Fetish for a second skin

“I’ve never had an Asian cat,” said another, pulling me toward him. I got angry when I imagined him posting a picture of us with a sushi emoji next to my username, like I once saw a white guy do to an unlucky Asian guy on Twitter.

Others were more subtle. I chatted with a sharp conversationalist who looked good, and was white too, before scrolling through his Instagram and finding nothing but shirtless selfies with East Asian men plastered on his profile. Cheated again.

In Elaine Hsieh Chu’s novel Confusion, the Taiwanese-American protagonist begins to wonder if her white fiancé really loves her after finding out that all of his girlfriends are East Asian.

“The sad thing is, Ingrid,” her Korean-American friend says, “you’ll never know for sure.”

I was fortunate that the sex gods, in the tracks of a geeky Asian geek, pulled me in with enough fetish pleasure to give me an escape from the rigors of this racist reality. Latex fetishism is a penchant for form-fitting rubber garments that are shiny, slippery, slippery, and groovy. Coming in every color imaginable, latex has captured the imagination of celebrity costumes and cyberpunk movies. But most uninitiated people have a hard time understanding why we would so willingly wear something that doesn’t breathe—at all.

It’s hard to express the electric sensation of a finger skating across the taut surface of latex, or the warm pressure of a rubber-coated hand against your back. Many of the “elasticators,” as we call ourselves, prefer the all-encompassing stimulus of a full-body compress, sometimes with wraps and gloves attached, exchanging porous, pockmarked skin for an imaginatively clean complexion.

But the allure of latex also comes from the riotous nirvana of harmonic dehumanization: the desire to become featureless and faceless, to disappear into the bliss of the tight embrace of latex. It provides an opportunity to become, for a moment, a different person — something different. A second skin.