from Recon News

24 February 2021

What fetish means to you?

Fetish for me is the meeting point between fantasy and reality. It's an invitation to explore the self, learn and understand your needs and the needs of others, and to practice your desires in a comfortable and open-minded space. It's self-empowerment through perversion, and the opportunity to connect with likeminded misfits outside the realm of conventional expectations.

Tell us what your main fetishes are?

It fluctuates! Although a lot of the gear I make is sportswear influenced, and sportswear, scally and skinhead aesthetics will always be a big love/kink for me.

At present I'm really into leathers, gloves, motorcycle and trial bike gear and protective wear, full face coverings like masks and helmets, and of course, Metal. Although I don't actually own a motorbike (yet), I have always wanted a full leather bodysuit and matching helmet. I think it's the anonymity factor that does it for me, and the fact you can sort of escape within the attire. Wearing masks, visors and helmets allow for that similar escapism from the self, and being almost faceless with another person is massively appealing to me. Autism related: I often put this down to being autistic and being confined within a body suit - having my face underneath a mask can help with any potential sensory overload. It just makes me feel safer, tougher, and a lot more confident.

Impact play, wrestling and rough physical contact are hugely important, impact play through heavy clothing is a turn on – and also a lot of fun.

Where did you get a taste for fetish?

My very earliest memory of attending a fetish night was this queer DIY fetish space in Deptford about 12 years ago. It was mainly a performance night, and I can recall different areas of the hired pub space had different things going on. One area was screening porn, another was doing full body suspension. The main appeal for me was being in a queer space where the focus was more on connecting with other people, getting to see how others were using their outfits as a way to express their authentic selves, and also learning the different codes and subtle flagging to indicate what different people were into or potentially looking for. It was probably one of the first times I'd been to a queer night, and the focus was more about the interaction with other people – not even just sexual, just genuine interest and connection, and experiencing the environment, rather than a focus on drinking or drugs or just trying to go home with someone.

It would be a while after this before I'd carve out an identity of my own, and figure out what I was properly into, but the seeds of these possibilities of another kind of nightlife and way to connect, had been sown.

What has your journey within the gay fetish scene been like?

Haha, pretty slow! I'm extremely shy and have always really struggled in social situations especially clubs or bars. Since getting sober 4 and a half years ago, my life has changed a great deal, Where I used to use alcohol as a crutch for social engagements, it became really difficult to put myself out there in the same way.

I was diagnosed as autistic at the beginning of 2020, which has helped me process and understand my difficulties in socialising and verbal communication.

It's also encouraged me to be better aware of my own boundaries and needs when it comes to social interactions. My hope for when the pandemic subsides (if, at all) is that I can finally brave some events with guys I have met through both Recon and other social media apps.

Because the landscape for engaging with the fetish scene has changed so much since the pandemic – the virtual aspect is something I've been actively engaging with for a fair amount of time. I've done some gear, zine and merch exchanges with other fetish creators, and also connected over messenger with guys I really hope to attend events with once it's safe to.

I've found apps like Recon and Instagram invaluable when it comes to socializing with other queer guys into kink and fetish wear. And everyone (so far) that I've interacted with, has been absolutely sound about me being trans. It's almost a non-issue.

How did you get into designing fetish wear?

I've always been into wearing heavy and large gauge jewellery. The weight and feel of the metal on my body has always been something I find comforting and gives me way more confidence when I walk out of the house.

I can remember scouring online for ages looking for heavy duty chain necklaces and kink wear, and never being able to afford anything. Most of which (at the time) was based in the States, so on top of the high price point – there's the issue of import tax too.

So, I started to find similar looking items and supplies in hardware stores and purchased the necessary tools to construct these supplies into something body safe and wearable.
I'd always get people asking where I bought my gear from, and after a certain point I figured I could and should just start making it for other people to wear too, at an affordable price.

What inspires you when it comes to making gear and creating your fetish aesthetic?

So many things! I put a lot of thought into my aesthetic and get really excited about constructing the look and feel of an outfit. I imagine how others will perceive it and how the combination of materials will feel on myself and against others. (Although that feels a lifetime away right now!) Especially with how things are at the moment during COVID and lockdown, one of the few things I get psyched about is the process of putting all the pieces together and searching online for that one little piece of gear to complete a look.

I suppose my own desire to honor my gender identity and reclaim some lost years and internalized shame about class, masculinity and beauty standards, has meant I'm much more proactive when it comes to presenting myself in a way that feels the most true to how I feel internally. At the moment, that equates to skinhead & 'hard' sports aesthetics.

It's super important for me to provide items and gear to other queer and trans people that can honor their identity and also make them feel good.
When I think back to my childhood, I was definitely influenced (and still am) by a lot of the TV shows and cartoons I used to watch religiously such as 'Biker Mice From Mars'. I'm still an avid collector of Biker Mice memorabilia, and you'd be surprised at just how kinky a lot of the outfits they put these muscly hybrid mutant mice in; a lot of leather, biker boots, denim, harnesses and bondage gear.
I also have memories of the 'villains' from the 'Streets of Rage' videogame series and other old 90's beat 'em ups. They'd always dress the 'bad guys' in the most badass outfits. Lots of cyberpunk, punk, leather and chain gear.

Other influences not childhood related include, Andy Warlord from the Tumblr days, Albino Hector for his Nike TN masks, George Kanis, and @theafkstorm for his scally aesthetics and running Club Addict UK. Too many to mention!

With the gear I'm making at the moment, I'm making items with more of a subtle nod to queer identity and fetish. It feels good to experiment and see what people think.

What gear do you enjoy making the most?

I made my first mask a few months ago that I was really proud of. It was made using classic white Nike Socks and metal rings. Making masks is something I'd like to get better at in the future and be able to offer in the online store.

I love making one off pieces with rare items. Like recently I made an all brass chain with a large solid brass 'Master' padlock that I had imported. It came out beautifully and it's not something I'm likely to be able to get hold of again.

Being able to provide these little one off's that look the business feels really special, and it's nice that people are able to nab a little one-off piece.

I also really love making classic sportswear items into kinkwear or clubbing attire. Recently been making vintage bumbags into wearable chain harnesses. Both kinky AND practical!

My favourite thing I've ever made was a super heavy duty all metal chain chest harness, with the words 'faggot forever' attached to the front and back. It was a one off, and the person who got it said it fit them perfectly, which makes me incredibly happy.

How are you looking to build and develop your work?

I've been approached by some other creative people in the kink and fetish community to do some collabs which is amazing. Being really socially anxious and struggling to engage with people has always been a barrier to collaborative work. I really hope, especially with things becoming more online-oriented, that this will mean I'm able to overcome these difficulties and put work out there with others to reach a new audience and connect with other collaborators. It's also just really lovely to do work and photoshoots with other people. I'm always interested in other people's ideas!
My hope in the future is to develop new more innovative ideas and designs, and make the jump in spending a bit of cash for new equipment so I can implement these ideas and make new products on a more consistent basis.

What fetish plans do you have for the future?

I was thinking about this question last night, and in an idea world where there's no global pandemic and we aren't going into lockdown every other week. I imagine a DIY queer/trans fetish night, with playrooms, a dance area for hard house and techno, workshops and stalls so local sellers can show off their gear and sell their wares.

But as a more direct answer that isn't a romanticised ideal, I really hope to (once it's safe to) explore full gear heavy impact play and edging/torture as a Dom, and once the weather is warmer, some outdoor and public bathroom cruising with that someone special. ;)

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