THE SECOND SKIN PLAYERS

Ziggy and the zentais from Mars. ”And I’m all for it. This is the perfect avenue to make a bold fashion statement but preserve one’s anonymity. One can say the person attracted to zentai exhibits signs of attention whoredom. I disagree. The attention is on the suit and perhaps the body the suit is accentuating. There is no way, though, to identify the person inhabiting the suit.”

The Zentai Project. ''We in The Zentai Project make occasional 'walkabouts' - trips with one or more people wearing zentai out in public places, and sometimes someone to take pictures. Walkabouts have happened all around the world, as you can see from the pictures in the gallery. The locals don't know what to make of us, but the tourists love us and we get onto lots of tourist snaps - sometimes we can hardly walk 3 steps down the street before being stopped to pose for another picture.''

The Zentai Project. ''We in The Zentai Project make occasional 'walkabouts' - trips with one or more people wearing zentai out in public places, and sometimes someone to take pictures. Walkabouts have happened all around the world, as you can see from the pictures in the gallery. The locals don't know what to make of us, but the tourists love us and we get onto lots of tourist snaps - sometimes we can hardly walk 3 steps down the street before being stopped to pose for another picture.''

There is a new  fashion in the Western World.It has been termed a sexual fashion, but it likely goes deeper than that. It contradicts the anti-niqab and anti-burkha activists since it achieves the same effect by hiding the face completely. . It can be interpreted in several ways including being post-goth morbid and a bit occultish. As a societal issue, it will be an ethical dilemna, a secular fashion that permits one to reinvent their identity and maintain an anonymity by their own free will; thereby, it cannot be argued to be repressive to its wearers.

''The last scene is by far the funniest moment on this series that I have seen yet. Frank is still hallucinating and thinks Charlie is a lizard, Charlie is still green man, Deandra broke her foot, and Dennis and Mac are exhausted. The episode finally ends when frank accidentally shoots McPoyle in the leg.''

''The last scene is by far the funniest moment on this series that I have seen yet. Frank is still hallucinating and thinks Charlie is a lizard, Charlie is still green man, Deandra broke her foot, and Dennis and Mac are exhausted. The episode finally ends when frank accidentally shoots McPoyle in the leg.''

If the word zentai is not part of your vocabulary, it will soon be, and the color most associated with it is snot and mucous green. It has received some notoriety in the public sphere through its green spandex version at National Hockey League games. This is particularly popular in Philadelphia, probably because of repeated appearances by a hooded, spandex-encased, dancing “green man” on the U.S. sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Call it fetish in fashion. It has Japanese origins and has been on the fringes of western culture for the last four or five years, slowly germinating into the mainstream. Its a logical extension of a cultural manifestation borne from, in part, a backlash of Eastern cults and religious practices adopted by increasing numbers in the form of Yoga, Buddhism, etc. and these interminable photos of the Salvador Dalai Lama; the cult of narcissism giving credence to the zentai ”phenomenon” that seems to reconcile conflicting and competing contradictions: liberaton/bondage, self/the world, nakedness/fully clothed, and so on.

zentai

zentai

Whether the wearing  of full-body, face-obscuring spandex is primarily a sexual thing, can be open to question. ”Some people consider wearing a zentai as an expression of art. The physical anonymity the full body bodysuit provides allow for the zentai pattern and color to stand out. Hence, zentai suits with flamboyant colors and designs have been produced. Among the favorites are metallic solid-colored zentai suits which allow the wearer to stand out amidst a crowd.” However, the outfits are so embarrassingly revealing than anyone remotely self-conscious of their weight and body will abstain from wearing it. So, its also a new form of identity, permitting one to re-invent themselves in the way Venetian masks are used to some extent. When plump baby boomers and pre-teens start passing through the check-out counter at Wal-Mart and Target with their suits, you know it will be time to move on.

zentai

zentai

”The fashion originated, unsurprisingly, in Japan, where the connections between sexual expression and outré clothing, particularly childlike cartoon-character looks, are unashamedly embraced. The word comes from zenshin taitsu: Zenshin is “full body” and taitsu is from the English tights. It’s not to be confused with hentai, Japanese comic-book sex art, but you might say it is thematically linked: A lot of people are drawn to the wearing of spandex suits through their emulation of superheroes and other anime figures. The complete, artificial smoothness of the zentai suit does enable one to begin to resemble a computer-drawn image.” ( Russell Smith )

In North America, the style will undoubtedly undergo a mmmm. ….facelift. American will appropriate it, and redefine it based on the evolving criteria that makes America so dynamic. In Japan itself, much of the sexual repression seen in the Western world brought on by Christianity is diminished. In a sense, Japan is a hypersexed country, but this is only within certain parameters; restraints given the overbearing burden of consensus and conformity. Although officially illegal, there is a quasi legal prostitution industry and a prevalence of anime pornography read openly in public. The selling of sex is only illegal when contact of genitals is involved. Also, lesbianism is essentially taboo, while homosexuality enjoys only more social acceptance, perhaps to be expected in a deeply patriarchal  and  still authoritarian society.

zentai

zentai

”While the national age of consent in Japan is suprisingly only 13, many local laws raise this age to as high as 17. Furthermore, the “Enjo Kōsai” (compensated dating) industry in which teenage girls go on dates with and ocassionally perform sexual favors on older men worries some, yet most Japanese do not consider this anywhere near to prostitution. Though only 2% of the world’s population, Japan accounts for 10% of worldwide condom consumption. The use of condoms as contraceptives is most common in Japan. As Shinto, the national religion, has no concept of “sin,” the Japanese do not have the same “guilt complexes” as in many Western countries with Western religions that emphasize more self-consciousness concerning sin and guilt. “Although Japanese culture has in its history a tradition of sexual love between men, and tolerates the expression of affection for the same sex at most levels of society, the contemporary Japanese attitude toward homosexuality is in general very negative. ” Lesbianism, or female homosexuality, has a much less accepted status than male homosexuality….”

All in all, there are  various motivations; from the plain kinky to the more refined sentiments of partial sensory deprivation, to the cult of the mask that enables one to be simultaneously exhibitionistic and anonymous; a form of non-human that represents a tangible version of Computer Generated Images in three dimensions.

”Zentai fetishism is a cousin of two other costume-based fetishes, also with Japanese roots: cosplay and yiffing. Cosplay is dressing up as a character in science fiction (usually, but not always, Japanese), and many cosplay suits have a spandex component. (An incidental note on terminology here: Spandex has come to be used as the generic term; Lycra is the trade name, owned by Dupont.) Yiffing, a subgenre of cosplay, is sexual activity while dressed in an animal costume (i.e. as a “furry”). All these practices are about transferring one’s sexual life onto a fictional character, so that one isn’t really oneself while doing it.” ( Russell Smith )

”Now all I had to do was to decide what to wear, which even for a Zentai CD can be taxing! I have developed a liking for certain dress and outfits, mainly tight fitting and stretchy. I love tight knit sweaterdressess, I like the way they feel clinging to my encased CD body (like 3/4 encasement). I like to experiment with different looks, fetish accessories, colours and styles all to compliment my Pantyhose encased or Zentai wrapped CD form. I definately feel sexy when Im in my CD mode and I suppose that sort of brings out the feminine side of my personality that I show in my photos. I am totally straight in my ‘nilla’ life so I dont know where this all comes from. I am still straight in CD mode but I can explore myself further. Its pretty cool actually.

''I started to do some video clips to go with the sets, and I have even thought about setting up a website to showcase my fetish exploits. But then I asked myself, who would want to see that? is my fetish appealing enough for someone to want to pay to see a dude dressed as woman in a hood posing for the camera in pantyhose and dresses and making videos? I know there is quite a large gay following of zentai, spandex and pantyhose so would that appeal? ''

''I started to do some video clips to go with the sets, and I have even thought about setting up a website to showcase my fetish exploits. But then I asked myself, who would want to see that? is my fetish appealing enough for someone to want to pay to see a dude dressed as woman in a hood posing for the camera in pantyhose and dresses and making videos? I know there is quite a large gay following of zentai, spandex and pantyhose so would that appeal? ''

The encasement and zentai make it sort of a ‘mannequinn’ thing where its not about how you look its about the clothes and this faceless feminine character you create. I think the whole thing is more a visual kick for me rather than a sexual thing, hold on aminute – I take that back!!! What was I thinking: pantyhose encased sex is the best ever, a real sense and touch pleasure, Zentai sex too,  So scratch that last remark.”

As usual, lawmakers are running well behind the activities on the field.With summer governmental recess coming up; and the more weighty concerns of financial reform, and universal health care, illegal immigration and so on, it appears the little green men and women and their cousins may enjoy some breathing room.After all, their rights may be enshrined in the constitution. In any event, the State has no business in the bedrooms of its citizenry.

”Although there are sexual bondage tones to this, it’s mostly for me a relaxation thing, and I keep it private in my own home. Sure I sometimes get some sexual urges while I wear the suit, but that’s only about 15-20%% of the time, the rest, I relax. I recently told my wife about this, and she’s given it a bit of a try, and has her own suit. She’s not into it like I am, but does like to relax sometimes in it, and we do sleep in the suits, sometimes with the hoods up and other times with the hoods down.”

Zentai at Washington Nationals game.

Zentai at Washington Nationals game.

Whether one is pro or con of limiting zentai in public, activities for many, are simply an excuse to indulge in exhibitionism whether joggers, cyclists or yoga addicts parading in public space, the body suits are just another indulgence and a somewhat coherent extension of this mind-set.

”The tricky part for lawmakers is going to be not only their natural desire to repress sexual expression in public, but the culture’s general discomfort around masks. Masks are associated with crime: A guy comes into your convenience store after midnight wearing a face-obscuring hood and you’re going to be reaching for the panic button. On a more basic emotional level, just as with Salafist Muslim veils, masks are off-putting. Simply put, they look creepy.”

But I have not yet heard a peep about banning these nerdy costumes on any of these grounds. Nobody seems offended by pudgy guys in tight clothes who don’t want to show their faces, or worried about the possibility of them indulging in crime sprees.”

Lycraman. ''Gaining access to the Internet I very soon saw this as a possibility of meeting guys with a similar interest in lycra tights. That I wasn't alone I soon found out as the Hotmail account name Lycraman already was occupied. I made my first website on Geocities, thus learing how to work with HTML coding, and one year later I got my own website and profile on Gay.com, making myself more visible this way. This was the birth of my alter ego Lycraman, as no nickname could express my lycra interest better. ''

Lycraman. ''Gaining access to the Internet I very soon saw this as a possibility of meeting guys with a similar interest in lycra tights. That I wasn't alone I soon found out as the Hotmail account name Lycraman already was occupied. I made my first website on Geocities, thus learing how to work with HTML coding, and one year later I got my own website and profile on Gay.com, making myself more visible this way. This was the birth of my alter ego Lycraman, as no nickname could express my lycra interest better. ''

”I have been into tight clothing since childhood and into Lycra since it was marketed. I have been on the London fetish scene for about ten years or so. I attend fetish clubs with zentai suits that are form fitting round the genitalia. The fetish community named me Lycraman. “Zentai Catsuit in Public: London Easter Saturday 2002″ Here in South East England the weather was very pleasant mid teens Celsius (mid sixties Fahrenheit). Just the weather for the first outdoor Lycra adventures of the year. Good Friday I was fairly conventional. I put on a marl grey cotton Lycra catsuit with feet but no hands or gloves but it was really super skin tight and walked to my local shopping centre and did a little shopping and had my hair cut. I created a little stir.

''I got free time this afternoon... So here a new pic.'' ( Zentai Curious. Sherbrooke, Q.C.

''I got free time this afternoon... So here a new pic.'' ( Zentai Curious. Sherbrooke, Q.C.

”The following day I wanted to be a little more adventurous. I had just got a fets-fash full white zentai suit at an ebay auction a few days previously. As some of you will know for fetish clubbing I usually create a unique variation of the zentai style by adding a penile sheath and scrotal sack but did not dare to wear this modification in crowded public places on a Saturday afternoon, although I do risk a quick dash from where I park the car to a fetish club in the late evening. The only modification I made was to cut out eyeholes. Saturday at about noon I tried it on. It fitted fine except that it squashed my nose a little and could have been a bit tighter round the hips and waist. I shall make appropriate modifications later. The size was small female. Whenever I put on Lycra I always wear a condom underneath so that if I get a little excited there are no tell tale spots and irreversible stains!” ( lycraman )

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