Camera flashes reflect off her skin-tight, red-and-black rubber corset. Shiny electrical tape covers her nipples. Wearing sleek fishnet stockings and gigantic, lethal high heels, she produces a two-and-a-half-foot black metal strap-on dildo. She buckles it across the latex on her flat stomach. Then the lean, busty 27-year-old turns to the crowd gathered in front of the stage and purses her glossy red lips, giving a make-all-your-dreams-come-true grin.
The Miami Beach audience is aghast. Awestruck. Riveted. Two minutes into her five-minute show, Rubber Doll has already spanked her luscious friend, Lexi Lapetina (who is wearing a matching rubber corset), removed a string of large beads from her own vagina, swung said beads around in time with the music (Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up"), and then tasted them.
Now, as the crowd transforms into a sea of cell phone cameras, nobody is sure what to think about the giant metal member hanging from her. But Rubber Doll does what comes naturally. She bends over and lifts a power tool — it's an angle grinder, and it's plugged in.
But wait. Before we get to the grinder's fate, let's start at the beginning. The story of Rubber Doll, who headlines the world's largest fetish parties, began eight years ago. This only-in-Florida entertainer (who asked that we not publish her real name because not everyone in her family knows about her line of work) was a quiet secretary in Miami. She was 19 years old and fresh out of high school and could barely tolerate her job. She wondered what she wanted to do with her life. But she never doubted what she loved doing at night: donning tight goth gear and touring the clubs in Miami Beach and southern Broward.
Soon, it wasn't just any kind of goth clothing but a very specific style. "I basically just fell in love with latex," she says, looking back on the early days. "The way it looks. The way it feels. There's nothing like it." Her rubber wardrobe began growing.
Around the same time, she and her boyfriend saw a TV show about couples running lucrative amateur adult websites. This was the dawn of the age of amateurs on the internet. What young man could resist the temptation of seeing this sweet young thing and her beau live on a webcam? The couple decided they could bring in a little extra cash by taking pictures of something they already loved: hard-core, rubber-infused fetish play.
From the beginning, she says, she wanted to stay true to the rubber theme. A new kind of star was born. "I had no idea what I was doing when we started," she says. "I look at those early days, at the outfits and the sets, and they're so, like, basic and amateur. I cringe, they're so bad. But the idea was there."
The site wasn't profitable immediately, but soon Rubber Doll's beautiful face and latex-clad body had spread far and wide. Within six months of launching RubberDoll.net, she quit her secretarial job to work full-time on conceiving the elaborate sets and costumes for each shoot.
As the number of fans grew, she felt pressure to make each rubber-themed posting more incredible than the last. There was "Rubber School Girl," "Rubber Nurse," and "Rubber Flight Attendant" (with a whip, in case you don't get back to your seat when the captain puts the seat-belt sign on). From the beginning, she built most of the sets herself, sometimes hammering and screwing through the night.
This work made sense to her. "From when I was very young, I was always attracted to my brother's tools," she says. "I was always taking things apart and trying to put them back together. I would rather build something than play with dolls. So I can spend hours building something [like a giant wooden cross with chains for 'Rubber Nun'] and it doesn't feel like I'm working at all."
Within a few years, Rubber Doll began receiving invitations to perform in public. "I had never performed anywhere at that point. But I wanted to take this fantasy that existed on the internet and make her real." So this cross between a comic-book hero and a female videogame character (from what would be the hottest videogame ever) stepped out of cyberspace and into places such as Purgatory in Fort Lauderdale, one of the dungeon fetish clubs where she started.
She built 3-D, stage-friendly variations of her sets. She wore the same costumes her fans had seen online. She re-created live versions of some of her most popular shoots. When she performed as Rubber Nurse, for example, she did a medical-themed show that included giving herself a "shot."
Now she lives in Fort Lauderdale, but she tours fetish clubs across the United States and Europe. In the past few weeks alone, she has headlined the German Fetish Ball in Berlin — the largest fetish weekend of the year in Germany — and the Smack Fetish event at Club Element in New York. She has also entertained at Fetish Factory's anniversary gala in Fort Lauderdale and at shows in Atlanta and Dallas. An Atlanta promoter, who declined to give his real name, says Rubber Doll is one of the most in-demand performers in the fetish community. "We've rescheduled the dates of our shows to accommodate her schedule," he says. "That's how important it is to us that she's on the bill."
Don Nedler, who owns Lizard Lounge, one of the largest dance clubs in Dallas, says Rubber Doll is "absolutely one of my favorite fetish performers, and we've worked with all of them." At one of Lizard Lounge's recent events, she performed as Rubber Nun but also spent an hour working the "wheel of pain," where she spanked and dominated a few of her luckiest Texas fans. Nedler says the event grossed about $50,000.
Eight years after the launch of her website, she is one of the most cherished women in the fetish world. She also produces and distributes her own DVDs and takes care of her own travel arrangements. Two years ago, she launched a second site, which has drawn more women into the business. Rubber Doll oversees every part of the operation — finding the young ladies, dressing them, and designing and building the sets. The name of the site: ShinySluts.com.
Rubber Doll — who, for what it's worth, does not have a criminal record — declines to disclose how much she commands for her performances. Nor will she say how much money she makes from her website, where she lists more than 1,000 members paying about $30 a month to access her material.
"Honestly, it's sometimes hard to calculate the money, because I have a lot of high costs too," she says. Her rubber outfits run anywhere from $600 to $2,400 each, "and sometimes with a lot of accessories, even more than that." She estimates she has 250 latex costumes in the two closets she dedicates to them. She conceives most of the outfits herself, often sketching the idea for a rubber catsuit or a rubber assless skirt on a piece of paper and then giving it to a designer. She works with three primarily: one based in the United Kingdom, one in Chicago, and one in Miami named Maggiedelena, a latex clothing designer.
Rubber Doll's shows and web content are mostly solo or girl-on-girl. It's pornographic but not XXX by traditional standards. Her fans — including a lot of couples, she says — almost never see her interact with men. When they do, it's her boyfriend, known to her fans as Rubber Russ.
As a performer, she's as flexible as the rubber toys she enjoys abusing onstage. "I guess most of my ideas just come from life," she says. "I like to think outside the box."
Maggiedelena has worked with Rubber Doll for three years. She says the clothing, the shows, the whole Rubber Doll experience grows out of the performer's enthusiasm. "She has a passion for what she does," the designer says. "That's the reason she does what she does. She doesn't have an ego. She's a great person, and she loves it." Maggiedelena will drop everything to work on something for Rubber Doll. Outfits that might otherwise take months to design, cut, and glue together — "you can't really sew latex," Maggie explains — she'll finish in days for her favorite client. "Look at her. My stuff looks fantastic on her, and it makes me proud."
Although latex might accentuate the shine and curves of the raven beauty, it is not conducive to wardrobe changes. Putting on these fragile, skin-tight duds is a slow, sometimes-arduous process. Each time she wants to don a new outfit, she covers her body in a water-based lubricant and eases on the clothing. She's careful not to tear any part of the one-of-a-kind pieces.
Back in Miami Beach, the crowd is still wondering what she's going to do with the giant black faux dick and the angle grinder, which is now on and screeching. She sits in a chair facing the crowd. Her partner, Lexi, kneels in front of her. Then, as she mouths the words smack my bitch up, Rubber Doll lowers the grinder to the metal dildo. A few sparks fly onto Lexi's waiting chest. Then more. Soon, Rubber Doll is hacking away at the phallus in a blaze of bright-white light and heat. She thrusts her crotch upward and pounds the power tool.
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The audience doesn't know whether to applaud or call the fire department.
After the show, it's back to work in the studio. More building. More travel. She says she can't do this forever, and when her looks fade or the fans go, she'd like to transition to the business side full-time. And what will this quiet administrative assistant turned fetish star need then?
Well, a secretary would be nice.
Click here to view outtakes during our photo session with Rubber Doll.