Right around the world the demand for rubber as a product has gone through the roof and prices are expected to follow. It is a classic perfect storm in the realm of supply and demand with share prices and the markets around the globe sending rubber prices higher than those shares in Zoom, Fleshjack, Netflix, Amazon and Rhyheim Shabazz’s cock. The recent huge problems with supply in various parts of the world for reasons such as de-forestation, transport restrictions etc have run headlong into a pandemic where rubber gloves, masks, PPE are in more demand than a top in downtown San Francisco making rubber a very scarce commodity. It seems as though gays have been doing their bit to avert this with condom sales across the board down by 50% overall in the last 10 years and in the PrEP heavily adopting gay world that jumps to the mid-eighty percentages….yet it is not enough to alter the steep balance in the current trade for rubber where the commodity is becoming as rare as a Donald Trump tweet….remember them?
What we have to remember in our gay fetish World is that there is a ginormous straight fetish World out there full of women dressed in leather and rubber to get business men and married guys off regularly when they are bored of the same pussy back at home night after bloody night (which is usually about day 4). This means that the supply and demand of rubber in the fetish world is much greater than we see on display in our queer leather/fetish markets and favourite retailers….then of course there is the demand for it in the big wide World.
So, what is happening – Natural rubber is by far the best and manufactured substitutes have a long way to go in industries eyes (Aircraft tyres for example have to be Natural to take into account the sudden heat change on landing). It is produced from the sap of trees mainly in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and West Africa largely by very small farmers which account for over 85% of rubber production. Both long term factors over decades and short-term ones of the last 2 years have all been pulling in one direction which has the industry worried and gay fetish retailers concerned about the source of all that great rubber gear you guys like which will almost certainly transfer into price hikes or god forbid even shortages. As a clear indicator the market price in the Autumn of 2021 for the commodity rose by 40% to a 3-year high and all the factors are pointing seriously in the wrong direction for what the EU class as an ‘Official critical raw material.
Factors why we are running out of natural rubber leading to ‘The Rubber Crisis’ coming down the road fast :
A Climate Change
Climate change is affecting production and furthermore the fight against it hinders natural rubber production.
B Growing tyre market
The biggest market by far is car tyres and the demand for them has risen through the last Century and is not receding. Fears from the pandemic have seen a rise in 13% of car sales in the biggest market China in 1 month alone where the appeal of public transport has somewhat evaporated. The popularity in developing countries for vehicles like Brazil, India and the whole of Africa goes on unabated….we just need more and more tyres.
C Natural disasters
Thailand and Malaysia have had severe flooding and storms which has hugely dented production.
D Political tensions
There is massive political uncertainty in Indonesia and especially now in Thailand.
E Covid-19 pandemic
The demand for Rubber gloves etc due to the pandemic has been the biggest increase in history to record breaking levels…in the Autumn it was still going up by 20% a long way into the Covid 19 period. The vaccination programmes which will probably have to be repeated annual like Flu means this will continue. Manufactured gloves are seen as second rate – they split very easily, are sweaty etc. so all medical bodies insist on Natural Rubber ones.
F Rubber plantations became less attractive
The production is labour and time intensive and takes up a lot of land so these small farmers have turned heavily towards producing oil palm instead which is much less labour intensive, easier, takes up less land and the price is better.
G Economical disturbance
The manufacture of rubber and its price is entirely controlled by The Shanghai Futures Exchange and for a number of years they have kept the price very low which has meant that many farmers have left the industry. Low prices lead to over-tapping of the trees eventually killing them, makes them more susceptible to disease and discourages re-planting. Even if more money comes in from higher pricing and is past down there is a lead in time of 7 years to plant new stock.
H Labour shortage
Covid has resulted in a labour shortage in the industry through illness and death and made manufacture harder also transportation is near impossible especially as Rubber is an export commodity entirely and crossing borders in a pandemic is not easy.
Disease is a massive problem especially leaf blight – In the 1930’s Brazil produced a huge amount of the Worlds rubber and then leaf blight arrived and within a decade the entire industry disappeared. Keeping leaf blight and other nasties out of Asia and West Africa is the top priority and is possibly a losing battle. There are other diseases in rubber producing Countries already taking hold especially due to those aforementioned floods.
There are a number of other factors but you get the gist – Supply is going down for many of the reasons above and demand for Natural rubber has never been higher at just the same time and although there are the less good in most people’s eyes manufactured synthetic products that can do the job and work on other plant substitutes is growing apace but simply rubber is going to become less plentiful.
Already on the markets its price is going through the roof and gay fetish clothing which is where we get interested will be quite a long way back in the queue behind some very big players like the transportation, industrial, consumer, hygiene and medical sectors so presumably rubber gear will be in for a bit of a price hike and there maybe availability issues for the best gear.
Rubber is a massive part of our gay fetish world and it has been associated with sex since it came into vogue in the Sixties through the likes of Emma Peel and The Avengers and of course our eternal fascination with superhero muscles and bulges. Continually popularised through all areas of pop culture and comic books, in-particular Batman who let’s face it never seems to get out of the stuff it is now firmly associated with sex and gay fetish which is fine by us. Whether it is a PVC covered dominatrix, a Spice Girls video, on the back of Britney, Kylie, Rihanna or Gaga or even the King of pop himself in his Scream video where both him and his Sister are in sexual rubber throughout – it is now everywhere and synonymous with great bodies and fetish sex, just take a look at the Matrix and Underworld movies etc. Fashion guru’s have embraced it too most notably Jean Paul Gautiere, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin who have made rubber, lycra and PVC in massively ‘In vogue’ since 2010.
Rubber is the less shiny more matte sister of PVC and latex which is a lot slicker material it exists for one purpose to create a hot man’s second skin. There is also if you must the rubber which is textured to look like leather called ‘Pleather’. The appeal comes from a number of sources, as it is skin tight it feels as though you are nude and always gives you the perception of being naked when you are out and about possibly feeling as though you just have a coat of paint on your body a la Goldfinger. Then there is the tightness which gives the feeling of sexual bondage together with the dominant image, the sensual smell (the rubber is often treated to enhance its odour in the fetish world) and of course it is cheaper than leather and oh so easy to keep clean but not maintain. Of course, getting your rubber/PVC gear on or off to fuck and how hot you get is a problem to some guys as well as its heat. Yes, you will need copious amounts of talcum powder underneath the rubber for ease of getting on/off but rubber guys seem to have no trouble getting their second skin removed quick enough to abuse each other’s holes when they are ready to bust a rubber nut. Of course, the tight look displays your body and package better than any other type of gear maybe with the exception of Spandex and of course gets your meat and veg out front and centre for regular groping, stoking, sucking and whatever.