WINGS Likes & Follows: Black Men in Gear

Pup Saturn (he/him) is an energetic kinkster from Austin, Texas, who loves belly rubs. He’s the creator behind Black Men in Gear, a blogging platform on Instagram that celebrates Black men and People of Color (POC) in gear. The platform is educational, empowering, inspiring, and fun, just like Pup Saturn himself. WINGS sat down with the self-proclaimed ‘lone wolf’ from the Lone Star State to find out more!

Nice to meet you, pup! What is Black Men in Gear?

“Black Men in Gear is a blogging platform that showcases people from the Black community who are into kink, BDSM, and fetish gear. It’s a way for me and others to make connections within the BDSM and gear world. We are all about visibility.”

Why did you start the platform?

“One night, I went to a club wearing a harness, and I felt out of place because there weren’t enough people there that looked like me. I tried to feel okay about it, I tried to feel welcomed, but I didn’t. In the following weeks, I was wondering how I could find more people who were Black or POC and into fetish gear, like me. How could I celebrate them? It was during the COVID pandemic. I was craving new connections and a sense of community. Then, in October 2021, a friend posted a picture of himself wearing a leather outfit for Halloween. I asked him if I could repost it, hoping to attract others. That’s how it started.”

What do you post on Black Men in Gear?

“I focus on the Black experience; on what we go through in the fetish scene, good and bad. Education is also an important part of it. I inform my followers on sexual health issues, like monkeypox or everyday STIs, through reposts and live videos with others. I show them how to take care of their gear and toys, and I explain kink practices, for example how to tie ropes during a bondage session. My posts often come from my personal experiences. If I initially don’t know how to approach things, then I’m pretty sure others don’t know either. Black Men in Gear is also for the allies, so they know what’s happening in our community.”

You also do video interviews with people who have been at the forefront of the Black leather community.

“It’s inspiring to hear stories from our elders in the scene. If they can do it, then you can do it! One of my latest interviews is with my friend and brother Jeremy Teel, Mr. Texas Leather 2019. He’s an artist who created a photo series featuring 300 photographs of POC people in leather gear, called I, Too, Am Kink. He’s been holding down the kink fort in Austin for a long time. He organizes activities and curates spaces for POC people. I love what he stands for.”

You mentioned the term ‘elders’. What exactly is an elder to you?

“When it comes to community, and family in general, elders are older people who have more life experience than you. I don’t know if they like to be called an elder , but some of them know they are. They’ve done great work and paved the way for us. And they should be respected. They created those spaces for us, long before we were around.”

I noticed you added #consent to the bio of Black Men in Gear. What is the reason for that?

“I only post and share content from others when they consent to it. Consent is a big deal for me. In my regular job as a social worker, I work with kids who’ve experienced trauma. We focus on all unhealthy relationship issues, from domestic violence to sex trafficking. When there’s consent, fewer people get hurt. In the kink scene consent is important as well. I know my ass is cute, but don’t touch it unless I ask you to. Just because you walk into a club in leather gear, doesn’t mean everyone has access to you.”

What are your personal kinks and fetishes?

“I love leather and latex. Watersports turns me on, especially before going into a deeper submission headspace. I’m into bondage and impact play, and I’m a bit of a brat and pup. I sometimes consider myself a lone wolf. I love belly rubs, and other pups hugging me. Pups are very loveable. I’m starting to see more Black people coming up in the pup community. It’s an easy way to start experimenting with kink. You get a hood, and nobody needs to see your face or know who you are. You don’t need to worry too much. You can be a pup on your own terms.”

What is your favourite gear?

“Right now, I love dressing in all leather. Wearing full BLUF with my leather boots, pants, Muir cap, and the jacket I just got. Other than that, I like harnesses, my pup hood, and jockstraps.”

Isn’t it way too warm to wear a full leather outfit in Austin? I mean, your summers are scorching hot.

“It is! I’ve only been in full leather when I went to International Mr. Leather in Chicago. I haven’t been in full BLUF in Austin. I’m not that crazy yet. Maybe one day.”

Do you have tips on how to make your local fetish scene more inclusive?

“Equity is important to make any scene more inclusive. Centre the marginalized, and you’ll find out that your scene will be much more inviting. A lot of us are heartbroken because we don’t see ourselves represented. The fetish scene has always been pretty white. We need to put those who have a disability, who are Black, who are POC, who are plus size, and so on, to the forefront of our events, social media posts, flyers, and whatever else we’re doing. Change the way you think, because you’re leaving people out. When you don’t see yourself represented more than just once, you won’t go back, because it’s clearly not your environment.”

Is there anything you would like to share with our readers?

“Black people are in these spaces. Trans people are in these spaces. There is intersectionality in all of it. We should all be respected. We should all be engaged. If you see a person of colour at the bar, and they’re by themselves, go up and talk to them. Make them feel welcome. They probably feel more uncomfortable than you do most of the time. It shouldn’t take another white person for them to be introduced to you. You do the work for marginalized people, equity, and inclusion! You do the work!”

Follow Black Men in Gear @blkmeningear on Instagram, and if you want to connect with Pup Saturn himself, you can find him @rangsof.saturn.