Mateusz Ptak and his latex passion
A frank conversation with Mateusz Ptak about what's so special about latex, what the latex market looks like and what sensations this so-called "second skin" can give us.
Mateusz Ptak is a graphic designer, photographer and latex enthusiast, who discovered his interest from an early age, and latex has been in front of his lens more than once. Mateusz is also the author of Latex Poland logo. You can see his other works on his Facebook fanpage.
The interview was conducted by Volven Wolf, that is Maja Minczew.
Hello, I’m glad you took the time to talk with me. I know you’re an avid latex enthusiast and that you’ve been at it for a while. When did you discover that there is such a thing as latex at all and how did it come about? What fascinated you about it?
I was introduced to latex when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. As a young boy, my friends and I found an abandoned “Twój weekend” in the basement, all devoted to lesbians in latex. The guys weren’t interested in anything else besides women’s breasts. I was fascinated by the glossy, dark look (everything in classic black, which in those days was like the first Ford model – you could have it in any color, but only if it was black), the way it clung to the body like a second skin, that it looked a bit like superhero costumes. I think that was my first contact. Interestingly enough, many years later, my own mother told me a story about getting black shiny wellies when I was a few years old. I was supposedly totally fascinated by them. In the hottest heat and sun I didn’t want to take them off. Apparently I am a “natural born fetishist” 🙂 Many years later the Internet appeared in Poland. Throughout this time in my head germinated fantasies, thoughts, dreams associated with latex. At the same time obvious fears – is it some kind of deviation? Is it just me? I’ve always been a little bit out of the mainstream – while others listened to disco polo, I was flying around in Nirvana shirts, when the Backstreet Boys were on, I was wearing plaid shirts and humming “Jeremy” or other grundge songs. I thought the same way about latex – I’m a little different. The Internet dispelled my fears, opened a window to the world, to people like me. I discovered new cuts of latex clothing, new trends, the multi-layered nature of this environment. But that’s a topic for another discussion…
In the past, latex costumes were mainly associated with kitschy adult films. Today this material is much more popular and appreciated. So much so that it is used not only in eroticism, but also in… fashion. How do you think, from the point of view of a person “in the mood”, is this phenomenon positive or negative?
Once I had been “playing” with latex for a few years, I began to ponder what it would be like if it became more mainstream. I imagined that great designers would reach for this amazing material and phenomenal creations would begin, other than the classic black rubber from the German pornographic film. Latex took a total of about 30 years, if not more, for this to happen. Today, in the 21st century, when we look on the street, we see a lot of pseudo-latex – lycra leggings, a lot of faux leather, even sometimes lack. However, real latex on the streets of our country is extremely rare. The situation is different in large Western cities, more liberated, perhaps more spoiled? In London, Berlin, Hamburg – everywhere you can see people in real rubber. For some time also in our eastern neighbors. Oleg Xozt in Moscow organized trips to the city in fantastic, even more classic outfits (catsuits and dresses reign). Photo sessions in the Moscow metro or on Red Square took place several times a month. Interestingly, as you can see in the backstage photos, they are met with a joyful reaction from the surroundings. People are watching and observing with pleasant smiles. Maybe some people would like that too? I certainly do, as I see more and more new people at each session. I once came across photos from British Vogue, where Alexander Wang used latex elements for his creations. It was a polite schoolgirl outfit – a girl in a shirt buttoned up to the neck, flat shoes and a latex dress, simple in cut, more reminiscent of the uniforms of ladies from good homes in the 19th century. It looked phenomenal! Completely non-fetish, it even contradicted the common concept of latex as an erotic, sexy material. In today’s pop culture, latex is most visible in music – performers from the top charts such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry or Rihanna willingly wear real latex on stage in various styles. The former artist once became famous when she met Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in a long, elegant dress made of red rubber. Katy Perry, on the other hand, prefers almost candy-colored styles from Pandora DeLuxe or Westward Bound – in pastel, childish colors, one could even say. It seems to me that just as the world is changing and becoming more open, our hermetically sealed environment is changing as well – people are going out on the street, posting their pictures on social media, going to parties in latex. The image of rubber as clothing is warming up. It’s becoming less and less associated with weak pornography and more of a fashion item. This is not really a transformation, but an expansion. People who treat latex traditionally will continue to use it in bed situations, and those who want something more are becoming more visible. To me, this is a positive phenomenon. Before our eyes latex is becoming a fashion item. It’s fascinating.
There’s no denying that latex outfits are extremely sexy, but latex lovers probably see this on a slightly deeper level than generally accepted aesthetic norms. Tell me, what’s so special about rubber that sets it apart from, after all, very similar-looking lac and other such materials?
I have found that fetishists generally perceive many things on a completely different level. I once read somewhere a beautiful sentence describing this: A fetish is not a perversion, it is a state of mind. There is a lot of truth in that. For example, when someone is a stiletto or boots fetishist – he/she will see and hear them everywhere. Interestingly, he/she will not care about the owner of the shoes – only the stilettos themselves. Often partners of such people cannot understand this. If they are “vanilla” they think that the person is “looking at asses”. And this is not the point! It’s like looking at a beautiful car – you admire its line, shape, paint shine, maybe wonderful alloy wheels. Nobody pays attention to the driver. It’s the same here. Back to the main question about latex itself – it’s actually an organic material. It is a rubber, formed by processing the resin of the rubber tree. It is not a rubber created by chemical reactions on polymer compounds. Latex is of natural origin. Many people don’t know this and take it for something artificial. And in fact, latex is closer to nature than lack, for example, which you asked about. Lack is simply an artificial material with a chemically painted coating. It is rustling, brittle and doesn’t lay on the body like latex does. The “second skin” effect cannot be duplicated by any other material. Even the creases of latex look like real human skin. Lack or lycra will never be able to convey this in such a natural way. An additional advantage of latex, which is often taken as a disadvantage for aesthetic reasons, is that it sweats slightly. We know from physics that sweat consists mainly of water and is an electrolyte. It therefore conducts electricity. The entire innervation of the human body is based on the transfer of electrical charges (supposedly the brain has a voltage comparable to a car battery). To put it briefly: the body has electric charges, sweat conducts electricity, latex insulates. Thus, touching latex causes electric charges to jump. Hence the amazing sensation of touch, both muffled (by the latex, which insulates) and enhanced (by the increased electrical conduction of the skin through the sweat layer). Many people don’t like to sweat – that’s how modern culture is constructed. But sometimes sweat is our ally. After all, how beautiful is the view of sweaty, shiny bodies during lovemaking!
As you can see, the physical properties of latex make it unique and give deep, phenomenal psychophysical sensations. There is often a safety aspect to it as well. I became aware of this when, some years ago, I discovered the “heavy rubber” trend involving, among other things, the use of gas masks, thick rubber, gloves, etc. Being in such a costume gives the impression of being immune to the dangers of the outside world. Latex in a lighter version also provides such an impression, but to a much lesser extent.
Classic latex costumes are mostly black in color. Tell us from your experience, do most people stick to this color or is it more popular to play with different colors? What are your preferences in this area?
As I mentioned earlier, nowadays latex takes on new meanings – it is used in show business, as stage costumes, styling elements, as superhero costumes. The comparison to automotive history applies very well here. Like with the first Ford model, whose advertising slogan was “You can have it in any color you want, as long as it’s black”. You only have to look out the window to see how much has changed since those days. It’s the same with latex. Black will always be classic, traditional. But playing with cuts, styles and colors is often much more interesting. Latex has long since left the pornography set and appears at parties, artists’ performances or simply on the streets of big European cities. As for “latexists” – opinions are divided. There are, as in every field, traditionalists, even rubber Nazis, who believe that pop culture has somehow stolen their elitism. There are also renaissance people, moving with the times, developing their fetish into something more, but at the same time cherishing the traditions of blackness and sexual connotations. There are also people who absolutely do not treat latex sexually. I once met a model, originally from Hong Kong and now living in Germany, who actually wore latex at every possible opportunity. She was delighted with it. When I once asked her if she had sex in it with her husband, she was very surprised! It was literally like asking her if she had sex in her fancy new Versace jacket. She treats latex exclusively in “fashion” mode. There are more and more people like this. And this is a positive, developing phenomenon. As for my personal preferences – apart from classic black or deep red, which are simply classics, I love the amazing shades and creations that the big designers are using these days (e.g. Pandora DeLuxe, Westward) – metallic blue, gold, bubble-gum pink. These outfits look incredibly elegant first and sexy only later.
Do your friends know about your interests? If so, how do they respond to them? Do you try to introduce some people to the world of latex, or do you rather not do it?
Hehe, I’m too old to hide my passions. Because latex is not just a fetish, an element of bed games. It is one of many passions for me. I love photographing it, admiring, discovering new cuts, colors, combinations. I like something on Facebook every now and then. I have some friends “in the climate” and they of course accept me. Others – differently. Once I put my photo in a catsuit. Of course, there were many comments like “aren’t your balls sweating? It was a bit flat and low, but well – not everyone is liberal. I respect that, though. I’m not going to argue with someone just because the person doesn’t like it. It’s like with other aspects of life – someone likes pork chops and someone likes salads. People don’t fight wars because of that. As for being introduced to the world of latex – definitely yes! When I see or feel someone rubbing up against that vibe, I try to help them learn a little more. With some sensitivity, of course. Not everyone wants to know everything right away. Knowledge should be imparted gradually so as not to discourage. I have to boast that a few of my friends have fallen in love with latex, never knowing anything about it before.
What is the reaction, the first feelings of these people about latex?
Varies. Some people don’t like it, they are appalled or simply can’t get past certain well established, often misleading patterns in this subject. Unfortunately, the image of “rubber from German porn” still persists in the Polish society. Many people also confuse latex with lycra or faux leather. I try to spread education and explain that these are not the same thing and where the term latex comes from, used today for everything that glitters. I try to familiarize such people with the original pattern and sometimes encourage them to try the original. It often happens that such people fall in love with latex, discover their unknown fetish sides and are happy.
Do you happen to walk around the house in latex clothing every day? Possibly outside the home.
I’m a bit of an exhibitionist, so definitely yes. I love the touch of latex, the smell of it, the feelings it gives. Both physical and mental. As with most things of this type, 90% of the sensations take place in the head and not on the body. I had a few funny situations connected with it. Fortunately there were no embarrassing moments. Once I went for a night walk on the seashore wearing a wetsuit. I would never have expected a runner at 2am on the beach. Seriously! I don’t think he expected it either, we passed each other without a word and without looking back.
Under latex clothing, the body sweats and for some people this may seem uncomfortable. But from a health perspective, is it safe to wear latex? Do you know of any studies on this topic?
Everything in excess is harmful! There is an allergy to latex, those who are allergic must not have any contact with natural rubber products, including condoms, latex gloves, clothing, etc. I even have a friend who suffers unspeakable torment because she is a latex fetishist, but unfortunately she is very allergic to it. For others it is absolutely harmless. In any case, no more than the artificial materials worn nowadays, which is really everything. It is much easier to develop dermatological problems in artificial leather shoes than in latex. The same applies to tight Lycra underwear. Compared to 90% of the clothes available in stores, latex is often even better. Some years ago I found an experiment conducted by a couple from California. Under the supervision of doctors, they wore latex for 48 hours without taking it off. Nothing happened to them. No burns, dehydration, ringworm, or any of the other ailments the puritans scare us with. And they were 100% covered in latex, even had gas masks on. They only took them off for meals. Using the toilet and maintaining basic personal hygiene was ensured by zippers in strategic places. The experiment proved beyond any doubt that even such an extremely long stay in latex is not dangerous. Well, maybe apart from having fun, pursuing one’s passion, beautiful views and a delightful mood.
Thank you so much for your time and fascinating journey into the world of latex 🙂