If you read the book The Real Thing, by William Carny, you will find an author attempting to set down the rules of the nascent gay men’s leather culture. Fashioned after C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, Carney’s hero tells his nephew the rules about wearing leather and how to investigate the growing world of leathersex. Leather, after all, dominated the images of the American Gay underground throughout the sixties and seventies.
But in Europe, largely fueled by War World II and the presence of industry, rubber was equally recognized as a fabric that could unify the darker desires of a man and woman or man and man. I do not know about the fetishism of lesbians during this time.
Looking to Europe which produced virtually all rubber gear (partially due to a ban on certain glues in the US), adventurous Gay men began to break the rules of leather culture as early as they were being formed. Outlaws are like that.
Here and there in Drummer magazine, among the slaves and masochists, were personal ads for men who wanted to cover themselves in the tight, alien smoothness of rubber. Punk and New Wave culture soon adopted rubber with enthusiasm and variation became the name of the game.
In the United States, along with the invention of the Internet, gay men’s rubber culture took a great leap forward when Squirm started the online website, the Rubber Lover’s Contact List. This eventually evolved into Rubberzone.com.
RMSF started in 2001, when Marc W and Terry G asked the owner of the Loading Dock bar if they could gather local rubber men and form a club. A poster was made, the bar was made available during a week night when it was normally closed. And the men came.
The group adopted the name Rubbermen of San Francisco Bay and a tire as our logo. The group began to host a wide-ranging number of events from bar nights to gathering to wear rubber out in restaurants. In the first year, the club hosted a play night at the fetish retailer, Mr. S Leather and 80 men in rubber turned up.
RMSF has continued to host bar nights every Dore and Folsom and at various time throughout the year.
Go to the “Blasts in The Past” gallery for pics from events before 2011