Amsterdam’s newest rubber party had two editions already. We spoke with Tony Varlack, who initiated the party and who’s also Mr Rubber NL 2012, and Sly Hands, International Mr Rubber 2012, about their passion for rubber.
What kind of work do you do?
Tony: “I work as an assistant store manager for Mister B and one of my responsibilities is promotion via social media.”
Sly: “I’m a photographer and designer, and I do volunteer work with youngsters.”
Yes, we read something on your website about religious work...
Sly: “Yes, I’m also a ‘good Christian boy’! (grins) No, it’s very interesting to be a religious gay man at the moment. Now that the debate on gay marriage has spread from the USA to the UK it’s interesting to take part in that discussion. I talk about it with both gay and straight friends. Sometimes it’s a bit scary but it actually is a good time to be who I am: an openly Christian gay.”
...with a passion for rubber! How did you discover?
Sly: “I was very young when I discovered fetish. When I was three years old I was already very attached to my leather bomber jacket. It had nothing sexual at the time, but it gave me a macho feeling. I discovered rubber when I was twelve. We did a game with balloons with a Christian youth group when one balloon popped and its skin fell on top of me. I took it home and stapled a rubber pair of shorts together. That’s how it started.”
Tony: “In my teenage years I sometimes surfed to porn sites and felt immediately attracted to the fetish variety. When I was fifteen or sixteen I ordered my first rubber item, online because I hadn’t come out yet.”
How do people respond to your love for rubber?
Tony: “I’m more open about it now than before, but I’ve told people that I was into rubber, even a few straight friends and my mother. They had no problem with it.”
Sly: “I’ve struggled with it for a while, because of the church mainly. There were times I thought it was wrong and threw out gear. Such a shame really!”
Tony: “I’ve had that too, not that other people didn’t accept it, but the thought that what I did was wrong somehow. While you should really just accept the way you are.”
Sly: “In the end you just have to embrace it and accept it. Now, my friends think it’s quite funny: if that’s ok for you, just do it. When I go out wearing rubber I hardly get any comments, at least no negative ones.”
Tony: “I even have a few straight friends coming along to fetish parties so it’s not a problem at all anymore. Last leather pride I was a bit drunk and walked around in rubber chaps and a jockstrap, I didn’t get any negative comments. Fetishes are really accepted here in Amsterdam.”
You’re both Mr Rubber, why did you want to become a Mister?
Tony: “I knew someone who’d been Mr Rubber and I thought we just needed something like that in Amsterdam. I spotted the Mr Rubber Netherlands site and I thought it would be great to work with them. When I told them they asked me if I wanted to take part as a candidate. I never really wanted to win, I just wanted to promote the scene.”
Sly: “I’d been to something like Mr International Rubber (MIR), so I already had an idea of what these Misters were all about. We chose someone to represent our community and the contest is a perfect excuse for a party. Before I took part in Mr Rubber UK 2011 I had already taken part in a smaller contest. It was really the opportunity to stand up and show a side of myself, and the opportunity to represent the Manchester community that motivated me to take part. And after the competition in the UK I just couldn’t not take part in MIR.”
So tonight you’re going as Mr Rubber to Rubberized, why should we go to that party?
Tony: “I started the party because the Dutch rubber scene is actually quite big but nothing ever happens. There are a few other rubber parties, but as Mr Rubber I wanted to do something for the Dutch rubber community; to unite the scene and promote it. So the dress code is rubber-only, but from 1 a.m. also guys in other wear can get in.”
Sly: “To bring the community together is really important. In fact we both work on that, via social media like facebook and by organizing stuff. In the rubber scene it’s not just about masculinity and sexuality, there are also just a lot of nice people in our community!”
A photo report on the visit of Sly Hands and more info on Mister Rubber Netherlands can be found at www.mrrubber.nl. On Club Fuxxx’s website you’ll find all information on Rubberized – with Tony Varlack: www.clubfuxxx.com
the next edition will be on Friday, September 21, 2012.