So I am going to let you all in on a little secret. I was feeling pretty burnt out on bootblacking for a long while.
Now, it had been a passion of mine for most of my adult life. I first learnt what bootblacking was from interviews with bootblacking titleholders on the Darts domain podcast.
I listened to these amazing people talk about service, both on a one to one connection and service to the wider leather community, and something in my brain clicked. I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue, This unique mix of honed craft and skills with submission and service.
At the time bootblacking wasn’t a thing in the UK. Oh, there were people about that specialised in giving great shines as part of their service and submission, but there wasn’t a culture and understanding of bootblacking like in the American leather scene.
I largely had to self teach from early YouTube videos by some amazing leather-women and books, such as Beyond Bootblacking by Daddy Wendel.
Cut to about a year and a half ago and I was giving serious thought to packing it all in. Whilst I had been having some very fun times in private, my times bootblacking for the local leather social seemed to take a lot of time, effort and I no longer felt like I could take any joy from it. Which considering I was at the boots of some wonderful leathermen, was not how it should have felt.
But then something around the time of last year changed. Other bootblacks started to make themselves known. We began to meet and discuss things, and come time to do the blacking for the local social I wasn’t doing it alone anymore.
And then suddenly there reach a tipping point where there was enough of us talking that things started to happen. We started organising together. The skeletal framework of the UK bootblacks association started to form.
Now I had people I could talk to and share stories and techniques. We compared results and asked each other for advice. I had both people I could learn from and teach. People in the wider fetish community now seem to have an understanding of what bootblacking is too. I no longer have to explain it as much. There is now even talk about getting proper bootblacking stations for bars.
In short, I went from feeling by myself to having a community around me. I cannot fully express how much this has meant to me, and my passion for bootblacking has been reignited. I feel like it nurtures me again, instead of draining. The creation of the Uk Bootblacking association as a way to keep in touch, help foster an environment of teaching and mentorship and promote bootblacking services to clubs and bars has really changed things.
Since its inception, both Recon events and Manchester Leather Weekend have and promote bootblacking at their events.
I would also be remiss not to thank the Mr UK leather 2019, Buster, for using his platform to promote understanding of bootblacking in the UK kink scene over his title year.
If you are thinking you might like to try bootblacking, if you find the idea of service fulfilling, or even just a turn on, We are here for you to talk to. Many bootblacks are very willing to sit down and teach people the ropes if you show an interest. Come over and talk to us (tho wait till we are not working on someone’s boots please)