In major cities worldwide (but especially in Japan), zentai suits are becoming an increasingly common sight as recreational wear for both men and women at a wide variety of events ranging from conventions to dance clubs, furthering the growing popularity of the subculture.
Flesh tone cotton suits are often used by cosplayers to provide a base layer that looks like the cel-shaded skin of the animated character. When such zentai are worn under masks painted to resemble a character's drawn features, the total effect is called kigurumi. Animegao is a variant on this.
In film and television special effects, solid-colored zentai suits are sometimes used to chroma-key or digitally remove actors from a scene.
The suits are also finding a place as a useful tool for meditation. It can provide a medium for body awareness, a focus for meditation via the senses by allowing for both sensory deprivation as well as sensory enhancement, as well as a symbolic barrier between the self and the world. In other uses, multiple organizations including NASA have experimented with a skintight space suit to replace current air-pressurized designs (with a transparent dome helmet instead of a soft fabric hood). This design is tentatively named a space activity suit.
With practical uses aside, zentai is also strongly associated with spandex fetishism. Some zentai fetishists are after the experience of total enclosure, while for others it provides a way to anonymously enjoy exhibitionism.
One might also experience it as a form of sexual bondage, even though it does not restrict the motion of the body or even act as an effective blindfold.
However, there are also those who enjoy zentai for the recreational sensory novelty or physical comfort without any sexual connotations.