Wilson Cruz
Subscribe To
Out Magazine
Scroll To Top

Inside the Surprisingly Intimate Fetish of Boot Licking

We Asked Boot Lickers Why They Lick Boots

Before the Pittsburgh Eagle closed in 2012, the bar posed as the home of the local leather and fetish scene, much like Eagle bars all across the globe. It was there, on one fateful night, that boy John Urso (who would go on to become International Community Bootblack 2017) was introduced to new kinks, one of which was boot licking.

“I met this daddy bear and we were making out,” Urso says. “He spit on his boots and literally pushed me down and requested I lick the spit off. That was the first time I ever licked a boot, and I was extremely aroused: before, during, and after.” Now, putting tongue to leather is something that he does quite regularly as a part of his bootblacking process.

In the leather community, bootblacks take care of and service leather — cleaning, moisturizing, and shining it to ensure its longevity. And while all bootblacks do this as an aspect of service, a subsect of the community view it as a fetish itself, some primarily through licking boots.

“It’s one of the few kinks that you can do any time, anywhere, at any event,” says Pup Havok, the 2019 winner of International Puppy Contest. “You don’t need a dungeon space. You don’t need a Saint Andrew’s Cross. All you need is my tongue and your boot.”

asian gay bdsm

As a practice, licking boots blends ideas surrounding submission, degradation, service, and humiliation. “It’s not uncommon for me to see someone at a bar or event, walk up to them, and say, ‘Hey, I would like to lick your boots,’” Havok says. For him it’s a form of flirting, while others engage in it almost exclusively on the bootblacking stands, a space where leatherfolk sit with their feet elevated for their boots or leather to be serviced, at times incorporating boot licking into the shining process. Many insist that the conditioner of choice, Huberd’s Shoe Grease, has a smokey and earthy flavor that’s appealing.

“Huberd’s is very sexual for me; I like the taste,” Urso says. According to the pair, while Huberd’s is meant for boots, the formula is ‘body safe’ and some use its lubricating effects for … other purposes. (A representative for Huberd’s confirms this claim and Safety Data Sheets say it’s “no more than minimally” irritating to skin and “no more than slightly toxic” if swallowed.) “Sometimes I like to apply Huberd’s to the boot with my mouth, and then massage it into the leather with my tongue and my hand. By the time I’m done, there’s no nomenclature of the boot my tongue hasn’t touched.” The result is surprisingly intimate, with the licker literally at the feet of the person wearing the footwear.

For the top, or dominant, the process is also an extension of submission play. “The pleasure for me really comes from being serviced,” says Malice Chris, a dom based in New York City. “It heightens the connection and energy between us because I can tell it’s something he really enjoys.”

This is an experience that layers atop others: for Chris it is a sexy pretense to his own foot fetish; for Urso it allows him to be sexual in public without intercourse; and for Havok it allows him to be on all fours, a position familiar to him as a member of the pup community. But it also inevitably puts some people face-to-face with the lingering traces of one’s past; it tells a story. “My tongue has an interesting palette right now,” Havok says. “I can usually tell what drink you spilled on your boots, or what lube you might have spilled on them; it’s all there.”

Photographer: Hao Zeng
Fashion editor: Yashua Simmons

Hair & Makeup by Kiyonori Sudo using Mr. Smith.
Photo assistants: Andrew Leguillow, Joan Kim.
Fashion assistant: Julian Mack.
Hair and makeup assistant: Aya Iwakami.
Location: NYC Film Locations.

See the entire editorial of some of our favorite guys in leather and the fall 2019 collections here

This article appears in Out's 2019 Fashion Issue covered by Janet Mock and Dan Levy. The issue will be available on newsstands on October 1. To get an advanced look at the issue, preview other articles here, or view it on Apple News+, Kindle, Nook, and Zinio beginning September 24. Grab your copy by subscribing now.

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()