A talk with Boxer Barcelona boss Cameron about changes in the fetish world.
sadOsam: Hi Cameron. You’ve been into kinky things for many years now and are running severeal fetish stores and an own fetish brand for 8 years together with your husband. You saw how the fetishworld has changed over the time. What have been your first impressions of the kinky world and how have you found your way into it?
Cameron: All this is going to make me sound old so I just want to say I’m 43! 🙂 Also as people assume I’m Spanish I’d better explain that I’m English and only moved to Barcelona 14 years ago.
Well internet only came really into force when I was in my late 20s. So discovering the fetish world was a much more underground and seemingly risky experience of answering ads in magazines, then taking a train or bus to someone who’d you’d only speaken to surreptitously on a public callbox (no mobiles either.) But it was a lot hornier than going on Recon, it’s too easy now!
Then my first gay leather experience was in Amsterdam for a weekend holiday and after that I moved to San Francisco for 3 months. But there I hit the height of the AIDS epidemic, something I hadn’t really seen in Britain and it was a bit scary at 23, the guys were much older in the leather bars and looked mainly really ill although retrovirals came out just around then and fortunately many who thought they were on deathrow came back to life.
But my interest in leather, boots, workwear, bike gear and tight clothes in general, well, that developed as a teenager, maybe even earlier. I would always look at other guys clothes and it’s always been their look that’s turned me on above their physical characteristics.
I got much more involved in a fetish scene when I moved to London aged 26. By then there was gaydar, later worldskins then Recon and of course mobile phones and I had a car… The Hoist and the Backstreet and monthly Fist party were the social agenda as well as online meets.
My first fetish shops were Mr S in San Francisco and Expectations and Regulation in London although I’ve always been someone to trawl second hand shops, biker shops, worker gear shops, etc. For me that’s where you find the best stuff and it’s what I always say to young people who complain they can’t afford our relatively cheap leather gear: What are you doing here? Go to the second hand markets, be individual, create your own stuff, be punky, be skinhead, get your gear secondhand on the internet. That’s what I did and then it turned into a business with a much more professional team designing and making everything we sell and always starting from the point of view of making it for an affordable price.
sadOsam: There must have been a lot of evolvement in the gearscene over the years. How do you think it has changed?
Cameron: Well there seem to be phases when something new comes out: the skinhead look was really big from 2000 for around ten years, then biker gear and sportswear came up, along the way neoprene has gained its fans. But leather and rubber maintain a big following. Gear is after all what you find horny and that can be so many things and changes over your life.
sadOsam: What do you think of those changes? Do you think it’s positive?
Cameron: We’re talking about people’s sex lives, their fantasies, what turns you on. It’s best not to analyse these things or you start to get turned off. For anyone who doesn’t find it positive I’d say don’t worry, everything is circular and your favourite fetish will become big again.
sadOsam: How did all this affect your business? How do you adapt your collection? Did your style change a lot?
Cameron: Well I think Boxer Barcelona has been a pioneer in putting design, fit and feel to the top of the agenda and churning out ideas which turn us on. Some of them work, others don’t. In the end the public decides and we’ve not been purist to our own preferences but made more of what people want and less of what they don’t want.
We come up with 5-10 new clothing items every month as well as looking for new fabrics and maintaining a large leather collection which is also renewed regularly. We just started neolatex and neoprene ranges which are doing really well too.
sadOsam: Are there some new trends you think are coming up?
Cameron: Yes. Definitely the rules have been broken down. The new thing is fusion: mix everything up. So you’ll see a guy in sexy boots and leather jeans but then he’s wearing a fluorescent yellow, plastic harness… (we don’t sell these!) Or cowboy boots with speedos and a rubber vest… Fetish is less serious, more happy, not so underground… it’s even becoming dare I say it: mainstream as it mixes with the club scene. I think this is because being gay is no longer so underground, we can live open lives in most of Europe.
Tattoos have also played a big part in changing fetish wear. People want to show incredible tattoos and so are less into total coverage. I think Boxer Barcelona has tapped into this, we’ve recognised what’s happening in society and adapted to it. We also have lots of young people working for us and we listen to their ideas too. That said we put the brakes on regularly and try not to stray too far into eclectecism.
As an SM web Imaybe you’ll agree that fetish used to be very linked with SM and I think that’s less the case now. Many people are into the gear without being into SM. Again although Boxer Barcelona sells a good range of SM toys we’ve worked hard to make our stores welcoming to people who might be intimidated by that. It’s not easy, we make it look easy but believe me it’s taken years and a lot of hard work.
sadOsam: In all your years, wise old man, what are some of the strangest gears you’ve seen?
Cameron: Well there’s that guy you see at Folsom Europe from time to time completely covered in wool. He looks like one big wooly jumper… But in the end nothing is strange, I like to keep an open mind because I’m always looking for the next thing to get into… What turns me on most is what I’ve never seen before. Some of these sci-fi costumes with lights and everything are incredible although I’m not sure how you’d have (conventional) sex in them. Technology is allowing slaves to wear electrifying buttplugs or cockrings controlled by wifi from a mobile phone anywhere in the world. Plastic surgery of all sorts is becoming cheaper, people are injecting huge amounts of silicone into their bodies and transforming themselves. Monster fetish is taking off but it’s hard to achieve: make-up, prothesis, silicone injections, specially made parts… (I neither recommend nor disapprove of any of this but it’s a reality).
I love going out with my Oxballs double cock (one extension with your cock inside and another dildo attached round your balls). That surprises people when you get them out… I guess I’ve always found an element of theatre in sex, in SM in fetish gear: well that’s roleplay isn’t it. And the surprise, that look on someone’s face when they see something they’ve never seen before and it turns them on… “All the world’s a stage.”
sadOsam: Dear Cameron, thank you for spending time with us. We wish you a lot of success with your business and of course even more fun in your own fetish life.
Cameron would be happy to get feedback and if you have and suggestions or ideas about fetish gear don’t hesitate to contact him. Here you can find his profile on Facebook and this is the direct link to the Boxer Barcelona homepage