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Rubber Rubs Her Right

Rubber Rubs Her Right
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Harnessing the power of discarded inner tubes, fetish-wear artisan Katrina Humbert scores one for the green team.

  Harnessing Inspiration, Perspiration & Excitation (and Dildos, of Course)

Giving the term “diesel dyke” a whole new twist, Katrina Humbert has become one of the leading harness makers in the U.S. InHerTube’s dildo harnesses are flexible and feel great against your (and your partner’s) skin. Devilishly simple to own and operate, the fasteners are velcro for easy on and off, and the harnesses can be cleaned in soap and water. The harnesses are made of recycled truck, car, and heavy equipment inner tubes that are cleaned, cut, glued, punched and riveted together. It is a time-consuming labor of love. Since the harnesses are measured and individually tailored to each woman, they are essentially functional works of art.

I became aware of InHerTube harnesses thanks to their popularity among women of size (those of us for whom one-size-fits-all translates into “forget about it.” Rubber is very big girl friendly), but it was while perusing vendor’s booths at a women’s event (the show included big lesbian poets, fat Burlesque dancers and chubby cheerleaders), that I first made intimate acquaintance.

I was out of control; emptying my checking account to sate my hunger for fat, sexy art and comfortable clothing. Tucked between neo-retro hippie jewelry and Venus of Willendorf refrigerator magnets, a small table glistened with black, shiny rubber toys. I fell in love at first snap. I was hooked, lined and dildo-sinkered. I bought my first InHerTube harness on the spot.

Even the fitting was erotic. The salesgirl (she has a name and I know it but in my rubber-scented memory/fantasy she is just “the salesgirl”) dropped to her knees in the crowded hallway and wrapped her measuring tape intimately around each thigh. Oooo, yeah. That was the most fun I’d had with rubber—and my harness wasn’t even made yet!

  Diversity in Perversity

“But I already have a strap-on,” you say. But do you have this one? In addition to a custom-fit standard (crotch-belt) harness, InHerTube makes a glove harness, shoe/boot harness (!), thigh harness, rubber impact toys and metal “chain” dildos.

This December, I attended the kinky vendor’s fair in Portland Oregon. I was shopping for friends lucky enough to get a visit from Santa’s naughty sister. I stumbled into Innertube’s familiar booth. The salesgirl greeted me by name. When I stopped blushing, I was able to admire the new line of products.

I struck up a conversation with the customer beside me: a dishy blonde. We were united by our shared lust for the products. The Blonde confessed to me she planned a scene at the upcoming Kinkfest in which she had a dildo strapped to every imaginable part of her—one in each hand, one on each thigh… Boots. Crotch. Face. She planned to have as many people as could stride her small frame ride her to ecstasy. She invited me to join the fun. (She was too tiny I think for me to thigh ride without pushing off her other passengers but I promised to consider it if I were “on hand” for the event.)

  Is Rubber is the New Leather?

I really liked the new boot harness. Unfortunately there are not enough foot fetishists in my life to make it the first purchase on my list. So while the boot strap-on may have star billing on the marquee of my masturbatory fantasies, the glove harness and the thigh harness get a much higher ranking on my shopping list priorities. A glove harness! While had no one thought of that before? Perfect grip, no slippage. Less tiring. Brilliant!

“I didn’t want to do the thigh harness. Everyone makes a thigh harness,” Humbert admits. Fortunately for those of us who think (in fact we KNOW) that the world can never have too many thigh harnesses, her lover (a.k.a. the salesgirl) persuaded her to make a prototype. Then she wowed the reluctant toy maker by strapping the thigh harness, fully loaded, to a chair. “I walked in, and there it was! A dildo just sticking up from the chair.”

The stretchy rubber makes it possible to strap the thigh harness to a variety of non-thigh surfaces. This game seems limited only to the players’ imagination. Humbert has since worn it on her chest. A story she retold with relish. “The thigh harness is surprisingly versatile, ” the rubber artisan grins.

“A lot of people come up to thank us for making products that vegans or people who wouldn’t buy leather can enjoy,” Humbert smiles. “I didn’t do it to be green or environmentally conscious. I wanted to combine two things I really like: tires and fucking.”

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Sexis asks: How do our sex lives—and the industries that support them—affect the earth? Starting with the basics, we present an open-ended dialogue on how our sexual choices impact our relationship with the planet and its ever-dwindling resources.

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