Sports gear fetishes are very popular among gay men, but are laden with misconceptions. Alex Hopkins speaks to Jon Bolt of Sportsbolt, the club that is revolutionising London’s gay fetish scene.

 

Do you wear your favourite football shorts under your ever-so respectable looking suit? Have you been obsessed with the gear that wrestlers wear ever since watching WWF as a teen – but then, as an out gay man, have found it difficult to find the guys online who are also into sports gear? If so, Sportsbolt Club is the place for you.

Established by Jon Bolt and co-founder Lee Craig, the club initially began at popular Vauxhall venue The Eagle at a night called #KIT every Thursday. After The Eagle underwent a major refit and overhaul of its events, Sportsbolt moved to the now-closed Hoist. In December, it will be making a triumphant return and landing in new London venue The Flying Dutchman, for its much-anticipated night ‘The Gunge is Back’, on December 3rd.
 

Defining sports gear fetish 

“Sports fetishes have always had a great deal of interest all over Europe, especially in Germany and France, which is where most of the events are now days,” explains Jon, “but in the UK these fetishes have mostly been associated with the stereotypes of the ‘scally’ or ‘chav’, which originated from the Liverpool and Manchester areas in the 1990s.

“The chav mannerisms and that particular look created a character that enhanced some of the basic, yet mainstream fetish items people are interested in like socks, trainers and trackies. This then linked into other areas like football gear. These days, rugby and wrestling are becoming increasingly popular.”

SportsBolt Sports Fetish Gay Wrestling
Power, strength and masculinity.

How would Jon define a sports gear fetish – and why does he think it appeals to people? “It’s a guy who is into the gear but who may also like to portray himself as a sports celebrity or a character from the kind of sport he likes. Some people may not even like football, but they still love the way that it makes a person stand out from the crowd and get noticed. They may also be drawn to some of the other features associated with a sport, like sweat, power, strength or masculinity. It’s also about how the material you wear clings to you, whether you like it loose or tight, for example. Colours and logos can also play an important role.”

SportsBolt Sports Kit Fetish
Sportsbolt Club offers a safe, non-judgemental place to meet other sports gear fetishists.


A night at Sportsbolt Club offers all of this and much more, catering to every conceivable sports fetish and fantasy out there. Whether you dream of guys in football boots, hot boxers or sweaty wrestler singlets, you’ll meet someone who is into the same sports fetish as you – in an environment which is completely non-judgmental, ultra-friendly, chilled out and, of course, super sexy.
 

The misconceptions about sports gear fetishes

But Lee and Jon are conscious that sports fetishes remain a frequently misunderstood area, particularly in the UK, where Sportsbolt Club is a pioneer. “One of the biggest misconceptions we face,” says Lee, “is that because we enforce a strict dress-code, we are automatically labelled as a fetish club. While we don’t have any objection to this, we don’t necessarily agree with the widespread perception that a fetish club must cater to debauchery and filth only.

“Not all of our customers are heavily into hardcore sex or having sex naked. Most like to keep their gear on as this adds to the adrenalin aspect. We like to balance out the broad areas of fetishes, sex and the social aspects, thereby encouraging everyone to come along.”

SportsBolt Sports Kit Fetish Event
Enjoying the adrenalin.

Then there are the misconceptions about the type of gear that you need to have. “Some people see sports gear as ‘unspecialised’ compared to other fetishes like leather or rubber. They think that they need some sort of bizarre equipment to come along to our nights,” Jon laughs. “In fact, the exact opposite is true: you can go into any high street sports shop and be sorted out – oh, and guess what? You can wear your gear not just at Sportsbolt but in the park or gym too - and leave it sweaty for our next event!”
 

Get ready for gunge!

Both Jon and Lee couldn’t be more excited about the next event, ‘The Gunge is Back’, on Dec 3rd.  But what exactly is ‘Gunge’, and what can guys expect from the night?

Jon first became aware of Gunge on TV and was intrigued, thinking it would a natural fit for Sportsbolt. Gunge is, he explains, all about the sensation: guys grappling with one another in a sticky pool full of anything from yoghurt to lube or even wallpaper paste. It’s visual, tactile and highly sensual.

SportsBolt Sports Fetish Gunge Event
Let's get gunky! 

“We’re going to town on ultra-violet for this one,” Jon adds. “Glowing and bold colours. We will also have showers available. The guys like to be covered in the stuff, having it cling to them. Throw in great music and a top social environment, along with cruise areas and play zones, and you’ve got an unforgettable night!”

And as for the future? Jon and Lee are buzzing with ideas. “I can’t say too much about them just yet,” he teases, “but one thing is for certain: individual sports fetishes are going to be known in a big way.”

The Gunge is Back' is at The Flying Dutchman, 156 Wells Way, London, SE5 7SY, 3pm, Dec 3rd.
 

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