MasterMarc: Hello Markus. First things first. My sincere congratulations to your election as Mr. Fetish NRW. How do you feel after the first days with a title like that? Have you realized what is coming to you?
Markus: Thank you for the flowers Marc. To answer your question, yes and no. The sash holders I was lucky to get to know and the ones who already contacted me by Facebook, have heartily taken me into their ranks and I realize more and more that with the support of the community I really have the chance to change things – with showing presence, showing colours and standing up for something. How the whole thing looks in detail I will discuss with the Rheinfetisch e.V. and my boyfriend Artjom in private and we will define our targets more clearly.
MasterMarc: Well it looks like there is an exciting and diversified year coming up for you. What does your title mean for you personally, how important is the fetish scene to you and why?
Markus: Of course I am happy about the title, but even more that on my voting e audience, sees the potential in me to substitute and represent them well. The fetish scene is important and can’t be disregarded, but it is only vastly visible in some areas – I will try to change that.
MasterMarc: What kind of Visibility do you wish for? What do you want and can change and how can we support you?
Markus: The „Dying scene“ was a much discussed theme that really rubs me the wrong way. There is not enough unity inside the community. You often hear prejudices out of our “own lines” because nobody deals with the interests of others. Of course we have it a little easier in middle Europe because we are not hunted as much – the equalization is on the run, but is this a reason to let the scene die and become mainstream?
There is a vast variety: Drags, Fags, Bears, Rubberducks, Lesbians, Transvestites, Leatherguys, old and young ones, just to tell a few ones. I wish we had more of a “Together-Feeling”. WE TOGETHER underneath the rainbow who celebrate our diversity and help each other, support, network and talk with each other. That the leatherguy in the Popmusiccafe does not get looked on strangely, and the young “fairy faggot” who’s curious isn’t looked at like foreign matter in a hardcore bar. I wish for people to exchange and talk with each other, even with people who you, at first sight, don’t have much in common.
Fetish is a part of the LGBT* community with all its personalities and individual interests – if we all leave our home-made ghetto and extend our horizons, we show the kind of presence that I wish for and with that everybody can support me. Not only the fetishists but the whole community.
MasterMarc: I can only agree with you. Surely the acceptance in the society leads to no more ghettoization, what has positive aspects, but the solidarity gets lost. Furthermore in times of datingplatforms people don’t hit on guys in bars and clubs anymore, they get them sorted by dicklenght and fetish free by house. How can we stop this trend and make the community to one that deserves its name?
Markus: No way without the web. I totally understand this and wouldn’t want to miss the information flow. However I do think that some things do have more meaning the traditional way. You can’t get to know a person on the digital way, at least not as a whole. You write with a unknown person you don’t see, do not track its movements, do not notice its mimical changes, depending on how excited the other person is for example. You don’t smell him, you cannot touch him, even if it was just a handshake or a hug.
I often hear from friends „how bad the date went“, because “the guy was a no-go”. “But he was so nice when we chatted?!” I ask myself afterwards. Fast meaningless sex is, if you don’t look at it too closely, surely possible. But isn’t it more fun to get to know a human (even if it only leads to a one-night stand) and approach each other piece by piece? Are gay people this much under time pressure or deadline stress that they rather search for a fast date than approach with caution, discretion, humour and charm a sexy man in person? Do we unlearn through digital communication our self-respect to openly approach men? There is much you can write but you eventually will be unsatisfied with yourself if you can’t open your mouth at a real-life encounter. That’s why I think the scene is important to get to know people.
Guys: Put your mobiles in the bars and clubs away or leave them at home. Talk with each other and open your eyes at the bar, watch to your left and right who sits besides you, and not who’s just 3 meters away on Grindr. That can be a way how the community becomes one again and that you can build qualitative contacts and not hope that 1 out of 10 may be a good one.
MasterMarc: Rheinfetisch, the organizer of the Mr. Fetish NRW Election evolved from a “leather only” to a fetish club. You said yourself that the scene needs to become more tolerant. Do you feel this tolerance on the events or are in the perception of the participants still fetishes first, second or even third class?
Markus: Of course the association comes from of the earlier definition of fetish and holds certain traditions, who should be uphold in my eyes. Just how you should always remind yourself, when it comes to the “unmanly gays”, who started the first uproar against the antigay arbitrariness by the police on Christopher Street: The dragqueens! But the association (and the scene in general) is on a good way to the future:
My two competitors for example live out a sport- and sneaker fetish that has a background on its own. Marco and Tim have fought well and I am sure that it wasn’t because of the leather that I can wear the sash for a year now, but that I was just more convincing to the audience in other areas. But just the fact alone that two participants that belong to another fetish that has not such a long history and is accepted by all visitors and not only have got tolerated, is a clear sign for me.
I myself have other fetish elements besides leather too that I involve and, during the four event days (I left out the Relax-Monday in the Babylon sauna after the partying on the boat tour) showed. There are modern materials like vegan leather that allow a tight fit. Neoprene doesn’t suit me very much but it is an incredible sexy material that one of the board members. On the performance for example I wore sport shorts out of leather and a base cap combined with sneakers. And I was still elected – the narrow mindness of the old times is not as present as before, but we still have a long way ahead of us.
MasterMarc: How did you discover your fetishes, how long have you been living them out and what is the turn-on for you?
Markus: That is a difficult question to answer. It was a slow process for me… In my early twenties I mostly dressed sporty and happily showed some skin on the CSD’s or parties. But the attraction wasn’t enough. Of course I still like sexy cut underwear, wear tube socks to shorts and bring out what I have but the stile is more strengthened now, became more my own.
I began to wear Leatherjackets, in the design branch black is suiting colour to pretty much everything, but I just as well walk around brightly coloured too. As luck would have it I got to know a young man my age who was interested in a harder fetish, and we became friends. Piece by piece I got into a new, attractive world, first through his stories, then through first experiences I got by just trying it out. I was of course overwhelmed and had to find my feet first.
When I got together with Artjom, I was able to really find and tighten my role and position. I hope that my fetish keeps to be an evolving process on which I and my relationship keep growing. My turn-on is something very private, but let me say this much: If the roles are clear and (like in my case) you are able to let yourself fall and feel the attraction of power and boarders , there is nothing more sensational and beautiful than having such trust between each other and live it out.
MasterMarc: If I hear your „private“ comments, I can assume that your fetishes are paired with a sexual harder pace. What’s important to you in SM?
Markus: SM is a game of power. If the roles are clear and you can sink into it, discuss what’s possible and what isn’t, to go just to the limit … and then, in the right moment, to get the perceived signal that NOW is the time to go beyond this border is a new evidence in our relationship that we found the right partner. That reflects the daily routine too, even if the behaviour of dominant or submissive often changes for us there. A Munich official told me after the election “Great! Finally a Diva as a Mister!” – I have high demands for me and my Partner. In bed and in life, but just this change away of the narrowmindness to the advancement of diversity is what I want to strengthen during my term of office. My partner does have the same opinion, but to keep his privacy you would, if you wanted to know details out of our bedroom (or cellar^^) have to ask him this question later.
MasterMarc: I see, the sexual tattletale is your better half J But as sash holder you are one of the organs of the community. In this function, but your private opinion too, what would you advise a young guy who discovers that he likes it the harder way, what first steps should he take for having a good entrance and does not get to the wrong kind of people?
Markus: Not that he is not, but you notice the small stuff when you see us together…
Back to your question: I would especially tell him that he is self-determined and should not do anything that does not feel right for him and can’t to say it out loud because he thinks it is part of the game. A fetish, a role, a position manifests itself over time and you don’t have to press the pedal at the beginning.
What’s important is that the young have self-esteem. In reference to safer sex young people without experience sometimes let themselves lead to not protect themselves enough. For harder maneuvers not only HIV but HCV is a topic too. Not only the condom but the knowledge about STI’s are a very important point to protect yourself. Emotionally I would advise to try it out with someone you trust – but not blindly – and let everything sink in on you in small steps.
The human body can take very much after a certain amount of training, but not without basics. And the most important thing last, nobody gets forced to do something he does not want to do. Everything else is sexual assault. Arrange a code word or use traffic light signals to show if something goes easier, harder or not at all. Like this you can clear up eventual mistakes, that it hurts with relish, in a good way, and does not demolishes something you want to use again…
MasterMarc: How do you react to ostracism to e.g. the classic “hard” fetishes like leather, rubber to the softer fetish boys in sports gear or skater look?
Markus: Since Artjom and I just started to write our own blog, available on Facebook under the name of Anchormen, we are a lot on the road. May it be homo- or mixed parties (Schwarz, KitKat, etc.), we see a lot of lived out fetishes, what is not for us to live out ourselves, the acceptance and equality however should be guaranteed and preserved. I am happy about every representative of other fetishes who set an example with their presence to be accepted – if they are not already.
At some events we visit there are bound to be compromises, we want to live up to our fetish but we respect the door with the dress codes. On a skater party we were invited to leather jogging pants e. g. were no problem. Like that it was appropriate and we did feel comfortable. With “hard” events it on the other hand can be difficult to get by the door with a sport dress. That makes the party scene in Berlin or the Xtreme in Cologne a good role model in my eyes, since other fetishes are more integrated there. I myself like diversity and try to support it. But of course we are free to have own events that have a strict dress code that is followed by everyone.
MasterMarc: It’s nice that times have come where the ghettos are opening, where we notice that there is more than just the clothes we wear is connecting us. I am very happy that with you, dear Markus, a fighter for tolerance has won the title and I wish you for your term a lot of power, luck and even more fun. The final words are yours.
Markus: Thank you Marc, I will give my best to live up to my title. And thank you, I rarely have the last word elsewhere^^ Be yourself, and let others be how they are! Be the age you feel you are. Be fetishists or not. Be loud or quiet, progressive or conservative. Be promiscuous, abstinent, be monogamous. Look who is in your own rows, under the rainbow of OUR community. Watch who is underprivileged and excluded, stigmatized and openly ostracised and outlawed – and change something. Together we do have the chance to be seen how we are – and we are a lot. Do not turn away from others by reason of age, origin, health status, religion, gender or fetish. Let us show them all.
You can find Markus on Facebook