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Raquel Welch in scuba outfit
Typical scuba outfit

SCUBA - Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

This is a term that was coined in 1952 by Major Christian Lambertsen (who served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1944 to 1946) to refer to their military divers' rebreather sets. As with radar, the acronym has become so familiar that it is often not capitalised and is treated as an ordinary noun; for example, it has been taken into the Welsh language as "sgwba".

Types of SCUBA

Modern scuba sets are of two types:

  • Open-circuit (In Europe, it is often called an "aqualung", first invented by Jacques Yves Cousteau and Émile Gagnan.) Here the diver breathes in from the equipment and all the exhaled gas goes to waste in the surrounding water. This type of equipment is relatively simple, making it cheaper and more reliable. The two-hose design originally used was the one designed by Cousteau and Gagnan. The single-hose design generally used today was invented in Australia by Ted Eldred.
  • Closed-circuit/semi-closed circuit (also referred to as a rebreather). Here the diver breathes in from the set, and breathes back into the set, where the exhaled gas is processed to make it fit to breathe again. These existed before the open-circuit sets and are still used, but less so than open-circuit sets.

Both types of scuba provide a means of supplying air or other breathing gas, nearly always from a high pressure diving cylinder, and a harness to strap it to the diver's body. Most open-circuit scuba and some rebreathers have a demand regulator to control the supply of breathing gas. Some "semi-closed" rebreathers only have a constant-flow regulator, or occasionally a set of constant-flow regulators of various outputs.

Types of Suit

While it is possible to use scuba wearing just an ordinary swimsuit, normally a protective suit is worn. There are basically two types: Wetsuit and Drysuit.

  • Wetsuit is a permeable suit, usually made of neoprene.
  • Drysuit is an impermeable suit, usually made of rubber.

Scuba fetish

Suits and scuba are regarded as forerunners of the latex fetish and gas masks enthusiasts, as these were the earliest full body rubber suits designed and obtainable. However, as they were highly expensive, few had the money to purchase such suits. In the later era of early mass production, full rubber suits were purchased more easily and were featured on attractive women in several early television series such as Diana Rigg of "The Avengers" which showcased the "contained" nude form.

Today, many latex fetishists prefer the more form-flattering sheet pressed latex costuming (usually referred to as "drywear" indicating that it is not really meant to be worn in or under water due to the pressure on the suit from the water) as opposed to the thick rubber or neoprene suits that divers actually use in underwater travel ("wetwear" which usually refers to a suit that is specifically designed to resist the pressures of water when submerged). However, some still prefer the thick containing format of scuba-like suits or actual scuba suits on such models and performers and themselves.

Scuba fetishism has many fans; some are turned on because of the tight clothing, others because of the water enviroment, others because of the masks and also Breathplayers (although those last two are few and rare).

See also

External links