am I learning, that I am working on a small book which I am hoping will explore the subject in more detail than I could do here. Incidentally, I was interested – but not surprised – to read of a report in a recent article in the British Medical Association Journal that one in three women do not enjoy sex at all, and almost one in three are somewhat indifferent to the pleasures – and I expect the remainder said they didn’t know, they were thinking of the chores they had to do the following day. No wonder, if the survey is true, there are many men who seek their sexual stimulus in other directions.

My own views on the subject are largely based on conversations I have had with other people. One delightful couple I met – not young and very much in love – fascinated me. The husband said I should talk to his wife about her views. I did. She was wonderfully frank and I borrowed a tape recorder. What she said is in the Atomage Interview on page 23.

I think it is marvellous when I meet women like that, and many others too, who willingly, happily and lovingly do a lot more with the man of their choice than even I would be prepared to do.

It may surprise some of the male readers of this column who may think I am the most liberated woman since Boadicea, that I have a fairly large set of active, working prejudices. My views on masks and head covering I have stated before except I am more prepared to overcome them at times in the active interests of love and satisfaction.

There are quite a few of the garments I have seen in Atomage I would not wear – ever. There are some I might wear in the house privately in consideration of the above mentioned interests, but badly made raincoats, clumsy waders worn outdoors take a lot of tolerance and patience on my part – both in rather short supply in my personality bank.

I do so enjoy getting other readers’ views and again I have published, with their permission, some extracts here – I was especially interested in the letter and pictures from a woman who tells me she has always been ‘turned on’ by rubber. I am grateful, too, for her lovely pictures (some here and a colour one on page 4) because I think she decorates the pages far better than I. I intend strictly limited pictures of myself in this and future issues. (Shame! – R.H. and J.S.)

I am grateful also for Jay’s advice on getting used to wearing a hood or a mask.

I do try to reply to everyone of my correspondents – eventually. I even respond sympathetically to requests for photographs of me in those tight fitting breeches, although the astonishing appeal of that particular outfit is still beyond the bounds of my imagination.

Now, the outfit I do like is the one on the front cover of the last issue. But alas, my legs are too short and too fat for me to look good in an ensemble like that.


I recently spent a most interesting afternoon in Richmond visiting Tony Goddard and Ron Marlow at the new home of Weather Vain.

I was delighted by the range of garments, and I defy any woman – repeat any woman – not to be fascinated by some of the deliciously feminine designs. Whether or not they are interested in rubber, no woman could have stayed in that shop longer than ten minutes without becoming absorbed with most of the garments. I myself will confess that I didn’t think rubber could be cut and coloured to be so feminine. I think I have always made it very clear that I am essentially a feminist and a lot of you male readers do tend to like women in SBR hoods, gloves and waders, but these garments can hardly be called dainty. Weather Vain’s were, and I was enchanted.

My favourite was a really beautifully made jade green kaftan shown here – ankle length, pouched sleeves, with a very intriguing knee-high slit in the skirt. Nice to say it’s now mine, thanks to their generosity. The only problem now is when am I going to have an opportunity to wear it publicly, since my nose always seems to be over a typewriter – but I am sure some op portunity will present itself. It’s so nice to think I shall be able to wear it to a dinner party, feed myself to the gills (yes, it’s very very full), spill wine, food or whatever down it, and have no cleaner’s bill to meet, since it can so easily be washed.

I was most intrigued to learn from Tony and Ron that few of their male customers are interested in dressing themselves in rubber. I find this is contrary to many of the couples I have met who tell me they both derive great pleasure – in fact it is all part of the act – from dressing each other. But as you will have read in the article describing our visit to Weather Vain, each particular ‘group’ has its own specialist. As I’ve always said, it’s all a matter of what turns you on. If I pay any more visits to Weather Vain shall I cease to be a devotee of leather, vinyl and velvet, and – yes, wait for it – convert to rubber? I will keep you informed.