Most commonly known as the key material in condoms, latex is a smooth flexible rubber with many applications. Because it has excellent strength, it is used in everything from balloons to surgical exam gloves. These properties are also what makes latex excellent in various sexual applications. Besides condoms, a number of toys and apparatus are either solid latex or covered with a latex coating. It also makes an appearance in specialty items – of which one is the most unique.
Liquid when sealed in a container or tube, liquid latex air dries within a few minutes to take on its familiar rubbery characteristics. Because it is initially a liquid, it forms and molds exactly to any curves, shapes or contours, acting like a second skin. This is part of the allure of liquid latex. For others wishing to go beyond silk handkerchiefs for a little light bondage, liquid latex can create firm, yet flexible wrist bindings, still capable of being ripped or torn, allowing independence and an extra level of control or comfort.
When using latex, it is important to recognize that liquid latex and other latex applications are not suitable for protection from disease or pregnancy (in other words, don’t try and create your own condoms). As well, some people have an allergy to latex that can result in swelling, skin irritation, or, in some extreme cases anaphylaxis (an extreme swelling in which airways may close, impeding breathing and causing death). So, prior to any large-scale exposure to latex, do a test exposure on a small (2-inch square) patch of skin on an arm or leg. Apply the latex, let it dry, remove it and wait for at least 45 minutes to see if any rashes, swelling or other discomfort occurs.