A Japanese group of women having a good time wearing Zentai. Image from Pittarifit.com.
Q: What's a Zentai?
A: Zentai is a tight-fitting catsuit made of stretchy lycra (spandex) fabric that covers the entire body, also the face. A suit that doesn't cover the head is called a Catsuit. Zentai comes most likely from japanese word Zenshin Taitsu, that means "full-body tights".
Q: Why would anyone want to wear one?
A: As we people are different, we also like zentai for different reasons, some sexual, some sensual, some "artistic". Here are some:
- The feeling of being totally enclosed and separated from the rest of the world. A slight claustrophobic feeling that can be by some experienced as very pleasant.
- Heightened awareness of your own body as the compression of the fabric "massages" you from every part at the same time.
- Smoothness. Feeling smooth and slippery all over your body is interesting and feels sexy.
- Anonymity/masking/transformation. Sense of becoming someone or something else. Zentai will make you able to show all curves of your body but still remaining anonymous. Many enjoy the new "simplified" self when wearing zentai: no blemishes, bodyhair etc.
- D/s aspect. Many zentai wearers describe wearing zentai to cause a "submissive" overall feeling, some feel strong and dominant. Many enjoy different forms of bondage while wearing zentai.
- Visual & artistic effect. Zentai makes a great costume base for performance art, dance acts, masquerades and carnivals.
- Pyjamas. Many people feel the hood too distracting or exciting for sleeping, but those who have managed to sleep in zentai say they sleep better in zentai than without.
- Some people with autism-related sensory issues may find the sensory effect of zentai calming.
A: Since Zentai is made of fabric and not for example latex, you can breathe trough the mask quite easily. The basic shiny zentai suit is often made of nylon/lycra blend, a similiar fabric to what is used for swimming suits and bike shorts. There are also different blends, for example cotton/lycra with a matte surface and a smoother feel. Some coated fabrics that can be harder to breathe trough (for example Zentai suits with metallic colors or PVC coating)
Q: No eye holes! How can you see?
A: You can see while wearing a zentai, enough to do simple taks. The quality of vision is relative to the thickness and color of the fabric. Generally speaking dark colors gives you better vision. The quality of light plays also a large role, soft and diffuse light makes seeing easier (compared to harsh spotlights). Coated fabrics can make seeing quite hard.
Q: How do you get into a suit like that?
A: The basic zentai has a zipper in the back. There are many variants tho, for example suits with zippers in the inseams of the legs, or zentai leotards that have snaps in the crotch. Because zentai is made of fabric, they can be designed in numerous ways and there are companies that can sew almost anything you can imagine.
Q: You Zentai people are a bunch of weirdos!
A: That wasn't even a question, but I'll still try to answer you. Yes, we may be weirdos, but who is "normal"? Some people like to wear t-shirts or sneakers, we like to wear Zentai suits. It's really just a piece of clothing. Compared to many really bad things happening in the world wearing a zentai is a quite harmless "hobby".
Q: I want to know more!
A: Ayus-Zentai is a great resource mainly for its forum.