“Hacking” the Rubberist Experience

Before you read the rest of this message, please view the very short YouTube video from Jason Silva here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJlfwbS0BFY  Pay special attention to what he says about “hacking experience”.

For the last 7-8 years I have been a student of  Dr. Mihalyi Csíkszentmihályi’s concept of “Flow“, which is the state of completely focused attention that is one of the fundamental sources of human happiness.  “Happiness is absorption” (TE Lawrence).

Then, along comes Jason Silva with his idea of “Experience Design” (see the video link above). This is the idea that we can deliberately engineer our experience, through “attention” (i.e. Flow) to optimize and direct our perceptions and, thereby, add significantly to our own  happiness.

When we combine the principles of Flow with Experience Design, we may have the basis for a (teachable)  “Meta Skill” that could be applied to rubber fetish or anything that involves us deeply.

Imagine “scripting your own rubber movie”! What heights of sensuality and

depths of satisfactions could we achieve from our fetish as we applied this skill to it? Could we use it to directly and deliberately generate more than just pleasure but real, deeply seated happiness for us? Could it give our lives as Rubberists deeper meaning?

How could you “script your own movie”? Why doesn’t everyone do it? Why is it so difficult to do?

Part of the problem is probably something called Hedonic Adaptation. As Jason Silva puts it (in another video), “over-stimulation to the same kind of thing renders it invisible. Your brain has already mapped it and you are no longer engaged by it. We have eyes that see not, ears that hear not and hearts that neither feel nor understand.”

It’s why the deliciousness of your latex suit diminishes the longer you wear it. It loses its “wonder”.

The key to overcoming hedonic adaptation is the skill of attention.  The longer you can “attend” to something, the longer you can make the wonder last.

I’ll posit here that there may be skill sets, perhaps some sort of “rubber yoga”, which may help us renew and maintain a higher level of “catsuit wonder”. Perhaps we can “design our experience” to make it all better, more longlasting and more worthwhile. Maybe we can build wonder back it continuously?

OK, here’s a meta-skill which could directly impact your level of personal happiness. How would you “script your own rubber movie”?

Hope this gets you folks thinking!

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Rubbergating — Transmuting Fetishism into an Asset

One of the most important aspects of a “practice” is a profound sense of working towards mastery of something, an on-going development or acquisition of open-ended skills in which one gradually becomes more proficient at but for which there is always, always, always more room for further growth.

The quest for growth is hard-wired into the human soul and is what separates us from all other animals. Growth is one of the more fundamental ingredients of Flow, which ultimately contributes to a sense of happiness and, perhaps, some “ataraxia” (Greek philosophical term for “mind at peace”). A sense of growth gives us a reason to continue our work. It becomes an end in itself which never actually ends.

“Spirit” is energy that strives for growth. “Soul” is the path that it takes. (orig)

When we are growing we are alive — really alive. When we stop growing, we start dying. When we are not growing, we experience what shamans call “soul loss”, a sense of emptiness and purposelessness. It is the sense of Sartre’s “no exit”. Growing gives us a sense of direction and meaning to our lives. It’s an ongoing process.

It’s the path, Stupid!

Traditionally, fetish is not a skill. It is an activity which satisfies a biological urge and then is done until the next time that urge arises. There is no growth. One does not ”get better” or grow more skilful at fetish in the traditional sense. “Development” is not usually a dynamic. Traditional fetish is not a practice. It’s just an something through which (for whatever reason) is a somewhat stagnant enchantment. It grows some, sure, but it does not come close to the Zen-like journeys which those who seek higher worlds may eventually begin to see.

Our presumption is that our fetish is both a major source of drive and energy to our lives as well as one of our primary identities. It enchants us, for whatever reason, very powerfully. It’s not going to go away.

The main thrust of our work is to seek out and discover new methodologies with which fetish can be transformed into a practice — something through which one continually meets challenges and acquires new skills in doing. Fetish is an “engine”, a driving force but, for most people, it is not not a pathway for growth. We try to find ways to grow through our fetish. We try to transmute our fetish into a path.

So, why don’t we find ways to use our fetish to further enchant and enrich our lives? Why don’t we find ways to transform it into a deeply satisfying flow activity? Why not try to use it as a catalyst or conduit to transcending ourselves, to go beyond what we are now?

I have referred to this as “RubberGating” |®| — to use our fetish to transport us through the “gateway” to transcendent modes of being. To transform us into becoming more or bigger than we already are. …to deliberately and consciously choose to explore and pioneer ways to use our fetish as a means to making us happier.

We attempt to “engineer” our subjective experience.

It is important to understand that using a rubber fetish as a gateway to transcendental exploration is certainly not the only path, nor is it even especially well suited to it. And it is probably somewhat limited to those few thousand or so people on this planet who are the sort of deep Rubberist which has the right spirit for this. However, it is already a very strong force in our lives, and RubberGating may simply be good way to harness that force to our advantage. We’ve already got the fetish– why not use it for something good.

Rubbergating is the act of choosing to regard one’s fetish as an asset rather than a liability. Our fetish becomes our path.


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Our fetish affects our entire life.

For many Rubberists, the fetish permeates all levels of our lives. It is always with us in one way or another. Obviously, it affects our sexuality rather blatantly. But it also affects other things we do  in much more subtle ways. For example, it may profoundly affect how we see ourselves–our self-esteem–how we deal with human relationships, etc.

Those who have trouble accepting their fetish–either from their own perspective or as the result of how others treat and feel about them. This may make them feel “dirty” or “perverted” or otherwise unworthy. These all may greatly affect the general demeanor one’s life. It can be an influence in our lives of such magnitude that it may be a major source of happiness–or sadness– in our lives.

I wonder if fetish may also contribute to introversion and as a personality trait. Fetish is inherently “solo” so it may influence whether we look outward or inward.

What is Fetishamanism?

A fetishaman is someone who uses the energy of his/her fetish as a catalyst or conduit – a “gateway” – to altered states of consciousness as a means to exploring the full depth and breadth of reality.

According to anthropologist Dr. Michael Harner, widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on shamanism, traditional shamanism has roots that go back 30-40,000 years to the very dawn of humanity.  It is often described as the “oldest religion” although it may not actually be a religion in the modern sense of the term. When stripped of it’s more localized cultural baggage, what is left is a “technology” for attaining alternate states of consciousness or “ASC’s”. These include chanting, drumming, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, use of hallucinogenic or entheogenic drugs and gases, sweat lodges, fasting, dancing, lucid dream inducement, hypnotic trances, meditation, orgasm stimulation/denial and many other esoteric techniques which induce an ASC, usually by orchestrating subtle changes in neurochemistry and physiology. Harner refers to this stripped down version as “core shamanism”.

Mircea Eliade, another well-known expert on shamanism, refers to it as a “technology of ecstasy”, which he defines as a “slipping out of ordinary reality”.

“Slipping out” of ordinary reality is probably one of the most significant ways to explore who you really are and to expand your understanding of the universe. This quest to transcend yourself is a function of mysticism that is hard wired into your being and is one of the primary characteristics of humanity that separates us from all other animals.

It is all about waking up to who you really are. Most people are asleep in this respect. You are special… Something has stirred you to the quest!

It’s important to note that while many shaman use their abilities to promote healing in some way, this aspect is not specific to all cultures. Many shaman are not healers, such as Casteneda’s Don Juan Matus. Healing is not integral to the definition of shamanism.

If you integrate fetishism into shamanism you get a technology of alternate consciousness that is driven by the energy of sexuality. It is similar to neo-tantra in some ways.  It becomes a technology of alternate consciousness that includes a very strong motivational force pushing you to practice it. For example, if you develop a practice of meditating in total Rubber Enclosure, the thought of putting on your catsuit to go meditate at 3:00a.m. will suck you out of bed and onto your meditation cushion at an ungodly time when little else will. It motivates you to meditate! What other driving force will get you out of bed at the hour of the morning?

Fetishamanism is the practice of core shamanism utilizing a fetish as a catalyst and the primary focusing principle .  You might say that Fetishamanism is modern shamanism with fetish added as it’s cultural baggage.

Total Enclosure as Archetypal Fantasy

Many Rubberists share a common fantasy about being completely covered in rubber from head to toe, often for extended periods. They have a compulsion to seal every bit of their body into this material, often to the point of obsession. Some envision elaborate rubber suits of latex equipped with various breathing and fluid tubes, catheters, gags, gasmasks, pumps and other devices for life support. The goal is total exclusion of all perception of the external world as much as possible to allow becoming totally immersed in the rubber fetish milieu. It is a quest for a state of deep mindful immersion, of profound absorption in an ineffable, and  transcendent altered state of consciousness often described as “RubberSpace” and which clearly has a spiritual dimension. There may even be suggestions of a mystical experience at times.

This practice is known as “Total Enclosure” (TE) and is quite common to deeper, more advanced Rubberists.  The general theme of TE is so prevalent in Rubberist fantasy literature that it is probably archetypal in the Jungian sense of the word. 

While Total Enclosure may not be your forte, keep these two things in mind of those who practice it:  (1) It’s harmless. It won’t hurt or affect you. (2) the practitioners of it enjoy doing it very deeply. 

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Fetish as “sculpture” – 090727-0730j

Journal 090727-0730j Fetish as “sculpture”
Pirsig talks about assembling a rotisserie in [PIRSIG-ZAMM.~166]. He explains that instruction manuals present only one possible procedure in assembling a device.  We tend to think that the “factory way” is what the manual presents and that it is the only plausible way to do it. This removes any creativity on our part, which is why “some assembly required” tends to be so tedious and boring.
A real craftsman is one who knows his art well enough to make numerous design decisions as he goes along rather than entirely to some preconceived plan. This is what makes him an artist.  When he starts with a blank canvas, he probably has a very good idea in his mind where he wants to go, but not necessarily how to get there. He “wings it” all along the way. The plan is the vision of the finished project. How he creates it is a function of his artistry.
Pirsig views the assembly of his rotisserie as an act of “sculpture”.  Yes, for functionality he must have a clear picture of how the unit goes together otherwise it simply won’t work.  But the act of assembling it is an act of sculpture.  A sculptor  “makes decisions as he goes along. For that reason he’ll be absorbed and attentive to what he’s doing (Flow) even tho’ he doesn’t deliberately contrive this. His motions and the machine are in a kind of harmony.  He isn’t following any set of written instructions because the nature of the material at hand deterimines his thoughts and motions, which simultaneously change the material at hand.”  (Does this sound familiar? Could this be Flow?)
The problem, he says, is that many of the things we do in life are done as if according to an instruction manual. There is no sense of creativity in putting something together– no sense of “sculpture”. We have somehow divorced art from functionality.
Look around at the buildings downtown in a big city.  The new ones are geometrical — they reflect an age obsessed with functionality and economy. They may contain token works of art but their inherent nature is basically functionality. Art does not fit or belong here.
 Now look at some buildings that were built, say, before the 1930’s. How do they differ from the more recent ones? Do we see a building created as a sculpture or for functionality?
As we build our fetish practice, how can we include “sculpture” as an inherent part of it’s design?
As it is the nature of a select few of us to be deeply enchanted by rubber, when we are wearing rubber, we feel at “home” in it. It’s as though the rubber is the “missing skin” that we were somehow not born with. It feels “right” to us and is where we belong. It just seems like it is where we are supposed to be. (I don’t pretend to know why – it’s a mystery.)

Oh, sure, at times sexual urges may be evoked by it, but there are also times when we go to a place which transcends sexuality,  a place of quiet and peace and comfort. This is the “home” I speak of. The depth, duration and frequency of which it is felt varies greatly. As one ages and his/her sexuality begins to wane, the more profoundly it may be manifested.

In a sense, RubberHome might be thought of as being what lies “on the other side” of RubberSex.   

Being “home” in our rubber is a “felt experience” that evokes fantasies, emotions and comfort. Our otherwise busy, recursive mind is overlaid with the now-ness of pure sensation. We are living in the present when we are in our rubber. 

When we are not wearing our rubber e sometimes long for “home”.

“‘Home’ is an emotional state, a place of imagination where feelings of security, belonging, memory and personal history reside”. [MOOR-ENCH.77]

To be “home” in our rubber is to inhabit it. We inhabit a place (whether real or virtual) when we give something to it and open ourselves up to receive what it has to offer.

Home satisfies the heart and the imagination.

It need not be a physical place or structure.

A real home does more than just provide a place of domicile for the body and the mind. It is also where the soul finds comfort and a sense of belonging.

It is a place of dreams and spells.

RubberHome is not defined by fashion styles or even the physical characteristic of a particular garment or even the rubber, itself. RubberHome is a state of mind and a place where the soul chooses to dwell. 

In fact, the actual garment may not matter at all — it is how you feel when you are wearing it that matters and makes it “home”. The garment is merely a catalyst to that place. It’s an enchanter.

RubberHome is how your soul reacts to the spirit of the garment and the spirit of the rubber. Even a simple rubber glove worn only on one hand can be RubberHome if it evokes magic and mystery in your heart. 

Home is a place of enchantment, otherwise, it is not “home”.

Cultivate a sense of “home” while in your rubber. Remember, it is not the garment, itself, but what it does to you that matters.

If rubber “sings” to you intimately, you are “home”.
(Inspired by reading Thomas Moore)

Fetish as a Transcendental Practice

A Transcendental Practice is a quest for growth; a lifelong “project” to continually rise above yourself, to try to become all that you can be, to personally evolve yourself or, in the words of Abraham Maslow, to “self-actualize” yourself. Questing for the expansion of perception and understanding (transcendence) is hard-wired into humans, is the foundation of happiness and is what separates us from all other animals. You are happiest when you are growing. When you stop growing you start dying

The act of deliberately and methodically trying to transcend your current level of consciousness is a spiritual practice.
The key nuance here is “quest”. It is an action, not a situation or environment.  It’s something you actively and purposefully do. You become a seeker. You never really arrive at our destination – it is an ongoing and never-ending trek. It’s like climbing a mountain but never quite reaching the top. It’s the climbing that counts!
The logic goes this way: You are already a Rubberist. This is not something you can or want to change. Being a Rubberist is a significant part of your identity and drives much of what you do in your life. It’s not going to go away. So, you may as well not only celebrate it as who you are but also try to do something positive and constructive with it in pursuit of happiness.
Don’t be confused by the difference between “pleasure” and “happiness”. Pleasure is always sensual in nature and is always short-lived. When the pleasurable moment is done, that is the end of it.  Happiness, in contrast, is more of a general attitude of contentment over time. It is much more abstract and long-lived than sensual pleasures. Happiness is the primary measure of the quality of your life. Happiness is what we all want in our lives.
Happiness is directly derived from personal expansion or transcendence. This is the secret of life: you are happiest when you are growing, when you are trying to transcend yourself. “Happiness is activity in pursuit of excellence”. (Aristotle)
To obtain real happiness (beyond mere pleasure) from your fetish you need to transform it into a skill of some kind — something that you can grow with for the rest of your life! This is the essence of a “practice” and what can transform your fetish from the pleasures of feel-good sex that is forgotten shortly after orgasm to something which much more significantly contributes to long-term happiness and contentment in your life. You make the leap from fetish-as-pleasure to the much deeper fetish-as-happiness.  Seek out ways to practice your fetish deeper, stronger, more pleasurably and as a source of continual personal growth.
So, what can you do with a fetish that has been foisted on you since birth to transform it into a gateway to personal growth and, thereby, as a path to happiness?  Here are a few possible skills that you could develop from it:
  • You can learn how to celebrate it by creating a rubber-filled lifestyle as a form of personal art.
  • You can learn advanced techniques to “do it” better, longer, deeper and more pleasurably.
  • You can learn how to use your fetish as a “gateway” to other levels of consciousness.
  • You can teach others how to develop their own transcendental practices.
  • You can use the energy of your fetish to drive other paths to personal growth.
  • etc., ad infinitum!
What ideas do you have for transforming your rubber fetish into a transcendent practice??


Suggested Reading:
  • Flow – the Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihalyhi Csikszentmihalyhi
  • Happiness: A History by Darrin M. McMahon  ISBN:0871138867
  • Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
  • Transcendental Sensuality by Padget, D


It’s the “existential question” that philosophers and poets have been asking for centuries… “Does my life have any meaning?”
The answer to this is generally something like “You make your own meaning”.  In other words, your life can be given meaning depending upon what you do with it.
Most people regard fetish as a form of “entertainment”.  It’s “good sex” but after the act is over and done with, it becomes, at best, a fond memory rather  than having any real meaning.  Yes, it may have enhanced an act of love and there may be a tiny bit of meaning in that, but mostly, it’s merely titillation followed by satisfaction and dismissal.  It’s like television or sports — we are caught up in the action and the story, our emotions are moved and played with but when it is all over, we change the channel and look for some new source of entertainment. Our lives are not affected by it in any long range sort of way. 
For something to have real meaning, it must affect our lives in some way — we must grow from it somehow. For something to have meaning, it must lead to some sort of self-actualization.
One does not “grow” from “conventional fetish”.  There is no forward movement, no upward climb toward the peak of the mountain.  No skills are developed or improved. It does not evolve us toward who we can be. One does not become a “better” Rubberist by doing “conventional fetish”.  One does not take any steps toward being all that he can be… One does not evolve toward self-actualization.
If you are reading this, you are probably a Rubberist.  Like it or not, life has somehow dealt you the “fetish” card.  It’s part of you. There’s not much you can do about it. You might find life easier to take and even enjoy if you accept your fetish.
However, as fetish is intrinsically intertwined with your sexuality, it is a very powerful force. Some say that sex, the propagation of the species, is the single strongest force affecting the behavior of any living creature.  Sex is magic. It affects all of us in just about everything we do. In our younger years when our hormones are strong, physical sex is the driving force of our lives.
So, here’s my proposal.  You’ve got this rubber fetish running a good part of your life. It’s a strong force and it’s not going to go away. Mostly what you have done with it in the past is enhance your sex life.  But in and of itself, it provides very little meaning to the rest of your life.
Why not use the power of your fetish to drive other things which do bring meaning to your life?
Use it as a catalyst, a conduit, or “fuel” to push other aspects of your life which can give it meaning and a sense of purpose.  While there is nothing wrong with sex, you can use your fetish to power new practices in your life.
(NOTE: Slippery Seal, of the IAR, was the first person I know of to use the term “latexistentialism”. )

The Art of Rubber Fetish

I have been researching for many years and am slowly developing a “theory of happiness”. I think people are happiest when they are growing toward self-actualization. This is often referred to as “transcendence”. That is, they are in the act of becoming who they are. (this is deep Maslowian psychology.)  It is the quest that is important here, not so much the results, although one needs to feel a  sense of forward movement as encouragement now and then.  In my case, I see my primary identity as that of a Rubberist so I strive to become the “best” Rubberist I can be.  This implies the building of a skill. (I am not sure exactly what “skills” are involved in being a Rubberist, so that is a big part of my exploration.) This does not mean doing it more but, rather, doing it “better” or, more specifically, doing it with a higher level of consciousness — making each moment in rubber more meaningful. It’s all about practicing mindfulness.  (The study of mindfulness is a good place to start!)


For example, a big part of my growth in the last several years has been in developing what I call transcendental rubbering. One aspect of this that I have been working on a lot is applying meditation techniques to my rubbering. Meditation is really nothing more than focused attention.  In my case what I am trying to do is develop the mental skills to keep my mind focused on the sensation of the latex against my skin to the exclusion of attention to all else. This is sort of like a “Zen of Rubbering”, so to speak.  It’s easy to understand the technique but very difficult to do.  Try focusing your mind on anything for more than a few seconds — it’s very hard to do. Even the Zen masters who spend their entire lives in meditation find it a constant battle.  I might add, however, that even if you can only focus for a small % of the time, the act of trying to do so can be deeply satisfying.  It is a major source of happiness for me.  It gives me a way to see my fetish as spiritual practice. (Spirituality is NOT the sole province of religion. It refers to the quest to transcend oneself; to evolve towards higher levels of self-actualization; toward becoming who you are.)
Rubbering, then, is my “art”. What is yours?
I think these principles could be applied to other kinds of orientation, such as BDSM, etc.  In fact, they could be applied to just about all aspects of your personal identity.  For example, they could even be utilized in your job.  It’s mostly a question of which ones seem to be the most prominent and deserving of the most attention.
Decide who you think you are and then work at becoming more and better at it.  Make a “practice” of it.
Grow. Evolve.