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. 

ref: 140106-0924

Fetish as “sculpture” – 090727-0730j

Journal 090727-0730j Fetish as “sculpture”
moorhead/Monday
 
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?
RUBBERHOME
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

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg
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

Latexistentialism

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.
Become!

Living In Rubber

What is “Living in Rubber”?

“Living in Rubber” probably means different things to different people. However, there are probably some elements we all pretty much hold in common.
Mostly, Living in Rubber (“LIR”) is an attitude (rather than a specific act) that you define for yourself.  It’s like living a mantra of “I will wear as much rubber as possible, as long as possible and as often as possible“. The key word here, of course, is “possible”. It is a lifestyle choice in which we deliberately and consciously decide to celebrate our fetish to the greatest extent within our means.

girl on bike

LIR is based in an almost pathological compulsion shared by most deeper Rubberists to be totally enclosed in rubber 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is the special dream that much of the Rubberist Tribe shares. Of course, very few people can actually fulfill this dream. Reality gets in the way. Most people also need to live “regular” lives in which wearing rubber 24/7 is significantly interrupted by family, jobs and society in general. The high cost of latex garments is another significant factor. There are also issues related to body overheating, skin problems, etc.

Consequently, the act of “living in rubber” is, of necessity, a symbolic, ritualized gesture toward the higher ideal of being total enclosure all of the time. It’s really more about not only accepting one’s fetish but also fully recognizing it as our primary identity and being joyful in that. LIR is a celebration of who we are. We make our fetish sacred. We give it meaning.

We make it special… deliberately!

What is a “RubberNunk”?

A RubberNunk is a monastic who seeks to continually transcend him/herself specifically through her rubber fetish as the primary focus of her life. He regards his fetish as a kind of “monastery” into which he becomes “self-ordained” as a Nunk after passing some significant, personally-imposed initiation activity that tests his resolve and perseverance over a period of several years. Nunks are are solo agents unrelated to any organization or religion.
The word “Nunk” is derived from Nun + Monk to indicate gender neutrality, but without any sort of religious connotation beyond basic spirituality, which is the quest for personal growth and inspiration; i.e. transcendence.  One could study to become a RubberNunk whilst still holding a regular job, having a family and going to church on Sunday.  It is all a matter of degree of life-focus based on circumstances and motivation levels.
A “monastic” is someone who focuses on one thing in life to the practical exclusion of most everything else as much as possible.  A deep monastic, such as a monk, devotes his entire life to some single purpose. (It does not, by the way, have to be religious in nature.  The church does not have a monopoly on the term.) Depending upon the depth of his goal, he may “renounce” all other aspects of life -even that of food, clothing and shelter (become a beggar), so that he may study or contemplate his vision or goal to the point of being an ascetic. I’m not, however, suggesting that one needs to become a beggar to become a rubber monastic but a significant degree of personal focus is necessary.

Note that it is entirely possible, within this definition, to be a “monastic” and also have a day job, a family and a fairly normal “life”.  The key words in the definition above are “focuses” and “practical exclusion”.  Monasticism is a matter of deciding what your focus is to be about and working your life around to meet that.
Above all, a RubberNunk has made a deliberate decision to utilize rubber fetish as a path to “happiness”.  “Happiness is activity in pursuit of excellence” ( Aristotle). It was the ancient Greeks who began to realize that happiness is an attainable goal rather than a “gift of the gods”. We make our own happiness.  It is much, much more than pleasure — happiness is an attitude about life that makes us feel good over time. Happiness is the result of an internal process, not an external event.  Happiness is not hedonism nor is it the pursuit of wealth or pleasure.  It comes from the quest to evolve personally– to grow. The operative word here is “quest”.

A RubberNunk transforms his fetish from something he merely “does” to something he “practices”. He regards his fetish as a skill that he passionately strives to continually learn, develop and master over his life.

Why would one want to become a RubberNunk? The biggest reason that jumps out at me is that it changes the very nature of one’s fetish from an activity  driven by hormones to a practice inspired by a mental concept. Your fetish becomes a quest.  It is the acknowledgement that “I am a Rubberist” and the conscious decision that “I will be the best Rubberist I can be”. It is a decision to choose rubber fetish as a path to self-actualization. It is as decision to climb Maslow’s Mountain in a rubber suit because that is who you are.

POINTZ – A Standard of Measure — (RubberMetrics)

Suppose someone tells you “I wore a lot of rubber yesterday”.
OK, what does a “lot of rubber” actually mean?  Did he wear some rubber gloves for a few hours or was he Totally Enclosed for the entire night? Being in a “lot of rubber” is actually a matter of his perspective which may, or may not, coincide with yours. See the problem?  In most cases, it is purely subjective and relative to an individual user.
Suppose, however, there was a standardized, reasonably objective way to measure both the amount and duration of our rubbering sessions that was the same for everyone? This “universal standard” would allow all of us to describe our rubbering experiences with consistency and accuracy. It would also allow us to track or journal our sessions in a more meaningful way, as well.


The “Pointz” system has been around for years but has been presented mostly as a vehicle for bondage and role play. However, at it’s heart is a simple standard of measure that could be used by Rubberists to accurately describe the intensity and duration of their rubber experiences. Ignore the bondage aspect for now – think of Pointz simply as a way to measure and track your rubbering experience. (If you want to include some bondage, that’s fine but it is not required.)
How it works: In the Pointz system standard is based on the duration a garment is worn in proportion to its total body surface area (TBSA) and is expressed in “minutez”. (Note the “z” at the end.)  A “100%” TBSA situation would be to be entirely enclosed in rubber from head to foot with no skin anywhere on the body exposed to the air.  Rubberists call this “Total Enclosure” or “TE”.
The basic idea is actually very simple. The formula is: % of TBSA times duration in minutes = Pointz.
If you are in 100% Total Enclosure for 100 minutes you earn 100 Pointz.  If, however, you wear some item that covers, say, only 50% of your body for 100 minutes, you would acquire 50 Pointz (Abbreviate as “50z”) .  If you wore that same item for 60 minutes, your Pointz score would be 50% of 60 = 30z.
Where is becomes a bit more complicated is trying to objectively determine what % of the Total Body Surface Area that a particular garment covers. T-shirts, stockings, etc. can be a bit challenging to assess. Fortunately, there is a fairly universal standard used by medical people for assessing burns to the body called the “Rule of Nines” which makes this fairly easy to do.
The Rule of Nines defines each of the following eleven body areas as being approximately 9% of Total Body surface Area. (Genitals make up the final 1%)
  • Head
  • Right arm
  • Left arm
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • Upper back
  • Lower back
  • Right thigh
  • Left thigh
  • Right leg (below the knee)
  • Left leg (below the knee)
(Also see Lund-Browder Chart for diagrams and much more detail.)
So, for example, a hood would cover 9% of your body. If you wore that hood for 100 minutes, you would earn 9 Pointz.  Also using this chart, a catsuit with gloves and feet but no hood would cover the entire body except the head, and, therefore would provide 91% coverage. If worn for 100 minutes, you would earn 91 Pointz (91z)
Of course, large numbers of Pointz (minutes) can also be expressed as “Hourz” by dividing by 60. It’s just simple time math.
Using the Pointz system you can create journals or diaries for  documenting your sessions and tracking their cumulative intensity and duration. I have used an OpenOffice Spreadsheet to track my Pointz for several years. The spreadsheet has a line for each item I have worn and includes start and end times, Pointz earned and cumulative totals in hourz.  A reference list helps me keep track of the Pointz % values I have assigned to  each garment I have. I have documented over 5,000 hourz as of this writing.
If you are not inclined to use an electronic spreadsheet, you could journal your Pointz  in a simple paper diary or accounts book.  Just make some columns for start, end, time in minutes, % coverage, item total and cumulative total. Enter and calculate these values for each item you wear.  Keep a reference in the back of the book for listing the TBSA %’s for each of your garments.
Why Bother? Calculating and logging your Pointz is a way of celebrating your fetish. It adds a new dimension to your rubbering sessions by giving you a numerical measure of their intensity and duration as well as a sense of accomplishment as you watch your cumulative totals grow. This “universal standard” also makes communicating about your sessions with other Rubberists more accurate and understandable.  Once you get into the habit of logging your sessions you’ll wonder why you didn’t start doing this years ago!

Here is extensive discussion about the PointZ System.