Now then, my name's Louis (aka Feetmates). I'm 28, from Leeds and I'm a regular, young, kinky dude, into BDSM, Bondage, Feet, Tickling and Leather as my main fetishes. These past 18 months I've begun openly exploring my fetishes. My fiancé of 6 years and I had an open discussion that it would be okay for me to meet and play with other like-minded guys within the kink community, since he doesn't personally enjoy kink play.
Before I started my Recon account, I first began discovering the fetish world through Instagram (or "Kinkstagram" as I renamed it). I only stumbled across this treasure trove of gay kink content by chance whilst feeling horny and putting in a search for #GayBondage. I never imagined that kinky guys in Britain and worldwide were uploading their fetish activity regularly, to share within an active Instagram community. I was overwhelmed and simply had to create a new kinky identity with an account separate from my personal one, allowing for safe exploration of this amazing content.
I fell in love with Kinkstagram, seeing such great content from real lads. My passions for bondage, feet and tickling were popular; I felt I'd really found a community I belonged to. It allowed me to make new friends, and I was able to grow my page to over 4,000 followers. Posting loads of photos and videos from my kinky meets, getting likes, comments, messages from like-minded guys all over the world. It felt effortless and sometimes even made exploring kink addictive. I felt welcomed and understood within my fetish interests, a completely new feeling for sure, as I can never bring up my fetish interests for discussion in regular day to day life.
As you may have noticed, though, this description of such joy whilst using Instagram is largely past tense. Fast forward 12 months from my discovery of kinkstagram to last December and I was suddenly hit with a complete ban on my account. Everything was gone one morning within an instant, no prior warning about dodgy content or anything to alert me to the crime I must've committed; the crime of being too kinky!!
I'm fully aware of Instagram's community guidelines policy, in place to make the experience enjoyable and appropriate for everyone on the app, however there is a lack of consistency when the Instagram police deem content to be acceptable or not on the kink spectrum. When my main account, @feetmates, was suddenly deleted, I was allowed to submit an appeal against their decision. I decided to fully read through their guidelines to see where I had contravened any rules and found to my surprise I technically hadn't. The rules mentioned nudity and bare-buttocks on show - all the guys I'd tied up were always at the very least wearing underwear, so nothing shocking there. Rules about promoting hate-speech, threatening behaviour certainly weren't contravened. Essentially my page had rope work, guys in bondage, tickling, sometimes whipping, foot and worshipping. Obviously, all consensual fun between kinky adults, and certainly nothing extreme or dangerous. I'm a fun-loving kinky guy interesting in making friends, however my content was deemed unacceptable.
A week after submitting my appeal my account came back!! I was chuffed; my argument was accepted and it appeared they realised how important the kink community was to me. However, I was shocked two days later when the account was fully blocked again. I made a back-up account to try to start afresh, accepting that my main account was now gone forever. The new account steadily built up and my friends from the community supported me in helping notify other followers that I hadn't given up on the site, that in fact Instagram itself had kicked me out! It's quite a cold lonely feeling when the door to the kinky Instagram world is slammed shut on you, all access denied with no reasons or explanation behind the decision, no warnings or advice, just an instant ban that leaves everything locked away beyond reach. @Feetmates_, my new account, lasted about six weeks until it was deleted in exactly the same way. It was so quick this time, almost as if I was being targeted for my interests in bondage, feet and tickling. I was disheartened, rejected again and made to feel as though I should be ashamed of my interests.
I thought a new platform would help, so I started an OnlyFans page as a hub for my content, deciding a new insta account dedicated to promoting this would be the best course of action. @Feetmates_OnlyFans was created and included only selfies of me with my tickle torture victims, along with photos of their bare feet. No nudity, no tickling, just captions to tell followers where to find the content since it clearly wasn't allowed on Instagram anymore. This account lasted just 5 days. I was annoyed and angry, I wanted to test what was happening, why I was being targeted for deletion repeatedly. I created "@FeetmatesV4" and uploaded the same photos. This account was blocked within 24 hours!!
I couldn't believe it, I just felt so fed up and had completely fallen out of love with a platform that I utterly adored using before. The amount of varied kink interests portrayed on Instagram is phenomenal but by no means was mine the most extreme in comparison to what some other accounts were posting. But I'm certainly not the only one to have had accounts deleted either. It's happened to so many of us and continues to be a confusing and frustrating process for guys that just genuinely want to share their passions within kink and make new friends and connections. Is it fair for Instagram to deem one fetish account unacceptable over another? To make certain users feel ashamed of their actions when they're just expressing themselves and their interests in the world? Kink isn't for everyone, sure, but when it's done safely, tastefully and respectfully, should people really be denied their freedom to express that part of their being?
I felt completely denied my right to express my kinky hobbies when so many others were still allowed, I ended up making @Leathermates as a test to see if my passion for leather would be offensive. At time of writing this account is still fine, and even more odd my @FeetmatesV4 account become active once more out of the blue just a few days ago. No idea why, no explanation or apology from Instagram, just a random email telling me to reset the account password. I won't be holding my breath in hopes that this account will stick around, I've no doubt it will be deleted soon enough once the Instagram police decide to change their minds again on what is deemed acceptable. It's just a shame that users should have this fear on Instagram of being deleted and shut out instantly at any given moment, without warning, when all we want to do is use a platform to connect to others with similar interests. I for one don't think kink activities should be forbidden from the platform, so long as users respect the community guidelines, with the simple intent to share their passion. Thankfully we all have Recon to rely on at least ;)
If you'd like to share your experiences of the fetish and kink world, send your ideas or a first draft of an article to: firstname.lastname@example.org