#gear365 is a movement for those with gear fetishes to bring them out in the open, to remove the stigma, and to be proud of who they are.
I’ve had several major fetishes for most of my life, but boots are my biggest. (Tall boots, the taller the better, like the ad above, which drove me wild in the 70’s). Boots aren’t fashion, they’re sex. I’ve been wired this way since childhood and I’ve been embarrassed about it for almost as long. I’ve been afraid of people judging me.
The embarrassment started around the time I became aware of how attracted I was to them, which was in the second grade. My friend Chris came to school wearing harness boots and I fell in love with them. I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. I always sat next to him so I could be near them. I wanted to touch them, wear them, caress them. I wanted them so much. I’m sure I could have asked my parents to buy me a pair, but it seemed like that would be admitting my unusual attraction to them, so I didn’t. That’s the thing about fetishes. They’re hard-wired. They hold a power over us, a power to turn something ordinary into something mystical, even for an 8 year old. I thought if I asked for a pair of boots, somehow everyone would know I was different. Even saying the word embarrassed me.
I wanted to wear boots. I stared at them in the shops at the mall. I fantasized about them, they turned me on. At 16, I finally got myself a pair (Dingo Campus boots were all the rage and it seemed every guy in high school wore them, well every guy but me). I’d spent countless hours staring at and jerking off over guy’s boots. I got on my trusty Schwinn and pedaled to the mall. I was actually nervous as fuck. Thinking about it now, it felt exactly the same as it felt the very first time I walked into a gay bar. I bought them though. I snuck them into my bedroom, slipped them on and jerked off multiple times, and then I hid them, like porn. I know I could have just shown them to my parents and announced that I bought some cool boots, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. I got hard looking at them. I came in them, I came on them.
In college I started to feel more free. I was far away from my family and these people didn’t KNOW me from before. I could reinvent myself. I wore boots every day. I bought a pair of cowboy boots. I bought a leather vest and jacket, leather being another fetish. I took another trip to the mall and got my ear pierced (piercings turn me on too). However, when I went home, I took off the boots, took out the earring, and packed away any leather. I reverted to the ashamed little 8 year old. My brother asked me if I got my ear pierced. I lied and said the cat bit me.
It wasn’t until I moved to the Bay Area that I really became more comfortable with my kink. I mean, if it was weird, here were a bunch of other weirdos who felt exactly like me. It was really the first time in my life where leathermen and kinksters were so open about their sexuality and fetishes. It was liberating. I bought my first leathers, got my nips and my cock pierced, started adding to my boot collection, and finally felt at home. I’m pretty well kitted out gear wise now.
I’m not a full on #gear365 guy. I would like to be. I admire those men. I’d like to wear my gear on a plane or at work, but I’m not brave enough and I do have to project a certain image in my career. Still, I try to embrace my true self, even if I did take out my earrings once I got a job. I’m a bootman, a leatherman and a kinkster, and when that shame does rear its head (because it does), I’m far more aware that it’s in my head and nobody else really cares. Hell, I’ve even worn boots in front of my brother. That’s progress.