The Kink Blog: Bootblacking for Beginners.

Aug 13, 2021

What exactly is a bootblack? It may seem overwhelming at first, but here’s how to dip your toes into this fetish with everything you need to know!

What is a bootblack?

So on a quite literal level, bootblacking is simply the act of caring for leather and making boots (or any other leather) look more black. It’s super common as the military requires perfectly shined boots to this day, and there are bikers the world over wearing leather as a lifestyle. But let’s be real; it can also be some real kinky stuff. Bootblacking is now a familiar sexual kink to many. 

In the kink and gay world, bootblacking tends to happen in the context of a power dynamic with someone more dominant wearing leather of some kind and a more submissive person caring for the leather as a loving act of service. There’s truly a whole world of leather sexual kinks to explore far beyond the BDSM leather boots when you really get into it. 

How do I get into it?

If your partner or someone you’ve been seeing is into the BDSM kink, you may be looking to expand your sexual horizons. And while the scope of a bootblacking kink and BDSM can be huge and overwhelming, we’ve compiled a list of beginner steps you can take to dip your toes in and see what you really enjoy here. Remember that while it’s important to listen to your partner and what they enjoy during sex, it’s also absolutely pivotal that you notice yourself first and foremost. 

6 Bootblacking Beginner Baby Steps: 

  • Lean into what you already love!

Since bootblacking is really centered around the acts of service, a great way to get started is by finding something you already love doing for your partner. If you’re interested in playing with bootblacking, chances are you already have some idea of how you want to love your partner and how they like to be loved too. This information is exactly where you’ll be most successful building from. Instead of asking yourself, “What is a bootblack going to look like in my life?” try asking gentler questions first like “Do I love putting their shoes on for them in the morning or rubbing their feet?” You may already be taking care of the dominant person in your life even if you haven’t labeled it as such. The act of conditioning boots often massages the wearer’s feet. Maybe they have a corset they love wearing that’s looking a little dingy, and you rub some conditioner on for them in places you love to rub anyway. There’s no need to make a huge shift here to get started; baby steps will do the trick! 

bdsm leather boots
  • Set the limits you need.

Set some boundaries that make you feel good. There’s nothing worse than investing into loving someone and it going south and even hurting one or both of you. The best way to make sure that you’re both getting what you need (which is how you’ll enjoy it most) is to make the rules up as you go. Maybe you’d love to put someone’s boots on for them, but you get hurt when they say how dirty the boots are. You deserve to feel good when you’re loving someone, and that would truly allow you to grow in your own pleasure too! Use the information you already have about one another to start off, and then those rules will grow with you as you grow in your practice, because we naturally learn more about ourselves through what hurts and what feels good. If you use that as a gauge, you literally can’t go wrong with what a bootblack looks like in your life. 

  • Invest what you can at first. 

Start small on your bootblacking investment. If you look online, you can find that professional kink wear and leather can really cost a lot of money. Instead of investing tons into your new fetish, start with something small or even try out your new practice using your existing household products. Your enjoyment of what is a bootblack isn’t dependent on how much money you spend here, but on the TLC you both put into it. Once you’ve practiced and played together, you’ll have plenty of time to notice what you love most, and that’s where it’s really worth it to invest. There are a lot of very simple and inexpensive products available, but with some Johnson’s baby soap, some warm water, and a dash of vinegar, you’ll have a DIY leather conditioner. You can also combine beeswax with almond oil and cocoa butter in a pan, and again, boom, you have another leather conditioner option. You don’t need the finest products to translate this loving act. 

  • Find something in it for you.

So enough about what is a bootblack to your partner; let’s make sure that you have a relationship that feels good for you with leather. We can make that happen by finding a leather product you love that makes you feel special. Have you always wanted to try out some BDSM leather boots? Head out and find something that really lines up with who you are. Everything from belts and chokers to bracelets is available all over the place. Bootblacking practice isn’t a one-way street; pleasure town is for everyone involved, and that includes the pieces that suit you best. No need to check your identity at the door; integrate who you already are into this new practice in your life and really define what a bootblacking kink looks like in your life. 

  • Play with it alone.

Once you find that item that makes you feel good, integrate it into your own sensual practice. This is new, and you’ll need time to play around. Regardless of how much you google. “What is a bootblack?”, ultimately we learn the most about our pleasure from our own personal practice. And this something new involves a very physical, tangible material that you can interact with within your body. See what it feels like on your skin in different sensitive places. Try moving around with it. It’s unique texture will feel different than a silicone toy, and that could be exciting. Whatever you learn from your own masturbation practice will absolutely set you up for success when it’s time to play with your partner. 

silicone wand vibrator
  • Keep growing with your partner.

Once you’ve played around, you’ll have more information on both your own pleasure and your partners’. Use that information to move forward in a way that feels best for both of you. There is no wrong answer. There is no wrong way to play with sexual kinks and BDSM leather boots. If your partner wants you to lick their shoes and you’re more interested in having your corset tied- that’s just an opportunity for you both to collaborate on boundaries for successful play. The most successful BDSM relationships involve a lot of careful boundary negotiation and mutual respect.  

Ultimately, this kink, like any other, is about you and building a practice that feels good for you and your partner. If you still find yourself asking, “What is a bootblack, and how can it feel good?”, keep exploring! There’s really a worldwide subculture and so many different ways to play. The limits to pleasure are imaginary. 

So get ready for your favorite leather outfit to shine and shimmer, and enjoy this submissive-based practice as your lover extends their legs for you to clean up their favorite pair of BDSM boots. Sex is best when your inner most desires at safely met, and if the idea of bootblacking sparks an interest in your mind, then by all means, have at it!



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