The goal of this “Behind the Picture” series is to explore not only the story behind a certain powerful or interesting rainwear picture but also the person depicted in the picture or the photographer who created the image. All too often a picture is shared online endlessly; the people in the picture are reduced to objects or subjected to speculation about their motivations and feelings, and nobody will ever find out what was really behind the image.
Most people who innocently scroll through pictures of rainwear in the hope of finding that specific fashionable item they were unconsciously longing for to protect them on a rainy day would probably scroll past this picture without thinking much about it. Unless you live in a Nordic country you probably look for something a bit more bright, lightweight, and stylish. The model does wear a pair of fashionable Hunter rainboots, but the dull color of the rainsuit combined with the overall association heavy-duty workwear has would mean most lose interest quickly.
But for whoever is looking at pictures of rainwear less innocently, this picture would absolutely intrigue them. The combination of a very pretty model, the heavy-duty raingear, and the high quality of the image should give some genuine excitement. Especially when you find out there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of similar high-quality pictures showing the same model in different types and colors of raingear.
Those who pay attention to the details will quickly find out what is going on in this picture. What sticks out most is the way the raingear is layered here. While it is normal to tug the legs of your jeans into your boots, it doesn’t work well with rainpants as the runoff water will fill up your boots. The visual effect is great, in practice it will be less fun. The same with the bib pants being worn over the raincoat. While the rainsuit is workwear, and there are work situations imaginable where wearing it this way is warranted, it also gives a strong hint to people active within the rainwear community. And finally there are the gloves. Rubber gloves are nothing special as workwear; brands like 66North even produce their own range of rubber gloves besides their PVC rainwear. But the gloves worn here are not the thick industrial workwear gloves one would expect, they are clearly the thinner latex gloves mostly associated with the latex/rubber community.
Meet Kitty, the model in the picture, and her husband 3XL who is the photographer. They have been active within the rainwear community for well over a decade now and asking them for an interview was suggested multiple times by readers of this site. Luckily they are still active online, although less within the rainwear community and more in the latex community, and were willing to tell a bit more about this picture specifically and their connection with rainwear in general.
Can you tell a bit more about this specific photo?
Kitty and I created this photo back in September 2010 as part of a series for our website fetishrainwear.com. The suit she is wearing is the Helly Hansen Nusfjord in green which is still in production today, combined with a pair of classic Hunter wellies in black and rubber gloves. As you already noticed she is wearing the bib pants over the jacket which seems rather impractical, but it’s the only way to show off the full pants without taking off the jacket. The choice of the darker background, the black boots and gloves, and the dark rainsuit was done purposefully to attract attention upwards to the face. That’s also why the raincoat is not fully closed in this picture, that bit of extra visible skin contrasts the darker colors of the rest of the picture.
These pictures were taken in a rented photo studio, hence the neutral background, with professional lighting. We would basically rent the studio for an evening, bring over 5 to 7 different rainsuits, 3 different pairs of rain boots, and do 3 or 4 photo series back to back.
This specific set showing the Helly Hansen Nusfjord series has received a lot of attention and later we learned that some people had bought this same set after seeing the photos we took with it, which is quite the compliment.
While this picture now floats around online, and is shared and seen maybe thousands of times, you originally published it on your own website. Can you tell a bit more about the site, why you created it, and what kind of content you shared there?
Fetishrainwear.com was started in January 2008 as a fetish rainwear blog. I wrote about our fetish for rainwear and posted monthly photo galleries of Kitty wearing a variety of rainwear. We live in Copenhagen, Denmark, and while heavier types of rainwear are here more common than in most other western countries, we wanted to change the perception that rainwear was not just a practical piece of clothing but that is could be fashionable and sexy as well at the same time.
After about 2 years we decided to launch a pay section to the website which would give access to the complete photo series produced in the past years. This was our first time doing a membership site and we were hoping for 50-100 monthly subscribers. It was never the goal to earn money this way, see it more as a way to offset the costs of hosting the website, the costs of renting the photo studio, investing in better equipment, and being able to purchase more rainwear to use in photosets. It was exciting to see if we could make this work, and really gauge how much demand there was for the content we produced.
At its most popular we had between 27 and 34 paying members. The income was not what we hoped for, especially not keeping in mind how much time and efforts we had to invest in sorting, retouching, uploading, and tagging all the pictures, but it paid for some of our costs. And since it was mostly a labor of love, plus a great opportunity to learn new skills, we still consider it a huge success and look back at it fondly.
In 2013 we finally pulled the plug on the website. The amount of time it consumed was hard to combine with becoming parents so we decided to dedicate our limited time to other projects. In total we have produced more than 150 photo series and around 15 videos.
That certainly is a lot of material to produce, and what stands out is the variety in types of raingear, the colors, and the brands used in those photo series. Does that mean you have a huge collection of rainwear now?
In the beginning, we owned a small collection of rainwear that we wore outdoors regularly and used for fetish play at home. We owned some Helly Hansen and Ocean rain suits and vintage Børmax raincoats. Maybe we had around 10-15 items altogether.
But when we started with the photoshoots we wanted to offer something new to our members on a regular basis. That is when our collection really began to grow as we were always on the lookout for new items available in shops. And from time to time fans have send us some wonderful items. In the end we maybe had around 150-200 items in total, including hip waders, full waders, rubber boots, rain suits, rain coats, rain hats, and umbrellas in all colors and from different brands.
While it is great to have such a stunning collection, it does take a lot of space to store and space is limited in our household. Over time we have sold about one-third of our collection, and we are planning to sell more items as we simply cannot give every item the time and attention it deserves.
Besides the site where you blogged and shared photos, you also started the rainwear fetish site regnfrakker.dk, which is still up and running today. Can you tell a bit more what the idea behind the site was and what your current role on the site is?
With the creation of fetishrainwear.com we already shared our perspective on rainwear, but we were simultaneously looking for more online interactions and the opportunity to meet like-minded people in real-life. At that time there were barely any online communities for rainwear specifically, so we created our own. The site was created in 2008 and took off relatively quick, reaching over 1,000 active members.
Our experience with the people on that site was great, lots of interactions took place and many of the members supported our work financially or helped out with moderating. But around the time we closed down fetishrainwear.com in 2013 we also exited the regnfrakker community by passing it over to another member who had the time and interest to continue it further. The site is still active today and we are very proud of how it has grown over time and the fact it is still going strong today!
That makes you basically one of the founders of the online rainwear community, not just by creating original content from early on but also by setting up the infrastructure for people to exchange ideas and meet up. Can you tell a bit more about your experience with the rainwear community as a whole, and maybe compare it to the rubber/latex community where you are also active in?
The rainwear fetish community and the latex fetish community are worlds apart. Rainwear is much more limited from the outset already as it is a type of clothing, where latex is a material that can be turned into almost anything you want. Rainwear is basically always the same: relatively wide-fitting materials that cover up most of the body to protect it from the rain, where latex is much more versatile as it can be used to make a vacuum bed, a latex uniform for roleplay, it can cover you up completely and take away your senses with 1mm thick latex, or be used as a second skin made from 0.3mm thin latex sheets.
With latex being much more versatile the latex fetish community is also much larger. A search on Fetlife.com shows a total of 465 members with an interest in rainwear, while “latex” gives 269,171 matches. That is 500 people who are into latex for every person into rainwear! Of course this does not represent the total community as not everyone is active on fetlife, but it does give a good idea about the relative size of the two communities.
Another limiting factor of the rainwear community is the high percentage of males compared to females. Where most women can easily see the attractiveness of latex, especially with so much latex garments being created specifically for them, most women don’t usually find rainwear to be particularly flattering or sexy.
In my view the rainwear community is changing very slowly while the latex community has changed a lot during the past decades. Latex has become more mainstream, with celebrities appearing in latex outfits in public or on TV making the material interesting and fashionable for a larger audience. Rainwear on the other hand is still mostly practical, even if a celebrity is spotted in some. The versatility of latex combined with the larger audience already interested in it has made the latex community become even larger while rainwear has stayed a niche.
Something other content creators have regularly mentioned is that their content is being digitally stolen and shared on other places for free, making it difficult to justify spending money and effort in creating more content. Is this something you see within the rainwear community as well?
Sure it happens, but it is not unique to the rainwear community; the same happens with content in the latex community. Our own experience with this is not too bad actually, mostly because Kitty is very recognizable in all the content we created. If our content is shared there is a good chance the viewers who are interested will look further for more content with Kitty and they would have ended up at our site and maybe even turn into paying member.
As content creators you have moved over to the latex fetish community. Besides the website LoveLustLatex you have written a latex fetish guide book (available on rubberlife.com) and you make fetish art work that is mostly latex inspired. Does that mean rainwear is a passed station for you and we should not expect any more rainwear related content anytime?
While my fetish journey actually began with rainwear, it has always been my fetish for latex that is most significant to me. There is something unique about latex: the way it hugs the body and feels like a second skin. That does not mean rainwear was a temporary stage; we still enjoy rainwear together as a couple. When you’re in the mood it is much quicker and easier to put on a raincoat compared to some latex garment that is not only harder to put on, but also requires washing and drying when you are done.
There will probably be rainwear related content on my site sometime in the future. That might either be rainwear made out of latex or a combination of traditional rainwear with latex clothing. So make sure to check my site regularly to avoid missing anything.
Thank you very much for explaining the background of this specific photo, sharing more stunning pictures of Kitty in raingear, and of course for laying down the foundations of the rainwear community as we know it today. What is the best way people can find or follow your content in they are interested?
My goal has always been to motivate, educate, and share about the wonders of latex and to show outsiders that latex fetish is a fun and creative lifestyle. I share my latex passion through my latex weblog, my latex fetish guide book, and my fetish poster art. You can also find me and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.