Rubber nun (or to be more accurate, latex-loving former nun) Damcho Dyson, above, has a simple enough aim in life: to get her fetish postgraduate project crowdfunded.
In 2011, after a decade of spiritual dedication involving daily dressing in ritual monastic clothes, Damcho (her ordination name) relinquished the unworldly life.
And then, a chance visit to a London fetish fair led to her discovery of latex clothing. She tried on a studded latex corset — and reckons she was immediately hooked.
“The sensation was far beyond what I was expecting,” she says in a recent interview with The Huffington Post that’s well worth reading. “It enhanced, and even empowered the feeling of being in the body.
“It was armour-like and cocoon-like whilst holding me securely like a determined hug. And it was very ritualistic: at once comparable to wearing robes, and yet incredibly remote from that experience.”
The rubber nun says her latex wardrobe has gradually grown since then. Each time she wears it and contemplates the experience, “more connotations and insights arise”.
And now the RCA has offered her a place as an MPhil/PhD candidate to compare and contrast her old and new lifestyles, both of which involve ritualistic dressing and bondage of spiritual or physical kinds.
All she needs to do now is raise the £33,400 needed annually to cover the £28,400 course fees and £5,000 attendance/travel costs.
GoFundMe might not be everyone’s automatic first choice for financing postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art. But Damcho’s campaign on the site has already raised just shy of £9,000 towards her goal.
And among those whose eye it caught was a moderator of FetLife’s Latex Lovers group who goes by the handle of Observer.
In a brief post titled Tibetan latex nun seeks funding, Observer notes that this isn’t “the usual ‘starlet wears latex’ news”.
He readily admits that he isn’t sure what to think of it, but feels that that the story is “worth discussing”.
He includes links to Damcho’s GoFundMe campaign page and to a story about her on a local London news site (subsequently flagged by Damcho as “inaccurate”), so that people can check the story out for themselves.
Observer’s post was a perfectly reasonable attempt to draw FetLife denizens’ attention to a potentially interesting new topic for discussion. But as a result, the Latex Lovers group found itself with a new shitstorm.
It was perhaps fairly predictable that someone claiming to have ‘converted’ from Buddhist nunnery to latex pervery and begging donations to finance a PhD would not get a smooth ride from everyone in this group.
And sure enough, while some of those commenting have been either neutral in their views or supportive to varying degrees of Damcho’s quest, a number of others have evidently found the whole pitch rather dubious.
However, one individual (with previous form) managed to lower the tone of the discussion so far that Observer, wearing his moderator’s hat, was forced to delete comments he judged to be alleging criminal behaviour by the lady — allegations backed up by nothing more than “personal opinion”.
As a relative newcomer to latex fetishism, tightlacing and BDSM, Damcho might have been surprised by the amount of cynicism and vitriol her story could unleash in an arena she might have assumed would be generally supportive.
In the current climate of austerity and intolerance, whether enough random strangers with funds to spare will consider her cause sufficiently admirable to enable her project to succeed remains to be seen.
But in the UK there are more women than you might think who, prompted by their own tastes and experiences, are engaged in postgraduate research into fetish/BDSM-related areas of human behaviour.
So perhaps the ambitions of this rubber nun are not as unrealistic as her detractors appear to think.
BELOW: Aspiring PhD student Namcho Dyson explores her new-found love of tight latex
Published March 24, 2017