Here’s another installment of my interview series with men in the Leather/kink/BDSM community. This edition features Roman Troy the mind and muscle behind X GEAR, the NYC-based fetish fight gear company for enthusiasts of MMA, Boxing, Wrestling and Marital Arts. A former MMA fighter himself, Roman is a man dedicated to providing gear to guys that is fun, hot, and dripping with masculinity. Roman lives here in NYC with his partner and pack of rescued pit bulls.
What are your hanky colors?
A better question might be which colors would I NOT flag because I would flag a lot of them. As much as I love yellow, I also love red and I need to have blue and sometimes I’m just in the mood for green. There are a lot of them, but I’d say all the basics are a basis for a good hearty diet—and I love to eat.
What’s your favorite piece of gear?
It’s hard to say, depends on what I’m doing, how I’m training…but if I have to pick one, it would be a jock. I live in a jock; I don’t think I even own a pair of underwear. I actually own a design patent on a style of jock that I’ll be making soon for Naked Kombat. Jocks are great and I love wearing them…doesn’t even have to necessarily be clean.
What is X Gear?
I originally started Roman International Fight Gear when I moved to NYC and we were selling competition quality gear to athletic clubs. My partner is the one who came up with the idea to try contacting some of the fetish companies to begin selling our gear to a different crowd. I knew there was an interest there, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take things in that direction. Then one day we went into the Leather Man down on Christopher Street and spoke to the manager there and it was the easiest sale I had made in years.
X Gear is not necessarily a product as it is a way of thinking. I look at the products and I relate to them in a very visceral way. We take gear made for competitive fighting and MMA and make it more tactile and stimulating so your response is a more sexual one.
The colors—red, yellow, blue, black—that are common flagging colors in the fetish community are also used in martial arts to denote rank. This weird parallel actually ended up working really well and people have responded well to the gear.
What are your thoughts and philosophies behind gear?
It’s not about the gear; it’s about the man who wears the gear. Ultimately anyone can put on a piece of anything, but it’s really about the thoughts and feelings behind the gear. I’m selling products that make men feel more masculine or sexual, but I’m more concerned with men being true to themselves and confident in who they are. It’s about being real and having self esteem and owning it. It’s who you think you are—who you believe you are. I want to help people to believe in themselves.
It’s about control, it’s about desire, it’s about submission, strength, will, and power. It’s about feeling what that is at the hands of a man who knows who he is and accepting what he is about to force you to become.
How does X Gear relate to more traditional Leather?
Men are attracted to masculinity and strength. The gear gives people a sense of self and a strong identity—whether that’s a tough wrestler or a fighter or whatever.
There is a big movement towards sports gear in the fetish community and I think it’s driven in part by young men who are looking for something new and fresh that gives them a sense of self. The new youth want something sexy and visually appealing and sports gear just happens to be what people want to explore right now. Interests change and I think the fetish scene will continue to morph and change as we go along. Who knows what will be popular in the future. Maybe it’ll be space gear? Everyone will want to be in space suits, who knows.
What advice would you give a young man exploring the scene?
The best advice I could give someone is to know yourself…just know yourself. That has gotten me far. And if you don’t know yourself, learn. Take every opportunity to learn.
Check out Roman’s X Gear online.