by BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ
portraits by MONIKA MOGI
HIBIKI MIZUNO, translation.
From underground to mainstream, the fetish revolution has expanded into fashion, video games, and cybersex, transforming the dynamics of intimacy. Is it extreme sexuality or a morphogenesis of desire?
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — Fetishism and a kink-forward relationship to sex and the body can be a space for revolution. How would you describe your experience working within fetish communities?
HINAKO — My work focuses mostly on making fetish videos and selling them in Japan and overseas. I also run a couple of S&M studios in Tokyo. At first, I was
more interested in using bondage tools made of latex. So, I was buying vacuum beds, sleep sacks, straightjackets, and masks for myself and my clients. I bought my first latex outfit in 2016, and I got seriously obsessed with it. Now I can fill up two studios with just my gear.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — What is it about latex that makes it so attractive?
HINAKO — People who get into latex like the shiny appearance of the material. It makes them feel nonhuman, in a way. The great thing about latex is that the material makes a really cool outfit, and it’s compatible with bondage and various plays. It’s extremely versatile. When you wear latex, it heightens the sensations on the skin. It changes how you are in your body and gives you a really beautiful outline. You feel like you can become someone else.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — Does the latex scene in Japan have a long history?
HINAKO — There have always been people in Japan who’ve liked latex, but the boom has been happening for about 10 years now. One reason is that it’s much easier to buy latex online today, and there are more stores selling it. But it took a while to gain popularity in Japan because the weather here is humid, and mold grows really easily on latex. So, it’s difficult to maintain it and keep it clean. The more common material in Japan is PVC because it’s easier to handle. There has been huge growth in the amount of people who wear it in their sessions and play. I was probably one of the first to do latex sessions in Tokyo. At the time, there was almost no one doing latex sessions like that. Also, we don’t have dungeons in Tokyo, so you would have to go to a love hotel and carry all of that gear with you. It was super arduous and labor-intensive.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — And that’s when you started taking photographs about latex culture and documenting your own gear?
HINAKO — At the time, I found
that the photos that people were taking of latex weren’t very cool. They were mostly taking them in white rooms with bright lights. They would all look like mannequins and have the same pose. There was no individuality. It was just about the shininess and the silky quality of the material, but I wanted to take photographs that looked cooler. So, when I worked at an S&M club, I started taking my own photos. I had a sense of rebellion.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — Participating in BDSM and latex fetishism is, in a way, being part of a subculture. What do you think about the way that the fashion industry takes inspiration from these subcultures?
HINAKO — There’s a real split within the community regarding the fashion world using latex in their collections. On one hand, some people are like, “How dare they?” Because for many, it’s their little secret, their fetish, their kink — it’s something they don’t want to put out into the world. Now,
people who don’t even have a latex fetish are wearing latex clothes. Personally, I want to see more of this. The dissemination of latex within the fashion industry doesn’t affect the actual fetish community in any way. Fetishists will still be there doing their thing. I think of it as being separate and actually encouraging more acceptance.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — I’m curious about your thoughts on the power of these fetishes being a secret. For many people, it’s important to keep this lifestyle a secret, for their safety, for their family or their job, but also maybe because it keeps it sexy.
HINAKO — People who have this fetish believe it’s like exposing something very intimate and that you can’t possibly go outside looking like that. Latex is seen as extremely sexual for them, so they have a sense of fear of it being public.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — You mentioned that as a mistress, you sometimes feel like a therapist. In my experience with the latex vacuum bag, it felt like somatic therapy. It seems to heal the nervous system and has a connection to sexuality, but there’s something deeper happening as well. Is there a therapeutic aspect to fetishism? What is it for someone to fulfill a specific and alternative desire?
HINAKO — I work with many kinds of fetishes, and there are many levels of obsession that people have with the material. Some people are seriously obsessed. Actually, one of my friends wants to get married to the material, to latex, but obviously can’t. So, the way they find pleasure is by wearing head-to-toe latex, and they need latex in order to get sexually excited. People like that come to me. My job is to create these specific environments for latex fetishists to be aroused. In terms of the therapeutic aspects of the fetishes, I work with a vacuum bed, a sleep sack, and also an inflatable where you can trap someone inside, and that’s part of the play. For example, if I’m trapping someone inside an inflatable, they actually feel extremely free. For many people, the world is too stressful, and things just come at you against your will, and you can’t really control anything. Bondage, in some way, means that they don’t have to do anything. They can surrender and let themselves be. And physically speaking, the material is so smooth and feels really good on the skin. In your day-to-day life, you’re not thinking about the outer side of your body, about your skin, and how it’s in contact with the world. But when you do bondage, your senses are heightened, and you feel the sensation of your skin. In a way, bondage erases stress and becomes a healing experience. Some people say it’s like being inside water — your sensations are heightened, and emotions come up. It becomes a form of meditation, and my job is to support people in that process. Some people even end up crying.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — Going back to your fetish roots, we’ve talked about fetishists often having deep fetish-root memories from their childhood. How did you start to learn that this was something that interested you, and how did you find your community?
HINAKO — I think I was into this kind of stuff from the moment I was born. [Laughs] Since I was quite young, I’ve had a fantasy of being kidnapped by a prince or someone. So, I always thought about being tied up or being kidnapped and being the receiver of things. It could be a man or a woman; it could be an alien, for all I know. In my romantic relationships, I’m attracted to men, but when it comes to kink, I really don’t care about the gender. There’s a difference between my sexuality and my kink and my fetishes.
In a more traditional sense of S&M, a lot of people have a fetish toward the relationship of the power play: people who want to follow orders, or people who want to give orders. But for true fetish people, it’s more about the situation — that’s the kink.
BOBBI SALVÖR MENUEZ — Something I love in fetish communities is the specificity of desire, which, for me, means listening and connecting to yourself. What is your desire? What are your limits? What would you say to people who haven’t explored this yet — what you appreciate about this life that you live, and why it’s meaningful to you?
HINAKO — For us who have fetishes, it can be conflicting. We can really struggle with it throughout our lives. We’re often not really interested in regular sex. That’s why many of my romantic relationships have failed. So, there are moments of struggle because you’re different from the rest of the world. But people should know that they’re not alone and that they can find a community to do what they want, ultimately. The fetish world is very open, and nowadays there’s more understanding around LGBTQ people, other genders, and fetishes. Personally, I feel like if I keep doing what I want to do, then other people will follow. It’ll also give space for other people to experiment.
[Table of contents]
editor’s letterRead the article
by Daniel Pinchbeck
by Paul B. Preciado
cover #1 cindy shermanRead the article
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photography by Olivier Zahm
art or the possibility of the impossible
by Alain Badiou
cover #2 milla jovovich in gucci f/w 2023-24
photography by Cameron McCool
evgeny morozovRead the article
cover #3 aylah peterson in prada f/w 2023-24
photography by Reto Schmid
cover #4 john giornoRead the article
photography by Ethan Skaates
mariko mori, the unseen power of energetic fieldsRead the article
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photography by Jeremy Everett
de wain valentineRead the article
cover #6 zegna x the elder statesman f/w 2023-24
photography by Olivier Zahm
interview by Oliver Zahm & Aleph Molinari
what climate collapse asks of us
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cover #7 gabbriette in guess usa f/w 2023-24
photography by Richard Kern
cover #8 minttu vesala in balenciaga winter 2023
photography by Juergen Teller
cover #9 mariana arias in dior cruise 2024
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cover #10 saskia de brauw in fendi f/w 2023-24
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cover #11 caroline polachek in givenchy F/W 2023-24
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cover #12 carsten höllerRead the article
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anthea hamilton “mash up”Read the article
interview by Aleph Molinari
charles rayRead the article
cover #13 louis vuitton pre-fall 2023
photography by Takashi Homma
interview by Olivier Zahm & Aleph Molinari
hinako, the rubber queen of tokyo
interview by Bobbi Salvör Menuez
cover #14 hari nef
photography by Steven Klein
hour of the wolf
photography by Robi Rodriguez
the idiots revolution
by Byung-Chul Han
cover #15 melvil poupaud in dior men f/w 2023-24
photography by Ola Rindal
cover #16 marie-agnès gillot and charlotte dauphin in valentino f/w 2023-24
photography by Andrea Spotorno
cover #17 loro piana f/w 2023-24
photography by Dario Catellani
cover #18 emmanuelle lucianiRead the article
cover #19 sascha rajasalu in saint laurent f/w 2023-24
photography by Esther Theaker
interview by Daniel Pinchbeck
interview by Daniel Pinchbeck
“what can the body do?” with georgia bryan
photography by Dana Boulos
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cover #20 moncler karakorum f/w 2023-24
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