My superhero fetish began, like many in our community, from an early love of comic books. I was born in 1986 at the height of the George Perez run at DC and Marvel. As it turned out, my father and uncle were avid collectors of Captain America, The Avengers, Tales of the Teen Titans, and of course the Crisis on Infinite Earths storylines. Even before I learned to read, I devoured the artwork of these comics: the dramatic poses, and the expressive faces of anguish, despair, joy and heroism. These were the comics I would learn to read from and I never went anywhere without a copy from my dad’s collection.
Reading those early comics, I was continuously drawn to the sidekicks: Robin, Superboy, Bucky, Kid Flash and even Wonder Girl. While other boys latched on to the mega-popular heroes like Superman, Batman and Wolverine, I developed an appreciation for the not-so-famous heroes – the ones they never really made action figures or Halloween costumes for. As a scrawny, short, uncoordinated kid, the sidekick role fit me and gave me someone to emulate when my bigger cousins played the big superheroes.
While Batman was lugged down by his utility belt and massive cowl and cape, Robin was flexible, athletic, and somewhat vulnerable in his pixie shorts. Though he was continuously captured, he wasn’t a dream-boy in distress. There was strength in his captivity; even his torture at the hands of villains like Brother Blood and Deathstroke was an act of endurance. He never gave in, and George Perez displayed that and the boy wonder’s physique so well in the comics.
These were the comics I re-read feverishly for backstories and roleplay fantasies as I developed my superhero fetish. Acting out battles and struggles of the hero excited me. As I grew into my sexuality, I sought any type of gear that would recreate the leotards and costumes of my favorite heroes. Joining the high school swim team gave me access to speedos and spandex for the first time. On one particularly bumpy bus ride from a swim meet I felt myself go hard and actually cum while nestled in the tight wet spandex…It was amazing. I also struggled with guilt for my sexuality; despite being liberal Catholics, my family was still prudish, and there was no mention of homosexuality or even masturbation in my house. So I was left to hear about these from others and that instilled in me a lot of doubt and fear for my burgeoning sexual desires. I always punished myself after I mastubated, and when I finally quit the swim team, I threw away my speedos for fear that I would “sin” again. Luckily that period was short-lived; my later years of high school led me to theatre and dance, where gay sex wasn’t just tolerated but actually talked about. That saved me a good deal of hand wringing when I finally came out.
A Fetish Begins
My fetish for superheroes though didn’t start until we finally got internet access in my home at the tender age of 17. Once I had steady access to the computer I was on it like crazy, looking up gay and bi erotica (at the time I identified as bi). I found the staples of gay online porn: twink videos from companies like Sean Cody, hairless, usually white, guys in jeans that get naked two minutes into the scene – and then bone for hours. Oh sure the guys were hot and got me hard, but none of these fully interested me, and eventually I found them quite boring. The clothes went off too soon, and handsome though the guys were, they couldn’t hold my attention.
Then, randomly on a yahoo group devoted to gay superhero fans I found a picture where a young hero was chained up with a look of ecstasy and pain writhing on his face. He wore a yellow suit that highlighted his bulge and the villain wrapped him up in rope.
The watermark on that image led me to the Hard Heroes web site, and I found that even if it was just a teaser image, I was more aroused than I ever was watching hours of gay porn. Over time I found other producers of hero-inspired fetish like Eye of the Cyclone, BGEast and more. Here I was thinking my love for tights and superheroes and bondage was unique, but a whole niche market of gay porn was made for it, so I knew I wasn’t entirely alone. Unlike the other porn I viewed, these seemed to have more story to them; the spandex stayed on longer which was a bonus. There was a power exchange and a storyline, regardless of how cheesy. It wasn’t just about fucking and moaning.
The Sidekink is Born
After I turned 18 I finally began exploring my fetish in person rather than worshipping from afar. I joined fetish websites like GearFetish, Recon and Gearplay, Spandex Party etc. I joined club after club, yahoo group after yahoo group, in an attempt to meet others like me, to even just chat about spandex, superheroes and anything related to it. Sadly every person I met online was always so far away and in big cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago. Those were the places where guys into superheroes lived, those were placed I needed to be but could not get to. I was a sidekick in search of a guiding hero. So for years I settled for chat roleplay and taking pics in my first gear, like speedos and swim jammers.
After a few years online I finally found someone who liked tights and bondage and, most importantly, lived locally. I didn’t have a superhero suit at the time but I did have a good collection of speedos. We met up to talk about playing together and it was just so amazing to finally chat in person with someone who was into it. He showed me his drawings of Spiderman, with him all tied up and gagged, and I remember getting an instant hard on. The scene we played was simple. I would go out and get ice, wearing a speedo under my clothes. I would get back to the room and he’d “jump” me, knock me out and tie me up. It was a rocky start but once he had me stripped to my speedo and bound I was having the time of my life. I wanted to experience it more and more.
Unfortunately the kink scene in my home town was non-existent and so it usually fell to the errant traveler to tie me up. I eventually added more kinks to my profile like wrestling, kidnap roleplay…but superheroes always remained at the back of my mind. I would cyber with folks or chat about fantasies. Sometimes they would share with me pics of their own adventures, each one feeding my desire. I am always indebted to those guys for helping me to figure out my fetish and teaching me from afar.
My first superhero suit was a gift given to me by a gentleman who was flying through my hometown. We were getting together to wrestle at first but I told him about my superhero fetish and that I always wanted to try it out. When I met him, he surprised me by giving me my first superhero suit. It was a green and yellow leotard from spandexman.com but it was amazing, it was real! It had the bright colors the gloves, the boots. I finally had something that I could pretend to be a hero in. This wasn’t a wrestling outfit or athletic gear, this was an-honest-to-goodness heroic uniform.
That first OC hero was named Diode and I loved that suit so much. I took photos in it detailing the young hero’s fight against intruders and they were among my first photo sets to grace my profiles on gearfetish.
I loved setting up the tripod and digital camera and taking action shots of me as a superhero, attacking, reeling and lying spread eagle on the floor. I have since added more suits to my arsenal and hope to add plenty more. I have also added more experiences to my superhero fetish. To date I have played as Spiderman getting bound, Robin kidnapped, Nightwing interrogated and Superboy wrestled into submission. My biggest achievement came this year in the form of a movie that wedded all my fetishes. In 2015 I was approached by Kevin who ran Bondage Jeopardy, and we began collaborating on a superhero bondage story for his website. Once we had a script I saved up and flew up to Portland where we spent two whirlwind days filming “Shadowknight”. It was a rush to see myself getting tied up and as a superhero and not be the camera operator as well.
It feels like my superhero fetish took a long time to blossom, and I still feel like a novice despite being active in the community for 12 years since I started really exploring it. I enjoy being the superhero/sidekick who gets kidnapped, tied up, molested and beaten. Examining it as the sex nerd I am, I believe I most enjoy it for the juxtaposition and role reversal. The hero is strong, valiant, virtuous in the mythical comics. In these kinky scenes that dynamic is flipped on its head and he is now vulnerable, worshipped, erotic and a person to be desired.
When I see myself in spandex, tied up and gagged, I imagine taking part in those one-on-one talks with villains, as they try to corrupt, destroy, tease, tantalize and arouse the hero. When I wear those suits I feel more confident in my sexuality and my sexual desirability than I ever do wearing regular clothes. I feel heroic and strong, even when I’m being subdued by nefarious traps and plots. I feel more sexually attractive than I do at clubs and bars or even the gym…They give me a power I don’t normally have in real life. Being touched in those suits feels more electric, more sensuous. My inner negative thoughts – about my body, about if I’m good enough for a man, about my desirability – they melt away.
In a way my superhero fetish ties in to my view that kink is a playful activity. Dressing up as heroes is an element of play that we did as kids, and it’s the same way for kink. Leather and BDSM rules about masters and slaves begin to lose me as they leech into everyday life. It becomes about order and not about fun. While I have and do enjoy bondage and master/sub play as well, I still just see all kink as putting on a costume and playing make-believe with your friends. Superhero fetish to me is about playing with characters, situations and scenes and then, when it’s over putting the suit away and waiting for another adventure to begin. Each play is like a self-contained comic book with a hot steamy ejaculatory ending.
In a way this understanding of my superhero fetish inspired the pun in my blog name…The Sidekink. The sidekick has always drawn me to him and I identified most clearly with them. I have something of a baby face, so people always assume I’m younger than I am so the sidekick role fits, plus I always feel awkward playing the macho hero, especially since I am not very macho. Sidekicks are willing to learn, willing to work together; their egos aren’t as fragile should something go wrong or should they be captured (which they almost always are).
When I was first starting out, Robin and Superboy were my heroes of choice. They were young and fresh, full of pep and even a bit cocky as they went against a villain. Now that I am 30, I tend to associate more with Nightwing, Arsenal and Spiderman. They are heroes who have struck out from under their teacher’s shadow, left childhood behind, but who still acknowledge that they need help. At this point in my kink life I have been around for a while but there is still a lot that I need to experience and learn. Who knows if, as I go into mid-age, whether the older heroes will speak to me but it’s something I’m willing to entertain.
I have also begun blending my superhero fetish (something previously kept hidden and to myself) and a more outward kinky persona. My Tumblr blog has definitely helped with that as I have exposed myself in multiple ways to the wider world. Kink and geekiness have blended on that blog and I have met people who blur that line between fan admiration and kinkster and they to date are very good friends I can’t wait to meet in person. I have also started to bring the costumes out of the closet and into the wider world, as an amateur cosplayer. I look at superhero fetish as the sexy, erotic side of fandom; for those wanting to bring the geek into the sheets as well as into the streets. In that respect, Paul Charles, The Gay Comic Geek and Pablo Greene, author of How to Kill a Superhero, have been incredible sources of inspiration for me.
Superhero play brings me back to those old George Pereze drawings of Robin/Nightwing defiantly enduring torture and bondage at the hands of Brother Blood and Deathstroke. A part of me always wondered what would happen if he gave in. What if the reason Deathstroke kept targeting Nightwing was because he desired the young Grayson as an equal to challenge him? What if the reason Kraven hunted Spiderman so much, was because the lithe form in a tight spandex suit aroused in him a lust that he needed to fill? What if heroes embraced the tight spandex and had lingering glances in the locker rooms of the Halls of Justice? I like to play with these ideas and for this reason superheroes will always be that grand fetish I don’t think I will ever give up. I’d like to think that 30, 40 years down the line, I will still nbe that person that puts on his costume and has adventure after adventure, hopefully with some great friends I meet along the way.