the pleasure of leather, the love of gloves

I used to think I wasn’t a fetishist. But sometimes, when my enjoyment of a mundane object is redolent with such an extreme amount of sensuality that it verges on the lascivious, I am forced to admit that perhaps I am.

Fetishism used to confuse me. I’m all kinds of kinky, sure; but to get turned on by an inanimate object? Not so much. I had visions of slobbering weirdos wining and dining a pair of boots or twitching bizarrely when they spot a fur coat across the room, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. To me, turn-ons are strictly reserved for people – because turn-ons are about being connected to someone. How the heck could I feel that way about a corset or a shoe?

Midori was a big help with this one, though. A couple of years ago she talked about the concept of “system arousal,” as opposed to the standard sort of sexual arousal. It made a lot of sense to me, and I’ve applied the idea to shoes and other such things in the past. But some recent experiences are bringing the entire thing into focus for me in a new way.

It was a hot day in July or August or perhaps September (I forget, exactly) when a certain delectable and resourceful butch creature of my acquaintance proudly presented me with a gift. It was, in fact, her latest find from a yard sale: a pair of never-worn, thin, butter-soft, inky black kid gloves. Somehow, she had remembered that my hands were exactly the same size as hers, only a couple of centimetres shorter in the fingers (I wouldn’t know how she’d have known that). Somehow, she’d known that I love gloves, even though I only have a two pairs, one of them of rather unsexy polar fleece.  Somehow, even in the middle of a heat wave, she’d realized that they’d make the absolute perfect gift. And fortunately, she had a loonie (!) in her pocket at the time.

Of course, I was touched and pleased. But it was bloody hot out, and while they were gorgeous and fit perfectly, I wasn’t particularly excited about actually wearing them at the time. So I put them in my bag and took them home, and put them in a drawer, and stopped thinking about them.

And then it was October, and it was chilly. So I opened the Warm Things Drawer, and lo and behold, there was the perfect pair of gloves just waiting for me. And now, the process of sliding them onto my hands is not complicated by sweat and heat and that generalized feeling of too many layers that tends to occur when one puts on unnecessary cold-weather garments in distinctly un-wintry temperatures.

Oh, my goodness. I have never experienced the pleasure of leather gloves quite like this before.

They’re tight. Pleasantly so, in the sense of “not baggy” rather than in the sense of “constricting.” Tight enough that I can see the depressions around the edges of each fingernail through the leather. It takes a little work to get them on. I aim my fingers into the body of the glove (in an exquisitely familiar formation that’s usually reserved for rather more intimate moments), and once inside, I spread my fingertips out until each one encounters its proper little orifice.

Then comes the working-on process. The gloves are unlined, so the insides are suede – velvet-smooth but not slippery. There’s no easy yank at the wrist to slide my hand home, oh no. This requires finesse. It requires that each finger be wiggled just a little bit, in combination with a bit of mild drawing-on at the wrist and a deliciously sensual smoothing from the other hand on the outside of the glove.

This is always the part where I always think of that expression “like a second skin.” I run my hand over the leather repeatedly until each finger is all the way in and thoroughly encased right down to the place where finger meets palm, and it feels like I’m stroking my own skin, only… more. 

Next I work the shiny black wrist button through its hole so that the glove stays snugly and elegantly closed at my wrist. There’s hardly any danger that it’ll fall off, but the button provides the perfect final touch to the experience, like just the right punctuation at the end of a well-crafted sentence.

The exquisite thinness of the kid works just like a super-thin high-sensation condom. This means that once the gloves are on, I retain my ability to do pedestrian things like flip the pages of a book, write with a pen, and pick up a dime, but it also means that body heat transfers. So I can hold hands with someone and actually entwine my fingers through theirs and feel each joint and the give of their flesh; I can touch their face and feel the warmth of their skin. And, when someone kisses my hands, I feel the curve and softness of their lips and the heat of their breath.

While I have the gloves on, I feel different somehow. Understated but sexy in a very classy sort of way. Dressed with a capital D, or perhaps more like “attired.” They make me want to touch things, for the pure liquid pleasure of feeling objects under my hands. They make me want to clasp my hands together just to feel the tightness of the fit as the leather pulls all the way taut around my knuckles. When I look at them, I enjoy the skin-like wrinkles that form when I extend my fingers, and the dull, liquid-smooth gleam that spreads over the back of my hand when I make a fist and the leather stretches flat.

And when it comes time to take them off, that’s yet another experience. Often I do this alone, but if I’m with my boi, it’s his job to remove them. I hold out my hand palm up so he can work the wrist button free. Then I turn my hand over as if for a kiss, and he gently draws on each fingertip in turn, one through five, two or three times in sequence, until the leather loosens its hold on my digits and begins to come free. He wraps his hand around my palm and slowly pulls until my hand emerges – never tugging by the fingers, so as not to stretch the leather unnecessarily. Then he smoothes the glove flat, tucks the thumb across the palm, and hands it to me. The kid is so light that if that smoothing and folding doesn’t take place, if the gloves are simply tossed onto the table, they will crumple like so much tissue paper. They deserve better, so I place them together, fingertips touching as though in prayer, and lay them neatly near my coat for the next time.

Sadly, my gloves are not bulky or warm enough to see me through a solid Canadian winter, so the pleasure of wearing them may be reserved for the fall, the daylight hours of early winter, and the occasional fetish night. Because these gloves are most definitely a fetish for me. I’m not a slobbering weirdo or a bizarre twitcher, but if you spot me in the street and I have an inexplicable gleam in my eye, check to see if my hands are encased in black leather, and that may explain a lot.

11 Responses

  1. This is the most incredible description of the pleasure of touch… amazing.

  2. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of writing, and it has me all distracted now.

  3. Thanks so much, P and N! Every once in a while it’s good to lay off the intellectual pleasures and fully immerse in the physical… though I suppose the act of writing about it kind of re-intellectualizes the whole thing in the end, doesn’t it. Ah well. Glad you like. :)

  4. This reminds me of my Damascus Ultra Thin Gloves, of which I’m very fond. I like how they provide just enough coverage to fit like a second skin, but nowhere near enough to be bulky. I will be buying a second pair to wear through the winter. They are quite thin, but somehow I’m warm enough inside without much insulation. I am thinking that I might like to have 3 pairs – one for formal wear, one for play, and one for daily wear. Could be fun…

  5. P.S. M. Montreal Rubber won Mr. International Rubber 2008. He’s a delightful guy, and you should meet him if you haven’t already.

  6. “though I suppose the act of writing about it kind of re-intellectualizes the whole thing in the end, doesn’t it.”

    I don’t think so. At least not for the people reading it. For me it was a sensual pleasure – especially the part where your boi helped you out of the gloves.

    trans*formationen

  7. Beautifully put.

  8. Thanks, folks. I’ll have to remember this and write more in the future. I turn the sensual crank up to full blast when I write erotica, but this isn’t an erotica blog, so I don’t generally indulge here… I’ll have to find other excuses to do that though!

  9. Are fetish leather shoulder gloves relegated to the bedroom in the foreseeable future? Or, is there a progressive strain within the fashion community that will pioneer the advent of socially acceptable long opera glove wear in public? I’ve always been fascinated with obtaining the answer(s) from faashion experts. On the tube you see all sorts of delightful ladies, young, mature, and seasoned,…sporting outrageously long leather gloves! Usually on the NY and Paris runways. But you never see them in public. Are they only for that “special occasion?” Where, oh where are these lithely long garments in American society?

  10. Your description of putting on a pair of tight unlined kid leather gloves is so graphic. I know the feeling. Now you should try the experience with shoulder length black kid gloves

  11. In the four years since I wrote this post, I have indeed acquired a pair of black kidskin opera gloves and they are every bit as delicious to wear as you might expect. :)

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