Pablo Neruda once wrote a poem "We are many", alluding to the 'parliament of identities' that resides within each of us. I want to share and explore the coming out of my 'gay fetish identity' as I believe this to be a theme that many of us have experienced in some way or another, or do not dare yet to experience.
Alain - 41 - Living in Antwerp - PhD in Management - Professor in Management & Organization - Happily married to my husband, the purest soul on this planet - and for as long as I can remember having the fetish seeds within me. In my early teens I discovered sexuality through my attraction to soccer players, not so much the guys, more their shiny shorts and trainers. Sportswear, and in particular shiny wet-look sports gear, was my first turn on. All shrouded in secrecy, however, refusing to talk about it, to share it – let alone, to wear it in public! It felt like a part of me, that I would not allow. Years passed by until I started creating profiles on gay dating sites, occasionally spotting other sports gear lovers. More years passed by until I had my first – secret – sports gear date.
Fast forward to November 2017 when the secrecy started to feel constraining: I wanted to explore, to buy more gear, to meet guys with similar interests, and to explore my fetish sexuality. After years of browsing the websites of Mister B, Boxer Barcelona and other gear brands, I took the courage to visit the Mister B store in Antwerp, my heart pounding in my throat as if I was about to have the fuck of my life. To my surprise, it felt good, I browsed, got attracted by some rubber stuff and bought my first rubber outfit - not even knowing that rubber was a fetish at all. This kicked off the start of my gear collection.
The first hurdle was overcome, so what's next? Ouch… telling my husband? No, not yet, let's first go to a gay fetish cruising bar, The Boots. Thanks to a guy that I met on Recon, and who was so kind to join me on my first visit, I got the balls to go, though was nervous as hell. I changed into rubber, had a few drinks, sneaked in the dark rooms, and had a few more drinks, eventually to go home horny as hell, but uncomfortable to have some gear sex.
Milestone 2 achieved, well, kind of… Up to hurdle 3: telling the husband: I opened up, totally and completely. He was surprised, didn't see it coming …as I became an expert hider through the years. Although he is not at all into fetish stuff, he accepts me being into it.
Up to the next big thing: the Antwerp Leather & Fetish Pride. Yes, I want to go, but oh no, I didn't dare to, so I compromised: let's go to only to Darklands and explore, see how that goes. I had fun for the first time ('fun' as in having a good time) feeling more at ease and feeling enough at ease to have sex in full gear, more than once. Fuck, that was a victory with capital V! Next victory was purchasing leather pants, Mister B's Fucker Jeans, and wearing them in public. Well, I just did again this afternoon, and it feels good…
So, I wonder: why does it feel good? Why does it feel good to dress in full rubber and have kinky sex with another rubber, leather or sportswear guy? Why does it feel good to do groceries in tight leather pants that get me hard? Why does it feel good to be with other guys with similar interests? It feels good because it is a part of me, it is an integral part of who I am. I am gay, and I have a few fetishes, and I love fetish sex, and there is nothing better than to be who you are. So why was this 'coming out' so difficult? Well, as with my gay coming out, my mindset was the major bottleneck: my fears, my assumptions, my mental chatter… Although today I feel blessed to have made those steps, it does remain a challenge at times to fully open up, to tell friends that you've been to the Leather pride, to wear leather or shiny gear in public… I guess that is yet another fight to win, and I guess that is a fight that many guys in one way or another either have won or yet have to overcome.
For this reason, in collaboration with the Antwerp Leather & Fetish Pride, I have launched a small project called "My Fetish & Me", aiming at launching initiatives, exchanging information and photos and providing support for accepting and expressing one's Fetish Identity. Based on my and others' experiences, the process of accepting your own fetish identity is rarely a smooth one. So, I basically want to give something back to the fetish community by helping to lower the threshold to express one's fetish identity. So far, I've had some chat with guys that didn't dare be open about their fetish, and just chatting about it can already help to be a bit more open. One guy, for example, wanted to attend Folsom Berlin, but didn't find the courage to go…after a couple of chats and sharing some experiences, he was on his way to Berlin! By opening up about my 'fetish outing', and showing my gear fetish to the world, I do hope that other guys find the confidence to do the same. As 'My Fetish & Me' is still in its baby steps, I would be very happy to hear about your ideas on how we can help to ease the fetish outing processes of many guys out there! If you'd like to, you can reach out to be using the Facebook link below or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally: be true to yourself, accept who you are, feel good about it, have fun, be naughty, be safe, and above all: respect yourself and others will respect you!
If you'd like to write an article about your fetish journey, or about a project you're working on for the fetish community, send your ideas to: email@example.com