STEALING a pair of chemical resistant latex gloves from his father’s shed as an eight-year-old was Liam Clark’s first significant experience with rubber.
“I just remember being really excited by how they smelled and felt and looked, before I had any sort of inkling about my sexuality,” he told the Star Observer.
“I just remember being so excited by the gloves and not knowing why, it was my instinct.”
Melbourne recently played host to the first annual Rubber Man competition, with Clark becoming the inaugural winner of the sash.
The event was held at The Laird and saw a handful of men compete to become Australia’s first rubber title-holder.
Clark said it felt surreal becoming the first winner of the competition.
“I think I’m still so exhausted from the weekend that it hasn’t really had the time to sink in,” he said.
“But I’ve noticed already that everything feels a little different, I’m suddenly getting a lot more attention than I used to and feel a lot of responsibility.
“I was nervous on the night and I’m not afraid to admit I really did want to win, but the night was so much fun.”
There were four rounds in the competition, including a pre-recorded interview round, a full coverage round, a flesh round, and a talent round.
For Clark’s talent entry, he performed a ‘locker room fantasy’ using a mash-up of Olivia Newton-John’s Physical and Ricky Martin’s The Cup of Life for the soundtrack.
“Major hats off to my co-competitors Lance and Matt, because we’re all dorks, so it meant we had this beautiful dorky rapport backstage,” he said.
“In the full coverage round we had to present a look fully covered in rubber, and in the flesh round we had to wear minimal rubber.”
Clark said events like the Rubber Man competition are important as a way to bring the community together for a fun event, while helping to highlight different kinks.
He added that for him, rubber is about sexiness.
“In the community it always seems to be that bigger is better… if you’re muscly, or a bear, and also hairiness is very in at the moment,” he said.
“So as a lanky, hairless, geek, I feel on the outer, and while that may be my insecurities coming through, I don’t always feel sexy.
“But rubber changes that. I feel sexy in rubber, simple as that.
“I find being in control of the thing that makes me feel sexy incredibly empowering.”
Melbourne’s Rubber Man competition was part of a three-day rubber event at The Laird called Slick.