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Leather & Lace, A Shoot Exploring The Eroticism Of Gloves

Your hands are probably your most-used appendage, but they can become inexplicably sensual when covered with certain materials, namely gloves. There’s a reason why burlesque performers always take off their gloves first.

“Leather & Lace,” a photo series by NYC-based photographer Natalia Mantini and nail artist Natalie Pavloski, is highly evocative of hand and glove fetishism. Inspired by vintage nail salon posters, BDSM illustrations, and vintage erotica, Mantini and Pavloski created beautiful images of women’s hands—both covered and bare.

“For Natalia and I, it was about encapsulating this romantic and sexual feel, much like the aesthetic you would see in vintage porno and fetish magazines from the ’70s and ’80s,” Pavloski explained.

Much like the glove fetishism they evoke, Mantini and Pavloski’s photos transform an average body part, hands, into something otherworldly and beautiful. Like foot fetishists, hand fetishists regard fairly mundane appendages as sexy and titillating. Unlike feet, however, hands are rarely covered up—your hands are probably bare right now—so a gloved hand is akin to someone in lingerie.


“Gloves are interesting to me because they’re like a second skin, they’re yours but not quite,” Mantini said. “I feel like some people feel they can do more with gloves on than with their bare hands (both literally and mentally) because they’re somewhat of a barrier. That separation can obviously be utilized in a practical way but also in a way that could be a sensual outlet.”

In an “Ask Me Anything” post on Reddit, user glovefan explains the nuances of his attraction.

“The way I see it, a glove should completely cover a woman’s hands, sexualizing them in the sense that they are ‘clothed,'” he writes. “The contrast between the gloved area and the bare skin on the arm is like cleavage to me.”

Glovefan makes a certain, perfect kind of sense. Especially when photographed in a manner like Mantini and Pavloski’s, the garment evokes a certain sort of old school eroticism, a callback to a time of glamorous titillation of the sort seen on 1950s pinups. They’re tantalizing, and just provocative enough. Unsurprisingly, the images glove fetishists get off to aren’t exactly what you’d find on PornHub.

“My glove ‘porn’ is largely non-sexual in nature and mostly consists of prom and bridal websites,” glovefan explains.

Fits Like A Glove has been bringing together glove fetishists since 1991. Their website, which hasn’t been active since 2014 and features a list of recommended websites for buying gloves, is a treasure trove of information for anyone seeking to understand the fetish. Most FLAG members are into leather and latex, but everyone is different.

“For me, any latex piece feels intriguing and stimulating,” said Mantini. “Women’s hands are already so beautiful in my opinion, and to use different textures to highlight that felt really appealing.” Agreed!

All photos shot by Natalia Mantini. Nail design by Natalie Pavloski. All art direction, props, and styling by Mantini and Pavloski.

Stay tuned to Milk for more handcuffs and such.

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