One. Is it latex or is it rubber? You're likely to hear the words “latex” and “rubber” used interchangeably in some places and to describe two different things in others. Why? “Latex” typically refers to very thin, very shiny rubber, while “rubber” has come to mean thicker, often matte-finished material.
Two. Why latex? Obviously, there are as many answers for that as there are latex fetishists, but some generalizations can be made. Thanks to their smooth, form-fitting nature, latex garments can often result in a sense of moveable yet full-body bondage some fetishists find comforting or challenging. Wearers may also find some pleasure in the premise of a sleek “second skin,” either from an aesthetic perspective or a sensual one (or both). It's easy, too, for latex to hint at nudity; it doesn't hide a single curve. (Cyberpunks and geeks know that—they've been exposed to any number of black-latex-clad protagonists kicking major ass.)
Three. It's not as easy as it looks. Latex's tight, unforgiving nature requires both perfect sizing and prep time, usually involving powder or lubricant to make it easier to slide into. You might think using liquid latex is a great way to get around this—it comes in a bottle and can simply be painted on the skin, no wriggling required—but Wikipedia puts it best: “Removal of a painted on liquid latex garment can result in painful hair removal.” Thanks, Wikipedia.
Four. Latex is everywhere. Some gas mask fetishists may find part of their kink stemming from the latex in the masks themselves. Before condoms were commonplace, there was a subset of the gay male community that fetishized condoms as part of latex scenes. More than one latex fetishist has a little moment walking into a tire store and taking their first big breath of all that rubber scent. And yours truly may have the most oddball tale of latex love in strange places; as a kid, I loved to carry around, um, a certain prosthetic item of my grandmother's, and not just because it was soft and squishy.
Five. Latex may scratch your itch (sometimes too literally). Latex allergies are more and more commonplace, but that doesn't mean you can't get your slinky-sexy on. PVC and PU (polyurethane) items are fairly easy to find, including “pleather,” the vegan alternative to leather, which can be found at various price points with corresponding quality variations. Generally, PVC and PU items are much easier on the budget, and are an excellent choice for the frugal shiny kinky person.