I've always been a bit derogatory towards the appreciation of scally lads. To me, they were the nasty fuckers who tried to beat up teenaged me in the McDonalds on Preston docks, or the jeering dickheads who routinely caused trouble on the bus. They weren't hot. They weren't lusted after. They were the antagonists in my own personal movie.
I had friends who didn't share this view. To them, there was nothing hotter than a guy in trackies who walked with a swagger. They loved hitting up nights that played Donk music, in the vain hope of getting fingered in the toilets by a lad dressed in Kappa - the prospect of getting beaten up only acting as a mild deterrent (and in some cases, an incentive). I just rolled my eyes and kept well out of it.
This isn't to say I was entirely immune to trackie charms. On more than one occasion I nearly crashed my car seeing a scally lad out for a run in grey sweatpants and no underwear, but you could probably just chalk that up to me being a hungry dick pig more than anything.
On review, though… I guess there have been some fantasies over the years. When you grow up in a part of the UK where scallies are viewed as the alpha form of masculinity, it's kind of unavoidable not to consider what might have happened if you'd bumped into Barry McNamara in the woods behind school. BUT I didn't necessarily feel good about these thoughts as I was throwing the Kleenex in my bedroom bin.
Of late, there's been a slight shift in my outlook, though. For one thing my collection of Adidas has started to get slightly out of hand. Also, after being a lifelong wearer of jeans to most occasions, trackie bottoms have now entered my rotation. True, there's a wide gap between wearing sports casual and wanting to get fucked by someone you mistrust, but hints of a sea change were certainly becoming apparent…
And then we added Trackies as an interest on Recon. And suddenly I'm having to think about trackies more and more. And I'm viewing them through the eyes of someone far removed from teenaged tormenters and terrible club nights. And a question mark is now hanging over the appeal.
So, I did what I always do when an inkling sets in: I took a look to see if there were any fetish events coming up where I could road test my curiosity. Lo and behold, there was. A night aimed at guys into trackies and sportswear. This was almost too perfect...
The night of the party I did something I'd never done: I combined my Adidas into one outfit. Trackie bottoms, t-shirt, sweatshirt, cap, socks and trainers. The only thing that wasn't Adidas was my Bike jockstrap. I'm not gonna lie, I got a semi just putting on the gear. Another possible hint that I was into it more than I knew.
I went to meet friends for drinks before the party. It was probably my imagination, but at the time I could've sworn people on the tube were looking at me differently – a little bit wearily – and I kind of liked it. When I got to the pub I was first to arrive. Again, I felt like I was getting looked at suspiciously, so I leaned into it – literally and figuratively. I propped up the busy bar and drank my pint, slightly mimicking the mannerisms of those lads I'd so hated in my youth. It weirdly turned me on seeing nice, normal people react in a different way to me. In truth, it was probably the closest I've felt to being a top in a long time…and that includes a fair number of times topping (it's not my forte).
By the time I arrived in Vauxhall I was pretty much all in and looking forward to seeing where the night would take me. Visions of pulling down my trackies for some hot lad in the seediest corner of a rammed club were playing in my mind. I met TwistedJock, my wingman, and we entered. My new-found fantasies took their first hit - the club was pretty quiet. It was still early, so fair enough. We'd head to the bar and wait for the trackie guys to come pouring in. When we entered the bar it was busier, but – here comes the second blow - we were some of the only people actually in scally wear. The limited patrons seemed mostly dressed in regular gay apparel – plenty of H&M and distressed denim. I could feel my semi deflating.
Somehow the impossible had happened. I, a lifelong naysayer of all things scally, was now one of the most scally looking men in a night dedicated to scallies. I was a trackies debutant with no eligible bachelors to be found.
We stuck it out for a few hours hoping for a last-minute influx, making a few halfhearted passes of the darkroom, but it wasn't to be. We learned that there was another big fetish-ish night on at the same time, and the likelihood was that it had syphoned off all the men. I took the night tube home feeling crestfallen and unsatisfied.
But, you know, I'm an eternal optimist. This first attempt may not have gone to plan, but I'm choosing to focus on the positives. Whatever it was I felt leaning against that bar was obviously something inside of me and I'm curious to see if I can tap into it again. I mean, I still have the Adidas, so it would be a shame not to wear it. I wouldn't say I'm all in on scallies and I definitely still have issues based on historical experience, but maybe I can use that experience and manipulate it into something that could yet be a whole lot of fun.
Side note: I've recently learned that the Nameless Trackies Night will be clamping down on the dress code. If this holds true, and there's no future clashes with other events, I may well be enticed to give that seedy corner fantasy another shot.