Monday, May 7, 2012

Bondage-a-Go-Go and the Birth of BootBoy

On November 24th 1994, I went to BONDAGE-A-GO-GO for the first time. BAGG as I learned to call it, is always on Wednesday nights. At that time, I was living with a house full of gay people and my roommate told me that she went to this bar where they had bondage and sushi! She just laughed about how funny it was to be sitting there eating sushi and watching someone get whipped. I tried to play it cool, but my heart was in my throat. She told me where it was and I went the following Wednesday. To my surprise the night before Thanksgiving was a very popular night to go out clubbing because people don’t have to work the next day. The line was half-a-block long and I was wearing black Dockers and Raiders t-shirt. Not a cool look for a fetish club, but I was in black so they let me in.
I went to this club for one reason: I knew there would be girls there wearing knee high boots and I wanted to ask if I could kiss their boots. I was Sure I was going to get beat up or maybe show up missing. The risk was worth taking. There were lots of scary looking big dudes with shaved heads, dressed in leather and even the Hells Angels were present. That night changed my life. Not only did I Not get beat up, I made tons of lifelong friends. People who are similar to me in many ways and others who I share little, but we have a common connection. We don’t judge each other.
Upon arriving, I walked around the club. BAGG was located in the historic Trocadero night club. This club was legendary. It had a decent size stage and most nights there was a band that played. The music was gothic industrial with band names I’d never heard and then some more mainstream music like Filter and The Cure. Everyone seemed nice. I was searched for weapons at the door. But this club was not like the usual night club. There was some violence at times, but I never felt unsafe or threatened. Upstairs, just like my roommate had said, there was a “play” area where people were getting whipped, spanked and tied up. I knew I was home!
The fellow who ran the play space was named Hawk and he had an adorable girlfriend who worked near where I worked in San Jose. Hawk introduced me to the crowd and basically said, he’s okay, he’s one of us. Without Hawks okay, I would have been beat up for sure. Hawk introduced to many people over the years and took care of me. Without Hawk, I would not be BootBoy… I’d just be some lonely guy with a boot fetish who only dreamed of boots. Hawk let me enter the playspace. I got to kiss his girlfriend’s boots as well as several other hot girls boots that night. What a thrill it was for me. I made going to BAGG my top priority every single fucking Wednesday, even if that meant getting three hours of sleep  before work the next morning, as often happened.
Over the next few weeks, I met a couple who worked at a bank, Stain and his girlfriend Rachel. They were both very kind to me. Rachel at one point called me Boot Boy and it stuck. She even made me a t-shirt with my name on the back and I knew right away, I could use that shirt and that name to branch out and market myself as Boot Boy. It worked. It was a brilliant piece of marketing. I later changed the spelling to BootBoy and even made business cards with various styles over the next several years. More people know me as BootBoy than by the name given to me by parents. In this way, I feel I belong to the fetish community and they are My People.
BAGG moved around to a few locations over the years and I followed it wherever it was held. After a couple of years I met the owner of the club, George. George had known who I was the whole time, but it was two years before we met. He even gave me a BAGG VIP card for free admission and priority entry. He said I brought something important to his club and he wanted to reward me for it. The irony of that was amazing. I got to get in FREE to a club where I could kiss girls knee high boots!
As I drove home from my first night at Bondage-A-Go-Go, there was this crazy –ass construction project happening on Highway 101. CalTrans was doing retrofit repair work from the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and they had an off-ramp set-up for two way traffic with huge barriers on both sides on top this 50 structure. It was covered with flood lights and it was like a gauntlet. It was four in the morning, I was new to San Francisco and driving this maze was always the perfect ending to what was already a crazy night. As I drove the gauntlet each Wednesday night, I tried to recount all of the knee high boots and I kissed… without crashing my car.