One of the most popular forms of sexual fetishism is Wet And Messy (WAM) play. Depending on the substances used to get wet and messy other terms might apply, but in general the overarching arousing factor is the sensation of different textures against your skin. For some it is enough to simply walk through some mud and get their boots a bit dirty, while others set up a complete bath filled with slime to get covered from head to toe. In this article we will dive a bit deeper, no pun intended, into the world of mudding, WAM, sploshing, gunge play, food play, and messy play, and link it to rainwear to bring it on-topic for this site. To my surprise the scene goes a lot deeper than I had expected so I might have lost track at some point. Feel free to send me a message if you think some parts might misrepresent what is going on.
Wet and messy, food play, gunge, mudding, sploshing
Rainwear is protective gear. When you look for images or videos of rainwear it should not come as a shock that in many instances the gear is shown doing what it is intended for: protecting the wearer against rain or mud. But even an average observer will start to wonder how some of the people in these pictures got into such extreme situations in the first place. Country scenery with some farmhands or hunters wearing a pair of rubber boots with mud splashes over them raise no questions, but an attractive young lady in heavy-duty raingear combined with a pair of industrial rubber gloves, covered in thick mud, does get slightly suspicious after the first 5 images you come across. Below a picture from Simon Avery that is hard to write off as an accidental slip and fall.
The rainwear community can maybe best be split in three (not mutually exclusive) groups regarding the level of dirt participants tolerate, enjoy, or prefer regarding their rainwear. The first group would be those who like their gear in a clean state. While the excitement of the gear can still be linked to its protective nature, they have no inclination to put this to the test and mostly enjoy the feelings of the materials, the smell of the gear, and the way it looks. Some keep some of their rainwear separate for play-specific scenarios while others do use their gear outdoors but clean it up as much as possible after every use. Keeping a pair of rubber boots for indoor use only seems a regular practice saving a lot of time either cleaning your boots or cleaning your sheets. Especially with white sheets you best make sure your gear is clean.
The second group has a greater focus on the protective features of rainwear. In general I would put myself into this group as some of my most empowering and exciting experiences with rainwear involves defying adverse weather while being geared up. Being able to go for a long and relaxing walk during torrential rain, seeing the drops of water rolling off my gear without getting me wet, and walking through puddles of mud without hesitation are some of the most vivid memories of the rainwear I have. My gear gets dirty, but I stay clean. And with some decent rain, or maybe the garden hose back home, all the dirt gets flushed off at the end like it was nothing. The excitement is in the ability to go through the mess without it ever penetrating my protective layer. And it can be great fun to look for the limits here; going a little deeper, getting a little dirtier, adding more protection to push it slightly further, but once the defensive cocoon is breached, the fun diminishes for this second group.
For the third group the fun really just starts when the mess enters their gear. The focus of this group would be mostly on the feelings of the mess against their skin. Where the wet material clings against your body and the cold liquids with its slimy texture overloads your senses and you feel blissful in the moment. It is this group that would be most closely linked to the fetish communities of wet and messy (WAM), mudding, sploshing, gunge play, food play, and messy play.
What is wet and messy (WAM)?
While there are small differences between the exact types of activities of food play, messy play, mudding, sploshing, gunge play, etc, the common denominator would be the sensual experience of textures against your skin. The words mostly distinguish between what types of liquids or products are used, with mudding involving mud, food play being based around food, and WAM which can involve any type of liquid from water to coloured slime. And where for some the feelings of the substances against the naked skin is what excites them, others enjoy it more being dressed in anything from a tight bodysuit to a 3-piece business suit. And of course the exact activities can differ a lot as well, with either innocently rolling around in the messy gunk to full-on sex while being covered from head to toe.
Where does it come from?
My favourite theories, or explanations, for the origins of a fetish are pleasant childhood memories which we try to relive at a later age, and accidental conditioning during sexual experiences. Accidental conditioning seems rather unlikely in this context, as not many people would accidently lie in the mud or are surrounded by food during their sexual experimenting. The pleasant childhood memories seem therefore a more obvious explanation, as many, if not all, young children enjoy sensory play where they at least use their hands to experience different textures. How these enjoyable early childhood memories get linked to sexual gratification is harder to explain, but it probably has to do with similar feelings of joy and excitement that going through mud or slime with your hands can give and early sexual explorations. Just take a look at the picture of Simon Avery below and you will have a hard time denying this might be actually fun to try out (again), regardless if you are into WAM or not.
Another possible link can be the societal pressure on cleanliness. Parents often let their young children get dirty, play out in the rain, or stamp through puddles, but at a certain point you are expected to avoid getting dirty and wet. And for some this makes it more interesting to go the other way. As a way of rebellion they move away from what is expected and push the societal boundaries formed around them. What better way to challenge the norms than getting covered in mud from head to toe and enjoying it? This might also explain the recent popularity of activities like mud runs and obstacle runs where part of the enjoyment seems to come from getting completely covered in dirt. The simple joy of getting muddy is expressed below by a preview picture from bootedbabes (18+ content).
There might also be a link to television programs. Many people active in the wet and messy play communities mention the mesmerizing moments that contestants in a gameshow got dunked into baths full of slime while being fully clothed. It is up for debate if exposure to these activities on TV simply brings up deep longings or actually creates those longings, but the number of instances this it is brought up make it an interesting common experience many people had. Below a screenshot from a random show where the contestants are covered in green slime as a “punishment”.
Finally there are far-fetched theories about re-experiencing being in the womb or a more rational explanation where being covered in food or mud is linked to dominant/submissive sexual play. As this is rather specific to BDSM play, which is not representative for the WAM community as a whole, I will not go further into that.
Where does rainwear come in?
As mentioned previously the protective nature of rainwear makes it an interesting clothing item to bring into the mix when one participates in wet and messy play. The relationship seems to mostly go one way though: people who are into rainwear start to include wet and messy play at some point, and not so much that people in the WAM community move towards rainwear all of a sudden. If one falls in the previously mentioned second group of rainwear enthusiasts, the people who enjoy testing the limits of the protective nature of rainwear, there is a good chance you experience moments when you surpass that limit and get into WAM territory. At least in my case it has happened multiple times that I enjoyed putting my gear to the test, going a few steps further and sinking a bit deeper in the mud, only to get my boots flooded and experienced the water and mud sloshing around in my wellies. The other way around, where a WAM player accidently falls into rainwear, sounds implausible.
There are actually two main reasons why rainwear makes such a good match with mudding or WAM. The first one is often mentioned by members in the rainwear community who participate of these activities: the added excitement of being able to push your gear to the limit, stay completely protected up to a certain level, only to suddenly flood it completely. Once the protective seal has been broken it often goes very quick from completely dry to being completely covered.
Another reason is much more practical: rainwear is designed to get wet and is therefore easy to clean and dry. As the name already implies, wet and messy play gets wet and messy. And all that mess can damage your delicate clothes and needs to get cleaned again afterwards. If you go all-in wearing a silk dress or expensive suede boots your WAM hobby can quickly become a very expensive hobby. But a pair of rubber boots and some PVC raingear is much easier cleaned and it will take the beating with a smile. Simply step under the shower after your play, wash off all the dirt, and leave your gear to dry for the next round.
My own mudding experiences
It might be a Dutch trait, but I would classify myself as rather open-minded and curious. There is not much on a sexual or fetish base that really shocks me, which does not automatically mean that I am into it of course. My time interacting within the rainwear community, combined with my earlier experiences of enjoying going through the rain and muddy puddles, made me curious how I would experience getting really messy. Food play sounds too wasteful to me, and the logistics of setting up an inflatable pool and filling it with slime is a bit much, but carefully pushing my limits with getting dirty in the mud sounds like a viable option.
It was actually a very sporadic thing to do when I found myself completely geared up in my Guy Cotten raingear during decent rain. With the rain already going on for a while it was quiet and the muddy spot I was standing next to actually looked kind of clean. That might sound strange, but I mean it was just thick mud with small puddles of water in there and no branches, leaves, or dark patches of unknown origin. The idea must have been planted in my mind a while ago as I suddenly felt the need to experiment and experience what it would feel like. A deep breath, followed by another deep breath, but I wasn’t ready yet. How do I start this? What if I drop myself in this mess and there is a rock just below the surface? Doubts start to enter my mind and I do my best to push that away. Another deep breath and I drop myself to my knees. In the mud. The mud feels soft and luckily there are no sharp objects anywhere. I move around a bit but it feels strange. Not the mud, but me just sitting here fully geared in the mud. What am I supposed to do now? Without gloves on I am not willing to drop myself down further, as getting up again would mean dirty hands which would break the protective cocoon. I get up again and look at my gear. My rainpants are covered in mud and the trickle of rain slowly washes it down again, over my rainboots, back to where it came from. The whole ordeal lasted maybe a minute and while nothing really happened, it kept floating around in my mind the weeks after.
Below the final state I reached in this small experiment. You have to start somewhere, right?
Rainwear can give me great pleasure, but over time I have learned that functionality plays an important element in my enjoyment. You will not find me geared up at home, or on a dry day, as a good part of the enjoyment is the functional and protective nature of the gear. With other words, I need an activity that gives me the reason to wear my rainwear to fully enjoy it. And this activity can be *wink*, making pictures, or simply protecting me from the rain. But simply dropping myself in mud and rolling around triggers a tiny existential crisis. So I want to try this again, but now add a bit of gear to fully protect and add an activity to give a reason. Bringing my camera would solve that already: taking pictures would be enough of a reason to stay geared up longer.
The second try certainly got messier. The gloves made a huge difference as I now could get down. It did make taking the pictures difficult though, the thick rubber prevented me from clicking the shutter button. I managed to get my gear pretty dirty, but stay clean inside my protective layer. Having a southwester helped a lot by keeping my hair away from the dirt and my fears of mud entering my boots or gloves were unfounded. Once done it was a short way back to the car and due to the rain I skipped taking off all my muddy gear before going my way.
Driving back it felt like a high; that feeling that you pushed your limits just enough that you broke new ground but not so far that it would require processing time to know if I actually liked it or not. The excitement was mostly from being out there, in the rain, with a camera, lying in the mud and taking pictures. What if someone would just walk by? The spot was tactically chosen, with a good view if anyone was approaching, but it still felt like I had done something both daring and disobedient. Once back home I was such a mess that I simply dropped all gear in the shower for a good cleaning. Cleaning the car I forgot, something that would haunt me back later.
I had planned to actually include some of the pictures I took during that adventure, but for some reason it feels much more personal to share than any other pictures I have posted. It feels like they cross some line of privacy. Let me therefore leave it with the picture below, and I will keep the actual mud rolling stuff for myself.
Going by the classification given earlier with the level of mess one wants to experience with their rainwear, I would classify myself both in the first and second group. Some of my gear I keep clean: mainly the vintage Agu rainsuit that is relatively delicate and cannot be replaced easily. The waterproofness of this suit is gone anyways leaving it for experiencing the unique material. Making use of the protective nature of my gear always has been an important part of the enjoyment I get out of raingear. I simply love the ability to go through rain and muddy puddles without it affecting me under my protective layer of PVC. Once the dirt enters my gear the fun quickly diminishes though, for as far as I have been able to experiment I feel no special joy in actually getting the mud to enter my boots or suit. But that certainly does not mean I regret my experimenting. Like I said before, I consider myself rather open-minded and curious and this felt like a natural next step in experimentation that I really wanted to experience. Maybe I will take it a step furher in the future, but I have nothing planned for now. If you have any inclination towards WAM yourself I would recommend joining some of the many WAM message boards or fetish groups you can find online for practical tips and ideas.
- Fetlife (several groups discuss everything to do with WAM)
- Sofia Gray’s blog
- Latestly on WAM
- Recon with a complete interview
- An article on recon about WAM
- And one more from recon
- qxmen on gunge
- Mister B wings on the mud season
- Metro “news” on WAM