Belgium's leather peak
Arguably one of Europe's most satisfactory leather/fetish bars, like something from the old days (though not quite as good), the Boots continues to thrive at a time when establishments of this nature are finding it increasingly tricky to lure in the younger set. Opened on 4 July 1983, the Boots was originally on just one floor, but there are now six to choose from, with bars on two of them — including one in the sexy-smelling and atmospheric basement — and extensive play areas on two levels further up; it's a quite vertical-feeling building with an endless-seeming collection of stairs. Traditionally a leather bar, by necessity the Boots now embraces the full range of fetish, from sportswear, underwear and diapers to sneakers, and the nakeds too have their place. Plus the occasional Horse Fair events (borrowing heavily from Germany's FickstutenMarkt). Since 1983 the bar has certainly developed a sexy patina that pulls in men from well beyond Belgian borders; it's now served men from more than 100 countries. For the record, original owner Jan died in a car crash in 1989, at which time his partner Danny took over. He closed the bar 15 years later in April 2004, and in September of that year Geert Buytaert reopened the Boots and has overseen it ever since. Membership is compulsory, with a weekend rate available. There's an aquarium-like glass smoking enclosure reminiscent of Mutschmann's in Berlin. Check website for early/mid-evening very specific fetish slots (including diapers, from 2014).
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