Further to my message to you and in response to your request to me for a deeper insight into my enthusiasm, I will attempt to explain more.
My mother was an extremely caring, sensitive and loving parent (as was my father) but was of the over protective kind. She had been a concert pianist and both my brother and I had a sound classical music education. She had purchased rubberised cotton raincoats - blue - for my older brother and I when I would have been about eight and he a year and a half older. I do remember playing with him in the garden when it had began to drizzle with rain and our mother was calling from the back door for us to come inside. Our reluctance to obey her request was met with her order that if we wished to continue playing outside then we should don our macks.
It must have started to rain more heavily - or maybe I'm now remembering a different incident - but I then recall our being indoors, playing in the hallway. I had rigged up a small light from a cycle battery in the cupboard under the stairs. One of us must have suggested that as it was raining (raining, as we imagined it, in the hallway) we should go inside (the cupboard under the stairs). There on pegs our macks were kept, and I have this strong memory of the powerful rubber smell that permeated the closely confining area. We put the macks on, and that gave us a strong feeling of comfort and protectiveness, along with the pungency of the odour. What with the body heat and the confined atmosphere, this memory has never left me and returns with all its old power whenever I open a wardrobe with any rubberised things in it.
The protective feeling would have come from our mother who, whenever we had to go to school in the inclement weather, would insist that we ought to wear our raincoats in case it should rain. She would stand holding out my mack in a persuasive manner saying "You must wear your mack to school". My brother and I would baulk at the unnecessary compromise of our young masculinity, knowing that the other boys at our school would chide us for being mummy's boys.
A friend of mine of many years standing in Florida is a psychiatrist and she tells me that the desire to return to one's childhood memories shows a lack of maturity - in this case a lack of sexual maturity. Her theory is that as children we most of us enjoy total freedom from responsibility and stress (though not I know in every family). We do not have the worry of having to meet every day expenses and are not likely to experience emotional pain from adult relationships, although we do not appreciate this at the time. We therefore seek solace and comfort in our needs by resorting to our first arousals even though, as in the cupboard all those years ago, I would not have experienced any real degree of potency at that young age although my subconscious may well have been aware of my future development.
My response to my friend's professional observation, although I mostly agree with it, is that perhaps none of us never really free ourselves of our immaturity. I have put to her such examples as a father enjoying playing with his young son's trains or a mother gaining pleasure from helping her daughter dress her dollies. We all like to be childish to some degree.
During the late forties, my parents who were in the hotel business would employ young girls in the evening to work in the cocktail bar. On rainy evenings, I remember a couple of them who would come into work and hang up their wet capes in the cloakroom. I remember two distinctly (one blue and the other red) which were of a sheeny cotton with a strong smelling rubber backing. I would have been about sixteen by then and could not resist taking one of these off the hook, take it into a back room, and put it on. I would pull up the hood and there would be instant excitement. There were a few occasions when I was almost interrupted - the noise of the back door being opened, one of the owners returning - but somehow I managed each time calm down, replace the cape and save myself the most embarrassing experience. I would add though this fear of being caught out only served to increase the thrill I was experiencing.
Having met the girlfriend who later became my wife, I explained all my enthusiasms and told her that I would need to introduce these into our relationship. I felt this was only fair before we became too committed, as I knew even at that stage that my enthusiasm for rubber and other things would always be with me. She was a very co-operative participant in all manner of our intimate delights and we later had four daughters and a close marriage. Unfortunately things later began to go wrong, and the eventual break-up of the marriage was largely due to her believing all along that I would grow out of my habits. In fact as the mind begins to get older one is more inclined to give into one's weaknesses if that is indeed the right way to think of these things.
One thing I would emphasize is that at no time have I ever had any feelings of guilt. Quite the opposite, in fact. I always considered that all these activities actually added something to our sexual life and were an extra and specially interesting part of my character. I know I am quite wrong in this assumption but it never occurred to me at the time. My admiration, respect and devotion to the female sex is always paramount and the idea of my doing anything that would offend a woman would be out of character.
I do regret the passing of the original pungent rubberised garments that meant so much to me when they were readily available. The nearest I have got to that distinctive and potent aroma in recent times has been in one or two items purchased from "Mac Mac". But even then the more recent pieces only had a little of the smell and that wore off quite quickly.
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